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avvies N Volunteers restoring waterways No 215 February - March 2006

ÂŁ25m Cotswold Canals breakthrough: Boats through here within three years

waterway recovery group


Contents

Contributions...

...are always welcome, whether hand-written, typed, on 3½" floppy disk, CD-ROM, DVD 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 / DVD or as email attachments, preferably JPG format. Send them to the editor Martin Ludgate, 35, Silvester Road, London SE22 9PB, or email to martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk. Press date for No 216: March 1st.

Subscriptions

In this issue:

Editorial Will Martin never call MPs liars again? 3 Chairman’s comment 4-5 Camps news including an Easter Camps preview and plans for a leaders seminar 6-7 Camp reports from the Wilts & Berks and 8-17 Cromford canals and the National Festival Diary Canal Camp and working party dates18-20 Cleanup Book now for the BCN bash 21 Directory of WRG and canal societies 22-23 Dig Report KESCRG & London WRG on 24-25 the Wilts & Berks for Christmas KESCRG update and Chichester report 26-27 WRG FT report from the Forestry Team 28 Tenko David Johnson: an appreciation 29-31 Boat Club WRGBC News 30 Appeal for a new Graham Palmer stone 31 Progress on the Wey & Arun Canal 32 Navvies News including Boat Club news 33-34 Noticeboard 35 Backfill more daft definitions and crazycaptions36

And next time...

A year's subscription (6 issues) is available for a minimum of £1.50 (please add a donation if pos- ....we hope to include a report and pictures from sible) to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorlton- the BCN Cleanup, a progress update on the Dig cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques to Deep projects, and an article on how to cater for "Waterway Recovery Group" please. a canal camp without using supermarkets! Visit our web site www.wrg.org.uk for all the latest news of WRG's activities

Marrtin Ludgate

Cover photo: Boats through here within three years - six miles of the Cotswold Canals are to be completely restored and reopened thanks to a funding package of around £25m just confirmed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and, South West Regional Development Agency, and supported by Cotswold Canals Trust, British Waterways and local authorities. (photo by David Jowett) Below: London WRG volunteers putting the finishing touches on the slipway walls in the basin below the restored top lock at Fourteen Locks on the Mon & Brec. The Trust plans to begin a regular trip-boat operation here shortly, while volunteers are hoping to move on to rebuilding the top two locks of the main flight later this year.

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Good news: Cotswold Canals The excellent news for the Stroudwater and Thames & Severn canals is that a funding bid that has been keeping everyone busy for three years has finally got the go-ahead. WIth the Heritage Lottery Fund and South West Regional Development Agency confirming the bulk of the package of around £25, there is nothing stopping major work from beginning on one of our favourite projects. Contractors should begin work this year on restoring six miles of canal from Stonehouse through Stroud, to Brimscombe Port, and all being well there will be boats on it by 2008-9. So what’s it got to do with us volunteers? Well, apart from (as usual with these announcements) giving ourselves (i.e. WRG, Cotswold Canals Trust, KESCRG, NWPG and everyone else who has ever worked on the Cotswold Canals) a pat on the back and a nice warm feeling for having spent thirty years getting the restoration to the point where HLF & Co think it’s worth supporting, it could have quite a lot to do with us over the next few years. Without wanting to belittle what the grants will achieve (to wit six miles of superb Cotswold waterway, and a major statement of confidence in the eventual success of another ‘impossible’ restoration, and one that has faced significant local opposition at times), there will still be another thirty miles left to reopen. I believe that our role is to get to work on some of the other sections - the ‘missing link’ between Stonehouse and the rest of the waterways system at Saul Junction; the locks leading up the valley from Brimscombe towards Sapperton Tunnel; the length east of the Tunnel leading through our old stamping-ground at Cerney and on to the Thames. Then hopefully by the time the six miles opens, we will have achieved enough elsewhere that it won’t be seen in isolation: there will be an incentive to carry on and fund the major works to extend navigation onto some of these other lengths. Better news: Lichfield Canal You may recall my less-than-happy editorial in issue 213 about the Lichfield Canal Trust’s restoration scheme being threatened by a new road that would have made the canal extremely difficult and expensive to restore, despite planning guidelines that we thought had put an end to this sort of thing, and with the apparent approval of local authorities. Well there does seem to be a chance of a re-think. And while it isn’t quite all smiles and happy faces and a reinstated canal just yet, BW and Staffs County Council are working together to come up with a redesign of the road scheme that would allow for future restoration, and to identify the extra costs involved. This isn’t perfect (those extra costs will need to be raised - expect another appeal soon!) but the situation is looking a lot better than it was a few months ago.

Editorial

Famous for ten minutes!

Andy Warhol said that ‘In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”. We didn’t quite manage that, but Navvies did achieve ten minutes thanks to the David Heyes MP (Ashton under Lyne) who introduced a Ten Minute Rule bill in the House of Commons to require better provision for future restoration of abandoned waterways than is now the case (especially in Lichfield!). His particular concern is the Hollinwood Branch of the Ashton Canal (to which his attention was drawn by the indefatigable Ed Mortimer) but his bill seeks to protect all waterways. He mentioned the Navvies 213 editorial: “His article points out some of the difficulties. For example, PPG13 stipulates that new road construction should incorporate full provision for canals under restoration, yet it does not cover waterways that have the potential for restoration where work has not yet started. It does not cover diversionary routes that have been identified because the original line has already been compromised. It does not prevent roads being built so close to the canal line, alongside it rather than across it, that future restoration is rendered impractical and extremely costly.” Although granted a second reading on May 12, the bill is unlikely to become law - Ten Minute Rule bills seldom do - but ensured that the problem has achieved much-needed publicity at the highest level, which has to be the real good news - rather than that Navvies got a mention in parliament! Progress reports This issue includes a progress report in the Wey & Arun (and there’s one hell of a lot of progress happening on the W&A right now!) - for which I thank the author, photographer and WACT press officer for keeping us up to date. Long-standing subscribers to Navvies will recall a time when each issue included several of these reports from around the system - but (apart from the Dig Deep updates) the supply dried up some time ago. They provided a lot of useful information about what was happening on restoration projects - on a different level from what appears in the Canal Camp and mobile groups’ weekend work party reports - and I’d like to get them going again. So if you’re involved in a local canal society, please consider sending in progress updates every few months for Navvies. Alternatively, if somebody in WRG would like to volunteer their services to help us by chasing up progress reports from canal societies and forwarding them to me, I’d be very grateful. Martin Ludgate

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Chairman Chairman’s Comment After months of writing about how volunteering is getting just too difficult, it’s good to be able to say that it seems that some of the “right people” have been listening. I am pleased to report that we did have a meeting with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in Southampton concerning volunteers using workboats (which had been threatened with the introduction of compulsory boatmaster licences, training and tests) and it was very, very constructive. There is still much to do regarding the solution but I think there was a real sense of recognising that there already was a responsible regime amongst some volunteer groups and that an attempt to reinforce this with excessive legislation would be counterproductive. Secondly it seems that volunteers have one or two champions within British Waterways and The Waterways Trust. At a very high level they seem to accept (a) that one of the biggest barriers to volunteers is the fact that (often) navigation authorities are not actually geared up to working with them, and (b) that this may require quite a radical rethink of the way they attempt to manage volunteers. A partnership of TWT, BW and ourselves has made a significant funding bid to try to get some money to ease this rethink, and if that comes off then we might see some big changes i.e. they might actually start chasing us to work on their canals. If the bid doesn’t come off then we may well have to go back to the old ways of slow negotiations, but even this will be easier now that they have acknowledged the issue. But it is unlikely that any of that will affect our work for this year. So what have the ‘WRG Brass’ been doing to sort out the opportunities for you to have a good time this year? Well the Camps schedule is finalised and is on the opposite page. I realise that the Camps brochure is a little behind schedule but don’t let that stop you making a booking. The descriptions of the sites and jobs are on the web site, there is the first of a series of preview articles in this magazine together with a booking form (see pages 6-7) and hopefully quite soon our leaders will start to contact you to tell you of their exciting plans for the year.

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By the time this edition comes out we should have completed our site visit for the Jubilee project at Abingdon on the Wilts & Berks Canal. This will be a little bit like our project at Over Basin on the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal in 19992000 in that it will be working alongside contractors (whilst we look enviously at their big ‘bendy toys’) and so it is important that we lay down the ground rules for the project, hence the site visits. Hopefully – like Over – this will be great fun BUT don’t think that means you can dismiss all the other camps. A quick look at the quotes on the website shows just how many good, enjoyable camps we ran in 2005. Some of them were run on a shoestring or were at a very early stage in the project’s lifetime. It’s not just the impressive big projects that are important, and your effort matters no matter where or when you make it: small sites, weekends, and maintenance work all make a valuable, vital contribution. OAnother event we are preparing is a Leader Training day in March. Further details are page XX and if you are interested in getting more involved with WRG by becoming a leader then I would encourage you to contact Gavin or Adrian. Then, because we often find that many people manage to dig with WRG for years without really working out how it is run, we thought we would roll over the training day into an open invite to the Committee meeting the following day. So, whilst not quite inviting everyone to come to see us make fools of ourselves as we discuss vans for the 15th time, if anyone does has a contribution to make, or they just want to see how it all works (!) then please contact Jenny at Head Office for details. In particular we want our leaders to see the sort of support and back up that they are entitled to and the preparation that goes into the WRG work schedule. I have had a few comments from people regarding the news about Gift Aid. Please don’t worry if your subscription reminder has arrived and doesn’t mention Gift Aid. It will take us a while to get our records into a suitable shape for the tax man, and we already have quite a few suitable declarations as a result of the Right Tool for the RIght Job appeal. If anyone falls through the gaps we will write to them directly and separately. So basically don’t worry – just pay the subscription as usual. I’m now going to take a break from writing this (sorry Martin) as a few of us are off to see a man about our new van. So I may manage a stop press about it. All of this would not be possible without the monies raised by the RIght Tool Appeal and so our considerable thanks to all who gave.


It may seem we have been sitting on the cash for ages but there are two things I am quite proud about – firstly we managed to make our vehicles last longer than we thought, and secondly we were very keen to make the right decision. But now we really have to replace one of our fleet – so here goes... Finally you may remember me prattling on about various fundraising opportunities a few issues ago and then - lo and behold - Droitwich got their “Peoples Millions” money for their Wych barge. While I am not in any way claiming credit for that (it was much more a case of a well-driven campaign from TWT, DCT, IWA etc. making sure that the best project won) I shall try and repeat my ability to jump on bandwagons just before they set off. You may have heard that the Dept of Culture, Museums and Sport are currently trying to work out what exactly being British is.

