waterways Keeping Our Waterways Alive
Summer 2010 | ISSUE 228
CANAL CAMPS 2010
W il d O v e r Waterways
PEDAL POWER Cycling THE TOWPATHS Events 2010 All the rallies and festivals COVER Spring.indd 2
Essex Waterways ÂŁ1m improvement programme
Restoration Update Wey & Arun developments
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National Chairman’s Column
IWA WATERWAYS Summer 2010 ISSUE
My time as chairman has seen us complete our internal restructure with, no doubt, some sceptics wondering why we spent so long on such matters. I hope that as you read this and the General Election provides our next Government that we will have been able to get the waterway message across to the majority of the successful MPs with waterways in their constituencies, as well as to many of those candidates who stood but failed to be elected. I am not sure that we could have been so active and successful at telling the local waterway tale to the Westminster candidates without our restructure and the greater focus on strategy that it has given us. Time will tell how well we can use the basic awareness that members and branches have created in the new parliament. Inevitably we will have lost some friends at Westminster, through their choice not to stand again or through election defeat, but there is no doubt that we need to continue to involve our past supporters as well as the newer MPs. Your Board of Trustees has recently outlined a strategy to optimise IWA’s appeal to all waterway supporters, by identifying two distinct areas of interest: those whose interests lie mainly upon the water such as boating in all its forms; and those whose interests are towpath-based, such as walkers, anglers and cyclists. Many supporters have interests in both areas and there is a natural overlap between them. Over and above these two areas there are elements of the waterway corridor that impact both groups such as its heritage, its natural diversity and its ability to enhance adjacent buildings and locations. In due course we hope to promote special interest groups along these lines in order to gain support from many who are currently not members of the Association but who have an underlying support for our aims and objectives. Increased support and membership numbers are essential if we are to convince Government and other funders that the waterways deserve their financial investment, to match the time and commitment given by volunteers past and present. In recent months we have contributed to several major consultations from Government and British Waterways. In both instances we incorporated our vision of the Inland Waterways Conservancy that I covered in the last edition (see also page 5). The response from many quarters to the conservancy concept has been encouraging and we appreciate the wide and genuine support it has received. The next stages of Waterways for Everyone are delayed by the election process but we hope that during the summer the comments submitted will be analysed by DEFRA and, as a result, a new direction and model for supporting waterways by all stakeholders will emerge. This will be a major opportunity for a new Waterways Minister to make a mark – by showing leadership and vision. And that vision will need to be shared across many other departments in Government if a genuine sustainable future for the waterways is to be secured.
TOWARDS AN INLAND WATERWAYS CONSERVANCY?
Will the 2010 Budget prove a turning point for the inland waterways?
33 THE WOW FACTOR
Success for the Wild Over Waterways project
All the major rallies and festivals for the coming year
What the press have to say about the waterways
Who’s who at the inland waterways
News and views from around the network
18 -JOIN THE PARTY WRG IS 40!
Canal camps 2010
Cycling and walking the towpaths
20 NO BOAT… NO PROBLEM
34 EVENTS 2010
38 WATERWAY CUTTINGS
43 INBOX 28 RESTORATION UPDATE 44 DIRECTORY
From the Wey & Arun, Cromford, and BedfordMilton Keynes Waterway
WATERWAYS EDITOR: Keith Goss Tel: 01283 742951 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING DESIGN: Jill Brown, Bethan Large ADVERTISING PRODUCTION: Samantha Lloyd E-mail: email@example.com EDITORIAL BOARD: Neil Edwards, Jo Gilbertson, Keith Goss, Clive Henderson, Peter Johns, Jim Shead 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 l
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Founded: 1946, Incorporated 1958 Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA Tel: 01494 783453 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: www.waterways.org.uk Chief Executive – Neil Edwards, Operations & Information Systems Manager – David Forrester Finance Manager – Helen Elliott-Adams Campaign & Communications Manager – Jo Gilbertson l IWA may not agree with opinions expressed in Waterways but encourages publication as a matter of interest. Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless stated, otherwise the Association accepts no liability for any matter in the magazine. Although every care is taken with advertising matters no responsibility whatsoever can be accepted for any matter advertised.
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COVER PICTURE: Bikes and boats on the Grand Union Canal – a perfect combination?
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 01
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 03
• Breakdown and Call Out Service • Gas service and repairs – Gas Safety Registered • Plumbing service and repairs • Refits and refurbishments • Heater service and new sales
• Marine equipment sales, service and repairs • Dry dock and blacking – undercover • Electric service and repairs • Repaints full or partial – undercover • Engine service and new sales • Bespoke boat building
04 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
The Environment Agency controlled rivers Great Ouse (above) and Thames could one day be administered by an Inland Waterways Conservancy – a concept long cherished by IWA.
DEFRA Secretary of State Hilary Benn learning about narrowboats just prior to the Government announcement on British Waterways’ future status.
Towards an Inland Waterways Conservancy?
IWA’s detailed proposal for an Inland Waterways Conservancy is available as a consultation document – visit www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns.
The 2010 Budget could prove to be a turning point for the inland waterways of Britain
he Inland Waterways Association has welcomed the announcement in the recent Budget statement that British Waterways is to be ‘mutualised’, probably as a charitable trust responsible for managing waterway assets on a longlease with the non-operational property endowment held in a ‘charity locked’ arrangement. The Association hopes that this development could represent the first step towards the establishment of an ‘Inland Waterways Conservancy’, long advocated by IWA. There is an understanding, however, that much further work will be needed to identify the exact of form of mutual and the detail of its governance and relationship with Government. IWA also welcomes the Government’s intention to safeguard British Waterways’ assets by ensuring that any proposal will: ensure robust governance arrangements and purpose so that waterways assets and the public benefits they bring are protected now and in the future; develop a governance structure that allows all users, local communities and other stakeholders to hold the new body to account; and put the waterways on a long-term sustainable footing while reducing the ongoing cost to the taxpayer.
IWA National Chairman Clive Henderson commented: “We are pleased with the Government announcement as we have supported this initiative from the start. We are also pleased to see Government’s intentions to ensure that the public interest is safeguarded, as this has also been one of our overriding concerns in the development of the proposals put forward by BW. “IWA looks forward to participating in the promised full consultation, and will be actively seeking to ensure that this opportunity is built upon for the benefit of all waterway users, by exploring the opportunities that a larger Inland Waterways Conservancy might present. With over 5,000km of navigable waterways in the ownership or control of over 30 navigation authorities, the two largest are the Government funded and controlled agencies, British Waterways and the Environment Agency. Our vision is to encourage the formation of a larger, rationalised organisation, incorporating both British Waterways and Environment Agency managed waterways, that will also allow for the opportunity for other non-publicly funded navigations to join at some time in the future.” The mutualisation announcement was also welcomed by Tony Hales, chairman of British Waterways, who referred to it as “a significant moment in the history of our inland waterways” and went on to enthuse
about “a tremendously innovative model for reinvigorating the waterways.” The move to charitable status has often been described as being akin to “the establishment of a National Trust for the waterways.” It is a particularly attractive proposition for BW, who see it as a way to attract substantial charitable income and encourage large scale volunteer help at all levels throughout the waterway network. BW would also like to be permitted to borrow money.
The Way Forward The Government will now lead a full public consultation on the scope and detail of the proposals made in the Budget statement, though no date has been set when such a consultation will be launched. Neither has it confirmed whether scarce Parliamentary time would be needed for new legislation. Any proposal could, of course, be withdrawn by a new Government following the 6th May General Election, although BW and others believe that there is full crossparty support for the mutualisation plans. On a less positive note, the recent Budget also included a £194m budget cut for DEFRA, the Government department that funds British Waterways. This development, although not entirely unexpected, underlined the urgent need to find an alternative method of running and financing the waterways. IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 05
NEW IWA BRANCH After a successful Special General Meeting in York on 9th February, members in part of IWA’s existing West Riding Branch voted for the current Ouse and Ure Section, based around York, to become a new branch: The North Riding Branch. The process will take around 18 months to complete, subject to trustees’ approval. New committee members were elected and officers were appointed at the first meeting. For further details, contact Tony Martin, telephone 07588 236597 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IWA AGM In accordance with Article 71 of IWA’s Articles of Association, notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Association will be held on Saturday 25th September 2010 at 2pm. The venue for the meeting will be at The Grove School, Stafford Street, Market Drayton, Shropshire, TF9 1HF. Full details of the meeting will be provided in the next edition of Waterways. In accordance with Article 43, nominations to stand as an elected trustee (five places available) are sought. Nominations are also sought for the posts of region chairman for East Midlands Region (to serve until 2013 AGM), North East and Yorkshire Region (to serve until 2013 AGM) and South West Region (to serve until 2012 AGM). Any member can submit a nomination for a nationally elected trustee, which should be accompanied by confirmation from the nominee that they are willing to be elected as a trustee of the Association. Nominations for region chairmen should be made by a member of the relevant region. The nominee should also be a member of that region. All nominations should be accompanied by a brief biography or statement not exceeding 400 words, for publication as part of any ballot paper with the notice convening the AGM to be issued in the next edition of Waterways.
IWA PARLIAMENTARIANS OF THE YEAR The Inland Waterways Association has exceptionally made its 2010 inland waterways ‘Parliamentarian of the Year’ award jointly to both Bob Laxton MP and Michael Fabricant MP. The award was made at an exclusive dinner at the House of Commons on 2nd February, held by IWA. It was attended by Members of Parliament from all the major parties who have shown a keen interest in the waterways, and being the last annual dinner before the General Election in 2010, gave IWA the opportunity to thank MPs, some of whom are standing down, for their efforts over this Parliament. In presenting the awards, Clive Henderson, IWA national chairman, said: “This year will see the end of the current Parliament so we looked really hard at a number of exceptional candidates for our Parliamentarian of the Year award. In the end we just couldn’t split the difference between the two leading candidates so they both get the award.
“As the Member for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant has been a supporter of IWA and canals in general for many years. He is keenly committed to the re-opening of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals, supporting the local trust; has held well supported Adjournment Debates on waterways funding issues; and believes in a cross party consensus on supporting our waterways.
The Member for Derby North, Bob Laxton, has been chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Waterways Group since 2005; is President of the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust; is a regular contributor at Adjournment Debates on waterways issues; and has tabled more Early Day Motions on the waterways than any other MP.”
Left to right: Michael Fabricant, Clive Henderson and Bob Laxton.
UNIQUE INSURANCE DEAL FOR IWA MEMBERS IWA has teamed up with both Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue to enable an insurance facility that it believes is unique to the market, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and so helps our charitable work for the waterways. Our tailored inland waterway insurance policies cover loss and damage to your vessel, protect against legal claims, pay out for injury and damage caused to other property and provide the additional security of inclusive breakdown membership. The policy incorporates many features that are unique including: membership of River Canal Rescue breakdown (which can be upgraded at additional cost); 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. Speaking on behalf of IWA, Neil Edwards, chief executive, said: “IWA currently arranges insurance for over 170 of IWA’s corporate members, including most waterways societies and trusts, many boat clubs, community boat groups, navigation authorities, educational, industrial archaeological, waterways leisure and heritage bodies, museums and a wide range of other non-profit making organisations. This is something that IWA has done as a non-profit making service for over 35 years, and has helped save many thousands of pounds from waterways insurance bills. IWA’s experience in insurance matters led us to believe that something advantageous could be put in place for private boat owners too. We believe that our partnership with Navigators & General, a leading pleasure craft insurer, and with River Canal Rescue, the foremost boat breakdown organisation, makes this scheme a market-leading proposition, and one w+hich provides additional financial benefit to IWA that will allow it to further its charitable work for the waterways. For more information please go to: www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/boat_insurance.
06 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
whilst the new timber deck beams have been installed and the brick parapets rebuilt by contractors. This work is being funded from a Section 106 Grant through Maldon District Council and Essex County Council following a nearby housing development by builders Redrow. Essex Waterways thanks Waterway Recovery Group and both councils for their ongoing support. Earlier in 2009, Essex Waterways undertook major repairs at Stonhams Lock, with funding support from Essex Environment Trust (£35,000), Essex County Council (£25,000) and IWA’s Chelmsford Branch (£17,500). Essex Waterways chairman Roy Chandler said: “Over £1 million has been spent on improvements to the navigation in the past 12 months – the excellent support and resolve from local organisations, councils and businesses to ensure a success of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation is matched only by the enthusiasm and appreciation of the local community, which highly values its unique waterway. The navigation has probably never been so well used by so many people. This all takes a great deal of work to keep up with the maintenance, and the ongoing support of local authorities, the Environment Agency, Essex & Suffolk Water and user organisations is vital.” In another development in March, Essex Waterways acquired a new crane at Heybridge Basin to enable a boat lifting capability of up to 23.5 tonnes (depending upon type of vessel). This will allow Essex Waterways to lift out many larger boats now on the navigation for pressure washing and hull blackening, and increase future earnings to help fund maintenance work. Essex Waterways’ previous crane has been donated to the MidNorfolk Railway.
Essex Waterways’ new crane arriving at Heybridge Basin.
Waterway users took full advantage of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, which fully re-opened for Easter after over £1 million of repairs and improvements. Essex Waterways, IWA’s subsidiary company which runs the navigation, had co-ordinated its largest programme of renovations so far this winter. The largest culvert on the navigation, Elms Farm Chunker, which goes under a man-made embankment where the navigation bypasses the town of Maldon, has been replaced by contractors working for the Environment Agency. The original elm box culvert, dating from the 1790s, was on the verge of failing, and the risk of consequent failure of the embankment could have led to substantial flooding in Heybridge. The new culvert consists of concrete piping, which Essex Waterways will maintain. Essex Waterways is grateful to the Environment Agency, which has kindly funded the full cost of these works, of over £750,000, from its flood defence budget. The old elm box culvert will go to local museums for historic preservation. Just upstream at Beeleigh Lock, contractors working for Essex & Suffolk Water, have undertaken bank repairs to provide new landing facilities, installed a new lock ladder, made repairs to the lower cill and undertaken dredging work in the vicinity. Essex Waterways is grateful to Essex & Suffolk Water (part of Northumbrian Water), which has kindly funded nearly all the costs for this work. Meanwhile, below Heybridge Mill, Essex County Council has just completed repainting of Wave Bridge at Heybridge, and just downstream, Hall Bridge has been replaced. A Waterway Recovery Group canal camp in February took out the old bridge,
£1 MILLION IMPROVEMENTS ON THE CHELMER & BLACKWATER
Elms Farm Chunker excavation works.
Further Help Needed IWA’s management of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, through our subsidiary company Essex Waterways Ltd, is proving a great success because of the fantastic level of support and commitment from a wide range of people who all want to see the waterway succeed and thrive for future generations. The help received from local authorities, corporate bodies, local IWA members, Waterway Recovery Group, charitable groups and many others has been first class, but much of the core work falls on a dedicated few, employees and volunteers, who have the led the management of the navigation from initial rescue from almost-certain closure through to its current improvement and revitalisation. This success has brought its own pressures, and there remains a great deal more to be done to bring the navigation up to standard, for all waterway users, and to make the best of the natural and historic environment, raising standards of the waterway and surrounding land in our care. To achieve this, we need more help and support. We are particularly looking for people who have appropriate professional expertise and could help with legal work (especially involving Land Registry issues, wayleaves and leases), formulating funding bids, preparing applications for planning approval and allied consents with the Environment Agency, and nature conservation studies etc, and drawing up specifications and designs for engineering works and the like. If you feel that you could make a useful contribution to help with running the navigation, we would like to hear from you. Whilst being located not too far away from the waterway would be an advantage, there may be opportunities for those living much further afield too. In the first instance, please contact Roy Chandler, chairman of Essex Waterways Ltd (roy.chandler@ waterways.org.uk or via Neil Edwards at Head Office).
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 07
DANIEL ADAMSON IN THE NEWS ANTIQUES Roadshow expert Paul Atterbury has agreed to become the patron for the campaign to restore Britain’s last steam-powered tug tender, the Daniel Adamson, and he hopes to be more than just a figurehead for the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society. Paul, a Roadshow expert of 20 years’ standing who still appears regularly on this long running and popular TV programme, has been enthusiastic about transport history all his life, with an emphasis on trains and boats. He has explored most of Britain’s navigable waterways and is a Vice President of The Waterways Trust, as well as a lecturer and writer, with over 30 books to his credit, mostly on ceramics, canals and railways.
