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avvies N No 218 Aug - Sep 2006 waterway recovery group


Nigel Lee John Hawkins

Above: Brewhurst Lock on the Wey & Arun Canal, after completion of demolition but before the start of the three weeks of work to rebuild it with its height reduced by 1.7m to fit the canal under the B2133 road. Contrast this with the photo on p24 of the trip-boat passing through just a few weeks earlier. Below: WRG South West take a break from working on Lowdwells Lock on the Grand Western. Cover: Ready to Rolle! Tbe fjrst ever Canal Camp on Lord RolleÂ’s Canal tackles the entrance lock. (Photo by Alan Lines)


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 219: September 1st.

Subscriptions

In this issue:

Chairman’s comment 4-5 Coming soon National Festival, Autumn 6-7 Camp, Bonfire Bash... and Christmas! Camp Reports from the first ever camp on Lord

Rolle’s Canal, the start of work at Abingdon, the 8-15 Wilts & Berks and the Trailboat Festival Directory of WRG and Canal Societies 16-17 Diary Canal Camp and working party dates 18-20 Progress roundup of the latest news from 21-27 restoration projects around the country Dig Deep update co-ordinated canal 28-29 restoration in the south WRGBC WRG’s own boat club 30 Letters the late great Bill Crockett 31 Navvies News do you want to cook for 140? 32

Noticeboard Infill Everybody’s free to wear a hard hat

33 34

And next time... ....we hope to include lots more camp reports from the rest of this Summer’s Canal Camps always assuming you get round to writing them and sending them in! Also more information about the Bonfire Bash, Autumn and Winter Canal Camps - and maybe, just maybe, some pics of a completed Jubilee Junction and Brewhurst Lock!

A year's subscription (6 issues) is available for a minimum of £1.50 (please add a donation if possible) to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorltoncum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques to "Waterway Recovery Group" please. Visit our web site www.wrg.org.uk for all the latest news of WRG's activities

Taz’s mate with the aeroplane

A canal here by August 30th...

Aerial photo of the Abingdon Junction site at the start of work on Camp 0605 (see pages 10-12) with the dotted line showing the route of the new canal. We hope to bring you another next time showing a bit more real canal!

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Chairman

...on why you really should subscribe-if youdon’talready... Chairman’s Comment Hello and a warm welcome to Navvies - the magazine of the waterway recovery group (WRG). Before any of our regular readers think I have lost my marbles, or that I am frantically trying to pad out my article with excessive friendliness, I should explain that we have decided to print extra copies of this edition to distribute at events. So for all those people who have had this thrust into their hand by someone in a red T-shirt let’s start again – welcome to Navvies. There are, of course, lots of magazines out there that offer to keep you informed about various aspects of the waterways scene, so why do we think you should subscribe to this one? Firstly, it will entertain you, although initially it seems a baffling array of in-jokes and strangeness, because it contains contributions from all sorts of people there is bound to be something in here that amuses you. It will inform you – although this is our official magazine it doesn’t necessarily toe the line. The aim is to get over all the information and opinions from all around the restoration movement. The magazine covers the whole scene – other restoration groups, individual volunteers, official organisations (even our parent organisation – The Inland Waterways Association) all get a chance to have their say. Letters are not censored and you will also find our replies pull no punches. So what is actually in Navvies? Well, progress reports on restoration projects, obviously, and regular contributions from our various regional groups. But also first time reports from canal camp volunteers getting their 15 minutes of fame, fascinating articles telling you how to restore a vintage crane (and angry letters telling you how NOT to restore a vintage crane !). We have had articles on best practice, ranging from heritage stone-work through to how to replace village hall windows in a hurry.

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Other bits may well be Health & Safety alerts, caption competitions, lots of in-jokes, scathing editorials on current government policy and rampant nostalgia. Finally, just occasionally, we guarantee that you will read something that will have you in stitches. It raises money for us. Well only just because we have a deliberate policy of keeping the actual subscription very low at just £1.50 for a year. Clearly this policy costs us but we want to ensure that everybody who wants to get involved can. We also realise that for many people getting involved is quite a big step and we want to break them in gradually. Fortunately many of our subscribers can afford to give an additional donation and it is this that helps funds our activities. So why should you subscribe? Well hopefully you will get a warm feeling just knowing your money is going to a good cause supporting our efforts. Secondly, it will keep you entertained and informed about what is going on in the volunteer restoration scene - recent reports have ranged from Houses of Parliament to the Mississippi River! Most importantly of all - it might just convince you to one day take the plunge and join us. This doesn’t have to be a huge step - the best thing about Navvies is that it will introduce you to the huge diversity of our efforts – we have lots of groups and projects going on, all with their own styles and personalities. Navvies will give you a clue as to where you might fit in. There are many ways to get involved and you will always be able to find a way of supporting us that suits you; be it subscribing to Navvies, helping out on a publicity stand for your local canal society, fixing a bit of kit in your shed or getting out in the open air and working on site. It’s rewarding, invigorating, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. Join us – you won’t regret it. So how do you subscribe? – well you can run back to the person who thrust this in your hand and talk to them, you can fill in the form on the opposite page, or you can subscribe via our website www.wrg.org.uk. Finally, if you would rather read this online you will be glad to know that Navvies is also published on the web and you can receive electronic copies. Mike Palmer WRG Chairman


waterway recovery group

avvies N

subscription form

Please supply Navvies magazine for the next 12 months (6 issues). Name: (block capitals) Address: Postcode I enclose cheque / PO (no cash please) to the value of £ payable to ‘Waterway Recovery Group’

*

* Minimum subscription is £1.50; please add a donation if possible. Signed: Date: It will help if you complete the following: Occupation: Telephone number: email address: Any useful skills? Please send this form to: Navvies subscriptions, Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Please do not use this form for renewing an existing subscription. Use the reminder form which arrived with your copy of Navvies. page 5


Coming soon...

Autumn and winter Canal Camps and events

IWA National Festival Camp Aug 22 - Sep 1 By the time you receive this issue of Navvies the our main Summer Canal Camps programe will just be coming to an end - although there’s always a chance that an offer of a couple of days help at the very end of the Wilts & Berks Abingdong Jubilee Junction project wouldn’t go amiss.

But as usual, the finale of the camps season is a ten-day camp supporting the Inland Waterways Association’s National Festival, which this year takes place on the Thames at Beale Park. You will already have seen an article by camp leader Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden in issue 217 so I won’t repeat it again - but basically any last minute bookings will be welcome, so long as you phone Moose on 07961 922153 and warn him you’re coming. Jubilee Junction opening August 30 Not a work party, but the official opening of the completed (we hope!) IWA Diamond Jubilee Project to create a new junction where the Wilts & Berks Canal meets the Thames. Come along and see the culmination of what you’ve been working on this summer. Grantham Camp October 21-28 This year’s Autumn Canal Camp takes place on the Grantham Canal. Jo ‘Smudge’ Smith and Dave ‘Taz’ Tarrant hope to be your leaders for this week, and will no doubt have some good work lined up. Book in using the usual Canal Camps booking form, available from the WRG website. WRG Bonfire Bash Grantham November 4-5 This is the big one - a reunion for everyone from this Summer’s Canal Camps, all the WRG and other regional working party groups, and anyone else who wants to come. This will be the biggest working weekend of the year - and the Saturday evening should see the biggest party too! The site is the Grantham Canal, not far from where we made a major impact at the 2004 Bash, and once again quite a lot of the work is likely to centre around clearing trees and scrub from the bed of the canal and burning them on big bonfires. In addition there will be some other jobs involving bank protection, repairing leaks (including some opportunities for digger driving) and installing some pipes. The accommodation will be in St Hugh’s School in Grantham, and we can cope with anything uo to a couple of hundred volunteers. But as usual, the sooner you get your booking forms in the better - so our organising team led by Mitch Gozna and Dave Bradford will know how much work they need to plan, how many tools to bring and most imporantly how much food and beer to buy! Full details including directions to the accommodation will be sent to everyone who books, and posted on the WRG website as soon as we have the information. So please fill in the booking form on the opposite page and send it in as soon as possible! London WRG and KESCRG Christmas Party Dig Basingstoke December 2-3 With the thermometer hovering around the 35C mark as I write this, it does seem bizarre to be thinking of Christmas digs already. So I’ll spare you the details until next time - but in the meantime make a note of the date for this year’s Christmas extravaganza which returns to the Basingstoke Canal. And remember it’s open to anyone - you don’t have to be a KESCRG or London WRG regular to come. New Year Camp Chesterfield Canal December 26 - January 1 Once again the leader is Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden, but this time it’s on a new site. The Chesterfield is a canal we haven’t visited for several years. But all that looks set to change, with a mile of the canal near Renishaw earmarked for volunteer involvement over the next year or two - starting this New Year. See pages 26-7 of this Navvies for a progress update on the Chesterfield, and book for the camp in the normal way using a Canal Camps booking fom available on the website or from head office. More details of all of these events will appear on the WRG website www.wrg.org.uk


waterway recovery group

NATIONAL CO-ORDINATING BODY FOR VOLUNTARY LABOUR ON THE INLAND WATERWAYS OF BRITAIN

WRG Reunion Bonfire Bash 2006

I would like to attend the 2006 WRG Bonfire Bash on the Grantham Canal on November 4th-5th Forename:

Surname:

Address:

email: Phone: Any special dietary requirements? I require accommodation on Friday night / Saturday night / both nights I enclose payment of £

(please make cheques payable to ‘WRG’) for food

(cost is £10 for the whole weekend, based on £2 for each meal.) How will you be travelling to the Bonfire Bash?