As part of this they have set up a website (www.icons.org.uk) to try and put forward some suggestions. No doubt you have been hugely amused by the newspaper stories about whether Wallace and Grommet are a national icon. However the opportunity does exist for us ordinary people to put forward our suggestions which the public can vote on. Already there are two waterway-based suggestions and it is just possible that this could be turned to our advantage. Just suppose that every Navvies reader, every IWA member and every canal society all voted for the waterways icons. Imagine how much easier all those funding bids would be if it can begin “according to the Government website waterways are the 17th most popular icon of British life...” See you in a muddy hole somewhere! Mike Palmer

Canal Camps 2006 schedule

There are a few of changes from the schedule that appeared in issue 214. In particular the Easter camp on the Wilts & Berks has been rescheduled to run during the week leading up to Easter rather than the week after, and a couple of errors have been corrected - the National Festival camp doesn’t really last for five weeks, and the Saul Festival will as usual be happening on a weekend in July rather than on two random weekdays in June. Events listed in italic are not ‘proper’ canal camps (ie they won’t appear in the camps booklet or need to be booked using a booking form) but WRG will be supporting them with teams of volunteers, and your offers of help will be welcome. All dates are Saturday to Saturday unless stated. Saturday April 08 - Monday April 17 Lichfield Easter Camp 0601 Saturday April 08 - Monday April 17 Wilts and Berks Easter Camp 0602 (Friday April 14 - Monday April 17 IWA National Trailboat Festival, Lancaster Canal Northern Reaches) (Saturday April 29 - Monday May 01 IWA Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice, London) (Saturday May 27 - Monday May 29 IWA National Campaign Rally, Basingstoke Canal) June 24 - July 01 Chichester Canal Camp 0603 June 24 - July 01 Lord Rolle’s Canal Camp 0604 (Saturday July 01 - Sunday July 02 Cotswold Canal Trust Saul Festival) July 01 - July 08 Wilts & Berks Abingdon Junction IWA Diamond Jubilee project Camp 0605 July 01 - July 08 Lord Rolle’s Canal Camp 0606 July 08 - July 15 Wilts & Berks Abingdon Junction IWA Diamond Jubilee project Camp 0607 July 08 - July 15 Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, Fourteen Locks Camp 0608 July 15 - July 22 Wey & Arun Canal Brewhurst Lock at Loxwood (led by NWPG) Camp 0609 July 15 - July 22 Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, Fourteen Locks Camp 0610 July 22 - July 29 Wey & Arun Canal Brewhurst Lock at Loxwood (led by KESCRG) Camp 0611 July 22 - July 29 Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Camp 0612 July 29 - August 05 Wey & Arun Canal Brewhurst Lock project at Loxwood (led by WACT) Camp 0613 July 29 - August 05 Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Camp 0614 August 05 - August 12 Wilts & Berks Abingdon Junction IWA Diamond Jubilee project Camp 0615 August 05 - August 12 Wilts & Berks Canal (Steppingstones Bridge) Camp 0616 August 12 - August 19 Wilts & Berks Abingdon Junction IWA Diamond Jubilee project Camp 0617 August 12 - August 19 Wilts & Berks Canal (Steppingstones Bridge) Camp 0618 Monday August 21 - Thursday August 31: IWA National Festival at Beale Park Camp 0619 October 21 - October 28 Grantham Canal Camp 0620 Saturday November 04- Sunday November 05 Bonfire Bash on the Grantham Canal Tuesday December 26 - Monday January 01, 2007 Chesterfield Canal Camp 0621

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Camps news

Spend Easter on the Wilts & Berks - or the Lichfield... Camps Preview Part I: Easter Camps By the time you read this, the first two Canal Camps of 2006 will be less than two months away - so in the first of a series of preview articles that will be filling you in on all the details of this year’s camps, here’s the latest on what we’ll be up to at Easter on the Lichfield and Wilts & Berks... Camp 0601: Lichfield Canal We will be returning to one of our regular sites of the last few years at Tamworth Road Locks on the outskirts of Lichfield - but aftrer two years of rebuilding channel walls, the work will be a little bit different this time. The work is likely to include some or all of: building a new lock overflow bywash, removing part of the land drain that was laid down the bed of the canal through all the locks after the canal closed, and some channel lining work - plus some more bricklaying, pointing and backfilling on the lock and channel walls. For accommodation we have booked the 8th Lichfield Scout Group hall. The camp runs from April 8th to 17th - that’s right: it lasts for two extra days and includes the whole Easter weekend, which means that the cost will be (a still remarkably reasonable) £54 for the whole camp. Camp 0602: Wilts & Berks Canal Leaders Dave ‘Taz’ Tarrant and Jo ‘Smudge’ Smith will be continuing where they left off at the end of their October Camp at Seven Locks... except that in the meantime the locals have achieved a great deal of progress at this site with the assistance of a few visiting volunteers (see reports on pages 12-15 and 24-25). So by Easter Lock 3 will hopefully be into the final stages of coimpletion, and Lock 4 will be past the initial clearance stage and on to some serious demolition and rebuilding work. This will begin with installing a concrete culvert to carry the bywash, followed by demolition of the offside chamber wall which has moved inwards and will have to be rebuilt. As usual the accommodartion is at Foxham Reading Rooms; as this camp also runs for an extra two days (April 8th to 17th) the cost is £54. OK so now you know about the camps, you don’t need to wait for your camps booklet to arrive - you can book using the form opposite

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Canal Camp Leaders Event (or seminar for the more high brow amongst you) On March 4th we’ll be holding a leadership event at Hatton Scout Hut. This is aimed at everyone from those who might be interested in becoming an assistant leader and are keen to find more out about what is involved; to those who have been leading canal camps for as long as our chairman (or perhaps even longer). The event will follow the same lines as that run at the last training weekend which was very useful, enjoyable, and in fact we all laughed a lot! Basically we try and solve some problems by exchanging ideas and utilising everyone’s experience. We’ll talk about what those there would like to discuss, to help them lead Canal Camps. One of the big things about leading Canal Camps is that there is no one correct (or perfect) way to run a camp, what we hope is that based upon the experience of others all who attend can take something away that they can try on their Canal Camp. As per last time there will be no fixed agenda but we hope to cover the following topics:

. . . . . . . .

What is involved in running a Canal Camp? Canal Camp timeline - From asking your boss for the time off work, to collapsing on your sofa at the end of an enjoyable week. Canal Camp planning – Including method statements and risk assessments, last time this involved failing to cook a breakfast and how not to cross a busy road. Review of 2005 Canal Camps questionnaire – What did last years volunteers think of Canal Camps? Generally they very much enjoyed them and the recurring theme was the great mix of people on each camp, but what else did they say? Catering – How do you cater for 20 hungry volunteers without blowing the budget or the cooker in the village hall? Just how do those red vans and trailers magically appear outside your accommodation? And… What other tools and equipment can be obtained by Special Request? What fun things can you do in the evening? How to tidy up all the loose ends at the end of the camp – the benefits of the Gav spreadsheet.

We aim to start about 10:30, lunch is provided and accommodation for Saturday night - no doubt we’ll find somewhere for a beer or three in the evening. The WRG committee meeting is on Sunday 5th, where amongst other things we’ll be planning this years Canal Camps, so you’ll be welcome to come along and see what that is all about as well. If you are interested in attending or have any ideas or suggestions to add, or feel that 10:30 is just too early to start please contact us by the 19th February at: leaders@wrg.org.uk. Adrian Fry 07976 640962 Gavin Moor 07970 989245


Canal Camps Application Form First name

Surname

Permanent Address Postcode Tel no

Mobile No

Note: if you wish correspondence prior to the camp to be sent to any other address, please enclose details and dates with your application form Occupation

email address

Date of birth

WRG ID number (if known)

I wish to attend camp number

at

on dates

Either: I enclose payment of £

(please make cheques payable to WRG)

Or: Please debit my Visa / Mastercard number expiry date

by the sum of £

Note: Camps 0601 and 0602 cost £54, Camp 0619 £60, others £42 Any special diet? Are you attending this camp as part of your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award? YES / NO Have you been on a Canal Camp before? YES / NO Do you suffer from any allergy or illness such as diabetes about which we should know? YES / NO Are you receiving treatment or under medical supervision for any condition? YES / NO If the answer to either of the above two questions is ‘YES’ please give details in a covering letter including information about any prescribed medicine and its dosage. This information is given in confidence, although it may be shared with WRG’s insurers How do you intend to travel to the camp? CAR / COACH / TRAIN / OTHER In the unlikely event that you should injure yourself, who should we contact? Name

Home Tel no

Please read the following before signing: I agree that information on this form may be stored on an electronic database and that this information may be provided to the organisers of the camp that I will be attending and to other authorised WRG personnel WRG may use the information that you supply for administration purposes and to send you information about our activities. We promise not to sell your details to anyone else Signed

Bookings will not be accepted on unsigned forms

Please return form to: WRG Canal Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY

Navvies 215

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Camp report

...from the New Year Camp on the Cromford Canal Camp 0520: New Year on the Cromford Canal As reported in the last Navvies, the WRG New Year camp was going to be on Cromford canal with myself Moose as leader, Maria would be cooking and Dippy Claire was going to be the assistant. That was the plan but due to Personal problems Claire had to sit on the side lines a little with James covering in spirit, if not in title. This was the second time running that we spent New Year on the Cromford, and the turn out this year was just fantastic. In fact it was so good by the end that for the three-course meal on the last night I had to borrow the KESCRG 6-ring cooker, (Thanks Ian and Liz). The camp actually started on the official start day on Boxing Day as not enough volunteers came forward to make it worth while to start on the Xmas Eve, even though the 24th would have been easier for traveling by public transport - maybe next time? We had twenty for the start, including as always the usual suspects like Alan Lines, James the postman, Rick and Tas and including the Editor of Navvies, (wow, we must have been posh!)

The first day went well until about 15:00hrs when the local brats realized they could make snow balls. I hate to think how many snow balls they threw but as far as I was aware they only managed to hit two people - one being me. I found out later that it was thrown by our volunteer Tas rather than by one of the local kids... but she was the only other person to be hit - poetic justice?

Martin Ludgate

Normal start-ofcamp things took place i.e. unloading the trailer after James had fetched it, getting the kitchen sorted out, then after the Health & Safety talk we sat around to have our first meal (chilli con carni and very nice it was too), after which people disappeared to the pub. (are you really surprised?)

Tuesday on site was a real treat - we had snow! Not very deep but it did make you work just a little bit faster. We also had the WRG Forestry Team on site. They did their normal thing i.e. cut down trees and make a mess for us to clean (only joking, they did a smashing job). We were mainly working on the Pinxton Arm of the canal where it crosses the dam of the canal reservoir at Ironville, with some people also working down in what is called the thousand year flood drain. This is a section of the former main line of the canal by the junction with the arm, which was dug out deeper about 20 years ago to make a flood relief channel about 35ft wide and 10ft deep that could cope with the size of flood that occurs on average once per millennium. Even BW believed that this is a bit OTT. The trouble with the drain is that the runoff water from the reservoir goes along it and meets up with the canal just a bit further on, which mean that the bottom of this drain had a little bit of running water - very nice to work in on a snowy day. A couple of WRGies were also working with the local canal society volunteers clearing some trees at the water’s edge at the north end of the Reservoir

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Camp Leader Moose and one of his famous ‘small, controlled fires’


After a very good start on the work we returned to the accommodation for Maria’s lamb stew and dumplings plus a beer or two. On Wednesday more of us ventured on site while Tas went to a local doctor to be told snowball had burst her ear drum. Work on site continued, a larger WRG Forestry group continued to do the just jobs (“Could you just do...”) that John Baylis (he from the National - “Tractor John here”) kept giving them. While the main team just slashed and burned our way along the Pinxton Arm, those in the 1000-year drain kept the trees falling and being burned at a very good rate. We were joined by Stevie B, (yes of ‘rhymes with rollocks’ fame) who brought his camper van so he could make the teas and coffees on site, as the camp gas burco refused to work when the temperature went below the boiling point of butane (ie most of the week).

