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WINTER 2010 | Issue 230

waterways Keeping Our Waterways Alive



Droitwich Barge Canal reopens


Holiday Hiring past and present VIEWPOINT Mikron Theatre seeks support COVER.indd 2

IWA at work News from the branches

THE INTERVIEW Profile of new IWA Navcom Chairman

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Contents 6 News

The Column of the National Chairman

Winter 2010

News and views from around the network

11 Freight

A round up of commercial carrying developments

13 Restoration Update

From the Wey & Arun, the Ashby and the Wilts & Berks canals

14 The Interview

We talk to new Navigation Committee Chairman Paul Roper

18 Viewpoint

Mikron Theatre appeals for adequate funding

22 National

Festival Report

From Beale Park on the River Thames

25 Holiday Hiring Hire boating down the years

32 Waterway

Recovery Group – Forty Years Old

We review a busy year for WRG

36 IWA at Work

What’s been happening around the branches

40 Waterway Cuttings

What the press has been saying about the inland waterways

43 Inbox Readers’ letters

44 Directory

Who’s who at The Inland Waterways Association

The bigger picture

I am sure members will share my optimism now that Government have confirmed their intention to move British Waterways’ current operations into an independent charitable trust to enable greater active involvement of all stakeholders in both our waterway heritage and future. This may represent the most important development since the nationalisation of 1948 - before I and many members were born. You may have read of our long term hopes for a national waterways conservancy in the last edition of Waterways and our formal comments to the consultation process that is to be set up by Defra will continue to press the case for a wider vision that will allow other waterways to join the new trust in the future. We will also encourage government to include the navigations currently operated by the Environment Agency within the trust from the start, so that its design and set up reflects this. The security of future funding from Government is of concern to all stakeholders and you can be assured that we will stress this condition as well as monitoring detailed developments as they go forward.

The smaller picture

A local waterway can be of greater importance to many stakeholders than the national picture. They will want to see their waterway, its heritage, its towpath and its corridor and environment protected and maintained to the highest possible standard. However, they may have to accept that such work is done to the highest affordable standard unless they are willing and able to contribute to closing any gap that may exist between available finance and achieving those standards. A contribution may involve time as well as money. We expect there to be greater involvement of local stakeholders and users though local waterway partnerships, set up to determine priorities at a local level and involving local authorities and other organisations to a greater extent than currently. We need our members to be prepared to get involved in these partnerships. Do prepare yourselves for action. Saying that ‘Someone should do something about it’ means that you should consider doing something about it or offering to help somebody else who wants to.

WATERWAYS EDITOR: Keith Goss Tel: 01283 742951 E-mail: ART EDITOR: Liane Hunt ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER: Tony Preston Tel: 01283 742965 E-mail: ADVERTISING DESIGN: Jill Brown, Clare Salisbury ADVERTISING PRODUCTION: Samantha Lloyd E-mail: EDITORIAL BOARD: Neil Edwards, Jo Gilbertson, Keith Goss, Clive Henderson, Peter Johns, Jim Shead REPROGRAPHICS: Waterways World Ltd, 151 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, 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

Stakeholders are varied and they can wear many hats

I know from meeting members and from my own interests that few of us fit easily or solely within one group of stakeholders identified as having an interest in the waterways. Despite campaigning broadly for many years on behalf of many interested groups, IWA is still often referred to as a ‘boaters’ group’ by some who should know better. Over the years we have campaigned around ‘Waterways for All’ and as ‘Friends of the Waterways’ in an attempt to bring this fact home. It is likely that seats at the top table of decision makers in the new third sector organisation will be reserved for at least seven categories of stakeholders likely to be classified as follows: private boaters; other water users – sailors, canoeists, anglers, rowers; users of towpaths – cyclists, walkers, horse activities; boating business; built heritage; environment/conservation; and local government. I am sure that many members will feel that they have links with at least two or more of these groupings so it is important that you consider participating in the consultations from Defra in your individual capacity. IWA will submit only one national overall response based upon input from our members and branches and I would encourage you to submit your thoughts to us - details will be on our website. So, as well as letting us know what you would like IWA to say on your behalf, I would encourage you to submit your own response to Defra as a private individual reflecting your local priorities and personal interests. I suspect that you will never get a better chance to have your views heard about waterways.

