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avvies N Volunteers restoring waterways No 187 June - July 2001 Training weekend report & photos Droitwich camp report Summer camps preview ...and the Anderton sponsored abseil!

waterway recovery group


Contents Contributions... ...are always welcome, whether hand-written, typed, on 3½" disk (please include hard-copy) or by e-mail. Photos also welcome: slides or colour or b/w prints. Please state whether you want your prints back; I assume that you want slides returned. Computer scanned photos also acceptable, either on disk or as e-mail attachments, preferably JPG format. Send them to the editor Martin Ludgate, 35, Silvester Road, London SE22 9PB, or e-mail to editor@navvies.demon.co.uk. Press date for No 188: July 8th.

Subscriptions A year's subscription (6 issues) is available for a minimum of ÂŁ1.50 (please add a donation if possible) to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorltoncum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques to "Waterway Recovery Group" please. Visit our web site http://www.wrg.org.uk for all the latest news or WRG's activities

In this issue:

Chairman what's MKP on about? 3-4 Training weekend report 5 Canal Camps preview the very latest news 6-7 Cavalcade report from Little Venice 8-9 Camp Report Easter at Droitwich 10-11 Bookshop auction of canal books 12-13 Directory of WRG and canal societies 14-15 Diary camps and working parties 16-18 Letters to or from the editor? 19 Progress Dig Deep 20 Brick-cleaning by machine! 21 Dig reports NWPG, BITM, LWRG 22-25 Logistics whose kit is it anyway? 26 Anderton Abseil Martin's for the high jump! 27 Bankside discovers tachographs 28-29 Bits & Pieces 30 Noticeboard 31 Backfill 32

And next time... ...hopefully there will be reports and photos from the summer's first Canal Camps. Please do try to get them in by the press date, because (a) there's a chance that if your report appears in the August issue you might just tempt a few more people to book on for the camps that haven't happened yet (b) the following issue tends to be very tight for space and (c) you don't really want to read FIVE Droitwich camp reports in October do you?

Cover photo: This year's training weekend involved more training in manual skills - levelling, bricklaying and scaffolding - unlike the previous years' which have tended to concentrate on vehicle and machinery operation - see p5 for report and photos. (Martin Ludgate) Below: The beginning of May saw the culmination of over 25 years work when the Huddersfield Canal reopened. Although not without teething troubles, it is a remarkable achievement in restoring an 'impossible' canal. And although the recent work has not concerned WRG, being done by contractors and funded from the National Lottery, it would never have happened without the early input from Huddersfield Canal Society - and WRG - volunteers. The Mayor of Huddersfield is seen cutting the tape, where a new tunnel passes under a factory that blocked the route in Huddersfield. (Harry Arnold)

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Chairman's Comment It’s started ! The first Canal Camp of the season has already happened over the Easter week with vital investigation and preparation for the reconstruction of the Droitwich Junction locks. If Marcus has managed to squeeze a break from his very busy revision schedule then you should have a Camp report in this edition. However a brief summary would be: lots of bricks, concrete, digging and wallowing around in an awful lot of sticky, smelly mud together with trips to fine country pubs. For more pictures and comments from the Easter Camp see our web pages www.wrg.org.uk. Now as the chap in charge of ensuring decent progress over the Summer camps I should move on from this by saying that all of this means that Droitwich is now fully prepared and will be a great site this summer. However I really want to thank all those who attended and gave their all (in fact Glen and Adrian are still looking for their alls). There was a great atmosphere and I truly thank everyone one of the 35 or so people who attended, it would be great to see you again this summer. Two additional points of note: This camp benefited from regular visits from British Waterways chaps who were keen to see if they could help in anyway and show us tricks of the trade they had picked up, and while the rest of the country seemed to be drenched Droitwich played its usual good weather card and we enjoyed working in shorts and T shirts. I can personally guarantee both BW and the weather will be at least as good this summer. And a final special mention to newcomers Brian and Sue who fitted in a treat (much to their despair I should imagine). So whether you are a newcomer to Waterway Recovery Group or an experienced Camper coming back for another year you will be very welcome and the time to book is NOW. Head Office reports the bookings are coming thick and fast as our sites are opening up and the recent hot weather has reminded everyone of the fun in the sun they had last year. The Canal Camps committee reports that the planning is all going to plan (but then they would say that wouldn’t they?) So send your bookings in now to avoid missing out on the fun. As part of this preparation for the summer we ran the Training Weekend where instruction was given on a wide range of skills. My special thanks to all those who gave time to patiently pass on their experience in so practical a manner (even the First Aid training had a practical session!). A report appear on Page 5, along with a load of embarrassing photos, however I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. The Bank Holiday was rounded off by a days filming for our new safety video. This will be out on general release but there will be a few gems missing from the finished product.

Chairman

I can’t quite decide on my favourite out-take but there are a selection on the back page, and don't worry Spencer - no one else could say 'lesiglation' either! Come and see us Some events that we will give you a bit of warning about. If you live in the Midlands (or even further afield) and are still not entirely convinced that WRG is for you then we will be hosting a display stand at the Inland Waterways Exhibition in Birmingham on 30th June/1st July. Come and see us and we will give you a fairly truthful description of what this digging lark is all about and you can see if we are the sort of people you would want to spend a weekend with. Also for those IWA members who want to know more about us we shall have a fair sized presence at the IWA AGM. The organisers of this years AGM at Banbury wish to make it a bit more of a “mini festival” over the weekend and want the event to leave a lasting legacy. Therefore as a thank you to IWA we shall be putting in some mooring facilities for boaters to use for years to come. So if you are interested about where some of your IWA subscription money goes, then come and see us there on 29th September New Blood In an attempt to add a little new blood to the WRG Board we have appointed four new Directors. "Who are these new top brass type people?" I hear you ask. Well I’ll give you the descriptions we gave to IWA Council when seeking their appointment see if you recognise them? XXX is a highly valuable team member of WRG, and in particular Navvies Anonymous and Logistics, In the past year XXX has taken over the running of the WRG Logistics group. XXX currently oversees the maintenance and expansion of all WRG’s camp kits, vans, trailers and specialised equipment. XXX is also an excellent plant operator and instructor who has contributed many hours to our training weekends and camps. YYY is one of WRG’s most professional plant operators, particularly in the field of large plant and complex construction projects. YYY has provided consistent support to local projects such as the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and the Barnsley Canal Group with advice, working weekends and plant operation. YYY is also very good at encouraging new assistant leaders to join our canal camp teams.

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Chairman Can you guess who the new WRG board members are? ZZZ’s outstanding project management of the Over Basin project in 1999-2000 was rewarded with the Christopher Power Prize this year. ZZZ brings excellent project planning and implementation skills, plus strong site and engineering knowledge to the Board of WRG. There was never any time to complete the fourth description. But suffice it to say that when his name was mentioned all Council members said “Oh yes, we all know him”. For the answers to these four “whoisits” see the inside back cover, compare it to the rather shorter list in issue 186 and work our who the new ones are. WRG Vehicles Enclosed with this 'Navvies' is an insert regarding new regulations that affect anybody who drives or who wants to drive wrg vehicles. Please read it carefully for your own protection. We are not doing this for fun these are real laws that may result not just in WRG getting into trouble but with you being fined. There are many, many exceptions and clauses to the rules, however we have deliberately tried to make our guidelines simple so that you can easily see how to stay within the law.

And whilst on the serious subjects One of our sites recently was the scene of what could have turned out to be a very serious accident. The mistake was made in two parts. The first part was the common error of “the wrong tool for the job”, however the main mistake concerned nothing more complex that someone passing a scaffold pole to someone without thinking of the safest way to do it. The result was a crushed finger and a trip to Casualty for the person concerned. So the important lesson to learn is always stop and think “is this the correct way to do this?”, even (especially) for the simple, little jobs. Give a man enough rope Also included in this Navvies should be a sponsorship form for our Abseil from the Anderton Boat Lift. While this is not a WRG event as such, all the volunteers are WRG chaps. It is a little unusual for us to run activities where the principle reason is to raise money for someone other than ourselves however I am sure you will agree that the restoration of the Anderton Lift is a very special case and one that will benefit us all. So you have two ways to give: either fill in the sponsorship form with a non-specific donation or read the article on page 27 and decide who you wish to sponsor. Or you can just wait until any of us see you in the next five months. I hope to see you all over the summer (probably with a sponsorship form in my hand). Mike Palmer

'Navvies': is it worth it? The above question has been asked several times recently... Firstly by the editor, who is getting thoroughly pissed-off, as getting anyone to write for 'Navvies' is getting more and more like getting blood out of a stone - and is wondering if he should find something marginally less frustrating to do instead.... like clearing horse-crap from the Augean stables, or kick-starting the Northern Ireland Peace Process, or squaring the circle, or getting BW to accept that narrow boats are 7ft wide, not 6ft 10in... Of course, eventually he always ends up with shedloads of quality copy for 'Navvies' and once he's finally sent it off to the printers he invariably decides that it really is worth doing. But with the emphasis on 'eventually' - and that leads to the same question being asked... Secondly by the WRG committee. Two weeks after the press date for this issue, no contributions had been received... except for Graham of BITM who'd sent his stuff in so pronto that the editor had clean forgotten that it had arrived! As usual, everyone sent things in late because they knew it would be OK - or because they thought they were too late and it would be in plenty of time for the next issue? Who knows? Anyway, problems at the platemakers plus other commitments by our volunteer printers meant that this time we couldn't just pull the stops out as usual to get the mag out on time. The only alternative to it appearing a month late - and too late for the first few weeks of the Camps programme which this is normally our last chance to tell you about - was to pay a professional printer to do the job. The committee believed it was worth it this time - but we can't afford to do this regularly. So in an effort to be more realistic we will be shifting our press date a week later to the 8th of the month and we will be doing our best to stick to it - and we will be relying on our contributors (including you Mike!) to do so too. In the meantime we hope that in the special case of this issue, you readers think our money was well spent: we have our doubts, though, because that self-same question is apparently being asked... Finally by the readers. The number of subscribers has been in decline for some time and is now at its lowest since 1988. Why? What's wrong with 'Navvies'? What do you want to read about that isn't in it? Constructive, helpful suggestions to the editor, please and we'll print them on the Letters page and do our best to act on them always remembering that someone will have to actually write what you want to read.... No, what the hell - any suggestions at all to the editor please, so long as they arrive by the press date - we're desperate! Martin Ludgate

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The WRG Training weekend One benefit of the delays in production of this issue is that we have (just!) had time to squeeze in a few words about our Training Weekend at Droitwich. This differed in several ways from the ones we have held before: Firstly, there was a change of emphasis in the training provided - which has tended to be fairly machineorientated in previous years. This year we felt it was time for some more training in manual skills - such as bricklaying and scaffolding - and a corresponding reduction in the amount of plant-based training.

Training The WRG Training weekend 2001

Secondly, the work involved significant amounts of 'real' work that will actually contribute towards the restoration of the canal. In the past, we have felt indebted to the local canal society for giving us the use of their site for a weekend of activities of no direct benefit to them. (but some indirect benefits when our more highly-skilled volunteers come to work on their canals later on) At Droitwich, one of the main jobs for the summer is the rebuilding of the top 1m of the brickwork of lock 3: this work is dependent upon the scaffolding that was erected as a training exercise under the expert supervision of Mick Beattie. Similarly the demolition and bricklaying contributed to the restoration of the lock and sidepond. Thirdly the training weekend took up the first two days of a three-day bank holiday weekend: this gave the opportunity for several volunteers to stay on and take part in the filming of the new WRG Safety Video on the Monday. But one thing that hasn't changed from previous years is that we are indebted to Ali 'Womble' Bottomley for organising the whole thing, to the instructors for giving up their time to help, to the catering team, to DCT and the local organiser (in this case MKP!) for providing us with a site, and to the trainees for turning up and not complaining when the odd little hiccup occurred - such as the dumper breaking down in the middle of the road as soon as we got it off the wagon! I hope everyone who took part found it useful. Martin Ludgate

The novice bricklayers began by building dummy walls as an exercise (Top: Martin Ludgate), while the ones who'd done it before got to work on a real wall (Above: Martin Ludgate). Scaffolding-out of lock 3 took place throughout the weekend and was almost complete by the end. (Below left: Alan Lines) Although much of the training was in manual skills, there was some machinery in use - such as 'Blue' the excavator, seen here with the trainee operator learning how to use the bucket to steady the machine on a gradient, (Below centre: Alan Lines), while 'Blue' and the dumper were useful for filming the safety video on the Monday (Below right: Tim Lewis). Space does not allow illustration of all the training, which also included vans, trailers, FIrst Aid, Safety /risk assessment, Tirfor winches, pumps, bricksaws and breakers.

