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KEEPING OUR WATERWAYS ALIVE

waterways

www.waterways.org.uk

Autumn 2009 | ISSUE 225

OUR WATERWAY

REDHILL 2009

HERITAGE TOP MUSEUMS

NATIONAL FESTIVAL PREVIEW

6

TO VISIT

TWENTY TWENTY VISION

A once in a generation opportunity? Against All Odds News & Views Focus on the Wilts & Berks

COVER Autumn.indd 2

From around the network

Restoration Update Droitwich Progress

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NATIONAL CHAIRMAN’S COLUMN

IWA WATERWAYS AUTUMN 2009 ISSUE

RECENT MONTHS have seen British Waterways launch a public debate on its vision for how it hopes to operate in 2020 and a more immediate consultation on the reorganisation of their waterway units as part of a major cost saving review; this would see it reduce its employees by 100 giving rise to annual savings estimated at £10 million. Whilst the reorganisation aspects seem to give benefits in both monetary and operational aspects, the longer-term vision to join the third sector seems highly aspirational, yet is short on the detail of how it will get there or what it will look like when it reaches its goal. Until BW knows more about the form of the entity it wishes to become and how it expects it to be funded, it is difficult to fully debate the topic I fear. However, I would encourage you to attend one of the remaining meetings that BW directors are holding with their stakeholders when this topic will come up (see also ‘Twenty Twenty Vision’ – pages 6-8). In 1974 the IWA National Rally was held at Nottingham on the River Trent and it attracted over 600 boats. One of its objectives was to draw attention to the nearby Grantham Canal restoration and I do hope that, 35 years on, our 2009 National Festival at Redhill, at the confluence of the Soar and Trent rivers, will also focus on this restoration and those of the Derby Canal, the Cromford Canal, the Melton Mowbray Navigation, the Sleaford Navigation and the reinstatement of the Foxton Inclined Plane. So do please try to visit our Festival to find out more and to support these restorations. A new rail station at East Midlands Parkway has recently opened and a kids go free deal is available or, for those driving with SatNav, simply enter postcode NG11 0EE and take advantage of the proximity of the site to Junction 24 of the M1. As well as the likelihood of a general election, 2010 will also see us celebrating the centenary of Tom Rolt’s birth. When he met the 31-year old Robert Aickman at Tardebigge in August 1945 he was 35. Do you have confidence that two young men in their early 30s would have the vision and commitment today to lead others on a campaign of the same magnitude? I wish I did, but I fear that even if they tried, older sceptics like myself might not take them seriously and might even try to undermine them. IWA needs to harness and nurture its younger members and to increase their numbers, but do we make it easy for them to find roles that challenge and enthuse them? I leave you with that thought.

Contents 6

TWENTY TWENTY VISION We assess BW’s plans to move into the third sector

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AUTUMN 2009

37

NEWS

What the press are saying about the world of the waterways

News and views from around the waterway network

20

IWA NATIONAL FESTIVAL & BOAT SHOW We preview the waterway event of the year

22

OUR WATERWAY HERITAGE Visit a canal museum this autumn!

30

AGAINST ALL ODDS Restoring the Wilts & Berks Canal

WATERWAY CUTTINGS

38

RESTORATION UPDATE From the Droitwich Canals, the Pocklington Canal and the Cotswold Canals

43 INBOX 44 DIRECTORY

Readers’ Letters

Who’s who at The Inland Waterways Association

WATERWAYS EDITOR: Keith Goss Tel: 01283 742951 E-mail: k.goss@wwonline.co.uk

ADVERTISING DESIGN: Jill Brown ADVERTISING PRODUCTION: Samantha Lloyd E-mail: s.lloyd@wwonline.co.uk EDITORIAL BOARD: Gillian Smith, Jo Gilbertson, Neil Edwards, Keith Goss, Peter Johns REPROGRAPHICS: Waterways World Ltd, 151 Station Street, Burton-onTrent, Staffordshire, DE14 1BG. Printed in England by Warners (Midlands) PLC, Bourne, Lincs G Articles may be reproduced provided permission is obtained and acknowledgement made. ISSN 0969-0654

CLIVE HENDERSON A non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee (612245), Registered as a Charity (No. 212342)

Founded: 1946, Incorporated 1958 Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA Tel: 01494 783453 E-mail: iwa@waterways.org.uk Web site: www.waterways.org.uk Chief Executive – Neil Edwards, Operations & Information Systems Manager – David Forrester Finance Manager – Helen Elliott-Adams Campaign & Communications Manager – Jo Gilbertson G IWA may not agree with opinions expressed in Waterways but encourages publication as a matter of interest. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless stated, otherwise the Association accepts no liability for any matter in the magazine. Although every care is taken with advertising matters no responsibility whatsoever can be accepted for any matter advertised.

Waterway Images

ART EDITOR: Liane Hunt ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: Tony Preston Tel: 01283 742965 E-mail: tony.preston@wwonline.co.uk

COVER PICTURE: The Ellesmere Port Boat Museum’s historic narrowboats Gifford and Shad at Bunbury Lock on the Shropshire Union Canal.

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BOATS WANTE D Space a vailable

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Ref 1002 Black Velvet 2008 60ft Josher-style semi-trad. A very well-presented boat with a wealth of additional features. Fitout by Dursley & Hurst in light ash, completed to a high standard. Solid fuel stove + Webasto heater. 42 HP Vetus engine and high electrical specification. Many extras and ideal for extended cruising. £79,950

Ref 1007: Giocoso: 2004 58ft Cruiser stern. Ideal family boat with fixed double and two settees which can convert to small singles. £42,950 Ref 1004: Shroppie Lass. 1994 51ft Trad A cosy boat in a traditional style with a very comfortable feel. Many new or upgraded items £34,500 Ref 1009: Half Pint. A go-anywhere ‘bijou’ boat, just 22 feet long with inboard diesel. Ideal day-boat with occasional overnight accommodation. Call for more details. Ref 1010: Following the prompt sale of their boat here, Scenic Boatbuilders are starting another 58ft boat shortly. Contact us now for further details and an opportunity to have your own ideas incorporated in the layout. Sailaways to any level of completion also available.

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4 / IWA WATERWAYS / Autumn 2009

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TWENTY TWENTY VISION

T

he launch in May of British Waterways’ ‘Twenty Twenty’ plan – which basically advocates BW joining the voluntary sector and no longer being part of Government – was so radical that it took much of the waterway movement by surprise. Two months on, responses are still being formulated, including those of IWA. It is important to realise, however, that the discussions surrounding the proposals represent the best chance IWA has had in a generation and probably since its inception to play a major role in reshaping the future management of BW’s waterways – for the benefit of all users. In June 2007, British Waterways had asked financial consultants KPMG for expert advice on how best to get more long-term financial security for the waterways via a Status Options Review. Confirming the very significant funding challenges facing BW, KPMG’s report considered options for alternative institutional models that could provide scope for BW to leverage its property portfolio, with a view to increasing revenues. KPMG outlined a possible alternative institutional model, designed to give BW the opportunity to increase commercial freedoms whilst retaining the waterways’ assets in long-term public ownership. It was suggested that the most suitable model would be

either a Community Interest Company or a bespoke public interest company. After a special panel debate at its Annual Meeting last autumn, in May this year, as a first step, BW announced its intention to hold a national debate on its vision to move into the ‘third sector’ over the next ten years, by publishing a short introductory document called the ‘Twenty Twenty Vision’. There is an accompanying brochure and video presentation available on BW’s web site www.britishwaterways.co.uk/ twentytwenty. BW maintains that the short-term improvement in the condition of the waterways achieved to date is insufficient. The waterways still have great unfulfilled potential for delivering the diverse range of public benefits they are capable of generating. To unlock that potential BW claims that it requires a step change in both its resourcing and the extent to which that potential is, alongside the waterways’ intrinsic worth, better recognised and valued by society at large. That would be best achieved through “a strategy that has, as its ultimate goal, a change to the ownership structure of BW that broadens it beyond just central government and brings a true sense of belonging and responsibility for the canals and rivers to communities and individuals”.

TWENTY TWENTY

VISION A ONCE IN A GENERATION OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE THE FUTURE A detailed look at BW’s plans to move into the third sector – and IWA’s assessment of the proposals

IWA INTENDS TO BE ACTIVE, POSITIVE AND AT THE FOREFRONT OF ALL DISCUSSIONS SHAPING FUTURE POLICY 06 / IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009

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MPs Lembit Opik, Peter Ainsworth and Charlotte Atkins welcome the launch of British Waterway’s Twenty Twenty plan. With them is BW chairman Tony Hales.

The Twenty Twenty document summarises the most important elements of strategy as follows. BW wishes to adopt a three core strategy: 1. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY • Encouraging and facilitating more people to appreciate and enjoy their local built and natural heritage. • Managing the many and varied waterway habitats for the benefit of their associated flora and fauna. • Becoming increasingly expert in the management of water to minimise our consumption of this precious resource and maximise the benefits water can deliver through recreation, supply, alleviation of localised floods and droughts, and sustainable energy solutions. • Championing the built heritage of the waterways however big or small to ensure future generations can experience, as we can, the extraordinary feats of the past. 2. SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY • Strengthening BW’s involvement in partnerships at national, regional and local levels to help achieve major public policy initiatives for the delivery of social objectives. • Making a strong communications effort to explain the benefits of investing (both money and time) in the waterways to audiences far beyond those traditionally involved in them. • Encouraging active participation by supporters and stakeholders in the management of the waterways, which would lead to a greater sense of shared responsibility for their future wellbeing. 3. ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY • BW’s property endowment is important to its future success – BW will need to retain what it has and, where sensible, extend it.

Last autumn’s breach on the Stourbridge Canal cost some £650,000 to repair with funding having to come from BW’s existing budget.

• BW will also seek the power to borrow prudently against its estate to create long-term income streams for the waterways. It will need to continue to receive government funding as it moves towards the third sector and after. It believes that the rationale for the funding should be set out in a contract which would give the waterways added certainty and the Government clearly defined value for money. • As it moves towards third sector status it intends to engage better with stakeholders in local government organisations and with communities and individuals. Over time, this would provide it with access to potential new funds, support and synergy with local activities and agendas. • BW must always be more efficient.

IWA’S RESPONSE TO DATE IWA welcomes the innovative thinking that BW is giving to try to close the £30 million funding gap each year between the money it needs to maintain the network and the amount it receives from revenue and Government grant. IWA is keen to ensure that it is fully involved in the public debate which it expects BW to have and wants to be fully assured that BW’s reasoning for concluding that the third sector is the right option is fully explored and stress tested to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. The picture is bound to be complex. The proposals could, for instance, encourage a greater degree of independence and focus on the care and attention the waterways need, as well as greater accountability and more engagement with stakeholders. Nevertheless, IWA believes that the proposals need to be fully evaluated against other options, not least against the current public sector mode. IWA intends

to be active, positive and at the forefront of all discussions shaping future policy, aware of the fact that both Government and civil servants are intrinsically transient (Governments get thrown out, whilst civil servants’ careers involve quite frequent transfers from job to job) and as such cannot have regard for achieving long term stability for the waterway system. The tantalising opportunity presented by this Twenty Twenty document is that of placing BW in the hands of people who really care about the waterways, protected, of course, by a charter or statement of charitable aims. Many of the above strategic objectives could be met in principle by BW in its current state-owned form if the organisation and its sponsors in government had the desire to do so. But the truth is that Government has never shown such a desire, fundamentally because ever since BW’s inception there have been issues surrounding the provision of the right level of funding to properly repair and maintain the waterways. There are important topics on which IWA will be determined to engage in debate: • BW is underfunded now. How will taking it out of government sponsorship improve the situation? At present the Government cannot abrogate its responsibilities in relation to safety. If BW were to move into the third sector, this makes it more remote from government responsibility and accountability, and thus has no protection should a major issue arise in the future. The Government has always been perceived as ‘the place of last resort’ in the event of a serious breach or major engineering defects. However, when emergencies did arise, such as the recent breaches on the Stourbridge and Brecon & Abergavenny canals, IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009 / 07

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TWENTY TWENTY VISION

IS IT TIME FOR A NATIONAL WATERWAYS CONSERVANCY AS ADVOCATED BY ROBERT AICKMAN?

Hambleden Lock on the River Thames, which is under the management of the Environment Agency.

no additional funding was provided by Government and repairs had to be effected from existing budgets. In practice would Government simply require the sale of part of BW’s revenue earning property endowment to cover any major bills caused by breaches or similar? • Within the developing ‘Waterways for Tomorrow’ document, much play is being given to the benefits of the waterways in delivering benefits to public health, regional economic performance, climate change mitigation and social inclusion and cohesion. There is much debate now as to how these public benefits should be funded; many observers believe that this is the justification for more government aid, not a distancing, or lessening, of it. But it could be argued that BW, in its present model, is restricted in the ways it can raise additional finance – in the third sector there would be increased freedom to generate income in any number of additional ways.

bodies, for example in the field of social and health care. It would be necessary to carefully evaluate what model would be right for the new organisation and how it would safeguard the waterways in the long term. • The whole matter would need primary and secondary legislation to enable it to happen. Is there the time within Parliament to allow this to take place? Even if there were, it is likely that the timescale would be five years or more to achieve it. This, of itself, should not be regarded as a reason not to proceed, or not to participate actively in the debate. Such a fundamental and far-reaching change to the management of the waterways should be thoroughly assessed and discussed, and it is not unreasonable to regard Twenty Twenty as the starting point for debate, and to see the move into the third sector as a long term objective.

• BWs property portfolio is considerable and owned by the public, would the Treasury allow this to be transferred from state ownership? Clearly, this is a matter for negotiation and any such transfer would presumably be subject to strict conditions laid down by the Treasury. Government recently looked at selling British Waterways’ property endowment, how good a protector of waterway assets is a cash-strapped state in reality?

