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Message from Region Chair This is the first time I have written to you as regional chair, only having been position since the beginning of January. You may be aware that Patrick Moss was the original chair but he could not take up the position due to a bout of ill health I wish him well and hope to see him once more playing his part in the region. I must also thank Peter Kelly who has for the last year acted as regional chair and will be a hard act for me to follow. For those who do not know me I am at present chair of the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Branch. I started boating in the late 1960’s and joined the IWA soon after. When I lived in Hertfordshire I was a member of the branch committee, for many years producing their branch magazine. Since moving to Gloucestershire in 2006 I have played an active role in the local branch there Included in this edition are the agendas for the branches AGM’s I would urge you to attend your local branch to support the often unsung work that is carried out by them during the year. If you feel you could contribute you always volunteer to join the local committee I am sure they will welcome you. During my period as chair I intend to meet as many of you as I can. I hope to attend as many AGM's and social events as possible as well as representing the region nationally. Branches put on many social events and I am sure that again you would be most welcome and find them enjoyable. Feel free to contact me at any time. Roger Holmes


Avon & Wilts Branch Report The last piece I wrote for “Sou’Wester” was as far back as July. I was expecting, as, no doubt, you also were, to see the piece in print around late August, or early September, and that never happened. Peter Kelly, in his Editorial page of Issue 162, which has finally made it just in time for Christmas, has explained the many and various delays which were encountered in bringing that issue to publication. So quite a bit of what I prepared in the summer has either ‘gone cold’ (‘frozen’ in the current conditions) in the meantime, or my projections and aspirations for the future did not materialise. To cover the lack of printed publicity for the Branch’s social meetings during the autumn months, I resorted to e-mails to those members who could be reached by this method: about half of the Branch membership, currently. I apologise if e-mails in October, November and December were sent to any members who dislike receiving information or correspondence in this way, because I did try to ensure that any members who expressed such a view to Head Office were not troubled. Equally, I deeply apologise to members, particularly in and around Bristol and Bath, as well as further afield, who would have happily attended if they had known sufficiently ahead of the dates, the times, the place, and the purposes of the meetings, but were left in the dark because there was no way of reaching them with the information, except by the complex and costly method of ‘snail mail’. There are two solutions to be drawn from this episode. One is that all of you who have an e-mail address (or more than one!) notify either me, or the Association’s Membership Officer, Tracy Higgin, at Head Office in Chesham, Bucks., ( ) of your e-mail address for future use. 50 per cent of Branch membership reachable by email is rather on the low side; I understand that our neighbouring Branch, Gloucestershire & Herefordshire, is claiming around 70% of members with e-mail addresses, and Avon & Wilts Branch should be up alongside them, or even ahead. The other solution is to draw everyone’s attention to the IWA website, where there is a primary tab marked ‘Events’, under which is a rolling calendar, daily, weekly or monthly, showing the many and varied events and activities arranged by many, if not all, of the Association’s Branches across the country. Our social events, and anything else we arrange, come to that, are listed there, with 4

full details, so if you have a computer with internet facilities keep a regular lookout on those pages. All the forthcoming events through to the Branch AGM are now listed there. As the Branch AGM will be coming up in no more than two months, I will truncate my commentary on various matters, and reserve them for my Report at that meeting. As last year, we have arranged for the meeting to be held at the Sports & Social Club premises of Friends’ Life Provident, here in Bristol, just off the bottom of Berwick Drive, which is a turning off the lower end of Cribbs Causeway (B4055). The full instructions are given elsewhere in this issue. We will be having our new Region Chairman, Roger Holmes, who has been Chairman of Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Branch for the past two or three years, and perhaps an additional guest with a national overview to tell us about. All being well, there will still be time for a game or two of skittles in the adjoining alley, after the sumptuous buffet supper which the Club provides at very reasonable cost. Our Branch has been given responsibility this year to organise the Region AGM weekend in April. We have booked a hotel with conference facilities on the edge of Royal Wootton Bassett (where the Region AGM was held nearly twenty years ago!). and also reserved space for an Saturday evening meal together, and overnight accommodation for those who have either travelled a distance to attend, or do not wish to be inhibited in liquid refreshment during and after the evening meal. As you will see, on the Sunday morning, there will be a conducted tour of aspects of the Wilts & Berks Canal, from the derelict and unrestored through to the brand-new, with a pub Sunday lunch as the final item in the weekend’s programme. In short, please support your Branch’s committee’s efforts in putting this weekend together for the South West Region, and use the booking form in this issue to get your name(s) on the list of attendances. We have estimated likely requirements on the basis of last year’s Region AGM held in South Wales, but I’d love to be proved wrong by a decent margin. Please do whatever you can to help! Thank you for your continuing support of the Association through your membership, if nothing more. I look forward to seeing many members, old and new, at the Branch AGM in March and at the Region AGM weekend in April.

