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navvies volunteers restoring

waterways

Happy Birthday KESCRG 1977-2007

waterway recovery group

Issue No 224 August-September 2007


Navvies Production

Editor: Martin Ludgate, 35 Silvester Road, East Dulwich London SE22 9PB 020-8693 3266

Printing and assembly: John & Tess Hawkins, 4 Links Way, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 john.hawkins@wrg.org.uk Navvies is published by Waterway Recovery Group, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY and is available to all interested in promoting the restoration and conservation of inland waterways by voluntary effort in Great Britain. Articles may be reproduced in allied magazines provided that the source is acknowledged. WRG may not agree with opinions expressed in this magazine, but encourages publication as a matter of interest. 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).

Liz Williamson

Subscriptions: Navvies subscriptions, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY

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 Palmer, Michael Palmer, Jonathan Smith. Secretary: Neil Edwards VAT reg. no: 788 9425 54 ISSN: 0953-6655 Š 2007 WRG

Liz Williamson

Inland Waterways Enterprises Registered office: 3 Norfolk Court, Norfolk Rd. Rickmansworth WD3 1LT. Tel : 01923 711114 Registered no 4305322

Visit our web site www.wrg.org.uk for

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Contents SORT

In this issue...

Above: Volunteers needed for an intensive programme of volunteer work that has just begun at Stratford St Mary Lock on the River Stour - see page 49. Below: how the professionals do it - work under way on the new Liverpool Link, a brand-new canal that reinstates a lost link between the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the South Docks complex. Opposite: materials are unloaded (above) at the start of the KESCRG camp at Seven Locks on the Wilts & Berks ready for work to begin on rebuilding the offside wall of lock 4 (below) - report next time. Cover photo: KESCRG at work on Isfield Lock, Sussex Ouse - see report on p45-47 (photo by David Miller)

Contributions...

Martin Ludgate

Subscriptions queries Until further notice please contact our head office on 01923 711114 or email enquiries@wrg.org.uk if you have any problems or queries regarding Navvies subscriptions. Sue Watts (see right) will still deal with new subs and regular renewals.

Chairman 2008 and all that 4-5 What’s next? National Festival, Bonfire Bash, Autumn and Christmas camps 6-9 Camp Reports Lord Rolle and the Mont 10-17 Festival Reports LV Grantham 18-22 Directory WRG and canal societies 23-25 Diary camp and working party dates 26-28 Letters Chichester; the Training weekend29-30 Progress and Dig Deep update 31-38 Cook Report from the Wilts & Berks 39-41 KESCRG 30th anniversary feature including a dig report from the Sussex Ouse 42-47 WRGBC trains and boats and (flood)plains 48 Noticeboard Serbia here we come! 49 Infill help eight navvies get to the pub! 50

...are always welcome, whether hand-written, typed, on CD-ROM, DVD or by email. Photos also welcome: digital, slides, colour or b/w prints. Please state whether you want your prints back; I assume that you want slides returned. Digital pics are welcome as email attachments, preferably JPG format, but if you have a lot it is preferable to send them on CD-ROM or DVD or to contact the editor first. Contributions by post to the editor Martin Ludgate, 35, Silvester Road, London SE22 9PB, or by email to martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk. Press date for issue 225: September 1st.

Subscriptions A year's subscription (6 issues) is available for a minimum of £1.50 to Sue Watts, 15 Eleanor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9FZ. Cheques to "Waterway Recovery Group" please. This is a minimum subscription which doesn’t even cover postage costs but is kept low so that everyone can afford to subscribe. Please add a donation if you can.

all the latest news of WRG's activities page 3


Chairman

Planning for 2008 Chairman’s Comment I know it seems a bit strange to talk about Canal Camps for 2008 (and beyond) when we are still in the middle of our 2007 camps, however I thought it might be useful to say how we go about setting the schedule for the following year as several people have said to me that they would quite like to get involved but are not quite sure when to stick their head over the parapet (as it were). We start around about now, with a letter from Head Office to all the usual suspects asking if they have suitable projects for Canal Camps. Initially these vary between established ongoing projects and madcap schemes, but we consider them all. Ideally we try to meet up with the promoters at the National Festival and talk through the ways we can help. Then through September and October we get involved in lots of site visits and emails trying to thrash out all the important details. This all comes to a head on the Saturday of the Bonfire Bash in November when the WRG committee meeting gets a little expanded and we try to put all the potential projects together in an arrangement that is both possible and desirable. (As an aside several of the WRG regional groups also use this date to set and publish their plans for the next year to make sure that clashes don’t occur). The (very nearly confirmed) programme

Digital tachographs Just a reminder that if you need to tow trailers using the new vans you will need a digital tachograph card. As an additional benefit it removes the need to find a pen to fill in those fiddly paper discs. They are very easy to apply for – just ring 0870 8501074 or log onto www.dvla.gov.uk and ask for a driver card. And our offer to reimburse the £40 is still on the table, once you have got yours just ring Head Office and we will send you a claim form.

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is then published that night and we start to try and recruit leaders, assistants, cooks, etc. and answer any questions about the projects to anyone who wants to know. We then flesh out all the details that we can and publish the confirmed schedule in the Canal Camps flyer in the Christmas edition of Navvies. Obviously that is not the end of it as we then still have lots of gaps to fill in: permissions, plans, plant, leaders, etc. The ultimate aim is to get all of these gaps filled in time for running the Leaders training day (held on the Saturday of the Barn dance, March 1). This is not exactly a formal event just an opportunity for all the leaders to get together, make sure they have got all the bits of their camp sorted and, if not, ask for some advice. So if you are interested in helping out with either a particular Camp or with the planning in general then we would be happy to see your head above the parapet anytime. A really good time to ask is at the Bonfire Bash or the Barn Dance. This is the time when any needs will be at their most obvious and we will be hoping for people to fill the time honoured position of Muppet. (This is a corruption of Massively Useful Person and not to be confused with the very similar insult Muppet. The clue is to whether it has the word “complete” before it !) Every successful camp has at least one Muppet and it’s a rewarding part to play. It doesn’t come with huge responsibilities but it is a huge relief for a leader to know that they have a Muppet on their camp. Talking of the Bonfire Bash we have the luxury this year of having someone else organise it for us. Our good friends KESCRG are running the event on the North Wilts branch of the Wilts and Berks. There is a fair possibility that this section could receive funding from the Big Lottery and make good progress so if you want to be in at the start of something big then this years BB could be a good move. Book now. There has been just a bit of confusion regarding the Driver Authorisation renewals we have sent out and we’re sorry if people got a little confused, but it really is as simple as it seems. There are two processes going on here that aren’t actually really related. Your DA card has a renewal date on it and when this is due we write to you saying “are these still valid?”. Secondly, on behalf of our insurers, we now have to check driving licences more


frequently than before. They have asked to apparently!). So if anyone out there has ensure that for any volunteer who is driving upgraded their own camera and found themon the road, we hold a copy of their licence selves with a Smart Media card or two left that has been checked within the last 12 over then we would could find a good home months. Because we have a lot of volunteers for them. who only drive for us every now and then Secondly the The Waterways Trust are we have introduced a system that means you about to launch a £100,000 appeal to finish can get this licence check as and when reoff the Droitwich Canals. Although the conquired. Providing your licence is clean you tractors are now working on a lot of it there can get a Clean Licence Declaration form off is still a funding gap of £100k needed for the the website, out of a Canal Camps flight case Barge Lock. If you know the Droitwich at all or sent to you at any time. Get it signed by a you will realise that without finishing the Licence Authenticator, return it and you are Barge lock half the benefits of restoring the covered. So it is still your duty to ensure that rest of it will be lost. Time is rather pressing we have a recently checked copy, and if you because we are due to supply the volunteer drive for us regularly then it makes sense to labour to use this funding next summer. So do this regularly (for instance at the National we are going to support this appeal over the or BB), but if you are an occasional driver next 12 months or so. More in the next then you can now do it as and when reNavvies but we are appealing for anyone quired. who can help co-ordinate our efforts or Now just to prove that we are always come up with some suitably high profile appealing I’d like to end with two appeals: ideas. Firstly we have encountered a bit of a If any of the above stirs your interest technical problem. The Canal Camps then please contact me and hopefully I’ll flightcase includes a digital camera. This is point you in the right direction. used for a variety of things – mainly recordHugs and Kisses ing exactly how something went together MKP just before we knock it down, but it is also mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk used to supply quite a lot of the pictures we use for publicity – you know the sort of * And if you doubt the need for ever thing – happy smiling volunteers happy with bigger formats then you should have seen their lot and enjoying the challenge of learn- the size of the publicity shots we used at the ing new skills in a thrilling environment. Outdoor Show ! – never thought we would Anyway the cameras are fine – no problems ever blow Bungle up that big ! at all with them, the problem is the For your eyes only memory cards that they use. Once a card There have been a couple of minor incidents on Camps this sumis full it needs to be mer both involving peoples eyes. posted to Head Office The first was a simple mistake: a volunteer had been wearso we can select the ing their Personal Protection Equipment correctly while working good photos and then on preparing a wall for repointing. But they then got up to go for return it to whichever a brew and took their goggles off. Unfortunately the person next camp the camera is to them had not stopped chipping and a lump of old mortar next due on. What ended up in the first volunteer’s eye. Two lessons to be learnt with the odd one that here: (1) PPE is for protection from other peoples work as well as got lost in the post, your own and (2) when working remember it is not only yourself the one that died in that your actions affect. service and the desire Secondly a volunteer spent all day working with lime mortar. for ever bigger picture He wore all the correct PPE until he left site. Two hours later he formats* we have was in the shower and whilst washing his face dislodged a splash found that we are of lime mortar from his hair into his eye resulting in a trip to running a little low on casualty! While this really does seem to be a one in a million these cards. And they event it does show that even with PPE there is a risk from workseem to have disaping with lime mortar, that splashes do need to be attended to, and peared from most that even when we have left site risks remain. suppliers (obsolete

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What’s next?

As I was going to St Ives...

It doesn’t all come to a halt just because the main summer camps programme’s ended. Here’s what we’re up to between now and New Year...

First, lets hear from the leader of this summer’s final camp...

Martin Ludgate

The Inland Waterways Association’s National Festival this year is being held on the fields near St Ives, Huntingdonshire. I am leading the WRG Site Services Camp, my assistant is Paul Shaw and the cooks are Jude Palmer and Alice Bayston. We will be using the same system of working as last year, i.e. working in teams. For those who are wondering what this National Festival is, or would like to know more... Imagine a very large field or two with a river or canal flowing alongside… Some nutter drives a large artic lorry onto said field. Then suddenly people appear from the boats that have been arriving over the last few days. The artic trailer is left, as the cab unit drives off! This trailer is called the Tardis, for reasons that will become apparent later. A couple of large lorries appear and unload various items of kit, such as what makes the National so fun-packed... the security fencing! Also arriving will be a couple of people who will set up camper vans, caravans etc. Plant will arrive - no, not roses and pansies etc but forklift trucks, tractors with trailers etc. Some of these people who have turned up will start erecting the fencing and others will open the back doors of the Tardis and start unloading stuff. After a short time you suddenly see why it’s called the Tardis, as the contents spill out onto the field. After the first weekend the Tardis will be in a state to be used by the Quarter Master (this year it’s ‘Tractor John’ Baylis), the security fence will be up around the Tardis making a compound with gate etc and possibly if they have worked hard enough, then what will become the WRG accommodation compound will be completed or nearly so. Once the Tardis is ready for use and the QM in position - normally sat on a chair with a cup of tea in his hand - you will start to see people going off in all directions, with these single wheel bikes (well that is what they look like), they don’t ride them, they push them along the field and then at set spaces, they put marks on the grass. The WRG compound will be marked out, more people will be turning up, on the river more boats will be arriving. People will be seen laying out plastic pipes for water, then when some portacabins are delivered, they will be connected to the water pipes and then folks will go along digging the pipes into the ground. Next will come the guys carrying cables and blue junction boxes. These blue boxes will Fencing is fun - really! seem to multiply, and black cable will be laid out connected to the cabins and dug into the ground alongside the water pipe. By the end of the first week, the Marquees have arrived and been put up, security fencing should all be up around the festival site. At the weekend, yours truly will turn up with his caravan and put it in its space, Paul the assistant leader will turn up. Some WRG volunteers will turn up over the weekend (most of the volunteers who’ve been doing the work so far being IWA Festivals bods), but in the main most WRG volunteers will turn up on the Monday the official start day of the camp.

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What’s next?

... I met a Moose with 700 jobs to be done by Friday Monday is a case of showing people around the WRG compound and the festival site, then before scoff, we have the first part of the Health & safety talk for WRG, followed after scoff by the full Health & Safety intro for everyone on site. Tuesday onwards we’ll be hard at work: tables & chairs need to be put into marquees, in the food court areas, fire extinguishers need to be put out, 1001 signs need to be placed around site, any holes need filling, banners need putting on the marquees. A large crane and lots of boats will come in on lorries, these will need to be unloaded and placed where commercial office think they have a space for them. More skips will have arrived, several very large lorries will turn up and the fork lift will be unloading boat engines that are in a metal cradle, these will go on display. A very important truck or two will turn up: the beer wagons. They will set up the bar ready for Thursday night and the boaters quiz. Sounds so easy when you write down like this but this will keep us occupied for the rest of the week until Friday morning, when traders start to turn up wanting someone to pull a trolley to move their trade kit from their car, need tables and chairs, and their trailers might need moving by hand. Pay booths will be put into place and moved several times, they end up back where they started and everybody is happy. Saturday will arrive. What you can see at 9:55hrs, hopefully if the weather is fine, is a long stream of people anxiously waiting to get through the pay booths. For the next three days there will be odd jobs around the site. Last year we picked up 200 odd jobs. Monday evening 5:00pm, the site closes for the last time. All hell is let loose on site, all the traders want to come on site now so they can pack up, all the tables, chairs and fire extinguishers are to be collected from all stalls and marquees. The traders with trailers will be ready to leave very quickly, and anxious to get off site. Monday evening by 8:00pm WRGies might be sat down eating their scoff. Tuesday the site is stripped of basically everything, from signs to fencing to banners etc. Tuesday evening will be the WRG end of camp party. The theme will be Beach party. Planning is still in the planning stage (as planning usually is!) but there could be beer and food, plus some of the other people who are not WRGies will be there - but everyone who’s been involved in the festival will be most welcome to the party. Wednesday we continue to clear the site. The Marquees will probably be gone by the end of Wednesday, the boats that were craned onto the ground should have gone. By Thursday everything should be gone including us. If you have stayed on, by Friday evening if you look across this field or two all you should see is a river that perhaps will still have some boats on it, but the fields should be clear of everything including any rubbish etc. That is the very idyllic way the festival is done: takes two weeks to set up and one to take down. But lots of planning goes into each festival - I have been going to the meetings for St Ives since October 2006. “What is the point?” you may ask. Well there are lots of points. Firstly the National hopefully will make money which will go into the IWA pot that (among other things) helps to pay for restoration work that WRG undertakes. Secondly, it’s a way of making the local folk who don’t appreciate their waterways know what they have on their door step. I can already hear some of you folks who regularly attended the National and have read this saying “no mention of car parking”, “where is WOW?”, “What about the Lavender Boat?” You will have to come and find out. Book on through Head Office as the preferred method. But if you don’t, please do either call or email me. Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden 07961 922153, moose@wrg.org.uk

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What’s next?