• How do we protect waterways users who pay for use through fees and charges, such as boaters and anglers, so that they do not become vulnerable to unreasonable and unwarranted increases? The answer to this is probably that IWA will continue, with others, to safeguard the interests of all waterway users, as it has done since 1946. The Association would almost certainly continue to have an important role to play under any new structure of management – after all, who else would ‘guard the guardians’ of the waterways?

• How will the contract from government work? There are many models in which Government already runs major contracts with third sector

What then is the ‘route map’ for implementing the proposal – and how are the next steps to be taken? It is likely that BW will produce another

document, possibly in the autumn, charting the way forward subject to agreement from interested parties. It is perhaps important to note that there is no mention in the strategy of how BW intends to operate or integrate with the other main navigation authorities – also government funded, including the Environment Agency and Broads Authority; although in the latter case, strictly speaking, licence revenues fund the Broads’ navigation budget, and its government funding is restricted to non-navigation duties. Whilst no-one would want integration to stand in the way of important change for British Waterways, IWA would be keen to ensure that any change of ownership to a third sector body would not prevent any other organisation integrating into the new body at some stage in the future. Crucially, should IWA at this critical juncture be considering what is right for all the main governmentsponsored waterway bodies, not just BW? Is it time for a National Waterways Conservancy as originally advocated by one of IWA’s founding members, Robert Aickman? There is a strong sense that the waterways have reached an important crossroads in term of future ownership and management. For its part, IWA is determined to embrace this opportunity for constructive change, by accepting BW’s invitation to influence the shape of any new organisation ultimately charged with responsibility for delivering the waterway network that the nation deserves. Negativity – so often driven by an understandable fear of change – should not be allowed to stand in the way of this objective. Or, as Franklin D. Roosevelt put it, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

08 / IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009

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NEWS

A busy scene at a previous Beale Park festival in 2006. in Tom’s honour in his centenary year. In making this return we hope that many members of IWA will join us in re-enacting part of the famous Cressy cruise which Tom Rolt undertook and which

EARLY DAY MOTION ON INLAND WATERWAYS IWA CONTINUES to lobby Parliamentarians on behalf of all waterway users, and is pleased to report that Charlotte Atkins, Labour MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, has lodged an Early Day Motion in support of the inland waterways. Early Day Motion 1795 states: “That this House congratulates the nine waterway organisations including the Inland Waterways Association, Royal Yachting Association and British Marine Federation that have joined together to promote inland waterways; notes that they recognise the importance waterways have for leisure, recreation, business and freight; further notes their call for a comprehensive overhaul of waterways legislation, for recognition across Government departments of inland waterways’ importance, for the restoration of derelict

waterways and for the construction of new waterways where there is a social, environmental or business case; and believes that the current review of Waterways for Tomorrow should identify clear key performance indicators and timescales for delivery and an appropriate funding strategy”. Please use the following link to find your MP and contact them to register your support for this Early Day Motion: www. writetothem.com. The following website allows you to review the Early Day Motion and check which MPs have signed up for it: http://edmi.parliament.uk/ EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID= 38995&SESSION=899. IWA asks that people write to their MP in support of this motion even if they have already signed it, so that your MP knows that you support their action and are grateful for their support.

he recounted in his book Narrow Boat, which did so much to capture post-war interest in the plight of the waterways”. “IWA is equally delighted to announce that to support the

festival the Environment Agency have kindly agreed to discount the two week or monthly Thames Licence by 33% for boaters making the journey to the festival”.

PONTCYSYLLTE HONOUR

Robin Smithett

IWA’S 2010 National Festival is to be held at Beale Park on the River Thames at Pangbourne, near Reading. The 2010 National Festival also coincides with the centenary of the birth of one of The Inland Waterways Association’s founders - Tom Rolt. L.T.C. Rolt met Robert Aickman and others at an historic meeting in August 1945, at Tardebigge Lock, on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. This meeting led to the formation of The Inland Waterways Association in the following year. To celebrate the centenary of Tom’s birth, The Inland Waterways Association will be holding its 2010 Festival in his honour. Speaking on behalf of IWA, the Festivals Chairman, Ian West, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Beale Park, which has proved to be such a successful venue in previous years, and we are pleased to be able to hold it

Waterway Images

FESTIVAL RETURNS TO BEALE PARK

IWA IS DELIGHTED that the World Heritage Committee has included Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and 11 miles of the Llangollen Canal from Chirk Bank to Horseshoe Falls, on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The bid for World Heritage Status was supported by Wrexham Council and British Waterways. IWA was involved closely in the nomination of the structure from the start of the process, making initial proposals for listing and later having a permanent presence on the bid steering group. It subsequently hosted boat trips for visiting dignitaries and the assessment panel inspector’s visit through the local Shrewsbury & North Wales branch.

10 / IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009

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autumn NEWS CHESHIRE LOCKS INITIATIVE

Waterway Images

IWA (STOKE-ON-TRENT BRANCH) and the Trent & Mersey Canal Society have launched a campaign to improve the operation of the Cheshire Locks, to reopen the currently closed duplicated locks and to improve the towpath and facilities for all users - walkers, anglers, cyclists and wheelchair users. The Cheshire flight of 26

Descending the Cheshire Locks at Wheelock.

locks was built in the 1770s and was duplicated in the 1830s to relieve congestion due to heavy commercial traffic. Last year, leisure boat traffic exceeded 6,000 passages, a record since its commercial heyday and early reports for 2009 suggest this record will be broken again. Currently, nine of the original 48 duplicated locks are closed or filled in. The ever-increasing popularity of the Four Counties and Cheshire Cruising Rings mean it has become important to investigate whether some or all of the closed locks should be reinstated. Lack of funding over several years has meant that the closed locks never get onto the winter maintenance programme. During a survey carried out jointly with British Waterways Unit Manager Julie Sharman on the upper part of the flight earlier in the year, it was established that nearly half the paddles were hard to operate. BW is working to

IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch branch secretary Alison Smedley, campaign organiser Roger Savage and vice chairman Ken Marek prepare to distribute the Cheshire Locks information leaflets. improve matters, and is supportive of the project. A leaflet has been produced to gain support for applications to funding bodies and demonstrate the demand for these improvements. Mike Palmer from Waterway Recovery Group visited the flight on 22nd June to assess what role volunteers might play in bringing these locks back into use. At the Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival, T&M Canal Society members

handed leaflets to every boater who passed through Big Lock, whilst IWA members distributed leaflets to all moored boats. Campaign organiser Roger Savage has written to all boat yards and hire firms on the Four Counties and Cheshire Rings seeking their support. Boaters and other users are encouraged to complete the questionnaire on the leaflet or on the website www.cheshirelocks.org.uk.

resources for adult learning as well. In the age of high speed internet games, many children are not inspired by a cruise down a waterway, however beautiful, at 4mph. However, get them to reenact a scene from 1879 when the murderer Charlie Peace jumped out of a train window right by the canal or teach them some physics by getting a six stone girl to open a two ton lock gate or pull a fifteen ton boat and their interest

and imagination can possibly be captured. Python will probably be used for canal work in the winter and as a learning resource in the summer. She will also be on hand for rallies and festivals, performances and events. It is hoped that by the time the five year lease is up, the people living on or near the Chesterfield Canal will insist that she stays, having become an essential part of their lives.

CHESTERFIELD LEARNING BOAT THE CHESTERFIELD Canal Trust is about to take out a five year lease on an historic ex-British Waterways workboat called Python. 53ft long, she was built in 1929 by Yarwoods in Northwich. She came into the hands of the British Transport Commission (which eventually became British Waterways) in 1949. She has been out of service for a year. Her sister boat, Panther, is owned by the Coventry Canal Society. In late May, Arthur Naylor of the Chesterfield Canal Trust and Tony Mann of the Coventry Canal Society collected Python from Adelaide Dock in London. They took her up the Grand Union to attend the Stoke Bruerne Festival and the Braunston Historic Boat Rally in partnership with Panther as they are 80 years old this year. She then went to Redhill Marina on the River Soar to be taken out of the water for a thorough examination and to have essential work done.

The official handover from British Waterways to the Chesterfield Canal Trust was planned to take place on 13th July at Redhill Marina. Thereafter she is to attend the IWA National Festival & Boat Show before being taken down the River Trent to the Chesterfield Canal and her permanent mooring near Shireoaks. The Learning Boat Project is a long-held vision of Dr. Geraint Coles, the Development Manager for the Chesterfield Canal Partnership. The plan is to use Python as a resource, not a trip boat. She will stop at village and town wharves along the length of the canal and will be used as a flexible, multi-purpose platform with workspace, exhibitions, artefacts, a stage, and lockers full of resources, costumes and props. Over the coming months, a whole series of modules in drama, history, science & technology, ecology etc. will be developed for children of different ages. Eventually there will be

IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009 / 11

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NEWS

THE 50TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of THE INLAND WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION Will be held at The Council Chamber, Milton Keynes Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3HQ At 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 26th September 2009.

AGENDA 1. To receive, and approve the minutes of the forty-ninth Annual General Meeting. 2. To receive, and approve the Report and Financial Statements for the Association for the year ended 31st December, 2008, and the Report of the Auditors thereon. 3. To re-appoint Saffery Champness as auditors of the Association, and to authorise trustees to fix their remuneration. 4. To consider, and pass a Special Resolution that: In accordance with Article 51 of the Articles of Association, the prescribed maximum number of trustees shall be eighteen. 5. To appoint Leslie Etheridge and Clive Henderson as elected trustees for a term of three years. 6. To hear the results of the ballots for the appointment of Region Chairmen 7. To consider, and pass an Ordinary Resolution confirming trustees’ recommendation that: From 1st January, 2010, the subscriptions shall be amended as follows: Ordinary Member (UK) £27.00 Family or Joint Adult Membership (UK) £34.00

Overseas Members (per single address outside UK) £59.00 Senior Citizen (UK) £19.00 Senior Citizen (UK) two members aged over 65 £21.50 Corporate – non-profit making bodies £47.00 Corporate – profit making bodies up to 20 employees £52.00 Corporate – profit making bodies more than 20 employees £104.00 Single Life Membership (UK) £540.00 Joint Life Membership (UK) £680.00 Overseas Life Membership (per single address outside UK) £1,180.00 One year’s free membership is offered to participants that attend a full week on WRG’s Canal Camps, for the first year following the attendance at a Camp. Monthly membership rates to be one twelfth of the annual rate, rounded up to the nearest ten pence. The qualifying age for senior citizen membership rose to 65 in 2007, but those currently qualifying from age 60 will continue to do so.

8. To hear an address by the national chairman, Clive Henderson, followed by questions. By Order of the Council Helen Elliott-Adams, Company Secretary Notes to the Agenda Directions to the Annual General Meeting: A map and full directions are available on the Association’s web site www.waterways.org.uk or from Head Office. Lunch Arrangements: Central Milton Keynes Town Centre has plenty of pubs and a number of eating places nearby. Minutes of the 2008 AGM Copies of the minutes of the 2008 Annual General Meeting are available on request from Head Office (Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA – Tel: 01494 783453 – e-mail: iwa@waterways.org.uk) and on the Association’s website at www.waterways.org.uk.

BALLOT FOR IWA REGION CHAIRMEN

COWBRIDGE LOCK REDESIGNED

AN ARTICLE in the May 2009 edition of Waterways sought nominations for regional chairmen under the new process for their appointment by ballot of each region’s membership. In the event there was no more than one nomination in any region, and two regions were without nominations. The nominations were as follows:

DURING THE winter of 2007-8 the Witham Fourth District Internal Drainage Board fitted wire mesh to the guillotine gate of Cowbridge Lock, on the Maud Foster Drain in Boston, as a result of a boat getting trapped under a gate beam as the gate descended. Unfortunately, the width of the beams effectively shortened the lock by 12 inches making it no longer navigable by full length narrowboats. Andy Carrott, the WFDIDB manager, suggested that if users could design an alternative he would consider fitting it. John Baylis and Dave Carnell of East Midlands IWA designed an alternative with diagonal steel plates fitted under the beams so that as the boat rose or the gate lowered, the boat was pushed forward rather than become trapped. On behalf of Waterway Recovery Group (East

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Eastern: Alastair Chambers (nominated by Nigel Long). East Midlands: John Pomfret (nominated by Bill Joyce). London : No nominations. North East: Peter Scott (nominated by Tony Martin, Ian Moore and Barry Robbins). ● North West: Alan Platt (nominated by Michael Limbrey). ● South East: Paul Roper (nominated by Robin Higgs). ● South West: No nominations. ● West Midlands: Vaughan Welch (nominated by Clive Henderson). There is therefore no need for any ballot this year. Those nominated are accordingly due to be confirmed as appointed at the National AGM on 26th September. Nominations for the two vacant posts will be sought in the November 2009 edition of Waterways.

Midlands), John Baylis offered to make the steel work. However, the Drainage Board wanted to do the work themselves and has now fitted new steel deflector plates to the cross beams on the gate. With usual water levels, the fenders of full length boats can now go between the beams until the tail gates are closed, and then move towards the tail gates. The work was carried out very effectively by the Drainage Board this spring and Lincolnshire IWA will be making a contribution towards the costs.

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Autumn NEWS OBE FOR JOHN FLETCHER FORMER IWA national chairman John Fletcher has received an OBE for services to the inland waterways. John Fletcher has provided outstanding service to The Inland Waterways Association, particularly over the period of his six years as national chairman until November 2009. He is also chairman of the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society, having taken on the role following the death of the former chairman, his late wife, in May 2006. The recent multi-million pound restoration of the Middlewood section of that canal, reopened to the public in September 2008, is very much due to the tenancy and long-hours of

lobbying for the necessary funding by both John and his late wife. However, his greatest contribution has been the advancement of the cause of the inland waterways through The Inland Waterways Association, particularly in securing and encouraging funding for navigation authorities, charitable organisations and others involved in the care of canals and river navigations. He has travelled the length and breadth of the country, to promote the inland waterways cause, always on a voluntary basis, and has been a great modernising chairman of the Association, helping to revitalise its campaigns and funding and

BROADS BILL PASSED

streamlining its organisational arrangements. His work is widely recognised and appreciated throughout the waterway network.