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Camps The final preview of this summer's Canal Camps Canal Camps 2001 By the time you receive this issue of 'Navvies' the beginning of the main summer Canal Camps season will be less than a fortnight away. As we go to press, the bookings are coming in steadily but it looks like there will still be room for last minute bookings on most of them. So in the hope that we'll be able to persuade a few more of you to show up and help to turn what looks like being a good Camps season into a really brilliant Camps season, here is a final 'preview' giving the latest information on all the Camps. By the next 'Navvies' we'll be most of the way through the Camps programme and you'll be reading the first Camp Reports, looking back and remembering what a good time you had... or kicking yourself for not going on any Camps... Camp 0101: Droitwich Junction Canal 7-16 April Too late - you've missed it! Superb week, lots of work done, had a great time and set things up for what should be a good summer at Droitwich. See report on pages 10-11 and think about booking for one of the other five Droitwich Camps, starting with... Camp 0102: Droitwich Junction Canal 23-30 June

Our accommodation is at Selsley Scout Hall perched high on the valley side with probably the best view available from any WRG accommodation in the country... and a 5 minute walk to the Bell Inn! And speaking of convenient hostelries... Camp 0105: Montgomery Canal 7-14 July A return to last year's work site at Maesbury and to our traditional accommodation at West Felton Village Hall (opposite the 'Punchbowl Inn'). Leaders are Lou Kellett and Andy Burrows, and the work will be carrying on the reconstruction of the historic tail-race channel carrying excess water from a storm-water overflow weir to a nearby stream. This means knocking down the stone channel walls then laying a concrete base and rebuilding the walls using the original stone. But for those who prefer brickwork to stonework... Camp 0106: Wilts & Berks Canal 7-14 July Rachael Banyard and Paul Mann lead a week of lock chamber rebuilding work - plus some possible machine work with excavators - at the Seven Locks flight of (you guessed it!) seven locks, in rural Wiltshire near Lyneham, where serious rebuilding work is just beginning. Accommodation is at the Foxham Reading Rooms. Meanwhile back on the Mont... Camp 0107: Montgomery Canal 14-21 July A second week of work should see the bulk of the work completed on the rebuilding of the Maesbury spillway and tailrace. Accommodation once again is at our traditional WRG venue of West Felton Village Hall. Alternatively that week you can forsake the WRG traditions and head for a brand new site... Camp 0108: Melton & Oakham 14-21 July

Gav Moor and Zoe 'Bubble' Rogers will take over for a second week at Hanbury Locks, and the Lock 3 chamber work hopefully be progressing from the demolition to the rebuilding phase. Accommodation at the Sports Pavilion again. Alternatively, the same week will see the first non-Droitwich camp of the year, on...

Marcus Jones & Matt Taylor invite you to attend the inaugural project of the Melton & Oakham Waterways Society, who over the course of the week will be installing a slipway along an attractive stretch of the River Eye to allow trail boat access through the heart of Melton Mowbray... Famous as the home of the Pork Pie A major manufacturing centre for Pet food & Crisps (so Marcus tells me) Birthplace of our very own Mr Spencer Collins And not located in Leamington Spa as suggested by the 2001 canal camps brochure map! Due to the nature of the work, numbers are severely limited (where have we heard that before?!) but where else can you stay in a pair of newly refurbished hotel managers flats attached to the 3 star hotel as canal camp accommodation? So hurry up and book now! But if you're too late and it's fully booked, there's always...

Camp 0104: Cotswold Canals 30 June-7 July

Camp 0109: Cotswold Canals 14-21 July

Martin Ludgate is generously being allowed a week off from editing 'Navvies' so that he and Ian Williamson can lead a week on the Thames & Severn Canal at Valley Lock, near the village of Chalford in the Golden Valley in deepest, picturesquest Gloucestershire. See p23 for a report of how London WRG got on there recently. We'll be working on brickwork and stonework repairs to the lock, plus towards the end of the week some of us will be helping set up the Cotswold Canals Trust's Saul Junction boat and beer festival.

Back on the Thames & Severn in the Golden Valley, the NWPG group will be running a week's camp as part of their commitment to the restoration of Valley Lock as a Dig Deep project - see p20. So they'll be taking over where Camp 0104 left off, and hopefully there should be some serious progress on rebuilding the main chamber walls. Accommodation will once again be at Selsley Scout Hall with a view over half of Gloucestershire. Then the following week should see the completion of our current project on...

Adrian Fry and Ian Wingfield will lead the first of the summer's Droitwich Camps, with work concentrating on cutting out and replacing damaged brickwork just below the coping stones on the chamber of Lock 3. As the locks are about 15ft deep, that means some scaffolding work first - unless we get some very tall volunteers! Accommodation is at the refurbished Droitwich Sports Pavilion. And at the end of the week, we hand over to... Camp 0103: Droitwich Junction Canal 30 June-7 July

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.. ..


Camp 0110: Montgomery Canal 21-28 July

Camp 0115: Basingstoke Canal 4-11 August

The third and final week will hopefully complete the rebuilding of the storm water overflow and tailrace at Maesbury, bringing the reopening of this section of canal (including 'our' locks at Aston) one stage nearer. Alan Jervis and Harriet Thompsett are the leaders, and the accommodation once again is at West Felton Village Hall. Meanwhile, another project that we started last year and are returning to this year, is on...

With the Woodham Backpumping scheme more or less complete, work will be concentrated on the start of the next phase in creating an all-year water supply for the canal - the St Johns backpumping scheme. The main jobs will be to construct the inlet - a pumpwell and pipe - at Lock 7 at the bottom of the flight, and replace the collapsed bywash at Lock 11 at the top of the flight. Once again the accommodation will be at Mayford Village Hall. Also in Surrey that week, there's...

Camp 0111: Sleaford Navigation 21-28 July

Camp 0116: Wey & Arun Canal 4-11 August

Once again Rachael Banyard and Di Smurthwaite will be leading the Sleaford Camp, and once again the accommodation will be at Sleaford Rugby Club and the work site will be at Cogglesford Lock. As well as carrying on last year's work on the bywash, a temporary dam will be built across the lock head to enable stop-plank grooves and sills to be installed ready for the main lock chamber rebuild to begin. Then the following week we move to another major lock rebuilding project, also in the East of the country...

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust's own volunteers will be leading this camp, which will be working on rebuilding a flood-damaged storm-water overflow, and carrying on the towpath rebuilding work that NWPG have been doing (see p22) on the summit of the canal near the Surrey / Sussex border. Then the following week it's back once again to the...

Camp 0112: Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation 28 July - 4 August Matt Taylor & Judith Gordon will be leading this camp near the attractive town of Needham Market, returning to Creeting lock after a year away from an old favourite. A major concrete pour at the beginning of the week to the base of the lock and the installation of 5-metre long ground anchors to the chamber walls will reverse the current deterioration and strengthen Creeting lock for the future. The remainder of the week will concentrate on the demolition & rebuilding of various sections of brickwork both in the chamber & the adjacent accommodation bridge. Fans of brick cleaning need not apply thanks to Ipswich IWA brick cleaning machine, and volunteers will be well catered for by our very own cook Helen Gardner at the purpose built Somersham village hall with adjacent showers. Another 'old favourite' site that we're also working on that week is... Camp 0113: Basingstoke Canal 28 July - 4 August The work on the Woodham Backpumping project is now nearing completion, with the pipes laid and the towpath reinstated above them and the pumps installed and about to be commissioned. So this Camp - led by the KESCRG group as part of their commitment to Dig Deep (see p20) - will be finishing off fitting-out the pumphouse and landscaping the site around it, and starting work on the next major project at the next flight of locks at St Johns. The accommodation is at Mayford Village Hall. And then, after a four-week break we return to... Camp 0114: Droitwich Junction Canal 4-11 August This time it's Marcus Jones and Rick Barnes's turn to lead a week at Hanbury Locks, where the main chamber walls at Lock 3 should be nearing completion and work will be moving on to demolishing and rebuilding the lower wing walls. As usual the accommodation is at the Sports Pavilion. Alternatively if you're into construction rather than restoration, there's another week on the...

Camp 0117: Droitwich Junction Canal 11-18 August Another Droitwich Camp, another set of leaders Spencer Collins and Rob Daffern - as the work progresses towards completion of the locks. The work will be mainly on the tail of Lock 3, where demolition should be complete and rebuilding will give our brickies a challenge, as the walls have to be finished-off with a nice even slope laid in big blue bullnose coping bricks. Or as a change from our main site for 2001, there's the first-ever Camp on a brand-new site for us... Camp 0118: Wendover Arm 11-18 August The Wendover Arm Trust have just built a brand-new road bridge just beyond the current limit of the navigable length of the Arm, and we'll be helping them to reinstate the section of canal beyond. This involves construction of canal walls in reinforced concrete and backfilling them, to provide a canal channel that won't suffer from the leakage problems that plagued it in the past. There should also be some landscaping and hedgelaying to do. Accommodation is in Tring Park Cricket Club and the leaders are Roger Burchett and Jen Leigh. And then we take a complete break from canal restoration because it's time for... Camps 0118-19: Milton Keynes Festival 20-28 and 23-31 August As usual we're helping the Inland Waterways Association with setting up the world's biggest Inland Waterways eventtheNationalWaterways Festival, providingsite services while it's running, and taking it down afterwards. This year it's in Milton Keynes, the accommodation will be onsite and the leaders are Izzy Gascoigne andAndi Kewley. The 'National' is usually the end of our main summer season, but not this year - there's still... Camp 0120: Droitwich Canal 8-15 September Billed as the 'Silver Fox Camp', the two leaders Roger Burchett and Steve Barrett are doing their best to attract fellow grey-haired (and grey-bearded) WRGies. But don't worry if you don't have grey hair - or even if you don't have any hair at all - you'll be equally welcome on a week that should see the entire lock-rebuilding project at Hanbury Locks nearing completion. Martin Ludgate with contributions from Matt Taylor

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Little Venice Fergus the cat reports from Canalway Cavalcade... Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice Every year IWA runs the Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice in London over the May Day bank holiday weekend, and as usual this year KESCRG volunteers provided the Site Services team for the festival. As you may or may not have noticed the editor has been having a teeny-weeny bit of difficulty in persuading people to write reports for 'Navvies' recently, and Canalway Cavalcade was no different from any other event in this respect. The way in which it does differ from other events is that eventually he gave up trying to persuade people to write, and asked Helen 'Bushbaby' Gardner's cat Fergus to write something instead... I’ve just come back from Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice and thought I’d give a cat’s-eye view of the festival...

Meanwhile on site things were getting a little more interesting though - the marquees were going up; traders arriving;thePirate Club boats that were being used as volunteer accommodation arrived; stalls were being erected. Harry and Dave Parish were doing a ster- "The marquees were going up" ling job on putting (Martin Ludgate) the power in, Ian andToby got all the way to the fire-extinguisher shop without the bits that needed replacing and Dr Liz and Dorothy did their best to keep the traders happy. Lots more boats started arriving and chaos soon hit the pool. PS My stupid sister is under the duvet cover. Saturday was the first day that the public were on site and the site and services team were ready before the public - apart from a trip to the island. It was all very exciting for about a couple of hours but too many pesky people kept paying attention to me and I got bored of looking down my nose so I went and hid in the front of Rowan (Chris Spencer’s boat) - I managed to sleep for a good few hours before I was discovered. Apparently London WRG’s entry in the boat pageant was really good and not too many people were disturbed by Matt and Rupert’s 'Paddington BARE'!

The weekend started off particularly badly for me: on Thursday evening I was accosted byAuntie Emma, locked on her boat, bundled into the cat basket, hauled down the tow-path and left locked up until we’d got so far away from the bank there was no way I was going to jump. It was a terribly undignified experience and therefore I was forced to sit under the bike on the roof, scowling until we arrived at Little Venice 2 ½ hours laters and 2 bottles of wine lighter. Mum, Dr Liz and Ian went off to the pub to join the others and I took the chance to embark on a major exploration. We were moored at the grass-site and on the first night were next to 'Fulbourne' and 'Shirley'. 'Fulbourne' is looking really quite smart with her matt varnish; the back cabin was particularly enticing so I jumped in... but discovered I was in bed with Eddie Jones and attempted to make a quick exit. It was at London WRG's winning entry in the Pageant featured 'Paddingthis point that I discovered that I couldn’t jump ton Basin' (photo by Alison Smedley), the editor - seen receivback up the way I’d come and had to be escorted ing the prize - as 'Paddington Stop' (Aileen Butler), 'Paddington out. After sniffing round I decided to settle down Station' (Alison Smedley) and 'Paddingrton Bare' (Tim Lewis) and sleep with Matt in the hold because there was no way I was going back to my own bed. Friday: due to the trauma of the journey the previous evening I felt it necessary to recover by sleeping most of the day back on Matt’s bed. It was all going well until that stupid big cat from 'Shirley' called Tip-Cat decided to explore too, discovered me, went berserk and tried to hide behind the kitchen cupboards - I knew he was never going to fit. This resulted in ME being thrown out. All I was doing was sleeping.

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Toby starts work on the RealAle bar, a popular new feature of Cavalcade - so popular that it ran out! (Martin Ludgate) It must have impressed the judges because we found out the next day that they’d won in their class. I have discovered the kitchen - I tried to blag a sausage out of Maureen but she didn’t take kindly to it. I’ve also met that Lou Kellett woman - I am not the devil’s personal envoy - well that’s what I want you to believe. I’ve made a mental note to avoid Mouse, Tigger and Millie the lurchers - I don’t need that much exercise at that much speed. PS My stupid sister has migrated from the duvet to under the sofa but is now in the bottom of the wardrobe.

Tuesday: got back to our home mooring - it was a horrid journey. I was not in the mood for boating - I just wanted to sleep and it was too noisy. We left site with a handful of people finishing off the clearing up. So glad to be back, time to go and check that the 'Black Horse' and all my mates are still there. PS My stupid sister has been hauled out of the wardrobe and promptly caught two mice. That’s quite enough from me - might consider going again next year if I can be bothered. Fergus (aka Two Arse the Cat)

Sunday - found the bar today but they wouldn’t serve me, so had to make do with the slops bucket. Harry and Mum Now Mum wants a word... found the bar too - bit of a surprise actually because neither of them could stand up when they got back from the party Just wanted to say from me and Eddie: thank you very much to everythey’d been too in the afternoon. It was a fairly normal smooth running day on one who turned up and pitched in, site - 'Mole' fell in the canal in the afterespecially Maureen and Brian for cooking, Ian for taking over from me noon to cheer everybody up. The great thing was that he didn’t even get his hair when needed, Harry and the electrics wet. Liz Wilson sprained her ankle later team, the waterspace team, the trade team, anyone who did carparks!, the in the day but fortunately she could put her shoe back on the next day. I’ve also Fergus's 'Mum' steers the bar staff and those who stayed till the been saying 'hello' to the traders but I workboat. (Martin Ludgate) bitter end on Mondaynight(excusethe pun - thanks for the beer Toby). Canalcan only stomach so much petting. way Cavalcade is a very important event for KESCRG PS My stupid sister is still in the wardrobe. the money we gain from the weekend pays for our annual insurance. So, thanks again, it was a great weekPPS Sunday night was quite productive really - managed end and see you next year. Helen Gardner to get a bit of hunting in - not bad for central London. It took me quite a long time to get that mouse into the And finally from Eddie... portaloo - I was even more grateful when it was Lou that May I reiterate Helen's thanks to all those who made found it in the morning - she was very impressed. such a sterling effort over the weekend. Very smooth Monday was the last day of the festival and the sur- is all I can say, hopefully we will be asked back again prise of the day was that the editor came second in next year. Cheers, Eddie Jones the boat handling. (the surprise being that he wasn’t first, of course...) It was quite quiet earlier in the day but it picked up in the afternoon and was apparently was really quite fun (I was asleep). After the public had gone it was time to dismantle the site and the idea is to get most of it done on the Monday night. I decided to keep out of the way - there was a good chance I would get packed up with a marquee. They finally finished at 10 pm and were grateful for the barbecue. Starting to get a bit homesick - quite glad we’re going back tomorrow. PS My stupid sister is still in that wardrobe.