Autumn and Christmas camps and weekend digs Autumn Camp on the Chard Canal: October 20-27

Martin Ludgate

The what canal? The Chard Canal - surely you must have heard of it! Well, just in case you haven’t, it was a notterribly-successful waterway that linked the town of Chard in Somerset to the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal not far east of Taunton. Built for small 26ft by 6ft 6in tub-boats, it was notable for its four inclined plane boat lifts, its three tunnels, and the fact that it was insolvent for pretty much its entire 25-year working life. But the least successful canals are often the ones that go through the finest scenery and the Chard is no The River Tone Aqueduct on the Chard Canal exception. And while reopening if it ever happens will be a very long way off, a start is being made on some initial restoration work near the north end. And we’re spending a week there in October. This is a normal canal camp, so please book through Head Office or via the website as usual.

Bonfire Bash on the North Wilts Canal, November 3-4 This year our friends in KESCRG are leading the annual reunion weekend work party for everyone from the canal camps, the regional groups and anyone else who wants to come along and help make our biggest event of the year a success. The site is the North Wilts Canal - that’s the branch of the Wilts & Berks that runs north from Swindon to join the Cotswold Canals at Cricklade. See page 44 for more details, then fill in the form opposite and send it in!

London WRG / KESCRG / WRG SW Christmas dig, December 1-2 Good grief, Christmas already? ’Fraid so. Time to start planning the first of the Christmas celebrations, the annual joint party weekend between London WRG, KESCRG, and WRG South West - but anybody is welcome to attend. I’m afraid we’re not sure exactly where this will be happening this year, but it will definitely be happening on December 1st and 2nd, and there will be more details in the next Navvies and on the website as soon as we have them.

New Year Camp on the Grantham Canal, December 26 - January 1 As ever, the WRG year ends with a New Year Canal Camp, and this year for a change we’re moving to the Grantham Canal, scene of some very successful summer camps in recent years. In the next Navvies we hope to have details of the leaders, the accommodation and the work. This is another ‘normal’ camp, so book via Head Office or the website as usual.

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waterway recovery group

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Reunion Bonfire Bash 2007 I would like to attend the 2007 WRG and KESCRG Bonfire Bash on the North Wilts Canal on November 3rd-4th 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 we 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

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Camp Reports

Leaders Judith and Nat lay down a challenge for the title of ‘most original camp report of the summer’

Starting with Lord Rolle’s Canal...

the weather could have been a little hotter. A little otter called Tarka was the In the early 19th century Lord Rolle subject of a famous book and film based on the surrounding area. built a canal. ‘Roll with it’ was a song by pop group One day a man came to film us at Oasis. work. Work is something that happened An oasis has lots of water - like this camp. most days on site, but not all. Water comes in many forms: Steam Site was a tidal lock whose high tide was a disappointment on day one, but (“Tea Up!”) Water (“Fasten down the tarpaulin!”) and Ice (cool beer). scary by the end of the week. Beer is a substance the lads drink A definite disappointment was the ease at which the green vegetation buckled whilst listening to music at gigs. Local gigs involved local Adrian and his under the pressure washer – too little time to play! Land Rover. Play was something we did on TuesThe Land Rover was also used to carry us back from a tour along the line of day whilst the wall was drying off under masterfully tied down pieces of tarpaulin. the canal one evening. Drying off was something we did in Evenings were the times when everyone was grateful for the lush accommodation the Fish and Chip shop in Bideford after a leisurely long walk in the torrential rain, with and handy showers. a few of us being lucky enough to be in full Showers were frequent and somewaterproofs. times more like monsoons, and we all wish Yellow waterproofs were a bit of a fashion accessory on site amongst the gentlemen. Fashion accessory of the week was modelled by Robert – a belt of red twine to match his right wellington. Twine was used to hold the safety fencing in place as scaffolding was reshuffled to keep up with the fast pace of work. Fast was something that the cooker knew all about – two black loaves of garlic bread later and we would know it too. We also now know The work: repairing the walls of the tidal lock that a bucket with a hole Judith Pope

Camp 0702: Lord Rolle’s Canal

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Judith Pope

“Please can we stop work soon - the tide’s up lapping around my ankles!” Below: enough food even for Rob

Judith Pope

in the bottom will let the tide in, and out at inopportune moments… Another inopportune moment was seized as the van tried to leave site in a hurry, wheel spins taught Judith never to park on grass that looks dry before rain. Dry is where our two DofEers, Hester and Natasha, retreated each evening to prepare fabulous food. Fabulous work also occurred on site; patching and pointing stonework done by all. Pointing was something we did whilst laughing as Natasha’s inability to stand on her own two feet became apparent. Laughing was the basis of most of Andy’s stories, “The more I laughed the more he hit me! And the more he hit me the more I laughed!” as tears rolled down his face (No Andy’s were harmed in the restoration of this lock!) Locks are found on the doors to accommodation, the garage and the kit trailer, and all require keys which are guaranteed to be with someone else at the other end of site. Quays are places where boats are moored. An old boat was moored upstream of the lock in very pretty surroundings. Pretty surroundings included a salt marsh, river Torridge, otters, herons, swans and sheep. Sheep kept calling to “Naaaaaaaat” and a strange rumpus was heard in the accommodation one night…. Night time was spent in lovely beds – ahhh luxury. Luxury is having home made biscuits at tea break after days of having fruit! Fruit floats when the tide comes in, as do scaffolding boards. Scaffolding boards kept us seven foot in the air – magic! Magic is something that was happening near the mixer as Dean produced load after load of mortar to varying specs. Varying specs could be applied to the volunteers who helped out this week as they came from three walks of life – from the WRGies, the local canal society and the Wings project, but all did a great deal to restore the canal. Restoring the canal is well on its way as we hand over to week two of our work here. Thanks to all the happy campers for the amount of effort and fun you put into making this a great canal camp. Judith & Nat

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Camp Reports

Week Two on Lord Rolle’s Canal... Lord Rolle’s Canal Camp CC0704 ...or welcome to a wet Devon.

been erected over the area where the stones were to be laid. Luckily the weather improved slightly when we came to lay the copers. Various evening activities were planned through the week: one evening we drove to Bideford and arranged for the van to be returned to Landcross and so after a few drinks we walked back to base along the old railway line now called the “Tarka Trail”. One afternoon Andy’s father, who ran a dairy farm close by visited us on site to explain that several of his cows had escaped from their field for pastures new and were now several fields away; and so arrangements were made for later in the evening. After dinner, we met with Adrian and Hilarywho own the land and Sea Lock, for a walk partly along the Tarka Trail, parts of which were built over the line of the canal. Several parts of the canal, and in particular some of the major structures are still in place. The van had earlier been left at the Puffing Billy pub in readiness for a short drive to Torrington for fish and chips. Next came what must be first for a Canal Camp. We met with Andy’s father and several other people to help with driving the cows along a busy main road and back to their proper field. Another evening we went to Barnstaple to see Diehard 4 - best not viewed from the front row on a wide screen!!

John Hawkins

This was the second week of camps at the Sea Lock of Lord Rolle’s Canal for this year. Leader Spencer Collins and Victoria had driven from Trowbridge, and like others got seriously delayed by an accident on the M5. It took me over six hours to travel from Croxley Green; Steve had similar problems by trying to avoid the jam by using the A38 -a bad decision. The two others on the camp were rather luckier: Robert, who was doing a few extra days, was already on the site, and Andy could walk to the site from his home - which would prove quite handy later in the week! Spencer and Victoria had already done quite a lot of the shopping, and so time was spent checking the kit trailer etc. After dinner all of the formalities were dealt with, including a site visit-just a short walk away. Generally the work consisted of building some more of the stone constructed lock chamber to a certain height in readiness for the copers, and continuing with the pointing. Concrete would need to be mixed to fill the moulds. All plus the usual tasks of selecting/ cutting stones for wall building and backfill etc. The biggest obstacle for the week was the incessant driving rain. Two canopies had

John Hawkins reports from Tarka the Otter country in deepest Devon

The accommodation: dead handy for the worksite, just visible on the right in the distance

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“Next came what must be a first for a canal camp. We helped drives some cows along a main road...”

John Hawkins

John Hawkins

John Hawkins

Because of the heavy rain on Thursday, Spencer decided that we would stop work at lunchtime to give people a ‘free’ afternoon. Some of us went to Appledore for a look around the very interesting Maritime MuThe canal: Rolle Aqueduct, now a road bridge seum, whilst there we started to make plans for a river trip the next day. On return to site the weather had improved so we continued work to prepare for Friday. Friday dawned cloudy, but bright. Straight after breakfast it was off to Appledore to meet with Barry Hughes for our river trip. The tide was almost fully in as we pushed away from the shore. Barry pointed out all the sites to us. We moored for a short time along the Bideford Quay so that the mast could be lowered-it also gave a good opportunity for Victoria to purchase some ice creams. Off under the old bridge, every arch is a different size and shape. Spencer was now steering the boat as we carried on upstream and into the Sea Lock. The return journey was considerably quicker; but rather than getting wet with the rain, some got soaked by the spray from some choppy water. Thanks Barry for a good morning. The work: rebuilding chamber walls on the sea lock Back to site for lunch and some work before starting to sort some kit. And to finish the day with a superb mixed grill. Saturday was the usual mix of kit sorting and the final clean around the accommodation. A lot of progress was made with the stone work in Sea Lock, and also removing some of the large amount silt that has built up over the years. Thanks to Adrian, Hilary and Spencer and to Victoria for the great food; so much Sunday dinner that nobody could manage pud until later in the evening…and to finish, ‘an in comment’ — don’t forget the plates!!!! The evening entertainment: herding cattle! John Hawkins

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Camp reports Montgomery Canal

In the Beginning... Today’s lesson is taken from The Book of Camps, The Mont, verses June 23 to June 30. The reading is by Steve ‘Bloody’ Johnson.

“And Palmer said ‘Instruct the Children of WRG so that they may know Health and Safety and the mixing of Lime Mortar’ . And this was done.”

And on the Second Day...

Yea Harry did awake with a sinking feeling and so he went forth and bought unto himself a sink and did drain it. And the Lord looked upon the wiring and was pleased (and surprised!) and said: ”Let there be lights.” And lo! there were fairy lights all The Lord looked down upon the Mont with down the staircase and the Lord saw that it his baleful eye. (The one in the middle!) looked pretty. And he saw that it was in need of restoAnd Palmer said, “Instruct the Children ration. And so he spake unto Palmer thus, of WRG that they may know Health and “Find thyself an accommodation and plumb it Safety and the mixing of lime mortar and and wire it.” And Palmer went unto the provide unto them also a chemistry lesson Mont, yea even unto Queens Head and found that they may know that lime mortar giveth an accommodation at the old mill thereof. up its water and taketh unto itself carbon And the Lord said, “Provide there a pair dioxide.” And this was done and SUCS saw of loos that the Children of WRG can do that it was good. number two by two.” And Palmer and Harry did build the loos and also a kitchen and four showers and a sleeping loft. But lo! Every day did start with a downward spiral (staircase). The Lord brought forth a great deluge and it rained and it rained and it rained and the rains fell like unto tears from heaven until verily the country was flooded yea even unto Sheffield and Doncaster. And Palmer said, “Get thee unto site.” But the Children of WRG said, “Not on thy nelly,” and there was much gnashing of teeth and munching of biscuits and drinking of tea. And behold, Viv and Bex did float forth on their air beds for it had rained even unto the accommo“And the Children of WRG built unto themselves a wall” dation.

And on the First Day...

Mike Palmer

And on the Third Day...

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And on the Fourth Day...

And on the Seventh Day...

The Lord spake unto the Children of WRG, saying: “Get thee unto site for I have given thee a sign and this sign shall be an arch over the waters that it shall not rain with like force again. (Well not until next week’s camp anyway.) And the Children of WRG went forth unto the now not so dry section of the Mont and found there an arch (of a bridge) between Redwith and Crickheath . And they did look upon the bridge and saw that its wing walls were not good. And they started to make a repair unto it. But lo! they were cursed for they had forgotten half the brew kit.

Palmer and Harry went forth unto Redwith and they did gaze upon the pit of despair. And they came unto Llanymynech and Palmer said, “Lo! here is the fire.” And they said, “No, it is the other village that is on fire. Indeed, liar liar Pant’s on fire!” (Those who doubt the sincerity of the word of the Lord should draw unto themselves a map of the Mont near the Welsh border.) And fearing of another deluge the Children of WRG did form a graven image of the rain god (or Alan Jervis as he is known in those parts) and they did worship at his shrine (or at least admired his patio) and there upon a fiery altar did they sacrifice of sausages and of kebabs and of vegetarian cutlets also.

And on the Fifth Day... There was a voice in the wilderness crying: ”Where’s me jeans?” And the Children of WRG did moan. And there was a wailing and gnashing of teeth but eventually the mixer did start. And that day they made repair unto the walls and laid concrete for footings and the Lord did even provide unto them with bricks (but not of the right sort or colour!). And thence did they go forth unto the restored section of the Mont whereupon the Lord did calm the waters and provide unto them a trip on a horse boat. And they came forth unto the city of Welshpool where Palmer did feed the multitude with fish and chips. And again they were drawn upon the waters of the canal almost unto Pant.

The children of WRG built unto themselves a wall and it was three cubits high by one cubit wide by thirty cubits long. And Steve Lees of BW looked upon the wall and said that it was good. And also this day did Bex try to rid herself of the evil weed but her tribulations were many and her flesh was weak and she did fall again into temptation. (And again and again and again!) And lo! That night the light of the lord shone forth upon the Children of WRG as they lay sleeping and they said, ”Go to bed Adrian.”

The Lord did cast out the Children of WRG from the accommodation and they were scattered far across the land. Lo! even Emma the D-of-E’er and Vanessa the washing up fairy went home. But yea! it is written that the Children of WRG shall labour mightily upon the Mont from generation unto generation until Palmer shall come again amongst them saying, ”Y’know, I think one more camp should do it.”

Here endeth the lesson. Steve Johnson

Mike Palmer

And on the Sixth Day...

And on the Eighth Day...

“And they were drawn upon the waters”

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Camp Reports ...and the Mont again

In which we build a stone wall, pretend we’re in Wales, and Helen the assistant leader wins a date in Droitwich with Helen the cook

Mont camp 0705: 30 June - 7 July

Day 2 - Sunday

...or, as the chairman sleeps, Umbrella (ella ella eh eh in my pants pink sausages). See No 1. single in the popular disc spinning charts by Rihanna. [I’m not terribly familiar with this ditty (they don’t often play it on Classic FM) but I have my doubts as to whether it really mentions pants or sausages. ...Ed]

Still waiting for the answer. The day started with the normal first day shenanigans which involved returning to the accommodation to collect the trailer to collect a mixer (Mandy) to take to the site so we could get a bit of stone wall training from Shropshire Union Canal Society. Finally in the afternoon, we made it to our site – a stone canal bank wall by Redwith Bridge that needed completely rebuilding after removal of tree stumps - having had some education master classes on lime mortar and the laying of it. The first job involved lots of stone sorting - 6 categories: good face (small, medium and large); crappy backfill (small, medium and large). Cliff hanger: will we finish rebuilding the wall before the shed wall above it comes and joins us in the canal bed? The evening entertainments included inflatable canoeing, featuring Martin’s wet bum. Followed by an impromptu pub quiz hosted by Long Tall Helen, a very closely fought match: The Knights of the Round Table beat the Silly Buggers into 2nd place by a mere 1 point after 50 questions (score: 38 to 37). Harry was entered into the marriage-toBush proposal race by Major Rachel Parr who wasn’t even on the camp. A points system was brought into operation to decide between suitors.

