Page 1

The Magazine of the West Riding Branch September 2008


Contents The Chairman’s Musings.........................................................................3 The Rise and Fall of the Northumbria Branch of IWA...........................7 News from the Ouse/Ure Corridor Section...........................................10 My link to the ROTHERY family of Bargees.......................................12 Our First Ever Sighting of an in the Buff Male Bank Strutter, not quite in breeding condition.............................................................................15 A Warm Welcome!................................................................................16 The Mile Post.........................................................................................16 Joint Meeting.........................................................................................17 Letters....................................................................................................17 Committee Members 2008 / 2009.........................................................19 Programme of Events for 2008/2009....................................................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.

Front cover. Steam Boat President passes close to the West Riding Branch stand, at the IWA National Festival at Autherley Junction. 2

THE CHAIRMAN’S MUSINGS Welcome to the members of IWA Northumbria Branch who chose to join us when their branch decided to wind up. It’s a long way to Leeds for meetings, so MilePost will be the best way to keep in touch. Members may prefer to be in a branch covering their favourite waterways instead of the one closest to home; that could affect how best IWA is organised, and we need some data to help the discussion … 1068 members, about 9%, responded to the membership survey in the February Waterways magazine; the organisers say this is a good enough sample to conclude: 65% of us are retired, 43% are over 65 yrs old and 84% over 55 years; and 60% of us are boat owners. With only a two-year wait for my bus pass, it’s good to think I’m still relatively young: but our collective age profile means we probably have less money to give to the waterways, and declining energies to give to the Association. We need our Council to be concerned for the recruitment of the next generation of Members. Maybe we need IWA to reach out better, to become once more THE voice of the waterways, instead of one of many fragmented organisations each with ever-more specialised interests (and usually smaller membership fees). It needs vision and leadership to justify our annual subscription and keep us in the forefront of our campaign for the next fifteen years towards our 75th anniversary. Council has agreed that internal organisation changes are needed: but 3

even with the benefit of three years of discussions it hasn’t agreed how to achieve them, and the AGM ‘special’ resolution this year just does some minor tidying-up. The voting procedures for those absent from Daventry on 27th September are in the latest Waterways and there is a form to appoint a proxy to carry your views to the meeting. Once we have the organisation we need for the future – and the longer we take to achieve it, the less time and energy there is for the waterways – we will find there continues to be no shortage of waterways issues to be sorted out. I feel a speech coming on … BW Chief Executive Robin Evans has been holding a series of meetings around the country, recognising that until now BW has “talked too much, listened too little”; judging from the meeting I attended at Mexborough, lots of people have lots to say. Questioned about volunteers on the waterways, Robin said that BW were good in pockets, but overall poor at welcoming volunteers, thanking them, and fully appreciating their contribution. There had been 8000 volunteer-days last year and in aiming for a 50% increase, BW needs to speak with volunteers differently from how it speaks to contractors and its own people, while still maintaining a safe working environment. He was relaxed about failing to dredge the commercial waterways to their working depth: if Government fails to will the means (grant the money) then some statutory duties will be wanting; with declining commercial use, this is the least painful; so when new commercial traffic needs more depth, the total cost to BW exceeds the extra income. I wasn’t convinced, but it was an innovative line of argument.


This led to discussion of the overall safety of structures; having described the classification system succinctly to the parliamentary select committee, Robin is well rehearsed at explaining this. All BW assets (structures) have a maintenance classification of 1(best) to 5(worst) and a separate consequence-of-failure assessment of A (fatalities) to D(“may inconvenience a swan”). All 5A, “serious risks to public safety” have been resolved, and the level of government funding determines how long other structures remain in a poor state. Government seeks a measure of what it is getting for its BW money, and this is to be calibrated in a ‘Stewardship score’ taking account of the state of the assets and other measures of BW performance. I asked whether “availability of navigation” featured in this score. If the choices for use of money include restrictions or closures to navigation, what are the benefits internally to BW to adopt the keep-it-open course compared to the closure. For example, to help checks on licence evasion, BW propose to close locks at either end of the Kennet and Avon overnight: this can deny eight hours of cruising to those who enjoy these enchanted hours of late evening and early morning light. He said there isn’t currently a open-to-navigation element to the score, and they ‘wrote it down’ as an issue. Among many other specific issues, Robin picked out firtling for comment. BW maintenance people do a lot of this: it’s when they make-do-and-mend both to tools and equipment, and to locks and structures. There comes a time when it’s better to decide to do a proper expensive repair job, rather than lots of temporary fixes: the maintenance teams have restraints on their funds, but they are not zero, and can often be best used on longer-term maintenance tasks. This requires a culture change in the organisation. 5

