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volunteers restoring waterways

navvies Chesterfield:

Reunion report


Canal Camps


What it takes

waterway recovery group

Issue No 268 Dec-Jan 2014-15

Navvies Production Editor: Martin Ludgate, 35 Silvester Road, East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020-8693 3266 martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk Subscriptions: Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Rd., Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ

Navvies is published by Waterway Recovery Group, Island House, Moor Rd., Chesham HP5 1WA and is available to all interested in promoting the restoration and conservation of inland waterways by voluntary effort in Great Britain. Articles may be reproduced in allied magazines provided that the source is acknowledged. WRG may not agree with opinions expressed in this magazine, but encourages publication as a matter of interest. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated - otherwise WRG and IWA accept no liability for any matter in this magazine.

Jenny Black

Printing and assembly: John Hawkins, 4 Links Way, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 john.hawkins@wrg.org.uk

Waterway Recovery Group is part of The Inland Waterways Association, (registered office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA). The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee, registered in England no 612245, and registered as a charity no 212342. VAT registration no 342 0715 89.

ISSN: 0953-6655 Š 2014 WRG

Martin Ludgate

Directors of WRG: Rick Barnes, John Baylis, George Eycott, Helen Gardner, John Hawkins, Dave Hearnden, Jude Palmer, Mike Palmer, Jonathan Smith, Harry Watts.

Visit our web site www.wrg.org.uk for page 2

Left: on a wet KESCRG and London WRG Christmas dig on the Thames & Medway, KESCRG leader Stephen is reduced to praying for the bonfire to light. (report next time) Below left: What driver authorisation category is this? See Bungle’s article on pages 38-41. Below: paddle recess at Meretown Lock on the Newport Arm is uncovered - see camp report, pages 36-37. Front cover: Bowbridge Lock, Cotswold Canals (see camp report, pages 10-12). Back cover top: Chesterfield Reunion (see report, pages 13-16) Back cover bottom: October camp: WRG Forestry clear the offside above Bowbridge. (Cover photos by Martin Ludgate)

Contents In this issue... Editorial What’s is and isn’t in Navvies 4-5 Coming soon Winter and spring camps 6-7 Camp Cook What does it involve? 8-9 Camp Report October Cotswold and WRG Forestry combined camp 10-12 Reunion Report from the Chesterfield Canal 13-16 WRG BC news from our boat club 17 Directory WRG and canal societies 18-21 Diary canal camps, weekend digs, CRT and IWA one-day working parties 22-27 Letters whither the Reunion? And should we raise the upper age limit? 28-29 Progress our roundup from restoration projects all around the country 30-32 Camp reports Inglesham and the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals 33-37 Driver Authorisation update 38-41 Navvies News 42 Infill including Dear Deirdre 43

Contributions... ...are always welcome, whether handwritten, typed, on CD, DVD or by email. Photos welcome: digital, slides, prints. Please say if you want prints back. Digital pics are welcome as email attachments, preferably JPG, but if you have a lot of large files it’s best to send them on CD or DVD or to contact the editor first. Contributions by post to the editor Martin Ludgate, 35, Silvester Road, London SE22 9PB, or by email to martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk. Press date for issue 267: 1 September.

Mike Bickerstaffe

Subscriptions A year's subscription (6 issues) is available for a minimum of £3.00 to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques payable to "Waterway Recovery Group" please. This is a minimum subscription, that everyone can afford. Please add a donation.

all the latest news of WRG's activities page 3

Comment What’s in and what’s not in...

What’s happened to the camps brochure? What’s happening on the Cotswold? What’s going to happen to the Reunion?

Taking the pith out of Navvies? Apologies if you were expecting a page of pithy comment from either myself or our chairman Mike Palmer, but this time instead I’m going to do a bit of a canter through some of the things that are included in the magazine. First, however, I’m going to mention a couple of things that aren’t included. And the first of those is the Canal Camps brochure giving details of all next year’s camps, which (as per the last few years) you might have been expected to be included with this issue. Well, following a couple of years when we found ourselves having to ‘busk it’ just a little more than we’d liked (and ended up having to relocate one or two camps – usually to the Cotswold Canals), we felt that this year we would rather wait until we had a little more information from a few of the local canal societies responsible for the restoration schemes first before we went into print. So even as you read this Jenny and Amber at head office are speaking to the host societies, getting a better understanding of the work, making site visits if necessary, confirming planning and funding, and generally putting us in a position where we can be even more confident of delivering well-planned camps. Don’t get me wrong: most of the camps are already sorted or well on their way, and we’re sure the rest will be soon. So you shouldn’t need to wait for the next Navvies – we’ll mail out the brochure as soon as it’s ready. Another thing we don’t have in this issue is any ‘toolbox talks’ or ‘tech tips’ type articles (unless you count the one on being a Canal Camps cook – see below). We do have a ‘how to do a lock chamber clearance’ article planned for the next issue, but in the meantime if there’s anything else you’d like to read about (or even better, that you’d like to write about) then please tell us. The final thing you might have expected to see in this issue but won’t is any letters in response to the editorial last time. Neither my own questions (about how WRG should decide which canals to work on, and about how the canal restoration movement should ensure that it’s ready for any major funding that might be just around the corner) nor my ‘guest comment’ contributor Sophie’s (about how and whether WRG can continue to support an expanded programme of Canal Camps) elicited any replies at all. Am I surprised? No, not really: it always seems to the random, innocuous off-the-cuff remarks that generate reams of correspondence, rather than the provocative comments that you expected to stir things up. Am I disappointed? Just a little – so please do write in if you’ve got anything to say on these things. But I’m not too downhearted because (a) it’s generated a fair amount of discussion outside of these pages and (b) I’ve got plenty of letters on other subjects this time. Speaking of which… That brings us on to the stuff that is in this issue. And firstly the letters page. George Rogers, leader of this year’s Reunion (see report, pages 13-16) has written with a list of questions about why the number of people going to our biggest annual event seems to have been tailing off a bit. I’m not going to pitch in with my own opinions here (other than to say that I think it helps if we can tell people well in advance where the Reunion is going to be – although I know that isn’t easy – as it’s much easier to get the new Canal Camps volunteers interested in coming back if they know where they’re coming to!), and neither am I going to come out with the traditional “we tried that in 1995, it didn’t work” type response to any suggestions. The Reunion / Bonfire Bash / Big-ish Dig has evolved over the years, and its current format and date are the result of numerous factors, not all of which apply any more. For example we lost one good reason to hold it in early November a decade ago, when we found we could no longer afford insurance cover to hold a firework display. So it really is all

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up for discussion – please join in! We also have a letter from the Canal & River Trust. OK, it’s taking us to task a little for a report in the last issue, but it also thanks us for all our efforts, and it’s the first time for a while that CRT (or its predecessor British Waterways) has featured in these pages other than as a target, or at best as an entity to be discussed along the lines of “Are they still the enemy?” I look forward to more from CRT, whether it’s praise for our efforts, putting the other side if they disagree with us, or – even better – contributing to the discussions on how to get more canals restored. And we also have two letters from slightly older volunteers who would like to help us more, but feel inhibited from doing so by our upper age limit and/or our mode of operation (in particular, sleeping on village hall floors). Yes, I’m aware that the answer to the age question is that there is provision for over-70s to be on site (subject to some insurance issues which Head Office can advise on) – but the point that these people provide a good resource that we ought to be encouraging is a valid one. I mentioned the Cotswold Canals (as a home for itinerant canal camps) earlier, and sure enough there are two camp reports from the Cotswold Canals in this issue. There’s also a camp at Bowbridge Lock about to happen over New Year, another two weeks planned for Easter – see Camps Preview, pages 6-7 - and plenty of weekend digs. You could be forgiven for thinking that there’s some sort of a panic on in Gloucestershire right now. Well it’s not actually a panic, but the Cotswold Canals Trust folks have ended up with rather a lot of work to do between now and a year’s time. That’s when they plan to put in their bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the cash to restore the next section of canal (Phase 1b in Cotswold parlance) which gives the bit we’re currently working on (Phase 1a) its allimportant navigable link to the outside world via Saul Junction. So not only do we need to finish Phase 1a in order for Phase 1b to make any sense, we also need to do it to show the HLF that we can finish a job once we’ve started it, and demonstrate the credibility that HLF will be looking for when they scrutinise the Phase 1b application. The volunteers’ contribution to Phase 1a is mainly the locks at the upper end: we’ve restored Goughs Orchard and Griffin Mill locks, CCT’s own volunteers are just getting stuck into Ham Mill Lock, and we, the visiting teams (WRG canal camps and WRG regional groups plus NWPG and KESCRG) are cracking on with Bowbridge. But given that Griffin Mill took us about three years, what chance of finishing the rather trickier (given its constricted site and poor state) Bowbridge by late 2015? Well, at least the rebuilding methods chosen include a mortar mix that doesn’t restrict us to summer-only working. So with a good programme of weekend working parties by visiting groups as well as two camps at Easter and several in summer, it isn’t out of the question. But it’s still a lot of work – so do support these (particularly the weekend digs and Easter camps) if you can. All these working parties will need feeding. So in this issue we also have an article by Helen Gardner on what’s involved in being a Canal Camp cook. We included it (a) to encourage anyone who’s thinking of offering their services and to help them understand what they’re volunteering for, (b) to hopefully provoke some discussion and further contributions – Helen makes it clear that her way is just one way of doing stuff – and (c) because somebody suggested via WRG’s Facebook page that it would be a good article to run. Have you any ideas for future articles? Please suggest them. And finally, as ever, we have the ‘Infill’ not-so-serious page – which is in slight danger of being monopolised by Deirdre these days. We’ve had some excellent ‘humorous’ contributions from lots of other folk in the past – please keep them coming in. That leaves just one thing: many thanks from the Editor for all your contributions this year whether it’s camp reports, letters, photos, technical articles, progress reports, or whatever. Also to Robert Goundry for chasing up and collating progress reports, to Dave Wedd for compiling the diary, to John Hawkins for printing the magazine, to Chris Griffiths of Stroudprint for the colour covers, to the team of volunteers at the envelope-stuffing evenings in London, to the Head Office staff, to Lesley for proofreading, and to everyone else who helps to make Navvies what it is (whatever that is!) Not forgetting Deirdre (how could we?) Thank you, best wishes for Christmas, hopefully I’ll see some of you on the New Year Camp and if not, all the best for 2015. Martin Ludgate

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Coming soon Winter and spring camps

As 2014 ends we look forward to 2015: the BCN Clean Up, Chelmer Camp, and a lot of work on the Cotswolds. Why? See Martin T’s piece below...

Cotswold Christmas Camp, 26 December - 1 January By the time you receive this, the Festive Season will be upon us, but in case you feel a sudden need to get away from your relatives on Boxing Day you might be interested in making a late booking for all or port of the New Year Camp - if there are still any places left. To find out, contact head office on 01494 783453 or enquiries@wrg.org.uk, or if it’s too close to Christmas and they’re on holiday contact camp leader Martin Thompson on 07736 796419.

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation Winter Camp, 14-21 February Camp leader Bob Crow writes: The first camp of 2015 will be a slash and burn Winter Warmer on the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation from 14th to 21st February. The task will be vegetation clearance on the towpath to enable the use of new wider mechanised mowing equipment, purchased by Essex Waterways Ltd in 2014, to be used to control vegetation growth in future. The accommodation will be on board the Haybay which is a converted barge with comfy bunks, on board showers and a drying room – sheer luxury! By February you will surely be missing the WRG camp scene so why not join us – book now - you’ll be made very welcome.

2015 is going to be an absolutely crucial year as regards volunteer work on the Cotswold Canals restoration. Easter Camp Leader Martin Thompson explains... Completion of the outstanding restoration of structures on the Phase 1A section of the Cotswold Canals (that’s from Stonehouse through Stroud to Brimscombe, and includes our work sites at Griffin Mill and Bowbridge locks) is a critical precursor of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for money to pay for the Phase 1B section. Phase 1B will provide the essential connection from the restored lengths of the Cotswold Canals to the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and access to the main UK canal network. Volunteer manpower is so important to restore locks at Bowbridge, Ham Mill and Hope Mill. The first two sites are already under volunteer-led restoration and Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) volunteers are starting dredging the channel between them. CCT need your help with this big 2015 push to return these derelict locks to fully functional restored structures. See the fruits of your labour being used by boats in the near term on this high-profile public amenity

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Pictures by Martin Ludgate

Cotswold Easter Camps, 28 March-4 April and 4 - 11 April

Task for 2015: turn this (Bowbridge)...

...into something like this (Griffin Mill)

venture and vibrant regeneration project. Work in the west is also complemented by some strategic construction and restoration in the east of the Cotswold Canals. Reconstruction of Weymoor Bridge, funded by a generous benefactor, is a rare chance to build a brick-arched bridge and get involved with the associated roadworks. A temporary diversion for local residents’ access requires an expedient build. With progress dependent on the collective efforts of local volunteers and visiting regional groups, support from canal camps will be key for successful completion this summer. Also in the east is the iconic Inglesham lock restoration site and an IWA National Appeal Restoration Site. Having installed the lower stop plank dam in 2014, which will enable control of the water level in the lock chamber, initial focus will be on the lock chamber clearance. WRG’s project management team are putting together the works package for this focused task which will enable the access scaffolding to be installed for re-constructing the chamber walls . So keep a keen eye on the CCT and WRG websites, Navvies, our regular restoration publications and media outputs for what will be on offer on the Cotswold Canal, not only over the two Easter weeks, but on the main Summer Camp program. So much to do on and off site! If you haven’t been before, why not try a weekend taster with a regional group: whatever the colour of the shirt, you’ll have a great time!

