avvies N Volunteers restoring waterways No 200 August - September 2003
The Right Tool for the Right Job Appeal:
half way there!
waterway recovery group
...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 email@example.com. Press date for No 201: September 1st.
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In this issue:
Editorial on dumper safety 3 Chairman’s page 4 Appeal news The Right Tool for the Right Job 5 Camp Reports from Saul Festival, the Grand 6-15 Western, Wey & Arun and Mon & Brec Diary camps and working parties 16-18 Letters on the Chard Canal, the Delaware 19-23 Division Canal and probability theory Logistics some whinges; some good news 24 WRGBC WRG Boat Club news 25 Directory WRG and canal societies 26-27 Plant Bungle moves a crane 28 Navvies news the Waterway Science Group, a walk along the Andover Canal and the return 29-30 of the London WRG Tube Map T-shirt Noticeboard moving house, selling stuff, getting engaged and leaving things in vans 31 Backfill alligators in the cut! 32
And next time... ...a colour issue with lots of photos from this summer’s Canal Camps, all the Camp Reports that didn’t make it into this issue, a Dig Deep update, details of this autumn’s Bonfore Bash, and the return of the ‘Last Ditch’ cartoon - in full colour!
Visit our web site www.wrg.org.uk for all the latest news of WRG's activities
Cover photos: as you will read on p5, the Appeal is going well with funds nearing the half-way mark, but still lots of hard work ahead to reach the target. Top left: One of the two brick-saws that we have already bought, being put to good use during the Grand Western Canal Camps. (Mark Baker) Top right: Mike Hamlyn (second from right, back) at the top of Crib Goch, on his sponsored climb of the 15 highest Welsh peaks, which raised over £330 for the Appeal. Bottom left: Roger & Sara Davis have sponsored one of the items on the Appeal shopping list - a concrete mixer - which they are seen presenting to Mike Palmer at the Saul Festival. (Cath Coolican-Smith) Bottom right: the successful IWA Northampton Rally raised over £1000, and most of it was donated to the Appeal. (Lynda Payton) This Page below left: the volunteers on the Lancaster Canal Camp enjoy a trip on the Canal Trust’s trip-boat Waterwitch. Camp report next time, please! (Martin Ludgate) Below Right: possible site hazard: a skip-loading dumper - see Editorial (Martin Ludgate). Bottom left: a rather different site hazard: the Wilts & Berks Camp unearthed an unexploded bomb! Camp Report next time - assuming somebody survived to write it. (Corinne Watson)
Editorial As I write this column, we are right in the middle of what is turning into one of the most successful Canal Camps seasons for years, in terms of the volunteer numbers, the work achieved - and even the weather! But I’m afraid that first I’m going to have to deal with something a little less cheerful: site safety, and one specific hazard in particular. Please take the time to read the following: it may affect you even if you are not an operator of these machines, and even if you do not know what a skip-loading dumper is... Skip-loading dumpers As mentioned in the Camp Report on p13, a volunteer suffered broken ankle bones as a result of an accident involving a skip-loading dumper. These dumpers are the small - typically 750Kg load - narrow wheelbase dumpers that have beome available in the last few years, which are equipped with a telescopic mechanism under the bucket enabling it to be raised and tipped into a skip. (see photo on opposite page) Initially these seem to be very useful devices: being narrow they can get into places that the more conventional dumpers we use cannot; also their ability to tip at high level can be very handy. However, the downside of both of these features is that they do not have the lateral and front-toback stability of a 'normal' dumper. EVEN WHEN THE BUCKET IS NOT IN THE RAISED POSITION, THEY ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO TIP OVER SIDEWAYS (OR FRONT TO BACK) IF THEY ARE NOT ON COMPLETELY LEVEL GROUND. This is what happened on the Wey & Arun Camp, and the driver’s leg was trapped under part of the dumper when it fell. There are some important lessons that all of us must learn from the accident: Firstly, machine operators using this type of dumper should be aware of this lack of stability, and avoid taking the dumper onto uneven or steeply-sloping ground. Secondly, site leaders considering using these machines should think carefully about whether it is the best tool for the job. Can the work be done in a way that ensures that the machine stays on level, even ground throughout? Could the work be done in a different way, so that a conventional dumper (or for that matter a wheelbarrow) could be used?
Even if it turns out that the skip-loading dumper is the best, safest option for the job, the leader needs to ensure that it is not used for other, less appropriate work - dumpers are handy things, and if we have one on site we have a habit of putting it to good use on all sorts of other jobs besides the one that we hired it for. Thirdly, our instructors (myself included) need to make very sure that whenever we train a new dumper operator, we make them fully aware of the differences between the machine we are training them on and the various other types that they may come across. It's no good us extolling the go-anywhere capabilities of the conventional 4-wheel drive 3-tonner we're training them on, only for them to come unstuck when they are faced with a skip-loader sometime later while no longer under supervision. Fourthly, all you volunteers need to do your best to spread this information far and wide so that everyone - whether they read ‘Navvies’ or not, whether they are from WRG, one of the other mobile groups or a local canal society - is aware of this potential danger. Finally, the above comments should not be taken as criticism in any way of NWPG whose safety record has been very good. In this - the first serious accident they have had in many years of successful camps - they did all the right things: deal with the incident (in this case free the trapped person, then get them medical attention), then contact the insurers and fill in the correct forms, then work out how the accident happened, then decide how to prevent it happening again. And in the unlikely event that a serious accident of any kind happens on your work party, you should deal with it the way that NWPG did, rather than taking the kind of 'these things happen' attitude that nobody will ever learn anything from. Canal Camp reports I’ll finish on a happier note by thanking everyone who has sent camp reports and photos. Please keep them coming in. The next ‘Navvies’ will be a bumper-size issue with eight pages of colour (thanks to Chris Spencer for generously sponsoring the colour printing again) - now it’s up to you to provide some good quality content for those pages. See you at the ‘National’! Martin Ludgate
Chairman Chairman’s Comment This is of course a historic ‘Navvies’ - No 200. Perhaps we should be singing and dancing; perhaps hosting a huge party; perhas there should be an Official T-shirt. Well, perhaps all of this is happening - I wouldn’t know as I’m rather incommunicado at the moment: I’m in the middle of leading a Canal Camp at Froghall and Martin has just rung to say I have to get this finished by 7pm or ‘Navvies’ will go out with an empty space where the Chairman’s Piece should be.
There are those who would say that this might be preferable, of course... Hence this short piece dictated over the phone in the gap between the rhubarb crumble and the pub quiz. This is typical of WRG: we often don’t celebrate important milestones because we’re too busy laying the foundations for the next one. Being WRG, I’m sure there will be singing, dancing and partying in due course. However in the meantime I would like to take this opportunity... Firstly to apologise to Steve Barrett for my appalling conduct on site today. Secondly to simply say ‘George, don’t do that!’ Hugs & Kisses, Mike Palmer
perts’ made him really ‘chuffed’ and the delight on his face when he told us about it was so apparent. It wasn’t boasting or big-headedness but he was so full of happiness he just had to share it. He also showed interest in the restoration of the Steam Tug ‘Portwey’, currently being restored in West India Dock. Malcolm was always pleased to share his knowledge with anybody who seriously wanted to know and it was through Malcolm’s continuing support and guidance Essex WRG developed an expanding recognition as the group that does hedgelaying. In fact it was always easy to get Malcolm to talk about anything that he had an enthusiasm for. The trick was not to ask the question too late in the evening when you wanted an early night! With Malcolm’s decease, there’s a big hole in the world at the moment and it’s going to take another big person to fill it. I’m willing to bet that it will still be some years in the future when WRG history is retold during reminiscences that someone will say, do you remember when Malcolm accidentally dropped that tree on that chap’s shed? Or do you remember when he...? True to form, the hearse arrived late at the crematorium (but luckily not at 2am!). During the service, on two occasions when Malcolm’s name was mentioned there was an immediate clap of thunder. I will leave the reader Malcolm seen some years to put their own interpre- ago receiving his certificate tation on this coincidence! for sponsoring a Trent & Dave Dobbin Mersey milepost
Malcolm Bates was obstinate, irritating, opinionated, snored loudly, ate up your telephone bill - but most people remember him as a thoroughly good all-round “bloke”. You might not have seen eye to eye with him, but in the end you couldn’t fail to like him. He had a wide range of interests over his life. He started in the family forestry business as soon as he could and handled his first chain saw at 14½. But when he was not in the woods, he found another interest in the waterways and water in general. He had an early cara-cruiser and even after he stopped using his he was an advocate of this type of boat for years. He claims to have started a couple of water based events. After visiting the Festival of the Sea in Brest he was involved with organising the first one in Britain. In fact he claims he suggested Bristol as the city was the only place whose name was close to Brest! Malcolm also doubled up with another of his interests as he was responsible at the Festival for organising the folk singing and morris dancing entertainments that were dotted around the event. He helped to organise Canalway Cavalcade in the early days - he saw it as the City of Westminster’s equivalent of the City of London’s Lord Mayor’s Show. Amongst his other interests, there was his skiff, his trips to the Continent and his late-found love of Norway. There was his Meccano and his knot-tying, There was his work for the Waterway Recovery Group where his experience and expertise was drawn on massively and he was willing to give it while he could firstly with London WRG and later with Essex. These are only some of the things I knew about him and I only know a fraction of his life. There was his newspaper distribution where he was recognised as being probably being the fairest agent of them all - making sure that his distributors got a fair deal. One of his proudest moments in recent years was the winning of the Brunel Prize for a paper he produced on a boat lift/lock. The prize money was only a small amount, but the fact that he won it in the face of highlyqualified civil engineers and other highly skilled ‘ex-
The Right Tool For The Right Job Appeal Total to date = £31,390.42p Well done everybody, we’re nearly half way there!!!
The Right Tool for the Right Job!
Some special mentions from the last few weeks: Michael Hamlyn (recently assistant leader on the Mon & Brec Camp) who walked up a lot of hills and a very long way, and raised £330 for us. Hope the blisters have healed now, Mike!! Roger and Sara Davis, who (without much prompting from their offspring) decided to buy us one concrete mixer, and the WRG Boat Club who have donated the other. This adds to the brick-saw and Tirfor winch already donated as items ‘in kind’, and all these bits of kit are now to be seen out and about: I’ve just been to the Mon and Brec and seen it in action, so the Appeal is aready making a difference to the work we are doing. If you go on a camp this summer you will notice the copious quantities of Personal Protection Equipment – in hard-wearing bags, subsidised by Canal and Riverboat. Things to look forward to: Appealing Food - a catering stand with a difference, to be found at the ‘National’ at Beale Park shortly after you read this. Viv West has put a huge amount of effort into organising this stand, selling spicy snacks to the festival goers. Please go and support her if you are at the Festival - I have sampled the food she plans to cook, and it is yummy! ‘Aladdin and the genie of the Burco’ - for one night only, Saturday at Beale Park, the usual WRG mix of jokes, silliness and a vaguely serious point, in the beer tent. Free entry, but donations required to leave the bar... and if you are interested in being in it, I shall be finalising the cast and avoiding rehearsals and set building etc. in between serving meals to the site crew, so please come and see me (in the WRG kitchen) and volunteer your services. Please, otherwise I shall start press ganging! Also at the ‘National’ - come and see us in the IWA tent, we have some lovely pieces of canalware: one water carrier painted by Graham Palmer, a coal scuttle and a Buckby can painted by Alan Whiffen (commercial for NWF). These will be auctioned by sealed bid during the festival. For the younger (mentally) we have a beautiful, unique teddy bear, in a red T-shirt, worth over £100, handmade by Sharon Spencer (Mrs Taskmaster) and this can be yours for £1 if you guess his or her name correctly.