THE BROADS AUTHORITY BILL, which is intended to improve the management and safety of the Broads, cleared its final hurdle at Westminster on the 23rd June, and has now received Royal Assent. The first task for the new Speaker of the Commons was to ask the House to consider the Lords’ Amendments to the Bill. These were largely technical and noncontroversial and the Bill was allowed to proceed.

BIG DIG COMMEMORATION ON THE MONTY Frankton on the section linked to the main waterway network. During the Saturday afternoon a procession of boats will pass through Welshpool, including steam-powered and horse-drawn craft, carrying VIPs who will unveil a commemorative plaque at Welshpool Town Lock. There will also be a display of historic and promotional items about the Big Dig and the restoration scheme in Welshpool. All weekend SUCS will have a major work party continuing its ongoing channel reconstruction along the dry section south of Redwith Bridge to Crickheath Wharf, whilst further down the dry section at Waen Wen, towards Pant, WRG will have a major national work party clearing a further channel section of vegetation and obstructions.

Waterway Images

A MAJOR celebration on 17th18th October will commemorate the Big Dig weekend of 18th-19th October 1969 when nearly 300 volunteers cleared the section of the Montgomery Canal through Welshpool – the first mechanised work party and the most significant event at the start of the restoration scheme. The weekend will be coordinated by the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust and will involve the groups involved in the restoration project – Inland Waterways Association, Friends of the Montgomery Canal, Shropshire Union Canal Society and Waterway Recovery Group, with the cooperation of British Waterways. On the Saturday morning WRG and IWA will be replacing the commemorative stone at the Graham Palmer Lock – below Welsh

BOOST FOR WELSH CANOEISTS BRITISH WATERWAYS and the Environment Agency Wales have teamed up to install a network of easy access canoe points along the increasingly popular canals of Wales. The initiative is part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Splash Water Recreation Challenge Fund for Wales, a partnership involving Environment

Agency Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales, and Sports Council for Wales. The project aims to: invest in water related recreation activities; develop consistent high quality canoeing facilities across the canals of Wales; deliver wider access opportunities based on sustainable and responsible

criteria; deliver balanced and sustainable waterway use via dedicated facilities at strategic sites; encourage uptake of outdoor activities by promoting the benefits of canoeing; deliver equality in waterside access. The initiative is part of a vision to bring economic, environmental and social benefits

to communities across Wales. A total of 12 soft edged launch points have been created, allowing canoes easy access to the water without damage to hull or canal bank. On stretches used by groups such as outdoor activity centres, more durable hard edged launch slipways are being installed.

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NEWS

Hugh Potter

SUCCESSFUL TRAIL BOAT FESTIVAL AT MOIRA

A BRIGHT, colourful and busy weekend resulted from the inclusion of IWA’s National Trail Boat Festival within the annual Moira Festival, held on the isolated restored section of the

Ashby Canal. A dozen or so trail boats made a colourful display on the usually quiet canal and brought life to the waterway that normally sees only the local trip boat moving. Thousands

overfly by a Spitfire, Morris dancing in many varied forms, live music, falconry displays, and a good selection of stalls including a small number of canal-related organisations.

CAMPAIGN FESTIVAL AT KIVETON PARK

JOIN THE RESTORATION COMMITTEE

OVER 40 BOATS attended IWA’s National Campaign Festival held at Kiveton Park, the current head of navigation of the Chesterfield Canal. Most of these had arrived via the tidal River Trent from the main waterway system. Even moored two abreast, the boats stretched from close to the main rally site at Dog Kennel Bridge almost to the bricked up portal of Norwood Tunnel, taking advantage of the dredging and bank improvement work that had been specially carried out by British Waterways. The small land-based event on nearby hardstanding comprised stands from waterway societies (including the distant Wilts & Berks), catering stalls and displays of local metal and wood crafts. Displays showed the proposed route of the Chesterfield Canal along the as yet to be restored length between the head of navigation and Staveley.

WHETHER YOU are currently an active member of IWA at branch, region or national level or an armchair member who thinks ‘I really should be doing something more’, we would like to hear from you. We meet six times a year throughout England and Wales, and communicate largely through email in the interim. A couple of hours of your time each week is all we are likely to ask of you - but you can volunteer for much more! We are seeking new Committee members from around the country, especially those with the ability to find funding sources, manage and update technical information, collate and publish information either electronically or by more traditional means, website management skills, planning, engineering, heritage or ecology. At least one member from

Hugh Potter

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of local visitors turned out in the sunny weather to enjoy the excellent site adjacent to the restored Moira Furnace and to witness World War II battle re-enactments, complete with

the North West of England would be especially welcome, as would any members who are willing and able to attend occasional weekday meetings. Depending upon the number, those members expressing an interest are likely to be invited to the Committee’s 24th October meeting that is scheduled to be held along the route of the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal. If you are interested in being considered for this vital work please contact the chairman of Restoration Committee, Vaughan Welch, on 0121 477 9782 or write to him at 29 Dice Pleck, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 3XW. Whatever your background, if you can help us to be a representative of our membership we encourage you to apply.

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INL AND WATERWAYS FREIGHT PLEASE SEND ANY NEWS AND VIEWS ON INLAND WATERWAYS FREIGHT TO DAVID HILLING C/O IWA HEAD OFFICE

IWA’S VIVIAN BULKELEY-JOHNSON award is given every year to an individual or company that has made a significant contribution to the promotion of freight by water. At the Canalway Cavalcade festival in May, the award for 2008 was made to London-based Wood, Hall & Heward which, since 1997, has built up a fleet of over 40 craft engaged in engineering and construction site support and transport of waste, recyclables, aggregates and abnormal loads in the London region. In making the presentation, David Hilling also expressed IWA’s appreciation of the considerable support and help which the firm had given on numerous occasions to the Canalway Cavalcade.

A group of Wood, Hall & Heward craft at work on the Regent’s Canal.

WATER FREIGHT DATABASE THE INLAND WATERWAYS FREIGHT GROUP has always argued that a main impediment to greater use of water transport has been the lack of information that would assist transport users in making rational decisions on modal choice. Whereas road and rail transport had detailed, well-established databases, it was a fight to get government to produce even basic waterborne freight statistics. Created in 2003, government sponsored, industry-led, waterfreight promotion group Sea & Water set about rectifying the lack of a waterway ‘knowledge’ and commendably, now as Freight by Water, has just launched the first phase of its upgraded database. Free of charge, it is now possible to access (www. freightbywaterdatabase.org) data on barge and ship operators, ports,

terminals, and wharves, brokers, consultants, freight forwarders, legal advisors and cargo statistics. Maps cover all ports, waterways and connections with other transport modes, thus enabling customers to plot low carbon supply chains in an effective way. There are also links to relevant websites with further information from water freight providers. To assist in a continuing process of upgrading, everyone in the water freight distribution industry is asked to check the details in the database and provide Freight by Water with corrections, changes and additional material. Hopefully, all those involved in freight movement, especially firms looking for ‘green’ credentials, will check the possibility that water transport could be integrated into their supply chains.

A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME? THE IWFG was pleased to have been present at the 5th June official opening of Three Mills Lock and water control structure which, by way of the Prescott Channel, gives direct access to the construction projects now well underway at Olympic Park. For those who over so many years have been arguing the case for greater use of the waterways for freight movement this seemed a salutary reminder that all had not been lost. The selection for the Olympic Park of a site in East London surrounded by the Lee Navigation and Bow Back Rivers alerted the water freight lobby to the potential for waterborne freight and discussions centred on construction of a new lock where the Prescott Channel joins the tidal Bow Creek. The Olympic Delivery Authority, Transport for London, Thames gateway development Corporation, DfT and BW funded the £21 million project which locks out tidal waters and controls water levels in the Prescott Channel and Waterworks River. The existing Bow Lock is of 27 x 5.9 x 1.5 m and importantly the 62 x 8 x 3 m Three Mills Lock can accommodate two 350-tonnes barges and tug so enhancing the ability of waterborne freight to compete with other modes. Depending on the state of the tide, the access ‘window’ will be from four to six hours and the water depth above the lock will be 2.4 m and the overhead clearance 3 m. The official opening ceremony was marked by the passage of an Alan Bennett company tug and barge with one tier of nine 20 foot containers – a sight to gladden the heart of the water freight lobby and possibly quieten a few sceptics. Interestingly, the Bennett company was a former recipient of the IWA’s Vivian Bulkeley-Johnson award. It was good to see that the freight barge which ‘opened’ the new lock was followed through by a number of leisure craft with the support of the St Pancras Cruising Club and this served to emphasise the point that freight and leisure use of the waterways is rightly complementary rather than competitive. David Hilling

AWARD OF ‘SALT’

Bennett’s Barges’ Joyce was present at the official opening of Three Mills Lock in Prescott Channel, Bromley-by-Bow on 5th June, performed by Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt and British Waterways chairman Tony Hales.

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IWA FREIGHT NEWS

CHANGE OF DIRECTION FOR LICHFIELD & HATHERTON SINCE ITS FOUNDATION in 1988 the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust has worked hard to identify and safeguard the route of both canals. The intention has always been to restore as much of the original track as possible, despite the fact that the navigations were officially closed in the 1960s. The Trust commissioned a feasibility study from Arup which surveyed the Hatherton Canal and identified the most feasible route for its restoration. A similar report has just been completed by Atkins on the Lichfield Canal. A major difference between the two canals has always been that the Lichfield has survived with much of its route intact and will require relatively minor diversions while the Hatherton will require a considerable section of new route. The Hatherton Canal originally connected with the BCN via a flight of locks from Churchbridge to Hednesford which was irrevocably lost to opencast coal mining and then redevelopment. The Trust had intended to forge a new route south

of the A5 taking it to Grove Basins on the Cannock Extension Canal. The identification of this route in the Arup Report revealed unhappiness from a major landowner and emphasised the difficulty of increasing traffic on the Cannock Extension which is subject to heavy environmental restraints. The Trust commissioned Atkins to identify a new route which has now been done. Subject to agreement with landowners, the new route would take the Hatherton to the disused Lord Hay’s Branch which joins the Wyrley & Essington Canal close to Pelsall. This route, if constructed, would create a pleasant and viable waterway. At the Trust AGM held in Brownhills on 5th June members voted to amend the Memorandum & Articles of Association to take account of the newly proposed route. This represents a major but necessary change which should, in the long run, make restoration more viable and removes some major environmental obstacles.

SLOWING THE CYCLISTS

BRITISH WATERWAYS has unveiled a temporary piece of artwork on the Regent’s Canal towpath in Islington, as part of a series of measures to help keep cyclists and pedestrians on the move safely. The artwork, which features a ‘canyon’ painted on the towpath, with a narrow plank across it, forms part of the ‘Two Tings’ campaign that encourages cyclists to abide by a code of conduct to avoid any collisions or clashes along the canal. The artwork is one of several activities British Waterways organised as part of national bike week. Introducing the initiative, BW stated that cycling on the towpath

BCN ‘BACK OF THE MAP’ EXPLORED

SLOUGH CANAL FESTIVAL THE SLOUGH CANAL FESTIVAL will be held in Bloom Park, adjoining the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal, over the weekend of the 12th-13th September 2009. The event is organised through a partnership between Slough Borough Council and the IWA Middlesex Branch, with essential support from the Friends of Slough Canal. One aim of the local IWA branch is to get more boaters to navigate the Slough Arm and to this end the organisers are encouraging boaters to attend the festival and boat rally. If anyone wishes to attend, or can offer help as a steward, litter picker or to assist in running the information stand, please contact Robin Bishop at Middlesex@ waterways.org.uk or telephone 020 8452 2632.

seems to have become increasingly popular in Summer 2009, with more people than ever getting onto their bikes. With an increase in users, however, comes potential conflict. Pedestrians have priority on London’s towpaths and many feel vulnerable as a result of the number of cyclists sharing the space, some of whom are unaware of the towpath code of conduct and the considerate behaviour that it promotes. Others are aware of the rules, but refuse to observe them.The new artwork aims to shock speeding cyclists into slowing down and moderating their behaviour.

FRIENDS AND WELL WISHERS gathered recently in the tiny hamlet of Stanley Pontlarge to celebrate the 90th birthday of Sonia Rolt. During the celebrations, Commercial Boat Operators Association vice president Nick Hill presented Sonia with a working boat table cupboard door painted by Miles Tandy. Sonia is CBOA president.

SOME OF THE BCN’s forgotten waterways were back in use over the Late May Bank Holiday weekend as boaters took part in a 24-hour canal marathon. It had been seven years since the event last took place, but more than 40 crews made it to the finish line at Walsall Town Arm, exhausted after hours of exploring. The winner of the race is calculated by points which are awarded for the number of locks passed and the remoteness of the waterways that are encountered. Walsall’s Roy Kenn organised the event along with Graham Whorton, chairman of the Birmingham Canal Navigation Society.

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IWA WATERWAYS / Autumn 2009 / 17

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country craft Narrowboat holidays on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Gentle cruising through the spectacular Brecon Beacons National Park. Modern fleet of 2/6 berth narrowboats, competitvely priced. Pets welcome, short breaks available.