The author planning his next article. (Helen Gardner)

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Camps Easter at Droitwich: 'just like starting Over'? Droitwich Easter Camp It all seemed just a bit too like Over! Just a few miles up the M5, the same faces, another big project with a huge commitment from WRG, loads of bricks to shift, plant getting stuck, and… Well, I better stop there before I get in to trouble comparing David and Mike! First attempt to drain lock 3 for clearance: shame the stop- With over 25 planks proved to be too long! peeps appearing at various points (including two brilliant newcomers: Brian and Sue), and the camp running for ten days over Easter, work really got off to a good start. Perhaps more importantly, it gave us a good opportunity to try out the proposed repair techniques and BW an opportunity to get used to working alongside us and to find out quite how much materials we could get through! The first job was to replace a culvert running from the overflow at the head of lock 3 into the side pond. We exposed the origi- BW showed us how to install nal collapsed brick top ground paddle frames. culvert, and dug holes for the thrust blocks, then waited for the replacement plastic pipe, and waited, and waited. Many thanks to Mr Collins’ Barclaycard, we eventually obtained the pipe ourselves a couple of weeks after the camp, and it is now in place.

page 10

Clearing vegetation from the lock 3 copings. An initial attempt at pumping out the chamber of lock 3 and the pound below down as far as the rugby club was soon abandoned as the channel was so choked with reeds. We decided to put a piling dam across the bottom of the lock, and then ran up a huge phone bill trying to track down some piles and a compressor with a tow ball hitch. Many thanks to John Horton for coming to our rescue with his reserve stock of piles that’s larger than BW’s! With the lock then pumped as dry as we could, the chamber clearance could eventually go ahead, much to the horror of the local sports centre whose Eventually a piling dam was built, showers were enabling lock 3 to be pumped clogged daily. dry(ish) and the chamber cleared.

Replacing the top 1 metre of the lock 2 lower gate recess wall: a trial run for the lock 3 chamber walls which will be dealt with on the summer camps..


All the camps this year at Droitwich will include some training from BW. We had instruction in the fitting of ground paddles, as well as guidance on rebuilding the tail wall of lock 2 which will get properly underway when we have a large enough stock of the specially sized bricks (they are in the kiln at the moment!). Perhaps the biggest job of the week was extracting 'Blue' (our excavator) from the pound between lock 2 and lock 3: we eventually replaced the scary timber ramp with a proper one made from all the rubble the demolition work was generating. In the evenings we managed to occasionally get a bit further than the 'Railway', going to Lichfield for their excellent Canal Forum, and to the 'Tom o’ the Wood' at Rowington so that Mike could have a bath! Thanks to Mike for everything, Jen for all the driving and for not flipping when the ring main went, Jude and Harri T for doing loads of the cooking, and everyone for loads and loads of really top quality work. Marcus Jones

Camps Book now for one of the five remaining Droitwich camps!

Above: we built an awning over the lock 3 sidepond wall so Phill could carry on bricklaying in the rain. Then the sun came out. Below left: one job begun on the camp and completed since was to replace a collapsed bywash culvert at lock 3 using heavy duty plastic pipe. Below: drilling holes for steel rods to tie the corner stone of the lower wing wall at lock 3 into the concrete backfill behind the brickwork. Bottom: the same wall complete at the end of the camp. All photos by Martin Ludgate.

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Bookshop

The 13th WRG Auction of Old Canal Books

We have been given a collection of canal books from the collection of the late John Ellis Griffith Morris by his daughter Margaret Burnett, and we have decided that the best way to sell them is to auction them through the pages of Navvies - with all the proceeds going to help fund WRG’s Canal Camps. All the books (except where stated) are in good condition. The reserves suggested are the minimum that we would accept and are approximately half the price you might see from a specialised book dealer. You are invited to make your bids (in multiples of 50p please). Simply list down the Lot number (the number on the left hand side) and the price you are prepared to pay for each book or other item being auctioned. The bidder offering the highest price for each lot gets the goods at the price bid. In the event of two equal bids, the first one received wins. All proceeds go to WRG, so you can afford to be generous. All bids should be sent to Neil Edwards (WRG Auction), WRG/IWA, P O Box 114, RICKMANSWORTH, WD3 1ZY, or alternatively by e-mail to neil@waterways.org.uk to be received no later than July 15, 2001. Successful bidders will be notified shortly afterwards. Delivery / Postage and packing is extra, at cost. Lot Title / Author (or other description) Pages Date Reserve 1 London’s lost route to Basingstoke / PAL Vine 212 1968 £15 History of the Basingstoke Canal. Limited edition numbered copy signed by the author. (Hardback - good cond) 2 Inland waterways of England / LTC Rolt 221 1966 £5 General book on the waterways originally published in 1950 including history of the canal-building era, description of working boats and boatmen and the state of the canals as they then were. (Hardback - no dust jacket) 3 The horse on the cut / Donald J Smith 184 1982 £5 All aspects of canal boat operation in the days before powered craft (Hardback - good cond) 4 Narrow boat painting / AJ Lewery 144 1979 £5 History and description of the distinctive traditional paintwork of the English narrow boat. (Hardback - good cond) 5 Lost canals and waterways of Britain / Ronald Russell 272 1982 £10 Invaluable practical guide for anyone exploring the remains of Britain’s derelict canals (Hardback - good cond) 6 London’s lost route to the sea / PAL Vine 267 1973 £8 History of the Wey & Arun and connected waterways that linked London to Portsmouth (Hardback - good cond) 7 The Shell Book of Inland Waterways / Hugh McKnight 493 1981 £5 General reference and complete gazetteer of all navigable waterways in Britain and Ireland. (Hardback - good cond) 8 Waterways sights to see / Charles Hadfield 144 1976 £3 60 interesting places to visit around Britain’s waterways (Hardback - not dust jacket) 9 A caravan afloat / CJ Aubertin 155 1982 £5 Reprint of a classic 1916 account of travels around the canals by an eccentric in a horse-drawn craft (softback - fair cond) 10 History in camera: Canals and waterways / Michael E Ware 88 1987 £4 Photographic history of the canals in cargo-carrying days (softback - fair cond) 11 Stroudwater and Thames & Severn canals towpath guide / Michael Handford & David Viner 224 1984 £5 Brief history and detailed walkers’ guide to the ‘Cotswold Canals’ - albeit perhaps a little out of date thanks to 17 years of restoration progress! Interesting historic photos of the canals before they closed. (softback - fair cond) 12 Wessex waterway: a guide to the Kennet & Avon Canal / Kenneth R Clew 64 1978 £2.50 Complete lock-by-lock guide to the entire Reading to Bristol route, written when restoration had reached about the half-way stage towards complete reopening. (hardback - good cond) 13 Landscape with canals / LTC Rolt 188 1984 £4 SecondvolumeofRolt’sautobiography,includinghisinvolvementinthestartoftherevivalofthecanals(softback-faircond) 14 Canals in towns / Lewis Braithwaite 146 1976 £6 A survey of the 1/3 of Britain’s canals that run through urban areas, and the author’s views on how the planners should treat them in the future - some of which have since come true! (hardback - good cond) 15 Tom Rolt and the Cressy years / Ian Mackearsey 107 1984 £5 Famous waterways author Tom Rolt’s travels in the late 1930s to early 1950s in his boat ‘Cressy’, and his involvement in the sometimes turbulent beginnings of the revival of the canals (softback - fair cond) 16 Gloucester Docks: an illustrated history / Hugh Conway-Jones 181 1984 £5 History of the rise and decline of the docks, including the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal (softback - fair cond) 17 A short history of the narrow boat / Tom Chaplin 46 1985 £1.50 The most distinctive traditional British waterway craft and the people who operated them. (softback booklet - good cond) 18 Waterways Museum (Stoke Bruerne) guide book 32 1975 £1 Brief waterways history and guide to the exhibits (softback booklet - fair cond) 19 Canal barges and narrow boats / Peter L Smith 32 1979 £1 Descriptions of the various British cargo-carrying craft. One of the ‘ShireAlbum’series. (Softback booklet - fair cond) 20 The Shroppie - Portrait of the Shropshire Union Canal / Thomas Pellow & Paul Bowen 84 1985 £3 All you ever wanted to know about the history of the Shroppie. Compact A5 size with b/w photos. Softback - good cond) 21 Canals and canal architecture / John Vince 32 1976 £1 Boats, locks, bridges and canalside buildings described. One of the ‘Shire Album’ series. (Softback booklet - fair cond)

Another auction of second-hand canal books for WRG funds

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22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37. 38. 39. 40.

Canal architecture / Peter L Smith 32 1986 £1 Architectural features of canals and canalside buildings. One of the ‘Shire Album’ series. (Softback booklet - fair cond) Old Docks / Nancy Ritchie-Noakes 32 1987 £1 Construction and operation of Britain’s historic docks. One of the ‘ShireAlbum’series. (Softback booklet - good cond) Waterways heraldry / Dennis Hadley 32 1977 50p Pictures and interpretations of the official seals of the old canal companies. (Softback booklet - good cond) Narrow boat / LTC Rolt 212 1980 £2 Reprint of the 1940s classic describing a tour of the canals in 1939, which was responsible for the beginning of the revival of the canals (Softback - fair cond) British canals: an illustrated history / Charles Hadfield 362 1979 £4 The standard history of Britain’s canal system, by its most well-known waterways historian. (softback - fair cond) Basingstoke Canal restoration / Dieter Jebens and David Robinson 47 1985 £4 Photographic record of progress to date on one of the main volunteer projects of the 1980s. Includes rare photo of young Ken Parish! (softback - fair cond) Lock keeper’s daughter: a Worcestershire canal childhood / Pat Warner 160 1986 £3.50 Autobiographical account of a girl growing up on the Tardebigge lock flight in the 1920s-30s. (softback - fair cond) Canal / Anthony Burton and Derek Pratt 96 1976 £3 The historic fabric and architecture of the waterways as seen in the 1970s. (softback - fair cond) From stem to stern / John M Hill 60 1989 £4.50 Practical guide to all aspects of traditional narrow boat signwriting and decoration. (Softback, spiral-bound - fair cond) A pictorial history of canal craft / Peter L Smith 135 1979 £4 Illustrated descriptions of all main types of cargo craft on rivers and canals of each region of Britain. (hardback - good cond) A canalside camera: 1845-1930 / Michael E Ware 96 1975 £3.50 Over 100 historic photographs of all aspects of the waterways (Hardback - good cond but dust jacket slightly faded) The waterways of Britain / Anthony Burton 176 1983 £4.50 Individual descriptions organised by region of all the waterways that were then navigable or under restoration. Many photographs, some in colour. (Hardback - good cond) Bridges and aqueducts / Anthony Sealey 192 1976 £5 One of a series of large-format books on architecture; covers all types of bridges - road rail and canal, British and overseas (Hardback - fair cond) Victorian and Edwardian boating from old photographs / Neil Wigglesworth 128 1987 £5 Over 100 historic photographs of all types of boat from coracles to paddle steamers, on rivers lakes and the sea. (Hardback - near new cond) Narrow boats at work / Michael E Ware 144 1980 £6 Photographs of cargo-carrying narrow boats from the 19th century to the 1970s. (Hardback - good cond) Paint roses and castles / Anne Young 128 1988 £6 Step by step guide to traditional narrow boat decoration. (Hardback - good cond) A pictorial history of canals / DD Gladwin 144 1977 £3 200 old and new photographs, with the author’s sometimes whimsical captions. (Hardback - fair cond) Hampshire Waterways / PAL Vine 96 1990 £5 Pictorial history covering the Basingstoke Canal, Andover Canal, Itchen Navigation and others. (Hardback - good cond) Journeys of the Swan / John Liley 192 1983 £15 Lively, often amusing account of the author’s adventures touring the neglected canal system of the '60s (Softback - fair cond) Victorian and Edwardian canal from old photographs / DD Gladwin 120 1976 £4.50 Pictures of every aspect of the canals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (Hardback - good cond) Southern Inland Waterways / Derek Pratt 128 1982 £4 Pictorial record of the Thames and its surrounding waterways (Hardback - good cond) Kent & East Sussex Waterways / PAL Vine 96 1989 £5 Historic pictures of the Medway, the Sussex Ouse and other more obscure south-eastern waterways including the delightfully-named Reading Sewer. (Hardback - good cond) Collection of old IWA Bulletins in ‘mint’ condition from late 1950s through the 1960s to early 1970s. Nos 54 (May 1957), 55, 56 then 65 (October 61) through to 114 (September 1975). A superb history of the salvation of the waterways, in a ‘blow by blow’ account. £18 Similar collection to above, but from no 66 (April 1962) through to 114 (September 1975). Condition of some editions not quite so good, but none-the-less, an invaluable reference £15 Your Book of Canals / P J G Ransom 80 1977 £1.50 Straightforward introduction to the inland waterways, with some good photos. (Hardback – good cond) National Geographic Magazine July 1974 (featuring ‘Exploring England’s Canals’ – 35 page article with good photos) and November 1978 (featuring ‘Where the River Shannon Flows’ – 28 page article with evocative photos by Adam Woolfit). Fair cond. £4 Collection of BW’s staff magazine ‘Waterways’ from No1 (September 1955) through to No 144 (September 1969), but not complete. 106 issues. Mixed condition, but some almost ‘mint’. Seldom offered to collectors. £30 Collection of duplicates from the above. 40 issues, mostly from the late 1960s £5 Report on the Ken Canal Survey 1897 – 98 by C E Dupuis (Executive Engineer). Original 29 page foolscap report, in covers, with hand colour map and three photographs proposing the construction of the new canal in India. Never seen offered before. Must be worth a lot more than the reserve of... £5

page 13


Directory WRG and canal society working party contact details BARNSLEY, DEARNE & DOVE CANAL TRUST Spencer Collins 9 Thrush Street Walkley Sheffield S6 5BQ 0114 2853 044 BIRMINGHAM CANAL NAVIGATIONS SOCIETY Jeff Barley 17 Sunniside Walsall Wood, W Midlands 01543 373284 Web site: http://www.bcnsociety.org.uk/

