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Southside News March 2011

The Newsletter of the South London Branch of the IWA Campaigning for the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and development of the Inland Waterways

Welcome to the March Edition of Southside News

You have probably noticed that this edition of Southside News is later than usual - well I hope you have! The reason being that Alan and I have just returned from a trip to Hong Kong, visiting our son and his family, followed by three weeks in New Zealand. And yes, we were there when the earthquake struck but fortunately were not due in Christchurch until two days later, so we counted ourselves extremely lucky to be alive, safe and able to continue our holiday. New Zealand is an extremely beautiful country with a tremendous variety of constantly changing land- and waterscapes. We toured islands, cruised seas, lakes, fiords and crossed rivers, travelling for hundreds of miles but only encountered one canal! Now we’re back at home and immersed once again in all things waterways, especially Canalway Cavalcade. This year’s event takes place at Little Venice between Saturday 30th April and Monday 2nd May - take a look at the advert on page 9 for more details. We always need help before and during the festival - to set up, help run stalls and a multitude of other tasks so, if you have a few hours spare (or want to avoid the media coverage of the Royal Wedding ...) come and join us. If Little Venice isn’t your thing then how about something more local? Alan Eggby has booked the branch stand to attend an array of fairs and events all over South London, so take a look at the Branch Activities on page 7. Alan Smith has tracked down some extremely interesting speakers to entertain you during the long spring and autumn evenings and has included the details of our next PS Kingswear Castle cruise in June - so check out the Social Calendar on page 6. Roger Squires has been swanning about on The River Thames and suggests an interesting way of following suit on page 12. There are lots of other bits of information scattered amongst the remaining pages which I hope you will find interesting but if you have news, comment or criticism you would like to share, don’t hold back - let me know! Good reading and enjoy the spring beauty of the waterways,

Christine Smith Publicity Officer & Newsletter Editor

The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Inland Waterways Association or of the South London Branch. They are, however, published as being of interest to our members and readers. The IWA accepts no liability for any matter within this magazine, including adverts. Cover photo: The Godalming Packet Boat nb Iona on the River Wey, by Alan Smith




Welcome from the Editor 2 A Message from the Branch Chairman 5 South London’s Social Calendar 6 Forthcoming Branch Activities 7 South London’s Social Meetings Report 8 Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice 9 IWA with London Walks Programme 10 Better safe ........ 11 New Look for Tidal Locks Data - BW 11 Cruising the River Thames or First Take Someone Else’s Boat ..... 12 Who’s Who - contact details 15 How to find our social meetings - Croydon map Back cover -4-

A Message from the Branch Chairman

The last year has been a busy one for the branch, with the stand attending 10 events over 15 days last year and also manning one of the information stands at the Canalway Cavalcade festival in May. These included waterway and community events, raising around ÂŁ1000 for branch funds. We made donations to 6 recipients (see regional newsletter for details). We also organised two enjoyable outings, one a cruise on PS Kingswear Castle on the River Medway - both up and down river from Chatham, and the other on the River Wey horse boat trip from Godalming Wharf. On both of these trips we enjoyed good weather. The branch now has its own website as part of the main IWA branches site, which is maintained by Christine Smith. Our monthly socials have seen a regular attendance over the last year. I would like to thank all the committee for their efforts over the last year. It would be good to see a few others helping on the branch stands at the various events this year - most of which are in the branch area. At the AGM Lesley Pryde, Christine and Alan Smith were re-elected and we are delighted to welcome Alan Furber as a new member of the Committee. May I, and the other members of the Committee, also extend a warm welcome to the following new South London members: Mr M Aver Sir David & Lady Calvert-Smith Mr C & Mrs N Nichol Ms A Clarke-Walkin Mr P Cardy Ms E Batchelor Mr S Karim Ms N White Mr K & Mrs L Westin & family Mr N & Mrs J Parkinson Mr J Beveridge Ms A Ferrari & Mr D Barrett Mr C J B Roberts

United States Of America London Belvedere London Orpington Banstead Guernsey Guernsey Norway Richmond Orpington London London

Alan Eggby


South London’s Social Calendar 2011

Unless otherwise indicated South London Branch Social Events take place at 7:30 for 8:00 pm at: The Primary Room The United Reformed Church Hall Addiscombe Grove Croydon CR0 5LP for how to get there see the map on the back cover Admission to the talks and presentations is free to all, members or non-members, although we do request a contribution towards room hire and refreshments. April 13th May 11th June 8th

