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avvies N Volunteers restoring waterways No 197 February - March 2003

waterway recovery group


Contents Contributions... ...are always welcome, whether hand-written, typed, on 3½" floppy disk, CR-ROM or by email. 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. Digital / computer scanned photos also welcome, either on floppy / CD-ROM 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 martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk. Press date for No 199: March 1st.

Subscriptions 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.

In this issue: Editorial Chairman Come to the Aston Opening! KESCRG planning for Little Venice Appeal news help us raise £75000 to get the Right Tool for the Right Job

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Camp reports from the Basingstoke, 8-15 the Wilts & Berks and the Cotswolds Diary camps and working parties 16-18 Letters we need two new canal societies 19-20 Plant Bungle’s found the oldest living KL15 21 Directory WRG and canal society contacts22-23 NorthWest Mr Mac on paper chases 24-25 Coming soon book now for the BCN... 26-27 ...and the Mont Aston Locks Reopening Logistics and the 2003 kit schedules 28-29 Bits & Pieces wot no KESCRG camp? 30 Noticeboard Backfill stuck in the middle with you

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And next time... ...all the articles we promised you this time but couldn’t find room for - such as an episode of ‘Bankside’ and a piece about the Aberdare Canal - plus photos and reports from the BCN and Aston Locks, a Camps Preview, the latest on the Appeal and two articles about North American canals.

Visit our web site www.wrg.org.uk for all the latest news of WRG's activities

Cover photo: Work in progress on the central support and abutments of the aqueduct that will carry the Lichfield Canal over the M6 Toll (formerly BNRR) motorway. (Phil Sharpe) Below: the newly-completed Loxwood aqueduct on the Wey & Arun Canal, with the new bridge carrying Drungewick Lane over the canal in the background. (Martin Ludgate) See the Editorial comments on the opposite page.

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A tale of two aqueducts If you look at the cover photograph of this magazine, and also at the picture on the opposite page, you will see that they both feature aqueducts, one on the Lichfield Canal and one on the Wey & Arun. And they are both brand-new aqueducts. More to the point, in both cases until not too long ago you would have had to be something of an optimist to believe that they would get built at all. If you are a regular reader of ‘Navvies’ or other canal magazines you will be aware of the longrunning saga of the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals and the Birmingham Northern Relief Road (nowadays known as M6 Toll) so I won’t bore you byrepeating it. Suffice it to say that the government refused to pay the extra costs of providing for reinstatement of the canals where the new road crosses them, and for a long time it looked like two new major blockages would set restoration back by several years. However thanks to a major effort by the Lichfield & Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust and their supporters - both in campaigning and in fund raising (mainly through the David Suchet Appeal) the Hatherton Canal is now being provided with a navigable culvert where it crosses the motorway, and as you can see the aqueduct abutments and central support are under construction where the Lichfield Canal will cross. Whether installation of the aqueduct itself (a steel trough that will rest on these piers) can take place during the construction of the road - or whether it will have to wait till afterwards - depends on whether the Trust can raise the remaining funding in time. The Wey & Arun aqueduct is a rather different project - it doesn’t cross a new road, it crosses the existing River Lox, and it replaces the original aqueduct which was demolished many years ago as a flood prevention measure. But it marks the culmination of an equally important effort by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust - in this case to a large extent a fund-raising effort - and it marks a major step forward in the restoration. The aqueduct, plus the bridge visible in the background, plus a heavy plant crossing required by the Environment Agency nearby between them cost about two-thirds of a million pounds. And the result of this investment is that over the next couple of years it will be possible to extend the restored ‘Loxwood Link’ section of canal to create a continuous six-mile navigable length. That’s nearly a third of the entire canal. Another thing that both of these aqueducts have in common is that our volunteers haven’t worked on either of them - they are professionally built by contractors. So why am I featuring them in ‘Navvies’?

Editorial The answer is because in both cases many WRG volunteers have worked on various other projects on these canals over the years - for example the Tamworth Road locks and Darnford liftbridge sites on the Lichfield, and Malham and Rowner locks and Bignor Bridge on the Wey & Arun. And when we first got involved, few would have foreseen the day when either canal society would be raising six-figure sums largely from their own resources to fund major construction projects... For many years the Wey & Arun was widely referred to as the ‘Waste and Arid’ - it was the canal that had no water and no hope: many thought it a waste of time and money and advised against expending effort on futile attempts to restore it. Now look at it! It has to be one of the best examples to convince doubters with: sure, there were canals that were more hopeless than the W&A when we started trying to restore them, and there are canals whose success is now more assured than the W&A. But I don’t believe there are any that combine the two quite so well! And I remember an evening in the pub some years ago when we got discussing “what’s the most comprehensively knackered-in canal that any bunch of jokers has actually started restoring?” We agreed that it had to be the Lichfield and Hatherton. Which is now getting two new motorway crossings! And what was it that brought about these transformations? Well, I’m not about to try to claim sole credit here! But alongside the publicity, fundraising, political campaigning, feasibility studies and other vital work by the canal societies concerned, one crucial factor in raising support for these schemes has been physical restoration of initial lengths of canal by volunteers - including WRG. I’m afraid there’s also a more mundane reason why I used two pictures of non-WRG projects - I don’t have many good recent WRG photos to use! Partly that’s because I’ve done nothing but scrubbashing for three months now, and there’s a limit to how many photos of bow-saws and bonfires you can use before they start to get repetitive. And partly because not many other people have sent me any non-scrub-bashing pictures recently either. So please - if you get some decent photos consider sending them to ‘Navvies’. And remember, we’re happy to receive digital ones by email these days. OK that’s all for now. I hope to see you on the (highly photogenic) BCN Cleanup - see p26 and send your booking form in today! Martin Ludgate

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Chairman Are you coming to the Aston Locks Reopening?

No posh qualifications at the end of it, just what is referred to in the world of training as ‘down and dirty’ quick lessons in plant operation, surveying, brickwork, etc. This will give you an ideal introduction to many areas of our work and ensure that when you get on site a huge vista of exciting and enjoyable jobs awaits you. (Unless of course you come on one of my camps in which case it’s brick-cleaning as usual.) Anyway the full details and booking form will be in the next ‘Navvies’ but put the date in your diary now!!!

Chairman’s Comment This piece will be fairly short as I’ve already written lots of stuff for various other bits and pieces throughout the magazine... However I must mention the IWA’s appeal for The Right Tool for the Right Job. The idea of this appeal is very much like the Golden Jubilee Appeal - we have provided the central theme and will keep a few big events running per month but we very much hope that everyone will be able to contribute in someway or another. Perhaps your local IWA branch or canal society could hold a fund-raising event or maybe you just have the contacts to help us get the items of our shopping list at a really good price. Any ideas please bring ‘em to us. Also I ought to mention that our groovy new camps brochure is already getting results as bookings so far are at their highest ever for January. It may just be a pulse but can you afford to take the risk of finding your desired camps fullybooked? Book now!

I must also mention the Aston locks re-opening on the 4th April. Please note that is a FRIDAY yes, in order to get a dignitary and to include all the great and the good who we wish to influence, the opening ceremony has to be a weekday. So if you want to see the opening ceremony, then be there by 10.30am. For those that find this a little difficult we are helping out in two ways; firstly we are making the accommodation available on the Thursday night, and secondly we are going to continue the festivities throughout the weekend. We have a DayStar Theatre performance (to be confirmed) on the Friday night, free Friday afternoon refreshments for all those who ever lifted a shovel at Aston, the Race Night on Saturday evening, an (optional) working party with SUCS further on the Welsh section on the Saturday and the Dinghy Dawdle on the Sunday. So I’ll see you there, won’t I? Mike Palmer

My editor informs me that it wouldn’t be a Chairman’s piece without mentioning training in some form or another. I’d hate to disappoint him and so I’m going to mention the Training Weekend (May 10th-11th at Hatton). Unlike the new weekend-long training courses we have been running recently, which have all booked up very nicely thank you, this is our ‘old ‘There is something special about seeing the pool at Little Venice full to bursting-point with boats’ - see Eddie’s piece opposite about Canalway Cavalcade (Martin Ludgate) favourite’.

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KESCRG at Little Venice Tapping this out in a suprisingly clear but bitterly cold Manchester it feels strange to be looking forward to the bank holiday at the start of May, but it is not that far away and preparations are well under way for this year’s Canal Calvacade festival at Little Venice in London taking place over the weekend of the 2nd-5th May 2003. KESCRG will be there providing site and services support over the weekend and I will be leading a small band of merry men (and women!) either side of the weekend itself helping to put the show together. Although we will not be erecting the tents ourselves because of insurance implications, we will be collecting the marquees, stalls, barriers, tables, chairs etc from Hackney on narrow boat ‘Aldgate’ courtesy of Paul and Lynn Ayres. I will require assistance loading and unloading the truck to take the gear the short distance from the yard to the wharf - which will be rewarded by a trip down the River Lee and back up the Regents Canal to Little Venice. Once the marquees are up, we lay-in the power, mark out the trade areas, plumb-in the water etc with the aim this year to have the site ready for Friday afternoon. The weekend work includes the usual festival chores of car parking (only a few hours cover required per day though), rubbish collecting (by boat!) marshalling etc etc. I have been asked if we can do something special this year and that is run an activity for WOW, (Wild Over Waterways) a youth initiative run jointly by IWA, BW and The Waterways Trust. We have been asked to put on a bricklaying and brick-painting display, which I have to say sounds rather intriguing. It will only be for a few hours a day and will be one of a number of such activities spread around the site.

KESCRG Eddie looks forward to this year’s Canalway Cavalcade So if you want to give us a hand either during the setup/derig or over the weekend itself please let give me a shout either by email eddie@kescrg.org.uk or on the mobile 07850 889 249 (although leave a text message if booking in, so I can write it down as my memory is crap!) Looking further ahead this year’s KESCRG camp is on the Mon and Brec 26th July - 2nd August. We are taking over from a job the WRG camp will have started the week before, building a foot bridge over the canal further up the line from where the Bonfire Bash was last November. For the first time for a fair while, Ken Parish is taking a back-seat and the camp is going to be led by Ian Williamson, Gary Alderman and Liz Wilson with Jenny Wilson cooking. The usual weekend regulars will be there lurking in the background. At this point I have no more details re the actual work but there is meeting in a few weeks to discuss the job and so will no doubt have a better idea after that. I hope to see you around the system at some point soon. Cheers, Eddie Jones

Accomodation for our volunteers is aboard the Pirate Club community narrow boats, with nb ‘Tarporley’ as the cooking boat. Because of the legal limit of berths on the boats I really need to know in advance if you intend to turn up, to ensure we have enough space. I have said it before I know but there is something special about seeing the pool at Little Venice full to bursting-point with boats, or standing on the horse-bridge to look at boats moored-3 deep as far as you can see on the visitor moorings. It is a great event so please come along and help us to build on the success of previous years. It is also a very important the event does well for KESCRG as the some of the monies raised are donated to us to pay our insurance bill with out which we can’t go out and do what we do best at weekends during the rest of the year.

Eddie Jones at the KESCRG / London WRG Christmas Party - with a ‘Star Trek’ theme. (Martin Ludgate)

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Appeal news The Right Tool for the Right Job! Appeal Update In the last issue of ‘Navvies’ we introduced the forthcoming appeal by The Inland Waterways Association to raise £75,000 to re-equip WRG for the future. Liz Williamson brings you the first in a regular series of progress updates... By the time you read this the appeal, now christened The Right Tool for the Right Job, will have been officially launched at the NEC Boat, Caravan and Outdoor show!! Many thanks to all of you who came and wore red shirts.

Harry Watts is already saving up for his horses, and Bushbaby is busy doping them, so come and lose your money in the most entertaining way possible, as well as celebrating the opening of something that has kept us busy for so long. (Not forgetting that we are raising money to replace all the tools worn out by use on the Mont!). One feature that does deserve a special mention is that the prize for the final race is genuinely unique: a ‘Buckby can’ (boatman’s traditional decorated water can) painted by WRG’s founder Graham Palmer. This has been donated by Carol Rowe and has been professionally restored by famous canal painter Tony Lewry. See below for more details... 3-5th May – Canalway Cavalcade, Little Venice, London – Details are to be confirmed, but we will be having a stand, hopefully with an entertaining money-raising scheme, and lots of publicity for the appeal. A volunteer to co-ordinate this would be appreciated: please contact me soon.