Day 1 - Saturday

Martin Ludgate

The Former Rain God Alan Jervis and Marla spent 5 hours preparing the most wonderful selection of curries for us to feast on. Many many thanks for a truly delicious supper. Later during the normal ‘get to know’ everyone drinks in the local pub, Floodgates proposed to Helen ‘Bush Baby’, and we’re still waiting for the answer. We didn’t need to do any work that day.

Campers learn the art of stone walling from SUCS at Crickheath...

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Day 3 - Monday. Before we could start work we had the chal-


lenge of unlocking the site tool container: how many people to open 1 padlock? Answer: six. ‘Digger’ is our hero. Long Tall Helen almost scalded Sir Alan (of the Lines variety)’s leg. And Wales ITV were on site interviewing all the Welsh volunteers on the restoration of the canal. So we had to lie and pretend the worksite was in Wales. Stephen Lees of BW fame went beyond the call of duty – our toilets were full so he emptied them by hand (and bucket). We went swimming in the evening and were told off 6 times – sorry to the Flash centre and their whistles. 2 x no diving (‘dim defisio’); 1 x out of control of descent of water slide; 1 x blocking of rapid; 1 x no running. [Errr…. I make that five, Harry! …Ed] Oh and we did some work: Wall rebuilding started (build a dry stone wall then rebuild it with lime NL5 two-to-oneto-a-half mix) And we had to load the van with crushed limestone direct from the quarry Alan Lines proposed to Bush and then Long Tall did too. Bush confused.

Day 4 Tuesday Wall continued apace. Steve’s Birthday (ella ella eh eh etc). We produced outfits of popular culture fashioned from bin bags and bling [see inside back cover for photo …Ed] and we decorated accordingly. We had a Blind date competition to settle the question of Bush’s hand in marriage - which Long Tall won, and they will be going on a date on the Droitwich Canal. The food was prepared accordingly and the onion tartlets worked.

Day 6 Thursday Wall finished, and a small team spent the day at Pryce’s Bridge fitting coping stones to the wall built by last week’s camp. Unfortunately we were unable to finish it in the time left so the step down to the wall was made safe. It turned out to be a very wet day, so we went bowling and tried to get drunk. Unfortuately the staff at the bowling were unable to assist in the serving of more than 0 drinks. And Steve won.

Day 7 - Friday We tidied Mike’s mess and our mess too. Our wall is completely finished and looking very groovy. Washed the kit and the vans (inside and out) in the rain. Went round to AJs for a barbie. Wrote this camp report at 2 o’clock in the morning whilst rather drunk. Hope you can’t tell!

THE END This camp was brought to you by the words tiara and umbrella, the letter F and uncountable numbers. Harry Watts

Wall almost finished: big stones moved from the coping stone minefield - give me a lever and I’ll move the world. Boat Trip at Llanymynech (with an interesting musical soundtrack) and a trip around the historic lime kilns followed by a fish and chip supper then a wander over the Pontythingy aqueduct.

Martin Ludgate

Day 5 - Wednesday

...and put it into practice at Redwith

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Cavalcade

Report from Little Venice

Moose gives us an insight into the huge amount of work involved in running the excellent Canalway Cavalcade rally in London

Little Venice Canalway Cavalcade entering the lock. Quick climb up the lock Wow its over! This year was my third year as the volunteer leader, and at the start of the planning stage that was what I was. But this changed during the year, when I was asked to be the chairman of the Cavalcade committee. Well now with the boat back on its home mooring, and with time to relax, I can day dream about when the move to LV started... On Saturday we turned up at Sawbridgeworth, to help crew a boat: WRGies who’ve been involved for a few years might know Gary Sheerin: well we had come to crew for him as he was very careless and lost a leg in a bike accident (didn’t lose all of it just below the knee) back in October and we were making sure he still went to Cavalcade. The other reason was his girlfriend Karen, who was the licencee for what was going to be Karen’s Watering Hole. This was a bar that had 10 real ales and four real ciders. More of this later... On Sunday we started the slow cruise to Waltham Abbey: Gary’s boat Fox was carrying over 1000 cans of gnats pee (sorry, lager) plus the soft drinks and crisps for the bar. Our boat Daisybob was carrying the toot from the shed for Cavalcade, more toot for Wow (‘Wild over Waterways’ for kids) plus the flat pack bar, loads of room…. not! Poor little dogs almost lost their bed space. On Monday we left Waltham Abbey and headed for Tottenham Hale. Maria had to go back to work, so it was Karen, ‘Pegleg’ and me. This was a very laid back cruise, but we knew we would have to move faster on Tuesday to get into LV by the evening. On Tuesday we left early: I would go first on Daisybob, arrive at a lock and start getting it ready, whilst gung ho Gary would charge at the lock, at the last minute slam into reverse and it would look like Karen being flung off the front of Fox onto the lock steps. Between Karen and I we would get the lock ready, Gary again would charge in, by which time I had untied Daisybob and was

page 18

ladder and help Karen do the lock. This worked so well, by midday we were through Islington Tunnel just as my phone beeped. It was Mike Harlock the dreaded ‘Site 1’: “Can you go and pick up lights for the bar and Ents marquee?” Luckily, we had enough time to pull over upsetting several fisherman on the mooring bollards. We arrived at Pirate Club whose boat Pirate Viscount we were using as a sleeping boat. But first we had to remove the seating and then add the mattresses. I took Viscount down to Camden and turned it around without hitting anything, we breasted it up alongside Fox and then with Gary following me set off to LV, arriving about 17.00. I had to go to a meeting, during which Martin phoned to say he was going to drop off the London WRG kit I had asked for i.e. pots and pans, burco, first aid kit etc. Luckily the meeting finished quickly (very good when you are the chairman), and all this kit was dropped into the Pirate boat. On Wednesday morning, Gareth turned up and introduced himself: he had emailed me to say he wanted to help, and the first thing I could get him to do in good festival fashion… was fencing. This had just turned up and needed unloading and moving to where the compound would be, only 17 panels, one person gate and hinge. Another person volunteered just by walking up to me and saying the magic words “can I help?” - John was press-ganged into erecting the fence around the compound. John‘s boat (Maggie May? he was still waiting for BW to say if the name was ok to use) was just behind us. The only other work done on a slow day was boaters packs, only 150. The nice job of going out to the pontoon and giving it a good sweep and give the willow tree on the island the obligatory haircut, so if someone was standing on the pontoon (say, playing in a Jazz band) you had a chance of seeing them! Thursday: was this going to start to be the hectic day? The Marquees arrived and


Martin Ludgate

put up by contractors, Bungle arrived with the PEST trailer (replacement for the PLT Poxy Little Trailer), which carries fire extinguishers, banners, market stalls etc. Bungle went off again, to collect the generator. In the mean time John, Barbara and Malcolm, on John’s boat went off to Camden to meet the boat Opportunity from the Laburnum Boat club, they had volunteered to deliver said boat. But nothing is that easy: we needed six market stalls to be collected from Camden Market. Hence the reason the gallant three went off boating to meet them at Camden, collect the boat and then bring boat back with market stalls and with John’s boat. So simple. While they went off on a jolly the rest of us were trying to put banners up, and making the flat pack bar into a proper bar. Bungle reappeared with generator. Another little job we completed was to blank out the windows in the bar, and to insert fence panels to add some security to the bar area, plus we had to set up the racks for the beer. Gary had cleaned all the cooler pipes and coils etc the day before. The most important arrival today was that of two vans carrying the beer and cider. The first six ales were racked up to settle. The trio arrived back safe and sound with 2 boats and the market stalls. Friday arrived a bit quick disturbing my sleep: basically we had to get as much done as possible before the traders started to arrive and get in the way. The main jobs were signs, banners, fire extinguishers, tables and chairs put up ready for the boaters Fish and Chips and Quiz (another infamous quiz by the legendary Navvies Editor, Martin Ludgate). Also the ‘tardis’ type toilets turned up and were placed and made ready. Electrics continued with Bungle, Malcolm and with help from Bob. On Friday afternoon people started asking questions and also Jerry - he from the Commercial Office - and I had to make a couple of quick decisions regarding the placing of a trader. Our main concern was not to block the Fire Brigade access if they needed to go under the A40 flyover. The main problem was the London Fire Brigade wanted to have a stand and we had squeezed that in but meant we had to move someone else... Boaters were being shown to their moorings, the traders were being shown to their spaces. It was going so well, but then a call came for someone to use Lenny, a small tug type work boat we had use of, to try and

Moose at the tiller of ‘Lenny’ swing the boats in the pool back into position as it was blowing a strong wind and they had trouble bringing in more boats into the pool. I looked around for someone to drive Lenny, but everyone was doing other things so I had to go and grab Lenny and give them a hand. Gary tapped the ales, ready for the first customer, inserting the cooler coils and putting the cooler blankets on the barrels, and moved the lager, soft drinks, crisps etc from the boat putting them ready in the bar. Sorting the bar area out did take a lot of time, but I think it was worth the effort. Boaters’ Fish and Chips followed by the quiz started almost on time and the bar opened on time. (Phew!) The bar was staffed by volunteers all weekend: Karen, as the licencee, and then Karen’s son and friend, Sam and Toby (two very old WRGies) plus ‘Geezer Chris’ Rowell and Tay. The end of the evening arrived, we closed the bar and did a quick tidy up of tables and chairs. Saturday Morning started early on site before 07:00hrs. We the had PEST Trailer taken to the ramp on the south towpath so market stalls could be taken out and erected before the rest of the traders turned up. When they did turn up we had to start issuing tables, chairs etc. People started litter picking and cleaning the site. Come 10:00 the site was opened to the public... well actually it’s a public site so you have the public walking around all the time. The day continued with odd calls about

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bits and pieces. I spoke to the Chief Fire Officer who was helping to man the Fire Brigade info Marquee. Had a quick look around site with him and found out that the Fire Brigade would not take their fire engines under the A40 flyover. So all the worry trying to site traders was a bit needless? Doh! During the day a merry band went around the site continuously litter picking and cleaning tables etc. Come the end of the evening we closed the bar and did another quick tidy up of tables and chairs. Sunday Morning again started early: we needed to get on site and clean up, traders would be coming in to stock up, then the vehicles would be leaving again, and the ice cream van would need guiding to its pitch. Oh and something I didn’t mention: for every day a vehicle movement sheet had to be sent to Paddington Central control room. The spreadsheet listed the trader’s vehicle, what time it was due, what time it would leave, where it was going on site etc. This spreadsheet which had been put together before the event had to be updated every night before we went to bed! All vehicles had to be escorted around the site to their pitch and then back off when they had finished. Then we had to man the traders’ car park certain hours of the day. So joyful! Site opened, bar opened and the traders started trading. Customers coming in but a little slower. Litter pickers went out. And once again, at the end of the evening we closed the bar and did a quick tidy up of tables and chairs. Monday morning: getting a bit knackered now, too many early mornings and late finishes. Weather was not good: it was raining as site opened, bar opened and the traders started trading very slowly. Today being the last day the site closed at 18:00hrs, then came the rush of traders wanting to get their vehicles on site and to pack away their stand and to leave as quickly as possible. All of the market stalls had to be taken apart and taken down to PEST, all the fire extinguishers, tables and chairs had to be taken off the traders so they can’t disappear! Tuesday morning: again an early start as the marquee people arrived to take the tents down and take the tables and chairs away. So the bar had to be hastily removed and put back into flat pack, and the barrels emptied (most already empty anyway). The fencing used in the bar had to go back to our

page 20

compound. Barrel racking was cleaned and packed, and the coolers emptied and washed. PEST was packed and was ready to go. Bungle and Malcolm agreed to take Lady Mildmay and Opportunity back with the stalls to be dumped at Camden Market and then the two boats taken to Laburnum Boat club and then return by tube back to site. John took his boat and followed them to Camden Market, helped to unload market stalls and then came back through the pool and resumed his cruise going the other direction. Crew people came and collected Belfast which had been one of the accommodation boats and the cook’s boat. PEST was collected in the afternoon, and the radios were packed and taken to Paddington Central where they would be collected from. With site all cleared away and tidy, it was the time to empty everything out of the compound into Fox or Daisybob. Again on Daisybob we had just enough space for the dogs to sleep; Fox was even worse, as the beer stands not been collected with the coolers so that all had to go inside somewhere. The fencing was stacked against the wall ready for the company to collect in the morning something like 05:30hrs!! Wednesday morning it had already been collrected and we headed off on Fox, Daisybob and Pirate Viscount. First stop was to drop Viscount off. Wednesday evening we decided to keep pushing on and got to Waltham Abbey. Maria got her dad to come and collect her so she could get the car, took Mike H to the train station and brought back fish and chips, which was eaten with a beer or two. Thursday was a very slow day: we waited for Karen to arrive, left Waltham Abbey and headed up River to our moorings. We three went for a meal out, much needed as it had rained all day. Gary and extra crew set off Friday for home, arriving at their moorings in the evening, after a leisurely cruise stopping at a pub I believe. I must thank all those who helped, Adam, Tay, John, Gareth, Chris Rowell, Chris (Karen’s son) and mate, Bob, David Miller, Nigel and Chris Lee, Paul, Gary, Karen, Rick, Sam, Toby, Bungle, Malcolm, Barbara who had the task of being cook and who cleaned Belfast up so well it was actually mentioned so she could be thanked. And of course Mike H and Maria. Finally, thanks to London WRG for the use of their kit. Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden


Grantham on Water or ‘I AM the Festival Controller!’

Trailboat rally

Grantham-under-water then we heard about the usual Festival site setting-up jobs. The generator needed to be positioned, cables laid, fencing put up around it plus banners and signs to go up around the site. Who is to do it all? Well, over the weekend, other WRGies came and went making a maximum of 10 and minimum of 5 people available. There was a logistical problem of three separate locations: the Festival site, the Slipway and the Car Park. We had two vans, three trailers, some private cars and just a few drivers! Thursday dawned and we started off well enough in warm and sunny weather up to about Saturday afternoon, when it turned very wet and quite cold for the rest of the weekend, raining all Saturday night and onwards through Sunday and Monday. Two miles from the Festival site, we were responsible for supervising the slipway at Denton Wharf for the trailed boats to be slipped in before the event and out again afterwards. We were in possession of the BW keys to the padlock and post lock; clearly nothing was to move without our authority and presence! We were working in accordance with BW rules, which included no more

Martin Ludgate

It started for me, when Maria (of Moose & Maria) asked what I was doing over the late May bank holiday weekend. ‘Off to Wendover’ was my reply, being the idea at the time. ‘...because help is needed on the Crew front for the Grantham’ was the plea. I bore this in mind as the days went by. Then, having still not booked Wendover camp site and it being perilously close, I received an email outlining the dire circumstance of the Grantham on Water IWA National Trailboat Festival site crew. I took a print to IWA Middlesex Branch Committee meeting on the week of the event and passed it round. That’s when it started for Robin, as he was the only person free that weekend and able to consider joining. Robin: ‘I was shown a copy of an email after our IWA Middlesex Branch Committee meeting on the Tuesday evening, appealing for helpers. “Grantham on Water” was in crisis and there were only 3 people on the site crew team at that point in time. MKP, Moose and Rachel Banyard. Extra hands were urgently needed to retrieve the situation. The show must go on! So on the Wednesday night, Mike Harlock and myself set off together to travel North from London up to Grantham, arriving at Woolsthorpe village hall at twenty past midnight.’ On arrival, we were welcomed with Tea, Coffee or Beer by the other seven or so people, Moose said ‘get your beds sorted’

Despite the wet weather the public turned out in force to see boats on the Grantham Canal

page 21


than 2 vehicles and trailers either on the lane down to the slipway or at the slipway itself. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday boats were arriving to be slipped in. They had come from as far away as Tiverton in Devon, Taunton in Somerset, Medway (Kent) and Henley-on-Thames (Oxon). One, a trip boat, had come all the way down from Edinburgh. The boat with the shortest journey had only come from Grantham. Boaters would ring the WRG Kit A mobile when they were approx 30 minutes out: to check that the slipway was available and give us time to get there to let them in. We’d wait there a while in case another call came but generally after a couple of boats, it was back to Accommodation for a bite to eat, the Festival Site for other tasks or the Park & Ride Car Park to relieve someone else! As the event drew near boat arrivals were almost continuous, such that a layby we had ‘created’ to the side of the public road with signposts was in use with one of us located at the top end of the lane to supervise it and prevent more than two units being down the slipway approach or on the turning area at one time. Altogether, there were 19 Wilderness boats, 6 cruisers, 2 electric powered, 3 steam powered and 1 inflatable plus 4 other assorted craft. There was also a modern narrowboat from Blisworth Tunnel boats that had been craned in at Denton slipway separately from our operation. This was also used as a trip boat. At the Park and Ride Car Park, two Routemaster buses were being used for the trips to the festival which was something over 1 mile away. These had only recently come from public service and were still displaying Route 36, Paddington and Victoria on their blinds! By the time the weather had turned, the car park was an inhospitable place, exposed on the hillside near Belvoir Castle with no shelter. This gave one of the new WRG vans a very high profile as a facilities unit, being warm and dry; both WRG and Grantham Canal Trust volunteers were extremely grateful for somewhere to take a break between ten-minute shifts. Without the van, all the car parking tickets and boxes of programmes would have been sodden in seconds. Despite the conditions, virtually all the public arrived in good spirits, parked their cars and happily sploshed their way to the bus stop. This included the WRG team; since now the van couldn’t be moved, team changes were effected by bus!