John Gornall, Bristol, Branch Chairman 5

Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Branch The branch has been very active, as usual, since the last Sou'Wester. It seems a long while ago that LOCK200 took place. It was a very popular event and received a great deal of publicity both locally and nationally. Our branch social events have also proved popular We held a Christmas social complete with a local one man theatre group who kept us amused whilst we tucked into a lovely buffet complete with an IWA Christmas cake All this for ÂŁ2.50!! We are talking with CRT about the state of Saul Junction on the Gloucester and Sharpness canal without much success at the moment. I am sure we will succeed at sometime in the future. There have been breakdowns on the canal bridges which have caused difficulties for both boaters motorists and pedestrians. We are compiling a record of as many failures as we can. The branch committee is not convinced that the recent ones in December were isolated examples as stated by CRT. You could help by reporting any you see or experience to: A branch newsletter was sent, by post, to every branch member before Christmas. It is hoped to produce a second before the AGM. The next one will probably be the last one to be sent by post, future editions will be emailed. So if you are at present not receiving emails you need to give your details to: I hope as many of you will attend the branch AGM and support the work being done on your behalf by the branch. You could even join the branch committee where you would be most welcome. Please contact me for more information. Roger Holmes Branch Chair


Glandwr Cymru (C&RT in Wales) The new C&RT charity here in Wales has two committees which reflect the topography of the country and its devolved status. For operational purposes, that is maintenance and upkeep, the South Wales area comes under the South Wales and Severn Waterway Partnership Board. There is a similar body for North Wales. The geography of the country makes it much more sensible for maintenance to be cross-border as especially in North and Mid Wales the canals criss-cross the border. Chair of the South Wales and Severn Partnership is Jack Hegarty and the operations manager is Nick Worthington. Phil Hughes of the Fourteen Locks Centre has recently been appointed to this Partnership board. There is also the All Wales Committee formed to have a strategic role for canals and waterways throughout Wales. Chair of this body is Dr. Mark Lang who will be giving a talk about the role of this committee at the South Wales Branch AGM. The activities of this committee are of great relevance to all of us involved with canals in South Wales and to hear of its plans is of great importance. The branch looks forward to welcoming anyone who is interested at the meeting which is on Tuesday 5 th March. The AGM is at 7pm followed by refreshments, and the talk is at 7.45 pm. The venue is Beulah United Reform Church Hall, Beulah Road, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6LT. Margaret Gwalter Chairman, South Wales Branch


Inland Waterways Association

South West Region Annual General Meetings NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT the 2013 Annual General Meetings of the South West Region, and the several Branches within that Region, will be held as follows: South West Region: 2.30 p.m. Saturday 20th April 2013. Marsh Farm Hotel, Coped Hall, Royal Wotton Bassett, SN4 8ER For full details see page 11 – 12.

Avon & Wilts Branch: 7.30 p.m. Thursday 29th March 2013. At the Friends Life Sports and Social Club, Station Road, Henbury, Bristol BS10 7TB (just off Cribbs Causeway). On Completion of AGM skittles will be played and a buffet Supper served.

Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Branch: 7:30 p.m. Thursday 7th March 2013, Gloucester Yacht Club, Gloucester Docks, Gloucester. South Wales Branch: 7.00 p.m. Thursday 5th March 2013. Beulah United Reform Church Hall, Rhiwbina, Cardiff. On completion of the AGM a Presentation will be given by Dr Mark Lang (chairman Wales C & R T and Mr Andrew Stumpf (Head of National Programmes, C & R T)

West Country Branch: 2.00 p.m. Saturday 9th March 2013. Room 4, Parkhouse Centre, Bude, EX23 8LD For full details see page 12 – 14


Inland Waterways Association

South West Region Annual General Meetings AGENDA (Applicable at all General Meetings) 1.

Apologies for absence.

2. Minutes of 2012 Annual General Meeting and any Extraordinary General Meetings held subsequently; and matters rising from these meetings. 3.

Branch Chairman’s Report (Not for Region AGM)


Region Chairman’s Report.


Financial Report.


Election of Committee. (See notes below)


Any items requested by members of the Branch or Region.

Notes: 1.

Candidates for election to a Region or Branch Committee must be members of the relevant Branch or Region and the candidate must indicate his/her willingness to stand. 2. All elected members of a Region or Branch committee who have held office for a term of three years have to retire, as does any member co-opted during the committee meeting since the last AGM. Members in either category are eligible for re-election. 3. There shall be at least 3 elected members of each Branch or Region committee but there is no upper limit to the number of members. 4. In addition to the elected members, each Branch chairman is ex officio a member of the Region committee. 5. The committee officers (Chairman (not Region), Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer (not Region)), shall be elected by the committee at the meeting following the AGM.


South West Region

AGM Weekend – 20-21 April 2013 This year's Annual General Meeting is being hosted by the Avon & Wilts Branch and will be held at Marsh Farm Hotel, Coped Hall, Royal Wotton Bassett, Wiltshire, SN4 8ER. on April 20th 2013. As in past years, a supporting programme has been organised for the Weekend. Programme of Events: Saturday 20 April 2013 12.30pm Informal Lunch 2.30pm Region Meeting 4.00pm Tea and Biscuits 4.30pm Talk by (either) Ken Oliver, Canals Officer, Wiltshire Council, (or) Chris Coyte, Company Secretary, Wilts & Berks Canal Trust. 7 for 7.30pm Region Dinner, followed by a short talk by (either) Chris Coyte, Coy. Secy, W&BCT, or Ken Oliver, of Wilts Council. Sunday 21 April 2013 9.30am Departure from Marsh Farm Hotel 10am Tour of sites along and around Wilts & Berks Canal. 1pm Pub Lunch, then disperse. For more information contact Geoff Harman, 11, Lampeter Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. BS9 3QQ (tel 0117 962 3812) (e-mail: ) Or John Gornall, Avon & Wilts Branch Chairman, 6, Parkers Close, Brentry, Bristol. BS10 6LZ. (tel.0117 329 6470) (e-mail: ) For confirmation of your booking please enclose a stamped addressed envelope or include an e-mail address.


South West Region

AGM Weekend – 20-21 April 2013 Accommodation and dinner booking form. I will be attending the AGM and require the following:Name(s): -

Member 1 Member 2

Address: -

Tel no: E-mail (print clearly please):Price th Accommodation Saturday evening April 20 2013 @ £58 double th Dinner on Saturday evening April 20 2013 @ £23.50 per head Tea/coffee Saturday afternoon @ £2 per person Total


Please indicate if you will also be joining any of the following: Saturday informal lunch Yes/No Sunday Morning tour Yes/No Sunday Pub Lunch Yes/No Total payment enclosed: When completed, please send, with appropriate remittance, (cheques payable to IWA Avon & Wilts Branch) to: Geoff Harman, 11 Lampeter Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. BS9 3QQ.