For Paul, the restoration of the Daniel Adamson is a very exciting project. He said: “I am delighted to be involved with the Daniel Adamson, a project that brings together three of my great interests, steam power, maritime and waterway history and Art Deco, the design style of the 1920s and ‘30s. No surviving vessel can better express both the vitality of the canal age and the stylish elegance of the 1930s ocean liner, and for this reason the restoration of the Daniel Adamson is for me Britain’s most important maritime conservation project.” The Edwardian tug tender Daniel Adamson was built in 1903, at Tranmere, Birkenhead, for the Shropshire Union Railway & Canal Co. Initially placed on ferry and
A 1947 view of Daniel Adamson at Liverpool.
Many years later on the Manchester Ship Canal.
MILTON KEYNES CLEAN UP IWA’s Milton Keynes branch, one of many participating in the recent round of national waterway clean ups, carried out their spring clean of the Grand Union Canal over the 10 miles through Milton Keynes, from Fenny Stratford to Wolverton, over the weekend 26th to 28th March. The haul from grappling from the bank and behind the towed hopper collected over 10 tons of assorted rubbish including: 21 bicycles, four motorbikes, three mattresses, a .303 rifle and air gun, a billiard table, five TVs, 15 tyres/wheels and the usual 20 shopping trolleys. The branch also retrieved a considerable
barge towing between Ellesmere Port and Liverpool, it was sold to the Manchester Ship Canal Co in 1922. Rebuilt as the directors’ inspection vessel, an art deco-style, double-deck passenger saloon was incorporated, which was inspired by Cunard Line’s first Queen Mary and fitted out by the same company that built the 1934 super liner – John Brown & Co, Clydebank. After a long lay-up, the Daniel Adamson is currently undergoing total restoration at Sandon Dock, Liverpool, for public excursions on the Mersey, Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal. For details of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society contact the chairman, Dan Cross, on 07979 865391 or e-mail chairman@ danieladamson.co.uk.
amount of wood, mostly fallen branches, and numerous lengths of wire and fishing line. For light relief, there was also a plastic pig. Litter picking along the towpath, hedges and offside yielded approx 30 sacks of cans, bottles and sundry plastic. IWA members and other volunteers numbered up to 43 on the Saturday and not many less on the other two days. The Branch received a Volunteers Award from British Waterways South East in October 2009 in recognition of these twice-yearly clean-ups carried out over many years. This latest venture shows that this work is still badly needed.
OFFENDERS TIDY UP STRATFORD The Stratford upon Avon waterway cleaning project Is aiming to keep the waters of the river and canal in Stratford clear of rubbish. The project is to be undertaken from a work-boat crewed by offenders doing unpaid work under the supervision of a probation officer as part of a court sentence. The project was officially launched by the Chairman of Stratford District Council on 13th April at Bancroft Gardens in Stratford. The event was attended by representatives of IWA, British Waterways, the Avon Navigation Trust, the Stratford upon Avon Canal Society and the Warwickshire judiciary, as well as the Mayor of Stratford.
GOING GREEN AT FALKIRK An innovative heat pump has been installed at Falkirk’s newest outdoor activity centre, Action Outdoors. Located on the bank of the Union Canal, the activity centre is making the most of the surrounding environment with pipes laid in the canal providing hot water for the centre. The heat pump works on the same principal as a fridge – cooling one part of the environment and thereby generating heat. In this case, it uses pipes submerged in the canal; a refrigerator plant cools the canal water and makes use of the heat recovered to provide hot water and central heating for the Action Outdoors building. Heat generated in this way has much reduced carbon emissions compared with conventional gas or oil boilers. Funding for the energy saving heat pump came from The Waterways Trust’s Green Fund which has been established by Britain’s leading canal hire boat company, UK Boat Hire, who have a base in Falkirk, and The Waterways Trust. The Fund aims to specifically invest in low carbon technologies and other environmental projects to help mitigate for the carbon emissions caused by holidays taken along our canals and rivers. For every holiday booking received, UK Boat Hire makes a donation to the Green Fund and invites holidaymakers to do the same for their travel to and from the start location.
08 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
Summer NEWS IN BRIEF
Lip Kee at flickr.com, CC-BY
Mark Bensted, British Waterways’ director of regeneration, is to leave the organisation. He was perhaps best known for heading BW London for many years, and will continue to support the Olympic waterway works as a volunteer. To reduce costs, BW does not intend to replace him. Meanwhile, BW’s Yorkshire waterway manager, Laurence Morgan, has also retired. The National Association of Boatowners has launced a new website at www.nabo.org.uk. The site features regular reports from local NABO representatives.
COUNTING KINGFISHERS FOR BW British Waterways is inviting nature lovers of all ages to visit their local canal, river, reservoir or dock and report on what creatures they see there. This year’s survey will focus on the kingfisher, whose numbers are expected to be affected by the recent harsh winter. Mark Robinson, BW’s national ecology manager, explains: “We have had a hard winter this year and although nature is pretty resilient, we think many species will have suffered. The good news is that our waterways act as green corridors connecting towns, cities and farmland, and providing vital shelter and a winter larder for wildlife struggling to survive. “However, some species will have been particularly hard hit. Frozen water and plummeting temperatures may have significantly reduced kingfisher populations, with the possibility that many lost the battle against the cold. It is therefore particularly important for us to monitor what species will need our support over the coming year and we’re asking the public to help us do that. Now the weather has warmed up kingfishers are starting to nest and so now is a great time to see them.” With spring finally arrived, the annual waterways wildlife survey is a perfect family activity and will continue throughout the year until the autumn. BW wants nature novices and seasoned spotters to record sightings of all wildlife they see on the waterways. Last year people taking part in the wildlife survey reported more than 42,500 sightings including nearly 300 different species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects and other waterway mammals. To help people get started, BW has produced a downloadable guide to what wildlife can be found along the nation’s canals and rivers. BW is also running a photography competition alongside the survey for adults and children, with prizes of up to £100 available. To find out more, to download a wildlife survey guide and to record wildlife sightings visit www.waterscape.com/wildlifesurvey.
VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED IWA’s Trustees are seeking qualified solicitors who may be willing to offer voluntary practical assistance on a variety of IWA matters, including legislative changes, membership and navigational issues. For more information, please apply in the first instance to email@example.com.
The Waterways Trust has announced the winners of its annual Waterways Renaissance Awards. They include a community award for the Middlewich Vision regeneration scheme, a design and construction award for the Liverpool Canal Link, and a strategy award for the Erewash Canal towpath scheme. The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland. In a ‘parish poll’, local people in Daventry have voted against plans for a new branch of the Grand Union Canal into the town. The poll is not binding on the District Council, which is actively promoting the scheme. In an effort to revive falling attendances, the London Boat Show has announced a tie-in with the Outdoors Show. Previously staged at the Birmingham NEC, the Outdoors Show focuses on activities such as mountaineering, canoeing, diving and mountain biking. It will now be staged alongside the London Boat Show, at the ExCeL Centre in Docklands, for the last four days of the 2011 event – 13th to 16th January.
Bath bridges to be restored
The two distinctive cast iron bridges on the Kennet & Avon Canal’s Bath lock flight are to be restored by British Waterways. If all goes to plan, the work will be completed by the end of this year, the 200th anniversary of the K&A. The bridges, cast locally by Stotherts in 1810, are being included in a recently announced scheme to improve the canal corridor through Bath, from the elegance of the Sydney Gardens with its Grade II*-listed tunnels and iron bridges, to the less attractive junction with the River Avon. BW’s Sarah Brice explained that the object was to entice some of Bath’s thousands of visitors to the tranquil, historic and attractive canal. In less than one mile, there are 19 listed structures and buildings that offer a snapshot of the cultural and industrial heritage of Bath. To achieve this, discreet direction signage and interpretation points will be erected along the canal to link with a specially identified walking route, with publicity material to incorporate the canal with major tourist attractions in the city. Another exciting prospect is the linking of the canal with the Holburne arts museum, currently undergoing a multi million pound expansion. The museum almost backs onto the canal at Sydney Gardens, the oldest public park in Bath. There is a possibility of boat trips on this short, very attractive length where canalside property is frequently priced at well over £1m. Further funding is still being sought and it is also hoped that volunteers will come forward to be involved in the improvements of this length of the canal which, in addition to the historical interest, gives fine views over the city. Robert Coles
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 09
MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO TOM ROLT
WATERWAY MUSEUMS RENAMED
To mark the centenary of the birth of Tom Rolt, British Waterways is teaming up with IWA and The Waterways Trust to deliver a programme of youth engagement this summer. The music-led celebrations will culminate in Tom Roltinspired musical workshops and performances at IWA’s Tom Rolt Centenary Rally in Chester on 26th- 27th June. The Rolt festival and workshops will be led by Waterways Action Squad youth volunteers – building upon the successful launch of Waterways Action Squad in October 2009. Robin Evans, BW chief executive, comments: “The publication of Tom Rolt’s book Narrow Boat together with his formation of the IWA was unquestionably the turning point for the salvation of the nation’s canals and rivers. Engaging the next generation in our waterways has to be a fitting legacy for such an influential man. “Importantly, the idea of waterway inspired music isn’t my idea or that of anyone else who has traditionally been involved in the waterways. It is what young people say is the way they want to engage with their local waterway.” Waterways Action Squad will organise a series of themed workshops in the run up to the
The waterways museums at Gloucester and Stoke Bruerne are being re-named to emphasise and strengthen their links with their local environment. The museum at Gloucester will now be known as Gloucester Waterways Museum and at Stoke Bruerne the museum will revert to its original name, the Canal Museum. The waterways museum at Ellesmere Port will remain as the National Waterways Museum and will be the focal point for telling the national story of the inland waterways. Roger Hanbury, Chief Executive of The Waterways Trust which is responsible for the operation of the three museums, explained: “Over the past 12 months we have worked very closely with volunteers and a range of other partners at each museum site. Each museum is now operated as a partnership between museum staff and volunteers, and this has helped to bring about a new direction and focus for each location. “After discussion with local partners it has become evident the museums at Gloucester and
Rolt Centenary Rally – working with various groups of young people and professional musicians to write pieces of music inspired by Tom Rolt and the waterways. The groups will visit the National Waterways Museum and other key sites to gain inspiration and meet IWA members who will share their experience, skills and enthusiasm for the waterways. In addition, Waterways Action Squad will work with IWA in the North West on engaging with and supporting young waterway volunteers. Gillian Bolt, secretary of the IWA Chester & District Branch and a member of IWA’s Wild Over Waterways (WOW) education team, comments: “The Rolt Festival will be a great addition to the celebrations already being planned for that weekend with pieces of music performed at the event both in the marquee and on boats. There will also be music workshop sessions delivered by the musicians and young volunteers on the day for attendees of all ages to join in. Getting young people involved has to be a fitting way to mark the contribution of such an important figure in the history of Britain’s waterways.” For more information about the Tom Rolt Centenary Rally, visit www.waterways.org.uk/Events.
Stoke Bruerne should have a stronger focus on the ‘local’ story. Visitors want to know about the canal that they can see and its relevance to the locality, and from this perspective the connections to the wider waterways network. At Ellesmere Port, we have a substantial site where we can tell the broader national story on how waterways have influenced life over the last 200 years – in relation to social development, technology, the environment and economy, as well as providing information on the local waterways, the Shropshire Union Canal and Mersey Ship Canal. “Visitor numbers are continuing to increase at all our three waterway museums and this new direction is already drawing on the strengths and knowledge of our volunteers and staff at each location and providing visitors to our museums with the best visitor experience. “The first step on this road is the change of name. As funding becomes available we will then start to re-focus the story and collection to celebrate the local heritage.”
BULLETINS NOW ONLINE IWA bulletins are now sent via the website www.waterways.org.uk . To continue to receive the bulletins, or to opt-in to receiving bulletins for the first time; it is necessary to first register on the website. To achieve this, locate the ‘register’ link and follow the instructions. Existing members need to ensure they use an ‘existing member’ (free) registration, as shown. Once you have successfully registered you can elect to receive as many different types of bulletin as you prefer. These will change from time to time, so login to revisit your profile occasionally to see what is available.
Gloucester’s waterway museum is to be renamed.
10 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
Summer NEWS NEW THAMES PARTNERSHIP TO PROMOTE RIVER Members of Parliament interested in the River Thames have helped launch the Thames Learning Group – a new initiative from over 60 education, environmental and heritage organisations along the River Thames, dedicated to helping local schools and adult learners maximise the benefit from the Thames. The Thames Learning Group covers the length of the Thames from source to sea and involves organisations such as the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace, through to the National Trust, RSPB and many more. The aim of the Thames Learning Group is to provide an easy-to-use resource for schools and adult learners looking to access the river and its surrounds. Topics include bird watching, river ecology and the history and heritage of the Thames. Schools, colleges, community groups and individuals in Henley can now use the Partnership to provide learning opportunities tailored to them and plan trips along the river. MPs from the All Party Group for the Thames demonstrated their support for the Group, confirming the significance and value of the Thames. Martin Salter, MP for Reading West and Chairman of the All Party Group for the Thames, said: “The Group fully supports the Thames Learning Group and its aims. Helping people to access the wide range of benefits the river can provide is an excellent initiative and I hope many schools and other groups will use it to discover the delights of the river. ”The Thames is a tremendous resource, one that must be cared for and enjoyed by all. The river and its environment is a place where we can not only relax, but also learn about many of the issues topical today.” For further information about the Thames Learning Group contact the River Thames Alliance Learning Partnership on 01491 415605 or www.visitthames.co.uk/learning. The River Thames at Henley.
JAM ’OLE 40 This year marks the 40th anniversary of the end of longdistance carrying on Britain’s canals. In 1970, Blue Line Canal Carriers Ltd delivered the last load of Warwickshire coal to Kearley & Tonge Ltd in Southall. To commemorate this passing of an era and a way of life, the Friends of Raymond are embarking upon an extended trip on the Grand Union Canal with the only surviving pairing of boats from that last trip, the Nutfield and the Raymond, then operated by Arthur and Rose Bray and Ernie Kendall. The boats will depart from Braunston Marina on 29th April, and travel by stages as far as the ex-GUCCCo depot at Bulls Bridge. Every weekend in May will see the boats on show at a different location, at events coordinated with local canal groups; there will be displays and sales stalls at every event, and the butty
cabin will be open, with ‘guided tours’ provided by experienced members of the Friends. This year also marks the commencement of a serious fund-raising appeal by the Friends towards the full restoration of the Nutfield. An estimated £25,000 will be needed to return this historic motor boat to the condition in which it was run by Ernie Kendall over the last two years of commercial carrying. The Friends are looking to promote awareness of the history of the canals as well as the part played by this pair of boats, and hoping to increase the membership of the charity to support these aims. Anyone interested is invited to contact: The Friends of Raymond, c/o Braunston Marina, Braunston, Daventry, NN11 7JH, e-mail membership@ thefriendsofraymond.org.uk, from whom a full list of May tour dates is also available.
2011 BOAT SHOW FOR LIVERPOOL Liverpool’s first weeklong boat show is scheduled for May 2011. Supported by British Waterways and local councils, the show will take place in the Albert Dock and the surrounding area, the terminus of the new Liverpool Link Canal. Boats will be moored in Albert and Salthouse docks, with stands clustered around the adjacent waterspace.
The organisers believe that as an on-water event, it will have fewer setup costs than an indoor event such as London. An unusual feature will be VIP islands, accessible only by water taxis. Unlike existing shows, there will be free admittance to a large part of the site. The organisers expect over 100,000 paying visitors, on a par with the London Boat Show, and up to 300,000 non-paying ‘spectators’.
LEEDS & LIVERPOOL BOUND FOR CHELSEA Leeds City Council has chosen “a stunning snapshot of the iconic” Leeds & Liverpool Canal as the basis for its Royal Horticultural Show Chelsea Garden design, with the centrepiece being a lock gate which will allow water to run through it and into the canal. This is then flanked by three distinct sections – woodland, wetland and a floral meadow – which can all be found in the extensive area of green space within the city of Leeds. The Chelsea Flower Show takes place from 25th-29th May.
Albert Dock is to be the venue for Liverpool’s 2011 boat show.
