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The Magazine of the West Riding Branch

January 2006 1

Contents Chairman’s Comment. Events. The Diamond Jubilee. Branch Annual General Meeting. Regional Annual General Meeting. Meet Your Committee. Navigation Notes. Letter of Appreciation. A Warm Welcome. Committee Members. Social Events Calendar.

Page. 3. 5. 6. 10. 11. 12. 15. 17. 18. 19. 20.

IWA Headquarters . Postal Address - PO Box 114, Rickmansworth, WD3 1ZY. Location of Building - 3, Norfolk Court, Rickmansworth, WD3 1LT. Telephone - 01923 711114. NOTE: The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of The Inland Waterways Association or of The West Riding Branch. They are, however, published as being of interest to our members and readers.


Chairman’ Comments A Happy New Year to all our members and to anyone reading our branch magazine. The Christmas holiday seemed to fly by, but I did manage a brief stay on the boat (with Liz). Thank goodness for stoves as the canal was frozen round the boat. I have also been for a couple of walks along the canal at Apperley Bridge, one on New Year’s Day when again there was some ice on the water. (Brrr) Anyway it’s back to work and back to IWA business. Thanks to everyone who contributed to and supported our social programme before Christmas. I am delighted that Katy and Alistair have offered to take on the organisation of social meetings from autumn 2006 and are already booking speakers. Thanks very much. At North East Region it was decided that whilst the branches fully supported Jubilee’s Journey, the long planned stoppages on the NE waterways made this part of the project totally impractical. Thanks to those people who had expressed an interest in helping to crew Jubilee. Hopefully, sometime Jubilee will make it to the NE at a more hospitable time of year. The branch committee have decided that the best venue for West Riding Branch to celebrate the IWA Diamond Jubilee Year will be at Skipton festival where we will attend with our sales/publicity stand. We hope to have a display (including a history of the IWA) and other activities. So come and join us over the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend. The Skipton festi3

val is usually a busy event with lots of people and lots going on. An ideal opportunity to share the achievements of IWA. We are also intending to take the sales/publicity stand to the Trailboat festival over the Easter weekend. So that’s another venue where you can come along and support West Riding Branch and the IWA. It promises to be a good do! We have been asked by the IWA Council to monitor waterside planning applications in our region. This is where we need your help!! We will provide more details of how you can do this in the next issue of The Milepost. As we approach the AGM there is the usual appeal for more help on committee especially as two of our current long serving members will be retiring from committee in March 2007. Now is your chance to join and get some training before they leave! I’ve been given to understand that someone leaves copies of our branch magazine and IWA Waterways in Harrogate Library. What a good idea and thanks very much. We usually have a few spare copies of the branch magazine so if you have a local venue where you think they would be of interest let us know and we can help spread the word about IWA and West Riding branch. I look forward to seeing you at our social meetings and this year’s festival events.

Chris Pinder 4

EVENTS This listing only covers events that we were aware of when it was compiled. If further information is required on the events below please contact the following people:For Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society walks contact Mike Hustler on 01282 816476. Website The Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust hold open meetings on the first Monday of each month (7.45pm for 8.00pm) at the Market Hotel, Wentworth Road, Elsecar near Barnsley. Chairman Derek Housley is on 01226 790341 (evenings) or email Website Monday 6th February. Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust open meeting. Talk by Ken Nelson of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. 7.45pm for 8.00pm Market Hotel, Wentworth Road, Elsecar. Monday 6th March. Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust open meeting. Update on restoration feasibility study for the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove canals. 7.45pm for 8.00pm Market Hotel, Wentworth Road, Elsecar. Saturday 25th March. Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society. Meet at 1.30 pm at Dobson Locks, Apperley Bridge for a 6 mile walk along the canal to Rodley. Monday 3rd April. Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust open meeting. Illustrated talk on newly discovered pictures & slides of the South Yorkshire & Sheffield Navigation. The slides have come to the Trust via the Barnsley Archives Group. Can you help solve the mystery of who was the original owner of the slides? 7.45pm for 8.00pm Market Hotel, Wentworth Road, Elsecar. Saturday 15th to Monday 17th April. IWA Diamond Jubilee National Trailboat Festival on the northern reaches of the Lancaster Canal at Westmorland County Showground, Crooklands, Cumbria. See or IWA Waterways magazine for further details. Boat/Campsite Entries 01946 820875. Trade Show 01539 536421. General Enquires 01257 231861 / 274440. Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May. Provisional dates for Skipton Waterways Festival. For further information contact British Waterways (0113 281 6800). 5