“Friday saw a change: not only cold but also raining...” Thursday was more of the same but without WRG Forestry, although we did have three strangers turn up on site. They were Ali Moore, partner Neil and their lovely lunatic dog, who live just five miles away. They tried to say they couldn’t work on site because they had forgotten their hard hats (lame excuse or what?) They took the pooch for a walk, then took it home returned with hard hats so we got them working on site for a few hours. Very nice to see them. Back to the hall and another meal prepared by Maria - this time it was paprika scrumpy by special request. The number of volunteers was going up with more people arriving throughout the week, and we were now at 31 with still more people expected to join us. Friday saw a slight change - it was not only cold but it was also raining. This was finally clearing the ice but as it had snowed during the night and then turned to rain, the car park on site was like a skid pan, with water on top of the ice. It took Martin in RFB several attempts to get into a parking space [that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. ...Ed] and Daddy Cool had the same problem in SAD. [See it wasn’t just me! ...Ed]

Martin Ludgate

No local brats throwing snowballs today, but towards the end of the day they reappeared so when we moved off site they could play with the fires and continue their previous day’s work of throwing logs into the reservoir. Back at the accommodation we sat down to another Maria-cooked meal - Chicken and Veg pie with Mash and a few beers. [Do I begin to detect a theme here? ...Ed]

Camp report

WRG Forestry Team in action

I’m afraid because of the weather we decided to come off site early - back at the accommodation after lunch it was decided we would have a shower run and those who wanted to could go to either the flicks or the bowling alley. Due to the late finishing of the film by the time everyone was back at the accommodation it was time for food - cooked again by Maria this was a beef stew with red wine made to a new recipe i.e. we guessed it at the dinner table night before.

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Camp report

“...James is getting to like flashing his legs around...” Whilst everyone was fat and full we had a Martin Ludgate special quiz, as normal Martin did us proud.

Martin Ludgate

Saturday was the last day on site, so it was the normal great push to get it finished. Well, actually because of all the hard work we’d achieved already it wasn’t the big push as normal - in fact I had to find some more work for some people just to keep them busy and occupied.

When we walked off site Saturday afternoon the James tries to shelter from the weather by prestretch of Pinxton Arm that we had been asked to tending to tidy the trailer. Moose is unimpressed. work on was not only cleared of trees and scrub, but several people had litter picked their way to filling about 8 black sacks with rubbish - not including several tyres and pushbike frames. The thousand year ditch looked a hundred times better although it couldn’t be completely cleared because of the water level, and those at the north end of the reservoir had completely finished and had of course left a very tidy stack of logs for the locals to help themselves to. All the logs from the Pinxton Arm had already gone (and not just into the reservoir courtesy of the brats).

Martin Ludgate

Back at the accommodation, people were getting the hall ready for the special evening meal.Our numbers had grown to the point that we thought we might have had people sleeping in the main room (especially as one of the new arrivals was Little Ben, Leonie’s ‘much better half’ - over 6ft 7in tall), but that was avoided as a couple had to leave early. An unexpected part of the final night’s entertainments was arranging a trip to the hospital A&E, for Stevie B to have his finger stitched up. So the duty driver James went via the railway station to the hospital. We delayed the meal so that James and Stevie could get back in time.

A festive scene on the Pinxton Arm site

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A more usual part of the last night’s entertainments was a fancy dress competition; this year’s theme was ‘heroes and villains’ and people started to get into their costumes. I don’t do fancy dress... normally... but when we were ready to start the judging, James decided I had to wear a cossie as well, which he had prepared, so I had to go off and change. The cossie he decided for me was Danger Moose. I will rip his wedding tackle off later....


Leonie and Rowena then organised games in the accommodation until midnight, then afterwards most went up to the pub. The worst thing about a camp is the packing up on the last morning. Breakfast was at a civilised 10:30hrs cooked by Frank and his merry team, who had cooked every breakfast all week without fuss. Everyone then got stuck in. Kit trailer, van, minibus and the KESCRG trailer with cooker went off on their travels, all the people departed leaving Maria & myself to do the last little bits, and at 14:30hrs I handed the keys back to the warden as we made our weary way home.

Martin Ludgate

Pausing briefly to catch our breath, we all sat down to a choice of melon or pate, followed by roast beef or turkey with three veg, sausage, stuffing, roast spuds, roast parsnips. Before anyone says ‘where is the veggie option?’ we had no veggies, (first time ever on one of my camps). With a couple of wine boxes, most people were catered for. Pud was a choice of strawberry cheese cake, chocolate gateaux, warm mince pies and of course squirty cream. Later in the evening, out came the cheese board & biscuits and several bottles of port, just to round off a very successful camp.

Some of the last-night costumes: Danger Moose, the Joker (from Batman) and Lara Croft.

Martin Ludgate

Alan Lines and several others not in fancy dress were the judges, and they admitted it was the hardest yet to decide. The thought some had given to it was fantastic, and everyone deserved the round of applause that ensued. However I must warn the WRG board that James is now getting to like flashing his legs around. Last year he was Charlotte Church and this time he turned up as Lara Croft - the scary thing was it was very good and convincing, and I did need several beers to cool down. I also believe this was the largest number of fancy dress of all time? The winners were James as Lara Croft, Lesley as Boadicea and Valerie as Peter Pan. The judges decided it was too hard to decide between them.

A big thank you to all of you who came and (hopefully) enjoyed yourselves, especially to the five new volunteers (I would like to see you all again on a dig somewhere - you were all marvelous), to Frank for his team doing the breakfasts, Stevie B for doing the teas and coffees on site in his passion wagon, and Martin for his quiz.

In keeping with my practice of encouraging a new person to assist me, if I’m chosen to lead next WRG New Year Camp Paul Shaw (during a drunken moment) said he would like to assist. Watch this space! Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden

Martin Ludgate

Special thanks go to Maria for all the lovely cooking, and to James who helped so much.

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Camp Report

New Year at Seven Locks on the Wilts & Berks Wilts & Berks Canal New Year Camp Although the volunteers didn’t start arriving until Monday afternoon, so work didn’t start officially until Tuesday, Ray Aldridge spent most of Monday (with the assistance of the excavaor ‘Blue’) recycling the silt from Lock 4 of the Seven Locks flight to infill between the blockwork and towpath on Lock 3, accompanied by myself until I had to go and welcome the volunteers. Tuesday morning was bitterly cold (although we only saw about six of the snowflakes that were falling in the South East), and while Ray continued infilling on both the towpath and the offside, the rest of us shifted the two-man-lift hollow concrete blocks and bricks into position ready for raising the walls. After lunch, we all built up another course of blockwork on the offside, and filled the hollows with concrete, while Di (the camp cook) cleared another section of hedge by Lock 4 ready for laying, thus producing the foundation for our first bonfire on Wednesday. The weather is definitely against us for some of our plans, and Wednesday proved just as cold, well below freezing, even if we didn’t get the snow. No blocklaying or bricklaying was possible, and once again we concentrated on backfilling, a bit of hedgelaying, and our two D of E’ers, Jason and Chris, mattocked up a large stump from Lock 2. Even on Thursday, we started off at -4 degrees C, but at least we got a big bonfire going, burned all the hedgerow brash plus a lot of scrub from the offside of Lock 4. Di’s hot soup was very welcome at lunchtimes! On Thursday evening, we realised that we had spoken too soon in thinking that we had avoided the snow. Around teatime, it started falling thick and fast, and we abandoned our plans to go into Chippenham to see “Narnia”, and anyway people seemed to be too tired (can I really have worked them too hard?). The Foxham Inn seemed very welcoming, particularly with its good choice of ales, including an appropriate one called Festivity - a strong dark beer, which proved very popular.

page 12

On Friday, we woke up to howling gales and lashing rain. It was supposed to be warmer, but we’d almost have preferred the quiet, dry, sub-zero temperatures of Monday to Thursday! In fact, the day turned out to be Wet, Wet, Wet... We got some stumps pulled from the offside of Lock 4 and burnt, and prepared the fence ready for moving it out into the field to provide a space for piling up the soil from the offside preparatory to dismantling the lock wall for rebuilding. We poured the pea-grit up to level on Lock 3, and did yet more backfilling, but by the time we’d had lunch, we’d reached a unanimous decision to retire to the hall for a warm, dry, laid-back afternoon. After a satisfying tea of spag.bol. and chocolate sponge with choc. sauce, we motored off to Chippenham to see the Mighty Aslan at last, our usual skittle alley being fully booked. Saturday, the final official day of the camp, at last dawned dry, bright and comparatively mild, and we achieved several courses of blockwork laying, and infilling with concrete. Best of all, Chris, Jason, Lifeboat Alan, Welsh Alan, Luke, Rob and Ken decided they’d like to put in an extra day’s work on Sunday, New Year’s Day, and work until daylight went! We had hoped to finish Lock 3 by the end of 2005, and we will be very close to achieving our target. In fact, on Sunday, we’d recovered sufficiently from New Year’s Eve party to manage quite a bit of concreting, and Rob was at last able to indulge in his favourite occupation, bricklaying. Farmer Janet, the landowner for four of Seven Locks, allows us to have our ballast delivered to her yard, and we took the dumper down for a couple of trips, where it was loaded up by her nephew operating the large tractor. He assured us that he has been operating a tractor - Big Boy’s Toys since he was 8, and he must be all of 12 now. We couldn’t allow him onto our site, but he sure was useful down on the farm. For Mina, our 14-week-old flat-coated retriever, it was her first camp, although she has put in brief appearances on December digs at 7 Locks, and she provided the evening cabarets. True to her breed, she retrieved various socks, trainers, Tshirts, and even muddy boots onto my bed, which then had to be re-retrieved by their respective owners. The polished floor of the Reading Rooms provided a smashing skating rink when she was chasing after her ball (with 4-way splits), and when Jason tried to change his jeans before going down to the pub, Mina had other ideas. As fast as he tried to pull them up, she pulled them down again, and he was stranded half-mast. At one point, she was inserted into a sleeping bag, and this proceeded to bounce and wriggle itself right down the middle of the hall.


Alan Simister decided that it was his week’s challenge to train her; it was not too difficult to get her to sit, but staying put was quite another matter altogether for a hyperactive puppy! Di asked me to cook breakfast, as she says that I fry a mean egg, and every morning when it was well on its way the smoke alarm would go off. It proved better than any alarm clock at getting everyone up at just the right time. Otherwise, Di kept us well supplied with home-cooked cakes and hot puddings, and porridge in the mornings puts a lining on one’s stomach. Jason and Chris, our D of E’ers, were of course on their first camp, and we are hopeful that we will see more of them. They said that Di’s food surpassed their expectations, so maybe that will be an incentive to lure them back! My large ex-Gas Board van, which has seen such good service over the last 10 years, fetching and carrying cement, sand, pumps, tirfors, ladders, hedging stakes and binders, selling logs, etc., has to go to the great scrapheap in the sky within the next week or two, so a replacement had to be acquired.