Do you want to work with volunteers from one of this year’s Canal Camps or from one of the regional groups? If so, which camp or group? Do you suffer from any illness, such as epilepsy or diabetes, about which you should know, or are you receiving treatment or under medical supervision for any condition YES/NO If yes, please attach details on a covering letter. 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: Bonfire Bash Bookings, WRG, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY


Camp reports

Monday It rained lots. Work was abandoned for the morning and a magical mystery tour around the local area was swiftly arranged. The local town of Bideford didn’t look too exciting under the pouring rain so on to Appledore and the excellent Maritime Museum. The weather cleared up during lunch back at the ranch so the cleaning of stonework could be completed.

...starting with the first ever camp on Lord Rolle’s Canal... Camp 0604: Lord Rolle’s Canal, Devon Saturday

Camp leader Chris Wicks and his trusty sidekick Alice arrived in the shiny new van ‘EHP’, having been stuck in M5 traffic. (and also having introduced the back of EHP to a cliff wall!) Everyone charged into the holiday cottage that was to be our accommodation for the week and bagged their beds, just like a school trip. James Butler arrived with van RFB and trailer (thanks James) and the kit was unpacked and counted. Chris then told everyone how to be safe (just like a school trip again!) and the friendly landowner Adrian filled us in on all the local info, followed by a buffet dinner from Mark the chef. Sunday Everyone made the mammoth trek (all 100 yards of it!) to site and spent the day cleaning the stonework of the sea lock, the rebuilding and re-pointing of which was our task for the week. Some lucky people even got to play with a giant pressure washer! A pleasant evening stroll to the local pub turned into a longish trek to the not so local and not so brilliant pub.

Phil picked Bobby up from the train station, stopping off on the way back to buy beer from the wine merchant and socks from the supermarket! After another delicious meal courtesy of Mark, it was back to Appledore, this time for a jazz night, a great recommendation from local Adrian. The night got even better when we were introduced to the local brewer who promised us a keg of his finest ale as a reward for our hard work. On return to the cottage, we were all introduced to another new arrival Caroline, who had found the accommodation via a mile long detour along the Tarka Trail cycleway! Tuesday The safety talk was enjoyed by both new arrivals, who then joined everyone for a day of pointing. The evening entertainment was a trip to The Bell in Monkleigh which even had a leather sofa outside: apparently the landlord had failed to check if it would fit through the door when he bought it! Wednesday More pointing, but this time with an adjusted mix after Tuesday’s had not quite gone off correctly. Mark was given a well deserved night off, and fish and chips were enjoyed by all. Local Adrian had offered a boat trip along the Torridge Estuary, so three people travelled into Bideford in his inflatable and were met by another three who then made the return journey arriving just in time for a very interesting talk by a local historian, Barry.

Alan Lines

Thursday

First job was to pressure-wash the lock wall...

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Yet another day of pointing for most, although a tracklaying dumper had been kindly lent by a friend of Adrian, so the land could be cleared and coping stones recovered from the other side of the lock. This was a great opportunity to train new volunteer Ricky on the excavator (known locally as a swing shovel), although after a life of working on offshore oil rigs, a mini digger was no problem. Thursday also saw a visit from the waterway press in the form of a lady from one of the canal magazines with camera and notebook to record our every move.


Friday The final day of work saw more pointing, on which we had been making swift progress all week. Work stopped early so that the site kit could be cleaned, counted and put back in the garage we had been using all week to store it. One new item of kit had to be noted, it is about six foot tall, was made in France and answers to the name of Alex. Kit A item number 999 is spending eight weeks (!) on camps to improve his English. Like the responsible adults that we all are, we merged the cleaning of the vans with a water-fight thanks to the impressive arsenal of super soakers that suddenly appeared when Weapons of Mass Destruction by Faithless was played on the stereo.

“...glow-wormsandamanlooking for an arrow made of twigs...” Saturday

Apart from cleaning and counting the accommodation kit, nothing remained for Saturday morning, so the cottage and site were left in the capable hands of a certain Mr Collins and everybody went their separate ways. Alice Bayston Bobby Silverwood

...before re-pointing could begin

Alan Lines

Spencer arrived to take over the reins for Camp 0606 just in time for an impressive barbecued feast laid on by Mark, followed by a humungous Baked Alaska (4 litres of ice cream!) complete with dessert sparkler. As if we weren’t all already full to bursting, a camp fire was lit and marshmallows were toasted. Whilst shopping for the barbecue food and his WMD, Mark had also bought a number of presents for memorable volunteers including a model red van for Chris, complete with a dent to the rear bumper!

Camp reports

Alan Lines

A third batch of three made the trip by boat to Bideford where they met up with most of the rest of us in the charmingly named pub Crabby Dick’s. Some drinks were drunk, some pool was played, and the swordfish that hung from the ceiling - sword downwards was admired sheepishly from the comfort of a bar stool. Mark had assured us that the walk back to the cottage along the Tarka Trail would be a shortish and pleasant one. However it turned out he had not planned for the glow worms and the lone man looking for an arrow made from twigs that would direct him to where his friends were camped!

By the end of the camp, good progress had been made on rebuilding the lock chamber wall

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Camp reports ... the start of work on the Wilts & BerksJubileeJunctionproject... The Abingdon Job “Look happy you stupid bastards, we won didn’t we?” Actually we didn’t. The first day of Camp 0605 led by myself and Ed saw England go out of the World Cup. Not that our volunteers got to see it happen because we’d already dragged them down to site to show them The Field that was to be their workplace for the next week. You’ve all seen The Field – it’s that one that’s been in all the photos with a little sign in it which says ‘Site of the proposed junction of the Wilts & Berks Canal with the River Thames’. That sign has been there for two years with only dog-walkers and fishermen to appreciate it… until now… “Does he really need all this equipment?” “He says he does” By 6pm on Saturday 1st July all our volunteers had arrived, comprising a healthy mix of regular wrgies, sometime-canal-campers and fresh-faced newbies. One lucky person even got to visit the black hole that is Ed’s garage to pick up all the extra tat (sorry, Very Important Tools) that he couldn’t fit in his Land Rover the first time round. The group included a strong London WRG contingent, and 3 D-of-E’ers – good to see that they haven’t vanished from WRG entirely! Our minibus/van/kit-trailer entourage had already arrived earlier in the day (many thanks to Just Jen and Nigel for driving) followed by Harri T who arrived with the shopping and proceeded to cook up a fantastic lasagne – pretty impressive considering the oven was sans door.

“It’s a very difficult job and the only way to get through it is we all work together as a team. And that means you do everything I say.” After a rousing motivational speech by the leaders and the traditional giggle at the safety video we were ready to start. Rowena led a team of rutfillers who worked to improve the access road – a very important and strategic job to keep the fishermen smiling. Richard’s team did some quality willow pruning at the Thames end of the site, to improve sight-lines for when the new channel is dug. Everyone else set to work scrub-bashing on the site of the new footpath. Suzie and I found time to tend the bonfire in between gossiping. Taz was trained on Blue, and Nigel and Richard were also trained on the skid-steer loader by Harry Watts who’d kindly agreed to help us out for a day.

Stuart Stone

The rest of the accommodation was somewhat mobbed with depressed football fans who had turned up unannounced to watch the England game, so we left them sobbing into their Carling and went to have a look at the site. We’d got ourselves a fair collection of Big Boys’ Toys to play with (although the Girls soon stole them back) including two dumpers, Blue the excavator and the skid-steer loader which arrived later in the week.

The Field was already starting to look different, having been stripped of topsoil a couple of weeks earlier, but the site for our camp’s new footpath, fence and ramp was still relatively untouched (mwha ha ha). It made a nice change to begin something from scratch, and it was especially good to see that all the hard work and negotiations on the part of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust had finally come to fruition… well… almost. There was the teeny tiny problem of them not actually having been granted planning permission for the work at the time of our arrival, despite frantic attempts on the part of project director Martin Buckland and his team to get it sorted. However, we had every assurance that planning permission would be granted three days later on Tuesday, so with some hasty re-shuffling and re-branding of some jobs as ‘enabling works’, we were able to find enough to keep everyone busy.

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Newbie Matt on the vibrating roller


Sound easy? Well, try throwing NO shade, 33°C temperatures, a big fat bonfire and horseflies the size of bats into the equation. It was SO hot we consumed in the region of 50 litres of water between 18 of us on site. We also started a war between us and the horseflies. I think the horseflies won. Don’t really remember – I was too delirious from lack of blood. On day two our esteemed editor Mr Ludgate arrived to help with some more training. Laura and Rowena were both trained on dumpers, and Matt, Mark, Nigel, Rowena and Richard were all trained on the vibrating roller. Much delusions of omnipotence followed, but the biggest grin of the day came from Laura who took to driving a dumper like a duck takes to sliced bread. “Edge back as far as you can go, to cou... to counterbalance me. Now...”