) Finishing the legging of Braunston Tunnel in May: Sue Day, our speaker for November, is on the right wing-board; story and pictures in December, maybe? Anyway, Elaine and I have had a few weeks away from boating during the peak summer season, and that’s left a gap to consult the Robert Aickman papers housed in the National Archive (Public Record Office) in Kew. I recommend it as a day out, with the whole range of Government papers to browse: now we’re off to the National at Wolverhampton. When you read this, I hope I smiled when you called in at the Branch Stand, and you gave Elaine a wave on the Lavender boat.

Peter Scott

******************* 6


by Fred Stearman 1) The Formation Marian and I joined I W A in the autumn of 1970, as a result of conversations with a leading member of I W A whom we had met on a boating holiday that summer. At that time, I W A Branches were very large, the North-east Branch covering Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland. At a field trip to the Driffield Canal on 10th October 1971 we fell into conversation with John Croot, then living in Sunderland. Finding that we were travelling quite a distance from the north to Branch Events (even social events being held in mid-Yorkshire), we wondered if there were enough other members in our area to make local meetings feasible. John subsequently obtained a list of members living in Northumberland and Durham and wrote to them, 45 in all. John called a meeting in Newcastle on 6th November 1971, then in Durham on 25th April and 7th June 1972. Response was good and at a meeting on 20th July, Northumbria Section was formed, its objectives defined and a programme of events planned. The first public meeting was held at the Three Tuns Hotel, Durham on Thursday 19th October 1972 on the theme of restoration and at a formally- minuted committee meeting on 1st November, 1972, officers were elected and a winter programme agreed. The first AGM was held on 15th May 1973. Coincidentally, in 1972, I W A began considering changes to the Association's Branch structure. A new structure was finally 7

approved in March 1974 and on 1st July 1974 we became Northumbria Branch of North-east Region instead of Northumbria Section of North-east Branch.

2) Halcyon Days In the early days, Branch activities flourished, with support from students from the Durham University Industrial Archaeology Group and there were walking trips on waterways such as the Huddersfield Narrow, the Rochdale, the Pocklington and the derelict canals in the Manchester area, boat trips on the Lancaster, the River Don and many more. Fund-raising and publicity came from the well-attended Craft Fairs organised each year. The Branch ran two successful navigation campaigns in 1994/95. The first was to prevent the Tees (Newport) Bridge from being permanently fixed in a closed position, and the second was to have a navigation lock included in the construction of the Tees Barrage. Although the bridge is not likely ever to be raised again, this remains theoretically possible, and the lock is used for access to the sea by craft from boat clubs in the Stockton area. These achievements were celebrated in 1995 by a Boat Rally and Cruise called Tees Upstream. Boats travelled from Stockton to the limit of navigation above Yarm. There was sufficient support to justify inviting visiting speakers to travel considerable distances to give talks at the open meetings, and there was no problem in getting volunteers for the Committee and for the official positions. Initially most of the Committee were from the Tyne area, although I was the first Treasurer for a short time. There was quite a rapid turnover of officials at first, resulting in a gradual shift to the Teesside area. John Reeve became chairman in 1980 and remained until becoming Region chairman in 1986. Marian Stearman became Secretary in 1978, and there has been no one else since! Bill Curle became treasurer in 1977 and continued until he resigned in 1998 I think Marian and I are the only members from the earliest days still active in the Branch to the end, 8

although others are still active for the waterways elsewhere. I believe four others of the original 45 contacted by John were still members of the Branch until the end.

