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AUTUMN 2013 | ISSUE 241





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IWA waterways |


19/7/13 3:15:10 pm


Autumn 2013 Ten Good Reasons to be an IWA Member

3. AGENDA The Column of the National Chairman



What’s been happening around the branches


14. THE INTERVIEW We talk to North West Chairman Alan Platt



Exploring the River Trent, plus the region’s canals

30. NEWS A round up of the main stories from within IWA and beyond Commercial carrying developments from around the system

The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:

40. BUSINESS MATTERS ON THE CHELMER & BLACKWATER Waterside enterprises on the navigation run by Essex Waterways



Readers’ letters AUTUMN 2013 | IssUe 241

waterways Keeping Our WaterWays alive





COVER PICTURE: The waterfront at Fiskerton, River Trent. WW ARCHIVE

WATERWAYS EDITOR: Keith Goss Tel: 01283 742951 E-mail: ART EDITOR: Kerry Hogston ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: Ian Sharpe Tel: 01283 742977 E-mail: ADVERTISING DESIGN: Clare Salisbury ADVERTISING PRODUCTION: Rebecca McGrath E-mail: REPROGRAPHICS: Waterways World Ltd, 151 Station Street, Burton-onTrent, Staffordshire, DE14 1BG. Printed in England by Warners (Midlands) PLC, Bourne, Lincs Articles may be reproduced provided permission is obtained and acknowledgement made. ISSN 0969-0654 

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Campaign for properly funded waterways Provide a voice for you Help improve your local waterways Defend the waterways from unwelcome development Give practical financial and political support for waterways restoration 6. Provide expert advice for waterway managers and restoration groups 7. Organise restoration holidays for young people 8. Provide over 5,000 days of volunteer labour each year 9. Arrange affordable insurance for waterway organisations 10. Enable greater appreciation of the waterways through education and experience




1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100 Midland Chandlers - 5% discount Narrowboat Services - 10% discount RoadPro - 5% discount UK Boat Hire - 15% discount - Free Listing Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount

Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers’ discretion. To take advantage of these offers please go to: member_discounts_special_offers_public IWA has teamed up with both Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue to enable an insurance facility that is unique to the market, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways. These specialist inland waterway insurance policies are tailored to fit your needs, covering loss and damage to your vessel, protecting you against legal claims, paying for injury and damages caused to other property and providing the security of inclusive breakdown cover. Obtaining a quote couldn’t be easier, simply fill in a few details on our online form, and one of Navigators & General team will call you back.

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: Web site: Chief Executive – Neil Edwards Company Secretary – Helen Elliott-Adams

Nothing printed in Waterways may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless stated, otherwise IWA 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.

The policy incorporates many features that are unique including: • Membership of River Canal Rescue • Dedicated insurance cover for owners who permanently live aboard their boats (additional cost) • Personal public liability • Marina benefits • Medical expenses cover • £3 million pounds third party cover The Inland Waterways Association is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Where a photo credit includes a note such as CC-BY-SA, the image is made available under that Creative Commons licence; full details at


•Joint/Family £39.00

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

Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:31:51 pm



n my last column I commented on the threat the new high speed rail link HS2 posed to the inland waterways. IWA is working hard to achieve our aim of providing the maximum protection possible to both navigable waterways and also those being restored. We are working closely with other organisations as it is very helpful to be aware of their views, and to ensure we all have the fullest possible understanding of the HS2 plans. Whilst it is good for all waterways organisations to have a common position there will inevitably be differing views and IWA as ever will determine our position based on what we believe to be the best interests of the inland waterways. Thank you to everybody who has provided their input on this important issue and please continue to do so in the future. Up-todate reports will appear in the Bulletin, which is published twice a month. Last year we achieved the first part of the Robert Aickman vision of a National Waterways Conservancy. The setting up of Canal & River Trust (CRT) was, however, only a start and we are keen to see it expand. Richard Benyon the Waterways Minister is a supporter of moving the Environment Agency (EA) navigations to CRT and indeed this is government policy, however the question

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The Column of the National Chairman is when the transfer will happen. The intention had been for a move in 2015/16 as part of the current government spending review and the announcement that it is to be deferred is a considerable disappointment. Defra is facing further significant budget cuts of around 10%, and had British Waterways remained in government control its funding would inevitably have been cut and probably by more than 10%, so the value of CRT’s fixed 15-year funding contract is obvious. The EA navigations don’t have that protection and now, most unfortunately, won’t have it in the immediate future. IWA’s support for the transfer has always been subject to the financial terms benefitting the inland waterways. The minister in his statement said “the transfer of EA navigations is unlikely to be affordable in the current climate”. So will a delay benefit the inland waterways? Defra has a 10% budget cut. So if the EA navigations suffer a 10% cut, will boat licences be increased to make up any deficit? If so then an increase of around 20% would be required. Who is prepared or able to pay that? The implication is that maintenance on the Thames and the other EA navigations will be reduced and their condition will deteriorate.

The excellent weather over both the May Bank Holiday weekends helped make both Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice and the Trailboat Festival at Bodiam Castle very successful events. Let’s hope all our other 2013 events are similarly blessed.

Les Etheridge

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Autumn 2013

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Autumn 2013

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19/7/13 3:31:11 pm

IWA at Work ties r a P k r o W A W I f Round up o

We publish on these pages a round up of some of the branch work parties that have taken place recently. If your branch event isn’t included here, do let Alison Smedley, Branch Campaign Officer, know next time you are organising one, so that it can be included in the overall publicity for work parties that Alison is now promoting for the Association.

Nelson Manchester


Malcolm Fielding


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Lichfield Stourbridge

Winners of the Waterway Renaissance Awards were announced at a ceremony on 23rd May in Birmingham, and amongst the runners up and commended projects were two IWA branches. IWA Lichfield Branch’s Rugeley Regeneration Project was Runner Up in the Partnership Category, and Commended in the Community Category. The awards were in recognition of the series of improvements to the Trent & Mersey Canal in Rugeley by a wide community partnership. IWA Milton Keynes Branch was Commended in the Volunteering Category for its bi-annual canal clean up in Milton Keynes. The 2012 Stroud on Water event which incorporated IWA’s Trailboat Festival was also a runner up in the Recreation & Tourism category. The Waterways Renaissance Awards competition, organised by Canal & River Trust, is also known as the ‘Oscars of the Waterways’. Entries must relate to projects that are located on or adjacent to a UK inland waterway; are innovative and inspirational; involve participation by a range of partners; have enriched the enjoyment of the waterway; and have a proven track record of success.


Salterhebble Leeds



Margaret and Derek Beardsmore of IWA Lichfield Branch, who have led the branch’s Rugeley project from its inception in 2010, are pictured receiving the two awards at the Waterway Renaissance Awards presentation ceremony at the ICC in Birmingham on 23rd May. Photo supplied by CRT

Tinsley clean up.

IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch held their bi-annual canal clean up on the 7th April at Tinsley on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal. The branch was joined by members of the Abbeydale Rotary Club and Tinsley Marina residents. After a safety talk by the resident CRT lock-keeper, approximately 30 volunteers split into two groups, one working towards Sheffield and the other working down the Tinsley Lock flight. Volunteers collected roughly 40 bags of rubbish. Participants were rewarded with pie and peas afterwards. A radio car from Radio Sheffield arrived on the scene as the event was scheduled as the last clue in their Sunday morning location finding quiz! Branch members were interviewed and had the opportunity to promote the bi-annual clean ups and the work of IWA.

Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:33:50 pm

Stefanie Preston



MIDDLESEX BRANCH - Towpath Clean up, Southall

Stefanie Preston


Southall clean up.



A towpath clean up on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, organised by IWA Middlesex Branch, took place on Saturday, 1st June. The event was supported by CRT who provided a work boat with a crew of two along with litter pickers and gloves. The meeting point was at Bridge 20, Uxbridge Road, Southall. Fourteen participants split into two groups working in both directions. By lunchtime the group heading north had reached Bridge 19. After lunch everybody worked south from the point where the morning group had reached and they eventually reached Bulls Bridge Junction at Bridge 21. They then continued working in a westerly direction along the Grand Union Canal main line as far as Bridge 200C in Hayes. Everyone agreed that it had been a very successful day and approximately 60 plastic bags of litter were collected.

Some of the volunteers clearing the Stourbridge Arm.

Alan Davies

Bob Luscombe

Nelson Clean Up

STOURBRIDGE CANAL CLEAN UP Some of the Rubbish on the Nelson clean up.

IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch held a clean up on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Brierfield near Nelson on Saturday, 6th April. The event, which had been publicised on local radio that morning, saw an impressive total of 60 bags of rubbish collected during the day. Volunteers also removed a shopping trolley, a pushchair, and one castored cage for a factory, all of which will make this length of canal that much more pleasant for people walking and boating along it.

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The annual ‘BCN Clean Up’ weekend was held slightly off the BCN this year as, following the success of the annual event over the last ten years combined with recent dredging on the New Main Line, it was proving difficult to find a location with sufficient rubbish! Waterway Recovery Group and IWA’s Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch, supported by the BCN Society, Coombeswood Canal Trust, Dudley Canal Trust and CRT, held the very successful clean up on the Stourbridge Canal over the 13th and 14th April. Over 70 volunteers helped clear nearly four miles of canal – from the bottom of Delph Locks, all the way to the top of Stourbridge Locks, including the Fens Branch on the Saturday, and the 16 Locks at Stourbridge were cleared on the Sunday along with the Stourbridge Town Arm. Approximately 50 tonnes of rubbish were removed from the canal. This year volunteers found some interesting items in the canal including a safe, a huge DIY store trolley, several computers, a lawnmower, a vacuum cleaner, tyres of all sorts and sizes …. and of course a few bikes and shopping trolleys!

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22/7/13 3:34:26 pm

IWA at Work WEST RIDING BRANCH - Salterhebble Working


Peter Scott.

On Saturday, 18th May IWA West Riding Branch held a work party at Salterhebble locks. Cobbles were cleaned of moss, debris was removed from the canal, and rubbish and vegetation were removed from the towpath. The Calder Navigation Society used their boat, Savile, to remove debris from the canal, and also to give boat trips to the workers and any passersby. Shire Cruisers loaned a boat for tea and coffee making and CRT supported the event and provided the equipment. LEFT: Weeding cobbles on the Salterhebble Work Party.

NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE & SOUTH CHESHIRE BRANCH - Caldon Canal Work Parties original Trent & Mersey Canal Company (original proprietors of the Caldon Canal) mileposts, whilst the others are the replacement replicas which were installed in the early 1980s by the then Caldon Canal Society. In June the focus moved to Cheddleton, where recent improvements to the towpath as part of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Project were nearing completion. Soft bank repairs alongside the towpath were carried out in a number of locations between Cheddleton Locks and Basford Bridge.