Sally’s team started work on the ramp, which would eventually join our new towpath to the existing footpath that runs along Peep-o-Day lane. Beginning work on the ramp involved a medley of tape-measures and application of Pythagoras’ theorem, closely backed up by the industry approved TLAR* method of setting out. Meanwhile, Ed drove over a lamp-iron, Nigel broke the seat on the skid-steer, and there was no sign of any planning permission. Work progressing well. In the evening we all piled into SAD for a trip to Upton Cider Farm. Ed got a hat-trick by stalling the van an impressive seven times in one 30minute journey. Much swearing ensued. The cider farm proved well worth a visit, with a host who was very keen to show-off his award-winning cider and ensure that we’d all drunk our fill (for free!) before we left. Having done some thorough taste testing we all spent our pocket money in his farm shop, only to return and find that the beer fridge was far too full of stuff, and there wasn’t nearly enough room for cider. All non-essential items (milk, medicine, Bacardi Breezers) were removed. Suggestion from camp 0605 for new item on the kit list – dedicated cider fridge. “If they planned this jam, they planned a way out.” Wednesday dawned, bringing with it a dearth of planning permission, and an abundance of rain. There was a slight pause whilst we waited for the rain to stop and tried to cover the fact that we had no effing clue what to do next. Luckily, some fast negotiations between Martin Buckland and Ed followed, and everyone was on site by 9.30am with jobs to do. Ramp building continued, a future-proofing pipe was installed under the footpath, and the Skids-related incident simply required the replacing of Nigel’s nuts. Oh, and while I remember it, we had Moroccan Lamb Balls for dinner.

Rowena Gaskell

Our evening entertainment was a highly civilised punt along the Thames through Oxford during which the passengers had good fun rocking the boat, and the punters had good fun trying to move forward, steer, keep balance, avoid trees, and not shit themselves all at the same time. (or was that just me…?) It all got rather competitive as three boats (steered by me, Matt and Stacey) all arrived at the same point in the river at the same time, and thought it might be good to race back to the start. However, the newbies boat crew thought it would be funny to grab hold of our boat and push it backwards, which was very annoying, as I’d only just got the hang of going forwards. I had stern words with them afterwards about how pushing the leaders’ boat backwards was very bad behaviour, and that it was going to impact upon their D of E reports, but for some reason they didn’t look very scared.

Day 3 saw an early start on site after breakfast at 7.30am (with the aim of having a longer lunchbreak to cut out the hottest part of the day) We had some more bonfire action, during which Matt managed to burn his boots - the sweet sickly smell of melting rubber pervaded the air for some time before we realised what it was, and Matt suddenly realised that his steel toecaps were rather warmer than they should be.

Planning permission at last obtained, work begins on path laying

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We all adjourned to Oxford’s finest leisure facility for cinema and bowling… well, not quite – a summer school had booked out the entire venue so the bowling contingent amused themselves on arcade games and the Euro-Tunes Electric Dance Machine, at which I understand Matt was rather adept. No comment. On Thursday Sally assembled her all-girl bonking team (yes, I know…) including Sarah, Rachel, Laura and Stacey who set to work putting up fence posts. Some guys from the local trust tried to give Sally’s team some advice on the best bonking techniques, but by then they had already devised a successful method and didn’t require… oh I give up. The jokes… the jokes… they just kept coming…

We also began some work to raise the level of the footpath at a previously low spot, with earthworks expertly fashioned by Taz in Blue (erm, and then slightly less expertly squashed a bit by the dumpers).

A huge thank you to everyone who helped make the camp a success – to Martin Buckland and the other Wilts & Berks stalwarts who put in a lot of hours on site, to Martin Ludgate and Harry Watts for coming along to train our volunteers, to Harri T for her usual quality cooking (congrats on her new job incidentally!), to London WRG for lending us some of their tools and kit, and to all the happy campers who led teams / worked hard / made us laugh. Kate on the wacker plate

Oh, by the way – we got planning permission! Hooray! Although the real grin of the day came from Stacey who got a go in Blue for a couple of hours, and ended up looking like she’d found a new calling in life. “It’s all here. Maps, drawings, plans, everything…” …and on the last day we got to use them! On the final day, we’d got planning permission, the footpath materials were on their way, the correct nipples arrived, the sun was shining and we had everything to play for! All we had to do was get the roller out of the mire, and start laying footpath! Which we did – with great gusto and some serious hard work from everyone – quite impressive at the end of a long, hot week. We managed to get an entire 50 m of footpath laid, rolled and tweaked (with only a slight ravine at one end) plus all the end-of-camp cleaning and faffing that goes on. Sally and Co cleaned and packed most of the kit, whilst the rest of us finished up on site.

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Our end of camp party / BBQ was welcomed by all – Suzie arrived with a large box of Mars Bar slices (which survived about as long as an ice cube in hell), much cider was consumed and we had the obligatory cereal box game (followed by mucho groin-strain) and tying together of people with string.

Nigel Lee

Meanwhile I discovered Nigel, Taz and Ed having an in-depth discussion about nipples. Apparently the nipples supplied by Martin Buckland were too small. We turned to Stacey’s Company Magazine for advice, but all it gave was detailed information on nipple reduction – not how to make them bigger. I think it’s worth mentioning also that Ed got another hat-trick. This time managing to stall the Skids a mere 6 times, whilst loading one dumper. Much laughing ensued.

The result was a good-looking bit of footpath, an expertly bonked (and very straight) fence-line, and a whole lot of mud moved from one place to another. And most importantly, after an entire week of trying, Stuart actually managed to make Nigel a cup of coffee that he didn’t complain about.

The next instalment of The Abingdon Job will continue in August under the leadership of Harry & Corrine, then Nina & Izzy. Until then you’ll just have to wait with bated breath… “Hang on a minute, lads… I’ve got a great idea. Er…” Awards: Biggest Excavator Grin – Stacey Biggest Dumper Grin – Laura John Travolta Award for Dancing – Matt Quality Dumpering Award – Rowena Sore-arsed Skids Driving Award – Nigel, Richard Awards for ‘Making the Leaders’ Life Easier’ – Sally, Stuart, Kate Driving Award (for stalling pretty much everything!) – Dr Ed Walker. * “That Looks About Right” Liz Wilson


The alternative (unplanned) Camp Wilts & Berks 24th June – 1st July 2006 Less than two weeks before 24th June, this was not only an unplanned, but a not even considered camp. It was all ever so slightly confusing, starting with me being informed by several people (and confirmed by MKP) that at the last WRG meeting it was planned that I would lead the second week’s camp on the Lord Rolle Canal. It was only after I’d done a site visit and discussed the work with the landowner (and Di had started making cakes) that I had a ‘phone call telling me that the Chichester Camp due to run concurrent with the first week of the Lord Rolle had been cancelled, and the leader there had agreed to transfer to the second week of the Lord Rolle. Knowing that both weeks of the latter were fully booked (limited accommodation), and thinking that any volunteers booked for Chichester might want another camp to transfer to, I quickly set up arrangements for one on the Wilts & Werks. We always have plenty of work, and extra help is always welcome. As it turned out, only Dave Wedd transferred, so we rang round a few more old friends, and recruited Luke, Pete, Jeremy and Ray, and an even older friend - Di - to do the cooking (I mean I’ve known her longest, honestly!) The work was shared between Dauntsey and Seven Locks. At a recent “corporate” day, a start had been made on puddling behind our new stop planks at the top of Dauntsey Lock, and this was completed on the camp. We also finished a disabled ramp (sorry, a good ramp for disabled people) down to the wharf area.

Camp reports

...the Unplanned Camp at Seven Locks,alsoontheWilts&Berks... On the first Sunday, augmented by our regular local work party, we moved - with the aid of the excavator - large coping stones so they could be cut and fitted to the upper wing walls of Lock 3. All except Luke had to go home by Friday evening, just before the arrival of Essex WRG (a depleted number, due to holidays etc., only two on site), and the work at Seven Locks was continued over the weekend, which also involved moving all the stone lying around on the site, which was piled on one side to use later for stone-facing the towpath side of the pound, or for coping stones on the locks. Di and I skived off on the Saturday to man the Wilts & Berks stall at the Saul Festival, leaving Luke in charge. It shows how much can be achieved with a small but experienced team, and the week’s work has advanced the progress on our stretch. As ever, Luke and I are very grateful for all the extra help, and it is always nice to see old friends. Rachael Banyard

At Seven Locks, our first job was to re-locate the Elephant (our tool store) to a betterdisguised location amongst the trees leading to our brew hut. This involved clearing the appropriate area, emptying the contents and sorting through - and finding things we hadn’t seen for years - and then struggling up the slope with it, with a person at each corner. I can’t remember when the returned contents looked so neat and methodical. This cleared all the offside area of Lock 3 ready for infllling and landscaping. We had hired a 7-tonne excavator for the week, which everyone except Luke is now licensed to operate, and all of us can drive dumpers. We continued profiling the towpath side of Lock 4, with the excavated material being transferred to the cleared area of Lock 3. This was steadily built up, and is now completed apart from the topsoil. Dredged silt from below Lock 4 was spread on the towpath side of Lock 3, and left to settle.