BCN Clean Up, 19 April

Chris Morgan

Every spring, we spend a weekend throwing grappling hooks into the murky waters of the Birmingham Canal Navigations and hoicking out old bikes, prams, trolleys and whatever else we can find, as our contribution to keeping this fascinating but under-used network open. Over to leader Chris Morgan for the details of this year’s event: This year we give the usual bits of canal a rest and hit something new. The Canal & River Trust are allowing us to target the Old Main Line canal and parts of the modern New Main Line. The centre of the Clean Up is the canal buffs’ heaven of Smethwick, with its iron aqueduct to the Engine Arm and two levels of canal. Daytime facilities have been offered and gratefully accepted at the canalside Smethwick Enter- What ‘s lurking in the BCN? Come to the Clean Up and find out! prise Centre and as I write, accommodation is still under negotiation but should prove to be another fabulous canalside location with a very good local real ale pub. So we can guarantee lots of locks to trawl and lots of canal to dredge, and the wonderful people of the Black Country are waiting to welcome us back. More info in the next Navvies. See you in the new year. Chris Morgan, Clean up leader 029 2088 8681 / 07974 111354 / cbmorgan@sky.com

And then what? See the Editorial on pages 4-5 for what’s happening with the rest of the year’s Canal Camps, and the WRG website and Facebook group for further details of all camps and weekend work.

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Camp Cook

“Find out what people want - I’ve had camps where I’ve tried to do something really fancy and all they wanted was bangers & mash”

How do you cook for a canal camp?

brace them (not physically you understand): I have perfected a ‘super loud cheery “good There are more ways of tackling the role of morning” smile and greeting’ (entirely fake) cook than there are cooks so I thought I’d and I’ll always set them a task. That also provide you an insight into one way I’ve ensures they don’t just come into the kitchen been a cook. Obviously this is not the right and stand around like lemons, or worse still way - it’s just one way that I’ve used. I like they want to talk (which I haven’t found a being on site and I like cooking so the crux way of coping with). of this approach is to be on site quite a bit Quite often the task is for them to take and provide basic but tasty food. Most of the the volunteers tea in bed. And if there’s no camps I’ve cooked on recently have been 15- one to do it then I’ll do it. You just need to 18 people so my method doesn’t necessarily have done the bacon and not started the translate to a larger camp. rest, so be back in the kitchen by 7.40. Yes really – the art and indeed the gift of tea in bed was prevalent in the days I started digBreakfast ging and I am determined that this ancient I’m a control freak (gasps of shock from the skill not be lost. I also make sure I have audience) so I’m doing breakfast. No way more tea. I’m having grotty volunteers ‘use their imagi7.40 it’s beans and tomatoes on, and nation’ and muck up my kitchen stocks. So cook the mushrooms. About 7.50 it’s slap a what if this means 3 hours sleep because I griddleful of eggs on and get some helpers was an enthusiastic participant in the cereal ready. Just before 8.00 the first set of eggs box game. I always set a time – normally are ready so I can put them out, and get the 8am - with the leader beforehand, and it’s a helpers to put out the rest of breakfast and game to see how close I can get. From a start serving. Meanwhile I’ll carry on cooking leader’s perspective a predictable breakfast eggs and the second set are done just as the serve is really useful. queue has got through the first. It means the Around 6.50 – 7.00am I’ll get up, turn eggs are nice and hot when served and you everything on in the kitchen (nb that’s don’t have lots left over though it doesn’t everyghing that you need, like the griddle work with more than around 18 people. not the radios someone plugged in), then go and get dressed into something that I don’t Lunch mind smelling of bacon fat. Do teeth (otherwise I’ll forget). Make myelf tea. I run a I’m a big fan of the ‘self-serve’ sandwiches (ie bowl of hot washing up water so that I can the volunteers each make their own lunch keep my hands clean between handling after breakfast time), and putting the lunch everything and do a bit of washing up as I stuff out is something I’ll get my kitchen go. I do sausages in the oven so I pop ’em loiterers to do anytime from 7.00am. Have a in sooner rather than later (7.00-ish). cool box ready, some sandwich bags and Prep everything else: get beans and labels (or pieces of paper to stick inside the tomatoes open and in pans, chop mushsandwich bag). Positives (compared to the rooms, find veggies’ sausages, find eggs and ‘traditiona’ method of just making lunch for bacon. About 7.15 I’ll start griddling the everyone) are that there’s a lot less waste; it’s bacon and when it’s almost done it gets easier for the cook; people get the sandwrapped in foil and put in the oven. Don’t wiches they want. Negatives are that it can forget the veggie breakfast. be more expensive as people load the fillings, you might have to do some spares for There are normally volunteers milling around by this time, so I’ve learned to empeople who drop in, you have to encourage

Camp Cook: what does it involve?

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people to overestimate what they might eat if they’re unused to physical work, and leftover breakfast butties are a bit trickier to sort. So in theory by 9.00am the washing up’s done and two meals have been served and the veggies got breakfast too. I normally have a proper coffee (bring a cafetiere with you) and a sit down at this time and plan the shopping. I’ll normally do a big shop every alternate day, so after I’ve stock checked and made sure it’s all clean (good time to mop floors) I’ll either go shopping or go to site or in the middle of the week I might just go back to bed. Don’t forget your own lunch! I generally go and have lunch on site even if I’m not going to site to work, and that’s when I would take soup or hot leftovers. Sometimes I find cooking a little isolating and having lunch lets you catch up on what’s going on and have a cup of tea. It is also a chance to discuss what the leader has planned for the evening so you can work out when the evening meal will be served.

Alan Lines

first day, that just sets a precedent. Shop bought the first day and then if you have the inclination make a cake later on (or blag from the locals) and it’ll be really appreciated rather than expected. Red wine – normally not a good idea to start the bottle before the camp are home. My other tip is communication: find out what people actually do and don’t want to eat (especially if you have just one or two veggies – you may find they’ll have the same meal on two different nights). I’ve had camps where I’ve tried to do something fancy and all they wanted was bangers and mash. Fortunately we worked this out in advance and I got more time in the pub. Your whole camp might eat veggie for an evening if you ask. So all in all it’s about providing some food whilst making the canal experience what I want it to be (it is after all my holiday time and as a contractor I don’t get paid for it either). There are lots of ways you can make it easier for yourself by so called ‘cheating’ and getting help from the volunteers. I’ve also shared the cooking with Evening meals: another cook so that we do alternate evening The first evening I normally do ‘Jacket potato meals. Helen ‘Bush Baby’ Gardner and salad shit’ which is quiches, pork pies, chips and dips as well as actual salad which * Brian is a yoghurt, cream and fruit dessert is not compulsory. The idea is that it is a named by Harri Wood (and probably infairly flexible meal in terms of numbers so vented by her too). you can cope with fluctuations on the first night, it’s quite light (no one will have done Is the above not how you’d do it? Do any work) and it’s easy to serve as left overs. Usually I have a ‘night off’ by the you have other tips as a cook? Please camp having a fish & chip night, and the last write up your take on the role of a night is normally a barbecue - so that’s three camp cook. meals planned already. I normally discuss the menu with the camp at breakfast before a shop so that there’s no surprises for them. I can’t possibly plan a whole week in advance so we wing it as we going along. I tend to do fairly basic meals but make it varied (some potatoes, some pasta, some rice; variety of meat; variety of vegetables). I might prepare a stew, bolognaise or chilli in the morning whilst doing breakfast so that I can go on site. I’m definitely a cook by committee and will outsource vegetable preparation at the drop of a hard hat. I’ve also had success with getting volunteers to do the puddings, I’m also not scared to cheat and buy meringue nests or flan bases or serve yoghurts though Brian always makes an appearance.* Cake – never serve homemade cake the

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Camp Report Cotswold Canals

A week in October, with WRG Forestry removing overhanging trees and branches above Bowbride Lock while a group of Ashby refugees attack the chamber wall

store the canal line vista, and more practically so the CCT dredger can access this length in the relatively near future to restore The grand tradition of the Cotswold Canals the depth to the original working invert level. Trust taking in homeless canal camps maniSome neighbourly goodwill pollarding of fested itself again for this past Autumn’s canalside willows was also requested in “Half-Term” Camps. Both the Forestry Octo- return for being able to get to and work ber camp and the initially proposed Ashby along an inaccessible part of the bank. So camp necessitated a change of location, and the ‘Forestry Collective’ under coordinator CCT again warmly welcomed the happy bands Clive and assistant Paul departed on the of volunteers to Stroud and growing list of Saturday morning to Bowbridge, leaving the taskings on the Phase 1A section (Stonehouse- cooks organising the catering for the original Stroud-Brimscombe) of the canal. 23 Forestry folks plus additional the Ashby WRG Forestry rightly claimed squatters’ relocates which took us up to 35 folks The rights at the accommodation at Brimscombe agenda for me was a morning providing a Port being the Friday night arrivals; for the ‘Brickwork 101’ training class for CCT voluntransferees from the Ashby it was the conteers, getting prepared for the ‘Ashby’ arrivventional Saturday afternoon check in. Forals, and a happy hour or so at Stroud train estry also had the ‘wonder’ cook Mitch, ably station in the good company of the first assisted by Andy and their kitchen helpers arrival DoEer Ed 1 while numerous trains (name check for Hannah!) which left a from the opposite direction, the odd ‘sorry number of the DoEers wondering how much I’ve missed my connection’ train came and more 2nds and 3rds can they eat of the went. As variation of the ‘waiting for... and amazing evening meals and how can WRG waiting for... and eventually they all come feed people this great food on £56 a week! together’ theme, Patrick, Tobi and Michael Which really leads on to a general hats off arrived at the same time, unbounded joy! and heartfelt thanks (speaking on behalf of Back for tea and buns, meet the other all leaders) to those innovative, inspirational Martin (my invaluable most useful person / and extremely hardworking cooks that nour- quasi-assistant for the week), Hannah, Ted, ish bodies and souls to such great effect and Gary, Jason, James and then onto the orienmake the camp experience so much more enjoyable and the leaders’ life so much more worry-free, thank you all. The ‘big push’ on the Cotswold Canal is to complete the Phase 1A length of the canal which primarily wends its way through Stroud. To this goal, Forestry’s taskings included the removal of offending trees and branches that had grown into and over the canal bed on the offside section east of Bowbridge Lock for approxiChipping away at the chamber wall brickwork mately 500m, both to rePictures by Martin Ludgate

“We came, We sawed, We took down”

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tation site visit and the sight of Forestry’s very productive first day. Back for more tea, followed by the health and safety briefing and the first of the stupendous evening meals. Contentment overflowed. The mild un-Autumn weather continued to grace the Stroud Valley and after Sunday breakfast the Forestry collective now swelled by the ‘Ashby-ites’ descended down to Bowbridge, the Forestry folks with some additional newbie labourers carried on working away east from the lock. The remaining Ashby-ite crew after a little bit of site re-organisation started on the main task of the week, that being the deconstruction of the failed off-side wall of the lock chamber. The classic un-bonded patch repair and then having to ‘tooth-out’ the sheared bricks ready for tying in the replacement brickwork was the order of the day. A case of elbow-to-elbow cutting out persisted, until the scaffold was adjusted to give a little more room. Once the CCT storage ISO container had had a bit of TLC the newly released Arbo Tec reciprocating brick saw and the SDS breaker were introduced to the wall, helping no end with the preparation and cutting out of the targeted bricks. The height of the rubble pile started to increase and the pile had to go. The CCT plant trailer and its ‘greedy boards’ were collected and the first of the half a dozen or so loads was taken back to Brimscombe Port storage area where it will eventually be recycled for towpath sub-base or similar uses. Rubble shifting provided a change of scenery to the stark face of the offside wall and rotation of the happy hammer team was never questioned. Stalwart MUP Martin was a constant welcome presence at the brickface. Ed2 joined us on Sunday night, still there were plenty of bricks left to cut out! Life at Bowbridge lock for the wall deconstruction didn’t change much for the remainder of the week, only the “it’s your turn to start the generator” and “let’s go dropped tool dipping in the silt under the scaffolding” cries brought light relief for those chopping, chipping and cutting out the brickwork. Now as all experienced navvies know there is no greater frustration than spending an immense amount of blood, sweat and tears toothing-out a brick, only for the final last ‘perfect job’ tap with lump hammer and chisel... and the brick above snaps. Step forward DoEer Patrick, who works his way along, toothing out diligently,

Installing stop plank channels at the lock tail perfectly then “Ting!” - 7 of those lovingly prepared bricks snap off in one solid lump, the record for the week. He consoled himself the rest of the week with regular 2nds and 3rds of Mitch’s & Andy’s awesome evening meals, well in fact any meal time fare! Taking the rubble back to Brimscombe Port also provided the opportunity to give some basic introductory training on the operation of the CCT small tracked excavator. Our new volunteers were able to have the ‘digger experience’ for the first time and try a new skill for the DoEers’ Residential assessment. Suffice to say there were some very capable operators and nobody was out of place operating the machine despite it being their first time. A 150mm pump was set up to empty the chamber to allow cutting out the lower stop plank grooves to be completed. After 3 hours pumping the failure to empty the chamber was answered by finding that the, now exposed canal bypass pipe had separated in the deep mud section of the canal under Bowbridge and the inflow was almost matching the pump output! Time to get the chest waders on and with the assistance of Sleepy Dave accompanied by much amusement from the gallery of watchers the errant pipe was re-connected and the water was duly pumped out and the tower scaffold erected for Rob and Ed1 to chip and chop a

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different piece of wall. During all of this our newly discovered plant engineer Ted worked his magic on various items of powered hand tools that declined to work on the chamber wall. In return for the adjacent vets’ practice allowing access through their car park, a little add on “favour” job on Wednesday to clear out their overflowing car park slot drain was successfully completed by Ted & Ed1. It also identified the drain heading off toward the canal, but with no obvious discharge point so it’ll be a little weekend visiting group job to trace it and build a little headwall detail. So much about the lock, what about the forestry peeps? Well it was all routine stuff on the upstream section from Bowbridge, chain sawing, tirforing, pollarding, bonfires and logging up carried on aplenty. Tim the ‘tree rat’ climber was able to get his harness on and get aloft to get to those awkward out-of-reach branches. The time-honoured experience of fire gazing was practiced to great effect with a limited number of bonfires, with some of the DoEer’s being initiated into this well-honed art form! The team received much positive feedback from the local residents overlooking the canal from the improved view and the increase in light to their properties. Much progress was made to the point that some of the experienced members of the Forestry team and some laboring support made tracks for the Ryeford section of the canal. They continued on from previous Forestry weekend work party visits, removing and reducing problem trees that CCT had identified. Forestry always work closely with the host Trust environmental specialists to ensure that the most appropriate and sympathetic solutions for the tree management tasks are performed. CCT are no exception to this rule and together with the CCT tug and barge crew everyone provided a consummate professional service to make safe overhanging trees over the towpath, river and the adjacent industrial estate. The challenges of these overhanging trees in this location required the skilled WRG Forestry artisans to bring their A-game and, as always, they did. It has become a well-received bonus for camp volunteers that CCT lay on an evening canal boat trip. Obviously at this time of year the complete experience of a boat trip would be lost in the darkness. But CCT’s volunteer boat crew came up trumps and