3) The Fall Membership of the Branch has continued to rise, but interest in Branch activities gradually declined, although public interest has never been great. In recent years we have not been able to attract members of the public, or indeed our own members, to our events generally, although it has only been in the last year or so that we had difficulty in finding officials. Marian’s announcement, a year in advance, that she would not continue after the 2008 AGM (30 years being more than enough!) did not result in any volunteer, and the Committee knew that there was no chairman-elect. More importantly, perhaps, the Committee realised that it no longer had a purpose; whatever objectives or function it might have had in providing for the Branch members, promoting I W A etc. it was no longer doing so. Items in the Branch Newsletter outlining the situation produced no response and it was clear that at the 2008 AGM a decision to dissolve the Branch would be inevitable. This proved to be so, and at a Special General Meeting on 10th April 2008 this decision was confirmed. A very sad ending to a once- flourishing Branch after 36 years


News from the Ouse/Ure Corridor Section

Dragon Boat Races The weather was fine all day, unlike last year, and the small gazebo, which we shared with the River Foss Society, was a great success. Many thanks to everybody who helped out. A special thanks to Liz and Chris Pinder for supplying the gazebo. Castle Mills Lock Castle Mills Lock, which we took over the keeping of from May 1st 2008, has gone quiet lately. However, we have had two boats go through successfully and have a new recruit, Andy Chase, who will be joining the IWA and will be trained to operate the lock. Next season (2009) we will be changing the opening arrangements to set dates throughout the season, which will be widely advertised. This will enable people to look at their diaries and put their names down for set dates, and, hopefully, will mean more than one boat at a time, so as to save on water and time. The current season's arrangements will stay as they are, as they have been widely publicised. April 2009 I have started talking to various organisations in York about hosting a weekend for boaters in York. The weekend that is being discussed is: 24th, 25th and 26th April. The Boaters Christian Fellowship and the IWA will be involved. At the time of going to press, there are two events organised, an Evensong on the Sunday at St Olave's Church, Marygate and a talk by the Rev. John Lee, of St Paul's Church, Holgate, who recently sailed a yacht across the Atlantic from the Canaries to Burmuda, as one of the crew. Watch this space. The Marina at Bishopthorpe. I hope you would agree that the proposed marina project on the old York 10

Marine (Blakes) site at Bishopthorpe - now owned by Peter Mandy, a developer, is an interesting development. So long as there are plenty of moorings available for visitors. Many thanks, Tony Martin Tony Martin is Chair of Ouse/Ure Corridor Section of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) in North Yorkshire. Please use this e-mail address if interested in booking a passage through Castle Mills Lock, York. Two days notice is needed. OR telephone: 07868-619-859. Twentyfour hour voice messaging service. Please leave your name, mobile number, name of boat and proposed date of passage. Thank you. ***************************

Castle Mills Lock, York 11

My link to the ROTHERY family of Bargees All the years I have been associated with the Yorkshire Canals little did I know that one day I would find a Bargee family link. My family history concerns the ANDREW family of Swanland, in the East Riding and where I was born. It is close to the River Humber and during my school days in Hull, I was well aware of the many barges traveling up and down the river. There were 3 other Marks found in our family, the first was the Wheelwright of North Ferriby in 1798 and his son Mark in 1828. Father Mark had a twin brother Matthew, both were baptised in Swanland Independent Chapel. Matthew had a son William who married Elizabeth QUEST, an unusual surname. William had a son Mark born in Swanland in 1862 and with his brothers John and Henry, sisters Rhoda and Annie, could not be located in any further research. Until Eureka ! Mark turned up in a search having lived in Toledo Ohio USA, and died in Los Angeles in 1928. But the interesting canal link is to his young brother Henry Andrew who emigrated to Toledo from Canada in 1887 had a fiancee Elizabeth ROTHERY who decided to emigrate with the older sister Susan and husband, Arthur Simpson, a barber on Ocean Liners. They all purchased tickets and sailed to Philadelphia in 1894 traveling overland to Norwalk OH to meet Henry Andrew. Document’s from family members show the ROTHERY family connected to the canal trade for a number of generations. A census search found in 1871 John Rothery born about 1831 in Doncaster, Master of Barge ‘Bendles’ at Knottingley. Ten years later he was in Hull, a waterman and then in 1901 Captain of the Canal Barge ‘The Ark of Hull’ at Monk Bretton colliery. The family records suggest he met his death by being murdered on the Hull docks. In the 1871 census his wife Ann was listed as Masters Wife on the ‘Fair Maid’ in Queens Dock Hull. She was born Ann Rayner at Sandal Magna, 12