Camp report

“OnFridaywewokeuptohowling gales and lashing rain...” Lo and behold, an ex-Post Office van has arrived, in true WRGie RED. David James, bless him, (a professional coach builder) has taken it home to do a bit on the bodywork,because his boss has allowed him use of the workshop and materials to repair the damaged top. It was back in time for the New Year. Despite the weather, everyone has worked incredibly hard, and we have achieved quite a lot, and the project has moved on another stage, and I am extremely grateful. Rachael Banyard

Volunteers at work on the 2005 National Waterways Festival camp at Preston Brook - see overleaf

page 13


Camp Report The IWA National Festival Camp at Preston Brook Camp 0518: sometime back in August IWA National Festival at Preston Brook It’s been a long time coming, but it has to be worth waiting for in terms of the sheer number of words that assistant leader Richard Worthington has produced about the National Festival Camp at Preston Brook.... My story starts early in the year with a phone call out of the blue from Al Moore. I didn’t know that she was to be Leader of the National so I was rather shocked to be asked if I wanted to be assistant in the summer, I accepted (the promise of a free tshirt) and over the course of the next months we organised what we hoped would be a great camp. The writing of this camp report is split between one of our newer volunteers, Paul Shaw (in normal text), and myself (in italics) Saturday – The Start Due to some evil traffic we got to site in the wee small hours of Saturday morning to find Rick B (Site 2) and Adrian (Carpark 1) still awake, we joined them then went to bed for a brief sleep before morning. The day was lovely, possibly the best of the whole camp and perfect for a bit of fencing. Actually a lot of fencing, even though I had been on site visits the place seemed to have grown in the meantime. Throughout the day we acquired vehicles and kit from various parts of the country and some of the happy campers (still suffering slightly from the final night of the Lichfield camp). They were soon put to work checking stuff and turning the place into home for the 100+ people who would eventually be there. The WRG compound this year was down a big hole and contained more tents and caravans than previous years, visions of how boggy it would get were pushed to the back of my mind - it would be fine. My only minor concern was that the sleeping marquee was missing its doors and the eating marquee was only a floor... well, there was still plenty of time Sunday – A Perfect Summer’s Day More of the same really, continuing the fencing, continuing the set up of site, and still the lovely weather continued. I idly wondered if it would stay the same for the rest of the week. The eating marquee went up apart from one wall and I decided to try out the sleeping marquee, still missing its doors and heater but the weather was still warm - so long as it continued it would be great

page 14

Very Early Monday – A Miserable Summer’s Night It rained. Lots. Monday – The Camp Starts From my experiences with the Lancaster Canal Trust, I was expecting to meet a bunch of nutters (in the nicest possible way) who were prepared to work hard, but have fun doing it. I was not disappointed on any count, and I found I fitted right in – especially the nutter bit! When I arrived, the site consisted of a few marquees and portacabins, with a long metal trackway running through the middle. Having registered and been issued with my orange wristband, the first person I happened to get chatting to was our LCT editor Janet Dunning. Before I knew it I had volunteered to write this article, and started regretting it immediately as normally I can’t string more than a few words together. However, a promise is a promise, so please bear with me... Other WRGies arrived throughout Monday afternoon, so that by evening there were about 40 of us. We weren’t allowed out until we had received a safety briefing, so Monday afternoon was spent doing small jobs such as washing up and burying cables to avoid people tripping up, but generally getting to know the rest of the team, many of whom were festival virgins like myself. Washing up was to become a byword between Janet and myself for the rest of the week, as we never seemed to stop doing it. After our safety briefing, we had a tour of the site, and it was clear that people had already been hard at work preparing for the influx of visitors and traders expected by the weekend. Much of the work had been done by the IWA team (the ‘blue shirts’ – WRGies are ‘red shirts’) including making bridges, repairing existing bridges, laying trackway, setting out the site and installing water and electricity. There was no useful work for us to do that night, so we were able to start drinking after a hearty meal. There was a rule that alcohol was not allowed until all the jobs for the day had been completed, and usually a great cheer when the ‘alcohol allowed’ sign was turned over. Evening meals were expertly prepared by two volunteers designated as chefs, with help when needed from the rest of the team. They kept us fed and watered with a different meal each day - no mean task considering the numbers they were catering for. Breakfast was supposed to be cooked on a rota basis, although in practise those people who were able to get up early enough after a long night cooked it. Imagine the washing up! The sleeping marquee was supposed to be heated, although the heater hadn’t been installed by my first night, and it did get a bit chilly overnight. However, it was better than the previous night, when apparently the doors had not been fitted! Monday I woke expecting a big swampy mess but was pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t as bad as I had thought: there was a good chance the new volunteers wouldn’t drive off as soon as they saw the place.


We tidied up the compound, chased up the missing side of the eating marquee, and waited clutching bags of wristbands and booking forms. You can always spot new volunteers - they look scared and are usually surrounded by moral support - but they soon sat down and started chatting; they even got to watch the missing side of the marquee being attached and looked slightly less concerned as a result. When the majority had arrived we gave them the safety talk and took them on a tour around site. Socialising quickly followed tea and everyone seemed to be getting along. As is traditional on the first night everyone was excited about new people and experiences, which meant they were likely to regret it the next morning... Tuesday - The First Full Day After breakfast we were split into teams and set various tasks. My team was allocated to the accommodation, to get the area tidy. This included cleaning out the dining tent, kitchen, toilets, showers and brew hut – not to mention the washing up! Other teams started erecting fencing, filling ruts and preparing pathways. These jobs continued throughout the week together with moving tables and chairs, siting fire extinguishers, making and erecting signs, erecting flags etc. The jobs were rotated so that in theory nobody ended up doing the same all the time. The first taste of a proper WRG breakfast for many volunteers, followed by our first day’s briefing. Always fans of the theory “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, we stole Moose’s idea of teams and team leaders from the previous year. As we hadn’t got our full compliment we started with four Team Leaders: Moose, Nina, Geezer Chris and Ed Higgins. Each was assigned about half a dozen volunteers for the duration with anyone left getting shuffled around a bit depending on the job the team was doing. Each day one of the teams would have to spend the start of the morning doing the washing up and tidying of the marquees and compound, the other teams were all allocated the jobs as they came in. As has been mentioned site was large so fencing was an ongoing job, getting a secure perimeter was the first thing to do for which ever team was fencing followed by any other odds and ends needed.

Site wasn’t particularly flat to begin with and having a load of large vehicles drive over it wasn’t going to help matters, so to combat this there was usually a team around with a dumper load of wood-chip and a couple of wheel barrows of earth. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – Setting Up As the week went on, more people turned up, so that during the festival there were over a hundred staying in the WRG compound: most in the marquee, but others had the relative luxury of their own caravans. Some hardy souls slept in their own tents. The various exhibitors had started arriving, and some of these needed help off-loading and establishing their displays, mainly because they needed loads lifting by forklift truck. Parts of the site had become very muddy, which meant that we were also involved in pushing/towing various vehicles out of the mud. We were also trying to cover the muddy patches with limestone chippings or chipped bark to prevent any further bogging down. As the more important jobs got done – fencing, major hole-filling - and we moved on to jobs that were more cosmetic or designed to make things easier for everyone. Geezer Chris’s team repaired the steps leading to the top canal, Nina’s group filled in holes and levelled off the tarmac and bridge for pedestrians while Sally took some spare volunteers to create a safe path from the bar back to the boats. Signs lined all the routes into the festival and then covered the site itself. Cables were buried, fire extinguishers distributed and anything remotely hazardous spray-painted (along with some toe-caps) Our only evening outing was a trip to the cinema, a chance to venture out into the real world and relax and eat popcorn. I watched “The Island”, a story about a varied group of people in a mysterious compound, following orders from above – sounded familiar. The other evenings activities mainly revolved around the bar tent and it’s usual array of evening entertainments and sitting around the wrg compound playing cards, chatting, the usual... Saturday, Sunday and Monday – The Festival

During the festival, the jobs changed a little, to include car parking, helping on the ‘Wild over Waterways’ stall, assisting at the arena and helping look for missing children (On one occasion, the description given was a ‘confident’ 14-year old girl. She was so confident that she was located half way up the abseiling tower!). The Lavender Boat crew set off every morning to collect rubbish and empty toilets from the 200-plus boats moored around the site. As the site was split in two every night, to allow campers access to the bar area but not the displays, the fencing team were kept busy each morning and evening. Of course, one job that never changed was – you’ve guessed it – good old washing up! The poo crew in action on the Lavender Boat

page 15


Camp Report “one verse of Endless Love was enough and we ran...”

At the close of the festival, temporary mayhem ensued as many of the exhibitors wanted to remove their own displays and leave the site as soon as possible. However, there were enough volunteers around to ensure that the mass evacuation went without a hitch, with the exception of having to ensure that some travelling folk did not gain access. The festival proper: exhibitors, public and volunteers working in harmony... well, until any of them meet. Having one big car park for the public and an exhibitors/disabled one just outside the gates meant that not too many people were needed at one time. We had volunteers on the Wow (Wild over Waterways) stand decorating and laying bricks, people helping out on the main arena with the different displays and others helping with the classic cars. As is becoming a tradition Chris was assisting with the cooking demonstrations and Moose was on rapid (rabid?) response for all those things you can’t plan for. To keep track of who was doing what and when Al commandeered a large Yellow piece of Correx and constructed the Big Yellow Chart - jobs down the side, timeline along the top, so that we could collar each volunteer in turn and put their name down. We celebrated birthdays, all on the same night. Jim Layman and Mk2 shared the celebrations though we’d kept it such a secret that Mark nearly didn’t turn up. Geezer Chris and I awarded the beer tent manager his own WRG T-shirt as he was donating three barrels for the last night party. In a bid to advertise WRG we tried to get his bar maids to wear WRG strappy tops but they decided it was too cold. Foiled again. The traditional “make WRG and the medics do something stupid” event involved a series of events in the main arena: relay races, a 5-legged race (four in a team) and other similar games.

page 16

There was the medics’ team, a WRG “new blood” team and a WRG “old hands” team. Officially it was the medics who were victorious with the Old Hands second and New Blood third: apparently using initiative, or ‘cheating’ as it was called, doesn’t get you bonus points. The closing ceremony saw all the volunteers walking around the arena with the IWA volunteers and others involved with the festival. As soon as this was over we launched into action fencing bits of site off, trying to get rid of the exhibitors and collecting up all of the signs and bits that had been put out. Rather than trying to put them all back into the Tardis (IWA Trailer) it was decided to put them all in the main arena, this made the job much easier and meant that a lot more was done that night than we had expected. Everything went smoothly and we got the majority of the stuff collected in record time. We also got to test the volunteers’ spelling skills. Bill the Quartermaster of the Tardis was retiring and we had a plan to spell out “THANK YOU” using people’s bodies (living) then photograph it for a presentation. Tuesday – The Takedown & Party This left Tuesday to continue with the closing down of the main site, i.e. taking down fencing, collecting tables & chairs, removing signs and banners. Tuesday was party night: a fancy dress party based on Alice in Wonderland, following the theme of the festival itself. A good time was had by all (I think). There were still a few bits and bobs to collect around site, and the fencing was reduced to a bare minimum. We packed up kit that wouldn’t be needed again to reduce the stuff to be done on Wednesday. As the day went on I hijacked our more creative volunteers to help prepare for the party: soon there were teapots, murals and other decorations appearing all over the place. The side of the marquee was removed and tables set up outside. After a suggestion from Gavin about Karaoke we found a guy willing to entertain us for the evening: he turned up early and spent quite a while watching us with a bemused look on his face before setting up in a corner. Mid afternoon enthusiasm for work was waning so a quick call to Nigel assured us that everything was done and we could stand down. There was a rush to the showers from our newer volunteers, and a rush to the beer fridge for the old hands.

