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KEELS AND CUCKOOS

Issue no 3

July 2010 The South Yorkshire and Dukeries Branch Newsletter Published on behalf of the South Yorkshire and Dukeries Branch Committee by C.J. Crofts, Staddlestones, South Bramwith, Stainforth, Doncaster DN7 5SJ Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the IWA, or of the branch Committee, but are published as of interest to the members and others. The Inland Waterways Association is a Registered Charity No. 212343


A few notes from your branch chairman. I would like to extend a warm welcome to any new member that have joined us since the last issue of Keels and Cukoos The canal cleanup was a great success on Sunday 28th March. We have now decided that the dates for all future cleanups will be on the date when British summer time starts and the one later in the year when British summer time ends, as long as the government keep with putting forward and back of the clocks. The next one will be on October 31st. We have now got access to some publicity boards. These were taken to the Waterfront day at Sheffield on the 11th July where interest was shown by a lot of people. We are having our July committee meeting at Stanilands Marina in Thorne on July 21st. This will start at 8.00 pm with a very short meeting and then a noggin and natter. Please try and come along it would be nice to meet some members. (Please see later—Editor) Hope you have a good summers boating Mavis Paul S Y & D branch chairman ********** KEITH AYLING 1942— 2010 I first met Keith at the IWA Campaign Rally held at Worksop on the Chesterfield Canal in 1988. I was coordinating the Waterways for Youth events and Keith was organising the car park. Keith later became the Chairman of the then Chesterfield Canal Society and it was he who was responsible for guiding the Society to Trust status. He was CCT Chairman for eighteen years and a member of the IWA East Midland Region Committee for a few years. Keith was passionate about canals and steam railways, his first job upon leaving school was in the ticket office of Dover Station, but left because a promised British Railways apprenticeship did not materialise. He went on to study at college and taught in many schools until he finally ended up lecturing at the then Sheffield Polytechnic. A police cadet who attended his lectures told me he was one of the best lecturers he met because of his interest in each persons progress. Keith, a boat owner, had the aim of cruising the countries waterways on his retirement from the chairmanship of the canal trust. He did manage to cruise down to London, onto photo Malcolm Fielding the Thames and then via the Kennet and Avon through Bristol and up the Bristol Channel to Sharpness and then back onto the canal system and home. Keith was buried at Tithe Green Natural Burial Ground on Thursday the 8th of April next to his soul mate Janet Westwood. A truly honest and forthright person who will be sadly missed by the waterways movement and all who knew him. Malcolm Fielding

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********** Extract from BW Information Notice No..EM-2010_29 - Chesterfield Canal “We would like to advise boaters that following correspondence from several users, we are working with boating organisations to investigate and define the maximum craft dimensions for boats from Stret Lock to Norwood Tunnel. It is apparent that some boats that are within the publicised 6’ 10” beam and 2’ 6” draught are unable to navigate through Stret Lock or find it extremely difficult and have similar problems at Shireoaks Middle Lock. Whilst we complete our investigations, please contact the Newark office for up to date information. “ (B.W Newark Office - tel. 01636 704481)

*********** Copy of letter from BW to “Stakeholders” 24 May 2010 Dear Customer, RE: PLANK LANE LIFT BRIDGE, LEIGH BRANCH OF THE LEEDS & LIVERPOOL CANAL As you may be aware, British Waterways has recently undergone a restructure in order to streamline its service and reduce operating costs. The money saved will be re-distributed to the much needed works required around the network. However, in order to make a real difference to the maintenance of the canals, we must to identify further cost savings. The operation of Plank Lane Lift Bridge is one such area where cost savings have been identified. This bridge must be manned during all opening hours and currently requires overtime to cover this period. A reduction in the operating hours of the bridge will free a significant sum of money which can be redirected into essential works. As such, for a trial period the operating hours of Plank Lane Lift Bridge will be modified to the following opening times; June 2010 8:30 to 16:30 July & August 2010 8:30 to 18:00 September 2010 8:30 to 16:30 A review will be undertaken in October to investigate the success of the trail. We do appreciate that this is a substantial reduction in the opening hours and it may cause some inconvenience to those travelling in the area. However, we must balance the cost of staffing the bridge against the works needed elsewhere. British Waterways is currently reviewing the benefits of utilising volunteers to meet a range of core duties. In the near future, we hope that volunteer time contributions can be directed towards manning locks and bridges. If we can secure the volunteer commitment for Plank Lane Life Bridge, it is possible that future operation of the lock can revert to wider opening hours. If you are interested in finding out

more about how to get involved with this, please let us know and we will put you in touch with the relevant parties.