Enclosed with this copy of ‘Navvies’ you should find the official Appeal leaflet. We’ll be handing these out at shows, sending out in the Waterways press, and generally using to encourage donations. If you have a suitable site for display/distribution of leaflets or want more to hand out then give me a call and I shall arrange a delivery. Hopefully you are now eager to hear about what else we are up to in the next few months – the “silly things” I promised to tell you more about last time. So here is a rough timetable – it goes without saying that things may change so we will using the WRG website www.wrg.org.uk to keep things up to date. 21st-23rd March – BCN cleanup weekend. As well as the usual fun pulling black, sticky things from obscure bits of Brum’s history we will be holding a Curryathon on the Saturday night. Yes back by popular demand a chance to sample the WRG cooks’ tastiest offerings together with a quiz based around the BCN with a prize for the most knowledgeable team. If you can’t come to the whole weekend then please try to come to the evening ‘do’: all the curry you can eat for £5 and a free quiz – sounds like a bargain to me! See page 26 for more details and a booking form. April 4-5th – Aston Locks Reopening. After the official opening (11am on the Friday), WRG are having their own special party on the Saturday evening. This will feature a repeat of the highly successful Race Night, once again organised by Brian Bayston.

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Your chance to win one of these. (The can, that is, not the editor!) It is not widely-known that WRG’s founder the late Graham Palmer was a skilled painter of ‘canal ware’. In 1982 he painted a water-can similar to the one pictured above for Carol and Alan Rowe (a former ‘Navvies’ editor) and it was used by Harry Arnold to illustrate a ‘stage by stage’ article on how to paint your own can in ‘Canal & Riverboat’ magazine. Afterwards it did some years service in its intended role as a boaters’ water can, but now it has been restored and donated as top prize at the ‘Race Night’ - see above. (Photo by Lesley McFadyen)


Date to be confirmed (early summer) – Murder Mystery Cruise. Slap-up meal on a luxury trip boat, with entertainment in the form of a murder to solve – expect good food, bad jokes, and a prize for the best sleuth. We will be needing a cast of murder suspects, and possibly waiting staff. Watch the Web for details.

Appeal news What are you going to do to help raise £75,000 for WRG?

August 22nd-25th – National Waterways Festival at Beale Park– in amongst the usual fun and japes we will be having numerous “Right Tool for the Right Job” events, including a “Slave Auction” of navvies, and the return of the WRG show on the Saturday night as a grand finale. We will also be featuring at events such as Crick Boat show, Tring festival, Boats on Show, Saul Junction and any others we can think of, or that you suggest to me. There are a few other ideas we are still working on, such as a sponsored walk of the route of the Cotswold Canals, and an attempt on the World Record for number of people in a minibus, watch this space for details. Once a month we will be publishing a fun canal-based trivia quiz on the website: this is really a bit of publicity and fun, but if people Contact Liz (see below) if you can suggest any good want to send donations in with their answer events for us to publicise the appeal. (Martin Ludgate) sheets, so much the better. If you can’t get access to the web then you can also request hardcopy from Head Office (01923 711114 x24). The quiz begins in March and there is a prize of £25 for the first correct answer drawn out of the hat each month, so you might end up being able to stand a round of drinks at the next event! We also expect the WRG regional groups will get involved in the appeal so expect hassle (sorry encouragement) from them. We are also inviting all of the IWA branches and regions to think of something to do to support the appeal – keep an eye out for what your region is doing, and try to get along. After all, we are trying to raise this money so that we can all be better equipped and trained, and continue being an incredibly impor- Finale of the appeal: the return of the WRG Show at the tant part of waterways restoration. National Waterways Festival at Beale Park. (Huw Davies) One thing all of you who work for large companies could do is to ask if they are prepared to provide some matching funding for voluntary work or sponsorship. If you think this might apply to you (unfortunately for me, the NHS doesn’t believe in this kind of thing…) please contact me, we have loads of very non-onerous work which needs doing and could get us literally thousands extra for the appeal. We hope to see as many of you as possible at all or any of the events, your contributions, whether in time, enthusiasm or cash will make a huge difference to the success of the appeal. And, of course, if you feel able to send us a donation straight away, so much the better, use the form on the leaflet, and get the appeal off to a great start. I look forward to hearing from you all very soon with ideas, suggestions, time and money. Lots of luv ‘n’ hugs ‘Dr Liz’ Williamson: email liz.williamson@wrg.org.uk tel 01844 351549 (eves)

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Day 2 Friday 27 [Sunday]

Camp report New Year Canal Camp on the Basingstoke Canal New Year Camp 2002/3: Basingstoke Canal Preface (or cop out clause): since it was one of the triumvirate of cooks who was foolish enough to respond to Martin’s request for a notepad and pen to be taken to the pub to facilitate the writing of the camp report, and hence ended up writing it by default, details of the work on site are somewhat sketchy, as it is remarkable how vague people can be when asked ‘so what did you do today?’

Arrive on site to discover a tree conveniently chose last night to fall across the canal. The work boat proceeds to attempt to leapfrog over it. Stuff is cut down and burnt on 2 bonfires. Daddy Cool’s wheelbarrow of embers spontaneously combusts while in transit (not in a Transit you understand, but while being delivered from one fire to another). Rick Ansell demonstrates why he holds the London WRG lame excuse award by arriving on site just as we’re leaving. We’re not taken in by his excuses of ‘obstacles to navigation’ (i.e. the aforementioned tree) causing his delay. The cooks explore the local area and find all the local supermarkets. Eventually. Then we cook roast, since it’s Sunday. In the evening we visit the ‘Bleak House’ pub, which was. It seems unlikely they would have opened if we hadn’t been there. On our return, a seedy gambling den is established in the committee room. Day 3 Saturday 28 [Monday]

Day 1 Thursday 26 [Saturday] We arrive. Or at least some of us do. The cool (newlyinvented collective noun) of Worthingtons - camp leader Dave, his wife Jenny and their two sons - is almost the majority. The assistant leader is sick. Diego the Frenchman arrives from Marseille, with 12 bottles of red wine, travelling by public transport on Boxing Day. The safety talk claims its first victim: Richard Cool injures himself bringing in the TV for the safety video. The kitchen starts running its own calendar: today is the first day of a camp and hence a Saturday. After this evening’s ‘discussion’ about how best to cook the stew, we decide to run a ‘who’s in charge’ system for the rest of the week. Then there won’t be any doubt about whose fault it is.

Today we have a practical demonstration of the old adage ‘breakfast will be served when the smoke alarm goes off’. Out on site, more stuff is cut down and burned on five fires, and the next bridge is sighted through the vegetation. A rather overambitious attempt is made to remove the tree lying across the canal which is about six times larger than the recommended 4 inch limit for bowsaws. Alan spends the afternoon tied to said tree. Rick A feeds the troops tea from nb ‘Invincible’. In the evening, after delicious chicken pie, we go to the ‘Plough’ at Byfleet (many thanks for driving, Steve!). Their notices about their no mobile phones policy saying ‘phone free zone’ make us think that the ‘Bleak House’ could use some similar ones advertising a ‘Fun-free zone’. The camp report is started and we get carried away into writing Day 4 in advance, but decide that the formula for calculating how many fires there will be on site tomorrow is far too taxing. Day 4 Sunday 29 [Tuesday/Wednesday]

Cutting and burning continues, with 6 bonfires, but our ruthless approach to all vegetation standing in the way scares off some fishermen. Pete Redway almost loses both his chainsaws in the monster tree. Sally decides that the trees are trying to write their ‘Last Will and Testament’ on Richard’s arms, as he now has an ‘A’-shaped scratch to add to yesterday’s ‘L’. Despite the cooks’ shopping list being written in the pub last night, the shopping is completed in record time, but delivery of lunch is delayed by navigational difficulties. In the evening a major expedition is made into Woking to see The The scene that greeted the volunteers on the first morn- Two Towers with a small breakaway faction ing: a tree had just fallen across the canal. (Martin Ludgate) going to see DAD (or Die Another Day).

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Day 5 Monday 30 [Thursday] I cook breakfast on autopilot - apparently a gaspowered one, since the kitchen demonstrates that it has electrics typical of a village hall: as it is now raining, switching on the kettle cuts off the rest of the power. The water element continues to feature heavily out on site, along with fire, as work concentrates on burning what has already been cut down. Andy’s gloves catch fire, but Richard’s jacket is so sodden that it doesn’t, though it is well smoked. We discover that European standard hard hats don’t fit Antipodean shaped heads. Twothirds of the cooks and a brother Bennett make a shopping expedition to Reading, and have to negotiate a flood to get home. Martin entertains us in the evening with a slide show illustrating what WRG has been up to in the last year, in which several of the current campers feature fairly heavily.

Steve and Harri of the catering crew serve up a delicious curry on the last night. (Alan Lines) Day 6 Tuesday 31 [Friday]

Most of the work involved cutting down overhanging vegetation on the offside bank of the canal (above) plus just the odd bit of standing around the fire keeping warm (below). By the end of the week we’d cleared enough of the fallen tree to get the Bantam tug through. (bottom) Photos by Martin Ludgate

Cutting and burning continues, but we also get to play with boats (it must have been exciting, since it is the first thing at least 4 people say to me when I ask what they’ve done today). Several people go paddling, but manage to emerge with dry feet. In the kitchen we have an amazingly stress-free day. New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a ‘Bollywood’ party, with Steve cooking us a fabulous curry with all the trimmings. End-of-camp awards are presented to Sean and Darren (not Dawn and Sharon!) for washing up above and beyond the call of duty, Andy and Tom for most promising new volunteers, Sally as camp MUP (most useful person), Diego for most meritorious journey to the camp and Cameron the dog for getting into the largest number of beds during the week. We see in 2003 in the usual WRG style with the singing of Auld Lang Syne outside at midnight, and the partying continues, for some of us at least, for some time. Day 7 Wednesday 1 [Saturday] Signs of life eventually appear from the campers, and after sausage and bacon butties, everyone pitches in to help pack the kit and tidy the hall (a special thanks from me to Sue for cleaning the cooker). People, vans and kit gradually disappear, hopefully in the right directions! Many thanks to Dave and Martin for running such a relaxed and enjoyable camp and to everyone else for being there – you were all fantastic (and not a vegetarian among you!) Harriet (‘Harri T’) Thompsett

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Camp report New Year Canal Camp on the Wilts & Berks Canal Christmas - New Year Camp Wilts & Berks Canal We didn’t have a very auspicious start to the camp this year. The caretaker of Foxham Reading Rooms lives next door, and Mrs. caretaker was expecting a baby on 23.12.02, so she was glad to let us have the key on that day so she wouldn’t have to worry about it. We duly moved all the food that Di had brought up from Devon for the camp, including six cakes, into the freezer, and went home again until everyone started arriving on Boxing Day. It was then that we discovered that the freezer wasn’t working properly, and everything was starting to defrost! Fortunately (from our point of view), the expected new arrival had not foaled (to quote the Chairman) so Mrs. caretaker shifted things around in her freezer to make room for ours. But that was not all.... With the oven cooking the evening meal nicely, Di switched on the hot plate on the top for the vegetables, and the whole place was plunged into darkness! We reversed the trip switch, and tried all four hot plates in turn, and found that only one of the small ones didn’t send us all back into the middle of the night. The next day the caretaker tried his best, but you try getting hold of an electrician to come round on 27th December! We eventually had to borrow a camping gaz two ring burner from one of the locals to see us through the camp. However, with that all sorted out, an initial eight navvies set to with a will. Now that the new bascule bridge at Foxham is in use by the farmer, one of the main tasks was to dig out the causeway which he had been using to cross the canal. We did actually have two dry days (Friday and Saturday), although it did rain during the night, and by the end of the second day it became obvious that tracking the digger up and down was making a real mess of the towpath, so that project had to be abandoned half finished, although we did get a lot of the hedge trimmed back and burnt so the area shows considerable improvement. Sunday saw us setting off in the work-boat to cut back the undergrowth and scrub on the offside bank at Dauntsey, and the boat was rapidly filled, motored back and emptied and then refilled three times a day. Despite the rain, which by then was siling it down (Di’s expression from Lincolnshire) a huge bonfire saw everything burnt up each night.

