avvies N Volunteers restoring waterways No 190 December 2001 - January 2002
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Press date for No 191: January 8th.
In this issue:
Editorial what's Navvies worth? Chairman trying to plan for 2002 WRG NorthWest is 25 years old! Anderton feature article on Britain's last
3 4 5
vertical boat-lift, and a report on 21 WRGies 6-11 abseiling down it for restoration funds Basingstoke Bonfire Bash report 12-14 Early days 40 years ago at Woking 15 Bookshop auction of canal books 16-17 Directory of WRG and canal societies 18-19 Diary camps and working parties 20-22 Letters to the editor 23-27 WRG wear luminous WRG T-shirts! 28-29 Camps Basingstoke and Lichfield 30-33 Ludwigs Canal an old canal and a 34-35 new one in Bavaria Bits & Pieces and the WRG Boat Club 36-37
Noticeboard Backfill including 'Albert and the lock'
And next time...
A year's subscription (6 issues) is available for a minimum of £1.50 (please add a donation if possible) to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorltoncum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques to "Waterway Recovery Group" please.
...reports from the Christmas and New Year camps and work parties, the latest on Dig Deep, more details of 2002's Canal Camps, the results of the 2001 feedback survey and the return of 'Bankside'. And whatever else you write!
Visit our web site http://www.wrg.org.uk for all the latest news or WRG's activities Cover photo: removing overhanging branches from the offside bank of the Basingstoke Canal, the main job for the annual Bonfire Bash weekend dig: see report and more photos on pages 12-14. Below: the Anderton Sponsored Abseil - Matt decides to do it facing downwards! As we go to press the money raised by the Abseil is creeping towards its target of a £10,000 contribution to the restoration of Britain's last surviving vertical boat lift: see pages 6-11 for a feature article on the Anderton Lift and a report on the abseil. Photos by Martin Ludgate.
Is 'Navvies' worth the paper it's printed on? Don't worry - this isn't another self-flagellating 'why on earth am I doing this' from an editor who's hacked-off because it's past the press date and MKP still hasn't sent his 'Chairman's page' in, and is wondering why he bothers to keep on doing it... No: it's a serious question about what we spend on producing this magazine and whether we should spend more on making it better. If indeed it is possible to make it any better than it already is. (See, I told you this wasn't a self-flagellation session!) Firstly - what does it cost? We keep the 'minimum subscription' low so that everyone can afford it, but ask for a donation from those who can spare it: recently some subscribers have asked what we actually spend on 'Navvies', to ensure that their donation actually covers their share of the 'real' cost. This is not easy to answer. Adding up the cost of postage, ink, envelopes and "the paper it's printed on" comes to about £2-£2.50 per subscriber per year. Adding in a share of the fixed costs (mainly plate-making) adds another pound or more to this. But then it gets tricky: WRG owns a printing press, collater, folding machine and assorted computer hardware: several grand's worth altogether. All of which fully justified its purchase costs (either financially by reducing the amount that we have to pay outside printers, or in other ways such as by improving quality or shortening lead-time) but some of which incurs maintenance costs and all of which will eventually be life-expired and need replacing. We could use standard accounting techniques to come up with an annual cost, divide this by the number of subscribers and add it to the cost, probably giving a total per subscription of something over £5. But that would not be entirely true: none of this equipment is solely used for 'Navvies': John Hawkins uses the press for WRG publicity such as 'What is WRG'; the editor uses his computer, scanners etc. to produce the Canal Camps booklet, IWA publications and the National Waterways Festival newsletter. And he isn't about to start filling in timesheets allotting his time to each publication! And just to muddy the water further, what about the couple of hundred 'complimentary' subscriptions that go to the national and local press, canal magazines, canal societies, BW and so on. Should the cost of these be split among the paying subscribers? Or should they be regarded as an 'overhead' that is really part of WRG publicity? Not to mention that the actual cost varies between issues - the budget isn't fixed, and we can increase it if a really important issue or a lot of good contributions justify a larger magazine - like this one! So I'm afraid the exact answer is 'we honestly can't tell you'!
And even if we did know, we wouldn't want subscribers feeling guilty and wondering about cancelling their subscription because they were paying less than that and felt they weren't 'paying their way'. Partly because if about half of the costs are fixed anyway, they won't be saving us that much by cancelling; but mainly because we simply don't want to lose them as subscribers: if you want to read 'Navvies', then we want you to read it! And now to whether we should spend any more money on it... After some suggestions in the Letters page that we ought to consider using colour in 'Navvies', we promised to investigate how much it would cost. We therefore obtained quotes for printing the outside and inside covers in colour. The exact cost depends on details like whether we use glossy or plain paper, but roughly speaking it would add £300-350 per issue. About £2000 per year. That may seem a modest amount when you convert it to a cost per subscriber of between £1 and £1.50. But unlike the equipment costs mentioned above, we can't justify it in terms of savings elsewhere. (and we can't be sure that our subscribers will be so impressed that they will increase their donations by an average of £1 - £1.50 each!) And so far nobody has come up with an offer to sponsor it, or volunteered to help us to find advertising or sponsorship to cover the costs. It must therefore be weighed up against all the other things we would like to spend money on: like saving up to replace our oldest Transit, re-vamping our publicity display or professional help with a safety video - to name but three "would like to" rather than "must spend now" expenses that have come up recently or will in the near future - and unlike those three, it's an expense that will occur every year. So I'm afraid that following discussion at last the WRG Committee meeting, colour printing in 'Navvies' is just not a high enough priority right now to justify £2000 per year of WRG's limited budget. But we do appreciate the benefits of a more-attractive magazine and will continue to explore possibilities such as an annual 'colour supplement' with the Autumn issue that most of the Camp Reports appear in. And in the meantime if anyone happens to want to give us two grand for colour, please do... even though right at the moment we'd probably rather put it towards a new minibus! Martin Ludgate
So despite the “challenges” that we face as we prepare for 2002 I can say that I haven’t seen the enthusiasm that I witnessed at the last committee meeting for quite a while.
Chairman Looking forward to 2002... if it all goes to plan... This is the most risky Chairman’s piece of the year to write. It is the one that begins “if all goes to plan this navvies comes complete with a Canal Camps brochure bursting with fantastic, exciting Camps on the most dynamic restoration projects in the country...” Unfortunately I have to write this in November where we have not much more than a draft schedule and a lot of good intentions. As I type this, lots of committee members are ringing up Canal Society officials and sorting out dates, accommodation, work schedules, permissions, etc. Once the local societies come back with their offers we have to get back together and see if it all still fits the schedule. Then we have to work out how to get the kit to each Camp. Parallel to this various people are working on the design of the Canal Camps brochure, knowing that the draft may change at any moment. And, of course, this very edition of navvies is being put together as it has to come out alongside the Camps brochure. So while it is only natural to write “2002 looks like being a year full of interesting challenges with a huge range of fascinating work on some of the most dynamic projects around the country” it is faintly possible that, just after it goes to press, the whole schedule falls apart and all we have to offer is a couple of weeks on the XXXX and YYYY navigation .
So while I can’t guarantee that the booklet is 100% correct I can say that we will do our very best to make sure it is. You will note that we don’t have a “big project” this year. While this may mean that we don’t get to see the rapid progress that we have come to expect recently it does mean that we should manage a little more training on our events. One item that has come back from the recent feedback survey is that, although these big projects do bode well for training (well funded, lots of kit, lots of well prepared work, etc.), there is so much pressure on to finish the job that it seems impossible to find the time to train anyone. Seeing as learning new skills is one of the main reasons we all do it for, this is rather self defeating. Note: this does not mean that we aren’t interested in big projects - if anyone is out there has a really big project that just HAS to be done then let us know, but be prepared to give a little time for training. Volunteers are not slaves you know! The Anderton Abseil happened and was a very enjoyable day, the last few pennies are dribbling in as I type this and it looks like we may well reach our goal. All of which is excellent practice for an appeal to raise funds for our van. Unfortunately it looks like after over 4 years and 60,000 miles, our faithful minibus NJF is not going to make it to the next summer. So the next edition of ‘Navvies’ will reveal what we intend to do about this. Hugs and Kisses Mike Palmer
The purpose of the above whinge was not really to cover myself from looking a fool (it’s all far too late for that). It was to remind everyone that the organisation of the Canal Camps programme is a truly huge undertaking. It requires a large number of experienced and knowledgeable people to give a huge amount of their time just in sorting and preparing the Camps. Add into that all the time that the leaders put in and you see why, before the first sod has been turned on site, many man-hours have already been given. My thanks to all those concerned with Canal Camps - I don’t know of any other voluntary organisation that runs such a major programme.
insert the name of your least-favourite waterway here...
Mike at the Anderton Abseil (Martin Ludgate)
NorthWest - 25 years on... The New Year sees the 25th Anniversary of the emergence of WRG (NW) in its full glory after years of pupation in the guise of the PFCS Working Party, and it has been decided that rather than our usual festive dinner during the last dig before Christmas, we will have a combined Xmas Dinner and 25th Birthday bash at North Cheshire Cruising Club on Saturday, 19th January. Timing is 6.30 for 7.00 pm, at which time we shall sit down to a Hot Buffet Meal before being entertained by The Belmonts, a ’60s revival band. Blue suede wellies are optional. (The date, coincidentally, is that of our first Paper Chase of the New Year so please co-operate if Mr. Mac tries to enrol you for a bit of appetite-building exercise earlier.) Permission has been obtained for a sleepover in the clubhouse so it seemed a shame to waste the Sunday and in the absence of any potential dig sites other than JP’s garden (using that term loosely) we thought that a trip to look at some of the restoration work on the Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow Canals might interest many. Thanks to the Manchester Museum of Transport we shall have a vintage bus for this trip, which should return by 3.30-4.00pm. There will be no charge but a collection will be taken and a donation made to the Museum. Our regulars have received advance notice and should have booked by the time this notice appears but we would like to extend a general invitation to other Wergies to join us, up to the 100 limit of the hall. Booking will be strictly on a “first come, first served” basis with an absolute deadline of Saturday, 5th January. The cost will be £10 for the evening plus £2 (for breakfast) for those sleeping over.
NorthWest WRG NorthWest are a quarter century old! Bookings, including full payment, should be sent ASAP to: Liz Lamen, 72 Sunfield, Romiley, Stockport SK6 4BJ (tel: 0161-494-5957) Please enclose an s.a.e. for our acknowledgement of your booking and details of how to find NCCC. We will unconditionally refund any bookings cancelled up to 5th January but only if we can fill the place(s) thereafter. Malcolm Bridge NorthWest on the Lichfield After what seems to have been a long stretch without a weekend dig WRG - NorthWest headed off to Lichfield on the 3rd-4th November and had a. satisfying weekend straightening up the piling on the towpath side of the “Watered” pound before the Lift Bridge at the Darnford Lane site. Because of suspected leaks through the joints in the piles an attempt was made to seal these by using many tubes of the sealing/jointing compound usually put round the edges of baths with further emphasis being directed at the base of the piling. A friend of the L & H Trust who happens to own-a vintage Fire Engine was due to arrive later on the Sunday to pump in fresh supplies of water to test the job. Fortunately the weather was kind, much sunshine but a chilly breeze especially on Sunday. A very select weekend away from any rowdy noisy characters! “Mr. Mac”
Thinking of building a brick-cleaner? 'Navvies' 187 gave details of how to build a brickcleaning machine with an electric motor from a lawnmower. Mr Mac has some suitable motors free to a good home i.e. a canal working party ("Anyone else can cross my palm with silver - or preferably gold"): Qualcase Concorde RE35DL lawnmower motor 240V 50Hz motor part no. 12076 (or 12078?) Working. Ribbed pulley to receive ribbed rubber drive belt. (plus the rest of the mower, in pieces!) English Electric motor single phase, frame no. MS 5115 1/4hp 1425rpm 230/250V AC continuous rating. Shaft drive spindle. English Electric motor single phase, frame no. MS 5115 1/4hp 1425rpm 230/250V AC continuous rating. Pulley on drive spindle. (Note: though very similar the above two have different fixings / mountings. Neither has been tested) Smaller motor than the above two but with no details plate. General Electric (USA) motor single phase morel 5KH 15 HG56 U, 115V 60/50Hz, "A 1.48 / 1.82" (amps?) 1/20hp 1725/1425rpm time rating continuous. Flat pulley, rotate ccw / cw. "Very interesting"! Small Servis motor probably from washer / spindryer - no details and needs carbon brushes. If anyone is interested in any of the above, Mr Mac has the necessary experts available in Manchester to examine, test and give a verdict. Contact Mr Mac (David McCarthy) on 0161 740 2179. page 5
Feature Anderton: Britain's only working vertical boat-lift The Anderton Boat Lift Restored On the 26th September 2001 the last restored piece of the Anderton Boat Lift was added to the structure. It remains sheathed in scaffolding whilst it undergoes extensive testing to make sure everything works safely and properly, but to all intents and purposes it is complete and ready to be used. British Waterways hope to open the lift for public use in the spring of 2002. BW held a public exhibition on the site on the 26/ 27th of September and as I happened to be working in the area it was too good an opportunity to miss. The exhibition was a history of the lift and a display of the restoration process. Although I had read quite a lot about the lift beforehand, the exhibition gave loads of info that I wasn’t aware of. 1875 Structure
It was designed to be a hydraulic lift with the two rams operated by water drawn from the Weaver, a decision that was to cause trouble in the future. It was built to allow easy movement of boats in both directions to and from the Trent & Mersey Canal at the top of the lift and the River Weaver Navigation 50 feet below. Because the two waterways were so close it would have been very difficult to put locks in: even the Bingley 5-rise would not fit in the available land. There would also have been a significant amount of water lost from the Trent & Mersey, which would probably have required either additional reservoirs above the canal or a pumping station on the Weaver. Because of this it was decided to use a lift. This was not new technology for the period. Hydraulic engineering was used in many industries and Edwin Clark had built up a world-wide reputation as a designer of hydraulic machinery. Indeed, one of the notable occasions for the use of hydraulic power was some 25 years earlier when Robert Stephenson used rams with a lifting capacity of 2600 tons to raise the spans of the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Straits. Interestingly, Edwin Clark was the bridge Resident Engineer at the time. The original structure was 60 feet high, 49 feet wide and 85 feet long. The two caissons (tanks) weighed 80 tonnes when empty and 252 tonnes when full of water and were 75 feet long, 15 feet 6 inches wide and 9 feet 6inches deep at the middle and thus wide enough to take two narrow boats or one barge. The two caissons worked in opposite directions so that the weight of water in one counter-balanced the other.
