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avvies N Volunteers restoring waterways No 209 February - March 2005

waterway recovery group


Contents

In this issue:

...are always welcome, whether hand-written, typed, on 3½" floppy disk, CD-ROM or by email. Photos also welcome: slides or colour or b/w prints. Please state whether you want your prints back; I assume that you want slides returned. Digital / computer scanned photos also welcome, either on floppy / CD-ROM or as e-mail attachments, preferably JPG format. Send them to the editor Martin Ludgate, 35, Silvester Road, London SE22 9PB, or e-mail to martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk. Press date for No 210: March 1st.

Comment MKP 3-5 Cleanup Last chance to book for the BCN 6 Cavalcade Little Venice needs volunteers 7 Camp reports New Year on the Cromford and the Wilts & Berks 8-12 Lavender Boat a report from the Burton Bog Boat crew 13-15 Directory WRG and canal society contacts 16-17 Diary Canal Camp and working party dates18-20 Letters snoring and the New Year Camp 21 A Montgomery Parable 22 Foxton report from a Forestry Camp 23-25 Dig Report London WRG and KESCRG Xmas party dig on the Lichfield 26-28 Health & Safety vibration hazards 29 Logistics and the kit/van schedule 30-31 Navvies News with Boat Club report 32-34 Noticeboard 35 Backfill WRG Plant: the movie 36

Subscriptions

And next time...

Contributions...

A year's subscription (6 issues) is available for a ....a report and pictures from the BCN Cleanup, minimum of £1.50 (please add a donation if pos- the latest news on the Training Weekend, an upsible) to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorlton- date on the projects being supported by the Dig cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques to Deep Initiative, a preview of the first of this year’s Canal Camps, and whatever else you send in... "Waterway Recovery Group" please. Visit our web site www.wrg.org.uk for all the latest news of WRG's activities Cover photo: Volunteers on the New Year Canal Camp on the Cromford Canal, seen on the bridge at the junction with the Pinxton Arm. See camp report on p8-10. (photo by Martin Ludgate) Below: The ‘Poo crew’ in action at Burton. See p13-15 for a report from the National Waterways Festival Lavender Boat

Tim Lewis

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Chairmans’s Comment One of the problems associated with getting back up to speed from a distraction (in my case real employment) is that all the ‘back boiler’ issues fill up the Navvies Chairman’s bit. So I’m sorry if this is all bitty and a bit dull, but I have tried to sprinkle a bit of cheer through it! Read on:

Chairman Apologies if your copy of Navvies has too many pages...

Martin Ludgate

I think that the final disturbances from the ‘Big Spring Clean’ of the WRG databases etc. are now gone, and one implication we have found is that with shifting the Navvies press dates there is now a increased chance that you will get a second reminder even though you replied to the last one with your subs. Please don’t panic if this is the case; it’s just the downside of the new way we do things. Unfortunately I can’t really point to any of the upsides as they are a bit more invisible (ease of producing Navvies, press dates lining up with camps and meetings, reports on events being more timely, etc.) but please believe me that it benefits a few key people and makes the already huge demands on their free time a little less. So sorry if you get an annoying slip asking for your money – we probably have received it if you sent it. .

Book now for the BCN Cleanup on March 12-13. See page 6 for details.

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Whilst on the subject of Navvies it cannot be denied that some readers got a little less than they were expecting for issue 208 and some people got a little more. Yes the phantom “several sheets through the machine” virus struck in Watford and as a result a few people had blank pages, while others had several extra pages. The fact that this is such a rare occurrence is testament to John and Tess who are in charge in that bit of the production line. It is a miracle that over 2000 copies get printed in their spare time and it simply is not possible to catch every error (John tells me he can usually hear it as it goes through but you can’t stop it and when it comes to choosing between his tea and searching through every copy he knows which side his bread is buttered.) However John assures us that if you do encounter such a rogue issue again rather than moaning about it, just enjoy the uniqueness and drop a polite note to Head Office and they will more than happily send you a complete copy.

Chairman

Coming soon: the Barn Dance, Cleanup, Training Weekend...

So what excitement have we got to look forward to this year? Well as you can see the Canal Camps programme is offering the usual wide variety of work but with a few new locations. Additionally this will be the first year that we enjoy the full “spoils” of the Right Tool for the Right Job Appeal. So this Easter, for instance, you will be able to do real justice to the stunning site at Froghall, and if you don’t want to wait that long to have a good time then the Barn Dance is happening again in February and the Cleanup in March. The Training Weekend is happening, the regional groups have all published exciting schedules and the National is up north! Fantastic! The date for the Training Weekend is set and we are just concluding negotiations with British Waterways to see if we can borrow their field at Hatton again (we already have the infamous scout hut booked!). But if not, then we have a few other sites in the Midlands that are possible fallbacks. As usual we are basing the training on our skills needed for this years programme of work, so if you think you have any particular projects that would benefit from a course then let us know and we will see if we can set it up. The provisional list this year is more construction skills than ‘bendy toys’ and (don’t hold me to this) looks a bit like: heritage pointing, stonework, levelling and surveying, concrete shuttering and reinforcement placement… that sort of thing. However, just for all you oily types we will have the usual plant such as the Beavertail, small excavators and dumpers. Subject to discussion with our colleagues at IWA Festivals we may also be allowing Jen, Daddy Cool and Ralph to show us how to use a telehandler properly.

Martin Ludgate

You may have heard that one restoration group suffered a major loss recently (happy Christmas!) when their trailer was broken into and a number of valuable items removed. Now this was a really professional job and one of the downsides of having a nice, rural, out of the way location for their trailer was that thieves had lots of Learn surveying and levelling at the Training Weekend in May time to decide what they wanted to take.

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But having previously had this happen when someone took an entire trailer from a busy pub car park (and no-one saw anything) it really is quite devastating to lose any kit. You just don’t realise how important all those bits and pieces are, nor how valuable they were. So I know that we all have a million and one things to do at the end of a dig and we are all tired but please don’t forget the security side of things. Keep an accurate record of what kit you have and mark it up properly. Our WRG vehicle manager Roger Burchett has informed us that he feels it is “time for someone a bit younger to deal with all this”. What can I say? Roger’s resemblance to Father Christmas is legendary (especially if you replace sherry with whisky) and as far as I am concerned every hour I have ever spent with Roger has felt like a ride over the rooftops. In particular, though he will deny it, Roger is a major asset when in a meeting – everyone needs someone to interject two thirds of the way through the meeting with either “what are we going on about?” or the even more effective “have we achieved anything?” Thank you Roger. Regards Mike Palmer

“Roger’s resemblance to Father Christmas is legendary...” Health & Safety Notice New vibration regulations Do you use any kind of vibrating equipment - breakers (eg Kango hammers), piling guns, hammer-drills or similar tools - on your work site? Do you drive dumpers or excavators? Does anyone else use this type of equipment on a work site that you are responsible for? If so, please read Mike Palmer’s piece on new Health & Safety legislation concerning vibration on page 29.

Martin Ludgate

PS Just in case you haven’t heard, Viv was lucky enough to have been inland during the tragedy in Asia and by the time you read this should be safe and back home. And finally Jude and I have been given the most wonderful New Year present as the Tom o’ the Wood pub has new owners. Yippee.

Chairman

What is Eddie Jones up to? Actually it’s part of Graham Nunn’s conjuring show at the KESCRG / London WRG Christmas dig (see p26-28) but I’m sure you can suggest some alternative captions! Please send them to the editor.

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Birmingham Canal Navigations Cleanup 2005: Walsall and Tame Valley Canals, March 12-13 The annual BCN Cleanup weekend is only a few weeks away, so for your information (and hopefully to help you make your mind up to send in your booking form (below) if you haven’t already done so), here are the latest details on what promises to be a good productive weekend, with rather more rubbish to pull out of the cut than last year. The work: The usual BCN cleanup job - pulling as many old bikes, prams, tyres, bits of car, shopping trolleys and whatever else we can find (previous years have produced a few computers, the odd set of traffic lights and a safe or two!) from the murky depths of some of the less-frequented parts of the BCN system. As British Waterways are severely restricted on how much they can spend on what are technically classed as ‘remainder waterways’, the Cleanup is a very important part of the campaign to keep these canals open and usable at all - and maybe even persuade the locals to take a bit more care of them. And it’s an enjoyable weekend too. The site: This year we’re working on a long section of the Walsall Canal and a shorter part of the Tame Valley - two canals that local boaters and British Waterways assure us have more than their fair share of rubbish in them. Once again Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden and Ed Walker have volunteered to lead the two teams. On Saturday one team will head north from Ocker Hill towards Darlaston Road, while the other one will carry on from Darlaston in the direction of Walsall. On Sunday we hope to have completed these sections and tackle the lengths from Ocker Hill south to Ryders Green Bottom Lock, and East along the Tame Valley Canal. Directions / booking: Anyone wanting overnight accommodation should book using the form below and will receive full joining instructions. Volunteers who do not want overnight accommodation are welcome to join us on site for either or both days: simply turn up at Ocker Hill (by the former BW offices) to sign on. Accommodation: Unfortunately as we went to print we had not confirmed the overnight accommodation, but are confident that somewhere suitable for up to 100 volunteers will be found. Jude Moore has kindly volunteered to be in charge of catering; I’m sure she will welcome offers of help. Equipment: Tools (grappling hooks and kebs) and work-gloves will be provided by BW (who will also be assisting by providing work-boats and skips to take the rubbish away) but if you have any suitable tools please feel free to bring them along. Contact details: The WRG organiser for this joint WRG/IWA/ BCN Society event is Aileen Butler: please ring her on her mobile phone 07703 567764 with any queries. See the WRG website www.wrg.org.uk for the latest information

Cleanup

Don’t delay: book now for the BCN Cleanup on March 12-13

waterway recovery group

in association with BCNS, BW and IWA

I would like to attend the 2005 National Canal Cleanup on Mar 12-13 on the BCN Forename:

Surname:

Address: e-mail: Phone:

Any special dietary requirements?

I require accommodation Friday night / Saturday night / both nights I enclose payment of £

(pay 'WRG') for food (£10 for whole weekend; £2.00 for each meal)

Do you suffer from any allergy or illness, such as epilepsy or diabetes, about which we should know, or are you receiving treatment or under medical supervision for any condition? YES / NO (If yes, please attach details) In the unlikely event that you should be injured, who should we contact? Name:

Phone:

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

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Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice: April 30th - May 1st It’s different this time! About this time of year it is customary for Navvies to feature an article by Eddie Jones, asking for volunteers to help the KESCRG team who are providing site services support for London’s top annual canal event, the Inland Waterways Association’s Canalway Cavalcade rally at Little Venice. But not this time, as KESCRG are taking a break after supporting the event for many years. This year, a WRG team will be doing the job instead (although I suspect that there will be one or two familiar faces in the team), so I’ll hand over to the new leader.... Yes it’s Moose here again and yes, I am calling on WRGies to volunteer to help at the Canalway Cavalcade which is at Little Venice, in the middle of London, on the first May Bank Holiday. For my sins I have agreed to lead the WRG volunteer side of this show. Those who have never been to the Cavalcade have been missing out on a great show: not quite the size of the National, but up to 150 (and maybe even more this year) boats creating a unique atmosphere in the pool at Little Venice, and more moored along the towing path outside, plus traders and canal associations’ stalls along the canalside. Highlights of the show include the pageant of decorated boats (this year’s theme is ‘Trafalgar’ - what will London WRG make of that?!?) and the parade of illuminated boats. For the last couple of years London WRG have had a stand with a crowd favourite Splat the Wrgie. (Perhaps new use for D of E’ers (only joking))

Little Venice Volunteers wanted to help run Canalway Cavalcade 2005 Volunteer accommodation for this festival is aboard a couple of community boats, moored in an area that will be the WRG compound. I will need to know in advance who wants to use the accommodation. Volunteers who are working on site will have priority over visitors. Prices will be the WRG standard camp price of £6.00 a day for food. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the cooking would be most welcome. Volunteers will be needed from Wednesday before for setting up laying out cables etc to Tuesday after on site to close the site down i.e. to remove cables and pack them, move the community boats etc. But even if you can only do a couple of days, that will be most welcome. Please contact me on my normal email address: moose@wrg.org.uk or mobile phone 07961 922153. Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden

The purpose of this festival is to make people more aware of what they have on the doorstep. It is a very good Public Relations exercise for the waterways and the IWA and all the local canal societies and trusts. It’s also a lot of fun. Martin Ludgate

Volunteers are needed to guide traders, help traders unload and set up market-type stalls, move kit around the site (anything from cables to rubbish bins) and all the other important jobs involved in running a big waterways event. The pool at Little Venice packed with boats for Canalway Cavalcade

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Cromford: James steps into the assistant’s shoes... and skirt... Camp 0422: New Year on the Cromford It all started off at the Bonfire Bash with no leaders for the Christmas Camp… …and as I had been asked to be an assistant leader for a camp ‘sometime in the future’ I thought “What better than doing the Christmas one? As it is easy work (scrub bashing) I will be able to learn the Assistant side a bit easier.” So I went up to a fairly sober ‘Moose’ (Dave Hearnden) and asked if he fancied being my leader, to which he said “yes” too! Miracles whilst sober do happen! After relocating the camp to the Cromford Canal (apologies to the Wilts & Berks) most of us arrived in Waingroves Village Hall on Boxing Day. I did the usual ‘pick up a few strays on the way’ - plus a van. Full marks to my SatNav for directing me to the hall first time. I am finding the voices in them seem to become so much more friendly and talkative these days every time I use one. This time she even had a name. She likes to be known as Rowena. It was ‘Beena’ or ‘Princess’ by the end of the week… The Chuckle brothers (Moose and Rick A) moved the fridge-freezer into the kitchen with a lot of “to me, to you, to me, to you…” only for Maria to say she wanted it in a different room - and as the Leader is never wrong, it was Rick’s fault that it was put in the kitchen. So we left Rick with the job of moving it as a few of us did a site visit. There was talk of Ed and Suzie arriving later on during the week. (There we are, Suzie - don’t ever say you don’t get mentioned in a camp report!) On Monday, our first day on site, it was ‘spot the yellow circled trees or tree branches’. There were 45 to be found. (We couldn’t find the scissors symbol to cut along, though…) Philip - one of the two new recruits - was like a human chainsaw all week. At the end of the day everyone had worked so fast to try and keep warm that we were worried there wouldn’t be enough work for us - but there was. In the evening Martin and Lesley arrived in minibus GCW, in time for last orders in the pub. Nick took ‘Cam’ (his dog) along to the pub and a line from a festive song “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” came into my head from the way Cam was lying. None of us knew where the landlord got his extrahot logs from but it was a very hot fire.

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The plan for the night’s entertainment was to go to a different pub and play skittles (no not the sweets.) After numerous phone calls to the pub that has no landlord that ever shows up we were told that the skittles team were arriving that night. Why we couldn’t have been told that on the first call we shall never know. Marcus went home as he had work the next day. (if you call driving round in a white van for two hours and then kicking a set of points on a railway track and saying “yeah, broken” ‘work’!) Unfortunately he was the only one who knew where the Ford garage was and I thought I would never hear myself say it but I said “Where’s Marcus? Come back.” Strange but true. First we cut them down... Martin Ludgate

Camp reports

Tuesday came and this time we doubled the number of ‘small controlled fires’ to two on site. At the end of the day we thought we would take some logs back to the pub. After unloading the logs the landlord waved us goodbye… and that is when we found the alternator on the van wasn’t working. It must be my reckless driving and speeding in RFB that had done it!


Martin Ludgate

7pm came round and it was the part of the week I had not been looking forward to. The fancy dress bit. Before any rumours go out let me say yes, I was in a short skirt (shorter than I had hoped for) and tights. The theme for the New Year’s Eve party was ‘One hit wonders’ and I was Charlotte Church. You need to see the photos for the rest of the outfit. Unfortu...then we cut them up... nately there are Wednesday soon came around and my first job photos. I wasn’t the only male showing legs was to take apart the dashboard of RFB to find though. Nic Bennett did too. out if the battery charging light had blown. If any one needs to check that bulb in the future here’s After a fab starter and roast turkey main meal I a tip. Just put your hand up the back of the dash- did the awards: “If someone had told me 6 months board. You don’t need to take half the plastic out ago that I would be an assistant leader, standing in the van to reach it. Suzie will love this bit: Ed up talking in front of 20 people in a skirt and tights and Suzie arrived! All I heard from Suzie was that I wouldn’t have believed them…” Suzie only gets mentioned for when she arrives at a camp/dig in camp or dig reports. So this sen- New Year’s Day was a record-breaking day for a tence is for you Suzie. Here is another first for a camp I think. Breakfast at 10:30am. That has to camp. We all went to the hot fire pub for the quiz. be the latest camp breakfast to date surely. We We had 3 teams and on one team were Martin were packed up and on our way home by 3pm. and Lesley and a few others. Not one WRGie That was just before the rain came down big time. team won! But Dippy Claire did win the Wacky Wacky Bingo! I think that was the night when Alan I would just like to say a huge thank you to Moose, Lines drank a few too many beers. He got a good for being a fab Leader again and for not sacking me or ripping my nuts off, to Maria for cooking view of the hall’s facilities, shall we say. and especially Monday nights dinner my favourI can’t say much about Thursday on site, as I wasn’t ite, to Frank and Elanor for cooking breakfasts, there. I had gone to Derby to drop RFB off to be to Alan for his help in the dark testing the alternamended. Thanks go to Elanor for giving me a lift tor, to Bungle for being on the end of the phone back, and there again to pick it up afterwards, and and looking up wiring diagrams, and to everyone also Lesley for navigating. The three of us also went else for making it so easy for me. Philip and costume shopping for Martin for the New Year party. Rowena we hope to see you on another camp I never knew how much fun charity shops are when soon. We have your numbers! James Butler looking for the most embarrassing costume for Martin to wear. I can’t really talk about embarrassAnd from the Camp Leader… ing costumes though. Read on to find out why... On Friday (New Year’s Eve) Rowena the other new recruit stayed behind to go shopping for costume idea (a). After changing her mind and going to idea (b) she then thought she would not be putting enough effort in, so she went back to idea (a) again, but couldn’t find what she wanted so went to (b) again. She did do a lovely table decoration. It is handy having an art student on the camp when Richard Cool isn’t there. Rowena gets paid for being a student! Huddersfield is the place to go to Uni.

I think it can be safely said that everyone enjoyed themselves. No one starved - because Maria made sure there was plenty of food. No one was bored due to lack of work - because the scrub started off nice and easy, putting people into a false sense of security, then the scrub just got thicker. No one got cold because the fires just got bigger, but they were still under control. I told the fires to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ and they did. Only a couple of wet feet (should have looked where you were going)

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When we went up the pub after our big meal, none of the locals had entered the pubs fancy dress competition, so when we walked in with Nic Bennett in a Toga (with bare legs) Martin dressed as Mr. Blobby and James in a very short skirt but with tights, it was a safe bet that we (the royal we) might win, the prize being a 2 litre bottle of Whisky.

Camp reports “The Landlord’s wife fancied Nic Bennett’s legs...”

The bare legs of Nic took the prize - I understand the Landlord’s wife fancied his legs. I just wished he would be careful about how he sat.

Martin Ludgate

My thanks must go to Maria for cooking, plus the other volunteers for helping with breakfast (Maria is not an early morning person) A very big thank you must go to James. This was his first time as being an assistant leader, and he did it very well; those who have been on camps with me will be surprised to learn he still has his wedding tackle and I did not sack him. Nothing worried him and he got on with the tasks as needed. Good luck with your next camp, James. Moose

...and then we burned them on ‘small controlled fires’.

When James first asked me to lead the camp and for him to be the assistant I did point out that as social secretary, he would have to do the fancy dress; he admitted on the eve of the dinner that he was dreading having to do speeches etc and he would not wear his skirt to the pub. He agreed to wear the fancy dress if others did and of course Nic and Martin were game! (or drunk… or both…) When it come to the speeches etc he did very well and actually admitted afterwards that he did enjoy it. What James missed out in his camp report was during the New Years Eve meal James was voted as the best fancy dress of the evening.

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Martin Ludgate

We had plenty of BW guys (including their Health & Safety person) coming to have a look at what we were doing. (And all walking away thinking we were nuts cause we paid to do this in our own holiday break.) It was also nice to have a lot of support from the Friends of the Cromford Canal on site; having worked on many sites with no locals helping it did make a nice change. A big thanks must go to John (‘the Tractor’) Baylis for all his work in preparing for this camp at short notice.

The fancy dress theme was ‘One hit wonders’ and James won a prize as ‘Shallott Church’. (Groan)


Wilts & Berks Canal Christmas Camp 26th Dec 2004 – 1st Jan 2005 We started planning for the two Christmas / New Year camps on the Wilts & Berks back in October – one the official camp on the Melksham Branch, and the other the unofficial one on the Foxham / Lyneham Branch, which has become an annual event. The reason we planned early was because Colin Fletcher, the Chairman of the Melksham Branch, was going to Australia for six weeks, and would probably not be around at the time WRG set the leadership plans in process. Colin and I decided that it would save funds for both branches if we shared accommodation (the Scout Hall at Calne), and even shared the work if necessary, so Colin suggested I could speak to WRG about it. The plan was for the majority to indulge in the usual winter work of scrub-bashing-and-stumppulling-and-big-bonfires, starting with complete clearance of the section from Pewsham Top Lock down to Double Bridge, then move on to Foxham on Seven Locks, where a lot of scrub clearance was also needed. For those who preferred more variety and a challenge, work could continue on the various sections of the Foxham / Lyneham Branch.

New Year on the Wilts & Berks Canal The scheduled work on the Foxham / Lyneham section also changed, for quite different reasons. We had already arranged to have the excavator ‘Blue’ for the week, then some friends of mine from a local engineering firm asked if they could park their digger at Dauntsey while they were not using it. Shortly after that another friend, who runs a hire company, said that he was bringing in all his hire machines for that week, and was running out of space in his yard, and could we park one at Dauntsey? So before we knew it we were awash with diggers – my 12-tonne JCB, ‘Blue’ and the hire company’s 3-tonne diggers, and the engineer’s 20-tonne machine. Following the tradition that has something to do with mouths and gift-horses, we set to with a Will (and anyone else with digger tickets) with dredging, moving infill, building up the towpath etc. Perhaps fortunately, the first few days saw freezing conditions, so the ground was good and firm so we didn’t churn it up too much. All was going well, but after heavy overnight rain we had a break from digging and spreading, and burned big piles of brash that had been previously cut out of the hedge by Essex WRG prior to hedge-laying in January. All the logs and bigger trunks were heaved over the hedge into the field for later collection by tractor and trailer: we raise funds for the canal by selling logs.

Luke Walker

However, as we all know, plans have to be flexible where canal restoration is concerned, and rarely work out exactly as expected, and for two quite separate reasons things turned out quite differently. Firstly we found out when Navvies 208 was sent out just before Christmas that the WRG camp had been moved from the Wilts & Berks, so we had to hastily change the accommodation to a slightly smaller one at Foxham Reading Rooms, and – to Colin’s disappointment – no scrub clearance was possible at Pewsham.

Camp reports

“More like a real canal than ever”: the view from Dauntsey Lock

Then back to the diggers – but disaster! My digger, which had been sitting in a field on the offside, three quarters of a mile from a road in either direction, had been broken into and the alternator, fuel lift pump, water separator and filter had been half-inched. They had been so carefully unbolted that it was obvious that the b*****s knew exactly what they were looking for. The other three diggers, which were parked nearer the Peterborough Arms and therefore much more accessible, had not been touched. We had had the pump running all night to lower the water level ready for dredging, even groping our way up the towpath on the way out of the pub at closing time to top up the fuel in the pump, and my 12-tonne digger had been in exactly the right place to continue the dredging.