DERBY & SANDIACRE CANAL SOCIETY Doug Flack 23 Thoresby Crescent Draycott Derby DE72 3PH 01332 874239 Web site: http://www. derbycanal.org.uk/ DIG DEEP INITIATIVE Alan Cavender 10 Vicarage Road Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 7DS 01628 629033

BUCKINGHAM CANAL SOC Steve Morley 33 Hambleton Grove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908 520090 Web: http://www.olio.demon .co.uk/bcs/index.html

DORSET & SOMERSET CANAL STUDY GROUP Derrick Hunt 43 Greenland Mills Bradford on Avon Wilts BA15 1BL 01225 863066 e-mail: derrick@carlingcott7. freeserve.co.uk

BUGSWORTH (IWPS) Ian Edgar Browside Farm Mudhurst Lane Lyme Handley Whaley Bridge High Peak SK23 7BT 01663 732493 Web site: http://www. brocross.com/iwps/index.htm

DROITWICH CANALS TRUST Vaughan Welch 29 Dice Pleck Northfield Birmingham B31 3XW 0121 477 9782 Web site: http://www. worcs.com/dct/home.htm

CHESTERFIELD CT Mick Hodgetts 31 Pottery Lane Whittington Moor, Chesterfield. Derbyshire S41 9BH 01246 454163

EREWASH CANAL P&DA Mick Golds 73 Sudbury Avenue Larklands, Ilkeston Derbys DE7 5EA Notts (0115) 9328042

CHICHESTER CS John Cooper Jaspers, Coney Road East Wittering, Chichester West Sussex PO21 8DA 01243 671051 COTSWOLD CT Neil Ritchie The Chapel House Sandford Rd Churchdown Gloucestershire GL3 2HD 01452 854057 e-mail: NeilSigns@aol.com Web site: http://www. cotswoldcanals.com/

page 14

FOXTON INCLINED PLANE TRUST c/o Mike Beech Foxton Canal Museum Middle Lock, Gumley Road Foxton, Market Harborough Leicestershire LE16 7RA 0116 279 2657 Web site: http://www. ipresent.co.uk/foxton.html GRAND WESTERN CANAL TRUST Denis Dodd, Wharf Cottage Nynehead, Wellington Somerset TA21 0BU 01823 661653

GRANTHAM CANAL RESTORATION SOC Colin Bryan 113 Hoe View Road Cropwell Bishop Nottingham NG12 3DJ 01159 892248 HEREFS & GLOUCS CT c/o The Lock Cottage, Over Gloucester GL2 8DB 01452 332900 Web site: http://www.h-gcanal.org.uk KENT & EAST SUSSEX CANAL REST. GROUP Ken Parish Eastwood Farmhouse Ulcombe Road Ulcombe, Maidstone Kent. ME17 1ET 01622 858329 e-mail: ParishK@btinternet.com Web site: http://www. btinternet.com/~kescrg/ LAPAL CANAL TRUST PO Box 5236, Halesowen W Midlands B63 3NN Web site: http:// www.lapal.org.uk LICHFIELD & HATHERTON CANALS REST'N TRUST John Horton, 32 London Road, Lichfield Staffs WS14 9EJ. 01543 262466 or Denis Cooper Gorsey Lane Farm Gorsey Lane Little Wyrley, Pelsall Walsall WS3 5AJ 01543 374370 Web site: http://www.lhcrt.org.uk/ NEATH & TENNANT CS Malcolm Smith 37, Blaen Cwm, Llansamlet Swansea. SA7 9NL Swansea (01792) 74991

SCARS (SANKEY CANAL) Colin Greenall 16 Bleak Hill Road Eccleston, St. Helens Merseyside WA10 4RW 01744 731746 Web site: http://www. scars.org.uk/index.html SHREWSBURY & NEWPORT CANALS TRUST Steve Bean 4 Arscott, Pontesbury Shrewsbury SY5 0XP 01743 860488 e-mail: sn.canal@lineone.net website: http:// www.sncanal.org.uk SHROPSHIRE UNION CS Geoff Munro 198, Oldbury Road Rowley Regis, Warley West Midlands B65 0NW 0121-561 5747 Web site: http://www.shropshireunion. co.uk/index.htm SLEAFORD NAV TRUST Steve Hayes 10 Chelmer Clo, N Hykeham Lincs LN8 8TH 01522-689460 Web site: http://www. sleafordnavigation.co.uk/ SOMERSET COAL CS Bob Parnell 34 Wedgewood Road Twerton, Bath BA2 1NX 01225-428055 Web site: http://homepages. enterprise.net/rtj/SCC2.html SWANSEA CANAL SOC Clive Reed 34 Ynysmeudwy Road Ynysmeudwy, Pontardawe Swansea. SA8 4QD 01792 864637 SURREY & HANTS CS Peter Redway 1 Redway Cottages St. John's Lye, Woking. GU21 1SL 01483 721710 Web site: http://www.basingstokecanal1 .freeserve.co.uk/

NWPG Graham Hawkes 27 Lawrence Rd, Tilehurst, Reading Berks RG30 6BH 0118 941 0586 E-mail: graham.hawkes@talk21.com THAMES & MEDWAY Web site: http://www.geocities. CANAL ASSOCIATION Jennifer Watts com/nwpg2001/nwpg.html 108 Old Road East Gravesend DA12 1PF POCKLINGTON C.A.S. Web site: Paul Waddington http://www.tmca.cwc.net/ Church House, Main St. Hemingborough WENDOVER ARM TRUST Selby Roger Leishman N. Yorks YO8 7QE 7 Hall Park, Berkhamsted 01757 638027 (eves) Herts HP4 2NU 01405 763985 (days) 01442 874536 Web site: http:// Web site: http://www.nsa. www.pocklington. dircon.co.uk/wendover.htm gov.uk/PCAS/default.asp


WEY & ARUN CT John Ward 32 Badgers Hollow Peperharrow Rd, Godalming Surrey GU7 2PX 01483-527124 07971 336535 (mobile) Web site: http://www.weyandarun.co.uk WILTS & BERKS C.A.G. Peter Smith 76 Dunnington Road Wootton Bassett Wilts SN4 7EL 01793 636597 e-mail: pasmith.wbcanal@ntlworld.com Web site: http://www.wiltsberks-canal.org.uk/

WRG NA (1) Ian Nelson 6 Lahn Drive Droitwich Spa Worcs WR9 8TQ. 01905 798 676 0973 640611 (mobile) e-mail: ian.nelson@wrgna.co.uk Web site: http://www. wrgna.co.uk WRG NA (2) Spencer Collins (see below)

WRG PLANT Malcolm Bridge (see below) OR John Palmer 53 Southwood Road Stockport, Cheshire

LONDON WRG Tim Lewis 6 Downs Road, Enfield Middlesex EN1 IPA 020 8367 6227 e-mail: tim@timlewis.org.uk Web site: http://www. danevans.co.uk/lwrg/

WRG LOGISTICS (1) Lou Kellett Pen-y-Bryn Bungalow Lloran Uchaf, Moelfre Oswestry SY10 7QT 01691 791463 e-mail: loukellett@mithras.fsnet.co.uk

WOODEN CANAL BOATS SOCIETY 5 Oaken Clough Terrace LONDON WRG: ENQUIRIES Limehurst Ashton under Lyne OL7 9NY Lesley McFadyen (as per Martin Ludgate below) 0161-330-2315 IWA IPSWICH Colin Turner Cornerways, Elm Lane Copdock, Ipswich IP8 3ET 01473-730586 Web site: http://www. purbrook.demon.co.uk/iwa/

WRG EAST MIDLANDS John Baylis (see below)

WRG: GENERAL ENQUIRIES PO Box 114, Rickmansworth Herts WD3 1ZY 01932 711114 e-mail: wrg@waterways.org.uk Web site: http://www.wrg.org.uk

WRG MONTGOMERY Alan Jervis Dacre House Farm Dacre, Harrogate HG3 4ES 07968-586326 e-mail: aj@jervis.org.uk

WRG NORTH WEST MANCHESTER Malcolm Bridge (see below) WRG NW - LIVERPOOL Roger Evans 10 Long Lane, Middlewich Cheshire CW10 0BL 01606 834471 WRG NW - ENQUIRIES/ PAPERCHASES David McCarthy Woodstock, 14 Crumpsall La. Manchester. M8 5FB 0161-740 2179 Web site: http://www.downstream. mcmail.com/wrgnw.htm WRG BITM & DIARY David Wedd 7 Ringwood Road Blackwater, Camberley Surrey GU17 0EY 01252 874437 e-mail: Dave@BITM.freeserve.co.uk Web site: http://www.wrgbitm.org.uk

'NAVVIES' EDITOR Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Rd, East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020 8693 3266 0777 947 8629 (mobile) e-mail: editor@navvies.demon.co.uk

ESSEX WRG John Gale, 12 Wakefield Ave, Billericay, Essex CM12 9DN 01277 654683

WRG BOAT CLUB Sue Burchett 152 Great Knollys St Reading RG1 7HB 01189 503268 Fax. 07970 099052 e-mail: Sue@navvy.freeserve.co.uk IWA/WRG STAMP BANK Steve & Mandy Morley 33 Hambleton Grove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908 520090 CANAL CAMPS MOBILES (A) 07850 422156 (B) 07850 422157

WRG LOGISTICS (2) Jen Leigh (see below) CANAL CAMP BOOKINGS c/o Ian Wingfield PO Box 114, Rickmansworth Herts WD3 1ZY 01932 711114 e-mail: wrg@waterways.org.uk Web site: http://www.wrg.org.uk WRG DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN Mike Palmer 3 Finwood Road, Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 e-mail: Mike.Palmer@bbc.co.uk TREASURER Roger Day, 5 Merton Road Slough Berks SL1 1QW SECRETARY Neil Edwards, 16 Tyneham Close Aylesbury HP21 9XA e-mail neil@waterways.org.uk SITES GROUP & PUBLICITY Judith Moore 3 Finwood Road, Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 e-mail: judith_moore@uk.ibm.com

UpdatingthisDirectory:pleasehelp! We do our best to keep the 'Navvies' directory up to date. However, we rely on people to tell us that they have moved house, or that their canal society has a new Work Party Organiser, or that their web site or e-mail address has changed. Please send updates to the editor: they will appear in the 'Noticeboard' in issue 188, and be included in the next full Directory in issue 190.

WRGPRINT John & Tess Hawkins 4 Links Way, Croxley Grn, Rickmansworth WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 CENTRALLY BOOKED WEEKENDS Helen Davey 5 Heathfield Close, Midhurst W Sussex GU29 9PS 01730 814670 TRANSPORT MANAGER Roger Burchett (See Sue Burchett above) DRIVER AUTHORISATION Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank, Littleborough Lancashire OL15 0JQ 01706 378582 IWA CHAIRMAN Richard Drake c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY 0151 608 4562 OTHER DIRECTORS Jen Leigh 203 Abbeyfield Rd, Pitsmoor Sheffield S4 7AW 0114 2423789 e-mail: logistics.jen@cwcom.net Mick Beattie 22 Bridgewater Ave Anchorsholme, Blackpool Lancs FY5 3NA 01253 864034 Adrian Fry, 31 Griffon Close Elmore Lock, Quedgeley Gloucester GL2 4NQ 07976 640962 e-mail: adrian.fry@orange.net Spencer Collins 9 Thrush Street, Walkley Sheffield S6 5BQ 0114 2853 044 e-mail: spencer.collins@wrgna.co.uk Chris Davey 5 Heathfield Close, Midhurst W Sussex GU29 9PS 01730 814670 e-mail chris@c-hdavey.demon.co.uk Ray Carter 56 Oakdene Drive, Tolworth Surbiton, Surrey KT5 9NH Jonathan Smith, 23 Hardings Chalgrove, Oxford OX44 7TJ 01865 891 370 John Baylis 215 Clipstone Rd West, Forest Town, Mansfield, Notts NG19 0HJ 01623 633895

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Diary

Canal Camps cost £35 per week unless otherwise Bookings for WRG Canal Camps (those identified camp number e.g. 'Camp 0102') should go to WRG Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: enquiries@wrg.org.u