Now for the bad news - we are still a long way short of being able to buy the new minibus we shall need very soon, and we may not be able to afford the training courses yet. WE NEED YOUR IDEAS!!! Everyone from ‘Navvies’ has been very generous in terms of money and enthusiasm over £5500 pounds has come from you, the readers. But the money is for you and me to be able to carry on doing the Right Job, and doing it well, and professionally, and as efficiently a possible. I want you all to think if you can do something – such as:
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help out at your local IWA fundraising event, and persuade them to give something of their proceeds to the appeal. Do something mad and get sponsored for it - anyone fancy organising a sponsored brick clean? Talk your company into buying us a minibus... or some hard hats, or some training... Help out at a WRG publicity stand, e.g. at Beale park - we have had a lot of donations and interest at Saul junction, Crick etc. Talk to me or Jude for details, but it is good fun, and is easier than car parking... Organise an event: we can offer lots of support and materials for things, see if you can beat the Race Night’s total! Do any or all of the above, and then ask your company about matching funding. We can find ways to get you involved so you qualify without taxing you too much, even if you are one of our many enthusiastic armchair supporters (or Castors as someone suggested you should be known as)
I look forward to hearing from you... See you at the ‘National’. Love ‘n’ hugs, Dr Liz Williamson xxx firstname.lastname@example.org 01844 351549
Camp reports Saul Festival: fencing fun and cable-tie capers... Camp 0304: July 2nd – 9th Saul Canal Festival, Cotswold Canals Every year, the Cotswold Canals Trust hold a boat festival at Saul Junction, where the Stroudwater Navigation (which they’re restoring) meets the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal (which is already open). In recent years, the event has grown to the point where we support it with a week’s Site Services Canal Camp. George ‘Bungle’ Eycott and friends describe what happened this year... Wednesday: Nick and Cath arrived just before Tom who had left Dover at 4am in order to arrive by 9am because that is what the camp information told him (he wasn’t to know that everyone else ignores head office instructions..) Following much confusion about trains, missed connections and two vans going to two different stations to meet the same two girls, everyone arrived. The traditional festival job of fencing was begun, along with a bit of plumbing (which quickly turned into a lot of plumbing, not just one tap but three and a shower that didn’t work). Chaos and confusion reigned, our work was therefore done and we returned to the accommodation. Roger then drove Bungle to Newbury to pick up Sammy only to discover that it had been blocked in by a transit in the yard. Many phone calls later and a trip to the other side of Newbury extracted the relevant keys from the security office and the offending vehicle was moved. Thursday: We had to be clear of the hall for the afternoon, so whilst we all worked on site, Cath went into Stroud to discover its hidden delights and treasures. It took all of half an hour to discover that either it didn’t have any or they were very well hidden. On site, the plumbing, wiring and lighting continued. Oh and the beer arrived. Thursday evening there a rush visit back to site to pick up Bungle’s wallet from one of the tables in the bar. When Bungle looked at the wiring plan back at the accommodation he realised that of the six distribution boxes required, three had not yet been built. So the rest of the evening was spent building them.
Friday: Disaster - an emergency was declared as the cable ties ran out! Bungle went to buy some… Bungle: I’d like to buy some cable ties please. Fastener shop: Yes sir, which size? Bungle: 300 x 4.8 Fastener shop: No problem, how many? Bungle: Oh, about 2000 should do it. Fastener shop: Bloody hell...... The f**k-up fairy took a secondment from Logistics to Head Office, and of the many things that did arrive on site during Friday, the tax disc for the beavertail truck SWS was not one. This caused many phone calls and Bungle proved that he was fluent in two languages (English and profane). Things were not helped when Bungle discovered that the site plan to which he had carefully laid out the wiring bore no resemblance to where the traders actually were - Nick, Roger and Bungle worked until about 10pm then decided that the wiring behind the bar needed careful investigation... Meanwhile back at the accommodation, the camp size increased and food was eaten before they too decide that the bar needed to be checked. Saturday: The Festival happened; Cath cooked curry. In the evening we decided to remain at the accommodation as the beer tent was a tad full. At 10pm we had an emergency phone call from site asking if we had anyone available to drive a van to the Forest of Dean to get some more beer. Of the few remaining sober people, none were really ready for a three hour round trip but luckily the CCT had a driver available so the bar was fully re-stocked by Sunday morning. Sunday: The festival carried on happening. Lots of people arrived to visit it. Bungle bent his bed. Monday: We packed everything away, apart from the skips which weren’t there. Cath parked the car neatly in the car park, whereupon the fence stepped smartly one foot forward under the car and broke the diesel cooler. The AA man took the car away. Tuesday: We packed the skips. Cath took the new recruits to visit the Golden Valley, only to find they couldn’t park anywhere and by the time they had discovered this it was time to come back. In the evening we had a boat trip and everyone had a go at steering. We then visited the pub and had a fine meal. Wednesday: We cleared the hall and wrote the camp report. Err, that’s it. Bungle, Cath, Nick and Holly
Camp 0305: July 5th - 12th Grand Western Canal
And so it shall be that on the 5th day of the 7th month of the Year of our Lord 2003 all those named Sally and John (plus some others but we shall mention them later) shall gather at Burlescome, in Devon for to work upon the Grand Western Canal and Lo! a slipway shall appear. And so it came to be in the form of Camp 0305... Volunteers collected and fed, kit counted, it was time to start the week. It began with a little trepidation on my behalf as it was due to be my second outing as an Assistant Leader but due to unforeseen circumstances I had the pleasure (!?) of being promoted to Camp Leader about 4 days beforehand.
Grand Western slipway part 1: Sallys crew lay the foundations I had a feeling it might be a little confusing on site as Sally, Sally, Sally, John, John, Jon and the others introduced themselves! (This proved to be extremely true in the case of the Sallys many cries were heard of the, ‘no not that one, the other one, no the other one’ all week). After the safety talk, it was, as is traditional, time to decamp to the pub – all of two minutes stagger down the road! Sunday morning came round far too early (by 7:20 only two of the 25 people in the accommodation were still in bed! – one of them being me! (I think we need to amend the health and safety talk to not only include those with a penchant for late nights but those with one for early mornings!) 40 minutes later breakfast was had, and it was time to head for site. The plan for the week was - as prophesied - to build the foundations for a slipway to be completed during the following week, move a fence to improve the access track and repair several culverts.
Excavating the base for the slipway with an excavator (above) Work began in earnest with most and the foundation trenches for the side walls manually (below) of the volunteers tackling the removal of the fence. (As was to be a bit of a theme this week lots of things turned out to be not quite as easy as they first appeared!) Apparently one set of chicken wire is not sufficient so two sets and barbed wire had to be removed before the fence itself could be challenged. Other members of the team were scrub bashing the slipway site, being trained on the brush cutter and strimming the track, being trained on the Stihl saw, as well as cutting down the trees behind the fence to allow us to move it backwards. Woody, Rob and Al decided that there was no need to wait for the concrete breaker and set to removing the gate posts! (Credit is due as with those three on the job I don’t think the post stood much of a chance).
Lunch arrived courtesy of Viv and with it came two extra volunteers Sophie and Michelle, plus the missing teapot. The afternoon continued in a similar vein, with the fence posts themselves being tackled. Tackled being the operative word as if they had been set in concrete getting them out probably would have been an easier task! It became somewhat like an archaeological dig with people using every imaginable tool to try and remove the rock-solid and rather stony ground. A run was also done to Jay’s Cutting (last year’s site) to collect some sand, ballast and bricks. I also did my thing for Mother Nature by trying to rescue the fish from our dammed section of canal – unfortunately the only thing which ended up getting rescued was me after getting both wellies stuck! After dinner at the accommodation it was time for a shower before returning to the pub as we needed to be out of the hall for Meat Bingo night (I know what you are wondering... do they have pictures of meat instead of numbers? Fear not, the ‘meat’ is referring to the prizes!) Monday dawned early (again!) and I decided it was time to put my cunning plan into action! The theory being that if I wear them out sufficiently, maybe I will get a lie in (Hmm, it might just work!) Monday continued the work from Sunday but with the addition of Ed digging out the canal with the excavator ‘Blue’ after it had finally arrived from its slight detour to Saul Junction. After a lunchtime break from the battle of the fence posts, John H took a team of volunteers to scrub bash one of the culverts so we could identify what work was required. On their return it turned out that apparently there are two culverts fitting my description within about 100yards of each other! I am sure the locals will be pleased we managed an extra one though!
The local Angling club also came along to manage a much better job with the fish than I had! Showers, dinner and the Pub again completed the day. As Tuesday dawned it turned out that my cunning plan succeeded as I manage to sleep until 7:50! In order for the slipway to be marked out, John and most of the volunteers set off into the winding country lanes to discover the correct two culverts! Whilst myself, Al and Woody translated the plans on to the hole: all there is to say is that it is amazing what you can do with a tape measure, some string, a can of spray paint and a level! Important stick in place and pain of death set on its movement, the culverters returned – with photographic proof that they did find the correct ones! Just in time for Viv’s arrival with lunch. Post lunch - in very World War One style - it was time to go into the trenches! With Viv (‘but I only tapped the fence with the bucket’ – it was horizontal by the next morning!) in Blue and everyone else getting down and dirty in the hole the trenches started to appear. As mentioned before nothing proved to be easy, digging a couple of trenches - piece of cake! One had to be done with pick axes and mattocks as stones were replaced by clay and stones whilst the other involved raking sludge, then standing at least ankle deep in it trying to dig. Sally (or muddy Sally as she became known!) proved to be Queen of the Trench as she never seemed happier than when completely covered from head to toe in sludge! American Sally also seemed to be very fond of it. However today’s challenge of getting the volunteers as mucky as possible seemed to be going terribly well! The afternoon was completed by the arrival of some photographers from the local press; I am sure the huge white plasters on my knees from an earlier incident with a large concrete block on site added to my air of professionalism and Viv definitely has a job for life handloading excavator buckets!
Shuttering-up ready to pour the concrete slipway wall foundations
Due to another evening of Meat Bingo in the hall, Fish and Chips followed by a Magical Mystery Tour of the line of the old canal filled the evening. This gave everyone a chance to see what it is hoped to restore in the future, and put our slipway in context. I am sure those of us travelling in RFB have some very entertaining memories of the journey.
Wednesday was much like Tuesday with more digging either of trenches or fence posts (slight running theme, this digging lark!); we thought we had reached the end and it was time to go ‘over the top’ of the trenches (well, start concreting!) had it not been for the large concrete wall which was just a tad too high. To my pleasure every single one of the volunteers was in the trench getting muddy and digging for England, (well I’m sure we were almost at Australia!) to dig out the extra two metres needed on both sides. As our usual end-of-work time came, it was time to start up the mixer and begin the concrete pour into the muddy trench. A manic 1¼ hours of mixing and shovelling later we were finished. Cleaned and shiny we set off to Dennis’s house for the now traditional barbecue with the local canal trust and the canal rangers. Thursday was much like, well Tuesday and Wednesday really, with more digging on site; however the culvert team were working away to complete the repair work. John H and I had many entertaining conversations as I thought he was only repairing 4 culvert ends but he was working on 6, I don’t think the fact that two of them were in sweetcorn fields helped! There was much celebration as the last fence post was removed and hole filled in. The new fence line was marked out but making the holes for the posts proved to be a bit of a non-starter, the auger (Not ‘Ogre’ as I kept trying to call it) made an attempt to create a hole but I think the score was definitely null points to the auger and 1 point to the ground! [one might say that it didn’t auger well? Sorry. ...Ed] The second trench was concreted just before we left site so it could set overnight.