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Camp reports “We are hoping to get a contribution from Wadworths...” So change of plan again, and we filled the dumper with all the old broken bricks and distributed them up the towpath to fill up the deep ruts before topping them up with infill. The following day I started totting-up the cost of replacing the missing parts for the JCB: over £100 if purchased new. Not being a millionaire, I ‘phoned a friend’ and – lo and behold – it turned out that he was in the process of stripping out the engine of a knackered JCB with a Perkins engine, with all the parts I needed in good working order! How lucky can one woman get? We had a mechanical engineer on the camp (Dave Hewson, on his first camp), and between us we managed to get the digger up and going, and dredging again. Dave Wedd (we always have at least two Daves on our camps) shifted a lot of the infill from near the pub with the 20-tonne digger, and using the two smaller ones the towpath was built up and levelled for a short distance by our other digger drivers. The wharf area was excavated some time ago, and the wharf wall finished in 2004, so the infill was being dug out between the wharf area and the lock, and it’s now looking more like a canal than ever. The bank has now been graded down to both wing walls of the lock.

On one occasion, Katy the dog managed to crash through the ice (despite being on a diet) and had to doggy-paddle her way across in freezing water, so she had to be escorted back to the warmer climes of the cottage. The next day she got her own back when I slipped on the edge and went in over the tops of my wellies, while she stood and watched with a broad grin on her face. At least she only had her fur to dry out, while I had to change trousers, overalls, socks, wellies… We had a special meal on New Year’s Eve, and as the only pub within walking distance was a ticket-only affair, we then settled down to play ‘Uno’, well-fortified with two or three bottles of wine, canned and bottled beer, and my own homemade Sloe Gin, Damson Rum and Damson, Brandy & Blackberry liqueur. We struggled to stay awake until midnight, and then went outside to see the various firework displays. It never ceases to amaze me how much can be achieved in a week by a relatively small camp. We are hoping to get a contribution from Wadworths (who own the Peterborough Arms) to finish off round the car park, and purchase and erect railings between there and the lock and the wharf area, so it was very satisfying to see how much tidier the whole area looks now before they make an arranged visit next week. My thanks to Jeremy, Phill, Alan, Dave, Dave, Ray, Ray (there really were two of each), Tom, Luke Harry, and to Di for keeping us fed and watered. Two or three stayed on at the cottage until Sunday to carry on the good work, and we also filled some gaps in the hedge with some saplings, courtesy of Phill. Rachael Banyard

Luke Walker

We were running out of red diesel by Wednesday, as the suppliers’ machine had broken down, so they’d been unable to deliver. Tom remarked that that seemed to be the theme on this camp – machines breaking down – with my own machine being unworkable until we managed to fit all the replacement parts, the pump broken down at one point, ‘Blue’ not working very well (he’s getting old, poor lad) and the hose starting leaking on the 20tonne digger. However, diesel was delivered on New Year’s Eve, and all the other machinery was up and running again. The completed wharf wall, with the lock in the background.

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Lavender Boat 2004 Operating the Lavender Boat (a polite name for the boat that tours the moorings at the National Waterways Festival, emptying boaters’ portable toilets for them) is one of the regular festival jobs (feel free to insert your own lavatorial comment here concerning whether it is a ‘big job’ or a ‘little job’) that attracts its own particular type of volunteer – some of whom enjoy it so much that they come back year after year! One such volunteer is Elaine, who brings us – I think – the first ever ‘Lavender Camp Report’… Mid July: It is assumed that I will be on the Lavender Boat (LB) as usual. (I had assumed that as well so no problem there.) The suggestion is made that as the festival is only open for three days, the Lavender boat is only needed for three days. After some animated discussion I manage to persuade people that this will cause more trouble for Saturday, so a Friday run is agreed.

We collect three bins for recycled materials (paper, glass and tins) and two funnels for pouring and set off down the towpath to Dallow lock where the LB is moored. Many friendly comments as we go along including one man who wants a picture, latter to appear in Trent Setter, the festival newsletter.

Blocked drains, dodgy legs and a Stairway to Heaven... We find the LB - a working boat with a tug at the other end to create a ‘push-me-pull-you’ - moored on the offside, and are ferried across by a passing boat. A very good tank has been provided, and when the seal has been removed, the cone funnel works well (thanks to the passing boater who lent us a screwdriver for the demolition process). Unfortunately the top of the funnel is above my head, making pouring difficult. When this problem is explained to Paul, the friendly BW person manning the lock, he assures us that they don’t have problems - only solutions - and that the BW chippy will provide a solution. The chippy duly arrives and after some discussion agrees to make some steps the next morning. Returning to site for dinner I discover my bed is not to arrive until tomorrow. Luckily Helen offers a bed on her boat. This is wonderful except for the incident of the body (alive as a newt) in the lock, full details of which are relayed to me as I lie in bed by the person from the boat moored outside of us.

Tim Lewis

Day 0 (Thursday): I arrive in Burton at three o’clock. A nice man I met on the train (advantage of travelling in a bonnet) shows me the best way to site. This takes me past the mooring for Copperkins II, my bed for the night - which hasn’t yet arrived, so I go to Waterspace to ask about the LB. A pleasant surprise: they know where it is! I am directed to accommodation to get my wristband and discuss crew. There I meet Ed, who has been demoted from Lavender Crew (LC) to WRG2. He tells me I need to see Helen who has organisation of LC in hand. We wander around site alternating unanswered radio calls with face to face requests for Helen and at last meet her as she returns from accommodation, where she has been sent to find us.

Lavender boat

‘Team photo’ of the Lavender Crew on their boat

page 13


This is the first ‘Lavender-Boat-on-Legs’. These hydraulic appliances can be lowered to provide a fixed platform from which to work (when cutting down trees with a chain saw for example). It also avoids the necessity for mooring. Unfortunately the action of lowering the legs causes the boat to rock violently – not a good idea when in full flow down the funnel. Until we train Mark to hoot before lowering the legs we have some rocky moments!

Lavender boat “I am left in charge of a full tank and a full manhole...”

We manage to finish unloading the rubbish by 4:30 - not too bad given the late start.

Day 1 (Friday): After wonderful early breakfast the LC arrive on the boat by 8:15 with gloves and signs, raring to get started. The chippy is there but the wood has not arrived. Eventually it arrives and in hour and a half the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ (named by a passing boater) is complete. This is a very impressive set of steps just the right height and width for working on, well supported in the boat, which provides an excellent platform. Well done, BW chippy whose name I have forgotten (sorry).

Day 2 (Saturday): 8:00 finds the crew and boat ready to go. We have a good run up the moorings and start back down in good style. Gamebird is ready with drinks when we get there despite us trying to confuse them by changing the number of teas and coffees. We reach Horninglow basin at 3:00 ready to unload the rubbish in good time for our steerer Mark to get back to Wychnor where he is due to start a holiday on his boat.

Having got the steps we set off up the canal to start at the western end of the moorings. Our BW steerer for Friday and Saturday, Mark, uses the boat engine to go west then the tug to go east. Due to the constrictions, small number of passing places, and the length of the LB this is a bit slow and we start collecting about three hours latter than the optimistic 8;30 announced in the Trent Setter. Luckily Ann & Iain Street on Gamebird provide tea, coffee and biscuits to keep us going.

Tim Lewis

The LB has touched the bottom several times during the run, so as a precaution we decide to pump out the tank. Bungle provides a WRG generator to power the pump (kindly lent by Lee Sanitation) and we are all set. The pump works beautifully but on looking down the discharge point (the chemical toilet disposal point at the Horninglow sanitary station) I notice we are filling but not emptying. Pump stopped, we look for nearest interception chamber. This is full to 6 inches below the surface. Mark walks back to his van and returns with some rigid rods. After some prodding (the rods would not fit) we manage to lower the contents by 2 inches but it is clear that there is a major blockage. BW manager Wayne then takes charge and rings for a well-known drain clearing firm to come and deal with the blockage. They promise to be about an hour so the majority of the lavender crew depart back to site leaving Mark, Wayne, Steve Morley and myself to wait. An hour later Wayne rings to discover that they still have no idea when we will get help. A second firm is contacted who promise 20 minutes (this actually became 40 minutes due to bad traffic problem in Burton). Mark and Steve take the BW van back to Dallow Lane, Wayne goes up onto the bridge to direct the drain cleaning van to the site and I am left in charge of a full tank and a full manhole.

The ‘Stairway to Heaven’ under construction

page 14

The drain cleaner arrives with appropriate flexible rods, jetting and CCTV equipment. He and I have an interesting discussion of the problem (for those of you who don’t know I’m a sewer engineer in my other life). The sewer is jetted, cleared and CCTV’ed, the blockage moved to the next chamber downstream (which was buried) and the man leaves. We are then able to pump out the tank and return to Dallow lock.


It is now about 7:30 and we say goodbye to Mark who is wondering whether his wife will still be talking to him. Returning to Copperkins II for a rest we have 9 for supper. Day 3 (Sunday): A good start. We all turn up to meet our new BW steerer, Shane. He is the dredger driver in his other life so we can (& do) blame him for the shallow spots. The run goes well, with the usual refreshment provided by Gamebird and by 4:00 I am washed and changed to go round site. As I arrive on site, I am co-opted into ringing handbells at the belfry (where I manage to break 2 chairs, but that’s another story). With only about an hour to look round site I still manage to spend some money, see a few stalls and meet a few friends. Back on Copperkins II there are 13 for dinner and 15 to watch the illuminated boats. Day 4 (Monday): Last run and off to a bad start. The crew are at Dallow lock on time but Shane and the boat (left below the lock to allow room for the parade of boats) is twenty minutes late as he has had difficulty raising the legs. As he tries to leave the lock one of the legs drops again and there is a slight delay as he raises it again. Off we go and the collection goes well, although progress is slowed by passing boats leaving early. This includes Gamebird, who kindly bring us several bags of rubbish from departed boats but no tea or coffee today.

Partly because we have had no drinks and also because lunch has arrived we decided to stop by Copperkins II and have lunch and a hot drink in comfort. As this coincides with a shower of rain, it turns out that it was a good idea. The LB is parked, legs down, alongside such that there is just room for a boat to squeeze past. Half an hour later there comes a boat too deep to get past so we leave to continue work. But the legs stick again. After several tries we manage to go forward, the other boat having to follow us. Never mind, we will let it past at the bridge… …where there are already boats waiting in the passing place, so we have no option but to keep going. Just as we are passing President, at the narrowest point, the leg drops again. Not the best place to get stuck with boats trying to pass in both directions, watched by queues of interested punters both on the bridge and waiting to visit the exhibition boats. Having got the legs up, and vowing not to use the again this trip, we manage to complete the run. The recycling bins and the domestic rubbish are piled up nicely – Steve is rapidly disappearing beneath the load. Pumping out the tank goes well, but cleaning it out with buckets of water, rather than a water jet, proves sufficiently difficult that after three or four goes we tell WRG2 that we have given up and other arrangements are made for cleaning. We get back to site just after the close of the festival having had our usual good time meeting old friends and making new ones. It has, however, been rather more full of incident than usual. The LC would like to thank all those who donated either cash (£60 to the RTRJ) or alcohol and especially Ann & Iain Street on Gamebird without whom we might not have had the strength to complete the job. Day 5 (Tuesday)

Tim Lewis

No run today. Passing the LB still moored above Dallow: Stairway To Heaven now moved along the hold…

“...and this is where all the Marstons ends up.”

