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Our new meeeting venue - see inside for details

September 2011 West Riding Branch

Committee Members 2010 / 2011 Chairman Elaine Scott 3 Moorbank Drive Sheffield S10 5TH 0114 230 1870 07980 953880

Secretary Ian Moore 2 Eric Street, Bramley Leeds LS13 1ET 07989 112581

Minutes Secretary Liz Pinder 152 High Street Yeadon Leeds LS19 7AB 01132 509371

NE&Yorks Region Peter Scott 3 Moorbank Drive Sheffield S10 5TH 0114 230 1870

Treasurer William Jowitt 35, Lowfield Crescent Silsden BD20 0QE 01535 657256 Membership Secretary Chris Pinder 152 High Street Yeadon Leeds LS19 7AB 01132 509371

More volunteers who work for the Branch Web Editor David Firth

Speaker Finders Katie & Alastair Sayles 32 Pymont Drive, Woodlesford, Leeds LS26 8WA. Tel 0113 393 4517

Telephone Contact Alastair Furniss 0113 253 9401

The views expressed in this publication are published as being of interest to our members and readers and are not necessarily those of The Inland Waterways Association or of its West Riding Branch. The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee Registered in England no 612245 Registered as a Charity No 212342 Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA Tel: 01494 783453 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.

Front cover picture: South Pennine Boat Club, Battyford (Peter.Scott) 2

Chairman’s thoughts Hello All If you managed to get to the August meeting you will have heard the news that the Social Club at the Leeds Deaf Centre has been given notice to quit on 1st October 2011 so that Centenary House can be closed. After their 36 years there, the users are vigorously opposing the closure; there is no immediate prospect of an extension to the deadline, and the campaign might not succeed. This left us with nowhere to meet in October and we needed to find somewhere suitable for us all. I am pleased to report that the South Pennine Boat Club at Mirfield have kindly offered us the use of their newly refurbished and very comfortable club house (see page 19) where we will meet from October to January 2012. Please make every effort to attend one or more of these meetings. From members’ experiences of travelling and meeting there, we will decide on venues for the remainder of our meeting season and include this in the next MilePost. To help fund these Open meetings we hold a raffle, for which donated prizes are always welcome, and we supplement this with any small donation that those attending kindly offer in the small tin vigourously shaken before them. The other recent change is that Tricia and Bob Laing have retired from the Branch Committee and from editing MilePost. We are most grateful for the hard work they have put in over the years, and the Branch presented them with a small gift in recognition of their efforts. This leaves us with a need for committee members and a new MilePost editorial team. Do let us know if you can help in any way. You may notice some changes to the magazine over the next few issues. Constructive comments are very welcome. Peter and I had a good boating summer that included our ninth trip through Standedge Tunnel, attending the Waterways Festival at Burton (see report on page 11) and cruising the newly restored Droitwich canal. My highlight at the Festival was being presented with a certificate to celebrate my 20 years of working on the Lavender Boat. No-one else has worked all available days during a twenty year period. Think of all the chemical toilets that is! Elaine Scott, Branch Chairman 3

“We need a Park Keeper for our Linear Park”... … says a Todmorden Community Group. The restored Rochdale Canal is a ribbon of water through the town and its restoration has inspired that thought amongst those who live nearest to it. The idea of a park is a good model. We – we the IWA – can look like a boaters' pressure group: to do our charitable job - campaigning for the use and maintenance of our waterways - we need the active support of all our waterway users. Even if they don't all join us as individual members, the anglers, the cyclists, the walkers, … all have distinctive voices at Westminster and in Council chambers across the country. When we are pulling in the same direction, our collective effect will be greatest. Back, then, to Todmorden, where the Town Hall hosted a locallyorganised conference last week about the canal, including Tony Hales as a guest speaker. Tony is chairman of both the current British Waterways Board and of the New Waterways Charity transitional trustees. Funding for the local works and the conference was from the EU-based LEADER programme (Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Economie Rurale) And here we all met the trulyincredible 'Incredible Edible Todmorden' who use previously unloved community spaces – corners of our linear park, schools, the Police Station, roundabouts ... , to grow vegetables. (1) Sometimes it's easier to seek forgiveness than permission – the ownership of some spaces is difficultto-untangle – and Tony was keen to support the initiative with the caveat of safety for other canal users. So look out for that free-to-use supply of carrots which is even closer to the visitor-moorings than the certainly un-free supermarket's shelves. Our waterways' Unique Selling Point is that we have a system of waterways that gives onlookers the vibrancy of movement of boats and working historic structures - locks aqueducts and the occasional lift. In summary, they are navigable waterways - distinct from a series of (however-worthy) duckponds. The conference was a good opportunity 4