The lift was originally built in 1875 to the design of Edwin Clark who went on to design larger lifts on the continent, including the lift at La Louviere in Belgium. The credit for the design of lift is often given to Sir Edward Leader Williams but he was the Engineer to the River Weaver Navigation Trust and therefore would have had overall responsibility for the construction. Leader Williams resigned just after Parliamentary approval had been received but stayed on as Consulting Engineer whilst the lift was being built. Overspending on building contracts is not a new phenomenon. Leader Williams’ original estimate in 1870 was £12,000. The contract awarded to the builders Anderton designer Edwin Clark went on to design larger lifts abroad, in(Emmerson & Co) was in cluding La Louviere, the first of a series of four similar lifts on the Canal du the sum of £23,420 and Centre in Belgium. These lifts still operate on the hydraulic system - the the final cost in 1875 original Anderton would have looked fairly similar, before the A-frames and machinery deck were added during the 1908 rebuild. (Martin Ludgate) was £48,428!!
1908 Structure In 1906 the momentous decision was made to convert the lift from hydraulic to electrical operation. Since the lift has opened in 1875 nearly 3.5 million tons of cargo had been moved by the lift (an average of 103,000 tons a year) and the Trustees were fully aware of the need to keep the operation going. The Engineer at the time (Col. J A Saner) proposed to construct an additional frame outside the existing lift using huge ‘A’-frames to support a machinery deck. This deck would hold the pulleys over which were slung hawsers to hold the 252 tonne counterweights to lift each caisson independently. There were 72 geared pulleys on the lift, the 16 largest weighing 35 tonnes each. Anderton during the period of electric counterweighted The work was completed by 1908 and the operation: from 1908 until closure in 1983. (Chris Griffiths) lift was only closed for a total of 49 days during that 2 year period. The total cost of To assist the movement the lower caisson had 6 conversion was £25,869, £10,000 over budget!! inches of water (15 tonnes) drained out whilst the upper caisson had 6 inches let in. The lift The lift in 1983 was essentially that of 1908 with needed external power to move it the last 6 inches the ‘A’ – frames and front ‘nose’ giving the lift its and a steam engine and accumulator provided unmistakable look. The lift was now 80 feet high this. The whole operation from a boat entering and 75 wide at ground level. One other significant the basin at the top to exiting into the Weaver design change was to make the lower lift chamber took 10 minutes with minimal loss of water and dry rather than wet. Up to that time the caisson hardly any use of external power. Should it be dropped directly into water that had been let in from necessary to carry out repairs on one of the lifts the River Weaver. This had two disadvantages; first the steam engine and accumulator would be used the lower end of the hydraulic rams were constantly to provide power to the remaining ram but this under water with its consequential corrosive effects would take 30 minutes to raise the caisson. and second, additional power was required to bring the caisson down to river level. A side benefit of a The lift continued to do everything expected of it dry well was that the chemical ‘stew’ of the Weaver until 1882 when one of the ram presses broke had a lesser effect on the caissons. and the entire top caisson (boat included) fell to the foot of the lift but luckily no one was hurt. Vari- Another notable addition was the white painted ous things were blamed for this failure, which re- control cabin on the top of the lift, which effectively sulted in several ‘stiff’ letters between the design- meant that one man in the cabin and another at ers, engineers and manufacturers of the lift. The lift ground level controlled the whole operation. was closed for 6 months whilst undergoing repairs and a rail based ‘mini inclined plane’ was provided Within 5 years of the re-build the lift was carrying to transfer cargoes during this closure. 225,000 tons, which amply justified the decision to convert the structure. However trade on the The next big problem was discovered in 1885 canals was starting its long decline. Although the when it was found that pollution in the water from lift saw a few peaks in trade, by 1947 the annual the Northwich chemical works was having a marked tonnage was down to 32,000. effect on the hydraulic rams. They were becoming grooved which was allowing water to flow past the Then in 1948 came the Transport Act, which reglands in the stuffing boxes. The grooves were filled sulted in the nationalisation of the docks, the inin with copper, which simply made everything worse land waterways and the railways. It is probably fair through a combination of the chemicals in the wa- to say that this Act did not help the Boat Lift or, ter and bi-metallic corrosion. They switched to dis- indeed, the rest of the waterways. Very little time or tilled water in 1897 which effectively gave the lift a money was granted by any Government to mainfurther 10 years life in it’s then current form but the tain or restore the inland waterways and their struccorrosion continued and, even worse, the iron work tures. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that they around the lift was also being affected. were actively seeking to close most of them down!
Anderton Closure, restoration and return to hydraulic operation Unfortunately the continued corrosion and the general lack of maintenance resulted in another serious accident in 1981. This time a boat in one of caissons had descended about 6 feet from the Trent & Mersey but the water gate in the caisson had not closed properly. As the water rushed out, the counterweights jerked the whole caisson back up to the top. The safety ropes that should have stopped it, failed because they were not re-fixed properly after some maintenance work. Again, no one was seriously hurt but in total the repairs cost BW £30,000. 2001 Structure In autumn 1983 the decision was taken to close the lift completely after it was discovered that major corrosion had taken place to such an extent that it had become dangerous. Apparently one of the welders brought in to try and repair some of the metalwork said it was like ‘welding a box of paper hankies’. When the paintwork had been shot blasted the painters found more holes than metal. Because the structure was so weak there was an urgent need to reduce the load on the structure so in 1987 all the winding gear from the top of the lift was removed and stored on site whilst the counterweights and caissons were lowered to ground level.
Restoration work in progress earlier this year. (British Waterways)
Another view from the 1908-83 era. Visible behind it is the chemical works whose output may have been responsible for much of the corrosion that the lift suffered. (Chris Griffiths). Interestingly, the original 1875 structure was in better shape that some of the 1908 metalwork. This was reckoned to be because most of the original structure was constructed in cast iron, which acted well under compression and was highly resistant to corrosion. The new structure was made of steel, which whilst good in both compression and tension was more vulnerable to corrosion than cast iron. The chemical industries around Northwich produced some of the worst pollution in the country, both waterborne and airborne and without regular painting the steel rusted very quickly. And there it stayed, apparently abandoned and just waiting for someone to cart it away for scrap. But things were going on in the background with various groups working to get the lift restored. The first was the Anderton Boat Lift Development Group set up in 1986 of which the IWA was a founding member with the declared aim of keeping the whole issue alive. Then came the Anderton Boat Lift Trust, formed primarily to raise funds for the restoration. Working closely with the Trust are the Friends of the Anderton Boat Lift who have a small Visitor Centre in the Country Park next to the lift. After long and frustrating delays an announcement was made in March 1999 that British Waterways had made a successful bid for £3.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the estimated £7 million for total restoration. Along with funding from the Lottery and BW there has been a terrific response from the public and the boating fraternity. The Anderton Boat Lift Appeal had raised £305,000 by summer 2001. We also have some crazy fools in WRG who threw themselves off the top of the lift for money. The final cost of restoration is now reckoned to be nearer £8 million so money is still urgently needed. To help, you can become a Sponsor of the lift and receive a very attractive plaque. The IWA have received the first ‘Gold Patron’ plaque for their contribution to the appeal.
Even better, the decision had been made to recreate the lift in its original form as a hydraulic operation, leaving the 1908 ironwork as it was. There were two factors that influenced that decision. To re-use the 1908 lifting gear would have meant replacing over 60% of the original metalwork. This was felt to be more like re-building than restoration; the other reason was the fact that the additional weight of metal would have meant massive underpinning of the structure. The engineering involved in the restoration has been truly awe-inspiring. Even more impressive was the fact they were able to use the original cast iron shafts for the new rams because they were built to such exacting standards in 1875. (The original rams had been removed during the 40’s presumably as part of the Governments drive to collect scrap metal for the war effort.) Unfortunately, to clear the shafts of accumulated rubbish it required a single miner with pick axe and shovel to descend into the 5-foot 6 inch diameter shaft and clear them by hand. The same German company that forged the steel frame in the 1908 conversion (Mannesmann Rexroth) forged the new rams. They weigh 38 tonnes and are 106 feet long. When the restoration started it was discovered that the ground around the rams was very unstable. Because they also needed to use one of the largest cranes in Europe to move various parts of the frame work it was necessary to pump concrete grout into the soil. They used over a quarter of a million gallons of water to do it. Just a few facts about the restoration;
· · ·
More than a mile’s worth of welding was required to cover over 1000 repairs. The structure needed 8000 new bolts An area equivalent to 6 football pitches needs painting before the job is finished.
As I said earlier, the lift is due to open in spring 2002 with a suggested charge of £27.50 a boat for the return trip but this has not been finally decided. The Anderton Boat Lift is truly one of the ‘Wonders of the Waterways’ It epitomises Victorian engineering at its height. It has been described as ugly but it remains the only working boatlift in Great Britain (unless, of course, the Falkirk Wheel gets there first!). British Waterways are confident that their restoration will last 99 years; that’s only 28 years less than the original! Spencer Greystrong
Artist's impression of how the lift will appear once restoration is complete (British Waterways) To write this article I have drawn extensively from the British Waterways display at Anderton and the literature sent to me by the Anderton Boat Lift Appeal. I have used Web site www.andertonboatlift.co.uk but this makes a claim that this was the first boatlift in the world, which is not true. The very first was at Combe Hay on the Somersetshire Coal Canal in 1796 and others were tried on the Worcester & Birmingham and Grand Western long before Anderton. Anderton does have the distinction of being the first commercially successful boatlift in the World. The web site does have a Web Cam but it only seems to update twice a day. I have also used the following publications: 'Inland Waterways of Great Britain' (Seventh Edition) by Jane Cumberlidge 'The Illustrated History of Canal & River Navigations' by Edward Paget-Tomlinson 'The Anderton Boat Lift' by David Carden I believe all these books are available from IWA Head Office. I would particularly recommend the last book listed above. This is the first detailed history of the lift and it is written by one of the consultants working on the restoration. The author notes that he has never written a book before and he may well not write another! Whether he does or not, his first effort is well worth reading. He has clearly carried out extensive research and has found photos that I have not seen in any other publications. He does not just restrict himself to the lift but gives lots of fascinating details about the area and the salt trade that drove development in the North West. It is published by Black Dwarf Publications, the ISBN is 0 9533028 6 5 and it costs £19.95.
Anderton OKthat'stheseriousbit-nowlet's see some WRGies jump off it! The Anderton Abseil On Sunday October 7th, 21 intrepid WRG volunteers abseiled down the Anderton Lift, to raise money through sponsorship towards the final crucial fundraising push that will hopefully pay for the last of the restoration work...
As we go to press, the money is still coming in, but it looks very hopeful that we will raise the £10,000 target that will make WRG a Gold Patron of the Anderton Boat Lift Appeal. The latest total is £8551, and Viv Thorpe is currently top of the WRG league table for sponsors but with Glenn Shoosmith rapidly catching him up. Hopefully next time we will be able to give you the final figures and hopefully our total will have reached its target. We decided to make a weekend of it, with a day's work on the Ribble Link on Saturday and an enjoyable evening in Anderton village hall on the Saturday evening with Rick's birthday as the excuse for a party... as if we needed one....