Bob Luscombe.

Volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch, supported by members of the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, held two work parties during May in order to paint the mileposts on the Caldon Canal between Etruria Junction and Hazelhurst Junction. The task was chosen in order to spruce up the appearance of the mileposts ahead of next year’s anniversary celebrations which will see 40 years since the reopening of the Caldon Canal in 1974. Some of the mileposts are the

Steve Connolly

Caldon Milepost painting

Volunteers litter picking on the Rochdale 9.


monthly work parties

IWA Manchester Branch has continued to support the CRT’s Towpath Taskforce Manchester, on the monthly work parties in the Greater Manchester area. In April volunteers carried out a clean up on the Rochdale Nine, starting at Lock 92 and working their way up the flight. Painting, litter picking and grappling rubbish out of the canal were among the choice of tasks carried out. In May further painting and litter picking was carried out on the Ashton Locks, around the top lock at Droylsden. In June, the Lumb Lane area of the Ashton Canal was the focus of activity, with significant vegetation clearance (including cleaning moss off slippery coping stones) and litter picking being carried out.


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Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:35:02 pm

Is your branch doing something that demonstrates the great work that our members do? If so let us know - send your story and pictures to

Alison Smedley.



NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE & SOUTH CHESHIRE BRANCH - Cheshire Locks Work Parties The monthly work parties on the Cheshire Locks of the Trent & Mersey Canal led by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch, and supported by the Trent & Mersey Canal Society and CRT, have continued, with work progressing up the flight from Rode Heath (where the work is now complete) to Church Lawton.

Vegetation has been cleared from cobble setts around the locks, and the lock gates and associated lock furniture have been given a fresh coat of paint A diversion from the monthly progress up the flight came on 30th May when the regular volunteers and a few newcomers tackled the area around

Volunteers painting the duplicated locks at Church Lawton.

Wheelock Wharf, in advance of the Wheelock Community Day held by the local IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch in June. The June work party was back at Church Lawton working on Lock 51, with work due to continue each month working up the flight towards Kidsgrove.


Evening Work Party in Leeds

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Peter Scott

The first of a series of evening work parties organised by IWA West Riding Branch took place on Friday, 14th June, an opportunity for people to get a bit of fresh air and exercise after a hard week in the office, whilst doing something worthwhile in improving the city’s canalside environment. Rain on the evening meant that the planned re-painting of the mileposts couldn’t take place, but litter picking was carried out along the first mile of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and some vegetation clearance took place. Weeds were removed from cobbles and mooring rings, including the area around Milepost 1 where the plaque on the wall records past work by IWA volunteers in replacing and painting the mileposts back in 1997.

Volunteers on the evening work party in Leeds.

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22/7/13 3:35:32 pm

IWA at Work One of the motorbikes being pulled out of the canal on the Warwick clean up.

IWA LEE & STORT BRANCH WORK PARTY - 22nd June 2013 Les Hunt.

Greta Russell.

WARWICKSHIRE BRANCH A canal clean up organised by IWA Warwickshire Branch took place in Warwick on Sunday, 12th May. Twenty participants had a productive morning, using grappling hooks to clear the canal of its ‘hidden treasures’ between Bridges 46 and 48 of the Grand Union Canal near the supermarket at Emscote, Warwick. Volunteers also collected litter from the towpath beyond the bridges. The event was supported by CRT who provided a work boat to carry a haul of approximately 4.5 tons of scrap. In addition, a road trailer was also filled to capacity. The total haul included 20 bicycles, 2 motor cycles, 1 motor scooter, 23 shopping trolleys, 8 shopping baskets, a metal fuel tank, a bath, a lawn mower, many car exhausts and seats, hose reels, tractor tyres and lots of road signs. It took eight volunteers to lift a 250cc motor cycle and five to lift the other 125cc model from the canal bed. A substantial array of other unidentifiable metal objects and domestic goods was lifted from the canal and many bags of rubbish collected from the towpath.

Alistair Anderson.

Canal Clean Up in Warwick

Volunteers including cubs and beavers clearing the towpath in Ware.

IWA Lee & Stort Branch had a ‘Tidy Up Ware’ day on 2nd June in preparation for the Ware Festival on the first weekend in July. The branch was joined by Cubs and Beavers of the 5th Ware Scout Group. The volunteers all worked relentlessly, trimming back the vegetation, pulling up weeds, raking and barrowing the debris, in return for chocolate biscuits and orange squash. The towpath through Ware is now a lot more spacious and comfortable to walk along.


Rugeley Regeneration Project Alison Smedley.

IWA Lichfield Branch has continued their work on the Rugeley Regeneration Project. In April volunteers carried out scrub clearance and general tidying at St Augustine’s Field, where the long term plan is for much needed boaters facilities in Rugeley, along with winter moorings. In June volunteers met at the Brindley Bank area in Rugeley and despite persistent rain carried out grass cutting, pulling up Himalayan Balsam and further work to the historic tramway.

Margaret Beardsmore.

LEFT: Some of the volunteers clearing vegetation at St Augustine’s Field.


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Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:36:09 pm

Is your branch doing something that demonstrates the great work that our members do? If so let us know - send your story and pictures to

Himalayan Balsam




IWA and CRT have jointly produced a leaflet giving information about Himalayan Balsam, which includes information about how to identify the plant, a step-by-step guide to planning a Himalayan Balsam work party, and information about what walkers and boaters can do to help prevent the plant spreading further. The leaflet is downloadable from the IWA website, news_campaigns/campaigns/himalayan_balsam.

As this issue of Waterways was going to print, work parties to tackle the plant were already starting to take place around the waterways, with many more being planned over the remainder of the summer months. Among the first work parties of the Himalayan Baslam pulling season were: 

North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch

Alistair Anderson.

The first of a series of four Himalayan Balsam work parties on the Caldon Canal took place on Thursday, 27th June, when volunteers from IWA, Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust and Churnet Valley Railway met at Consall Station in the Churnet Valley. They were supported by CRT in the form of Volunteer Leader, Stuart Collins, and his aluminium trailable boat. Among the volunteers were three local high school students who had recently finished their GCSE exams and were happy to have something to do at the start of their long summer holidays. By the end of the day the piece of land between the canal and the railway between Consall Station and Flint Mill Lock was cleared of Himalayan Balsam. Tackling the Himalayan Balsam in the Churnet Valley afloat and on land.

East Yorkshire Branch - Pocklington Canal Balsam Bash

Alison Smedley.

On Saturday, 29th June volunteers gathered at Melbourne to attack an outbreak of Himalayan Balsam on the Pocklington Canal. This was a joint effort by IWA East Yorkshire Branch and the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society (PCAS), supported by the CRT.   A substantial amount of Himalayan Balsam was removed from the extensive area designated as a wild life reserve behind the moorings on the Melbourne Arm. After welcome refreshments were taken on board the PCAS trip boat New Horizons, the party moved to another site at Coates Bridge, further along the canal, where a small concentrated outbreak had been discovered near to the offside bridge abutment. This was a much less accessible area and warranted the wearing of lifejackets while working on the steep embankment close to the canal side. As a result of the day’s efforts the branch hopes that the spread of the plant will be severely halted. 

Some of the Himalayan Balsam by the Pocklington Canal.

Margaret Beardsmore.

Details of all future IWA work parties can be found on the IWA website events calendar, or by contacting Alison Smedley, Branch Campaign Officer, on 07779 090915 or by email

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22/7/13 3:36:42 pm




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Autumn 2013

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19/7/13 3:49:17 pm

I n t e rview e h T

an Platt l A n a m ir a h rth West C


We talk to N

When did you first become aware of IWA and its campaigning? When did you join? What was your first introduction to the inland waterways? I’ve got no waterway background at all, except that it happens my grandfather’s cousin was John Hemelryk, still spoken of with awe in historic boat circles. We took a cut price offer for a Broads holiday in a plastic job that you drove like a car, but enjoyed it and went back for more in a cruiser, and then decided it was a bit flat and we’d try the canals. That was back in the ‘70s.

Could you outline some of your early experiences on the waterways? I recall spending the New Year in Chester and having to get back to work next day, and so was steering up past Calveley in the dark in a blizzard, and having to work hard to remind myself this was fun. Also a challenging trip back to Barbridge from Oxford where my wife, who had a wonky right arm anyway, had broken her left wrist and was steering the boat with a cast on while I worked the locks. A trip through the BCN in about1990 involving ten trips down the weed hatch and having to rewater the Ryders Green flight was memorable as well, as was going down the Stratford when the National Trust ran it and the locks were a little testing. That all sounds grim but was part of the fun really.


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I bought the odd Waterways World and read Narrow Boat, and then when we bought a boat in the ‘80s we joined IWA, because that seemed the logical thing to do if you owned a boat. That said, I was an armchair member for a long time as work and family took up all my time.

Can you remember the very first IWA meeting/ event that you attended? This sounds morbid but when my wife suddenly died in 2002, I decided I needed to be active and turned up at a local branch meeting to have a look. The then Chairman, John Murgatroyd, is hard of hearing so I found my plaintive comment that I’d only turned up to see what went on went unheeded and I was on the committee. I hadn’t a clue what they were all talking about but have never let ignorance hold me back!

Tell us about your early years within the Association. I recall boating singlehanded to the first Burton National and had just negotiated the Cheshire Locks when my Springer Spaniel must have found a dead rat and started firing blood at both ends. I spent two days moored at Red Bull while the vet sorted him out.

Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:37:46 pm



I see mine as a co-ordinating rather than a managerial role. I got involved with Shrewsbury branch activities, especially being the only Welshman on board, and then didn’t duck when they were looking for a new chairman. I also got involved with the Montgomery restoration project and became IWA rep on the Partnership, which I still sit on. What I enjoyed, and still do, is that the people I work with on the branch committee are my friends, and now I’m on more committees, I’ve got more friends. It’s that social side of a branch that’s makes it fun and worthwhile. A lockwind or a stand at a rally is hard work, but then you have a barbecue and a few beers and it’s worth it.

When did you become North West chairman? When the Regions became restructured and the North West Region, which hitherto had been north of the Mersey, was expanded to include Chester and Shrewsbury & North Wales, there was a vacancy for the Chairman’s role and Les Etheridge suggested I might enjoy the role. And again I didn’t duck fast enough, that was in 2009.