Inglesham Lock Appeal

I will close with a reminder to support IWA’s appeal to raise £125,000 to fund the acquisition of a section of the Thames & Severn Canal beyond Inglesham Lock and its restoration as a lasting tribute to the centenary of Tom Rolt’s birth. Progress can be seen on our website and with 2010 drawing to a close we have over 15% of the target pledged. So please remember the appeal as I wish you all the best for the festive season and 2011, which is sure to be an interesting year.

Clive Henderson

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

Founded: 1946, Incorporated 1958 Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA Tel: 01494 783453 E-mail: Web site: Chief Executive – Neil Edwards Company Secretary – Helen Elliott-Adams Operations & Information Systems Manager – David Forrester Campaign & Communications Manager – Jo Gilbertson Nothing printed in Waterways may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless stated, otherwise IWA accepts no liability for any matter in the magazine. Although every care is taken with advertising matters no responsibility whatsoever can be accepted for any matter advertised.


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

COVER PICTURE Hire boating on the Brecon & Abergavenny Canal in South Wales.


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| IWA waterways - Winter 2010

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waterways Keeping Our Waterways Alive

BW to become a charity successful launch and we expect to play our part. First, it must be financially viable from day one. The National Trust was not an overnight success and started from small beginnings. The new charity does not have the opportunity to grow over time – it has to be up and running immediately – and engaging with the public; securing new revenue streams, will take some time. The waterways also deliver public benefits for which there is no, and there can never be, an income stream. The Government needs to fund those public benefits for the nation. So we will be looking for assurances that the charity will have the benefit of the British Waterways property portfolio, and a properly costed long term service contract from Government. “The Government’s wants management by civil society. We have already submitted our views on how the charity could be managed with decision making both at the top of the organisation and at the local delivery level with the community properly and fully engaged. We look forward to ongoing discussions with Government over how this can be made to work.” Finally, he commented on inclusion of the Environment Agency navigations: ”We have made no secret of our aspiration that the charity should manage both the British Waterways and the Environment Agency navigations. We know that Government has not concluded its deliberations over that and we know

that some in the waterways community have strong reservations. I understand those reservations and recognise that there is a balance of argument, including the issue of dealing with liabilities, and that a big bang of transformation of British Waterways activities into a charity and absorption of the Environment Agency navigations, at the same time, is a challenge. But I believe that it is a challenge worth rising to. The advantages of a merger of the two major publicly funded navigations are that it would provide: a strong focus on the core mission of running these previously publicly owned waterways in the best interests of the community, with improved scope for a genuinely new body through cross fertilization; a simplification of the management of the waterways to the benefit of business and the public; an ability to gauge and respond quickly to changing customer needs; better value through the economies of scale to be achieved through the creation of a single organisation, and a co-ordinated system with, for example, a single navigation licence; the development over time of a national identity, like the National Trust, the National Parks, and the national museums; increasing usage, volunteering and charitable donations. I believe that these advantages are such that ways need to be found to overcome problematic issues and that with imagination and radical thinking this can be achieved.”

Cabinet Office Announcement 14th October 2010 Defra    British Waterways     No longer a Public Corporation - Abolish as a public corporation in England and Wales and create a new waterways charity – similar to a National Trust for the waterways        

The Environment Agency managed River Thames could be destined to be run by the charity.



n 14th October the Government formally confirmed that British Waterways is to be turned into a charitable body. IWA welcomed this news. It believes that if the new organisation is launched so that the charity is financially viable, it can be a great example of how an important component of our national heritage can be successfully managed by civil society, consistent with the Government’s aspirations for Big Society. The Government announcement follows strong and persistent lobbying by IWA for a new kind of charity-based waterways organisation formed from a merger of the two main government funded navigation authorities as a form of national inland waterways conservancy, to which at some future date, other navigations might be able to join. Clive Henderson, IWA National Chairman, said: “This is great news. Over 50 years ago IWA co-founder and visionary Robert Aickman proposed that a National Waterways Conservancy be created as an all purpose authority for the waterways. IWA continues to hold that vision and today marks a first step in its delivery. However, IWA will be seeking assurances from the Government over its contribution to ensuring that the charity is financially viable and how management by civil society can be made to work so the charity is genuinely a new organisation. He added: “A great deal of work is now required so that the charity can have a