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graciously agreed to put on a trip on our last day. So a full boat load of expectant campers departed on CCT’s trip boat from Ebley Mill after Friday lunch. In the knowledgeable hands of CCT trip guide Clive Field, the camp team was taken for an extended cruise on the restored 1A section of the canal. At one point there was concern that they had encountered Somali pirates! Suffice to say they were returned after an extremely insightful and pleasant afternoon on the canal in the glorious autumn Stroud sunshine. So an amazingly enjoyable week away with the amalgam of the two camps providing rich banter, a great atmosphere, camaraderie and with a substantial amount of valuable work completed. My sincere thanks go out to Clive (the Forestry coordinator) for his overall fathering role for the joint venture, Paul (Clive’s forestry no.2) for keeping the show going so well at Bowbridge, Mitch & Andy our kitchen royalty (ah those awesome dinners) - who needs Bake Off when these two are around? But a really big thanks and total appreciation goes to Martin L my MUP+ for his support managing the work site and his persistent presence on the chamber wall deconstruction, I couldn’t have done it without your invaluable help. To the CCT folks, to Clive and the trip boat crew, Bill & Meg our regular site visitors and to the SDC volunteer coordinators Paul and Jon, many thanks making the experience great. Finally to all our volunteers; thank for the work you did, your great company and I hope that you continue with the WRG experience, the list of sites needing our support is as long as ever! Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year, stay safe and hope to see you soon. Season’s Best Wishes ‘RAF Martin’ Thompson

“Here’s one we made earlier” - at Griffin Mill

Reporting from a weekend of scrub-bashing, backfilling and thoroughly bad weather but good progress on the Chesterfield Canal...

Reunion Report Chesterfield Canal

channel north of Renishaw and Spinkhill. The tasks on this site were to clear the line of The WRG Reunion 2014 started off with the the canal as much as possible, including the roar of chainsaws and the falling of trees removal of scrub and the felling of small over at Renishaw as the Forestry Team led by trees. The stumps also needed to be rePaul Shaw had arrived late on Thursday moved and fForestry were to work on a evening to get a good head start on the section clearing the larger trees. Friday. Their task was the thinning of the line Next on to Norbriggs, now in the pourof trees between the canal and the Trans ing rain, this site was very overgrown (more Pennine Trail. They stacked the logs and so than the others) and thick with brambles. brash ready to be burnt or taken away the After having a quick walk of the site it was following day. time to head back to Killamarsh Scout hut Friday started out fairly drizzly and by and pack everything up before the move to the time I reached everyone just before the sports hall that would be our accommolunch, that drizzle had descended into rain, dation for the weekend. with the gazebo acting as a very effective The potatoes for that evening’s supper water butt (Not that we wanted it to). were happily cooking in the oven (Thank Some site leaders had come up on the you Ju and Linda for helping with that eveThursday evening, with others joining Friday nings dinner) and everyone was slowly day to have a walk through their sites. Pete getting packed up ready for the 5pm move and Martin were taken through their site at to the sports hall. I must say here what a Renishaw to see the work that was needed to lovely job Ricey and Squeezy did of hooverbe done. Matt would be joining Pete and ing and tidying up the hall…it was sparkling! Martin later and helping them to lead the We waited for Martin, John and Colin to three sections of the Renishaw site. Colin and Dave were clearing areas of the site with brush cutters for the weekend’s bonfires. Next on to Spinkhill leaving the Forestry crew to carry on their sawing, George walked Paul, Ju and Stephen (Ricey) through the work that was to be undertaken there. The Spinkhill site ran between the end The Norbriggs Cutting work site of the existing

Chesterfield Bonfire Bash Report

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return from their minibus pick ups and collect their things and then on to the sports hall… After shifting a few pieces of furniture, children’s tables, children’s chairs and toys into cupboards and toilets we managed to set up the catering area. The oven was in and all the tables and chairs were set up. Now all that was left to do was await the arrival of 100 volunteers, and sort out George’s mound of very organised paperwork. The evening flew by and slowly but surely everyone started heading for bed…. Saturday: At 7 o’clock everyone was up and packing up their bedding as we weren’t allowed to keep it in the main hall throughout the day, and then across the corridor for a lovely, and much needed for the day ahead, fry-up. To make life for me slightly easier for myself, as I wasn’t on all sites, I asked Pete to write a bit about the Renishaw site. So over to Pete... Renishaw: Arrived on site. Rain started during the site briefing, before people split into three(ish) groups. Two fires were started, one at each end of the work area with site 1’s being slightly more small and controlled (early on at least). Plenty of people were kept busy with dragging the brash created by the Forestry Team who continued with the thinning operation. The brush cutters continued their work clearing the brambles and other undergrowth along the towpath and banks of the canal. A small team started Tirforing the stumps of the small saplings from the bed of the canal enabling these to be burnt as soon as the fires were well established. The man from DCC arrived with a flail mower and was persuaded to take it down into the bed of the canal where he made substantial progress until his way was blocked with a tree and water level in the bottom of the canal. Tea break was held under the ‘concrete gazebo’ with a number of complaints about the ‘mug shelf’ being too high for some/most to reach. Bacon baps were consumed as quickly as they could be supplied by man in a van in the carpark. Work continued with cutting, dragging and burning stuff until lunchtime. Lunch was again taken under the concrete gazebo as the rain was still happily falling. After lunch a further fire was started part way down the towpath to make the

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Tirforing stumps out at Renishaw dragging distance more manageable, more stumps were pulled and brash burnt despite everyone being quite wet (and some quite muddy). It was soon time to allow the fires to burn out as these needed to be completely extinguished and dowsed before leaving site for the day. Norbriggs: We arrived at a very wet Norbriggs at around 10am on the Saturday minus gazebo and brushcutters. Gary and Dave were leading the site work and after a site safety briefing by Gary we all ‘jumped’ (this is metaphorical of course) into the bushes. Firstly a space was cleared for the fires, and then slowly but surely we started clearing the brambles and trees that surrounded us. After a little work and much effort from Adrian and Chris our fires were alight and the brambles were burning. Right on cue for teabreak our gazebo arrived along with two brushcutters from our leader. After tea break everyone continued with the task at hand (clearing vegetation), and this carried on throughout the day despite the really wet conditions. Spinkhill: The team arrived on site at around 9.30 and set to work. Paul and the Forestry Team worked down the far end away from the rest of the group cutting

down the larger trees that bow saws couldn’t boosted from other sites the three fires were manage. The rest of the team worked from quickly rekindled and burning more brash, the top clearing the brash and cutting the which continued to be cut. smaller trees down and dragging the brash More stumps were pulled from the bed and smaller trees to the bonfire. Great and banks of the canal, with progress speedprogress was made throughout the day. ing up when the drier section of bed was Staveley Town Basin: Staveley was reached. Brush cutting continued with large led by Colin Hobbs and Steve Baylis. At 9am areas being cleared at each end of the work they gathered a group of volunteers together area and a substantial area in the middle. and headed for the basin. Having led camps Training was given to allow a number of new here this year and in the past they were both users experience in operating these. very much aware of the problems they were The man from DCC returned, this time to face with regards to flooding as the basin with a tracked chipper to dispose of the is liable to this. The block laying that was brash that was either too far to drag to the planned was unfortunately unable to fires or would not be burnt in time. This progress; however they did manage to back allowed the Forestry Team to continue felling fill a wall with concrete. The pumps were and thinning until it was time to leave. An going but I don’t think they made a great early tea break was held allowing another deal of difference with the vast amount of hour of fire loading before the fires were water that was coming over. allowed to burn up and then to be fully Saturday afternoon saw the WRG extinguished with plenty of water. committee meeting being held back at the Spinkhill: I switched sites from sports centre in the catering area surrounded Norbriggs to Spinkhill on the Sunday where by a lovely lunch provided by the catering Ju and Ricey were leading alongside Paul team. At around 4.30 very wet volunteers and a team of chainsaws. We started clearing started to migrate back to the hall to dry off along the line of the canal and just before and get warm once again. That evening we 11am a group of young people from Cheshad a delicious meal of chicken and pasta terfield College who were undertaking their and amazing cakes for dessert. National Citizen Services arrived to volunteer. After speeches from Mike, George and At 11am everyone stood and paid their Rod Auton from the Chesterfield Canal Soci- respects on remembrance Sunday with a ety, everyone relaxed into the evening for a minute’s silence. Everyone worked really few drinks. This was a great opportunity for hard until 1 o’clock, spurred on by George everyone to have a catch up and get their delivering bacon sandwiches at around midWRGie t-shirt printed from Jullian at Jancraft day. A big thank you to the volunteers from (Thank you very much for getting the design Chesterfield College for working hard and done for us and coming up to print it). Also coming along to support the project. a ‘thank you’ needs to be said to Steph here Staveley: A group carried on with the for designing the t-shirt and Chesterfield work from Saturday continuing to make publicity poster. concrete with both mixers going. They were Sunday: There were a few bleary eyes on Sunday morning but everyone was once again up and packed by 8. The weather had improved greatly over night and everyone was in high spirits. And back to the sites…. Norbriggs: As there was a lot to do on both other sites and we were a leader down by the end of Saturday as Gary unfortunately had to go home, volunteers from Norbriggs moved over to the three other sites. Renishaw: Back on site for just after 09:00, well rested and Sheltering under the ‘concrete gazebo’ (note tea-shelf on left) eager to get on. With numbers

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HS2 railw ay route

backfilling behind the block work wall on the towpath side. The Where we Navigable team mixed concrete on the off to the Trent worked side by the cabins, put it in the Norwood little dumper and then drove it Killamarsh round to the towpath where they then shovelled it behind the wall. Great progress was made over The Spinkhill the weekend. worksite At 1 o’clock everyone gathered back at the hall for lunch The Renishaw and to collect their belongings. worksite The vans were reassembled with the correct kit, the hall tidied and hoovered and the catering area The Norbriggs put back to its original state. worksite After a good mopping and countless water changes the The Staveley catering area’s floor was (almost) Restored to worksite Chesterfield back to how we’d found it. A big ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in a great weekend, and a massive thank you to George for all of So for that, thank you to: N his hard work in planning and running the YOU, the volunteer. Without you, the weekend, it turned our brilliantly. Hopefully work done by all of the team would have been see you all next year! worthless. Instead, you made it very special. Amber Jenkins On the catering: Jude, Eli, Maria, Mitch, plus contributions from Pete Fleming Anne and their team of helpers. On the sites: Pete, Martin Danks, Matt, Now a word from George Rogers who was Ju, Steve Rice, Paul, Gary, Chris Colborne, the leader from the weekend: Spikey Dave, Steve Baylis, Colin. Volunteering to lead the Reunion must From the local trust: Dave Kiddy, Rod rank amongst one of the most foolish things Auton, Robin Stonebridge & Dave France. to do in WRG - and I’ve certainly proved to To the burger van (OK, doing bacon be a fool at times! I can honestly say though butties, but a “bacon-butty van” is less that it was pleasure, not least because of all tongue-worthy), & its owner Craig for donatthe hard work put in by everyone involved. ing enough bacon to feed an army. The benefit of leading is that you can To everyone in WRG, on the board, the delegate writing the camp report! For that committee, at head office and anywhere else I’m very grateful, but I did still want to add a that have had input or supported me. Parfew words of my own. In the main, I’d like ticular thanks, as always to Jen, but also to thank everyone involved - so for the full everyone involved with the t-shirt and the list I thought it would be easiest to repropublicity material. duce the Facebook status I wrote immediately To Killamarsh Leisure Centre, for taking after the event (easy, but no less heart-felt!) a punt and working with us to find a solution First, however, a couple of words about to the problems. what we achieved. Since the weekend I have And finally, and (much as catering is received numerous letters of thanks from obviously the most important) the most members of the Chesterfield Canal Trust and important person in getting me through this, Derbyshire County Council. They are all Amber. Some might have thought it a bit overjoyed at the work completed and how it risky, asking someone to assist who’d never has once again raised the profile of the canal actually been to a reunion. The beauty of and its restoration in light of the proposed that though, is she asks the questions you HS2 scheme. That support is imperative in haven’t thought of - and then she has the trying to make HS2 more sympathetic to the solutions as well. So thank you. Repeat canal and so hosting such a high profile performance in 2015?? event was very useful to the Trust. George Rogers

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WRG BC Boat Club News WRG Boat Club News I decided that as we had rather an epic version of boat club news in the last issue of Navvies I would keep it brief this time! I usually do a review of the year in November but feel that it is summed up as ‘nothing is permanent but change’ this year as it seems that our plans were constantly thwarted - but no - what about… Chester – that was a real success. Many members were there and we managed to squeeze in a social event. Even better, it would seem that the aims of the rally were achieved beyond our hopes. Anyone going that way, this or next year, please look out for any changes and improvements to the river access or workings on the river Dee itself. Saul went well and I would love to hear more details from any member who attended. (hint).