A more leisurely evening was had with swimming or floating for those with any energy left and collapsing in a heap for the rest of us before another visit to the pub. Friday and the end of the week dawned; I am not sure I had worked all the volunteers quite hard enough as they still seemed able to get up early, however I’m sure they would disagree! The culvert team set off to complete as much as possible whilst the rest of us returned to site. Due to having to wait a age for the pump to drain the water the workboat which held all the tools and bits of fence was tidied; an attempt was made with the concrete breaker but the post held fast (maybe I should have got Rob, Woody and Al to tackle it after all). An entertaining challenge was held to see who could bail the most water out of the puddles in the hole, in a minute, using a split plastic container, I am not entirely sure how effective it was but it was certainly entertaining viewing! I think Patrick showed the greatest talent and was even asked for a repeat performance! We finally managed to start on the brick laying and managed an impressive 6 concrete blocks not to mention some interesting consistencies of mortar, before it was time to clear up site. We left site early so vans and kit could be polished. The new hard hats have definitely been broken in in style as the amount of mud which had to be washed off would have rivalled Muddy Sally’s clothes! Friday night was party night with Viv doing us proud with Curry and rather lethal vodka jelly. Much laughter was had over various sets of photos, the traditional presentation of silly prizes and tales from the week. My thanks go to Grand Western Canal Trust, the Canal Rangers Mark and Craig (for their magic lamps, any wish was their command!), various other locals for kit and laundry, Viv for the fabulous food, John H for being my stand-in assistant, James for being MUP of the week, Ed for taking that extra days holiday, anyone who got a phone call from me during the week and finally all the volunteers for being a fab team and making my rather unusual start as a camp leader an unforgettable experience!
Woek begins on building the slipway walls. All photos by Al Parsons
Sal Nutt (Sally 1 or was it 2!)
Grand Western Slipway part 2: Judiths team finish the job Camp 0306 Grand Western Canal, Devon
Head Slave Driver (salary: bed, board and access to showers) Your task, should you wish to accept it, is to enter the far away region of Devon and infiltrate the canal system. Where upon you shall build a structure to allow boats access to the water, improve access to said water feature, and also complete a restoration project on a less than perfect condition water underpass. Due to unforeseen circumstances a week-long work camp is now to encompass one and a half weeks worth of work. Slaves have been ordered, of various abilities, sexes, and ages, numbering 24 in total. A Mess Master has been allocated to deal with their meals, and a willing accomplice Slave Driver who is willing to do as many trips to various suppliers in a day as is required has already been found. All that is needed now is a person who can:
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work the slaves for longer than they want to, without them realising give out tasks to individuals that are backbreaking and tedious without batting an eyelid send off a small group of slaves with minimal supplies, to complete work on a second site with no supervision cover up errors, by any party, by blatantly ripping out the slaves’ work in front of their very eyes organise “social events” to make the slaves feel as if they ‘want’ to be there, and may even return for future hard labour integrate the slaves and local Canal Trust whose project it is that we are to continue work on send off relevant females to enlist help at the local builders’ merchants work around the locals’ bingo evenings in the accommodation, and late nights in the local public house.
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Reward: The satisfaction of a job well done and a report to file detailing work accomplished.
On Saturday, most of the volunteers arrived (how Kris and Sam thought they could leave Aberdeen at 10 and be with us by tea, I’ll never know! Poor little car), though we couldn’t get rid of some from the previous camp, but mustn’t grumble - we don’t dictate the terms of Edd’s community service. A leisurely visit to the main site and the previous year’s site at Jay’s cutting gave us a healthy appetite for the first of many amazing ‘Mitch-meals’. Hugh from the local Trust helpfully filled in the background history for us (New term for the WRG Dictionary – ‘Linear Park’. So, a canal with a footpath then?). The safety talk was also given after we managed to get the tape player not to chew up the second of our videos! Most retired to the local pub while others started scribbling on paper with felt tips, which looked suspiciously like planning... Main project: The Slipway When we arrived on the main site (Boehill Bridge) on Saturday evening, Leader Lady pointed to two foundations that were underwater and said, ‘...and this is where we are going to build a slipway’. Sunday dawned, we had a little pump trouble (not alcohol related), solved by Chris, and eventually the work site became clearer (as I’m sure all the early morning crews found as the sat and watched the chamber gradually empty of water, for two hours). Morris the Mixer was wheeled out in what was to become the daily ritual of ‘mixing the muck’, with the help of his lovely assistant Phil. Volunteers played ‘pass the brick’ and other material shifting games. The games continued that first evening at the bowling alley. On site it was hotter than 20 navvies in a Wendy house. Everyone slowly melted over the first half of the week as the mercury edged up to the moist 30degree mark. Opportunists took siestas while icelollies were dispensed. ‘BW Heritage style’ concrete blocks were laid (Richard, Chris, Penny, Sam, Nina, Baz, Polly and Bryan with his Stihl saw) on both side walls of the slipway, with bricks to follow on the inner wall above the water line. The walls were laid at a fair rate of knots as no concrete could be poured until the gradient height had been reached. Before Nina left us, in defiance of her ‘arty’ background she did some Maths and soon there was a definite ‘inclined plane’ look to the growing walls. Another budding mathematician pointed out that we might need a few more blocks to complete the job, which led to a few ‘informative’ phone calls to ensure that more materials could reach us in time. Then Mole shovelled while ‘Bryan the Barrow’ shifted a phenomenal amount of 40-to-dust aggregate to form the core of the slipway, which Chris compacted into a slope, leaving enough room for the concrete on top. With the walls looking good enough to lay concrete between, the slope being perfect, and the shuttering in place, we made the deadline for the ReadyMix. Six tons plus weight of lorry led to a slight movement on the outside wall, which was quickly propped with the help of local farmer, Ken. Some artistic tamping down finished off our lovely slipway.
Mole, Bryan and Chris decided to make use of the the left over concrete by making a level area leading up to the slipway for better access. Gluttens for punishment! Meanwhile the amazing brickie team were laying the blocks and bricks on the retaining wall, near the towpath, to above water level, so that the Trust didn’t have to complete our handiwork in wetsuits and breathing apparatus. The bricklaying continued well into Saturday (Baz, Sam, Robert, Richard), yes I’m a bad person making my volunteers go down to site on the final morning. We ended up leaving site at 11:30, well, all but Robert, ‘I really like bricklaying. I’ll just stay here until it gets dark, then I’ll go home’. We left him with 5 litres of squash, and a very big packet of custard creams. I hope he isn’t still there... Fencing Part One A fence had been removed to widen the access to the soon-to-be slipway, which needed putting back up, but about one metre back. (Not-so-old Devonshire saying: ‘A restoration of 11 miles begins with 1 metre’). The previous camp had tried to dig postholes with little success. The ground was solid. Solid as a rock. Well, compacted road stone. So we swapped elbow grease for excavator ‘Blue’.
Removal of Clay Mountain Then there was the small matter of a 50-ton mound of earth, removed from where the slipway was to be built. Unfortunately it had decided to lean on a farmer’s fence a little. Well, quite a lot really. So this earth had to be cleared and the brambles strimmed to allow access to the broken fence, which had then to be removed, and a new section erected to keep the farmer’s crop safe from the wandering public. We felt sorry for the previous camp having to shift the clay from the canal to the towpath. We tried to hide some of its vast quantity behind the new section of fencing, working with barrows and shovels. It is a tribute to subliminal effects of WRG’s Appeal marketing that every time one of the mound diggers looked up to see Blue sitting quietly in one corner the phrase ‘The Right Tool for the Right Job’ sprang to mind... But in the end we had to admit there was no way we could lose that much earth there without burying the trees. Mark with the help of Blue was able to take a couple of loads off our hands. Then along came Farmer Ken with his big tractor and trailer. Blue had his work cut out, dwarfed alongside the trailer, his relative lack of reach called for some nifty earth moving. Eventually, after many loads, we were left with a much smaller pile of clay.
In two days Mole and Ernie dug out all the postholes, Fencing Part Two adding a much needed ‘texture’ to the road surface in the process. Meanwhile a small but highly ‘moti- Just when the fencing crew thought it was all over, vated’ group (Mole, Bryan, Paul, and Gareth) be- the removal of Clay Mountain revealed the extent gan to move fragments of the clay mound that had of the damage the underlying fence had sustained. buried the second fence and distribute along the A strimmer emerged and several keen volunteers embankment. Round one went to the mound, but a stepped forwards. The bank never stood a chance; rematch was scheduled for the next day. Towards Gareth, Baz and Sam did well. Stuart sorted out the end of the first day of posts going into the ground the post positioning, whilst the leader’s maths conit was brought to my attention that the posts were tinually failed her leading to Mark running about trynot being laid exactly as per instruction. It took a little ing to find random numbers of verticals and while for it to dawn that if you put fence posts in from horizontals at very short notice! the top of a downward slope, but try to keep all the tops level you will eventually have a fence post floating in mid air... The person responsible for this will remain nameless. Fortunately the concrete hadn’t gone off and could be reused as extra hard core so it all worked out well in the end. Unfortunately it meant that at the end of the day the fencing crew had felt they had achieved little. But the practice was a great confidence booster for the next day, when all of the vertical posts went in (Katie, Stuart, Kris, Paul, Helen). After that it was very impressively quick work to attach the four runs of horizontals, and a length of sheep wire (team plus John). Local Canal Ranger Mark came along with a chainsaw and removed the tops of the post to their marked heights, and Kris gave a finishing touch of wood With the walls complete and the hardcore base laid, the readymix preservative. concrete surface of the slipway is cast.
The postholes were mattocked out, and all posts were put in in a short space of time on the Friday. So on Saturday morning I had a fencing crew down on site putting on the horizontals (Katie, Ernie, John). Slave driver I know, but it all got done. Gatepost and signposts Within the turning circle near the slipway there were two posts that needed removing. By borrowing a breaker from Steve, a member of the canal Trust, the assault began. When Jenni was put onto the breaker she single-handedly managed to stop Devonshire’s Motorway Maintenance Unit from continuing their work of repainting the overhead bridge. Hence, Jenni was our chosen lass to go along with Gav to the builder’s merchants to enlist help loading materials into the back of RFB. Phil, though efficient on the breaker just didn’t have the same effect. ‘The Culvert’ A culvert at a second site needed major rebuilding and pointing. This ‘two-day job’ rapidly became the work of a week and doubts arose within the rest of the camp as to whether the culvert actually existed. Were Robert and his helpers (Katie, John, Richard, Penny) so keen to head off everyday to sunbathe in the middle of a field, with stories of horse drawn canal boats? Was ‘the Culvert’ actually the name of a local hostelry? (Fortunately for Robert we now have photographic evidence of their handywork, and very nice it is too!)
Once again Dennis played host to us (mad?) and had the charcoal smouldering ready for ‘Baz & Mitch’s Barbecue delights’, while the Park Rangers had kindly donated some beers. (Note: The Rangers have the coolest toy: a boat mounted weed cutter straight out of ‘Doctor No.’. If we could just get Jen to fit some blowtorches...) One couple that drifted up to our dam in a form of a caravan-afloat also donated a slab of beer, whilst everyone passing had nothing but kind words to say. The Press seem to think we did a good job too. Two articles in one week! Big ‘thank yous’ to everybody who came on the camp, no matter how long you stayed, none of this could have been achieved without you. Take a good look at all the photos, and smile with pride. Thank you especially to Sally, for staying on a couple of days after the end of her camp to help with the change over of leadership. And for those of you who helped out with catering, I’m sure you realised how much it was appreciated as it was the only quiet point in the day(or night!) Thanks to all those not on the camp who supported us so much, especially Mark for running round getting supplies and hire equipment at short notice, the local Trust for their continued support throughout, and to Ken the Farmer who didn’t like to stand around whilst his trailer was being loaded. Judith Gordon
Maintenance NJF maintenance - Something of a coup for Phil, as he single-handedly managed what the entirety of London WRG had been unable to do: namely diagnose and promptly cure a poorly mini bus that had needed 4 pints of water everyday to keep its radiator topped up. Phil maintenance - Regrettably Phil’s own tubing was in a seemingly incurable state. We were seriously considering hiring the UN’s weapons inspectors to check him out after one incident on the way to the showers that practically peeled the paint from the inside of the minibus. Volunteer maintenance - At one point I turned around to see Jenni sitting under the bridge not looking too happy. ‘Oh no, am I working them all too hard?! I didn’t think I was asking too much of them!!’ But it turned out that Jenni and a lump hammer had had a disagreement. Gav whisked her off to A&E, where they were asked, ‘Is this a work related incident?’ They looked down at their high vis jackets, dusty site clothes and hard hats... The locals One evening, Dennis from the local Trust kindly invited us to home which must rival a certain dwelling near Leek as it has not only a section of canal in the garden but the remains of one the world’s first successful boat lifts! Dennis gave us a ‘Mystery Tour’ of the site which though ruined is still very impressive, with a boat lift, ornamental aqueduct and a walled carriage-way built, in part, by Brunel as an inducement for the local landowner’s co-operation.