BELOW: The Northern reaches of the Lancaster Canal. ROBIN SMITHETT

What does the role entail? I suppose mainly it’s to create a two-way link between the local branches and the National IWA. It’s necessary to recognise that for many branch members, perhaps most, their local issues are what matters and the national perspective can sometimes feel remote. Both are important, as are other special interests within the IWA, such as Festivals and WRG, and part of the job is to link them all together. What the job is not about is telling people what to do; the IWA is a membership organisation and members do what they want to do. One just hopes that each branch has members with the necessary skills. I see it as a co-ordinating rather than a managerial role, unless someone acts out of line with national policy, which hasn’t happened to me yet. One job we have just completed is accommodating the territory of the old Merseyside branch. I think with the Liverpool Link in place, much of their perceived purpose had ceased, and it became apparent to me after a lot of consultation, that the members would better be served within the neighbouring three branches. With such a big area I have put less emphasis on formal region meetings and more on my attending as many branch meetings as I can; fortunately I live near the A55 and can be at the M56/M6 junction in about half an hour.

Which waterways fall within the North West area? We have a variety with a very wide range of usage. The Shropshire Union system, including the Llangollen/

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ABOVE: Trip boat at Welshpool on the Montgomery Canal.

Montgomery; the Trent & Mersey north of Middlewich, the Leeds & Liverpool, Huddersfield canals and Rochdale up to the Pennines, Ashton and Peak Forest, the Macclesfield to Bosely, and the Lancaster. Those are CRT canals and they also manage the River Weaver; and we have the Bridgewater and Manchester Ship Canal owned by Peel Holdings within our remit. We also include IWA members who live in Scotland, unless they opt for another region, and with the demise of SIWA, we have taken an interest in the system up there, which of course is still under direct Government management through Scottish Canals, and their emphasis on regeneration has concerned some members there. In addition we have the restorations active in the region. From the Shrewsbury and Newport in the South to the northern reaches of the Lancaster and it will rightly offend many if I miss out the Sankey, Manchester Bolton & Bury and other Manchester canals.

What are the major goals for IWA North West - to see the northern reaches of the Lancaster Canal restored perhaps? I see the northern reaches as a branch goal, supported by Region. So for Lancs & Cumbria branch, the Lancaster probably is their main goal. There’s a problem with developers at the top end at the moment with more than one option as to what happens in Kendal, but the branch works very closely with the Lancaster Canal Trust, and, as so often happens, there’s a lot of common membership. For Manchester, there are several restorations in their area and they are heavily engaged in the growth of volunteering in partnership with CRT, and are involved with the underground Manchester & Salford Junction Canal; Chester and Merseyside have the Sankey restoration and some very exciting developments on the Chester City One Plan to regain full access to the Dee and hopefully establish a viable route to above the weir. Shrewsbury and North Wales have the development of the World Heritage Site around Trevor and the restorations on the Montgomery and Shrewsbury & Newport canals. I see my role in all of these to help them link in to the national IWA and its resources and help facilitate them as best I can.

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And how about in Wales? Devolution is a fact, and as someone who’s lived in Wales for 50 years I accept that. To put it bluntly, if the various waterway groups ignore the Welsh Government, then they will ignore the waterways, and they are a source of funds. The current focus is probably on South Wales, although we must engage them on the Plas Kynaston project at Trevor. As far as the Montgomery is concerned, it is a bit simplistic to say they’ll get interested when the restoration reaches the border at Llanymynech, as there’s a lot of development of the towpath and access in Wales which is positive. CRT have the right idea in establishing an all Wales Partnership and dedicating recourse specifically to Wales and it is probably best if IWA works with them on this, while at the same time maintaining our independence. As far as I’m concerned this is probably one where my role with IWA and my membership of the local Partnership overlap and I frequently find myself wearing both badges.

Do you share people’s frustration that the Montgomery Canal has still not been fully restored? Obviously when I see a project like the Droitwich achieve success in a shorter time frame, I have regrets. The main distinguishing feature about the Monty, and I’m a keen amateur rather than a professional as regards restoration, is that the whole canal is an SSSI or SAC and there is a priority on habitat preservation etc. I can’t pretend this isn’t frustrating at times, which is certainly not to say that I am against the environment; it’s one of the main attractions of the system, and I’m a countryman anyway, but IWA is primarily a waterway charity. There are one or two who have been championing the Monty for decades longer than me, and they haven’t given up on it.

What do you think the future holds for the ‘Monty’? At the moment funding is very hard to come by everywhere, so progress has slowed down. However there is a Heritage Lottery Fund bid in the pipeline and meanwhile the voluntary sector is doing a great job to make some progress and to keep the restoration in the public eye. WRG was there last year and currently our friends at the Shropshire Union Canal Society have work parties making great strides on channel restoration. Events like the Monty Triathlon and the biennial Maesbury festivals are high profile and what is great about these is that there are members of The Friends of the Monty, the IWA and SUCS all working together and it doesn’t matter what T-shirt they’re wearing. Where they would all agree is that we really do need public or grant money to make major progress and the short term aim is to get to the border at Llanymynech where hopefully the Welsh Government will help link up to the isolated Welshpool section.

You mentioned that you are a member of the local Canal & River Trust partnership. How did that come about?


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Believe it or not I applied and filled in a form and went for an interview, something I hadn’t done since 1990 when I became self-employed. CRT contacted a few likely people as well as generally advertising it. I’m not there representing IWA, but that experience informs my views within the Partnership, and anyone who thinks we toe the line all of the time should be a fly on the wall.

ABOVE: The Weaver Navigation - a favourite haunt for Alan Platt.

What does being a member of the partnership entail? We have meetings about every two months and discuss and are kept informed of operational matters, but on the firm understanding that our role is advisory not operational so we’re similar to a non-executive board. We also are developing a strategic plan for our area (North Wales & Border Counties), which I was a bit wary off as my experience is in medium sized business where you work out what you want to do and how you’re going to do it and words like strategy make me nervous. However, in fact I’m quite enjoying it although how they’re going to combine all the different strategic plans into a coherent whole will be interesting. I’m also representing the partnership on Welsh matters.

Is it working well? It sounds defensive to say it’s early days, but it involves a major culture change for CRT people. I think it’s fair to say they know how to communicate better now although some haven’t moved forward from communicating to consultation. I think our Partnership is working well; we have a good chairman in Jim Forrester who knows about waterways and an excellent area manager in Wendy Capelle and we seem to be working well together to the extent that we can be gently rude to each other which is always a good sign! I think that the recent All Party Parliamentary Group report showed that

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I think there’s an acceptance that we can do some things better than CRT, and there could be a challenge as regards the postponed Environment Agency transfer; we’re more used to political lobbying and campaigning than CRT, and as they’re still in receipt of Defra funding, they can hardly bite the hand that feeds them. IWA is a membership organisation and the CRT ‘Friends’ scheme is not the same. What we’re in danger of forgetting is that there’s a lot of waterways out there that are not CRT waters. In my patch we have the Bridgewater and Manchester Ship Canal and down south there is the small matter of the Thames.

So will there always be an important role for IWA, do you think? Always is a long time; we need to adapt to change, both within the waterways and in society in general and all voluntary groups like ours are under pressure, where everyone reviews their bank standing orders more regularly. The conservancy vision of Aickman still has relevance as we know, but some of the issues that drove our founding fathers have changed and we must continue to be responsive to changes; and if the day comes where we’ve achieved what we set out to achieve be sensible enough to recognise it. I can’t see that happening soon though.

RIGHT: The Liverpool Link - completed in 2009.

Speaking personally, how many hours, on average, do you commit to IWA per week? I actually don’t think that’s relevant, and get annoyed with people who make out how much they do for the cause. Personally I’ve got more out of IWA than I’ve put into it and when I stop enjoying it, I’ll stop doing it. I still work a bit and its hard to tell but between work, the IWA and the Partnership, walking the dogs and keeping my cottage from becoming too squalid, its probably just as well I find the telly boring and am an insomniac. I do have a life outside though and get out to listen to live music as often as I want. Gilly, my partner, thinks I’m mad but that’s understandable. some Partnerships get involved in operational matters, which is not what we’re there for, but generally they seemed happy with the Partnerships. I think what people sometimes forget is that the whole CRT structure didn’t evolve over time as most organisations do, but was designed on a clean sheet of paper, so inevitably some evolution and fine tuning will be needed. I think the Partnership model is probably one of the successes, certainly in our area.

How do you feel about the CRT/IWA relationship? Does the landlords/tenants analogy ring true for you? I’m always a bit nervous about analogies but broadly it describes the relationship, although it classifies us as a user group and I’d like to think we are a lot more than that. I think that just as some in CRT are still adjusting to the culture change, that also applies to our side and there is some rubbish talked, especially in the social media. Most sensible people recognise there is no Plan B, and the future if British Waterways had carried on would have been disastrous.

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But do you still manage to get out and about on the canals sometimes? Coriolan lives below Hurleston reservoir and we’ve had two weeks on it so far this year; what I do miss are opportunistic weekends when the sun shines, and we can’t take off because there’s a meeting.

Where do you especially like to go? Tricky one, and I have to be diplomatic. Genuinely I do love the peace and gentle pace of the Monty, and fell in love with Tyrley Locks on the Shropshire Union Canal many years ago. Lately we’ve been down on the Weaver quite a bit; one ambition would be to get Runcorn Locks and the Weston Canal restored to make a nice cruising ring with the Weaver.

Finally, what do you love best about the world of the inland waterways? I suppose my two great interests are music and the waterways and the common thread is that you can’t be stressed out with them. I like the pubs as well.

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Waterways of the

East Midlands Part 1

Passing Newark Castle on the River Trent. ROBIN SMITHETT

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From Chesterfield in the north to Leicester in the south, this region covers a vast area – and boasts an infinite variety of waterways. In the first of a two-part article, we look at the River Trent and the Erewash, Cromford, Grantham and Chesterfield canals…

RIGHT: Castle Lock on the Beeston Cut. BELOW: Sandiacre on the Erewash Canal.


Nottingham Forest football ground overlooking the River Trent.