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The boat moved steadily up the canal, and over the week half a mile of offside bank was trimmed back and quite a bit of the towpath hedge. In places the boat almost goes from bank to bank at right angles to the towpath, but poor canine Katy managed to fall in twice misjudging the gap from boat to bank, so after that she preferred to trot up the towpath and swim across and back to preserve her dignity. We had a fluctuating population on the camp, with some coming at the beginning and some at the latter half of the week, and five of us for the whole week. The weather was awful, but everyone still worked extremely hard, coming back to the cottage for tea breaks and lunch to dry things off on the Aga. After days like that, a big glass of mulled wine went down very well. My thanks to Phill for a bottle of the spicy mix stuff and to Alan for adding to our stock of red wine. It was reported that the Caen Hill flight on the Kennet and Avon was all lit up at night until 6th January, so we all trooped off one evening to Devizes (the top of the flight), and walked down an extremely muddy towpath past the first few locks, which were worth seeing, but when we then went to the bottom, hoping to be able to look up the flight all lit up which would have been really spectacular, it turned out that the lit-up locks were only at the top. Low cloud and fog also obscured our view. We had a cinema outing to Swindon, where four screens showing ‘Lord of the Rings’ were all fully booked, and the decision was taken that half of us would see the Harry Potter film and the others the James Bond. The only problem was that Harry Potter ran from 7.20 to 10.20, and the James Bond from 8.20 to 11.05 p.m., and as we’d all come in one vehicle there was a bit of waiting around! Phill Cardy had borrowed a nice new 15-seater BT minibus, which was very useful for getting to site, not to mention going out in the evenings. In an effort to keep it comparatively clean, Katy - who gets herself very wet and muddy every day - had to come with me in a separate vehicle. (Rob Brotherston’s small dogs set an example to Katy which I can’t see her ever following, and kept themselves fairly clean.) Our thanks to BT for their generosity. Our thanks to Di for keeping us well fed, particularly with her usual sticky gooey cakes, and she excelled herself on New Year’s Eve with a 3-course meal. We had our usual games of Uno to see the New Year in. Our thanks to David, Phill, Rob, Bernd (from Gennany), Alan (from Wales - to give it a truly international flavour!), Jeremy, Nigel, and Luke, supplemented with help from locals Lany and Michael, for all their hard work and assistance. By the end of the camp, the primroses were in flower on the towpath - will Spring come before Christmas next year? Rachael Banyard


WRG Boat Club News Hurrah! Spring is well on its way and so am I. Ah, the joy of the end of the closures and of frozen waterways. This is not the situation as I write, but it will be by the time you read it. I am ever the optimist. With ‘Straw Bear’ on the Middle Level over the winter I don’t suffer much from closures or being frozen in (she says with fingers crossed). First Club Gathering 2003 is 4th - 6th April on the Montgomery Canal. I do hope that members will be planning to get to the Mont in early April to celebrate the opening of Aston Locks. This event is for all club members: please let me know if you will be coming, with arrival dates if you can - we want the passage down Frankton locks to be as smooth as possible. Please remember that the Shroppie is closed until after then. Of course you can just turn up, but don’t forget you have to book down the locks. [My understanding is that you have to book with the event organisers if you want to take your boat down Aston Locks during the opening weekend ...Ed] Now I’m sure your first concern when boating is ‘what shall we wear?’ Seek no more, for now we have the ultimate in spring fashion - WRG BC clothing and accessories! The logo on these will be slightly different from the burgees. They will be embroidered. The bad news is that they won’t have the triangular outline, the good news is that you can include your boat name. I have tried to keep the triangular shape, include the bridge and tools and ensure that from a distance they wont be mistaken for BW workwear! They are available in all sizes and there is a choice of colours, though I will avoid blue as I often wear black trousers! All are best quality.

WRG BC Latest News from WRG’s own boat club The prices shown include post and packing. Sweat Shirt, raglan sleeves

£17.80

Sweat Shirt, open hem

£19.50

Sweat Shirt, with hood

£19.50

Polo Shirt, Men’s sizes S-XXL £16.00 Polo Shirt, Men’s size XXXL

£16.50

Polo Shirt, Men’s size XXXL

£18.20

Polo Shirt, Ladies

£15.60

Fleece, Full Zip

£26.50

Embroidered badges for stitching on caps, blazers or W.H.Y. are available, with or without boat name, at £6.00 p&p 35p if ordered as an individual item. Caps with logo and boat name embroidered on cost £10.00. Printed heavyweight T-shirts cost £10.00 We are looking at the possibility of dishwasherresistant mugs (of course we all have dishwashers on our boats). These can have the club logo and your boat name on them. They will cost £6.50 for one and £31 for a set of six. That includes post and packing. Send your order to club commode door - Lynne Cater, 30 Doverbeck Drive, Woodborough, NOTTINGHAM NG14 6ER. Or phone me for more details on 07748 186867 I have had an enjoyable winter’s boating with much dancing and leaping about with brooms, as you would expect, but what can I aim for now having been the front end of a dancing cow in panto? Yes I’m adding it to my CV - ‘A bit of a cow’. “Nothing new there”, I hear you cry! See you in April?

The volunteers on the Wilts & Berks Christmas Camp (see report on opposite page). Photo by Phill Cardy

XXX Sadie Dean

page 11


Camp report Just occasionally, everything doesn’t go entirely smoothly... Camp 0220 on the Cotswolds: Trials And Tribulations Of A First Time Camp Leader Hi - I’m called ’Moose’ and this is an account of my trials and tribulations of being a camp leader for the first time. This is aimed at those volunteers who would like to have a go at being a camp leader but who are unsure at what it will be like. It all started at the ‘National’ at Waltham Abbey 2000, during the evening we (that is Maria and I) and other WRGies were in the bar drinking as you do... I happened to mention that I would like to lead a camp; at this, Leonie sort-of said in a drunken state “if you led I would be your assistant” - bad mistake... After the ‘National’ I spoke to the relevant people and said that I would like to lead a camp and Leonie had volunteered to be my assistant and I would ask Maria to cook so we were a ready made team. The relevant people said they would see what they could do. At long last about Easter 2002 I was told that they had agreed; the camp we were offered was October on the Lichfield. After a while it was confirmed that it would be half term for the kids - ‘all systems go’. In about June I sent an email to the coordinator for the Lichfield and our troubles started. There was a slight problem and he was not sure if we could have our camp there. After a various emails it was confirmed that Lichfield could not take us, it was agreed that we would wait until the ‘National’ (Huddersfield 2002) and the decision would be made. At the ‘National’ I was offered either the Mon & Brec or the Thames and Severn. This was a problem as Maria wanted the T&S and I wanted the M&B, but Leonie was not worried about which ever we did. The deciding factor: at the M&B they had stayed in a Methodist Church Hall, and this meant no alcohol! That was it sorted we would hold my camp as leader with Leonie as Assistant and Maria cooking on the T&S. Straight after the ‘National’ I sent an email to Neil Richie, saying that I was the leader and we were having our camp down on the T&S and what accommodation were we in etc, The surprise email come back from Neil saying he had no idea the camp was being moved to the T&S. This was the start off several emails that started to fly around; Selsley Scout hut was thought to be unavailable. Other Halls were booked etc. Then Neil went back to the Scout leaders who then checked their calendars and it was found it was a school holiday there as well as the Lichfield.

page 12

So we now had accommodation, emails had gone off to Logistics, Just Jen had replied saying we would have RFB, Kit A and the London WRG minibus NJF. This was promising, this was happening all around September and the camp was the end of October, things slowly become sorted until I sent a confirmation email to Just Jen to make sure of our vehicles etc and the reply was that we were probably going to get the vehicles as above but as there were now going to be two camps running at the same time our vehicles might change. In the end our vehicles did not change - we were still having the London WRG minibus and 6-seater crew-cab RFB, which could tow the trailer as it has a tachograph and any WRG vehicle towing a trailer must have a tacho fitted and the London WRG bus hasn’t, as the vehicle will be replaced and it’s not worth fitting a tacho because they cost so much. About a month away from the camp Ian in the WRG office sent us a list of people who had booked on through the office. It showed that most had been told about the change of location and were still confirmed as coming. But it did also show that we had some DofE’ers and that we were short on van and especially trailer drivers. But we knew that a couple of people who had not booked would have a van ticket and one would have trailers as well. As the leader, also included were the dietary requirements, we had a nut allergy, a gluten free, a vegetarian and a vegan. As soon as Maria saw the ‘gluten free’, that was it - off to the library to see exactly what was allowed! Two weeks before the camp, trying to find out where RFB was I came to a blank - it was suggested that the van would be at Mike Palmer’s place. The trailer was at Tom’s Farm and looking at the map I reckoned that I could drive to work and then collect the trailer on the way back. The problem was I needed RFB. After emails and telephone calls to Mike Palmer, I got a reply, Mike had been working funny shifts at work and that he did not have the van. The van was out with the forestry group. At first I could not get hold of Sparky (Forestry group),who was not due back home (to Cumbria) till Sunday (the Sunday before the camp). We decided that if the van was taken up to Cumbria, then we had no chance of getting the van back before the camp, so we decided to make do with the minibus and Maria’s 12 seater Land Rover. So that was it, Maria’s Land Rover and the London Wrg mini bus. Trailer was collected on Wednesday as planned. But that was not the end of it, Thursday night whilst shopping in Makro’s, the phone rings and it’s Tenko, another forestry person. He had the van at his place and volunteered to take the van down to the compound down on the Thames & Severn. In the van was supposed to be the flight case containing the camp phone, the safety video etc. Well the flight case was in the van that Tenko was going to take down but there was no video and even worse no camp phone.


Whilst at work on the Friday, day before the camp started, I receive an email from Mike saying that all the missing kit will be passed to Tenko, Friday evening at a motorway junction... At last count I had in excess of 48 emails, phone calls I lost count. All this and still the camp had not started! The day arrived when the camp started. Maria and I with our dogs Major and Bess drove down towing the Kit Trailer, arriving at the Hall by 14:00hrs, putting the camp signs up as we went up the hill, then collected the key etc. During the afternoon people started to arrive, people to be collected from the train station. It might sound naff, but I had wanted to lead a camp for a long while even before the ‘National’ at Waltham Abbey and here it was. I had 16 booked on through head office. One was unable to make it for personal reasons which was a shame as it was a person who I know through digging with London WRG, he had done a lot of weekends but had never done a weeks camp: I was honoured that he was going to use my camp as his initiation into week camps! So I was down to 15 people of which 4 were DofE’ers and plus a couple of regulars had said they would come and give support. After the Health & Safety video and talk we had our first evening meal, but we also had our first casualty, one of the first-timers was allergic to dogs - it could be seen that she was suffering. After various conversations etc it was seen that she could not remain in the hall. And putting the dogs out in the car was too late because they had been in the hall for a couple of hours by now. In the end her boyfriend come to collect her but he had to come such a long way that my assistant Leonie and Andi offered to meet the boyfriend halfway. Which they did: remember this was the Saturday evening leading up to the Sunday of storms. Leonie and Andi got back at about 01:00 in the morning... they had found that not all junctions on the M5 allow you back on after getting off... as they decided to change drivers, they took the junction off the motorway but after changing drivers found they could not get back on and had to go back a junction before they could get on. Also the indicator on the van completely fell out. (This was repaired the following morning before going to site). After the Health and Safety talk etc I went through the work that had been ear-marked for camp 20. This consisted of:

.. .. . .

Finish brickwork on Ham Lock Spill weir. Have a ready mix pour to fill in the void under the crest of the weir Put up a wooden fence around the spill weir. Put the coping stones butting up to the Spill weir Site and fix a memorial seat that was going to be inaugurated on Saturday after our camp finished. Replace the concrete slab that acts as the flood control paddle for the Chalfont pound, with proper paddle gear.

. .

Clear a channel between Ham Lock and Jubilee Bridge. Clear out more channels in the turning area next to the round house on the Chalfont Pound.

Now we are down to 14 booked people, and 1 less Dof E’er. Moose (Leader) Leonie (assistant) Maria (cook/counsellor) Ian (Been before) Andi (Old Hand) Ed (Old Hand) Martin(Old Hand/Editor) Daphne (Been before) Bernd (Old Hand) Sally (1st timer) st John (1 timer) Chris (1st timer) st Ruby (1st timer) Roxy (1 timer) Robert (Been before, expert brickie!) Sunday morning: alarm went off at 07:00 for Maria and I to start breakfast, outside the wind was howling. Some of the regulars started moving in the normal manner i.e. slowly, but the first timers straight up raring to go. Out on site I showed them the complete site pointing out what was going where etc. Our Martin started to get the brick kit together and work out what he had to do, while I got the remainder started on the channel clearing for flood prevention, and then there was the Great Wall of China, oh sorry it was the wing wall of the Jubilee Bridge. One side was being built by Robert who it seems has fallen in love with this wall, he might be slow but he does a brilliant job. The other side had to be dismantled a bit more, so Daphne and Sally set about it. That was it - the work had started, people were happy and busy. The chef, Maria, delivered lunch. People tucked into the sandwiches the Burco was going great guns. After lunch it was back to work. We finished on site, and because people kept hearing about the Roundhouse we took the whole group down there: this was for interest and so they could see a bit more of the canal they were working on. It was also handy for me to point out a couple of jobs that we had been asked to do if there was time. Back at the ranch (ok the Accommodation) Ed volunteered to do a shower-run in the minibus: when they all cleared off, I thought “that’s good, they’ll be gone for at least an hour - a chance for some peace and quiet.” Wrong. The sports Centre had a power cut because of the storms and the electricity had not been reconnected. Another old face turned up, Gary ‘I haven’t been digging for ages’ Sheerin. Monday was much the same: Martin working in the spill weir giving instruction to Ruby in the art of brick laying, whilst the people messing about in the cut carried on clearing the cut. Sally and Daphne finished beating-up the wing wall and Sally went off to tidy up the hedge and Daphne, with her other half Bernd and Ed started to finish off the fence that Ed and others had started building on the London WRG weekend dig before.