Not being able to attend Shackerstone we have made a donation for materials for further restoration work. Thank you to Martin for his information about the circumstances behind the restrictions, I had heard of the machinations involving f-f-fisherpersons after I wrote the news and before publication so it was good to have an informed explanation. Anyway let us hope that restoration of the missing bits of the Ashby will manage to continue despite the further ‘involvement’ of Natural England. You should all have received a new membership card along with alternative ‘not Christmas’ card, please don’t forget to let me know if you require a printed copy of the AWCC handbook. Best wishes for Happy Boating in 2015 – see you all(?) at Northampton in August. Keep flying the flag. xxx Sadie Heritage

WRG Boat Club: What is it all about? Membership is open to active volunteers of Waterway Recovery Group and those who have previously worked with WRG. WRG BC is affiliated to The Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs (AWCC) and accepts and supports the rules and objectives of this association. The club provides fellowship, support and a forum for members who own boats or otherwise cruise the waterways. Informal club gatherings and attendance at boat festivals (especially those associated the reopening of formerly derelict waterways) are encouraged. All members are urged to cruise reopened waterways, little used waterways and those threatened with closure. Reporting back to the membership is appreciated. All club news will be published in Navvies New members must pay a joining fee of £10, plus one year’s subscription. Membership cards are issued annually. The AGM will be held at an IWA Festival, rally or an alternative boat gathering if agreed. To join contact – Sadie Heritage, 236 Station Road, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 2HA. Tel: 07748186867 / 01733204505, email: sadiedean@msn.com

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Directory Canal Society and WRG contacts ASHBY CANAL ASSOC Cyril Blackford 48 The Ridgeway, Burbage Hinckley LE10 2NR Tel: 01455 614816 volunteers@ashbycanal.org.uk BARNSLEY, DEARNE & DOVE CANAL TRUST June Backhouse, 39 Hill St, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8EN 01226 743383 www.bddct.org.uk BASINGSTOKE CANAL SOCIETY Duncan Paine, 52 Kings Rd Fleet GU51 3AQ 01252-614125 duncanpaine@talktalk.net www.basingstokecanal.org.uk BCN SOCIETY Jeff Barley, 17 Sunnyside Walsall Wood, W Midlands 01543 373284 www.bcn-society.org.uk BUCKINGHAM CANAL SOCIETY Athina Beckett 2 Staters Pound, Pennyland Milton Keynes MK1 5AX 01908 661217 email: athinabec@aol.com www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk BUGSWORTH BASIN (IWPS) Ian Edgar Top Lock House, Lime Kiln Lane, Marple SK6 6BX. 0161 427 7402 ian@theedgars.co.uk www.brocross.com/iwps/ index.htm

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CALDON & UTTOXETER CANALS TRUST Alison Smedley Hazelhurst Cottage Denford, Leek ST13 7JT 01538-385388 alison@hazelhurstcottage.co.uk www.cuct.org.uk CHESTERFIELD CANAL TRUST Mick Hodgetts 31 Pottery Lane Chesterfield S41 9BH 01246 620695 chesterfield-canaltrust.org.uk CHICHESTER SHIP CT Linda Wilkinson 1 Chidham Lane Chichester PO18 8TL 01243 771363 www.chichestercanal.co.uk COTSWOLD CT Bell House, Wallbridge Lock Stroud GL5 3JS 01453 752568 mail@cotswoldcanals.com www.cotswoldcanals.com FRIENDS OF THE CROMFORD CANAL George Rogers 2 Main St, Whatstandwell Matlock DE4 5HE 07789 493967 web@cromfordcanal.org.uk www.cromfordcanal.org.uk DERBY & SANDIACRE CS Doug Flack 23 Thoresby Cres, Draycott Derby DE72 3PH 01332 576037 www.derbycanal.org.uk

DIG DEEP INITIATIVE Alan Cavender 53 Derwent Drive, Maidenhead SL6 6LE 01628 629033 alancavender@waitrose.com www.dig-deep.org.uk DORSET & SOMERSET CANAL SOCIETY Derrick Hunt 43 Greenland Mills Bradford on Avon BA15 1BL 01225 863066 derrickjohnhunt@gmail.com www.dorandsomcanal.org EAST ANGLIAN WATERWAYS ASSOC David Revill 43 Kings Road Coltishall, Norfolk NR12 7DX 01603 738648 david_gisela@hotmail.com EREWASH CANAL P&DA John Baylis 215 Clipstone Rd. West Forest Town, Mansfield Notts NG19 0HJ 01623 633895 john.baylis@waterways.org.uk ESSEX WATERWAYS LTD Graham Brown Paper Mill Lock North Hill Little Baddow Essex CM3 4BT 07966 375351 graham.brown@waterways.org.uk www.waterways.org.uk FOXTON INCLINED PLANE TRUST c/o Mike Beech Foxton Canal Museum Middle Lock Gumley Road Foxton Market Harborough LE16 7RA 0116 279 2657 mike@foxcm.freeserve.co.uk www.fipt.org.uk

RIVER GIPPING TRUST Martin Bird 29 Melton Grange Rd Melton Woodbridge IP12 1SA 01394 380765 restoration@rivergippingtrust. org.uk GRAND WESTERN CT Denis Dodd, Wharf Cottage Nynehead, Wellington Somerset TA21 0BJ 01823 661653 GRANTHAM CANAL SOC Ian Wakefield 0115 989 2128 ian.wakefield@ granthamcanal.com www.granthamcanal.com HEREFS & GLOUCS CT c/o The Wharf House Over, Gloucester GL2 8DB 01452 332900 www.h-g-canal.org.uk KENNET & AVON CT Derrick Hunt (as per Dorset & Somerset) www1.katrust.org.uk KESCRG Eddie Jones ‘Little Orchard’ Berryfields, Fillongley Coventry CV7 8EX 0845 226 8589 eddie@kescrg.org.uk www.kescrg.org.uk LANCASTER CT Keith Tassart 24 Kings Crescent Morecambe LA3 1HX 01524 424761 www.lctrust.co.uk LAPAL CANAL TRUST 26 Loynells Road, Rednal Birmingham B45 9NP 01785 713862 or Hugh Humphreys 07970 765554 www.lapal.org

LICHFIELD & HATHERTON CANALS REST'N TRUST Sue Williams, Norfolk House 29 Hall Lane, Hammerwich Burntwood WS7 0JP 01543 671427 info@lhcrt.org.uk Hatherton: Dennis Cooper 01543 374370 www.lhcrt.org.uk NEATH & TENNANT CS Ian Milne 16 Gower Road, Sketty, Swansea SA2 9BY 01792 547902 MANCHESTER BOLTON & BURY CANAL SOCIETY Steve Dent 07802-973228 www.mbbcs.org.uk MONMOUTHSHIRE BRECON & ABERGAVENNY CT Phil Hughes 14 Locks Canal Centre Cwm Lane, Newport NP10 9GN 01633 892167 mail@fourteenlocks.co.uk www.mbact.org.uk NWPG Bill Nicholson, 17 Clifford Rd Princes Risborough HP27 0DU 01844 343369 / 0779 1097773 bill@nwpg.org.uk www.nwpg.org.uk POCKLINGTON C.A.S Paul Waddington Church House, Main St. Hemingborough YO8 7QE 01757 638027 ROLLE CANAL AND NTH DEVON WATERWAYS SOC Adrian & Hilary Wills Vale Cottage, 7 Annery Kiln Weare Giffard, Bideford EX39 5JE Tel: 01237 477705 adrian@thewills.eclipse.co.uk www.therollecanal.co.uk

SALTISFORD CT Budbrooke Road Warwick CV34 5RJ 01926 490 006 saltisfordcanal@aol.com www.saltisfordcanal.co.uk SANKEY CANAL RESTORATION SOCIETY John Hughes 01744 600656 www.scars.org.uk SHREWSBURY & NEWPORT CANALS TRUST Bernie Jones 01743 709601 07971 016322 berniecjones@hotmail.com www.sncanal.org.uk SHROPSHIRE UNION CS Richard Hall 35 Tyrley Cotts Market Drayton TF9 2AH 01630 657737 hall@ostw.co.uk www.shropshireunion.org.uk SLEAFORD NAV TRUST Steve Hayes 10 Chelmer Close N Hykeham Lincs LN8 8TH 01522-689460 email: steve.hayeskyme@ntlworld.com www.sleafordnavigation.co.uk SOMERSETSHIRE COAL CANAL SOCIETY Derrick Hunt 43 Greenland Mills Bradford on Avon BA15 1BL 01225-863066 derrickjohnhunt@gmail.com www.coalcanal.org RIVER STOUR TRUST John Morris 2 Stockton Close, Hadleigh Ipswich IP7 5SH jgmorris@btinternet.com www.riverstourtrust.org

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STOVER CANAL SOCIETY George Whitehead 26 Northumberland Place, Teignmouth TQ14 8BU. Tel: 01626 775498 Georgewhitehead1@tiscali.co.uk www.stovercanal.co.uk STRATFORD ON AVON CANAL SOCIETY Clive Henderson The Bridge House Church Lane, Lapworth Solihull B94 5NU 01564 783672 clive.henderson@waterways.org.uk www.stratfordcanalsociety.org.uk

WEY & ARUN CT The Granary, Flitchfold Farm Loxwood Billingshurst West Sussex RH14 ORH 01403 752403 office@weyandarun.co.uk www.weyandarun.co.uk WILTS & BERKS CT George Eycott Knowle House 1 Ham Road, Wanborough Wiltshire SN4 0DF 07771 775745 bungle@wrg.org.uk www.wbct.org.uk

SUSSEX OUSE RESTORATION TRUST Ted Lintott 4 Farm Cottages Parkfield Way Haywards Heath RH16 4TB 01444 414413 tedl@talktalk.net www.sxouse.org.uk

WOODEN CANAL BOAT SOCIETY 173 Stamford St Central Ashton under Lyne OL6 7PS 0161-330-8422 wcbs@care2.com www.wcbs.org.uk

SWANSEA CANAL SOC Clive Reed 17 Smithfield Road, Pontardawe Swansea SA8 4LA 01792 830782

WRG ENQUIRIES, BOOKINGS, DRIVER AUTHORISATION, Jenny Morris, IWA Island House, Moor Road Chesham HP5 1WA 01494 783453 enquiries@wrg.org.uk www.wrg.org.uk

THAMES & MEDWAY CA David Rouse 60 Sun Lane Gravesend DA12 5HL 01474 362861 info@thamesmedway.co.uk www.thamesmedway.co.uk WELL CREEK TRUST Mrs C Mansell, 1 Tramways Outwell PE14 8PZ carole1910@hotmail.com WENDOVER ARM TRUST Roger Leishman 7 Hall Park Berkhamsted HP4 2NU 01442 874536 rwleishman@gmail.com www.wendoverarmtrust.co.uk

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WRG BITM & 'NAVVIES' DIARY David Wedd 7 Ringwood Road Blackwater Camberley Surrey GU17 0EY 01252 874437 dave.wedd@wrg.org.uk www.wrgbitm.org.uk LONDON WRG Tim Lewis 5 Herongate Road, Wanstead London E12 5EJ 07802 518094 tim@timlewis.org.uk www.london.wrg.org.uk WRG EAST MIDLANDS John Baylis 215 Clipstone Rd. West Forest Town Mansfield Notts NG19 0HJ 01623 633895 john.baylis@waterways.org.uk ESSEX WRG Frank Wallder 12 Bray Lodge Cheshunt Waltham Cross EN8 0DN 019926-636164 essex@wrg.org.uk www.essex.wrg.org.uk

WRG NORTH WEST Malcolm Bridge 89 Rishworth Mill Rishworth Sowerby Bridge HX6 4RZ 01422-820693 nw@wrg.org.uk www.wrgnw.org.uk

WRG FORESTRY Clive Alderman 30 Primley Lane Sheering Bishops Stortford CM22 7NJ 07973 877380 clive_jo.alderman@yahoo.co.uk

WRG NW - ENQUIRIES/ PAPERCHASES David McCarthy 20 Andrew Avenue Rawtenstall BB4 6EU 01706-214696 www.wrgnw.org.uk

IWA/WRG STAMP BANK Steve & Mandy Morley 33 Hambleton Grove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908 520090 mail@morleytowers.org.uk

Canal & River Trust volunteer coordinators Central Shires East Midlands Kennet & Avon Manchester & Pennine North East N Wales & Borders North West London South East S Wales & Severn West Midlands

Tom Freeland tom.freeland@canalrivertrust.org.uk Wayne Ball wayne.ball@canalrivertrust.org.uk Steve Manzi steve.manzi@canalrivertrust.org.uk Steve O’Sullivan steve.osullivan@canalrivertrust.org.uk Lucy Dockray lucy.dockray@canalrivertrust.org.uk Paul Corner paul.corner@canalrivertrust.org.uk Matt Taylor matt.taylor@canalrivertrust.org.uk Debbie Vidler deborah.vidler@canalrivertrust.org.uk John Highmore john.highmore@canalrivertrust.org.uk Alan Sumnall alan.sumnall@canalrivertrust.org.uk Murray Woodward murray.woodward@canalrivertrust.org.uk

CANAL CAMPS MOBILES (A) 07850 422156 (B) 07850 422157 'NAVVIES' EDITOR Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Rd. London SE22 9PB 020 8693 3266 0777 947 8629 (mobile) martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk 'WRGWEAR' CLOTHING Helen Gardner 27 Broadacre Comberbach CW9 6QD 07989 425346 wrgwear@wrg.org.uk WRG BOAT CLUB Sadie Heritage 236 Station Rd. Whittlesey Peterborough PE7 2HA 01733 204505 07748 186867 (mobile) sadiedean@msn.com WRG DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN Mike Palmer 3 Finwood Road Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk WRG PLANT George Eycott Knowle House 1 Ham Road, Wanborough Wiltshire SN4 0DF 07771 775745 bungle@wrg.org.uk

PUBLICITY Judith Palmer 3 Finwood Rd, Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 jude.moore@btinternet.com WRGPRINT John Hawkins 4 Links Way, Croxley Grn Rickmansworth WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 john.hawkins@wrg.org.uk IWA CHAIRMAN Les Etheridge c/o IWA, Island House Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA les.etheridge@ waterways.org.uk TRANSPORT MANAGER Jonathan Smith 23 Hardings Chalgrove Oxford OX44 7TJ 01865 891 370 jonathan.smith@wrg.org.uk

OTHER DIRECTORS Rick Barnes 11 Lawns Park North Woodchester Stroud GL5 5PP 07976 748345 rick.barnes@wrg.org.uk John Baylis (see above) Harry Watts 18 Furneaux Avenue London SE27 0EG 07889 237834 harry.watts@wrg.org.uk Helen Gardner (see above) Dave Hearnden Chellowdene Outwell Wisbech PR14 8TL 07961 922153 moose_dave@hotmail.com