A message to Bill, the retiring


People added the finishing touches to their fancy dress, which ranged from simple hats and wigs up to full costumes. The marquee was soon full of interesting characters - white rabbits, a couple of Alices, a Queen of Hearts and at least one Mad Hatter.Everyone ate a wonderful meal, then the microphone was handed to Al and me for the giving of awards. The team leaders were recognised, as were Dolly and Olivia for brick laying, Martin for helping with many of the breakfasts and James “McFly” for looking like a member of the band McFly. With the awards over with we tried to leave but discovered that Angela and Siobhan had conspired to make us sing Karaoke, one verse of “Endless Love” was enough and we ran. Later we had singing Bungle and Angela, a duet by Womble and Gav and some Madonna from Alice, Angela, Claire, Fiona, Kate, Nina, Olivia and Vaz. There was music and dancing going on as well, with Chad and Ed Higgins bringing the spirit of John Travolta to Preston Brook. At midnight the DJ packed up so we had to make our own entertainment: out came the Frisbee for a particularly frantic and risky game in the marquee while those outside set up a stereo to sing along to some classic rock. As always we made an attempt to see the sunrise, and as always we gave up when we realised quite how cold it gets outside, even in August. Wednesday – The End By Wednesday morning, many of the volunteers had already left for home, and those of us that remained were closing down the WRG compound, sorting out the various kit into the correct trailers and sending it on its way. By the time I left in mid-afternoon, there were only a handful left; some would be staying a couple of extra days to complete the clear up. Packing up time: the last of the kit for the trailers, the last of the signs and fencing, the last of everything. People were leaving throughout the day depending on the distance they had to travel and the reliability of public transport. Finishing off the half dozen tubs of ice cream was one of the better challenges for the people left; dismantling the “Poo Pipe” was less enjoyable. Lunch was a huge pile of Pizza Hut’s finest, and the discovery that barbeque sauce comes in really big pots if you order enough. Everything we needed to do was completed by the end of the day, a few were staying the night but I said my goodbyes and headed off for the comfort of a real bed.

quartermaster of the Tardis

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time. It was hard work, but it’s great to see the results of all the effort come to fruition. I arrived home exhausted, but having made many new friends and made a lot of use of the fun element. Will I go again? Of course I will! As you can see above we definitely had one happy camper and I hope that the rest felt the same way. This was mine and Al’s first real attempt at leadership of anything like this so it could all have very easily have gone very wrong, a lot of the reasons it didn’t were down to the people around us. Our four team leaders made our lives easy, getting on with anything they were asked to do, Ed suffered through several days of hole-filling and Nina put up more signs than anyone ever should. Moose was ready for any task and available to offer advice based on his experiences the previous year. Geezer Chris made a very useful secretary/personal assistant, and spent a lot of the festival making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time. Our cooks kept us well fed throughout, with Neil keeping everything running smoothly and Liz available to keep him in line in Al’s absence. Anyone who helped with breakfast also deserves his or her own praise. Thanks to Bungle for being useful and for all the things he mended for us - the marquee would have been a chilly place without that heater. Site 1 and Site 2, Nigel and Rick B have to be mentioned for knowing what needed to be done and for explaining it to us without scaring us too much. Anyone who volunteered to be duty driver is officially a saint, anyone who volunteered nearly every night is officially nuts, so thanks to James. Last, and by no means least, thanks to Al for asking me to help her lead, for being more organised than me and for her ability to function at 7 in the morning. All that’s left to be said is: “Roger. Over.” “Under and In.” “What, what!” Richard Cool – WRG2 Paul Shaw P.S. More National photos at: http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ richardworthington/my_photos

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 0601') should go to WRG Canal Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Feb 11/12

NWPG

Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Seven Locks

Feb 11/12

wrgSW

To be arranged

Feb 11/12

FCC

Cromford Canal

Feb 18 Sat

KESCRG/WRG Barn Dance: Benson, Oxfordshire from 7pm, tickets £10 inc fish & chip (or vegg

Feb 18/19

wrgBITM

Grantham Canal: Leader: Rachael Banyard

Feb 25/26

London WRG

Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Seven Locks

Feb 25 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Mar 4/5

KESCRG

Mon & Brec Canal: Dig Deep project at Fourteen Locks

Mar 4/5

wrgNW

Derby Canal (or Hollinwood Canal): provisional

Mar 4/5

Essex WRG

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation: Clearance & maintenance work

Mar 4/5

FCC

Cromford Canal

Mar 5 Sun

WRG

Committee & Board Meetings

Mar 11/12

NWPG

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project at Tamworth Road locks

Mar 18/19

WRG

BCN Cleanup: Wyrley & Essington Canal. Led by Aileen Butler and London WRG but centrally booked. Please see p32 fo

Mar 18/19

London WRG

BCN Cleanup

Mar 18/19

wrgBITM

Basingstoke Canal

Mar 18/19

wrgSW

To be arranged

Mar 25/26

ECPDA

Erewash Canal cleanup weekend

Apr 1/2

Essex WRG

To be arrange

Apr 1 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Apr 8/9

London WRG

Mon & Brec Canal: Dig Deep project at Fourteen Locks

Apr 8/9

NWPG

Basingstoke Canal

Apr 8/9

KESCRG

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project at Tamworth Road

Apr 8/9

wrgBITM

Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Seven Locks. Leader: Rachael Banya

Apr 8-17

Camp 0601

Lichfield Easter Camp. Working at Tamworth Road Locks, Lichfield. Cost: £54

Apr 8-17

Camp 0602

Wilts & Berks (Foxham) Easter Camp: Work at Seven Locks flight. Leaders: Sm

Apr 14-17

wrgNW

Lancaster Canal Trail-Boat Rally (Easter): Northern Reaches. Work Party and S

Apr 14-17

IWA

National Trailboat Festival: Lancaster Canal Northern Reaches. Site services s

Apr 22/23

wrgSW

To be arranged

Apr 26-May 2 WRG / IWA

Site services for Canalway Cavalcade, Little Venice, led by Dave Hearnden. Exact

Apr 29-May 1 KESCRG

Wendover Arm: Installation of two bridges, plus other work

Apr 29-May 1 wrgBITM

Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice: BITM Sales Stand only

Apr 29-May 1 wrgNW

Mon & Brec Canal, or Grand Western: provisional

Apr 29-May 1 Essex WRG

To be arranged

Apr 29-May 1 IWA

Canalway Cavalcade: Little Venice, London. Site services team led by Dave ‘Moos

May 6/7

NWPG

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project at Tamworth Road locks

May 6 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

page 18


p

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

gie) supper. See p34

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

Gavin Moor

07970-989245

gavin.moor@wrg.org.uk

David Tinkler

01159-635113

dtink@supanet.com

Helen Gardner

07989-425346

helen_gardner@hotmail.com

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com

Dave Dobbin

01702-544096

essex@wrg.org.uk

David Tinkler

01159-635113

dtink@supanet.com

Mike Palmer

01564-785293

mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

07703-567764

enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Gavin Moor

07970-989245

gavin.moor@wrg.org.uk

Mick Golds

0115-9328042

Dave Dobbin

01702-544096

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Aileen Butler or details and booking form.

ard.

essex@wrg.org.uk

enquiries@wrg.org.uk

mudge & Taz. Cost: ÂŁ54

Sales Stand. Provisional.David McCarthy

enquiries@wrg.org.uk 0161-740-2179

upported by WRG volunteer team Gavin Moor

malcolm.bridge@btclick.com enquiries@wrg.org.uk

07970-989245

gavin.moor@wrg.org.uk

07961-922153

moose@wrg.org.uk

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.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

07961-922153

moose@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

t dates to be confirmed Dave Hearnden

seÂ’ Hearnden - see p33 Dave Hearnden

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 email: 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 SocietiesÂ’ 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 Thurs BCS Buckingham area 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 2nd weekend of month 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, 2nd, 4th Sun + 3rd Sat LHCRT Lichfield Phil Sharpe 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 John Empringham 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 Grp Laurie Wraight Various dates WACT Hedgelaying (Oct-Mar)Keith Nichols 1st w/e of month (Fri-Mon) WAT Drayton Beauchamp 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

page 20

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 01889-583330 01543-374370 01757-638027 01744-731746 01225-428055 01483-721710 01673-862278 01948-880723 01474-362861 023-9246-3025 01483-562657 020-8241-7736 01483-772132 01483-422519 01903-721404 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


BCN Cleanup

BCN Cleanup: March 18-19 2006 Wyrley & Essington Canal

By the time you receive this issue of Navvies the annual Birmingham Canal Navigations Cleanup weekend will be about a month away. So it will be just the right time to send off your booking form, and look forward to a weekend of pulling bikes, prams, trolleys, tyres (and the occasional more interesting find - such as a computer, a safe, a washing machine, a lamp-post and enough bits of old car to assemble into something at least as reliable as the editor’s Morris Traveller, if the last few years are anything to go by) out of the waters of the Black Country canals.

Book now for the annual BCN trolley-fest!

As usual we have picked one of the lesser-used (except by fly-tippers) parts of this fascinating network of industrial waterways. This year we’ll be working on the Wyrley & Essington Canal, concentrating on the sections on either side of Birchills Junction where it meets the Walsall Canal.

Martin Ludgate

Accommodation will be available on both Friday and Saturday nights: we hope to be in a school close to the site, but if not we are likely to be a couple of miles away at the same school as we used last time - and once again Jude Moore has kindly offered to take charge of catering. Alternatively you are welcome to just turn up for the day on either or both days in which case you do not need to book - just turn up at the signing-in point at Sneyd Junction (there will be signs to it on nearby roads) and remember to tell them if you want sandwiches for lunch. Work gloves and grappling hooks will as usual be provided by BW. Moving the goalposts: one of 2005’s more unusual finds. Accommodation details will be sent to everyone who books, and on the WRG website as soon as they are available, or by phone from WRG co-ordinator for the weekend, Aileen Butler on 07703 567764.

waterway recovery group

in association with BCNS, BW and IWA

I would like to attend the 2006 National Canal Cleanup on Mar 18-19 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

page 21


Directory

Please help us keep the Directory up to date - see below right ASHBY CANAL ASSOCIATION Rod Smith 4 Ashby Road, Sinope Coalville LE67 3AY Tel: 01530 833307 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

page 22

COTSWOLD CANALS TRUST Neil Ritchie, The Chapel House Sandford Rd, Churchdown Gloucestershire GL3 2HD 01452 854057 email: NeilSigns@aol.com www.cotswoldcanals.com/ DERBY & SANDIACRE CANAL SOCIETY Doug Flack 23 Thoresby Crescent, Draycott Derby DE72 3PH 01332 874239 www.derbycanal.org.uk DIG DEEP INITIATIVE Alan Cavender 10 Vicarage Road Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 7DS 01628 629033 email: 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

GRAND WESTERN CANAL TRUST Denis Dodd, Wharf Cottage Nynehead, Wellington Somerset TA21 0BU 01823 661653

SCARS (SANKEY CANAL) Colin Greenall 16 Bleak Hill Rd, Eccleston St. Helens WA10 4RW 01744 731746 www.scars.org.uk

GRANTHAM CANAL RESTORATION SOCIETY Colin Bryan 113 Hoe View Road Cropwell Bishop Nottingham NG12 3DJ 01159 892248 email: colin@granthamcanal.com 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 KENT & EAST SUSSEX CANAL RESTORATION GROUP Eddie Jones ‘Altamount’, Coventry Road Fillongley Coventry CV7 8EQ 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 NWPG Norfolk NR19 1XT email: 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: mike@foxcm.freeserve.co.uk 01405 763985 (days) www.foxcanal.fsnet.co.uk www.pocklington.gov.uk/PCAS