Above: the fencing team at work. Below: the completed slipway sees its first boat. All photos: Mark Baker
Camp 0307: Julyt12th-19th NWPG at Sidney Wood, Wey & Arun Canal From the start this looked being a camp of mixed fortunes. ‘Aren’t they all?’ you may ask. It started on the previous Tuesday when the local organiser advised that our familiar, comfortable (all relative of course) and pub-convenient hall at Kirdford had been double booked and wasn’t available on the first Saturday night of the camp. ‘OK,’ I thought, ‘we’ll go somewhere else that night and return to Kirdford on Sunday for the rest of the week. A pain, but not unheard of on other camps and we’ll manage somehow’. Two days later i.e. Thursday before the camp, we were told that the double bookings had spread to Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday... need I say more? And that we had no accommodation. This despite the dates of the camp being known since September 2002! So, some harsh words and fortuitously a solution. Thanks to the sterling efforts of WACT stalwart Ken Bacon, we managed to find ourselves somewhere interestingly described as a ‘conference centre’ but on a farm at the end of a lane and allegedly within walking distance of ‘The Sun’ at Plaistow. Here we eventually settled after one night each at Kirdford and Plaistow Village Hall. Canal volunteers are by their nature adaptable. It wasn’t long before we had turned the ‘conference centre’ ( a timber framed 15th Century barn) into our home for the rest of the week. The ubiquitous (and very cumbersome) WACT shower caravan was towed 5 miles across Sussex countryside and plumbed in, ensuring that we had full washing facilities. The farmer’s large covered car parking area was rapidly converted into our own Greek taverna – and a kitchen set up with a huge number of fridges and freezers whose main purpose seemed to be to keep the beer cold. Two long paragraphs and not a mention of any work? Must be a camp report! Our main task was to complete the Dig Deep project in Sidney Wood and additionally to do a number of other jobs requested by WACT. To do this we had the help of 26 volunteers: six new to canal restoration courtesy of WRG, three returnees from previous camps, and the hardcore of NWPG members. Oh and I shouldn’t forget the contingent of two WRG Forestry members without whom our camps would never be complete. Female volunteers were in short supply, not that this affected our morale or productivitiy in any way. Quality not quantity etc… The work was dispersed and involved small teams scattered along a ¾-mile length of the gloriously wooded summit section of the canal. That we were ‘in the woods’ was fortunate as the first half of the week just got hotter and hotter; the temperature in the shade was bearable.
NWPG on the Wey & Arun: completing the Dig Deep project The main two jobs were to continue surfacing the towpath with planings (120 tons of them!) and to complete the construction of the run-off weir started in May. Other work involved removing a causeway, piping a causeway, building up the dam at the end of the Tickners Heath pound and tidying up the previous Dig Deep sites at Bignor Bridge and Malham and Rowner Locks. Much travelling and shifting of materials and plant. As I said earlier it was a camp of mixed fortunes. After 13 years of running camps we had, on the Thursday, our first serious accident. This involved a skip dumper (very useful on towpaths, but with a higher centre of gravity and therefore less stable on uneven ground [see editorial, page 3 ...Ed]) turning over onto its side whilst the driver Sean was in the process of tipping clay onto a stockpile. Wearing a seat belt, Sean remained on the vehicle but caught his ankle under the machine’s fuel tank as it fell on its side. Help was summoned immediately and he was taken to the Royal County Hospital in Guildford where he was diagnosed as having multiple fractures to his ankle. He is recovering as I write but will be off work for some time. Being a self-employed puppeteer and from Australia (though fortunately with family living in Surrey) adds to the complications. As a team, looking back on the incident, I believe we acted effectively to ensure that Sean got to hospital without delay. We advised IWA Insurance straight away and have since completed an accident report form. We are now looking at why the accident happened and what should be done to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. NWPG members have been in regular contact with Sean in his involuntary confinement. Despite the accident the camp was a success. The towpath, dams, weir structure and outfall were finished as far as we planned, leaving the stop-plank arrangement and fence to be intsalled in October. Hopefully the rest of the towpath to Lock 16 can be completed then as well. None of it would have happened without the excellent volunteers who worked solidly throughout the week on sometimes not very inspiring tasks, our cook Su Webster – unflappable as usual - the tolerence of the owners of Rumbolds Farm and the two organisers Graham and Graham. Bill Nicholson
Mon & Brec: bridge repairs and mudfights in South Wales Camp 0308: 19th - 26th July Monmouthshure & Brecon Canal For some reason I was elected Camp Report writer, so I have done my best to make this an enjoyable read! It’s all my Dad’s fault I came on this Camp (thanks Dad!) This was my first ever camp, so I had no idea what to expect: I imagined a group of old men with shovels moaning about the state of Britain’s canals. I was so wrong! Most of the people that came on this particular camp were 18-25 years old, so I was happy that there were people of my own age there.
Day 2 – Sunday The day began with an early breakfast, then on to the 14 Locks Visitor Center for our Health and Safety video, and then on to the site (about another 4 miles away in the middle of nowhere) to see what we were to do. At the site we were met by a chap called Spencer Collins (apparently he has been doing this a long time) who showed us around the site and showed us what work we would be doing. The main jobs were to dig out the culvert pipes from under the bridge, as they had been vandalised by kids pushing the bridge coping stones onto them, to repair the damaged bridge, and put a concrete cap on it, and to dig out and repair the overflow weir about 100 yards away. By the end of the day the culvert pipes were gone, the site had been fenced off (By me, James, and Mike) and we had exposed an odd-looking mud trench which was claimed to be the weir. Day 3 – Monday WHO WAS SNORING ALL LAST NIGHT!?!?!?
Our leader was Robert Daffern (Referred to as Rob D to avoid confusion with the other Rob), and he was very good at it too! Day 1 – Saturday ‘What have I done?’ I asked myself as I got on the coach bound for Cardiff. I was rather nervous, wondering if I would met any fellow WRG’ers. I arrived at Birmingham where I successfully tipped coffee down my shiny new red WRG t-shirt! I got to Newport, and got accosted by a bunch of pigeons using guerilla tactics to try and steal my sandwich. It wasn’t until I met Balazs (from Hungary, no less) that they focused their attention away from me, and went and pestered someone else. Balazs turned out to be a friendly chap, though somewhat vague on his English. Any question you asked, e.g. ‘How did you come here?’ he would answer ‘Of course, of course, yes is good’. He turned out to have come from the Wey & Arun camp the previous week, and was enjoying it so much he came to our camp. He also brought a 10-inch Hungarian sausage with him, which we ate later in the week.
Most of us woke up feeling the effects of the day before (not sure whether it was the work, or the night at the pub next door to the accom.) all, that is, apart from our fearless Leader - Rob (D) - who seems to be indestructible. Today we were to get some ‘plant’ in (I was told that this wasn’t chrysanthemums but a digger and a dumper truck). The sand, cement and hardcore were all delivered today, and I had to clear the area for the stuff by using a strimmer (what a machine!!).
After about 10 mins I spotted the van (later I found out it was customary to refer to WRG vehicles by their last 3 letters on the number plate), and we were whisked off to the accommodation by Mike (the assistant leader). We arrived at the accommodation and got to know Repairing the bridge parapets. (Mike Rennolds) people as they arrived.
A visit to Newport leisure centre for a soak and a swim (with slide ‘wooooo’ and waves) made everyone feel human again. Day 6 – Thursday We tried to continue shoveling the muck out of the bottom of the culvert, but gave up as there was just too much, and the excavator has no solid ground to sit on so can’t help us. We concentrated our efforts on the bridge, and began to build the wall in the weir, while ‘Ched’ and Robert (Bailey) had a mud fight.
Adding a cement coping to the bridge. (Mike Rennolds) After lunch I volunteered to rebuild the coffer dams, and to puddle the clay on the top of them. Unfortunately I got rather stuck and ended up on my back in about a foot of freezing cold water. Everyone thought this was very funny, until I started to sink in the mud, when trying to lift myself out, then Robert (Bailey) came to my rescue and pulled me out! (Nice one!) A cup of tea, a good clean up and a night of tenpin bowling soon brought me round. Day 4 – Tuesday We got a lot of the pointing done on the bridge, and started to put some cement coping on the top instead of the heavy stones. We got the weir cleared pretty much, and made a start on getting rid of the silt at the bottom of the culvert. The weir shares a culvert with a small (but powerful and deep) stream. We also dug a trench to put in the concrete footings for the outside wall of the weir. Day 5 - Wednesday We began to put some concrete on the bridge, and started to try and uncover the canal-side part of the weir. Mike got stung by a bee (there is a nest in a tree next to the front of the weir) but he is OK, the bee was worse. We got the concrete footings in, and were ready to rebuild. Also we made an effort to pump out the culvert to uncover the bottom, but we couldn’t get the pump to work, so Rob (D) suggested that we re-prime the pump with it still running. Thinking ‘This guy is the leader: he knows what he’s doing’ I agreed to help. However I didn’t hear Steve (The man from BW) shout ‘STOP!’ so I carried on pouring and then a huge fountain of water shot up and soaked me right through. They all laughed heartily. Spencer ‘I’m a WRG Trainer’ Collins got the excavator stuck in the mud!! Nice example of how NOT to do it.
‘We are supposed to be having a BBQ tonight courtesy of the Mon & Brec Canal Trust - that will be interesting as it has been raining for the last hour. Aha, they have a gazebo, they must have been to Wales before!’ Day 7 – Friday It was raining. A lot. Rob D thought that just a few of us should go to site and clear away our tools, and check that all was OK. A few of us volunteered, but when we got there we found that someone has stuffed twigs into the lock of the cabins so we couldn’t get in. Toby (The Chef) came to the rescue with his multi-tool and the day was saved…or so we thought. We took a stroll to the bridge and found that ‘Max’ and ‘Tony’ had written their names in the cement, as well as handprints and paw prints, and that they had had a go at the wall in the overflow.
‘You’d better start running guys, because you got a whole load of cheesed off WRG’ers after you with some feet-sized buckets of wet cement. I wonder what they are planning?’ It seems the week usually finishes with a WRG Oscars event. Noteable awards included ‘caught by the oldest trick in the book’ given to me and the water pump, ‘best camper’ to Allan, and the ‘Jeremy Paxman’ (for political debate) to Sam. Overall it was a brilliant first time experience for me, and I will definitely go again. My thanks to the two fantastic cooks Toby and Sam, our fearless leader Rob and his ever-willing assistant Mike for their understanding and open-mindedness, to the other Rob (Bailey) for pulling me out of the canal, and to Kay the landlady of the pub next door for putting up with us all night, every night! In closing I want to say to all of you folks who have thought about going on a camp but never got round to it, GO FOR IT! You may be surprised how much you enjoy yourself! Jonathan Price
Canal Camps cost £35 per week unless otherwise Bookings for WRG Canal Camps (those identified camp number e.g. 'Camp 0313') should go to WRG Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: email@example.com.
IWA Nationhal Waterways Festival at Beale Park, River Thames: Site Services f
The ‘National’ (Beale Park, Pangbourne): Sales Stand
Aug 24 Sun
Aug 30 Sat
‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection
Aug 31 Sun
North Walsham & Dilham Canal
Sep 1 Mon
Press date for issue 201
Basingstoke Canal: Dig Deep: Backpumping scheme at St Johns.
To be arranged
Uttoxeter Canal: Stonework & repointing on Lock 1, at Froghall.
Wilts & Berks Canal: Melksham. Leaders: Richard Hignett & Roger Burchett.