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The Trent is Britain’s third mightiest river (after the Severn and the Thames). Rising in the moorlands above Stoke-on-Trent, it flows south, east and then north to join the Humber at Trent Falls. It first becomes navigable at Shardlow, soon meeting the River Soar and the Erewash Canal at the site of the 2009 IWA National Waterways Festival before the navigation leaves the river to divert through Nottingham on the Beeston Cut. The city has regenerated its waterside and it is now a thriving area of clubs, pubs – and the law courts! At Meadow Lane Lock the river is rejoined and remains the navigation all the way to the Humber. It meanders gently through an understated, but always pleasant landscape, boats passing through several large keeperoperated locks, to the delightful historic market town of Newark with its iconic waterside castle. Cromwell Lock marks the beginning of the tidal river. This needs careful planning to navigate and to make the most of the tides, and the lock-keeper’s advice should always be sought and heeded. Nevertheless the tidal Trent serves as an essential through route to the Fossdyke and Witham Navigations at Torksey, the Chesterfield Canal at West Stockwith and the network of South Yorkshire waterways at Keadby. En route, the historic town of Gainsborough, setting for George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, offers just about the only mooring opportunity other than the adjoining navigations.

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Erewash Canal Just 12 miles long, the Erewash Canal is something of an unsung hero among East Midland waterways. No-one would ever accuse it of being twee or pretty, but it is nevertheless full of interest, not least for industrial archaeoligcal enthusiasts or those with a passion for the work of D.H. Lawrence. Leading off the Trent at its confluence with the Soar near Long Eaton, the canal climbs slowly up the Erewash valley by 14 locks to Langley Mill where it joins the Cromford Canal, and formerly also the Nottingham Canal. It was nearly lost after the end of commercial carrying in the mid20th century, but thanks to the unstinting efforts of the Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association, supported by IWA and other bodies, it has been fully reopened and upgraded to cruiseway status. At Trent Lock there are two very popular pubs, various boatyards and some longestablished houseboat moorings. There are some notable canalside mills as the waterway passes through Long Eaton, Sandiacre and Ilkeston, and at Sandiacre is the junction with the former Derby Canal. Boaters now continue beyond the original BELOW: Trent Lock at the entrance to the Erewash Canal.

The Trent Aegir Heading onto the tidal river, the standard ebb and flow are not all you have to contend with. You may also encounter the aegir! One of several tidal bores in Britain (though less famous, and fierce, than the Severn one), it may be encountered below Torksey, and can be anything from a few inches to 5ft in height.

Leisure boaters are best advised to avoid it, though commercial skippers have for centuries used its power to speed their passage upriver. Should you, by any chance, run into one, meet it head-on in the centre of the river. Named after the Norse god of the oceans, it occurs at the highest spring tides

end of the canal to navigate the bottom lock of the Cromford Canal to reach the extensive boatyard and Great Northern Basin at Langley Mill. Not far away from here is the home of D.H. Lawrence at Eastwood with its dedicated museum. Work by the ECPDA on restoration northwards has continued beyond the boatyard and the next section awaits a decision on a local open cast mining application.

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; usually around the Spring and Autumn Equinox. It can be quite awesome at times and capable of considerable damage but is usually fairly diminutive above Gainsborough. The Environment Agency publishes a timetable (available locally and on their website). Alison Alderton

Cromford Canal The Cromford Canal ran from Cromford to Langley Mill, a distance of 14.5 miles. There were two short branches: the Leawood (0.3 miles) and the Pinxton (2.2 miles). In the early and mid 19th century the waterway enjoyed commercial success, transporting coal, stone and general merchandise between industrial

Langley Mill â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the first lock on the Cromford Canal.


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The re-enactment of the original 1973 reopening ceremony of the Great Northern Basin at Langley Mill.

Nottinghamshire and the Derbyshire Peak District. At its southern end, a link with the Erewash Canal opened up the route right down to the South East and London, whilst the Cromford & High Peak Railway provided a connection with the Peak Forest Canal and Manchester. Sadly, subsidence was always an issue for the canal and the collapse of Butterley Tunnel in the 1880s cut the waterway in two. Repairs were effected but a second collapse in 1900 heralded the end of the Cromford Canal as a viable commercial concern.



GRANTHAM CANAL Which is the loveliest waterway in Britain? The Llangollen Canal perhaps, or the Macclesfield, or even the Leeds & Liverpool. Or maybe it’s the Royal River, the majestic Thames. Well, according to no less an expert than Nicholson’s chief researcher Jonathan Mosse, it’s none of those. It’s the comparatively little known, little visited Grantham Canal which once linked Nottingham with the market town of Grantham in Lincolnshire. Built under a Parliamentary Act of 1793, the waterway ran from the Trent Idyllic setting at Robin Hood on the Cromford Canal. Oh for some deeper water and boats!

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The Friends of Cromford Canal has made considerable progress with the northern end of the canal. £300,000 was provided by Derbyshire County Council for dredging during winter 2012/13, with an FCC campaign undertaken to raise the money to operate a heritage trip boat on just over a mile of the northernmost section of the canal. This section is the longest length of canal in a World Heritage Site in England. Two weeks of IWA Waterway Recovery Group summer camps were held in 2012, and are being repeated again this year. In-house working parties are held regularly elsewhere on the canal throughout the year. The Cromford Canal Partnership meets regularly and a waterways officer has been appointed by Derbyshire County Council, with 40% of the officer’s time being dedicated to the canal. For further information visit

at Nottingham to Grantham, a distance of just over 33 miles, and opened for business in 1797. There were 18 locks – 11 near Cotgrave and seven further east at Woolsthorpe. There was even a relatively short-lived passenger service which began just before the end of the 18th century. The Grantham Canal’s main cargoes were Nottinghamshire coal eastbound and agricultural products westbound from the rich farmlands of East Anglia and Lincolnshire. Commercial traffic started to decline in the early years of the 20th century and, despite a measure of leisure boating activity, the canal was formally abandoned in 1936. The fact that the canal’s link with the River Trent has been severed by, among other obstacles, a section of Nottingham’s Inner Ring Road, and that 13 of its 18 locks are still derelict should not act as a deterrent to would-be visitors. The towpath is in excellent condition – perfect for cycling or walking. Virtually throughout its length, the Grantham Canal traverses a delightfully remote, thoroughly English landscape. Distant views of the Nottinghamshire Wolds and, as you head further east, the Vale of Belvoir, offer themselves up for approval. There are pretty villages all along the route, notably Hickling and Harby, and the Woolsthorpe flight of locks (partly restored) sits amidst especially scenic surroundings.

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manufacturer Hargreaves has offered to supply the new gates at cost – a saving of 30%. Over £29,000 has already been raised but some £5,000 additional funds are required at short notice. An online-giving page has been set up – visit The society will be undertaking any subsequent maintenance of the lock. Meanwhile the Society is also asking members and supporters to complete an online survey about their opinions and use of the waterway. This will assist the

Society in submitting a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to restore Locks 14 and 15 at Woolsthorpe. Access to the survey is at www. granthamcanalheritageinitiative. com. The HLF stage 2 bid is a cooperative exercise between CRT, the Society and the Grantham Canal Partnership with support from local stakeholders. Further west on the canal, a low-level causeway at Cotgrave was replaced by a new bridge, the work being completed last year. For more information visit


The 1960s were a period of crisis for the Grantham Canal, as the waterway faced the threat of complete infilling. In response the Grantham Canal Society was formed, and thanks to major support from IWA and the backing of a succession of local MPs, the waterway now faces an altogether brighter future. Complete restoration is the objective, the target date being 2035, with two possible routes for a new connection to the

Trent already identified. The Society operates a smart new trip boat, The Three Shires, offering luxury cruises along a four-mile navigable summit section between Woolsthorpe and the A1 near Grantham. It also takes responsibility for maintenance on this length, utilising its recently purchased dredger and workflat. An appeal has been launched by the Grantham Canal Society to pay for the emergency replacement of two unsafe lockgates on the Woolsthorpe flight. Specialist lockgate

Woolsthorpe Top Lock, Grantham Canal.


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Hickling Wharf, Grantham Canal.

West Stockwith Lock at the entrance to the Chesterfield Canal.

The original terminus of the Grantham Canal was situated close to the centre of Grantham and had its own straddle warehouse; sadly it has disappeared beneath a small industrial estate. Today the waterway comes to an inauspicious end by the eternally busy dual carriage A1 Grantham Bypass.

Sometimes overlooked by boaters as it can only be accessed from the tidal River Trent, this James Brindley canal never fails to delight those who make the effort to reach it. After leaving the Trent at West Stockwith the canal winds through delightful rural countryside, apart from brief forays into Retford and Worksop which are useful shopping stops on a canal that otherwise offers few such opportunities. Curiously, the locks change from wide to narrow part way. If you have enjoyed the countryside so far, just wait till you get through Worksop â&#x20AC;&#x201C; assuming you are not put off by intensive lock work! Thanks to decades of effort by the Chesterfield Canal Trust,

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Chesterfield Canal

supported throughout by IWA, you climb through a most delightful sylvan section of canal. Added to this, you navigate a series of three- and four-rise staircase locks designed by James Brindley and restored with careful detailing. This is a beautiful length of canal at any time of year, but particularly stunning in the autumn, and if you are not visiting by boat, it is well worth walking it. Convenient canalside stations at Kiveton Park and Shireoaks allow for a one-way walk.

For the moment, boaters must wind just short of Norwood Tunnel (do try to reach the portal if weed growth allows), but it is hoped to have the remainder of the canal open through to Chesterfield once more in the not-too-distant future. There are already five miles restored, from Chesterfield to Staveley, and this can be accessed by trail boat. (Indeed, Chesterfield was the venue for the highly successful IWA National Trailboat Festival in 2004.) Meanwhile restoration work continues apace elsewhere (see below).

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The main aim of the Chesterfield Canal Trust is to get the once-derelict 20 miles from Worksop to Chesterfield fully restored. So far, 12 miles, 36 locks and 11 major bridges have been completed along with two new marinas. The Trust is a key member of the Chesterfield Partnership, other constituents being IWA, Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, plus various local councils and wildlife trusts. During 2012 the Trust held a hugely successful festival at the new Staveley Town Basin, which was formally opened by the Duke of Devonshire. It hosted three WRG camps and launched a new trip boat, Hugh Henshall. Councillor John Allsop, Derbyshire County Councils cabinet member for recycling and technology, was quoted in the council’s newspaper saying “We’re committed to making

more of the Chesterfield Canal navigable again”. Following an appeal, the Trust raised £5,000 in seven weeks to top up the Staveley Town Lock Fund to match fund a £200,000 grant. It can now do more work on the new lock and erect the first building at Staveley Town Basin. Unfortunately, this scheme has been frozen because of uncertainty created by HS2 – see below. Its work parties are just finishing the abutments for Constitution Hill Bridge and Derbyshire County Council will supply and fit the deck. The work party will then move to Staveley Town Lock, where it is in Round 2 of a further grant to get more done at the basin. A bid was to be submitted by the Chesterfield Canal Partnership to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore a two-mile stretch between Hague Lane and New Boiley Bridge. This would include interpretation work (but not rewatering) of the old

Brindley loops, cut off by the Great Central Railway works in the 1890s. It would also include archaeological work on the old tramways leading to the canal. Much work could be done on the plans for Killamarsh following news of a possible different route where a number of bungalows will be knocked down and new houses built (but see below). Further work will be done on the plans to get the canal into Kiveton Waters. Unfortunately, the announcement earlier this year of the proposed HS2 West Midlands to Leeds route has signalled a major threat to the Chesterfield Canal restoration project, including freezing some of the projects listed above. This threatens to undo much of the good work achieved by so many enthusiasts and public bodies over many years. The HS2 main route impacts on the waterway environment no less than five times, following the original

canal bed itself at two points, once for 800 metres, once for 1200 metres in a cutting. The biggest threat, however, is posed at Staveley. The extensive HS2 works here would include a maintenance depot, would see an existing railway realigned and three viaducts built over the River Doe Lea. These works would cut the canal a further three times, including going through the famous Staveley Puddle Bank, an 800 metre long embankment. Currently there is no provision for the Chesterfield Canal restoration at any of the above nine points. As arguments continue over the HS2 route, IWA has started a working group to campaign to modify and improve the route where it adversely impacts on the inland waterways, of which the Chesterfield Canal is just one extreme example. For further information visit



Town Lock, Retford, Chesterfield Canal.