The WRG abseilers were Spencer Collins, Dave Wedd, Sue Burchett, Ralph Bateman, Mike Palmer, Lou Kellett, Harry Watts, Jen Leigh, Dave Parish, Izzy Gascoigne, Viv Thorpe, Martin Ludgate, Matt Taylor, George 'Bungle' Eycott, Paul 'Mole' Cattermole, Glenn Shoosmith, Katherine Davis, Gavin Moor, Joanne 'Smudge' Smith and late entry Rupert Smedley who only signed-up for the abseil a week before it happened but still raised well over £100. Sadly Nina Whiteman had to drop out at short notice as she had damaged her back, so Andy Jones stepped into the gap... literally! We hope those who sponsored Nina are happy for their sponsorship to be transferred to Andy - and we really do hope that Nina's back gets better. Also abseiling were Andy Crossley of IWA and Bill Walker, Felicity Maxwell, Fran Littlewood, Richard Witt, Rosslyn Colderley, Paul Berry, James Thompson, Gemma Gleave and Simon Gilbert of BW / The Waterways Trust. Top: Jen's just hanging around! (Martin Ludgate) Above: Is the editor telling a 'fishy story'? Or boasting about the size of the next edition? (Lesley McFadyen) Left: group photo of all the abseilersl; the things they're sitting on are the cogs from the counterbalanced phase of the Lift's history. Opposite bottom left: 'Mole' comes down to earth. (Joanne Smith) Opposite top right: Smudge's 'not-quite-topless' abseil. (I don't know who took it 'cos it's on Smudge's camera but I guess it probably wasn't taken by her...)
Highlights of the weekend included....
. . .
Smudge's 'not-quite-topless' abseil: a WRG Tshirt was reduced to the bare minimum and what was left of it continued to unravel as she descended... Bungle deciding to do the abseil facing forwards... and his instinctive reaction as he leaned over the edge and looked 50ft vertically downwards... I don't think I've heard anyone swear quite that loudly since Steve 'Bollocks' Paice's bungee-jump at Peterborough in 1993! Saturday evening's entertainment - a 'TV Quiz' games evening which combined all sorts of lunacy from different television games shows including 'They think it's all over', 'Crackerjack', 'The Generation Game','Who wants to be a millionaire' and 'University Challenge', plus a 'Treasure Hunt' round that you can have a go at (see right) and a 'Blanketty blank' round that would rightly get me in serious trouble with the in-jokes police if I included it.... The trip to the Ribble Link on Saturday - seeing the locks on Britain's first brand-new waterway for nearly a century nearing completion. Smudge having a second go at abseiling facing forwards. And having to wait in mid-air while the chap holding her safety line took a call on his mobile phone! ("I'm afraid I'll have to call you back - I've got somebody on the other line right now...")
Thank you to everyone involved - Spencer for masterminding WRG's involvement, Eli and helpers for excellent food, Al for the Saturday night entertainment, BW and TWT for providing us with a suitable boat-lift to abseil off, British Outdoor Professionals Association for providing the abseiling equipment and expertise, all the abseilers for taking part and doing their best to raise the money, and all our sponsors for helping us towards our target. Martin Ludgate
The 'Treasure Hunt' round from the Saturday night quiz: cryptic clues - all the answers are canal-related 1 My first is a cross between fred flintstones best mate and the officer in Topcat, my second is not strong, according to the feisty Miss Robinson 2 Where creepy crawlies with self esteem go for a wash…. 3 Ladies shouldn’t got to weddings unless they have a… 4 Its late and enormous 5 This means you won’t have to mind the gap (but don’t wear red!) 6 A cheesy togetherness 7 Mick Beattie and Malcolm Bridge stretch for the top shelf 8 That’s so….. royal. 9 A supermodel's simple post dining drinky 10 Rural patch for morning rising 11 Peruvian Bear Limb 12 Ours isn’t Grand 13 Heavy Chicken Eating Vermin 14 Citrus Accommodation Answers in the next issue See the WRG web site www.wrg.org.uk for individual photos of every WRGie who abseiled.
The scariest bit of the evening was a test message from Stephen saying he was setting up the bar in the jam on the M3... but the beer arrived eventually and quality control settled in for the evening.
Basingstoke The 'Basingstoke Bonfire Bash' working party B O N F
A T S
B A S I N G S T O K E
By 2am they had decided that 2 barrels were lovely all the way to the bottom! Congratulations to all who found their way from the gyms/ sleeping area to the bar without map and compass. A HUGE ‘thank-you’ to everyone concerning Saturday Morning! Breakfast was eaten, gyms completely cleared, washing up underway and everyone on site and working by 9:15 (with only one or two exceptions) Fantastic! The only minor technical hitch was MKP mistaking Tunji for me and leaving me behind! (Do you need glasses Mr. Palmer?)
150 WRGies, 20 bonfires, 3 miles of overhung canal, a Dunkirk-style mixed flotilla of boats and bathtubs, and 600 pints of beer... and enough fireworks to make every back garden display in Woking curl up and hide until next year! I think - yes - we can actually claim it was a Big Success! Friday saw us and the Chainsaws of the North (Jen, Tenko, Graham, Lou and Alison) meeting Pete Redway, the local organiser, and the Chainsaw of the South (Dorian). North got six oak trees above lock two and South + Lou Above and below: main job for the Bonfire Bash: removing overgot an interesting pine leaning at hanging trees that would eventually block the canal. (Martin Ludgate) 30 degrees across the canal above lock 6 to remove. Matt was trained on thedredger ‘Unity’, and discovered just how slow it was. Eventually we filled it with bits of tree and Martin turned up after a complex van manoeuvre around London, and as darkness fell we cleared an access way onto the main site at Monument Bridge.
And so to work! Most of the jungle bash was west from Monument Bridge on the offside, clearing 12 years of overgrowth and brambles, and lots of overhanging alders and willows. Mature trees were left, and beyond a 10 foot strip is a wooded common, so it has left the canal bank much more open and airy. East of the bridge the flotilla used loppers to clear overhang from the offside. Foot access was impossible, as most of the trees were at the bottom of people’s gardens (we had checked it was OK to prune them first!) Rhys proved that even thinner people will overbalance a dinghy and fell in, but then decided he could walk across the canal to the stump they were supposed to be pulling out! Tenko and Graham finished the leaning pine and then went back to lock 2. ‘Unity’ made stately progress and met us at Monument Bridge for lunch. After lunch was more of the same and most people even managed to not build up the fires too much at home-time! Thanks to Rachel and Becky for fire-watching, and then finding all the trip-hazard stumps on the way out!
And so back to the school. (Apologies to those who nearly got left on site - Matt, etc.!) Dinner by Jude, some high-speed washing-up and we were ready for Harry and Ralph to blow themselves up! They couldn’t find a metal biscuit tin to put the fireworks in, so they used a transit van! A truly spectacular show, even if some of us were disappointed at the lack of the usual sideways rockets. And it was all made very atmospheric by the smog resulting from such huge explosions! Then we went back to the bar for lots of ‘Tea’ ( that’s Hog’s Back brewery’s Traditional English Ale). Sam mistook schnapps for beer and drank it by the pint (ouch). Harry fed everyone on too much port and cheese. The groovy young types grooved in the kitchen and some trying to be groovy old types joined them. Barrels 3 and 4 were emptied, good job we had sent out for emergency supplies! Most people seemed to end up in bed eventually!
We were assisted by boats large (above) and small (below). Photos by Martin Ludgate
Basingstoke Concluding the Bonfire Bash report, and looking back 40 years... Slightly later start Sunday. Funny how Tea can have that effect. Eventually back on site, and back into the jungle. By the time we stopped work we had cleared about 600 yards going west from Monument Bridge, the water-borne crew had done most of 2 miles east and generally tidied up a previously narrow stretch of cut. The usual kit checking/ van sorting / clearing up stuff went very smoothly, and everyone was off site by 4:30 and on their way home to baths and bed by 6:30.
. . . . . . . . .
Pete for the work and site Basingstoke Canal Authority for ‘Unity’ Stephen for the bar and pole dancing Ralph and Harry for Son-et-lumière Jude, Cath, Kaye and Fred for the food Roy for tool sharpening Jen and Julian for T-shirts All the M.U.P.s - you know who you are Everyone for getting up, working hard, drinking up, washing up and clearing up!
Love & Hugs Ian and Liz Williamson PS see the lost property list on page 33
Above: 'no smoke without fire'. Below: the offside bank when work finished on Sunday. (Martin Ludgate)
Looking back: early days on the Basingstoke The November ‘Bonfire Bash’, based on Monument Bridge in Woking, brought back memories of a Sunday in December 1961 (the 10th to be precise), all but forty years ago, when I took part in my first canal working party, and with some twenty others, in the first in a series of nine in preparation for the 1962 Woking Rally in April of that year. The work that first Sunday consisted of clearing rubbish from Monument Bridge and the immediately surrounding area, and opening up the overgrown winding-hole to the west opposite what was then the Woking gasworks, which had once been supplied with coal by canal. By the end of the day a truck-load of rubbish had been piled on the bank for the Council to collect. That was to be the pattern of subsequent working parties, working down the canal towards Sheerwater Lock clearing the channel, with particularly rewarding sessions opposite gaps in the fence along the Sheerwater Estate. We had the use of a large wooden dredge-punt, and later the help of a small Maid Line cruiser, Maid Melorna, loaned by Captain Lionel Munk, then Chairman of the IWA, as a tug. As the date of the rally approached we moved further west, finishing up by literally handdredging silt from Chobham Road Bridge with a small dredging-spoon into the dredge-punt and bucketing it out onto the bank subsequently. The previous Easter I had helped navigate a small outboard cruiser through the locks with some difficulty to the bottom of the Deepcut Flight (reported in the February 1962 Windlass), but for the rally 23 boats came up through the Woodham Locks to Monument Bridge, including the tripping boat Arcturus, a number of other full-length narrow boat conversions and the wide horse-drawn hostel boat Firebrand, with many going through the centre of Woking on a cruise on the Sunday. In March 1963 another series of monthly working parties began, continuing until June 1964, mainly working on the Woodham Locks and Woking pound, but occasionally elsewhere, with the object of keeping the canal navigable. Boats did come up to Woking again in October 1963 and May 1964, with a schoolchildren’s horse-drawn outing on the dredge-punt on the Woking pound in July – but that was the end of cruising through the locks until restoration, although they were occasionally worked to move houseboats over the next few years. Those early working parties were arranged with Mrs Joan Marshall, the then General Manager of the New Basingstoke Canal Company Ltd, who had a difficult relationship with Mr Cooke, the owner of the company. She left the canal company at the beginning of September 1964, shortly after I had married her daughter, Elizabeth, and went to live on the canal on the houseboat Adelina just below Woodham Lock (No 3).