Lock 3 at Seven Locks nearing completion

page 13


Camp reports ...and finally the Lancaster Canal National Trailboat Festival IWA National Trailboat Festival Report The National Trailboat Festival this year was held at Easter on the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal, i.e. the bit that was cut off from the rest of the Lancaster Canal when the M6 was built. It was listed in Navvies as a WRG camp, but as it wasn’t centrally booked it turned out in practise to be WRG NW plus Bungle. We arrived at the site on Wednesday just before Easter, and began the usual preparation for a festival site: setting out the site and the camp site, getting together all the fencing, sheds, tables, chairs and anything else that might be needed, while Malcolm and Bungle started their usual excellent job of getting all the electrics sorted. Some of the IWA festival team were also there, so despite some inexperience on the part of local canal trust and IWA branch members who had organised the festival, there were enough old hands around to ensure that things went fairly smoothly.

As the site for this year’s festival was the showground for the Westmorland show, most of the bits we needed were stored on the site permanently, and all we had to do was transfer them from the farm buildings onto site. The fun bit on the first day was trying to get the sheds we wanted for the pay cabin and site offices out of the barn. The sheds were taller than the space at the front of the barn, so it was impossible to simply get the telehandler in and lift them out. They needed to be moved sideways, which we achieved with brute force and ignorance (more of the latter, I suspect). We had tried to find something to roll them on, without success, and only after getting them out did we find a pile of scaffold tubes next to an adjoining building. We also took the sheds through a very narrow gateway (using the telehandler now), with only a couple of inches each side to spare. This was just before we realised that the fence panels each side were in sockets, so could easily be lifted out. We live and learn! Thursday was a bit more of the same, with a few of the trailboats stating to arrive and marquees being erected, and despite initial misgivings, it started to look like everything might actually go according to plan. It rained a bit on Thursday, so the site got a bit slippery, and of course that meant the usual vehicles getting stuck. Fortunately the site was reasonably level, so there wasn’t too much of this. However, one of the traders decided that while he was being towed, he should steer in the opposite direction to normal, and so get even more stuck in the mud than he had been. More about the ‘intelligent’ local community later. The accommodation hadn’t been available on the Wednesday night, so some of the team had brought caravans or made other arrangements. The crew from a visiting trip boat had intended sharing the accommodation with us, although a different trip boat had then come along and the crew arranged their own accommodation. All this meant that when we did get access to the local village hall, there were only three of us using it! It made for very spacious sleeping arrangements.

page 14


At the end of Monday’s session, some of the WRG team took a trip on one the trip boats to the Northern end of the watered section of the canal, followed by a walk to the Hincaster tunnel, which had been the subject of working parties/camps in the past. On return to site, we started the dismantling process, which again went very smoothly, leaving only odd bits to do on Tuesday before finishing at lunchtime. This time we used the scaffold tubes as rollers, which made the job a whole lot easier.

Friday was quite windy, and there were only the final bits to do such as siting the rubbish bins and fire extinguishers, but at least the wind was helping dry the site out. That was also the day when most of the smaller tents and gazebos were being erected, so we had great fun learning how to make parachutes out of tents. Saturday was the first day of the festival, and good weather brought a good number of visitors. We were all prepared for the inevitable major cockup, but couldn’t believe how well things went. If anything, it was all scarily good. We must have done something wrong! The only major hiccup was the BBC’s brand new bus which they had on site, and found that the electrics were all wrong. Bungle came to the rescue, and managed to get them sorted. The following two days of the festival saw colder weather, so fewer visitors, which meant that some of the traders started getting a little upset as their takings weren’t what they expected. Towards the end of Monday, as it approached closing time, some of them had decided to pack up and leave early, despite the rule that no vehicle movements are allowed on the site itself until all the public had left. This led to some heated exchanges between stewards and traders, with one trader driving into a steward – fortunately at very low speed, so no harm done.

At the accommodation, we had worked out on the first night that it was difficult to lock the door from the inside, as the lock was loose in the rebate. We’d decided to fix it for them when we had time, which turned out to be on Monday morning before leaving for site, so had taken ‘the right tools for the job’ with us on Sunday night. On the previous nights, we’d been able to lock the door after a struggle, but for some reason on Sunday we hadn’t locked it. At about 1.30 am, we were woken by bright torches shining into our eyes and the shout of ‘f***ing hellfire’, as three of Lancashire’s finest constables responded to a report of strange goings on (we’re not sure whose snoring that was). I think it’s fair to say that they were more surprised than we were. After the usual beatings, strip searches etc., they accepted that we were there legitimately and allowed us to get back to sleep. The odd thing is that they said they’d had a similar report the previous night as well. They’re obviously the fast response team. I don’t normally sleep well for the first few days in a strange place, and I think I’d just started catching up on the sleep when we were raided. Just what I didn’t need! I’ve since been assured that both the local beat bobby and the police station had been informed independently that we would be staying at the hall, so there’s obviously been a breakdown in communication somewhere. At least they didn’t get the helicopter out for us! Paul Shaw

page 15


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-canal-trust.org.uk CHICHESTER SHIP CANAL TRUST Linda Wilkinson, 1 Chidham Lane Chichester PO18 8TL 01243 576701 www.chichestercanals.co.uk

page 16

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 EAST ANGLIAN WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION David Revill, 43 Kings Road Coltishall, Norfolk NR12 7DX 01603 738648 email: david_gisela@hotmail.com

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 Tam Hazan email: tamir_hazan@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

EREWASH CANAL P&DA Mick Golds 73 Sudbury Avenue Larklands, Ilkeston Derbys DE7 5EA Notts (0115) 9328042

NWPG Graham Hawkes 27 Lawrence Rd, Tilehurst, Reading Berks RG30 6BH 0118 941 0586 email: grahamhawkes@btinternet.com www.nwpg.org.uk

FOXTON INCLINED PLANE TRUST c/o Mike Beech Foxton Canal Museum Middle Lock, Gumley Road Foxton, Market Harborough Leicestershire LE16 7RA 0116 279 2657 email: mike@foxcm.freeserve.co.uk www.fipt.org.uk

POCKLINGTON CANAL AMENITY SOCIETY Paul Waddington Church House, Main St. Hemingborough, Selby N. Yorks YO8 7QE 01757 638027 (eves) 01405 763985 (days) 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 John Morris 2 Stockton Close Hadleigh Ipswich IP7 5SH email: jgmorris@btinternet.com STRATFORD ON AVON CANAL SOCIETY 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.basingstoke-canal.org.uk/ front.htm SUSSEX OUSE RESTORATION TRUST Paul Morris, Farmcote Nettlesworth Lane, Old Heathfield, Heathfield TN21 9AP 01453 863683 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.co.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

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 WILTS & BERKS CANAL TRUST 130 Ashingdon Road Rochford, Essex George Eycott SS4 1RR 36 Grange Court 01702-544096 Boundary Road email: essex@wrg.org.uk Newbury RG14 7PH www.essex.wrg.org.uk 01635 569449 email: bungle@wrg.org.uk WRG SOUTH WEST www.wilts-berks-canal.org.uk Gavin Moor 54 Kiln Close, Calvert WOODEN CANAL BOAT Buckingham SOCIETY MK18 2FD 5 Oaken Clough Terrace 07970 989245 Limehurst Gavin.Moor@wrg.org.uk Ashton under Lyne OL7 9NY 0161-330-2315 IWA/WRG STAMP BANK Steve & Mandy Morley IWA IPSWICH 33 Hambleton Grove Colin Turner Emerson valley Cornerways Milton Keynes MK4 2JS Elm Lane, Copdock 01908 520090 Ipswich IP8 3ET email: mail@morleytowers.org.uk 01473-730586 email: colin@cslt0001.plus.com CANAL CAMPS MOBILES www.purbrook.demon.co.uk/iwa (A) 07850 422156 (B) 07850 422157 WRG: GENERAL ENQUIRIES, CANAL CAMP BOOKINGS AND 'NAVVIES' EDITOR DRIVER AUTHORISATION Martin Ludgate PO Box 114, 35 Silvester Rd Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY East Dulwich 01923 711114 London SE22 9PB email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk 020 8693 3266 www.wrg.org.uk 0777 947 8629 (mobile) email: martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk WRG NORTH WEST Malcolm Bridge 'WRGWEAR' CLOTHING 3 Heather Bank Helen Gardner Littleborough NB 'Sussex' Lancashire OL15 0JQ Weaver Shipyard 01706 378582 Saxons Lane email: nw@wrg.org.uk Northwich CW8 1LB www.wrgnw.org.uk 07989 425346 email: wrgwear@wrg.org.uk WRG NW - ENQUIRIES/ PAPERCHASES WRG FORESTRY TEAM David McCarthy Graham Robinson Woodstock, 14 Crumpsall Lane Springwell, Spark Bridge Manchester. M8 5FB Ulverston 0161-740 2179 Cumbria LA12 7ST www.wrgnw.org.uk 01229 861317 WRG BITM & 'NAVVIES' DIARY WRG BOAT CLUB David Wedd Sadie Dean 7 Ringwood Road 236 Station Rd Blackwater Whittlesey Camberley Peterborough PE7 2HA Surrey GU17 0EY 01733 204505 01252 874437 07748 186867 (mobile) email: dave.wedd@wrg.org.uk email sadiedean@vodafone.net www.wrgbitm.org.uk