page 13


After what seemed another long day, it was back to the ranch where Ed volunteered to do the shower run again, this time they were successful and all come back smelling sweetly. Tuesday was the great concrete pour. The concrete was to be pushed under the slope off the spill weir where the water had washed the soil away and it was now hollow. When I placed the order on Monday I was told the largest of the small trucks was 1.5 cubic meters, it was suggested that we would need at least 2 cubic meters so decided to go for the 1.5 cubic meter and then be ready to order another one to finish off. That was the plan... the mixer arrived, it got as close as possible but we had to improvise and make a chute for pouring the concrete where we wanted it to go. The pour went very well with a slight problem: 1.5 cubic meters was too much by about 0.5 cubic meters, this had to be moved by hand away from the weir and thrown behind the spill weir wall as back-fill, so we had four or five off us all with shovels playing follow the leader scooping up concrete, walking to the wall (in about 6 to 8 inches of water) then tipping it over the side then join the circle. It worked but it proved my old (I left the Army 1986) army boots are not waterproof anymore. Now the concrete had been poured, the crest stones could be placed. But that was for the next day. What had to be done was installing the memorial bench at Valley Lock. The local contact, Ken had said the seat needed a plinth so it could be set in concrete, so off went the crew-cab Transit with 4 unlucky volunteers, with tools and several bags of cement, a lot of ballast, some wood for shuttering etc. At about 15:00 they had to come back and pick up more ballast and more cement. Ed & Andi took everyone to the pictures, and meanwhile we had more people turn up: Tunji and Dave Miller. Wednesday we had to be out of the hall by 13:30hrs and not allowed back in until 17:00hrs. Knowing this we hoped that the weather would be good to us and at least stay dry. But no, it started with showers then slowly during the morning got heavier and heavier until it almost become constant. In all the rain, Martin (with help) sorted the height line for the crest stones and they were gently lowered on several planks into position. During lunch it was decided that we would have to come off site, because of the rain. So Leonie, Maria and I started to think where and what we could do for 5 hours! Swimming was originally the plan for when we finished on site at 16:00hrs. So we could go swimming and that would take a good hour - but not five! Whilst we were contemplating all this, the weather seemed to clear up and everyone started going back to his or her work! Work had started on the other wing wall. The plan was to build a retaining wall in concrete blocks with a nice facing stone. Trouble was as it was raining the mortar was running out and they could not get levels to start on. This needed to be completed before the end of camp!

page 14

At lunchtime Martin left us to go to the Mon & Brec camp. Our Leonie and Ed volunteered to take the crew bus with Bernd and Daphne to fit a paddle to a culvert to control the level of the pound at Chalfont, as an improvement on the existing flood control which consisted of the locals reaching in with a metal scaffold pole and levering away the concrete slab that covered the culvert entrance and then placing a piece of wood in the gap to stop it closing. (Remember this would be because torrential downpours and most of the time during the night.) Before going back to the ranch most of us went swimming, this is where we found out that one of the DofE’ers had a fear of water. He had been in waders for the last couple of days and now we had got him swimming, his phobia has now been cured! Ed came back and reported that the paddle gear was fitted and it could be raised and lowered, but water was getting around the frame because of rotten wood around the hole etc. Thursday was our last full day, on site. It was raining. The spill weir crest stones had all been put in position and now they had to be mortared in and several rows of bricks were to be laid in front of them, to within a couple off inches of the top of the crest stones - about 4 courses. The new part of the wing wall had to be built and the great wall of China (Robert’s wing wall) would actually be finished today - weather permitting. The weather was not helping. Tunji was going to leave us today and the rain I think made up his mind. Gary had gone off with Ed to make use of some of his experience with the Water Board to see if they could stem the flow around the back of the paddle gear. They came back with big smiles almost as big as Ed’s the day before. It is surprising what can be done with foam insulation (the type that is wrapped around pipes) and expanding spray foam. Later that afternoon it was confirmed the water level was coming up in the Chalfont pound. Thursday Night was slightly different Ed took the crowd to the showers. Maria had to go to a funeral back in Chingford, so Leonie, Andi and Gary started to get the buffet ready. When everyone finished we had a very good slide show from local Ken, showing some very old slides with the comparison of the same view now. Excellent show. Then everyone started eating and I did the farewell stuff. I summed up the work: By the end of the camp we had nearly completed the spill weir. Concrete blocks needed to be put on the top of the brickwork to raise the height higher than the weir crest, so that if and when the spill weir fills up with water, the water will not go down the spill weir into culvert as the culvert is thought to leak and need repairing before it can carry water. It was feared that if water flowed through the culvert, it could wash the bank away into the river. The blocks could not be placed in position until the mortar on the rows of bricks had a chance to start setting.


Robert’s wing wall was finished, the other side was started but needed several more courses before it would be finished. The paddle gear was classed as finished. The seat was in and we had been out to tidy up the area and take the shuttering out etc. And the crew who had spent most of the time in waders clearing a channel through the reeds etc had done an excellent job, I believe Ed has some photos of our Sally needing to be rescued from the mud, photos including Chris & John laying down and looking like a couple of beached seals. After people had some drink some of them volunteered to go back on site Friday morning. Some of us were going straight from Cotswold camp 20 to the Bonfire Bash on the Mon & Brec and we could not get there before 20:00 Friday evening, so it would kill a few hours and hopefully finish the spill weir. Friday: while some people were leaving to go to site others were getting packed up ready to make their way home. Again the weather was not nice: it was raining, I think since Tuesday my feet were constantly wet. After dealing with the DofEer’s books and other paperwork I joined them on site: when I arrived there was Andi wading around the spill weir putting cling film over the freshly laid bricks and mortar and then placing the concrete blocks on top, mortaring them in and putting more cling film over it all. Ken the local who had been visiting every day and had taken his coat off and helped the last few days, was on his hands and knees trying not to slip down the weir slope, and was mortaring the back of the concrete blocks. There were people mixing mortar as fast as the brickies was using it - it was a hive of activity. Walking down to the Jubilee Bridge, there was a couple of them laying blocks and facing bricks. By 13:00 everyone said that it was finished. We left site now with the spill weir finished, Jubilee Bridge with one completed wall and one well started. The last nails were hammered in on the fence, and that was completed. All that was left was go back to the hall, remembering to pick the signs up as we go back, to clean and repack the vans and trailer and clean the hall, hand the keys back and then drive over to the Mon & Brec. On the way stopping at the Thames and Severn compound to drop off the stonecutter and some bits and pieces. Ed worked on packing the trailer with Gary marking off and me acting as gopher, Andi got stuck into checking the vans, and David got the job of brick kit - everything was marked back in. Nothing lost or broken, excellent - our Logistics Jen would not be beating me up. We were on our way by about 17:30hrs: two vans, Andi driving one, me driving the other towing the trailer, Maria in her Land Rover, Robert and David in their cars and Gary on his motorbike.

Arrived at Mon & Brec all together (after a slight detour). Talking to Maria when we arrived at School, Maria asked if I had collected the signs in on the way back from site to the hall? You’ve guessed it: no, they were still by the roundabout guiding people up the hill, oh bugger! Trying to work out why it was not picked up when the kit check was done... it was because we took them out of the trailer when we were looking for the flight case which was not there, this was back at home. At the bonfire bash on the Saturday it was raining yet again and by that time I had had enough of being wet, so we went back to the school in the afternoon and we had never planned to go on site on the Sunday. So Sunday was return back to our boat (home) via - you’ve guessed it - Stroud roundabout to pick up three signs. As we were in no rush we went to Ham Lock to look at our handiwork, then up to Jubilee Bridge and back admiring the work that we (the Royal We) had done. The canal now has a flow on it; even though it had rained from Tuesday onwards the pound down from Ham Lock was actually lower than when we had started. We then went and had a look at Chalfont pound. The new paddle was holding the water back very well, and the normal channel had a good flow on it. I was very chuffed with all the work done, everyone had worked hard, but I would also like to think we had fun in doing the work. Would I lead another camp? Yes, without doubt, if I were offered again. It would be nice to do another camp with Leonie as assistant if she can put up with me again. A huge ‘thank you’ must be given to all those who helped one way or another, but a bigger thank you to all those who worked on the camp to make it a success, Leonie for helping me, Maria for guiding me, Ed and Andi for all the hard work in organising shower and cinema runs and always being there when something needed to be done. Then there’s the motley crew who worked so hard. I would never hesitate to have any of you on another camp. Thanks also to the members of London WRG who turned up and gave me and the camp their time and support. Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden

Moose began his epic report with “This is aimed at those volunteers who would like to have a go at being a camp leader but who are unsure at what it will be like.” I’m tempted to say that that if they’ve read this far I’d be surprised if they haven’t been put off the idea for life! But seriously folks, I’d like to point out that: (a) I’ve been involved in leading six camps so far and never had anything like as much hassle as Moose seems to have had the misfortune to suffer. (b) Despite all his trials and tribulations, he wants to lead another one! So it can’t be that bad! ...Ed

page 15


Canal Camps cost £35 per week unless otherwise Bookings for WRG Canal Camps (those identified camp number e.g. 'Camp 0301') should go to WRG Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: enquiries@wrg.org.

Diary Feb 22 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Feb 23 Sun

IWPS

Bugsworth Basin

Mar 1/2

London WRG

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep: Sidney Wood

Mar 1/2

KESCRG

Basingstoke Canal: Dig Deep: Backpumping scheme at St Johns.

Mar 1/2

Essex WRG

To be arranged

Mar 1 Sat

Navvies

Press date for issue 198

Mar 8/9

NWPG

Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation: Creeting Lock

Mar 8/9

wrgNW

Ironbridge: joint dig with RAF Cosford

Mar 8/9

ECPDA

Erewash Canal Cleanup

Mar 9 Sun

IWPS

Bugsworth Basin

Mar 15/16

wrgBITM

Wendover Arm: Scrub bashing, stumping and strimming at Drayton Beauchamp

Mar 22/23

WRG/IWA/BCNSNational Clean-up weekend: Salford Junction, under Spaghetti Junction, Birmin See p26 for more details and booking form.

Mar 22/23

London WRG

BCN CLeanup: see above

Mar 23 Sun

IWPS

Bugsworth Basin

Mar 29 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Apr 4-6

WRG/IWA

Montgomery Canal Aston Locks reopening: Official reopening on Fri 4th, boat ra

Apr 5/6

KESCRG

Wendover Arm: Concrete pouring, excavation and Bentonite lining.

Apr 5/6

Essex WRG

To be arranged

Apr 6 Sun

wrgNW

St Helens Canal: to be confirmed - on way home from Mont opening?

Apr 12/13

wrgBITM

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project at Sidney Wood

Apr 12/13

London WRG

To be arranged

Apr 12/13

NWPG

Basingstoke Canal: Dig Deep: Backpumping scheme at St Johns.

Apr 12 Sat

Chelmsford IWAChelmer clean-up: Arranged by Chelmsford Borough Council

Apr 12-21

Camp 0302

Halifax Canal Camp: Halifax Branch of the Calder & Hebble. Working on relayin

Apr 13 Sun

IWPS

Bugsworth Basin

Apr 27 Sun

IWPS

Bugsworth Basin

May 1 Thu

Navvies

Press date for issue 199: including Canal Societies directory

May 2-5

KESCRG

Little Venice: Canalway Cavalcade site services support.

May 3/4/5

NWPG

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep: Sidney Wood

May 3/4/5

wrgNW

Mon & Brec Canal

May 3/4/5

Essex WRG

To be arranged

May 3/4/5

wrgBITM

Little Venice: Sales Stand only

May 4 Sun

IWPS

Bugsworth Basin

May 10 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

May 10-11

WRG Train

WRG Training Weekend: at BW Heritage Skills centre, Hatton

May 17/18

London WRG

Basingstoke Canal: Dig Deep backpumping project at St Johns

page 16


e stated. d 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@wrg.org.uk.

uk

p

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Ian Edgar

01663-732493

Tim Lewis

020-8367-6227

london@wrg.org.uk

Answerphone

01622-858329

Kescrg@btinternet.com

John Gale

01277-654683

essex@wrg.org.uk

Martin Ludgate

020-8693-3266

martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

Michael Golds

0115-932-8042

Ian Edgar

01663-732493

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

ngham. Organised by London WRG with BCNS & IWA but all volunteers welcome. Tim Lewis

020-8367-6227

Ian Edgar

01663-732493

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

london@wrg.org.uk

ally over weekend including ‘Race Night’ fund-raising entertainment on Saturday evening. Answerphone

01622-858329

Kescrg@btinternet.com

John Gale

01277-654683

essex@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Tim Lewis

020-8367-6227

london@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

Doug Beard

01702-554492

ng towpath as walkway and cycleway.

enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Ian Edgar

01663-732493

Ian Edgar

01663-732493

Martin Ludgate

020-8693-3266

martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk

Answerphone

01622-858329

Kescrg@btinternet.com

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

John Gale

01277-654683

essex@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Ian Edgar

01663-732493

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Ali Bottomley Tim Lewis

020-8367-6227

london@wrg.org.uk

page 17


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 tim@timlewis.org.uk.