SHROPSHIRE UNION CS Richard Hall, 35 Tyrley Cottages Market Drayton TF9 2AH 01630 657737 email: hall@ostw.co.uk www.shropshireunion.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 HP4 2NU 01442 874536 www.wendoverarmtrust.org.uk WEY & ARUN CT The Granary Flitchfold Farm Loxwood Billingshurst West Sussex RH14 ORH 01403 752403 email: office@weyandarun.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: colin@cslt0001.plus.com 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 WRG NORTH WEST Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank Littleborough Lancashire OL15 0JQ 01706 378582 email: nw@wrg.org.uk www.wrgnw.org.uk WRG NW - ENQUIRIES/ PAPERCHASES David McCarthy Woodstock, 14 Crumpsall Lane Manchester. M8 5FB 0161-740 2179 www.wrgnw.org.uk WRG 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

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 54 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 '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 'WRGWEAR' CLOTHING Helen Gardner NB 'Sussex' Weaver Shipyard Saxons Lane Northwich CW8 1LB 07989 425346 email: wrgwear@wrg.org.uk WRG FORESTRY TEAM Graham Robinson Springwell, Spark Bridge Ulverston Cumbria LA12 7ST 01229 861317 WRG BOAT CLUB Sadie Dean 236 Station Rd Whittlesey Peterborough PE7 2HA 01733 204505 07748 186867 (mobile) email sadiedean@vizzavi.net

WRG DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN Mike Palmer 3 Finwood Road Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 email: mike.palmer@wrg.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

TREASURER Roger Day, 5 Merton Road, Slough Berks SL1 1QW

OTHER DIRECTORS

SECRETARY Neil Edwards, c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY email: neil@waterways.org.uk

Mick Beattie 22 Bridgewater Ave Anchorsholme, Blackpool Lancs FY5 3NA 01253 864034

WRG PLANT Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank Littleborough Lancashire OL15 0JQ email: malcolm.bridge@wrg.org.uk 01706 378582

Adrian Fry 89 The Causeway, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 4LD 07976 640962 email: amf@wrg.org.uk

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

George Eycott (see under Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, left)

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 organiserÂ’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 23


Dig Report

KESCRG and London WRG’s Xmas dig on the Wilts & Berks KESCRG/LWRG Christmas Dig The Christmas dig this year was held on the Wilts and Berks working on the Seven Locks site, also the site for the October Camp and with each of the locks at a different stage of restoration. Accommodation was at the Youth Centre in the middle of a roundabout and I circled it the wrong way on foot before finding the door! By the time I arrived drinking had commenced and it seemed rude not to join in. This was fine until it was announced that we had already demolished one barrel and there was only one more for the Saturday night. However this was not a reason to stop and things migrated to the side room with a pool table and continued for some time.

The waft of breakfast implied it must be time to get up although the sound of heavy rain on the roof didn’t make moving a tempting prospect. However the weather improved just as we set off for site but it remained wet all morning. The work was spread across several of the locks in the flight. Between the road and Lock One large trees were being taken out by the chainsawers. At Lock Two the stumps which were left from the October Camp had to be taken out and burnt. It took until tea break to get the fire started and although we didn’t resort to any inflammatory means we did burn several celebrities! Nothing could be done to the wing walls of Lock Three due to the weather but between Locks Three and Four hedge laying was continued. On the off side at Lock Four scrub bashing was taking out a collection of small trees. There was also a stream in the way which proved to be deeper than boot height. Despite the teamwork of the trees holding each other up, Bob was used to demolish more than everyone else. As the light went we regrouped and returned to the accommodation. As people became more civilised beer was begun and a minibus run for alternatives was arranged. Soon after it had to be a run for beer as the barrel looked in danger of running out before the festivities had begun.

Martin Ludgate

Martin Ludgate

The theme for the party was Mad Hatters and a wide range of styles emerged. A spectacular Christmas dinner was served with choices at every stage. Before pudding there was a short interval for the Hat Parade. Prizes were awarded for a range of categories and the winner was Alan (Welsh) with a wonderful interpretation of ‘The LWRG/KESCRG, Christmas, Party, at Seven Locks, on the Wilts and Berks, Canal, in Chippenham’.

The Lock 2 Tirfor team hard at work

page 24

Lock 4 emerges from the undergrowth


Martin Ludgate

Rowena Gaskell

Martin Ludgate

Sunday breakfast arrived earlier than expected and included a reincarnation of the left overs into bubble and squeak which was rather heavy on the sprouts! Eventually we reached site and continued where we left off. At Lock Two the fire took little persuasion and we tested its ability to devour tree stumps. These were being supplied by a team using up to three tirfors. At Lock Four the remaining trees were felled and burnt. Then there was essential fire watching and marshmallow eating. Once the tin of Quality Street had been eaten we could return to the accommodation and then into the darkness.

Martin Ludgate

The entertainment continued after pudding with a hat-based quiz, list as many hats as possible, a velcro hat game, junk modelling and the finally the doff off! Once again there was a migration to the side room where singing took place into the wee small hours.

Above left: Alan’s award-winning hat depicted in seven tiers “London WRG / KESCRG Xmas Party at Seven Locks on the Wilts & Berks Canal, near Chippenham” (chips & ham, geddit???). Top: It would appear that Helen didn’t want anyone getting too close to her during the evening. Above right: Liz introduces a new party game: pin the hard-hat on the IWA honorary engineering consultant (see also p26)

page 25


KESCRG

KESCRG Chairman Ian brings us the latest news

KESCRG update Well I have just got back from a slightly shortened dig on the Chichester, nothing to do with working with the chainsaw team but caused by the stuff that falls from the sky. It was a very successful weekend in any case. See our report on the website! [and on the opposite page. ...Ed]

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all those who came to Chippenham for the Christmas weekend it was a very enjoyable do. Thanks to Rachel for organising all the work (and coping with the large amounts of water Friday night brought us) and to Eli and her team for a fabulous feast on Saturday evening. Eli was the proud recipient of the KESCRG trophy, our award that is given to those who have put in exceptional effort in supporting the work of the group. For those who haven’t seen it, it is a narrow boat made out of coal dust and resin and mounted on a old piece of lock gate from the Basingstoke, our original home site. Full report by Rowena elsewhere in this issue. I am very pleased to say as a group we have now recovered from the awful end to 2004 when our trailer was broken into and most of our equipment stolen. We are now back to full strength, more determined than ever to keep on digging!

KESCRG

Many people joined us over 2005 on our various digs and the summer camp. Those who were there please do look at KESCRG clearing the towpath (and toasting canapes) at Chichester progress on the W&A website and book again for this summer - we’ll be tackling lowering the top end of Brewhurst lock this time, and we’ll be able to admire a finished Loxwood lock.

KESCRG

If anyone out there would like to join us at any weekend we run, please do get in touch via www.kescrg.co.uk we’d love to see you even if only for one or two days. Contrary to some new campers perceptions you don’t need to be a member, just give us a call so we can ensure we have enough food for you. If you would like to get email reminders of digs please let me know via website or ask directly to Jenny Black at head office who manages it for us.

The cleared towpath and freshly-laid hedge afterwards

page 26

Happy New Year everyone and look forward to seeing you during the year on a dig, at the barn dance or come and help us cook bhajis on our food stall!! Ian Williamson KESCRG Chairman


“Oh, you didn’t?!” KESCRG on the Chichester, January 7-8th 2006 I’d like to start this report by reminding all those who didn’t even know it in the first place that I lived in Bournemouth for three years, and one of these years was the first in which I owned my own car. For this reason, selecting the correct exit from the bottom of the M3 in order to proceed west on the M27 is indelibly stamped upon my memory. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. So there we were, Eddie Jones, Jenni Copeland and I, in SAD, headin’ on down the M3, forgetting to make the requested burger stop for Jen (that’ll teach her to be able to sleep in a moving Transit) when we came to the Automatic Pilot Moment. “M27 West,” said I. Eddie made acknowledging noises. It wasn’t until the sign which reads “no right turn at Rufus Stone” that I realised we were staring the New Forest in the face, and that for Chichester, you need M27 East, and that the next sign reads “no right turn for 10 miles”. Eventual arrival at the 12th Chichester Scout Hut (I assume the previous 11 had no hot water and one tiny basin as well) revealed two couples already abed (didn’t stop Brian giving me the traditional greeting of a killer handshake and big grin!) but a fair few motors in the car park. A quick call to Stephen and we were hot-footing it down the Swan, which has these new-fangled extended hours. And we’d made ‘in’ by 2 minutes. Stephen, Bushbaby, Gaz, Kaz, Clive, Ian, Dr. Liz and Spence awaited us at the bar. The next morning was grey and very cold. We emerged from our blue ‘you have failed me, No9; you will pay the ultimate price’ chairs after brekky and drove to site, flooding an unsuspecting residential street with strange (you’ve seen Clive’s Land Rover?) vehicles and even stranger (you’ve seen Spencer’s chainsaw-wear?) hi-vis clothing. Loudly announcing fact-finding visits for the new bypass, supermarket, branch of IKEA, etc, we headed down to towpath level. We started taking the brambles out in order to get to the trees which were to come out. We started the Burco. Clive and Spence started their engines. Everyone else started shivering so Bushbaby started a fire. Everyone started when things started to drop in every direction (including into the cut) and the ever-present pedestrians and cyclists started and stopped all at once when they realised their right of way had just been blocked by a large tree. Meanwhile, Di and Rachel (with adorable new puppy, Meena, in tow) did some excellent hedgelaying further up the site and the locals went out to play with their tug and barge.

KESCRG

Pre-lunch canapes on the Chichester Canal... That evening, we all enjoyed what just happens to be my favourite winter dig dinner: lasagne, broccoli and garlic bread, the caterers (Brian, Maureen and Kaz) having excelled themselves yet again. Sorry, I should say Aunty Maureen’s Lightly-Breaded Garlicly Garlicness. This was followed by a creative session, in order to get our new promotional leaflet designed and some words for it drafted. Then, it was off to the Swan again, and sprawled across the big, brown leather sofas with pints of London Pride, it was a treat for the single blokes as around 20 (could have been more) girls arrived, all dressed as golfers and out for someone’s 21st. Occasionally, one shouted “fore!” and everyone (except the amazingly tall and long-legged Nordic-looking one) sat on the floor. Site the next day was different only in that is was even colder and WET, so we had two fires. One fire was so hot, there was no rain around it. Bushbaby invented a KESCRG version of pre-lunch canapes – recipe below. The rain eventually did us in, so it was back to the scout hut for lunch and, sadly, the end of my earplugs, as I was forced to stick them up my nose in order to go into the gents’ toilet before leaving. The previous occupant will remain nameless. Eddie, Jenni and I stopped in at MKP’s on the way back to drop off some logs for their fire. I have to say it all felt like a very long weekend crammed into the usual two days, but then it does say “Kent & East Sussex Canal Restoration Group” on the side of the trailer. Say no more! Mark ‘Mk2’ RIchardson Winter Dig Pre-Lunch Canapes, KESCRG-style. You will need: 1 keb, 4 skewers with ring-type ends, 2 packets supermarket own-brand marshmallows, 1 packet supermarket own-brand ginger nuts, roaring fire. Directions: Place 2 marshmallows on each skewer, and hang them on the tines of the keb. Place the marshmallows in the fire using the keb to ensure that you don’t get too close to the fire and melt your hi-vis. Once the marshmallows catch fire (oops), retract the keb, remove them and place them on a ginger nut. Eat. Repeat. Slightly lose appetite for lunch.