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Sunday morning, as tasks were being allocated in the rain, MKP suggested we should be the ones to ‘interview’ the boaters about a return schedule for the slipway. Mike H tried to get an IWA publicity golf size umbrella to protect ‘our customers’ - well, alright, our notepad, from the rain. Not one to be found! We were loaned a private one so thank you very much. There were also some bales of straw to check on (for the ‘trader’ providing a dog racing track) since the other WRGies probably had a bus to catch. Whilst down on the Festival site, something was brewing (apart from our tea by the kit trailer) along the lines of, say, traders looking for someone to operate the mini pick-up truck to carry their stock to their pitches. I (Mike H) was asked by a ‘radio-bearing’ festival person: were WRG doing the task? Unfortunately, all our number were out on tasks. I suggested perhaps one of the Trust’s people could do that, and it might be best to ask the Festival Controller? “I AM the Festival Controller”! “There might be a problem, then!” On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday boats were leaving so for the Slipway Crew, as MKP seems to have labelled those ‘who know the boaters’, it was back to the slipway to supervise the operation in reverse. This went quite smoothly apart from the odd incident or two with sticky equipment on trailers, the rainloosened surface by the slipway, all overcome by boater’s co-operation with 4WD vehicles. There were almost seventy slipway movements, in and out, starting sometimes before 9am and the latest 9.30 in the evening. Some slipped in 20 minutes, some took around an hour. All were taken in our stride! The final boats came out on the Tuesday as the weather brightened up a bit and by about 4pm we were back at the Accommodation – to find it all ready to hand back but our Leader, MKP, had the last trailer trip (of three) to make so the ‘Slipway Crew’ were given the honour of shutting up shop! Rather tired but satisfied with a job completed, we set off for home late afternoon. Despite the bad weather, there were all good comments from the general public, the boaters and the traders we spoke to. Its to be hoped with such goodwill from all involved and the public attending the IWA 2007 National Trailboat Festival, the publicity gained will assist in getting the total 33 miles of the Grantham Canal re-opened. Robin Bishop and Mike Harlock


ASHBY CANAL ASSOC 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 BCN SOCIETY Jeff Barley, 17 Sunnyside Walsall Wood, W Midlands 01543 373284 www.bcn-society.org.uk BUCKINGHAM CANAL SOC Athina Beckett 2 Staters Pound Pennyland Milton Keynes MK1 5AX 01908 661217 email: athinabec@aol.com www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk

Navvies Directory

Canal society and WRG contacts CHICHESTER SHIP CT Linda Wilkinson, 1 Chidham La Chichester PO18 8TL 01243 576701 www.chichestercanal.co.uk COTSWOLD CT 4 Black Jack St Cirencester GL7 2AA 01285 643440 mail@cotswoldcanals.com www.cotswoldcanals.com DERBY & SANDIACRE CS Doug Flack 23 Thoresby Crescent, Draycott, Derby DE72 3PH 01332 874239 www.derbycanal.org.uk

EAST ANGLIAN WATERWAYS ASSOC David Revill 43 Kings Road Coltishall, Norfolk NR12 7DX 01603 738648 david_gisela@hotmail.com EREWASH CANAL P&DA Mick Golds 73 Sudbury Avenue Larklands, Ilkeston Derbys DE7 5EA Notts (0115) 9328042

HEREFS & GLOUCS CT c/o The Wharf House, Over Gloucester GL2 8DB 01452 332900 www.h-g-canal.org.uk KESCRG Eddie Jones ‘Altamount’, Coventry Road Fillongley, Coventry CV7 8EQ 0845 226 8589 eddie@kescrg.org.uk www.kescrg.org.uk

LANCASTER CT Paul Shaw FOXTON INCLINED PLANE 12 Malham Close TRUST Lancaster c/o Mike Beech LA1 2SJ Foxton Canal Museum 01524 35685 BUGSWORTH BASIN (IWPS) DIG DEEP INITIATIVE Middle Lock paul_shaw@lineone.net Ian Edgar Alan Cavender Gumley Road www.lctrust.co.uk Browside Fm, Mudhurst La 10 Vicarage Rd Foxton, Market Harborough Lyme Handley, Whaley Br Maidenhead SL6 7DS Leicestershire LE16 7RA LAPAL CANAL TRUST High Peak SK23 7BT 01628 629033 0116 279 2657 26 Loynells Road, Rednal 01663 732493 alancavender@tiscali.co.uk mike@foxcm.freeserve.co.uk Birmingham B45 9NP email: ian@browside.co.uk www.dig-deep.org.uk www.fipt.org.uk 01785 713862 www.brocross.com/iwps/ www.lapal.org index.htm DORSET & SOMERSET GRAND WESTERN CANAL SOCIETY CANAL TRUST LICHFIELD & HATHERTON CALDON & UTTOXETER Derrick Hunt Denis Dodd CANALS REST'N TRUST CANALS TRUST 43 Greenland Mills Wharf Cottage Sue Williams John Rider Bradford on Avon BA15 1BL Nynehead, Wellington Norfolk House 1 Dainty Close, Leek 01225 863066 Somerset TA21 0BU 29 Hall Lane, Hammerwich ST13 5PX derrick.hunt@tesco.net 01823 661653 Burntwood WS7 0JP 01538 386790 01543 671427 john@riderjohn.jsnet.co.uk DROITWICH CANALS GRANTHAM CANAL info@lhcrt.org.uk TRUST RESTORATION SOCIETY www.lhcrt.org.uk CHESTERFIELD CANAL Vaughan Welch Colin Bryan TRUST 29 Dice Pleck, Northfield 113 Hoe View Road NEATH & TENNANT Mick Hodgetts Birmingham B31 3XW Cropwell Bishop CANAL SOCIETY 31 Pottery La 0121 477 9782 Nottingham NG12 3DJ Ian Milne Chesterfield S41 9BH kvwelch@supanet.com 01159 892248 16 Gower Road, Sketty, 01246 620695 www.worcs.com/dct/ colin.bryan@granthamcanal.com Swansea SA2 9BY chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk home.htm www.granthamcanal.com 01792 547902

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Navvies Directory

Please send any updates to the editor NWPG Graham Hawkes 27 Lawrence Rd, Tilehurst Reading RG30 6BH 0118 941 0586 grahamhawkes@btinternet.com www.nwpg.org.uk POCKLINGTON C.A.S Paul Waddington Church House, Main St. Hemingborough, Selby N. Yorks YO8 7QE 01757 638027 (eves) 01405 763985 (days) www.pocklington.gov.uk/PCAS SALTISFORD CANAL TRUST Budbrooke Road Warwick CV34 5RJ 01926 490 006 saltisfordcanal@aol.com, www.saltisfordcanal.co.uk SCARS (SANKEY CANAL) Colin Greenall 16 Bleak Hill Rd, Eccleston St. Helens WA10 4RW 01744 731746 colin.greenall@btopenworld.com www.scars.org.uk SHREWSBURY & NEWPÂ’T CANALS TRUST Tam Hazan tamir_hazan@lineone.net www.sncanal.org.uk

SLEAFORD NAV TRUST Steve Hayes 10 Chelmer Close N Hykeham Lincs LN8 8TH 01522-689460 email: steve.hayeskyme@ntlworld.com www.sleafordnavigation.co.uk

SUSSEX OUSE RESTORATION TRUST Paul Morris, Farmcote Nettlesworth Lane, Old Heathfield, Heathfield TN21 9AP 01453 863683 sussexouse@hotmail.com www.sxouse.org.uk

SOMERSET COAL CANAL SOCIETY Bob Parnell, 34 Wedgewood Road Twerton, Bath BA2 1NX 01225-428055 rtjhomepages.users. btopenworld.com/CC2.html

SWANSEA CANAL SOC Clive Reed 17 Smithfield Road, Pontardawe, Swansea, West Glam. SA8 4LA 01792 830782

RIVER STOUR TRUST John Morris 2 Stockton Close Hadleigh Ipswich IP7 5SH jgmorris@btinternet.com www.riverstourtrust.org STRATFORD ON AVON CANAL SOCIETY Roger Hancock, 1 Tyler Street Stratford upon Avon CV37 6TY 01789 296096 rogmabhan@aol.com www.stratfordcanalsociety.org.uk

SURREY & HANTS CANAL SOC Peter Redway, 1 Redway Cottages SHROPSHIRE UNION CS St. John's Lye, Woking Richard Hall, 35 Tyrley Cotts GU21 1SL Market Drayton TF9 2AH 01483 721710 01630 657737 p.redway1@btinternet.com hall@ostw.co.uk www.basingstokewww.shropshireunion.org.uk canal.org.uk/society

page 24

THAMES & MEDWAY CANAL ASSOCIATION John Epton, 45 Vinson CLo Orpington BR6 0EQ homepage.ntlworld. com/john.epton/tmca WENDOVER ARM TRUST Roger Leishman, 7 Hall Pk, Berkhamsted HP4 2NU 01442 874536 www.wendoverarmtrust.co.uk WEY & ARUN CT The Granary, Flitchfold Farm Loxwood, Billingshurst West Sussex RH14 ORH 01403 752403 office@weyandarun.co.uk www.weyandarun.co.uk WILTS & BERKS CT George Eycott 36 Grange Court, Boundary Rd Newbury RG14 7PH 01635 569449 bungle@wrg.org.uk www.wilts-berks-canal.org.uk

WOODEN CANAL BOAT SOCIETY 3 Beauchamp St Ashton under Lyne OL6 8LF 0161-330-8422 wcbs@beeb.net www.wcbs.org.uk IWA IPSWICH Colin Turner Cornerways Elm Lane Copdock Ipswich IP8 3ET 01473-730586 restoration@ipswichiwa.co.uk www.purbrook.demon.co.uk/ iwa WRG: GENERAL ENQUIRIES, CANAL CAMP BOOKINGS AND DRIVER AUTHORISATION PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY 01923 711114 enquiries@wrg.org.uk www.wrg.org.uk WRG NORTH WEST Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank Littleborough Lancashire OL15 0JQ 01706 378582 nw@wrg.org.uk www.wrgnw.org.uk WRG NW - ENQUIRIES/ PAPERCHASES David McCarthy Woodstock, 14 Crumpsall Lane Manchester M8 5FB 0161-740 2179 www.wrgnw.org.uk


WRG BITM & 'NAVVIES' DIARY David Wedd 7 Ringwood Road Blackwater Camberley Surrey GU17 0EY 01252 874437 dave.wedd@wrg.org.uk www.wrgbitm.org.uk LONDON WRG Tim Lewis 5 Herongate Road, Wanstead London E12 5EJ 07802 518094 tim@timlewis.org.uk www.london.wrg.org.uk LONDON WRG: ENQUIRIES Lesley McFadyen (as per Martin Ludgate below) WRG EAST MIDLANDS John Baylis (see below) ESSEX WRG Dave Dobbin 130 Ashingdon Road Rochford, Essex SS4 1RR 01702-544096 email: essex@wrg.org.uk www.essex.wrg.org.uk WRG SOUTH WEST Gavin Moor 54 Kiln Close Calvert, Buckingham MK18 2FD 07970 989245 Gavin.Moor@wrg.org.uk IWA/WRG STAMP BANK Steve & Mandy Morley 33 Hambleton Grove Emerson valley Milton Keynes MK4 2JS 01908 520090 mail@morleytowers.org.uk

CANAL CAMPS MOBILES (A) 07850 422156 (B) 07850 422157 'NAVVIES' EDITOR Martin Ludgate 35 Silvester Rd London SE22 9PB 020 8693 3266 0777 947 8629 (mobile) martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk 'WRGWEAR' CLOTHING Helen Gardner 33 Victoria Road Northwich CW9 5RE 07989 425346 wrgwear@wrg.org.uk WRG FORESTRY TEAM Graham Robinson Springwell Spark Bridge Ulverston Cumbria LA12 7ST 01229 861317 WRG BOAT CLUB Sadie Dean 236 Station Rd Whittlesey Peterborough PE7 2HA 01733 204505 07748 186867 (mobile) sadiedean@vodafone.net WRG DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN Mike Palmer 3 Finwood Road Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk TREASURER Roger Day, 5 Merton Road, Slough Berks SL1 1QW

WRG SECRETARY Neil Edwards, c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY neil@waterways.org.uk WRG PLANT Malcolm Bridge 3 Heather Bank Littleborough Lancashire OL15 0JQ malcolm.bridge@wrg.org.uk 01706 378582 SITES GROUP & PUBLICITY Judith Palmer 3 Finwood Road Rowington Warwickshire CV35 7DH 01564 785293 jude.moore@btinternet.com WRGPRINT John & Tess Hawkins 4 Links Way, Croxley Grn Rickmansworth WD3 3RQ 01923 448559 john.hawkins@wrg.org.uk IWA CHAIRMAN John Fletcher c/o IWA, PO Box 114 Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY john.fletcher@waterways.org.uk TRANSPORT MANAGER Please contact Mike Palmer (see above) until further notice WRG LOGISTICS Jen Leigh 45 Glebe Road Sheffield S10 1FB logistics@wrg.org.uk OTHER DIRECTORS George Eycott 36 Grange Court, Boundary Rd Newbury RG14 7PH 01635 569449 bungle@wrg.org.uk

Mick Beattie 22 Bridgewater Ave Anchorsholme Blackpool FY5 3NA 01253 864034 Adrian Fry 89 The Causeway Quedgeley Gloucester GL2 4LD 07976 640962 amf@wrg.org.uk Spencer Collins The Boatyard, 5 Hammond Way Trowbridge BA14 8RS 07976 084055 spencer.collins@wrg.org.uk Chris Davey / Helen Davey 6 Partridge Ct Round Close Rd Adderbury Banbury OX17 3EP 01295 812002 chris.davey@wrg.org.uk Jonathan Smith 23 Hardings Chalgrove Oxford OX44 7TJ 01865 891 370 jonathan.smith@wrg.org.uk John Baylis, 215 Clipstone Rd West Forest Town Mansfield Notts NG19 0HJ 01623 633895 Rick Barnes 103 Boakes Drive Stonehouse Gloucestershire GL10 3QW 07976 748345 rick.barnes@wrg.org.uk

page 25


Navvies diary

Your guide to all the forthcoming work parties Aug 11-18

Camp 0716

Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation - Canal Camp: Baylham Lock. Leaders:

Aug 11-18

Camp 0717

Wilts & Berks Canal Camp: Moved to Steppingstones Lane Bridge on

Aug 18 Sat wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Aug 21-30

Camp 0718

IWA National Festival Camp: St Ives in Cambridgeshire on the River Great

Aug 25-27

KESCRG

National Festival Bhaji stall

Sep 1/2

Essex WRG

Lichfield & Hatherton Canals

Sep 1 Sat

Navvies

Press date for issue 225

Sep 8/9

London WRG Mon & Brec Canal: Dig Deep project

Sep 8/9

NWPG

Wilts & Berks Canal: Dig Deep project

Sep 15/16

wrgBITM

Grantham Canal

Sep 15/16

KESCRG

Lichfield Canal: Dig Deep project

Sep 16 Sun WRG

Committee & Board Meetings

Sep 22/23

wrgNW

Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal: Nob End

Sep 29/30

London WRG Ipswich & Stowmarket Navigation

Sep 29/30

wrgSW

Hereford & Gloucester Canal: Aylestone (NOTE NEW DATE moved from S

Sep 29 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Oct 6/7

KESCRG

Wendover Arm

Oct 6/7

Essex WRG

Cotswold Canals

Oct 6/7

wrgNW

To be arranged, possibly Montgomery Canal?