“You know you couldn’t wash the tank properly?” “Yes” “Would that valve that was hidden under the stairs have helped?” “Aaaaaaagh” See you all next year at Preston Brook. Elaine

page 15


Directory 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.bddct.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 email: info@buckinghamcanal.org.uk www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk BUGSWORTH BASIN (IWPS) Ian Edgar Browside Farm, Mudhurst Lane Lyme Handley, Whaley Bridge High Peak SK23 7BT 01663 732493 email: ian@browside.co.uk www.brocross.com/iwps/index.htm CALDON & UTTOXETER CANALS TRUST John Rider 1 Dainty Close Leek ST13 5PX 01538 386790 email: john@riderjohn.jsnet.co.uk CHESTERFIELD CANAL TRUST Mick Hodgetts 31 Pottery Lane Chesterfield S41 9BH 01246 620695 www.chesterfield-canaltrust.org.uk CHICHESTER SHIP CANAL TRUST Linda Wilkinson, 1 Chidham Lane Chichester PO18 8TL 01243 576701 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/

page 16

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: alancavender@tiscali.co.uk 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: kvwelch@supanet.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

SHREWSBURY & NEWPORT CANALS TRUST Steve Bean 4 Arscott, Pontesbury Shrewsbury SY5 0XP 01743 860488 email: sn.canal@lineone.net www.sncanal.org.uk

HEREFS & GLOUCS CT c/o The Wharf House, Over Gloucester GL2 8DB 01452 332900 www.h-g-canal.org.uk

SHROPSHIRE UNION CS Geoff Munro 198, Oldbury Road Rowley Regis, Warley West Midlands B65 0NW 0121-561 5747 www.shropshireunion.co.uk

KENT & EAST SUSSEX CANAL RESTORATION GROUP c/o IWA 3 Norfolk Court Norfolk Rd Rickmansforth WD3 1LT 0845 226 8589 email: eddie@kescrg.org.uk www.kescrg.org.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 Phil Sharpe 34 Old Eaton Road Rugeley, Staffs WS15 2EZ 01889 583330 email: Phil.Sharpe@lhcrt.org.uk. www.lhcrt.org.uk NEATH & TENNANT CANAL SOCIETY Ian Milne 16 Gower Road, Sketty, Swansea SA2 9BY 01792 547902

EAST ANGLIAN WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION Kevin Baker, 26 Geneva Walk Toftwood, Dereham Norfolk NR19 1XT email: NWPG kevin@gasservices.freeserve.co.uk Graham Hawkes 27 Lawrence Rd, EREWASH CANAL P&DA Tilehurst, Reading Mick Golds Berks RG30 6BH 73 Sudbury Avenue 0118 941 0586 Larklands, Ilkeston email: Derbys DE7 5EA grahamhawkes@btinternet.com Notts (0115) 9328042 www.geocities. com/nwpg2001/nwpg.html FOXTON INCLINED PLANE TRUST c/o Mike Beech POCKLINGTON C.A.S. Foxton Canal Museum Paul Waddington Middle Lock, Gumley Road Church House, Main St. Foxton, Market Harborough Hemingborough, Selby Leicestershire LE16 7RA N. Yorks YO8 7QE 0116 279 2657 01757 638027 (eves) email: 01405 763985 (days) mike@foxcm.freeserve.co.uk www.pocklington.gov.uk/PCAS www.foxcanal.fsnet.co.uk SCARS (SANKEY CANAL) GRAND WESTERN CANAL Colin Greenall TRUST 16 Bleak Hill Road Denis Dodd, Wharf Cottage Eccleston, St. Helens Nynehead, Wellington Merseyside WA10 4RW Somerset TA21 0BU 01744 731746 01823 661653 www.scars.org.uk

SLEAFORD NAVIGATION TRUST Steve Hayes, 10 Chelmer Clo N Hykeham Lincs LN8 8TH 01522-689460 email: steve.hayeskyme@ntlworld.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 STRATFORD ON AVON CANAL SOC Roger Hancock, 1 Tyler Street Stratford upon Avon CV37 6TY 01789 296096 email: rogmabhan@aol.com SURREY & HANTS CANAL SOC Peter Redway, 1 Redway Cottages St. John's Lye, Woking GU21 1SL 01483 721710 email: p.redway1@btinternet.com www.basingstokecanal1. freeserve.co.uk/ SUSSEX OUSE RESTORATION TRUST Hazel Lintott 26 Gundreda Road, Lewes East Sussex BN7 1PX 01273 475812 email: sussexouse@hotmail.com. SWANSEA CANAL SOCIETY 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: wact@weyandarun.freeserve.co.uk www.weyandarun.co.uk WILTS & BERKS CANAL TRUST George Eycott 36 Grange Court Boundary Road Newbury RG14 7PH 01635 569449 email: bungle@wrg.org.uk 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: colint@copdock.freeserve.co.uk www.purbrook.demon.co.uk/iwa/ WRG: GENERAL ENQUIRIES, CANAL CAMP BOOKINGS AND DRIVER AUTHORISATION PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY 01923 711114 email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk www.wrg.org.uk

LONDON WRG Tim Lewis 5 Herongate Road, Wanstead London E12 5EJ 07802 518094 email: tim@timlewis.org.uk www.london.wrg.org.uk LONDON WRG: ENQUIRIES Lesley McFadyen (as per Martin Ludgate below) WRG EAST MIDLANDS John Baylis (see below) ESSEX WRG Dave Dobbin 130 Ashingdon Road Rochford, Essex SS4 1RR 01702-544096 email: essex@wrg.org.uk www.essex.wrg.org.uk WRG SOUTH WEST Gavin Moor 43 Kiln Close, Calvert Buckingham MK18 2FD 07970 989245 Gavin.Moor@wrg.org.uk IWA/WRG STAMP BANK Steve & Mandy Morley 33 Hambleton Grove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908 520090 email: mail@morleytowers.org.uk CANAL CAMPS MOBILES (A) 07850 422156 (B) 07850 422157

WRG NORTH WEST Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank, Littleborough Lancashire OL15 0JQ 01706 378582 email: nw@wrg.org.uk www.wrgnw.org.uk

'NAVVIES' EDITOR Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Rd East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020 8693 3266 0777 947 8629 (mobile) email: martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk

WRG NW - ENQUIRIES/ PAPERCHASES David McCarthy Woodstock, 14 Crumpsall Lane Manchester. M8 5FB 0161-740 2179 www.wrgnw.org.uk

'WRGWEAR' CLOTHING Helen Gardner NB 'Sussex' Weaver Shipyard, Saxons Lane Northwich CW8 1LB 07989 425346 email: wrgwear@wrg.org.uk

WRG NA Ian Nelson, 1 Oakdene Drive Crofton, Wakefield W. Yorks WF4 1RH 01924 860583 email: ian@neltek.com www.wrgna.co.uk

WRG FORESTRY TEAM Graham Robinson Springwell, Spark Bridge Ulverston Cumbria LA12 7ST 01229 861317

WRG BITM & 'NAVVIES' DIARY David Wedd 7 Ringwood Road, Blackwater Camberley, Surrey GU17 0EY 01252 874437 email: dave.wedd@wrg.org.uk www.wrgbitm.org.uk

WRG BOAT CLUB Sadie Dean 236 Station Rd, Whittlesey Peterborough PE7 2HA 01733 204505 07748 186867 (mobile) email sadiedean@vizzavi.net

or Dave Johnson 0161 2787663

WRG DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN Mike Palmer 3 Finwood Road Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 email: mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk TREASURER Roger Day, 5 Merton Road, Slough Berks SL1 1QW SECRETARY Neil Edwards, c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY email: neil@waterways.org.uk WRG PLANT Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank Littleborough Lancashire OL15 0JQ email: malcolm.bridge@wrg.org.uk 01706 378582 SITES GROUP & PUBLICITY Judith Moore 3 Finwood Road, Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 email: jude.moore@btinternet.com WRGPRINT John & Tess Hawkins 4 Links Way Croxley Grn, Rickmansworth WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 email: john.hawkins@wrg.org.uk IWA CHAIRMAN John Fletcher c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY email: john.fletcher@waterways.org.uk

TRANSPORT MANAGER Please contact Mike Palmer (see above) until further notice WRG LOGISTICS Jen Leigh 45 Glebe Road Sheffield S10 1FB email: logistics@wrg.org.uk OTHER DIRECTORS Roger Burchett 152 Great Knollys St Reading RG1 7HB 07973 771196 email: sue@navvy.freeserve.co.uk Mick Beattie 22 Bridgewater Ave Anchorsholme, Blackpool Lancs FY5 3NA 01253 864034 Adrian Fry 89 The Causeway, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 4LD 07976 640962 email: amf@wrg.org.uk Spencer Collins The Boatyard, 5 Hammond Way Trowbridge BA14 8RS 07976 084055 email: spencer.collins@wrg.org.uk Chris Davey / Helen Davey 6 Partridge Ct, Round Close Rd Adderbury, Banbury OX17 3EP 01295 812002 email: chris.davey@wrg.org.uk Jonathan Smith, 23 Hardings Chalgrove, Oxford OX44 7TJ 01865 891 370 email: jonathan.smith@wrg.org.uk John Baylis, 215 Clipstone Rd West, Forest Town, Mansfield, Notts NG19 0HJ 01623 633895

Updating this Directory: please help! 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 up-to-date as the information that is supplied to us. 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 organiser’s details. And if your canal society is currently listed but no longer carries out work-parties please tell us, and we will remove your entry so that you are not troubled by queries from would-be 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. page 17


Diary

Canal Camps cost £42 per week unless otherwise stated. Bookings for WRG Canal Camps (those identified by a camp number e.g. 'Camp 0501') should go to WRG Canal Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Feb 11/12/13 WRG Forestry

Foxton Inclined Plane: provisional

Feb 12/13

NWPG

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project at Haybarn Swing Bridge

Feb 19 Sat

LWRG/KESCRG Barn Dance at Benson, Oxfordshire, in aid of London WRG and KESCRG. See

Feb 19/20

WRG SW

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canals. Leader Nick Coolican-Smith.

Feb 19/20

wrgBITM

Lapal Canal: Constructing a fence in Selly Oak Park.

Feb 19/20

wrgNW

Hollinwood Canal: Tree removal at Daisy Nook

Feb 26/27

London WRG

Cromford Canal: To be confirmed

Feb 26 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Mar 5/6

Essex WRG

Derby & Sandiacre Canal: Hedgelaying/clearance. A new site and 12 miles of h

Mar 5/6

wrgNW

Uttoxeter Canal: Froghall project

Mar 5/6

KESCRG

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project

Mar 6 Sun

WRG

Committee & Board Meetings

Mar 12/13

WRG/IWA/BCNS BCN Cleanup weekend: see details and booking form on page 6

Mar 12/13

London WRG

BCN Cleanup weekend

Mar 12/13

NWPG

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project at Tamworth Road

Mar 19/20

wrgBITM

Wilts & Berks Canal: Seven Locks flight. Scrub clearance at Lock 4 plus variou

Mar 25-Apr 1 Camp 0501

Uttoxeter Canal Camp: Froghall project. Starts at Easter and finishes on Friday

Apr 2/3

Essex WRG

To be arranged

Apr 2/3

wrgNW

Montgomery Canal (provisional): or possibly the Shrewsbury & Newport Canal?

Apr 2/3

London WRG

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project

Apr 9/10

NWPG

Basingstoke Canal: Dig Deep project

Apr 9 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Apr 16/17

wrgBITM

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project

Apr 16/17

WRG SW

Mon & Brec Canal Dig Deep project: provisional joint dig with KESCRG

Apr 16/17

KESCRG

Mon & Brec Canal Dig Deep project:

Apr 23/24

London WRG

To be arranged

Apr 27-May 3 WRG

Site services for IWA Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice, London. See page 7

Apr 30-May 2 wrgBITM

Little Venice: Sales Stall at Canalway Cavalcade

Apr 30-May 2 wrgNW

Mon & Brec Canal: Fourteen Locks. Joint dig with Essex WRG.