to put to Tony Hales that the governance of the New Waterways Charity – primarily its Council – was not giving sufficient prominence to the essential priority of navigation, and that the majority of interests on the Council could do just as well with those duckponds. The composition of the Charity's Council is defined within the documents that DEFRA has issued earlier in the year (2). Briefly, in analysing the interests of the fifty volunteer members, Tony wished to put to one side the eleven Regional Chairman; and of the remainder, four are to be directly elected from the BW-boat-licence holders and another couple by waterway businesses. I thought those numbers make my point for me, while Tony thought that navigation interests would have their due weight from these people. Next the conference heard from those advocating the essential needs of reedbeds and then of wildlife generally, which also emphasised the hard work that will be needed to achieve a common direction from all our users. Tony’s second point was that the Council's main duty, other than general report-reading and oversight, is to appoint, and if it so wishes, dismiss, the charity's Trustees. More encouraging, maybe, was his third point, that the Waterways and their essential characteristics are 'within the DNA' of all those offering their time voluntarily to help to run the Charity. Let's hope that's right. From IWA Headquarters we have a new briefing for MPs about the Charity and waterways in their area: we certainly need to continue the lobbying up to and beyond the creation of the Charity (3) ...and about that Park Keeper Just as Local Authorities can no longer afford to pay for park keepers, so the new Charity won't be able to afford lengthsmen. There is some hope of progress with a recent Government housing announcement suggesting that Local Authorities should allow more residential mooring in their areas. Maybe with a bit of joined-up thinking, some willing volunteer park-keepers might be allowed to have residential moorings with the parks that they agree to look after as well as live alongside. It's a compromise of course, and they will we need a new sign: “Boat is securely moored: please pass at normal cruising speed” 5

The National AGM ... is at 2.00 pm on Saturday 24th September at Cookley Village Hall Lea Lane, Cookley, Kidderminster. DY10 3RH (5)

There is just time to decide to go if the postman delivers this MilePost in time. There is also an informal 10am general meeting to discuss ‌ well, what those attending would like to discuss including the previous MilePost's issues of campaigning, boating costs, the next generation, and involving other waterways organisations in our work. Neil Edwards IWA Chief Executive surrenders to a hatted person at the 2010 AGM at Market Drayton

Everyone is welcome: there is also a guided walk in the morning for those who prefer outside to inside: meet outside the Village Hall at 10.00 am. No booking necessary.

If you have a computer to hand, there is more information on all the above topics at these URLs: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Peter Scott NE&Yorkshire Region Chairman and IWA National Trustee


Our Local Restoration:

the Barnsley and Dearne and Dove Canal The two canals are the missing waterways link between River Calder at Wakefield and the River Don in the form of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation at Swinton. Restored to their original form and connected to both the Calder and the Don, they would then be part of a Yorkshire Canal Ring for wide-beam canal boats that would be almost unique in this country outside the Norfolk Broads. The Barnsley Canal Group was formed in 1984, and produced useful reports on both canals with historical information, photographs and sketch maps setting out how restoration along the line of the canal might be achieved. What the reports could not take into account was the impact which mining had had on the ground beneath the canal since it had been abandoned. Protection of the line of the canals against subsequent development was not secured, and thus the abandoned lines of the canals have been built over, particularly the Dearne and Dove. The Group was actively involved in the restoration of the top pound of the Elsecar Branch off the Dearne and Dove Canal, which was seen as a sensible starting point for activities. The Group then reformed as the Barnsley, Dearne and Dove Canals Trust which is a registered charity, and the campaign to restore the two canals continued. The Barnsley Canals Consortium was formed in 2002 to promote the restoration of the two canals. Parties involved include the councils at Barnsley, Doncaster, Wakefield, Rotherham - to some extent - and the Trust. The IWA is represented by Ian Moore, and local community groups - Royston and Carlton Community Partnership and the Willow Bank Partnership (covering part of the section up to Barugh). On behalf of the Consortium, the Trust set about raising the funds largely from grant making bodies, to undertake a feasibility study. Over ÂŁ40,000 was raised including grants from the IWA 7