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 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 0619') should go to WRG Canal Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Aug 22-30

Camp 0619

IWA National Festival Camp at Beale Park: Leader: Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden

Aug 26-28

KESCRG

National Festival with Bahjee Stand

Sep 1 Fri

Navvies

Press date for issue 219

Sep 9/10

NWPG

Mon & Brec Canal: Dig Deep project at Fourteen Locks

Sep 9/10

KESCRG

Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project at Seven Locks. KESCRG AGM. NOTE C

Sep 9/10

London WRG

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project at Brewhurst Lock

Sep 10 Sun

WRG

Committee & Board Meetings

Sep 16/17

wrgBITM

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project. Leader: Graham Hotham

Sep 16 Sat

FCC

Cromford Canal

Sep 23/24

wrgSW

Hereford & Gloucester Canal: NOTE change of date from Sep 16/17

Sep 24 Sun

EAWA

North Walsham & Dilham Canal

Sep 30/Oct 1 London WRG

To be arranged

Oct 7/8

NWPG

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project at Brewhurst Lock

Oct 7/8

KESCRG

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project at Tamworth Road

Oct 7/8

wrgNW

Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal: (provisional)

Oct 7/8

Essex WRG

Foxton Inclined Plane: Nesting boxes and hedging.

Oct 14/15

wrgSW

Cotswold Canals

Oct 21/22

London WRG

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project at Brewhurst Lock

Oct 21/22

wrgBITM

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation: Leader: Tony Hinsley

Oct 21-28

Camp 0620

Grantham Canal Camp

Oct 28 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Nov 1 Wed

Navvies

Press date for issue 220

Nov 4/5

NWPG

Wey & Arun Canal: Dig Deep project at Brewhurst Lock

Nov 4-5

WRG

Bonfire Bash, Grantham Canal. See P6-7 for details and booking form

Nov 4/5

KESCRG

WRG Bonfire Bash at Grantham

Nov 4/5

wrgNW

Bonfire Bash at Grantham

Nov 4/5

London WRG

Bonfire Bash at Grantham

Nov 4/5

wrgSW

Bonfire Bash at Grantham

Nov 4/5

Essex WRG

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation: Heybridge Basin Bash. Clearing the off-side ban

Nov 4 Sat

WRG

Committee & Board Meetings: At the Bonfire Bash venue.

Nov 18/19

wrgBITM

Chichester Canal: Leader: Graham Hotham

Nov 18/19

London WRG

To be arranged

Nov 18/19

wrgNW

Hollinwood Canal

Nov 18/19

FCC

Cromford Canal

Dec 2/3

KESCRG

Joint Christmas Party dig with London WRG on the Basingstoke Canal

Dec 2/3

London WRG

Joint Christmas Party dig with KESCRG on the Basingstoke Canal

Dec 2/3

wrgNW

Montgomery Canal: Llanymynech

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.

CHANGE OF DATE

enquiries@wrg.org.uk Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Martin Ludgate

020-8693-3266

martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Mike Palmer

01564-785293

mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Jean Helliwell

0161-681-3623

Gavin Moor

07970-989245

gavin.moor@wrg.org.uk

David Revill

01603-738648

david_gisela@hotmail.com

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

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

nw@wrg.org.uk

Dave Dobbin

01702-544096

essex@wrg.org.uk

Gavin Moor

07970-989245

gavin.moor@wrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

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

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Martin Ludgate

020-8693-3266

martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Gavin Moor

07970-989245

gavin.moor@wrg.org.uk

01702-544096

essex@wrg.org.uk

Mike Palmer

01564-785293

mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

nw@wrg.org.uk

Jean Helliwell

0161-681-3623

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

nw@wrg.org.uk

Centrally Booked

nk to provide moorings. Dave Dobbin

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 David Revill 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 01603-738648 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


Thames & Medway Canal The Thames & Medway Canal Association recently celebrated its thirtieth birthday, and held a Fun/Activity Day on 7 May – amongst other activities the Cambria Sea Scouts from Greenhithe built (and used!) a rope bridge across the canal. Earlier, in March, a scrub bashing day took place along the canal towpath at The Vista, a well known viewpoint. Twenty members of the Association, plus KESCRG and a Sustrans member (the towpath is a cycle route) removed brambles and overhanging branches with the help of a rowing boat, and laid hedges. An old grinder was found, as well as some original large nails which were used to hold timbers to the towpath when the canal was in use. The extra help made a great addition to the work done by the regular weekly work party.

Progress

...on the Thames & Medway Canal in Kent

Above left: scrub clearance by TMCA, KESCRG and SusTrans volunteers on the Thames & Medway Canal towpath. Above: a view along the restored part of the canal. Left: Activity Day on the canal on May 7th.

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Progress

...and the Sussex Ouse. and Grand Union Wendover Arm... Sussex Ouse Navigation On the weekend of 13/14 May the Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust made its first work visit to Isfield lock. Waist-high stinging nettles were cleared, allowing the lock to be seen for the first time from the adjacent footpath – passing walkers said they hadn’t known it was there. A secure work compound was established enclosed by 6ft high mesh fencing and based around a tool/trailer unit containing brew up equipment (priority!) with separate toilet etc facilities. By Sunday we had dug a 5' square drainage sump to start the draining of the chamber. Probing with drain rods indicated that the 140 year accumulation of silt was 5ft / 1.5m deep to the top of the lower sill instead of the one metre predicted by a previous survey, thus requiring a deepened sump and channel. A smaller workforce the following weekend managed in continual rain to dig the sump to a depth of 7ft and, by leaving on Sunday had almost drained the surface water from the chamber, despite a new 3" pump with a mind of its own not having given total support.

That night the rains came with a vengeance and the river rose rapidly to re-fill the chamber and surrounding area (which are below normal river level), not by overlapping the bank but through a well-intentioned drainage channel constructed some years ago. The priority now is to fill this channel in and create an earth coffer dam to stop it happening again. Fortunately the pump has now seen the error of its ways and we hope to begin the excavation of the chamber itself soon. From information supplied by Paul Morris Sussex Ouse Project Manager Wendover Arm Footbridge intallation: The work of erecting new footbridges 4 and 4a was advanced to start on Tuesday 25th April and the necessary number of weekday volunteers were asked to help us over the three days, Tuesday to Thursday. By the end of the first day, Tuesday, the span of 4A was ready for lifting in position on the trestles (see picture). By the end of the second day the main structure of footbridge 4A was completed. This was our learning curve: on the third day, the main structure of footbridge 4 was completed in half the time! On the following days we completed the handrails and various fixings but have had to wait to complete the steps and decking of both footbridges until they have been routed to take plaques recording donations. Many thanks to Ron Pittaway for organising the routing. On the Saturday to Monday we were ably assisted by KESCRG who cut and bent steel reinforcement mesh to cover most, if not all, of our requirements for this year and also cleared and levelled the remainder of the area up to our inner entrance gate for parking and storage of materials. Many thanks KESCRG for your assistance.

We must also thank Ken Graves who has produced all the drawings for the reinforced concrete wing walls and mooring lengths as well as fabricating the timber formwork for the 45-degree angle sections. Ken has spent around 70 hours at home on this The deck of Footbridge 4a on the Wendover Arm ready for lifting into place task!

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Phase II – Lining and mooring There has been much debate on the construction method to be used for the lining of the Phase II length of canal from the current limit of navigation to the A41. The current proposal is to lay Bentonite down the banks only extending far enough into the level bed for an overlap with Bentonite laid along the level bed when the banks are completed. The Bentonite on the banks will be anchored using horizontal rods secured by pins at regular intervals. Two or three horizontal rows of hollow concrete blocks will then be bedded on concrete haunching at the bottom of the bank including concrete filling of the hollows. Then horizontal rows of solid concrete blocks will be laid up to ‘Wendover’ water level. Finally the Bentonite will be covered in spoil to above water level with a mesh covering to prevent erosion. When both banks are completed, Bentonite will be laid along the bed overlapping the Bentonite on the banks and finally covered with 12” (300mm) of spoil.

The intention is to construct bunds at regular intervals as work progresses and as each new bund is constructed the previous bund will be breached to allow water into the canal to keep the Bentonite moist. Aquatic plants can then be planted on both sides at (Wendover) water level. When work on Phase II is finally complete, the temporary bunds will be removed by dredging. During recent work on the footbridges there has been spare excavator and dumper time that has been employed to complete the bulk excavation for the 50 metre visitor mooring on the off side immediately west of Bridge 4. Any further spare resources will be used to excavate the final few inches for the blinding, place formwork and pour the blinding with surplus ready-mix concrete from other works. This mooring is on the offside because the position of Footbridge 4 centrally over the pipeline does not allow room for a mooring lay-by on the towpath side and there is easy access from the towpath via the footbridge. Footbridge 4: The straight reinforced concrete walls on each side of the narrows, backfill behind the walls, with areas of weak mix concrete and concrete pads on top for the main supports and bottom of the steps of the footbridge were completed at the March work party.