Sep 7 Sun
Mon & Brec Canal: near Newport, South Wales.
Sep 14 Sun
Committee & Board Meetings
Sep 21 Sun
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal (to be confirmed)
Sep 28 Sun
North Walsham & Dilham Canal
To be arranged
To be arranged
To be arranged (or may move to Oct 18/19)
To Be Arranged
Oct 11 Sat
‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection
Lapal Canal: Jungle bashing in Selly Oak. Leader: Alec Gunner.
Cromford Canal: Cleanup (provisional) at Sawmills, near Ambergate.
Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project
Oct 19 Sun
Oct 25-Nov 1 Camp 0317
Chichester Canal: Clearing trees & vegetation. Leaders: Joanne Smith & Steve
Oct 26 Sun
North Walsham & Dilham Canal
To be arranged - or possibly a week later at the Bonfire Bash instead
Nov 1 Sat
Press date for issue 202: Also for Canal Camps brochure
Nov 2 Sun
WRG Reunion ‘Bonfire Bash’ - venue to be announced. Insert will be included in
WRG Bonfire Bash
WRG Bonfire Bash
WRG Bonfire Bash
To Be Arranged
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
for the Festival. Leaders: Alison Bottomley & Mitch Parsons
email@example.com Kevin Baker
n this issue if details are available in time; otherwise see next â€˜Navviesâ€™ and WRG website. Answerphone
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. Usually at 'Jugged Hare', Vauxhall Bridge Rd, London. Tim Lewis 020-8367 6227 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
NWPG: 9:00pm on 3rd Tue of month at the 'Hope Tap', West end of Friar St. Reading. Graham Hawkes 0118 941 0586 Regular monthly or weekly working parties: 3rd Sunday of month BCNS Jeff Barley 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 PlaneMike 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 Peter Matthews 01543-318933 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
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 The article on Hollinwood brings to mind the famous quote from David Hutchings at the reopening of the southern Stratford Canal in 1964: ‘If we’d been experts we’d have known it was impossible - fortunately none of us were experts!’ It would be a great pity if such delights as Crime Lake and Daisy Nook were denied to future waterway users and I wonder, from reading the article, as the Rochdale Canal is so close, if it could be promoted as a useful branch / extension to the Rochdale initially, leaving the problems of negotiating the M60 crossings and reconnecting to the Ashton Canal to a later date when financial support might be more available. Ideally, of course, the whole route should be made available now, but Droylsdon Council, for one, has been singularly unsupportive of waterway-related schemes in the past and I regrettably do not see them going out of their way to support us now if the past is any indication. On a different matter, when are the answers to the appeal quizzes going to appear? We know the winners of the first quiz but, so far, no answers have been given. Incidentally, when I was going to Cornwall on holiday this year, I crossed the remains of the Chard Canal; are there any plans afoot to preserve or even restore any of this major undertaking which connected to the Bridgwater & Taunton at Creech St Michael, albeit including a number of inclined planes and a tunnel in its route, and what became of the plans for a Somerset waterway network that was very much in vogue a few years back? I look forward to your reply with interest. Regards Brian Andrews
Brian’s suggestion of a new cut from the Rochdale to the Hollinwood branch initially as a dead-end waterway is an interesting one. Might Daisy Nook become a popular overnight stopping point for boats heading into / out of Manchester on the Rochdale? I will make sure that the answers to the first quiz are on the web site by the time this issue appears, and that the answers to subsequent quizzes appear promptly. I understand that a former canal building in Chard has become available and may end up as a museum / interpretation centre; also I believe there ma be a new restoration group being formed. With increased activity on the Grand Western, now might be a good time to push the ‘Somerset Network’ idea. Anyone know any more aboat restoration plans for the Chard? ...Ed
Restoration plans for the Chard Canal? Dear Martin Some of your readers might be interested in the following web site - http://www.itnarchive.com/ and in particular the British Pathe section. Your older readers will, I’m sure, remember the cockerel announcing the 10 minutes of Pathe News as they waited for the main feature at the local cinema. Given some lottery funding, the whole of the Pathe News film archive from 1910 to 1970 has now been made available on the Web without charge. Because they are free to view the clips are protected by a visible watermark ‘BRITISH PATHE PREVIEW ONLY’ and are shown at a bit rate of 128 Kb/sec which is a bit clunky but gives a reasonable picture. I used the search engine to look for ‘canals’ excluding the words ‘suez’ and ‘zone’ and got back 376 hits. I would guess about 50 to 100 of those relate to our own Inland Waterways. I’m sure that with a bit more work I could narrow the search but it’s quite interesting looking at some of the canal shots from other countries. I looked at a short film in colour about the Anderton Boat Lift from 1964 which showed the old gear wheels working at the top and another in B&W of the lift shot in 1931 and titled ‘A Queer Lift’! There was another clip about Sister Mary Ward at Stoke Bruerne in 1949 and one about the drab repainting of boats in BW colours in 1949. On a sadder note there was a clip about the search for a lost 5 year old child - Jimmy Poole - showing the Grand Union drained and policeman searching the canal bed. How many people know about the electric boats at Kidderminster on the Staffs & Worcs? They appear to be fed current from an overhead line, just like a tram. The earliest waterways clip I found was from the 19th June 1919 showing Boulters Lock on the Thames. The Health & Safety people would be horrified! Obviously Broadband is quicker but because of the low bit rate even a dial-up connection won’t be too slow. Give it a try. Spencer Greystrong
Dear Martin In the United States, almost nothing is happening in the way of canal restoration or in the use of historic towpath canals for public navigation in anything larger than canoes. However, that does not mean that there are not possibilities. A canal that would have to be at the top of any list of possibilities is the Delaware Division Canal. This canal was built by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of its system of internal improvements in the early nineteenth century. It extended from tidewater on the Delaware River at Bristol, PA (just north of Philadelphia), up the west side of the river 60 miles to the mouth of the Lehigh River at South Easton, PA. A dam across the Lehigh at its junction with the Delaware River supplied the canal with water. Further water was supplied by a wing dam and waterwheel pump at New Hope, PA., near the midpoint. At South Easton, the canal connected with the Lehigh Navigation which ran up its namesake river to the coal mines and with the mountain climbing Morris Canal which crossed New Jersey to the Hudson River opposite New York City. An outlet lock at New Hope allowed boats to cross the Delaware River to the navigable feeder of the Delaware and Raritan Canal. As originally built, locks were 11 feet wide by 95 feet long. This compares with the connecting Lehigh Canal where most locks were 22 feet wide by 100 feet long. The narrower locks were apparently influenced by those on English canals. The result was that the narrow boats that traveled the Delaware Canal could be locked through two wide on the Lehigh. Later, when the Delaware Canal became controlled by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, some of the locks were rebuilt to the larger dimensions. The size of the locks probably also determined the era of the canalâ€™s demise.
Despite the park status, the large Bristol Basin at the lower end was filled in with river dredging spoil to provide parking for the adjacent business district. Various road crossings were culverted. In the early 1950â€™s, a portion of the canal at Bristol was filled in to provide a site for a school. A few miles north, the canal was culverted to provide parking for a new shopping center. Just south of Morrisville, a railroad spur line and a highway were built across the canal to access a new steel mill. Both the highway and the railroad were built high enough and have bridges to cross other nearby highways and railroads that parallel the canal, but no bridges were provided for the canal itself. But north of the abused southern ten miles, the canal park came to be viewed differently as it is along the river and in a more upscale neighborhood. There, groups of canal defenders came into existence. Despite the defenders, the canal park was under funded. But despite the abuse, much of the south end of the canal survives, in water and park-like, between obstructions. The northern fifty miles survived much better. But none of the locks remained operable. For many years, much of the canal was dry.
South Easton Lehigh Canal to Lehigh
Morris Canal to New York Lock 24 22/23
The Delaware Division Canal
The canal opened for business in 1832. In 1858, the commonwealth sold the canal to a private corporation, which in 1866 leased it to the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. It was then operated as an extension of the Lehigh Canal until it closed in 1931. Upon closing, the canal was deeded back to Pennsylvania as a sixty-mile long state park. But 1931 was a different era from today. It was early in the depression, railroads were the standard of transportation, the automobile was the growing trend, and leisure and recreational boating were unknown. Canals were considered obsolete.
Delaware & Raritan Canal to New York
7 6 5
Morrisville 4 Locks 1-3 Tide Lock
Delaware River to Philadelphia
Recently things are looking up. For many years, a mule drawn boat ride has operated at New Hope (which is an arts and craft center). The park has been recognized as the third most visited in Pennsylvania. A five-year improvement program is underway. Last year Lock 22/23 was rebuilt, but without lower gates. The deteriorated Point Pleasant Aqueduct was replaced with an award winning wooden one of navigable dimensions. This year Lock 11 at New Hope is to be rebuilt to operating condition. Other improvements are also planned. This spring, I observed water in the canal for its entire unculverted, unfilled-in length for the first time in my experience.
Local knowledge has it that this side shelf design was a kind of dry dock which was used to carry out essential repairs to the timber carrying barges, after a more conventional maintenance facilty further upstream became unavailable. Clearly this arangement could only be practical on low usage canals since the dock area would need to be flooded every time another boat passed through the lock.
Interestingly, of the major obstructions at the southern end, the steel mill is now out of business, the shopping center has been torn down, and the school is obsolete. There is much enthusiasm for further improvement. However, the idea of restoring public navigation is still very radical. Many are working to change that perception.
The fight with the negative attitude continues. Currently, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is seeking to void the historical designation for part of the canal. They point out that in the 1950’s, when the commission built its bridge over the Delaware River, they filled in a hundred yards or so of the canal. But the bridge actually spans the canal with adequate clearance and with the west abutment lying west of the line of the channel and towpath.
In the floor of the dock area, at the point where Di and Katie can be seen working, was the remains of a stone "stock" used to stabilise the stem of the boat. From memory, I believe there was a similar stone cill at the other end to support the stern.
The dry dock idea seems possible but (a) the Monmouthshire Canal was rather busier than the Stover, (b) the ‘shelves’ are rather less generous than on the Stover, and would barely fit a boat - with no room to work around it - and (c) apparently there was a perfectly good drydock just below the bottom of the flight. The ‘passing place’ theory would seem more likely, but it would have been a time-consuming business shuffling the boats into and out of the side shelves (which they would only just fit in) would it really have saved much time compared to waiting till the oncoming boat is through the locks? And I can’t see how it would result in any saving of water - in fact, builing the ‘shelves’ would have meant the lock needed more water to fill it. Any other theories? ...Ed
The commission wants to replace the present bridge with two new ones without having to think about the historic canal. As usual everywhere, the road builders can’t see how to accommodate any view but their own. My view is that the best way to protect the resource is to restore locks, remove obstructions, and restore public navigation. Navigation forces the protection of the other uses such as the towpath and wildlife habitat. Once we get boaters on the canal, there will be even more political clout for preservation. Sincerely, David G. Barber President, American Canal Society Dear Martin The "passing-place" lock on the Monmouthshire Canal that you refer to (Navvies 199 page 13) is similar to, though smaller than, one on the Stover canal. The picture (be- Graving Dock Lock on the Stover Canal - the side shelf acts low) shows BITM working on this lock in Au- as a dry-dock. Were the similar side shelves on the Mon & gust 2001. Brec lock built for the same reason? (John Cheesbrough)
Dear Martin Camp 10 Mon and Brec part II - just a few thank yous.... Firstly a big thank you to all the other 32 people who made it to Cross Keys: you where a fantastic group and I thoroughly enjoyed the week and look forward to seeing you all soon. Specific thank yous go out to Jenny Wilson our chef of the week, Garry ‘2 Rs’ Alderman as my partner in crime and Liz Wilson our resident Entertainments Manager. Also a big thank you to Rob and Mike - leaders of the previous camp and their team who through hard work, and despite challenging weather, gave us the opportunity to finish the project. Lastly thanks to Steve ‘BW’ Price, stonemason extraordinaire, Chris Morgan and Phil’s team for encouragement and the BBQ, boat trip, hall etc. A full report will appear in the next issue courtesy of the Ents Manager! Cheers Ian ‘mud wrestling’ Williamson Camp Leader Letter from Mark Baker, Grand Western Canal Manager to Mike Palmer, WRG Chairman:
I believe that the volunteers had an enjoyable holiday and that the leaders felt well catered for both by the Ranger Service and the Grand Western Canal Trust. I would be very keen to welcome the WRG back again next year as we have no shortage of tasks and I was impressed by the standard of work achieved by these groups. Yours sincerely Mark Baker Canal Manager Brian Bayston’s puzzle which appeared in the last issue produced an impressive number of responses - two. (I was impressed that anyone bothered to work it out, let alone two people!) For those who don’t have issue 199 to hand, I will repeat the puzzle: Brian ran the highly successful Race Night at Aston - highly successful in terms of fundraising for the Appeal, but also highly successful if you happened to be Liz Dewey. She backed two horses in each of the eight eighthorse races and won every time. She also had two goes at the ‘Tricast’, where you predict the winning three horses in the correct order in the final race - and won. And she bought a horse in the final race - and it won! Brian says ‘What are the odds against that?’