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 11
IWA FREIGHT news
CANAL REPAIRS UPDATE Work is in progress repairing the breach on the Leek Arm of the Caldon Canal. Diggers began arriving in early March and constructed a roadway down through farmland to the offside of the canal. A small work compound was constructed by the breach site, and access made into the canal bed. The first part of the 16-week project was to remove all the silt and debris that had been washed into the field below the towpath when the five-mile summit pound breached last November. This was soon completed, allowing work to begin on repairs to the collapsed towpath embankment. It will, however, be the end of June before the final section of the Caldon will once again be navigable to Leek. This will enable the important flow of water from
Rudyard Lake into the summit level of the Trent & Mersey Canal to be turned on again. A sudden leak in the Brecon & Abergavenny Canal was successfully plugged within three weeks. The leak at Llangattock occurred on 26th February and raised fears of a repeat of the major breach of 2007 which closed the waterway for several months. However, British Waterways reports that it was unrelated to the repair works, which focused on the waterway walls. The canal was drained immediately, reopening on 15th March. Nick Worthington, BW’s waterway manager, said: “I’m keenly aware the work affected the start of the visitor season and we have apologised to everyone whose holiday plans were disrupted.”
LOCK-KEEPERS’ HOUSES SAFE The long-running dispute between lock-keepers on the River Thames and their employers, the Environment Agency, has been settled. In 2008, the EA announced plans to sell off many of the lockside cottages where the keepers live. Lock-keepers believe that the cottages, mostly built by the old Thames Conservancy, enable them to react quickly to flood conditions and also go some way towards compensating for low levels of pay.
The keepers’ union, Unison, and the EA have now reached agreement. Under the deal, the the cottages will be retained as accommodation with official occupancy agreements, a log-book for all staff, plus – for the first time – formal arrangements for the lockkeepers’ standby and call-out duties. The deal has been welcomed by Unison, whilst the EA said that the new terms would enable it to continue with a resident lock and weir keeper at each lock site along the river. Whitchurch Lock and attendant cottage on the Thames.
Above: Repair work on the Caldon Canal’s Leek Branch. BELOW: Llangattock on the Brecon & Abergavenny was the site of a breach in late Februaury but the canal was repaired within three weeks.
Hoseasons Holidays, one of the foremost names in boating, has been sold to an American hotel group. Founded on the Norfolk Broads in the 1940s, the company sells holidays in independently owned fleets across the canals, rivers and on the Broads; its well-known brochure lists 28 bases across the system. Hoseasons also offers cottage and park holidays. The £51m deal with Wyndham Worldwide comes after Hoseasons was put up for sale by its private equity owners, HG Capital. Wyndham currently owns hotel brands such as Ramada, plus several cottage marketing operations in Britain.
EXPLORER CRUISE RESTRICTION
In view of the de-watering of the Chasewater Reservoir, and the restrictions on the use of some parts of the Birmingham Canal Navigations, it has been decided to limit the number of boats taking part in this year’s BCNS Explorer Cruise to 20. It is also probable that the planned route will have to be changed. The cruise will begin on the morning of Saturday, 5th June, and will finish at Titford Pumphouse, the headquarters of the BCNS, on 11th June in time for the BCNS Rally. Application forms are available from: Brenda Ward, 9 Wylde Green Road, Sutton Coldfield B72 1HB. Tel 0121 355 6351, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
12 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
Summer NEWS Petrol accidents on the rise
NEW ENVIRONMENT AGENCY RULES
Boat Safety Scheme officials say they are concerned at a rise in accidents linked to petrol on boats – from just one in 2007, to nine last year. “Boaters shouldn’t fall into the trap of applying the road vehicle experience of just turning the key and setting off,” said BSS manager Graham Watts. He recommended that, before each use and after filling up, owners of petrol-engined craft or generators should check fuel pipes, joints, hoses and connections. A detailed sheet on safe use of petrol is available from the BSS on 01923 201278, or from www.boatsafetyscheme. com/fire.
River Thames Society Pub Crawl The River Thames Society has issued a challenge to aficionados of the tidal river – to visit 40 favourite pubs within the year. Peter Finch, RTS chairman, came up with the idea after noting that society meetings are often followed by a Thames Path walk. “On the tidal reaches, many pubs are situated close to the river,” he observed. “My challenge is to visit all 40 pubs during 2010, taking a photo of each one!” The list includes 20 pubs on each bank, from Teddington to Tilbury and Gravesend, and can be downloaded from www. riverthamessociety.org.uk/ chairmanschallenge.htm together with entry details. Prizes will be awarded for the two most entertaining reports. “This is not a race,” Mr Finch added. “Beer gardens and waterside terraces are best enjoyed in summer!”
Plans to require boaters in river-connected marinas to buy an EA licence have been rejected.
The Government has finally agreed a set of new rules for Environment Agency-controlled rivers. The ‘harmonisation order’ has been proposed for some ten years. It gives the Agency consistent powers across its major waterways: the Thames, Medway, and East Anglian rivers. These require all boats to be registered (or licensed), insured, and built to certain standards. It gives the EA powers to inspect craft and to remove those found lacking, and sets up an appeals system. But two of the original aims have been abandoned. One, to introduce a single charging scheme across all Agency waterways, was dropped
during the drafting of this new Transport & Works Order. The EA accepted that users on the Thames, who pay per square foot of boat (length x beam), were opposed to adopting the Anglian length-only scheme – and vice versa. Another major aim, to require boats in marinas to buy a registration, was refused by the Government. At present, craft do not need to pay for a registration when moored in Thames marinas – only when they venture out onto the river. On the British Waterways system, in contrast, BW licences are required for most marinas. The Government said this change would
be outside the scope of a Transport & Works Order. One final change is that the River Wye has been dropped from the order, after objectors said the EA could use it to remove navigation rights. As a result of the new order, the EA is considering recognising BW registration numbers on the Thames, rather than insisting that boats adopt a temporary number as their ‘Thames name’. The EA and BW are to discuss a common numbering system across all navigations. The harmonisation order was published at the start of March and came into force on 6th April.
dudley CANAL to benefit from more than £0.5m Dudley Canal Trust is celebrating after securing more than £500,000 to spend on improvements to a four-mile stretch of the Dudley No.2 Canal. More than £400,000 has been awarded from Community Spaces, which is managed by Groundwork UK funded by the Big Lottery Fund, with a further £100,000 provided by Dudley Healthy Towns and British Waterways. Dudley Canal Trust, with the help of partners, aims to engage local communities, school children and young people to participate in activities which promote healthier lifestyles, introduce them to the history and heritage of the canal, as well as the educational aspects of the nature reserves. An extensive programme of activities will introduce new audiences to the history and
heritage of the area, as well as a festival of walks. Meanwhile an extended launch of the project will aim to introduce local communities to the pleasures of the canals. Alan Hazeldine, Treasurer of Dudley Canal Trust, said: “We want to make the canal a safe, accessible and enjoyable place for as many people as possible and would like to thank the partners involved in the project who have helped to make this bid successful. These include: Groundwork West Midlands, Dudley MBC, Dudley PCT, British Waterways, Sandwell MBC, Sandwell PCT and Sustrans.” Irene Shaw, Design Team Manager at Groundwork West Midlands, said “We are really pleased to have been able to support Dudley Canal Trust this far and look forward to seeing the improvements on the ground.”
The canal towpath improvements will enable more people to enjoy the canal and provide access to local nature reserves. Not only will it provide a quick link, but by improving the biodiversity, will also be a resource in itself for healthy routes to work, leisure and exercise. The project builds on existing work with local young people, using the environment as a way of engaging with them to develop their skills and potential to improve their future employability prospects. By recruiting local unemployed people as the labour force, offering training and work experience, we start to address worklessness and associated problems. If you want to find out more about the work of the Dudley Canal Trust visit www.dudleytunnel.co.uk or telephone 01384 236275.
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 13
In the Spring 2010 edition of Waterways we commented on
the need to safeguard wharves if there is to be any future for waterborne freight and it was heartening to see that Leeds City Council’s recent Natural Resources & Waste Development consultation plan proposes to do just this. The Council seeks views on the desirability of safeguarding wharves for transport of minerals and/or waste and having argued this for many years, the Inland Waterways Freight Group expressed its support for the Leeds proposal. Two specific wharves have been identified, these being British Waterways’ former Leeds (Knostrop) Depot and the former Yorkshire Imperial Minerals site. The Commercial Boat Operators Association has suggested several other sites worth consideration. Aggregates already provide the principal barge traffic on the Thames, Trent/Aire & Calder and Severn and on all of these waterways there is considerable scope for expansion and diversification of traffic and in each case wharf availability will be an important consideration. Last year the ASD Company did a trial shipment of imported structural steel from a lower Trent wharf to Leeds and this is a traffic which could be increased and regularised given assured availability of wharf facilities in the Leeds area. On the Severn long-standing plans by CEMEX to barge aggregates from Ryall to Gloucester are still awaiting wharf provision. Every year over 600,000 tonnes of waste is moved by Cory company barges from London consolidation points to landfill in Essex but from 2011 the bulk of this will go to the Belvedere energy waste incinerator now nearing completion. This sees the rehabilitation of the safeguarded Borax Wharf and this interesting linking of waste disposal, energy generation and water transport is a model that should be followed elsewhere. Additionally, Borax Wharf has recently been used for the handling of Abnormal Indivisible Loads (AILs) – see below. There have been other examples of such movements on London’s waterways, on the Trent to electricity generating stations, from Bristol to South Wales and, until it ceased production of liquid processing plant, from Serck Baker’s Riga Wharf at Gloucester. This wharf was specially strengthened for AILs and was used by Serck Baker and other companies. Wharves with technical and location/logistical features suitable for AILs are at a premium and for this reason may need special consideration. However, all plans for the non-transport redevelopment of wharves must be subject to careful scrutiny and in this the Port of London has provided a model to be followed.
DRAX GOES GREEN Located on the River Ouse
some 90 km from the sea by way of the Humber, Drax is Britain’s largest coal-fired electricity generating station and was provided with a wharf mainly for taking delivery of fuel oil. During the 1980s it was used by seagoing ships bringing in AILs, mainly from the Clyde, while flue gas de-sulphurisation equipment was being installed. Every year Drax produces about 1.4 million tonnes of Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) and traditionally this went to landfill. Increasingly PFA is being seen not as waste but as a recyclable raw material for which there has been a growing market for use in road surfacing compounds, construction site foundation fill and for use in building blocks. Hargreaves Coal Combustion Products markets the PFA for Drax and identified a market in Waterford, southern Ireland and in partnership with TW Logistics of Gainsborough did a trial shipment in January of 1,200 tonnes by low-profile short-sea ship, the Torrent (63.6 x 11.0 x 4.1 m built 1991 by Yorkshire Dry Dock Co,
Hull). The alternative to this direct shipment by sea would have been 40 lorry loads on congested roads crossing Northern England to a west coast port. A by-product of the desulphurisation process is gypsum sold under licence to the British Gypsum company which now uses road and rail for onward shipment but with the possibility that for certain markets water transport could provide an alternative. On a part of the Drax site a 300 MW biomass-fuelled generating plant is planned. While there are global arguments regarding the sustainability of biomass as a fuel, for Britain there is likely to be dependence on imports for which water transport could have a significant role. For Drax this could be either by seagoing ship or by barge transhipment from a Humber port. The Drax company already claims to have Britain’s cleanest and most efficient power station and its green credentials would be further enhanced by greater use of water transport.
MARINERS WARNED In February the Port of London’s Chief Harbour Master issued David Lowe/CBOA
a Warning to Mariners with respect to heavy lift operations at the Borax Wharf, Belvedere. The GPS company’s floating sheer legs, Atlas, was over several days involved in lifting to shore turbine and generator equipment brought in by barges. Mariners were asked to “navigate with extreme caution and produce an absolute minimum of wash when passing the heavy lift operation” – so, it’s not only leisure boasters on canals that should mind their wash! 14 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
INL AND WATERWAYS FREIGHT Please send any news and views on inland waterways freight to David Hilling c/o IWA Head Office
EUROPEAN RIVER SEA TRANSPORT UNION (ERSTU)
It is easy to forget, indeed most do not even know, that two-thirds
of the tonnage moved on Britain’s waterways is foreign trade in seagoing ships and the IW Freight Group has always emphasised the need to view water transport as an integrated functioning of our inland and coastal waterways with short-sea links. It is now over 10 years and soon after its inception that ERSTU invited the then Inland Shipping Group to join the Berlinbased association and we are still involved with honorary status as one of 78 members from 12 countries and provide one of the national vice presidents. Through ERSTU we have contact with waterway interests in the EU and also the UN Economic Commission for Europe and are associated with wider aspects of water freight transport, logistics, exchange of information, public relations in support of waterborne freight, and we keep neighbours informed regarding water transport in this country – something official sources have singularly failed to do. ERSTU has expressed disappointment at the lack of global initiatives emerging from Copenhagen but argues that this reinforces the need for strong national strategies in favour of water transport. In the case of Germany this is likely to involve increased financial support for waterborne freight – British Government please note.
THAMES IS NUMBER ONE The Department for Transport reports that over two million tonnes of freight were handled on the Thames in 2008, making it the busiest inland waterway in the UK. The expansion of freight on the river is believed to be the result of the Port of London Authority’s measures to protect key wharves for cargo handling, now being
revived for use by the Crossrail, 2012 Olympics and Thames Tideway Tunnels projects. PLA statistics suggest that the 2.18m tonnes moved on the river in 2008 helped to keep more than 175,000 lorry movements off the capital’s chronically congested roads. It is projected that this figure will triple over the next five years.
BEER BY BOAT IN THE NETHERLANDS boat’ are electrically powered by clean energy, with a full charge providing enough power for eight to ten hours’ cruising. The addition of a second boat on the service reflects Utrecht’s green credentials and its determination to reduce air pollution.
BRAUNSTON TUNNEL REPAIRED
The obstruction caused by a landslip at the western end of Braunston Tunnel has now been removed. It had created major navigational problems for wide-beam craft and loaded commercial boats, and prompted the Commercial Boat Operators Association (CBOA) to seek assurances from British Waterways that the work would be carried out without significant delay. Using a barge, tug and work boat, Wood, Hall & Heward removed surplus material from the tunnel mouth to facilitate repairs to the bank. Due to difficulty of access, this was carried out using Nicospan, a material that is easy to install without the need for special equipment. It is also considered to be a good environmental option as it allows vegetation to grow through the fabric.
vitdragerij (Hans D) at flickr.com, CC-BY
The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands has launched a second vessel to service its restaurants within the core of the city. The European Union has given financial assistance for the project, in which the engine and crane on the new ‘beer
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 15
Nene Moorings Efforts are underway to provide much-needed visitor moorings for the River Nene – but one popular site has been closed. At Orton, near Peterborough, the Environment Agency has successfully bid for external funding that will allow it to create a new visitor mooring and canoe access downstream of the lock. Work will start in autumn 2010. At the same time, the EA will improve the downstream landing stage and the area of damaged piling. However, at the attractive village of Elton, Elton Estates have withdrawn their permission for boats to moor upstream of the lock – said to be due to persistent problems caused by some boaters. Elton is an attractive village with the excellent Black Horse pub and a highclass fish restaurant. The EA is still trying to identify a site in Wansford village, where the only mooring at present is at the bottom of a steep bank outside the upmarket Haycock Inn. (New moorings at Wansford Station are over a mile away.) The Agency’s Sue Cant is appealing for suggestions as to where new moorings might be put (email@example.com). John Sully
Burscough stables at risk But although most of the existing buildings will be brought back into use, the canal stables and cottage facing the main road are to be demolished. The developers say that the buildings are decayed and dangerous. BW commented that the demolition is “unfortunate… this is considered to be the oldest building on the site”. Ivor Caplan, for the Residential Boat-Owners’ Association, described the site as “one of the best surviving examples of a small maintenance yard”, commenting that British Waterways was not making boating groups aware of canalside planning proposals.