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The Chesterfield Canal styles itself as a ‘waterway for all’, so the Chesterfield Canal Trust was determined to make this year’s festival at Staveley Town Basin, held at the end of June, as wheelchair friendly as possible. The result was a bumper turnout of people whose access to waterways facilities can often be limited. The whole site at Staveley Town Basin is wheelchair accessible. Two of the CCT’s tripboats have lifts which were in frequent use, further wheelchairs had been borrowed and the Derbyshire Countryside Service had a mobility scooter for hire. The free connecting bus service to Barrow Hill Roundhouse included a minibus with a tail lift. In addition the Wheelyboat Trust brought their Mark lll version and gave free trips along the canal. This was hugely popular because wheelchairs can roll straight on and off. There was a wide variety of activities on offer including entertainment both inside and outside provided by seven bands, four dance groups and a choir, plus a clown and street

theatre. On the water, the Trust ran all three of its tripboats, two of which were brought by road from the eastern end of the canal – Staveley Town Basin is on the isolated western stretch. There was a trip every fifteen minutes over the two days and all were full. Pleasley Vale Canoe Club provided canoes of various kinds plus the ever popular zorbs. On the Sunday afternoon the DCC Fire & Rescue Service Water Rescue Unit came to do a display buzzing round the basin with an inflatable craft; first scattering officers into the water and then rescuing them! The organisers were delighted that Richard Parry, the new Chief Executive of the Canal & River Trust, had come to look round. He seemed impressed at the ambitious scale of the event and was interested in future restoration plans. The event was only possible because over 100 Trust members volunteered to help, including the work party whose members were laying blocks in the new Staveley Town Lock.


NEXT ISSUE In the next issue of Waterways we shall conclude our review of the waterways of the East Midlands by looking at the easternmost length of the Trent & Mersey Canal, the Derby Canal, the River Soar, the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal and the Melton Mowbray Navigation.

Trip boat Hugh Henshall being craned in.

LEFT: Canoes galore at the Chesterfield Canal Festival in June. BELOW: Close encounter – contrasting trip boats at the festival.

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he Inland Waterways Association has expressed disappointment at the Waterways Minister’s announcement on 3rd July of a postponement of the proposed transfer of the Environment Agency’s river navigations to Canal & River Trust (CRT). There is some consolation, however, in that Government policy to make the transfer as soon as it is affordable is unchanged. In a written ministerial statement, Richard Benyon MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary at the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, said that cuts to his Department’s budget in the Government Spending Review announced the previous week had led to economies having to be made which resulted in the transfer being unaffordable in 2015/16, as had originally been planned. IWA believes the Minister’s announcement is short-sighted and just defers the opportunity to raise additional funds and voluntary sector support that the transfer to the charitable sector would provide. In the meantime, budgets will continue under pressure and IWA fears boaters and other users can expect a deteriorating service and standards on those river navigations. IWA believes it would be better for all parties if the necessary funding could be provided now, as it simply has to be found sooner or later, and delaying can only make matters worse. In short, no one wins. Les Etheridge, national chairman of The Inland Waterways Association said: “We are very disappointed that this element of government policy is to be delayed until the next Spending Review. An opportunity was missed a year ago when CRT was formed, and perhaps predictably the finances of Defra do not seem to have improved since then. Indeed, the latest round of cuts from 2015 is a cause of


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The Thames at Goring – staying under EA

concern. We understand that 65% of the income for the Agency’s navigations comes from government grant in aid, and this has already been substantially cut. Worse still, there are clearly prospects for further cuts which could impose additional financial burdens on users of the EA navigations, and in particular boaters. Inclusion of EA’s navigations within CRT offers many benefits, but especially surety of income once a deal with government is achieved.” “Whilst this is just a delay, rather than a change in policy, and the transfer remains government policy, IWA will now redouble its efforts to support and lobby for the earliest implementation of this policy.”


IWA chairman Les Etheridge comments on this issue appear in Agenda – see page 3.

CRT Response Tony Hales, chair of the Canal & River Trust responded: This is disappointing news and a missed opportunity. In less than a year, the transfer of British Waterways to the voluntary sector has begun to revolutionise the way that our canals and rivers are cared for, opening up improved engagement and new opportunities for volunteering and fundraising. There is no rea-

son that we could not have seen the same benefits on the EA’s navigations. “We have very much enjoyed working with the team at the EA and look forward to this continuing as we share best practice and knowledge in the future. We remain ready to look at these plans when the Government is next able to proceed.

Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:45:52 pm

AUTUMN 2013 News | Freight | Restoration THE FIFTY-FOURTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of THE INLAND WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION Will be held at Ettington Community Centre, Rogers Lane, Ettington, Warwickshire, CV37 7SX

At 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 28th September 2013.

AGENDA 1. To receive, and approve the minutes of the fifty-third Annual General Meeting. 2. To receive, and approve the Report and Financial Statements for the Association for the year ended 31st December, 2012, and the Report of the Auditors thereon. 3. To re-appoint Saffery Champness as auditors of the Association in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Acts, and to authorise trustees to fix their remuneration. 4. To note the re-appointment of Ivor Caplan and Jim Shead, and appointment of Gren Messham, as nationally elected trustees for terms of three years. 5. To note the re-appointment of Peter Scott as Region Chairmen for North East Region for a further term of three years. 6. To consider, and pass a Special Resolution confirming trustees’ recommendation that: From 1st January, 2014, the subscriptions shall be amended as follows: Ordinary Member Joint Membership (two members at the same address) Corporate – non-profit making bodies Corporate – profit making bodies – up to 20 employees Corporate – profit making bodies - more than 20 employees Under 18 (all communications are electronic)

£32.50 £40.00 £55.00 £60.00 £122.00 £1.00

Life membership rates are calculated at 20 times the standard rates. Monthly rates are calculated as one tenth of the annual rates. The concessionary rate for senior citizens (age 65+) is calculated at 80% of the standard rates. The reduced rate for electronic membership is 80% of the standard rates (available for Ordinary and Joint Membership categories only). 7. To hear an address by the national chairman, Les Etheridge, followed by questions. By Order of the Council HELEN ELLIOT-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 ( or from Head Office. Lunch Arrangements: A cold buffet lunch will be available from 1.00pm at the Community Centre. There is no need to book in advance. No charge will be made, but there will be collecting tins available for donations to help offset the cost. Refreshments will also be available at the conclusion to the meeting. Minutes of the 2012 AGM: Copies of the minutes of the 2012 Annual General Meeting are available on request from Head Office (Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA – Tel: 01494 783453 – e-mail: iwa@ and on the Association’s web site at meetings/minutes_of_meetings. Proxies: Any person being a member of the Association is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote on his behalf at the Annual General Meeting. A proxy need not be a member of the Association. Forms for nominating a proxy may be obtained from Head Office, as above, to which they should be returned by 2.00pm on Thursday 26th September 2013, in order to be valid. Subscription Rates: Subscription rates were last revised at the Annual General Meeting held in 2012. It is trustees’ policy to propose that subscription rates rise each year by the level of the previous year’s Consumer Price Index to the 12 months to the end of the previous April. The intention is to avoid any large rises caused by ‘catching up’ and to maintain a steady rate that simply adjusts with inflation. The Consumer Price Index for the 12 months ending 30th April 2013 increased by 2.4%. Concessionary rates, life membership and monthly rates are calculated on fixed percentages of the standard rate. Trustees Ballot 2013: Ivor Caplan, Alasdair Lawrance, Jim Shead and Ian West retire by rotation. Nominations were received for Ivor Caplan, Gren Messham and Jim Shead. Thus, there are three (3) nominations for four (4) vacancies, and no requirement for a ballot this year. Election of Region Chairmen: The posts of region chairmen for North East Region, East Midlands Region and Eastern Region were open for election this year. There was just one nomination for North East Region, being for Peter Scott, so there is no ballot this year. The nomination detail for each of the above trustees is available at

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he Association is looking for a member willing to advise on, and contribute, marketing expertise at a senior level. This could involve a position on the board of the Association’s subsidiary company Inland Waterways Enterprises Ltd, and/or on IWA’s Finance Committee. For an initial discussion, please contact Gordon Harrower, IWA National Treasurer: gordon.

European Regional Development Funds


he UK Government has announced that European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) are to be allocated to Local Enterprise Partnerships areas across the UK for a seven-year period through a new decentralised EU Growth Programme. There is a total of 6.2 billion Euros over the seven-year period. Whilst this is a big sum, it is over a long-period and is likely to be competitively sought after by a range of interests all intent on demonstrating the jobs and value it could bring to their area – but there could be some potential funds for waterway projects, including restoration work. The key to gaining funds will be to make good relations and a good case to the relevant Local Enterprise Partnership. The Government has given a commitment that the Growth Programme Funds will be allocated to Local Enterprise Partnership areas as an important new source of finance to stimulate local growth and jobs. This marks a significant shift from previous European programmes which were substantially centralised with limited local involvement in many key areas. Under this new model, decision-making powers will be transferred from Whitehall to local areas. Local Enterprise Partnerships and local partners will be in charge of these European Funds, hence the importance for waterway promoters to forge good relationships with relevant Partnerships. Further information, including a breakdown of funds allocated to each region is available on the Government website: government/speeches/european-regionaldevelopment-fund-and-european-socialfund-allocations-2014-to-2020.