Oct 20/21

wrgBITM

Wey & Arun Canal

Oct 20/21

London WRG Cotswold Canals: Joint dig with WRG South West

Oct 20/21

wrgSW

Cotswold Canals: Joint dig with London WRG

Nov 1 Thu

Navvies

Press date for issue 226: including Canal Camps brochure

Nov 3/4

WRG

Bonfire Bash - North Wilts Canal: led by KESCRG to mark their 30th anniv

Nov 3/4

KESCRG

WRG Reunion Bonfire Bash and KESCRG 30th Birthday party

Nov 3/4

NWPG

Wendover Arm

Nov 3/4

wrgSW

Bonfire Bash

Nov 3/4

Essex WRG

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

Nov 3/4

London WRG Bonfire Bash

Nov 3 Sat

WRG

Committee & Board Meetings: on Saturday at the Bonfire Bash

Nov 10 Sat

wrgNW

‘Paper Chase’ waste paper collection

Nov 17/18

wrgBITM

To be arranged

Please send updates to Diary compiler: Dave Wedd, 7 Ringwood Rd, Blackwater,

page 26


Canal Camps cost £42 per week unless otherwise stated. Bookings for WRG Canal Camps (those identified by a camp number e.g. 'Camp 0716') should go to WRG Canal Camps, PO Box 114, Rickmansworth WD3 1ZY. Tel: 01923 711114. Email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk Liz Wilson and Chris Wicks

enquiries@wrg.org.uk

n the Wilts & Berks from Sleaford David McCarthy

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

t Ouse. Leaders: Dave ‘Moose’ Hearnden and Paul Shaw. Cost: £54 enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Sep 15/16)

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

John Gale

01376-334896

essex@wrg.org.uk

Martin Ludgate

020-8693-3266

martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Mike Palmer

01564-785293

mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

nw@wrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Martin Danks

01432-344488

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

John Gale

01376-334896

essex@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

nw@wrg.org.uk

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Rick Barnes

07976-748345

rick.barnes@wrg.org.uk

Martin Ludgate

020-8693-3266

martin.ludgate@wrg.org.uk

versary. See p44 for details and p9 for booking form

enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Eddie Jones

0845-226-8589

eddie@kescrg.org.uk

Graham Hawkes

0118-941-0586

grahamhawkes@btinternet.com

John Gale

01376-334896

essex@wrg.org.uk

Tim Lewis

07802-518094

london@wrg.org.uk

Mike Palmer

01564-785293

mike.palmer@wrg.org.uk

David McCarthy

0161-740-2179

Dave Wedd

01252-874437

bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

Camberley, Surrey GU17 0EY. Tel 01252 874437. email: dave.wedd@wrg.org.uk.

page 27


Navvies diary Canal SocietiesÂ’ regular monthly or weekly working parties Please send amendments to Dave Wedd (address on previous page)

3rd Sunday of month 2nd Sunday & following Thurs Anytime inc. weekdays Every Sunday Every Saturday Last Sunday of month 4th Sunday of month Second Sun of month 2nd weekend of month 2nd Sat of month Tuesdays Weekends Wednesdays Weekends Every Sunday if required 1st Saturday & 3rd Wed. 2nd weekend of month 2nd Sunday of month 1st, 2nd, 4th Sun + 3rd Sat 3rd Sunday of month 2nd & last Sundays 2nd Sunday of month 1st Sunday of month Most weekends 1st Sunday of month 1st weekend of month Every Tuesday morning Every Sunday & Thurs Mondays (2 per month) Tuesdays Wednesdays Wednesdays Tues, Thurs & Sats Various dates 1st w/e of month (Fri-Mon) Every weekend

BCNS BCS BCT ChCT DCT EAWA ECPDA FIPT GCRS GWCT H&GCT H&GCT H&GCT H&GCT IWPS IWA Ipswich K&ACT LCT LHCRT LHCRT PCAS SCARS SCCS SHCS SNT SUCS TMCA WACT WACT WACT WACT WACT WACT WACT WAT WBCT

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

page 28

Mobile groups' socials (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 NWPG: 9:00pm on 3rd Tue of month at the 'Hope Tap', West end of Friar St. Reading. Graham Hawkes 0118 941 0586

Jeff Barley Athina Beckett Gerald Fry Mick Hodgetts Jon Axe David Revill Michael Golds Mike Beech Colin Bryan Denis Dodd Brian Fox Maggie Jones Wilf Jones Martin Danks Ian Edgar Colin Turner John Rolls Lancaster N. Reaches Paul Shaw Lichfield Sue Williams Hatherton Denis Cooper Paul Waddington Sankey Canal Colin Greenall Combe Hay Locks Bob Parnell Basingstoke Peter Redway Haverholme Lock Dave Pullen Newhouse Lock Mike Friend Brian Macnish varied construction Eric Walker tidying road crossings John Empringham Tickner's Heath Depot Colin Gibbs maintenance work Peter Jackman Loxwood Link Peter Wilding Winston Harwood Grp Laurie Wraight Hedgelaying (Oct-Mar) Keith Nichols Drayton Beauchamp Roger Leishman Wilts & Berks Canal Rachael Banyard

Buckingham area Aqueduct section Various sites Droitwich Canal N Walsham & Dilham Langley Mill Foxton Inclined Plane Grantham Canal Nynehead Lift Oxenhall Over Wharf House Over Wharf House Hereford Aylestone Bugsworth Basin Stowmarket Navigtn.

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 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 01524-35685 01543-671427 01543-374370 01757-638027 01744-731746 01225-428055 01483-721710 01673-862278 01948-880723 01732-823725 023-9246-3025 01483-562657 020-8241-7736 01483-772132 01483-422519 01903-721404 01403-753882 01442-874536 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


On the Training Weekend, fitting a quart into a pint pot on the Wendover, and the link between the Waterways Minister and a horse’s rear end...

Letters

to the editor

Martin Ludgate

Dear Martin Could I just take this opportunity to say an enormous THANK YOU to all the people who made the training weekend work this year. As always, the instructors were fabulous, spending hours giving high quality training to numerous volunteers, often while standing out in the pouring rain with which we were blessed. The team included: Fast Eddie, Harry, Bungle, Mick, Daddy Cool, Martin, Rachael, Just Jen, Adrian, Spence, Ian, Ed, Mike, Jude as well as Phil Penn and Dave Green who very kindly gave us their professional skills free of charge and in their own time. I am also very grateful to the Saltisford Trust who generously loaned us their site and offices and were incredibly patient with the large number of us that kept popping up all over the place. Thank you all so much. Big thanks to Mitch and her assistants such as Harri T for providing us with a gorgeous feast on Saturday night and keeping us well fed throughout the weekend. Mitch had the added challenge of having no kitchen to speak of in the hall and did an outstanding job with what we had brought from the kits. Finally a huge thanks to Brian, Mike and Jude, Harry, Bungle, Peter Magee, Jen and Rachel, who spent lots of time organising things locally, fetching kits, plant and other useful bits and ensuring everything we needed was in the right place. Many of them drove long distances (especially Bungle) to make this happen and their dedication to the organisation is invaluable. I hope I haven’t missed anyone – but just in case, thank you all! Keep smiling! Ali ‘Womble’ Bottomley “And next year we’ll teach you how to wash your socks” Womble in action at the Training Weekend Dear Martin The problem of disappearing moorings mentioned by Sue Burchett on page 17 of issue 223, is neatly solved by Roger Leisham on page25, when he explains how to get 50m of moorings between metre mark 4250 and metre mark 4275! Twice as much boat in the same place should mean no reduction in linear moorings. Or is there a misprint? David Gibson Got me bang to rights there, I’m afraid. Yes, there was a misprint. ...Ed Dear Martin I enjoyed Navvies (as usual) particularly ‘Backfill’ and the item on Prescott lock. I have a proposal to save the cost of a “giant statue of DEFRA minister Barry Gardiner.....” The first paragraph of the item tells us the Scots have used horses’ heads at the locks on the Forth and Clyde. It would seem logical to infer that the other end of the horse is still available to Minister Gardiner at Prescott Lock Regards Andrew Harris

page 29


Letters

to the editor

“In view of the current success in restoring the Wey & Arun it seems untimely for the Chichester Ship Canal Trust to abandon all ambition to restore London’s lost route to the Sea”

Dear Mr Ludgate I’m dismayed that the Chichester Ship Canal Trust has a Special Resolution proposed at its August 2007 AGM to remove mention of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal (which includes the derelict 9.5 mile stretch between Hunston on the Chichester Canal and Ford on the River Arun) from the Trust’s Objects Clause in its Memorandum of Association. This controversial Resolution has been put forward for adoption at a time when many Trust members will be away on holiday. I’m a member of the Trust because I support the aspiration (no matter how remote) of restoration of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal (especially from Hunston to Ford) in addition to full re-opening of the part-restored 4 mile navigation between Chichester and Chichester Harbour. In view of the current successes being made by the Wey and Arun Canal Trust in restoring the Wey and Arun Canal [the editor says that when he first became involved with the Wey and Arun in 1982, restoration was viewed as a joke!] it seems particularly untimely for the Chichester Ship Canal Trust to abandon all ambition to restore London’s lost route to the sea! I believe that the relevant council(s) have agreed not to build any further on the line of the canal from Ford to Hunston in the past few years; and the Sussex Industrial Archaeological Society has been organising guided walks along some of the route (a small length of the canal is still in water). I’m perplexed as to the motives behind this Special Resolution. Does a stated aim to restore the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal harm anyone? I’ve noticed that the former line of the cut tends not to be pointed out to passengers by the commentator on the Trust’s trip boat, when the boat passes the old junction at Hunston. Do the Trust’s top brass see no attraction in aspiring to link up with the rest of the canal network, via the Wey and Arun Canal? The Trust is focused on restoring through navigation from Chichester Basin (in the City) to Chichester Harbour, which is fine; but in doing so those at the helm of the Trust seem to be steering it on an unnecessarily myopic course, thereby putting the Trust in danger of obliterating its longer-term dreams. Yours sincerely Simon Couzens Would anyone from CSCT care to comnment? ..Ed

Portsmouth & Arundel Canal and connections

page 30


Our regular roundup of progress on waterway projects across the country begins with a tale of trials and tribulations of lock gate replacement in Surrey...

Progress

Basingstoke Canal

since last August. Further bits of spot dredging in the cutting were done before Belfast Girl headed back to Woking for an appear“New gates for old” ance at the Bridge Barn rally. A couple of Under Ian Brown’s policy of concentrating other jobs were done and it is planned to use the BCA’s resources onto canal maintenance, it to dredge the Hermitage flash. the programme of lock gate replacement has Rob had to be called back with his continued, although not quite as planned crane barge for the emergency replacement because of the discovery that the bottom of the lower gates of Lock 21. These were gates of Lock 21 were in a seriously danger- found to be in such bad condition that the ous condition. Gates originally destined for crews of the few boats that were allowed to Lock 3 were fortunately close enough in size pass through were required to stay on the to be able to be fitted to 21 instead. bank whilst the boats were in the lock. The The BCA is now flight is now open buying gates from a again. company at Liss in STOP PRESS: Hampshire, whose unfortunately since the main business is above was written, timber framed buildthings have gone a little ings. The oak used bit awry on the lock comes from France gates front. First, the and looks to be of gates at Lock 3 develbetter quality, with oped a crack so serious fewer shakes and that it was deemed splits in it, than the unsafe to operate, and local timber that was as the gates destined used for the original for 3 had already been “restoration” gates. cut down for 21, a new The Liss gates are set had to be rapidly also said to be a lot ordered. And no sooner cheaper than those had the workshop that were being started making them obtained from the than a hireboat lifted New gates for Lock 21 Rochdale Canal. off the gates at Lock Actual installa18, and a set of gates tion of the gates was done with the assistheading for Lock 2 were diverted. Let’s hope ance of Rob Locatelli and Pinewood Services. the gates at Lock 2 don’t fall apart just yet! Surrey & Hants Canal Society volunteers also Elsewhere on the canal, the St. Johns helped at Lock 14, where the new gates had backpump is now fully operational and the first to be retrieved from their storage in the next phase of the project to provide a reliable flash above Lock 15 in particularly nasty water supply, the Brookwood pump. is in weather. hand. Pipework will begin in 2008 when we After they had been fitted, the dredger plan to start at Brookwood, and WRG concretwent up the flight in convoy with the Sociing and pipelaying skills would be appreciated ety’s new workboat and a tug pushing a once we start work on the project. Limited barge, and dropped the old gates off at Lock vehicle access may involve tug and barge work 28. It then went on up and cleared the bank for movement of materials to site. slip that has been blocking the navigation Pete Redway SHCS

Basingstoke Canal:

page 31


Progress

ing total rebuilding or replacement. Weighing all the evidence and prospects in the balance, the consultants are recommending that the Tunnel should not be restored but an alternative route should be used to take the canal up and over the hillside and into the valley instead. By this means the restoration will not only benefit the boating community but will also include Ipswich and Stowmarket Navigation all other types of canal users; walker,  jogger, cyclist and fisherman. After almost 2 years of negotiations with  A further benefit of rising up to the both the Environmental valley floor is that it Agency and the District would enable a maCouncil, a wildlife and an rina to be constructed Archaeological survey, the in California (That’s Ipswich Branch of IWA have right - it’s a suburb on finally obtained Drainage the edge of BirmingConsent, Listed Building ham!) In part this Consent and Planning Perwould solve some of mission for Baylham Lock. the problems generAs a result of this the ated by the waste planned WRG Canal Camp material that is buried for 11-18 August has now there, while also been confirmed and work providing Birmingham has already commenced with additional moorconstructing a dam across ings so desperately the navigation to make the needed to increase the work site water-free. This attraction for the will allow the upstream boating holidaymaker. retaining wing wall to be Such a facility would completely rebuilt and the also provide additional lock drained. Following this employment in the the lock will be cleaned and Baylham Lock: work starts on camp 0716 locality. structurally surveyed before  The Study any restoration work commences. concludes that this departure from the Brian Holt former bypass route for which the canal was first constructed, over 200 years ago, will greatly enhance its attraction to the modern Lapal Canal boating tourist and will also offer a range of regeneration projects for the adjoining “Going Over The Top” communities. Therefore the Study concludes The restoration of a small but significant that restoration of the 5.5 miles-long Lapal length of derelict canal in the West Midlands Canal is entirely feasible and would offer a and the prospects for a new marina to enwide range of social, environmental and hance boating tourism in Birmingham have economic benefits were it to proceed. both moved closer to reality, according to a  Speaking on behalf of the Trust, its Feasibility Study launched on May 19. Chairman Dr Peter Best said “The more you  The leading canal and engineering delve into some of the detail of this proposal consultancy, Atkins, had been commissioned the more excited you become for a project by the Lapal Canal Trust to take a fresh look which can now be undertaken in sensible at the southern half of the Dudley No 2 Canal stages. No longer need we worry about the currently lying dormant between Selly Oak all-or-nothing costs of the tunnel but instead, and Halesowen. In particular, they have consid- we can schedule a series of length-by-length ered a range of issues for the Lapal Tunnel restorations to be undertaken as and when which lies derelict, partly collapsed, and partly funds allow. There are indeed exciting times infilled beneath the Woodgate Valley, requirahead as we prepare to ‘go over the top’.” Martin Ludgate

Stowmarket and Lapal

page 32


If you’re involved in a local canal society and your canal doesn’t already appear in the Progress section, why not send us an update?