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 01543-373284 2nd Sunday & following Wed. BCS Cosgrove Athina Beckett 01908-661217 Anytime inc. weekdays BCT Aqueduct section Gerald Fry 01288-353273 Every Sunday ChCT Various sites Mick Hodgetts 01246-620695 Mon & Wed mornings CCT Cotswolds Dudley Greenslade 01453 825515 Every weekend (Sat OR Sun) CCT Cotswolds Neil Ritchie 01452-854057 1st Sunday of month CCT Cotswolds: summit Mark Welton 01453-872405 Wednesday evenings CCT Cotswolds: East end Keith Harding 01451-860181 Every Saturday DCT Droitwich Canal Jon Axe 0121-608 0296 Last Sunday of month EAWA N Walsham & Dilham Kevin Baker 01362-699855 4th Sunday of month ECPDA Langley Mill Michael Golds 0115-932-8042 Second Sun of month FIPT Foxton Inclined Plane Mike Beech 0116-279-2657 1st & 3rd Sundays GCRS Grantham Canal Colin Bryan 0115-989-2248 2nd Sat of month GWCT Nynehead Lift Denis Dodd 01823-661653 Tuesdays H&GCT Oxenhall Brian Fox 01432-358628 Wednesdays H&GCT Over Ted Beagles 01452-522648 Saturdays H&GCT Over Maggie Jones 01452-618010 Over wharf house fitout Nigel Bailey 01452-533835 Occasional Sundays H&GCT Every Sunday if required IWPS Bugsworth Basin Ian Edgar 01663-732493 1st Saturday & 3rd Wed. IWA Ipswich Stowmarket Navigtn. Colin Turner 01473-730586 01691-670826/49 2nd weekend of month IWA SBC Maesbury, Mont. Barry Tuffin 2nd weekend of month K&ACT John Rolls 01189-666316 1st Sunday of month LHCRT Lichfield John Horton 01543 262466 3rd Sunday of month LHCRT Hatherton Denis Cooper 01543-374370 2nd & last Sundays PCAS Paul Waddington 01757-638027 2nd Sunday of month SCARS Sankey Canal Colin Greenall 01744-731746 1st Sunday of month SCCS Combe Hay Locks Bob Parnell 01225-428055 Most weekends SHCS Basingstoke Peter Redway 01483-721710 Last Sunday of month SNT Haverholme Lock Dave Pullen 01673-862278 3rd Sunday of month TMCA David Rouse 01474-362861 Approx 15th of month WACT Mid-Week group Colin Gibbs 020-82417736 Every Sunday & Thursday WACT Devils Hole Lock Eric Walker 023-9246-3025 Thursdays fortnightly WACT Maintenance Unit Peter Wilding 01483-422519 or for general information on Wey & Arun contact their office on 01403-752403 1st weekend of month WAT Little Tring Roger Leishman 01442-874536 Every weekend WBCT Wilts & Berks Canal Peter Smith 01793-852883 Every Sunday W&BCC Dauntsey / Foxham Rachael Banyard 01249-892289 Please send any amendments, additions and deletions to Dave Wedd (address on previous page)

Abbreviations used in Diary BCNS BCS BCT ChCT CCT DCT EAWA ECPDA FIPT D&SCS GCRS GWCT H&GCT IWA SBC

page 18

Birmingham Canal Navigations Soc. Buckingham Canal Society Bude Canal Trust Chesterfield Canal Trust Cotswolds Canals Trust Droitwich Canals Trust East Anglian Waterways Association Erewash Canal Pres. & Devt. Assoc. 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 NWPG PCAS SCARS SCCS SHCS SNT 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 Newbury Working Party Group Pocklington Canal Amenity Society Sankey Canal Restoration Society Somersetshire Coal Canal Society Surrey & Hants Canal Society Sleaford Navigation Trust Thames & Medway Canal Association Wilts & Berks Canal Trust Wilts & Berks Canal Company Wey & Arun Canal Trust Wendover Arm Trust


Dear Martin, I have read the correspondence regarding the Bradley Locks Branch in the last couple of issues of Navvies which great interest. It is a shame that neither Ken Whapples nor Brian Andrews contacted the local Branch of the IWA before bursting into print, as they may well have learnt more about what was going on and why. Furthermore it’s a shame that Ken didn’t do a full site visit before writing the letter that was printed in issue 196 otherwise he would have known that nothing was built on the Bradley Locks Branch. The IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcs Branch has always earmarked this canal as top priority for restoration but has been unable to raise enough interest to set up a separate Trust to carry out the work. It currently has two major projects, in the form of the Droitwich and Lapal schemes on its patch (and the Lichfield and Hatherton being close as well) as well as one minor one, in the form of the Fens Branch. These are all on-going and need continual support to bring them to final successful conclusions. To start another scheme, until one of these has been completed, could well create more problems than it would be solved, so the Branch currently has a policy to ensure the route is protected until such labour force and/or organisers become available to carry the project forward. If Ken and Brian are willing to set up such an organisation then I’m sure that the Branch will give it its support.

Birmingham Canal Navigations Bradley Locks Branch

Letters More about the BCN Bradley Locks Branch In the meantime the work referred to in Ken’s letter is being done following lengthy consultation with the Branch that wished to see that any work done would not impede long term restoration. It is for this reason that the locks are being treated in the way he has described, they will then be infilled for safety reasons (the area has a high quantity of what, in these days, is classed as Social Housing), and will be available for re-excavation if and when the project goes ahead. For the record the route from Bradley workshops is complete, but does have one dropped bridge and a factory access road built upon a small section of Brindley’s original canal that lead to the Bradley Locks Branch. Other than these two minor obstructions (both adjacent to Bradley Workshops and resolvable) nothing is built on the through route. The lock flight is believed to be buried just below the surface, the coping stones of the top lock are visible in the grass by the junction with Brindley’s much older canal, so all are very likely to be in a similar condition and so be an easy restoration. The grassed area at the top, which is formed by the area between the original Brindley Canal loop and the cut-off canal, is underused and could be converted into a reservoir (& thus improving a local asset) to hold excess water pumped from Bradley. The canal, would if restored, provide an important link from Wolverhampton to the Tame Valley Canal, thus avoiding Birmingham, and also link to the Northern BCN where it would provide a shorter route from Netherton Tunnel/Tipton to the Lichfield Canal (once that is restored). It would also provide a waterleat to the Walsall Level (& thus the Tame Valley Canal) from Bradley pumps.

Cleanup 2003 site: see p26

Is there anyone out there willing to form a restoration group, if so could they please contact me via Martin Ludgate Regards Vaughan Welch Chairman, IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcs Branch

page 19


Dear Martin,

Letters Restore the Uttoxeter Canal! The importance of training. Dear Martin/Chairman Mike I am very pleased that a program of courses has been arranged,through the help of partners in canal restoration, offering tuition from skilled craftsmen on some of the specific skills often required for the projects we undertake. And at a price most can afford. Through the six or seven years I’ve been working with WRG, these projects have become more ambitious and numerous, requiring more skilled volunteers. While enthusiasm is rarely lacking, those with particular skills have often been in short supply, making some tasks harder or longer to complete and all too often to a lower standard than one might wish for. I hope these courses prove popular and create a demand for more: more options, more often, more advanced? Then, I believe respect & pride for the quantity & QUALITY of our work can only grow. yours Phill Cardy

I was disappointed by Brian Andrews’s comments in Navvies 195. The Caldon Canal Society was prompted to incorporate the Uttoxeter canal into their constitution by the proposal to build a new access road for Alton Towers that might affect the line of the derelict canal, not by his comments in Navvies two years ago! The Caldon Canal Society was formed to reopen the canal, and did well to achieve this aim in 1974. However the current society is rather lacking in active members, and struggles to keep abreast of planning matters, the works at Froghall and our project to improve the Leek arm terminus. BW have initiated the work at Froghall involving the top lock and basin of the Uttoxeter as part of their ‘Destination Froghall’ project, with voluntary effort provided by WRG. The CCS are concentrating on the Leek arm and have no resources to tackle the restoration of another derelict canal, but hopefully the line can be preserved for a future Uttoxeter Canal Society. These days the world seems to be filled with people full of good ideas, but not many who are actually willing to make the effort to get things to happen. Regards Rupert Smedley, CCS Vice Chairman

We hope to include photos in the next ‘Navvies’ of the first working party on the Uttoxeter, by WRG North West on February 8th-9th.

The letters above and on the previous page propose setting up new canal societies to restore the Bradley Locks Branch and Uttoxeter Canal. This photo (taken by the editor) shows a surviving skew bridge near Newport, on another restoration scheme where a new canal societies has been set up in recent years and volunteer work looks like beginning soon - the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals.

page 20


Restoring a Jones KL15 Crane Part 2. The plot thickens WARNING: The following article contains information of an ‘anorak’ nature. If you find such material offensive, stop reading and turn over the page... From the first time I saw the Jones crane I thought there was something odd about it. For example the exhaust does not leave the engine compartment through a nice neat hole, but through a rough flame cut one complete with blobs of molten metal around the edge. Similarly the fuel filler is located through another flame cut hole. It seems unlikely that it left the factory is such a state so at some time so modifications were made in a time efficient manner (or in other words it was bodged). When we first started looking around the machine in detail we noticed other oddities, for instance the engine speed control was on a hand lever bolted to the top of the covers and was obviously not original, also the fuel tank was bolted on with some bolt heads trapped between a panel and a crossmember. Some things just did not add up something was wrong and we just could not put our fingers on it. Then we looked in the manual. Yes, yes I know that probably should have been one of the first things to do but there was a delay in getting hold of one and even when it arrived you couldn’t have described it as a good copy. When we looked at the engine section there was a bit of a eureka moment, the engine was fitted the wrong way around. Lister and Petter engines are designed so that the drive can be taken from either end, this gives the advantage that you can turn whatever it is that you want to drive in either direction depending on which end of the engine you use, so this was obviously not the original engine and the replacement went the wrong way for the crane so they just fitted it the other way around. However this still did not explain everything - the manual showed a bulge in the side casing but ours did not have this bulge, the exhaust hole had been cut higher than the original, whereas the manual showed that it should have been cut lower than the original. Lastly this still did not explain the odd fuel tank mounting.

Plant Bungle and the KL15: “...then we looked in the manual...” At a stroke everything became clear, the petrol engine did not need the bulge to accommodate it, the exhaust was lower down and the mountings for the petrol tank would have been on the petrol engine so the diesel tank had to be bolted on elsewhere. Incidentally when I bumped into John Palmer last weekend and told him the story he told me he knew it had a petrol engine originally...... ‘To Diggle or not to Diggle, that is the question’ After the last issue of ‘Navvies’ a chap called Trevor Ellis emailed me to pass on some information as he remembered using and fixing it whilst it was at Diggle. Both Malcolm Bridge and the lesser spotted John Palmer insist that it was never there but Trevor has described it so exactly and I have a picture of it working there (or at least it is one with a repair to the jib in exactly the same place) so I’m inclined to think it was there. If anyone has any evidence to support either theory I would be interested to hear it. Indeed if anyone has any pictures of any Jones cranes working I would be interested: I can scan and return them. You can reach me on bungle@wrg.org.uk or with bits of paper at 36 Grange Court, Boundary Road, Newbury, Berks. RG14 7PH. George ‘Bungle’ Eycott

Then I rang Jones Cranes with the serial number. The lady on the other end of the phone looked through the order books and announced that we had the oldest Jones crane they knew of that was still in existence. It was built in 1947 with a petrol engine not a diesel engine. Pete Dunn examines the inner workings of the crane. (George Eycott)

page 21


Directory Let’s hope it’s a bit more accurate than the one in issue 196... BARNSLEY,DEARNE&DOVE CANALTRUST JuneBackhouse 39 HIll St, Elsecar BarnsleyS748EN 01226743383 Web site: www. barnsleydearnedovecanals.org.uk BIRMINGHAMCANAL NAVIGATIONSSOCIETY Jeff Barley 17 Sunniside Walsall Wood, W Midlands 01543373284 Web site: www.bcn-society.org.uk/ BUCKINGHAMCANALSOC Steve Morley 33HambletonGrove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908520090 email: mail@morleytowers.org.uk Web site: www.mkheritage.co.uk/bcs/ BUGSWORTHBASIN(IWPS) Ian Edgar BrowsideFarm, MudhurstLane Lyme Handley, Whaley Bridge High Peak SK23 7BT 01663732493 email: ian@browside.co.uk Web site: www.brocross. com/iwps/index.htm CALDONCANALSOCIETY Alison Smedley Hazelhurst Cottage Denford, Leek Staffs ST13 7JT email: alison@hazelhurst3.fsnet.co.uk CHESTERFIELDCANALTRUST Mick Hodgetts 31 Pottery Lane Chesterfield S41 9BH 01246620695 Web site: www.chesterfield-canaltrust.org.uk CHICHESTERCANALSOCIETY JohnHerniman 8 Graffham Close ChichesterPO194AW Tel: 01243 527374 e-mail: john@dherniman.freeserve.co.uk website:www.chichestercanals.co.uk