IWA waterways |


22/7/13 3:46:08 pm


Boats moored four abreast at Upton.



WA local branches (Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire & Herefordshire) have supported boat-owners on the river Severn at Upton, where one of the very few moorings available for visiting boats was recently re-allocated by Canal & River Trust for use by a commercial trip boat, having stated that this was necessitated by the local authority introducing new access restrictions for coaches in the town centre.

The Town Council maintained, however, that this was not the case, and there was local upset at the absence of consultation before the Trust issued a notice advising the new restriction. Mooring is extremely difficult in the area and the local view was that CRT had not considered Health & Safety implications. CRT proposed a revised arrangement in which the public trips on the trip boat would operate from its original moorings in the town at

Warwick Sensory Garden Opens to the Public


he chairman of Warwick District Council, Cllr Richard Davies, officially opened Saltisford Canal Trust’s new sensory garden on Wednesday 26th June. Warwick District Council funded the new garden and site improvements for disabled visitors, with a grant. The sensory garden is located within the Trust’s community orchard and consists of a series of raised timber beds and themed fragrant planting; new special paving has been laid to make it fully accessible for wheelchair users. The garden is intended to stimulate all the senses with separate beds featuring colour, aural, texture, scent and taste.


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weekends, and the visitor mooring pontoon would only be used for scheduled charter trips for people arriving by coach on weekdays during the summer. CRT apologised for the lack of consultations and noted that they would revisit increasing the visitor moorings at Upton. Upton Town Council has since announced, however, that it believes it is 50% owner of the pontoon moorings, so its permission for any restriction is required, which it is not willing to give.

ADOPT A CANAL Canal & River Trust has launched a drive to increase the number of local community groups and companies ‘adopting’ milelong stretches of their local waterways. The campaign began on 2nd July – CRT’s first ‘birthday’ – and has been accompanied by a new handbook to explain the steps needed to start the adoption process. It is available from www. volunteer or telephone 03030 404040.

IWA is locally pursuing with CRT the provision of further visitor moorings in Upton, along with general issues affecting the River Severn such as lack of facilities, lack of moorings and restrictive opening times. Lack of co-operation from local authorities in the Severn corridor is often a problem, though in this case Upton Town Council appears supportive of boaters and values the trade they bring to the town.

Lancaster Canal Trips


ancaster Canal Trust hosted boat trips for local school children on 27th June to help promote the Lancaster Canal. A coach party of 55 children from Heron Hill School in Kendal enjoyed trips in the narrow boat Waterwitch from Crooklands Bridge landing stage. Lancaster Canal Trust volunteers gave a commentary along the way, describing the wildlife, beauty, and history of the canal. Whilst waiting to board Waterwitch, the shore party groups took part in nature walks and listened to talks given by members of the Lancaster Canal Trust. The Lancaster Canal earned its name ‘Black and White’ by carrying coal from Wigan coalfields and limestone from Kendal quarries.

Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:46:36 pm

AUTUMN 2013 News | Freight | Restoration

Reedbeds to clean up the Lea

The Lee Navigation at Tottenham.


he rivers in East London’s Lea Valley are among the most polluted in Britain. It is believed that the creation of reedbeds along the River Lee Navigation could be a low-cost and attractive part of a solution to the river’s significant pollution problems. A new independent report commissioned by Thames21 for their ‘Love the Lea’ campaign, funded by the Environment Agency, reveals huge potential for reedbeds to boost biodiversity, reduce the effects of pollution and improve the social and amenity value of the lower Lee catchment. To find out more visit the Thames21 website:

WRG Training Grants

BSS Warning on Portable Gas Equipment The Boat Safety Scheme has issued a warning to all boaters to minimise the use of portable gas equipment following recent accidents. The risks of explosion, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are all drawn to attention, when such equipment is used in any confined space. This especially includes inside vessels, but also applies to outdoor confined areas, such as in lock chambers. Most portable gas cylinders leak small amounts of gas when cylinders are changed, so this should never be done indoors under any circumstances. Further information is available on the Boat Safety Scheme website:

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aterway Recovery Group has launched a Training Award to assist with the cost of training volunteers in skills associated with inland waterways restoration. Restoration projects have become more complex over the years, requiring volunteers to operate large machinery, conduct extensive surveys and deal with increasingly demanding legislation, all to the very highest standards. The WRG Training Award aims to promote a more confident and skilled volunteer workforce. The criteria for the award are set deliberately wide and

Why not visit the Swansea Canal for WRG’s late summer camp?

encourage applications from individuals as well as waterway societies who may wish to organise training for a group of volunteers. This award can provide up to 75% of the direct costs (i.e. course costs, travel and accommodation expense) up to a maximum of £750. Although there is a list of ‘preferred areas’ applications will be accepted for any area of training. For further information, including a list of preferred areas, contact Jenny Black at Head Office on 01494 783 453 ext 604.

IWA waterways |


22/7/13 3:47:07 pm


Around Wales in a RIB

The naming ceremony for John Pinkerton II.



uests and supporters of the Basingstoke Canal Society gathered at Colt Wharf, Odiham on 2nd June for the naming ceremony of its new 67ft trip boat John Pinkerton II, performed by BBC television presenter Sally Taylor. The Society’s chairman Philip Riley paid tribute to the members who, 35 years ago, had the foresight to commission the Society’s original trip

boat John Pinkerton, which had over the years earned over £750,000 for the Society. The new vessel, built by Lambon of Droitwich, was financed through a bequest from BCS member Alan Flight. For details of public trips and charter cruises on John Pinkerton II visit www. or telephone 01256 765889.



e are saddened to report the recent death of John Taunton, former General Secretary of the Association from July 1974 until he retired in May 1991 (in the days when the Association was run from rooms in a Georgian town house in Regent’s Park Road, and the Association had not, at that time, thought of engaging a chief executive or other senior staff). John Taunton is remembered by many long-standing IWA members for his meticulous work and civil-service approach to supporting IWA officers during his employment. John was a Cambridge graduate and fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. After 10 years as an


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exploration geologist he became warden of an outdoor pursuits centre in the Lake District for three years, which involved him in sailing and canoeing. He then spent 10 years as Head of the Educational Department at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, living near the river Great Ouse. As well as a keen dinghy sailor (and sailing secretary of Hunts Sailing Club), he was also a keen angler and fully embraced IWA’s ‘Waterways for All’ campaign. He joined IWA as General Secretary from his RSPB post, and stayed with IWA until retirement. He moved to Plymouth shortly after retiring and was 87 at the time of his death; his wife June predeceased him two years ago.

Arnold Grayston – circumnavigating Wales for charity.


rnold Grayston has completed a circumnavigation of Wales via the the inland waterways, rivers and the Welsh coast – with one purpose: to raise money for Severn Hospice. The journey was made in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) via the River Severn, Bristol Channel, Welsh coast, River Dee, Chester and back to Shrewsbury. Arnold began the journey at Shrewsbury Welsh Bridge on 24th May and arrived at Chester 10th June. The route included the rivers Morda, Vyrnwy, Severn, Bristol Channel, Swansea Bay, Carmarthen Bay, St Brides Bay, Cardigan Bay, Bardsey Island, Anglesey, River Dee, Shropshire Union, Llangollen and Montgomery canals. As the Dee Branch at Chester has not been navigated for over four years, all the lockgates had become obstructed with silt. This request for a transit from the Dee was a great opportunity for Mike Carter of IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch to ensure that the right of navigation was upheld. Thus IWA members, JP Marine and other local volunteers worked with Canal & River Trust to make the passage navigable up the Dee Locks from the river. CRT raked the silt from behind the gates of the River Lock and volunteers cleared the remaining lockgates to enable the RIB to exercise its right of navigation and make the journey ‘all by water’, with Arnold finally arriving back at Shrewsbury on 16th June. A TV crew followed Arnold’s journey and a programme is due to be aired later in the year.

Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:47:35 pm

AUTUMN 2013 News | Freight | Restoration

National Festival returns at Watford, Grand Union Canal


WA’s National Festival 2013, staged at Cassiobury Park on the Grand Union Canal on 19th-21st July, was officially launched in early June when the Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill and Festival Chairman Michael Stimpson took part in the traditional Tiller Pin Trophy handover ceremony. The Festival was officially opened on 19th July by Dorothy Thornhill, and IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge gave a good campaigning speech covering IWA work to support the Environment Agency’s navigations and safeguarding the waterways from threats posed by the HS2 development. Warm sunny weather throughout the Festival weekend provided ideal conditions to attract visitors to the event from the local community and further afield. Although separated from the

Park by the river Gade, a wide range of boats, including a contingent of historic narrow boats, contributed to a real Festival atmosphere, and the whole event was well received by local residents, notwithstanding some initial concern about parking restrictions Prior to and during the event, volunteers from Waterway Recovery Group carried out restoration work on the Grade II listed Lady Capel’s Bridge that crosses the canal at Watford. The works, involving 15 volunteers all skilled in heritage restoration and bricklaying, included repointing and repairing damaged brickwork as well as repainting the bridge in a white, breathable paint. Carried out in collaboration with Canal & River Trust, the work was completed on schedule on 21st July, the final day of the festival.

Festival Chairman Michael Stimpson with the Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill.

Colourful boats and plentiful onlookers at the IWA National Festival. WWW.ANDREWLALCHAN.COM



formal presentation was made by former directors of the Severn Navigation Restoration Trust to IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge at the Shrewsbury River Festival on 9th June, in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Shrewsbury, Cllr Jon and Mrs Diane Tandy. The Severn Navigation Restoration Trust was wound up last year and handed over its resources, archives and more than £3,000 to IWA. Final Trust chairman David Struckett was accompanied by former directors

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Christine Wilkinson, Arthur Pagett and Susan Wilding. David Struckett summarised the 30-year long campaign to restore navigation to Shrewsbury as being thwarted by difficulties. But he said: “Although the Trust had not built a navigation it had learnt a lot about river conditions during ever-increasing abstraction rates, changing river authorities, and changes in emphasis regarding the requirements of fish, controlling water-levels in all conditions from flood to lowflow and hydro generation.”

He added: “The archives we’ve built up show how we can do things in an environmentally sensitive manner. We believe in solving all the problems, preferably, without having to limit the benefits. What we’ve learnt has been passed to IWA so that other rivers can benefit as well as the River Severn.” Mr Struckett handed a cheque for £3142.30 to the Mayor of Shrewsbury who, in turn, presented it to IWA national chairman Les Etheridge. The Shrewsbury

River Festival, with a pirate theme this year, was staged by Shrewsbury and Shropshire Waterways & Leisure Group in the Quarry Park and on the River Severn town loop. Dozens of children flocked to the IWA Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch stand for the chance to make foghorns and pirate headbands, while adults took the opportunity to watch canal videos and talk to experienced waterway users about holidays, day trips and restoration work camps.