Progress

Sussex Ouse and Mont

had been salvaged from the garage of a local supporter and which, after a few hours of Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust commenced tinkering, sprang back to life and chugged work again in May on Isfield Lock, after our away for the rest of the weekend producing annual 6 month compulsary break due to good-quality mixes with relative ease. landowner restrictions. Our priority this year All in all it was another very successful is to remove intact the 50% remains of the and enjoyable weekend, with impressive original bottom lock gates in order to use as results to show for all the hard work. It was authentic patterns for construction of good to hear the favourable comments of replacements,possibly through our annual passers-by on the towpath, including locals winter work interval. This done, we can then who had doubted whether they would ever see proceed to excavate the chamber to enable a this part of the Monty back in action. Let’s hope further survey of the structure and determine that we can soon prove them wrong! remedial work required. Conditions for the June work party A visiting work group from KESCRG is were hot and humid, and attendance was joining us over the weekend of 23/24 June very respectable. The two tasks were the to assist. [See p45-47 for a report of the continuing rebuilding of the wharf wall and KESCRG weekend ...Ed] the preparation of the foundations for the Paul Morris visitor moorings. At close of play on Sunday the north end of the wharf was up to full Montgomery Canal: Shropshire Union Canal Society height and backfilled. Demolition of loose material in the centre section of the wall is The May 2007 working party at Crickheath now finished enabling new construction to be was another three-day event over the bank built on a foundation of original solid mateholiday. Despite slightly lower numbers and rial. The mammoth task of cleaning the weather worries good progress was made. stone for re-use also continued. On the Saturday a 23 tonne digger arrived The work on the visitor moorings infrom the Gronwen/Redwith project and volved placing and compacting hardcore made short work of the job of piling a 35 behind the line of piles as a base for conmetre section to take the foundations for the crete. The major job was driving the anchor new stone wall which visiting boats will moor piles and installing the tie bars to connect up to sometime in 2009 (we hope). We hope them to the walings on the outside of the our own 3 tonne digger, which was working sheet piles. There were no expensive hi-tech alongside getting the canal bank ready for pile driving machines this time – just sledge the piles, has not acquired an inferiority hammers and a lot of effort. The task was complex! The team working on the wharf complicated by the remaining roots of substanwall were pleased to hear that the trial sectial trees and the hedge that had previously tion rebuilt last time had been given the occupied the site. These caused no end of official seal of approval and set to work on trouble, even for our 3 tonne digger. Howthis important part of the project. ever, we eventually prevailed and also manThe absence through illness of the Chief aged to finish the shuttering for the concrete. Lime Mortar Mixer could have posed a problem We often get into conversation with but understudies were soon found and by the towpath walkers during our work and are end of the weekend were knocking up mixes asked questions that range from the erudite so well that there could be some competition in to the plain silly. However, this month’s the starting line-up for the next event. Some of offering – “What are you doing here apart their success was down to the recommissionfrom building a wall?” – must qualify for ing of an old diesel-powered mixer which some sort of a prize.

Sussex Ouse

page 33


Progress Wendover Arm

Roger Leishman describes what’s involved in rebuilding a canal built through porous soil which never held water properly - and has an 18” water pipe buried in its base

We also completed 11 out of the 12 sets of formwork required for casting the KESCRG joined us for the early May weekend wedge shaped base to the hollow concrete work party and were given the task of laying block lining. Weather permitting, the last set new diverted footpaths and putting up safety will be completed at the July work party. fencing at the two new footbridges under the Now we have defined the specification guidance of our resident towpath expert, for the lining, I can detail the method of Brian Ing. They did an excellent job as can working as follows: be seen in the photograph. Many thanks Bulk excavation This is excavating KESCRG and Brian. the bed and sides of the existing bed to Chiltern Bridge was opened to the approximately 300mm above final excavation public on Sunday 27th May after final sanding level, i.e. finished bed level (117.72m above of the timberwork and replacing two steps sea level). Depending on the line of the 18” that had been smashed by vandals earlier in SGW pipe below it may be necessary to cut the year, We had made arrangements to into the towpath bank in order to leave the install temporary steps for the Festival week- width of a road for plant between the pipe end but the replacement oak steps from the capping and the towpath bank. Plant used is Continent conveniently arrived on the Friday an excavator and dumpers carting spoil to tip so Ron Pittaway was able to install them in elsewhere. time. Many thanks to all who helped to comExcavation for pipe capping This is plete these footbridges. excavating a 2.1 metre wide trench to a Although both footbridges are open to depth of approximately 450mm below the the public, the paths over the dry bed cannot bulk excavation level (117.25) central to the be closed until Herts County Council publine of the pipe below. If the pipe is close to lishes the diversion orders, hopefully in the the offside, this can mean cutting into the near future so we can use the dry bed for offside bank in which case spoil is tipped to mechanical plant without having to protect replace the bank as soon as possible after the the public. pipe capping is completed as time is required Over 150 metres of pipe capping (bury- for settlement prior to final profiling. Plant ing the pipe in the canal bed that carried the used is an excavator and dumpers carting water supply through the dry length of canal) spoil to tip elsewhere. has now been completed and the slab for Pipe capping Two lines of 150 x sealing the first manhole was installed and 50mm timbers, one on each side of the incorporated in the pipe capping at the May excavation with the inner faces 2m apart, work party. with the tops at 117.40 level are set vertically During the WRG/BITM July/August using spare pieces of reinforcing rod to hold work party the aim is to complete the new the timbers in place. A 2m wide DPM (Damp lining as far as possible although this is Proof Membrane) is laid on the excavated limited in length by the consolidation of the ground between these timbers. 2.4 x 1.6m tipping on the offside; where it has not yet sheets of reinforcing mesh (10mm rod in fully consolidated the final profiling prior to 200mm squares) is laid on concrete spacer laying the Bentomat cannot be completed. blocks to keep it 50mm above the DPM. On the Saturday (when it was still dry 150mm of C35 ready-mix concrete is then and sunny!) we were able to make a start on poured over the 2 metre width and screeded cutting Bentomat into the 20 and 4 metre off to the 117.40 level set by the boards. The lengths required for lining work but could DPM is laid to prevent the chalky ground not complete cutting as hoped because of below extracting moisture from the wet torrential rain. concrete as this would weaken the strength

Wendover Arm

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WAT

of the finished concrete. The ready-mix concrete is transported from Little Tring by dumper. Placing the concrete with an excavator bucket directly from the dumpers makes the spreading of the concrete much less labour intensive. The timbers are recovered for re-use once the concrete is set. NB: Up to this point the operations can progress as far as possible but must be at least 20 metres ahead of the following operations with the offside bank fully consolidated Profiling Both banks are profiled to the correct slope using the purpose made profile gauge and a spirit level. This requires a 5t excavator (anything larger cannot operate between the banks) and dumpers to cart the spoil to tip elsewhere. Bank Lining Strips of Bentomat 5m wide by 4m long are laid vertically down the banks on both sides. The tops are folded over a horizontal steel bar not less than 350mm above summit water level (119.10 + 0.35 = 119.450) and retained in position with steel anchor pins bent at right angles at the top to hold the strips in position. The sheets overlap 200mm and are sealed with Bentonite granules. Hollow block lining Specially made timber formwork is laid on the bottom of the Bentomat strips on the banks and secured with steel pins for 20m along both sides of the level bed to retain the weight of the sloping concrete blocks. Ready-mix concrete transported from Little Tring by dumper or 4:1 concrete mixed on site with 10 or 20mm all-in ballast is poured into the formwork and the first row of hollow concrete blocks is laid on top with the hollows half filled with concrete while the concrete in the formwork is still wet. The hollow concrete blocks are transported from Little Tring on a flat bed tracked dumper and discharged to where they are required using a timber chute to avoid unnecessary handling. A further 5 rows of hollow concrete blocks are laid with staggered joints and backfilled with well tamped or vibrated concrete but leaving the top half of the hollows in the top row of blocks empty for soil to fill in due course. Bed lining The formwork is removed from the base of the hollow block lining and a 5m wide by 20m long strip of Bentomat is laid longitudinally along the bed of the canal overlapping the previous length and the strips down both banks by 200mm and all overlaps sealed with Bentonite granules. The

The new approach to Bridge 4a joints across the bed are finally sealed with a 500mm wide by 150mm thick strip of concrete mainly to act as a strut between the bank linings and also to protect the joint against damage from future dredging. Finally 300mm of spoil is placed over the 20m length of bed using a tracked dumper moving straight in and out of the bed to avoid damage by swivelling the machine. Bank spoil filling Further spoil is then tipped on the bed and placed above the hollow concrete blocks using an 8t excavator, firstly to fill the cavities in the top row of blocks and bed coir rolls on top of them and then to cover the bank above the blocks to finished bank level. Finally the bed of the canal is levelled off to bed level (117.72). Rewatering in lengths When a suitable section has been completed a temporary bund will be formed (details to follow in due course) and a 300mm plastic pipe outlet with a timber sluice board installed in the previous bund. Aquatic plants will then be sourced from BW and planted immediately above the coir rolls on both banks at one metre intervals immediately before the water is allowed into the new length to be watered that will be at Wendover water level initially. Mooring bays The site of the first 50m mooring bay is nearly with us and Ken Graves has spent many days designing and making formwork for the bridge narrows and now has adapted his design for the mooring bays. The full width excavation will be kept as short as possible commensurate with casting the base pours one ahead of the wall pours. Roger Leishman

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Progress

...Wey & Arun Canal...

“Quite possibly this was the first boat traffic here since the abandonment of the Arun Navigation in 1896”

Poddle, took place on 10 June and the provisional results show that it should put about The most frequently asked question at £11,000 into the funds. Around 200 walkers Loxwood right now is “when will constructackled a 13-mile circular route, starting from tion of the bridge under the B2133 start?” Cranleigh and taking in several sections of The question is difficult to answer mainly the canal in the Cranleigh and Dunsfold because we are waiting for completion of a areas. Our Mid Week Working Party has legal agreement with West Sussex County recently returned to the Utworth bridge area. Council. This agreement will mean that the The photo shows what has been achieved bridge will become the County Council’s already in this area just outside Cranleigh by responsibility when it is completed. Conkind permission of the present owners, struction can’t start until the agreement is in Dunsfold Park. place. There is no fundamental problem (the The small boat rally at Lordings on 9 whole B2133 crossing scheme received June was an opportunity to see progress at planning permission in 2005), but the wheels this fascinating remote site. The waterwheel are turning more slowly than we expected. designed by the late Winston Harwood was We still hope to build the bridge this year. happily pumping water from the River Arun Another challenge is that the costs of into the lock and aqueduct, giving enough building the bridge have increased, for a depth of water for several keen members number of reasons. The increase is not (including our Chairman, Peter Foulger) to disastrous, but it does mean that our Treascross by canoe. Quite possibly this was the urer has launched a second round of the first boat traffic here since the abandonment Bridge Appeal. of the Arun Navigation in 1896. The annual sponsored walk, the Sally Schupke

WACT

Wey & Arun Canal

Newly cleared length of he Wey & Arun near Utworth Bridge

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For the price of a small kitchen extension on your house, the Dig Deep teams could restore a canal lock. Which would you rather have? Dig Deep Report. July 2007

Progress

The Dig Deep Initiative and have therefore been unable to bring forward new projects for 2007 and possibly even 2008. Experience of Dig Deep projects is that they will cost about £25K per year to run in terms of materials, equipment and accommodation costs borne by the canal society. I understand that the construction of the swing bridge at Haybarn (Wey & Arun) cost about £25,000 whilst the lowering of Brewhurst Lock last year on the same canal came to around £35K. Two year lock rebuilds in new bricks will come to more. But hang on a minute…. £25 K will only buy you a mid range 4 x 4 and £35K will hardly cover the costs of a small kitchen extension to your house. What price the free labour, enthusiasm and expertise of our Dig Deep volunteers? Think what the true contract price would be of these jobs. There’s another down side other than the wasted opportunities of our DD teams

Bill Nicholson

To those new to navvying and as a reminder to the fully initiated, the Dig Deep Initiative involves four mobile working party groups (London WRG, KESCRG, NWPG and WRG BITM) committing themselves to carrying out a certain amount of volunteer work (whether in the form of Canal Camps or weekend working parties) on certain restoration projects in southern England (and Wales!) that have been adopted as ‘Dig Deep Projects’. And thereby hopefully enabling the local canal societies that we are supporting on these projects to be able to commit funds and materials to them in the knowledge that there will be the labour to complete them. Dig Deep is currently going through one of its quieter periods. We have committed to two sites in 2007, one on the Wilts & Berks and the other the Mon & Brec. I intend to report on progress on our two sites after the camp season in the autumn. We could however be doing a lot more if the canal societies/ trusts came forward with suitable projects. The biggest issue would appear to be the lack of available finance. Canals which have been part of Dig Deep since its inception in 1992, the Wey & Arun and the Cotswolds are currently heavily committed to raising substantial sums of money to fund major construction projects Dig Deep on the Wilts & Berks: NWPG rebuild Steppingstones Bridge

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Progress

The Dig Deep initiative

“Good sites attract new members, some of whom commit themselves to a particular project”

Bill Nicholson

not being fully engaged. This is the effect on time for the wider waterways movement to continuity and the ability to retain volunteers consider pump priming or sponsoring new and key personnel. Over a period of time the Dig Deep Schemes where we can add to the volunteer groups and the local canal trusts successes being achieved by canal trusts. build up good working teams supported by These could be schemes which either extend key people such as project managers, site the length of navigable waterway available or leaders and engineers. Good sites attract new pilot projects which show the benefits of a members (as well as returnee navvies) some restored canal to a local community. Does of whom commit themselves to a particular anyone else think that this is a good idea or project because they have an interest in that am I a lone voice….? project alone. Others may specialise in a If your society or trust thinks that you particular skill, e.g. bricklaying and thus tend may have a project which could benefit from to only dig on those projects where that skill Dig Deep support, please give Alan is required. Cavender, Dig Deep Co-ordinator a call. His When a project is completed we cannot phone number is 01628 629033 – other automatically assume that the whole team details in the directory. To volunteer to help will switch automatically to another canal or on any of the current projects please check skill. More likely, the volunteers described the Navvies Diary and contact the Dig Deep will find something else to do and probably group organiser. not on a canal. We then lose a valuable Bill Nicholson worker. Being able to run from one project to the next is the best way if it can be achieved. So where’s this all leading to? Well my first point is to encourage canal trusts to think hard about why they are missing out on a potentially beneficial pool of skilled and hard working volunteers and having thought about it, to send us their ideas of possible projects that we might get involved in. My second point, (and your editor is no doubt tired of hearing me say Dig Deep on the Mon & Brec: NWPG rebuid a bywash on the Crumlin Arm this!) is that it is