Dear Mr Palmer,
WRG work camps on the Grand Western Canal, Devon, July 2003
I assume that Liz backed horses to win rather than get a place, that at least three horses finished the last race and that no races were drawn. It makes things easier.
I am writing to thank IWA/ WRG for running two very successful work camps here at the Grand Western Canal Country Park. All of the main work objectives were achieved and as you can see from the photo (see p12), we now have a working slipway. The boat and trailer pictured are just about as big as they come, so we were very pleased that they had no problems in recovering. I was also very pleased with the restoration work carried out on two of our culvert entrances. As a leader of international conservation holidays for BTCV, I was very impressed with the standard of leadership of the two groups. Sally did extremely well despite having quite an inexperienced group and most of the ‘unglamorous’ preparatory work to do. Judith was a very natural, well-organised and confident leader who achieved a tremendous amount in the second week. We plan to have an official opening of the slipway sometime later this year.
Liz chose two horses in each eight horse race, so her chances of winning on each race were 8/2 = 1 in 4. There were eight races so her chances of winning on all eight races were 4 to the power 8 = 1 in 65536. For the Tricast the number of ways the race can finish are 8 times 7 times 6 = 336. Liz had two goes at this so her chances of winning were 336/2 = 1 in 168. The chances of buying the winning horse in the final race are 1 in 8. The overall odds against Liz's achievement are 65536 times 168 times 8 = 1 in 88,080,384. Over 88 Million to 1! No doubt as soon as I send this I will realise there is a flaw in my working. Perhaps Liz should start betting on real races and win us enough money to restore all the disused waterways and build some new ones. Regards Graham Fitt
Dear Martin If you back 2 horses in an 8 horse race (assuming the odds of each winning are even) there is a 1/4 chance of a picking a winner. As each race is an independent event, the multiplication law of probability applies, hence the chance of picking a winner in all 8 races is 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 (or 1/4 to the power of 8). This gives a probability of 1/65536. The tricast is slightly more tricky: to pick the winner is a chance of 1/8, to pick the horse in second place is a chance of 1/7 (as there are only 7 horses left to chose from), and to pick third place is a chance of 1/6. Thus the chance of getting all three correct is 1/8 x 1/7 x 1/6 which gives a probability of 1/336. Lastly the chances of buying the winning horse in the race is easy: 1/8. Multiplying this all together give a probability of all events occurring of 1/65536 x 1/336 x 1/8 or 1/ 176160768.
The flaw is that you haven’t allowed for the chance that more than one of the horses you back comes in the first three. To calculate it correctly, you work out the probability of not winning with the first bet (5/8), and the probability of not winning with the second bet (4/7), multiply these together to give the chances of losing both bets (20/56 = 5/14) and subtract this from one to give the chances of winning with either one or both bets (9/14). The chances of this happening in all eight races is 9/14 to the power 8, which is 43046721/1475789056, and the overall probability is this figure multiplied by 1/8 then by 1/336 or about 1 in 92153. Or it would be - except that Bungle’s other error was that he forgot that Liz had bought two tickets for the Tri-Cast, so the chances would actually be one in 46077. So I’m afraid that Bungle’s first answer of 1 in 176160768 is also out by a factor of two for the same reason, and Graham’s answer of 1 in 88080384 is correct. Or is it?
But Martin did not give enough information, you see a winner for the purposes of this race night was a horse coming 1st, 2nd or 3rd. If you have 2 horses in an 8 horse race, the chance of one of them coming 1st, 2nd or 3rd is 3/8 + 3/8 or 6/8 or 3/4. The chances of getting this in 8 races is 3/4 to the power of 8 or 6561/65536. So the overall probability of achieving Liz Dewey’s feat is 6561/65536 x 1/336 x 1/8 or 6561/ 176160768. Roughly 1 in 26850! So Liz, can you pick me 6 numbers for this Saturday? Bungle
The editor replies (you knew he wouldn’t be able to resist it!): Graham’s three assumptions are all correct - Liz did back the winning horse each time, at least three horses finished the last race (in fact I think all eight horses finished every race) and there were no dead-heats. I don’t know where Bungle got the idea about any horse in the first three paying out - if we’d been running that system I don’t think we’d have made any profit for the Appeal at all! But even if that were the case, there is a flaw in Bungle’s logic. The probability of backing one of the first three horses with a single bet is indeed 3/8, but backing two different horses doesn’t double the probability. It can’t do, otherwise if you bet on three horses you’d end up a more-than-100% chance of winning!
It assumes that when Liz chose which horse to buy for the final race, and which to support in the Tri-cast, the fact that she came up with one of the two that she’d also put a bet on was a coincidence. Would it be more reasonable to assume that if you’ve bought a horse and put a bet on the same horse, you’ve done this deliberately? And if you’ve also made it your No 1 in the Tri-cast, that’s hardly likely to be by chance? So it would be reasonable to exclude both the odds on buying the winning horse in the last race and the odds on betting on the winning horse in the last race from the calculations. Which reduces the odds by a factor of 32, to 1 in 2752512. But hang about - now I think about it, I’m not sure the Tri-cast was actually on the final race... So if it was actually on one of the other races, one should reduce the chances by a factor of 16, to exclude the chance of betting on the winning horse in either the Tri-cast race or the final race. Which gives 1 in 5505024 - which is the figure that Brian came up with. But given the question as stated in the last ‘Navvies’ and the fact that I didn’t mention whether betting on the horse you had also bought etc was to be regarded as deliberate.... I hereby award Graham the First Prize of a week in the Beavertail truck with Bungle. And I award Bungle the Second Prize of a week in the Beavertail truck with Graham. ...Ed
What day of the week does a Canal Camp begin on? Holme(s) is where the kit is When in conversation with Our Editor a little while back I said that I suspected this next article would be full of whinges and moans to which he replied, ‘It’ll be in a Logistics style (Logisticesque?!) then!’ Hmmm... maybe, but it is not without cause that I do so! To be fair though, I have a pretty equal amount of both whinges and good news so it shouldn’t be all that bad! For a time when I’m supposed to have a wee bit of time to myself, I’m not doing very well - here at Logistics things are still really quite busy. There was a mad rush (and I mean mental!) to get things ready for the start of the main camp season (I’m afraid the holder of the magic wand kept a firm hold of it!) but since then it carried on amidst work! Sorting griddles, fryers (yes, Fred really!!), replacing bits of missing/broken kit etc... the list goes on. Not really part of my game plan, I have to say. I definitely thought I’d lost it when I said ‘Goodnight tools. See you in the morning!’ when I packed up for what little of the night was left after painting kit all day! And as for sanding dustbin lids in my bedroom... well, best not go there! Kit A trailer is now red, and I mean RED if you’ve not seen it (!!) – no signage as yet mind. Brand new shiny brick kits are out and about... I can’t vouch for how shiny and new they look now though, and heaven knows what state the main kits are in. The prospect of sticky concrete fills me with dread - ‘tis the bane of my life! Best get the angle grinder warmed up and some new grinding discs in stock. One thing I’d like to clear up right now, although I fear this ‘Navvies’ will come out too late for it to be of any use, is that WRG camps do actually start on Saturdays and not Fridays as an amazingly increasing number of leaders would have you believe! It is therefore not your God-given right to pick vans and kit up on the Friday, even in the evening! Get the idea? Meanwhile, I shall see what I can do about arranging a special twilight zone for you (do-do-do-doo x 2)! Obviously if your kit and vans are free in the week running up to your camp you are welcome to arrange whatever you like (within reason) but please consult me first.
As I’ve said before, you can’t please all of the people all of the time and some people you can’t please any of the time it seems. In fact, the more I try to accommodate the wishes of the few, the worse they get at expecting more... that’ll teach me! Perhaps I just shouldn’t bother, eh?! Talking of vans, which I was, huge thanks must go yet again to WRG North-West for letting me borrow SKN to deposit the new brick kits and other bits and pieces to the relevant people/kits. I really didn’t fancy taking that lot on the train. And thanks to the very kind Mr Foley for dropping it off to my door when I was in Hull (very apt!). Changing the subject somewhat, I’ve bought a few new things for the catering kits: the expanding sink strainers have gone down a storm it seems, the draining racks have got to be making life on the draining board easier and the sandwich spreaders are just a bit of fun (just don’t get me and Wingy to do the sandwiches... ask Mr Taylor!!!!). I’m always looking to improve the kits where I can - I hope these few additions are of use. Before purchasing the three small water containers (Kit A) last year I was worried that being much smaller they were far more likely to get lost or left behind. My fears were realised when kit lists arrived reporting of only two left and then one (not that I can rely on the lists for correct information... I’ve made that mistake before!!!!). But these were quashed when on finally getting my hands on Kit A trailer I found all three! Hurrah! We have the most magical, the most marvellous reappearing water containers... well, we still have them at least! Meanwhile, on site there are brand new hard hats (so new I was spotted clipping the harnesses into the lids in a lay-by just off the M5 very close to Eastington where the kit was en route to the Grand Western!) and hand wipes and lots of fresh First Aid equipment including lots of extra (useful) bits that don’t appear on the official (pretty useless!) list of contents. You could say ‘we’re getting there’ but I’m afraid it feels more like in the British Rail sense at times! There’s always something... Kit B was meant to have brand new shovels this year but due to an error in the nous department at the tool place they didn’t arrive with the rest of the stuff. In fact, some weeks, nay months later they’ve still not arrived! Well, at least that’ll keep them in better condition!! You see, I can find silver linings! [It’s just that they’re usually packed at the front of the truck!] Regarding kit, you’re getting much better at keeping me informed on the present state of the kits – what’s broken/missing etc. - which is very helpful. I can’t always do much about it but it means I can keep on top of what equipment I need to get.
The First Aid stuff in particular is something I need to be informed about regularly so it can be replenished (I have a lot of spares here at home) and stuff can be posted to wherever it’s needed. Please don’t hesitate to use the items in the Green boxes – that’s what they’re there for, OK? Just tell me what you’ve used. Kit lists are still coming back (if at all!) with some very bizarre markings. Not as visually stimulating as hieroglyphics but equally as strange! Can leaders please give a moment’s word of explanation to whomever you give the lists to? It’s a challenge at times to understand what is meant as I don’t speak/read the ancient tongue that some campers apparently do! And where are my postcards and photos? I’ve not received anything yet. My letterbox awaits... Talking of postcards, I would like to wish Corinne and Viv lots of good luck and fortune on their travels in New Zealand. Hope it’s a fantastic experience! For the remainder of the Season please remember that tools tell tales: The Case of the Missing Grey Matter
My Dear Watson, I have deduced from the tools that were received at Logistics Head Quarters that they have been involved in many suspicious activities. It would appear that a manure fork was dancing in a fire, a few mattocks were playing in concrete (?!) and the sack truck had been cavorting around site to name but a few curiosities! Watson couldn’t ascertain how Holmes could have possibly drawn these conclusions... Just Jen email@example.com
WRG Boat Club news As I write this I am on the river Weaver, having come down the Anderton Lift the easy way. Not a bit adventurous, unlike those brave souls who abseiled down in order to raise funds for the Lift. The river is very pleasant and the facilities have recently been improved. Try to make a visit as the increase in boat movement should help to aerate the water and aid the dispersal of the large beds of algae that have formed! Well the next exciting thing on the boating agenda by now must be the ‘National’ at Beale Park. From what I have been told there should be quite a number of club boats going.