Apr 30-May 2 Essex WRG

Mon & Brec Canal: Joint dig with wrgNW at 14-Locks at High Cross. Mainly scr

May 7/8

NWPG

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project

May 7/8

WRG

WRG Training Weekend: see Mike Palmer’s Chairman’s Comment on pages 4

May 14/15

London WRG

Basingstoke Canal: Dig Deep project

May 14 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

May 15 Sun

WRG

Committee & Board Meetings

May 20/21/22 wrgBITM

Rickmansworth Canal Festival: Site Services. Festival will be open to public on

May 20/21

Cotswold Canals (provisional)

WRG SW

May 28/29/30 wrgBITM

page 18

Wendover Arm Festival: Site Services. Festival will be open to public on 29/30 o


Please send updates to Diary compiler: Dave Wedd, 7 Ringwood Rd, Blackwater, Camberley, Surrey GU17 0EY. Tel 01252 874437. e-mail: dave.wedd@wrg.org.uk.

e page 35.

hedge to lay!

s work at Lock 3.

Graham Robinson

01229-861317

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

Helen Gardner

07989 425346

helen_gardner@hotmail.com

Gavin Moor

07970-989245

Gavin.Moor@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Dave Dobbin

01702-544096

essex@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Mike Palmer

01564 785293

mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk

Aileen Butler

07703 567764

enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk enquiries@wrg.org.uk

?

Dave Dobbin

01702-544096

essex@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Gavin Moor

07970-989245

Gavin.Moor@wrg.org.uk

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

Dave Dobbin

01702-544096

essex@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

Ali Bottomley

07719-643870

training@wrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Mike Palmer

01564 785293

mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Gavin Moor

07970-989245

Gavin.Moor@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

7

rub-bashing. -5

21/22.

only.

page 19


Diary

Mobile groups' social evenings (please phone to confirm before turning up) London WRG: 7:30pm on Tues 11 days before each dig. Usually at 'Star Tavern', Belgrave Mews West, London. Tim Lewis 07802-518094 or e-mail tim@timlewis.org.uk. NWPG: 9:00pm on 3rd Tue of month at the 'Hope Tap', West end of Friar St. Reading. Graham Hawkes 0118 941 0586

Canal Societies’ regular monthly or weekly working parties Please send any amendments, additions and deletions to Dave Wedd (address on previous page) 3rd Sunday of month BCNS Jeff Barley 2nd Sunday & following Wed. BCS Cosgrove Athina Beckett Anytime inc. weekdays BCT Aqueduct section Gerald Fry Every Sunday ChCT Various sites Mick Hodgetts Mon & Wed mornings CCT Cotswolds Dudley Greenslade Every weekend (Sat OR Sun) CCT Cotswolds Neil Ritchie 1st Sunday of month CCT Cotswolds: summit Mark Welton Wednesday evenings CCT Cotswolds: East end Keith Harding Every Saturday DCT Droitwich Canal Jon Axe Last Sunday of month EAWA N Walsham & Dilham Kevin Baker 4th Sunday of month ECPDA Langley Mill Michael Golds Second Sun of month FIPT Foxton Inclined PlaneMike Beech 1st & 3rd Sundays GCRS Grantham Canal Colin Bryan 2nd Sat of month GWCT Nynehead Lift Denis Dodd Tuesdays H&GCT Oxenhall Brian Fox Weekends H&GCT Over Wharf House Maggie Jones Wednesdays H&GCT Over Wharf House Wilf Jones Weekends H&GCT Hereford Aylestone Martin Danks Every Sunday if required IWPS Bugsworth Basin Ian Edgar 1st Saturday & 3rd Wed. IWA Ipswich Stowmarket Navigtn. Colin Turner 2nd weekend of month K&ACT John Rolls 2nd Sunday of month LCT Lancaster N. Reaches Will Warburg 1st Sunday of month LHCRT Lichfield Peter Matthews 3rd Sunday of month LHCRT Hatherton Denis Cooper 2nd & last Sundays PCAS Paul Waddington 2nd Sunday of month SCARS Sankey Canal Colin Greenall 1st Sunday of month SCCS Combe Hay Locks Bob Parnell Most weekends SHCS Basingstoke Peter Redway 1st Sunday of month SNT Haverholme Lock Dave Pullen 1st weekend of month SUCS Newhouse Lock Mike Friend 3rd Sunday of month TMCA David Rouse Every Sunday & Thurs WACT varied construction Eric Walker Mondays (2 per month) WACT tidying road crossings Brian Crossley Tuesdays WACT Tickner's Heath Depot Colin Gibbs Wednesdays WACT maintenance work Peter Jackman Wednesdays WACT Loxwood Link Peter Wilding Tues, Thurs & Sats WACT Winston Harwood Various dates WACT Hedgelaying (Oct-Mar)Keith Nichols 1st weekend of month WAT Little Tring Roger Leishman Every weekend WBCT Wilts & Berks Canal Peter Smith Every Sunday W&BCC Dauntsey / Foxham Rachael Banyard

Abbreviations used in Diary BCNS BCS BCT ChCT CCT DCT EAWA ECPDA FIPT GCRS GWCT H&GCT IWPS K&ACT

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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 Grantham Canal Restoration Society Grand Western Canal Trust Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust Inland Waterways Protection Society Kennet & Avon Canal Trust

KESCRG LCT LHCRT NWPG PCAS SCARS SCCS SHCS SNT SUCS TMCA WACT WAT WBCT W&BCC

01543-373284 01908-661217 01288-353273 01246-620695 01453 825515 01452-854057 01453-872405 01451-860181 0121-608 0296 01362-699855 0115-932-8042 0116-279-2657 0115-989-2248 01823-661653 01432 358628 01452 618010 01452 413888 01432 344488 01663-732493 01473-730586 01189-666316 01931-713317 01543-318933 01543-374370 01757-638027 01744-731746 01225-428055 01483-721710 01673-862278 01948-880723 01474-362861 023-9246-3025 01737-843192 020-8241-7736 01483-772132 01483-422519 01293-424672 01403-753882 01442-874536 01793-852883 01249-892289

Kent & E Sussex Canal Rest. Group Lancaster Canal Trust 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 Shropshire Union Canal Society Thames & Medway Canal Association Wey & Arun Canal Trust Wendover Arm Trust Wilts & Berks Canal Trust Wilts & Berks Canal Company


Dear Martin, On behalf of the Friends of the Cromford Canal I would like to thank Moose and all the navvies who attended the London WRG working party in November and the Christmas Camp at the end of December at Ironville. The discussions during the November WP about having the Christmas Bash on the Cromford came as a great surprise to me. It certainly involved some speedy work between BW, Moose and myself to get the permissions and accommodation arranged at such short notice, but in the end it all worked out very well. British Waterways is very pleased with the results and Caroline Killeavey, the local BW manager said “My team have praised the management of the site and the attention to Health and Safety procedures.” The work was carried out to a very high standard and the locals are pleased with results, particularly those who took the Yule logs away. I am negotiating with Tenko and WRG Forestry to come along and finish some serious pruning work that we didn’t have time for at Christmas and I hope that we shall see you again in 2005. Thanks very much, John Baylis -Tractor One Dear Martin As someone who tries to keep a low profile in WRG, and usually so low I can be found horizontal just after lunch, I find my fame is such that I now appear in reports for camps I wasn’t even on! I admit I was present in Calne Scout Hall on the Saturday evening. I admit that I may be a little louder in the nocturnal respiration department than others. But in my defence:

. . .

I did warn everyone before they put their beds near mine that I snored loudly but they chose to ignore me. But I’m used to people ignoring me by now. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep myself because of people snoring - it’s not all one-way!

Letters ...on New Year Canal Camps, Tirfors and snoring... Perhaps I had better come on a Bonfire bash sometime and provide a demonstration... Dave Dobbin Dear Martin I would not normally make these comments openly in Navvies but as in this case I need to reply to Just Jen’s comment regarding the Tirfor in the last two editions of Navvies. The Tirfor was not lost it was misplaced. At the end of the National the trailers were packed as per normal, but a Tirfor had appeared, very kindly donated by Lynn Parsons. But while I was trying to find out what or where it had to go to - plus dealing with closing a WRG camp - the trailers left site with the Tirfor still on the floor, behind where the trailers were! Complete with cable and handle. Jen I believe you helped move the trailer/s? As normal the camp leader took away all the things that had been left: that included the Tirfor. It was placed somewhere safe. I would have thought the best person to ask about kit on a camp/national would have been the leader. But as happened before with Waterway Recovery Group the camp leader is the last person to be asked regarding problems etc. A previous time this almost lost WRG a valuable volunteer, because people did not go through the leader of the said camp and the volunteer thought he was being victimized. Once I had the matter brought to my attention I was able to solve the matter very quickly. Another case involved some confusion between the WRG and W&B Xmas camps – if anyone had asked me as camp leader I could have told them the facts and what had happened behind the scenes and avoided a lot of misunderstanding. Regards

If they didn’t like my snoring then why did they stay awake listening to it?

Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden

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Erminestock Those terrible people in boats: A Montgomeryshire Parable Those terrible people in Boats Once upon a time the Right Honourable Duke Erminestock set out on a world trip to collect rare water plants which were his particular interest. Remembering that this was in 1790 it was quite an adventure and even more of a project when he wanted to bring back live specimens for display and cultivation in the grounds of his stately home. He engaged a local civil engineer to build a series of long level sections of water across the length of his estate and as the rare plants were brought home they were planted in the lakes. Amazingly (since many of the plants were from distant lands) they thrived and people came from far and wide to view the rare plants. For several generations of the Erminstocks, the gardens were meticulously cared for and continued to be a local asset. Local businesses grew up alongside the estate to provide for the visitors. Gradually the cost of maintaining the water gardens increased and the attractiveness declined as people travelled more widely for themselves. Eventually by the time of the fourth Duke ‘s rein, after the first world war, so few people were visiting it became uneconomic to keep them up any longer. The final straw came in 1936 when one of the banks burst and the water drained away. Local people complained that their livelihood was being lost but they were unable to persuade the Lord that the repairs should be carried out. It was suggested that the cost might have been a mere £600. Bit by bit the gardens were taken over by rampant native species and the water supply dried up as the natural conditions in the area changed. With the water gone, the remaining plants soon disappeared and the gardens just became part of the surrounding landscape. Twenty years passed and it was proposed to build a new road through the gardens. Naturally, that threat made people think that the gardens out to be preserved and restored so that people could again enjoy the rare plants. At first the restoration work was done by volunteers at their own expense and in their own time. Of course, when more complicated sections needed attention and large resources of time and money were needed to be put into the project, people wanted to be sure that there would be no further threats to build roads or houses. They obtained an Act of Parliament which even ensured that if there were threats in the future, the plant life would be protected and everyone would share their efforts. Even the Prince of Hearts took an interest and gave his support. Work continued to be done by enthusiasts coming from far and wide but the major schemes needed lots of money.

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Funding came from and wide too. People started to realise that the project really was worthwhile. They commissioned surveys which showed that hundreds of jobs would come back to the depressed areas alongside the gardens. Then problems started to emerge. The wonderful people in Europe thought that the local transport network was rather poor. The growth in road traffic had caused problems in the area and it was suggested that the water gardens could be used by boats to help solve congestion in the roads around the area. After all, the waterspace which the volunteers had created was ideal for boat transport. At first the naturalists were content to share their water – how much nicer to have a few boats passing their lakes. They would certainly add interest and might help to pay for the upkeep. They were happy to live and let live. The transport lobby were slightly concerned the pondweed might clog up their boat engines but they felt sure that with careful cooperation everything would be fine. At one place a new section of water was created which would be kept clear of plants so the boats could avoid a difficult section. Restoration work continued and some quite large sums of money were spent by the volunteers, by local councils and even by the Europeans. A few boats came, then a few more and some very rare boats came along. Boats started moving up and down and the boaters’ fears became realised. Weeds were clogging up engines and several very rare boat engines were severely damaged. Because the waterway project had been demanded by Europe the bureaucrats there became quite concerned. They told the naturalists that the number of plants must be severely curtailed so that clear water was available for boating. At first the restriction on numbers did not seem to serious but as time went by, the restrictions grew more and more. There was even the threat that all the plants would have to dug out so as not to impede navigation. This was all rather sad because most of the naturalists liked boats and most of the boaters did not really mind the plants. They both wanted balance. However because the naturalists included some radicals who felt their plant stocks would be eroded more and more till none were left decided that they would prevent the boating continuing. They added something into the water which had no affect on the plants but made it impossible to move boats along. There was no known antidote. No one knew who had done it but with one fell swoop the years of patient diplomacy were destroyed. Gradually the income generated by visitors to the gardens declined. The costs of maintenance increased year on year. Volunteers drifted away. The rare plants started to be overrun by the more rampant common species. Very soon the circle had rolled back two centuries. No rare plants, no visitors, no boats. Moral of the tale: everyone needs to have a bit of give and take. Naturalists are scared when their plants are at risk (and rightly so); boaters are afraid that with “weeds” increasingly reducing canal width and depth they will not be able to boat. In this crowded island no one can everything their own way. If that is their position they very soon won’t have anything their own way either.