Tel: 01874 730850 Web: www.countrycraftnarrowboats.co.uk

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We offer lock free cruising on our well appointed 2-7 berth narrowboats. Boatyard services include: Diesel • Gas • Solid Fuel • Pump-out • Moorings For a free colour brochure

Tel/fax: 01772 769183 Website: www.arlen-hireboats.co.uk or call in and see us at Ashton Basin, Tulketh Brow, Preston, PR2 2SD

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IWA NATIONAL FESTIVAL PREVIEW

IWA NATIONAL FESTIVAL & BOAT SHOW Redhill Marina, River Soar, Leicestershire, Saturday 29th – Monday 31st August

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he 2009 ‘National’ is to be held at Redhill Marina on the River Soar, just outside Nottingham. Despite its proximity to the M1 motorway, it is a most attractive site – the cooling towers of Ratcliffeon-Soar Power Station providing a distinctive backdrop to the rural location. As ever, this event will be a great day out for all the family as well as promoting the inland waterways to a wider audience. It is hoped to focus attention on local restoration projects, including the Cromford Canal, Derby Canal, Grantham Canal and Melton Mowbray Navigation.

BOATS GALORE Over 240 boats - cruisers, narrowboats, trailboats etc - have already booked in. There is space for up to 270 – so there is still time for more to join the party. And the journey to the event will of itself be a rewarding experience, the rivers Soar and Trent being superb cruising waters. The Soar, in particular, passes through pretty riverside villages and an abundance of lovely countryside. The Festival moorings have been carefully designed to take account of fluctuations in the water

level, so heavy or prolonged rainfall is not to be feared. Among the visiting boats, it is especially pleasing to have the steam narrowboat President and butty Kildare attending at the end of their centenary cruise. Other historic boats will be joining them to provide a fine spectacle on the river.

ENTERTAINMENT & REFRESHMENTS Arena events this year will include the ‘Kangaroo’ gymnasts performing their ‘impossible feats’, falconry displays and the Phoenix Showband. On the Monday, there will be ‘Royal’ visitors when experienced parachutists drop in from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment’s parachute display team, the widely-acclaimed Tigers (this attraction is subject to appropriate weather conditions). Live music will be a feature, as always, with folk groups and samba bands. Furthermore, participation in the evening folk clubs will be encouraged and those staying for the weekend should bring their instruments with them so they can join in the ‘jam’ sessions. Other attractions include line dancing and Morris dancers, the

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Mikron Theatre Company, a festival circus and a dog show on the Sunday. Children will be well catered for with the circus skills workshops, clowns, and of course the Wild over Waterways (WOW) passport activities. Food outlets will include Southern Fried Chicken, a hog roast, baked potatoes, savoury crepes, Thai curries, bison and venison burgers, as well as lamb stew with roast potatoes. Real ale enthusiasts will find a good selection of tasty tipples in the Bar Marquee.

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TRADE STANDS As usual there will be hundreds of traders offering all kinds of wares – from foods, crafts & collectables, healthy living products and garden equipment, to clothes and jewellry. At the other end of the scale there will be plenty of brand new boats to inspect – from at least ten boatbuilders - and brokerage firms to dispense advice and expertise. There will be chandlery and deck equipment stands, engines and batteries, plumbing and heating products – everything, in fact, to go inside a narrowboat or cruiser. Waterway publications will be well represented too, including main sponsor Waterways World.

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SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS If living on a boat appeals to you, members of the Residential Boat Owners Association will be giving talks entitled ‘So you want to live on a boat’ throughout the weekend. They will have all the answers about obtaining your boat, finding a mooring, what to do about your post, doctor, dentist and all the other essentials you take for granted when living on land. The range of traditional craft workshops is even greater this year so if you fancy learning how to make your own fenders, doing some patchwork or even painting your very own Roses & Castles – why not sign up for a course. Well-known expert Tony Brooks will be giving free demonstrations on boat maintenance during the weekend – showing how to tackle some of those essential jobs which are often overlooked.

SHOW INFORMATION Opening Times: 10am-6pm (Monday 5pm) Ticket prices: Adults £8.50 (£7 in advance), over 60s/students £7 (£6 in advance), family: £14, under 16s free Ticket sales: www.iwashop.com General enquiries: 0844 800 6583 Exhibitor enquiries: 0844 800 6552

GETTING THERE Travelling to the Festival has never been easier. Coming by boat is obviously the best option – but if that’s not possible – there is free parking at the site which is just off the A453, a mile from Junction 24 of the M1. Alternatively, come and camp. There is a large campsite offering electrical hook-ups for the first time at a small extra charge. However – to make it really easy – you could travel by train. This is the first Festival site to have a station built especially for it. The futuristic, brand new, East Midlands Parkway Station is right next to the Redhill Marina site and five minutes’ walk from the Festival entrance. In addition, East Midlands Trains are providing a great travel offer: ‘Kids Go Free’ – so you can travel to the Parkway Station during the Festival weekend from anywhere on their lines and accompanying children go free. To access the promotion go to www. eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/kidsgofree.

WHY NOT VOLUNTEER? The National Festival & Boat Show is IWA’s biggest event of the year. It is hoped to attract many thousands of visitors so that the waterways can be promoted to a much wider audience. The Festival organisers always need more volunteers during the actual weekend – so if you have some time to spare please check on the website and make contact. Even if it is only a couple of hours during your visit – it will help someone else have a break and you might enjoy it and sign up for more next year! To download booking forms or volunteer forms visit www.waterways.org.uk and go to National Festival 2009.

NEXT YEAR Next year’s IWA National Festival will be returning to Beale Park near Reading on the River Thames – see full report on page 10.

1. The festival site at Redhill. 2. There will be lots of children’s activities on site. 3. And no shortage of places to eat. 4. The entrance to the Derby Canal at Swarkestone. 5. Bring your musical instrument and join in the ‘jam’ sessions. 6. There will be new boats to buy on land. 7. And on water.

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WATERWAY HERITAGE

Our Waterway Heritage Looking for a special day out this autumn? Then why not visit one of Britain’s waterway museums – there’s plenty to choose from. KEITH GOSS suggests six of the best NATIONAL WATERWAYS MUSEUM – ELLESMERE PORT

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here’s not just one National Waterways Museum but three. All administered by The Waterways Trust, they are located at Ellesmere Port, Stoke Bruerne and Gloucester. Many regard Ellesmere Port (formerly known as the Boat Museum) as the pick of the bunch. It is situated in a 200 year old dock complex on the south bank of the River Mersey, where the Shropshire Union Canal joins the Manchester Ship Canal. The museum recently underwent a £2m makeover – with funding provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, North West Regional Development Agency, the European Regional Development Fund, Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council and Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (WREN) – and today the historic port buildings play host to a series of new exhibitions featuring computer based exhibits and interactive displays. The fundamentally open air museum aims to bring to life the elements essential to a successful canal port in

the 19th century. In the Pump House visitors can inspect the steam driven engines which supplied power for the hydraulic cranes and capstans around the dock area, whilst the Power Hall houses a range of engines that supplied the power for a variety of boats and other canal related activities. Ellesmere Port’s iconic Island Warehouse, designed by Telford and built in 1871, is the setting for the ‘How to build a Boat’ exhibition, which details the construction of boats from the Iron Age through the 1800s and up to the present day. Meanwhile, the upper floor of the warehouse features interactive displays telling the story of those who lived and worked on the canals during their commercial heyday. The blacksmith’s forge was where the canal company’s ironwork was made. Today the forge is used by the museum’s resident blacksmith and examples of his work may be purchased by visitors. Canal crafts such as fender making, leather working, painting and rope making are frequently demonstrated around the museum site and Porters Row gives

visitors a glimpse of how dock workers used to live from the 1840s to the 1950s. But the Ellesmere Port museum’s raisson d’etre is possibly its varied historic boat collection which includes a wooden motor cruiser, unpowered steel dumb barge, ferro concrete barge, steel motor tug, steam dredger and numerous historic narrowboats. Many of the craft are moored in the museum’s lower basin and visitors can step aboard to get a taste of what life was like for those living and working on the waterways. Its seven-acre site makes the Ellesmere Port museum an ideal place to stroll around, relax and absorb the unique atmosphere of a 19th century canal port. Boat trips are on offer too, aboard the museum’s own narrowboat Centaur.

ABOVE: A gathering of traditional narrowboats at Ellesmere Port’s top basin in April.

BELOW: At the Pump House visitors can inspect a range of steam driven engines.

FACT FILE Where: Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 4FW When: Open April-October 10am-5pm daily; November-March Saturdays & Sundays 11am-4pm. How much: Adults £5.50, children £3.60 More info: Tel: 0151 355 5017; www.nwm.org.uk

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NATIONAL WATERWAYS MUSEUM – STOKE BRUERNE Canalside villages don’t come much more beautiful than Stoke Bruerne – the delightful location for National Waterways Museum No 2. Formerly known as the Canal Museum, it is housed in a restored corn mill beside the Grand Union Canal in rural Northamptonshire. The Stoke Bruerne museum depicts over 200 years of canal heritage through working models, videos and three dimensional displays telling the full story of the development of the inland waterway network. Marvel at the outstanding feats of engineering which created the waterway system, and discover the shining brass and colourful decoration which served to brighten the otherwise harsh lives of the boatpeople of the 19th century. The museum shop is renowned for stocking top quality souvenirs, painted canalware and a varied selection of waterway gifts, guides and maps. Furthermore, it has one of the most comprehensive range of canal books to be found anywhere in the country. But it is the museum’s wonderful setting that makes it such a fine choice for a day out. Stoke Bruerne is a classic example of a traditional canal village, the waterway in effect forming the main street through the settlement. Pretty cottages – many built from the honey coloured local stone – face each other across the water. There are two nice pubs, a restaurant and tearoom, and boat trips up to Blisworth Tunnel. You can enjoy excellent walks by the canal, too – either up to the southern portal of Blisworth Tunnel or down the Stoke Bruerne flight of seven locks.

FACT FILE

Robin Smithett

Where: Bridge Road, Stoke Bruerne, Towcester, Northants NN12 7SB When: Open April-October 10am-5pm daily; November-March WednesdayFriday 11am-3pm, Saturdays & Sundays 11am-4pm How Much: Adults £4.75, Children £2.75 More info: Tel: 01604 862229; www.nwm.org.uk

Stoke Bruerne’s delightful waterfront always bustles with activity.

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WATERWAY HERITAGE

HELP SAVE SOME OF BRITAIN’S MOST HISTORIC BOATS NATIONAL WATERWAYS MUSEUM – GLOUCESTER Although some might argue that the National Waterways Museum at Gloucester has seen better days, it still has lots to offer both the serious canal enthusiast and casual visitor. Housed in the Victorian Llanthony Warehouse in the heart of Gloucester’s atmospheric docks, the museum charts the history of our nation’s inland waterways and the evolution of the city’s docks. Following refurbishment last year, vibrant graphics and stimulating displays specially designed to appeal to children help to bring the fascinating story of our waterways to life. A new exhibition, Water Lives tells the story of those who have lived, travelled and worked on Britain’s changing waterways. The new Ecology Gallery is devoted to the wildlife and ecology that can be found along our canals and rivers. This area unveils a whole world of wildlife that lives on and in our inland waterways, whilst ‘Move It’ is a totally redesigned interactive space that explains how the canals were built and operated and how the engineering pioneers of their day overcame the technological difficulties to create a national transport network on water. There are additional attractions at Gloucester Docks – not least the newly opened Gloucester Quays outlet centre and the renowned Antiques Centre housed in a former warehouse beside the entrance lock. There are boat trips too, departing from outside the museum and exploring a section of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.

FACT FILE Where: Llanthony Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester GL1 2EH When: Open Wednesday-Sunday 11am-4pm (daily during school holidays) How much: Adults £3.95, children £2.75 More info: Tel: 01452 318200; www.nwm.org.uk

The National Waterways Museum has joined forces with NarrowBoat magazine publishers Waterways World to launch a new Supporters’ Scheme. The scheme will allow members to contribute a regular annual gift to help the National Waterways Museum to buy the essential materials needed to continue its vitally important restoration work on the national collection of historic boats. As part of the Supporters’ Scheme you will gain free entry to each of the three National Waterways Museums at Ellesmere Port, Gloucester Docks and Stoke Bruerne for a whole year and be kept up to date on the boat restoration projects your donation is helping to make possible with twice yearly updates by post. All supporters will also receive a subscription to the quarterly NarrowBoat magazine – the ideal read for anyone interested in the history and heritage of Britain’s fascinating inland waterways. Including articles on famous fleets, preservation, waterways art, genealogy and much more, NarrowBoat brings the past of the inland waterways alive with glorious images and fascinating tales of times gone by. Supporters will also be entitled to a 10% discount in all National Waterways Museum shops and cafés, as well as on all books published by Waterways World Ltd. The National Waterways Museum care for a nationally important collection of 80 historic boats. From a 1,000-year old log boat to a concrete barge and from a coracle to a grab dredger, the collection illustrates the many different types of vessels which have carried cargoes and people on our canals and rivers over the centuries. At Ellesmere Port, a dedicated team of museum staff and volunteers is working together to improve the condition of these historic boats. Over the past few months, great progress has been made. Bantam has been returned to running condition, Bacup has had a new floor and Merak, Scorpio and Gwendoline have been refloated. To continue this important work, the team need your help. This year the National Waterways Museum plan to employ a second skilled member of staff to help train more volunteers to do more work, and also require money for materials: wood, paint, canvas and engine parts. Over the next few years, the Supporters’ Scheme members’ regular donations will help the National Waterways Museum to re-establish a fully working boatyard at Ellesmere Port to allow them to restore and maintain our historic boats, as well as putting more boats back on display at the museum and out on the waterway network. These donations will also go towards helping NWM to train others, in particular young people, in traditional boat building and repair skills. Join the National Waterways Museum Supporters’ Scheme and be a part of an exciting new initiative to save Britain’s historic inland waterways fleet. Your regular gift of £39* will help save some of the nation’s most remarkable boats. With your help, more boats can be rescued and returned to their former glory to tell the story of Britain’s canals and rivers. *From your annual payment of £39, at least £20 will be passed on to the museum to help restore the historic boats.