Defra    Broads Authority     Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which should remain independent of Government; but review governance and increase accountability Defra     Environment Agency     Retain and substantially reform - Reform through structural, process and cultural change to become a more efficient and customer focused organisation; and clarify accountabilities. Further announcements after the spending review. The Environment Agency in Wales may move to form part of a WAG Environmental Body Defra     Inland Waterways Advisory Council     No longer an NDPB - Abolish body and functions, as previously announced Defra     Internal Drainage Boards (x 160) Retain and substantially reform - Improve efficiency and accountability, amend functions, and increase the involvement of local communities

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Droitwich Barge Canal opens



he Droitwich Barge Canal was officially opened to boat traffic on 11th September, at a ceremony held to coincide with Droitwich’s Salt Day, the town’s annual celebration of its historic salt industry. The Barge Canal saw its first through-traffic from the River Severn since 1919 on the previous Monday, when four private narrowboats, two hire boats and two cruisers entered Hawford Lock from the Severn. They made their way up the eight locks to the town’s new canal basin at Netherwich. Until 50 years ago Netherwich Basin was the site of the town’s gasworks, and in recent years the wharf there has been the working base for the Droitwich Canal Trust. The Trust could now find itself the victim of its own success, since the restoration has made every empty canalside site more appealing and the wharf could well be redeveloped. The successful conclusion to the long-running restoration project owes much to the efforts of the Waterway Recovery Group, who have been active on the waterway over four decades. WRG held one of their famous ‘Big Digs’ on the Droitwich Canals in 1973 and in recent times played a major role in the restoration of the Barge Lock in Vines Park. The narrow-locked Droitwich Junction Canal itself is now almost complete, but one short stretch remains before the whole canal can be a through route. This section was due to be developed privately, in parallel with the rest of the navigation, but the recession caused the developer involved to drop out. However, work has now started so the entire route should be open to navigation by next summer if all goes to plan.

Vines Park, Droitwich on reopening day.

Vacancy for Residential Caretaker Mooring - Sandford Mill There will be a vacancy for a residential caretaker mooring at Sandford Mill from later this autumn. This provides a residential mooring (with full planning permission) at Sandford Mill, near Chelmsford, on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. Moorings are charged at the usual residential mooring fee rate (i.e. normal rate + 50%). The position pays a modest salary in return for 8 hours work per week on maintenance and security duties at the site. For a job description and further information, or to express interest in the post, please contact the Navigation Manager, Colin Edmond or telephone 01245 226245 or 07966 375351.

IWA at the



WA, together with The British Marine Federation (BMF), Royal Yachting Association (RYA), and British Canoe Union (BCU), all came together to talk to politicians with one voice on behalf of boating, water-sports and the boating industry as The Boating Alliance at the various party conferences over the last three weeks. The future of British Waterways, UK boating tourism, the impact of the economy on the boating market and possible regulation that may impact on leisure boating were top of the agenda at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham in early October. IWA and the team discussed the future of British Waterways and the possible inclusion of EA navigations with Richard Benyon, Waterways Minister, who fully understood IWA’s views and could see the advantages of such a move. The Alliance also raised the profile of boating holidays in the promotion of UK tourism with Tourism Minister John Penrose and stressed the need to market the waterways as one clear proposition, again supporting the conservancy idea. The topical Fuel Quality Directive was also discussed with Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Transport, and there was a joint meeting with Anne McIntosh, Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee and Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Alliance also discussed the current economic climate and potential for marine companies with former Trade Minister Lord Digby Jones, now a Business Ambassador and champion for the manufacturing industry. Detailed discussions on these issues were also held with Labour’s front bench team at their party conference. Notable amongst continuing support for the work of IWA was the acknowledgement by the former Treasury Minister Liam Byrne of the key role IWA and its political lobbyists had played in convincing him to refrain from selling-off BW’s property portfolio to fund the deficit payments in the latter part of last year. In addition to getting in front of the key politicians, IWA was also busy on the Alliance stand meeting councillors, MPs and MEPs. There was a great deal of positive interest in our ideas for reforming the navigation authorities through the conservancy approach, and our political briefing note was in high demand from visitors to the stand. Visitors were also very positive about ideas and schemes to revitalise their own constituencies and improve amenities on the watersides of riparian constituencies. It is likely that there will be a major plan to improve Staines put forward by the Town Council in the near future, involving a revitalisation of the River Thames frontage as a key focus for the town with the improvement and development of the waterside to encourage greater public use and boating.