1946 - 2006 The Diamond Jubilee. As this is the diamond jubilee year of the IWA, we thought it appropriate to remind our readers of the history behind the founding of the association. Background to the founding of the IWA In the second half of the eighteenth century a great canal building age began that was to result in a network of canal and improved river navigations. This was done to provide a means of bulk transport that could not be carried by the inadequate roads of that time and provided the transport system that was to make possible the Industrial Revolution. This canal building reached its peak in 1793 and led to a major reduction in transport costs, the price of coal being cut in half in many places. Soon thousands of horse-drawn boats carried coal and raw materials to the new manufacturing centres and brought out the products they made, farm produce was taken by water right into the heart of major towns and cities. By the 1830s "railway mania" had replaced the ‘canal mania’ years and many of the waterways came under the control of railway companies. Investment in canals reduced and most of our our canals were not modernised in the way that other European waterways were. There were some exceptions to this such as the Aire & Calder Navigation where the waterway was enlarged and still carried much traffic. In other places, particularly on the narrow canals, traffic dwindled, navigation channels fell into disuse, boats and locks were left to rot, structures suffered neglect and started to crumble. 6

By World War II, freight carrying on all but a few waterways was ending, pleasure boating on canals was almost unheard of, few visited them and except for a small core of canal people nobody cared. Overview In 1944 the book Narrow Boat by L T C Rolt was published and touched a chord with the British public. It described the author's journey in 1939 around the canals in his narrowboat Cressy, which was also home for him and his new bride. The book captured the spirit of the fast declining waterways and of the special breed of people that lived and worked on them. One of the many people who wrote to Tom Rolt in response to Narrow Boat was a literary agent and aspiring author called Robert Aickman It was he who suggested to Rolt the idea of the formation of a society to campaign to regenerate the canals. This was an idea that had not occurred to Rolt who was by nature a private man but he embraced the proposal enthusiastically. The two men and their wives Angela and Ray first met aboard Cressy at Tardebigge, near Bromsgrove on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in August 1945. The two couples quickly established a good working relationship that included cruising on Tom and Angela's boat and visits to Robert and Ray's London Flat in Gower Street. It was at 11 Gower Street that the inaugural meeting of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) took place on the 15 February 1946. Robert Aickman was appointed chairman and Tom Rolt Honorary Secretary. The role of vicechairman was taken by Charles Hadfield, a canal historian who later became predominate in his field, but he left the post in September because he and Aickman took an 7

instant dislike to each other. The job of treasurer was filled by Frank Eyre, who was a friend of Hadfield. May 1947 saw the IWA's first campaign cruise when the Rolts aboard Cressy challenged the Great Western Railway (GWR), the owners of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, at the bridge on Tunnel Lane, Lifford near Kings Norton. The bridge here had replaced a former draw bridge and was too low to allow boat passage even though a statutory right of navigation existed on the canal. A question in parliament, raised by Lord Methuen who had recently joined the IWA, and a notice of intention to navigate made by Tom Rolt had forced the GWR to lift the bridge to allow Cressy to pass. A second more ambitious campaign cruise took place in August 1948 when the Ailsa Craig was hired for six weeks from R H Wyatt at Stone. This was to cruise the northern canals including what was probably the last complete crossing of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal before its restoration in 2001. In addition to the cruises the IWA was also active in many other waterways causes in these early years including the Basingstoke Canal, the Kennet & Avon Canal and the Derby Canal as well as mounting a successful waterways exhibition in London.



We thought you may be interested to see this copy of the first bulletin produced by the IWA in November 1946.


Branch Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting of the West Riding Branch of the Inland Waterways Association will take place on Friday, 10th March 2006, commencing at 8.00pm, in the Social Club on the top floor of Centenary House, North Street Leeds. Nominations in writing for the Branch Committee must reach the Secretary, Mr Ian Moore, 2 Eric Street, Leeds, LS13 1ET not later than first post Tuesday, 7th March 2006. New members are urgently needed to strengthen the committee.

AGENDA 1. Apologies for absence. 2. Approval of minutes of the previous AGM. 3. Matters arising from the minutes. 4. Chairman’s Report. 5. Secretary’s Report. 6. Treasurer’s Report. 7. Adoption of accounts. 8. Any business notified under by-law 40. 9. Statement of committee size. 10.Election of committee.

After the AGM it has been the practice in the past for members to present a slide show. These occasions are usually most enjoyable. If you have any slides you would like to bring, please do, so that we can all enjoy them. 10

Regional Annual General Meetng The Annual General Meeting of the North East Region of the Inland Waterways Association will take place on Monday, 3rd April 2006. The venue is Saint Olave’s Church Hall, Off Mary Gate, York. Doors will be opened at 7.30pm. Parking is available at Mary Gate pay and display car park. Light refreshments will be served at the meeting. Nominations in writing for the Regional Committee must reach the Secretary, Mr David Swabey, 18 Skottowe Drive, Great Ayton, Middlesborough, TS21 3EG by the first post on Monday, 20th March 2006. All nominations must be signed by the proposer and seconder and contain the consent of the nominee. New members are always welcome.