HOW TO JOIN Call 01283 742970 or visit: www.nwm.org.uk/supporters

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Goole is perhaps an unlikely setting for what is undoubtedly one of Britain’s finest waterway museums. Opened in 1995 and extended in 2001, the museum was the winner of the prestigious Yorkshire Tourist Board White Rose Award in 2007 as the best visitor attraction of the year. The museum occupies an attractive site between two waterways, the River Don (or Dutch River) that flows into the Yorkshire Ouse and the Aire & Calder Navigation which provides canal access to Goole Docks from the south and west. More than 7,000 documents, photographs and artefacts tell the story of the Port of Goole, the transportation of coal, the lives of barge families and boatbuilding techniques down the ages. The museum celebrates the social and economic history of the port and its associated compartment boats and hoists, and details present day links with Yorkshire’s river and canal network, as well as with the Humber and Continental Europe. As well as being an archive resource and visitor attraction, the museum also exists to offer friendship, dignity and training to disadvantaged people to help them gain the skills and confidence to be economically and socially active. The boat collection is extensive and represents the highlight of any visit to the Yorkshire Waterways Museum. The largest exhibit is the Wheldale, which was used for towing’ the trains of Tom Puddings that transported coal from the Yorkshire coalfields along the Aire & Calder Navigation to the docks at Goole. A number of Tom Puddings remain at the museum. Wheldale has an active group of volunteers who restored the tug to her original condition and colours and who operate demonstration trips at regular intervals throughout the year. Another well known vessel is the Sobriety, a Humber keel built at Beverley in 1910. Converted to provide accommodation for 12 passengers and wheelchair accessible , Sobriety is used for trips by schools, youth groups and corporate bodies. Other craft at the museum include: Room 58, a former grain barge converted into a floating art gallery and conference venue; Telethon Louise, a converted lifeboat with wheelchair lift which operates the tours of Goole Docks; Opportunity, a narrowboat primarily used as a training vessel for volunteers; and Waterstart, a state-of-the-art broad beam boat which serves as another training vessel and is also equipped with multi-media facilities.

FACT FILE Where: Dutch River Side, Goole, East Yorkshire DN14 5TB When: Open daily; Monday-Friday 9am-4pm, Saturday & Sundays 10am-4pm How much: Casual visitors may enter free of charge (dock trips cost £4 adults, £3 children) More info: Tel: 01405 768730; www.waterwaysmuseum.org.uk

Yorkshire Waterways Museum’s Humber keel Sobriety.

P.J.G. Ransom

YORKSHIRE WATERWAYS MUSEUM

The Canal Centre at Linlithgow.

LINLITHGOW CANAL MUSEUM Small it may be, but the Linlithgow Canal Museum nevertheless warrants inclusion in this feature if only for the fact that it is Scotland’s only inland waterway museum. Opened in 1977, it is part of the Canal Centre at Manse Road Basin at Linlithgow on the Union Canal – formerly known as the Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal. Supported by an audio-visual presentation, old photographs and documents tell the story of the origin, early days, demise and subsequent renaissance of the Union Canal. Boat models, original tools and equipment, and objects from the carrying days of the canal are on display. The natural history of the waterway is also depicted through a series of temporary exhibitions. The Canal Centre, administered by the Linlithgow Union Canal Society, is an excellent place to while away the hours, especially when the weather is fine. The Society operates boat trips along the Union Canal every weekend from Easter to early October, whilst the tearoom is especially nice, featuring home-baked bread and pastries. Just down the road from the basin is the famous Star & Garter Hotel, where stage coaches used to stop on the journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow and which was subsequently used by canal passengers.

The tug Wheldale on a tour of Goole Docks.

FACT FILE Where: The Basin, Manse Road, Linlithgow EH49 6AJ When: Open weekend afternoons (2-5pm), Easter to end of September; daily (2-5pm) July and August How much: Admission is free More info: Tel: 01506 671215; www.lucs.org.uk

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WATERWAY HERITAGE

BEST OF THE REST

LONDON CANAL MUSEUM London’s only museum of inland waterways is located beside the Regent’s Canal at King’s Cross. It is housed in a former ice warehouse built in the early 1860s for Carlo Gratti, the famous ice cream maker. In addition to its canal-related material, the museum also relates the history of the ice trade and ice cream production – the latter topic being of special interest to younger visitors. The history of London’s canals is related through a series of maps and exhibits, telling of the cargoes carried, the characters who lived and worked on the waterways, and the horses that pulled their boats. You can see inside a narrowboat cabin and peer down into a huge Victorian ice well used to store ice imported from Norway and transported by ship and then canal boat before being stored in the ice warehouse at King’s Cross. In 1994 the museum acquired No IV of the Bantam Class of tugs built in the late 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s by E. C. Jones & Sons of Brentford. Bantam tugs are unusual in that they are designed to push, not to tow. Bantam IV spent much of its working life in gravel pits before being bought and restored for use as a working tug on the Kennet & Avon Canal. It is now preserved as a floating exhibit moored outside the museum where visitors can inspect the craft’s impressive Lister JP2 diesel engine. The museum also operates popular boat trips through Islington Tunnel on selected dates through the summer months. The trips, normally aboard the converted historic narrowboat Tarporley, last for just under an hour and feature an informed commentary about the capital’s canals and – more specifically – about the practice of ‘legging’ through tunnels.

Opened in 1989, the FOXTON CANAL MUSEUM in Leicestershire occupies the Boiler House of the Foxton Inclined Plane Lift. Models, interactive displays and a wide range of waterway artefacts tell the story of the Lift, Foxton Locks, the local canals and the people who worked on them. The ‘play boat’ Foxglove makes this a popular museum with children. (Tel: 0116 279 2657; www.fipt.org.uk). Whilst not solely a waterway museum, the BLACK COUNTRY LIVING MUSEUM at Dudley in the West Midlands normally has an excellent collection of vintage craft on show at its boat dock. There are plenty more attractions at the museum, where a thriving period community has been created and visitors can discover shops, houses and workplaces inhabited by costumed guides. Buildings and artefacts have been reclaimed from their original locations and moved brick by brick to their new home at the museum. (Tel: 0121 557 9643; www.bclm.co.uk). The KENNET & AVON CANAL MUSEUM at Devizes traces the history of the K&A Canal, from concept and construction, through its working days and eventual decline to restoration and full reopening in 1990. Highlights include an animation showing the workings of a lock and ‘steaming’ videos reflecting the power of Claverton and Crofton pumping stations. (Tel: 01380 721279; www.katrust.org.uk). In a quite delightful setting at Stalham Staithe on the Norfolk Broads, you’ll find the splendid MUSEUM OF THE BROADS. Here visitors can learn about the boats of the Broads dating back two centuries and hear the stories of the characters who made their living engaged in traditional Broadland crafts. There are lots of activities to amuse children, including a ‘playboat’, painting instruction, a range of quizzes, a picnic area and trips on the river. (Tel: 01692 581681; www.northnorfolk.org/ museumofthebroads). There are many more small museums to be found all around the country, from Basingstoke in the south to Shardlow in the North Midlands and only the constraint of space precludes their inclusion in this feature. A full list of waterway museums is published in the Waterways World Annual 2009.

FACT FILE Where: 12-13 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RT When: Open Tuesday-Sunday (plus Bank Holiday Mondays) 10am-4.30pm How much: Adults £3, children £1.50 More info: Tel: 020 7713 0836; www.canalmuseum.org.uk

Foxton Canal Museum. The Kennet & Avon Canal Museum at Devizes.

London Canal Museum’s tug Bantam IV.

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Discover The Beauty Of Wales with Castle Narrowboats Cruise the Monmouth and Brecon Canal, through the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Visit our website for up to date availability www.castlenarrowboats.co.uk Or call 01873 830001 for a brochure Castle Narrowboats, Church Road Wharf, Gilwern, Monmouthshire NP7 0EP

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The new 200 watt, 12 volt “fold and pack” solar panel system will be launched at this years IWA SHOW at the end of August and will be detailed more in next months “Tow Path Talk” along with an opening special price offer! Don’t miss it!! Make sure you get your copy!! We also have solar charge controllers to suit any number of panels. These are designed and built in our own workshop and the basic MR20/12/2 is £35.00 and suitable for 1 or 2 100 watt panels. We can also supply connectors and cable to run from the panels to the controller.

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WORCESTER & TARDEBIGGE DRY-DOCKS FACILITIES SERVICES BOTH COVERED • Pressure wash • Scrub Wiremop & Black • Shot Blasting & Epoxy-Pitch coatings • Anodes fitted • Stern tubes & Shafts replaced • Engine servicing Over-plating STOKE PRIOR WORKS SLIPWAY PAINT BUBBLE ALL COVERED The same services as the dry-docks PLUS RE-BOTTOMING AND EXTENSIONS We also undertake complete re-paints and re-fits THE LITTLE SHOP OF CHANDLERY We also have this “Little Shop” full to the brim with all manner of Chandlery • Fender • Ropes • Paint • Oil & grease • Most service items for canal boat engines • COAL • GAS • Diesel

J.L PINDER & SON Est 1953 Phone 01527 876438 Fax 01527 576435 www.jlpinderandsons.co.uk sales@jlpinderandsons.co.uk

Saul Junction Marina

CHANDLERY We offer a wide and ever expanding range of products with a fitting service available

Unique and attractive location At the junction of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and The Stroudwater Canal Wide variety of cruising available High quality facilities block. Minutes from M5 (J.13) Competitive rates held for 2009 To reserve a mooring or make enquiries call the marina Tel – 01452 740043 Email – saul-marina@btconnect.com www.saulmarina.co.uk

BOATYARD SERVICES For surveying, blacking, painting and repairs. Mechanical and electrical work to the highest standard.

DAYBOAT HIRE Enjoy a trip on the picturesque Oxford canal for groups of up to 12.

HIRE FLEET Our well known 21 boat hire fleet is independently inspected by Visit Britain. Boats are available for short breaks, weekly hire – or longer!

Rose Narrowboats Ltd Fosse Way Stretton-under-Fosse Nr Rugby, Warwickshire CV23 0PU 01788 832449

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WILTS & BERKS

We take a detailed look at the prospects for a waterway that runs through superb countryside and ancient market towns

AGAINST ALL ODDS –

Restoring the Wilts & Berks Canal

T

he Royal opening of Double Bridge at Naish Hill, Lacock on 26th May brought a welcome surge of publicity to the Wilts & Berks Canal restoration project. The simple opening ceremony of the bridge – restored thanks to the efforts of work parties from the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust - was performed by the Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, and focussed the attention of waterway enthusiasts on this, the most challenging of canal restoration schemes. No-one would argue that there are numerous obstacles to be overcome before boats can once again turn off the Kennet & Avon Canal at Semington and make their way to Abingdon on the River Thames or, via the North Wilts Branch, to the Thames & Severn Canal. The problems to be surmounted are widely documented: much of the original line of the canal has been lost to development in Swindon, Melksham, Cricklade and Abingdon; the overall cost of the restoration project is estimated to be in excess of £250m, with funding sources not yet wholly identified; a crossing of the M4 has to be constructed; and much of the line of the canal is in the hands of various

private landowners, who have varying degrees of sympathy to the concept of canal restoration. But however great the difficulties, the prize of a fully restored Wilts & Berks Canal is even greater. For this waterway traverses a delightful landscape of gently rolling hills in central southern England and the completion of the project would create a wonderful 150 mile waterway circuit comprising the Wilts & Berks Canal, Kennet & Avon and River Thames – a dream come true for boaters, walkers, cyclists, anglers and naturalists. And restoration of the North Wilts Branch would mean that a further, smaller ring would be added to the waterway network, this one comprising the Thames & Severn Canal, Wilts & Berks (Main Line and North Wilts Branch) and the River Thames. There are additional benefits of restoration too. A fully restored canal would be a priceless recreational asset for the people of Swindon, Melksham and Cricklade and there would be large scale economic benefits to communities along the entire length of the canal. Furthermore, opportunities would doubtless arise to use the waterway for local flood control schemes.

THE CANAL PARTNERSHIP The responsibility for achieving full restoration lies with the Wilts & Berks Canal Partnership, comprising the W&B Canal Trust, Wiltshire Council, IWA, Swindon Borough Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, the Environment Agency, the Kennet & Avon and Cotswold canal trusts, various local councils along the route of the canal, commercial companies, and British Waterways. BW’s 2005 strategy document Waterways 2025 supported full restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal, linking it to the Cotswold Canals project and identifying a target completion date of 2025. The Partnership, led by Wiltshire Council, has recently appointed Ken Oliver as Canal Officer; he had spent the last three years working on the project as Chief Executive of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust. The Partnership has set out a number of priorities in its long term restoration plan. Foremost amongst these is linking the canal to the national waterway network by creating a wide-beamed route from the K&A at Semington to Melksham, which would attract visiting boats and thus bring in licensing and mooring

A delightful Wilts & Berks scene at Foxham, near Lyneham.

The Duchess of Cornwall observing young canoeists following the opening of Double Bridge at Naish Hill.

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IWA members and WRG volunteers attending the opening of Jubilee Junction, linking the canal with the Thames at Abingdon, in August 2006.