‘Not Such Idle Women’ ‘Barging Through East Germany’ ‘Somersetshire Coal Canal’

Mike Constable Robin Higgs Patrick Moss

June 25th

Cruise aboard PS Kingswear Castle 11:00 Chatham Dockyard to Thames Estuary, returning at 17:00 Party rate fare £20. Bookings to Alan Eggby* by 30th May

September 14th October 12th November 9th December 9th

‘The Historic Narrowboat Raymond’ ‘Restoration of The Sussex Ouse’ ‘Lost Canals’ Christmas Dinner

Steve Miles Bob Draper (provisional) Nick Kelly More details later

For more information about South London’s Social Calendar, please contact Alan Smith, telephone 020 8255 1581 or email For updates and information on all IWA events and branches please go to: *See page 15 for contact details

Historic nb Raymond at Rickmansworth Canal Festival, May 2010


Forthcoming Branch Activities Over the late summer and early autumn the branch stand attended four events, these being the IWA National Festival, Angel Canal Festival, Thames Festival and the Great River Race. Over the year we raised around £1000 on the stand from sales and The Waterways Game. I would like to thank those members who helped during the year. Listed below are the events which we hope to attend during 2011. Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd May

Rickmansworth Canal Festival

Sunday 29th May

Eltham Spring Bank Holiday Fair

Sunday 5th June

Erith River Festival

Saturday 18th June

Mottingham Village Day

July TBC

Teddington River Festival

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th July

Kingston River Festival

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th July

Lambeth Country Show

Friday 29th to Sunday 31st July

IWA National Waterway Festival

Sunday 28th August

Eltham August Bank Holiday Fair

Sunday 4th September

Angel Canal Festival

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th September

The Mayor’s Thames Festival

Saturday 17th September

The Great River Race

All dates are subject to confirmation If you would like to help run the stand or the Waterways Game (be assured it’s not strenuous or complicated!) please contact me or any other member of the Committee - contact details are on Page 15. Alan Eggby

The finishing line at Ham, The Great River Race, September 2010


Photo: C Smith

South London’s Social Meetings Report Our new season of talks started in September with Liam d’Arcy Brown’s erudite presentation about The Grand Canal of China. The trip on the Godalming Packet Boat nb Iona, also in September, was blessed with fine weather and 24 of us enjoyed the pace of horse-drawn cruising (and a cream tea!) In October David Bowker of the IWA-affiliated Norbury & South London Transport Club gave a highly professional show about his cruise on the Caledonian Canal aboard Lord of the Glens. We were even more impressed when he told us it was his first digital presentation. Those who have cruised on the PS Kingswear Castle will be familiar with Roddy McKee who talked to us in November about two paddle steamers, the other being Waverley. We had a very informative evening about these two very different vessels. Our final social evening of 2010 was the Christmas Dinner, held at a new venue - The Goodman’s Field pub in Tower Hamlets, where 16 of us enjoyed an excellent meal. Christine and I started off the New Year with a presentation on Wildlife and Waterways in Central America, featuring our March 2010 holiday in Costa Rica and Panama.

Monkeys in Costa Rica

Photo: C Smith

In February Roger Squires told us all about the Suez Canal. Following the AGM Alan Snowdon showed us one of his excellent DVDs on the No 82 Waterbus in Venice, the city where everything goes by water. Looking forward to the rest of the year, the Social Calendar is on page 6. I hope you will be persuaded to come and hear what I am sure will be another interesting selection of speakers on a variety of topics. Your Committee wil be organising some more boat trips this year: the Kingswear Castle cruise will be on Saturday 25th June (bookings to Alan Eggby, please) and details of another trip later in the year will be announced in due course. Alan Smith


C A NA LW AY C AVA LC ADE Saturday 30th April to Monday 2nd May 2011 at Little Venice, London W2

~ fun for all the family ~ ~ boaters’ gathering ~ trade show ~ musicians ~ ~ parades & processions ~ ~ kids’ activities ~ Punch & Judy ~ ~ a real ale bar & a wide variety of snacks & food ~

ADM I S S I O N I S F R E E OPENING TIMES Saturday 30th April Sunday 1st May Monday 2nd May