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WRG’s Forestry Team: Foxton and beyond... WRG Forestry Team So we finally finished at Foxton and a big thank you to the team and everyone who lent a hand whether for 2 hours, 2 days or 2 weeks, your presence was greatly appreciated. In the end it was a slog and a rush to get finished before; well you don’t need me to tell you why, do you. In the end I was able to report to Tenko that we had completed the task. Not that he was ecstatic - Foxton wasn’t his favourite place on earth as he left there very ill back in February. I know he was pleased though, he knew when we started what a massive undertaking for a small group it was. Special thanks must go to Jen who stuck it out with me on that last long, very long, weekend in October to actually finish the job. Quite who was driving who on at the end I’m not sure, we were both totally exhausted and couldn’t get away from the place fast enough... or so I thought. By the time I’d reached the top of the hill on the way out of site, I was already having withdrawal symptoms - what the hell were we going to do next, and how could we ever follow a project like that? This is now the second major project that WRG Forestry has been involved with British Waterways and without any real problems. My biggest concern is that the various areas and departments seem to have great difficulty in communicating with each other but they at least will admit to that. We as a team and individually had absolutely no difficulties with any of waterways staff, in fact I think we can class both BW engineers Graham Lea at Froghall and Peter Ruffle at Foxton as true friends. Foxton project manager James Clifton also deserves special praise for rolling his sleeves up and mucking in with the rest of us and also for his home made biscuits. My thanks also to Mike Beech from FIPT who allowed us the use of the museum for overnight accommodation; we definitely thought at this point that we were doomed to spend eternity at Foxton by being added to the exhibits in the collection. We may go back, BW want to survey and assess those trees which surround the site, so there may well be some remedial work at a later date. I hope so: I personally prefer the arboricultural side of our work to the crash and bash of forestry.

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Graham ‘Sparky’ Robinson

Tenko The world is one really 100% genuine nice guy less this year with the passing away of my best mate ‘Tenko’. I still can’t really believe that there will be no more epic journeys to a canal nearer you than us, no more extended phone calls where two hours was the norm for putting the world and WRG to rights, and of course no more legendary ‘Tenko’s tales’. I’ll miss his easy-going matterof-fact ways out on site, his advice on all things practical (not always heeded by me, I have to say), and his physical presence - he was a lot stronger than he looked and was always up for any job that was thrown at him. I’ll miss his technical prowess with a chain saw - he was far better on the bigger trees than me - but most of all I’ll just miss him being around. Sparky

Alison Johnson

WRG FT

WRG FT paid a visit to the Cromford canal between Xmas and New Year helping with the general tidying up of areas around Codnor Park Reservoir. Our initial brief was a selected thinning of various trees on the Pinxton Arm all of which appeared to be marked in some form or other. Moose and team had other ideas however, obviously wanting to reach Ironville on day one, burning, pillaging and roping as they went, this understandably upset some of the local community who retaliated with whatever they could lay their (fetchingly primrose coloured marigold covered ) hands on, mainly snow in the form of balls and balls to you too, you little wooses. They were no match however for the WRG Xmas Guard who hacked and chopped (technical speak for felling) their way to the outskirts of Ironville by first nightfall. Good to see Alison out again.

Tenko (right) with Sparky and Alison


Dave “Tenko” Johnson As writing things goes, this is probably the hardest I’ve ever encountered. Not for lack of inspiration for I have plenty, nor of time, but for trying to write about someone who meant so much whilst fearing I may not come even close to doing him justice in the words that follow. Tenko’s “previous life”, the one prior to his involvement in WRG was just as full as it was during his involvement – Sparky said the years’ worth of stuff he packed in just couldn’t add up … How did he fit it all in?! He spent much of his earlier years sailing as well as doing all sorts of other activities with his brother, Peter (always referred to as “Our Kid” by Himself), such as walking, climbing and going down mines. One secret he managed to keep from all except Alison and family was that he trained to be a chef - and then a pastry chef no less! To learn this of a man who we knew to barely even set foot in a kitchen (unless it be to wash up or make a brew) was a surprise to say the least - we were shocked (but not appalled!)!!! He then went on to work for the National Trust – his perfect job – in the Lake District where he was an assistant warden. This in turn led him to being involved in Acorn Camps – the National Trust’s version of our own Canal Camps – where his skills as a chef were also put to full use and huge catering quantities of food would be produced! You can start to understand why his desire to stay away from the kitchen developed! It was this National Trust connection that was to lead him into the world of Waterway Recovery Group, first meeting “Captain Canal Camps” (Mr Edwards!) and then almost by chance “Mucky” Mick Beattie who happened to be sat in a lay-by in a WRG van that Neil had ‘borrowed’(with driver!) for a National Trust camp Tenko was on. They got chatting as only Mick and Tenko could, and there opened the gate to the road which Tenko was to tread for the rest of his life.

Tenko

An appreciation of Dave ‘Tenko’ Johnson, 1958-2005 The NA specialised in travelling ridiculously long distances for a weekend at a time when other ‘regional’ groups stuck to their own ‘patch’… no distance was too great! The return journey of one such trip would see Tenko driving up to Frankley services with all the others in the van asleep – until he came back from his coffee break (having locked them in) slammed the door and said “It’s someone else’s turn now!” and promptly went off to sleep himself! Chichester and the Wey and Arun were visited regularly as well as the much closer Bugsworth Basin and Lancaster Canal. A lifelong friendship was to be forged at the latter when Graham (Sparky) turned up on a camp there to find out just who wrg were! After that point Tenko regularly used to go and help Sparky with various jobs up there, frequently after work. He also enjoyed his time working with Roger Burchett as WRG security at The National Festivals, taking great delight in creeping up on people...

He started off in Navvies Anonymous (‘The NA’), specialising and being the resident expert in chainsaw operation - but would do whatever was needed to get the job done. For those of you who never realised where he got his nickname the following entry in The Navvies Anonymous Handbook should serve to enlighten: “Tenko is so called as he looks like he’s returned from a Japanese Prisoner of War camp… Not a bad mechanic, not a bad drinker, not a bad driver but don’t give him rice.”

In the tug at Chichester

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He was always fixing and tinkering with things… he loved it! He spent many hours getting the tugs at Chichester up and running (“A job’s not done properly if you don’t have spares at the end!”). He loved his tools too, taking great care of them and hating tool abuse. Strange then that he should choose to join Mick and the others who shall remain Anonymous (!) to help with Canal Camp Logistics! A trip to one camp resulted in tools being collected up and put in the trailer which was then padlocked but not with a wrg one. Mick said they’d have to ask Tenko to unlock it as it was his padlock but when asked to remove it he said they weren’t fit to use the tools! His day job was that of a mechanic (of various guises – not such a surprise! Pastry Chef, honestly!!!!) and he amused the lads at work with his tales of what he’d been up to at the weekend. Easter and Christmas camps were held every year at the Wey and Arun where huge amounts of tree were felled, shifted and lifted, with Tenko leading from the front with his chainsaw. I was always amazed how much of a difference we made each time. Always thinking of others, one Christmas Tenko offered to drive me back to Birmingham from the camp mid-week as I couldn’t stay for the whole of the camp. I drove up to Brum in the thick fog in the legendary gold Sierra so that he might be able to get a bit of sleep before heading back down to the camp again! The tale goes that on his return into Kirdford the fog was so thick he had to get out of the car and get down on his hands and knees in order to find where the road went right (there’s a really good bendy bit just outside the village if you don’t know it!)

Although willing to work on any project his real love was forestry work and with Sparky he formed the WRG Forestry Team, dedicated to professional tree clearance and arboriculture within the voluntary canal restoration sector. After much work had been done down on the Cotswolds and elsewhere, the Team embarked on the Destination Froghall project – no small undertaking. Clearing the site was the first stage of the project and I know Tenko got a real satisfaction from being involved in that. I’m so glad he made it to the official opening last July to see the completion of the restoration cycle. Tenko really could talk. If you rang, Alison would hardly get a word in and the conversation would last for hours. And on their many long trips South, Sparky said it was often Birmingham before he could get a word in edgeways!! The many anecdotes of his antics were often told in a ‘round the campfire’ style and these became known to Alison and his close friends as “Tenko’s Tales”. There were so many of these - everyone has their favourites! (A few have been included in italics throughout) He always aimed to entertain and invariably succeeded!

At RAF Kemble on the 1995 Reunion weekend, Tenko met Alison. He found in her a soul mate, with whom he could share his love of life, nature and canal restoration. They spent a lot of time out on canals together, both holidays as well as the restoration work.

Mike Beech

The Wey and Arun of course became a favourite destination for bijoux campettes for Tenko and Sparky. They embarked on the epic journey South very regularly (that’s a lot of talking!) to complete yet another section of fencing, removing trees from locks that were shortly due to be restored or just keeping the trees on the line in regular check.

On the aerial ropeway at Foxton Inclined Plane


He was full of knowledge about all sorts, and was always hungry for more as he would never have supposed that he knew it all! Training was always very important to him. He was never ever so proud as to keep all of it to himself though, selflessly sharing what he knew with others whenever he could. Playing badminton with him in Sedgwick village hall, but the unconventional way... with a frying pan! Mind you, we could hardly play because we were laughing so much!

Mike Beech

For me it was his sense of humour that really shone through … his phrases that I’ve been using ever since I met him. Is that Chinese plumber with you? Lea King! He had a very wicked mischievous smile that usually went with some hilarious act of silliTeaching Clive forestry ness! Showing off his Zip line prowess at Foxton is one of the more recent examples. Jollity was the prime order of the day, after the professionalism, whatever the job was, wherever you went. And just getting on with the job, no fuss, no bother, no matter how tricky. You couldn’t wish to meet a nicer more genuine, down-to-earth chap – definitely one of the good guys! Bless you, Tenko, the newness has unfortunately worn off and I’ll never be able to feel the back of your hand again.

He thought himself “just an ordinary bloke” but anyone who met him will know that he was an extraordinary bloke! There was so much more I could have written. He is still here with us though; in our hearts and the many happy memories … Nothing forgotten – How could anyone who ever met him forget him?! Just Jen

Jen Leigh

“He was kind. He was patient. He was respected. He was thorough. He cared about people. He was trusted. He loved to mend things. He was funny. He was forthright. He was passionate. He was loved. He liked to help people.” (Alison)

An honest man… Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d; Few heads with knowledge so inform’d; If there’s another world he lives in bliss; If there is none, he made the best of this.

[If anyone wishes to do something in memory of Himself they can do so by donating to The Woodland Trust. w w w. w o o d l a n d - t r u s t . o r g . u k / livingmemorials. There is a fund set up in his name, David Johnson - ref 303276623.]

Jen Leigh

from Epitaph on a Friend, Robert Burns (chosen by Alison)

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Progress

Wey & Arun update

an Book

The new lock (presently called 5A) at Loxwood is nearing completion and our target date is 3pm on the 21st March 2006 less gates, bridge and back pump.