Money for Old Oak (Foxton Reduced!!) Wrg Forestry at Foxton Inclined Plane: 24 Sept to 02 Oct 2004 Foxton: It is well known for its long flight of locks and its former inclined plane boat lift. The only reason half of the plane was already visible was because some twenty to twenty-five years ago both the upper and lower planes that made up the whole were cleared of trees from the top down and a derelict part of one of the canal system’s most impressive mechanised features was clear for everyone to see. Imagine then the extra years of growth on the trees left standing at that point.

Foxton WRG Forestry Team go plane-spotting... Day 1: After a safety talk-assisted breakfast, ably presented by Sparky complete with pointy stick, map and glasses (and a Pete Bunker too!), we trotted off to site to be greeted by a couple of BW blokes and some vague local verbal, which was short-lived and the rest of the week we had no such comment … which was nice.

Enter wrg Forestry! After years of preparation and paperwork for this one project, British Waterways finally gave the go-ahead for a bijou campette to remove the trees from the lower half of the plane. And so it was that a Friday night in the wee village of Gumley, just up the road from Foxton, saw seven volunteers from all points of the compass descend upon it! Graham “Sparky” Robinson, Alison and Dave “Tenko” Johnson turned up in RFB with a chipper in tow, Clive “Tea Boy” Alderman and Molly the Dog burbled along in the Landy, Jen “Just Jen” Leigh breezed in with VOJ, and Kit B followed closely behind, leaving Paul and Bob from Essex wrg to live life in the fast lane in their cars! ‘The Crew’ had additions and take-aways throughout the week. Those proper jobs really do get in the way of us all having fun, don’t they?!

The not-at-all-visible variety of inclined plane we encountered here was a forest of trees and thick ivy. It was almost impossible to tell what we were dealing with until… um… until we were actually dealing with it! First things first: we all dived in enthusiastically to clear the way through to the fence which ran along the top edge of this ‘forest’. Paul and Bob leapt in to remove all the wooden horizontals and any stock fence that they found. Work continued at a good pace all day, felling trees, cutting them into manageable pieces, carting said pieces up to the mid-point at the side of the incline where the chippers were, so they could be stored or chipped. At the end of the day we’d made a good start and set off back to the accommodation, three out of the four vehicles with something in tow (literally!)! It was fun and games back at the hall; you try fitting two Transit vans, a kit trailer, two chippers, a Landy, and four reasonably sized cars into a small village hall car park that has a tall wooden fence with a gate for an entrance! Max, from NWPG, greeted us on our return to the hall where an amazing game of Vehicle Tetris began! Saturday night entertainment for Gumley!

Jen Leigh

On the subject of entertainment, ours comprised of looking through various trade magazines and catalogues for forestry equipThe lower part of the inclined plane emerges from 80 years’ tree growth ment! Oh yes!

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Day 4: The newness was wearing off all of us by this point. The tea breaks became more frequent and longer. But we soldiered on, helped by a handful of different locals including various Foxton Museum staff.

Foxton ...in which Jen is accused of being ‘almost domestic’... Day 2: A slightly less sprightly crew awoke … well, I say awoke… The local hunt hindered those last few hours sleep! Oh, and lest we forget, this week’s colour was Raspberry (No, not pink!) sported for us by Graham. And it was also the colour the root-stop spray turned the stumps! Although I preferred it when it was blood red and dribbling down the face of them – proper Hammer House moments! On site we were joined by HRH David Stephenson who turned up to give a hand or two. One of the day’s main jobs was to set up the aerial ropeway system to enable easier transportation of branches across the plane to the chipper. And that’s what we did! Another good day’s work was done.

Paul went off into the woods to lose his bearings again. And then we had lunch with a royal visit! Excellent timing, Sir! A very comical lunchtime it was too as listening to Sparky talk to the “automated bitch” to find out film times for the (not very) local cinema was hilarious! All he wanted to do was “talk to a humanoid!” Tenko showed off his zip-line technique in ‘a quiet moment’ when no-one was looking (well, we might have peeped a wee bit!)! The aerial ropeway system was moved to bring up scrub from the bottom of the plane and Floodgates turned up. The pub was visited after the sing-a-long-a-cooka-meal by Chef Robbo, and I got accused of being “almost domestic”… which was worrying! Day 5: Wednesday was the day of the Chipper Bitches! Winding Alison and Sue up is never a good idea! Clive left them to it to try a few other jobs and Martin and I got the aerial ropeway up and running again to keep the CB’s happy!

Pete left and Sue “Witchy Sue” Webster arrived and another night was had luxuriating in the accommodation. Well, church was closed so we stayed in to read the papers! (Nothing to do with the fact we were knackered of course!) Day 3: A call went out for new bodies! Wherever and whatever you were doing on the site it was pretty hard going. And the trees were packed in giving some people hangups! Trees falling for each other, here and there … mainly there!

We had a colouring-in session with the map of trees to see which ones were done and to try to make us feel better. The only problem was that we got carried away and filled in too many but Clive said we were saving time if we did it bi-nightly! Mostly everyone went to the pub whilst I tried to appease the taxman! And Martin asked if we needed his help.

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Jen Leigh

The work steadily continued in much the same fashion. The chainsaw operators would fell a tree, we’d rush in to clear it, they’d log it up and we’d (‘lovingly’ called “pack donkeys”!!!!) drag the branch-type scrub to the chipper, where it was then dutifully chipped.

Give a man enough rope...


Day 7: One day to go. And this was it! Paul, who had been given advice and instruction all week from Sparky and Tenko, felt brave enough to show them what he could do! Now I usually go to comedy on Thursday nights but not the case this week!! How we laughed!! “Watch the tree, dickhead!” Sparky commented!

Jen Leigh

Such a shame we didn’t have score cards!

The chipper at work Tenko “Two Saws” Johnson felt the need to take more than just the one saw with him for the job in hand whereas Sparky “get it all out” Robinson seemed to enjoy emptying RFB of all the equipment … “It’s in here somewhere!” Clive and Molly Dog left us after site, and so did Martin, then we were down to just six of us back at the accommodation! After a somewhat rushed tea, we flew off to the cinema! The decision to all see “Collateral” was inconsequential as we agreed it was probably just going to be an expensive sleep but we all managed to stay awake! A miracle! After a more leisurely drive back, we had pudding… at midnight! Day 6: Morning came, and with it Sparky’s wakeup call to which Tenko raised an objection! There followed a pleasant exchange of words - “It’s called being happy, you miserable bastard!” Wetness descended on us! We’d been quite lucky up to this point but an impromptu shelter was required and swiftly made.

Much earlier in the week we’d realised there was no chance we could clear the entire ‘forest’ so we concentrated on clearing the lower plane first. The rest of Friday was filled with the thought of breaking through to see the boats in the basin below the plane. And this was achieved which was great to see! By the end of the day we had cleared the bottom edge but there was still a lovely straight oak stood in the centre of the cleared lower incline. As Tenko said, there was no point in felling it until it could be taken away and there was a lot of work in just clearing all the scrub. It was suggested to BW they might want to take it away to use as a large lintel or something worthwhile instead of logging it up for firewood! But we shall see when we return to finish the job off. As it was Friday night, everything but bedding was packed away. Essex wrg were coming to work over the weekend and they started landing that night. After a lot of shuffling vans and cars we went off to Harboro’ to have a gorgeous Fish and Chips in the luxury of RFB. Then back to the pub in Gumley where charm school ensued! Very amusing! A week later, a certain bunch of individuals each received a phone call… “Hello! Where are you? Where is everybody? I’m at Foxton!” Just Jen

Today saw Tenko dangling from a tree (on ropes… he did mean to!) and Sparky making charcoal the traditional way. And we won’t mention the pigeons!

Jen Leigh

Despite the fact that Tea Boy had left, he still rang regularly to check up on us!

An end-of-camp group photo with a bit of a difference!

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All this, and Lichfield is inside of an hour from Chez Mk2, so I was nice and early, even after leisurely packing the car. So only another hour to find the venue then, after I realised I’d forgotten to print out Eddie’s directions and even after calling both Eddie and Dr. Liz (who couldn’t answer), I was none the wiser. Stopping at a hockey club (!), I walked straight into the staff Christmas party (see rant, below) of a medium-sized organisation, and left with perfect directions.

Dig report Christmas at Lichfield with London WRG and KESCRG “Christmas? What Christmas?”

In the middle of all this, another Liz (W) called and asked for a station pickup, so I drove to the accomm, greeted Brian and Maureen, carried three bags (full, sir) from Bri’s car and took off for the station again, mysteriously having remembered exactly where I was and needing no mappery to drive straight to the railway station.

...being a report on the Lwrg / KESCRG Christmas Party Dig, by Mark ‘Mk2’ Richardson... I’m writing this well after the event, well after Christmas and well after the world was brought to a halt by a wall of water which originated in the Indian Ocean. So forgive me if things are just a little hazier than they are anyway when a major feature of the thing always seems to be three barrels of real ale.

Returning to the accomm, I dumped my stuff and was about to set up camp when Gav Gav proposed the pub and I found myself seconding. Sleepy Dave directed us to a non-existent pub (or to a real pub but in the wrong direction) but one loomed up anyway and we entered the lounge bar to find Mr. Jolly Singing Brummie And His Bippity Boppity Backing Tracks in full swing, at full volume, to a full house. Gav received a telephone call and stepped outside whilst we ordered. Mr. Backing Tracks bellowed the first immense syllable of something by the Kinks just as Gav re-entered the room and all of a sudden he (Gav) found himself sitting in the car park again. We checked Gav for vital signs (pint glass, fag) and made for the public bar and peace.

The Christmas dig was to be on the Lichfield & Hatherton, that fine project renowned for its triumphal arch- the aqueduct spanning the recentlycompleted M6 Toll. I simply cannot wait for the day the canal finally joins this structure, and the first boat crosses; it will be a major event of this New Canal Age.

Martin Ludgate

Bizarrely, I bounced out of bed the next morning (I’ve not been well lately, as I believe has been discussed – in my absence - at the post-Christmas canal camp) and ate breakfast before bounding onto the site, needing only a minibus for assistance. This being full (our having only one bus due to an unforseen key absence in Jeffreyshire – see ‘Dr. Liz couldn’t answer the telephone’, above) I hopped into Tim Lewis’s car instead and sat next to the remains of the previous day’s tea. The Purple Fairly sat up front.

Pointing the wall between Locks 24 and 25.

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The L&H (if I’ve got this right…) will one day link the ‘under-resto’ Lichfield Canal and Hatherton Branch with each other, via the existing Wyrley & Essington Canal, via a new bit. And That Aqueduct. We were working on an easily-accessible stretch just west of Lichfield. Site itself comprised a flight of locks with different sets of project work at each. At the Lichfield end, brickery and pointery saw Monsieur Floodgates and Phill Cardy set to with aplomb (and other heritage-approved tools) and Clive realised just how much chilliness and mud comes with digs, and possibly spent the day wondering what Liz sees in them.