Please help us to keep this directory up to date If you spot any errors or omissions or know of any changes please pass them on to the editor. The next full directory will appear in issue 271, but any corrections received before then will also be included in the first available ‘Navvies Noticeboard’. Thank you for your assistance.

page 21

Navvies diary WRG and mobile groups Your guide to all forthcoming work parties Dec 26-Jan 1 Camp 201425 Dec 26-Jan 1 wrgBITM

Cotswold Canals: WRG Christmas Camp Wilts & Berks Canal: BITM Christmas Camp at Dauntsey. Leak sealing w levelling & widening towpath with excavator, tree felling, bonfires, etc. Jan 4 Sun EAWA/NWDCT North Walsham & Dilham Canal Jan 9-15 WAT Wendover Arm: Seven-day weekend Fri-Thu Jan 10/11 KESCRG Cotswold Canals: Thames & Severn Canal at Bowbridge Lock. EGM Sat Jan 13 Tue wrgNW Ad Hoc meeting, 7.30pm Jan 17/18 wrgBITM Cotswold Canals: Bowbridge Lock, Stroud Jan 17/18 London WRG Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation Jan 18 Sun EAWA/NWDCT North Walsham & Dilham Canal Jan 24/25 NWPG Wey & Arun Canal: Dunsfold or Shalford Jan 24 Sat wrgNW ‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection Jan 25 Sun WRG Committee & Board Meetings: Rowington Village Hall Feb 1 Sun EAWA/NWDCT North Walsham & Dilham Canal Feb 6-12 WAT Wendover Arm: Seven-day weekend Fri-Thu Feb 7/8 KESCRG To be arranged Feb 7/8 London WRG Wey & Arun Canal Feb 14-21 Camp 201501 Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation: Vegetation clearance and towpath im Feb 15 Sun EAWA/NWDCT North Walsham & Dilham Canal Feb 21/22 wrgBITM Basingstoke Canal Feb 21/22 NWPG Cotswold Canals: Bowbridge Lock Feb 28/Mar 1London WRG Cotswold Canals: Bowbridge Lock Feb 28 Sat wrgNW ‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection Mar 1 Sun EAWA/NWDCT North Walsham & Dilham Canal Mar 6-12 WAT Wendover Arm: Seven-day weekend Fri-Thu Mar 7/8 KESCRG To be arranged Mar 7/8 Essex WRG Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation Mar 15 Sun EAWA/NWDCT North Walsham & Dilham Canal Mar 21/22 wrgBITM Grantham Canal: Training weekend, and stump pulling Mar 21/22 London WRG Chesterfield Canal Mar 21/22 wrgNW Chesterfield Canal: Joint dig with London WRG. Mar 28/29 NWPG Cotswold Canals: Bowbridge Lock Mar 29 Sun EAWA/NWDCT North Walsham & Dilham Canal Apr 10-16 WAT Wendover Arm: Seven-day weekend Fri-Thu Apr 11 Sat wrgNW ‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection Apr 12/13 KESCRG To be arranged Apr 18/19 wrgBITM To be arranged, maybe Wendover Arm Apr 18/19 WRG/IWA/BCNS BCN Clean Up: see p7, more details and booking form next time Apr 18/19 London WRG BCN Clean Up

For details of diary dates beyond the end of this list ple

page 22

Canal Camps cost ÂŁ56 per week unless otherwise stated. Bookings for WRG Camps identified by a camp number e.g. 'Camp 2015-01' should go to WRG Canal Camps, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA. Tel: 01494 783453, enquiries@wrg.org.uk. Diary compiled by Dave Wedd. Tel: 01252 874437, dave.wedd@wrgbitm.org.uk

with Bentomat,

Rachael Banyard

01494-783453 01249-892289

David Revill 01603-738648 Roger Leishman 01442-874536 t eve 8pm Bobby Silverwood 07971-814986 Malcolm & Barbara Bridge Dave Wedd 01252-874437 Tim Lewis 07802-518094 David Revill 01603-738648 Bill Nicholson 01844-343369 David McCarthy 01706-214696 Mike Palmer 01564-785293 David Revill 01603-738648 Roger Leishman 01442-874536 Bobby Silverwood 07971-814986 Tim Lewis 07802-518094 mprovement work. Accom on Haybay barge. 01494-783453 David Revill 01603-738648 Dave Wedd 01252-874437 Bill Nicholson 01844-343369 Tim Lewis 07802-518094 David McCarthy 01706-214696 David Revill 01603-738648 Roger Leishman 01442-874536 Bobby Silverwood 07971-814986 John Gale 01376-334896 David Revill 01603-738648 Dave Wedd 01252-874437 Tim Lewis 07802-518094 Malcolm Bridge 01422-820693 Bill Nicholson 01844-343369 David Revill 01603-738648 Roger Leishman 01442-874536 David McCarthy 01706-214696 Bobby Silverwood 07971-814986 Dave Wedd 01252-874437 Chris Morgan 01494-783453 Tim Lewis 07802-518094

enquiries@wrg.org.uk bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk davgis@live.co.uk rwleishman@gmail.com bobby@kescrg.org.uk malcolm.bridge@wrg.org.uk bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk london@wrg.org.uk davgis@live.co.uk bill@nwpg.org.uk mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk davgis@live.co.uk rwleishman@gmail.com bobby@kescrg.org.uk london@wrg.org.uk enquiries@wrg.org.uk davgis@live.co.uk bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk bill@nwpg.org.uk london@wrg.org.uk davgis@live.co.uk rwleishman@gmail.com bobby@kescrg.org.uk essex@wrg.org.uk davgis@live.co.uk bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk london@wrg.org.uk nw@wrg.org.uk bill@nwpg.org.uk davgis@live.co.uk rwleishman@gmail.com bobby@kescrg.org.uk bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk enquiries@wrg.org.uk london@wrg.org.uk

ease contact diary compiler Dave Wedd: see top of page

page 23

Navvies diary

canal society regulars

Canal societies’ regular working parties Every Tuesday BCA Once per month: pls check BCNS 2nd & 4th w/e of month BCS Thursdays Sep-Apr BCT 2nd Sun & alternate Thu BuCS Every Mon and Wed CCT Every mon am Thu pm CCT Various dates CCT Every Sunday ChCT Every Tue and Thu CSCT Every Tue & Wed C&BN Every Friday ECPDA Second Sun of month FIPT Thu and last Sat of month GCS 2nd Sat of month GWCT Tuesdays H&GCT Weekends H&GCT Wednesdays H&GCT Thursdays H&GCT Every Sunday if required IWPS Every weekday KACT/CRT 2nd Sunday of month LCT Every Wed/Sat/Sun LHCRT 3rd Sunday of month LHCRT Last weekend of month MBBCS Two Sundays per month NWDCT 2nd & last Sundays PCAS Every Wed and 1st Sat RGT 2nd Sunday of month SCARS 1st Sunday of month SCCS Last weekend of month SCS 2nd Sunday of month SNT Every Thu and Sat SORT 1st weekend of month SUCS Every Tuesday morning TMCA Every Sunday & Thurs WACT Mondays (2 per month) WACT Wednesdays WACT Wednesdays WACT Sundays mainly WACT Thursdays WACT Various dates WACT 1st w/e of month (Fri-Thu) WAT

Basingstoke Canal Chris Healy BCN waterways Mike Rolfe Basingstoke Canal Duncan Paine Aqueduct section Tim Dingle Buckingham area Athina Beckett Cotswold (W depot) Ron Kerby Cotswold (E end) John Maxted Cotswold Phase 1a Jon Pontefract Chesterfield Canal Mick Hodgetts Chichester Canal Malcolm Maddison Chelmer & Blackwater John Gale Langley Mill Michael Golds Foxton Inclined Plane Mike Beech Grantham Canal Ian Wakefield Nynehead Lift Denis Dodd Oxenhall Brian Fox Over Wharf House Maggie Jones Over / Vineyard Hill Ted Beagles Herefordshire Wilf Jones Bugsworth Basin Ian Edgar Bradford on Avon Derrick Hunt Lancaster N. Reaches Keith Tassart Lichfield Terry Brown Hatherton Denis Cooper Creams Paper Mill Steve Dent N Walsham Canal David Revill Pocklington Canal Paul Waddington Stowmarket Navigtn. Martin Bird Sankey Canal John Hughes Combe Hay Locks Derrick Hunt Stover Canal George Whitehead Sleaford Navigation Mel Sowerby Sussex Ouse Ted Lintott Montgomery Canal David Carter Thames & Medway C Brian Macnish varied construction Eric Walker tidying road crossings John Empringham Tickner's Heath Depot John Smith maintenance work Ray Pick Loxwood Link Kev Baker Winston Harwood Grp Tony Clear Hedgelaying (Oct-Mar) Keith Nichols Drayton Beauchamp Roger Leishman

01252-370073 07763-171735 01252-614125 01288-361356 01908-661217 01453-836018 01285-861011 07986-351412 01246-620695 01243-775201 01376-334896 0115-932-8042 0116-279-2657 0115-989-2128 01823-661653 01432 358628 01452 618010 01452 522648 01452 413888 0161-427 7402 01225-863066 01524-424761 01889-576574 01543-374370 07802-973228 01603-738648 01757-638027 01394-380765 01744-600656 01225-863066 01626-775498 01522-856810 01444-414413 01244-661440 01732-823725 023-9246-3025 01483-562657 01903-235790 01483-272443 02380-861074 01903-774301 01403-753882 01442-874536

If you have any additions / corrections / deletions to this list, please send them to Navvies diary compiler Dave Wedd (see previous page)

page 24

CRT towpath taskforce

Navvies diary

Canal & River Trust ‘Towpath Taskforce’ maintenance working parties 2nd Saturday of month Audlem Shropshire Union Glenn Young see below 2nd Saturday of month Aylesbury Grand Union Miriam Tedder 07775-543990 4th Thursday of month Bath Kennet & Avon Steve Manzi 07710-175278 Alternate Thursdays Blackburn Leeds & Liverpool Matt Taylor 07780-222977 1st Sunday of month Burnley Leeds & Liverpool Matt Taylor 07780-222977 3rd Thursday of month Cheshire T&M/Macclesfield Steve O’Sullivan 07887-684707 1st Saturday of month Chester Shropshire Union Glenn Young see below Alternate Saturdays Chorley Leeds & Liverpool Matt Taylor 07780-222977 2nd Tuesday of month Churnet Valley Caldon Canal Barry Keight 07919 560582 3rd Thursday of month Devizes Kennet & Avon Steve Manzi 07710-175278 Weds and Thurs Droitwich Droitwich Canal Suzanne Byrne 07900-276544 3rd Saturday of month Ellesmere Llangollen Canal Glenn Young see below 1st Saturday of month Fradley Trent & Mersey Tom Freeland 01827-252010 4th Thursday of month Gailey Staffs & Worcs Murray Woodward 07808-786772 1st Mon & Wed of month Hatton Grand Union Canal Murray Woodward 07808-786772 Last Sunday of month Hawkesbury Coventry/Oxford Miriam Tedder 07775-543990 2nd Friday of month Huddersfield Huddersfield Broad Claire McDonald 07920-295943 1st Thursday of month Knottingley Aire & Calder Nav Lucy Dockray 07767-383736 Alternate Thursdays Lancaster Lancaster Canal Matt Taylor 07780-222977 3rd Saturday of month Lapworth Stratford Canal Murray Woodward 07808-786772 Alternate Tuesdays Leicester Grand Union/Soar Tom Freeland 01827-252010 3rd Saturday of month London Grand Union/Lee Becky Williams 07799-436816 3rd Thursday of month East London Lee & Stort Navs Becky Williams 07799-436816 3rd Tuesday of month West London Grand Union Canal Becky Williams 07799-436816 4th Saturday of month Manchester Ashton / Peak Forest Steve O’Sullivan 07887-684707 1st Thu and 3rd Sat Maunsel Bridgwater & TauntonSteve Manzi 07710-175278 2nd Thursday of month Newbury Kennet & Avon Steve Manzi 07710-175278 Alternate Wednesdays Preston Lancaster Canal Matt Taylor 07780-222977 Alternate Fridays Sefton Leeds & Liverpool Alice Kay 07825 196365 3rd Saturday of month near Selby Selby Canal Lucy Dockray 07767-383736 Alternate Wednesdays Skipton Leeds & Liverpool Matt Taylor 07780-222977 Alternate Fridays Stoke Caldon / T&M Tom Freeland 01827-252010 Every other Wednesday Tamworth Coventry Canal Tom Freeland 01827-252010 4th Saturday of month Tipton BCN Murray Woodward 07808-786772 Alternate Thursdays North Warks Tom Freeland 01827-252010 Every Tuesday Wigan Leeds & Liverpool Matt Taylor 07780-222977 3rd Thursday of month Welshpool Montgomery Canal Glenn Young see below Contact details: All CRT co-ordinators can be emailed at firstname.surname@canalrivertrust.org.uk, eg steve.manzi@canalrivertrust.org.uk for K & A. If no phone number given, use CRT Tel: 03030 404040


Basingstoke Canal Authority Birmingham Canal Navigations Soc. Buckingham Canal Society Basingstoke Canal Society Bude Canal Trust Chesterfield Canal Trust Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation Chichester Ship Canal Trust Cotswolds Canals Trust Erewash Canal Pres. & Devt. Assoc. Foxton Inclined Plane Trust Grantham Canal Society Grand Western Canal Trust Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust Inland Waterways Protection Society Kennet & Avon Canal Trust


Kent & E Sussex Canal Rest. Group Lancaster Canal Trust Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Rest'n Trust Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society Newbury Working Party Group North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust Pocklington Canal Amenity Society River Gipping Trust Sankey Canal Restoration Society Somersetshire Coal Canal Society Stover Canal Society Sleaford Navigation Trust Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust Shropshire Union Canal Society Thames & Medway Canal Association Wey & Arun Canal Trust Wendover Arm Trust Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

page 25

Navvies diary

IWA branches...