Justin Guy, WBCT

Narrowboats using the new cut, which was largely financed with a grant from IWA.

income. Next would come the provision of a link from Swindon to the Thames, by way of the North Wilts Branch and a restored section of the Thames & Severn Canal from Cricklade to Lechlade. The Melksham to Swindon section would be the next challenge, with the more problematical length between Swindon and Abingdon being tackled later. Running alongside these projects would be the opening of further accessible towpath lengths, such as from Shrivenham to Swindon and from the A4 crossing to Pewsham. In addition, attention would be given to creating ‘stand alone’ sections, i.e. from Mouldon Hill, Swindon to

Waterway Images

Construction of the Wilts & Berks Canal took 15 years to complete, the official opening ceremony taking place on 14th September 1810. The canal ran from Semington Junction on the Kennet & Avon Canal to Abingdon on the River Thames, a distance of 52 miles with 41 locks. The North Wilts Branch linked the Main Line of the W&B at Swindon with the Thames & Severn Canal at Latton and was opened on 2nd April 1819. It ran for nine miles and had twelve locks, as well two aqueducts and a short tunnel at Cricklade. There were also short branches at Calne (two locks and one tunnel), Chippenham (one tunnel), Longcot and Wantage. Primarily built for the carriage of coal from the Somerset coalfields to London, the waterway also served to bring coal to the market towns of Melksham, Calne, Chippenham, Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Wantage and Abingdon. It also offered transportation of local goods such as agricultural products, bricks, building stone etc to markets in London and the south east. Unfortunately, the Wilts & Berks Canal was never a great commercial success, not least because the Somerset coalfield was very rapidly worked out. Furthermore, the rural nature through which it passed offered little in the way of additional cargoes to boost income. In the final analysis the waterway, built to narrow beam dimensions, was unable to compete with the wide beam Kennet & Avon Canal, which offered a shorter, swifter and more cost-effective route to the important London markets. Traffic had all but ceased by 1900 and official abandonment followed in 1914, with the land on which the canal had been built being returned or sold to adjoining landowners. There followed a lengthy period of degeneration and decay, with much infilling and post-abandonment development in urban areas such as Swindon, Melksham Cricklade and Abingdon. But with the formation in the late 1970s of the Wilts & Berks Canal Amenity Group (later to become the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust), hope emerged that this scenic waterway would one day come back to life again.

Waterway Images

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE WILTS & BERKS

Cricklade and from Swindon town centre to Wootton Bassett. At all times the Partnership is aware of the need to raise public awareness of the canal, which is best achieved by linking up and expanding the reopened sections; the same principle will be applied to opening up further lengths of towpath for walkers and cyclists. One of the Partnership’s medium term aims is to establish a trip boat operation on one of the rewatered sections, to enable more people to enjoy the waterway and to provide clear evidence of the benefits a fully restored canal would bring to the local community. IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009 / 31

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WILTS & BERKS A programme of eight projects is currently underway along the length of the canal, with regular work parties organised by both Waterway Recovery Group and the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust. The projects are: Pewsham Locks where three chambers are being restored and dredging and reprofiling the canal bed is underway, as far as the recently reopened Double Bridge at Naish Hill, Lacock. Chaddington Lane, Wootton Bassett where Chaddington Lock and a spill weir have been rebuilt, thanks to the efforts of WRG and W&BCT work parties. Dredging and reprofiling of the canal bed needs to be carried out prior to rewatering of this section. Seven Locks, near Lyneham, where the chambers of Locks 3 and 4 have been completed. The next phase of the project will see dredging of the pounds, landscaping of lock surrounds and upgrading of the towpath, and redesigning Lock 2 which originally carried a lane across the middle of the lock on a lift bridge.

Steppingstones Lane, Bourton, near Shrivenham. Here a brick arched bridge carrying a bridleway over the canal is being rebuilt, the work carried out to a very high standard during a series of WRG work parties. The bridge is close to completion. Childrey Wharf, where drainage works are being undertaken adjacent to the canal – successful completion of these and the provision of a new spill weir will enable a section of the canal to be rewatered. River Ray Valley, Moredon, on the outskirts of Swindon. This project on the North Wilts Branch, undertaken as part of the BBC/Big Lottery Fund Breathing Places scheme, is clearing the towpath along an infilled section to allow public access. It is now virtually complete. Hayes Knoll Lock, at Cricklade on the North Wilts Branch, is being rebuilt with completion expected later next year. Latton Basin. Although there are plans for a new junction with the Thames & Severn Canal at Eisey, this important heritage site is nevertheless to be restored. Work on the project commenced last year in collaboration with the Cotswold Canal Trust.

WHAT’S IN A NAME Just as the Staffs & Worcester Canal doesn’t go to Worcester (although it does pass through Worcestershire), so the Wilts & Berks Canal doesn’t enter the county of Berkshire. It did once, of course, but the local government reorganisation of 1974 handed great swathes of Berkshire to Oxfordshire, including Abingdon and the entire Berks section of the canal. Despite the substantial support being offered to the restoration project by Oxfordshire County Council, there are no plans to rename the waterway the ‘Wilts & Oxon Canal’. And why the Wilts & Berks Canal anyway? Why not the Wiltshire & Berkshire Canal? Because, so the story goes, a lazy draughtsman could not be bothered to write the county names in full! That’s one way to make your mark on history.

Dredging works underway at Chaddington Lane near Wootton Bassett.

WBCT

THE CURRENT PROJECTS

Steppingstones Lane Bridge near Shrivenham – rebuilt by WRG work parties. The new spillway at Chaddington Lane – rebuilt by WRG and W&BCT work parties.

Anglers enjoying a rewatered section of the canal close to the restored bridge at Westleazes near Swindon.

One of two lock chambers rebuilt at Seven Locks, near Lyneham.

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VISITING THE WILTS & BERKS CANAL

Elegantly restored lift bridge at Foxham, set amidst delightful Wiltshire countryside.

FUTURE PROSPECTS So what are the prospects, then, of the Wilts & Berks Canal being fully restored by the target date of 2025? Predicting the future for restoration projects is an invidious task, not least in these uncertain economic and political times. The depth of the current recession may yet have an adverse impact – although there is no sign of this at the present time - as could a change of Government next year. But in the end the completion of the scheme on target may depend on the successful outcome of the neighbouring Cotswold Canals project, which would certainly give a boost to the W&B; the momentum of a fully restored Thames & Severn Canal could then be carried forward into providing a link down to Swindon via the North Wilts Branch.

Certainly there is no shortage of support from IWA and Waterway Recovery Group, as well as confidence and enthusiasm within the ranks of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, a thriving body with in excess of 2,000 members. If you would like to join them, or simply learn more about this restoration project, call in at either of their offices in Swindon or Wootton Bassett, telephone 0845 226 8567 or visit www.wilts-berks-canal.org.uk. For details of the regular work parties on the canal contact Work Parties Director Rachael Banyard on 01249 892289. WRG also runs work parties on the Wilts & Berks Canal on a regular basis – for full details of their activities telephone 0845 450 1146 or visit www.wrg.org.uk.

It is important to remember that much of the line of the canal remains in private ownership and trespassing on such land can adversely affect the Partnership’s important negotiations with landowners. Nevertheless, there are plenty of places where you can enjoy access to the waterway, including all the restoration sites mentioned in this article. Towpath walks are available at Abingdon, Grove, Challow, Shrivenham, Swindon (two), Wootton Bassett, Pewsham and Calne. Restored and rewatered sections exist at Jubilee Junction (near Abingdon), East Challow/ Grove, Shrivenham Station Road Pocket Park, Swindon Kingshill Rushey Platt, Swindon Mouldon Hill, Wootton Bassett Templars Firs, Dauntsey and Naish Hill. But one of the finest places to enjoy the Wilts & Berks Canal is possibly Foxham, near Lyneham. Simply park close to the Foxham Inn and then proceed on foot down a narrow lane that leads off the main road to the left. You soon come to a quite delightful scene ‘starring’ the restored Foxham Top Lock and Lift Bridge, with a small cruiser moored to the bank just along the rewatered canal – all set against the picturesque rolling Wiltshire downlands that are such a recurring feature of the canal. Just imagine when the entire canal looks like this! You can round off your visit with a drink and a meal at the Foxham Inn, which is highly regarded locally for the quality of its food (www.thefoxhaminn.co.uk). For further information and advice about places to visit the canal contact the Trust.

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Webtherm Marine Spray Foam Insulation Proper price, proper job

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CUTTINGS PLEASE Send all your waterway cuttings to David Blagrove at IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA

UNDER AN ENGLISH SUN It is a classic English Summer’s day as I write this, warm, sunny and scented. All the more ironic therefore that I should originally have laughed when a correspondent recently sent me a copy of an article from the French waterway magazine Fluvial with the title (and I translate) “Under an English sun”. It describes a trip taken last September from Market Harborough, pottering across the Leicester summit of the Grand Union. Now I may be wrong, but my memory of last September only some twenty five or so miles south of this part of the world was of pouring rain and cold winds, mais

non! According to our Gallic friends and their pictures the weather was good for the whole three days. However, so far this summer has proved to be better than the last few dreadful seasons, so perhaps my giggles were premature. Anyway, among the points of interest was a very useful diagram to show Foxton staircase and “The principle of functioning of the locks”, and some accurate information about the one-time “plan incline” and an explanation to French readers that British Waterways are “the English equivalent of VNF” [voies navigables de France for the uninitiated].

HARD HAT TERRITORY? One of the more spectacular pieces of recent coverage appeared in The Daily Mail in early July, under the banner headlines “The River in the Heavens”. This title referred to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and was inspired by the recent news that 11 miles of the Llangollen Canal had been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The reporter, Robert Hardman, had really done his homework and was obviously not relying, like so many so-called journalists today, on a press release to write his story for him. It took up two full pages of newsprint and is far too long to quote every gem here, but the last paragraphs contain most disturbing news. “Over the past 220 years the aqueduct has had an immaculate

safety record with no reported incidents, save for a couple of suicides and an injured abseiler who misjudged the length of his rope. Not good enough, says the health and safety lobby. There are now demands to erect brand new railings along the open side of Telford’s triumph – all 1,007ft of it – in case someone is stupid enough to fall off. How much longer before we need a hard hat, a safety harness and a fluorescent bib to enjoy Telford’s Taj Mahal on the Wrexham Riviera?” We may well ask, and is British Waterways expected to pay for this latest lunacy? The cost will come from our licence monies doubtless.

NOT THE FULL STORY “Waterways to carry building materials for Olympic site” announced The Times in June. The paper’s Industrial Correspondent, Angela Jameson, did not pick up on the fact that bureaucratic tendering procedures were doing their best to prevent this happening, but instead told us that “A quarter of the building materials needed for the 2012 London Olympics site will be transported by water after the completion of a £20 million project to make disused waterways in

East London navigable for the first time in decades.” The article goes on to say “The move is part of a nationwide resurgence in the use of waterways and canals for freight.” Oh really? You could have fooled me. Simon Salem is quoted as saying “There’s definitely capacity for freight alongside leisure activities on Britain’s wider waterways and that will bring environmental benefits”. So why did BW decide to “retire” its entire freight staff three years ago then?

Waterway

CUTTINGS DAVID BLAGROVE TAKES A LIGHT-HEARTED LOOK AT WHAT THE PAPERS HAVE HAD TO SAY

PERILOUS CYCLING The Aire, Wharfe and Worth Valleys Target reports a campaign to make cyclists slow down on the Leeds & Liverpool towpath around Bingley. According to residents “some cyclists are moving as fast as cars down the towpath next to

the locks – causing a danger to pedestrians.” This is not merely a Yorkshire problem. It is also a menace in the Birmingham area and on London’s Canals. At Bingley a young lad hit an elderly lady who “broke her leg in four places and fractured her hip”.

SUPPORT FOR NORTHERN LANCASTER It is cheering to note that 45 years after the notorious Local Government Act of 1974 that effectively ruined local government in England the modern creation of Cumbria has not entirely extinguished ancient and well-loved names. The Westmorland Gazette still keeps the old name and recently published a useful Editorial “Canal Dream still very much alive” (rather like the name of the paper in fact). The paper was extremely supportive of the Lancaster Canal Restoration Partnership’s submission of a formal Planning Application for the first stage of the

restoration project from Tewitfield to Kendal, which involves the top length from Kendal Basin to Natland. Said the Gazette: “Kendal would become the most northerly terminus of a canal network stretching hundreds of miles. There are already many hundreds of boats registered to use the Lancaster Canal…Seeing canal boats moving through this beautiful landscape would…be a big draw for visitors. Regeneration projects would surely follow in the Kendal area, as they have with the extension of the canal through the docks at Liverpool”. And so say all of us.

FISH & TRIPS The Lincolnshire Free Press noted that work costing £500,000 on the little-known River Glen by the Environment Agency was about to start. It includes new moorings and “refuges for fish”. Does this mean a fisherman-free zone? Well not exactly. It is intended that such refuges “will be used by fish such as eel, smelt, flounder and sea bass to shelter from tidal currents”. What did such creatures do before the advent of the Nanny State? Something that Darwin called “survival of the fittest” I imagine. Anyway, the parts of the Wilts & Berks Canal that have been

restored to navigation continue to give pleasure not only to fish, but to many hundreds of people who, according to the (Wiltshire) Gazette and Herald enjoyed a day out when the “Wilts & Berks Canal Trust offered boat trips along a restored stretch of the former waterway in Calne as part of an Easter event” Once again the social benefits of the event and the restoration that it supported were well emphasised: “Supporters hope it will provide a multi-million pound boost to the local economy through increased tourism and employment.” IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009 / 37

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RESTORATION

Droitwich Canals nearing completion GOOD PROGRESS is being made on the Droitwich Canals restoration project, with a potential reopening of both the Barge and Junction canals next year. These photos, taken by Mike Haddon in May, illustrate some of the works currently underway.

View looking east from Mildenham Bridge showing chamber repairs ongoing at the adjacent Lock No 6 on the Barge Canal.

View of Barge Canal Lock No 1 at Ladywood showing the new top end gates ready for installation, a task that was due to be carried out the following day.