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waterways Keeping Our Waterways Alive

Summary of IWA current

Following Government’s announcement that BW will become a charity, we outline IWA’s current political Government ‘Mutualisation’/‘Civil Society’ Proposals During 2009 BW proposed that it be moved into the so called third sector, probably becoming a charitable trust, partly for the purpose of generating additional income to meet the likely increasing shortfall in government grant in aid, and also to sharpen the focus of this new body on the waterways without the distraction of wider policy initiatives that BW have had to consider. IWA cautiously supported these proposals and helped the development of them. However, IWA also produced a revised version of long held vision of an Inland Waterways Conservancy (IWC) embracing as much of the inland waterway system as possible. With apparent all party support the previous government endorsed the BW proposals. The new coalition government is also supportive of the third sector idea now renamed “civil society”, and is giving consideration to the inclusion of EA navigations in the new body. The Waterways Minister has emphasised that this would be a completely new body rather than a rebranded BW.

IWA key campaign points: IWA is supportive of BW’s proposals to move into the third sector; IWA is enthusiastic about including EA navigations as a first step towards the creation of the IWC; IWA welcomes Ministerial assurance that this would be a completely new body, and not just a rebranded (and expanded) BW; IWA is aware of some user resistance over the inclusion of the Thames, but does not share a view that incorporation into a third sector body necessarily leads to a lowering of the good navigation standards on that river.

Other Waterways In our Inland Waterway Conservancy vision document it was recognised that there would have to be a phased approach. Currently, the government is only considering BW and EA waterways, as these are the only two organisations where it funds navigation (although Defra officials did give passing consideration to the Middle Level Navigations). If this new combined BW/EA body is created it would represent the biggest change in waterways management since nationalisation of much of the system in 1948. Inclusion of other waterways can be considered later, but this is likely to be on a voluntary basis. IWA hopes that those already run by charitable trusts will see the benefit in merging to create an even bigger trust. At an appropriate time IWA should consider putting forward the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation for inclusion within the new body.

IWA key campaign points: A new body comprising BW and EA navigations would be the most positive step in waterway management rationalisation since nationalisation in1948;  once the new body has settled down, IWA hopes that other waterways can be persuaded to join;  at an appropriate time, IWA would encourage the Chelmer & Blackwater (the one waterway managed by IWA) to opt into the IWC.

Governance Suitable responsive and consultative governance arrangements are crucially important. BW has considered this at a number of workshops to which IWA have been invited and these are continuing. Although wide ranging primary

legislation to set up the new body would be beneficial, this seems unlikely owing to pressure on parliamentary time. The government is likely to retain ownership of the waterways and lease them to the new body using the 1962 and 1968 Transport Acts as the legislative framework. IWA has submitted to Defra its own proposals for governance . In essence, a main board is envisaged to set policy together with a much broader based national interest stakeholder council. Below this top structure there would be a number of regional offices that would manage the local water partnerships, which would: (a) bid for central funding; (b) coordinate local fundraising and volunteer effort and; (c) make decisions about local priorities. BW plans to trial the new arrangements on the Kennet & Avon Canal. Work on governance is continuing.

IWA key campaign points: A suitably responsive and consultative governance model is essential for the IWC to work; IWA is closely involved with the workshops to establish governance and has submitted its own proposals to Defra; stakeholders need to be closely involved in the management; close stakeholder involvement to coordinate fundraising together with volunteer effort and the setting local priorities will be needed along each regional waterway corridor; BW and EA waterways are likely to continue to be owned by government and leased to the new body so as to avoid the need for new primary legislation.