In addition to ascertaining cost savings, we will also be monitoring all customer feedback so please ensure you let us know how the reduction has affected you. This can be done by calling the North West office or via e-mail on enquiries.northwest@britishwaterways.co.uk.

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Editor’s note. It is not my intention to act as a “mouthpiece” for BW but these two items may be of concern to boaters in our membership. The Chesterfield Canal problem will affect our members directly, and although Plank Lane Bridge is not in our area, it an important link to the waterways in the north west, and I felt that the information about timings might be of value. Additionally, it is of very similar type to bridges on our waterways which are boater operated, and some of our members, who use them regularly, might feel inclined to volunteer to help out. ********** The Waterways of the Branch (continued) In previous issues we have travelled from Keadby to Barnby Dun, and the length of the New Junction Canal. On the new Junction, and above Barnby Dun, it is still possible, although not frequent, to meet commercial traffic, There is a regular oil traffic carried by tanker Humber Princess, from Goole to Rotherham, (The stern of this can be seen in the cover picture entering Doncaster Lock. She is the biggest thing you are likely to meet on these waterways) and the work boats of Alan Oliver move from time to time. Leaving Barnby Dun, where there are convenient moorings and a sanitary station, the canal sweeps to the right in a big bend. Beyond this,near the site of a long gone swing bridge is the church of St. Oswald, Kirk Sandall, no longer regularly used but kept in good order and used for services on special occasions. On the right high pilings separate the canal from the adjacent river and on the left, the backs of industry. At one point a high pipe bridge carries waste from the adjoining glass works to a vast spoil heap across the canal and river. New housing is also filling up spaces in this area, At the end of the factories a railway bridge crosses the canal and beyond lies Long Sandall lock. This, like all locks up to Rotherham, is fully automated and is operated with a BW. Key. There is a card operated pump out in the base of the lock tower. This can be interesting at busy times when others wish to use the lock! A waterpoint lies just above the lock on the left and on the opposite side BW provide a barbeque and picnic site with handy free moorings. There is a short stretch road on the left running parallel to the canal with no fence, handy for fishermen and occasional car dumpers. Above the lock, the left hand bank appears rural but it is just a screen hiding industry and a sewage works. This is however, a very pleasant stretch leading to Strawberry Island Boat Club, which has its mooring in a disused lock cut , a very pleasant club house and a ready welcome for visitors. Leaving Strawberry Island, a large bakery and a scrap yard lie on the left before reaching the approach to Doncaster. On the left Gas House Bight, a relic of industry, is being developed into a marina, although progress has slowed. Two large bridges cross here with the town moorings beyond. St. Georges Church, now called Doncaster Minster looms over the moorings These are long term, and residential in the basin and visitor moorings beyond with a waterpoint and access to the town centre through a gate secured with a BW lock. There is a Tesco store almost directly outside, and the town centre and market are within easy reach. Above the moorings under two gloomy bridges, one road and one railway, lies Doncaster lock.

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St Oswald’s Church

photo—C.Crofts


Passing under two bridges, the waterway reaches Doncaster Basin, St Georges Church, now called Doncaster Minster looms over the basin, where there are permanent mooring and moorings for visitors with access to bins and water. A gate (BW key fits the padlock) gives access to the town centre. There is a Tesco store nearby, and the shops and market are only a few minutes walk. Above the basin, the bottom gates of Doncaster lock lurk under two rather gloomy bridges. Access to the lock is Doncaster moorings—photo C.Crofts from a landing on the left, and then on foot under the bridges after crossing the bottom gates. Surprisingly, once the bridges are passed, the lock area is open and pleasant. Above the lock the canal rejoins the river which flows over two weirs, leaving Doncaster Prison on an island. No mooring here—the locals call it Doncatraz! Colin Crofts.

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Canal Wordsearch

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Compiled by Malcolm Fielding Page 5


VICTORIA QUAYS WATERFRONT FESTIVAL 2010 On Sunday the 11th of July The Victoria Quays Waterfront Festival was held. The day designed as a family fun day was blessed by very good weather and a good turn out by the general public. The same team who organised the Heritage event a couple of years ago were responsible for this event, with the aim of promoting Victoria Quays and the Blue Loop, a continuous footpath that links the city centre and Tinsley using the River Don and the Canal. There were live bands and a roundabout, a vintage fire engine, many craft, food and charity stalls and children had the opportunity to walk on water with the giant water balls in the dry dock. The Branch were asked look after Heritage walks around the basin. We were based in the Grain Warehouse together with a display board highlighting local waterways as well as a simple quiz for children. As the basin terminal buildings are not normally accessible to the general public this gave a chance for people to have a good look around. We were kept reasonably busy answering people’s questions, mainly about the different types of goods and how they were offloaded into the various warehouses and where they were destined for. I took several people around the basin answering as many questions as possible. People wanted to know when the last loads were delivered to the basin and why it is not used commercially now. Sadly I had to tell them that the basic industries that supported the canal no longer existed and that modern manufacturing methods don’t lend themselves to slow pace of the waterway network. In essence the day was very successful and hopefully it looks as though it may end up being an annual event. Malcolm Fielding

Getting out and meeting people!