10 am - 6 pm 10 am - 6 pm and 8.30 - 10.30 pm 10 am - 5 pm

For more information phone 07876 597 941 or visit the IWA website: cavalcade_2011

IWA with London Walks London Walks arranges towpath walks in association with the IWA and the proceeds are shared between the two organisations. If you are interested in any of the following just turn up - they cost £8 per person, or £6 for concessions, children under 15 go free. For more information please contact: Peter Finch - 020 8969 9941, or Roger Wilkinson - 020 8458 9476, 3 April

Paddington Basin, Little Venice , Paddington Branch GU Meet 2.30pm, Edgware Road ( Circle & District) Station.

17 April

Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London Meet 2.30pm, Bromley-by-Bow Station.

24 April

Regent’s Canal – Kings Cross to Hitchcock’s Hackney Meet 2.30pm, King’s Cross Station taxi rank.

1 May

Kensal Green Cemetery, Grand Union - Little Venice Meet 2.30pm, Kensal Green Station.

29 May

Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London Meet 2.30 pm,Bromley-by-Bow Station.

5 June

Regent’s Canal – Little Venice to Camden Meet 2.30pm Warwick Avenue Station.

19 June

River Lea – Enfield Lock – Ponders End Meet 2.30pm Enfield Lock Station.

3 July

Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London Meet 2.30pm Bromley-by-Bow Station.

12 July

Regent’s Canal – Mile End –Limehouse Meet 6.30pm Mile End Station.

17 July

Regent’s Canal – Islington – Mile End Meet 2.30pm Angel Station.

7 August

Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London Meet 2.30pm Bromley-by-Bow Station.

21 August

Regent’s Canal – Kings Cross – Hitchcock’s Hackney Meet 2.30pm Kings Cross Station taxi rank.

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Better Safe ...... Sadly, Andy Holmes, a former Olympic gold medal rower died as a result of contracting Weil’s disease (leptospirosis) in October. Although this is quite a rare occurrence (about 40 cases per year in the UK), as the cruising season will shortly begin we thought you should be reminded about the precautions all waterways users should take to minimise the risk. The following is an extract from the RoSPA website: adviceandinformation/watersafety/weils-disease.aspx which has a downloadable information pack and links to the Health & Safety Executive and other useful websites. Preventative measures The best prevention is to understand where and how Weil’s disease can be caught and taking precautions based on this knowledge. If you know you may come into contact with untreated water such as flood waters, canals, ponds and rivers you can reduce the risk of infection by taking the following precautions: ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Cover any open wounds such as cuts and scratches with waterproof plasters. Wear protective clothing such as gloves. Wash thoroughly and as soon as possible if you have entered the water. Assess the risk of the likelihood of contamination if contemplating entering fresh water, particularly be aware of stagnant water. Carefully clean any open wounds obtained with fresh water.

New Look for Tidal Locks Data The London tidal lock availability leaflet has a new look for 2011. British Waterways produces this guide for boaters moving between the tidal Thames and the inland waterway network in London. The publication lists tide times and heights as well as the hours when the tidal locks at Bow, West India Dock, Thames Lock Brentford and Limehouse Basin are manned by the British Waterways team. Published in December each year, the document includes 12-months’ worth of detailed data. In the past British Waterways produced the guide as a printed leaflet which was available at the tidal locks and other information points. However, due to declining take-up of the printed copies and the expense involved in producing the resource, British Waterways are trialling a new format for 2011. In the year ahead the data will be available online at Users can download and print a two-page pdf document for each quarter. This will list lock availability data for three months on one side, and useful information, contact details and general guidance on the other. The documents for all four quarters of 2011 are available now. The resources will be updated throughout the year so users can access them to find the latest information. Printed copies of the information will also be available from British Waterways’ London’s information boat, Jena, which is moored at Paddington. For more information or to request a printed copy, users can call 020 7985 7200 or email British Waterways Press Release, 6th December 2010