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COTSWOLDCANALSTRUST Neil Ritchie TheChapelHouse SandfordRd,Churchdown Gloucestershire GL3 2HD 01452854057 email: NeilSigns@aol.com Web site: www.cotswoldcanals.com/ DERBY&SANDIACRECANAL SOCIETY DougFlack 23 Thoresby Crescent, Draycott DerbyDE723PH 01332874239 Web site: www.derbycanal.org.uk DIGDEEPINITIATIVE AlanCavender 10 Vicarage Road Maidenhead, Berkshire email: alan.cavender@lineone.net SL67DS 01628629033 DORSET&SOMERSETCANAL STUDYGROUP Derrick Hunt 43 Greenland Mills Bradford on Avon Wilts BA15 1BL 01225863066 email: derrick@carlingcott7. freeserve.co.uk DROITWICHCANALSTRUST VaughanWelch 29 Dice Pleck Northfield, Birmingham B31 3XW 0121 477 9782 email:kvwelch@supanet.com Web site: www.worcs.com/dct/home.htm

GRANDWESTERNCANAL TRUST DenisDodd, WharfCottage Nynehead, Wellington SomersetTA210BU 01823661653 GRANTHAMCANAL RESTORATIONSOCIETY Colin Bryan 113 Hoe View Road Cropwell Bishop NottinghamNG123DJ 01159892248 Website:www.granthamcanal.com HEREFS&GLOUCSCT c/o The Lock Cottage, Over GloucesterGL28DB 01452332900 Web site: www.h-g-canal.org.uk KENT&EASTSUSSEXCANAL RESTORATIONGROUP KenParish EastwoodFarmhouse UlcombeRoad Ulcombe,Maidstone Kent. ME17 1ET 01622858329 email: Kescrg@btinternet.com Web site: www.kescrg.co.uk LAPALCANALTRUST 26 Loynells Road, Rednal BirminghamB459NP 01785 713862 / 020 8293 9744 Web site: www.lapal.org LICHFIELD&HATHERTON CANALSREST'NTRUST John Horton, 32LondonRoad, Lichfield Staffs WS14 9EJ. 01543262466 email: janette@horton100.freeserve.co.uk or Denis Cooper GorseyLaneFarm GorseyLane Little Wyrley, Pelsall Walsall WS3 5AJ 01543374370 Web site: www.lhcrt.org.uk/

EREWASHCANALP&DA Mick Golds 73SudburyAvenue Larklands, Ilkeston Derbys DE7 5EA Notts (0115) 9328042

NEATH&TENNANTCANAL SOCIETY Ian Milne 16GowerRoad, Sketty, SwanseaSA29BY 01792547902

FOXTONINCLINEDPLANETRUST c/o Mike Beech FoxtonCanalMuseum Middle Lock, Gumley Road Foxton, Market Harborough Leicestershire LE16 7RA 0116 279 2657 email mike@foxcm.freeserve.co.uk Web site: www.foxcanal.fsnet.co.uk

NWPG GrahamHawkes 27 Lawrence Rd, Tilehurst, Reading BerksRG306BH 01189410586 email: graham.hawkes@talk21.com Web site: www.geocities. com/nwpg2001/nwpg.html

POCKLINGTONC.A.S. PaulWaddington Church House, Main St. Hemingborough,Selby N. Yorks YO8 7QE 01757 638027 (eves) 01405 763985 (days) Web site: www.pocklington.gov.uk/PCAS SCARS(SANKEYCANAL) Colin Greenall 16 Bleak Hill Road Eccleston St. Helens MerseysideWA104RW 01744731746 Web site: www.scars.org.uk SHREWSBURY&NEWPORT CANALSTRUST SteveBean 4 Arscott, Pontesbury ShrewsburySY50XP 01743860488 email: sn.canal@lineone.net website: www.sncanal.org.uk SHROPSHIREUNIONCS GeoffMunro 198, Oldbury Road Rowley Regis, Warley WestMidlandsB650NW 0121-5615747 Web site: www.shropshireunion.co.uk SLEAFORDNAVIGATIONTRUST SteveHayes 10 Chelmer Clo, N Hykeham Lincs LN8 8TH 01522-689460 email: steve.hayeskyme@ntlworld.com Web site: www.sleafordnavigation.co.uk/ SOMERSETCOALCANALSOC Bob Parnell 34WedgewoodRoad Twerton, Bath BA2 1NX 01225-428055 Web site: rtjhomepages.users. btopenworld.com/SCC2.html SURREY&HANTSCANALSOC PeterRedway 1RedwayCottages St. John's Lye, Woking GU21 1SL 01483721710 Website:www.basingstokecanal1. freeserve.co.uk/ SWANSEACANALSOC Clive Reed 17 Smithfield Road, Pontardawe, Swansea, West Glam. SA8 4LA 01792830782 THAMES&MEDWAYCANAL ASSOCIATION Jennifer Watts 108 Old Road East GravesendDA121PF Web site: homepage.ntlworld. com/john.epton/tmca


WENDOVERARMTRUST RogerLeishman 7 Hall Park, Berkhamsted HertsHP42NU 01442874536 Web site: www.wendoverarmtrust.org.uk WEY&ARUNCT JohnWard 32 Badgers Hollow PeperharrowRd, Godalming SurreyGU72PX 01483-527124 07971 336535 (mobile) Web site: www.weyandarun.co.uk WILTS&BERKSCANALTRUST GeorgeEycott 36 Grange Court BoundaryRoad NewburyRG147PH 01635569449 email: bungle@wrg.org.uk Web site: www.wilts-berkscanal.org.uk/ WOODENCANALBOATS SOCIETY 5 Oaken Clough Terrace Limehurst Ashton under Lyne OL7 9NY 0161-330-2315 IWAIPSWICH Colin Turner Cornerways,ElmLane Copdock, Ipswich IP8 3ET 01473-730586 email: colint@copdock.freeserve.co.uk Web site: www. purbrook.demon.co.uk/iwa/ WRG:GENERALENQUIRIES PO Box 114, Rickmansworth HertsWD31ZY 01923711114 email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk Web site: www.wrg.org.uk WRGNORTHWEST Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank Littleborough, Lancashire OL150JQ 01706378582 email:nw@wrg.org.uk Web site: www.wrgnw.org.uk WRGNW-ENQUIRIES/ PAPERCHASES DavidMcCarthy Woodstock 14 Crumpsall La. Manchester.M85FB 0161-7402179 Web site: www.wrgnw.org.uk WRGNA(1) Spencer Collins (see below)

WRGNA(2) Ian Nelson 6 Lahn Drive Droitwich Spa Worcs WR98TQ. 01905 798 676 0973 640611 (mobile) email: ian.nelson@wrgna.co.uk Web site: www.wrgna.co.uk WRGBITM&'NAVVIES'DIARY DavidWedd 7 Ringwood Road, Blackwater Camberley, Surrey GU170EY 01252874437 email:dave.wedd@wrg.org.uk Web site: www.wrgbitm.org.uk

'WRGWEAR'CLOTHING HelenGardner NB 'Sussex' The Boatyard, Rowdell Rd Northolt UB5 6AG 020 8845 7820 email:wrgwear@wrg.org.uk WRGFORESTRYTEAM GrahamRobinson Springwell, Spark Bridge Ulverston Cumbria LA12 7ST 01229861317 or Dave Johnson 01612787663

LONDONWRG TimLewis 6 Downs Road, Enfield Middlesex EN1 IPA 020 8367 6227 email: tim@timlewis.org.uk Web site: www.london.wrg.org.uk/

WRGBOATCLUB SadieDean 236 Station Rd Whittlesey, PeterboroughPE72HA 01733204505 07748 186867 (mobile) email sadiedean@vizzavi.net

LONDONWRG:ENQUIRIES LesleyMcFadyen (as per Martin Ludgate below)

WRGDIRECTORS

WRGEASTMIDLANDS John Baylis (see below) ESSEXWRG John Gale, 12 Wakefield Ave, Billericay, Essex CM12 9DN 01277654683 emailessex@wrg.org.uk web site: www.essex.wrg.org.uk IWA/WRGSTAMPBANK Steve & Mandy Morley 33HambletonGrove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908520090 email: mail@morleytowers.org.uk CANALCAMPSMOBILES (A) 07850 422156 (B) 07850 422157 'NAVVIES'EDITOR Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Rd, East Dulwich LondonSE229PB 020 8693 3266 0777 947 8629 (mobile) email: martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk WRGLOGISTICS(1) Jen Leigh (see below) WRGLOGISTICS(2) Lou Kellett Pen-y-BrynBungalow Lloran Uchaf, Moelfre OswestrySY107QT 01691791463 email: lou.kellett@wrg.org.uk CANALCAMPBOOKINGS POBox114 Rickmansworth HertsWD31ZY 01923711114 email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk Web site: www.wrg.org.uk

CHAIRMAN MikePalmer 3 Finwood Road, Rowington WarwickshireCV357DH 01564785293 email: mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk TREASURER RogerDay, 5 Merton Road, Slough BerksSL11QW SECRETARY Neil Edwards, c/o IWA, POBox114 RickmansworthWD31ZY email: neil@waterways.org.uk WRGPLANT &DRIVERAUTHORISATION Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank, Littleborough LancashireOL150JQ email:malcolm.bridge@wrg.org.uk 01706378582 SITESGROUP&PUBLICITY Judith Moore 3 Finwood Road, Rowington WarwickshireCV357DH 01564785293 email: jude.moore@btinternet.com WRGPRINT John & Tess Hawkins 4 Links Way, Croxley Grn, RickmansworthWD33RQ 01923448559 email john.hawkins@wrg.org.uk TRANSPORTMANAGER Roger Burchett (See Sue Burchett above) IWACHAIRMAN John Fletcher c/o IWA, PO Box 114 RickmansworthWD31ZY email: john.fletcher@waterways.org.uk

OTHERDIRECTORS Jen Leigh 45 Glebe Road Sheffield S10 1FB e-mail: logistics@wrg.org.uk Mick Beattie 22BridgewaterAveAnchorsholme, Blackpool Lancs FY5 3NA 01253864034 Adrian Fry 31 Griffon Close Elmore Lock, Quedgeley GloucesterGL24NQ 07976640962 Spencer Collins N.B. 'Sunset', c/o Satford PO, 493 Bath Rd Saltford Bristol BR31 3HQ 07976084055 e-mail:spencer.collins@wrg.org.uk Chris Davey / Helen Davey 6 Partridge Ct, Round Close Rd Adderbury,BanburyOX173EP 01295812002 email chris.davey@wrg.org.uk Jonathan Smith, 23 Hardings Chalgrove, Oxford OX44 7TJ 01865 891 370 email jonathan.smith@wrg.org.uk JohnBaylis,215ClipstoneRdWest, Forest Town, Mansfield, Notts NG190HJ 01623633895

Updatingthis Directory: pleasehelp! We normally only include a Directory in every third issue of ‘Navvies’. However, as you may have noticed thelastissuecontained onetoo. This is because it turned out that there were rather a lot of errors last time. Hopefully we have corrected most of them this time, but if you can spot any more errors or omissions, please send updates to the editor: they will appear in the 'Noticeboard' in issue 198, and be included in the next full Directory in issue 200.

page 23


North West Mr. Mac explains what those words in the Diary mean... The WRG North West ‘Paper Chase’ Money doesn’t grow on trees but it comes from them!! If the ancient memory serves me right, and without taking time to research, I have recollections of a young lady (I think from the North Country) asking the meaning of the words ’Paper Chase’ which appeared against the WRG North West entries in the Diary in ‘Navvies’. The intention was to write a screed, but we all know where good intentions lead! It just so happens that January 2003 sees yet another 25 th anniversary for WRG NORTH WEST: the formal start of the Waste Paper Collections here in Crumpsall, North Manchester. “How on earth did they come about?” you may ask... In the July of the year of our founding (1977), one of our founders, Tom Cook, arrived here at our house ‘Woodstock’ to be taken out by my sonand-heir for a celebratory drink on the occasion of his thirtieth birthday. During conversation on his arrival, Tom vouchsafed the information that after many requests by his dear old mum, he had finally cleared the small back bedroom of vast piles of ‘Amateur Wireless’ magazines and whilst driving to the local tip he caught sight of a banner which proclaimed “WE BUY YOUR WASTE PAPER” He drove in and was rewarded by nearly three pounds for his trouble. “HOW ABOUT” said Tom “WRG COLLECTING WASTE PAPER?” A start was made between neighbours & friends and by December it was decided that we should launch a regular collection in a nearby housing estate which, very conveniently, had four roads each with over a hundred houses, all starting and ending in virtually one spot -rather like the coils of a giant snake thus providing a convenient “Round” of over 750 houses.