For a while it seemed touch and go whether we would be allowed to stay, and Mr Cooke certainly did not want to have anything to do with working parties. This attitude persisted after the Surrey & Hants Canal Society was formed, and the canal deteriorated, the Woking pound often empty and with sections of towpath becoming impassable. Particularly at the eastern end it presented every appearance of dereliction to the public, and the canal company wanted to turn it into a series of ponds. By 1967 I had moved ashore, and late in 1969 I had a meeting with Mr Cooke, and managed to convince him that there could be no harm in allowing a local group, unconnected organisationally with either the Canal Society or the IWA (who were both anathema to him) to do some limited towpath clearance work which would be needed even if his plans were eventually to proceed. The ideal spot was just to the west of Chobham Road Bridge, where the towpath was heavily overgrown, but could provide a very convenient short-cut from the car park, which backed onto the canal, to Woking Town Centre and the railway station. The first of these working parties (which included Ernie Pull and Tony Davies) made short work on an initial clearance and attracted considerable attention from passers-by, including a reporter from the local paper, who had to be dissuaded from reporting what we were doing, as part of the arrangement with Mr Cooke was that there should be no publicity. Far better from our point of view to let the work be seen, and let people form their own view that the canal was worth preserving! – and the path was soon well-used. These working parties continued, mostly in the winter, clearing the towpath, and sometimes the channel along the Woking pound until late 1973, by which time Pablo Howarth had joined us, and the real restoration work was beginning. We like to think that our work made a small contribution to getting to that conclusion. As a footnote, after working parties on the Basingstoke had to stop in 1964, it was suggested to the London & Home Counties Branch of the IWA that we might try to establish a group to help out on restoration projects elsewhere in the country. My brother John, later IWA General Secretary, who was also at the ‘Bonfire Bash’, was already travelling to the Midlands to work on the Stourbridge Canal, so that was our first destination in October 1965 – six of us including Graham Palmer and Ernie Pull. Such visits, to that and many other projects, became a monthly event, developed into a formal Working Party Group, and thanks to Graham Palmer’s vision into the publication of Navvies Notebook and subsequently the formation of WRG in 1970. But that is another story! Tim Dodwell
The 14th WRG Auction of Old Canal Books
Over the past few months we collected more waterway books for fund-raising. As usual, we have decided that the best way to sell them is to auction them through the pages of 'Navvies' - with 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 Ian Wingfield (WRG Auction), WRG/IWA, P O Box 114, RICKMANSWORTH, WD3 1ZY or by e-mail to email@example.com to be received no later than January 18, 2002. 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. Priestley’s Navigable Rivers and Canals – Joseph Priestley. Reprint of this 702 1969 £12.00 historical account of Britain’s navigable rivers, canals & railways. (Hardback) 2. Lost Canals & Waterways of Britain – Ronald Russell. Exploration guide 272 1982 £7.00 of over 100 derelict canal and river navigations. (Hardback with photos) 3. The Archaeology of Canals – P.J.G. Ransom. An in-depth account of the 231 1979 £7.00 history and industrial archaeology of canals. (Hardback with photos, A4 size). 4. The Flower of Gloster- E. Temple Thurston. The author’s voyage along 244 1968 £3.00 the Thames & Severn Canal in this classic, long out of print book. (Hardback). 5. The Book of the Thames – Mr & Mrs S.C. Hall. A Personal and historical 516 1980 £7.00 guide to the entire length of the Thames. (Hardback, illustrations, no jacket). 6. The Canal Age – Charles Hadfield. History of Britain’s canals and what 233 1968 £3.00 the canal age meant. (Hardback with illustrations and maps). 7. Inland Waterways of France– E.E. Benest. Includes navigational notes, 324 1971 £5.00 distance tables and plans for 81 navigations. (Hardback, 3rd Edition) 8. Narrow Boat – L.T.C. Rolt. A personal and informative account of canal 212 1972 £2.00 life and tradition in this classic book that helped start the revival of the waterways. 9. Slow Boat Through England – Frederic Doerflinger. A comprehensive 253 1970 £1.00 and practical guide to getting the most out of a boating holiday. (Hardback) 10. Slow Boat Through Pennine Waters – Frederic Doerflinger. A practical 254 1972 £1.00 beginners guide exploring the northern waterways. (Hardback) 11. The Canals of Britain – D.D. Gladwin. Complete history of the building 254 1973 £3.00 of canals, costs, tolls and social aspects of the era. (Hardback) 12. Exploring England by Canal – David Owen. A practical and informative 208 1986 £2.00 introduction to boating covering many canals. (Hardback, with photos) 13. Pilotage on Inland Waterways– C. Cove-Smith & R.E. Chase. A complete 183 1970 £1.00 guide to boat handling, rules and customs on navigations in the U.K. (Hardback) 14. Practical Boat Handling – C.L. Colborne. Instruction on the art of handling 134 1977 £2.50 powered craft on rivers (inc tidal) and canals. (Hardback, with diagrams) 15. The Canallers’ Bedside Book – John Gagg. An A-Z of canal topics 150 1973 £2.00 written in a light hearted, but informative way. (Hardback, with photos) 16. A Canal and Waterways Armchair Book – John Gagg. Unlike his previous 144 1975 £2.00 ‘Bedside Book’, this is a light hearted, but with a serious view, A-Z of canal items. 17. Water Highways – David. E. Owen. An knowledgeable account of the 140 1967 £2.50 cruising the canals in and around Cheshire. (Hardback) 18. Water Byways – David. E. Owen. In his boat ‘Rose of Sharon’, the author 192 1973 £2.50 navigates the less cruised waterways and shares his experiences. (Hardback) 19. Back Door Britain – Anthony Burton. Story of a 1000 mile journey 189 1977 £3.00 exploring the canal network of England. (Hardback, with photos). 20. Journeys of the Swan – John Liley. A punchy account of voyages made 192 1971 £4.00 by the author in the 60’s on his boat ‘Swan’. (Softback, like new). 21. Inland Cruising Companion – John Liley. Practical guide covering many 159 1977 £1.00 aspects of boating from engines to locks to insurance. (Hardback, with diagrams). 22. France ~ the Quiet Way – John Liley. A practical guide to navigating 159 1975 £3.00 many French rivers and canals. (Hardback, with photos and maps) 23. The Worst Journey in the Midlands – Sam Llewelyn. A humorous account 191 1983 £1.00 of one mans soggy journey in an ancient rowing boat. (Hardback)
Another auction of canal books for WRG funds
24. Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal – J. Ian. Langford. A detailed and 276 1974 £3.00 informative trip along the canal. Part of the Towpath Guide series. (Hardback). 25. Waterways Restored – P.J.G. Ransom. The restoration of 21 canals are 179 1974 £2.50 covered, detailing the achievements of voluntary ‘navvies’. (Hardback). 26. Water Rallies – David E. Owen. The author explains the attraction and 144 1969 £2.50 importance of rallies from his own experiences. (Hardback) 27. Voyage into England – John Seymour. An account of the author’s four 158 1967 £2.50 month cruise on the British waterways. (Hardback) 28. 5000 Miles 3000 Locks –John Gagg. The sights, sounds and experiences 170 1973 £2.50 of cruising, including explanations of different types of locks and boats. (Hardback) 29. Canals in Camera – John Gagg. A look at the canal network using over 127 1970 £2.50 200 pictures with accompanying text. (Hardback). 30. London’s Waterways – Martyn Denney. A detailed survey of the history 192 1977 £2.50 and structure of navigations in Greater London. (Hardback, with photos). 31. London’s Waterway Guide – Chris Cove-Smith. A complete guide to the 223 1977 £2.00 rivers and canals of Greater London, with Maps. (Hardback). 32. A Guide to the Thames Path – Miles Jebb. Detailed directions and facts 336 1988 £3.50 along 152 miles of the Thames Path, split into short walks.(Softback, handy size). 33. The Thames Path – David Sharp. National Trail Guide covering the entire 193 1997 £4.00 180 mile Thames Path. Detailed routes, maps and photos. (Softback, in colour). 34. A Thames Companion – Carpenter & Prichard. An historical guide along 182 1981 £2.50 the length of the river, looking at its development and importance. (Softback). 35. The Itchen Navigation – Edwin Course. Detailed historical account of the 30 1983 £2.00 navigation, very factual with many b/w photos. (Softback, A4 size). 36. The Oarsman’s and Angler’s Map of the Thames – Stanford. Very old fold out 1906 £5.00 map, printed on card with a cloth back. (Hardback, handy size). The following lots contain two or more publications, which are sold as one lot. 37 40 Copies of the Bulletin of the Inland Waterways Association & 29 copies of Waterways, £2.00 plus IWA’s Silver Sword Scheme booklet. 1965 - 1983 38. Bulletin of The Inland Waterways Association. 32 copies of this topical £2.00 waterway news bulletin from 1965 – 1974. (A5 size booklets). 39. Windlass – Journal of IWA London & Home Counties Branch. Around a 100 £5.00 copies dating from the first issue in 1956 – 1973. (A5 size booklets). 40. Willow Wren – Alan Faulkner. Story of the canal carrying company, plus 41 1986 £3.00 Epilogue – Robert Wilson. Canal Carrying on the Grand Union. (A5). 79 1977 41. Discovering the Thames, a motorist’s guide – L. Metcalf. (Handy size). Plus 54 1969 £1.00 Stanford’s River Thames map, showing major roads. 42. Looking at Inland Waterways – John Gagg. Sold as four booklets looking 33 1975/6 £1.00 at narrow canals, landmarks, tunnels and locks. (Softback, A5 size). 43. 4 Nicholson’s Ordnance Survey Guides: 1) South, 2) Central, 3) North plus 1983-5 £2.00 a Guide to the River Thames. (Good condition). 44. 4 Nicholsons Guides. Early editions of this popular guide. 1) South East, £2.00 2) North West, 3) South West, 4) North East. (Softback, old appearance). 45. 4 Maps: Thames, Norfolk Broads and Rivers, England, River Wey & Goldalming (folded paper) £2.00 46. Various guides and historical booklets covering the Basingstoke Canal, £2.00 Canals of Greater Manchester, Rochdale, Caldon and Derbyshire. 47. 4 Maps & 1 Guide: River Thames, Norfolk Broads and Rivers, England, £2.00 River Wey & Goldalming (folded paper), Kennet & Avon (Softback guide) 48. Lucky Dip! Small box of odd waterway themed publications sold as one lot. £1.00 Original hardback BW Inland Cruising Booklets. Most ex-library, excellent cond. with maps & photos. 49. Booklet Number 1: Cruising on the Llangollen Canal 40 £1.00 50. Booklet Number 2: Cruising on the Trent Waterway 40 £1.00 51. Booklet Number 3: Short History of the Lee & Stort Navigations (no jacket) 40 £1.00 52. Booklet Number 4: Cruising on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal 44 £1.00 53. Booklet Number 5: Cruising on the Shropshire Union Canal 28 1964 £1.00 54. Booklet Number 6: Cruising on the Oxford Canal 28 1964 £1.00 55. Booklet Number 8: Cruising on the Grand Union Canal Part 1 52 £1.00 56. Booklet Number 9: Cruising on the Grand Union Canal Part 2 48 £1.00 57. Booklet Number 10: Cruising on the Grand Union Part 3 (2 copies) 44 £1.00 58. Booklet Number 11: Cruising on the Macclesfield Canal 44 £1.00 59. Booklet Number 12: Cruising on the Trent & Mersey Canal Part 1 40 £1.00 60. Booklet Number 13: Cruising on the Trent & Mersey Canal Part 2 48 £1.00 61. Booklet Number 14: Cruising on the Severn Waterway 56 £1.00
Directory WRG and canal society working party contact details BARNSLEY, DEARNE & DOVE CANAL TRUST June Backhouse 39 HIll St Elsecar Barnsley S74 8EN 01226 743383 BIRMINGHAM CANAL NAVIGATIONS SOCIETY Jeff Barley 17 Sunniside Walsall Wood, W Midlands 01543 373284 Web site: http://www.bcnsociety.org.uk/ BUCKINGHAM CANAL SOC Steve Morley 33 Hambleton Grove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908 520090 Web: http:// www.mkheritage.co.uk/bcs/ 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 CHESTERFIELD CT Keith Ayling 16 Pinchfield Lane Rotherham S66 1FD 01709 700223 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/
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 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 DROITWICH CANALS TRUST Vaughan Welch 29 Dice Pleck Northfield, Birmingham B31 3XW 0121 477 9782 Web site: http://www. worcs.com/dct/home.htm EREWASH CANAL P&DA Mick Golds 73 Sudbury Avenue Larklands, Ilkeston Derbys DE7 5EA Notts (0115) 9328042
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 Ian Milne 16 Gower Road, Sketty, Swansea SA2 9BY 01792 547902
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 17 Smithfield Road, Pontardawe, Swansea, West Glam. SA8 4LA 01792 830782 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, FOXTON INCLINED Tilehurst, Reading PLANE TRUST Berks RG30 6BH c/o Mike Beech 0118 941 0586 Foxton Canal Museum E-mail: Middle Lock, Gumley Road email@example.com THAMES & MEDWAY Foxton, Market Harborough Web site: http://www.geocities. CANAL ASSOCIATION Leicestershire LE16 7RA Jennifer Watts com/nwpg2001/nwpg.html 0116 279 2657 108 Old Road East e-mail Gravesend DA12 1PF POCKLINGTON C.A.S. firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Waddington Web site: Web site: http://www. http://www.tmca.cwc.net/ Church House, Main St. foxcanal.fsnet.co.uk Hemingborough WENDOVER ARM TRUST Selby GRAND WESTERN Roger Leishman N. Yorks YO8 7QE CANAL TRUST 7 Hall Park, Berkhamsted 01757 638027 (eves) Denis Dodd, Wharf Cottage Herts HP4 2NU 01405 763985 (days) Nynehead, Wellington 01442 874536 Web site: http:// Somerset TA21 0BU Web site: http://www.nsa. www.pocklington. 01823 661653 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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: http://www. wrgna.co.uk WRG NA (2) Spencer Collins (see below) LONDON WRG Tim Lewis 6 Downs Road, Enfield Middlesex EN1 IPA 020 8367 6227 e-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://www. london.wrg.org.uk/
WOODEN CANAL BOATS SOCIETY LONDON WRG: ENQUIRIES 5 Oaken Clough Terrace Lesley McFadyen Limehurst Ashton under Lyne OL7 9NY (as per Martin Ludgate below) 0161-330-2315 WRG EAST MIDLANDS John Baylis (see below) IWA IPSWICH Colin Turner ESSEX WRG Cornerways, Elm Lane John Gale, 12 Wakefield Ave, Copdock, Ipswich IP8 3ET Billericay, Essex CM12 9DN 01473-730586 01277 654683 Web site: http://www. web site: http:// purbrook.demon.co.uk/iwa/ www.essex.wrg.org.uk WRG: GENERAL WRG MONTGOMERY ENQUIRIES Alan Jervis PO Box 114, Dacre House Farm Rickmansworth Dacre, Harrogate HG3 4ES Herts WD3 1ZY 07968-586326 01923 711114 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail: email@example.com WRG BOAT CLUB Web site: Sue Burchett http://www.wrg.org.uk 152 Great Knollys St Reading RG1 7HB WRG NORTH WEST 01189 503268 Malcolm Bridge Fax. 07970 099052 3 Heather Bank e-mail: Littleborough Sue@navvy.freeserve.co.uk Lancashire OL15 0JQ IWA/WRG STAMP BANK 01706 378582 Steve & Mandy Morley 33 Hambleton Grove WRG NW - ENQUIRIES/ Emerson valley PAPERCHASES Milton Keynes MK4 2JS David McCarthy 01908 520090 Woodstock 14 Crumpsall La. CANAL CAMPS MOBILES Manchester. M8 5FB (A) 07850 422156 0161-740 2179 (B) 07850 422157 Web site: http://www.downstream. mcmail.com/wrgnw.htm
'NAVVIES' EDITOR Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Rd, East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020 8693 3266 0777 947 8629 (mobile) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WRG PLANT Malcolm Bridge (see below) OR John Palmer 53 Southwood Road Stockport, Cheshire WRG LOGISTICS (1) Lou Kellett Pen-y-Bryn Bungalow Lloran Uchaf, Moelfre Oswestry SY10 7QT 01691 791463 e-mail: email@example.com WRG LOGISTICS (2) Jen Leigh (see below) CANAL CAMP BOOKINGS c/o Ian Wingfield PO Box 114, Rickmansworth Herts WD3 1ZY 01923 711114 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com SITES GROUP & PUBLICITY Judith Moore 3 Finwood Road, Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
WRG BITM & DIARY David Wedd 7 Ringwood Road Blackwater, Camberley Surrey GU17 0EY 01252 874437 e-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://www.wrgbitm.org.uk
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 191, and be included in the next full Directory in issue 193.
