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South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch

Newsletter Issue No.13 February 2013      


CHAIRMANS CHAT A few notes from your Branch Chairman. I would like to extend a warm welcome to any new members that have joined or transferred to the branch since the last issue of Keels and Cuckoos, I do hope you will manage to make it to one of our meetings. The meetings are held bimonthly at Strawberry Island Boat Club, Milethorne Lane, Doncaster, DN1 2SU. The February meeting will be the Branch Annual General Meeting (see page 3). This will be held at Strawberry Island Boat Club on Wednesday February 20th starting at 8.00pm. The business end of the meeting should last approximately 30 minutes after which we will be joining in with the boat club’s quiz night (the quiz will be set by the branch). Please do try and come along and meet the committee members. We still need new committee members. If you feel inclined to volunteer pleased contact any committee member their contact details can be found on the back cover of this magazine. The next canal clean-up will take place on Sunday 7th April. This date is a slight variation from the usual last Sunday in March due to Easter falling earlier this year. I do hope some of you can attend. Please give me a ring if you want pie and peas afterwards so that I can adequate catering. The year 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal. We have made initial contact with CTR and we are jointly to look at ways of celebrating this event. If you have any archive material regarding this we would be pleased to hear from you. Mavis Paul SY&D Branch Chairman. 2


BRANCH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch of the Inland Waterways Association will take place at The Strawberry Island Boat Club, Milethorne Lane, Doncaster, DN1 2SU on Wednesday 20th February 2013 at 8.00pm.

AGENDA 1.

To confirm or otherwise the Minutes of the Branch AGM held on February 16th 2012.

2.

Matters arising from the minutes.

3.

Report of the Branch Chairman.

4.

Report of the Branch Treasurer.

5.

Report of the Branch Membership Secretary.

6.

Statement of Committee size.

7.

Election of Committee Members.

8.

Report of the Regional Chairman.

9.

Any other relevant business.

Colin Crofts, John Shaw and Dave Scott are due to stand for re-election for a further three years and are willing so to do. Cover picture Repairs to Bulholme Lock, Aire & Calder Navigation, on the CRT open day on 18th November 2012 looking towards the top gates. 3


BULHOLME LOCK OPEN DAY Not widely advertised was CRT’s open day at Bulholme Lock on the Aire and Calder navigation at Castleford on the 18th November 2012. This was a similar event to the Bingley Five Rise open day showing the general public the inside of a major lock, something that they would be unable to do for maybe another fifty years. This event was not as well attended as Bingley, I suspect because of the lack of advertising and that car parking was on street with about a three quarter mile walk to the locks location. The reason for the locks closure was to replace two sets of time expired lock gates. You were able to descend onto the lock floor and examine the whole structure. CRT staff were on hand to explain what was happening to visitors. A very impressive sight when you consider how much water is held back by the lock gates, something again that is unappreciated when you look at a lock from the bank.

CRT work on Bulholme Lock, Aire & Calder Navigation

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NEW MEMBERS We give a warm welcome to our new members who have joined or transferred to the branch recently. Mr R A Davis of Barnsley Ms BM Booth of Barnsley Mr A D Dawson of Retford Mr I Rutledge of Retford Ms K Cooper of Sheffield

IWA PRESS RELEASE It has been announced that the CRT, Chief Executive Robin Evans is to step down from his post in May. IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge said “Robin’s announcement very much marks the passing of an era for the waterways, steering the organisation as he did, from a public corporation to a charitable trust”. We will him well for the future.

CORRECTIONS TO ISSUE 12 The Spring Canal Clean Up date of April 17th should read Sun, April 7th. Please note on the article Another Waterways Landmark Goes on page 7, of issue 12 the last sentence should have read:1,500MG Gas fired power station …..25% smaller than the original one and…. Thanks to Mr A Padfield for pointing out that in Did You Know in issue 12 page 5 Hornblowe should read Hornblower and the boat name should read Altropos and not Altrops 5