IMPORTANT NOTE: access to some sites may still be affected by Foot & Mouth Disease. Please check Jun 16/17 Jun 16/17 Jun 23/24 Jun 23 Sat Jun 23-30 Jun 30/Jul 1 Jun 30-Jul 7 Jun 30-Jul 7 Jul 7/8 Jul 7 Sat Jul 7-14 Jul 7-14 Jul 8 Sun Jul 12 & 16 Jul 14/15 Jul 14-21 Jul 14-21 Jul 14-21 Jul 15 Sun Jul 21/22 Jul 21/22 Jul 21 Sat Jul 21-28 Jul 21-28 Jul 28-Aug 4 Jul 28-Aug 4 Aug 4/5 Aug 4/5 Aug 4-11 Aug 4-11 Aug 4-11 Aug 11/12 Aug 11/12 Aug 11-18 Aug 11-18 Aug 14 Tue Aug 20-28 Aug 23-31 Sep 1/2 Sep 8 Sat

page 16

wrgBITM D&SCS IWA/WRG wrgNW Camp 0102 London WRG Camp 0103 Camp 0104 KESCRG Essex WRG Camp 0105 Camp 0106 Navvies wrgNW wrgNW Camp 0107 Camp 0108 Camp 0109 wrg London WRG wrgBITM wrgNW Camp 0110 Camp 0111 Camp 0112 Camp 0113 NWPG Essex WRG Camp 0114 Camp 0115 Camp 0116 London WRG wrgBITM Camp 0117 Camp 0118 Navvies Camp 0119 Camp 0120 Essex WRG Navvies

Sleaford Navigation Derby & Sandiacre Canal: Borrowash Bottom Lock BCN Marathon Challenge: 24-hour marathon cruise on Birmingham’s canals. Waste paper collection Droitwich Canal Camp. Leaders: Adrian Fry & Ian Wingfield To be arranged Droitwich Canal Camp. Leaders: Zoe Rogers & Gavin Moor Cotswolds Canal Camp on the Dig Deep project at Valley Lock, Chalford, and Wey & Arun Canal Stowmarket Montgomery Canal Camp at Maesbury. Leaders: Lou Kellett & Andy Burrows Wilts & Berks Canal Camp at Seven Locks, near Lyneham. Leaders: Rachael Press date for issue 188 Tameside Canals Festival: Erection & removal of swing bridge over narrows at Tameside Canals Festival: wrgNW Sales Stand Montgomery Canal Camp at Maesbury. Melton & Oakham Canal Camp, installing a slipway at Melton Mowbray. Leade Cotswold Canal Camp led by NWPG. Dig Deep project at Valley Lock, Chalfor Committee & Board Meetings Lichfield Canal Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Chaddington Lock. Waste paper collection Montgomery Canal Camp at Maesbury. Leaders: Alan Jervis & Harriet Thomp Sleaford Canal Camp at Cogglesford Lock, Sleaford. Leaders: Rachael Banya Ipswich Canal Camp at Creeting Lock. Leader: Matt Taylor & Judith Gordon. C Basingstoke Canal Camp led by KESCRG. Dig Deep project installing backpu To be arranged: possibly the Montgomery Canal Cotswold Canals Droitwich Canal Camp. Leaders: Marcus Jones & Rick Barnes Basingstoke Canal Camp on the Dig Deep project installing backpump system Wey & Arun Canal Camp led by WACT. Repairing storm-water overspill on the Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Summit Lock, Wootton Bassett (to be Wendover Arm Droitwich Canal Camp. Leaders: Spencer Collins & Rob Daffern Wendover Canal Camp. Channel and winding-hole construction at Little Tring. Issue 188 Assembly (provisional date) NWF Canal Camp. Providing site services for the IWA’s National Waterways F NWF Canal Camp. Providing site services for the IWA’s National Waterways Fe To be arranged Press date for issue 189


e stated. by a G Canal

Please send updates to Diary compiler: Dave Wedd, 7 Ringwood Rd, Blackwater, Camberley, Surrey GU17 0EY. Tel 01252 874437. e-mail: Dave@BITM.freeserve.co.uk. Fax: 0870-063-3713

uk

k with work party organisers for ALL working parties to find out whether the details below are correct.

Scrutineers wanted.

Dave Wedd Doug Flack Helen Davey David McCarthy

01252-874437 01332-576037 01730-814670 0161-740-2179

Tim Lewis

020-8367-6227

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk helen@c-h-davey.demon.co.uk

wrgtim@netscapeonline.co.uk

setting-up for the Saul Junction boat gathering and beer festival. Leaders: Martin Ludgate & Ian Williamson Answerphone 01622-858329 Kescrg@btinternet.com John Gale 01277-654683 EssexWRG@cs.com Banyard & Paul Mann 020-8693-3266 0161-740-2179 0161-740-2179

editor@navvies.demon.co.uk malcolm.bridge@btclick.com malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

Tim Lewis Dave Wedd David McCarthy

020-8367-6227 01252-874437 0161-740-2179

wrgtim@netscapeonline.co.uk bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

psett ard & Di Smurthwaite Cook: Helen 'Bushbaby' Gardner ump system at St Johns, near Woking. Graham Hawkes John Gale

0118-941-0586 01277-654683

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com EssexWRG@cs.com

m at St Johns, near Woking. e summit level. e confirmed) Tim Lewis Dave Wedd

020-8367-6227 01252-874437

wrgtim@netscapeonline.co.uk bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Dukinfield Junction

Martin Ludgate David McCarthy David McCarthy

ers: Matt Taylor & Marcus Jones rd, on the Thames & Severn Canal

. Leaders: Roger Burchett & Ali Bottomley John Hawkins 01923-448559 hawkins@jote.fsnet.co.uk Festival at Milton Keynes. Leaders Izzy Gascoigne & Andi Kewley. Cost: ÂŁ40 estival at Milton Keynes . Leaders Izzy Gascoigne & Andi Kewley. Cost: ÂŁ40 John Gale 01277-654683 EssexWRG@cs.com Martin Ludgate 020-8693-3266 editor@navvies.demon.co.uk

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Diary Canal society regular working parties

Mobile groups' social evenings (please phone to confirm before turning up) London WRG: 7:30pm on Wed 10 days before each dig. Usually at the Jugged Hare, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, but please check with Tim Lewis 020-8367 6227 or e-mail wrgtim@netscapeonline.co.uk. NWPG: 9:00pm on 3rd Tue of month at the Hope Tap, West end of Friar St. Reading. Graham Hawkes 0118 941 0586

NOTE: some work may still be affected by Foot and Mouth: please check with organisers. 1st & 3rd Sunday of month BCG Elsecar Spencer Collins 0114-285-3044 3rd Sunday of month BCNS Jeff Barley 01543-373284 2nd Sunday & following Wed. BCS Cosgrove Athina Beckett 01908-661217 Anytime inc. weekdays BCT Aqueduct section Gerald Fry 01288-353273 Every Sunday ChCT Various sites Mick Hodgetts 01246-454163 Mon & Wed mornings CCT Cotswolds Dudley Greenslade 01453 825515 Every weekend (Sat OR Sun)CCT Cotswolds Neil Ritchie 01452-854057 1st Sunday of monch CCT Cotswolds: summit Mark Welton 01453-872405 Wednesday evenings CCT Cotswolds: East end Keith Harding 01451-860181 4th Mon of month, 6pm CMT London Canal Mus. Martin Sach 020-7625-7376 Every Saturday DCT Droitwich Canal Jon Axe 0121-608 0296 1st & 3rd Sundays GCRS Grantham Canal Colin Bryan 0115-989-2248 2nd Sat of month GWCT Nynehead Lift Denis Dodd 01823-661653 Tuesdays H&GCT Oxenhall Brian Fox 01432-358628 Wednesdays H&GCT Over Ted Beagles 01452-522648 Saturdays H&GCT Over Maggie Jones 01452-618010 Sundays H&GCT Over Paul Brown 01386-443826 Every Sunday if required IWPS Bugsworth Basin Ian Edgar 01663-732493 1st Saturday & 3rd Wed. IWA Ipswich Stowmarket Navigtn. Colin Turner 01473-730586 2nd weekend of month IWA SBC Maesbury, Mont. Barry Tuffin 01691-670826/49 2nd weekend of month K&ACT John Rolls 01189-666316 1st Sunday of month LHCRT Lichfield John Horton 01543 262466 3rd Sunday of month LHCRT Hatherton Denis Cooper 01543-374370 2nd & last Sundays PCAS Paul Waddington 01757-638027 2nd Sunday of Month SCARS Sankey Canal Colin Greenall 01744-731746 1st Sunday of Month SCCS Combe Hay Locks Bob Parnell 01225-428055 Most weekends SHCS Basingstoke Peter Redway 01483-721710 3rd Sunday of month TMCA David Rouse 01474-362861 Approx 15th of month WACT Mid-Week group Colin Gibbs 020-82417736 Every Sunday & Thursday WACT Devils Hole Lock Eric Walker 023-9246-3025 Thursdays fortnightly WACT Maintenance Unit Peter Wilding 01483-422519 or for general information on Wey & Arun contact their office on 01403-752403 1st weekend of month WAT Little Tring Roger Leishman 01442-874536 Every weekend W&BCAG Peter Smith 01793-852883 Every Sunday W&BCC Dauntsey / Foxham Rachael Banyard 01249-892289 Please send any amendments, additions and deletions to Dave Wedd (address on previous page)

Abbreviations used in Diary BCG BCNS BCS BCT ChCT CCT CMT DCT D&SCS GCRS GWCT H&GCT IWA SBC IWPS

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Barnsley Canal Group Birmingham Canal Navigations Soc. Buckingham Canal Society Bude Canal Trust Chesterfield Canal Trust Cotswolds Canals Trust Canal Museum Trust (London) Droitwich Canals Trust Derby & Sandiacre Canal Society Grantham Canal Restoration Society Grand Western Canal Trust Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust IWA Shrewsbury & Border Counties Inland Waterways Protection Society

K&ACT Kennet & Avon Canal Trust KESCRG Kent & E Sussex Canal Rest. Group LHCRT Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust LWRG London Waterway Recovery Group NWPG Newbury Working Party Group PCAS Pocklington Canal Amenity Society SCARS Sankey Canal Restoration Society SCCS Somersetshire Coal Canal Society SHCS Surrey & Hants Canal Society TMCA Thames & Medway Canal Association W&BCAG Wilts & Berks Canal Amenity Group W&BCC Wilts & Berks Canal Company WACT Wey & Arun Canal Trust WAT Wendover Arm Trust


Dear Editor I have become increasing disappointed with the standard of much of the content of 'Navvies' lately.

Letters

A couple of years ago there was a flurry of correspondence concerning the use in the magazine of basic Anglo-Saxon words not regarded as generally acceptable in polite company these days, and Canal Camp reports that were mainly concerned with excessive alcohol consumption, injokes and off-topic stuff about who was doing what with who in the back of a Transit on the last night.

'Navvies' ain't what it used to be...

But not any more. Letters of complaint are now few and far between - basically because there is nothing in 'Navvies' worth complaining about any more. Where once there was little more than scandal and gossip, now there is nothing but restoration news and views. Health and Safety awareness has replaced drunkenness and debauchery; in-jokes have been replaced by information; Eddie Jones's pants have been replaced by a slightly newer pair. Even the standard of incompetence and embarrassment potential has declined, as 'foot in mouth' has been replaced by 'foot and mouth' in the list of WRGies' concerns. Come on guys! If I wanted to read about the latest Health & Safety legislation I'd go to the HSE web site. If I wanted to read long, boring, 'serious' articles about canal restoration I'd read Martin Ludgate's contributions to 'Waterways World'. If I wanted to read about the intricacies of trailers and tachographs... well, I'd probably keep quiet about it because otherwise the nice young men in the clean white coats might turn up with a one-way ticket to the funny farm... I didn't subscribe to 'Navvies' to read about canal restoration; I subscribed because I wanted to be regaled with tales of drunkenness and incompetence on Canal Camps, in-jokes and lavatorial humour, brushes with the Law involving the Camp Leader's underwear and a girls' school flagpole, juicy gossip about sleeping-bag swapping on the last night, whether NJF or MKP gives a better ride and so on.... So let's have less restoration news and more jokes about toilets and camp catering disasters (possibly the two may be linked?). Let's replace the Navvies Directory with a 'who's had who' of the WRG regulars. Let's replace Marcus's boring tables of camp info with a "Bar chart" showing how much beer each camp consumed. And perhaps Logistics can stop telling us how to pack trailers and give us what we really want... such as some handy hints on how to get trifle out of underpants, or how to explain to Hewden Hire why the dumper's fuel tank is full of Wadworths 6X, or perhaps a list of VD clinics within easy reach of Elsecar. Come on - let's show them we're still 'mad, bad and dangerous to know', and try to make 'Navvies' a magazine worth writing in and moaning about again! Yours, Janet Shipstone Assistant leader, Thames Berks & Andover Canal Camp 2000 PS: Oz Collingwood - if you're reading this, my apologies about the incident with the goat and the Elsan on the last night at Sodding Chipbury. Gordon Drake - don't worry: they usually heal up in about 3 weeks. Henry Banks - hope the court case went well. Matt Young - you miserable bugger, we bought every pint of beer in your pub, didn't we? And anyway you said the ceiling was due to be replaced soon! John Tetley - next time, please clean up the JCB cab afterwards. Anyway, love to you all (except Matt Young), and I'll see you on the next one... and don't forget the beetroot and the ear-trumpets! XXX Janet You might think that the above letter is a complete fabrication. It might occur to you that maybe the editor didn't actually receive any letters at all for this issue, and that this is his way of filling up an empty letters page and trying to wind up a few people and hopefully get them to write something for the next one because he's pissed-off at having to hassle people all the time for contributions and sometimes ending up writing half of the sodding mag. himself. You might think that - but I couldn't possibly comment. ...Ed

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Progress Basingstoke, Thames & Severn andhopefullysoonWilts&Berks Dig Deep Report The Dig Deep initiative is a scheme involving four mobile working party groups – KESCRG, WRG BITM, London WRG and NWPG – operating mainly in the South of England. The idea is that by adopting certain projects on various canals, we can co-ordinate our efforts and give a joint commitment to a certain number of working parties on each project, which will help enable the local canal societies to commit the necessary resources to the projects. The 2001 programme has been severely affected by foot and mouth. The worst affected site is Summit Lock on the Wilts & Berks. Access to the lock is across a field close to farm buildings in an area where they have been cases of F & M. NWPG held their Christmas 2000 work party at the site and continued the work of dismantling the lock walls. These are now almost down to lower water level and it is intended that the lock will be re-built as a reinforced concrete structure with brick wall facings.