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Mandy and Kay explain what’s involved in catering for an WRG NorthWest and Essex joint three-day dig on the Wilts & Berks

Cook report

Essex WRG and NorthWest

and waited for the others to arrive. John Hawkins and Frank arrived back from the Joint dig with North West and Essex WRG: Foxham Arms next. Sometime after 11pm May Bank Holiday Weekend 2007. Foxham the main North West contingent arrived in Reading Rooms and Seven Locks. the van, followed by Mr Mac in his camper. Tea was drunk, people drifted off to bed and For once Steve and Mandy were able to get at some point after midnight Paul from Lanan early start. Stopping en-route at Stratton caster, having collected Barry en-route. St Margarets for Sainsbury’s and the first lot One quirk of Foxham Reading Rooms is of shopping, we crammed it into the car and that it is not wide enough for beds down trailer and continued west along the M4. both sides and tables in the middle, so with Meanwhile, Bill picked Kay up in central tables to feed 22 and room to sleep 19 it was London and headed out on the A40. By cosy, even with John Foley and Frank mistake they got tangled up in traffic on the squeezing into the post office/library with the North Circular, eventually extricating themspare tables and chairs. Mandy and Steve selves on to the M4 after a couple of hours. suffered the usual comments about their Just after 7pm Steve and Mandy arrived deluxe air-up bed (dubbed “the hovercraft” at the almost deserted Foxham Arms and by Essex WRG), but quote of the weekend phoned John. John and Bernard would be has to go to John Foley who asked “do they with us soon, so we went into the almost do inflatable bunk-beds in the same series?” empty bar and asked about food. 6am came round too early. Kay got up “Have you booked?” barked the landto do breakfast, with the other half of the lady. “No, sorry”. “What do you mean, you team surfacing in time to be last in the queue haven’t booked? We’re full! You should’ve to eat it. After the usual frenetic activity of booked”. “So, there’s no possibility of squeez- washing up, filling flasks and getting ready ing four of us in?” “NO.” End of conversation! for site, peace descended and Kay and Mandy Steve and Mandy retired outside, made a coffee and plotted the weekend. phoned Rachael, who suggested The Rising By 9.30am Mandy sat down to plan Sun or The Mermaid, both at Christian menus, calculate quantities, see what food Malford, and waited for John and Bernard to was in the kit and write the shopping list, arrive. We flagged them down and hatched while Kay made a start on the sandwiches. plan B: drop trailers at hall and head off to Kay did the salad, while Mandy sorted out the Rising Sun. Mandy picked the keys up cake, fruit and crisps. A phone call requestfrom Rob and Kathy next door to the hall – ing more milk came just as the cooks were being able to congratulate them on the birth loading stuff for the journey to site. of a daughter, Bethany Lynne, that morning! We headed off to drop off the lunch and From the outside the Rising Sun is were encouraged to be on our way quickly as unassuming. But inside: tiled floor, scrubbed the next concrete wagon was due and it wooden tables, cosy bar and what a friendly might be early! Mandy and Kay continued on welcome! We ordered drinks, were given to Morrison’s in Chippneham for “The big menus and ushered through to a tranquil Shop”, 1½ hours shopping resulting in a bistro type restaurant. Rachael and Martin very full trolley. We had decided to do “Beer arrived to have a drink. We told Bill and Kay, in Beef with golf balls” (Beef stew and dumpwho joined us for a drink, just as we were lings to you!) but they only had very little finishing our scrummy deserts… I know where packs of stewing beef. However the nice man I’m going to suggest we met next time. stacking the fridges suggested we “go and We headed back and unloaded kit and talk to the butcher’s counter”. This we did. shopping, set up the tables, filled the Burco Mandy asked “How lean is it?” “As lean as I

The Cook’s Eye View

page 39


Mike Chase

drink, resulting in dehydration!), but dosed herself up and then managed to snatch an extra hour of sleep. Mandy didn’t make it for breakfast but when she surfaced her hayfever was so bad she had to dose herself up to the eyeballs as well… a pair of crock cooks! On a three day dig Sunday is the easy day – no major shopping and no kit to sort and pack! After a cup of coffee it was into sandwich production. We loaded lunch and delivered it, pausing to look at the Meanwhile, the volunteers backfilled Lock 4’s towpath wall Wilts and Berks Publicity Gazebo that had been set up. The return trip am” came the response, in a suitable pose… to the hall involved a detour to the Co-op at but he did cut all 3½ kg of it into chunks. Lyneham for papers, milk, wine and one or By 3.15pm, we were back and unloadtwo other odds and ends. ing the shopping with the help of the cat Back at the Hall the cooks worked out from next door. Oven on, unpack the shoptheir schedule for the afternoon. Having got ping and find space for it in the fridge. Kay a better understanding of the vagaries of the prepared the veg while Mandy threw the new cooker our timings were a little better. stew together. Once it was in the oven, while While Kay did the veg prep, Mandy made the Kay finished the odds and ends, Mandy marinade for the chicken. Then we both had sorted out people’s personal shopping refun making Mandy’s “Cheat’s Tiramisu” (aka quests and did the finances for the weekend. Triamis-ish). Bearing in mind it involves Half an hour’s break with a cold drink, coffee and brandy and lots of creamy mixture and it was back to it, filling the Burco ready we had great fun – ending up by sharing the for people’s return. The mad rush-around in task of licking out the bowl… cook’s perks! the kitchen that precedes dinner began – With pudding resting in the fridge, we organising someone to wash up, sort out the sat down for a cuppa and began writing our site box, checking the stew, putting the report. It was then time to put the oven on, dumplings in, bringing the veg and rice to rack-up the spuds and put them in and so the boil, cooking the veggie main course… began the whirl of cooking the evening meal. Learning the idiosyncrasies of a new Liz and Mr Mac arrived back and did the cooker takes time – the ovens (top and botwashing up as a prelude to the main contintom) are very good, but the ceramic hob is gent returning. The Burco was filled and put slow. However it is a big improvement on the back on to boil. Mandy was trying a new previous cooker (well, the oven works for a veggie recipe – but despite following the start) as it is much wider and takes our big instructions managed to burn it onto the ‘school-dinner’ tins. We had planned dinner bottom of the little frying pan…”never mind, for about 7.45pm, but the veg took a long we’ll chuck it in a baking tray and finish it in time to boil so we served up just after 8pm! the oven”…it then proceeded to stick itself on Menu: Beef in Beer with Dumplings or to the baking tray! Cheese and Leek Mushroom and Yellow Pepper Stroganoff. Couscous Cake tastes great, but it seems to Rice, Peas and Sweetcorn. Apple Strudel and weld itself onto any cookware or utensils! Ice-cream. We roasted the spuds using both ovens After dinner the conversation and bevthen decanted them into one big tin to keep erage continued, a few went to the pub, the warm in the top oven, whilst we put the washing up got done and eventually people chicken in the bottom oven. The veg boiled drifted off to bed…I didn’t hear the pub quicker as we’d worked out which were the contingent return or see the lights go off… faster rings, the sauces were made and for Sunday morning dawned (too early for once it all came together for bang on 7.30. some). Kay got up just after 6am and strugMenu: Orange, Honey and Ginger gled through breakfast with a really bad Chicken or Cheesy Leek Couscous Cake and headache (cooks get so busy they forget to rich tomato sauce. Roast Potatoes, carrots

page 40


ing the catering kit (it’s like a large 3D jigsaw with irregular shaped pieces and no picture!) while Kay offered to start typing up the report on Mandy’s School Lap-top. John Gale appeared saying “We thought we’d catch you out…we’re early!” Lunch was eaten; the few remaining sandwiches and fruit were shared to eat on the way home. The washing up was done. It was only when turning the fridge off that Kay found the extra switch on the side of the freezer that turns it on. Oh well. Kit was loaded, the hall swept and furniture returned to its original places, toilets cleaned and we were all ready to return the keys and set off. Steve and Mandy always particularly enjoy the joint dig with North-West as we both did some of our early digging with them and it is nice to catch up with friends of longstanding (I daren’t say ‘old friends’), but I know others in both groups look forward to this almost annual event. Thanks as always to Rachael and Di, supported by Luke and Martin for good accommodation and a good, well organised set of jobs on site (as reported by John). We would also like to thank those who willingly helped with washing up, serving meals and cleaning the hall – it is super when these jobs just get done without anyone having to be asked. You know who you are – ta very muchly. Mandy and Kay

Mike Chase

and Cabbage. Tiramis-ish A stampede for seconds and Luke ended up licking the serving spoon while Martin used his fingers to scrape round the tin-foil lining the tin. Wine was, as usual, consumed during the meal, tea was drunk after and then out came John’s whisky! [Ah! I’d better explain…as is traditional on our joint weekends we had a slight surplus of Johns – four in total! John Gale from Essex; John Hawkins of WRG print who digs with Essex and NW in virtually equal measures; plus of course John ‘the bookstall’ Foley and a newer recruit to NW, John Chase…Talk about confusing!] Anyway – back to the original digression…John Chase had bought a bottle of whisky…as had John Gale (a present from a grateful client who doesn’t know JG only drinks tea). John Gale’s bottle has been to several digs where two or three measures have been drunk but most of the bottle was still full. Half a dozen wandered down to the pub, Rachael, Di and Luke headed for home while most of the rest of us enjoyed each others company, sorting through the various books, videos, jigsaws and CDs for sale, chatting over old times, and watching the whisky levels in the bottles gradually reduce. When all the Special Reserve had been drunk and the remaining blended whisky consumed we decided it was time for bed. Monday dawned… wet as forecast. Oh well, we’d had two lovely sunny, but windy days, so we shouldn’t complain! Kay had slept well…so well in fact that John Gale prodded her awake at 6.30 and asked her if she was intending to cook breakfast this morning! Even Mandy managed to appear in time to make herself a sausage butty before everyone drifted off to site. A small contingent had stayed behind to finish the washing up – always appreciated. Kay and Mandy did a quick trip to the Co-op at Lyneham and back via site to deliver extra milk. Burco refilled and on, Kay pottered in the kitchen and cleaned the oven while Mandy added some more to this report. Kay then began making the rolls up for lunch while Mandy did a stock-take and began to pack the kit. By 1pm lunch was ready, all the food had been sorted, listed and packed and the rest of the kit was ready to pack. The Burco was just off the boil and the soup simmering on the stove. Mandy and Kay had a few minutes to start packing their personal kit. Everything was ready so Mandy began pack-

...and completed the offside wall demolition

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KESCRG

Our friends in KESCRG are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the group this year and have sponsored this special Navvies. Dr Liz explains how it all began...

The past...

KESCRG – a potty history

KESCRG

Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group was instigated in 1977 by members of the Kent and East Sussex Branch of the IWA, who wanted to get more actively involved in the restoration of the Basingstoke Canal. (we can neither confirm nor deny that this decision was taken in a pub) Those working parties were organised by the one and only Ken Parrish. Information in the KES IWA newsletter of the time encouraged volunteers to come by saying “there is such a wide variety of work to be done, members of all ages and dispositions will find it an interesting and fulfilling day. Wellies & waterproofs a must.” No change there then! A working party in April attracted 20 navvies aged from 6 – 60, on Lock 17 (Deepcut flight). Our first entry in Navvies appears in issue 67, as part of the run up to Deepcut Dig 77, in October that year. Accommodation was in the National Rifle Association HQ. So work continued on the Basingstoke

through the end of the 70’s, and into the 80’s. KESCRG volunteers grew in strength, skill and number, learning plant and construction skills in part due to the backing of the local authorities who supported the canal restoration. In 1983 the first summer work camp was held. Many of the stalwarts of the group started in this period, names now familiar throughout the canal restoration movement: Mike Palmer, Sue & Roger Burchett, Graham Hotham, Dave Wedd, Julia & Erle, Chris Willis – and some familiar nicknames too - Gremlin, Spikey Dave, Big Baz. With the completion of the Basingstoke in 1991, work began further afield on other canals. These including the Wey & Arun, Chichester, Kennet & Avon, Wilts and Berks, Thames & Severn, Wendover, Droitwich, Montgomery, Huddersfield and Sleaford canals. This was a big change for the group having been used to going back to the same site month in month out which helped keep numbers around 50 each time. Summer camps continued annually, although recently we have

Early days for KESCRG on the Basingstoke...

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KESCRG

found it more convenient to take over a centrally organised WRG canal camp with all the logistical support that comes with this. Our group currently consists of about 30 regular members. We organise one weekend working party a month, including the infamous Christmas Party which is a joint dig with London WRG. We are independent of WRG although we are very good friends with Southish Canal Restoration Group” as we them, and we are a corporate member of have spread geographically to cover most of IWA which enables us to take advantage of the south east corner of the UK, from Coventheir insurance, whilst remaining independtry through Reading, and down to the South ent. We still have good relationships with Coast. With a branch in Cheshire! Kent & East Sussex Branch – they very genAs to the future, we’re going to carry erously donated the money for our new on doing what we do best…Restoring Canals! trailer, in 2001. This trailer, much like a WRG kit trailer, contains everything to keep a Several of us regulars seem also to be breeding the next generation of KESCRGies - the Navvy happy, from shovels and mattocks chairman and I would be very interested in through saucepans and griddles, up to a 3” pump and a generator! Our other big kit is the anyone able to supply green baby-grows from about January onwards… open trailer, a brand new Ifor Williams twin For more information or to join one of axle one replacing the heavy old wooden one our working parties please see our website earlier this year. This is used for transportwww.kescrg.org.uk, send an email to either ing the big catering cooker (to the National eddie@kescrg.org.uk or mk2@kescrg.org.uk, and other events) and is also useful on site phone 0845 226 8589 or join our spam free for loads of bricks/scaffolding etc. We raise our funds to cover running costs mailing list by emailing email@kescrg.org.uk See you soon! (fuel, insurance) and new kit through the Dr Liz Williamson highly successful Bhaji Stand – twice a year we will clean our hands and put on a clean t-shirt PS if you know any more history, or correc(yes, even Eddie) and serve hot food to the tions to this one, we’d love to hear from you public at Tring canal festival and the National festival. We’ve discovered that not only is this a – we are planning a “memory board” of stories, photos and other history for the fantastic way to fund the group, but it seems Bonfire Bash in November. Contact as above! to be a great social event too. Apparently it is just as much fun to be covered in the smell of onions and Bhaji batter as it is to be covered in mud and smell of diesel! Like WRG, we don’t have a membership and we don’t really care who comes out to play with us, so long as you’re enthusiastic and bring a sense of humour with your wellies. We like to work on sites where the work is interesting and sometimes highly technical, we have a high proportion of members who have a WRG ticket on various plant, and we’re keen to share our skills with new volunteers. We really need to change our ...and a rather more recent photo on July’s Wilts & Berks camp name to “Kind-of-East and Dr Liz

...present and future

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KESCRG

celebrates its birthday KESCRG’s 30th birthday: What’s happening and where…

Celebrate 30 years of KESCRG by coming to the Bonfire Bash, or by buying yourself a commemorative tea mug and getting FREE TEA at St Ives same design on them, these are £3, and if you buy them at the National from the Bhaji stand, they come with free refills of tea & coffee! Speaking of the Bhaji stand, in common with many other canal festivals this summer, Tring festival was curtailed due to the appalling weather, but at least we still have our marquee, unlike some of the traders there. So we hope to have a brilliant stand at the National in St Ives. Do come and see us. Look out for our new flags which should make us easier to find! Our good friends Chris & Sharon Spencer have donated a handmade collectible teddy bear, dressed in a KESCRG t-shirt, and he needs a good home… all you need to do is guess his name! He will be at the national and the Bonfire Bash, where we will reveal his identity. We look forward to seeing you all soon. Any questions or suggestions, or if you’d like to join our mailing list, please email Ian@kescrg.org.uk or mk2@kescrg.org.uk or look at our website: www.kescrg.org.uk. Dr Liz Williamson

Martin Ludgate

KESCRG decided last year to spend all of this year celebrating its birthday. One of the things we’ve done is sponsor the colour cover of this Navvies – hope you like it! We also sponsored the delegates’ welcome drinks at the World Canals conference last month, held in Liverpool and organized by Jude Palmer. This was a great opportunity to showcase our work to an international bunch of canal enthusiasts. Our main birthday party will be at the Bonfire Bash, on the first weekend of November. This is the annual reunion of all WRGies & other regional groups. Ian Williamson and I will be leading it, and it will be the usual format of LOTS of Scrub bashing and bonfires, mixed with some more technical stuff too. It will be held on the Wilts & Berks Canal, and accommodation will be a school in North West Swindon. There will be real beer, supplied by our very own Nic Bennett, and lots of partying on the Saturday night. We’d love to have all navvies there, old, new, or not quite sure. Even if you’ve never been on a KESCRG dig or been to Kent or East Sussex, we hope to see you there. Book on soon [use the form on page 9 ...Ed], so we can order enough beer! We’ve already had one party night, at the Barn Dance in March. If you were there, you may already have a special souvenir Tankard in your cupboard – they were so popular we’ve ordered some more, and they are now on sale for £4. They have a Paul Cattermole design on them, are oversized half-pint with crown stamp, and hold a variety of refreshing beverages very successfully! Also for sale are Mug shot: Ian and Liz show off their KESCRG tea mugs KESCRG green mugs, with the

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KESCRG

To mark its birthday, the Kent & East Sussex Canal Restoration Group actually holds a dig in East Sussex!