page 24

A MOTLEY collection of private cars & vehicles set out on the morning of Saturday 28th January 1978 assisted(?) by a near blizzard: all of the paper (plus scrap metal) being brought back to ‘Woodstock’ for disposal later by three stalwarts Tom Cook, John Palmer & Barry McGuinness using their own vehicles plus later on (from a new merchant) the use of ramshackle trailers. One epic run by Tom & John involved a trailer which on negotiating the first right-angled turn only two hundred yards into the journey, saw one of four wheels fly off across the road, narrowly missing a lady and child! It took them the whole morning to borrow from a local garage a sufficiently robust jack to raise the trailer & replace the wheel. Such stories of mishaps were commonplace during that first year or so. We never kept any records of the tonnage but believe that during that first year we collected about 48 tons and the minutes of our ‘AD HOC’ committee (which still exists as such!) record that £884 had been received. March 1979 saw us keeping a formal record of tonnages & cash and in 1981 we had broken through the HUNDRED TON barrier despite which, we only reckoned to have received a mere £900, showing just how the price of waste paper can vary. The most paper we have ever collected was in 1988 (128.3 tons) which brought in £1,500. Less paper in 1995 (108.3 tons) saw us receive the highest sum in cash: £3,087 . These figures will give some idea of the great diversities in the price 1999 we only had £2 per ton for the first month THEN NOTHING! However, all has not been lost as since 1992 we have received an ever increasing sum from the Gtr. Manchester Waste Disposal Authority which has compensated for any shortfall - and we suspect caused the Paper Merchants to keep their amounts per ton at the meanest of levels. A totally unexpected and yet most profitable byproduct has been the large numbers of books which have regularly come in with the collections, and which we have sold on our Sales & Exhibition stand. Indeed that term is a misnomer as we have pushed out the ‘Exhibition’ part to make room for the large shelves necessary to accommodate the books. During these last few years, our member John Foley has become our BOOK WIZARD and he devotes unknown hours and days to sorting the books, many of which he is now selling on to the second-hand book sellers - And doing very well!


ALL THIS has meant that WRG - NORTH WEST has been quite affluent and it all stems from that simple remark of Tom’s ”HOW ABOUT WRG COLLECTING WASTE PAPER”? THANKS TOM. THANKS are also due to the MANY people who have turned out to do the collecting. My one regret is that I have not kept a record of them all - I can name at least 75 people but I am sure that the total could easily be 100 and they are the pretty regular folk - we have had many ‘one-offs’. On the first collection, everyone we could muster in the area was called upon and this included the members of our Working Party who as ever, gave it all they had got. The great idea was, though, that after the first few collections there would have been built up a pool of people who for whatever reason, couldn’t turn out on the working parties but could do the Paper collections. ALAS that dream has remained a dream - the members of the W/P are still the backbone of the collections AND EVERTHING ELSE! To really make the paperchase work we need about 15 bodies: on one never to be forgotten Saturday we struggled with never more than NINE and finished at 5 O’clock! Generally though we do very well and quite often some 20 volunteers will turn up for all or some part of the collection. At the end of the first collection nearly everyone crammed into my kitchen/living room and partook of fish & chips which we agreed should be free, a tradition that went on for many years - even now all we ask is a contribution of £1 towards the cost. Somehow a further tradition has arisen with the serving of lots of tea and BKOKEN BISCUITS as afters. WHOLE biscuits bring forth loud complaints!

North West ...and appeals for more people to go digging with WRGNW... And when we’re not collecting waste paper... Talking of getting volunteers reminds me that in June 2002 it became apparent that NORTH WEST was going to be considerably stretched for manpower for the first two weeks in July so I sent out an appeal to almost ninety people who are readers of ‘Navvies’ and from whom we have never heard nor met. I asked if anyone could assist on the various dig dates but I have to confess that I was a little disappointed as I only received three replies before the events, subsequently reaching TEN replies by the time of the ‘National’ in August. Only ONE person was able to assist and I am afraid that thanks to events beyond our control, he is not likely to come again as we were ALL messed up! I appreciate that I could well have written to readers who are already well involved (eight out of the ten replies) - but I did ask that people might just phone to put me out of my misery. Nevertheless, I understand that such a response is considered to be very good in the VOLUNTARY world so that is some consolation. A great snag in the Manchester area lies in the fact that with the recent openings, nearly all of our canals are now open and running so we have to travel to find work, though we hope that a new initiative at Froghall and maybe on the upper reaches of the Lancaster Canal will bring the travelling down.

WRG North West Paper Chase dates 2003 New volunteers are always welcome at WRG North West waste paper collections. They take place about every fifth Saturday, and the rest of this years dates are as follows: Feb 22 Aug 30

Mar 29 Oct 11

May 10 Nov 15

Jun 21 Dec 20

July 26

For anyone of the 250 readers of ‘Navvies’ whom we consider are in the ’NORTH WEST’ (a very loose description not really on any maps) and who feel that we have never formally invited them to any of our events please feel free to contact any of the following: John Foley: 01457 853582, Malcolm Bridge: 01706-378582, Jim & Liz Lamen: 0161 494 5957, or David McCarthy: 0161 740 2179.

Contact David McCarthy on 0161 740 2179 for details. David ‘Mr. Mac’ McCarthy

page 25


Coming soon The BCN Cleanup and... wait for it... ASTON LOCKS REOPENING! The BCN Cleanup, Curryathon and Quiz The BCN Cleanup taking place on the weekend of March 22-23 is your annual opportunity to drag as much rubbish out of the nether reaches of the Birmigham Canal Navigations as you can. And this year we have something special planned for the Saturday evening of the event: a ‘Curryathon’ with food by Jude and her team, together with a ‘Pub-style’ quiz with a BCN theme, and prizes for the winners. You are welcome to attend just for the Saturday night party - the cost will be £5, and we hope to raise some money towards the Appeal.

The event is organised jointly by WRG, the BCN Society and IWA, with British Waterways supporting us with tools, work-boats and skips. But anyone from any group is welcome to attend, whether for the whole weekend or just for a day. We are happy to provide sandwich lunches for people coming for the day - just make sure that you tell us when you sign-on before you start work. The work-site is the area around Salford Junction (right underneath ‘Spaghetti Junction’ on the M6), working outwards in all four directions along the Birmingham & Fazeley, Tame Valley and Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canals. The signing-on point is likely to be at Cuckoo Wharf, on Cuckoo Road just off the A5127 Lichfield Road, a few hundred yards the Birmingham side of the motorway junction. But please check with the organisers first. (see below) Accommodation details had not been confirmed when this issue went to print, but we can confirm that it ISN’T the Ackers Trust building in Small Heath that we mentioned last time. Sorry!

But whatever you want to do, please fill in the booking form below and send it off as soon as possible, so that we can plan the catering, accommodation, tools and other arrangements for the weekend.

Full joining instructions will be sent to anyone who books using the booking form below and will be available from Head Office on 01923 711114 or enquiries@wrg.org.uk when they are confirmed. In the meantime more details will be available as soon as we have them on the WRG web site www.wrg.org.uk, and from the WRG co-ordinator for the weekend Aileen Butler on 020 7723 2424 or email aileen.butler@btopenworld.com.

waterway recovery group

in association with BCNS, BW and IWA

For those who want to attend for the whole weekend the cost is just £8, the usual rate for a WRG centrally booked weekend.

I would like to attend the 2003 National Canal Cleanup on Mar 22-23 on the BCN Forename:

Surname:

Address: e-mail: Phone:

Any special dietary requirements?

I require accommodation Friday night / Saturday night / both nights EITHER I enclose payment of £8 for the whole weekend OR I am attending the Saturday evening curry and quiz night only and enclose £5 Do you suffer from any illness, such as epilepsy or diabetes, about which we should know, or are you receiving treatment or under medical supervision for any condition? YES / NO (If yes, please attach details) In the unlikely event that you should be injured, who should we contact? Name:

Phone:

Signed (parent's signature also required if aged under 18): Please send this form to National Cleanup bookings, WRG, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY

page 26


The words you never thought you’d see in ‘Navvies’... The Aston Locks Reopening!!! Aston Locks on the Montgomery Canal - restored mainly by WRG volunteers in the late 1980s and 1990s - are finally to be reopened to boats, along with the next mile-and-a-bit of canal below them, on April 4th-6th, with the Official Opening (by John Craven) taking place at 11am on Friday 4th, but events happening all weekend involving ourselves, British Waterways, the IWA and others. We hope that as many as possible of the people who worked on restoring these locks will be there to celebrate their re-opening. Well, actually we’d like as many as possible of you to be there, whether or not you worked on the locks, because (a) we have a few jobs for you to do and (b) we’re planning to enjoy ourselves a bit while we’re there! As far as ‘jobs for you to do’ are concerned, there will be a milepost to install, car-parking duty, ferrying people around in minibuses, marshalls needed for the IWA (Shrewsbury & Border Counties Branch) annual ‘Dinghy Dawdle’ that has been organised to coincide with the Opening and help with various catering duties. And if we’re short of work, there’s a Shropshire Union Canal Society working party further down the canal that we’re welcome to join. And as far as ‘enjoying ourselves a bit’ is concerned, as well as the sheer enjoyment of seeing boats going up and down ‘our’ locks at at last - and a chance for anyone who’s worked on the locks to have a boat-ride through them - there’s a barbecue and a performance by DayStar Theatre on Friday evening, and a repeat of the very successful ‘Race Night’ (video horse-racing - but with real betting - hosted by Brian Bayston) in aid of the Appeal on the Saturday night. And if you happen to have any photos from the Aston restoration, or especially any odd artifacts you discovered while we were working there (a monorail?) please bring them along, because there’s going to be a display in the old mill building by the Queens Head pub which has been turned into an art exhibition. We will have overnight accommodation available from THURSDAY night onwards, and food available for the whole weekend. If you want to come for the whole weekend including Friday evening barbecue, the cost will be £10. If you want to come for the whole weekend except the Friday evening barbecue, it will be £8. You are welcome to attend just for the Saturday ‘Race Night’ party: it will cost you £5. Further details from Head Office or at www.wrg.org.uk as soon as we have them; joining instructions will be sent to everyone who books using the form below.

waterway recovery group

ASTON LOCKS REOPENING

I would like to attend the Montgomery Canal Aston Locks reopening on April 4th-6th Forename:

Surname:

Address: e-mail: Phone:

Any special dietary requirements?

I require accommodation Thursday night / Friday night / Saturday night I enclose payment of £10 for the whole weekend including the Friday evening barbecue / I enclose payment of £8 for the whole weekend excluding the Friday evening barbecue / I am attending the Saturday evening ‘Race Night’ party only and enclose £5 Do you suffer from any illness, such as epilepsy or diabetes, about which we should know, or are you receiving treatment or under medical supervision for any condition? YES / NO (If yes, please attach details) In the unlikely event that you should be injured, who should we contact? Name:

Phone:

Signed (parent's signature also required if aged under 18): Please send this form to Aston Reopening bookings, WRG, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY

page 27


Logistics “I am looking forward to a year of fully functional toasters...” Well, it’s time to write something for Navvies already... and back to a ‘just me’ style as the sheer lack of time and inspiration (and nothing whatsoever to do with a technology crisis!!) dictates. But for a change I am not going to spend my page moaning about this and cursing about that. No, it really is going to be a whinge-free zone! Looking over the last year’s worth of articles, I wondered what I could come up with for a ‘new year’: we had Eeyore’s gloom-and-doom, devilish technology and the revelation that Navvies is really monthly (!), a usual gripe, a severe trailer overdose, a Little Wolf appearance, and Toast lessons! To be honest it will be nothing short of a miracle if this ever makes it to Martin at this rate as the computer is living up to the whole “work of the Devil” persona - it has nearly found it’s way out of the window on more than a few occasions recently! A whinge, you say? Nay, ‘twas a mere observation. I’ve received no requests for full toaster instruction so I am looking forward to a year of fully functional toasters (talking of miracles…). A new year brings with it renewed hope that I can finally get things sorted, but then I am much more sorted myself now that I have a decent house (possibly even a small shed … watch this space!). Hopefully, some of the ideas I’ve had for improving the kits – some have been lurking in the depths of my mind (and believe me it’s pretty deep in there!) for a long while! – will make an appearance this year. I won’t say they definitely will but we shall see! The more observant of you may have noticed that the Blue Peter conversion of a shower curtain didn’t make it onto the scene last year! As I said, maybe this year?! Big thanks must go to Lynne Cater for offering me use of a trailer-sized patch of drive/lawn at her own house. We’ve come to the conclusion that it is probably better to use these facilities when the weather hasn’t been too wet! Me, Just Jen, reversing a full kit trailer, on a soggy lawn, uphill, in VOJ? With my reputation?! In readiness for the Operation Ironville weekend, a trailer is now sat outside Lynne’s. I am hugely appreciative of this as trailer storage space is getting harder to come by, particularly up this neck of the woods!