The latest news from the Wey & Arun Canal

Eric Walker is the WACT project leader. His team works at the lock every Thursday and Sunday and welcomes volunteers - phone him on 023 9246 3025. There is plenty of work still to do, although we are amazed at what his team plus WRG and the other visiting groups have accomplished so far. Work started on the 26th June 2005 as phase 1 of the B2133 crossing project. As well as building the new lock, this has included the installation of 156 12m long 450mm secant piles and the first part of a main sewer diversion. Work will begin in June 2006 on lowering the top of Brewhurst lock by 1.6m. Then three weeks of consecutive canal camps plus a number of weekend work-parties, supervised by Graham Baird, will get the lock back into full operation at its new height, ready for the 2006 Santa Cruises.

Julian Morgan

Once the harvest is over, contractors will lower the pound between Brewhurst and the new lock, and move some 16,000 tonnes of clay to beyond Devils Hole Lock. Contractors NWPG at Loxwood Lock: to be finished apart from gates by March 21st Hall & Woodhouse will be removing the bank behind the Onslow Arms as part of this work. Next the sewer diversion will be completed, a pile cap put on the piles and the bank protection placed behind the pub. Finally, the bridleway is to be reinstated having been lowered by 900mm as part of the works.

Julian Morgan

The final phase will be to build the tunnel under the B2133, which we hope to achieve by 2007. It is worth noting that it will be a tunnel because it will be more than 18m long.

NWPG working near Farnhurst Bridge oin the summit

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The Trust is very grateful for all the help received from WRG and the other DIg Deep groups. and in January we welcomed NWPG to the lock site and to Farnhurst Bridge area, restored but still a lot of jungle bashing needed. It is hoped that in the not too distant future, a small boats rally will be held on this length by the Trust. Graham Baird


Canal Books online for WRG Regular readers will recall that over the past few years we have run a series of auctions of second hand waterways books, selling stock that has been donated or bequeathed to WRG or IWA, to raise funds for our activities. These auctions have raised several thousand pounds over the years.

Navvies News

Lots of waterways books for sale online - to raise funds for WRG

Recently a very large number of very good quality books were left to IWA, and rather than run another auction, this time we decided to have a bit of a change. The books are therefore available for sale on the Online Sales section of the IWA’s website. Below are just a few of the many books for sale. Simply go to www.iwashop.com, and follow the links to ‘waterway books’ and then to ‘second hand books’. All proceeds will go to fund WRG’s activities.

WRG Boat Club News

Greetings and a Happy New Year from Claire Black Adder to you all. The following is a synopsis of the Assocation of Waterways Cruising Clubs Midland Region (our region) meeting of January 14th. The BW increases in the annual mooring fees were discussed and it was felt that we were lucky in the Midlands to be amongst the lowest with approx 4.5%. Edge to edge work on towpath tidying will be completed by March – this is before the nesting season. The subject of whether boats will continue to be allowed to use red diesel has not gone away, and it was agreed that we should lobby our MEPs individually rather than by the clubs as each letter HAS to get a reply - and members’ letters are better than one club letter! BW are charging clubs for dredging and we heard about North Cheshire having a bill for £400.00 as they are on BW’s water not private water where BW cannot reach. Quite a horror story that one. WRGBC’s finances are quite healthy and our club was not read out on the Hall of Shame as a non-payer - you should see how all the reps try to sink under the table as the names are read out, and a great sigh goes up when your club is halo bright. So congratulations to the Treasurer for sparing our blushes. It was decided that the AWCC Constitution should be sent to all clubs as it would appear some clubs arenot in possession of this and are not quite clear about things like non-payment of subs. New pontoons are in place in Cambrian wharf for mooring nearer to the centre of the City. There have been many complaints about freefone canals as the person on the other end seems totally ignorant about where places are, and asks the stupidest questions. BW are ‘looking into it’. Incidently ALL complaints must be filled in on Boaters Logs (obtained from BW Offices) and Comment Cards must be used too as these are the ONLY cards the computer can read. Moans by phone or word of mouth are a nono - you have been warned! Stafford are hosting the AWCC boat gathering 9 - 11 June. Enter now - forms will be with your secretary very soon but send them back to Stafford. The £12 entry fee includes plaque and the AWCC cloth bag as your goodie bag. There are a host of fab things organized for the weekend including duck racing etc etc etc - don’t miss out on a fab weekend. The proceeds for the weekend are going to the Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust. Wolverhampton BC Rally is 23 - 25 June (entry fee £12 per boat plus 4 adults) and Coventry BC Rally is 15th July (entry FREE - how’s about that boaters!)

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Navvies news

Last chance for the Barn Dance... and for SKN... WRG Barndance Last (and I really do mean last - and only if Navvies is on time) chance to purchase tickets for the WRG Barndance. The dance will be on Saturday 18th February at Benson Parish Hall, Oxfordshire (halfway between Reading and Oxford), doors open 7.00 pm, music from 7.30 pm and we’ll finish at 11.30pm. Directions are on the WRG website. At this stage please call Helen Gardner on 07989 425346 to find out if tickets are still available. Canalway Cavalcade Last year a group of volunteers led by Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden provided site services for the IWA’s Canalway Cavalcade rally at Little Venice in London, and this year Moose will once again be leading the team. The event is one of the highlights of the waterways calendar - 100 boats crammed into the pool at Little Venice give it an atmosphere all of its own (not to mention providing a challenge for anyone taking part in the boat-handling competition).

The pageants of boats, the evening entertainments (including once again a quiz by your editor on the Friday evening), the many and varied craft stalls and other traders peddling their wares around the site all combine to make it a unique event. All this doesn’t happen without a fair bit of preparation - and Moose’s team will be an important part of that preparation work. As usual, volunteer accommodation is expected to be provided in onsite community boats. Moose will be along in the next issue to give further details, but in the meantime note down the dates in your diary: the May Day bank holiday weekend April 29 to May 1 (and preferably a day or two before and afterwards). Contact Moose on Tel: 07961 922153 or moose@wrg.org.uk for more details. SKN: Rumours of its demise... ...have been greatly exaggerated. As Mr Mac says: Despite the INFALLIBLE utterances of our ESTEEMED chairperson that the minibus SKN had departed this life, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! It’s the pressures, you know... This WONDERFUL vehicle sailed through its MOT at the beginning of November and is now sat quietly awaiting a new owner. If you are interested in acquireing this excellent 8-seat short wheelbase Transit minibus, please contact Mr Malcolm Bridge (malcolm.bridge:@wrg.org.uk) by early February, after which it will be put up for sale to the highest bidder.

Coming soon: a new work site on the River Gipping This is Baylham Lock on the RIver Gipping, othersiwe known as the Ipswich and Stowmarket Navigation, or just the Stowmarket Navigation. But whatever it’s called, it was a popular location for canal camps a few years ago. Unfortunately Ipswich IWA (who are leading the restoration) have been unable to get permission to work on any new sites since the completion of work at Bosmere and Creeting locks.

Watch this space...

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Brian Hoit

But all that looks set to change, with landowner permission granted to restore Baylham.


Contacting the chairman: Mike Palmer, 3 Finwood Rd, Rowington, Warwickshire CV35 7DH Tel: 01564 785293 email: mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk

Online Navvies subscriptions

Don’t forget: 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

Stainless steel ties Not the sort of ties that you wear, but the kind consisting of spiral stainless steel extrusion which can be fitted into 8mm holes drilled in old brickwork to key it to concrete placed against it. The WIlts & Berks Canal Trust have been using these to secure coping stones to parapets - and have almost run out of them. Unfortunately their supplier (based in Aldridge, Walsall) can only supply them in minimum orders that are rather more than WBCT need. They would like to co-ordinate ordering a new stock with any other canal societies that use the same material. It comes in 3 metre lengths but can easily be cut to size. Contact Luke Walker by email on luke.walker@wbct.org.uk if you’re interested.

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

Noticeboard Erewash Cleanup

The Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association will be holding their own cleanup on the Erewash Canal on March 25-26 i.e. a week later than the BCN Cleanup. Volunteers welcome: contact Mick Golds on 0115 9328042.

New on the IWA website The Inland Waterways Association’s History. To mark the Association’s Diamond Jubilee, 60 years of waterway campaign and restoration history is now online at www.waterways.org.uk/history/iwa

Surveyor Wanted

Buckingham Canal Society are looking for a surveyor willing to undertake (as a volunteer) a topographical survey on a 1600 metre length of the canal at Cosgrove. Contact Athena Beckett on 01908 661 217 if you can help.

Stamps wanted

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. 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).

Congratulations ...to Ralph and Kaye Bateman on the arrival of Alexander James Bateman, born on 16th December. Directors of WRG: John Baylis, Mick Beattie, Malcolm Bridge, Spencer Collins, Christopher Davey, Helen Davey, Roger Day, Neil Edwards, George Eycott, 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 © 2006 WRG Tel : 01923 711114 Registered no 4305322 ISSN 0953-6655

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Backfill

Captions

For the WRG Fictionary... ...some more suggestions, this time from Essex WRG: Quoin: vegetarian money Billhook: used in the plural as an exclamation of disbelief Quadrant: four people having a slanging match Generator: regular complaints emanating from the Sheffield area ...and finally the classic from John Gale... Paddle Gear: knotted handkerchief and rolled up trousers (We leave everyone to make up their own mind about ‘Winding Hole”) Paul ‘Mole’ Cattermole suggests a few slightly more obscure ones (some of which I don’t understand myself)... Pound Clearance: A term used to describe the act of kissing the ugliest girl/boy in the accommodation when drunk Back Filling: Various definitions (some unprintable) including the act of hastily trying to retract the slander caused by ‘scrub-bashing’ (see issue 213). Settled in Transit: To have fallen asleep in a minibus during the four hour journey from London to the Mon & Brec (Also used to describe the act of appropriating a broken down WRG van on a Beaver tail as an extension of your home/shed - see JP case study) Bargee: Onion scented person who’s been manning the KESCRG Appealing Food stall Daimler-Benz: The metallurgical result of automotive collisions. A fact frequently proven by the WRG Chairman Spend a Penny: To not spend enough on materials. Tail Gate: Access flap at the rear of senior navvies’ Long Johns. Keep them coming... or think of something else to send in to fill the back page. How about “The Impractical Restoration Guide: true stories of famous on-site bodges and balls-ups from waterway restoration history”? Or “Leaders’ comments in D of E books: what they really mean”?

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NWPG

Invert: member of the French Green Party

The above picture showing the unlikely sight of a happy couple choosing a NWPG work party at Fourteen Locks as the backdrop for their wedding pics produced the following selection of captions from Paul ‘Mole’ Cattermole: Poor Punnery: ‘Their guests took it as a bad sign that the service was barely over and yet a work party had already been called into shore up their marriage' On a similar theme: 'Seeing this photo in their wedding album convinced Barbara that Geoffrey's WRG mates had being trying to undermine their marriage from day one' Slightly darker: 'The fact that it was the shortest marriage on record was blamed on the work party discovering her previous husband just before the reception' Deviant: Wistful Navvy to work party as they watch the happy couple - 'You know, a girl wanted to marry me once, but for some reason she changed her mind when I said I had some serious back-filling to get out the way first' Political: 'To everyone's embarrassment the ceremony had to be postponed when the bride arrived to find that the PFI contract church was still under construction' Philosophical: ‘Looking back, Geoff thought their choice of venue had been quite apt. Like the 14 Locks, the marriage had turned out to be a long, slow, gradual let down, requiring expensive maintenance, before drying up entirely through lack of connection' Lastly: ‘Their patriotic insistence that the wedding rings be made of scarce Welsh gold meant the miners working right down to the wire’

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

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