The flagship of the Norfolk Broads, the wherry Albion, is back in pristine condition after 10 years of painstaking restoration. The black-sailed craft is one of just two surviving trading wherries, and the only one available for skippered charter. When built in 1898, she was used by a man-andboy team to deliver coal and crops throughout the Broads. She was rescued in 1949 by the enthusiasts of the Norfolk Wherry Trust. The £200,000 repair was carried out by master shipwright Maynard Watson and his team, helped by Trust volunteers. Among other work, the entire bow and hogged
keel had to be replaced. Where once there was a cargo hold, she now has bunks, a toilet, dining table and cooker. Skipper Paul Henry Gowman said: “She’s in the finest shape that she has been in since she was first built. Albion is back on the water this spring, as spruce and as beautiful as ever, providing a unique venue to celebrate a birthday or anniversary.” The Trust is always keen to recruit volunteers to skipper and maintain Albion. More details are available at www.wherryalbion.com or from Forsythe Wherry Yard, Horsefen Road, Ludham NR29 5QG.
Albion Sails again
Elton Lock seen here in flood during February.
Fimb at flickr.com, CC-BY
Canal enthusiasts in the North-West have expressed concern for an historic canal stable block at Burscough, on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Burscough Wharf is to be redeveloped as an artisan shopping village with bakery, wine merchants, fishmongers, micro-brewery and delicatessen arranged around a central courtyard. Elsan and waste disposal will be provided for boaters. Developers Thomas Guy bought the site from British Waterways in 2008, promising a “vibrant leisure and retail development”. The proposals have been popular with locals.
The wherry Albion makes a fine sight under sail.
16 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
Summer NEWS HS2: six new canal bridges Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has announced the Government’s preferred route for high speed trains between London and Birmingham – with many new canal crossings. From a new station at Euston, the ‘HS2’ line will immediately enter a long tunnel from Regent’s Park before it reaches the Regent’s Canal, remaining in tunnel until it passes under the Paddington Arm at Old Oak Common. The first surface crossing will be over the Paddington Arm at Northolt, where a bridge carries the busy Central Line underground trains past the end of residential moorings. Introduction of HS2 could smarten up this length of the canal, which is currently dominated by industrial estates. At South Denham it will cross the Grand Union Canal between Chiltern Railways’ High Wycombe line and the Horse & Barge near Widewater Lock. Running across former gravel workings used by a watersports centre and the extensive narrowboat moorings of Harefield Marina, it will cross a length which is quiet except for distant M40 traffic noise and aircraft taking off from Heathrow. (A possible tunnel to Heathrow may pass below the Grand Union Canal at Hayes and the Slough Arm at Iver.) Missing the Wendover and Aylesbury Arms, the fastest form of surface transport, with trains at up to 250 mph, will then cross the Oxford Canal’s famous Wormleighton loop, our most
time-consuming travel route. As this is the prime example of canal contouring, there would be sound heritage reasons for adjusting the line to leave this meander undisturbed. A few seconds, later trains will streak across the quiet Grand Union Canal near Bascote Heath. Amazingly, by using the Tame and Rea valleys, HS2 will manage to reach almost to the heart of Birmingham with only a single canal crossing in the city – over the Grand Union Canal at Nechells, by the current Heartlands Parkway A47 and railway crossing. By this time, the noise will be of brakes as trains arrive at a new station near New Street. Trains for further extensions north will diverge at Water Orton, crossing the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal with the M42 and M6 Toll, then the line of the Lichfield Canal near the Darnford Lane restoration site. The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust plans to restore the canal here by 2015, and is anxious that HS2 could interfere. According to chairman Brian Kingshott: “This could pose as great a threat as the M6 Toll road did a decade ago”. It is confident that national and local support will back the canal. The intrusion of the preferred HS2 line into the peace of the canal network will be less than it might have been, although heated debate has already started and the route is likely to see adjustments. Consultation starts in the autumn. Stuart Fisher
HS2 will cross the Paddington Arm near this disused railway bridge...
A summer of repairs at Shillingford Thames boaters – including those heading to the IWA National Festival at Beale Park over August Bank Holiday – will need to keep an eye out when boating through Shillingford Bridge this summer. A £400,000 repair programme by Oxfordshire County Council will mean that boats will frequently be directed through the smaller side spans, rather than using the main centre arch. Mooring will be restricted at these times. With some 13ft headroom available in the side arches, boats from the Upper Thames and canal system will not be troubled – but owners of the largest GRP craft may find their cruising restricted. A test run saw Salter Bros’ steamer Lady Ethel pass under the side arches with no problems. Stonemasons will be working on pontoons to restore the arches, fascias and parapets of the 1826 bridge, following on from waterproofing work in 2007. Work started in early March and will continue until October. The traditional lime mortar used in the repairs is unreliable at low temperatures, forcing a summer date for the repairs.
...and the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal at Curdworth.
Tring Cancelled The Tring Canal Festival, organised by the Wendover Arm Trust and held annually over the late May Bank Holiday, has been cancelled. An alternative site is being sought for 2011. Contact festival chairman Graeme Lockhart with suggestions on 07801 280426, www. wendoverarmtrust.co.uk.
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 17
WRG IS 40
Join the party…
WRG is 40!
010 is a special year for the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). Established in 1970, it is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Today, Britain’s network of canals and navigable rivers constitutes a huge linear National Park – a leisure park, a vital wildlife sanctuary, an important industrial heritage site and an environmentally friendly transport system all rolled into one. But at the end of the 19th century, with the impact of the Railway Age, it was a different picture – many waterways had been abandoned and some had altogether disappeared from sight. Luckily, by the 1940s a few visionaries realised that the canals did have a future and since then hundreds of miles of canals and river navigations have been saved from dereliction and gradually more and more miles are being brought back to life by volunteer groups around the country. Since the 1970s, the Waterway Recovery Group has been the foremost national waterways
voluntary coordinating force, helping local canal restoration schemes. WRG provides equipment, expertise, publicity and, most importantly, volunteers. Everyone is welcome to come along and help restore Britain’s canals – whether it is on one of WRG’s week-long restoration working holidays called Canal Camps, or one of over 36 weekend working parties held around the country each year. WRG’s restoration holidays are arranged mostly in the summer but some are held at other times. These restoration working holidays offer the opportunity to achieve a vast amount of work in a relatively short time – it is not unusual for a holiday team to achieve in a week what might take local groups many weekends to do. Every year WRG records over 5,000 volunteer days helping restore the derelict canals of England and Wales. To celebrate its 40th anniversary WRG has planned an exciting schedule of working holidays this year across the country,
from Newport, South Wales to Chelmsford, Essex, from the Chesterfield, Derbyshire and all the way down to the Grand Western Canal in Devon and Somerset. There are 23 Canal Camps running in 2010 with volunteers undertaking projects such as the restoration of Steppingstones Bridge near Swindon on the Wilts & Berks Canal; the continuing excavation, restoration and rebuilding of Gough’s Orchard Lock on the Cotswold Canals; the restoration of a leaky culvert on the Grantham Canal; as well as working alongside the Essex Waterways team to maintain the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, by assisting with bank protection, painting, towpath clearance and repairs. Already this year WRG has run a successful camp on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation and at Steppingstones Bridge on the Wilts & Berks Canal but with the summer fast approaching WRG is looking for more 21st century navvies for its Canal Camps.
TITLE PICTURE: WRG volunteers at work at Hall Bridge on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.
18 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
WRG 40th.indd 18
The 2010 Programme Cotswold Canals In 2010 WRG is helping the Cotswold Canals Partnership restore two locks on the Thames & Severn Canal and Stroudwater Navigation, collectively know as the Cotswold Canals. Both sites offer volunteers exciting opportunities to be part of a major lock rebuild as well as giving people the chance to learn new skills. If you have bricklaying experience or want to learn how how to bricklay, then these are the camps for you. Site: Gough’s Orchard Lock (near Stroud). Activities: rebuilding a lock chamber using heritage techniques and materials. Cost: £56 per week (includes food & accommodation). Site: Eisey Lock (near Swindon). Activities: rebuilding a lock chamber using heritage techniques and materials. Cost: £56 per week (includes food & basic accommodation). Dates: 26th June-3rd July; 3rd-10th July; 10th-17th July; 17th-24th July.
Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
In 2005, The Inland Waterways Association, took over the management of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, which runs through a beautiful part of rural Essex. To help maintain this delightful waterway WRG is running two camps this year. Working with the Essex Waterways Team, volunteers will help with bank protection, painting, towpath clearance and repairs. These camps are different from our normal restoration projects but if you fancy helping us keep this active and vibrant waterway alive then these are the camps for you. Site: Maldon, Essex. Activities: bank protection, bricklaying, vegetation clearance. Cost: £56 per week (includes food & basic accommodation). Dates: 31st July7th August; 23rd-30th October.
In 2010 WRG volunteers are working alongside the Grantham Canal Society to help create a 33-mile leisure corridor running through the glorious Vale of Belvoir. Work will include vegetation clearance and the restoration of a leaky culvert near Colston Bassett, which is the only significant engineering issue preventing rewatering of a further five miles of canal. This is a great chance for volunteers to get involved in a technical and entertaining canal camp. Site: Near Colston Bassett. Activities: machine operation, vegetation clearance. Cost: £56 per week (includes food & accommodation). Dates: 17th-24th July; 24th-31st July.
Restoration of the Chesterfield Canal is well advanced with some of the canal open to navigation – despite this there is still work to be done! This year WRG will be working at Renishaw Narrows constructing a wash wall to protect the new bank which will include building foundations in concrete and the laying of blocks and bentonite matting. There is lots to do so this will be a busy camp. Site: Renishaw Narrows. Activities: block laying and channel construction. Cost: £56 (includes food & basic accommodation). Dates: 10th-17th July.
Come and spend a week with WRG in the stunning countryside of the Welsh Borders. In 2010 volunteers are continuing work reconstructing the historic Crickheath Wharf near Oswestry. These are great camps for first-timers and experienced WRGies alike because of the varied tasks. There will be some site clearance, casting of concrete foundations, as well as the chance to get involved in the construction of a stone wall using heritage techniques. Site: Crickheath Wharf, near Oswestry. Activities: stone walling, habitat creation. Cost: £56 per week (includes food & basic accommodation). Dates: 26th June–3rd July; 3rd-10th July.
The Basingstoke Canal is one of the few canals that WRG work on that is navigable. Although 32 miles of the canal have been fully restored there is an ongoing need for maintenance and improvement works to sustain it. This year volunteers will be involved in a multitude of tasks including the installation of a pipeline to provide the canals with a reliable water supply. These camps offer volunteers the chance to operate excavators and dumpers, so why not come along and try your hand at something completely different. Site: Basingstoke Canal. Activities: machine operation, canal maintenance. Cost: £56 per week (includes food & basic accommodation). Dates: 7th-14th August; 14th-21st August.
Generally referred to as the ‘Mon & Brec’, the Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals form a 50-mile link between the Brecon Beacons National Park and the South Wales Valleys. This year volunteers are working on the restoration of Drapers Lock and preparing other locks for restoration. Some volunteers will also be able to attend a one-day training course at TyMawr Lime Mortar Centre, which is a hands-on course introducing you to the principles of lime mortar. Site: Drapers Lock, near Cwmbran. Activities: heritage construction skills. Cost: £56 per week (includes food & basic accommodation). Dates: 7th-14th August; 14th-21st August.
WRG attracts a wide range of people: young volunteers taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme; waterway enthusiasts who wish to make a contribution to restoring and preserving the system; and people who just want to get outdoors and dirty, have fun and learn new skills. Volunteers attending WRG activities must be aged between 18-70, but apart from that age doesn’t matter, nor does previous experience. The work of a modern canal restoration volunteer is just as varied as our volunteers themselves – no two canal work sites are exactly the same. Every canal has its own distinctive features and building materials, as the original canal builders used whatever was available to hand to build the canals. Combine this with the many different jobs involved in restoring a canal and you will find Canal Camps offer a wide variety of different types of work. It may involve traditional work such as bricklaying and stonework; or modern techniques such as piling and concreting; or it may involve the use of machinery like excavators and dumpers – or nothing more sophisticated than a shovel or trowel. Whatever you end up doing, you will have a unique and memorable experience while helping WRG to keep the waterways alive for future generations. If you are interested in finding out more go to www.wrg.org.uk or to receive a Volunteer 2010 information pack e-mail Jenny Black at enquiries@ wrg.org.uk or telephone 01494 783 453 ext 604.
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 19
WRG 40th.indd 19
Safe family cycling at Berkhamsted on the Grand Union Canal.
psd at flickr.com, CC-BY
CYCLING/walking the towpaths
No boat…no problem! Mark Bradley and Keith Goss explore the waterway network by bike and on foot
Towpath cycling It’s flat, there’s no traffic, and there’s a great view around every corner. Small wonder that towpath cycling is so popular – and becoming more so. Cycling by water is nothing new. ‘Lock wheeling’, going ahead by bike to set a lock for the approaching boat, was common in working narrowboat days and is still practised today. Canal lengthsmen would keep a bike by their cottage, the fastest way of getting to a suspected breach or other incident. But cycling is changing, and today, leisure cyclists and commuters have joined boaters and canal workers on the towpath. What does this mean for the waterways?
Why towpaths? Club and racing cyclists have long prized the freedom to ride on the roads. Cycling’s equivalent of the IWA, the CTC (Cyclists’ Touring Club) has for many years campaigned for the “right to ride”. For the fastest and
fittest cyclists, nothing will do but wide, open tarmac – and a steep hill is an enjoyable challenge, not an unwelcome obstacle. Not everyone is so happy to mix it with HGVs and fast-accelerating cars. Young cyclists, families, and novices of all ages are increasingly anxious about safety. More than that, they simply don’t enjoy a ride shared with heavy traffic. In the early 1980s, a Bristol-based cycling campaign group, Cyclebag, cast their eyes on the disused Midland Railway line from Bristol to Bath, which they believed could form a safe cycling route between the two cities. In an echo of the local groups that came together to form the Waterway Recovery Group, Cyclebag renamed itself Sustrans (“sustainable transport”), and got to work with shovels and diggers. Slow but steady progress over the next 15 years saw more disused railway lines being revived as traffic-
free cycle paths. Then, in 1995, a Lottery grant from the Millennium Commission gave the opportunity to join them up as a ‘National Cycle Network’ of old railways, little-used minor roads and new paths. A small number of towpaths were proposed for this. Sometimes, as with the Birmingham New Main Line, the towpath provided a route safe from city traffic where there was no disused railway nearby (the old GWR route being used for trams). Elsewhere, a brief spell on a canal towpath could tackle ‘severance’ – transport planners’ term for a busy road or railway that is otherwise difficult to cross. And on occasion, a longer towpath was suggested for cycling use. The best-known example is the Kennet & Avon Canal, where between 1984 and 1988, Sustrans volunteers helped to rebuild the towpath between Bath and Devizes as part of the wider canal restoration.
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B Kennet & Avon Canal (National Route 4). From Reading to Bath, you can follow the K&A nearly all the way by bike, only detouring from the towpath onto country lanes for the central section. Bradford to Bath is the most popular section, but it’s just as enjoyable further east. (Leaflet available from Sustrans website or BW offices.) B Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Burnley to Greenberfield (National Route 68). Superb, unhurried cycling from Pennine Lancashire to the Yorkshire Dales. Stop off at the friendly Anchor Inn in Salterforth for a bite to eat. Part of the Pennine Cycleway, a marvellous 350-mile amble from Derby to Berwick-on-Tweed. B Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Lines (National Routes 5, 54 and 81). The BCN is ripe for exploring by bike. The towpaths on the ‘Back of the Map’ (e.g. the Tame Valley Canal) aren’t always bike-friendly, but both Old and New Main Lines are very cyclable. B Grand Union Canal, Bletchley to Leighton Buzzard (National Route 6). A perfect afternoon ride – a lovely section of rural canal with a railway station at each end, so you can catch the train back. (Leaflet available from Sustrans website.) B Derby Canal (National Route 6). You won’t see any boats on the move here – but the cycleway, developed in conjunction with the Derby & Sandiacre Canal Trust, is the best way to discover this waterway, currently under restoration. Extend your route south with a leisurely ride along the Trent & Mersey from Swarkestone, then along the old railway to Melbourne. B Forth & Clyde and Union Canals (National Route 754). The Falkirk Wheel adorns the cover of Sustrans’ Forth & Clyde route map – just one of the engineering marvels on the waterway route between Scotland’s two greatest cities. B Swansea Canal (National Route 43). Most of the NCN routes in South Wales are along disused railways, making this five-mile stretch along the Swansea Canal (still in water here) particularly enjoyable. B Grand Western Canal (National Route 3). Part of the ‘West Country Way’ from Bristol to Penzance, this is an easy way to discover one of Britain’s lesser known waterways. Easily accessible by train at Tiverton Parkway station. B Thames Path, Staines to Hampton Court (National Route 4). Most of the Thames Path is too narrow or bumpy for cycling, but this length is fully open – including a ferry crossing at Shepperton. Look out for parakeets in the trees! B Wicken Fen (National Route 11). One for the future, this route is currently being developed by Sustrans and the National Trust through the fascinating wetlands north of Cambridge. Rather than simply following the River Cam towpath, it criss-crosses the Lodes on new bridges built as part of the Connect2 project. For route maps, see www.sustrans.org.uk and www.opencyclemap.org.