Funding Future likely funding challenges were a significant rationale that caused BW to propose third sector status, which

would allow charitable funds and subscriptions to be raised whilst enjoying tax advantages and benefiting from volunteer effort much more effectively. Defra and the Minister have accepted that continuing government financial support will be essential for the future of the waterways, with the aim that Exchequer support reduces. The Minister has also stated that he understands that the income from the BW property portfolio is an essential dowry to enable the third sector body to be successful (although he may still have to convince the Treasury and his statement only commits to “a large proportion” of BW property being committed to that dowry). Unfortunately, the public sector fiscal climate is now even more challenging with Defra having to find 25-40% cuts over four years (i.e. by 2014). Ensuring a suitable priority for waterways funding within this situation will be difficult as it cannot be expected to be a very high priority within the Defra budget. The cuts on both BW and EA grant in aid have already begun and the full extent of these will not be known until the outcome of the comprehensive spending review on 20th October.

IWA key campaign points: IWA accepts that all government departments are now under extreme financial pressure and that Defra has to find a 25-40% saving by 2014. Cuts in BW and EA grant in aid have already started but the full impact will not be known until the Autumn; this makes third sector status even more important allowing the new body to access charitable funds and subscriptions whilst enjoying tax advantages and seeking to exploit volunteer effort

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Political Policy

policy which was discussed in detail at the recent pre AGM officers meeting more effectively; including EA waters, and eventually others, may realise some saving from an economy of scale whilst also improving the branding of the new body, but the main benefit will be more seamless administration and consistent approach to management, regulation and charges; IWA believes that ALL of the BW property portfolio should be charity locked so that its income goes to the third sector body.

The Great Ouse – seen here at Ely – is one of the Environment Agency navigations which could be absorbed into the new charity.

IWA Campaigning IWA has been very active in campaigning for the IWC, suitable governance arrangements and also adequate funding. Since the change in government, IWA has lobbied senior Defra civil servants and Ministers together with other key influential stakeholders as well as supporting numerous consultations and working groups. An IWA parliamentary reception in June enabled engagement with new supportive MPs of all parties. This is already paying dividends with IWA initiated parliamentary questions being raised by MPs and an adjournment debate on the future of the waterways secured at which the Minister made a number of very helpful comments. IWA’s approach has been one of cooperation rather than confrontation, so that much of what IWA is doing is not necessarily evident to members. This approach seems to have raised the credibility of IWA in government circles, as indicated by the appointment of Clive Henderson as BWAF Chairman and an ‘Observer’ to the BW board. The financial climate is very different from that pertaining when the SOW and more recently SOS campaigns were launched. Then, Defra and the waterways appeared to be singled out. Now there are deep cuts across most government

departments with widespread redundancies, pay freezes and pension reductions in the public sector and potentially significant cuts in public services. Clearly this is a challenging time to secure public support for waterways and we have to be more subtle in our approach, continue with cooperation and avoid direct public criticism of what the government is doing. IWA will keep this policy under review, and in particular revisit it after the CSR outcome is known. A key question at that time will be whether the waterway funding has been disproportionately reduced.

appointments represent a conflict of interest, but will keep this under review.

Waterway Closures With a very difficult financial climate some may be concerned over the impact this might have on keeping waterways open. There can be no guarantees, but there is no need for any scaremongering at this stage. The proposed new governance arrangements would mean that IWA and appropriate waterway societies would have a key role in setting local priorities and making any future difficult decisions.

IWA key campaign points:

IWA key campaign points:

IWA is campaigning hard for the future management arrangements for the waterways together with suitable funding; much of this campaigning has to go on behind the scenes with civil servants and Ministers, and the emphasis is now one of cooperation rather than confrontation; this approach has raised the credibility of IWA in official circles as indicated by the appointment of Clive Henderson as BWAF Chairman and also as an observer to the BW Board; IWA does not believe that Clive’s

Under new governance arrangements, IWA and local waterway societies would have a role in setting local priorities and making some difficult decisions; IWA will fight suggestions of permanent closures of any waterways; IWA will strive to ensure that any unforeseen temporary closures are rectified as soon as reasonably practicable.