The largest single project of the whole Droitwich Barge Canal scheme has been to resolve the A449 dual carriageway blockage. This has been solved by the construction, in two phases, of a cut and cover tunnel, which has required a contra flow traffic arrangement incorporating a 40 mph speed limit. In this view looking north the western side of the new structure has been basically completed and piling work is underway on the east side with the southbound carriageway out of use.

38 / IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009

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RESTORATION UPDATE On the Droitwich Junction Canal, this view is from the Droitwich Rugby Club road bridge looking east towards the surviving flight of Hanbury Locks. Planning permission has been granted for the creation of a 238 berth marina on the land behind the fence, left of picture.

The new bridge and approach ramps on the Rugby Club access road.

View looking westward from Hanbury Lock 3 showing the newly created channel curving to the right and passing under the bridge which carries the Droitwich Rugby Club access road over the waterway. The original canal route continued in a straight line at this point and a short length separated by the towpath bund has been retained as a wildlife habitat.

Close up view of the new Lock 7 which now awaits excavation of the foreground banking.

A narrowboat heads upstream on the River Severn passing the spot where boats will soon be able to enter and leave the Droitwich Barge Canal.

IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009 / 39

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RESTORATION

GRANTHAM CANAL WHARF RESTORED

THE FAILURE of a heel post at Cottingwith Lock resulted in its closure in March 2007, thus preventing access to the Pocklington Canal from the rest of the waterway network.

However, chamber repairs and gate replacement works took place in June, thus reinstating access from the River Derwent, which is itself accessed from the tidal waters of the River Ouse.

Looking west to the still gateless bottom end of the lock, with the British Waterways workboat Gawburn in attendance.

Mike Haddon

WORKS HAVE recently been completed to restore a historic wharf at Harlaxton on the Grantham Canal which could open the way for a trip boat to operate and further expand the number of visitors to the canal. The implementation of the project has been managed by British Waterways and funded by grants secured by the Grantham Canal Society from the Waste Recycling Environmental Network (WREN) and East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA). It is anticipated that the restored wharf will support the Grantham Canal Society’s aspirations to operate a trip boat on the canal between Harlaxton and Woolsthorpe and enable visitors to experience the waterway from an entirely different perspective. The wharf dates back to the late 18th century when it was used for unloading coal and construction materials and loading agricultural products from local farms. The original wharf piling was constructed from oak which over time had perished and needed renewing and the surrounding land had become overgrown.

POCKLINGTON RELINKED

THE CHESTERFIELD CANAL TRUST has opened a fund towards the costs of building a new lock in Staveley. Works are currently progressing on a major road scheme installing the ‘Staveley Northern Loop’ at the eastern end of the restored five miles of the canal in Derbyshire. These works should be complete by the autumn and will include three new canal bridges that will allow a further half mile of restoration. When the road is complete, the new Staveley Town Basin will be built for which funding is already available. However, in order to lower the canal so that it can get under a railway bridge further east, a new lock must be built just beyond the basin. This will be designated Staveley Town Lock (No 5a). At the Campaign Canal Festival held at Kiveton Park at the end of May, £900 was raised from the public to aid restoration of the canal. This money was used to start the Staveley Town Lock Fund. A further £800 was also donated by the Retford and Worksop Boat Club. Anyone who would like to donate should write to David Fox, The Chesterfield Canal Trust, The Old Parish Rooms, Church Street, Eckington, S21 4BH.

Refacing of the chamber nears completion.

Mike Haddon

CHESTERFIELD FUND LAUNCHED

40 / IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009

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RESTORATION UPDATE CRUISING THE MANCHESTER BOLTON & BURY CANAL FOR THE FIRST time since the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal was formally opened at the Middlewood site last September, a significant number of boats made a trip on to the canal over the weekend of 27th-28th June when 19 boats from Worsley Cruising Club locked up into the Middlewood section. The boats were locked up by British Waterways’ staff and assisted by Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Society members. The senior engineer responsible for the construction, Fran Littlewood, was on hand to ensure that the back-pumping system could cope with this number of craft coming through the third deepest lock in the country and through Lock 3 to wind immediately before Salford No 2 tunnel.

COTSWOLD CANALS CHALLENGE THE FIRST major construction challenge for the Cotswold Canals restoration project has been revealed. It is the replacement of the current metal Upper Mills Bridge at Stonehouse with a new concrete crossing, with plans to build a slipway for the launching of boats. The work, to be carried out on behalf of the Cotswold Canals Trust at a cost of more than £200,000, will provide for a concrete culvert to allow a dredger to pass under to clear out the 2km stretch of water between Ocean and Ryeford Double Lock. The canal course will have to be moved by about six metres along a distance of some 70 to 80 metres by shifting tonnes of earth in order to make both banks a similar height. A towpath would also be reinstated with slight chicanes to deter speeding cyclists. The new bridge, capable of carrying 44-tonne lorries, will be constructed out of reinforced concrete with red brick facing similar to nearby Downton Road Bridge. This is the leading major project in the regeneration between Stonehouse and Brimscombe and shows that the main restoration work is really getting underway. A planning application has been made to Stroud District

Council. If it is granted, work is expected to start in early September and finish before Christmas. The Canals Trust will shortly be launching an appeal to help fund the project. Meanwhile a spokesperson for Stroud District Council has indicated that the canal regeneration will bring lots of ‘exciting’ developments into the area. One of the most important benefits claimed is that it will create employment, not just during the build but after it has finished. It will push up the land value around the canals and this will bring employment opportunities with housing developments, cafes and shops. The Council also believes that the project will have huge environmental benefits because fish stocks are diminishing due to low water levels and lack of oxygen currently in the canal, which hasn’t been used since 1954. Dredging the canal will ultimately improve the water quality allowing more animals to thrive. The Council hopes to get local schools interested in the project and ultimately add the canals project to local school curriculum, so that pupils can learn about its historic significance, environmental impact and economic importance.

NEW WEBSITE FOR THE HEREFORDSHIRE & GLOS CANAL TRUST THE HEREFORDSHIRE & GLOUCESTERSHIRE CANAL TRUST has launched a new website to improve the provision of information about the work of the Trust and about the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal: www. h-g-canal.org.uk. The launch of the site coincides with the publication of the 100th edition of the Trust’s quarterly magazine The Wharfinger. The Trust was founded in 1992, its objective being to fully restore the 34 mile canal from Gloucester to Hereford. Its major achievement to date has been the restoration of Over Basin in Gloucestershire, which was completed with considerable support from

Waterway Recovery Group. The basin has a waterside restaurant, visitor centre and trip boat that operates at summer weekends and is a popular venue on warm sunny days.

LYDNEY CANAL PROJECT THE DEAN FOREST RAILWAY has joined forces with Lydney Yacht Club in a plan to link up Lydney’s regenerated docks area with the centre of the town, which is located on the north bank of the Severn opposite Sharpness. There have been discussions about opening a water taxi to take people from the harbour to the steam railway station at Lydney Junction. The taxi would take tourists on a two mile journey up the canal, past beautiful scenery alongside the river to the steam railway station. Examples of projects of this nature which have been successful, with railway and water service connections,

are popular attractions at Lake Windermere and on the River Dart in Devon. The Lydney project would require the Grade II listed swingbridge at the gateway to the marina to be repaired and the team is looking for people who can help them with funding applications and investment, as well as advice on the project. There is currently a waiting list to moor boats in the marina and opening the canal further would give another 1.8 kilometres of wall to which boats could be moored. It is hoped that the plan would contribute to economic regeneration for Lydney.

IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009 / 41

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42 / IWA WATERWAYS / Autumn 2009

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LETTERS

inbox

Do you have something to say about IWA or Waterways? It’s your magazine so please write and tell us your views. We will aim to publish responses to any letters that ask questions about any aspect of IWA policy or decision-making. Please write to The Editor, Waterways, c/o IWA, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA or e-mail k.goss@wwonline.co.uk

HYDRO-ELECTRIC THAMES?

IWA ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RATES

I read with interest the news item in the Summer edition of Waterways concerning the plan to generate electricity from hydro-electric schemes on the British Waterways network. For some time I have, without success, been trying to stir up interest in hydro-electric

Details of all other rates are available from IWA Head Office – see the Directory on page 44.

schemes on the Thames. There are some 44 weirs on this river. I believe the Queen is doing something in this respect at Windsor. Hydro is far better than expensive and inefficient wind farms and with less visual damage. Richard Wyld, Wedmore, Bristol

Marlow Weir – just one of 44 on the River Thames which could generate ‘green’ electricity.

ON THE AIR In late June on Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker (sitting in for Terry Wogan) show travel slot, there was a traffic report from narrowboat Maisie - four boats queuing at Bingley 5 locks! Well done Maisie and her crew for taking the initiative. Clearly there is an opportunity to promote the waterways to a wider audience in this lighthearted way – might I suggest that those with a public spirit may wish to continue the good work and offer the occasional report on traffic on our waterways: ‘dodgy’ lock at A, queues at B, or no traffic and all full ahead under the M6 at 3mph... Let’s be positive and upbeat and see if we can continue to get air time. Radio 2’s traffic number is 03700 100 200. George Jenkins, via e-mail

IN PRAISE OF CANOEISTS I was pleased to read the article entitled ‘Who needs an engine’ in the Summer edition of Waterways. As the article states, it is easy to overlook the role played by canoeing in introducing young people to the joys of our inland waterways. And to the list of semi-restored canals where canoeists are active, we should certainly add the Monmouthshire, Pocklington and Wilts & Berks canals. Furthermore, we should all actively support

the British Canoe Union’s Rivers Access Campaign. It is totally indefensible that landowners, acting purely out of self-interest, should deny canoeists and others access to some of the most beautiful rivers in the land. As the quote in the article so succinctly puts it, “Whose rivers are they anyway?” Name and address supplied

LIVERPOOL ATTRACTIONS What an excellent selection of photographs accompanied the report of the opening of the Liverpool Link in the last issue of Waterways. They certainly served to whet my appetite for exploring this new addition to the waterway network, with its brand new locks, navigation channels and tunnels. It must be one of the truly memorable waterway experiences to cruise across the historic docks, past Pier Head and right into Albert Dock. All the various bodies responsible for opening up this new route through the city are to be commended – and let’s not forget the much-maligned European Union for providing a substantial part of the funding. I’m off to book our passage with British Waterways! Elaine Richards, via e-mail

Adult, single Joint/Family

£27.00 £34.00

TIME TO GET DIRTY Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the last issue of Waterways, two articles in particular stood out for me: ‘Waterways of the Future’ and ‘Get Dirty with WRG’. The former was a timely reminder of just how much the restoration movement has achieved in the past 50 years. So many of the waterways that we now take for granted – the Avon, the Ashton Canal, the southern Stratford for example – are only there for us to enjoy thanks to the dedication and hard work of IWA and Waterway Recovery Group members past and present. But there is still so much to do, so many more canals left to restore and reopen. How I look forward, like so many others I suspect, to seeing a restored Montgomery Canal running all the way from Welsh Frankton to Newton, not to mention fully navigable Wey & Arun, Chesterfield and Cotswold canals. With that in mind, I turned to the WRG feature and read about this year’s canal camps. After years of indecision, deliberation and ‘chickening out’ at the last moment, I have finally decided to take the plunge and join one this autumn, probably on the Monmouthshire Canal in October. I am not quite sure what to expect – aside, it seems, from lots of hard work and plenty of fun – but am looking forward to it anyway. Why not come and join me? Name and address supplied For full details of WRG’s canal camps and weekend digs telephone 01494 783453 or visit www.wrg.org.uk - Ed. The Winter 2009 issue of Waterways will be published in November 2009. Editorial copy closing date is 30th September 2009. IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009 / 43

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DIRECTORY HEAD OFFICE Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA . Tel: 01494 783453 e-mail: iwa@waterways.org.uk Website: www.waterways.org.uk Vice Presidents: Harry Arnold, David Blagrove, Chris Coburn MBE, David Court OBE, Brian Dice OBE, David Fletcher CBE, Illtyd Harrington JP, David Hilling MBE, Tony Hirst OBE, James Hoseason OBE, John Humphries OBE, The Viscountess Knollys DL OBE, The Earl of Shannon, Sonia Rolt, Audrey Smith OBE, David Suchet OBE, Sheila Suchet, Paul Wagstaffe MBE, David Wain OBE All Trustees and National Committees can be contacted via Head Office. Board of Trustees: Clive Henderson (Chairman), John Baylis, Doug Beard, Ray Carter, Les Etheridge (Deputy Chairman), John Fletcher OBE, Peter Kelly, Mike Palmer, Alan Platt, John Pomfret, John Reeve, Paul Roper, Roger Squires (Deputy Chairman), Paul Strudwick, Vaughan Welch (Deputy Chairman), Ian West Finance Committee: Les Etheridge (Chairman). Contact via Head Office. David Carrington, Mike Dyer, John Fletcher, Tony Harrison, Gordon Harrower, Mike Palmer, Nick Parker, Gillian Smith, Ian West, Alan Wiffen, Kerry Williamson Navigation Committee: Roger Squires (Chairman). Tel: 0207 232 0987. roger.squires@waterways.org.uk John Baylis (Deputy Chairman), Ian Fletcher, Steve Connolly, Peter Kelly, John Pomfret, John Reeve, Paul Strudwick, Vaughan Welch Restoration Committee: Vaughan Welch (Chairman). Tel: 0121 477 9782. vaughan.welch@waterways.org.uk Chris Birks, Geraint Coles, Tony Harrison, Tony Hinsley, Martin Ludgate, Keith Noble (Deputy Chairman), Paul Roper, Andy Screen (Deputy Chairman), Luke Walker Promotions and Communications Committee: Jerry Sanders (Chairman). Tel: 01283 716 158. promcomchairman@waterways.org.uk Julie Arnold, Helen Bedingfield, John Bedingfield, Ray Carter, Madeline Dean, Elizabeth Payne, Jim Shead, Gillian Smith, Frank Wallder, Vaughan Welch, Helen Whitehouse Waterway Recovery Group: Mike Palmer (Chairman). Tel: 01564 785293. mike.palmer@waterways.org.uk Inland Waterways Enterprises Limited Board of Directors: Les Etheridge (Chairman). Contact via Head Office Neil Edwards, John Fletcher OBE, Clive Henderson, Ian West IWA Festivals Division: Ian West (Chairman). Tel: 01564 230104. ian.west@waterways.org.uk Inland Waterways Freight Group: John Pomfret (Chairman). Tel: 01788 891027. john.pomfret@waterways.org.uk Hon. Consultant Engineers: Roy Sutton, BA Hons MICE, Tony Harrison, BSc (Hons), DHE, MICE. Tel: 01491 872380 Hon. Consultant Planners: Bob Dewey BA (Hons), MBA, MRTPI, Martin Jiggens IWA Committee for Wales: General secretary, Gerallt Hughes. Tel: 01341 250631. Essex Waterways Limited Board of Directors: Roy Chandler (Chairman), Colin Davis, Neil Edwards, Jim Jenkins, John Pomfret. Navigation Manager: Colin Edmond