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Cruising the River Thames or First Take Someone Else’s Boat.....* When I talk to friends and visitors alike, often the topic of waterway cruising comes up. All too often I am told it is easy for me as I own my own boat. They are pleasantly surprised when I explain that regular scheduled river ‘steamers’ cover much of the River Thames from Central London to Oxford. The small gaps are easily overcome by local trains. Perhaps the best known ‘steamer’ service is the one that travels from Westminster Pier to Hampton Court. This is a half day trip and the nearby station offers easy access back to Central London or elsewhere. The real ‘hidden gems’ are the Salter’s Steamers that run services from Staines, via Runnymede, Windsor, Maidenhead, Cookham, Marlow, Henley, Reading, Goring, Wallingford, Abingdon to Oxford. This whole river journey can be made in three and a half days if the timetable is studied with care, as some sections are only covered on certain days. [see] Perhaps the easiest place to start the trip is on a Saturday afternoon from Reading. Reading is both connected by rail and coach from Central London. The afternoon boat leaves at 2.30pm from Caversham Bridge landing. This is about 20 minutes walk from Reading station. The craft heads upstream to Mapledurham, with its Manor Hose and 15th Century Mill, past Hardwick Hall [Toad of Toad Hall fame] to Pangbourne, where Jerome K Jerome finally abandoned his camping skiff, then on to Goring, where the river cuts through a gap in the downs. The route then is more rural through to the ancient market town of Wallingford. You arrive here soon after 5.45pm. I suggest the local inn or a bed and breakfast will provide good overnight lodgings. On Sunday morning you have some time to explore the town before catching the upstream boat that leaves Crowmarsh landing at 10.30. This is quite an interesting trip in that it meanders through the countryside passing Benson Lock, Shillingford House, built by Lily Langtree, and the former toll bridge. Then on past Dorchester and Wittenham Clumps to Days Lock. This is the venue of the annual ‘poohsticks’ competition. Thence, via Clifton Hampden and Culham Lock Cut, to Abingdon with its magnificent waterfront and Almshouses. The boat arrives at the Nags Head mooring in Abingdon at 1.30pm. This gives you time for a leisurely lunch before taking the late afternoon boat, at 4.45pm upstream to Oxford.

Trip Boat Reading at Culham Photo: R Squires

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Its journey takes you past Carfax Conduit, Nuneham House, built in 1756 for the Earl of Harcourt. Then on past Radley College Boathouse and through to Sandford Lock. This is the deepest lock on the Thames, with a rise of 8ft 10 inches. Rose Island, and the former ‘Swan Inn’, are soon followed by Iffley church and Lock. Then onwards past the various Oxford College Boathouses to Oxford Folly Bridge landing. The boat arrives here at 6.30pm. You then have a choice. Either to stay overnight in Oxford, or to take the train from Oxford, via Reading, to Staines and stay overnight in Staines. The choice is yours as lack of time pressures on the following Monday morning do make both an option.

Folly Bridge

Photo: R Squires

On Monday you need to aim to be at Staines, Victoria Gardens Pier, just downstream of the railway bridge, to catch the steamer that leaves for its upstream journey, at 11.10am. After passing under the Staines town bridge, you pass the London Stone, a boundary marker after which Staines is named, to go through Bell Weir Lock. Then on past Magna Carta Island, at Runnymede , where King John signed the Charter of English liberties in 1215, to reach Old Windsor lock. Soon after leaving the lock, the river reaches Windsor Park, part of the Royal Estates. Thence on to Romney Lock and through to the Windsor mooring, just below the town bridge, arriving around 1.15pm. You have just one hour to get a quick lunch before joining the upstream boat that leaves Windsor Bridge moorings at 2.15pm. The route passes Eton meadow, with the wonderful view, as you look back to Windsor Castle, then on to Boveney Lock. On past Oakley Court, home of the ‘Hammer Horror Films’, and then Monkey Island to Bray Lock. The next landmark is the famous Brunel Bridge at Maidenhead. This is followed by Boulters Lock. The reach above Boulters Lock is perhaps unique with the ‘Hanging Woods’ in the Cliveden Estate. Cookham Lock soon follows and after a long lock cut the former toll bridge by Cookham Village is reached. The village was once the home of the artist Stanley Spencer. The next reach, past Bourne End, is famed for its sailing club. This leads through to Marlow Lock and the Marlow, Higginson Park landing place, which is reached at around 6pm. Again another overnight option is available. Either you can stay overnight at Marlow, or take the train to Reading. On Tuesday, the steamer leaves from Reading, Caversham Bridge, on its down-stream run at 11.00am. This passes Sonning Lock and its famous arched bridge, before threading its way past islands to Shiplake Lock. The main river then by-passes the Wargrave and Hennington Backwaters to reach Marsh Lock. Henley is soon in sight, with its River and Rowing Museum. You arrive at the town mooring at around 1.15pm. Time to explore Henley before returning back to the boat landing place, in Mill Meadows, to join the downstream boat for Marlow that leaves at 4.15pm. This takes you along the famous Henley Royal