Martin Ludgate

Martin Ludgate

Ed and I, as mentioned, In the middle bit, the top were issued with the lock offside of another lock ladder, an aluminium one to needed finishing, and for dangle off (see ‘superthis, it needed Sal, aided length ladder’, above), and and abetted by Nigel, a tool kit comprising two Suzie and Sleepy Dave, strange phials of dubious plus several different types glue and Eddie Jones. of bricks and two types of There were four threaded mortar. The latter came metal bars sticking out the from a compound set up side of the lock recess, and next to L&H’s highly-organfour holes in the speciallyised storage container constructed steel ladder, which seemed to contain and you guessed it, they everything imaginable right didn’t line up. down to a super-length ladder. Dr. Liz and I started We chopped off the top mixing (once Ed had two with the Stihl saw and started the recalcitrant wire-brushed the concrete mixer) and I was just about off the bottom ones. We to set up the tea station then drilled new top holes, when L&H WPO Phil inserted the phials of goo Sharpe announced that and fresh threaded bars, this aspect of diggerybopped them with a pokery had also received the L&H organisation treat- “...warmth and pyromania comes with digs...” nammer, and retired for tea. Or, sort of. What acment. He directed me to the third section of the work site (where Ed Walker tually happened was that the alu ladder was someand I were to install a ladder in the lock chamber how placed in the lock chamber (I haven’t menrecess and Marcus and Chad were to dig out a tioned that the canal bed contains a storm drain ditch) and to the purposely-allocated Tea Hut, comprising concrete pipes - of, ooh, 3ft internal complete with brick Burco stand and sitting- diameter? – and that suspending myself over the around-eating-biscuits benches. Sadly, Bob and chamber involved tying the ladder to a convenothers tested one of these to destruction later and iently-parked (immobile?) 1965 JCB and putting were lucky to escape without splinters-in-the-arse my arm through the rope. issues. Offering up the tremendously heavy steel ladder All along the site, locals scrub-bashed and was similar, except that I was at the bottom of the WRGies did pyro stuff to the results, and I’m fairly chamber between the pipe and the wall. Oh, and sure that Smudge disappeared off with some bods one hole just wouldn’t get itself drilled. God alone on another job, but I never got down there to see knows what was in there, but we reckoned it might have been a re-bar in the reconstructed lock wall. it. Sorry, Smudge.

The theme for the party was ‘Old Macdonald’s Farm’: can you guess what these people are dressed as?

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Dig report And so to DINNER, via the showers at a very nice, very friendly local school / sports centre and another barrel (one having been taken care of on Friday night…) of Stephen’s well-chosen ale. Entertainment was provided by the bloke off the Church Army boat at Cavalcade (or was it the National) who likes Southern Comfort, in the form of a magic show. It was lighthearted, funny (even Marcus being seen to smile) and Liz Wilson is still in one piece and able to tell the tale of having been sawn in half. Vast quantities of excellent food continued into the night (really, there was that much including cheese and biscuits) and if you didn’t like turkey there were several other meats! WELL DONE all those who shopped, cooked and served up an unbelievably impressive dinner. Brian & Maureen, Jenny and Ellie seem still to shine through the haze (see ‘just a little hazier than they are anyway’, above) Martin provided yet more entertainment with a review-of-the-year quiz (one question featuring my derelict railway station antics) and there was dressing-up in the form of Old Macdonald’s Farm, the chosen theme. I made up the rear of a pantomime cow (cow, Gavin, not ‘horse’!) with Andi Girl, which is what happens when you have dinner in Gateshead with wine for three and only two drinking. Martin will no doubt produce photographic evidence of who won; I couldn’t see who it was on account of being in a rear (geddit?!). Thanks, by the way, to whoever gave me that yellow Marigold glove for my udder.

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Graham from the Church Army cutting Liz Wilson in half. (He also guillotined Dr Liz) The Sunday was something along the lines of bricks / pointing / walls / lock ladder / ditch / scrubbashing / wood-dragging / rampant pyromania / soup / sarnies / tea / cake and above all MORE FIRE, culminating in a bonfire featuring twin 7fthigh sheets of orange flame. Clive realised just how much warmth and pyromania comes with digs, and probably spent the day seeing what Liz sees in it. Oh, and Eddie found the KESCRG snatch block in the Discovery (every pun intended) only to have it stolen from the trailer weeks later (absolutely no joke at all).

For me, the London wrg / KESCRG festive joint diggery-pokery IS Christmas. I no longer particularly enjoy the real thing and I cannot stand the forcedbonhomie, turkey-for3000 and photocopyingyer-bum gatherings in late November that pass for office/factory Christmases (rant, there). Give me a canal, three barrels and the KESSaturday night’s fun and games included a CRG catering team variant on pinning the tail on the donkey: anyday. pinning the udder on the cow. Next time: pinning the hard-hat on the IWA honorary “Happy 2005, all,” civil engineering consultant... says Mk2 Martin Ludgate

I later dressed up as a diversified farm’s bed & breakfast, by collecting the materials for the usual junk modelling competition, climbing into the cardboard box provided and refusing to get out of it so that my team had to build a rural diorama around me and push me to the judges. I’m still eating the sherbert lemons…

Martin Ludgate

“...and Liz Wilson is still in one piece and able to tell the tale..”


Health and Safety Notice: New legislation on vibration arrives this year! It is, of course, not really new legislation – it’s just pulling together existing legislation and common sense and putting it all together with some definite actions and goals to remove some of the vagueness surrounding the subject. This has inevitably led to some new jargon and may lead to “those sorts of people” trying to baffle you. So here is some introductory information to avoid seeming ignorant. We are talking about the introduction of European Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive 2005. Certainly sounds the part doesn’t it? And when you read that the directive proposes a daily hand arm vibration legal exposure limit of 5 metres per second squared normalised to 8 hours (or 5m/s2 A(8) as they abbreviate it), you will realise that this will be everyone’s favourite discussion topic. So what’s this all about? The concern is basic repetitive work and, in particular, two types – hand arm vibration (HAV) and whole body vibration (WBV). WBV concerns the effect on the whole body of spending too long on such things as dumpers or excavators, while HAV concerns items like breakers, hammer drills, jack hammers, piling guns. Now anybody who has spent any time using these for demolition will know just how much they can shake you up and that is why we always recommend that the task is shared around and that noone should be using them all day. Because, while the chances of doing real long term damage is reasonably low for us, just because we are doing this on holiday does not mean the risks can be ignored. Principally because we often don’t know the history of our volunteers: remember that all those students have just finished exams, and the rest of us all seem to spending our working life tapping at keyboards. Add to that the natural attraction, for some, of such macho, glamorous, yet unfamiliar work and it is possible that damage way in excess of being unable to lift a pint that evening will occur. Nobody wants to have painful reminder of their time on site and it is hardly a fair reward for all their work.

Health & Safety Do you use breakers or piling guns? Does anyone on your site? So what does the legislation actually mean? Basically you will need to know the vibration value for the bits of kit you use on site and avoid going over a certain limit. Although the limit is 5m/s2 A(8) there will be an action value of 2.5m/s2 A(8) after which measures must be introduced to control and monitor the health of the worker. There is further explanation on the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk together with a handy calculator to help you work out if you are going to stay below these values. The actual vibration value for each piece of kit will be supplied by the manufacturer – though it may be interesting trying to get values for some of the elderly kit we see on site! So given all the usual precautions it is unlikely that these limits will be breached on our worksites but it is important to keep an eye on it. Not just to avoid attention from the HSE but to keep your volunteers happy and healthy. And let’s remember that we have an additional duty because, as mentioned above, the history of our volunteers may not be known (in PC speak they are vulnerable/at risk). So in this case a good initial briefing and regular supervision are vital. Finally there is one area that we occupy a uniqueish* position. Yes: what other activity do we do a lot of, that not many others do? What other activity leaves us feeling weak at the wrists? Yes, that’s right - BRICK CLEANING. So a special award for the first person who can provide the calculations to tell us what the vibration figure of a day’s brick cleaning is. Mike Palmer * For all the pedants out there - yes I know!

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As for names changing … please can I draw your attention (as I’m sure Martin has!) to the Easter camp which is on the Uttoxeter Canal. This was formerly known as the Caldon Canal just in case you were wondering where it was (Uttoxeter, obviously!!!).

Logistics “No-one has sent in any requests for anything witty...” Logistics Entertainment takes time … which I don’t have as always at this time of year! Plus no-one has sent in any requests for anything witty! So this will be short (everyone shouts “Hooray!”) and blunt! The main thing I wish to say is a HUGE THANK YOU to Martin Johnson of wrg NE fame who has kept their tools for all this time, which are now going to be used by the newly formed wrg SW. Thank you so much, Martin, for keeping hold of them at a time for wrg when storage was a rather sore point!

Maybe we missed the bit where the canal was just a squiggle after it was called the Caldon and we could now call it “The canal formerly known as squiggle”?! Sorry, not a very good attempt at humour! Get booking on those camps or volunteering for leadership/cooking etc. now! (Said I was going to be blunt!!!!) Just Jen logistics@wrg.org.uk

Accompanying this (laughinglycalled) article should be the Van Plan 05 which outlines where and when things are going this year. We no longer have NJF and instead have the lovely shiny SAD (formerly known as HLA last year!) – our new minibus. (And seeing as I was “obviously pissed” when I wrote last year’s schedule, I thought I’d wait and see what happens this year … it’s all bound to be very likely to change so I just thought I’d waste a page of Martin’s Navvies to pretend it will happen “as it says on the tin!”) [Don’t worry about wasting it - no other bugger wrote me anything to fill it. ...Ed]

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Martin Ludgate

As for the trailers, if you see a picture of a trailer pack in Navvies it doesn’t mean it is correct and I certainly have not endorsed any such item! Just a thought…[Good, isn’t it? Jen has a moan about what I thought was an appropriate picture to accompany her article last time, and sends me exactly enough words to fill halfa-page in this issue. I’m tempted to simply put ‘This space intentionally left blank’ on the rest of this page! Mutter, mutter... ...Ed]

Remember: it’s called the Uttoxeter Canal now! The Caldon hasn’t changed its name: what’s happened is that the canal society no longer regard the Froghall project as just a new terminus for the Caldon Canal; they also see it as the first stage of restoring the canal back towards Uttoxeter. But whatever you call it, please come and join the final WRG camp on the current project, which runs from March 25th (Good Friday) to April 1st.


Canal Camps kit and vehicle schedule Below is the planned schedule for which tool kit, van and minibus will go to each Canal Camp for the rest of 2005.

Logistics

It is subject to the usual disclaimers concerning Act of God, cancelled or relocated camps, broken down vans, etc etc, not to mention the fact that the vehicles won’t go anywhere without somebody organising who is going to drive them....

The Canal Camps kit, van and minibus schedule for 2005

No

Location

Start date

Finish date

Kit Van

Minibus

1

Uttoxeter Canal

25th March

1st April

A

GCW

X

Training Weekend (Hatton?)

7th May

8th May

A.B RFB.VOJ GCW.SAD

2

Sleaford Canal

25th June

2nd July

A

RFB

GCW

3

Saul Canal Festival

29th June

5th July

B

VOJ

SAD

4

Grantham Canal

2nd July

9th July

A

RFB

GCW

5

Wey & Arun Canal (NWPG)

9th July

16th July

A

RFB

GCW

6

Grand Western Canal

9th July

16th July

B

VOJ

SAD

7

Wey & Arun Canal (KESCRG) 16th July

23rd July

A

RFB

GCW

8

Grand Western Canal

16th July

23rd July

B

VOJ

SAD

9

Wey & Arun Canal (WACT)

23rd July

30th July

10

Wilts and Berks Canal

23rd July

30th July

A

RFB

GCW

11

Mon & Brec Canals

23rd July

30th July

B

VOJ

SAD

12

Wilts and Berks Canal

30th July

6th August

A

RFB

GCW

13

Mon & Brec Canals

30th July

6th August

B

VOJ

SAD

14

Wilts and Berks Canal

6th August

13th August

A

RFB

GCW

15

Hereford and Gloucester Canal

6th August

13th August

B

VOJ

SAD

16

Lichfield & Hatherton Canals

13th August

20th August

A

RFB

GCW

17

Hereford and Gloucester Canal 13th August

20th August

B

VOJ

SAD

18

IWAF - Preston Brook

31st August

A.B RFB.VOJ GCW.SAD

19

Ramsey Forty Foot Drain, Cambs. 11th September 18th September A

XX

Bonfire Bash - Mon & Brec

5th November 6th November A.B RFB.VOJ GCW.SAD

20

New Year Camp - TBA

26th December 2nd January

22nd August

A

RFB

RFB

RFB

GCW

GCW page 31


Navvies news Crew and helpers wanted for nb Jubilee Making the Most of Jubilee Many Navvies readers will be aware that the Inland Waterways Association purchased our own boat Jubilee on the occasion of our Golden Jubilee in order to promote all parts of the association, including WRG. As an organisation relying on volunteers however, it is generally agreed that since then we have not always been in a position to make the most of Jubilee’s potential or the opportunities that it provides. There is a big promotional tour planned to promote IWA Diamond Jubilee in 2006. Meanwhile, we are now reorganising the administration of Jubilee and are putting plans in hand for the lead up to the National. However, we could do with some help! (so what’s new?)