A G E N DA 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Apologies for absence. Minutes of last AGM held on 13th April 2005 Matters arising. Chairman’s Report. Secretary’s Report. Treasurer’s Report & presentation of Accounts. Adoption of Accounts. Statement of committee size. Election of committee members.


Meet Your Committee. Mile Post Compilers. Tricia Laing. I was born and brought up in Shipley where I now work as a primary school teacher in the same school I attended when I was a child! I have been married to Rob for 34 years. We have one daughter and one granddaughter (and another grandchild on the way.) I had absolutely no experience of boating until I met and married Rob. Since then I have sailed on everything from a 60,000 ton oil tanker to a small dinghy, with lots of other things in between. (I must say I preferred the tanker to the dinghy!) When Rob left the merchant navy we holidayed on the Broads and the canals whenever we could and eventually bought our own narrowboat ‘Sophie’ in 1991. We are now on our second boat ‘Pippa’s Song’. We have been members of IWA since 1989 and I have now served on the committee for 3 years.

Bob Laing. I first became interested in boats when I joined the sea cadets in the early sixties and did some sailing. I then lost my interest in boats when I went fishing off Bear Island, 600 12

miles inside the arctic circle, in the sunny month of November, on a Grimsby trawler. After completing my radio officer training I went back to sea on bigger boats in better weather and encountered my first canal (the Panama)! My liking for boats returned and I have been hooked ever since. Like my wife I have been a member of IWA since 1989 and have served on the committee for about 5 years. For further details of my life see above!


The Mile Post. Is there anyone out there who could help the branch by writing something for inclusion in the Milepost. Have you been on an interesting boating trip? Tell us about it. Is there something waterways related you feel strongly about? Write us a letter about it. Any amusing stories? Tell us all! E-mail us at , hand it to one of us, or post it to any committee member before the beginning of May. We look forward to hearing from you.

We would like to say a big thank you to all the members who have written articles for the Mile Post. You have made our job so much easier! Rob and Tricia. 13

Robert Kirkwood. We were recently saddened to hear of the death, after a long illness, of Robert (or Bob ) Kirkwood. Bob, and his wife Audrey had been active members of the West Riding Branch for many years. They were keen boaters on their unique narrowboat ‘Forty Winks’. For a long time Bob and Audrey moored ‘Forty Winks’ on the Springs Branch at Skipton. We send Audrey and her family our condolences. Bob will be greatly missed.


Springs Branch Skipton 14

NAVIGATION NOTES Calder & Hebble Navigation Planning permission has been granted for phase one of Wakefield Waterfront, which includes the Navigation Warehouse. Huddersfield Narrow Canal Proposals have been made to create a new "Waterfront Quarter" in Huddersfield, along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal between Locks 2E and 3E, which would involve opening out the canal tunnel, which was constructed here as part of the restoration. The site on Manchester Road and Chapel Hill is currently occupied by Sellers Engineering, who would relocate to a new site and Kirklees Council’s West Riding House Offices. For those with access to the internet there is an illustration at which also has a link to the developer’s website at Leeds & Liverpool Canal Plans and models of the proposed development of Leeds Canal Basin are on display adjacent to the basin, in the windows of one of the shop units underneath the railway viaduct. There have been two meetings of the waterway consultation group that BW set up to discuss the waterway issues such as moorings, with the developer ISIS. To date the meetings have been quite constructive. The waterway consultation group has representatives from IWA, NABO and AWCC on and was set up specifically for the Leeds Canal Basin development as users had expressed a lot of concerns to BW about the effects of the development on the canal. 15

The section of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal between Greenberfield and Gargrave was closed to navigation for 4 weeks in the autumn, due to low water levels. Whilst Foulridge Reservoirs were very low, there was water in Winterburn Reservoir. But BW is legally obliged to maintain a minimum flow into Eshton Beck. This means that they have to maintain a certain amount of water in the reservoir to supply the beck rather than the canal. The amount of compensation flow that BW are legally obliged to maintain, as set down in the 1891 Act of Parliament that covered the building of Winterburn Reservoir, has not changed since the reservoir was built but it is more closely monitored now than in the past. At the autumn User Group Meeting with BW, users asked that in future dry summers, reasonable restrictions to conserve water should be introduced earlier to make the water last longer and hopefully avoid closure. On the other side of the Pennines, work starts in 2006 on the Liverpool Canal Link which will connect the canal to Albert Dock and is due to be completed by the end of 2007. River Ouse The City of York Council has made some improvements to the Museum Gardens sanitary station including fitting a new BW type water point. Rochdale Canal The breach to the canal embankment close to the River Irk Aqueduct is to be repaired in 2006. It is hoped that the work will be completed by May. A temporary back pumping scheme was installed at Sowerby Bridge when BW had to stop pumping water from the River Calder at Luddenden Foot, due to reaching the limit of their extraction license. Unfortunately it was struck by vandals one evening who disconnected the output pipes and sent water pouring into the River Calder, causing some erosion to the riverbank.