Inland Waterways Association and other one-day working parties RGT/IWA Ipswich River Gipping: Pipps Ford, or Baylham Mill Lock 9am-4pm. Also Sat 3 IWA Chester Shropshire Union Canal: Chester area, painting & veg clearance. 10amIWA Northants Northampton Arm IWA NSSC/CUCT Caldon Canal: Task & venue TBC. 10am-3pm IWA BBCW Staffs & Worcs Canal: Painting, tidying & veg clearance 10am-3pm IWA Manchester Lower Peak Forest Canal: Venue TBC in Greater Manchester area. Veg IWA NSSC/TMCS Trent & Mersey Canal: Cheshire Locks. Painting & veg clearance 10amIWA NSSC Macclesfield Canal: Veg clearance & litter picking 10am-12:30pm IWA Northants Northampton Arm IWA NSSC Caldon and Trent & Mersey Canals: Cleanup in Stoke . 10am-3pm RGT/IWA Ipswich River Gipping: Pipps Ford, or Baylham Mill Lock 9am-4pm. Also Sat 7 IWA Chester Shropshire Union Canal: Chester area, painting & veg clearance. 10amIWA Northants Northampton Arm IWA BBCW Staffs & Worcs Canal: Painting, tidying & veg clearance 10am-3pm IWA NSSC/CUCT Caldon Canal: Task & venue TBC. 10am-3pm IWA NSSC/TMCS Trent & Mersey Canal: Cheshire Locks. Painting & veg clearance 10amIWA Manchester Lower Peak Forest Canal: Venue TBC in Greater Manchester area. Veg IWA Northants Northampton Arm IWA NSSC Macclesfield Canal: Veg clearance & litter picking 10am-12:30pm

Stefanie Preston

Every Wed Jan 3 Sat Jan 6 Tue Jan 8 Thu Jan 14 Wed Jan 17 Sat Jan 17 Sat Jan 23 Fri Jan 25 Sun Feb 1 Sun Every Wed Feb 7 Sat Feb 10 Tue Feb 11 Wed Feb 12 Thu Feb 17 Tue Feb 21 Sat Feb 22 Sun Feb 27 Fri

IWA volunteers on the recent London Clean Up uncover a safe on the Regents Canal... IWA branch abbreviations BBCW = Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire; Mcr= Manchester; Other abbreviations: CUCT = Caldon & Uttoxeter Canal Society; IWPS = Inland Waterways Protection

page 26

...and other one-day work

Navvies diary

For WRG canal camps and working parties see pages 20-21 Jan. 4pm.

Martin Bird Mike Carter Geoff Wood Alison Smedley David Struckett clearance & painting. 10am-4pm 4pm Bob Luscombe Congleton Station Bob Luscombe Geoff Wood Meet Etruria Jct Bob Luscombe Feb. Martin Bird 4pm. Mike Carter Geoff Wood David Struckett Alison Smedley 4pm Bob Luscombe clearance & painting. 10am-4pm Geoff Wood Congleton Station Bob Luscombe

01394-380765 07795-617803 07779-090915 07976-746225 07710-554602 07710-054848 07710-054848 07710-054848 01394-380765 07795-617803 07976-746225 07779-090915 07710-054848 07710-554602 07710-054848

restoration@rivergippingtrust.org.uk mike.carter@waterways.org.uk geoff.wood@waterways.org.uk alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk david.struckett@waterways.org.uk secretary@manchester-iwa.co.uk bob.luscombe@waterways.org.uk bob.luscombe@waterways.org.uk geoff.wood@waterways.org.uk bob.luscombe@waterways.org.uk restoration@rivergippingtrust.org.uk mike.carter@waterways.org.uk geoff.wood@waterways.org.uk david.struckett@waterways.org.uk alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk bob.luscombe@waterways.org.uk secretary@manchester-iwa.co.uk geoff.wood@waterways.org.uk bob.luscombe@waterways.org.uk

Mobile groups' socials: The following groups hold regular social gatherings in pubs. Please phone to confirm dates and times

Margaret Beardsmore

London WRG: 7:30pm on Tues 11 days before dig at the 'Star Tavern' Belgrave Mews West, London. Contact Tim Lewis 07802-518094 NWPG: 7:30pm on 3rd Tue of month at the 'Hope Tap', West end of Friar St. Reading. Contact Phil Dray 07956-185305

While Lichfield IWA surface the Trent & Mersey towpath NSSC = North Staffs & South Cheshire Society; TMCS = Trent & Mersey Canal Society; RGT= River Gipping Trust; CRT = Canal & River Trust

page 27


...on how to get more people at the Reunion, what do do when you reach 70, and the Swansea Canal Camp

to the editor Dear Martin Having just come off leading what I hope was a very successful Reunion, I wanted to raise a question for other readers of Navvies. In the relatively short time that I have been involved with WRG I have been to five Reunions, and one thing that has struck me even in this time is the dwindling number of volunteers - it’s been gradual, but it is happening. Whilst I don’t believe it is losing its worth to local societies, there will come a point where it starts to do so. As such, I’d like to pose the following questions. I’m well aware that many of these questions have probably been asked before (and many of you are probably instead asking “what’s this young so-and-so think he’s saying, we’ve always done it like this and the reason’s obvious”), but bear with me.

3: Is it the project or the project team? I know that I will travel further for certain projects and certain leaders than other, but for the Reunion I will generally make an exception. 4: Should we just accept it? Personally this would seem like defeat - but we might have to. If so though, we do need to temper the expectations of local societies - “120-150 people” may need revising to “80-100”. I think that there are other points to raise, but these I will do with the WRG committee. I, and I hope others, would welcome any feedback you have on the questions above (or indeed anything else!) Regards George Rogers

2: How much of it is the location? Much as it hurts me, should we be accepting that we have to stay more ‘central’ to get the numbers? What is central? Or do we accept that those locations further afield will host smaller events? Does the timing make any difference?

page 28

Alan Lines

1: Why do we host it in November? November means short working hours, greater chance of inclement weather and it’s colder! Add to that the fact that the new summer volunteers have had more time to forget about us. A more subtle point that we found this year was that with 2014 being the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War, many large halls were booked out for Remembrance events. Obviously, it is easier to scrub-bash in November, but it could be done earlier (late September?) and still be good work. It’d also open up more jobs for those of us (God forbid!) who actually don’t like scrub-bashing. I accept that hosting a reunion in September would mean a shorter amount of time to turn the kit around after the summer camps - but if the will is there, it can be done.

Basingstoke Reunion 2010: would some nonscrub-bashing work attract more volunteers?

Dear Navvies I am writing regarding the article ‘Swansea Canal WRG Camp Week 1 2014’ (issue 277). On behalf of the Canal & River Trust, I’d like to thank WRG, Swansea Canal Society and all the volunteers who made such a massive difference to the Swansea Canal during the two week camp. They made amazing progress, and we’d certainly love to do more with them in the future. However, I do feel George’s article was a little bit unfair on the Trust. The site had been handed over to WRG to manage. The Trust was only involved where necessary and in a genuine attempt to help find solutions to problems that arose. Of course, when repairing an old unnavigable waterway, problems do come up! We have certainly taken George’s comments on board, but at the end of the day, WRG and the Trust only want to ensure that everyone’s having a good time and is going to go home without accident or injury. Once again I’d like to thank each and every person who was involved in the WRG Camp. Your work is the inspiration and perspiration behind the continuing success of so many local waterways, like the Swansea Canal. Yours sincerely Cassie Ward Team Leader, Canal & River Trust

certainly believe that the idea should be given serious consideration by the WRG Board. Secondly, I understand that the maximum age for attending Work Camps (& working weekends) is 70, because people over 70 are not covered by WRG insurance. As somebody rapidly approaching 70 (only 2½ years away) I am extremely concerned. I would hope that in 3 years time I would still be able to come on working parties and make a useful contribution. Indeed I know of many people over 70 currently working on canal restoration projects and making significant contributions. I feel that WRG should press their insurers to recognise that people are living longer, remaining fitter and are quite capable of carrying out many tasks beyond 70 and request that the limit should be raised to at least 75. I have raised these matters for serious consideration by the WRG Board and through Navvies to hopefully raise a debate. Regards Mike Fellows Ex Working Party Organiser Basingstoke Canal, 1976-1989

Dear Martin Just a thought re work parties. Myself and my wife joined one of the work parties on the Monty. Whilst we thoroughly enjoyed the week (we stayed on our boat), we have not Dear Navvies attended a work party since as either we Despite being a WRG member for over 40 could not get the boat close enough or, if we years I think this is the first time I’ve written to could the timing has been wrong. We would Navvies! There are two issues which I feel are love to be able to join you again if only the sufficiently important to put pen to paper. accommodation arrangements were more Firstly, I was on a Canal Camp this suitable for us. we both feel that the followsummer when I overheard two new comers ing should be considered by the organisers. talking about WRG. One said that when he We are both getting on towards 70 and first heard of Waterway Recovery Group he have age-related health matters which make thought it was some sort of boat rescue/ communal sleeping difficult. Is it not possible breakdown organisation and had no idea that to offer B&B type accommodation as an it was a group actively involved in restoring option to those who would like it? This would waterways. I thought about this and could obviously put up the cost to those who opt see that he had a point and maybe considfor this but we would definitely prefer to pay eration should be given to changing the more for this. One could perhaps have ‘bed name, but then I thought “no way” - because only’ and join the group for meals etc. It does it’s such an established identity. However, seem a pity that older people who are still after further thought I realised that everywell able to work are not able to join work body refers to WRG and this is the estabparties due to accommodation provision. lished identity/name. Therefore, if the name We feel certain that more older people was changed to Waterway Restoration would get involved if they could have ‘enGroup, it would be clearer to the general suite’ or private accommodation. public about what it does and the WRG Do keep up the excellent work that all identity would still be retained. I realise that WRGies are doing. it’s not as simple as this, as registered names, Yours sincerely bank accounts, etc would need changing, but I John Potter

page 29

Progress Lichfield & Hatherton

Our regular roundup of restoration progress around the waterways begins with the Lichfield, where things are looking more hopeful regarding HS2...

Trust that this new section of canal will be designed into the railway construction proThe adjustments to the proposed line of the gramme and will be paid for by HS2 Ltd. HS2 high speed railway in the Lichfield area, Once the wording of this guarantee had been which have considerably relieved the impact agreed by both parties, L&HCRT will be able on the Trent and Mersey Canal and on local to withdraw its petition against the Hybrid residents, have been welcomed by all canal Bill. The bridge at Cappers Lane which was enthusiasts. However, the lowering of the built with European funding will be demolrailway alignment at Cappers Lane potenished and the road considerably diverted. tially rendered restoration of the Lichfield Discussions with the local councils have Canal impossible. prepared the way to stabilising the towpath Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoratrail from Cricket Lane to London Road. tion Trust is now satisfied with the reassurMeanwhile our engineering and finance ances received from HS2 Ltd that the connec- teams have been working on major funding tion from the Coventry Canal at Huddlesford applications which, if successful, will enable to beyond the proposed crossing of the us to make considerable progress west of Lichfield Canal by the new railway has been Lichfield towards and beyond the aqueduct. safeguarded. The original route under Discussions with the environmental staff at Cappers Lane will be lost now that the railLichfield District Council have progressed way will cross at the present water level. Our plans to work on the common at Muckley engineers have devised a deviation which will Corner. It is also intended that the Trust’s enable a new channel to cross under the right to work on sections of the canal route railway and then reconnect with the original in council ownership should be rationalised line above Lock 30. HS2 Ltd has assured the and made more secure.

Lichfield & Hatherton Canals

Cappers lane bridge: new in 2006, but will it ever see a boat?

page 30


...followed by the Sussex Ouse, where work is continuing on the longrunning project to restore Isfield Lock

Sussex Ouse

about two thirds complete although this is another task that will not be able to be conAs we update you on the progress being tinued through the winter months. made by the Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust Despite the slowing down of the restoat Isfield Lock it is very apparent that sumration over winter, additional help at the mer has left Sussex and that the recent heavy Isfield site where working party numbers are rain will restrict further progress being made constantly stretched will be most welcome. on the restoration over the coming months. No expertise is required and no hard labour The lock and site recently flooded damaging a necessary. If you can help mix cement or small cement store and making the act of clean and carry bricks or offer any other help moving around the site not only difficult but please contact Ted Lintott on 01444-414413. hazardous. The flood also deposited a two foot Terry Owen pike into the lock cut leaving the poor fish stranded when the waters subsided, to be rescued and returned to the river. The working parties will operate only one day a week from now until next spring. But over the summer months good progress has been achieved. The rather ambitious target set earlier in the year of completing the west wall of the lock chamber is now beyond us, but an enormous amount of work has been carried out and Ted Lintott, the project manager, often working with the bare minimum of workers, must be congratulated. The damaged invert was removed and rebuilt, the lock floor cleared of the Stop plank shelter and (below) lock wall rebuild general rubble and rubbish that had accumulated over recent years and scaffold is now in place to allow the continued rebuilding of the wall (see photograph). That rebuild has to date reached about half distance (or about 24 bricks high) and this task, together with the back fill, has used over 30 tons of ballast and 100 bags of cement. Thankfully this amount of rebuild has ensured that the lock structure is safe from whatever the winter rains and possible flooding will throw at it over the coming months. In addition the stop plank shelter on the east side of the lock has been completed (see photograph) and the rebuilding of the upstream tow path is Pictures by SORT

Sussex Ouse

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Progress Wendover Arm Grand Union Wendover Arm

And finally, the Wendover Arm Trust continue to make progress on re-lining the arm - and this time they’re complaining the weather’s too dry for a change! re-watered Stage 1 is receiving no water and is slowly evaporating due to wind and hot weather. If we had completed the bund in Bridge 4A this year we would be struggling to put any water in our newly re-lined length! A great concern is the wildlife, particularly fish, if the water is not topped up soon. Last week I saw about 2 dozen mallard ducks sitting along the offside wondering where all their water had gone. CRT is currently employing a mechanical reed cutter to clear a channel in the canal so we hope water will be flowing again at Drayton Beauchamp in the near future. Roger Leishman, Restoration Director 01442 874536 rwleishman@gmail.com

September and October Working Parties: apart from lining the throat of the bridge narrows, all lining leading up to Bridge 4A was completed during the Wendover Arm Trust’s September and October working parties as shown below. The good weather was, believe it or not, the reason for not completing this work at the September working party. Laying very dry spoil on the sloping banks was a slow and tedious job. Once lining work up to the bridge was completed on the Wendover side work started on the Little Tring side, as it is necessary to line about 10 metres of the canal this side before completing the lining through the bridge itself and building the bund. We had hoped to complete the lining through the bridge and even the bund this year but it involves a concrete lining rather than spoil through the bridge to avoid spoil disturbance from craft passing through a narrows. The concreting has to proceed in short stages to allow an excavator to place the ready-mix concrete over the Bentomat. As we are near the winter weather season we do not want to leave any Bentomat uncovered so we will be leaving this work until the New Year. Every visiting party on the Septem- Completed channel lining approaching Bridge 4A and (below) profiling completed beyond the bridge ber Open Day asked me the question “Why was Wendover flooded and the canal so low at Drayton Beauchamp?” I was able to explain the problem the Canal & River Trust is having with plant growth between Wendover and Drayton Beauchamp which is blocking the flow of water. To alleviate the position at Wendover, CRT is having to let water into Weston Turville reservoir which means that the water is lost to the canal system and not supplying Wilstone or Tringford Reservoirs. Another very serious state of affairs resulting from the lack of water at Drayton Beauchamp is that the Trust’s

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Another Canal Camp; another Cotswold Canals work site; the same author. We bring you the last of three weeks at Inglesham Lock during summer 2014...