Ten waterside rides
Cycling along the Llangollen Canal.
What does it bring? It’s not hard to understand the appeal of towpaths to cyclists seeking a refuge from heavy traffic. But can cycling help other users? Cycling projects can bring investment to the waterways. Cycle campaigners, like canal restorers, are currently having to fight for every penny, with the recession and the 2012 Olympics greatly restricting funding. But there are occasional glimpses of sunshine, and one such is Sustrans’ Connect2 project, which won a £50m Lottery grant in 2007. Rather than building long routes, Connect2 focuses on severance, with 79 new bridges and tunnels to reunite communities divided by a road, railway – or waterway. In Worcester, Northwich, St Neots, Banbury and elsewhere, new bridges are being built across navigable rivers and canals, benefiting all towpath users. In some cases, such as the Melton Mowbray Navigation north of Leicester, the new bridge will remove an obstacle to waterway restoration. Cycleways can also act as a Trojan horse for waterway restoration. Once a multi-use route has become established along the towpath, landowners become less worried about the prospect of a fully restored canal. On the Derby Canal, Sustrans
and the Derby & Sandiacre Canal Trust have worked together to provide a cycleway beside much of the route, now justly popular with local people. Bringing more people to urban towpaths can stop them being considered ‘no-go zones’, to the benefit of all. Most boaters would agree that the Ashton Canal in Manchester is no longer the danger area of 1990s infamy. Much of this is thanks to the 2002 Commonwealth Games in East Manchester, where the towpath provided the main walking and cycling route – and thanks to physical improvements and better signposting, it is still busy with walkers and cyclists today. Could cyclists become part of a wider “coalition for the waterways”? Both British Waterways’ plans to become a charitable trust, and the IWA’s long-held vision for a National Waterways Conservancy, envisage harnessing the enthusiasm of all those who love the waterways – spreading the burden among all those who benefit. With around 50,000 CTC members and a similar number of Sustrans ‘supporters’, plus each organisation’s extensive volunteer network, the waterways could gain more support, volunteer hours, and donations.
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 21
CLOCKWISE: A traffic-free route beside the as yet un-restored Derby Canal at Swarkestone. National Route 4 beside the Kennet & Avon Canal. Boats and bikes beside the Grand Union Canal. Always follow advice such as this. Ready and waiting to go…
The challenges But there are challenges in balancing the desires of cyclists with the needs of other users. On the Regent’s Canal, the congestion charge, fear of the Tube after the bombings of 7th July 2005, and rising fuel prices have encouraged many Londoners to take to the towpath – leading to a crowded and, on occasion, accident-prone, supercharged atmosphere. British Waterways’ ‘Two Tings’ campaign seeks to restore respect for other users with its simple message “Ting your bell twice, pass slowly, be nice!”. BW is also asking local councils to develop a safe route on nearby streets, rather than leaving the navigation authority to provide for all.
psd at flickr.com, CC-BY
psd at flickr.com, CC-BY
CYCLING/walking the towpaths
Fortunately, this is an extreme case. But peace and quiet have always been cherished on the waterways. Rural canals such as the Macclesfield are unlikely to ever be suitable for wide-scale towpath cycling, especially when there is a good railway path (the Middlewood Way) running parallel to much of it. No-one, fortunately, would want to tarmac the Macclesfield towpath. Towpath surface can be a particular challenge, but one which is sometimes overstated. Most railway paths are not tarmaced, and several rural parts of the National Cycle Network have soft surfaces. Even when a towpath is designated for cycling use, a softer surface may be something on which all users agree.
Perhaps information is the key to all this. Many cyclists are simply not aware that towpaths have their own character, distinct from other routes. There is a formal list of which BW-owned towpaths are open to cyclists – but it hasn’t been updated in years and is hidden several layers deep on the Waterscape website. As a result, Internet cycling forums are full of people saying “I’m planning to cycle the Leeds & Liverpool towpath from end to end”, when a parallel National Cycle Network route (such as the new Way of the Roses) would be a much more enjoyable ride for all concerned. With a little thought from all users, cycling use can help to improve the waterways for all while preserving what keeps them special.
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Towpath Walking But what if you don’t have a bike? Fear not, for walking remains the singular most popular waterway-related activity. Every day of the year towpaths throughout the land – both urban and rural – are used by walkers, who range from ‘twice a day dog strollers’ to serious ramblers who may incorporate a canalside section into lengthy hikes of anything up to 20 miles. For many people, walking by the water represents their first introduction to inland waterways and some inevitably go on to become regular holiday hirers, boat owners or general enthusiasts. In the Winter 2008 issue of Waterways we published a list of six great canal walks that you might like to try. For a wider selection, you could get hold of a copy of Weekend Walks, published by Coolcanals Guides and available via www.iwa.shop.com. It contains details of scores of canal walks through the country, from the Bude Canal in Cornwall to the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands of Scotland. Or simply pick up a canal guide and/or an OS map and work out your own routes.
3. Shakespeare’s Avon Way This is one of England’s newest long distance footpaths. Beginning at the source of the Avon in Naseby, this 88-mile fully waymarked trail follows as closely as possible the course of the river. Using existing public footpaths, bridleways and a few minor roads, the Avon Way meanders through the picturesque countryside of Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire to arrive at its confluence with the Severn at Tewkesbury. Further information: www.shakespearesavonway.org. 4. Ouse Valley Way The Ouse Valley Way is a network of footpaths following the course of the Great Ouse from its source to the sea, a distance of 150 miles. This is a varied and beautiful route, incorporating
splendid rural scenery in the river’s upper reaches, a plethora of fine towns and villages – such as Godmanchester, St Neots, St Ives and Ely – and provides classic Fenland views as you head further downstream. Further information: www.ousevalleyway.org.uk. 5. Avon Valley Path You may not see any boats on this 34-mile long distance path that takes you from Salisbury – one of the most beautiful cathedral cities in England – to Christchurch Priory and the sea, but this is undoubtedly one of the finest riverside walks in southern England. The Avon traverses some of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset’s finest scenery and has a wider variety of flora and fauna than any other chalk river in Britain. Further information: www.hants.gov.uk/ longdistance/avon-valley-path.htm.
Below: The Ouse Valley Way is one of the finest long distance waterway trails. Bottom: Walking beside the River Thames at Godstow.
Long Distance Trails
But maybe you are looking for something a little more challenging, in which case the following list of long distance river trails could provide the inspiration you need. 1. Severn Way One of the longest waymarked walking trails in Britain, the Severn Way traces a route along the entire Severn Valley, from its source on the wild Plynlimon plateau in mid Wales to the Severn Estuary, a distance of some 210 miles. Among the numerous highlights are sections of the Montgomery Canal, Shrewsbury, Ironbridge, Bridgnorth, Stourport-onSevern, Gloucester and Slimbridge, famous for its wildfowl and wetlands reserve. Further information: www.severnway.com. 2. Thames Path You can follow England’s longest river for 184 miles from its source in the Cotswolds almost to the sea. ‘Liquid history’ is a hackneyed cliché, but this a truly unforgettable route, through peaceful watermeadows in its upper reaches, past famous Thamesside towns such as Henley, Marlow, Maidenhead and Windsor, and on through the heart of London to finish at the Thames barrier in Greenwich. Further information: www.nationaltrail. co.uk/Thamespath/.
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 23
CYCLING/walking the towpaths
If you would like to enjoy a waterside walk in the company of other enthusiasts, and learn more about the canals at the same time, then why not join a guided walk. IWA branches, canal societies and other bodies organise walks all around the system throughout the year – choose from the comprehensive selection published below. Newcomers are always made most welcome on these walks and they represent an excellent opportunity to make new friends – or meet up again with old ones.
1st Birmingham & Fazeley Canal More canals than Venice walk. 11.30am. Tickets £8 and must be booked in advance. (Birmingham Tours, 0121 427 2555, www.visitbritain.com.)
2nd Grand Union Canal Meet near the Foresters Arms, Nether Heyford at 10.45am. (Old Union Canals Society, 01536 760165.)
2nd Grand Union Canal Kensal Green cemetery, Paddington Arm Grand Union to Little Venice. Meet at 2.30pm at Kensal Green station. £7. (IWA/ London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
2nd Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
16th Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
16th Lee Navigation Bow Back Rivers and 2012 Games London. Meet at 2.30pm at Bromley-by-Bow station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
30th Regent’s Canal Islington to Mile End. Meet at 2.30pm at Angel station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
30th Stourbridge Canal
20th Grand Union Canal
18th Purton Tour
Exploring glassmaking and associated industries along the canal. Places limited. (Broadfield House Glass Museum, 01384 812745.)
Kensal Green cemetery, Paddington Arm Grand Union to Little Venice. Meet at 2.30pm at Kensal Green station. £7. (IWA/ London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
22nd Regent’s Canal
18th Lee Navigation
Little Venice to Camden. Meet at 6.30pm at Warwick Avenue station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
Bow Back Rivers and Olympic London. Meet at 2.30pm at Bromley-by-Bow station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
27th Stourbridge Canal
25th Stourbridge Canal
Exploring glassmaking and associated industries along the canal. Places limited. (Broadfield House Glass Museum, 01384 812745.)
Exploring glassmaking and associated industries along the canal. Places limited. (Broadfield House Glass Museum, 01384 812745.)
27th Regent’s Canal
5th Birmingham & Fazeley Canal More canals than Venice walk. 11.30am. Tickets £8 and must be booked in advance. (Birmingham Tours, 0121 427 2555, www.visitbritain.com.)
6th Lee Navigation Bow Back Rivers and 2012 Games London. Meet at 2.30pm at Bromley-by-Bow station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
6th Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
3rd Birmingham & Fazeley Canal More canals than Venice walk. 11.30am. Tickets £8 and must be booked in advance. (Birmingham Tours, 0121 427 2555, www.visitbritain.com.)
8th Regent’s Canal
4th Regent’s Canal
Mile End to Limehouse. Meet at 6.30pm at Mile End station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
Islington to Mile End. Meet at 2.30pm at Angel station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
13th Regent’s Canal
4th Purton Tour
Little Venice to Camden. Meet at 2.30pm at Warwick Avenue station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
20th Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
13th Regent’s Canal Mile End to Limehouse. Meet at 6.30pm at Mile End station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
Paddington Basin, Little Venice, GWR 175 and Brunel. Meet at 6.30pm at Edgware Road (Circle & District) station. £7. (IWA/ London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
1st Lee Navigation Bow Back Rivers and Olympic London. Meet at 2.30pm at Bromley-by-Bow station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
5th Regent’s Canal Camden Town via Islington Tunnel west portal. £5. 7.30pm. (www.canalmuseum.org.uk.)
7th Birmingham & Fazeley Canal More canals than Venice walk. 11.30am. Tickets £8 and must be booked in advance. (Birmingham Tours, 0121 427 2555, www.visitbritain.com.)
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Walkers and boaters share the Kennet & Avon Canal at Bishops Cannings.
10th Regent’s Canal
29th Regent’s Canal
19th Grand Union Canal
Little Venice to Camden. Meet at 6.30pm at Warwick Avenue station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
Kensal Green Cemetery, Grand Union to Little Venice. Meet at 2.30pm at Kensal Green station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
Uxbridge, Battle of Britain, Grand Union. Meet at 2.30pm at Uxbridge station. £7. (IWA/ London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
19th Stourbridge Canal
15th Purton Tour Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
15th Regent’s Canal Kings Cross to Alfred Hitchcock’s Hackney. Meet at 2.30pm at King’s Cross station taxi rank. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
15th WORCS WATERWAYS A 21 mile charity walk around the ‘Droitwich Ring’. (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
24th Regent’s Canal Mile End to Limehouse. Meet at 6.30pm at Mile End station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
29th Stourbridge Canal Exploring glassmaking and associated industries along the canal. Places limited. (Broadfield House Glass Museum, 01384 812745.)
4th Birmingham & Fazeley Canal More canals than Venice walk. 11.30am. Tickets £8 and must be booked in advance. (Birmingham Tours, 0121 427 2555, www.visitbritain.com.)
5th Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
5th Regent’s Canal Islington to Mile End. Meet at 2.30pm at Angel station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
19th Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
3rd Lee Navigtion Bow Back Rivers and Olympic London. Meet at 2.30pm at Bromley-by-Bow station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
17th Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 2pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
17th Regent’s Canal Kings Cross to Angel, New River. Meet at 2.30pm at Kings Cross station taxi rank. £7 (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
7th Lee Navigation Bow Back Rivers and Olympic London. Meet at 2.30pm at Bromley-by-Bow station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
21st Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 1pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
21st Regent’s Canal Paddington Basin, Little Venice, GWR 175 and Brunel. Meet at 6.30pm at Edgware Road (Circle & District) station. £7. (IWA/London Walks, 020 8969 9941, 020 8458 9476.)
19th Purton Tour A guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks. Meet at Purton Lower Bridge. 2 hours, £3.50. Purton, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. 1pm. (Paul Barnett, 07833 143231.)
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 25
CYCLING/walking the towpaths
Run the waterways But perhaps all this is far too tame for you. In recent years canal towpaths have become increasingly utilised as the venue for long distance running races. It all began in the 1990s with the Tour of Tameside races on the Rochdale Canal, organised by running guru Ron Hill. Today the most famous – and certainly the most challenging – event is the Grand Union Canal 145mile ultra-marathon. This gruelling race starts at Gas Street Basin, Birmingham and finishes at Little Venice in central London. Competitors are required
to complete the distance within a time limit of 45 hours and resting for more than 40 minutes at a time is not allowed. The maximum number of competitors is 80 and the event is – believe it or not – always oversubscribed. Pat Robbins holds the record, having completed the course in 26 hours 24 minutes in May last year. Interested in taking part (or more likely just watching)? This year’s event starts from Birmingham at 6am on 29th May. For full details visit www.gucr.co.uk. But there are lots of other canal races too, including the
increasingly popular Grantham Canal Ultra, a two day 58.6 mile event. Especially good for spectators is the Westbridge 5 race at Stone, which takes place annually on the first Sunday in June. It takes runners down the Trent & Mersey towpath from Stone to Aston and, following a brief lap around the village, back along the canal to the finish point in Westbridge Park. The winning time is normally in the region of 24 minutes and participants receive good support from both locals and boaters moored on the T&M. Left: Heading out of Birmingham on the Grand Union Canal Ultra Marathon – only 145 miles to go! Bottom: Ready for the start at Gas Street Basin.
Bryan Dale Race Photos
Below: Participants in the Westbridge 5 race by the Trent & Mersey Canal at Stone.
So what is your favourite canalside walk or bike ride? Write and let us know – and at the same time why not tell us about any special pubs, restaurants or tearooms that you may have encountered along the way.
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IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 27
IWA Grant for Cromford IWA has made a grant of £4,000 to pay for engineering designs on the Cromford Canal. Working with colliery owners UK Coal, the Friends of the Cromford Canal are restoring the long-closed Pinxton Arm across a former opencast mining site. The chairman of IWA’s Restoration Committee, Vaughan Welch, explained the reason for the grant: “UK Coal had agreed to do the reinstatement works within a set time – provided the Friends supplied the necessary engineering drawings to enable them to do so. Put simply, no drawings, no reinstated canal. We felt obliged to act promptly to assist.” A former channel of the River Erewash will be re-used for the restored Pinxton Arm, across the Smotherfly opencast site.
Wey & Arun Developments The Wey & Arun Canal Trust has launched a £300,000 appeal to restore Southland Lock on the central section of the canal. The lock will, effectively, be completely rebuilt, its only visible remains being the iron quoins (hinge posts) for the bottom gates. As a badger sett is located at the foot of the original lock, the replacement structure is to be constructed some 10 metres away from the sett, with a wooden bridge provided to enable resident badgers to cross the canal. The Trust’s appeal was launched on 17th April, the day that Devil’s Hole Lock (the next lock south, illustrated below) was officially reopened in a ceremony which also featured the unveiling of a new trip boat, named Josias Jessop after the canal engineer. Donations to the Trust’s new appeal may be made by telephoning 01403 752403, or visit www.weyandarun.co.uk.