LWRG visited in February but the site was flooded and their June visit has also been cancelled as have all Dig Deep visits since February. It is hoped that the visiting groups will be able to arrange additional replacement dates later in the year. I gather that there will be a significant input into the project from local volunteers of W&BCAG who plan to work at the site mid-week. As has been written elsewhere, Valley Lock at Chalford on the Thames & Severn reopened for business in late April. BITM picked up where KESCRG and NWPG had left off in February starting the reconstruction of the upper gate recess walls, continuing work on the by-wash and commencing at the bottom end of the lock, and London WRG made further progress in May, concentrating on rebuilding the bywash weir and upper gate recesses. The forthcoming June work party will focus on clearing silt from the chamber using the CCT Jones crane. A decision will then need to be taken as to how the off- side wall is to be demolished and re-built without the adjoining garden descending into the chamber. This will no doubt be the key task for the two weeks summer camps planned for July. I am reliably informed that the work site is dry in the summer months – something I will believe only when I see it! Marcus Jones is the project liaison officer for Dig Deep on this site. Woodham on the Basingstoke has been foot and mouth free and has been able to absorb a number of work parties that have had to be postponed on other canals. Much work has been completed by all four Dig Deep groups (and local volunteers) on rebuilding and repairing the towpath from the pumping station at Lock 1 to the outfall at Lock 6. Again this has been made more difficult by some very wet weather at times particularly on the section between locks 2 and 3 which had to be reinstated with hard core before re-surfacing. This task fell primarily to KESCRG and BITM who unlike NWPG managed to keep their equipment both dry, fuelled and vertical! Anyway the work is now complete and I suspect that the pumps may have been switched on or will be very soon. Thanks to Pete Redway for arranging the additional weekends and keeping the Dig Deep programme going. During the summer the project will move back to St Johns Locks - 15 years after volunteers completed their reconstruction. Dig Deep reps meet on 12 June to discuss future plans and drink beer. I suspect 2002 will be more of the same although I hear that a certain Sussex canal may be submitting a project.

Basingstoke Dig Deep project: towpath surfacing (and dumper training) in progress below lock 6 at Woodham on a BITM / London WRG weekend. Photo: Martin Ludgate

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For further details about any of the projects or Dig Deep generally, contact Alan Cavender on 01628 629033 or e-mail alancavender@lineone.net Bill Nicholson


Brick Cleaning We do not see much in the pages of Navvies about the WRGies favourite job of brick cleaning. Perhaps that is as well: we don’t want to depress the troops, do we? So here is a heartening brick cleaning story... At Creeting Lock, on the Ipswich and Stowmarket Navigation, we had a very daunting pile of bricks that needed cleaning and were making very slow progress: something had to be done to speed things up, improve morale, and stop the cries of “OH NO NOT BRICK CLEANING AGAIN!?” The first attempt at mechanising the process was to make a rotary wire brush: this was fine for lightly soiled bricks and for finishing off after the bolster and lump hammer treatment. Our real breakthrough came when we realised the potential of a SDS hammer drill with a rotation stop feature. This turns it into a mini-breaker, and fitted with a 35mm chisel bit it cleans bricks very fast and with fewer breakages. A bench of suitable height and someone sorting the brick pile keeping the machine-operators supplied with dirty bricks to the breaker and lightly soiled to the wire brush results in an output of 800-1000 bricks a day. When one of our members turns up with his own SDS drill and joins in the fray the wire brush operator gets overwhelmed.

Brick cleaning At last - an end to brickcleaning misery! The good news is that we have finished that pile of bricks - all clean, sorted and ready to lay. The bad news is that we have more demolition to do, which will produce more bricks to clean - but the rule now is “If you knock it down you clean it”. If you are interested in our method, the requirements are: 1. A shaft rotating at 3 to 4 thousand RPM with an M14 thread at one end to mount the brush: the drive motor that we are using is an ex Qualcast lawn mower motor of 300W rating, double insulated. For safety sake you will require a baffle fitted above the brush because debris flies off in all directions. Goggles and strong gloves should be worn and a dust-mask if the bricks are dry. The wire brush must be downwind of all other personel. 2. 2. An SDS Hammer Drill that must have a rotation stop feature and a 35mm chisel bit. 3. A power source.

The SDS Drill was purchased for £100 from Wickes. The rotary twisted knot cup brush £14 and the 35mm chisel £11.30 from Screwfix Direct. Phone number for Screwfix catalogue is 0500 414141 but be warned that once you ask for one they keep coming! Colin Turner

Left: the rotary wire brush machine ready for use. Above: the same machine with its safety covers removed, showing the mechanism. Photos by Colin Turner

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Dig Report NWPG raise the profile of the Wey & Arun Canal NWPG on the Wey & Arun Canal: 4-6 May Dig Deep are having a year off from the Wey & Arun, so in order to maintain contact with one of NWPG’s favourite canals we booked our annual 3 day weekend on that canal. Now the W & A is perhaps the most inaccessible of all canals, even at the best of times. Given the wettest 12 months since 1766 plus Foot and Mouth, the prospects of the weekend being diverted to the Basingstoke were pretty good. But it was not to be - and very fortunately about 10 days before we were due to go, Surrey County Council lifted their ban on many public footpaths and Forestry Enterprise allowed access back into Sidney Wood. I last visited Sidney Wood on a WACT sponsored walk (The ‘Poddle’) in about 1998 raising money for both the Trust and NWPG’s brick-saw. I recall wandering through the woods until my instructions told me that I was following the line of the towpath. So dense was the jungle that I could not tell whether I was heading north or south. What I do recall however was a large embankment falling down steeply to a stream, which the canal appeared to cross on a culvert. Returning to the site this May all was explained. I had actually been walking in the opposite direction (south) to that which I thought and the canal, which was completely overgrown, is now clear, holding water and totally transformed. Not only that but the clearance extends some ¾ mile south to the head of what was Lock 16. Our main job was to repair the towpath over the aforementioned embankment/culvert which had subsided as a result of the winter rains. Oh no, not more towpath raising? We had surely escaped from the Basingstoke to get away from this!

150 years of neglect have left the mark on the bank levels of the canal. At some points you can see the level of the bank sloping downwards along the canal. This problem was being confirmed by Winston Harwood - WACT’s surveyor - who was checking the levels of this section of the summit with the water level at Tickners Heath. As the two are not yet linked (there is about 400m of hostile landowner in between) the water levels in the two sections are different. So much so that Winston was estimating that the embankment on which we were working would have to go up by about 2 feet! One of the other jobs, whilst off down the towpath, was to repair some of the holes left by Forestry Enterprise when they felled all the trees at the towpath edge. Foolishly we did this before taking the dumper across the gap to where we wanted it to be. Result one machine with its engine sat firmly on soggy clay. Undeterred and with many years experience of such situations we left it and went off to carry on with pulling tree stumps. We collected the dumper on our way home with the aid of the excavator. Accommodation for the weekend was at the very comfortable Plaistow Village Hall – the one with showers and electrically operated kitchen hatch! (which was broken by the time we left). The pub, The Sun, would not be enjoyed by those who prefer lager, loud music (or any music) and company. Apart from the local cricket team who joined us on the Sunday night, we had the place to ourselves. However the Gales’ beer was well kept and didn’t run out... like what normally happens to us when working on that other Surrey canal... We completed a day & a half’s stump pulling and profiling and all the boards across the embankment. Large quantities of clay were placed behind the boards to support the raised section – this was back-breakingwork for a Group with a lengthening age profile! There is plenty more work to do on this very attractive section of the Wey & Arun and I would recommend any group looking for somewhere different to go to give John Ward a call. [and don't forget the Camp on 4-11 Aug ...Ed] With apologies to Pete Redway ( we love your canal really). Bill Nicholson

To aid us in our work we were provided with a 2 ton Kubota and a ¾ ton mini dumper: it seems to have taken years for this very obvious item of canal restoration equipment to come to the fore. The bank raising work at the culvert site was going to first require the installation of retaining boards along the back and front edges. These were to be tied together by wires. through the towpath So we left the main team to get on with this task whilst myself and two Petes (Bunker and Turville) set off with the plant to remove tree stumps left in the bed of the canal. Raising the towpath with clay and retaining boards. (Bill Nicholson)

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London WRG digging deep at Valley Lock Thames & Severn Canal: 19th-20th May 80 degrees inside the van made the usual Friday traffic almost unbearable: any weight I’d recovered since returning from India I sweated off that afternoon. Started well by doing the weekend shopping in the morning, but by the afternoon a visit to check that Marcus still had his nose in his college books, and a last minute check of the emails found the number of volunteers had doubled from 7 to 14! Still made it to Waterloo, even if they now send you the wrong way round the roundabout ...well it has been a year! But nearly didn’t make it to the 'Bell' as those of us still awake in the front seat will testify.

Dig Report "Tim amazed us all when he put the camera down..."

I’d been forewarned about the prospect of a chamber clearance under three feet of water, and so it seems had everyone else, being unable to find a spare hiding place in the van for my own wellies! All but Andi seemed grateful to BITM for clearing the wellie depth silt from beneath the KL15 crane. Besides which we managed to convince Neil that our efforts would be better employed reconstructing the bywash and head of Valley lock. Now there’s a lovely word....reconstruction - and it seems most of LWRG are equally well acquainted with its old friend....demolition! So as Saturday was spent measuring, photographing, then breaking out the upright weir stones, we were glad to find that we were quite literally pulling apart the supporting brickwork. Hats off to Rick & Richard who judging by the constant sound of bolster vs mortar, or should that have been vs gunmetal, didn’t quite have it so easy preparing the offside gate recess for Phill to re-brick. A baking hot Sunday and after a morning spent replacing the supporting brickwork, the resetting of the weir stones progressed rapidly after lunch, leaving only one more for NWPG to lift into place and the rest to grout. Tim amazed us all when he put the camera down for the afternoon and took up a trowel, and even surprised himself by raising the entrance culvert brickwork a few more courses. We're not sure whether the journey of a very large tree down the steep valley sides had anything to do with the arrival of the chainsaw team at the end of the day, but Tenko & Graham did a fine job of knocking up timber supports to protect the freshly laid weir stones.

Above: dismantling the bywash weir (Martin Ludgate) Below: repairing the brickwork. (Ken Bailey) Bottom: reinstating the weir crest stones (Lesley McFadyen)

My thanks to everyone who came along over the weekend, I know our work was greatly appreceiated by Neil and the countless visitors to Chalford taking advantage of the attractive surroundings via the re-opened towpath. Not only were we seen as an alternative to the local book stall, but you can be sure we took their minds off the fact that now it's not just their water bills that they receive through their gas supplier... after a failed experiment by Severn Trent Water left 16 miles of Transco gas main through the valley a little damp... Matt Taylor See some of you on the WRG Canal Camp at Valley Lock on June 30-Jul 7? ...Ed

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Dig report WRG BITM and London WRG on the Basingstoke A Slippery Weekend on the Basingstoke Canal London WRG / BITM: March 24/25 2001 With Foot And Mouth Disease hitting the headlines and restoration work on canals running through rural areas placed on hold, the Basingstoke Canal was one of the few projects where work could continue. BITM was booked for March, as part of their normal program; London WRG were “Foot And Mouth’d Off” their weekend. They joined forces with BITM to work on the Woodham Back-pumping Scheme. The weekend kicked off as usual meeting in the nearest pub to the accommodation. This time the Wheatsheaf 200 yards from the Westgate Centre in Woking. The pub got a thumbs down vote due to poorly kept beer and having to wait for long periods at the bar until the staff could be bothered to come out of the back room and serve us... The Westgate Centre accommodation wins a thumbs up vote. Dishwasher, comfy seats, hot water, decent kitchen, close to shops, good parking, next to canal, and a tank full of goldfish what more could a Weekend Navvy require?

Rachael’s task - to scrape off liquid mud and lay towpath from lock 3 back to lock 2. Rachael’s team consisted of Ed Walker, Clive Gunner, Steve Paice, Andrew Nice - experienced in dumper and excavator driving - with Barbara Hinsley, Lesley McFadyen, Mike Paice, Richard Thomas, Rosa Johnson and Tony Hinsley - experienced in shovel and rake driving. On site we had to take precautions against spreading Foot And Mouth Disease. We sprayed disinfectant on the plant and machinery and dipped our boots in the stuff, before going on site. From the car park, the teams split in opposite direction along the tow path. Rachael's team got stuck in, clearing the mud off the towpath between locks 2 and 3. Martin’s team got the machinery stuck. First Martin parked the roller out of the way, it slid sideways and got stuck. They made several attempts to pull it out forwards and backwards using a dumper. They eventually pulled it out sideways: that’s the way it went in, so that's the way it came out! David Miller got the big dumper a little bit stuck, then Phill Cardy got it really stuck. Andrew Nice came to the rescue and got it unstuck.