We reproduce here a letter to the branch thanking us for money donated to the B.D.D.C.T. by the North East Region of IWA. Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust

Restoring the missing Link

10 Five Acres, Cawthorne, Barnsley S75.4HZ Regd. Co. No.2600350, Regd. Charity No. 1002651 ENTRUST No. 014718 Tel 01226 790341

IWA West Riding Branch C/O Ian Moore Honorary Secretary Leeds West Yorkshire Dear Ian, REF:- Letter of Appreciation I am writing through you to the members of the IWA West Riding Branch, to thank them, for the generous donation of £667.00 to the branch funds of the Barnsley Dearne & Dove Canals Trust. I anticipate that the money will go towards publicity material for the “Yorkshire Waterways Link” and for the Barnsley Canals Consortium appointed Consultants WS Atkins to be instructed to produce such a booklet. I believe that the two committees will be supportive of this move. The production of the Barnsley Canals Consortium / Barnsley Dearne & Dove Canals restoration feasibility study has taken much longer than any of us realised, with the final draft expected anytime now. But it is worth noting the that much has been achieved so far in writing the study brief, raising over £40,000 for the study to take place, and the appointment of Consultants. With the first draft comments from the LDF (Local Development Framework) document in Barnsley, there does appear to be a window of opportunity to be grasped, and the procution of the study can be described as timely. It is appropriate at this time to record our thanks to you, and to the IWA membership in their support not only financially but also in many other ways over the last 2/3 years. Thank you. Yours Sincerely

Derek Housley Copy Chairman John Reeve, North East Region IWA


‘A Warm Welcome!’ The West Riding Branch extends a warm welcome to these members who have joined us since the last Mile Post. We hope to meet you at some of our social meetings. September Mr and Mrs Avison Mr and Mrs Millin

Wakefield Skipton

October Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild


November Mr C Hood Mr and Mrs Rout

Leeds Silsden

Your Branch Needs You! As you may have noticed on page 19, your committee still desperately needs new members. We are now at an all time low of only eight committee members We only meet around six or seven times a year, usually in each other’s houses. Please consider joining us. Why not come along to a meeting to see what goes on. We may even try to bribe you with coffee and biscuits. Speak to any committee member to find out when and where the next meeting will be held. We look forward to seeing you!! 18

Committee Members 2005 / 2006 Chairman Membership Secretary Chris Pinder 152 High Street Yeadon Leeds LS19 7AB Home 01132 509371 Secretary Ian Moore 2 Eric Street, Bramley Leeds. LS13 1ET Mobile 07989 112581 Treasurer Elliott Mosley 23 Glenholm Road Baildon Shipley BD17 5QB Home 01274 581413 Sales Officer Jennifer Mosley 23 Glenholm Road Baildon Shipley BD18 5QB Home 01274 581 413 Minutes Secretary Liz Pinder 152 High Street Yeadon Leeds LS19 7AB Home 01132 509371 Mile Post Compiler Bob Laing 25 Bankfield Road Shipley BD18 4AJ Home 01274 581800 E-mail

Mile Post Compiler Tricia Laing 25 Bankfield Road Shipley BD18 4AJ Home 01274 581800

Committee member David Jessup

Committee member Vacant

Committee member Vacant

Committee member Vacant

Committee member Vacant

Regional Chairman John Reeve 10 Perth Grove Stockton-on-Tees Cleveland TS18 5BF Home 01642 580350


Programme of Events for 2005 - 2006. All meetings take place at 8.00pm on the second Friday of the month, in the top floor Social Club, Centenary House, North Street, Leeds, LS2 8AY.

10th February 06


Leeds and Liverpool CanalMike Clarke.

10th March 06


A.G.M. Followed by members slides.


- Berlin’s Transport Systems Brian Slater. * Please note that this is the first Friday in the month not the usual second. 7th April 06

All the social meetings organised by the West Riding Branch are open and everyone is invited. Any member of the general public is allowed to attend and members are invited to bring friends. The Inland Waterways Association campaigns for the Conservation, Use, Maintenance, Restoration and Development of the Inland Waterways, which are part of our heritage, and are there for the benefit of everyone. For further information please contact 01274-581413


Profile for The Inland Waterways Association