Abolition of IWAC As widely foreseen, the new government has set about a

major cull of non-departmental public bodies (quangos) across all aspects of public service. One casualty of this is the Inland Waterways Advisory Council (IWAC). Since its relaunch in 2007, IWAC has conducted useful research and produced some very helpful reports to support the case for the waterways. Whilst its abolition is a matter of regret, there is no point in challenging a main plank of government policy. Consideration should be given as to how essential supporting research can still be conducted when necessary. This could be commissioned by Defra or by the new waterway body. Alternatively this could be an opportunity for IWA to commission focussed research to support campaigning, subject to adequate funding becoming available.

IWA key campaign points: The various IWAC reports made a valuable contribution to the waterways cause, but IWA understands that a cull of quangos is a key tenet of government policy; alternative means of conducting essential research may have to found and there could be a role for IWA in this.

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waterways Keeping Our Waterways Alive


A round up of the key issues resolved at Market Drayton on 25th September

New Navcom Chairman

office at the time nominations closed, and his appointment is for the remainder of a three-year term ending at the 2012 AGM. For full details about IWA trustees visit uk/about/trustees/trustees.


The appointment of Paul Roper as Navigation Committee Chairman to succeed Roger Squires was noted at the AGM. Read a full interview with Paul on pages 14-15 of this issue.

IWA Award Winners The Cyril Styring Trophy, the Association’s most prestigious award, was presented to Tony Harrison in recognition of his work as an Honorary Consultant Engineer, as chairman of the Restoration Committee, his 15year term as a trustee and long membership of Finance Committee and the Investment Working Group. The John Heap Salver, for fund-raising work, was presented to Clive and Jill Field for their enterprising support for the Cotswold Canals restoration over many years, including organising the Saul Junction Festival. The Christopher Power Prize for restoration work was awarded to both Colin Turner of IWA’s Ipswich Branch and the River Gipping Trust, and to the Shropshire Union Canal Society. The winner of the 2010 Branch Achievement Award was IWA’s Northampton Branch, particularly for the branch’s many successful rallies on the Nene, an excellent and well-attended series of public meetings, a first-class newsletter and good presence on the Association’s web site. The award was presented

Paul Roper (right) with the Mayor of Market Drayton and Clive Henderson prior to the AGM.

There being three vacancies during the year, and following two retirements, there were five vacant places for nationally elected trustees. Seven nominations had been received and a postal ballot was held. 281 votes were cast (180 by post, 19 by e-mail and 82 via the web site). Votes were as follows: Ivor Caplan 249; Gordon Harrower 64; Alasdair Lawrance 188; Jerry Sanders 199; Jim Shead 180; Paul Strudwick 157; Ian West 212; Ivor Caplan, Alasdair Lawrance, Jerry Sanders, Jim Shead and Ian West were duly elected. Nominations had also been sought for three region chairmen posts where terms of office had been completed. In each case there had been only one nomination, and appointments were therefore: John Pomfret, chairman of East Midlands Region until the 2013 AGM; Peter Scott, chairman of North East & Yorkshire Region until the 2013 AGM; Chris Birks, chairman of South West Region until the 2012 AGM. Chris Birks appointment had commenced on 2nd July, there being no existing chairman in


IWA membership Rates 2011 As from 1st January 2011, IWA subscriptions will be as follows: Ordinary Member (UK) £28.50; Family or Joint Adult Membership (UK) £35.50; Overseas Membership (per single address outside UK) £61.50; Senior Citizen (UK) £20.50; Senior Citizen (UK – two members aged over 65) £24.00; Corporate – Non-profit making bodies £49.00; Corporate – Profit making bodies - up to 20 employees £54.50; Corporate – Profit making bodies - more than 20 employees £108.50; Single Life Membership (UK) £570.00; Joint Life Membership (UK) £710.00; Overseas Life Membership (per single address outside UK) £1,230.00. Richard Bird Medal winners at Market Drayton, with Harry Arnold (third from left) and Audrey Smith (extreme right).