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 until further notice please write c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Spencer Collins 9 Thrush Street, Walkley Sheffield S6 5BQ 0114 2853 044 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Davey 5 Heathfield Close, Midhurst W Sussex GU29 9PS 01730 814670 e-mail email@example.com 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
Canal Camps cost £35 per week unless otherwise Bookings for WRG Canal Camps (those identified camp number e.g. 'Camp 0123') should go to WRG Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diary Dec 22-31
Christmas Camp, Wilts & Berks Canal at Foxham / Dauntsey Jungle bashing, brick laying, stump pulling, and installing a bridge deck. Three
Dec 26-Jan 1 Camp 0123
Basingstoke Canal Camp. Clearing overhanging vegetation from offside bank
Ribble Link (To be confirmed)
Jan 8 Tue
Press date for issue 191
Thames & Severn Canal Dig Deep project at Valley Lock
Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Summit Lock
Waste paper collection plus Xmas Dinner, wrgNW’s 25th Birthday Party, and trip to Huddersfield & R
Wilts & Berks Canal: Seven Locks project. Jungle bashing at Locks 4 & 5. Lea
Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port (TBC)
Thames & Severn Canal
Thames & Severn Canal
Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Summit Lock.
Wendover Arm. Leader: Graham Hotham.
Feb 23 Sat
Waste paper collection
Lichfield Canal (TBC)
Mar 8 Fri
Press date for issue 192
Wilts & Berks Canal
Basingstoke Canal: Dig Deep project installing backpump system at St Johns.
National Clean-up weekend - probably on the Birmingham Canal Navigations
National Clean-up (Date and venue to be confirmed.)
Lapal Canal (To be confirmed). Leader: Alec Gunner.
Mar 23-Apr 1 Camp 0201
Droitwich Canal Camp: completing restoration of Handury Locks on Droitwich
Mar 23 Sat
Waste paper collection
Wilts & Berks Canal
Ribble Link (TBC)
Thames & Severn Canal: Dig Deep project at Valley Lock.
Wey & Arun Canal (To be confirmed). Leader: Graham Hotham.
Lichfield Canal working party timed to coincide with LHCRT "Walk the line of th WRG volunteers requested for site-work including bricklaying at Tamworth Roa
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal: installation of water supply system at O
Apr 27 Sat
Waste paper collection
Little Venice: Site Services for IWA Canalway Cavalcade festival
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.Wedd@wrgBITM.org.uk.
uk Rachael Banyard sites! Accom at Foxham.
of canal. Leader: Clive Alderman. David McCarthy
der: Rachael Banyard. Dave Wedd
(to be confirmed)
0121 477 9782
he canal" guided walk John & Jan Horton 01543-262466 email@example.com ad site and for assistance with marshalling the walk on Sunday. Accommodation at Martin Heath Hall.
Diary Canal society regular working parties
Mobile groups' social evenings (please phone to confirm before turning up) London WRG: 7:30pm on Tues 11 days before each dig. 'Jugged Hare', Vauxhall Bridge Rd, London, Tim Lewis 020-8367 6227 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. NWPG: 9:00pm on 3rd Tue of month at the 'Hope Tap', West end of Friar St. Reading. Graham Hawkes 0118 941 0586
Regular monthly or weekly working parties: 3rd Sunday of month BCNS Jeff Barley 2nd Sunday & following Wed. BCS Cosgrove Athina Beckett Anytime inc. weekdays BCT Aqueduct section Gerald Fry Every Sunday ChCT Various sites Mick Hodgetts Mon & Wed mornings CCT Cotswolds Dudley Greenslade Every weekend (Sat OR Sun)CCT Cotswolds Neil Ritchie 1st Sunday of month CCT Cotswolds: summit Mark Welton Wednesday evenings CCT Cotswolds: East end Keith Harding 4th Mon of month, 6pm CMT London Canal Mus. Martin Sach Every Saturday DCT Droitwich Canal Jon Axe Second Sun of month FIPT Foxton Inclined Plane Mike Beech 1st & 3rd Sundays GCRS Grantham Canal Colin Bryan 2nd Sat of month GWCT Nynehead Lift Denis Dodd Tuesdays H&GCT Oxenhall Brian Fox Wednesdays H&GCT Over Ted Beagles Saturdays H&GCT Over Maggie Jones Sundays H&GCT Over Paul Brown Every Sunday if required IWPS Bugsworth Basin Ian Edgar 1st Saturday & 3rd Wed. IWA Ipswich Stowmarket Navigtn. Colin Turner 2nd weekend of month IWA SBC Maesbury, Mont. Barry Tuffin 2nd weekend of month K&ACT John Rolls 1st Sunday of month LHCRT Lichfield John Horton 3rd Sunday of month LHCRT Hatherton Denis Cooper 2nd & last Sundays PCAS Paul Waddington 2nd Sunday of month SCARS Sankey Canal Colin Greenall 1st Sunday of month SCCS Combe Hay Locks Bob Parnell Most weekends SHCS Basingstoke Peter Redway 3rd Sunday of month TMCA David Rouse Approx 15th of month WACT Mid-Week group Colin Gibbs Every Sunday & Thursday WACT Devils Hole Lock Eric Walker Thursdays fortnightly WACT Maintenance Unit Peter Wilding or for general information on Wey & Arun contact their office on 01403-752403 1st weekend of month WAT Little Tring Roger Leishman Every weekend WBCT Wilts & Berks Canal Peter Smith Every Sunday W&BCC Dauntsey / Foxham Rachael Banyard
01543-373284 01908-661217 01288-353273 01246-620695 01453 825515 01452-854057 01453-872405 01451-860181 020-7625-7376 0121-608 0296 0116-279-2657 0115-989-2248 01823-661653 01432-358628 01452-522648 01452-618010 01386-443826 01663-732493 01473-730586 01691-670826/49 01189-666316 01543 262466 01543-374370 01757-638027 01744-731746 01225-428055 01483-721710 01474-362861 020-82417736 023-9246-3025 01483-422519 01442-874536 01793-852883 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 FIPT D&SCS GCRS GWCT H&GCT IWA SBC
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 Foxton Inclined Plane Trust Derby & Sandiacre Canal Society Grantham Canal Restoration Society Grand Western Canal Trust Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust IWA Shrewsbury & Border Counties
IWPS K&ACT KESCRG LHCRT LWRG NWPG PCAS SCARS SCCS SHCS TMCA WBCT W&BCC WACT WAT
Inland Waterways Protection Society Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Kent & E Sussex Canal Rest. Group Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Rest'n Trust London Waterway Recovery Group Newbury Working Party Group Pocklington Canal Amenity Society Sankey Canal Restoration Society Somersetshire Coal Canal Society Surrey & Hants Canal Society Thames & Medway Canal Association Wilts & Berks Canal Trust Wilts & Berks Canal Company Wey & Arun Canal Trust Wendover Arm Trust
I guess that ‘Chinese Whispers’ must have featured highly on this years entertainment schedule at the 'National'. How else could “Timmy the wee beastie”, at the tender non-drinking age of 16, have come up with the idea that part of Bartec had gone bust? Did it not occur to him or his informants that we were perhaps just giving you a break this year from the onerous and thankless task of trying to drinking us dry? After all, ‘Navvies’ had been giving the distinct impression that WRG were becoming fewer in number and were not perhaps up to the challenges of previous ‘Nationals’.
Bar-tec: rumours of their demise have been greatly exaggerated...