West Country Branch

AGM – 9th March 2013 BOOKING FORM NAME: ……………………………………………………………….. ADDRESS: …………………………………………………………... ………………………………………………………………………… TELEPHONE NO: ……………………………………. EMAIL: ………………………………………………... I/WE WILL/WILL NOT BE ATTENDING THE AGM MEETING I/WE WILL/WILL NOT TAKE PART IN THE GUIDED WALK ADULTS @ £2 EACH





TOTAL £ ………… Please send booking form and total remittance to Chris Jewell, 4a The Crescent, st Bude EX23 8LE by 1 March 2013. Please makes cheques payable to ‘IWA, West Country Branch’ For further information please contact 01288 352298 or email 12

West Country Branch

AGM – 9th March 2013 This year, the Branch AGM will be held in Bude, Cornwall. The day starts at 10am, with a guided walk (with a representative of The Bude Canal & Harbour Society) along the canal from the Sea Lock in Bude to Helebridge, Marhamchurch, which is the watered section of the canal. In total 2 miles, which means there is a 2 mile return walk to Bude. However, this is a pleasant level walk. There is a small fee of £2 per adult for this walk. If you are interested in the walk, please complete the booking form accordingly. On returning, to Bude, lunch has been arranged at The Castle Restaurant, Bude. This is booked for 12.30pm and you must pre-order your food. Enclosed is a menu – please make your selection and complete the booking form with your choice/s. Send the Booking form, with your remittance (cheques payable to ‘IWA, West Country Branch’), to Chris Jewell, 4a The Crescent, Bude st EX23 8LE by 1 March 2013. The AGM meeting is in Room 4, Parkhouse Centre, Bude, EX23 8LD and will commence at 2pm. The venue is about 100 yards from The Castle Restaurant. Schedule: 10am 10.15am 10.30am 12.30pm 2pm

Meet at the Lower Wharf, Bude by the Library To the Sea Lock (5mins) Start Walk Lunch at The Castle Restaurant AGM Meeting, Room 4, Parkhouse Centre, BUDE EX23 8LD.

Directions: Bude is on the North Cornwall Coast and is served by the A39 road. Make your way to the A39 and head for Bude. The town Centre is off the A39, either by A3072, if coming from North or East or A3073 if coming from the South or West. Both these routes take you into the town. On reaching the mini roundabout, at the junction of The Strand and The Crescent, go straight ahead over the river bridge. On the left is the Crescent Car Park (parking for over 4 hours is £5). Adjacent to the car park is the Bude Canal and the lower wharf and library are about 100 yards away to your right (when facing the canal). Both the Castle Restaurant and Parkhouse Centre are close to the Lower Wharf/Crescent Car Park. 13

West Country Branch

AGM – 9th March 2013


A Day in the Life of a Magazine Photographer I did a photographic trip today, as the weather was so good, apart from freezing cold temperatures. At least it was sunshine and blue skies, and dry-ish roads. I went first along the A420 to Chippenham, where there is a modern residential road on the southern edge of the town named Canal Road. There is absolutely no trace of the original Wilts & Berks branch, except a dip in the land across the other side of the main town ring road, Pewsham Way. I Road sign – all that’s left of the canal photographed the street name plates. Then I carried on to Calne, where a stretch of water in front of what was originally the town civic offices is named The Wharf. A blue plaque marks this as the terminus of the Calne Branch of the canal. I was under Plaque in honour of the wharf the impression that all the rest of the canal branch had been obliterated, but – serendipity! – in a park I discovered that the original Calne Town lock does still exist, somewhat restored, and the lock chamber filled with gravel chippings to display the bow and stern of a narrowboat within – Arfur Boat Co. – and the single gates are there as well. In fact below the lock is at least a stretch of canal, which I didn’t have time to explore. I got quite a few photos from this area. Then up past Lyneham, now sadly empty and I turned down the hillside to Dauntsey lock, and took a small number

Arfur Boat Co. in Calne Town Lock 15

of pictures there. Just as well Geoff and I ruled out the Peterborough Arms at the lock side as an AGM venue – even in the lunch hour it appeared closed. Perhaps it opens evenings only, except perhaps at weekends. I returned through Lyneham The Wharf, Calne and on to Royal Wootton Bassett. With a little bit of searching, I located Templar Firs, the road where a stretch of restored canal begins. I’m thinking it must be the best part of ten years, if not fully that, since I was last there for a W & B C T celebration on this length of canal, as some us staffed an IWA stand for a day. I returned home with a severe boat of hay fever, as the grass in the field where we were placed had only been cut the day or so before. When I eventually made my way through the concrete jungle of rows of Canal and Modern Housing garages to the opening onto the canal towpath, I recognized instantly where I was, and walked a fair distance along taking some shots as I went. I would have gone further, but I was feeling it was about time for a lunch break, and I still wanted to go further in the course of the afternoon. Equally, the towpath was definitely damp underfoot, also frosty and icy in places. I was only wearing ordinary shoes, not walking boots Aqueduct across footpath at East Wichel or wellies. 16