We hope that Restoration Groups and Societies can provide us with information on Festivals, Rallies and events which Jubilee could attend, and whether you attend as an IWA branch / society. We are also looking to increase our database of crews available for moving Jubilee and this could well be an opportunity for some of our armchair wrgies to become more involved.. For more information, keep a lookout on the IWA website, e-mail nbjubilee@waterways.org.uk or contact me direct Frank Wallder, 12, Bray Lodge High Street Cheshunt. Waltham Cross, Herts., EN8 0DN Tel/ Fax 01992 636164 Mobile 07985 013032 We would also appreciate any publicity for Jubilee in your newsletters. Thank you for your co-operation and help. Frank Wallder

Contributions ...to Navvies are always welcome, but especially so in the next issue as - being at a time of year when there aren’t many Canal Camps to report on - we sometimes find ourselves a little short on content for the April - May issue. So if you were thinking of writing an article, a letter, a late contribution to ‘Lost in Transit’ (van stories), ‘Recipes for Disaster’ (catering yarns), ‘Best described as Basic’ (accommodation tales), sending in some photographs, a snippet for the back page, or anything else, but just hadn’t quite got around to it, now’s your chance! Otherwise you’ve only yourselves to blame if I have to fill up all the empty pages with another instalment of ‘Whose Tirfor is it anyway’, a list of every single item we pull out of the BCN on the Cleanup, and a 12-page special by Bungle about fitting a tachograph to a KL15 crane...

The auction... IWA

...of waterways books and publications in the last issue of Navvies raised a total of Narrow boat Jubilee carrying out its important work of spreading the £322.55 for WRG funds. We’ll message about canals and the IWA to the public at boat festivals and have another one when we’ve other events. Would you like to help? got some more books to sell.

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From WRG Print... Firstly a Happy New Year to everybody. WRG Print will start the year with an apology. Some people may have received a copy of the last edition that unfortunately may have contained a blank sheet, or double printed sheet. This sometimes occurs because the machine picks up two or more sheet(s) at one time. I can usually hear when this happens, and remove them as necessary, but not always. A 'double printed' sheet occurs either when the sheet 'rolls' over as it feeds through the print machine, or I have not have removed my 'run up' sheet(s). Two sheets of the same page happens during the collating process - and once again sometimes we notice the problem, but not always. Paper is quite awkward in that one box of paper will run through the machine satisfactorily, and then the next box will not feed correctly and will play all sorts of tricks. As we have stated on other occasions if you receive a copy with blank, double printed sheets or any other problem - well, within reason - then just contact us at wrg Print ( by 'phone, evenings preferred, or by email) or contact Jenny at Head Office (office hours), and we will send out another copy.

Don’t forget - the Bar ‘n’ Dance OK that should say ‘Barn Dance’, but there will in fact be a real ale bar too, and there’s no obligation to dance at all - you can spend all evening propping up the bar if you like - so maybe “bar ‘n’ dance” is a better description.... anyway by the time you receive this issue of Navvies there will only be a week or two to go before the event on Feb 19th, so book your tickets now! The Dance takes place in Benson Parish Hall, Oxfordshire - the same place as last year - and we’ve got the same band to play for us again: the excellent Tumbledown Dick with their mixture of English, Irish and Scottish traditional music. Doors open at 7pm, first dance 7.30. This year’s barn dance is raising funds for London WRG and KESCRG, so we expect a good turnout from both of those groups, but anyone is welcome to come, whether or not they’re involved in WRG, KESCRG or any other group. We can now confirm that overnight WRG-style accommodation is available on the premises: for details contact Helen Gardner (see below).

Navvies news Last chance to book for the Barn Dance! The cost of tickets is a remarkably cheap £10, which includes a fish & chip supper. Please book in advance so that we can sort out the food order. To order your tickets send an SAE to ‘WRG/KESCRG Barn dance, Dr and Mr Williamson, 79 Oakley Road, Chinnor, Oxfordshire, OX39 4HR’. Please enclose a cheque made payable to ‘I Williamson’, a contact telephone number and state if you need a nonfish meal (probably vegetarian pancake rolls). For further information, contact Helen Gardner on 07989 425346 or email helen_gardner @hotmail.com See you there!

WRG Boat Club News Hello - this is from Sue not Sadie. I asked Sadie if she would write a bit about going to the Caldon canal camp at Easter and so got the job of writing the whole thing. Sadie is busy with the Straw Bear festival and therefore happy to pass the job over, but she is having it back. Mick Beattie & wife Sue, Roger & myself have planned to go to the Caldon by boat towards the end of March. This fits in with the Canal Camp so we thought we would do some wrgie work as well. We then wondered if other boat club members would also like to have a cruise and do some wrgie work as well. So now we have a wrg bc gathering. Please let me know if you are coming by boat and I will liaise with the leaders. Call me on 07973771196. That was to be the end of my piece for Navvies but then Claire had something else on and I was asked to go to the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs (AWCC) Midlands region meeting in her place. So now I have more to write... The current derogation allowing boats to run on red (non-road) diesel is nearing its end, so please write to your MP telling him/her how it will affect you. It seems that red diesel can be used for heating and battery charging, but white is to be used for travelling. Work that one out! Boatyards and diesel-selling boats are likely to sell only one sort which will make life difficult as well as expensive.

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Navvies news ...including a way to donate boats to Bangladesh Other things that came up at the meeting were :Pumpout cards have been standardised at £6.50, but check the units.

The National AWCC meeting is on 9th April when it is hoped that BW Chief Executive Robin Evans will give a talk. This last piece is important.... AWCC in conjunction with Oxfam had arranged for each boat club to provide at least one inflatable boat for Bangladesh. These boats cost £90 each, and as Bangladesh floods every year with much loss of life these would be invaluable. Then came the Tsunami and there was discussion on whether the money raised should be spent on fishing boats for the affected countries.

Some lock repairs have been put back to next year. The AWCC, like the other user groups, has objected to the Environment Agency’s Transport & Works Act. This seeks powers to be able to change the EA licencing rules. It gives EA carte blanche to do what it wants whenever it wants to. Sir George Greener's term of office as British Waterways Chairman is ending and his replacement is being sought. BW aren't backing restoration schemes at the moment [That might be AWCC’s opinion, but I doubt if BW would put it quite that way. ....Ed] and the plans at Foxton are being changed. We weren't told in what way.

There was a vote which decided that Bangladesh still needed the inflatables and it wouldn't help to divert money to the Tsunami appeal. So now I am asking you to dig into your pockets to send money to Ann Smart (wrg bc treasurer) 10 Ascot Way, Rustington, Sussex, BN16 3SB. With the number of members we have, £90 is a small sum to raise, and if we raise more we can send more boats. We have until the end of March to raise the money but please send donations as soon as possible. Sue Burchett

There are several rallies being held but the Midland Region Rally is on 10th, 11th & 12th June. Claire will be able to get forms if anyone is interested. The AWCC Midlands treasurer is retiring if anyone fancies the job.

Ed Walker

The Midlands region AGM is on Sat 12th March at Ta m w o r t h . Nominations are London WRG working on building the brick walls around the new Haybarn Swingbridge requested for all on the Wey & Arun Canal. Navvies 210 will include a progress report on this and all the other projects being supported by volunteers as part of the Dig Deep Initiative. the officers.

page 34


Contacting the chairman: Mike Palmer, 3 Finwood Rd, Rowington, Warwickshire CV35 7DH Tel: 01564 785293 e-mail: mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk Narrow boat share: the group of (mostly) WRG volunteers who own restored unconverted exworking narrow boat Fulbourne are likely to have a share in the boat for sale. Contact Tim Lewis on 07802 518094 or tim@timlewis.org.uk

Noticeboard Online Navvies subscriptions You can now take out or renew Navvies subs online at www.waterways.org.uk/restoration/index.htm or at www.iwashop.com/ ecommerce/products.asp?cat=126

Moving house

Congratulations! ...to Liz Wilson and Clive Hornett on their engagement. ...to Natalie Parker and Jonathan on the arrival of Joshua on January 9th. ...to Wen and James Carrington on the arrival of Frances on December 23rd. ...to Alison and Rupert Smedley on the arrival of a boy on January 18th.

Stamps wanted

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

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.

Navvies Production

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

Spencer Collins has moved to: The Boatyard, 5 Hammond Way, Trowbridge BA14 8RS Ian Nelson has moved to: 1 Oakdene Drive, Crofton, Wakefield, W. Yorks WF4 1RH. Tel: 01924 860583 Eddie Jones is about to move to somewhere near Coventry - details in the next issue of Navvies. In the meantime please contact him via his email address eddie@kescrg.org.uk as his old Jazz FM email address no longer works. Change of identity

Directory update If you look closely at the Directory on pages 16-17 you will see that the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust (formerly the Caldon Canal Society, who are involved in the Froghall project) have a new work party organiser: John Rider, 1 Dainty Close, Leek ST13 5PX. Tel: 01538 386790, email: john@riderjohn.jsnet.co.uk. And while you’re looking closely at the directory, please tell us about any other changes that we need to make. Thank you. 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).

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 Š 2004 WRG Tel : 01923 711114 Registered no 4305322 ISSN 0953-6655

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Backfill

What were KESCRG up to?

Late arrivals at the waterways ball... Following Dave Dobbin’s contribution last time, here are some more from Jeremy Frankel: Mr and Mrs. Andavon and their son Ken Nat. Mr and Mrs Ingstoke and their son Bas. Mr and Mrs Dover and their daughter Wen. Come on folks, you MUST be able to do better than that! Director George ‘Bungle’ Lucas is believed to be working on Plant Wars (featuring the well-known character Luke Walker, of course), followed by the sequel The Dumper Strikes Back, then Return of the Genny, then Episode I: the Bantam Menace and finally (we hope) Episode II: Attack of the Cranes... Meanwhile rumours of a remake of Brief Encounter involving the editor and a pair of green Marks & Spencers briefs have been vigorously denied...

Thank you... ...to Welsh Phil for this cutting from his local paper:

”Is Moose trying to secretly set up a new WRG regional group in South Wales?” asks Phil, “Are all his disparaging comments about ‘troglodites’ just a flimsy cover?” I think we should be told.

And finally... Thank you to John Hawkins for his comment on the BCN Cleanup picture caption last time: “Last time Rupert found a scooter in the Wyrley & Essington - what will we find in the Walsall this time?” - John suggests “How about a pram?”

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Eddie Jones

From the WRG Film studios...

A couple more suggestions from Andy Carter for captions for the picture of KESCRG on the Wendover Arm that originally appeared on the cover of issue 206... “Due to delays in ordering materials for construction of the KESCRG clubhouse and bar, the first things to be delivered were the fitted carpets” “It’s no good Roy, this colour will still show up the mud!” “The lads felt it might have been a mistake ordering the equipment from the Anne Summers catalogue!” Any more suggestions? And does anyone have a suitable picture for a caption competition next time? If so, send them in!

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

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