Above: Footbridge 4, complete apart from deck and stair treads which are being prepared for sponsors’ plaques. Offside excavation for future short-term moorings in the background. Below: Footbridge 4a, also complete apart from deck boards and stair treads. The hard-working volunteers celebrate on the bridge deck, while excavation for wing walls begins in the foreground.

BW has supplied us with details of the stop plank grooves etc. required at the east end of the narrows after which the 45-degree end walls will be cast. There will also be 45 degree ends to the west end of the walls but the offside wall will be inset a narrow boat’s width and extended 50 metres for the short term visitor mooring. The opportunity has also been taken to cut down the scrub, mainly old elder trees, before the nesting season commences in order to clear the future route of the diverted footpath from the gate on the BW boundary to the bottom of the offside steps. Footbridge 4A: The straight reinforced concrete walls on each side of the narrows, backfill behind the walls, with areas of weak mix concrete and concrete pads on top for the main supports and bottom of the steps of the footbridge were completed at the April work party. Blinding has also been laid ready for the wing walls on the offside. Details of restoration work are available on the Trust’s Restoration web site (managed by Oliver Revel and linked to the main Trust site) at: http://wendovercanal.org.uk/

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Progress

...the Wey & Arun Canal Trust build a horse-bridge... Wey & Arun Canal A mile of hedge: If you haven’t visited us yet, do try to make a trip down to Loxwood at least (although there is plenty to see in other parts) to have a look at the new lock being built opposite the Onslow Arms on the B2133. Further south towards Drungewick you start to see the hedgelaying along the towpath that started in October 2002. The original hedge was planted about 15 years ago by the Trust, between Loxwood High Street and Drungewick Lane. The original number of trees planted to create the hedge would have been approximately 4,000.

The total number of ‘man days’ worked (all by volunteers) was 465 for laying, coppicing, trimming, fencing and planting. The total number of trees planted was 832 including 105 metres of new hedge creation. The team consists of 10 people with occasional assistance from other teams/members. The Trust does not just do felling of trees, digging and construction, it also does active conservation work as in the case of hedgelaying. The benefits of a layed hedge include: it is more natural than just a wire fence, rejuvenation of coppices, beneficial for insects, small mammals and birds, allows tow path to dry out faster after periods of rain, allows people to see more of the countryside, allows more light in which encourages wild flowers.

Eddie Jones

Hedgelaying was started in October 2002 with a 2-day training course for the team. All laying was done in the Sussex style - there are different styles in different parts of the country, for example the Midland style.

The WACT team continued from 12 November 2002, finishing ‘The Mile’ on 7 May 2006. This included the relaying of 70 metres which was damaged by a machine. The work was not only laying, but included coppicing to provide the material for laying: 3,520 stakes and 3,520 binders.  The work also included fence removal and re-erection (i.e. 1 mile x 2), strimming, hedge trimming and re-planting. Four different sections of woodland have been worked which had not been coppiced for 30 years, including the Sidney Wood SSSI.  Normally, coppiced woodland, if managed correctly, would be worked once every 7-12 years.

Tripboat Zachariah Keppel makes its very last public trip through Brewburst Lock before the rebuild begins

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Donation of tools welcome: The Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s new Maintenance Manager, David Jessop, has also been busy in making contact with local companies who can offer “support in kind”. One of these, The Toolbank Group of Kings Avenue, Eastbourne, has generously given the Trust new hand tools worth over £200 (www.toolbank.com / 01322 321400).

New horsebridge at Loxwood: A new horse bridge is being constructed by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust between the bottom gates and the end of the new lock at Loxwood to provide access between the towpath and a field on the offside. This is being built entirely by WACT volunteers and will be of reinforced concrete, brick faced construction designed 2 metres wide between the parapets. The bridge will take a weight of 5 tons. The centering seen in the photograph is supported with large Acrow props, and thebridge was started about 6 weeks ago.

The Trust’s depot manager, Colin Gibbs, who selected the tools needed, said “These are exciting times for the Trust, with the Loxwood crossing project moving into its next phase and new sections of canal being cleared. All this activity has encouraged many more volunteers to come forward. This is great news for the Trust, but more work means we need more tools. Canal restoration is demanding work and we are most grateful to generous supporters such as Toolbank for helping us to keep up the momentum.”

A new Swedish friend: The Trust has also acquired a new cement mixer which is an ex-Swedish military batch 315 litre bought from Whittams, near Grantham. All the signs and instructions with the mixer came in Swedish and had to be translated. Fortunately, the Trust’s treasurer, Jim Phillips,has the necessary skills. Eric Walker, the B2133 crossing project manager said “we were really surprised to find the French built engine (1974) to be in pristine condition just as it had come out of the factory. It had obviously never been used”. Sally Schupke

WACT

If you would like to join the team, please call Keith Nicholls, Home: 01403 753882 (e-mail: office@weyandarun.co.uk)

Centring in place and scaffolding under construction ready for erection of the Loxwood horsebridge

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Progress

...and finally the Chesterfield Canal Chesterfield Canal Chesterfield Terminus: A new ‘canal quarter’ is in prospect for Chesterfield which would see the current anonymous terminus in the River Rother just upstream (south) of the St.Helenas floodgate. Demolition of the former Trebor sweet factory and Arnold Lavers timberyard has opened up exciting possibilities for a new terminal basin near the site of the former second (Great Central) basin. Chesterfield Borough Council has engaged consultants to devise a development plan to feature the canal and its towpath as the traffic-free centrepiece of a mixed use development including offices, flats, bars and cafes together with new public open spaces and informal events areas. Staveley: The western end of the canal - reopened in 2003 - saw a further 100 metre extension in Spring 2005. The canal now continues through the Mill Green Bridge to a new wharf. A further 700 metre extension of the western end is due to be complete by March 2008, as part of work to construct the Markham Vale and Staveley North Relief Road.

The canal element included extension of the navigation from Eckington Road to Renishaw, including a passage under the railway line, and a new aqueduct crossing the River Doe Lea. Other sources of funding are being investigated to enable parts of the scheme to come forward in the next 2/3 years anyway. Renishaw: North East Derbyshire Council have approved a planning application to restore 1600 metres of canal. The ‘Renishaw Mile’ - stretching from Hague Bridge to Burley Farm Bridge - would be an isolated section of canal on which will commence in the next 6-12 months. Trust volunteers have a major project at one end of the site to start next year (a bridge) and WRG are coming at Christmas to clear the trees from the other end. Killamarsh: Plans for this area where the canal was blocked by a new housing in the 1970s are still at the development stage but a detailed engineering solution has been worked out involving a diversion with new flights of locks. This will take the canal round the back of the Sports Centre and under Sheffield Road to arrive in Nethermore Lake. The main lock flight would come down the side of the Sports Centre. Killamarsh - Kiveton Park: Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency, has confirmed a grant of £75k to the Chesterfield Canal Partnership to fund the engineering study for this section which includes 2880 yard Norwood Tunnel which collapsed in 1907. It will also examine the problems of descending from the western portal of the tunnel into Killamarsh, through the Norwood Flight of 13 staircase locks.

This project is expected to begin in August this year, and for the canal this will mean the navigation is extended by several hundred metres to Eckington Road. Works will include a navigable crossing of Hall Lane, Staveley. S t a v e l e y Renishaw: A ‘Big Lottery’ bid, submitted to cover a number of projects in the Staveley area, has unfortunately failed. The likely new route for the canal over the top of the collapsed Norwood Tunnel

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Tim Lewis Tim Lewis

Above: One of the main problems on the Chesterfield is the collapsed Norwood Tunnel, which is likely to be partly bypassed by a new canal running at ground level above the tunnel. Below: The derelict Norwood Locks lead down from the west end of the tunnel to Killamarsh. This one is now part of somebodyÂ’s garden

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Dig Deep

Co-ordinated canal restoration work Dig Deep Report July 2006 The Dig Deep initiative is a scheme to co-ordinate work by several mobile working party groups based mainly in the south of England. The way it works is that particular restoration jobs are adopted as Dig Deep projects, committing the groups to giving a certain amount of support to these projects over a period of time, and thereby making it easier for the local canal societies which are leading these projects to commit to the necessary funding, materials and equipment to finish the job within a reasonable timescale. My last report, something of a minor rant as your editor quite rightly pointed out, was written in the depths of a cold January. Now as the temperature rises towards a predicted 31 degrees I promise to remain more chilled. This will hopefully be a progress report rather than a lecture! Since January, the Dig Deep Groups, KESCRG, London WRG, NWPG, WRG BITM and Essex WRG have been out around the country supporting three of our four projects. Why three? – because as until today (1stJuly) we were not due to start the fourth. You may have read of the progress on some of our sites in the last Navvies – especially with the useful introduction of the revitalised “Progress” column, so I apologise if I repeat anything you already know.