So I returned to the car, found a coffee and a sandwich, and headed on via Wroughton to Wichelstowe. This has extended and improved since I last saw it, and at the western end of the new canal there is a totally new lock – gates and paddle gear - but not operable, as the stanching boards are in place at the head of the lock. The work stops just Canal end beneath motorway

after the lock tail. At the eastern end, the canal stops as it disappears underneath the M4 in a “tunnel”. East Wichel now has a pub of its own, the Bayberry, a Marstons house. I don’t think it’ll get recommended for anything at the Region weekend, as the prices for food seem a little bit steep. Again, I’ve got a fair selection of shots. I didn’t have time as the sun was going over the yard arm and I was required to do a pick-up in central Bristol at 1615 to take in Melksham, although that might come some other time.

John Gornall, Staff Photographer By Editor: I asked John Gornall if he had any photographs of the W & B canal and he said he would have a look or go and take some; What I did not expect was the above ‘report’ especially at nearly 11-30 p.m.. I felt it was written up so well that I could use it as an article or – better still – a live narrative. John’s words below followed a day or so later should, hopefully, encourage you to turn up at the Region AGM and the canal walk the following day. Thank you John for the super photographs and the narrative, Peter Kelly.

Peter, This place is a photographer's dream, especially on a sunny day, preferably when the temperature is slightly higher than it was yesterday. Even away from the line of the canal, the architectural styles are so varied; you could shoot streetscapes for ages, and have so many different results. I didn't have time to leave the canal line, and go behind (except to get a coffee at the one and only pub in the development, and visit the loo, before setting off back to Bristol) One day I might find an occasion to do some more, although I hope that as development progresses east and west, there will be more canal scenes to photograph, as the s.106 money funds further restoration and new construction of canal. 17

A Report on a Cruise of the River Tawe organised by A Report on a Cruise of the River Tawe organised by the South Wales Branch th

Saturday December 8 was a rare day of beautiful weather and marked a very enjoyable cruise on the Swansea Community Boat ‘The Black Prince’. The sun shone, the river was flat calm and the crew gave 21 members and friends of the Branch a smooth trip. The Swansea Community Boat Trust The trust was set up to: - Operate a community boat on the River Tawe Navigation for the benefit of those in need by reason of their youth, old age, vulnerability, disablement or otherwise. - Advance the education of young people and others in regard to the inland waterways of Swansea & Neath Port Talbot, their heritage, their uses and environment.

The Boat‘

The Black Prince’ is a widebeam boat built by Colecraft in 2000. Between construction and 2010 it operated first in the Hebden Bridge area in Yorkshire, then in and around the Leeds waterways including the Aire & Calder navigation and the Leeds & Liverpool canal. Principle dimensions are: Length: 57′ 6″ The Black Prince Draught: 2′ 4″ Beam: 11′ 6″ The engine is a four-cylinder water-cooled Beta Marine diesel engine (BF2802), producing 62hp at 2600rpm and driving a single screw propeller via an RPM 260 D2 hydraulic gearbox. The main saloon seats 50 passengers in comfort. To the rear of the saloon are the two main entrances (one fitted with a wheelchair scissor lift), a Ushaped bar, two toilet compartments and small galley. 18