...on the Sussex Ouse

KESCRG GOES back to its roots… ently and we all slept very well. Saturday

Martin Ludgate

bought us good weather, we loaded up the It was the first time KESCRG had been digcollection of Landies and headed for site ging in either Kent or E Sussex for more than down the lanes across a field and then over a 25 years (apparently we had a disastrous causeway and hidden in the trees was a brick weekend on Thames and Medway in the late built lock and the local team ready and waiting for us. Note for Bungle: must visit as seventies). It was our first time visiting the Sussex Ouse project and Paul was to be our Paul has 130 Landie with 6.2 litre V8 diesel local society site manger. and a very capable winch, well proven on the I set off for work early on Friday morn- site. ing not by train as usual but in the Land So the key work was to clear around Rover, so having dropped into work for 9 the old lower gates, get them to one side and progress clearing the chamber. “So what hours I then headed off to fetch the trailer do I do with the other 8 people?” I asked from Tom’s. Just Jen was quite glad as she needed help to get ‘Sue’s’ cooker into the van Paul. After a bit of thought we got them to join Clive and Martyn and to find the top end carefully, it (the van!!) all being shiny and of the lock and clear the view. new. Malcolm also turned up for cables I believe for the Saul Festival which then didn’t So we all set to and stopped for tea and happen [see why on pages 50 and 51 ...Ed]. then set to again and got the first gate out, Anyway after a chat and tea with Rachel completely out of the lock with the excellent and picking a few cherries to take on the journey I headed south. After an hour or so I got bored and dropped in at home. Picked up kit and wife and continued on a southern trajectory again expecting huge amounts of rain as forecast but it never materialised, at least not that evening anyway. Arrived safe, sound and actually in good time to unpack the trailer and miss last orders. I was informed though that we nearly had to sleep in the car park on account of the village hall committee having stopped people staying over after Roy had made the booking, it was a very close run thing too. It was a great hall and in fact good enough for a full camp so we’ll need to persuade them to reverse the decision or put in the fire detection equipment needed! And it is not so far as you might think: similar journey time to Kirdford for us up near Oxford, although it does require using M25 and M23 - we had a good run but it could be very, very bad as we know. Anyway beer was good apparChamber clearance with the home-made hoist

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KESCRG

tion Committee and had to stop work - too many uncontrollable people without safety helmets etc etc Tea solved the problem, we set to again once they had finished gongoozling and left. Packed up and home via a slightly longer route as I wasn’t paying attention, with very narrow lanes and a trailer behind we opted to use local knowledge and keep going. Liz fed us with fantastic tea and we moved slowly to the pub. Good beer but the local cricket/rugby club had a stag night which was a little unpredictable, then the rain came and sitting outside wasn’t pleasant. Sunday dawned wet with a bit more wet thrown in and it hadn’t really stopped much overnight either. We’re not wimps, you understand, but getting soaked walking across the car park wasn’t inspiring for any of us… so we had a late start. Once on site it was obvious chamber clearance was off the list as the access ramp was far too dangerous. We reverted to stump removal work with both machines, Garry on the top of the of side chamber wall with a superbly adapted bucket with one single 18 inch tooth and MK2 with the smaller, but quite powerful machine ripping out at the top end. Clive and Martyn gave several big trees quite a shock along with a couple of bits of heras fencing – I did take out the 4 panels he asked for, but a side branch caught

...on the Sussex Ouse

Martin Ludgate

machine skills of Garry “2 Rs” Alderman. Time for a short lunch and then back to have the other one out. In the mean time the top crew had found most of the top of the lock including wing walls and cleared sufficient for a photo. By this time Paul was looking a bit thoughtful: we’d succeeded in finishing the work and more by 2pm on Saturday! So we set off with machine and dumper to clear the chamber and the home built barrow hoist was pressed into urgent action by the local team to recover whole bricks from the fallen chamber wall before Garry reached them in the machine - the race was on! Then a fall in revs, a big plume of smoke and Paul had stalled the dumper… then he broke the starting handle and we had to test his winch and tow the dumper up the access ramp to level ground. After a few choice comments it was unloaded by hand and tow-started and we kept going. We then got invaded by IWA Restora-

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Now you see it...

...and now you don’t


KESCRG

Martin Ludgate

...on the Sussex Ouse

Some traditional summer work at the lock head

those we didn’t move. We then proceeded to completely take the whole compound apart to enable complete stump removal, the day ending up with both machines attacking “just one last stump”, in the end with complete success, after this it was time to head home via the hall. Liz went to see some old family friends in Haywards Heath so they got introduced to canal logistics including red vans and 2 men with beards. Thanks to everyone who came out and to the local team for the organisation, please can we have an extra dumper next time! Ian Williamson

The Sussex Ouse

The Sussex Ouse rises in the Weald west of Balcombe and flows into the English Channel at Newhaven. Navigable on the tide to just above Lewes, it was planned in the late 18th century to extend navigation by building locks all the way up to near its source at Slaugham. In the event, it didn’t get that far before the money ran out. But eventually in 1812, 22 miles of navigation and 19 locks enabled small barges about 48ft long by 12ft wide to to get from the sea to Upper Rylands Bridge, near Balcombe. Not having much in the way of large towns or heavy industry to serve, it never really prospered, but a respectable trade in coal, building materials, timber and agricultural produce kept it reasonably well-used for three decades. Unfortunately as with so many less-prosperous waterways, its busiest time was when it was transporting the cargo that would eventually be its undoing: building materials for the huge Ouse Valley Viaduct which still carries the London to Brighton main line railway across the river near Balcombe. Once the railway was open, the river began to lose out, and despite cutting tolls to retain trade, the writing was soon on the wall for the Ouse. Further railway lines took away more trade, the navigation authority could no longer afford to maintain the locks properly, they fell into disrepair and by the 1860s the navigation was disused. The last railway line wasn’t built until the 1880s. Abandoned 75 years later, it has now been partly reopened as the Bluebell Railway, and it popularity as a tourist attraction may yet help the revival of the river navigation.

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WRG BC

WRG Boat Club News

Sadie reports on the trials and tribulations affecting boaters trying to attend some boating events during this ‘summer’

The weather and floods beat us all in the end. Many club members were making their way, It was most unfortunate and disapby various routes, towards the Gloucester pointing that the festival had to be cancelled. and Sharpness Canal for the festival at Saul. So many people had put in a lot of hard Then it started to rain. work and we were all looking forward to We were having some work done on enjoying the event. I hope it doesn’t prove to Lynx at Caggy’s Yard in Tipton. Luckily this be too much of a financial loss to the Cotsincluded repairs on the ancient range as the wold Canal Trust. When we have our AGM I day after we left the yard the weather shall be proposing that we give them a donachanged for the colder and wetter and we tion. I hope members will support this. needed to light it! Well, now we are getting ready to go We travelled from there to a ‘bit of a do’ on the short sea voyage across from Salters at Tardebigge top, The Allen Register’s anLode to Denver Sluice. This will give us nual gathering, which was most enjoyable. access to the Great Ouse and thus to St Ives On the Sunday afternoon we set off down and The National. the locks and moored near The Queen’s BUT there is a derailed freight train hangHead just to discover that they don’t do food ing off a bridge just past Ely and the Great on Sundays! Our trip down Stoke Locks was Ouse is closed until they have shifted it. This is very wet indeed so we continued only as far going to take some time as they have to build as Hanbury Wharf. By this time we had heard a road to the site to get lifting tackle there. rumours that the Severn was closed. Are we down hearted? Yes! If they don’t I phoned BW at Diglis Lock and the call shift it soon we will (all?) have to go on a long was forwarded to Fazeley. When I asked boring trip up the tidal New Bedford River and about the condition of the Severn I was told miss lots of interesting places to visit. “The river is fine, all the locks are closed but I’m sure our stalwart members will the river is OK.” I was asking about navigatmake St Ives whatever the obstacles and ing the river not the state of its health! here is notice that the AGM will be held We managed to ‘phone a friend’, who during the weekend, probably on the Sunday used to be lock keeper at Diglis canal lock, but I will firm up time and place when I see he told us of the state of the river (15ft over the programme and the available locations. weir etc) and promised to inform us of any (Remember the club motto!) improvement. So it was out with the bikes, Looking ahead even further, future on with the waterproofs, and off along the Association of Waterways Cruising Club Droitwich canal(s) to see how things were meetings are: 20th October at Tamworth looking. So far so good but lots more to do: Cruising Club; 12th January at Stafford; 8th let’s hope the money is forthcoming for the March at Soar Boating Club. Please let me Barge Lock restoration appeal. know if you can help out by attending any of We continued down towards Worcester these on our behalf. but, thinking that the city would be full of boats Minutes of past AWCC meetings can be waiting to get onto the river, we moored before found on www.awcc.org.uk we got there. Then we heard the bad news I look forward to meeting lots of y’all in that Saul Festival had had to be cancelled! We August, let’s hope the weather is kind to us. hung around in the hope that the river would Given the choice I prefer rain to a train at least become navigable upstream to falling on me. But if it did would you have to Stourport, but the rain continued. Reluctantly shout on your mobile phone, ‘No I’m not on we set off for a very damp return trip. Hurthe train, quite the reverse.’? rah for a warm shower at Tardebigge Wharf. Sadie Dean

If it isn’t rains its trains!

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NOTICEBOARD Online Navvies subscriptions

Just published...

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 Stour volunteers wanted That’s the East Anglian Stour, which runs along the Essex / Suffolk border. Permission has just been given for work to start on Stratford St Mary Lock cut, and the River Stour Trust needs all the volunteers it can get for two months intensive work. They also need a procurement manager, quartermaster and assistance with funding the work. Contact John Morris on 01473 822612

Congratulations...

to Pete Redway of Surrey & Hants Canal Society on being awarded the MBE

Dial-a-camp To contact any WRG Canal Camp: 07850 422156 (Kit ‘A’ camps) 07850 422157 (Kit ‘B’ camps)

Stamps wanted

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

And now for something completely different We’ve been approached with a view to helping restore a lock on the Danube-Tisa-Danube waterway - in SERBIA I’m not joking!

Britain’s Restored Canals by Roger Squires. Detailed history of half a century of waterway restoration, bringing Roger’s original 1979 book right up to date - the most recent photo was taken in April this year on the W&B and shows the Navvies editor wearing shorts but apart from that it’s a recommended read! Available from www.iwashop.com.

Photographs

Don’t forget to send pics from your canal camp to the editor for Navvies. And on the subject of photos: the back cover pic was taken by the Editor on the Mont, and the inside back cover pics are by Alan Lines, Mike Chase, Bungle, Judith Pope, Bill Nicholson and the Ed.

New arrivals Congratulations to Tunji and Nerina on the arrival of Niamh on June 4th and to Bernd and Daphne on the arrival of Emma on May 8th

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

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Infill

...which is like ‘backfill’ only inside the mag... Thank you... ...to whoever sent in the following newspaper cutting leading us to wonder exactly what our parent organisation is up to:

Unfortunately it turns out that it’s actually the Ipswich Women’s Aid rather than the Inland Waterways Association.

Caption photo ...in the previous issue showing Bungle and the ‘pasty wagon’ (box-body Land Rover) driving through a river produced a couple more suggestions from Derek Andrews: “Just testing the cruise control” “Are you sure the Tomtom said go this way?” ...as well as an assertion from Bungle that he was just practising for the Saul Festival (see opposite page). Speaking of which, here’s another photo of Bungle at Saul that you might have some captions for...

The WRGies and the pub: a puzzle Apologies if you’ve already met this one in a slightly different guise... A bunch of eight navvies need to get to the Railway Inn from the King Edward Sports Pavilion at Droitwich. Unfortunately due to the latest stupid insurance conditions, it turns out the only van they’ve got is only covered for a maximum of driver plus one passenger. So you ferry them there one at a time? Well it’s not that simpe. You see Jude, very wisely, won’t let Mike out of her sight (in the van, the pub or the accommodation) with Kate or Alice. And in turn, Mike doesn’t trust Jude with either Mole or James unless he’s there too. Oh, one more thing: Bungle can’t be trusted to be left with anyone else unless Malcolm’s there to keep an eye on him. Ah yes, and one last problem: owing to another cockup on the Driver Authorisation scheme, only Malcolm, Jude and Mike have got WRG tickets to drive the van. So how do Mike, Jude, Alice, Kate, Bungle, Malcolm, Mole and James get to the pub before closing time?

No shit, Sherlock! Received from British Waterways, just as the summer’s second bout of major flooding gripped the country, the Avon, Severn and Nene burst their banks, the Grand Union, Oxford, Worcs & Brum and Staffs & Worcs canals all closed due to excess water, and Droitwich town centre disappeared so far under water that the above puzzle became rather academic: “BW remains optimistic that water supplies will last out for the rest of the summer and there will not be any widespread boating restrictions”

Please send your suggestions to the editor.

page 50

But seriously, the best of luck to all our boating readers and to all the BW and EA staff struggling to deal with the disastrous floods.


Left and above left: bywash clearance and dam removal on the Mon & Brec camps Above: ‘posh dinner’ outfits on the Mont Below right: Lord Rolle’s entrance lock Below left and a bit further below right: WRG NW at Daisy Nook on the Hollinwood Far left below: NWPG at Steppingstones on the Wilts & Berks Bottom: Bungle puts his offroad skills to use on the washed-out Saul Festival

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Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

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