GREAT OUSE TRIP MAY 2009 Ever since I used to go on The Broads with my family when I was a kid I’d look excitedly through each new Hoseasons brochure to see what was for hire and where. I was always intrigued by the River Great Ouse. It seemed out on its own, so near and yet so far, like Fair Isle, which, ironically, we’ve recently been to as well! So when it came to deciding where my wife and I should go for our third boating holiday back in 2009 we were drawn back to the land of meandering rivers, dead straight “drains”, and huge vast open skies. Because, to me, boating is all about getting away from it all with some peace and quite, I’d also hoped it wouldn’t be that busy, something that has put me off, so far, going back to The Broads. We could only find one boatyard hiring out craft on the Great Ouse, that being Bridge Boatyard in Ely. We learnt pretty early on in our boating career that it’s always worth hiring a bigger that smaller boat particularly for a week or more, and whilst the boats at Bridge’s aren’t the newest they’re pretty cheap, so we actually hire Sunquest, a 4/6 berth, for the two of us. Coincidentally, it turned out , the boat has also originally been built in Ely, it was an Elysian - Elysian - 34 (That’s 34 feet(ish), with a BMC 1.5 litre 36hp diesel engine. Now 34 feet may be a small narrow boat but at 10` 6” in the beam a cruiser of that size is actually really roomy, and it had two bathrooms, which is always a good idea when cruising with members of the fairer sex, obviously. In fact the boat would have been fine for four, though I’m not so sure about six. On the subject of which, we had an interesting chat with the boatyard owner and he said that in the 70’s and 80’s people would actually hire a 27` boat for four, or a 35` for six, but now it’d be for two or four respectively. In fact my wife and hiring a 4/6 berth for two wasn’t that uncommon now, People expect more these days. The original plan had been to cruise down to Cambridge and back up and out as far as we could get towards Bedford, but the boatyard reckoned it a bad idea as that weekend was a bank holiday. They advised ending with Cambridge as it’d be less busy later in the week, good advice we thought, and we followed it. So, having stocked up with provisions at the supermarket across the from the boatyard, we set off southwards down the Great Ouse. How lovely it was, sunny and quiet, but there was something else. We hadn’t really expected that much in the way of wildlife but we were pleasantly surprised at the number and variety of birds we saw everyday throughout our trip. There were a few things to get used to on the boat though, it had a steering wheel, not a tiller, so how do you know where “dead ahead” is? We solved that by [putting a piece of tape round the wheel corresponding to dead ahead, that was very helpful. Another problem was I’m six foot tall therefore kept bashing my head on the door lintels and the internal handle 6


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the sliding wheelhouse back and forward. We only solved that half way through the trip ( by which time my cranium was cut here and there) by taping cardboard onto the lintels, I still hit them ( when walking through and not concentrating), it just didn’t hurt as much. Around three miles south of Ely is Pope’s Corner where the River Cam branches off to the left on its way to Cambridge, we stayed on the Ouse (which, on this section, is known as The Old West River) continuing for another 7 miles or so and moored up just past Twenty Pence Bridge. Looking for a mooring reminded me of one big advantage that canals have over rivers, on the former, as far as I’m aware, you can moor anywhere ( on the towpath side), but on the latter most of the banks seeme3d to be private property. We were advised we could moor on any GOBA (Great Ouse Boating Association) moorings which we usually did, but we also went “wild mooring” if the site was remote enough that there was no chance of crossed words with anyone! On this first evening we did the latter and to me it was what boating is all about . Where we moored there no other boats or even houses, it was peace perfect peace. From memory I don’t think any boats passed us from when we moored up until the following morning. One of the big advantages of the Elysian type cruiser is the sliding wheelhouse because it means you can eat your meals al fresco, Assuming it isn’t raining, which it wasn’t on this night. How wonderful it was, my wife and I, seemingly miles from anywhere, having our meal outdoors watching the setting sun, but, crucially, in comfort! Half way through the meal a herd of friendly Friesian cows came up to us to see what was going on, joined a little later by a pair of sociable swans, it just added to the interest, wonderful. On the Sunday we were in relaxed mode so didn't leave the mooring till late morning but it was a lovely sunny day as we cruised along the sinuous Old West River towards Hermitage Lock. From here, where the Old Bedford River and New Bedford River flow out to the north, the river officially resumes the title Great Ouse. More significantly the two mile stretch between |Hermitage Lock and Brownshill Staunch Lock is tidal with a typical rise and fall in summer of about a foot though this increase with the spring tides. Brownshill Staunch Lock was where we encountered our first queue of boats, sods law being the norm in life this was right over the time we’d planned to stop for lunch. Continued in Issue 14

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STRET LOCK, CHESTERFIELD CANAL The first boat has successfully passed through the reopened Stret Lock on the Chesterfield Canal. Stret Lock was restored in the 1990s. However for many years some boats have got stuck. These boats might have been slightly wider or deeper than normal. There were lots of theories about the problem, some even suggesting that the lock was banana shaped. This was somewhat ironic because Stret Lock’s name is thought to be a corruption of Straight lock. The general consensus was that in the 240 years since being built ground pressure had forced the lock walls inwards. The then British Waterways undertook a major inspection in 2011. Infra-red photographs were taken. These were used to create a co0mputer simulation of the lock. A virtual boat was then introduced so that any problem area were highlighted. The lock was indeed found to be narrower that it should have been. The Canal and River trust started a widening scheme in October 2012. This involved taking down two of the outer brick courses on the towpath side and replacing them with one course, increasing the lock width by 50mm. There was an Open day in November at which approximately 250 people went down inside the lock to inspect the works. The welding was done on the paddle gear early on January 3rd. At lunchtime that day the Chesterfield canal Trust’s historic boat ”Python” approached. This boat had previously