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Windsor Castle Photo: R Squires

Regatta Course and past Temple Island through to Hambleden Lock and Mill. Then onwards past Culham Court to Medmenham Abbey, created by Cistercian Monks and later the base for the infamous ‘Hellfire Club’. Thence to Hurley Lock and Temple Lock, before passing Bisham Abbey, to reach Higginson Park landing at Marlow at around 6.30pm. At this point you have covered the whole of the river from Oxford to Staines. Here again you are faced with another choice. You can either overnight in Marlow, or take the train back to Central London. The main thing in taking the Steamer trip is to study the time table. Normally the whole river route is fully operational from early June through to the end of September, but various sections only operate on certain days. Some sections of the route start operating in May. Here again the Salter’s Steamers web site [www.] is the one to check, or phone their head office in Oxford [01865 243421]. Either way the river steamers offer a most enjoyable opportunity to explore the Royal River Thames. Roger Squires *Ed’s Note: with apologies to Jerome K Jerome’s “Three Men in a Boat”: “Take your own boat – unless, of course, you can take someone else’s without any possible danger of being found out”

River Thames between Pangbourne & Goring Photo: C Smith

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IWA SOUTH LONDON BRANCH OFFICERS & REPRESENTATIVES 2011 BRANCH CHAIRMAN & SALES OFFICER Alan Eggby (Elected 2009 - 2012) 137 Strathyre Avenue, London, SW16 4RH. Tel: 0208 764 8194. e-mail: DEPUTY CHAIRMAN Libby Bradshaw (Elected 2009 - 2012) Ground floor flat, 61 West Side, Wandsworth Common, London, SW18 2ED. Tel + fax: 0208 874 2787. e-mail: or BRANCH SECRETARY Lesley Pryde (Elected 2011-2014) 2 Hepworth Road, Streatham, London, SW16 5DQ Tel: 0208 679 9866 Mob: 07787 372408. e-mail: or BRANCH TREASURER & MINUTES SECRETARY Dorothy Robbie (Elected 2010-2013) 23 Porcupine Close, Mottingham, London, SE9 3AE Tel: 0208 857 6367. e-mail: SOCIAL MEETINGS SECRETARY & CROYDON CANAL CAMPAIGN CO-ORDINATOR Alan J.Smith (Elected 2011-2014) 41 Jubilee Avenue, Whitton, Twickenham, Middlesex. TW2 6JA Tel: 0208 255 1581 Mobile: 07774 890750 e-mail: or PUBLICITY OFFICER & NEWSLETTER EDITOR Christine L Smith (Elected 2011-2014) 41 Jubilee Avenue, Whitton, Twickenham, Middlesex. TW2 6JA Tel: 0208 255 1581 Mob: 07774 890750 e-mail: or COMMITTEE MEMBER Alan Furber (Elected 2011-2014) 99 Pickhurst Lane, Hayes, Bromley, Kent BR2 7HU Tel: 0208 462 1650. email: MEMBERSHIP OFFICER (Non Committee) Jane Davey 30 Siddons Road, Croydon CRO 4JR. Tel: (020) 8680 2213 EX-OFFICIO AS ACTING REGION CHAIRMAN Roger Squires (Elected 2009-2012) 46 Elephant Lane Rotherhithe, London SE16 4JD. Tel: 0207 7232 0987. email: REPRESENTATIVES Contact for Planning & Navigation Committee Contact with Wandle Valley developments Contact with Deptford Creek developments

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Eric Garland Libby Bradshaw Eric Garland

IWA South London Branch Social Meetings are held at: The United Reformed Church Hall Addiscombe Grove Croydon CR0 5LP

The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee. Registered in England no. 612245. Registered as a charity no. 212342. Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, Buckinghamshire HP5 1WA Tel: 01494 783453 Web: Printed by Leighton Printing, 15 Palmer Place, London N7 8DH.

Southside News - March 2011  

The Newsletter of the South London Branch of the Inland Waterways Association

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