page 28

Jen wants everyone (not just MKP) to ‘Take lots of photos throughout the year’. (Martin Ludgate) A slight aside from logistical matters, as there is little worth mentioning at present and this computer is getting more tedious than an incredibly tedious thing, I thought I would use this opportunity to put in another request/plea for everyone to take lots of photos throughout the year and equally importantly, send them (or copies) to either myself or Martin PLEASE! I say this because whilst trying to produce this year’s camps brochure, we had a hard time trying to find a suitable photo for the front cover. We ended up using one of the previous year’s photos which we really prefer not to do if it can be helped. That said, there were lots of jolly and colourful photos from last year’s camps that were great for the brochure so please keep snapping away. Oh, and on the subject of the brochure I have to apologise for the mix up of numbers on the map! It was totally my fault that Caldon is now located in the south-east and Basingstoke is in Staffs! D’oh! But besides that we don’t think there are any other big mistakes… And we hope you like it! Opposite this page should be the van and kit schedule. Peruse it at your leisure if you will. But remember it is subject, as always, to the usual various happenings that are outside logistical control. Then there’s always the introduction of a potential new minibus. It did make me smile when I read Martin’s note underneath last year’s schedule, “When we say ‘NJF’ we hope that we really mean ‘NJF’s successor’!” And the ol’ gal is still going strong. Mind you, she should be with all that oil she drinks!!! So no doubt there will be changes. Ho hum! That’s life! Best laid plans… Just Jen logistics@wrg.org.uk


Van and kit schedule 2003 The table on this page shows which vehicles and camps kit are scheduled to go to which Canal Camps this year. Note that (a) as Jen says on the previous page “remember it is subject, as always, to the usual various happenings that are outside logistical control” and (b) I’m not making any rash promises about new minibuses this time! Camp

Logistics Van, Minibus and Kit movements schedule for 2003

Location

Start date

Finish date

Kit

Van

Mini

1

Montgomery Canal

15th February

22nd February

A

RFB

GCW

2

Halifax Branch Canal

12th April

21st April

B

VOJ

NJF

X

Training Weekend, Hatton

11th May

12th May

3

Sleaford Navigation

28th June

5th July

A

4

Saul Canal Festival

2nd July

9th July

C

5

Grand Western Canal

5th July

12th July

6

Grand Western Canal

12th July

19th July

7

Wey & Arun Canal (NWPG)

13th July

19th July

8

Mon & Brec Canals

19th July

9

Lancaster Canal

10

A.B RFB.VOJ GCW.NJF RFB

GCW

B

VOJ

NJF

B

VOJ

NJF

26th July

B

VOJ

NJF

19th July

26th July

A

RFB

GCW

Mon & Brec Canals

26th July

2nd August

B

VOJ

NJF

11

Wilts and Berks Canal

2nd August

9th August

A

RFB

GCW

12

Wey & Arun Canal (WACT)

2nd August

9th August

13

St. John’s Backpumping Project

9th August

16th August

A

RFB

GCW

14

Caldon Canal

9th August

9th August

B

VOJ

NJF

15

NWF - River Thames, Berks

18th August

28th August

16

Wilts and Berks Canal

6th September

13th September

A

RFB

GCW

17

Chichester Canal

25th October

1st November

B

VOJ

NJF

X

Bonfire Bash - Cotswolds

8th November

9th November A.B RFB.VOJ GCW.NJF

18

New Year Camp

26th December

1st January

A.B RFB.VOJ GCW.NJF

A

RFB

GCW

page 29


Bits & pieces Radios A couple of years ago I was given two flight cases (by Mike Palmer) full of radios. More precisely I was given two flight cases full of very unwell radios. Over the past couple of years I have gradually bought more and more back to life but this has been at the expense of cannibalising some to get others working such that Kit A has the full complement of 5 but kit b is now down to 2. The main reason for failure of the radios is the batteries being knackered, this is often due to them being put away whilst still turned on so please can everyone who packs them up make sure they are turned off! On many sites the radios are not used, so the decision has been made to merge the two kits into one and make the radios a special request item. So, if you think you may need radios for your camp, let me know in plenty of time (i.e. ringing me on the Friday night asking for them in Manchester on Saturday morning is likely to get a very quick response but not the one you wanted) and we’ll get them out to you. The standard kit consists of 7 or 8 radios (depending on whether I get the last one working) and two single way chargers in a flight case. There is also a 6 way charger available but it doesn’t fit in the flight case so if you would like that as well be sure to tell me..... Lastly we have made a change to the way the radios are programmed, they now have CTCSS enabled, what this means in practice is that it should end the situation of a scout group 5 miles away being picked up on our radios.

Attention all fender-benders! Cath Turpin of the Boat Museum Society at Ellesmere Port has asked me to mention that they are running a course over the weekend of 12-13 April in boat fender making (button fenders and side fenders) plus rope splicing, whipping and Turk’s Heads, and more advanced rope-work for those who already know the basics. Cost of the course is £65 including all materials, and you get to take away the fenders you make. Contact Cath on 0151 632 5446 or email: cathturpin@onetel.net.uk for more details.

Best wishes... ...to Ian Wingfield, formerly of IWA Head Office (and in charge of Canal Camps bookings among other things) who left IWA in December after three years to start a new job working with Millennium Volunteers. Ian’s WRG responsibilities have been taken over by Andy (no relation) Palmer who can be contacted on andrew.palmer@waterways.org.uk. Ian promises that we haven’t seen the last of him: you may well see him again on a dig sometime; if you want to contact him by email his address is iwingfield@hotmail.com.

Apologies ...for having to hold several non-time-dependent items over till the next issue of ‘Navvies’, as the fact that there is an Appeal leaflet enclosed with this issue means we needed to keep it down to 32 pages to avoid paying extra postage - which would be unfortunate, given that the Appeal is supposed to raise us money, not cost us more! The long-promised article about the Aberdare Canal and episode of Bankside will follow in issue 197, as will two articles about canals in North America.

However if you have been using other radio sets with the wrg handheld kit (e.g. if you have a vehicle mount unit) they may no longer be heard on a wrg radio. If this is the case please let me know and I’ll pass on the necessary information so it will all work happily together again. George ‘Bungle’ Eycott

Mummy and Daddy Cool... ...aka Jenny and Dave Worthington, would like to thank everyone in WRG Another one to watch out for: Pewsham locks on the Wilts & Berks who sent them their best wishes on the are a possible new lock-rebuilding project. As you can see, one occasion of their Silver Wedding recently. side of the middle lock’s not too bad, but the other... (Martin Ludgate)

page 30


Contacting the chairman: Mike Palmer, 3 Finwood Rd, Rowington, Warwickshire CV35 7DH Tel: 01564 785293

Noticeboard

e-mail: mike.palmer@bbc.co.uk

Free to a good home....

Movinghouse... Marcus Jones has moved to: 12 Hampton Court, 116 St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough. LE16 7DX Gavin Moor has moved to: 54 Kiln Close, Calvert, Buckingham, Bucks, MK18 2FD. Phone : 01296 730018. Andi Kewley has moved to: 12 Mackay House, White City Estate, London W12 Angela Lamen has a new email address: ajlamen2002@yahoo.co.uk Jude Moore has a new email address: jude.moore@btinternet.com

Malcolm Bridge of WRG NorthWest has received an unwanted gift from HE Hire Services of a holder for 96 business cards. In the event that anyone should want this, please contact him on malcolm.bridge:wrg.org.uk.

Congratulations... ...to Sheila Davenport of IWA on her MBE in the New Year Honours List.

Bon Voyage... ...to Huw Davies, who’s just off to work in the USA forayear.

Eddie Jones has a new email address: eddie@kescrg.org.uk Alison Moore has moved to: 6 Bedarra Grove, Lenton, Nottingham NG7 2EJ Nick and Cath Coolican-Smith are about to move, but at the time we went to press they hadn’t quite bought the new house yet. Hope to include their new details next time.

Navvies Production

Navvies is published by Waterway Recovery Group, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY and is available to all interested in promoting the restoration and conSubscriptions / circulation servation of inland waterSue Watts ways by voluntary effort in 15 Eleanor Road Great Britain. Articles may Chorlton-cum-Hardy be reproduced in allied Manchester M21 9FZ magazines provided that Printing and assembly: the source is acknowlJohn & Tess Hawkins edged. WRG may not 4 Links Way, Croxley Grn agree with opinions exRickmansworth, Herts pressed in this magazine, WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 but encourages publication hawkins@jote.fsnet.co.uk as a matter of interest. Editor : Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Road East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020-8693 3266

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

Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated - otherwise WRG and IWA accept no liability for any matter in this magazine. Waterway Recovery Group is a division of Inland Waterways Enterprises Ltd., a subsidiary of the Inland Waterways Association (a registered charity).

Send used postage stamps, petrol coupons, old phone cards, empty computer printer ink cartridges to IWA/WRG Stamp Bank, 33 Hambleton Grove, Milton Keynes MK4 2JS. All proceeds to canal restoration.

Directors of WRG: John Baylis, Mick Beattie, Malcolm Bridge, Roger Burchett, Spencer Collins, Christopher Davey, Helen Davey, Roger Day, Neil Edwards, John Fletcher, Adrian Fry, John Hawkins, Jennifer Leigh, Judith Moore, Michael Palmer, Jonathan Smith.

Inland Waterways Enterprises Registered office: Secretary: Neil Edwards 3 Norfolk Court, Norfolk Rd. Rickmansworth WD3 1LT VAT reg. no : 788 9425 54 © 2003 WRG Tel : 01923 711114 Registered no 4305322 ISSN 0953-6655

page 31


Backfill

Recipes for disaster?

We haven’t had any more contributions to the ‘Great catering cockups’ series. Come on, folks! You don’t expect me to believe that nothing ever goes wrong in the kitchen, do you? Let’s have some more of those stories!

Stuck in the Middle with you? I���d just like to point out that in ‘Navvies’ 196 there was a slight typographical error in the title of the roundup of what WRG’s Bit in the Middle (BITM) group got up to during 2002. I hope I’m not being uncharitable in suggesting that not everyone would fancy being trapped in an elevator with WRG BITM for 12 months. It should - of course - have read ‘A year in the life’, not ‘A year in the lift’.

A ‘Navvies’ Top Twenty?

Rubbish! Thank you to the reader who kindly sent in a press cutting about a political row in Bexley, South East London about the excessive costs of transporting the borough’s rubbish to an incinerator. So what’s it got to do with us? Well, it appears that London WRG have found a ‘nice little earner’ that might help them raise a few grand for the Appeal or at least keep them in beer for a week or two... “Under the preferred bid by WRG, Bexley rubbish would be transported by lorry to an incinerator at Allington, Near Maidstone” Hang on, a lorry? Couldn’t they use ‘Ben’? Or ‘Fulbourne’? Or NJF? And why have WRG been given the job anyway? “There were only three bids on the table. The only one which might be ready in time for the new contract in 2006 was from WRG.” London WRG? Ready in time? Surely some mistake - the only thing they ever do on time is get to the pub before last orders.

I am indebted to the Keens Family of narrow boat ‘Jannock’ for allowing me to quote their suggestions for a ‘Boaters’ Top Ten’ records...

Sadly, it turns out that there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding and in this case ‘WRG’ actually stands for ‘Waste Recycling Group’.

1 Stairway to Hatton by Led Zeppelin

“You put it there, you take it off!”

2 Porta Loo by Abba 3 Hey big fender by Shirley Bassey 4 Mooring has broken by Cat Stevens 5 Hard days flight by The Beatles 6 Lock around the clock by Bill Hailey & the Comets 7 Two little bouys by Rolf Harris 8 Running up that hull by Kate Bush 9 Tiller queen by Queen 10 Run-aground Sue by Paul Anchor You get the idea? OK how about some suggestions for a Canal Restoration Chart? Send your suggestions to the Editor and we’ll print the best (or worst) of them in a future issue. PS actually the Jannock list was a Top Twenty but the other 10 were so terrible that I couldn’t bring myself to repeat them here. See http:// www.jannock.org.uk if you really want to know!

page 32

Thank you to Colin Turner for the above photo demostrating how the old-style two-wheel drive dumpers can carry a surprisingly large load, provided you don’t want them to actually move. Seriously, a huge horse-chestnut tree blew down in a gale and landed slap-bang on top of the Ipswich IWA dumper at Creeting Lock. As Colin says: “Although the tree brought the power-lines down, the only other damage was a bent starting-handle on the cement mixer. Very fortunate - it could have crushed piles of cleaned bricks and that would have been a disaster.”


Navvies 197