Wakefield and I have seen records that the Rayner family were also Barge Masters. There was a Frank Rayner, Engineer on the Trent Navigation. Eight children were born in Hull from 1854 to 1871 and when tracing sons James and Benjamin they were found in 1881 at Sowerby in Halifax, Master and Mate of the Barge ‘ Balby ‘. Then in 1891 Benjamin was Captain of the Barge ‘ Victory ‘ found at Thorne. James was married in Hull in 1884 to Charlotte Ann Wilcox and then emigrated to Canada where they raised a family. Luckily one of the descendants of the Rothery family from the USA has produced pictures of the canal and barge at Sprotborough Lock and also of the Barge belonging to James and Benjamin.

The barge belonging to James and Benjamin. James and Ben were the third generation of the family on the canals. Their grandfather was born at Hollin Hall (Sandal), married a Doncaster woman and carried cargo to Sheffield on the Don. Then his wife died in 13

the cholera epidemic of 1832 and he took the family to Leeds where his oldest son became a sloopman, and his younger son a keelboatman. The younger son married and moved to Fall Ing, Wakefield, then Kirkgate. His oldest son died at the age of 3 after being hit by a coal wagon on a tramway at Allerton Bywater. His 3rd daughter was born on the "Crinolene" in Leeds Canal basin. The family (who lived on the boat at that time) were counted twice on the 1871 census--once at Queens Dock, Hull, and again at Knottingley. His wife died at Thornhill and was buried at St. Michael and All Angels while the family were delivering a cargo to Sowerby Bridge. From then on the family were mostly based in Hull. Tom, James and Ben worked on the boats. Ben is in the 1891 census passing through Thorne lock. Great grandmother Simpson mentioned traveling by canal as far south as Stoke on Trent. Her father was loading coal at Barnsley in the 1901 census. There's one photo of James on his keelboat, but later than 1881--it was a postcard but he was identified on the back Elizabeth Andrew nee Rothery with daughter Annie and sister in law Rhoda visited Swanland in 1914 in steerage on RHS Cedric because of the World War I on a Troop Ship and returned on RMS Franconia later in the year. In the US records my namesake Mark is described as a Carpenter, which was a family tradition, but also as ‘Then Black Sheep of the Family ‘. Fascinating research. Mark Andrew IWA Member Member and Former Chairman Calder Navigation Soc. Developer of Sowerby Bridge Basin Former Chairman Salt Warehouse Trust Started Shire Cruisers Ltd Member Rochdale Canal Soc. Former West Yorkshire County Councillor Former Water Space Amenity Commissioner 14


A friend of mine, a retired British Waterways employee, passes on to me his complimentary monthly B W magazine. In the May 08 issue, BW are again appealing for sightings of wildlife in, on and around our waterways. I wonder if they would be interested in a very rare species my wife and I spotted strutting along the Aire and Calder hauling bank, mid-way between what was once No 4 swing bridge and the New Canal end. It was spotted a good way ahead of us on the lovely, warm, sunny afternoon of the 29th May. As our boat and it converged it became apparent that I had never seen this species in surroundings like this before. Doreen was now aware of its presence, and as we still could not make out any details, we were in discussion about its plumage, which appeared to be an all over light tan. The gap was rapidly closing, when Doreen and I said almost together “It’s got nothing on.” It was indeed a male of the species not yet at the height of breeding condition. We were given a further full frontal when he turned to face us and cupped an ear to hear me say more plainly “Get some clothes on you dirty old bugger”. But I did not repeat it and regretted having said it for I am a firm believer of free speech and expression and with-out doubt he was making a bald statement. He shrugged his shoulders spread his hands in resignation, turned and sauntered off nonchalantly towards Pollington where he would have had to run a gauntlet of a group of fishermen who were fishing from that bank at Pollington Lock tail. There were four Strawberry Island Boat Club members sitting in the sun on the Pollington visitor moorings, did they see anything of this strange bird. A very slow moving narrowboat that we passed shortly after our sighting could have been, I think must have been, his back up team. Ken and Doreen NB Elsinore. 15

‘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 branch meetings. Mr G Appleyard


Mr P Swaffield


******************************* 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 end of December. We look forward to hearing from you.