REGIONAL CONTACTS East Midlands Chairman: John Baylis. Tel: 01623 621208. john.baylis@waterways.org.uk Eastern Secretary: Nigel Long. Tel: 01733 553782. nigel.long@waterways.org.uk London Chairman: Roger Squires. Tel: 020 72320987. roger.squires@waterways.org.uk North East & Yorkshire Chairman: John Reeve. Tel: 01642 580350. john.reeve@waterways.org.uk North West Chairman: Alan Platt. Tel: 01352 720649. alan.platt@waterways.org.uk South East Chairman: Paul Roper. Tel: 0118 9813381. paul.roper@waterways.org.uk South West Chairman: Peter Kelly. Tel: 01752 843556. peter.kelly@waterways.org.uk West Midlands Chairman: Clive Henderson. Tel: 01564 783672. clive.henderson@waterways.org.uk

DIRECTORY BRANCH CONTACTS Avon & Wiltshire John Webb. Tel: 01225 836137. avonandwilts@waterways.org.uk Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Vaughan Welch. Tel: 0121 4779782. vaughan.welch@waterways.org.uk Cambridge Stephen Foote. Tel: 01763 838936. cambridge@waterways.org.uk Chelmsford Jan Thurston. Tel: 01702 529553. chelmsford@waterways.org.uk Chester & District Gillian Bolt. Tel: 0151 678 9300. chesteranddistrict@waterways.org.uk Chiltern Mary Lillford. Tel: 01494 872692. chiltern@waterways.org.uk East Yorkshire Mrs Chris Stones. Tel: 01482 875894. eastyorkshire@waterways.org.uk Glouc & Hereford Martin Turner. Tel: 01291 650605. gloucandhereford@waterways.org.uk Guildford & Reading Paul Roper. Tel: 0118 9813381. guildford@waterways.org.uk Hertfordshire Michael Wright. Tel: 01727 860137. iwa@waterways.org.uk Ipswich Charles Stride. Tel: 01728 831061. ipswich@waterways.org.uk Kent & East Sussex Roy Sutton. Tel: 01342 317569. Lee & Stort John Shacklock. Tel: 01992 465643. leeandstort@waterways.org.uk Leicestershire David Hastie. Tel: 0116 2608027. leicestershire@waterways.org.uk Lichfield Phil Sharpe. Tel: 01889 583330. lichfield@waterways.org.uk Lincolnshire Penny Carnell. Tel: 01469 530138. lincolnshire@waterways.org.uk Manchester Steve Connolly. Tel: 01942 679310. manchester@waterways.org.uk Merseyside & West Lancs Andrew Lawton. Tel: 01695 572389. merseyside@waterways.org.uk Middlesex Robin Bishop. Tel: 020 8452 2632. middlesex@waterways.org.uk Milton Keynes Peter Caswell. Tel: 07702 668924. miltonkeynes@waterways.org.uk North & East London Roger Wilkinson. Tel: 0208 4589476. northandeastlondon@waterways.org.uk North Lancashire & Cumbria Madeline Dean. Tel: 01257 231861. lancsandcumbria@waterways.org.uk Northampton Jan Andrews. Tel: 01604 858023. northampton@waterways.org.uk Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Contact via IWA Head Office. iwa@waterways.org.uk Oxfordshire Ron Heritage. Tel: 01869 277400. oxfordshire@waterways.org.uk Peterborough Nigel Long. Tel: 01733 553782. peterborough@waterways.org.uk Shrewsbury District & N Wales Dawn Aylwin. Tel: 01691 830403. shrewsandnwales@waterways.org.uk Solent & Arun Brendan Whelan. Tel: 01903 816012. solentandarun@waterways.org.uk South London Lesley Pryde. Tel: 07787 360957. southlondon@waterways.org.uk South Wales Jeff Roberts. Tel: 01225 872095. southwales@waterways.org.uk South Yorkshire & Dukeries Mavis Paul. Tel: 0114 2683927. southyorks@waterways.org.uk Stoke on Trent Alison Smedley. Tel: 01538 385388. stokeontrent@waterways.org.uk Warwickshire Sue Roy. Tel: 01926 497845. warwickshire@waterways.org.uk West Country Chris Jewell. Tel: 01288 352298. westcountry@waterways.org.uk West Riding Ian Moore. Tel: Alastair Furniss: 0113 2539401. westriding@waterways.org.uk

IWA WATERWAYS / autumn 2009 / 44

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For the widest choice of canal holidays visit www.ukboathire.com You can choose from 11 different start locations and more than 200 boats. We operate Viking Afloat, Alvechurch Waterways Holidays, Red Line Boats and Wessex Narrowboats. So go online today or call 0330 3330591 (local rate) for a brochure.

Unit 163, Boughton Industrial Estate, Ollerton, Newark, Notts NG22 9LD

LOCKSIDE ANTIQUES Measham originals, cabin lace by the metre, ribbon plates, swingers and plumes and rag rug kits. By mail order or visit in North Worcestershire (phone 01562 850458). See my NEW website www.lockside-antiques.co.uk

Paul Widdowson Boats Trad, cruiser, semi, narrow beam, widebeam, Dutch barges, shell or sailaway. 7 weeks delivery from order For the boat you want call Paul on 01623 835777; Mobile: 07754 483949 www.paulwiddowsonjnr.moonfruit.com

CANAL GUIDES

CHANDLERY

46 / IWA WATERWAYS / Autumn 2009

classified Autumn09.indd 2

Please mention IWA Waterways when responding

22/7/09 16:18:07


To advertise here please contact Tony Preston

☎ 01283 742965 atony.preston@wwonline.co.uk

Correspond to: Tony Preston, IWA Waterways, 151 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE14 1BG | Next issue deadline: 1st October 2009.

Lineage adverts cost £1.32 per word (inc. VAT), minimum 12 words. Box adverts start from as little as £32 per issue (plus VAT)*. A copy of our terms and conditions is available on request. (*4 series booking)

CHANDLERY

EQUIPMENT

MOORINGS

SERVICES HANBURY WHARF ENGINEERING SERVICES - FOR ALL YOUR MAINTENANCE NEEDS. • On-Site Crane • Blacking • Engine Servicing • Mechanical Repairs • Electrical Installations and Repairs • Charging Problems • Steelwork Repairs • Anodes • Plumbing and Heating • Solid Fuel Stove Guards. Call 01905 771018 for a quote or visit Hanbury Wharf, home of The New & Used Boat Co.

Stone Boat Building Co Ltd

Large range of chandlery for all your inland and offshore requirements. Calorifiers • Calor Gas • Diesel • Pump Out

Tel: 01785 812688 Fax: 01785 811317 stonechandlery@aol.com www.stoneboatbuilding.com Mail order catalogue disc available on request

COURSES

HOLIDAYS

Tranquil Rose A holiday aboard our floating hotel ‘Tranquil Rose’ offers you fully serviced accommodation, with good food freshly prepared aboard each day by our creative and imaginative chefs. With the added bonus of cruising the Royal River Thames, Grand Union Canal and adjoining waterways accompanied by your hosts Steve and Steph. Tourist Board “Operator of the Year” Silver Award Winner

HHHH HEART OF ENGLAND TOURIST BOARD A totally relaxing and carefree holiday

For a copy of our colour brochure, call 07966 248079 or write to Thames & Chilterns Holiday Cruises Ltd, 2 Appleshaw Close, Tadley RG26 3BB e-mail: steve@tranquilrose.co.uk www.tranquilrose.co.uk

INSURANCE

SURVEYORS YDSA Professional surveyor & designer members offering the complete range of services including MCA Code certification, British registration & BSS inspections.

T 01730 710425 www.ydsa.co.uk info@ybdsa.co.uk

YDSA Yacht Designers & Surveyors Association

Advertise your business here ENGINEERS

from as little as £15.84* Give Tony Preston a call on

01283 742965

*Minimum 12 word lineage advert price

Please mention IWA Waterways when responding

classified Autumn09.indd 3

IWA WATERWAYS / Autumn 2009 / 47

22/7/09 16:18:54


Established over 30 years

THE BUILDERS OF STEEL HULLS AND The builders of steel hulls and superstructures. SUPERSTRUCTURES “Sailaway” boats a speciality ★

Make home completion an easy option by having a professional lineout. FROM ★ Shell Sailaway ★ Line-out TO Full choice of engines available. ★ Fully Fitted ★ Wide Beam ★ Semi- Traditional ★ Cruiser Stern Be Confident, buy ColeCraft

COLECRAFT ENGINEERING Colecraft Engineering Ltd., LTD.

Southam Road, Long Itchington, Southam, Warwickshire CV47 9QL Southam Road, Long Itchington,

Telephone: (01926) 814081 Southam, Warwickshire CV47 9QL Email: Southam sales@colecraft.co.uk Telephone: (01926) 814081/817070. Fax: (01926) 815124. www.colecraft.co.uk

Website: www.colecraft.co.uk Glebe Farm, Stockton, Southam, CV47 8JG Tel: 01926 812134 Fax: 01926 810354 Email: mark@abtuckey.co.uk www.abtuckey.co.uk

A.B. TUCKEY

A family business of 25 years’ experience providing a reliable, friendly and personal service to transport narrowboats by road, up to 70’ long and 25 tonnes in weight. We also have a 35 tonne and 70 tonne crane for hire.

WATERWAYS ADVERTISING Autumn 2009 Waterways is distributed free to all members of the Association with a total readership of over 20,000. We offer a first class service to advertisers in every field connected with inland waterways, such as boating, hiring, insurance, building, publishing, catering chandlery or brokerage. To advertise in IWA Waterways please contact Tony Preston, Advertising Manager, 151 Station Street, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1BG. 01283 742 965 or tony.preston@wwonline.co.uk

Index to Advertisers A & K Insulation ........................................................... 48 AB Tuckey ...................................................................... 48 ABC Leisure Group ..................................................... 17 Adverc Battery Management ........................................9 Arlen Hire Boats .......................................................... 19 Barclays Marine Finance .................................................3 Bargee Bill ....................................................................... 48 Bespoke Executive Solutions ..................................... 19 Blisworth Tunnel Narrowboats ................................ 18 Botany Bay ..................................................................... 19 Braunston Marina ......................................................... 29 British Waterways ........................................................ 29 Caldwells ........................................................................ 34 Canal Cruising Co ...........................................................4 Canal Junction ..................................................................4 Castle Narrowboats .................................................... 28 Channelglaze .................................................................. 19 Church Minshull ........................................................4, 29 Classic Narrowboats ......................................................5 Colecraft Engineering .................................................. 48 Country Craft Narrowboats ..................................... 18

Elite Furnishings ............................................................ 48 Fenland District Council ............................................. 18 Fox’s Boats ..................................................................... 48 GEOprojects .................................................................. 35 JL Pinders ........................................................................ 28 Kuranda UK Ltd ..............................................................4 Land & Water ................................................................ 28 Lee Sanitation ................................................................ 28 Limekiln Ltd ................................................................... 45 London Canal Museum ............................................... 27 M & R Controls ............................................................ 28 Maestermyn Group ...................................................... 34 Mel Davis ........................................................................ 42 Mercia Marina ..............................................................IBC Narrowboat Buyers ..................................................... 36 Nottingham Boat Sales ...................................................3 Orchard Marina ............................................................ 34 Pennine Cruisers .......................................................... 34 Powercell ........................................................................ 27 PRM Marine ................................................................... 17 Red Hill Marina ............................................................. 18

Reeves Boatbuilders ..................................................... 18 Riversdale Barge Holidays .......................................... 35 Rose Narrowboats ....................................................... 28 Selby Boat Centre ........................................................ 45 Shobnall Boat Services ................................................ 36 Swanley Bridge .............................................................. 35 Tattenhall Marina .......................................................... 19 Teddlesley Boat Co ........................................................4 The New Boat Co .................................................. OBC The Yorkshire Waterways Museum ........................ 27 Tingdene Marina ..............................................................2 Towergate Mardon ...................................................... 17 TR Boat Handling ......................................................... 36 Troll Publishing .............................................................. 45 Ventnor Farm Marina .................................................. 36 Videoactive ..................................................................... 29 Websters Insulation ..................................................... 34 Wharf House Narrowboats ...................................... 18 Whilton Marina ........................................................... IFC Worcester Marine Windows .................................... 42

48 / IWA WATERWAYS / Autumn 2009

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Waterways Autumn 2009  

Waterways the Magazine of the Inland Waterways Association

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