Camp Report Inglesham

area, clearance of the lock site of regenerating vegetation , pot hole filling and a bit of hedge trimming along the access road and Week three of the Inglesham triple header. getting all the necessities on site with load Under the guise of the Friday night BBQ cook constraints on an access bridge. and erstwhile weekend guest, I had a When I said the first two camps were stealthy opportunity to weigh up the “under good, dammed good, it was true, the task card” camps before the “top of the bill” act list had taken a hell of a beating but there arrived. They were good, dammed good but was much still left to do and the sand bags could they match up to top team of camp 3? of time were running out. Un-ashamedly they did but then camp 3 set Getting the camp booking list is like the stop planks high and sandbagged them. getting Christmas presents, some you’ve The pressure was on, a £5,000ish asked for, some you like but haven’t asked temporary PortaDam on hire for three weeks for, and some you’ve no idea who they are of camps with the objective to put in a stop but turn out to be totally unexpected pleasplank dam. A substantially more costly hire ures. And some you wish for but never get! bill awaited if it overran, as well as some Fortunately, to date I have been the recipient serious logistical wheeling and dealing to get of the first three and this camp was no exvolunteers in to complete the objective. All ception. There is a price you have to pay to that was needed by the three camps was: get the best pineapple upside down cake (in the world) and a top camp cook & administrator, so I had as my co-leader the man 1 De-water the work area 2 De-sludge sufficient work space under a known as ‘Moose’! listed bridge The normal necessities of camp intro3 Expose the stop plank sill (if one existed) duction day passed, Roberto our Italian 4 Prepare / replace as applicable said stop trainee Civil Engineer arrived early at the plank sill roundabouts known as Swindon and en5 Prepare and install stop plank grooves gaged in riding shotgun for our trip to collect 6 Repair stone / brickwork on the lower wing and abutment bridge walls 7 Prepare / install /seal stop planks 8 Fill / place an inordinate number of sand bags to form a structure that would stop the QE2 from forcing its way through. Other little jobs like making safe the lock walls around the work

Pictures by John Hawkins

Dam Fine Time Had By All … at Inglesham Camp 3

Replacing damaged brickwork

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folks traveling via train and alternative coach Andy, Roberto, Liam, Ed, Emma and Toby. replacement. Great to see Huw, Nick, MagChrissie cleared Himalayan balsam from the gie and Derek again, and meeting all the new channel banks upstream of the lock; Maggie faces, ah with that look of “it seemed like a maintained the fire and fetched and carried good idea at the time when I booked on”! for all; the ‘Hawk’ laid bricks, ably support by With a certain lack of individuals that had Derek and Maggie; and Huw cut bricks. bricklaying experience, the presence of John Liam, Josh and Andy, securely attached by ‘trowel hand’ Hawkins staying over from the harnesses to a safe anchor point, cleared the previous week’s camp was most appreciated, old horse trough and debris from around the as well as his van driving credentials, (add tow path area adjacent the bridge. It exdrivers to bricklayers as another ‘present list’ posed the overgrown coping stones and the shortfall!). area where there was a large coping stone Sunday morning dawned and we set that needed to be removed to a place of about tackling the outstanding tasks. The safety as it was in vulnerable position for all bricklaying shortfall was abated by an unexconcerned. Despite some tough defence pected visitor to site, Tom Jeffries, who from the pine tree roots, the offending stone taking a day off from the demands of on his was removed and the area was made safe. farm, wielded trowel and level with more Chrissie now only visible by red hard hat in than ‘agricultural’ panache! His absence from the tall reed growth continued westward to the canal restoration ‘coalface’ was getting on the winding hole, dragging back dumpy bags for longer than the age of our youngest D-of- of balsam for Maggie’s bonfire, Ed, Emma, E-er. The pressing needs of today’s modern Toby & Roberto pruned back the overhangfarming mean that his future presence sadly ing hedge growth along the track. will remain ‘unexpected’, but always very The stop plank sill was now fully exwelcome. posed, Moose, commanding the team had Now the danger of not having Tasterella the sill’s downstream side soft invert preTaster on your camp is that when it comes pared by Daniel, Derek, and Nick ready for writing late camp reports you don’t have the the stop plank leak reduction polythene sheet distinctly Taster aide memoire to correlate to be installed. In the process Derek proved people to places of work. The situation did even his light frame cannot defy gravity not get helped by a paid job requiring my when attempting a short cut across the knee attendance at various meetings during the deep silt and not sink! The green oak sacrifiweek. So as per a variation of the Morecial plank prepared by Ed & Emma was duly cambe & Wise sketch, “we have all the right installed on the, far from level, original people and all the right events, not necessar- wooden stop plank sill. While all of this was ily in the right order”. My aging memory recalls that Chrissie was clearing Himalayan balsam around the spillway; various times the scaffolding now known as ‘Fiddlers Elbow’ for the speed and frequency it went up, down and around with primarily Derek, Nick, Daniel and Huw assisting, in clearing the invert, sucking out the sludge and dissembling and erecting the scaffold. Logs were cleared from the canal bed upstream of the lock; the drying sludge and rubble separation and the spillway area cleared Will they fit? Installation of the stop planks for the first time by a combination of Josh,

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going on the stop planks were getting preon the team winning front, did we seniors pared for installation. really let the youngsters win? The George A top tip for future camps is to estabreceived our patronage, the swimming pool lish that measurements are in millimetres not in the leisure center was enjoyed by some centimetres. Suffice to say we had to finish after the days grime was washed off and off the stop plank wall with a couple of “cut folks just chilled and relaxed. & shut” planks. All in all a most excellent camp, the Thursday saw Roy Sutton, the IWA’s objectives met with the dam away on time, Honorary Civil Engineer, visit us to oversee and great people. Great to be in the comthe stop plank installation and the stop pany of a super band of regular and occaplanks and plastic sheet facing were finally sional WRGies, and a great pleasure to meet completed late that afternoon. That just left and work with the our new faces on the the plank handles to fix and approx. 1800 camp, some who will hopefully return in the sandbags to place by close of business Friday future to be ‘the future of WRG restoration’ so the Portadam contractor could take it Britain’s canals need you! Tom, don’t leave it away on the following Monday. While the so long before you make it back to a WRG stop plank handles were being fixed on one site. My thanks go out to the Hawk for as side the flurry of sand bag wheeling, sliding, always being the most useful person one humping and dumping (sorry, “careful place- could ever want on a camp, Maria for keepment”) feverishly took place under the gaze ing everyone superbly fed & organized, of Marshall Moose in the footprint of the providing the best pineapple upside down sandbag dam. The sandbaggers gleefully cake…. in the world and my assistant (oops) filled in the space vacated by the handle junior co-leader Moose, what can one say fixing team from the steady flow of sandbags (that is printable)? I couldn’t have had my down into the lock invert. With the final pineapple upside down cake without you and handle in place and fixer and tools exiting seriously many thanks for covering when stage right sandbags immediately entered work commitments took me away, it was stage left. With Herculean team effort the fun, let’s do it again, soon, I need the cake! sandbag dam was ‘RAF Martin’ Thompson completed with time to spare and the site cleared, tidy and closed down as the last van pulled out to go to get some welldeserved showers for the passengers. It may seem that all we had was a work fest but our hosts, CCT, graciously provided a boat trip on the Thames from St Johns Lock back up to Inglesham, and we all enjoyed the fish & chip supper by the Thames on a lovely warm evening as the sun went down over Lechlade. Huw, the demon Welsh wizard on the skittle ally was top bowler and the Planks installed and sealed with plastic sheeting: job done! memory is a bit hazy

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Camp Report Shrewsbury & Newport Shrewsbury & Newport Canals

Reporting from the first canal camp on a new project for WRG: Meretown Lock on the Newport Arm, part of the Shrewsbury & Newport restoration scheme skittle alley, giant Connect 4 set and a Jenga game set consisting of wooden blocks emblazoned with ‘Guinness’ on the sides. This was all put to good use during the evening. Monday started with the newcomers being instructed how to safely mix Lime mortar. Several teams started on the allocated tasks of brick cleaning, mortar mixing and bricklaying. On the camp we had several D of E volunteers. Some of these were shown how to lay bricks. The sound of chipping hammers echoed throughout the morning as there were a lot of bricks to clean. After lunch several volunteers went to the second site at Forton to begin scrub clearance in preparation for repositioning the boundary fence. Investigation work began at the tail of the lock and the towpath side paddle hole was found to be in good condition. The lower section of the concrete dam proved to be an inverted T shape and too thick for the disc cutter so a decision was made to hire a pneumatic breaker and compressor which as soon as it arrived was put into action breaking out the remainder of the

Pictures by Mike Bickerstaffe

On Saturday 16th August 20 volunteers, a mix of old hands and first timers, descended on Bourton Borough School in Newport to set up our base for the week. Following our normal regime of checking and counting the kit, introductory talks and safety briefings, we were all set to descend on Meretown Lock on Sunday morning. Having secured the site with Nymesh fencing, and most importantly set up the Burco ready for tea and coffee break, we set about scrub clearing the lock sides to investigate what lay beneath and the reason for the bulge in the offside wall brickwork. By lunchtime the lock looked a very different place and the scrub clearance team were well on the way to the A41. The bulging brickwork had been removed and prepared ready to rebuild. The concrete dam at the tail of the lock had been partially dismantled using our disc cutter and a good helping of brute force with a sledge hammer! When the hired plant arrived it was immediately put to use lowering the level of the infill to provide a solid base for the bricklayers at a comfortable working height. On Sunday afternoon we collected some of the reclaimed bricks from the Shrwsbury & Newport Canals Trust’s ‘black store’ to be cleaned for reuse in the lock wall rebuild. I understand they came from a wall close to the black store which was demolished and the council intended to send them to landfill prior to SNCT intervention. The local trust had Clearing out the head of the lock chamber borrowed a nine pin

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dam. Again a number of newcomers were shown how to safely operate the breaker. The dam proved straightforward enough to remove. However the other task for the kit proved less straightforward. At some stage a mound of concrete had been dumped in the offside paddle hole and the restricted space made it a very difficult task to remove, but persistence paid off and in time it was all removed. Thankfully before dumping the concrete the offenders had somewhat bizarrely decided to place a sheet of corrugated iron in front of the paddle opening. Very thoughtful – but not putting the concrete there in the first place would have been even more thoughtful! Bricklaying continued at a good pace and more bricks were ferried from the black shed and cleaned. A decision was then taken to cap the offside wall with bullnose engineering bricks which were ordered for next day delivery at a local builder’s merchant. Work also progressed at a pace at the Forton site. SNCT members worked with us at both sites. A visit to the bowling alley (ten pin automated this time) was arranged but as we had worn the youngsters out only the old’uns ventured into Telford to play. Back on site the excavator was also used to remove tree stumps between the lock and the A41. Bricklaying continued to bring the offside lock wall up to matching height of the nearside wall which also needed some infill bricklaying to complete. The bullnose engineering bricks duly arrived and were collected, ferried to site and straight into the brickies hands to begin laying. On Thursday evening the local trust had arranged a quiz night at the local British Legion Club and paid for the drinks! Not surprisingly it was the best attended evening event. Friday, the last day on site, had arrived in the blink of an eye. At Meretown Lock we needed to point up the bullnose capping bricks which is not a quick task, and interestingly several different methods were used – all very effective, The capping bricks had to have a concrete haunch laid behind them so the mixer was going flat out to produce sufficient concrete once we had sufficient lime mortar for the brickies to finish the pointing. The plant was being collected at 4pm before which we had to level the infill in the lock but this could not be done until the pointing was finished. In these situations it is a question of belief – if you convince yourself

you will finish everything you likely will – and we did, both at Meretown Lock and Forton. As leader of the camp I wish to thank all of the volunteers for making this such an easy and successful camp. Thanks to Kate for cooking for the first half of the week and preparing us for the second half. To Ricey as assistant leader and cook for the second half. To Pete Fleming for his invaluable help in van & kit transfers. To Ian for van transfer help. To Bernie Jones, the local organiser and the SNCT members who visited us both on site and at the social gatherings. Your can-do attitude was a refreshing change and your hospitality was outstanding. I hope we will all work together again in the future. Bob Crow

Preparing the walls for (below) bricklaying

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Driver authorisation The categories explained

Ten years after it was re-launched, Bungle brings us up to date on how the categories work now

Driver Authorisation update - part 2 Following a number of queries about the WRG Driver Authorisation scheme recently, we thought it was a good opportunity to go through the categories and clear up misunderstandings. Part 1 of this article (in Navvies 267) covered categories 1a to 4a. Unfortunately we can’t give you 4b and 4c yet so you’ll have to wait until next time to find out about trailers up to 3.5 tonnes (towed by vehicles with up to 9 seats) and trailers up to 3.5 tonnes (towed by vehicles with up to 17 seats) respectively. But first an introductory note on how it works...