There has been a degree of project batching so far this year. In order to accommodate a programme of work on the Wey & Arun Canal in the second half of the year, we have tended to concentrate on the other three projects in the first half. On the Wilts & Berks we have been working at Seven Locks near Lyneham. Initially, our main focus has been on completing the lower gate recess, return and wing walls of Lock 3. A colder than usual winter restricted bricklaying on some visits but with the local team working every weekend, this job is substantially complete. Elsewhere tree clearance has taken place at Locks 2 (the one in the middle of the road!) and 1, whilst the bywash channel and compound for Lock 4 was set up. Work on the demolition of the Lock 4 walls started during the Easter Camp. More weekend visits are planned for the autumn and it is very likely that Dig Deep will commit to a further year on the re-building of Lock 4 when it meets to discuss the programme for 2007 at the end of July. Moving west to the Mon & Brec, it was originally planned that we would start work in March on Locks 19 and 20 of Fourteen Locks, Crumlin Arm, near Risca. However, because of delays in obtaining the necessary consents to work on this designated Ancient Monument, we have been asked to divert to Lock 3 closer to Newport. This is an attractive site owned by Newport City Council in a flight of stone locks that climb towards the M4, with a towpath that is much used by the residents of Newport. We have been asked by the M & B Trust to help them restore this lock prior to further work on up the flight. It will be a test bed project to show (yet again?) what volunteers can do. It is probably right that we continually do have to prove our worth in order that we maintain our own high standards. It is intended to provide training in stone laying and lime mortar which will be passed on from the summer camps to the visiting groups.

Martin Ludgate

Both London WRG and NWPG have worked on the site during the early summer months concentrating on the bywash channel. Removal of three large tree stumps has identified a need to reconstruct the whole channel, whereas initially it had been hoped that it could just be repaired. This will keep the three weeks of summer camps busy, along with rebuilding the top section of the nearside chamber wall. Subject to permissions and funding there is work on this section of canal to keep Dig Deep and everyone else busy for Dig Deep on the Wilts & Berks: LWRG put the finishing touches on Lock 3 many years.

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The difficulty for some groups, and I certainly speak for NWPG here, will be to persuade volunteers to make the journey. Those who have, have not been disappointed in the work available, the attractiveness of the site and area and the quality of the accommodation (and pub!). The latter will be changing later this year and into 2007 as and when the purpose-built volunteer accommodation in the expanded Canal Centre at the top of Fourteen Locks is completed.

So back to where I started - the Wey & Arun. Graham Baird and your Editor in his Camp preview set out fully our plans for the next six months at Brewhurst Lock. The program and funding are in place and, as I write, KESCRG should be starting the access and site compound ready for the three weeks of summer camp to start in the middle of July. Camp reports no doubt in the next Navvies. The target is to complete the job by Christmas and there are five Dig Deep weekends during the autumn to assist this. Due to the need to concentrate funds on the last part of the project, the bridge under the B2133, Dip Deep is likely to be taking a rest from the W & A in 2007. However visiting groups will be still be welcome to assist with other tasks on the canal. As with all of our projects there is no shortage of suitable projects, just the money to fund them.

David Miller

From Wales over to the Lichfield Canal where Dig Deep teams have continued to support the work at Tamworth Road, Locks 24 to 26. It was also the site of the other Easter Camp reported on in Navvies 217. Our work has concentrated on the lengths of canal bank wall between locks, in particular the towpath wall above Lock 26 (front cover of the last Navvies) and the roadside wall above Lock 25.

Both these sections are now substantially complete with work moving on to the repair of the chamber walls of Lock 24. This will essentially be a part re-build as it is likely that the level of the canal will ultimately be dropped to enable passage under Cricketers Lane about 250 yards above it. Elsewhere, there is the offside wall between Locks 25 and 26 to build and the major task of removing the storm drain running though the whole length of this section of canal. Provided that the Trust can raise enough funds to keep the work going then there is work for a further year on this site for Dig Deep visiting groups.

Dig Deep on the Wey & Arun: KESCRG install the access track ready for this SummerÂ’s major job: to rebuild Brewhurst Lock with its height reduced by 1.7m.

If your society or trust thinks that you may have a project which could benefit from Dig Deep support, please give Alan Cavender, Dig Deep Coordinator a call. His phone number is 01628 629033 – other details in the directory. To volunteer to help on any of the current projects please check the Navvies Diary and contact the Dig Deep group organiser. Bill Nicholson

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Boat Club

WRG BC gets its own clubhouse... of sorts... wrg bc news What a good time we had at the Saul Festival! There were lots of boat club members there and we used the clubhouse for the first time! It’s a pagoda belonging to two club members, we decorated it with club burgees and put chairs and a couple of tables in it. It was good to have a focal point for members to meet, chat or just chill out. There is an ‘Officer In Charge’ for the club house now. Should anyone ask ‘Where is your clubhouse?’, it can be found on ‘Pinvin’, when not in use by the club. Please be nice to the owners, as we hope to be using it again at The National! As four of the club officers were present club matters discussed were:

. . . . .

Membership: as such an exclusive (or is it inclusive?) club; memberhip is open to any boat owner who is, or has been, actively involved with wrg, and still supports what wrg does. We are aware that not all support involves ‘playing in the mud’! Money: as the treasurer was there we sorted cheques for the donation to Peterborough IWA towards their bridge raising fund and donation to Broxbourne Cruising Club’s appeal. Will any wrg groups, or individuals, let us know of any restoration projects which the club can consider for a bit of financial help. Notice board: please let me have photos of where you have been ‘flying the flag’. Photos of our burgee on your boat at interesting, out of the way and unusual locations. Banner: Sue agreed to try to get us a banner at our favourite price (free). Problems posed by Claire’s proposed move to Crete. We think she will use this as an excuse not to be our club contact and not to attend meetings on our behalf! We decided to try to share the duties, and Sue agreed to help out if needed. I emphasized the need for reports after meetings so we all know what went on!

Which leads neatly to this report from Claire...

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Report from the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs regional meeting held at Stafford Boat Club on 17th June The chairman reported the Region Rally 2006 had been a great success making a profit for the selected charities of £1,900. Looking ahead for a venue for next year it was suggested we might try the Chairman’s club or see where we might be invited, subject to the space for moorings etc.....watch this space ! I have a copy of the National Executive’s summary of the steering committee’s deliberations, as it is rather long for this report I suggest you take a look at the web site. The Midland region is going to have its own web page so all club activities, photos, places of interest etc etc please send to the webmaster. We want our region to lead the way! There is too much emphasis on the South so a forum based website is to be set up on a trial basis. Some reps feel that many club members are not too sure about the ethos of the AWCC so editors of club magazines are to receive a synopsis of AWCC objectives. The following points came from user group meetings at the AWCC Region AGM Fire safety laws coming into force in October, doing away with the need for safety certificates( www.odpm.gov.uk ) for details. Speed cameras will be in operation on the Thames this summer. Strictly 5 MPH. All you Speedy Gonzales watch out on your way to the National! Unspecified delays at Armitage and Huddlesford on the railway bridges, Network Rail would not give BW any clear information re delays or work schedules. Sandwell Coal chutes on the BCN Old Main Line have now been demolished so the main line is open. Water levels are poor in the South but all midland recervoirs are full. There is a suggestion we send some water south to our poor relations but no info as yet. The work scheduled for Diglis Basin in Worcester is going to cause some disruption and next year the work at Stourport will disrupt boating. Another million pounds is going to spent on the Shebden Embankment on the Shropshire Union. Avian Flu: BW still want to be informed of any dead birds found. As BW are now ‘hot desking’ in their offices we are reminded that all complaints need to be in writing to the managers and it will be followed up in so many days (I think the number is 20)


Napton is having two new marinas and as there is plenty of water a third may be in the offing. Just a reminder that freefone calls to Freefone Canals are not free from mobiles. Tixall Wide has been denuded of trees because of the danger to boats BW are mindfull of trees falling across boats as happened last year. Licence evasion is getting better and better it is now less than 3% according to BW. (I think she means they’re cutting down on evasion!) There is a great deal of concern re Asian funerals (no not coconuts again!). There is a decorated boat being used on the Soar, from a local hirer, well loaded with mourners, and the deceased’s ashes wrapped in silk bundles to be lowered out overboard. The EA are not concerned if there is no pollution,but local residents are very concerned as some of the bundles are being washed into the side of the river and as this boat runs several times a week it makes for a lot of silk bundles. No boater has so far reported anything on their prop. I hope this has given you all the relevant points from the meeting. A GIANT bottle of whisky won by one of our non drinking reps at the rally is going to be raffled at our AGM on March 10th at Wolverhampton BC. Other dates for the meetings are October 21st (Coventry CC) January 13th (Soar BC).

Letters Dear Martin My thanks to Roger in Navvies 217 for reminding me of the late, great Bill Crockett. My very first camp and there were some famous names, new to me at the time, but destined to be indelibly printed in my memory - Sue and Roger Burchett, ‘Mucky’ Mick Beattie and Bill Crockett. I still don’t know why I didn’t simply turn the car round and drive home again! I’m glad I didn’t because I would have lost the opportunity to meet the sort of people who made WRG what it is. Bill was one of those people you meet and never forget. Roger mentions the litre and a half of whisky - I have a strong suspicion that Roger helped Bill to drain the bottle! Bill was, of course, a legend when it came to toasters. I’m not convinced that he really did destroy all those toasters on his own, but it makes a good story.

is

Bill would try his hand at anything and his age was no handicap. An all round nice bloke - he’ll be missed.