So, rather than having to completely re-think the stocking of the bar, (i.e. how much Batemans XB given that Ralph would not be on site?) we simply decided not to tender this year. No summer would be the same for us, however, without the ‘National’ and the wonderful array of characters whom we’ve got to know over the years so we did visit and who knows, there may be new challenges for you in the pipeline for next year??? With kind regards to all ale-swilling, cider drinking and alcopopping WRGies everywhere Ian and Lucy MacGrain and family and pets and staff!! Still Trading As Bar-tec PS “Timmy the wee beastie” need not lie awake at night wondering if we’re going to sue for defamation of character; having spent much time in the company of WRGies we’ve learnt to see the funny side of most things! PPS MKP was doing a marvellous job in the overflow to the overflow to the overflow car-park! Apologies from the editor for letting that one slip through into print without checking it. Rest assured that we will be doing our best to boost Bar-tec's profits in future whenever the opportunity arises! Dear Martin John Park’s article in ‘Navvies’ 189 really pissed me off. His comments on the KESCRG camp are based on ignorance. It is very easy to snipe and criticise other people’s efforts, especially from a position of arrogance. Many volunteers, many of them new to restoration, put a huge amount of effort into the works that week. Many of them proved to be exceptional people who would be an asset to the restoration movement. These people need to be encouraged as they are part of future canal restoration. Mr Park may have personal reasons for disagreement with other members in the restoration movement. If he is unhappy with these people then he should take it up in another forum. With these sort of comments I sometimes wonder why I bother spending my time and effort helping the canal restoration movement. As a regular, however, I have developed a thick skin and know that these people have another agenda for their comments. If I was a new volunteer on the KESCRG camp, you would never see me again after reading his article. Some people may get some form of perverse pleasure from that; I don’t need to remind people that canal restoration volunteers do not divide conveniently into “them” and “us” groups. Yours, a disappointed and mildly fed up canal volunteer. Rhys Jones OK - both sides have made their points now, and I don't want this one to drag on. But here's my twopennorth about Camp Reports in general: while I'm not about to apply the heavy hand of censorship and I certainly don't want camp reports to descend to a uniform 'don't risk upsetting anyone' blandness - I think writers should consider who's going to read their report and what effect any comments in it might have on them. In this case I hope Rhys is wrong, and from Hannah Allnut's report elsewhere in this issue it appears that at least one new volunteer hasn't been put off. But do think about it. ...Ed
Letter to Liz and Ian Williamson, leaders of the Basingstoke Bonfire Bash working party: Dear Liz and Ian, re WRG Bonfire Bash Thank you for organising a successful weekend, everyone seemed to enjoy the event and progress was all I could have hoped for. I have enclosed a copy of a letter [see below] sent to me by Leigh Thornton, the Canal Director, complementing us on the standard of the work and progress achieved. Please pass on my personal thanks to the chainsaw parties: Tenko, Graham, Dorian, Alison and Chico, also their support teams. The removal of scheduled mature and dangerous trees to a high standard is also included in Leigh’s letter. Best wishes and thank you for an enjoyable weekend. Yours sincerely Pete Redway Chairman, Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Letter to Pete Redway of Surrey & Hants Canal Society: Dear Pete Re: volunteers “Bonfire Bash” 3-4 November at the Basingstoke Canal I thought that I would write and express my appreciation at the fantastic job carried out over the weekend. I visited the site with Tony Beecher this week and was really impressed with both the standard of work carried out and the amount undertaken. The bankside clearing from Monument Bridge looked really good and has tidied up a problem area. It is a real credit to the Canal and it will have a very positive impact on people visiting. I was particularly impressed with the skill that had been employed in felling some of the larger trees which had to come down. It has been done to a very high standard and no mess has been left on the bank, which is excellent. We really appreciate all the effort that went into both the organisation of the weekend and the work undertaken over the days. As I am sure you are aware, we could not run the Canal without this sort of input from both yourselves and visiting volunteer groups and we would like to express our thanks to those involved and we look forward to seeing them in the future! Please do not hesitate to contact me or Tony Beecher to discuss any future projects. Tours sincerely Leigh Thornton Director, Basingstoke Canal Authority Dear Martin, Just a note to thank the WRG Groups who have worked on “Local Heritage Initiative” towpath at Tamworth Road, Lichfield and particularly Joanne Smith who led the October Camp. This site is very visual to the public, and many favourable comments have been made. Also the Countryside Officer was very impressed with the way that the hedge had been laid by Essex WRG. We much very appreciate all the help that we get from all the different groups. We look forward to seeing WRGies on the weekend of our official “Walk the line of the Canal” on 21st April 2002. Best wishes, Janette & John Horton Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust
Dear Martin, I have been a member of WRG for many years but in issue 189 was the first mention I can recollect of WRG being able to recover tax on donations. Has this always been the case and if so why is not mentioned regularly? I do Gift Aid schemes for two canal societies with subscriptions of £7.50 and £10 respectively and the tax back is quite large. Everyone should be encouraged to give donations under Gift Aid. After all for every £5 given the government will give a further £1.40 in tax. If tax can be recovered then WRG should be encouraging everyone who donates to sign a Gift Aid form. After all, the government is willing to support canal restoration if people give under gift aid so why should they keep the money. Gift Aid is a brilliant scheme - both charities I do it for have seen tax recovered rise by between 40% and 50%. Yours faithfully David Chalmers Dear Martin, Whereas I might agree with Spencer that colour could enhance ‘Navvies’ and as an editor of a restoration trust magazine I would dearly love to use colour, I am aware that under the limitations governing Taxation concerning gift aid and covenants all groups claiming gift aid can only spend 25% of the subscriptions on ‘benefits’ for members such as publications and distribution costs to members. As a registered Charity this certainly limits my production costs even with paid advertising and a basic subs of £10.00. WRG Ltd. is of course a wholly-owned subsidiary of IWA , which is itself a registered charity. How the rules effect WRG I’m not sure but with its low subs it may well have to be careful on spending. However despite being in black & white ‘Navvies’ is still an excellent read even for armchair members (“Sod ‘em!”) Yours, Stephen Pitt Regarding the above two letters: I'm no expert on charities law or Gift Aid, and anyway there are a couple of changes to WRG's legal status on the way (see next issue) so there wouldn't be any point in me trying to chase up answers to the questions raised in too great a detail right now. However, IWA Head Office do have the necessary expertise in such subjects and I will try to find out for a future issue what the exact situation is. Sorry if that doesn't sound like much of an answer, but please bear with us. ...Ed The following letter is in response to the suggestion in ‘Navvies’ 189 that WRG might consider getting involved in restoration of any surviving canalside buildings as cheap hostel-style accommodation, either for volunteers or as bases for day-boat holidays to bring boating within more people’s budgets... Dear Martin, The Mountain Bothies Association (whose mission is to restore and maintain shelters in remote country for the benefit of all who love wild and lonely places) already exists. Over one hundred buildings have been restored throughout Wales, Scotland and Northern England by MBA volunteers providing free accommodation for all who seek them out. Despite its name, not all bothies are in the mountains. Many are in lowland areas and even seaside. Remote waterside candidate buildings could be recommended to the MBA for restoration and all others to commercial enterprises as they could have the potential to become profitable hostels. WRG quite clearly has its plate full restoring navigations without getting involved with providing cheap accommodation when there are already experts in the field. MBA working party accommodation is always in volunteers’ own tents as the sites are always remote. The only showers available come from the clouds in the sky - and peaceful nights may be experienced by pitching one’s tent well away from potentially noisy fellow volunteers. Incidentally I have never encountered any problems camping in my small tent on BW or Environment Agency land when long distance walking throughout the country. Keep up the good work - with best wishes from... David B. Martin
Letter to WRG Chairman Mike Palmer: Dear Mike Summer work camps - Basingstoke canal I am writing to thank you and your group for the splendid efforts during the camp: at the end of the camp the Bywash at Lock 11 was operational and a good start had been made on the pumping outlet and pipework. The combined camps achieved the objectives we agreed although heavy rain during the second week was disruptive. Please pass on my thanks to all your volunteers for their efforts: the St John’s backpumping is now under construction, another milestone achieved. Yours Sincerely Peter Redway Chairman, Surrey & Hants Canal Society Dear Martin WRG - Banbury Boat Gathering and IWA National AGM Oxfordshire Branch of the IWA would like to thank all at WRG for their work and attendance with their display WRGie Transit and trailer at our recent Boat Gathering and national AGM in Banbury. I am sorry that we couldn’t provide muddy car parks for you to play in but we did our best on the weather front although it didn’t rain all of the time. No doubt all who moor in Banbury will appreciate the extra mooring rings when they tie up to get their fried breakfast in BHS. That the event was a great success was evident by the many visitors and sightseers who came and commented to our team. We await with trepidation Jude’s update (under Publicity) of the Boat Gathering in issue 190. Best wishes from all in Oxfordshire Brian Saunders Dear Martin, May I correct the erroneous impression given by our Chairman and to a lesser extent by you yourself on page 5 of “Navvies” Issue 189? “The regional groups are just pulling on their boots after the summer estivation” indeed! The only month in which wrgBITM does NOT go out restoring canals is May, when we provide site services at two canal festivals instead (boots with steel toe-caps essential when mallet misses tentpeg and when the mud is ankle-deep). The WRG Calendar 2001 handed out with BITM publicity at this year’s festivals listed 21 weekend “digs” between June and September (four of them were at Droitwich, which Mike seems to have forgotten), and that wasn’t including any work-parties run by individual canal trusts. Most, if not all, the regional groups operate all year round, and if individuals within the group prefer to opt out in the depths of winter, or to go boating instead during the summer, where’s the problem? Six good weekends’ work probably adds up to just as many hours on site as two weeks on canal camps. And although, as Mike implies, for campaholics a weekend dig may be the equivalent of a nicotine patch to see them through until the next half-term/Christmas/Easter/Summer camp, for many others they are a valid and enjoyable way of contributing to the waterway heritage about which we’re all pretty crazy (if you aren’t, you’re unlikely to be reading “Navvies”). Through co-operative projects such as Dig Deep, or working alongside local canal societies (the Wendover Arm Trust springs particularly to mind) the regional groups’ contribution to canal restoration is equally important as that of the Canal Camps - an on-going challenge, throughout the year. Stella Wentworth
Dear Martin, Following the receipt of a postcard from a Charlotte Darwin, to Phil Orton, “Chairman” of the IWA Herts. Branch, I am trying to establish why the kind thoughts transmitted to us and what the reference to the “kit” could be. As Phil has left the committee, he passed this card to me, thinking it may mean something to the present committee members. Unfortunately it does seem to lack sufficient clues... In the last edition of “Navvies” (189) I found the name of Charlotte Darwin, as part of the A team at Camp 15. - Thank you for your postcard Charlotte. I trust you read “Navvies”! Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what the “kit” is and the connection with the Herts. Branch. More recently Phil received another similar missive in the form of a postcard from a member of the West Riding Branch - Lichfield WRG Camp 22 - “Thanks for the kit - Gloves especially in wet muddy conditions” - Ulrich Signer. Again thanks for the card. What do you know Ulrich that the Herts Branch don’t? It’s a strange feeling when postcards arrive and you don’t know what it’s all about. Especially when you don’t know the Gnomes have escaped! At least there are none from abroad yet. If someone out there can enlighten the Herts Branch what we have been blessed or blamed for we would be most grateful. Whatever the reason we thank you for the cards and carry on the excellent work you little Gnomes. Michael Wright The editor explains: The postcards are in thanks to the IWA branch for sponsoring Personal Protection Equipment packs. A PPE pack is a set of safety gear (ear defenders, dust masks and goggles) of the type that we have started providing for all our volunteers on Canal Camps as a way of ensuring that everyone is properly supplied with their own personal equipment, rather than relying on there being enough available for general use in the Camps kit as in the past, which meant that we couldn't guarantee that there would be enough of it or that it would be in the sort of condition that people would want to use it! But like all things this costs money. So we asked for sponsorship and many generous people agreed to sponsor one or more PPE packs, as did a number of IWA branches. We felt that the volunteers who benefited from the sponsors' generosity might appreciate the opportunity to thank them personally so we put a WRG postcard in each pack, addressed to whoever sponsored it. I'm glad to hear that the volunteers are using the postcards to express their thanks to the sponsors. If you are an IWA branch committee member and receive these cards, please pass on our volunteers' thanks to your members. Thank you. ...Ed Dear Martin, I don’t write to WRG in years, and then two letters in as many months. First, congratulations to Bruce Tunnel on an excellent chapter of Bankside ( navies 189) It’s the funniest skit on heritage ‘partnerships’ that I’ve read in ages (and this is coming from someone who works in the ‘heritage industry’) Secondly, you ask about deluxe prices for deluxe camps. Yes please! I’ve been on day working visits to restoration sites, but I’ve never been to a camp, because I’ve no intention of sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag. Been there, done that, no desire to do it now. But put on a camp with Youth Hostel type arrangements and you would get at least two more people signing up (me and my husband) Seriously, there are, I think, plenty of people capable of doing physical restoration work who will just not ‘rough it’ to the extent you expect. Best wishes Christine Johnstone I can't help wondering if there's some way of combining Christine's ideas with David Martin's (see p25) and coming up with some kind of 'canal hostels' idea. Any thoughts? ...Ed
WRG Wear ...the latest in sartorial elegance for WRGies...
Greetings WRG wearers! Looking at the long queue for WRG Wear at the Bonfire Bash I decided that it would be sensible to give you one last opportunity to order WRG Wear with the Bonfire Bash logo (thanks Jen “Bang” Leigh for designing it). See the order form at the end of this article.
Once again if you’d like a copy of the new-look order form then please email me to receive it as a Microsoft Word document or send an SAE to get a paper copy. A new form with new items such as WRG Bear Wear and towels at next year’s price will be available after the New Year. Another note about delivery times - it might take up to 4 weeks to get to you, but if you don’t get your order shortly after that then please contact me because very occasionally things do go missing in the post and I’d hate for you to be left unclothed (so to speak). Helen 'WRG Wear' Gardner
WRG 'Bonfire Bash' clothing: All logos are the Bonfire Bash logos and all items are printed - please tick the box(es) for the item(s) you would like (or enter the number of items you would like if more than one)... write the amount o money in 'sub-total'... add these up to make the 'total'... write a cheque... fill in your details... cut out and post (or photocopy to avoid cutting up your 'Navvies')... and hey presto - your order is delivered!
Printed t-shirts £7 Small
Red Black Navy Green Purple White Grey
Vest Tops £6.50 Small White Grey Black Navy
Strappy Tops £7.50 Available in one size that in theory fits anyone. (Not you, Gav!) Black
Sweatshirts £12 Small
Red Black Navy Grey Green ...and by popular demand...
Printed t-shirts with glow-in-the-dark logo £7 Small
Red Black Navy Green Purple ORDERS FOR GLOW-IN-THE-DARK T-SHIRTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 19/01/2001 and will be processed shortly afterwards. The glow in the dark paint takes longer to set up and dry so there will only be one batch produced. Please fill in your details: Name: Address to be delivered to:
Contact phone No: Email: Total sum enclosed: Please make cheque payable to “WRG Canal Camps”. Please do not send cash. Send completed form to: Helen Gardner, WRGWear Orders, NB 'Sussex', The Boatyard, Rowdell Road, Northolt, UB5 6AG Enquiries / suggestions to: Helen Gardner 020 88457820 or email email@example.com (Please note new email address)
From the WRGwear catalogue... (Martin Ludgate)
Camps KESCRG on the Basingstoke: drivingarollerislikeridingabike! Basingstoke Canal Camp 13: July 29 - August 5 This report was written by Hannah Allnutt, who attended the KESCRG camp on the Basingstoke Canal as a new volunteer... The canal work camp that my friend Claire and I went on was an interesting and educational experience. We had booked it quite a few months in advance through a Duke of Edinburgh Award catalogue and were - I don’t mind admitting - both a bit anxious about the week ahead. We were worried about the jobs we were going to be asked to do, the people we were going to meet and the general way in which the week was going to go. I have to say we certainly had nothing to worry about. Every one of the leaders was friendly and I would especially like to thank Maureen for all the wonderful meals she cooked for us. Everyone in the group got on really well. It was like one big happy family.