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In the last issue we suggested holding meetings at different venues through the summer. We received two invitations, one of which we were able to follow up, holding the July Committee meeting at Stanilands Boat Club at Thorne, where we were made welcome. Unfortunately we were not able to publish the date in advance, so only the committee were present, and we were only able to meet a few of the Club members, who tend to come in after most of us had left. It was however a successful trial and we shall try to arrange further visits, next year, giving details in these pages.

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Wordsearch answers Bridgewater, Erewash, Fossdyke, Huddersfield, Lancaster, Pocklington, Ripon, Rochdale, Selby and Grantham.

Your contributions needed

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Contributions are welcomed, in the form of articles, letters or even private adverts. Photographs connected with articles will be especially welcome, if sent by e mail It’s up to you, it’s your newsletter.

Colin Crofts

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Diary Dates 15th. September 2010 - Meeting of the Branch Committee at Tinsley at 8pm. 20th.October 2010 - Social “Noggin and Natter” at Strawberry Island at 8pm - all welcome. 31st October 2010 - Sunday Morning Canal Clean up at Tinsley . Meet at 10am. Lunch provided Please see below. 17th. November 2010 - Meeting of the Branch Committee at Strawberry Island at 8pm Date to be fixed - Christmas Social - See next issue for details Strawberry Island Boat Club is at Milethorn Lane, Doncaster, DN1 2SU, just off Church Way, behind Homebase.

Canal Clean ups. For some years, in conjunction with the Abbeydale Rotary Club, the branch has arranged canal clean ups at Tinsley on a Sunday morning each Spring. It is planned to extend this in future to include a similar event in the Rotherham area in the Autumn. To minimise confusion over dates these will be held on the Sunday when the clocks are changed. Old clothes are recommended, equipment and lunch will be provided. Your participation will be welcome.

Branch Officers For some years the Branch has not been able to fill the offices of Sales/Information Officer and Social Secretary. If you feel that you could assist with either of these, please get in touch, we need your assistance.

Advert Good Home wanted for 25kg danforth style anchor. A donation to the Branch will secure, delivery may be possible. Contact C. Crofts 01302 841619 or email - cjcrofts@aol.com

The B.W.Picnic and Barbeque site above Long Sandall Lock. Photo—C.Crofts

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Chairman Mavis Paul 116 Sandygate Road, Sheffield South Yorkshire S10 5RZ Home 0114 268 3927/Mobile 07725 464 611 Email mavis.brian_paul@btinternet.com Vice-Chairman and Planning Officer Colin Crofts Staddlestones South Bramwith Doncaster South Yorkshire DN7 5SJ Home 01302 841619 Email cjcrofts@aol.com Treasurer Pat Davies 21 Boundary Green Rawmarsh Rotherham South Yorkshire S62 6JN Home 01709 526725 /Mobile 07977 113 021 Email patdav@fsmail.net Branch Secretary Malcolm Fielding 1 Vicarage Way Arksey Doncaster South Yorkshire DN5 0TG Home 01302 873127 Email elliemalc@aol.com Minutes Secretary Dennis Cozens Belmont Cottage Top Lane Kirk Bramwith Doncaster South Yorkshire DN7 5SW Home 01302 845336 Email dennis.cozens@waitrose.com Membership Officer John Bower Shaw 72 Norton Lees Crescent Sheffield South Yorkshire S8 8SR

Home 0114 258 2535 Sales Officer Post vacant Social Secretary Post vacant Publicity Officer Dave Scott 17 Bowshaw Avenue Batemoor Sheffield South Yorkshire S8 8EY Home 0114 2375372/Mobile 07900 274434 Email acp2004naburn@hotmail.com Committee Member David Shaw 21 Boundary Green, Rawmarsh Rotherham South Yorkshire S62 6JN Home 01709 526725/Mobile 07977 557113 Email. dave.m5dwi@googlemail.com, Committee Member Mary Crofts Staddlestones South Bramwith Doncaster DN7 5SJ Home 01302 841619 Email cjcrofts@aol.com Committee Member Brian Hewson 7 Church St. Conisborough Doncaster DN12 3HL Email brianhewson @blueyonder.co.uk (Would your name fit here? There is still room for more!)

Keels and Cuckoos  
Keels and Cuckoos  

Newsletter of the IWA South Yorkshire and Dukeries Branch