Work: Peter Redway had laid on plenty for us to do. In the car park at lock 2 - 100 tonnes of crushed concrete, 80 tonnes of grade 1 limestone, 2 excavators, 2 dumpers and a roller. On the towpath below the bridge at lock 6 - 80 tonnes of grade 1 limestone and a heap of clay. In the car park between lock 3 and West Byfleet Railway Station - 1 excavator, 2 dumpers, 1 roller. The purpose of all the materials and equipment: to repair the towpath where the contractors had laid a pipe under it. The pipe will carry canal water from below lock 1, pumped to the top of the flight above lock 6. The idea being to recycle the water so the canal can stay open all year: previously, water supply problems caused the canal to close during the Summer months. June Paice and Di Smurthwaite got us all off to a good start with breakfast. Graham appointed Martin Ludgate and Rachael Banyard as site leaders. Martin’s task - to plug a leak in the canal bank above lock 4 with clay, and lay towpath from lock 4 back to lock 6. His team consisted of Phill Cardy operating the excavator, David Miller driving the large dumper, Dave Wedd training David James, Ray Bevan and Mark Gribble in the art Steve tries not to get the roller stuck. (Martin Ludgate) of dumper driving.

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By lunchtime, Dave Wedd had taught Ray Bevan, David James and Mark Gribble how to drive dumpers, and they had learned how not to get them stuck. Rachael's team laid several yards of towpath. Martin's team had dumped six tonnes of clay into the canal (intentionally) and two tonnes down the embankment (unintentionally). Lunch was served at lock 3 - Sandwiches, Cakes, Crisps and Biscuits. The weather was warm, the Lock and Lock Cottage providing a nice location to eat. There was lots going on whilst we munched builders were loading a lorry with scaffolding, which they had removed from the Lock Cottage. Lots of people were out walking. The bridge over the Lock busy with people, walking, between the houses north of the canal and the shops south of the canal. During the afternoon, both teams made significant progress. Phill didn’t want to leave his machine, he would have happily worked on into the night, puddling the clay, dropped earlier into the canal, to seal the leak. Every one else had deserted him and they were waiting in the car park. Back at the hall, exhausted navvies fell into comfy arm chairs and waited for feeding. Di and June busy in the kitchen, cooking a feast fit for a king. Mugs of tea steaming on the table, newspapers spread out for reading and conversation bubbling, on all manner of subjects. Once in those chairs, it was hard to get out again. After operating shovels and rakes, our limbs and backs had stiffened. After dinner a large number of keen drinkers toddled off to town, a Wetherspoons Pub. The pub was packed, - situated in the middle of Woking’s clubland. However, we had no trouble finding tables and seats to sit on, as the natives preferred standing. Mike Paice challenged the dress code, however they only noticed at leaving time - they did not like his sleeveless top. The pub received a thumbs up vote, good beer, cheap prices and a pleasant atmosphere.

Dig Report Rachael's team got stuck-in; Martin’s team got stuck.... Andrew loaded dumpers, Ed Walker scraped mud using the excavator; Rachael, Steve Paice, then later Ed drove dumpers; Clive Gunner, Barbara Hinsley, Mike Paice, Richard Thomas, Rosa Johnson and Tony Hinsley - shovelled and raked, to form a tow path surface between locks 2 and 3. Rollers do not like mud, it took a long time and a great deal of care by Rachael’s team to get their roller along the towpath to where it was needed. Steve Paice got the dumper stuck twice and it needed a tow with the other dumper. Mid afternoon, we started clearing up. All the machines needed cleaning and disinfecting, they were gathered together and cleaned at lock 3, ready for the hire company to collect. We did our bit for the neighbours, one of them wanted their drive rolled, so we obliged. I would like to say thank you to every one that came. To Peter Redway of the Surrey and Hants Canal society for organising all the work, accommodation, plant and materials. To Di Smurthwaite and June Paice for feeding us. To Martin Ludgate and Rachael Banyard for being team leaders. I for one very much look forward to another day where BITM and LWRG can play another game of Stuck In The Mud. Graham Hotham.

On Sunday, we lost Mark Gribble and gained Stella Wentworth. Lesley, Graham and Stella joined Martin’s team. (They didn’t get stuck). Phill Cardy loaded the dumpers using the excavator; David Miller drove the roller; David James, Ray and Martin took turns on the dumpers; Stella, Dave Wedd, Lesley Mc Fadyen and Graham Hotham operated spades and rakes. They laid many tonnes of grade one lime stone, to form a new towpath surface, between locks 4 and lock 5. Andrew Nice joined Rachael’s team Unfortunately space does not allow the inclusion of Graham's other report, (They got the machinery stuck). from the W&B, entitled 'BITM and the Iraqi supergun'. (Graham Hotham)

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Logistics "I will gladly deposit Logistics outside your abode..." Whose kit is it anyway? Another Logistics article for Navvies already (and it’s late – sorry Martin) … where is the time going? On occasions it seems (like the last time!) I am inspired to write something but all too often divine intervention eludes me. It is very difficult to report on the same kind of work that happens in a new and exciting way every issue of Navvies … some would argue if it ever was!! It is due to this and the fact that Navvies is your magazine that I thought it would be kind of fun to do this in a “Whose line is it anyway?” style, i.e. people can write to/ring me and suggest what object/film/type of film/tv programme/personality/any or all of the above (!) they would like me to include or use the style of and I’ll see what I can come up with! Could be very interesting?! Then again, I suspect I won’t hear a dickey-bird because I rarely get any response from requests I make! Mugs, Burco lids, tea-towels, polypropylene … We have already had the Easter camp at Droitwich which was very successful. The “Fleximats” got their first outing – a little thin as I suspected but they proved useful and will be more hygienic (and much lighter!) than the large catering boards. Please can you help to prolong their life and not use too much pressure to cut and chop things as our knives are VERY sharp and there is no need. By the way, the two white boards are there to support the fleximats if there is need for a solid surface, not to chop on directly. The brew box idea seems to work too. The main camp season is upon us and it’s panic stations here at Logistics. Not much time to finish sorting stuff at all! But just remember you are lucky to get anything!! I have tried to get everything in order but it feels like a losing battle a lot of the time. Just when you think things are coming together someone breaks or loses some more kit, finds another leak, or wants a general whinge about the state of it. All I can say is if the latter is the case you want to think very carefully as I will gladly deposit Logistics in its entirety (minus myself, thank you very much!) outside your abode, or perhaps make things very difficult for a camp. 'Idle threats', I hear you mutter - well just you try it. I may not command the same presence as Mick but don’t make the mistake that you can take me for granted and take the Michael!! I would like to make a plea as I do every year: please can everyone involved in mixing and using concrete/ mortar remember to keep a bucket/source of water

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to hand and put tools used in it as soon as they put them down as I have spent a lot of time grinding off various items to reduce their weight by half!! It is no more of a hassle to put a shovel down in a drum full of water than it is to put it down beside it. When filling in kit lists please use a cross (‘X’!!!!!!!) when checking stuff in and out - many of you still insist on using a tick. Don’t put any mark in the columns where the item is missing. And do fill them in (correctly would be nice too!!) please, I don’t print them off for my health you know! As I’m sure I said last year, don’t blissfully ignore any missing items… go and look for them!!! Particular favourites for being left behind are hard hats, mugs (are usually left in machines or in fact anywhere on site!), brick kit bits, and lids. It is often a good idea to check the tools when you are finishing on site on the Friday (so remember to take the tool kit list with you) as it means everyone can scout around for the missing bits … well, it’d be nice to think you would do! Talking of hard hats - if somewhat indirectly - if you think it’s funny to smear handprints and blobs of paint on them, think again – you may be offended when I personally charge you for the expense of a replacement! Get the picture?! Thanks to everyone who helped to clear up after the Training Weekend and huge thanks should go to Womble for sorting it out for us – you’re brilliant. Now there’s someone else you should never take for granted! I have volunteered for tea towel duty, or so it would appear (there are at least twenty of the blessed things on the line as I write!). Am I talking to myself or does anyone actually take note? I can feel an experiment coming on in the next issue … Right then, where’s that brush? Logistics – Ever so slightly* more bad-tempered and pissed off than usual. Just Jen logistics.jen@cwcom.net *See Navvies 184, Pg.13.

Harri finds a job that's nearly as interesting as brickcleaning: hard-hat washing. SeeJen'scomments above about people who smear paint on them! (Alan Lines)


Anderton Abseil Over the last few issues of ‘Navvies’ there has been the odd mention of the Anderton Boat Lift Abseil. Well here’s a bit of an update.... The Anderton Lift near Northwich in Cheshire is the only working boat-lift in Britain... or it was, until it failed in the early 1980s and investigation revealed that major rebuilding was needed - costing millions.

Anderton Sponsor someone to abseil down Britain's only boat-lift!

The appeal for the last £250 000 towards restoring it to working order has gone well but there’s still some way to go and WRG would like to contribute to this - so 20 WRG volunteers will abseil down the lift - provided they raise enough sponsorship. And that's where you come in. If we raise our target of £10 000, then WRG become a Gold Patron. As a Gold Patron WRG will have its name listed on the roll of honour for others to see for years to come - not to mention the fact that we’ll have made a major contribution to saving a unique relic of the Industrial Revolution. You can sponsor an individual or sponsor the entire group with the enclosed insert - and please tick the 'gift aid' box if you're a taxpayer: this raises an extra 28%. Updates will appear in ‘Navvies’, showing how much money we've raised towards the target. It’s a tall order [50ft 4in tall, as it happens! ...Ed] to raise this amount of money so please help by sponsoring one or all of the 20 abseilers and help them each achieve their £500 individual target. Here’s the list of the lucky people who will be jumping off the Lift...

·· ·· ·· ·· ··

Spencer Collins Sue Burchett Mike Palmer (we put his name down to go first!) Harry Watts Dave Parish Viv Thorpe Martin Ludgate George "Bungle" Eycott Glen Shoosmith Gav Moor

Dave Wedd Ralph Bateman Lou Kellett Jen Leigh Izzy Gascoigne Nina Whiteman Matt Taylor Paul “Mole” Cattermole Katherine Davis

As you will see, there are only 19 names on this list. By the time you receive this, we hope to have the twentieth volunteer - and we will include his/her name in the insert if we have it in time. But if you want to take part and your name isn’t on the list, please get in touch with me: if the last place has been taken we can hold you in reserve in case anyone drops out... so to speak! Date of Event is SUNDAY 7th October 2001 so note it in your diary and even if you aren’t going to Abseil, please come along and help out. Accommodation has been booked in the village and there is a good local pub by the Lift. Spencer Collins

Anderton Lift: who wouldn't pay to see the Editor jump off it?

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Bankside

Bankside Moorings

written written by by Bruce Bruce Tunnel Tunnel

Oz Collingwood, Camp Leader on the Thames Berks & Andover Canal Camp, was sitting on a bench outside Sodding Chipbury village hall at the start of the Camp, surrounded by a large number of plastic crates, all of which appeared to be full to the brim with sheets of printed paper. “What’s all this then”, asked his assistant leader Janet Shipstone, “more waste-paper for the WRG North West collection?” “No, it’s a computer printout of all the new road vehicle regulations that have just been brought in. I was going to download the whole lot from the DVLA’s Internet site - but then I worked out that it would be cheaper and quicker for me to pay them to deliver a copy from Swansea! Now I’ve just got to read through the whole lot before next Sunday’s WRG Committee meeting and work out exactly which of the regulations apply to us, and how we’re going to deal with them... starting with this nonsense about having to fit tachographs to all the vans if we’re going to be able to carry on using them to tow trailers. There are 184 exemptions to that one - and 2175 exemptions to the exemptions...” Janet could sense that Oz was not going to be at his most useful for this particular Canal Camp. But she figured that there were enough other experienced volunteers present that the fact that the Camp Leader would be spending every waking hour (and probably some sleeping ones too) reading road vehicle regulations was not likely to be a major problem. And she was right. The work - installing gabion bank protection on the Spaglingworth to Bolminster pound - progressed well, with only the odd spot of bother on the Wednesday evening when Mark Robinson got left behind on site because somebody had accidentally wired him into a gabion... and nobody missed him until it was his turn on the washing-up rota that evening. The catering was up to the usual high standard... “I must say the catering’s really been up-toscratch this week!” “Well, a lot of that’s down to the foot-and-mouth disease.” “What? You don’t mean we’ve been buying meat from diseased animals...”

“Good heavens no! But haven’t you heard - since the outbreak started they’ve banned all pig-farmers from feeding their animals on pig-swill. So there’s gallons and gallons of the stuff being thrown away... or there was, until our Camp Cook found out!” The evening entertainments went well - apart from one slight problem thanks to ‘Gordon-I-brokemy-nose-three-times’ Drake getting the list of ‘tools needed on site’ mixed up with the ‘evening entertainments schedule’in the camp’s paperwork... the WRGies consulted the list, noted that ‘tonight’s entertainment’ was ‘wrecking bar’ and set to work on the saloon of the Floundering Arms pub... But all in all, it was a successful week, and throughout it Oz sat at a table in the back room of the village hall, ploughing through reams of Vehicle Licensing rules and exemptions, until he finally emerged blinking into the daylight on the final Saturday, just in time to introduce himself to his first-time campers as they departed for home. The following day he was doing his best to explain the regulations to the WRG Chairman Mike Palmer*, Robert Burtonwood the WRG vehicle manager and the rest of the committee at the WRG meeting... “So let me get this right - we only need tachographs on vehicle-plus-trailer combinations weighing over 3.5 tonnes. Well, that’s OK isn’t it - we hardly ever load that much in.” “No - it’s not how much they’re carrying, it’s how much they’re allowed to carry: 3.5 tonnes Maximum Permitted Mass or MPM. Of course it used to be called Maximum Gross Weight or MGW but some bloke in DETR figured he could get a couple more staff allocated to his office by instigating a ‘Change All The Abbreviations’ programme... or CATA for short... anyway, it means that as our vans have a MPM of something like 3499Kg, that means if they tow any trailer at all, they’ll go over 3.5 tonnes. Unless you can find a trailer that weighs less than a kilogramme! And I know Logistics have been trying to reduce the weight of the kits, but that’s less than the weight of one lump-hammer!” “OK, but surely there’s an exemption to the tachograph requirements for private non-commercial use.” “Well, yes, but I’m afraid it doesn’t apply to us. You see, even though we’re a non-profit company we’re still a company - and the exemption only applies to private owners.” “Ah, but... what about if the vehicles are owned by the volunteers themselves, not by WRG. We could always sell the van and trailer to the driver at the start of the journey and buy it back at the end. It would be a good incentive to drive them carefully, because if they got any dents or scratches we wouldn’t pay so much to get them back...."