On the first day we all started to make friends (some better friends than others!!) and really join in. After a few days it could be seen how we were all pulling together as a team and the joint decisions we all made together as a group. The wok we had to carry out was both challenging and at times difficult but they were the type of tasks that felt rewarding when completed. We dug trenches, in one of which we had a little incident (I’m sure a certain person won’t mind me mentioning). This was when they lost their balance and fell 3 feet down into the hole. I think that’s the only disaster we came across. This actually proved we were all looking out for each other, as everyone came running to the rescue. We also helped insert piping into the ground and re-surfaced a road. I was put in charge of the road building group, which was a real great experience. I felt pleased when Ken asked me to do this and that he thought that I was capable of taking charge of a group. I had a go at driving a road roller and so did a lot of the other people in the group. I think I speak for myself and the rest of the team when saying that driving the roller wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be, and when I did it for the second time it was like riding a bike: you never forget, it just came naturally.
Camp 13 on the Basingstoke: the 3ft deep hole that 'a certain person' fell into.
We all worked hard during the week and rewarded ourselves in the evenings with a drink in the pub (in some peopleâ€™s case a drink or three) Activities were organised for us each night these included a quiz night with prizes (my group finished last!), swimming, barbecue, bowling and a trip on a canal boat. Despite working hard it all felt rewarding. At the end of it we had done something for the community, learned new skills and achieved some quite major tasks. Finally I would like to say that it was a week well spent and I would like to thank all the leaders that made it so enjoyable. It was enjoyed by all with fun activities organised for us, fun leaders to be around, lifelong friendships made and a few relationships developed. I would recommend anyone who enjoys working in a group and meeting new people to get in contact with KESCRG and join in on a week of fun. I know I will definitely be going back. Top: digging a hole for the new bywash at Lock 11 (or for somebody to fall into?) Above: pile-driving, the hard way! Below: the roller - not so hard as Hannah Allnutt it looks? All photos by Ken Parish
Camps Lichfield: "highly productive, fun and the weather was great!" Lichfield Canal Camp 22: October 22-27
This week’s campers were hard working and included four D of E’ers who worked like dogs and provided us with many chortles (thanks for the trike racing boys), plus Les whose pun-abilities are now legendary. Smudge was flabbergasted to get up on the first morning to find EVERYONE keen, willing and up and out the accommodation on time. This happened EVERY day. It was very spooky. Once on site everyone was organised, showed initiative and got on with the jobs.At one stage we were completing the jobs faster then Smudge could think them up. Thank God for brick cleaning eh? The work was done fast, efficiently, everyone worked brilliantly as a team - thanks to Smudge’s great organisational skills and a thoroughly enthusiastic team. *Slaps own back smugly* Thanks as always to Jen for sorting the kit and her help at the weekends and to Nina for turning up in the evenings!
Lichfield Canal Camp was highly productive, fun and the weather was great. We laid a tow path (using 32 cubic meters of lime chippings), planted a hedge and daffs, created a superb bench, made a hazel fence, started clearing lock 26, rescued scaffolding and cleaned a few bricks. A few were lucky enough to getting training on ‘Blue’ - Craig’s 18th birthday pressie from Smudge, all of us got to do A LOT of barrowing. Plus we saw the smallest steam roller in world (well probably) with driver in full uniform (it’s the attention to details like that you gotta admire). And for our grand finale, we went to Droit- Above: the site at the beginning of the camp (Joanne 'Smudge' Smith) Below wich…… left and right: tipping and raking-out the gravel for the towpath (Bernt Schimansky)
The social side was full and fun. After a determined effort to find a local we finally realised the pub two doors down WAS open (despite the ‘for sale’ sign) and promptly gained a new recruit, bar man Tony. We had pub games (namely ‘Harold Bishop’ and ‘Fuzzy Duck ‘- Smudge is an expert), two pub quizzes, one from another camp (thanks to Al Moore)causing great debate over images from children’s t.v. programmes, and a local pub quiz, where we came an acceptable third (ok we did have 12 in our team) AND managed to gain one bottle of vodka and 12 tinnies. We also went swimming, to the cinema, played skittles and had a Halloween party! (Where we learnt of Smudge’s balloon phobia.) We also got very serious with late night pontoon - we salute you Bernd, and hope you spent your winnings wisely. How many spaghetti twirls to a Euro is it? The accommodation was warm and cosy with a fabulous kitchen. We shared politely with various groups - artists, strange kung fu type people, Avon ladies and cruelly wafted the smell of Fraser’s delicious stew and dumpings at the Weightwatchers. We left the building in a far better state then we arrived in, in true WRG tradition though to be fair we can’t take credit for the new windows or doors that arrived mid-week. After a great week at Lichfield we had a day trip to Droitwich to complete a few jobs for MKP. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as we had torrential rain in the morning and materials weren’t delivered so weren’t able to complete any concreting. Still, we managed to get covered in mud and at least did a bit of prep work. Love what you have done with the container (it’s VERY tidy)! Whilst it was a shame we couldn’t be very productive, for those of us who’ve worked at Droitwich over the summer, it was a fantastic opportunity to see the fruition of a whole summer’s work. And to be able to stand back and be very, very proud of what has been achieved there. *slaps EVERYONE on the back and gets a sore hand*
Above: the volunteers and 'the smallest steamroller in the world' testing their new towapth. (Bernd Schimansky). Below: the finished job. (Paul Ireson)
Many thanks to the locals, Jan and John, for their support, hard work and their amazing organisational skills - which included many of our social events, accommodation and the paparazzi - we got great coverage in the local press! Lastly. I remember bumping into Smudge back in the summer and she informed me that her camp would be great (it was) and large quantities of cake would be involved. Well, I signed up straight away and can I say, I was NOT disappointed. Thanks to Jan (walnut and coffee), thanks to Gary (chocolate cookies) and especially thanks to Craig (lemon, cookies, birthday cake and many many more….) for an endless supply AND for cooking till 4 in the morning just so our cake mountain didn’t run out! (Oh and for the shaggy capped mushrooms.) (Don’t ask.) Well done everyone! Sue Carr
Feature (2) Ludwigs Canal: a 'restoration' WRG would not even dream of... How they do it in Bavaria... Martin’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion in a recent issue of Navvies that the Ludwig’s canal, among others, be restored awoke memories. In the late sixties two friends and I walked the length of it and observed a restoration the like of which WRG navvies would not even dream of dreaming about. The construction of a through waterway from the North Sea to the Black sea was first attempted by Charlemagne in the eighth century. He attempted to link rivers draining into the Rhine with those draining into the Danube. As the pen lock was not invented for centuries after his time and as Charlemagne’s engineers had a 30ft level difference to contend with between their two starting points it is not surprising that his canal does not seem to have been completed. It was(the so-called mad) King Ludwig of Bavaria in the XIXth. century who first caused Rotterdam to be linked with Constanta on the Black Sea and thus finished what Charlemagne had begun. Von Pechman, Ludwig’s engineer, linked Bamberg near the confluence of the Main and Regnitz with Kelheim on the Danube via a waterway which used the lower reaches of the Regnitz and the Altmuhl linked by what the Germans call a ‘stillewasser canal’. One hundred locks in just over one hundred miles lifted the canal from 230m at Bamberg to 420m in the Frankischer Jura and then dropped to 340m at Kelheim. Lock dimensions were in the region of 70ft. by 12ft. and there was a depth of 1.6m over the cills. The waterway was opened to traffic in 1846 but like nearly all canals dug during the railway age it was never a success. It carried some local traffic but through traffic never came up to Von Pechman’s hopes. The trouble was that it’s builders had not thought big enough (where HAVE I heard that before?). Barges that can pass through locks no more that 70ft. long are not economical for a journey of more than two thousand miles. Steamer traffic was established on the Rhine by the time the canal was opened but the Main still posed formidable problems. In dry weather it had insufficient water to float laden craft and when in spate its current made teams of 10 or 12 horses a necessity. the Danube had some fearsome rapids downstream of Regensberg
During the 1880s the Main was canalised up to Aschaffenburg and above this point a great iron chain was laid in the river bed. Along the chain curious looking and fearfully noisy steam craft, each with its string of barges, hauled themselves hand over fist up to Bamberg. Canal traffic declined however and in 1905 the passage of a boat was an event for the canalside villagers, in 1925 weed was so thick that manhauling was necessary. In 1921 far-sighted men met and decided that the time for playing with the problem was passed. Rhein-Main-Donau Aktiengesellschaft was incorporated and given adequate finance. A waterway 420 miles long was to be built from Aschaffenburg to the Austrian frontier. 52 locks, 300m long by 12m wide with 4m of water over the cills would pass 1500 ton Rhine barges. Side ponds on three levels at each lock ensured optimum use of river water. 400MW of generating capacity at the weirs would provide a useful source of income. Other works were to be carried out through Austria and downstream to the Black Sea, (but not under the auspices of R-M-D Ag). These would complement the German activities. The work was in full swing when we walked it in the mid sixties but for a period in the eighties it was halted owing to a fear that subsidised communist barges would come through and take the trade from Dutch and German craft. It is now fully open.
Above: bottom gate of the first lock of Ludwig's Canal in Bamberg on the River Regnitz. Below: another lock on Ludwig's Canal, with the top gates replaced by a concrete dam to maintain water levels for fishing.
Canalisation of the Main was completed in 1962 and when we walked it four locks along the Regnitz were in use to assist construction further along. We flanelled our way into the control tower of No. 1 and watched as the Schleuser Meister used push button control to operate the (guillotine) gates and the ‘paddles’ noting the CCTV(thirt-five years ago!) supervision of the top gate. Further along the canal Erlangen lock with a 20m change in level was nearly completed. The photographs give some idea of its awesome size.
Above: looking down the chamber of the huge lock under construction on the new R-M-D canal at Erlangen. Yes, that really is a tower crane in the lock! Below: a section of the new canal channel under construction. All photos by Richard Dawson.
The subsoil here is dry sand. This is excavated and then rolled smooth and firm. Four or five inches of concrete are followed by a similar thickness of tarmac. Ordinary road rollers are used on the canal bed while ingenious little machines roll the sides by hauling themselves up the slope side by cables. While not cheap this method uses established road making techniques and equipment and weed should not be a problem for some time. South of Nuremberg the lines of the new and the old canals diverge. We walked through the Reichwald, Herman Goering’s favourite hunting ground, and rejoined the old canal at lock 70. The waterway from here is the domain of the local fishing clubs who keep it in good nick. There are no gates on any lock but a concrete weir just above the position of the top gate keeps a good level in all pounds. There is a steady flow to maintain water quality and we saw one weed cutting boat with its crew at lunch. One thing puzzled me: just below the bottom gate where the balance beams would lie there was, on every lock, a substantial stone bridge. So how were the gates operated? We had reached the Altmuhl before I got the answer to that one. Each lock had its cottage, all occupied, but by whom I did not find out. We reached the long summit pound at lock 34 and crossed the watershed soon after. After two more days we reached the Altmuhl at Dietfurt and lock 13. Here the puzzle about operating the gates was answered. The locks here were in good shape and there were no balance beams but a pole attached to a ring bolt on the edge of the upstream face. A cross piece on the shore end of the pole gave the operator some purchase. We paid our respects to lock No.1 at Kelheim where the Altmuhl joins the Danube. The new canal joins the Altmuhl upstream so the 13 locks on the river that we saw must by now have been sacrificed to modern needs and replaced by 4 big ones. Richard Dawson
Bits... ...including the latest from the WRG Boat Club DInky toys and ink cartridges for Stamp Bank Despite its name, the WRG 'Stamp Bank' collects a lot of other things besides postage stamps. Steve and Mandy Morley operate what is in fact a 'central collecting point' for various collectables and recyclables: some of them they turn into cash for WRG, others are passed on to the various canal restoration projects around the system that collect them. A full report detailing everything they collect and what they do with it will appear in the next issue, but in the meantime we'd like to draw your attention to a couple of new items that have just been added to the list of things they'd like you to send... WRG BC: WRG Boat Club news I hope that all members have still managed to get about the cut as much as they wanted to this year, despite the very slow start with footand-mouth restrictions following the stoppages. That seems so recent, yet here we are again with the stoppages limiting our cruising. Claire attended the Midland Region AWCC meeting on our behalf and reports that some clubs (well one in particular) that have mooring facilities feel that they are giving more than they can receive in the reciprocal agreement stakes. She pointed out to them that it’s perhaps a good job that all ‘navvies’ (boat owners or not) don’t feel the same way: there was enthusiastic support from other clubs for that. She also pointed out that our representative and other members can offer local information and assistance to those visiting in their areas, which are spread all over the system. There is also concern that some people are abusing the hospitality offered by other clubs and virtually demanding use of facilities or over staying their welcome on visitor moorings. All these are voluntarily given and depend on goodwill.