The Cruise We left our berth in Swansea Marina alongside the National Waterfront Museum promptly at 11:00 and headed out through the lock into the river. The weather was superb and the river flat calm. Turning north, we passed under the impressive Sail foot and cycle bridge and were soon approaching the famous Vivian and Sons Hafod copper works. This whole area is now referred to ‘Copperopolis’ indicating the crucial role played by non-ferrous development during the Industrial Revolution. Charles White, Chair of the Swansea Community Boat Trust, provided a fascinating commentary throughout the cruise and was a font of knowledge. He answered many questions including ‘why are there a series of bubbles up the centre of the river?’ It transpired that these oxygenate the river, this being necessary since the barrage was built else river flora and fauna would suffer. Of interest to railway enthusiasts was the Hafod Works locomotive shed, still largely intact and built in 1924 to house the UK’s first standard-gauge articulated engine. The name 'Vivians' is spelt out in polychromatic brickwork on its river façade. Too soon, we reached the current northern limit of navigation, the Morfa bascule bridge. This bridge is one of only a few of its type left in the UK. Built in 1909 to link two copper works by rail, it had a water-tank under its western end, which when filled caused the main deck of the bridge to lift clear, allowing large ships to pass. It is now in an unsafe condition hence the navigation limit. It is hoped that the bridge will be renovated at some stage enabling navigation to be extended. Charles indicated the variety of wild life on the river. Since the cessation of major industrial operations in the area, otters, salmon and all sorts of fish and bird species have returned. On the way back, tea/coffee and mince pies were served by the boat crew and were much appreciated. We also encountered members of Swansea University Rowing club being put through their paces in a variety of boats. Many thanks to the trust, crew and particularly Charles for an enjoyable, interesting and educational couple of hours. Sources: Swansea Community Boat Trust website ( Pat Cleary Secretary, South Wales Branch. INLAND WATERWAYS ASS0CIATION 19



Thurs 21 Feb “Restoration of Traditional Narrow Boats”. Peter Boyce is a member of the historic narrow boat club who rescued “Lucy” from the Braunston puddle banks. She is a wooden narrow boat built by Nursers and was first registered in 1953 and was retired from the trade in 1971. Peter will be telling us about restoring her. He continues to do restoration work on other historic wooden narrow boats st

Thurs 21 March “Sharpness’ Scuppered Fleet” Paul Barnett will be visiting us on this third occasion with the last instalment of the hulks trilogy. In this talk Paul attempts to give us an informative look at the maritime past of the River Severn through anecdotal memories, and light hearted nautical banter. This talk will highlight a forgotten chapter of this hugely successful country dock and its resilient maritime community. th

Thurs 18 April “The Hereford and Gloucester Canal, Past, Present & Future” Work started on this canal in 1792 & reached Ledbury from Glouceste in 1798, eventually reaching Hereford in 1845 making this one of the last major canal routes to be completed in Britain. The object of the Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust is to fully restore the canal from its connection with the 2,500 mile inland waterway network at Gloucester to the centre of Hereford. Dick Skeet will tell us about the history of this canal, the progress that is being made and their hopes for the future. th

Thurs 16 May “Narrow Boats to Norway”. Clive & Jill Field will give us an illustrated talk about the exploits of four narrow boats and their crews who ventured to Tilbury docks under their own power before being taken to Sweden on a cross North Sea ferry, where they explored the Gota Canal and the connecting lakes. They will tell us of their experiences whilst taking in the Scandinavian scenic delights and getting to know a country very different from England. th

Thurs 18 July

Boules & BBQ at the Green Dragon. 7.00pm


Thurs 17 Oct “The Bedford and Milton Keynes Canal”. Paul Leech will be representing this waterways trust when he talks to us with the aid of slides about this new recreational waterway. He will show us the route of this 32 km navigation and will explain how, when finished, it will complete a new circular course taking in part of the Grand Union Canal and the Fenland waterways providing a linear park for the use of boaters, walkers and cyclists in the future.



Thurs 21 Nov “Changes on the Kennet and Avon”. Elaine Kirby is an archivist for the K&A Trust. She will visit us again, this time to show how the K&A looked in the past compared with how the canal looks today. We will see how changes have been made since photography began. th

Thurs 5 Dec Canal Society.