IWA waterways |


22/7/13 3:47:59 pm


Trailboat News

Devon to host


National Trailboat Festival at


he annual three day IWA National Trailboat Festival was held on the River Rother in East Sussex over the Bank Holiday weekend. The event was organised by IWA Kent & East Sussex Branch. Over 20 boats arrived on trailers from as far away as Blackpool and Carmarthen. They entered the water at Scots Float near Rye and cruised upriver to Bodiam where the opening ceremony on Saturday was performed by Councillor Ian Jenkins, Chairman of Rother District Council. The National Trust and the Environment Agency had prepared suitable sections of the banks of the river so that the boats could moor below the castle. This made them a colourful attraction for all those who visited Bodiam Castle over the wonderfully sunny Bank Holiday weekend. With the river filled with boats, visitors were able to imagine what it might have been like many years ago. A display area told the story of the rescue of a Rother sailing barge by the Hastings Historic Shipwreck Museum. The Primrose, built in 1887, was likely to have used the wharf at Bodiam. There were also displays about the two restoration projects currently underway in the IWA Kent & East Sussex Branch area, the Thames & Medway Canal and the Sussex Ouse.


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WA and Devon County Council IWA’s 2008 National Trailboat Festi val have announced that next year’s on the Grand Western Canal. IWA National Trailboat Festival is to be held at the Grand Western The festival will attract Canal Country Park. The event will dozens of colourful trailboats from form the main celebration of the around the UK. Thousands of visitors canal’s bicentenary year. Construction enjoyed live music and entertainment at work began in 1810 and was IWA’s 2008 National Trailboat Festival, completed in 1814. which was also held beside the Grand The festival will take place over the Western Canal, and the 2014 festival late May Bank Holiday weekend (24th aims to be even better. – 26th May). There will be a big public The 2014 event will be organised and festival day held at the Mid-Devon Showground on Saturday, 24th May, with run by Devon County Council’s Grand Western Canal Ranger Service, under the a range of live music, performers and direction of an organising committee entertainments, all with a birthday party which includes local canal enthusiasts theme. There will also be a number of and councillors, on behalf of IWA. smaller satellite events happening at Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman locations along the canal on the other said “I am delighted that the National two days, including an illuminated night Trailboat Festival is to return to the time parade in Tiverton and a fun day in Grand Western Canal in 2014, in its Sampford Peverell. bicentenary year. The canal is a beautiful The event will also provide an waterway, and I am sure will attract opportunity to celebrate completion of a good turnout of boat owners with repairs to the breached embankment at their trailboats. The Inland Waterways Halberton, and will enable the message Association greatly appreciates the to be spread nationally that the canal is strong support shown by Devon once again fully operational. The canal County Council for its waterways and remains open for all to enjoy with just its on-going commitment to the Grand a small diversion from Swing Bridge Western Canal, especially after the canal to Watton Bridge whilst those repairs breached following the torrential rains are carried out. Works on repairing the last autumn. We look forward to seeing embankment are due to commence this the canal fully reopened next year to summer and, all being well, should be coincide with the Trailboat Festival.” completed by the end of this year.

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19/7/13 4:13:36 pm

Autumn 2013 News | Freight | Restoration




Gloucester Waterway Museum is to develop a new exhibition telling the story of commercial carrying on the River Severn.

he Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded Gloucester Waterways Museum £60,700 of first-round funding to develop a project showing the wider effect of Gloucester Docks, and its trade, on the nation. The project, called from ‘Birmingham to the Sea’, would tell the story of carrying on the River Severn and the canals from Sharpness to the sea. If the bid is successful, the funding would unlock nearly £1m to develop the project and to refit one of the museum’s heritage boats into a learning and exhibition venue. Meanwhile the Gloucester Museum has also started a new Coaster & Barge special interest group, for those interested in discussing smaller coastal and inland cargo transport in recent eras. The group is to meet regularly at the museum and held its first such get-together in mid-April.


n the Spring 2013 Waterways we reported on the then recently published domestic waterborne freight statistics for 2011. We are now grateful to the Port of London Authority for updating the figures for the Thames – an increase in barge traffic from 2.0 million tonnes in 2011 to 3.3 million in 2012. This is an increase in which our Salt winners have been much involved. Much of the increased barge traffic derives from the tunnelling activity of Thames Water, their Lea Tunnel, and Crossrail’s Canary



ollowing the death in January of Geoff Wheat, in April the IWA and its Freight Group lost another long serving member with the sad death of Dr Roger Lorenz. With a degree in metallurgy in the 1960s, Roger developed what was to be a lifelong interest in industrial

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Wharf station and the start on their main tunnels. The PLA says that traffic on the lower Bow Creek is back to 1960s levels and in addition to spoil out, there has been inward traffic of aggregates for site production of concrete (Dock Entrance Wharf) and of prefabricated tunnel linings made in Chatham to Limmo and Instone wharves on Bow Creek. It is calculated that by 2017 some 10 million tonnes of spoil will be moved, mainly by water, and Thames Water are yet to start on their Thames Tideway Tunnel.

archaeology and in particular commercial waterways and craft. He became involved in a number of carrying companies and eventually with Geoff Wheat and David Lowe in Humber barges. He had boatyards at Leigh and then Barton and became a marine surveyor with an active concern for the training of the surveyors. In 1982 Roger and his wife Stef, both keen canal cruisers, acquired the 1934-built steel


Dramatic Rise in Thames Traffic

Unloading quay below Bow Creek mouth.

narrowboat Swallow which they restored, rebuilt and re-engined. In 2002 Swallow passed to the Airedale Barge Co Ltd (David Lowe) and after further restoration was in 2006 included on the National Register of Historic Vessels of the UK. Roger will be greatly missed by the many in IWA who knew him and for whom his knowledge and expertise was valuable in so many ways.

IWA waterways |


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IWA waterways |


23/7/13 9:56:32 am


Chelmer & Blackwater It’s not just boaters and walkers who benefit from Essex Waterways’ well run navigation – commerce is thriving too. We look at three waterside enterprises… NEW VESSEL FOR BLACKWATER BOATS A new boat that can accommodate wheelchair users and other people with disabilities or mobility problems is being introduced by Blackwater Boats for short trips and longer charters on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. Named Blackwater Dawn, the traditional style widebeam river boat, with open views from the covered forward deck, became fully operational in May this year. Wider than the Blackwater Rose that it replaced, it includes galley facilities, a large toilet compartment and a platform lift - enabling safe and easy access for older people, and those with a disability.

ABOVE: All aboard the Blackwater

Owner Ron Abbott, who runs Blackwater Boats with his wife Judith, said: “We have wanted to cater for a wider range of passengers for a while and our new vessel allows us to do that. Many more people can now experience a river cruise, with all its scenery, wildlife and other sights and sounds.” Blackwater Boats have been offering trips and charters on the Chelmer & Blackwater for the past ten years from Sandford Lock, Blackwater Dawn arriving at Sandford Lock. near Chelmsford. Prior to that the proprietors spent another ten years operating holiday hire boats from other special occasions. Guests can bring the same location. aboard their own refreshments to enjoy Charters offered range from two to sixduring the river cruise, perhaps stopping hours which allows for either a short trip for a riverside picnic, or be taken to a or a longer cruise through a number of convenient landing place to visit a local locks before returning to Sandford Lock. pub or restaurant.” Prices range from £5.50 per adult for a For further information contact: Ron one-hour trip to £190 for a six-hour cruise Abbott on 01206 853282 or 07802514400, for up to 12 people. visit or email Mr Abbott added: “Previous charters have included birthdays, anniversaries, and


Al fresco lunching at the popular Paper Mill Lock tearooms.

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Autumn 2013 22/7/13 3:50:41 pm



BASIN PLEASURE BOATS AT HEYBRIDGE The Victoria setting off on another charter cruise.

A DAY OUT AT PAPER MILL The widebeam passenger vessel Victoria was launched in 1975, since when it has carried countless thousands of visitors on charter along the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. Recently refurbished, Victoria is licensed to carry 48 passengers. Seating can be adapted to suit any occasion, whether it is for an informal party, club outing, wedding reception or corporate event. Cruises start and finish at Paper Mill Lock and last for a minimum of two hours. A high standard of catering is provided on board, as well as a bar carrying a full selection of popular brands of soft and alcoholic drinks. When it comes to public cruises, the 12-seater passenger vessel Caffel runs leisurely hour-long trips along the navigation throughout the summer months. Babies up to RIGHT: 12-seater passenger vessel Caffel.

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one year old travel free, otherwise trips cost £5 per person. Demand is generally high so advance booking is strongly recommended. Or perhaps you’re just looking for a nice lunch by the water, or a pot of tea and a slice or two of calorie-busting cake. Paper Mill Lock tearooms are open throughout the year for morning coffee, midday meals (featuring homemade soup and daily specials), and afternoon tea. Extensive outdoor seating is available for al fresco eating when the weather is fine. For full details of activities and entertainment at Paper Mill Lock telephone 01245 225520 or visit

Heybridge Basin, at the eastern end of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, is one of the most delightful locations on the entire waterway network, a place where inland vessels encounter their seafaring counterparts. Basin Pleasure Boats runs one-hour day trips throughout the summer months, departing Heybridge at 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm. Two-hour sunset cruises also operate in peak season, travelling to Beeleigh Weir and return. The vessel used is the Elver, originally a 1930s built Welsh coal boat with a bow at both ends. Originally horse drawn, it was converted into two 25ft passenger vessels. Purchased by Basin Pleasure Boats, one half of the craft was transported to Heybridge Basin, re-hulled, refurbished and launched into the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in April 2006. Rowing boats are also available for hire, whilst a new kiosk has been installed selling hot and cold snacks, icecreams and cold drinks. For further information telephone 07835 657462 or visit On summer weekends Heybridge Basin exudes the air of a genteel seaside resort, with a range of further attractions including the spectacle of traditional sailing barges (occasionally racing) and other craft in the Blackwater estuary, not to mention renowned pubs such as the Jolly Sailor and the Old Ship, and a pleasant tearoom too.