The top lock of the The cleared towpath of Devon’s Stover Canal. Caistor Canal.
The Caistor Canal, a branch of the River Ancholme Navigation in Lincolnshire, is one of Britain’s lesser known waterways. Now the canal is to be dredged back to its original depth – although there are at this stage no plans to reintroduce boats. One mile of the four-mile canal is to be dredged around the village of South Kelsey, to reduce the risk of flooding in the area. The canal had an active life of some 55 years after its opening in 1800, but the stone lock chambers are in reasonable condition and are now listed structures.
Caistor Canal Dredging
28 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
RESTORATION UPDATE Historic Craft on the Grantham Canal
Green Light for Chesterfield Plan
The Small Woolwich narrowboat Centauri has arrived on the Grantham Canal, for service as a maintenance boat. The craft will be used initially on the navigable length from the A1 to Woolsthorpe. A Star Class boat built by Harland & Wolff in 1935, the vessel was still in the Grand Union Canal Carrying
A plan to give the Chesterfield Canal a fitting terminus has been awarded outline planning permission from the local council. The £300m Chesterfield Waterside scheme would create an urban village on a former industrial site, with offices, restaurants and 1,500 dwellings. The canal and River Rother pass through the development, with two new lengths of canal to be created, locks built, and navigation introduced to a short length of the river. Between the two waterways, an island would be created, with moorings to be provided at each waterside dwelling. A new basin with short-term moorings would be located at the southern end of the site – forming a new terminus of the Chesterfield Canal. This restored section of canal is currently isolated from the main length which is accessed from the River Trent, but restoration work is underway to reconnect the two. The ‘Basin Square’ is intended as a location for boating festivals, markets and other events, with restaurants, bars and a hotel among the attractions. The canal work is to be funded by a £500,000 grant from the East Midlands Development Agency. A detailed planning application for the basin is expected to be submitted within the next couple of months. For full details of the Chesterfield Canal restoration project visit www.chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk.
Company fleet in 1948, when the company was nationalised. After many years as a carrying and work boat, the shortened 45ft craft had fallen into a sorry state of repair when the Grantham Canal Partnership took responsibility for it. Centauri has now been fully renovated and is ready to support the volunteer maintenance programme. Top priority for the GCP is to maintain a navigable depth on this four-mile section of canal, in readiness for the arrival of the new Three Shires trip boat, which is expected in early summer.
BARGE CANAL PROGRESS BELOW: The newly restored entrance lock (No 8) of the Droitwich Barge Canal, with a sweeping bend of the River Severn just visible in the background.
BELOW: Looking south-eastward to the western portal of the newly-constructed tunnel which takes the Droitwich Barge Canal under the A449 dual carriageway.
Sleaford’s new hydraulically-operated lift bridge was opened at the end of April, after finally passing commissioning tests in March. At the same time a slipway for trailable boats was completed close by. The opening of the new bridge marks another milestone in restoring the Sleaford Navigation through to Sleaford. At a forthcoming rally scheduled for 3rd July, the Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership and the Sleaford Navigation Trust will be formulating plans to complete restoration through to the navigable River Witham. The Trust is organising the provision of a trip boat for the event, on loan from the Chesterfield Canal Trust. Meanwhile the LWP is planning to have plenty of trail boats and canoes on the water for the people of Sleaford to see. For details of the Sleaford Navigation project visit www.sleafordnavigation.co.uk. John Sully
Sleaford Bridge and Slipway Open
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 29
Three new interpretation boards have been installed in Bedford to tell locals about the proposed new waterway to Milton Keynes. In February, Mayor of Bedford David Hodgson and local MP Patrick Hall joined a celebratory riverside walk to mark the installation of the boards. During the walk, David Fowler of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust described proposed boating improvements at Bedford. Town Lock, located across Mill Meadows, is narrower than the 4.5m broad standard, and poorly sited for navigational safety on the new waterway. Though it could be retained in the short term to help
cope with additional traffic on the river, the aspiration is to construct a new, wider lock diagonally across Mill Meadows. The upstream exit would be immediately downstream of the Suspension Bridge, with the downstream end flowing into the existing Boatslide Weir race. A calm water/exit pool would be provided at both ends. Meanwhile, a minimum of 0.5m extra height is required under the Bletchley line railway bridge to provide the minimum 2.5m clearance. This would be achieved by lifting one or more of the bridge spans using hydraulic jacks, and inserting spacers at each of the mounting points.
The fabric of the busy Midland Main Line railway bridges cannot be touched – but on the north side of the main river channel there are three extra flood channels, which are not normally in use. One could be dug out and used for boating purposes on a one-way system, perhaps with a step-down lock. “A strategy to regenerate the Great Ouse through Bedford would herald an exciting new phase of restoration,” said Jane Wolfson, Chairman of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust. For full details of the project visit www.b-mkwaterway.org.uk. John Sully
The Deepcut flight on the Basingstoke Canal is expected to be closed throughout 2010 pending essential repairs to wing walls, lock gates, balance beams and a number of bypass culverts. Whilst boats will be able to access the waterway from the Wey Navigation at Byfleet, reach Woking and proceed beyond to St John’s and Brookwood, further westward progress will not be possible. It is reported that Hampshire and Surrey county councils will be injecting £2m for repair work over the next three years, but no reopening date for the Deepcut flight has yet been set. Dieter Jebens
Felling trees beside the Basingstoke Canal.
Canoeists on the Great Ouse in Bedford.
Bedford-Milton Keynes Signs
Inspecting one of the interpretation boards in Bedford.
Town Lock is narrower than the 4.5m broad standard.
30 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 31
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32 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
THE WOW FACTOR!
SUCCESS FOR WILD OVER WATERWAYS
ince The Inland Waterways Association started Waterways for Youth in the late 1980s, many thousands of children have had fun trying out their hands at knot tying, rope throwing, traditional plate painting and many other activities. This led eventually to the partnership with British Waterways and The Waterways Trust and a transformation into WOW (Wild over Waterways). From that time the concept has evolved and grown into a much bigger concern with the internet and a dedicated website offering access to a much wider audience than we could ever hope to meet through our own IWA events. Schools can now access all different kinds of waterway related learning materials prepared by the BW WOW team including project packs such as “Life on the English Waterways” and “The Waterways at War”, with others in the pipeline. The team at BW is also regularly engaging with schools, accompanying them on trips to their local waterways, devising new activities and holding informative feedback sessions. Meanwhile IWA’s WOW team is currently updating its own event kits and equipment as well as looking at other ways of promoting WOW around the system. There is now a WOW Co-ordinator in the South, Midlands and North with a complete kit in each area. The kit enables branches or canal societies to run a series of WOW activities at their event – the aim being to offer educational but fun activities, designed to keep families on site for longer whilst also encouraging positive attitudes to the waterways among young people.
What’s New for 2010 New signage for events has been produced which includes a pop-up banner to have in the signing on area, explaining the purpose of the WOW activities. There is also a set of bright promotional banners to put around the site to encourage families to come into the WOW area.
The old favourite, the duck quiz, (placing ducks around the site with a quiz sheet) is still available but the new waterways trail and quiz are designed to encourage visitors to go around the site. The trail will include 12 small blocks which can be hung securely – each will have a picture of a waterway feature on one side, and a few key points on the other. Children have to identify the feature and then pick out one of the key points to complete their quiz sheet. New giant button badges will be available for activity providers to wear, replacing the old hi-viz tabards, which some felt obscured their corporate clothing message. The main WOW co-ordinator for the site should, however, still wear the tabard to ensure they can be seen from around the event, should any of the activity providers need their attention. Also included in the kit will be: v brass rubbing boards v plate painting templates with ribbon and crayons v a new display board giving the background information to canal art. Event organisers will have to supply their own paper plates however. v a green fishing game kit with “fishing rods” and “litter blocks”, although event organisers will need to provide their own “pond” – using a plastic storage crate or similar. (Paddling pools have been used in the past but the amount of water needed and the problems of disposing of it at the end of the day have led us to move away from that method.) v WOW bunting strips v photo-copied resource sheets v activity stickers Lollipop signage is still available but with the kit there will also be more blank signs – carrying just the WOW logo. This will enable events to prepare their own signs, laminate them and simply attach them to the lollipop board – giving more flexibility within the range of activities that may be available locally. With the WOW bunting strips overhead and down the sides of the marquee, allied to the new orange banners and pop-ups, the centrally placed WOW activity area should be a very eye-catching addition to any event.
The passports will, of course, still be an integral part of the kit and the full range of stickers will be provided as well. Some activities have been so popular that we had used up all our stocks so this year has seen us source a different way of supplying them to keep our costs down. We are now able to print them ourselves onto 25mm circular white and coloured labels with the IWA website details around the base. As more of the older ones are used up they will be replaced by this new method, keeping costs down for IWA and also enabling us to print as many as we need at a particular time, thus avoiding waste.
POPULAR ROLLY TOYS A new activity for the National Festival in 2009 was the use of the miniature diggers, the “Rolly” toys. These proved extremely popular – and we had a hard time keeping the adults off them! If an event has a particular link with restoration and the idea of “training the volunteers of the future” appeals, then organisers should ask about borrowing the toys. They do need a hard, flat surface within an enclosed area to run on though and require supervising. A load of bark chippings or similar could also add to the fun for children as they are able to use the front loaders to move the materials around the area. So event organisers should include WOW in their plans. It is possible to run with just the activities in the kit or traders and visitors may be persuaded to help if they are knot tiers, cadets, historic boat owners or others. There are bound to be first aiders on site too and they often have a very quiet weekend if all goes well – so can be encouraged to do WOW first aid too. To keep families on site, educate and entertain children and spread the word about particular waterways concerns, as well as attract more people to an event – then WOW is one of the best ways to do it. For further information please contact Gillian Bolt: e-mail email@example.com IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 33
Fri 30th April-Mon 3rd Northampton Boat Gathering (SOS) River Nene. Becket’s Park. Boat handling competition, vintage bus mystery tour, boat jumble, sea cadet demonstrations, real ale bar. Evening welcome party on Friday. (IWA Northampton, 01604 862988, firstname.lastname@example.org.) Sat 1st Lock Wind at Church Lawton Trent & Mersey Canal (SOS) Organised by IWA Stoke-onTrent Branch. (Alison@hazelhurstcottage.co.uk.) Sat 1st-Sun 2nd Norbury Junction Rally Shropshire Union Canal. (www.sncanal.org.uk.) Sat 1st-Mon 3rd Canalway Cavalcade (SOS) Regent’s Canal. Little Venice. Organised by IWA London Region. Stalls, food & drink, garden plants, canalia, music, dance, real ale tent. A capital event! (www.waterways.org.uk.) Sat 1st-Mon 3rd Boaters’ Gathering at South Kyme (SOS) Sleaford Navigation. (IWA Lincolnshire, email@example.com, 01469 530138.) Sat 1st-Mon 3rd Tug Boat Event Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley. Tug boats from near and far will manoeuvre their way along the canal arm. Guided tours, traditional canal crafts and street games. (0121 557 9643, www.bclm.co.uk.) Sat 1st-Mon 3rd Lock Wind at Big Lock, Middlewich (SOS) Organised by IWA Chester & District Branch. (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Sat 1st-Mon 3rd Milton Keynes Canal Awareness Weekend (SOS) Organised by IWA Milton Keynes Branch. (email@example.com.)
Sat 29th-Sun 31st Welsh Waterways Festival Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. Kimberley Park, Newport. Incorporating the IWA National Trailboat Festival. Boat trips, stalls, live entertainment, real ale bar. Public entrance free. (www. mon-brec-canal-trust.org.uk.)
Sat 1st-Mon 3rd Skipton Waterway Festival Leeds & Liverpool Canal. 1940s theme. Boat trips, heritage boats, live entertainment, music, vintage engines, illuminated boat cruise, stalls and children’s activities. Raft race on Sunday. (Pennine Cruisers, 01756 795478, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
June Fri 4th-Sun 6th Beale Park Boat Show River Thames. (0118 976 7498, www.bealeparkboatshow.co.uk.) Sat 5th-Sun 6th Leicester Riverside Festival River Soar. Bede Park. Boat trips, live music, stalls, displays and children’s activities. (www. leicester.gov.uk/festivals.)
Sat 15th-Sun 16th Nottingham Yacht Club Boat Gathering River Trent. Cranfleet Lock, Long Eaton. Supporting RNLI. Music, real ale, food stalls, games. Flypast by the Battle of Britain Dakota on Sunday. (Dave Jerry, 07836 723935.) Sat 15th-Sun 16th Rickmansworth Festival Grand Union Canal. Live music, stalls, entertainment, demonstrations, historic and visiting boats and boat trips. The finale will be an air display from a 1930s aerobatic biplane. (01923 778382, www. rwt.org.uk/festival2010.)
Sat 12th-Sun 13th BCN Society Summer Rally Titford Canal, Birmingham Canal Navigations. (0121 355 6351, www.bcn-society.co.uk.) Sat 12th-Sun 13th Stoke Bruerne Gala Weekend Grand Union Canal. Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne. (www. friendsofcanalmuseum.org.uk.) Sun 13th Montgomery Canal Dinghy Dawdle Montgomery Canal. The 25th dinghy dawdle takes place from Berriew to Welshpool. Canoes, dinghies, kayaks and coracles are welcome. (www.montgomerycanal.co.uk.)
Sat 5th-Fri 11th BCN Society Explorer Cruise Birmingham Canal Navigations. Subject to change – please check in advance. (0121 355 6351, email@example.com.)
Sat 26th-Sun 27th Braunston Historic Narrow Boat Rally & Canal Festival Grand Union Canal. Rally of surviving Braunston and GU boats, with twice daily parade. Trade stands, canal societies. 10am-5pm. £10 per car. (www. braunstonmarina.co.uk.)
Thu 10th-Sun 13th Russell Newbery Register Boat Rally Shropshire Union Canal. National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port. (www. russellnewbery.co.uk.)
Sat 26th-Sun 27th Tom Rolt Centenary Rally (TR) Shropshire Union Canal. Tower Wharf, Chester. A weekend of celebrations organised by IWA Chester & District Branch. (www.waterways.org.uk.)
Sat 22nd-Sun 23rd Moira Canal Festival Ashby Canal. 10th anniversary event with trailboats, historic reenactments, bands, live steam and family entertainment. (www.moiracanalfestival.co.uk.) Fri 28th-Mon 31st Soar Boating Club Annual Rally Normanton-on-Soar. (www.soarboatingclub.co.uk, 01509 827028.) Sat 29th-Mon 31st Crick Boat Show Grand Union Canal Leicester Line. Crick Marina. Live music, demonstrations, boat trips, exhibitions, expanded craft area, children’s entertainment. (www.crickboatshow.co.uk.)
The last IWA ‘National’ at Beale Park in 2006.
34 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
EVENTS 2010 This year will see an exceptionally wide range of rallies and gatherings taking place throughout the waterway network, organised by IWA branches, canal societies and other bodies. Many are IWA Save Our System 2010 events (shown as SOS in the listings), whilst others are being held as part of the Tom Rolt 100 celebrations (TR). Published here is a comprehensive list of events, together with contact details (phone, e-mail and, where appropriate, website). Water supply restrictions on the Birmingham Canal Navigations may affect events in Birmingham and the Black Country. It is advisable to check the latest situation before travelling.
July Fri 2nd-Sun 4th Stratford River Festival River Avon. Music, entertainment, river based events and activities. (www. stratfordriverfestival.co.uk.) Fri 9th-Sun 11th Allens Register 10th Anniversary Boat Gathering Titford Pumphouse, BCN. (www.bcn-society.co.uk.) Sat 17th-Sun 18th Thames Traditional Boat Rally Fawley Meadows, Henley-onThames. Traditionally built craft powered and unpowered. Illuminated boat parade, vintage and classic cars, boat jumble, music, children’s entertainment. (www.tradboatrally.com.) Sat 17th-Sun 18th Chesterfield Canal Festival Morse Lock, Worksop. Free to the public. 10am-5pm. Boat trips, birds of prey, craft and charity stalls, canal societies, children’s entertainment, canoeing and sailing. (www.chesterfield-canal-trust. org.uk/festival.)