* See back page regarding how real people can get to appear in 'Bankside'

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"Yes - and of course there will always be about £5 depreciation on any journey so we’ll always make a slight surplus on any journey, which we can put towards replacing the van and trailer in a few years time...” “No, I’m afraid that won’t work. You see, it’s not just the ownership of the vehicle, it’s what it’s being used for that matters. And under the definition of ‘work’ that some judge came up with in a test case in court, anything that’s ‘for the greater good’ counts as ‘work’, whether or not anyone gets paid for it.” “OK, are there any exemptions that might apply to us?” “Well, there’s an exemption for ‘vehicles used for carrying animal waste or carcasses not for human consumption’... would the catering trailer qualify?” “I don’t think we’d better draw too much attention to it, even if it does.” “I guess you’re right - and I suppose the same applies to the exemption for ‘vehicles used in connection with sewerage’. OK, how about ‘vehicles constructed before 1 Jan 1947 and vehicles powered by steam’?” “No, I don’t think even the oldest members of the WRG fleet would qualify." “Oh well, how about ‘vehicles used by local authorities in connection with needs of the elderly or infirm’?” “I suppose the ‘silver fox' camp on the Droitwich might count - after all, the canal’s leased by the local authority. But that’s not going to help us with the rest of the Camps programme, unless the EU finally bring in the new regulations that they've been threatening for ages, and we have to push the lower age limit up to 65...” “Well what about this one - there’s an exemption for ‘vehicles used in emergencies or for rescue’. After all, we’re always going on about how we rescue canals from dereliction.” “Nice try, Oz, but I’m not entirely sure that the judge would see it that way. Are there any more?” “Well, there’s always ‘circus and fun fair vehicles’. Do you think we’d qualify as a circus? After all, we’ve got plenty of clowns, a fair-few stunt-drivers and several performing animals...” “Good idea - but it doesn’t really fit in with the modern image that we’ve been trying to cultivate recently as a responsible, serious, dedicated organisation rather than a bunch of jokers...” “Have we? Oh. Well, it looks like there’s nothing else for it - we’re going to have to fork out to fit these blasted tachos on all the vans. But hang on there’s one other exemption that might apply... there’s one that applies specifically to British Waterways when they’re working on canal maintenance.”

“So we could always flog all our vans to BW and rent them back...” “No, they would have to be ‘used’ by BW, not just ‘owned’ by them. We would have to make WRG a subsidiary of BW. And we might as well be: after all, our parent body the IWA are now ‘BW’s partners’ - I know that’s true, because I read it in the NABO newsletter. But would we have to paint all the vans green? Or could we get BW to change their own colours to red - after all, it’s months since they last changed their colour scheme - they must be due another change soon...” “By the way, Oz”, interjected Mike, worried at where this discussion was leading, “all that paperwork from the DVLA - how did they deliver it?” “In a long wheelbase Ford Transit and a big trailer.” “Was it by any chance equipped with a tachograph?” “No, of course not. They’ve got an exemption.” “Of course they have - it’s that one about whether it’s ‘for the greater good’, isn’t it? That should exempt pretty much anything that the civil service does...” “Oh no, they’ve been very careful to define everything their own office does as ‘for the greater good’ in fact their definition of what they do takes up most of the first 200 pages of the documents. No, they’ve exempted themselves when delivering paperwork to the public under ‘vehicles used in connection with refuse collection and disposal’...” His voice tailed off as he realised that nobody was listening any more. They were all looking out of the window into the car-park, where a rather agitated-looking Gordon Drake was running around pointing an air-gun at the sky, firing off shots apparently at random. “What the hell’s going on, are Gordon?” demanded Oz, opening the window. “Well, you know what you said about trailers that weigh less than one kilogramme...” “Gordon, I was joking!” “Oh,” said Gordon, rather crestfallen, as he fired off a volley of shots. Oz looked up in the direction that the Gordon’s gun was pointing. He was just in time to see the Canal Camps kit ‘B’ trailer, with several thousand small helium balloons tethered to the roof, as it disappeared into the clouds. “On second thoughts”, he said, returning to the meeting, “perhaps we should get ourselves exempted as a circus after all...” To be continued...

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Bits & Pieces

Vans: Additional

After having written a huge amount in the last issue of 'Navvies' on Vans a few points slipped the net so here are some I’ve remembered! Please don’t use any engine oil from the other vans when topping up VOJ’s oil. Due to it’s high efficiency engine it takes 5W-30 oil. Likewise with the coolant – it has to be the specific radioactive-looking orange stuff. I have a bottle so let me know when it could do with a top-up please. Since 'Navvies' 186, we have had tachos fitted in VOJ and RFB – details on the use of should be included with this issue. This means that when towing you must have a disc in and also means we all have to be aware that there may be another persons disc in the tacho so should check this before we drive off with each van. Another ‘happened since Navvies 186’ is that we no longer have to tune into the Cosmos to fill VOJ!Yes, miracles apparently do happen and we now have a diesel filler valve as opposed to the unleaded variety. Hooray! Thanks very much to those of you who have offered your driving services for camp manoeuvres over the summer – we await leaders begging now. There really isn’t as much time left to organise it as you think. It’s OK – that’s all!

Just Jen

PS a disclaimer! 'Just Jen' would like to apologise to everyone for the "in-ness" of the WRGNA report last time. It appears that it was so "in" that even people who attended the weekend didn't get it!! So those of you who feel neglected by "in" jokes relax in the knowledge that no-one is laughing! Mr and Mrs Cockup are fictional characters and any likeness to anyone in real life is coincidental. Apologies should also be given to the scrub-bashing team who worked up on Tamworth Road as they were omitted from the report.

More reopenings On page 2 is a photo of the Huddersfield - but that's not the only one we can tick off the 'jobs to be done' list... In Scotland, another east-west link across Britain the Forth & Clyde - carried its first boats for nearly 40 years during the late spring Bank Holiday weekend. Like the Huddersfield, it has largely been lotteryfunded and professionally-restored in recent years, but like the Huddersfield it wouldn't have got anywhere without a small group of determined amateurs starting work, at a time when many saw it as a lost cause. How long before we're saying the same about the H&G, Wilts & Berks, Barnsley, Melton & Oakham...? Meanwhile in Ireland two new waterways have opened - the delightfully-named Boyle Canal and Suck Navigation, guaranteed to please both boaters and fans of Fungus the Bogeyman... We hope to have pictures of all three next time. Crew required... Jim and Liz Lamen would like someone to help bring their 36ft (two-berth, three if they're friendly or one sleeps on the floor!) narrow boat back to Middlewich after the National Waterways Festival (which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend in Milton Keynes). Phone 0161 494 5957 if you can help. And speaking of the 'National'... The WRG entertainments are a bit different this year: we're doing a couple of slots in a whole evening ot 'Old time music hall' style entertainment on the Saturday night - although as usual there is likely to be a bit of a WRG twist to it! Phone "Doctor Liz" Williamson on 01844 351549, mobile 07711 955 973 or email drliz@drs.org.uk if you fancy helping. Camps latest! See the WRG web site http://www.wrg.org.uk for the very latest on this year's camps - including some more photos showing this year's sites and the work that we're going to be doing - plus information on whether camps still have places free on them, and a booking form. Coming soon-ish... The WRG Reunion 'Bonfire Bash' on the Basingstoke on 3-4 Nov, led by Ian and Liz Williamson with Jude in charge of catering. Booking form in 'Navvies' 188, or to beat the rush there's already one on the WRG web site! And finally... My thanks to all the contributors to 'Navvies', even those who haven't always quite made the press date!

Former IWA National Chairman Audrey Smith OBE presents a cheque from Kent & East Sussex IWA Branch to Ken Parish of KESCRG to fund a new tool trailer. Also pictured is Tony Greenwood of the IWA branch sales stall team who were responsible for raising most of the money.

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Hope to see you all on a Canal Camp this summer... and (on the basis that it isn't worth being in a position of power if you don't abuse it occasionally!) I'd like to point out that THE BEST CAMP of the entire summer will be Camp 0104 starting June 30 on the Thames & Severn. Most scenic location of any Canal Camp site, excellent support from local canal society, good accommodation with superb local pub, showers and view of half of Gloucestershire (not from the showers!), variety of interesting work, led and fed by Martin, Ian, Liz and Hannah who brought you the utterly brilliant Camp 0009 at Droitwich last year... SEE YOU THERE!


Stamps wanted The WRG Canal Camps mobile phones: 07850 422156 (A) and 07850 422157 (B)

Send all your used postage stamps, cigarette and petrol coupons and old phone cards to IWA/ WRG Stamp Bank, 33, Hambleton Grove, Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes MK4 2JS. All proceeds to canal restoration.

WRGWear Complete WRGwear catalogue - including 'fashion' shots of the Editor, Ed Walker, Spencer Collins, 'Bushbaby', Marcus etc. plus order form now available on the WRG web site http://www.wrg.org.uk.

MAGAZINES For back-issues of all canal magazines including 'Canal Boat', 'Canal and Riverboat', 'Waterways World', 'Navvies' and 'Waterways' (all proceeds to WRG) contact Sheelah Lockwood: phone 01908 675255.

Photos wanted! If you go on a Canal Camp and get some decent photographs, please remember to send some to the Editor. We'd like them for 'Navvies', for the WRG web site, for the WRG Publicity display, for next year's Canal Camps booklet etc. etc. etc. Please tell us whether you want them back afterwards. See page 2 for the editor's address and e-mail.

Navvies Production

Navvies is published by Waterway Recovery Group Ltd, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY and is available to all interested in promoting the restoration Subscriptions / circulation and conservation of inland Sue Watts waterways by voluntary ef15 Eleanor Road fort in Great Britain. Articles Chorlton-cum-Hardy may be reproduced in allied Manchester M21 9FZ magazines provided that the Printing and assembly: source is acknowledged. John & Tess Hawkins WRG may not agree with 4 Links Way, Croxley Grn opinions expressed in this Rickmansworth, Herts magazine, but encourages WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 publication as a matter of inhawkins@jote.fsnet.co.uk terest. Editor : Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Road East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020-8693 3266

Noticeboard Change of (e-)address... Leo & Angus MacKenzie have moved to: 49 Fisher Gardens, Knaresborough, N. Yorks HG5 8BD. Phone: 01423 797339 ...and will welcome visitors to that address (I'm told there are lots of good pubs nearby), expecially visitors who arrive equipped with paintbrushes and walpaper-scrapers. However they would like any post to be sent to: 17 Pasture Street, ChapelAllerton, Leeds LS7 4QX Leo will also have a new e-mail address soon; in the meantime please use this one: Leo@MacKenzieRestorations.co.uk Helen Teanby & Philip Walker have moved to: 10 Abbey Mews, Pontefract N Yorks WF8 1TD. Phone: 01977 699665 Alan Lines has a new e-mail address: alanlines@btinternet.com Andi Kewley has moved to: ...somewhere in Acton, west London. Address details next time; in the meantime ring her new mobile phone 07976 294222 Matt Taylor has a new mobile phone: 07870 627484 If you move house, don't forget to tell 'Navvies': write to Sue Watts (see below under 'Navvies Producution') or e-mail Edd Leetham edd@downstream.ltd.uk. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated - otherwise WRG and IWAaccept no liability for any matter in this magazine.

Directors :

John Baylis, Michael Beattie, Malcolm Bridge, Roger Burchett, Ray Carter, Spencer Collins, Christopher Davey, Š 2001 WRG ltd Helen Davey, ISSN 0953-6655 Roger Day, Richard Waterway Recovery Group Drake, Neil Edwards, Ltd is a subsidiary of the In- Adrian Fry, John land WaterwaysAssociation Hawkins, Jennifer Leigh, Judith Moore, (a registered charity). Michael Palmer, Registered office: Jonathan Smith. 3 Norfolk Court, Norfolk Rd. Rickmansworth WD3 1LT Secretary: tel : 01923 711114 Neil Edwards Registered in England no VAT reg. no : 285 1387 37 1599204

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'Bankside': walk-on roles available...

Backfill Youtoocanappearin'Bankside'... if you change your name... Seen at Droitwich...

Thank you to Dave Mack for noting the naming convention for characters in the 'Bankside' serial (in case you hadn't noticed, all characters - except those that have survived from earlier serials - take their surnames from breweries past or present), and pointing out that in view of the Palmer's Brewery that was featured on the back page last time, Mike is now eligible to appear as a character in the series. So he appears in this issue. A quick search for other real-life people involved in the canals and eligible for a walk-on part in the serial suggests that Rick Ansell, the various Smiths, boatbuilder Roger Fuller and WRGies Ralph and Kaye Bateman had better watch out... not to mention that well known duo (blame Ken Whapples for this one!) of Matt and Luke Taylor-Walker...

"Various options for the location of the new lock are being tried out."

Spotted on the K&A...

or

...by Andy Gleeson: a BW lock safety sign saying "do not open gatepaddles until the lock is half-full." On a lock that only has gate-paddles.

"We are investivating the possibility of pre-fabricating sections of lock-chamber wall for later assembly by forklift." or "WRG takes its commitment to National Barbecue Week seriously." or anything else you care to suggest! PS thanks to Andy Jones for the captions. Photo by Martin Ludgate

Pass the bucket, this may take some time...

HIghlights from the forthcoming WRG safety video... (a) Bungle telling everyone to "keep their equipment in good working order and always use protection" (b) Jonathan Smith pleading for everyone to remember to "keep a nice and shidy tite..." ...plus something unprintable and unlikely to make it into the final version involving Marcus and a helmet...

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Navvies 187