...plus the WRG Boat Club News We won’t bother to try for the Offley & Slack trophy as we have won that before, and jolly heavy it is too! I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone and invite all boat club members to a 90th birthday party (no not mine!) for narrow boat Lynx, built in 1913. This will be combined with our AGM. The minutes from the last AGM were in ‘Navvies’, so look to your old copies as I don’t have facilities for printing them out for the meeting. For those who have never managed to get to the AGM before I should point out that this is also a social occasion. There were those last year that were upset that they weren’t prepared for this. So please be ready to join us for a glass of bubbly, and feel welcome to bring suitable refreshment to add to the festivities. Of course there will be some cake! As you know we are planning a grand cake. A great wall of cake. The details of the mixing, making, cooking, decorating and assembling are probably the worst kept secret ever! All I can say is that we intend to have the Right Tool for the Right Job! The date and time for the AGM can not be decided until we have details of the programme and commitments at the festival. I will post time and place in the Water Space office and WRG accommodation. I will also attempt to ensure that those with boats booked in have the details. What else is going on? Please let me know, especially of any digs we can get boats to. I need feedback from members. I enjoy my boating and WRG related activities but I think that ‘Navvies’ readers may wish to hear what other WRG BC members are up to! XXX Sadie
From a quick look at the Diary, it would appear that forthcoming digs that are on or near navigable canals are: BITM on the Wendover and the Lapal, London WRG at Froghall (junction of the Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals), KESCRG on the Basingstoke (currently closed above St Johns due to water shortage, but navigable as far as the worksite) and the regular IWPS digs at Bugsworth. ...Ed
Please help us keep the Directory up to date - see below right BARNSLEY, DEARNE & DOVE CANAL TRUST June Backhouse, 39 HIll St, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8EN 01226 743383 www.barnsleydearnedovecanals.org.uk BIRMINGHAM CANAL NAVIGATIONS SOCIETY Jeff Barley, 17 Sunnyside Walsall Wood, W Midlands 01543 373284 www.bcn-society.org.uk BUCKINGHAM CANAL SOC Tony Collins 18 Skeats Wharf, Pennyland Milton Keynes MK15 8AY 01908 604731 firstname.lastname@example.org www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk BUGSWORTH BASIN (IWPS) Ian Edgar Browside Farm, Mudhurst Lane Lyme Handley, Whaley Bridge High Peak SK23 7BT 01663 732493 email: email@example.com www.brocross.com/iwps/index.htm CALDON CANAL SOCIETY Alison Smedley Hazelhurst Cottage Denford, Leek Staffs ST13 7JT email: firstname.lastname@example.org CHESTERFIELD CANAL TRUST Mick Hodgetts 31 Pottery Lane Chesterfield S41 9BH 01246 620695 www.chesterfield-canaltrust.org.uk CHICHESTER SHIP CANAL TRUST John Herniman 8 Graffham Close Chichester PO19 4AW Tel: 01243 527374 e-mail: email@example.com www.chichestercanals.co.uk COTSWOLD CANALS TRUST Neil Ritchie, The Chapel House Sandford Rd, Churchdown Gloucestershire GL3 2HD 01452 854057 email: NeilSigns@aol.com www.cotswoldcanals.com/
DERBY & SANDIACRE CANAL SOCIETY Doug Flack 23 Thoresby Crescent, Draycott Derby DE72 3PH 01332 874239 www.derbycanal.org.uk DIG DEEP INITIATIVE Alan Cavender 10 Vicarage Road Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 7DS 01628 629033 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.dig-deep.org.uk DORSET & SOMERSET CANAL STUDY GROUP Derrick Hunt, 43 Greenland Mills Bradford on Avon, Wilts BA15 1BL 01225 863066 email: derrick@carlingcott7. freeserve.co.uk DROITWICH CANALS TRUST Vaughan Welch 29 Dice Pleck Northfield, Birmingham B31 3XW 0121 477 9782 email: email@example.com www.worcs.com/dct/home.htm
GRANTHAM CANAL RESTORATION SOCIETY Colin Bryan 113 Hoe View Road Cropwell Bishop Nottingham NG12 3DJ 01159 892248 www.granthamcanal.com
SCARS (SANKEY CANAL) Colin Greenall 16 Bleak Hill Road Eccleston St. Helens Merseyside WA10 4RW 01744 731746 www.scars.org.uk
HEREFS & GLOUCS CT c/o The Lock Cottage, Over Gloucester GL2 8DB 01452 332900 www.h-g-canal.org.uk
SHREWSBURY & NEWPORT CANALS TRUST Steve Bean 4 Arscott, Pontesbury Shrewsbury SY5 0XP 01743 860488 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.sncanal.org.uk
KENT & EAST SUSSEX CANAL RESTORATION GROUP Ken Parish Eastwood Farmhouse Ulcombe Road Ulcombe, Maidstone Kent. ME17 1ET 01622 858329 email: Kescrg@btinternet.com www.kescrg.co.uk LAPAL CANAL TRUST 26 Loynells Road, Rednal Birmingham B45 9NP 01785 713862 / 020 8293 9744 www.lapal.org LICHFIELD & HATHERTON CANALS REST'N TRUST John Horton, 32 London Road, Lichfield Staffs WS14 9EJ. 01543 262466 email: email@example.com or Denis Cooper Gorsey Lane Farm Gorsey Lane Little Wyrley, Pelsall Walsall WS3 5AJ 01543 374370 www.lhcrt.org.uk
EAST ANGLIAN WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION Kevin Baker, 26 Geneva Walk Toftwood, Dereham Norfolk NR19 1XT email: NEATH & TENNANT CANAL firstname.lastname@example.org SOCIETY Ian Milne EREWASH CANAL P&DA 16 Gower Road, Mick Golds Sketty, 73 Sudbury Avenue Swansea SA2 9BY Larklands, Ilkeston 01792 547902 Derbys DE7 5EA Notts (0115) 9328042 NWPG Graham Hawkes FOXTON INCLINED PLANE TRUST 27 Lawrence Rd, c/o Mike Beech Tilehurst, Reading Foxton Canal Museum Berks RG30 6BH Middle Lock, Gumley Road 0118 941 0586 Foxton, Market Harborough email: Leicestershire LE16 7RA email@example.com 0116 279 2657 www.geocities. email com/nwpg2001/nwpg.html firstname.lastname@example.org www.foxcanal.fsnet.co.uk POCKLINGTON C.A.S. Paul Waddington GRAND WESTERN CANAL Church House, Main St. TRUST Hemingborough, Selby Denis Dodd, Wharf Cottage N. Yorks YO8 7QE Nynehead, Wellington 01757 638027 (eves) Somerset TA21 0BU 01405 763985 (days) 01823 661653 www.pocklington.gov.uk/PCAS
SHROPSHIRE UNION CS Geoff Munro 198, Oldbury Road Rowley Regis, Warley West Midlands B65 0NW 0121-561 5747 www.shropshireunion.co.uk SLEAFORD NAVIGATION TRUST Steve Hayes 10 Chelmer Clo, N Hykeham Lincs LN8 8TH 01522-689460 email: email@example.com www.sleafordnavigation.co.uk SOMERSET COAL CANAL SOC Bob Parnell 34 Wedgewood Road Twerton, Bath BA2 1NX 01225-428055 rtjhomepages.users. btopenworld.com/SCC2.html RIVER STOUR TRUST Dave Rayner 26 Underhill Rd, South Benfleet Essex SS7 1EP 01268 753245 SURREY & HANTS CANAL SOC Peter Redway 1 Redway Cottages St. John's Lye, Woking GU21 1SL 01483 721710 www.basingstokecanal1. freeserve.co.uk/ SWANSEA CANAL SOC Clive Reed 17 Smithfield Road, Pontardawe, Swansea, West Glam. SA8 4LA 01792 830782 THAMES & MEDWAY CANAL ASSOCIATION John Epton 45 Vinson Close, Orpington Kent, BR6 0EQ homepage.ntlworld. com/john.epton/tmca WENDOVER ARM TRUST Roger Leishman 7 Hall Park, Berkhamsted Herts HP4 2NU 01442 874536 www.wendoverarmtrust.org.uk
WEY & ARUN CT The Granary Flitchfold Farm Loxwood, Billingshurst West Sussex RH14 ORH. 01403 752403 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.weyandarun.co.uk WILTS & BERKS CANAL TRUST George Eycott 36 Grange Court Boundary Road Newbury RG14 7PH 01635 569449 email: email@example.com www.wilts-berks-canal.org.uk/ WOODEN CANAL BOAT SOCIETY 5 Oaken Clough Terrace Limehurst Ashton under Lyne OL7 9NY 0161-330-2315 IWA IPSWICH Colin Turner Cornerways Elm Lane, Copdock Ipswich IP8 3ET 01473-730586 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.purbrook.demon.co.uk/iwa/ WRG: GENERAL ENQUIRIES, CANAL CAMP BOOKINGS AND DRIVER AUTHORISATION PO Box 114, Rickmansworth Herts WD3 1ZY 01923 711114 email: email@example.com www.wrg.org.uk WRG NORTH WEST Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank Littleborough, Lancashire OL15 0JQ 01706 378582 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.wrgnw.org.uk WRG NW - ENQUIRIES/ PAPERCHASES David McCarthy Woodstock 14 Crumpsall Lane Manchester. M8 5FB 0161-740 2179 www.wrgnw.org.uk WRG NA (1) Spencer Collins (see below) WRG NA (2) Ian Nelson, 6 Lahn Drive Droitwich Spa Worcs WR9 8TQ. 01905 798 676 0973 640611 (mobile) email: email@example.com www.wrgna.co.uk
WRG BITM & 'NAVVIES' DIARY David Wedd 7 Ringwood Road, Blackwater Camberley, Surrey GU17 0EY 01252 874437 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.wrgbitm.org.uk LONDON WRG Tim Lewis 6 Downs Road, Enfield Middlesex EN1 IPA 020 8367 6227 email: email@example.com www.london.wrg.org.uk LONDON WRG: ENQUIRIES Lesley McFadyen (as per Martin Ludgate below) WRG EAST MIDLANDS John Baylis (see below) ESSEX WRG John Gale 12 Wakefield Ave, Billericay, Essex CM12 9DN 01277 654683 email firstname.lastname@example.org www.essex.wrg.org.uk IWA/WRG STAMP BANK Steve & Mandy Morley 33 Hambleton Grove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908 520090 email: email@example.com CANAL CAMPS MOBILES (A) 07850 422156 (B) 07850 422157 'NAVVIES' EDITOR Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Rd East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020 8693 3266 0777 947 8629 (mobile) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WRG DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN Mike Palmer 3 Finwood Road, Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 email: email@example.com TREASURER Roger Day, 5 Merton Road, Slough Berks SL1 1QW SECRETARY Neil Edwards, c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY email: firstname.lastname@example.org WRG LOGISTICS Jen Leigh 45 Glebe Road Sheffield S10 1FB e-mail: email@example.com WRG PLANT Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank, Littleborough Lancashire OL15 0JQ email: firstname.lastname@example.org 01706 378582 SITES GROUP & PUBLICITY Judith Moore 3 Finwood Road, Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 email: email@example.com WRGPRINT John & Tess Hawkins 4 Links Way, Croxley Grn, Rickmansworth WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 email firstname.lastname@example.org
TRANSPORT MANAGER Roger Burchett (See Sue Burchett above) IWA CHAIRMAN John Fletcher c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY email: email@example.com OTHER DIRECTORS Mick Beattie 22 Bridgewater Ave Anchorsholme, Blackpool Lancs FY5 3NA 01253 864034 Adrian Fry 31 Griffon Close Elmore Lock, Quedgeley Gloucester GL2 4NQ 07976 640962 Spencer Collins N.B. 'Sunset', c/o Saltford PO, 493 Bath Rd Saltford Bristol BR31 3HQ 07976 084055 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Davey / Helen Davey 6 Partridge Ct, Round Close Rd Adderbury, Banbury OX17 3EP 01295 812002 email email@example.com Jonathan Smith, 23 Hardings Chalgrove, Oxford OX44 7TJ 01865 891 370 email firstname.lastname@example.org John Baylis, 215 Clipstone Rd West, Forest Town, Mansfield, Notts NG19 0HJ 01623 633895
Updating this Directory: please help!