Sat 31st Linslade Canal Festival Grand Union Canal. Tiddenfoot Waterside Park. 11am5pm. £2 per car. Craft stalls, demonstrators, children’s entertainment, boat trips, music and dancing. (www.leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk.)
Sat 4th-Sun 5th Shackerstone Family Festival Ashby Canal. Includes the Shackiesaurus Children’s Club, vintage vehicles, historic boats, aircraft displays, trade and craft stalls, live steam, real ale bar. (07767 400894, www.shackerstonefestival.co.uk.)
Sat 31st-Sun 1st Aug Bristol Harbour Festival River Avon. Displays on and around the city’s harbourside. Music, stalls, visiting historic ships. (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Sat 4th-Sun 5th Maesbury Canal Festival Montgomery Canal. A family weekend with craft demonstrations. Art/ photography competition and Brain of Monty quiz. (www.canalfestival.co.uk.)
August Sat 14th-Sun 15th Foxton Locks Festival Grand Union Leicester Section. Free entry. Boat trips, arts & crafts, children’s activities, guided tours, historic boats & vehicles, live music, indoor exhibitions, Foxton Canal Museum. (email@example.com.) Sat 28th-Mon 30th IWA National Festival & Boat Show (TR) River Thames. Beale Park. Celebrating the centenary of Tom Rolt’s birth. Replica wharf, historic working boats, vintage cars, steam traction engines. The waterway event of the year! A full preview will be published in the next Waterways. (www. waterways.org.uk.)
Sat 18th-Sun 19th Tipton Canal & Community Festival Birmingham Canal Navigations. Narrowboat parade, boat trips, trade, charity and heritage stalls and live entertainment. Free entry. (0795 868 4716, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Sun 5th Angel Canal Festival Regent’s Canal. City Road Basin and Lock. 11am-5pm, free entry. Stalls, children’s funfair and entertainment, boat trips, regatta, art projects, live music, street theatre, refreshments, boat rally and community boats on display. DIY boater’s BBQ on Saturday 4th, 7pm-10pm. (07973 504212, 07932 994792, www.angelcanalfestival.com.) Fri 10th-Sun 12th Ellesmere Boat Rally Llangollen Canal. (0151 336 1049, email@example.com.)
Fri 1st-Sun 3rd Village at War Weekend Grand Union Canal. Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne. A nostalgic look back at the war years recalling the Home Guard, women’s land army, fire service and the Americans. (www. friendsofcanalmuseum.org.uk.) Sun 3rd Banbury Canal Day (TR) Oxford Canal. Celebrating the centenary of Tom Rolt’s birth. (www.banburycanalday.co.uk.) Sat 16th-Sun 17th Stourbridge Open Weekend Stourbridge Town Arm. Over 100 boats expected; free admission. (www.thebonded warehousestourbridge.co.uk.)
Fri 10th-Sun 12th Black Country Boating Festival Birmingham Canal Navigations. Bumble Hole, Netherton. (0844 800 5076, www.bcbf.com.)
Sat 4th Weybridge Thames-side Festival To celebrate improved moorings opposite Shepperton Lock. Free boat trips, music, dance, wide range of boats, stalls and free car parking. ‘Boaters’ bash’ Friday. (festival2010@ weybridgesociety.org.uk.)
Sat 18th-Sun 19th Whitchurch Waterway Trust Gathering of Boats Llangollen Canal. Entry is £12.50 per boat which includes mooring, plaque and competitions. Social evening on 18th £5.50 including meal. (01948 830447 evenings, www. whitchurchwaterway.org.uk.)
Fri 5th-Sat 6th Bonfire Rally Birmingham Canal Navigations. Galton Valley. AGM on Friday evening. (BCNS, www.bcnsociety.co.uk.)
Last year’s Moira Canal Festival
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 35
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IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 37
Digging up the Bridgewater It’s a funny thing really, the media’s attitude to waterways. In spite of IWA’s best press efforts, of 64 years’ campaigning, big rallies and festivals, major restorations etc, the things that seem to make the big circulation papers are often negative. A good example is the recent Budget. Hidden away in the releases from the Treasury about various economies was the news that British Waterways is to be “mutualised” (horrible word, looking like a combination of “mutilated” and “brutalised”!). To the best of my knowledge, not one major journal picked this up, nor apparently did the TV media, yet it is potentially the most important change to take place in the operation of the waterways since nationalisation in 1947. On the other hand a relatively innocuous proposal to run fibre optic cables along the Bridgewater Canal received a large picture and a lengthy article in the Sunday Telegraph the weekend before. In a High Court judgement Mr Justice Lewison had ruled: ‘’The Bridgewater Canal, opened in 1761 and engineered by Joseph Brindley, ushered in the great age of the canals. It was built to give citizens of the growing city of Manchester access to
The Bridgewater Canal at Worsley – surely the waterway can’t be an obstacle to digital progress?
cheaper coal from the Duke of Bridgewater’s coal mines. Now, however, what the citizens of Manchester want is access to broadband and fibre optic cables. Far from facilitating access, the Bridgewater Canal is now an obstacle”. He said Geo Networks already had a duct under the canal for which it paid a rent to the Bridgewater Canal Company. Lawyers for the fibre optic company argued it only had to pay for the right to lay the extra cable. Under the electronic communication industry code, it could ‘buy one get one free’ and did not have to pay extra rent. Mr Justice Lewison ruled that Geo should pay more, but gave permission to appeal to try to clarify the industry code. The story seemed to suggest that a major assault on amenities was threatened. The article incidentally seemed to display a sad lack of understanding of what the project implied. The journalist (or perhaps the judge?) appeared to think that the cables were to be laid in the canal bed rather than under the towpath. Or am I wrong? Perhaps they really do intend to dig up the middle of the canal. Or has the wholesale laying of Fibreway cables under the rest of the BW towpath system been forgotten?
Restoring the K&A
One of my more assiduous correspondents keeps me wellsupplied with information from the BBC’s website. This often contains newsworthy items of waterway interest and is easily accessible by anyone with a computer. However, occasionally the late Lord Reith’s policy of educating, entertaining and informing the Great British Public tends to go somewhat astray. A recent item about an exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Kennet & Avon Canal put on in the Gloucestershire village of Frenchay states “In the 1920s the canal stopped trading completely, and from 1945 to 1948, it suffered
even further decline due to a lack of maintenance. The canal virtually closed in 1950 but after several decades of fundraising and hard work the Kennet & Avon was eventually re-opened by the Queen in 1990.” Well yes, I suppose so, but this is surely an over-simplification, implying that one day BW or the Government suddenly bethought themselves “Hey! How about we re-open the K&A. We may need to raise a few quid from somewhere though.” No mention of the enormous volunteer effort and campaign that resulted in HRH drawing that paddle at Devizes in 1990.
A Winter’s Tale The hard winter now past has seen a good few comments made in the press. The floods of last autumn in the north that heralded the approach of winter seem to have had one beneficial result, according to the Yorkshire Post. “A new footbridge across the River Don and a package of flood defence measures will be constructed in the Wicker area of Sheffield under a council plan” it announced in February. An earlier proposal for a 90 metre bridge has been given planning permission, but now officials are considering a shorter, 40 metre bridge nearby “providing a more direct link straight across the water”. Previously the same paper had published pictures of the floods, including a dejected resident of Boroughbridge sitting in an armchair with his wellingtoned feet in water covering his living room floor “flooded for the sixth time”. The paper carried a rather handsome centre spread in its Rural Affairs Country Week section in January showing pictures of “The Big Freeze” including several boats locked solid in the ice at Selby Boat Centre. Then the Post told us also in January that “British Waterways had confirmed that almost 90 per cent of its 2,200-mile river and canal network had frozen solid”, while the Leicester Mercury firstly reported in December on an illuminated boat parade at the
Lime Kilns pub at Hinckley on the Ashby Canal (“Boaters deck their vessels for canal trip”) and then became very excited in February with a full-page spread under the banner headline: “Sinking feeling for boater as he’s left out in the cold”. This had a sub-strapline: “BIG FREEZE: Barges are trapped on frozen canal in icy weather”. Wow! I thought. It must be bad if the Soar and Trent have frozen sufficiently to trap barges, but of course, I should have known. To our denizens of Grub Street, and in spite of seven decades of IWA propaganda to the contrary, any craft that floats on a canal is “a barge”. In fact the lady reporter had discovered some residential narrowboats frozen in on the Ashby Canal. But she had not had to walk very far, since the accompanying picture showed the boats concerned were tied up outside the Lime Kilns pub, which boaters will know is right beside the A5! She spoke to the boater concerned: “The 60-year-old said “I’ve been on the boat now for five or six years and this is the worst it’s ever been…But boats get very warm and there’s coal burners on all the time. It can be the middle of winter and you’ll have to open the doors because it’s hot. So we’re all okay.” A pity really. He should have told her that he was starving, freezing cold and that his children were suffering, since bad news sell papers.
38 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
Waterway Cuttings.indd 38
Send all your waterway cuttings to David Blagrove at IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA
Save our kingfishers Once again the Yorkshire Post hit the right journalistic note in March by combining bad news with nature-loving. “Survey appeal as kingfishers hard hit by harsh winter” it told us in March. It went on: “The harsh winter may have significantly reduced numbers of kingfishers on the UK’s rivers and canals British Waterways said today as it began its annual wildlife survey. This year British
Waterways is focussing its survey on kingfishers amid fears that the frozen waters and icy temperatures experienced for weeks on end this winter could have hit the bird hard.” Well if it has indeed done so, that is surely bad news, but my gut feeling is that probably the birds will survive, as they have done for tens of thousands of years without the aid of either the Yorkshire Post or BW.
Freight on the Caledonian…
Conner395 at flickr.com, CC-BY
There were some interesting snippets from the (Scottish) Press & Journal Evening Express. I do not receive many cuttings about Scottish waterway matters, but this paper regularly reports goings-on relating to the Caledonian Canal. Just before Christmas the Press & Journal ran a story headlined “Scheme could see freight cargoes transported along Caledonian Canal .“ It went on to elaborate: “Freight cargoes could be transported up and down the Caledonian Canal by early 2011 if a £4 million scheme comes to fruition. It is hoped that the project could take hundreds of lorries off one of the Highlands busiest trunk routes’ and save more than 400,000 road miles every year. County Durham-based company Lembas Marine claims it has support for the proposed development from haulage companies and community councils along the A82 Inverness to Fort William road. The scheme would see timber and fish feed being carried on specially-constructed barges, pushed by a manned tug.” So far, so good, but then came the sting in the tail: “The not-forprofit company is now investigating how much funding is available for the project from the Scottish Government”. As many members will recall from previous articles, I am a great believer in the sound maxim of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, before his execution in 1642: “Put not your trust in Princes”, or in this case, politicians.
DAVID BLAGROVE TAKES A LIGHT-HEARTED LOOK AT WHAT THE PAPERS HAVE HAD TO SAY
…and on the Ouse
The freight theme was followed by the much lesser-known Selby Times in February. This local paper reported the dispatch of a cargo of nearly 1,200 tonnes of pulverised fuel ash from the Drax power station wharf on the Ouse bound for Ireland, where it will be turned into building blocks. According to the paper Drax “which produces about 1.4 million tonnes of the combustion byproduct PFA per year, has traditionally exported this material by road, but …it was decided to take to the water.” The article went on to quote BW’s North East Freight supervisor, Stuart McKenzie, as saying “The canal infrastructure provides the perfect platform for reducing lorry journeys from already congested roads and is an environmentally sound solution to ever-increasing transport problems. We see major opportunities to carry freight on our waterways.” This could not sum up better what IWA has been saying for over 60 years. As an afterthought: how did the PFA shipment get to Ireland? Southabout via Land’s End, or Northabout via Cape Wrath? Or was it able to go via the Caledonian Canal? It would be good to know.
You cannot be serious!
The Caledonian Canal (seen here at Fort Augustus) is a waterway with enormous potential for the carriage of freight.
Lastly, what on earth are we to make of an item from The Daily Telegraph at the end of March? “A group … has opposed plans for a riverboat restaurant because it would be close to a meadow that men use for ‘post dusk social networking’. They warned that if the proposals went ahead, men would have to go elsewhere for their clandestine activities.” The proposal is in fact for a restaurant boat on the River Nene at Northampton. Had the article not appeared in March I would have thought the matter might have been an April Fool, but, no, the opposition is quite serious. I make no further comment beyond the fact that the River Nene comes under the jurisdiction of the Environment Agency rather than BW, so it cannot be regarded as a “Cruising Waterway” within the meaning of the 1968 Act.
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 39
Waterway Cuttings.indd 39
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Safety shutters easily fitted from inside the boat See our new secondary glazing system now available Worcester Marine Windows Ltd Unit 10, Three Springs Trading Estate, Vincent Road, Worcester WR5 1BW
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IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 41
WORCESTER & TARDEBIGGE DRY-DOCKS FACILITIES SERVICES • Pressure wash • Scrub Wiremop & Black • Shot Blasting & Epoxy-Pitch coatings • Anodes fitted • Stern tubes & Shafts replaced • Engine servicing Over-plating STOKE PRIOR WORKS SLIPWAY PAINT BUBBLE The same services as the dry-docks PLUS RE-BOTTOMING AND EXTENSIONS We also undertake complete re-paints and re-fits THE LITTLE SHOP OF CHANDLERY We also have this “Little Shop” full to the brim with all manner of Chandlery • Fender • Ropes • Paint • Oil & grease • Most service items for canal boat engines • COAL • GAS • Diesel
J.L PINDER & SON Est 1953 Phone 01527 876438 Fax 01527 576435 www.jlpinderandsons.co.uk email@example.com
Debdale Wharf Marina, Smeeton, Westerby, Nr Kibworth/Foxton, Leics
Tel: 0116 279 3034
■ Now available, secure hard standing for any size narrowboat. ■ 0.39 per foot, per week plus VAT. ■ Lift-out and movement via our 40 tonne travel hoist. ■ Storage or DIY fitout. ■ Summer cruising and winter storage available, no BWB licence needed during winter. ■ All positions have water and electricity available. ■ Plus we have steel fabrications, gas, electrics and painting experts on site. Enquiries to Mike or Carol
Tel: 0116 279 3034, Fax: 0116 279 6655 www.debdalewharf.co.uk
42 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
inbox More on Leicester I’d like to add to John Evans’ defence of the Leicester Line (Waterways, Spring 2010). We have been through Leicester twice on our boat Dollar, the first time a couple of years ago, not stopping between Kilby Bridge and Syston; the second, late last September during the glorious Indian summer. Then we moored at Castle Gardens for two nights, on our way to and from Napton. I can only sing the praises of the pontoons at Castle Gardens. At no time did we feel anything less than totally secure at the moorings and there was no disturbance on any night from the opposite towpath – which was in regular use by walkers and cyclists. The whole Western Boulevard/ Mile Straight area justifies the policy of making the urban canal environment more accessible and attractive to the non-boating public: make it look nice, maintain it and keep it tidy and people will use it and
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The Autumn 2010 issue of Waterways will be published in August 2010. Editorial copy closing date is 1st July 2010.
respect it. The same applies to central Birmingham – I knew what a tip the Gas Street area was in the late ‘70s when I worked in ‘Brum’. I knew the Mile Straight even better: for five years my friends and I walked from West Bridge to Gateway Grammar School, until I left for 6th form at Melton Mowbray. The towpath was not a good idea in winter – under Mill Lane Bridge it was regularly under water. In those years (1966-71) I didn’t see one boat. We’ll be back on the Mile Straight soon to moor in the city. There are places I wouldn’t moor, as in any urban area (and a few rural ones too). The ‘towpath telegraph’ is quite effective. But Leicester as a canal no-go area – not at all! Come and enjoy the friendliest, most diverse, most interesting, historic yet modern city in the Midlands. We have got the best rugby team too. Philip Dumelow, Thame, Oxon
Angling for Success I enjoyed the item on angling in the last issue of Waterways. It was especially interesting to read the comments of anglers on other waterway users, particularly boaters. Like many longstanding waterway enthusiasts, I recall only too vividly the bad old days of the late 1970s and early ‘80s, when there seemed to be outright hostility between fishermen and boat crews. But ‘live and let live’ appears to be the current philosophy, on the part of both groups, and that is to be applauded. What we should like to see now is the Angling Trust and other angling clubs and organisations becoming more active in supporting IWA in their campaigning activities. Simon Robinson, via e-mail ********************************* With angling being such an important activity, it is very important that we at IWA engage with fishermen and get them on board with us in opposing Government funding cuts for the waterways. I live at Market Drayton and
often encounter anglers on my towpath walks. Almost without exception, they are blissfully unaware of the political issues surrounding the canals and their upkeep. I never miss an opportunity to get ‘the message’ across, and have always been politely listened to. So come on, everyone, spread the word! Nigel Chambers, via e-mail ********************************* The article on angling was most enlightening, even if the photo of the American Signal Crayfish was extremely scary! Good luck to the fishermen, as I don’t doubt it’s a therapeutic and restful activity, regardless of whether or not any fish are caught. And we all need to find ways to chill out in this helter-skelter world. I did, however, feel a little sorry for the large carp left gasping whilst being photographed along with his captor – I only hope it was subsequently returned to the water. Celia Jones, Southampton
Broadland Memories I read with considerable interest the item on the North Walsham & Dilham Canal (Restoration Update) in the last issue of Waterways. Way back in the 1960s my family used to rent a riverside cottage at Stalham for a fortnight every summer, along with a little runabout launch. We used to head off in it most days, sometimes down the River Ant to Barton Broad, but more often than not upstream to Wayford Bridge, where we’d stop for a picnic. We were all, to my knowledge, blissfully unaware of the existence of the North Walsham & Dilham Canal – what unenlightened times they were! Full marks to the canal’s restorers, I wish them every success. I always look forward to receiving my copy of Waterways (and always turn to Restoration Update first), so keep up the good work. Michael Denning, via e-mail IWA ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RATES Adult, single Joint/Family
Details of all other rates are available from IWA Head Office – see the Directory on page 44. ******************************** We refer to the picture on page 23. It seems unfortunate that the picture includes anglers so near to the lock. Our understanding is that anglers should be at least 10 yards from a lock and not adjacent to any mooring bollards. We would much appreciate your comments. Roger and Mary Sharp, via-email That’s a good point, but as the anglers concerned were youngsters we perhaps have to allow them some time to learn the ‘rules’ of canal fishing. Thanks to everyone who wrote in response to our item on angling in the previous issue, it clearly provoked some considerable interest. Ed.