tight-corner towrope guide Barnsley Canal

and the Calder Navigation Society. Competitive bids were obtained and evaluated, and Vaughan Welch from the IWA joined the selection panel. After careful evaluation, the consultants Atkins were chosen. They carried out an extensive mapping exercise, level survey and engineering evaluation and produced a final report in early 2006, which was launched in September 2006 at Walton Hall where John Fletcher from the IWA and Ed Balls - a local MP - , and representatives from BW were present. The report was generally well received and has formed the basis for progress ever since. The outcomes of the feasibility study were that: A full set of digital map based summary engineering drawings showing the old line of the canals, suggested restoration lines, water levels and lock locations along both canals, bridge works and even possible marina sites were produced.

· Restoration

of both canals to full navigation was possible, but restoration of the Barnsley Canal should terminate at Barugh.

· The

line of the Elsecar and Worsborough arms should be protected until funding becomes available.

· The proposed line of the restored canals should be protected in local plans.


decision on which gauge e.g. wide beam or narrow, should be made at a later stage when the first new structures are required.

· The two major obstacles to restoration at Wath and Monk Bretton

(around what is now the Ardagh glassworks) need to be kept under review. The study proposed bypassing these obstructions using two long aqueducts.

· A parallel cycle track and multi-

user trail should be provided at an early stage.

Restoration should be phased and from experience elsewhere, the work will take at least 20 to 30 years and possibly half a century. “It used to be like this” Cold Hiendley Reservoir Barnsley Canal 8


It was considered that restoration would

· Promote tourism, urban renewal and generate income. · Create jobs both short and long term · Create a wildlife corridor and wildlife refuges in abandoned sections. · Increase property values. · Link existing, important waterways. · Encourage land based activities walking, cycling, fishing, bird watching, sightseeing.

· Encourage water based activities, hire and privately owned boats, trip and restaurant boats, canoeing and angling.

· Encourage businesses to locate adjacent to attractive waterside sites. In common with other restorations, the aim is to gradually restore individual stretches of canal, and then to join up these sections so that the local populace can see the benefits and as these grow it is hoped that support will also grow. To be continued in the next MilePost

Barnsley Basin Map and picture from the Barnsley, Dearne and Dove Trust see website: New volunteers will be most welcome. 10

Getting ourselves noticed The Waterways Festival, Burton – July 2011 As usual, we persuaded our visitors tht there are waterways to the north of the country. The weather was kind to us, and there were lots of people to talk to. Whether the new date at the end of July was financially successful, we will only know later in the year. Looking back to the days of sponsorship, an old Waterways has a picture of the festival chairman handing a The Branch Stand £50,000 cheque to the National Chairman. It’s not like that any more! Some of the waterways press thinks we are using a lot of volunteer effort to no great effect and we should do something different. For 2012 we certainly are: there is to be no National Festival that year, and we – we IWA – have been selected by British Waterways to run the London moorings for the Olympics: the Association will benefit from some of the mooring fees, and we can hopefully create a Festival atmosphere among those mooring. But back to Burton – we were certainly a hit with those living locally. Some income!

They had an idea of what to expect from the event in 2004, and canalside and towing path properties entered the spirit of the event. Memories of 2004 are still fresh, and one resident thought the environment of the canal was much improved in the years since then, including, for example, the cleaning and general spruce-up round Dallow Lock. Hopefully that process has continued this time. 11

Illuminated Boat Parade

Thwaite Mills, Leeds, Aire and Calder Canal

We have taken branch displays to Thwaite Mills three times this year, most recently to an Sunday afternoon aimed primarily at Classic Car enthusiasts. There was lots of canal interest and on this occasion the Safe Anchor Trust brought tree trip boats, offering free trips on the canal. The Gazebo