Waterways quiz at Chilworth Village Hall organised by Southampton


Thurs 12 Dec Christmas dinner at The Green Dragon Alderbury. Further information can be obtained from: REPORTS FROM THE SALISBURY GROUP October 2012 – The Somerset Coal Canal – Derrick Hunt. The Somersetshire Coal Canal Society was formed in 1991 with the aim of preserving and conserving the canal. However, in 2008 the constitution was changed to progress onto restoration and this won the confidence of landowners and local councils. The canal was opened in 1805 in order to carry coal from the coalfields in North Somerset to the Kennet and Avon Canal at Dundas to supply the markets of Southern England. Prior to this, coal had to be transported from south Wales to Bristol by ship before being distributed in the area. The SCC is a narrow canal and we were shown pictures of the once broad lock at Dundas (junction with the K&A Canal) that was later narrowed to prevent wide boats from the K&A taking the trade. In 1858 this was one of the most profitable canals in the country, but by 1892 the trade was dying and the canal was closed in 1898. It was finally abandoned in 1904 when it was sold to The Great Western Railway. The canal had to pass over hilly ground and initially was designed to operate using three caissons rather than conventional locks At the time a caisson lock, designed by Robert Weldon, was undergoing trials on the Shropshire Union Canal. It had the advantage of saving water, reducing the number of locks from twenty-two to three and speeding up the journey. One caisson lock was built at Combe Hay but proved to be unstable. Two others were planned but were not completed. As a result an inclined plane was constructed as a temporary measure whilst 22 locks were built. Today some of these locks have been cleared and excavated and much of the stone is now exposed. Derrick emphasized that the SCCS has prevented the remains of the canal from disappearing and the society’s long-term aspiration is to restore the whole canal. November 2012 - Narrow Boating on Tidal Waters Nick Grundy To begin, we were given the history of his narrow boat “Beatty”. Beatty was named after Admiral Sir David Beatty who led the battle cruiser fleet at the battle of Jutland in 1916. Beatty, a 70-foot narrow boat was built in 1937 for the Samuel Barlow Coal Company. When her commercial life ended, Sea Scouts used her in the 1950s. Beatty was converted for leisure use and was purchased by Nick Grundy’s Father in 1968.


One of the first expeditions of the Grundy family was to navigate the tidal Trent and Yorkshire Ouse in order to attend the IWA National Rally at Leeds. Another excursion was navigating the River Dee, this involved crossing the Chester weir, which can only be done at the top of a spring tide. The timing for crossing the weir is critical, passing through a narrow gate in the weir in order to reach the head of navigation. On another occasion Beatty navigated the River Severn travelling downstream via the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal before joining the Severn Estuary to reach Avonmouth, where they turned up the tidal Avon to reach Bristol. Fortunately they used a pilot, which proved necessary as they passed under the Severn Bridge at 12 knots. In 1992 Nick joined a cruise of historic boats to navigate the Mersey Estuary to Liverpool. Then in 2011 Beatty travelled via the Shropshire Union Canal to Ellesmere Port before joining the Mersey at Eastham locks. Here they travelled down the estuary and entered the South Dock at Liverpool and were able to view the historic buildings of Liverpool including Pier Head and the Liver Building. It was interesting to compare the two excursions as in 1992 the Liverpool link had not yet been opened and the commercial craft were very different to those seen in his later trip. Beatty’s adventure in 2012 was the privilege of being chosen to represent Merseyside in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames. Many of us saw (and were disappointed with) the spectacle shown on television. It was much more interesting to hear the story and see the pictures from someone who was involved in the pageant itself. Nick told us about the rigidity of the organization and the difficulties of keeping station with other boats in the parade. Beatty’s position in the cruise was following the steam narrow boat “President”. Even though the weather was dreadful everyone on board Beatty had an amazing experience. December 2012 – Annual Waterways Quiz December, of course, saw us take part in the annual waterways quiz organised by Southampton Canal Society. Our team, comprising of Colin Davis, Tony Fry, Ron Glover and Nick Grundy did really well. They were points ahead all the way through the competition until the final round when their map knowledge was not quite as good as the team from IWA Guilford and Reading. We ended up in a close second position. Thank you and well done to our team. The year ended with our annual Christmas dinner held at The Green Dragon. Ron & Myra Glover. 01722 710322 Jon Van de Geer (note: new email address)

01722 412841

Meetings commence at 7.30pm and are held at: -The Green Dragon, Old Road, Alderbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 3AR




IWA South West Region, Sou'Wester Magazine, Winter 2013  

IWA, South, West, Region, Sou'Wester, Magazine, Winter, 2013

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