'WRGWEAR' CLOTHING Helen Gardner NB 'Sussex' The Boatyard, Rowdell Rd Northolt UB5 6AG 020 8845 7820 email: email@example.com
The aim of this Directory is to give up-to-date contact details for all parts of WRG, plus all other groups that are involved in volunteer work on waterways. However it can only be as accurate and upto-date as the information that is supplied to us.
WRG FORESTRY TEAM Graham Robinson Springwell, Spark Bridge Ulverston Cumbria LA12 7ST 01229 861317
If you spot anything incorrect, please tell us. Also if you are involved in a canal society not listed here that carries out volunteer work, please give us your work party organiserÂ’s details. And if your canal society is currently listed but no longer carries out workparties please tell us, and we will remove your entry so that you are not troubled by queries from wouldbe volunteers. A fuller list of canal society contacts is available in the IWA's Waterway Societies Guide, available from IWA Head Office and on www.waterways.org.uk. Thank You.
or Dave Johnson 0161 2787663 WRG BOAT CLUB Sadie Dean 236 Station Rd Whittlesey Peterborough PE7 2HA 01733 204505 07748 186867 (mobile) email firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving a KL15 crane from one side of a railway track to the other The next instalment of George ‘Bungle’ Eycotts account of restoring a KL15 crane... The story: When the crane arrived we put it into the staff car-park at Claverton pumping station on the Kennet & Avon; now the open season at Claverton has started we are a bit short of space so it was decided that the crane had to move. The only place to put it was on the level section of the bank next to the millpond: this required taking the crane across the unmanned level crossing then winching it up onto the bank (using the newly donated Tirfor winch from Myark Ground Care - see last ‘Navvies’) before finally pushing it back into position. Preparation began the previous Thursday when I picked up the large bar used for pushing lorries about from my Dad’s workshop and strapped it to the roof of Helgar the Landie... The pictures tell the rest of the story really...
Winching the crane back up the slope onto the grass bank (yes it is all at that angle, hard work with a Tirfor!)
Pushing the crane uphill into its corner on the bar (or how to knacker your clutch - it is more uphill than the picture shows, and we were trying to steer it sideways at the time!)
Reversing the crane out of the car park
Preparing to pull the crane over the level crossing
Crane parked up in its new home (shows most of the route including the crossing) Photos by Bungle
Coming soon (1) ...the Bonfire Bash reunion dig on November 8-9. Unfortunately when we went to press we still hadn’t confirmed the venue for this year’s Bash. All being well, there should be an insert with details; if not, see the next ‘Navvies’ and check the WRG website www.wrg.org.uk.
Coming soon (2)
The KESCRG Xmas dig, tax discs and waterways scientists
...the London WRG and KESCRG joint Christmas Party dig. Provisional venue is Pewsham, near Chippenham on the Wilts & Berks, with over a mile of scrub to bash between two current work-sites at Pewsham Locks and Double Bridge. Note down the date - 6-7 December - and see the next ‘Navvies’ for more details.
Wildmoorway Bridge progress
Roger says that anyone who believes in the mythical ‘fortnight’s leeway’ probably believes they can see fairies at the bottom of their garden.
WRG vehicle manager Roger Burchett would like anyone who drives WRG vehicles or is involved in looking after any of the vehicles in the WRG fleet to be aware that if the tax disc has run out then you shouldn’t use the vehicle - or keep it on a public road - until you have a new disc.
Roger, of course, believes that he can see WRG Transits at the bottom of his garden. But that’s another story.
London WRG announce... The famous London WRG ‘Tube Map’ T-shirt is back - this time with the Croydon Canal too! Contact the editor or see www.london.wrg.org.uk.
The culverted road crossing where the Cotswold Water Park Spine Road crosses the Thames & Severn Canal below Wildmoorway Lower Lock is currently being rebuilt with full headroom. Not directly relevant to WRG as it’s not a volunteer project, it is however important as (a) it removes the only obstruction between two restored locks and (b) it’s the first road blockage to be removed on the east half of the canal.
Sankey Canal: new link planned
Narrow Boat Earnest seen visiting Fidlers Ferry on the Sankey Canal in July during a tour of several of the less-visited waterways of the north west. Few visiting craft reach the navigable part of the Sankey due to having to navigate the Mersey estuary to get there. A new pre-feasibility study is looking at options for making the Sankey more accessible by creating a new link from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
Waterway Science Group? Dr Chris Deuchar, former navvy and now University scientist, hopes to set up an independent ‘Waterway Science Group’. This has been prompted by the feeling that at the moment it is the nature conservation interests (often seen as anti-navigation) who call all the shots when it comes to scientific arguments for and against restoration of canals. By recruiting scientists from among the waterways movement, Chris hopes that a more balanced body of scientific knowledge can be built up, which can counter some of the more extreme claims of some of the ‘green’ lobby. Chris stresses that this is not a boaters’ pressure group (we have those already!) - he wants to hear from botanists, ecologists, marine biologists, archaeologists etc as well as those with relevant professional engineering qualifications. If you are interested, contact Chris at: Electronics & IT Workshop, Nottingham University, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, LE12 5RD. Tel: 0115 951 6264 or email email@example.com.
IWA Restoration grants
The IWA Restoration Grants fund can provide a useful financial contribution towards smaller scale restoration projects, and IWA are keen for the benefits of the fund to be spread widely, and therefore would like to see more applications from canal societies that have not previously received grants: especially from projects in their early stages who would be interested in the smaller grants of up to £2,000 for which the criteria are simpler.
The Guidelines for Applicants are on the IWA website www.waterways.org.uk, or available from Head Office, and applications for grants should be made to the Chairman of Restoration Committee c/o IWA Head Office, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY.
A walk along the Andover Canal?
Does your canal society need to pay towards a prefeasibility study before the local authority will allow work to start? Do you have an item of equipment that needs money spending on it to keep it going? Do you need to publicise your project with some professional publicity materials? If so, IWA may be able to help.
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust tractor: new tyres paid for by an IWA Restoration Grant.
The Thames, Berks & Andover Canal might be regarded in some circles at something of a joke (I can’t think why!), but the Andover Canal is real enough - or it was, until it was closed down and a railway built on most of the route. But on the weekend of October 4-5, IWPS (that’s the Bugsworth Basin lot) are organising one of their regular ‘away weekends’, this time exploring the remains of the Andover Canal, and covering two stretches: Stockbridge to AnAnother Chesterfield reopening dover and Romsey to Redbridge. If you’re interested, contact Kathy & Paul Niblett on Tel: 01782 641967 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Still on the subject of IWPS - they have just produced an excellent historical archive CDROM of Bugsworth Basin and surrounding canals, covering the restoration as well as the canals in their working days. Copies are available for £12 from the Peak Forest Canal Co Ltd, Browside Farm, Mudhurst Lane, Lyme Handley, Whaley Bridge, High Peak SK23 7BT.
More training from TWT The Waterways Trust - in partnership with WRG - are offering the following weekend courses this autumn, usually at £15 each.
Another section of the Chesterfield Canal opened in June: boats can now reach Norwood Tunnel from the Trent. Unfortunately, finding the money to restore the tunnel (or replace it with a cutting), and then carry on towards the restored Staveley-Chesterfield length, is likely to take some time yet.
Masonry Repairs: 27th & 28th September, Hatton Brickwork - Repair & Re-Pointing: 27th & 28th September; 18th & 19th October, Hatton Historic Carpentry: Sat 18th October, Hatton Historic Metalwork: 27th & 28th September, Hatton Reinforced Concrete Work: 4th & 5th October, Little Tring, Hertfordshire These are just the ‘practical skills’ courses: TWT also offer training in fundraising, recruirtment and other subjects that canal societies need to know about; they are also offering ‘VOLE Grants’ (it stands for VOlunteers Learning and Experience) towards training costs for canal volunteers going on external courses. For more details contact Mike Woodhead, The Waterways Trust, The White House, Canal Lane, Hatton, Warwick CV35 7JL. Tel: 01926 626124, email email@example.com.
Contacting the chairman: Mike Palmer, 3 Finwood Rd, Rowington, Warwickshire CV35 7DH Tel: 01564 785293
Congratulations... ...to Steve Davis and Ruth on their engagement
Moving house... Ed Walker has moved to: 4 Westhorpe Road, Putney, London SW15 1QH Tel: 020-87859976 If you move house, remember to tell ‘Navvies’.
Found... ...in minibus GCW at the end of the Saul camp (although they could have been in there before)... 1 pair of steel toe capped boots. Size 10. In Threshers wine bag. 1 pair light blue overalls - well used! "Danger Drop" stencilled on the back. Size 46.
reclaim To r eclaim them, contact Bungle: 07771 775745 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to Robin HIggs OBE and Michael Limbrey MBE on their awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
For sale Cowley Surveyor’s Level: one owner from new. Any reasonable offer considered. Contact Ian Williamson (01844 351549) 1 pair size 4½ Arco steel toecap work-shoes available for a small donation to the Appeal Contact Dr Liz Williamson. (same number)
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 email@example.com as a matter of interest. Editor : Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Road East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020-8693 3266
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
Another hazard on the waterways... Just in case bombs (see p2) and alligators (see right) were’t enough to frighten you off the canals, the free newspaper ‘Metro’ reports another rather scary encounter: a towpath walker met a nude hiker - that’s right: he had nothing on except his walking-boots and his rucksack. It appears that this happened on the Leeds & Liverpool, but I can just imagine something similar on the Wey & Arun... ‘I say, I think I can see Baldwin’s Knob coming up’ ...or even the Lower Lee in London... ‘Are those Bow Locks in the distance?’
Seen on the training weekend...
Thank you... ...to Bob Kearney for sending the following photograph showing an 18-foot long alligator. Apparently some workmen found it inside a culvert that they were using to install power cables at Orlando International Airport, Florida, USA. They also found 87 rattesnakes in the culvert. So what relevence exactly does this have to WRG? Well, Bob suggests that perhaps volunteers working on installing the Basingstoke Backpumping Scheme should watch out for similar hazards and take adequate precautions. Just as I was thinking that Bob had finally taken leave of his senses, a couple of weeks later he sent me a copy of a news item from the BBC web site: ‘A bridgekeeper has seen an alligator living in the waters of the Gloucester and Sharpness canal. Rumours of a large creature living in the waters of the canal had been circulating for about 18 months but Richard Lacey, a bridgekeeper at Hardwicke, Gloucestershire has confirmed what locals feared. Mr Lacey was amazed to see a scaly creature leaping out the water to try to catch a duck... ‘
I know we’re supposed to be more careful about not overloading skips these days, but isn’t that taking it a bit far?
As far as ‘taking adequate precautions’ is concerned: if you look carefully in the above photo you’ll see that the creature has been subdued by wrapping duct-tape around its mouth to keep its jaws shut. So now you know what the roll of duct tape in the glovebox of London WRG’s minibus NJF is for. And you thought it was for emergency repairs to the minibus when it blows another heater hose. Be afraid, be very afraid...
Thank you to Ab Jones for the above photo taken at the Race Night. Any caption suggestions?