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 43
DIRECTORY HEAD OFFICE Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA. Tel: 01494 783453 e-mail: email@example.com Website: www.waterways.org.uk Vice Presidents: Harry Arnold, David Blagrove, Chris Coburn MBE, David Court OBE, Brian Dice OBE, David Fletcher CBE, Illtyd Harrington JP, David Hilling MBE, Tony Hirst OBE, John Humphries OBE, The Viscountess Knollys DL OBE, The Earl of Shannon, Sonia Rolt, Audrey Smith OBE, David Suchet OBE, Sheila Suchet, Paul Wagstaffe MBE, David Wain OBE All Trustees and National Committees can be contacted via Head Office. Board of Trustees: Clive Henderson (Chairman), Doug Beard, Ray Carter, Alastair Chambers, Les Etheridge (Deputy Chairman), James Kennerley, Alan Platt, John Pomfret (Deputy Chairman), Paul Roper, Peter Scott, Paul Strudwick, Vaughan Welch (Deputy Chairman), Ian West Finance Committee: Les Etheridge (Chairman). Contact via Head Office. David Carrington, Mike Dyer, Gordon Harrower, Nick Parker, Gillian Smith, Ian West, Alan Wiffen, Kerry White Navigation Committee: Roger Squires (Chairman). Tel: 0207 232 0987. firstname.lastname@example.org John Baylis (Deputy Chairman), Alastair Chambers, Steve Connolly, Ian Fletcher, Peter Kelly, John Pomfret, Paul Roper, Peter Scott, Vaughan Welch Restoration Committee: Vaughan Welch (Chairman). Tel: 0121 477 9782. email@example.com Chris Birks, Ray Buss, Geraint Coles, Edward Gittins, Tony Harrison, Tony Hinsley, Martin Ludgate, Keith Noble (Deputy Chairman), Paul Roper, Martin Smith, Mike Valiant, Luke Walker (Deputy Chairman) Promotions and Communications Committee: Jerry Sanders (Chairman). Tel: 01283 716 158. firstname.lastname@example.org Julie Arnold, Helen Bedingfield, John Bedingfield, Ivor Caplan, Ray Carter, Madeline Dean, Elizabeth Payne, Jim Shead, Vaughan Welch, Helen Whitehouse Waterway Recovery Group: Mike Palmer (Chairman). Tel: 01564 785293. email@example.com Inland Waterways Enterprises Limited Board of Directors: Les Etheridge (Chairman). Contact via Head Office. Neil Edwards, Clive Henderson, Ian West IWA Festivals Division: Ian West (Chairman). Tel: 01564 230104. firstname.lastname@example.org Inland Waterways Freight Group: John Pomfret (Chairman). Tel: 01788 891027. email@example.com Hon. Consultant Engineers: Roy Sutton, BA Hons MICE, Tony Harrison, BSc (Hons), DHE, MICE. Tel: 01491 872380 Hon. Consultant Planners: Bob Dewey BA (Hons), MBA, MRTPI, Martin Jiggens IWA Committee for Wales: General secretary, Gerallt Hughes. Tel: 01341 250631 Essex Waterways Limited Board of Directors: Roy Chandler (Chairman), Colin Davis, Neil Edwards, Jim Jenkins, John Pomfret. Navigation Manager: Colin Edmond Regional Contacts East Midlands Chairman: John Pomfret. Tel: 01788 891027. firstname.lastname@example.org Eastern Secretary: Nigel Long. Tel: 01733 553782. email@example.com London Chairman: James Kennerley. Tel: 01473 603127. firstname.lastname@example.org North East & Yorkshire Chairman: Peter Scott. Tel: 0114 2301870. email@example.com North West Chairman: Alan Platt. Tel: 01352 720649. firstname.lastname@example.org South East Chairman: Paul Roper. Tel: 0118 9813381. email@example.com South West Secretary: Peter Kelly. Tel: 01752 843556. firstname.lastname@example.org West Midlands Chairman: Vaughan Welch. Tel: 0121 4779782. email@example.com
DIRECTORY Branch Contacts Avon & Wiltshire John Gornall. Tel: 0117 962 4644. firstname.lastname@example.org Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Dave Pearson. Tel: 01279 404273. email@example.com Cambridge Stephen Foote. Tel: 01763 838936. firstname.lastname@example.org Chelmsford Jan Thurston. Tel: 01702 529553. email@example.com Chester & District Gillian Bolt. Tel: 0151 678 9300. firstname.lastname@example.org Chiltern Melville Errington. Tel: 01494 678056. email@example.com East Yorkshire Mrs Chris Stones. Tel: 01482 875894. firstname.lastname@example.org Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Martin Turner. Tel: 01291 650605. email@example.com Guildford & Reading Paul Roper. Tel: 0118 9813381. firstname.lastname@example.org Hertfordshire Michael Wright. Tel: 01727 860137. email@example.com Ipswich Charles Stride. Tel: 01728 831061. firstname.lastname@example.org Kent & East Sussex Roy Sutton. Tel: 01342 317569 Lee & Stort John Shacklock. Tel: 01992 465643. email@example.com Leicestershire John Evans. firstname.lastname@example.org Lichfield Phil Sharpe. Tel: 01889 583330. email@example.com Lincolnshire Penny Carnell. Tel: 01469 530138. firstname.lastname@example.org Manchester Steve Connolly. Tel: 01942 679310. email@example.com Merseyside & West Lancs Andrew Lawton. Tel: 01695 572389. firstname.lastname@example.org Middlesex Robin Bishop. Tel: 020 8452 2632. email@example.com Milton Keynes Peter Caswell. Tel: 07702 668924. firstname.lastname@example.org North & East London Roger Squires. Tel: 020 7232 0987. email@example.com North Lancashire & Cumbria Tony Dunning. Tel: 07730 113894. firstname.lastname@example.org Northampton Andy Timms. Tel: 01327 830381. email@example.com Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Contact via IWA Head Office. firstname.lastname@example.org Oxfordshire Ron Heritage. Tel: 01869 277400. email@example.com Peterborough Nigel Long. Tel: 01733 553782. firstname.lastname@example.org Shrewsbury District & North Wales Dawn Aylwin. Tel: 01691 830403. email@example.com Solent & Arun Brendan Whelan. Tel: 01903 816012. firstname.lastname@example.org South London Lesley Pryde. Tel: 07787 372408. email@example.com South Wales Margaret Gwalter. Tel: 01792 851271. firstname.lastname@example.org South Yorkshire & Dukeries Mavis Paul. Tel: 0114 2683927. email@example.com Stoke-on-Trent Alison Smedley. Tel: 01538 385388. firstname.lastname@example.org Warwickshire Sue Roy. Tel: 01926 497845. email@example.com West Country Chris Jewell. Tel: 01288 352298. firstname.lastname@example.org West Riding Alastair Furniss. Tel: 0113 2539401. email@example.com
44 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 pg 044 Directory.indd 44
Discover The Beauty Of Wales with Castle Narrowboats Cruise the Monmouth and Brecon Canal, through the Brecon Beacons National Park. Visit our website for up to date availability www.castlenarrowboats.co.uk Or call 01873 830001 for a brochure Day boats also available Castle Narrowboats, Church Road Wharf, Gilwern, Monmouthshire NP7 0EP
IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 45
Classified Directory ACCESSORIES SOUNDEX DAE 302 Digital Aerial Be ready for the switch over This high gain aerial gives outstanding performance on Digital, Analogue TV and FM/DAB Radio. The soundex DAE 302 Aerial gives exceptional gains in poor reception areas.
For the widest choice of canal holidays visit www.ukboathire.com You can choose from 11 different start locations and more than 200 boats. We operate Viking Afloat, Alvechurch Waterways Holidays, Red Line Boats and Wessex Narrowboats. So go online today or call 0330 3330591 (local rate) for a brochure.
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Stone Boat Building Co Ltd Large range of chandlery for all your inland and offshore requirements. Calorifiers • Calor Gas • Diesel • Pump Out
Tel: 01785 812688 Fax: 01785 811317 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stoneboatbuilding.com Mail order catalogue disc available on request
Paul Widdowson Boats Trad, cruiser, semi, narrow beam, widebeam, Dutch barges, shell or sailaway. For the boat you want call Paul on 01623 835777; Mobile: 07754 483949 Email: email@example.com Web: www.paulwiddowsonjnr.moonfruit.com
ENGINEERS Anglian Diesels Ltd UK & International Business Over 50 Years Hydraulic Systems Experience
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All our systems can be standard build or configured to a bespoke specification to meet our customer’s needs. A Parker Distributor, holding probably the largest stock of Parker Hydraulic pumps & motors in the UK. Service and after sales department manned by Parker trained engineers.
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ARS Anglian Diesels Ltd, Unit 9c, Headway Business Park, Denby Dale Road, Wakefield WF2 7AZ Tel: 01924 332492 Fax: 01924 332493 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.arsangliandiesels.co.uk
We offer lock free cruising on our well appointed 2-7 berth narrowboats. Boatyard services include: Diesel • Gas • Solid Fuel Pump-out • Moorings For a free colour brochure Tel/fax: 01772 769183 Website: www.arlen-hireboats.co.uk
or call in and see us at Ashton Basin, Tulketh Brow, Preston, PR2 2SD
46 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010
classified Summer10.indd 2
Reach thousands of boat owners and waterway enthusiasts cost effectively Marketing your company costs less than you think with IWA and reaches thousands of readers in the magazine and free online. To find out more about our low cost advertising rates speak to Tony Preston on 01283 742965 or email email@example.com The facts - 13,000 copies printed each issue - reaches 18,500+ IWA members 4 times a year
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Correspond to: Tony Preston, IWA Waterways, 151 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE14 1BG | Next issue deadline: 9th July 2010.
Tranquil Rose A holiday aboard our floating hotel ‘Tranquil Rose’ offers you fully serviced accommodation, with good food freshly prepared aboard each day by our creative and imaginative chefs. With the added bonus of cruising the Royal River Thames, Grand Union Canal and adjoining waterways accompanied by your hosts Steve and Steph. Tourist Board “Operator of the Year” Silver Award Winner
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For a copy of our colour brochure, call 07966 248079 or write to Thames & Chilterns Holiday Cruises Ltd, 2 Appleshaw Close, Tadley RG26 3BB e-mail: email@example.com www.tranquilrose.co.uk
Show your support at the IWA Online Shop • • • • • •
NATIONWIDE MOORINGS MOORINGS AVAILABLE - Great Haywood Marina, Trent & Mersey Canal and Tattenhall Marina, Shropshire Union Canal. For more details call 01889 883 713 (Great Haywood) 01829 771 742 (Tattenhall) or visit www.gjp-marinas.co.uk
Books, Maps & Guides Videos & DVDs Waterways Gifts Chandlery IWA Merchandise IWA Membership
The UK’s MOST POPULAR and BEST VALUE range of ready & custom made Boat Bedding All specifically designed to fit the special shapes that we find on Yachts, Motor and Canal Boats. Special Shaped Boat Duvets & Covers Fitted Sheets for Boat Beds Mattress Protectors Custom Made Bedding DRY-Mat ™ Scatter Cushions for the Home and Boat All Major Cards Accepted
For further information or to place your order visit www.shipshapebedding.co.uk Tel: 08704 464 233 Fax: 08701 304 688
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IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010 / 47
T.R. Boat Handling RYA Recognised Teaching Establishement “The experience increased our knowledge & confidence well above our expectations” Howard and Sue, Doncaster The ideal present that lasts forever 1,2 and 3 day RYA courses aboard our narrow boat or your own craft RYA Inland Waterway Helmsman certificate for both beginners and the experienced from £95.00 Friendly and understanding instructor also ICC & CEVNI courses MCA Boat Master Grade 3
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WATERWAYS ADVERTISING Summer 2010 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 Tony Preston, Advertising Manager, 151 Station Street, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1BG. 01283 742 965 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Index to Advertisers AB Tuckey ...................................................................... 32 ABC Leisure Group ..................................................... 27 ARS Anglian Diesels ..................................................... 27 Aston Marina ................................................................. 45 Axiom Propellers .......................................................... 37 Barclays Marine Finance .................................................3 BC Boat Management .....................................................4 Blisworth Tunnel Narrowboats ................................ 42 Boatshed Grand Union ............................................... 42 Braunston Marina ......................................................... 45 Caldwells ........................................................................ 42 Canal Boat Cruises of Riley Green .......................... 36 Canal Cruising Co ........................................................ 48 Canvas Man Ltd ...............................................................4 Castle Marinas ............................................................... 37 Castle Narrowboats .................................................... 45
Colecraft Engineering Ltd ........................................... 45 Debdale Wharf Marina ................................................ 42 Fox’s Boats ..................................................................... 32 Gota Kanal ........................................................................4 JL Pinders ........................................................................ 42 Land & Water ................................................................ 32 Lee Sanitation ................................................................ 45 Limekiln Ltd ................................................................... 36 Maestermyn Group ...................................................... 42 Mel Davis ........................................................................ 32 Mercia Marina ..............................................................IBC Ocean World Leisure Wear ........................................3 Orchard Marina ............................................................ 41 Pennine Cruisers .......................................................... 32 Powercell Batteries .........................................................3 PRM Marine ......................................................................4
Riversdale Cruises ........................................................ 37 Rose Narrowboats ....................................................... 36 Shobnall Boat Services ................................................ 41 Swanley Bridge Marina ................................................ 27 Tattenhall Marina .......................................................... 31 Taylors of Fenny ..............................................................4 The New & Used Boat Co ................................... OBC Tingdene Marinas Ltd .....................................................2 Towergate Mardon ...................................................... 31 TR Boat Handling ......................................................... 48 Travel Sat ........................................................................ 31 Videoactive ..................................................................... 42 Websters Insulation ..................................................... 36 Wharf House Narrowboats ...................................... 32 Whilton Marina ........................................................... IFC Worcester Marine Windows .................................... 41
48 / IWA WATERWAYS / summer 2010