Love and stuff, Claire xxx

Spencer Greystrong

Another web site www.canalworld.net.

worth

a

look

Many thanks to Claire and we hope all is going well with her plans, we will keep members informed. It was good to see so many members at Saul and I look forward to seeing even more at Beale Park. What National Festival awards haven’t got ‘wrg bc’ on them yet? If you can enter for any of them, or think of a suitable load for us to carry in Lynx so we have a chance to win ‘that darn chicken’ (a.k.a. The Alfred Ritchie Cockerel award for the best turned-out working boat) please go for it, and let us know. Notice of AGM: As is usual the AGM of WRG Boat Club will be held at the ‘National’, this year at Beale Park. It will be on Saturday 26th of August, exact time and venue to be announced once we are there. Should you want anything in particular discussed, to offer help or apologies (shame on you), please contact me on Tel: 07748186867 or email: sadiedean@vodafone.net. xxx Sadie Dean

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Navvies news

TheGKPstone,signing-in...andthe editor wants your camp reports! The Graham Palmer Stone A harder-wearing replacement for the memorial stone to our founder Graham Palmer (which had suffered from vandalism and weathering) is to be installed at the same site by Aston Locks on the Montgomery Canal during the weekend of September 9th - 10th. The date is subject to confirmation - please check with Mike Palmer. Thank you to everyone who responded to the appeal for contributions in support of the memorial.

Camp reports As you will see elsewhere in this issue, we have already received camp reports from the first couple of Canal Camps on the main summer programme. But there that leaves three weeks on the Wey & Arun, three on the Mon & Brec, another four on the Wilts & Berks, the National Festival and another on Lord Rolle’s Canal still to reach the pages of Navvies. So I hope that by the time you receive this issue those of you who have been on the rest of the Summer camps will have been scribbling away or more likely bashing away at your laptops - turning another few weeks of navvying into witty and original contributions for the next issue. So let’s have them in as soon as possible, please: the press date is September 1st. And speaking of ‘original’ it’s a long time since we had a really unusual contribution... like the camp report written entirely in verse... or the one that took the form of a series of ‘Roobarb and Custard’ cartoons... or the one supposedly written by the tools, rather than by the volunteers... And remember to send me your photos too.

Signing-in: is it necessary? I thought I was going to manage a whole navvies without a health and safety reminder but at the last minute both the HSE and our insurers produced a reminder on the subject of site registers, signing on for work, etc.

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I have been asked a few questions on this over the years so here’s a bit of general info... There are some times when a rigid signing in/out procedure is mandatory (such as confined spaces etc.) However on a more normal site it is less clear as to the rules, particularly as some groups feature the same people every month whereas others have different people every day. Equally some sites have their own registration arrangements whereas other are rather lacking. Now there are three reasons why knowing who is on your site is important. Firstly, you do need to know their details* should the worst happen. Secondly, it is really important to keep a good record of your efforts for the matched funding – in management terms this is the upside to paperwork – a chance to claim cash for filling the forms in! Thirdly, our insurers remind us that they will need to know who was there in the event of the worst happening. Although you may say that it is obvious who is on site should the worst happen, our insurers remind us that, these days, it is often many months before any one realises that the worst has happened. And how good is your memory? So it is necessary to be able to say who is on your event – as mentioned before, the huge diversity within volunteer groups means mean we can’t really set any guidelines. You could have a rigid signing in procedure but then again perhaps just a habit of taking a group photograph every weekend and keeping it in a central place. Only you know what is suitable for your group. Anyway, lecture over – you know the requirements – how you do it is up to you. Mike Palmer *The WRG standard signing on form is available on the website www.wrg.org.uk and this has pretty much all the info we have found to be needed.

And finally... I was very impressed by a huge pack of stuff that fell through my letter box yesterday from those fine chaps at Land and Water – dredger specialists. Huge pictures of exciting machines (with GPS bucket data, no less!) and great write ups of major projects. To quote: ‘led by contractor and no consultants involved’. They sound like our sort of people. Then I remembered, they are our people! In case any further proof were needed the package included their new magazine, giving all the details of work down at the water face. The title? BANKSIDE! Hmmm. MKP


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

Moving house

Wen, James and Frances Carrington have moved to: Westway, Camden Road, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 2NS. 020 8669 2759. Mitch Gozna’s address in a previous issue contained an error. It should be 3 Queenscote, Portishead, N Somerset BS20 7LR. She now has a phone number: 01275 399020. If you move house, don’t forget to tell Navvies to change your subscription details.

Thank you

To the generous sponsor of the colour cover. It will be a great help to the WRG Publicity team to have an eyecatching magazine to hand out at the National Festival. Also thanks to Chris Griffiths for printing the colour cover. (and congratulations Chris and Elaine on your forthcoming wedding!) Sponsors welcome for future colour covers

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 uuChorlton-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 Camper van for sale 1990 Autohome Camelot based on a Fiat Ducatto. Diesel 1.9, 92000 miles. £7000ono Sleeps two plus two children - but not Roger! (hence reason for sale) Contact Sue Burchett by email to sue@navvy.freeserve.co.uk

Congratulations ...to Eddie Jones and Jenni Copeland on your engagement And Felicitations on your forthcoming Nuptials to Taz & Smudge and also to Dizzy & Mark

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).

Dial-a-camp To contact any WRG Canal Camp: 07850 422156 (Kit ‘A’ camps) 07850 422157 (Kit ‘B’ camps) Directors of WRG: Rick Barnes, 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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Infill

Everybody’s Free to Wear a Hard Hat If I could offer you only one tip for the future, hard hats would be it. The long-term benefits of hard hats have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your Transit van. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your van until the paint has faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of D16EHP and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay in the back of the van, and how fabulous it really looked. It is not as rusty as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to lead a canal camp from the cab of an excavator. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never came up in the risk assessment, the kind that blindside you at 12.01pm on Saturday just after the hire-shop closes until Monday. Do one thing every day that scares you. (Except you, Bungle) Sing. (Not ‘American Pie’ please, Martin) Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. (And yes, this includes you, MKP!) Grease. Don’t waste your time on bailing. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with the leaks. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, congratulations: you’re the next WRG Chairman. Keep your old copies of Navvies. Throw away your old Canalway Cavalcade programs. Drink. Don’t feel guilty about ignoring Mike and Martin’s whinges about getting your bookings in soon. The most interesting people I know didn’t know by late May which Canal Camp they wanted to go on. Some of the most interesting ones I know still haven’t sent their booking forms off now. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, you’ll still be brick-cleaning. Your choices are half-bricks. So are everybody else’s. Enjoy your Tirfor winch. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest pulling aid you’ll ever own Dig, even if you have nowhere to do it but your garden. Read the Practical Restoration Handbook, even if you ignore it. Do not read waterways magazines. They will only make you feel bored

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Get to know your underpants. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your socks. They’re your best link to your last canal camp, and they’re most likely to stick to you in the future. Understand that volunteers come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who still think that car-parking at the National is an interesting job. Go on a Mick Beattie camp but leave before it makes you hard. Go on a Gavin Moor camp but leave before it makes you soft. Accept certain inalienable truths: Beer Prices will rise. The Chairman will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, beer prices were reasonable, the Chairman was noble and D of E’ers respected old hands. Respect old Hands. Don’t expect scaffolding to support you. Maybe you have some diagonal bracing. Maybe you have a good insurance policy. But you never know when either one might give way. Don’t mess too much with your bonfire or by tea break time it will have gone out. Be careful whose beer you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Drinking is a form of nostalgia. Getting pissed is a way of wiping the past from your memory, re-inventing it, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. But trust me on the hard hats. - from contributions by Richard Cool, the editor and various people in London WRG and the WRGie Words forum. If you haven’t a clue what this is about, see www.lyricscrawler.com/song/3953 for the original lyrics.

Caption suggestions...

...to the pictures in the last issue: Firstly Claire and the hat-bin: “I forgot to pack any clothes - again!” - Bungle “Moose will never find me in here!” - Nigel Lee “The success of the new recipe 'Pot Bungle instant volunteer' has now led to other varieties being tried at camp.... ‘Just add boiling water’ ." - Andy Carter ...and secondly Liz, the tea-mug and the sheep: “What are ewe looking at?” - Liz Wilson “The audience for Liz's demonstr a t ion of ‘camp tea making’ appeared to be losing in terest...” - Andy Carter More suggestions - and pictures - please!


Steve Morley SORT

A couple of sites that we’re likely to be seeing a bit more of... Above: WRG NorthWest and Essex get some stump-pulling practice in on the Grantham ahead of this year’s Bonfire Bash. (Sent your form of yet? If not, see p6-7) Below: Work starts on the first restoration project on the Sussex Ouse Navigation - initial clearance gets under way at Isfield Lock. Back cover photos were all taken on this year’s first five Canal Camps, by photographers too numerous to mention. Let’s hope the pictures from the rest of the Summer’s camps are as good... and let’s hope somebody remembers to send them to Navvies...


Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

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