We would like to give a big thank-you to all the people who have already sent us articles for inclusion in the Mile Post. You have made our job much easier and our magazine more interesting.


Joint Meeting. There is to be a joint meeting for members of the West Riding and the East Lancs and Cumbria branches of the IWA. It will be held on Wednesday 24th September 2008 at 8pm at The Old Stone Trough, Colne Road, KELBROOK (between Foulridge and Earby). The subject is ‘The Reopening of the Skipton - Colne Railway’ and the talk will be given by Andy Shackleton. All welcome. For more information contact Madeline Dean at

Letters To all at IWA West Yorkshire, Many thanks for last year, our first with the IWA. The meetings were very interesting, & we learnt a lot about our waterways. We bought a 23' rivercruiser at the end of this May &, having been on 2 courses in June (boat-handling & VHF radio), brought her back from Colwick, Nottingham, down (?) the buttock clenching Trent to Torksey, where we turned on to the Fossdyke for Lincoln. The journey took 2 days, & we met some really helpful people along the way. However, the first lock-keeper on the Trent at Holme lock was the most unhelpful, but probably because he was rather busy as we had to go in with the Nottingham Princess, a large tour boat, which was a bit discomknockerating! Thank heavens that June 2008 was not as wet as June 2007, although Peter & Elaine's pictures of being caught in the floods last year were magnificent. TTFN Best wishes from Pauline & David Mitchell 17

Wharf Services “Complete Boat Services”

Based on the River Ure near Ripon Crane out and Hard Standing Power Washing, Hull Blacking Painting Facilities Sign Writing and Vinyl Lettering Electrical Installations 12v – 240v Plumbing Installation and Repairs Engineering Works For further details see website or e-mail or telephone 01765 609777


Committee Members 2008 / 2009 Chairman Peter Scott 3 Moorbank Drive Sheffield S10 5TH Home 0114 230 1870

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

Secretary Ian Moore 2 Eric Street, Bramley Leeds. LS13 1ET Mobile 07989 112581 E-mail

Committee member Elliott Mosley 23 Glenholm Road Baildon Shipley BD17 5QB Home 01274 581413

Treasurer William Jowitt Oak Lodge 1 Oakridge Court Bingley BD16 4 TA Home 01274 567950 Membership Secretary Chris Pinder 152 High Street Yeadon Leeds LS19 7AB Home 01132 509371 Minutes Secretary Liz Pinder 152 High Street Yeadon Leeds LS19 7AB Home 01132 509371 Mile Post Editor Bob Laing 25 Bankfield Road Shipley BD18 4AJ Home 01274 581800 E-mail

Web Editor Elaine Scott 3 Moorbank Drive Sheffield S10 5TH Home 0114 230 1870 Non Committee Posts Meeting Co-ordinators Katie & Alastair Sayles

Home 0113 393 4517 E-mail: Telephone contact Alistair Furniss Home 0113 253 9401 Regional Chairman John Reeve 10 Perth Grove Stockton-on-Tees Cleveland TS18 5BF Home 01642 580350


Programme of Events for 2008/2009. 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. 12th September 08 The Life of Donald Bailey and his Bridge by Pablo Haworth 24th September 08 The Re-opening of the Skipton - Colne Railway by Andy Shackleton (Joint Meeting.) 10th October 08

The Canal Card Collectors Circle by Trevor Ellis

14th November 08

The Horseboating Society by Sue Day

12th December 08

Christmas Social and Members’ slides

9th January 09

Restoration of the Chesterfield Canal. By John Lower

13th February 09

Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal by John Fletcher

13th March 09


3rd April 09

Waterway Engineering by Laurence Morgan

Talks arranged by Alastair and Katy Sayles, 32 Pymont Drive, Woodlesford, Leeds LS26 8WA. Tel 0113 393 4517 Email: All the 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 20


September 2008 1 IWA Headquarters . Postal Address - PO Box 114, Rickmansworth, WD3 1ZY. Location of Building - 3, Norfolk Court, Rickmanswo...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you