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Welcome to May 2012 Towpath Telegraph . . . The process of turning British Waterways into a Charity grinds on. By the time the next edition of TPT appears, it may all be over, and BW will be consigned to history in England and Wales at least. Meanwhile, the Diary pages in this edition are packed with ideas for spending summer days on or near the cut provided that all the recent rain ends up where it’s desperately needed - in the reservoirs! We hope you enjoy this edition.

Chairman's column 2-3 Region news 3 £500 grant from Police 3 “Throw-away” citizens of MK beginning to learn? 4 Wendover Festival cancelled 5 New members 6 Buckingham Canal Society news 6 Branch “adopts” Fenny Lock 6 Iron Trunk spruced up for its bi-centenary 7 Diary Pages 8-9 Water supply: “a long way to go before . . . easing restrictions” 10 - 11 British Waterways reduces licence evasion 11 Save the Branch money - read TPT on-line 12 Canal & River Trust appoints Heritage Committee 13 Bedford-Milton Keynes Waterway news 14 The Editor’s Page 15 Canal & River Trust now registered as a Charity 15 Getting in touch with MK Branch 16

Chairman’s Column

I expect most of you can recall the drought of 1976 when the slogan "Save water - bath with a friend" was prominent. A Minister for Drought - Denis Howell - was appointed and nicknamed "Minister for Rain". In June 1976 only 0.3mm had fallen, but days after his appointment widespread flooding occurred, and Howell was named Minister for Floods. Have a look at this table: Approximate Rainfall (figures from the Met Office for Cambridge) Month February June

Total for 12 months

Year

mm

inches

mm

inches

mm

inches

1962 1976 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

11.4 14.4 25.2 50.1 12.8 47.9 70.6 28.2 8.6

0.4 0.6 1.0 2.0 0.5 1.9 2.8 1.1 0.3

0.1 8.3 18.9 59.0 34.6 40.8 25.4 53.0 ---

0.0 0.3 0.7 2.3 1.4 1.6 1.0 2.1 ---

471.8 498.3 521.7 598.7 610.6 527.6 481.5 347.2 ---

18.6 19.6 20.5 23.6 24.0 20.8 19.0 13.7 ---

The records for past years show dry months being compensated by very wet months, but that is not the current trend - in 2011 Cambridge only received 57% of the rainfall it had in 2008. So it is good to see BW and the water utility companies being pro-active in taking measures to conserve water now rather than later in the year when all the reservoirs are dried up. All boaters will have to plan trips very carefully to take account of lock opening times, particularly hirers who are only boating for Page 2

Profile for The Inland Waterways Association

Towpath Telegraph May 2012  

The journal of the Milton Keynes Branch of the Inland Waterways Association

Towpath Telegraph May 2012  

The journal of the Milton Keynes Branch of the Inland Waterways Association