IWA waterways |


22/7/13 3:51:35 pm


Sat 10th August 2013 10am – 4pm hosted by

BMF Midlands are presenting a summer on the water event at one of the UK’s most Beautiful and Prestigious inland waterway marinas – Trinity Marinas in Hinckley www. on the Saturday 10th August 2013. The event kindly hosted by Trinity Marinas and Power Train Projects will run from 10am till 4pm and bring together the best in inland boating, water-sports combining with exciting automotive and motorsport displays. Also BBQ and Fun Fair along with trade stalls.

Trinity Marinas Ltd, Wharf Farm, Coventry Road, Hinckley, Leics LE10 0NF Check the BMF Midland group web site

BMF&Trinity FP.indd 42 for updated news 23/7/13 09:51:50



The Winter 2013 issue of Waterways will be published in October 2013. Editorial closing date is 30th September 2013.

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 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

Star Letter

Mystery of Diamond Locks





I’ve always been intrigued by the civil engineering oddities on our waterways and do my best to figure them out. One such is the purpose of diamond shaped locks. Several suggestions exist, but to my knowledge not substantiated i.e. “It’s a stronger structure.” If that were so, they would be in abundance. It’s also been suggested that they created working areas if the lock was utilised as a dry dock. If that were the reason, the Warwickshire Avon would have had more than necessary. The most popular suggestion is that they were built to pass extra water to a deeper lock further down. This has some merit on the Oxford Canal, but not on the Warwickshire Avon. River navigations do not generally suffer from water shortage like canals, but the mill owners of the day were renowned for exercising their right to a good head of water. Any gain by making the shallower Wyre Lock “diamond” would have been lost by the mill and the one time diamond lock at ★

LONDON MEMORIES I had to send an email to congratulate you on a most interesting Summer issue of Waterways. I am now an armchair member of IWA and found this issue to be very informative, as I lived near to Teddington Lock but had many canal holidays starting in the London area. Your London’s Waterways article brought back many memories of Limehouse, Brentford etc.

Greta Kozary, Summer 2013 p043_iwa.indd 1

Via email

Pershore. Even before the 2ft 6in deepening during restoration, it would have taken a lot more water to raise the river level from the water gate (which deepening replaced) to the tail of Pershore Lock. I believe that as long as the water was running everyone was happy and the diamond locks were never intentionally built as such but merely improvements to eroded Diamond-shaped Aynho Weir Lock “turf” sided locks. They were on the Oxford Canal. just “walled up” to the nearest shape locks were not the remains of an earlier they had eroded to. This explains why some navigation, why didn’t Brindley simply build a are more diamond than others. Even Evesham longer rectangular lock or a side pond fed via Lock is slightly oval. Some on the earlier Upper a culvert through one wall of a rectangular Avon had circular chambers, possibly from lock? Why widen both sides of the locks? The unchecked erosion. answer may be that having been a millright The two diamond locks on the Oxford Canal he’d seen diamond locks on river navigations are situated where it joins the River Cherwell. which gave him the idea without considering It could be that Brindley simply utilised the remains of an earlier river navigation to join his anything else, or the diamonds were a modification after the canal was in operation, canal and gain a user-regulated feeder. This to supplement a water supply problem. would have been more acceptable to any mill owners than a continuous feeder, or relying on boatmen to only let down sufficient water to David Northcott, make up a low pound. If Aynho and Shipton Thornbury, Bristol




★★★★★★★★ ★





Spotlight on IWA Personnel I enjoyed reading the interview with Ian West in the Summer edition. It is fascinating to learn more about the key personnel who do so much good work on behalf of the Association, particularly how they became interested in the inland waterways in the first place. Please keep this feature going in upcoming issues.

Leonard Gower,

Via email

North West Chairman Alan Platt is under the spotlight on pages 14-17 of this issue. Ed

IWA waterways |


22/7/13 3:52:14 pm

Narrowboats &


Designed around You........

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23/7/13 09:48:58

ing our 10th Anniversar t a r b e l y Ce 2013 Theme ‘Balloons Galore’


loon and celebrate our 1

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For more details contact Banbury Town Council on 01295 250340 or email Join our Facebook Page -

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Feel the drive

UK mAiN diSTriBUTOr COveriNg • Shropshire • Nottinghamshire • Derbyshire Kings Lock is recognised as one of the leading authorities for supply and installation of heating systems of all applications. Eberspächer & Mikuni conversions fitted on site.

M[YWdikffboÅj jhWZ[h[jW_b If you’re passing through Middlewich, Cheshire then why not bring your boat for a FREE CO Test? Autumn 2013 p045_iwa.indd 1

• Cheshire

• Merseyside • Lancashire

We supply to some of the biggest names in the business We are one of the official dealers dedicated to distribution of Webasto heaters, Isotherm fridges and air conditioning to some of the biggest and best boatbuilders on the inland waterways.

D[njZWoZ[b_l[ho WlW_bWXb[

• Staffordshire

INCLUDING... • Collingwood Boats • Orchard • Braidbar • Sea Otter • Stoke-on-Trent • Piper • Bourne Boatbuilders • Burscough • Aintree Boats Co • Navigation Narrowboat Co

Give us a call we may be able to beat your current source and supply of heating. Tel: 01606 737564 Kings Lock Chandlery, Booth Lane, middlewich, Cheshire CW10 0JJ

IWA waterways |


22/7/13 3:10:28 pm

To advertise here please contact Laura Smith

☎ 01283 742971 

Correspond to: Laura Smith, IWA Waterways, 151 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE14 1BG | Next issue deadline: 5th April 2013


MOORINGS The boater’s choice... MERCIA MARINA

...for a natural berth

An idyllic setting of particular interest to both canal and wildlife enthusiasts. This architect-designed contemporary home enjoys panoramic views over the Vale of Aylesbury and canal frontage (with mooring) on the Grand Union Canal, amidst beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside.

Accommodation comprises Entrance hall • Master bedroom suite with ensuite wet room & dressing room • Three further bedrooms • Family bathroom • Utility room • First floor open plan living area • Veranda & gardens • Garage & car port • Off road parking

Breathtaking waterside destination and ideally located peaceful haven for boaters on the Trent & Mersey. For moorers’ there is everything you could want: full length boat jetties, 16amp electricity & water, 12 showers, 15 WC’s, 6 washers, 6 dryers, 8 brick built BBQ’s all for boaters use. Long & short term moorings available. Call 01283 703 332 for a mooring pack or email

SERVICES BATES BOATYARD LTD, Bulbourne Dry Dock. All boat maintenance and services. Blacking, Welding, Paintwork, Joinery, Fit Outs, A variety of locally sourced wood planked and air dried on site. Jem Bates tel: 01296 632017 web: www.batesboatyard. 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.

Offers £750,000 in ExcessFreehold of £725,000

Contact: Cesare & Co. 48 High Street, Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 5AG.

Tel: 01442 827000

01785 819702 The best value luxury marina! Last few moorings available - BOOK NOW!


Aston Marina, Lichfield Road, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8QU

REACH THE IWA’S MEMBERSHIP Effective, Affordable Advertising To advertise in this section call Laura Smith on 01283 742971 or email:


NEWBURY MARINA Affordable narrowboat holidays and secure leisure moorings available. For a full list of our marina services see our main advert on page 12 or visit



RECORD COLLECTIONS WANTED – Jazz, Rock, Folk, Classical etc. Call Chris McGranaghan – 07795 548242 or Email me at:

WINDOWS GRAY’S BOAT WINDOWS offer a full design and manufacturing facility for customers. We have also developed the ‘S’ Type window with modern styling and fast simple fitting technique as a narrowboat window alternative. www.narrowboatwindows. 01905 358800

when responding to advertisements


Lineage adverts cost £1.38 per word (inc. VAT), minimum 12 words. Box adverts start from as little as £33 per issue (plus VAT)*. A copy of our terms and conditions is available on request. (*4 series booking)

IWA Classies Autumn 13.indd 2


IWA waterways |


22/7/13 3:07:27 pm


Index to Advertisers

Waterways is distributed free to all members of the Association with a readership of over 20,000. Advertising in Waterways offers a precisely targeted medium for businesses in all fields connected with inland waterways, such as boating, hiring, insurance, building, publishing, catering, chandlery or brokerage.

To advertise in IWA Waterways please contact Ian Sharpe, Advertising Manager, 151 Station Street, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1BG. 01283 742 965 or


| IWA waterways

p048_iwa.indd 1

AB Tuckey..............................................4 ABC Leisure................................... 12, IBC ABNB   ..................................................1 ARS Diesel............................................38 Banbury Town Hall...............................45 B.C Boat Management.........................13 Baddie the Pirate.................................13 Bates Boatyard.....................................12 Boatshed Grand Union.........................18 Braunston Marina.................................39 Canal Cruising........................................4 Canal Junction.....................................18 Colecraft..............................................18 Debdale Wharf......................................4 Fox’s Boats...........................................48 Grays Boat Windows............................39 JL Pinder & Sons.....................................1 Kings Lock......................................13, 45 Kuranda...............................................48

Lee Sanitation........................................4 Limekiln.................................................4 MGF Excavation Support Systems...........5 Midland Chandlers............................ OBC Morris Lubricants..................................19 Motech................................................12 Newbury..............................................18 Shoreline.............................................18 Swanley Bridge Marina.........................12 The New & Used Boat Company..........35 Towergate Insurance.............................5 Trinity/BMF...........................................42 VideoActive.........................................48 Websters Insulation..............................48 Wharf House........................................39 Whilton Marina................................... IFC Autumn 2013 22/7/13 2:52:09 pm

ABC Boat Hire ABC Boat Sales ABC Boat Management Boat Shares Chandlery Boat Maintenance and Repairs Marina Services Moorings Helmsman Training

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22/10/12 11:08:18

15% OFF

Don’t Forget!

To take advantage of your 15% discount available throughout August to all IWA Members. Not a member? Now is the time to join! Visit

Only available on production of a valid membership card (no other discounts apply)

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AUTO BILGE PUMP 12V 1500GPH While stocks last!

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Midland Chandlers is part of the Arleigh Group Ltd. Our sister companies are Arleigh International (spares & accessories for holiday homes) and Nova Leisure (motorhome spares & accessories) For further information contact Midland Chandlers.

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A Warm Welcome Awaits You At Our Stores... Parkgate Lock, Teddesley Road, Penkridge, Staffs, ST19 5RH. London Road, Braunston, Northants, NN11 7HB. The Wharf, Preston Brook, Cheshire, WA4 4BA. Mercia Marina, Findern Lane, Willington, Derbyshire, DE65 6DW. Central Warehouse & Trade Distribution Century Park, Ballin Road, Nuneaton, Warks, CV10 9GA.

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19/7/13 4:45:27 pm

IWA Waterways Magazine Autumn 2013  

IWA Waterways Magazine Autumn 2013

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