It is an excellent venue for a fine afternoon. The branch has three different styles of display: the folding gazebo and its light display boards; a set of interlocking boards that are best inside unless the weather forecast is particularly good; and some tabletop notice boards that we usually bring to Open meetings. The main limiting factor for IWA campaigning around the Branch is volunteer time to collect and attend the stands. So if you are available for a local event, prefereably with a canal theme, or maybe just close to the canal, and preferably not charging an exhibitors' fee, then let us know and we can work out how best to arrange for you to collect the display equipment and materials. Doing this for more events would reach more people than those who are attracted to waterway’ events, and all we need is nore volunteers to help on the stand! Stand alone boards


There is a good range of display materials and, needing a bit of development work, the outline of a WoW – Wild over Waterways – activity to entertain younger children. The tabletop display is the one we used at the recent Todmorden event. We have also lent our display boards to other IWA Branches.


Tabletop display

New Editorial Team Required -could you do something to help? We aim to produce three copies of Milepost a year. To do this we need several jobs doing – if you feel you could help, please let us know. Some possible jobs: Advertising editor – contact potential advertisers Contributors – contribute articles, pictures etc. Editor – assemble available material Event co-ordinator – list interesting events


IN AND OUT ALL ABOUT by Ellen Sayles I will take out of the canal, A smelly old sock from a bin, Grandad’s rusty old car, A holey slipper from a man’s foot. I will take out of the canal, A space ship from Mars, A bomb from the top of space, A rocket that hasn’t taken of.

Ellen receiving the Penny Briscoe trophy for the Best Junior Drawing or Painting from Harry Arnold, Festival Chairman

I will take out of the canal, The biggest lolly in the world, A huge sunken ship from the bottom of the sea, A sofa that’s been bounced on a thousand times. I will take out of the canal, A TV swaying from side to side, A clock that is still ticking, A table with no legs. I will put in the canal, A dipping duck from the Amazon, A fishy fishing man from the town nearby, I will put in the canal, A fabulous fish jumping about, A frog on a leaning log, A bouncing bridge bobbing about. The water is glistening, the sun is out, The boats are bobbing, Everybody is happy skipping along. I can relax and I am gone. Picture courtesy of “Pablo” Haworth (Grandad) having loaded his “rusty” car with 3 trolleys taken from Basingstoke Canal (1 inside and 2 on roof!) 14

Presenting the Branch stamp collection

Wanted – Information about a Fair Maiden

Robert Lowery writes: In September 2010 we bought an old Calder & Hebble working barge, from Burnley, called Fair Maiden. We have since found out that she worked predominantly on the Calder and Hebble and on the Aire and Calder before being bought by British Waterways, when she was converted to a trip boat and operated from Goole to Leeds. We have spoken to Goff Sherburn at the Waterways Museum, who skippered her as a pleasure craft. If anyone from the IWA in Yorkshire has any history or images of her at any point in her 135-year life to contact us at Robert’s information and picture (above) on the National Historic Ships Register: Fair Maiden is a Calder & Hebble Keel, a cargo carrying boat built in 1876 by an unknown builder. The vessel is of steel on iron plate construction and has a Lister HRW3 diesel engine installed in 1978. She was originally built for sail but, in the 1960s, British Waterways ran her as a passenger vessel licenced to carry 40 persons. Later she was rescued from the scrap yard and used as a floating workshop. She is now a private leisure craft based on the Stainforth & Keadby Canal 15

New editor – new printers - new meeting venue – and here’s a new column. Boats all around the System mention Good Old Reg: so let's find some things outside Yorkshire to wonder about. Westminster Whooshings Top of The Pops this year has been a trip to inspect the progress at the Olympic park, directly from the steps to the river not far from Big Ben. Parliamentarians have been taken from their exclusive river access point – boats are nomally kept well away - and RIBbed-along the river, faster than on the bus or the underground, or on a BorisBike or even the ministerial limo. It's an excellent advert for the waterways doing a useful transport job, it's fun, it's a chance to brief Important People on about the waterway, and even better it's not being charged to any waterways budget. Ordinary folk can do for a fast RIB-trip on the Thames, if you have forty quid to spare - (A) or 020 793 05746 – or for a more modest fiver it's still fast on the Thames Clipper's scheduled services. (B) Raising Tower Bridge … You wouldn't expect it for a narrowboat. But leaving Limehouse with a thirty foot pole and some rope to hold it up created a 'mast' and a demand for the bridge to be opened. Good Wheeze, maybe … Except that the river police weren't impressed and boat and crew retired without success. Better to get a picture by co-ordinating with a planned 'lift'. Phone 020 7403 3761 or see (C) Sign(s) of the Times Oldham Council has a really useful canalside sign, having made its really useful “Dog Control Order under Section 55 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act”. As you do. It says “For the purposes of the Order a person who habitually has a dog in his posession shall be taken to be in charge of the dog at any time unless at that time some other person is in charge of the dog.” Gosh. 16