Dinky Toys - and by that we don't just mean ones made by Messrs Dinky & Co. Any die-cast metal toy cars and similar toys of any make - Corgi, Matchbox or whatever - can be turned into cash. Ink cartridges and toner cartridges. Don't just throw away empty cartidges from the inkjet or laser printer that you use with your PC - companies that recycle and re-fill them will pay upwards of 50p per cartridge. And dont forget: Christmas is upon us, and that means there's a good chance that quite a few of you will have plenty of envelopes with used stamps on them from your Christmas cards. Don't forget to save them for WRG. And when you cut them off, please leave 1/4 inch of envelope all around the stamp if possible. The Stamp Bank address is IWA/WRG Stamp Bank, C/o Steve & Mandy Morley, 33 Hambleton Grove, Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes MK4 2JS. For more information or to arrange for pickup of any heavy items to save on postage, phone Steve and Mandy on 01908 520090 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Who are we? The club was formed by, and for, WRGies that are both navvies and navigators; those that are involved with restoration and have boats to use the canals for what they were originally built for. Mostly we all know each other, but we come from and travel to all areas of the system. It would be friendly if we let it be known who the members are and the name of their boats so that we can recognise each other from a distance. I know that all of our social gatherings are well supported; fulfilling rota duties at the club bar is not any problem; and there is never disharmony on the moorings. A cheery wave and a chat as we pass would add to our sociability. If you have forgotten to send your annual subscriptions in by now you are TOO LATE. It was agreed that all communication to members should be via ‘Navvies’, in fact one of the conditions for membership is that you take that highly esteemed journal. I’m sorry if folk were expecting lots of reminders: I relented and sent some. The best way to pay is by standing order, so please get in touch to set one up to save trouble in future years. I’m sad to lose members as we are a friendly crowd, but I’m not into strongarm tactics to get folk to pay up! XXX Sadie Dean 0774 8186867 email@example.com
First some short items... WRG Publicity report: "It's all fab" - Jude Moore Feedback questionnaire: "errr... will next time do?" - Marcus Jones. Logistics report: "No time!" - Jen Leigh. Bankside episode: "What - it's 'Navvies' time again?" - Bruce Tunnel. But seriously folks, we're all working flat-out to get the 2002 Canal Camps programme sorted out on time, so a few of the regular 'Navvies' items don't appear in this issue due to lack of time (and space). So you'll have to wait till next time for a report on how we're using the results of the Canal Camps Feedback Questionnaire to improve Camps even more, Jen's latest new logistical news, Jude's publicity update and the resurrection of the serial 'Bankside'. BW vs EA... If you follow what happens in waterways politics, you may have noticed that British Waterways have been doing their best to persuade the government to give them those rivers that are currently run by the Environment Agency, while the EA have been fighting to keep them, and came up with a counter-proposal to take over the BW ones. Well, the government have now announced that EA will keep their rivers for the meantime.
...and pieces Walking the Lichfield; clearing out the BCN.... Coming soon... ...the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust's "Walk the line of the canal" guided walk on the weekend of 20-21 April. As WRG have been so much a part of the restoration work so far, LHCRT would very much like to see some WRG participation in this high-profile and popular event (last time 250 people took part, and they hadn't even advertised it!) - either on the walk itself (where WRG are being asked to provide vehicles and marshalling support) or carrying out restoration work on the Tamworth Road worksite. The walk takes place on Sunday, but overnight accommodation has been booked at Martin Heath Hall for Friday and Saturday nights so we can work all weekend.
But there's no guarantee that they won't lose them in future if they don't look after them - perhaps this will lead to a more pro-navigation stance from EA, who have up to now been a lot more keen on nature conservation, flood control and so on and didn't show a great deal of interest in boating at all.
More details next time.
This doesn't affect any restoration schemes directly, but there could be an impact in the future on those (such as the Gipping) that are based on river navigations.
We were hoping to head north west this time, but haven't managed to find a suitable length of canal for manual clearance in the Manchester area. So provisionally it's back to the Black Country where they have a never-ending supply of rubbish to drag out of the canals of the BCN.
Right: another canal reopening: Drungewick Lane BridgeontheWey &Arun Canal was officially opened in September. Steam boat 'Esteem' was the first boat to pass through the new bridge. In the photo, a bottle of Wey water and a bottle of Arun water are being poured into the canal, symbolising the linking of the rivers. Photo by Peter Hawkes.
Coming sooner.... ...the National Canal Cleanup weekend on March 16-17.
More details and confirmation of date/venue next time. Coming even sooner... ...Christmas! So I'll take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to 'Navvies' this year plus John & Tess of WRGprint, the assembly team, Sue and Edd on subscriptions and anyone else who has helped, and wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Festive Solstice, or anything else that anyone happens to be celebrating at this time of year. (and on the subject of inter-faith tolerance I'd just like to mention that according to North West News, WRGNW's first event of 2002 is a 'Pape Chase'...) See you on the Basingstoke Christmas Camp - or sometime in 2002. ...Ed
Noticeboard Mrs Smeaton
The WRG Canal Camps mobile phones: 07850 422156 (A) and 07850 422157 (B)
...was hoping to contribute to this journal, but her trustworthy typewriter has had to be serviced. However, she wishes all her readers a Happy Yuletide, and looks forward to their correspondence in the New Year.
MOVING HOUSE Harriet Thomsett has moved to Ireland... "The next 3 years will see me resident in Cork in the glorious (when not raining) Emerald Isle. I don't propose to let this interfere too much with my digging activities (what's a couple of hundred miles of water between friends?), but anyone brought to the vicinity by a quest for a proper pint of the black stuff is very welcome to my lounge floor for a night (leprachauns permitting!). My new e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number 00 353 21 4342867." Elinor Nelson has a new e-mail address: email@example.com ...as does Jen Leigh: firstname.lastname@example.org ...and Spencer Collins: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org terest. Editor : Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Road East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020-8693 3266
Windows! Three double glazed window units of varying sizes offered free to any group that can make use of them (site huts etc.), but would have to be collected from Gloucestershire. Contact Adrian Simpson either on e-mail email@example.com or phone 07976 743663
Lost Property from the Bonfire Bash 1pair large (size 10-12ish ) work boots, not steelies, black. 1 medium green waterproof jacket in Safeways bag 1 white sock 1 stripey towel with grey border 1 T-shirt, small “Donnay” logo. 1 pair black Adidas trousers, label marked “MW 10D” - size 32 1 pair black jogging bottoms, large 1 grey fleece ( zip front) “Tog 24” , large. 1 pair black long socks 1 pair blue boxers ( Jersey, large) 1 London WRG T-shirt, white, XL Please find them a good home! "Socks are for life, not just for Christmas" Contact Dr. Liz on 01844 351 549 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.
John Baylis, Michael Beattie, Malcolm Bridge, Roger Burchett, Ray Carter, Spencer Collins, Christopher Davey, © 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
By popular demand... A number of people have asked for the words of the monologue performed by your editor as part of WRG's contribution to the Music Hall show at the National Waterways Festival at Milton Keynes... Albert and the Lock There’s a famous event called the ‘National’, That’s noted for craft-stalls and tat, And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom Went there with young Albert, their brat. A grand little lad was young Albert All dressed in his best; quite a swell With his IWA spotted neckerchief The finest Neil Edwards could sell. They didn’t think much to the festival Nor the boats, nor Mark Baldwin’s book-stall There was no sinkings and no gas explosions Fact, nothing to laugh at, at all. So they went and they hired them a day-boat And plotted their route on the map Down the cut, where there’s dead dogs and push-bikes And trolleys and all kinds of crap. They arrived at the first lock at Cosgrove And this got our Albert right vexed Cos he’d just read the ‘Marchioness’ study And he feared what was going to come next. Now he’d seen in t’report about hazards How canal locks was dangerous and wild To see such an innocent structure Well, it didn’t seem right to the child. So as soon as the boat was inside it Not showing a morsel of fear He took his new double-head windlass And wound up the gate-paddle gear. He could see he’d done something dreadful For the boat filled with water and sank And sinking the boat in the chamber Was not part of the plan - to be frank.
The engineer was quite nice about it He said “What a shame, tut tut tut... It’s the fault of those nasty gate-paddles I’ll get all the buggers nailed shut.” Then the regional manager was sent for He came and he said “What’s to do?” Pa said “Yon lock’s sunk our boat With my beer and our sandwiches, too.” Then Mother said, “Right’s right, young feller I think it’s a shame and a sin For our boat to end up on the bottom With my duty-free bottle of gin.” The manager wanted no trouble He took out his purse right away Saying “I won’t make you pay for the stoppage, But to moor here - that’s ten pounds per day.” But Mother had turned a bit awkward When she thought ’bout her gin gone to waste So she wrote to the local newspaper Saying “something must be done - with all haste.” Then the local MP heard about it And thinking of election-time soon He set up a committee of Inquiry (While the boat-hire firms prophesied doom). His committee spawned eight sub-committees On safety of waterways folk And whether gin and beer were a hazard For boaters. (No that’s not a joke!) And fourteen years after the mishap Their findings were sent to Mr Blair So now there’s some signs up at Cosgrove Saying “Open gate-paddles with care!”
Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence And didn’t know what to do next Said “Mother! Our Albert’s sunk t’boat” And Mother said “Well, I am vexed!”
By the time you read this, the 2002 National Waterways Festival at Huddersfield will be only eight months away, and we expect that once again WRG will be helping to keep the boaters amused, including providing part of the Saturday Night entertainments.... although we're not sure what form this will take yet...
Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom Sat down on the lockside and wrote Complaining to the area engineer That his paddles had sent down their boat.
So any contributions, suggestions or in particular offers of help please get in touch with Liz Williamson on phone 01844 351549 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Backfill "Best described as basic..." You may well remember that the above phrase was used in the Canal Camps booklet for many years to describe typical Canal Camps accommodation. You may have noticed that it doesn't appear there any more, and wonder if that's because our accommodation has become rather less basic, or whether we simply daren't admit it any more... well, I'm glad to say that it's the former rather than the latter (although we continue to strive for further improvements in the standard). You might also remember that several years ago we marked the purchase of the 'new' WRG vehicle fleet by running a series of amusing (or amazing) anecdotes in 'Navvies' called 'Lost in Transit': the idea being that volunteers would appreciate how fortunate we are to have a reliable fleet all the more if they read about the sort of rustbuckets that we used to drive around in. Well, we thought it might be time to run a similar series in which volunteers send in their memories of the various hovels we've made our home in over the years, as we look forward to a 5-star luxury future... The last time we asked for such memories, nobody sent any in. This could be because nobody actually has any stories to send. But more likely I reckon it's because they've blanked them out from their memory because they're just too horrible to contemplate. So as a bit of a memory-jogger, we thought we'd start off with the editor's own personal memories off some places that are, indweeed, "best described as basic..." The Editor's top 5 most basic WRG accommodations of all time... 5 The one somewhere in the West Country where the men had to wash under an outdoor cold tap, and a part of each evening's entertainment was unblocking the drains (between eating our main course and pudding).
4 The place in Chelmsford that was in such a rough area that all of the windows had had to be boarded up. Unfortunately that meant we didn't notice when it came light in the morning, so we all overslept and were late on site... 3 St Gregory's Church Hall, Stratford on Avon. Convenient for the Shakespeare's birthplace memorial coach-park. The ceiling in the Gents was held up by an Acrow prop, which was so close to the only wash-basin that you had to reach one arm around it to wash your face. 2 The abandoned bakery at St Johns, Basingstoke Canal. Hot and cold running water provided - but unfortunately although the taps were still there, the basins had all been removed. The high-level cistern on the only toilet was reluctant to flush, and you had to yank the chain so hard that you risked pulling the ceiling down. 1 The derelict lock-cottage at Tapton on the Chesterfield Canal. No windows, no drains, no electicity. Cooking facilities consisted of a single gas-ring. Sanitary facilities consisted of a single bucket-and-chuckit Elsan.
[Serious note: please don't any of you canal society people feel I'm getting at you - I know it's hard to find good accommodation, and these were a long time ago. And all credit to the Chesterfield Canal Society for finding us any accommodation at all and sorting out work for us at less than 48 hours notice after another group cancelled on us for reasons beyond their control.] OK that's the Editor's top five - but anyone who has ever spent an evening half-way up a stepladder pushing the 'reset' button on the electric meter while somebody else tries to cook on a cooker whose oven and grill will only work simultaneously if it's before 5.35pm... or negotiated a pile of rubble from a collapsed ceiling on their way to the 'Ladies'... or listened to the rats running around under the floorboards... or had to contend with a fire-alarm that's so sensitive that boiling a kettle sets it off... will all have their own stories. And we're equally sure that the real old-timers will "yes but you should have seen us in Droitwich in 1974, we had to build our own hall from scrap-metal we found in the yard", or "That's nothing - we had to sleep in an old railway tunnel... and the trains kept waking us up every few minutes..." Please send your remeniscences to the editor!