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got stuck every time it had tried to get through the lock. This time it went through like a dream, slipping in and out perfectly. It might only be two inches, but it will make all the difference for full sized boats which should now be able to get all the way to Kiverton Park past the idyllic hamlet of Turnerwood and up the historic Turnerwood and Thorpe lock flights which were restored a decade ago. Rod Augton Chesterfield Canal Trust, Publicity Officer Work to remove two courses of brick form Stret Lock. It was replaced by one course.

CCT boat Python entering Stret Lock illustrating the successful completion of the work

CCT Boat Python leaving the completed Stret Lock

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WORD SEARCH . In . the grid are the names of thirteen navigable aqueducts in Britain. They may be vertical, backwards, forwards, diagonal or horizontal. Answers can be found elsewhere in the maga(zine, all are single words. GOOD LUCK R

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DID YOU KNOW A large part of the Uttoxeter Canal was filled in and used for the route of the Churnet Valley Railway. Much of the Mersey and Irwell Navigation was destroyed by the building of the Manchester Ship Canal. The boat loading chutes on the Thanet Canal (L&L Springs Branch) were repositioned as the noise disturbed the occupants of Skipton Castle. The Glory Hole, spanning the River Witham in Lincoln is the only British bridge which still has secular medieval buildings standing on it.

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THE SHEFFIELD AND SOUTH YORKSHIRE NAVIGATION Have you ever cruised this waterway, if not and you try it, you will be surprised, its not all factories and chimneys as in the past. Joining at Keadby, the first pat is the Stainforth and Keadby Canal, this gives access via the New Junction Canal to other waterways if required but keep on the main drag if you want to visit Sprotbrough, Conisbrough, Rotherham and then right through to Sheffield (a lovely run now most of the heavy industry has gone). Thorne, Doncaster and Rotherham still have market days and Conisbrough Castle is well worth a visit. Sprotbrough is a beautiful spot and the nearby Boat Inn at the riverside is brilliant. There are in fact several pubs en-route, most within a stones throw from the water. Locks between Keadby and Rotherham are massive, modified in the 1980s to take container vessels, this did not last owing to outdated working practices and the closure of the waterside collieries. Most of the locks are self operational using a key via a remote bollard on the lock side, ay busy times you may still find a lock-keeper on duty. On reaching Rotherham, you revert back to 60’ x 15’ manually operated locks all the way to Sheffield. We have cruised this navigation several times over the years and it’s very different to when I was at school in Rotherham in the 1950s & 60s. The navigation is wide, deep and clean, some of the scenery is beautiful and the C&RT aim to dredge it in the near future to assist freight traffic that still operates on the navigation. Parts of the navigation from Doncaster merge with the River Don,. Ask the lock keeper at Keadby for advice if planning to use this brilliant navigation. Mick Sheehan Editor “Spray” Reproduced from the West Stockwith Yacht Club magazine “SPRAY” January 2013. 11


2011 BRANCH OFFICERS Chairman Mavis Paul 0114 2683927 mavis.brian_paul@btinternet.com Vice Chair Colin Crofts 01302 841619 cjcrofts@aol.com Secretary Malcolm Fielding 01302 873127 elliemalc@aol.com Treasurer Pat Davies 01709 526725 patdav@fsmail.net Minutes Dennis Cozens 01302 845336 Publicity Dave Scott 0790 0272434 acp2004naburn@hotmail.com Planning Colin Crofts 01302 841619 cjcrofts@aol.com Membership John Shaw 0114 2582535 Member Mary Crofts 01302 841619 cjcrofts@aol.com Social Vacant Sales Vacant If you would like to join the Branch Committee please contact any of the above people. WORD SEARCH ANSWERS Avoncliff Lune

Saddleworth Shebdon Dundas Bollington Marple Pontcysylite Shireoaks Golcar Wolverton 12

Croxton Sutton

IWA South Yorkshire Branch Magazine Keels Cuckoos Issue 13 February 2013  
IWA South Yorkshire Branch Magazine Keels Cuckoos Issue 13 February 2013  

IWA South Yorkshire Branch Magazine Keels Cuckoos Issue 13 February 2013