But Reg's Sign of the Month is British Waterways' at Scout Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow (not on West Riding's bit!) The Right One says “Ensure tunnel is clear before proceeding” and on the Left “Method of working: Two way traffic”. The clue is in the name: “Narrow”: it's a Narrow tunnel, seven foot wide. “The ayes (eyes?) to the Right have it “.

Water Water Everywhere (Nor any drop to drink)

Of course it was raining, too. The tap used to be OK with a standard hosepipe connection before they (they BW) chopped an inch out of the supply pipe and fixed the tap an inch lower. But a screw removed from the tap's bracket inside its security box gave it sufficient movement to dispense some water. You couldn't make it up. The Editor will pass on any contributions from waterways outside Yorkshire for the next MilePost Some web links (A) (B) (C) 17

On Saturday 1st October 2011 at 7pm at South Pennine Boat Club, Wood Lane, Mirfield WF14 0ED A performance by

Mikron Theatre of Written : Mike Lucas Directed : Marianne McNamara Music directed : Rebekah Hughes

A lively, rumbustious show telling the story of pubs and beer and the part they have always played in society. Mikron's 40th anniversary production happily coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Campaign for Real Ale. ÂŁ7.50 per person including supper. The performance will commence at 7pm prompt. If anyone wishes to attend will they please contact Nigel Paton on 0781591735 and he will add your name to the list and tell you where you need to send your payment before the event. There will be a bar but if you require a soft drink please bring your own. Highly Recommended by the Branch Chairman


Directions to South Pennine Boat Club – information from the web site

By Road: Follow the A644 from Junction 25 of the M62 towards Dewsbury and Wakefield. Just before the Pear Tree Inn, turn right over the bridge labelled Battyford Toll bridge. The SPBC is on the left, through the gates before the second Bridge Buses: The 278 from Wakefield, Dewsbury and Mirfield for Brighouse & Halifax, stops outside the Pear Tree Inn. The 278 Bus from Halifax and Brighouse for Mirfield, Dewsbury & Wakefield stops across the road from the Pear Tree Inn. Buses to Leeds & Huddersfield (203) or Bradford (253) run from Mirfield town centre. Trains: Mirfield Station is about 1 mile from the club on the Huddersfield Line. It provides direct connections to Manchester, Huddersfield, Brighouse, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge, Leeds, Dewsbury and Wakefield. By Water: The SPBC is on the Calder & Hebble navigation by Battyeford Lock Taxi: Station Cars Tel 01924 490 444 Mirfield Cars Tel 01924 490 999 Central Cars Tel 01924 490 000 19

Programme of Events for 2011- 2012 All meetings take place at 8pm on the second Friday of the month. Until January (at least) they will be held at the clubhouse of the South Pennine Boat Club, Wood Lane, Mirfield WF14 0ED. Please check the next edition of Milepost for meetings after that. 2011 Friday 14th October

Pocklington Canal Paul Waddington, Pocklington Canal Society (bring your FOIL collections for Paul)

Friday 11th November

Narrow Boat Fulbourne and her travels David Mack

Friday 9th December

Christmas Social and Members’ Pictures Bring your own pictures, slides or digital 2012

Friday 13th January

John Fletcher: Past, Present and Future

Friday 10th February

Knots Ken Nelson

Friday 10th March

AGM and Members' pictures

Check venue

Friday 13th April

Mikron Theatre Peter Toon, General


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. We are delighted to welcome any member of the general public and members are encouraged to bring their friends. To find out more about the waterways or the IWA come and join us at one of our meetings or visit the website 20

Mileost 201109  
Mileost 201109  

West Riding Branch magazine