The Categories It is important to note that the categories are cumulative, so if you have 1c, you also have 1b and 1a. For fun I have included in brackets at the end the number of people who have each category. The DA scheme is recognised and used for all WRG camps and local groups as well as some canal societies (for example Wilts & Berks Canal Trust). Some local societies run their own equivalent scheme which may or may not accept a WRG card. 5a – Tractors up to 1000Kg. Remember the small tractors we used to borrow for the National? They were category 5a. If you are using them to drag trailers around then you will also need 4a. If using them to power implements you may need other categories, e.g. 17, 19 or 20. [26 operators, of whom 2 are instructors] 5b – Ride-on mowers up to 1000Kg. [8 operators, of whom 1 is an instructor] 5c – Tractors over 1000Kg. Anything from a small grey Ferguson T20 up to ‘gert bigguns’. Don’t forget that you may need other categories with it if using trailers or attachments (e.g. 4, 17, 19 or 20). [38 operators, of whom 10 are instructors] 6 - Loading and securing of plant. More accurately loading and securing of anything to a trailer or truck. Note that this is not needed for packing a van or kit trailer, the nature of their construction and equipment carried means the risks in that situation are much lower. This is more for strapping down dumpers, rollers, excavators etc. onto flat beds and beavertails. [32 operators, of whom 6 are instructors] 7 - Skid Steer. Mostly applies to the Case skid steer loader, in recent years seen at some National Festivals and currently on the Erewash, though we have been known to hire them in. [33 operators, of whom 10 are instructors] 8 - Was dumpers, no longer used or valid. Replaced by categories 24, 25 and 26. 9a – 180 degree excavators for example Thwaites Tusker, Alldig, also sometimes found as an attachment on the back of tractors. [7 operators, of whom 2 are instructors] 9b – JCB3 and equivalents. Got a loading shovel on the front and a digging arm on the back? You’ll be looking at 9b then, no matter whose brand name is on the side (though chances are it will be JCB). [34 operators, of whom 7 are instructors] 10a – 360 degree excavators up to 7 tonnes. [154 operators, of whom 18 are instructors]

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10b – 360 degree excavators over 7 tonnes. [80 operators, of whom 21 are instructors] 11 – Draglines. Much though these look like a lot of fun, I have not seen a working one on a canal for about 20 years. [0 operators, of whom surprisingly 0 are instructors] 12 – Smalley. An obscure machine designed for digging graves or defensive trenches depending on who you ask. A 360 degree excavator with no tracks but two wheels, was once a common sight on WRG sites but now only one left in action (at Wootton Bassett on the Wilts and Berks), though we do know of one being restored… [12 operators, of whom 4 are instructors] 13 – Bulldozers. A rare beast in canal restoration unless you are doing a major muckshift with a landscaping job at the dump site. [4 operators, of whom 0 are instructors] 14a – Barrowhoist. Two types, traditional one mounts on a swivel post which is either mounted in a scaffolding or on a counterweighted base. The newer type have a trolley on a track. [25 operators, of whom 5 are instructors]

15 – Telehandlers and fork lift trucks. Mainly used at festivals for loading and moving heavy and bulky items. Note you do not need this category for using the forks on a JCB3 or skid steer. [27 operators, of whom 6 are instructors] 16a – Pedestrian roller. Roller either single or tandem that you walk behind. [29 operators, of whom 2 are instructors]

All pictures by Martin Ludgate

14b – Small cranes. We have never defined small cranes but think Jones KL15. This does not cover lorry mounted loading equipment (Hi-abs etc). [17 operators, of whom 6 are instructors]

If you’re authorised to drive this (category 16b)... 16b – Ride-on rollers. [50 operators, of whom 12 are instructors] 17 – Wood chipper (on early versions of the scheme this was known as a shredder). Covers all sizes from small vegetation capable machines up to tracked kit that will chew up and spit out good sized trees (and navvies…) [22 operators, of whom 1 is an instructor] 18 – Electrical distribution. This is for the sort of work we do at Festivals. Not needed for plug-together cables and adapters that are taken apart at the end of the day (i.e. on-site systems for running a mixer from a kit generator do not need this category). [7 operators, of whom 2 are instructors]

...then you’re also OK on this (16a). But not vice versa!

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19 – Power winches. As found on the back of tractors and the front of Land Rovers. \ [8 operators, of whom 3 are instructors] 20 – Flail. Normally mounted on a tractor, either dragged behind or on an arm to cut hedges. [10 operators, of whom 2 are instructors] 21a – Boats up to 7m, with or without engine. This covers dingies and small boats, normally powered by outboard engines, does not include boats being used for giving trips to the public which fall outside of the driver authorisation scheme. [7 operators, of whom 0 are instructors] 21b – Boats over 7m, with or without engine. Does not include boats being used for giving trips to the public which fall outside of the driver authorisation scheme. [43 operators, of whom 6 are instructors] 21c – Tugs. This is for boats designed to be either push or pull tugs being used to move other craft and primarily covers the additional skills needed to correctly attach the two boats together. If you are just giving a broken down or stuck boat a quick pull on a rope then you do not need this category. [64 operators, of whom 13 are instructors] 22 – Dredgers. A boat with dredging equipment, normally a hydraulic arm. [15 operators, of whom 5 are instructors] 23 – Tracked dumpers. Dumpers that have tracks instead of wheels. Becoming popular since we outlawed ‘narrow skip tipping’ dumpers as there are models that are both narrow and very stable. [35 operators, of whom 7 are instructors] 24 – Rear steer dumpers. Useful on good surfaces for moving equipment, especially on narrow towpaths but for most restoration work now superseded. (Also sometimes known as ground

This is a ‘normal’ articulated, forward tipping, four wheel drive dumper, category 25...

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anchors due to their propensity to getting stuck!) [131 operators, of whom 28 are instructors] 25 – Articulated steer, forward tipping dumpers. By far the most common item of plant on site that needs driver authorisation. [243 operators, of whom 36 are instructors] 26 – Rear tipping wheeled dumpers. Only used for really big muck shifts, it is rare that you will have room for them on a canal site. [2 operators, of whom 2 are instructors] Over the ten years since it was refreshed in 2004, the scheme has changed: for example splitting dumpers into separate categories; adding tracked dumpers and dredgers. Sometimes we get requests to add a category but decide that an external qualification would be more appropriate (e.g. chainsaws, quad bikes). There are items of kit that we do not cover under the scheme, but rely on leaders and volunteers to ensure that the individual is confident and competent to use it – e.g. bricksaws, strimmers etc. Remember that even if you have a category on your card under the DA scheme, if you are not happy to use/drive it either because it is an unfamiliar model or you are a bit rusty, say so. It is much better to speak up than knock down that wall that has just been built (or worse). It is possible that you have the option of going and practicing somewhere out of the way (take for example telehandlers at the National Festival – you will see most of us drive off out of the way to ‘get our hand back in’ with a pile of fencing stillage at the beginning of the setup before lifting £10k worth of boat engine in a tight space). Driving plant on the road has recently become more complex. Under the DA scheme you will need the category of the item of plant PLUS any one of categories 1,2 or 3 PLUS your driving licence much have been checked in the past 12 months. There are now insurance implications for powered plant in public areas – this was covered in Navvies 264-265. To find out more about the scheme, the best place to start is the WRG website (www.wrg.org.uk) where there is an entire section devoted to it, complete with forms that you can download to apply or vary your categories. George ‘Bungle’ Eycott

...not to be confused with this, a rear-steer dumper, for which you must have category 24

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Navvies News We need your stamps! Canal Camp mobile phones In almost every issue of Navvies for the last 20 years or so, somewhere we have mentioned the numbers for the two Canal Camps mobile phones: 07850 422156 (if the camp is on the Kit A circuit) and 08850 422157 (for Kit B camps). Now this is all very handy but we feel we should point out to camp leaders that these phones are provided not just for making calls out, they are also the means of other people contacting the camp. So just because you have your own phone, that doesn’t mean you can leave the camp phone with a flat battery back at the accommodation/in the flightcase/in the van. It is really frustrating when we need to contact a camp about van movements or a problem with kit and the phone is turned off. Also, if you’re clever enough to forward the camp phone on to your personal phone, then you had better be clever enough to remember to take the forwarding off before you leave. Otherwise when someone rings the camp the following week, you will be disturbed and they won’t be able to contact their loved ones. And you will need to contact the camp to get them to take it the forwarding off - which you can’t do because when you ring them it will divert to your phone! Thank you.

Don’t just turn up! OK, having taken the camp leaders to task, it’s the turn of the volunteers now. And in particular the regular ‘old hands’ who are in the habit of turning up to for a few days to help out on a canal camp. Now it’s really useful to have you along, but please do remember to speak to the camp leaders first to check that it’s OK for you to join them before you show up (even if you know you’ll be welcome, you’ve turned up for every camp on that site since 1984, and they’ll benefit from your expert assistance!) It’s a common courtesy and helps them plan.

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Get your boots on and walk for WRG! Our parent body IWA, supported by its Warwickshire Branch, is organising an 8 mile sponsored walk along the Stratford-uponAvon and Grand Union canals on Sunday 22nd February 2015. The walk aims to raise at least £1,000 (hopefully a lot more) towards the £50,000 WRG van appeal. Due to be launched later in the new year, this aims to raise money for two new minibuses at around £25,000 each for summer 2015. The eight-mile circular walk will start at Lapworth Village Hall and take you along peaceful stretches of the Stratford-upon-Avon and Grand Union canal towpaths as well as through fields before arriving back at the village hall for tea, something to eat and a well-deserved rest. It’ll be a great day out and you’ll get the chance to have a chat with people of similar interests and explore a beautiful area of the country, all in the name of WRG! If you’d like to come along and walk for WRG, or for more information see www.waterways.org.uk/iwalk or phone 01494 783453 ext. 611. Places are £5 per person and under 16s go free, after which it is over to you to raise as much sponsorship as possible. Young people under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. Toby Gomm

Congratulations... ...to George Rogers on becoming the 149th person to receive a Point of Light Award from the Prime Minister, awarded to recognise ‘shining examples of volunteering’.

Stamps wanted! Another thing that appears in nearly every Navvies is a piece about the Stamp Bank. But we’d like to draw particular attention because at this time of year you might well have a lot of used postage stamps. So save them, plus empty ink and toner cartridges, aluminium cans and foil (or any other aluminium eg old pans), foreign coins and notes, any coupons that can be exchanged for items, old mobile phones and old die-cast (eg Dinky) toys, and they can be used to fund canal restoration. Send them to IWA/WRG stamp bank, 33 Hambleton Grove, Milton Keynes MK4 2JS - or to arrange collection for heavy or bulky stuff contact Steve & Mandy Morley on 01908 520090 or steve@morleytowers.org.uk.

On weddings, ebola, and the sort of criminal that rather puts you off the idea of using prison labour on canal restoration...

Infill ‘Dear Deirdre’ is back!

Dear Deirdre I’m increasingly concerned about the Ebola epidemic and fearful it may spread to these shores. What precautions can I take whilst digging to avoid any chance of infection? - H J, Croydon Deirdre writes I think WRGies constitute a low risk group as they tend to shun holidays in West African in favour of pottering about the Midlands in a narrowboat. In fact they usually avoid going overseas altogether, although Martin Ludgate once visited a ship canal in the Netherlands whilst in a particularly adventurous mood. If Ebola does strike the UK, I expect head office may venture some new guidelines against sharing teaspoons at tea break, or at least insist you give it a really good wipe on your sleeve first. Other than that, I expect it will be business as usual.

Dear Deirdre I’ve been asked to give a speech at a WRGie wedding. It’s very flattering to be asked, but I barely know the couple getting married! I mean, I’ve met them on a few digs but there are lots of other people in my local WRG group who know them better. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why they chose me. - M Drew, East Sheen Deirdre writes Actually it’s perfectly clear. You’re obviously NFW (‘Normal, For WRG’). This means you’re the only WRGie they know who can be trusted not to give a speech peppered with filthy innuendo and weird anecdotes about the groom’s adventures with heavy plant. That’s the last thing a bride wants her elderly relatives to have to sit through. As the couple have clearly chosen you as the acceptable face of WRG, you must take your responsibility seriously. Try to appear normal to the other guests and conceal the eccentricities of other WRG guests where possible. For example, you might encourage WRG guests not to wear steel toe cap boots on the dance floor (it’s very aggravating for bridesmaids dancing in peep-toe heels). If they start singing any songs about people working in panda conservation, hastily conduct the bride’s elderly relatives from earshot. Interrupt longwinded dinner discussion about tractor engines by steering the conversation off in other directions. Other guests will thank you for it. As for your speech, you might like to stick to safe themes such as what the bride does in her day job and how good the groom’s map-reading skills are. Don’t tell any anecdotes involving over-consumption of beers with suggestive names like Intercourse IPA or Bell End Brew. Avoid stories that involve any or all of the following: an unconscious Duke of Edinburgh volunteer; puke; unsafe sexual practices; upside-down diggers. Don’t explain how the groom got that scar, or tell any anecdote that ends with the words “...but don’t tell the insurance people”. It isn’t very often that WRGies have to mix with normal people, but mercifully these things are usually quite short so you won’t have to keep up the pretence for very long. Enjoy the day!

And finally... Did you hear about the arsonist in Devizes who left a trail of destruction behind him before attempting to make his getaway – yes, you guessed it, by stealing a boat and fleeing at 4mph along the Kennet & Avon Canal. Or rather, when we say 4mph, that’s what he might have managed if he’d been smart enough to head east along the 15-mile level pound through the Vale of Pewsey. But no, our bright spark headed the other way, straight down the 29 locks of the Caen Hill Flight. He got through four locks before abandoning his boat, setting fire to it, and getting arrested...

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Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

Navvies 268  

WRG's magazine for volunteers restoring the waterways.

Navvies 268  

WRG's magazine for volunteers restoring the waterways.