Trustee Election Results

to Liz Payne, a former chairman of Northampton Branch. Harry Arnold presented Richard Bird medals to Denis and Janet Farmer (Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch), Roy and Lois Parker (Warwickshire Branch) and Ruth Symonds (North Lancs & Cumbria Branch), who were all present to receive their awards. Richard Bird Medals were also announced to Graham Whorton (Birmingham Black Country & Worcestershire Branch), John Ashley (Middlesex Branch) and Michael Essex-Lopresti (North & East London Branch).

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Winter 2010 | NEWS | FREIGHT | RESTORATION Please send any news and views on inland waterways freight to David Hilling c/o IWA Head Office

THE NARROWBOAT IS DEAD – Long live the narrowboat


he need to remove gravel placed in the water to support an old wall during construction of part of the Paddington Basin redevelopment obviously raised the question of what transport could be used. No problem! The new multi-storey building itself excluded access by road transport so it had to be water transport to the rescue. Led by Tom Hill, a convoy of narrowboats (Archimedes and butty Ara, Arundel and butty Joe and motors Callisto, Themis and Victoria) loaded in Paddington

Basin and by way of the Grand Union Canal took the gravel to Mancetter, near Atherstone. In Berkhamsted in the 1960s working narrowboats were regularly to be seen on the coal haul southwards – but their days were numbered. It was wonderful to see the convoy going north for nostalgic reasons but also made the valuable point that traditional craft are not just things of the past – they are still able to make a useful contribution to waterborne freight in selected conditions.



push-tow, container barge shuttle on the Manchester Ship Canal was introduced initially to provide a means of carrying wines imported from the New World through Liverpool by Tesco and to be bottled at a plant at Irlam. The barge had a capacity for 160 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs)  and there have certainly been occasions  when the barge was used for cargoes other than wine. The good news is that Peel Ports, operator of the shuttle, has doubled the capacity to 320 TEU  by using a second barge abreast of the first and with the same tug. Peel Ports say that this is in response to a significant increase in container volume driven by supply chains looking for a lower cost solution to serve northern Britain. This is very much the type of information that needs publicising. While environmental benefits  should be a major consideration, it is cost which is most likely to influence the potential customer – and especially where a transhipment is involved this often rules out water transport. 

d Union Canal. Archimedes and Ara on the Gran



n July Freight by Water held a modal shift forum in Liverpool and the managing director of Stobart Ports argued the case for more effective integration of road, rail and water transport. Perhaps Waterways World’s April fool article of several years ago will soon have to be filed under fact and not fiction! Recent speculation in the media regarding the future of British Waterways prompted publication of a letter sent by Robin Evans to his staff. In this he argued that the proposed charity status for BW was very different from saying that BW was facing the axe but that many areas needed to be considered before the change could take place. One area of concern to the Freight Group is that it is by no means clear what is to happen to freight and there is a real danger that it will just be forgotten – we only hope and strongly urge that this does not happen.




ood Hall & Heward have refurbished the Leeds & Liverpool short boat Everton in preparation for carrying aggregates from Denham to West Drayton. They have also fitted a hopper so that in future material can be unloaded easily and quickly. Everton was previously owned by the late Richard Barnet of Northern Tug & Barge Ltd. Her last long-term contract was in 1979 when she carried sewage sludge on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from Esholt to Leeds, and occasionally to Goole. She spent much of the last decade at Holme Lock on the River Trent, before being moved south with the hope of picking up some London traffic.

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waterways Keeping Our Waterways Alive

IWA London Region Chairman


ames Kennerley, chairman of IWA’s London Region, has had to retire from the post and as a trustee of the Association, for health reasons. Under IWA’s rules for the appointment of region chairmen (see www. information/governing_ documents/governing_ documents), nominations for this post are invited to serve the remaining term of office, until the 2011 AGM, and should be submitted to the chief executive at Head Office by no later than Tuesday 4th January 2011 along with a brief biography, autobiography or statement not exceeding 400 words, for publication as part of any ballot paper (which would be included in the February 2011 edition of Waterways).  Information for potential new trustees (including region chairmen) is available at www.waterways. governing_documents/ national_constitution.  If you would like to discuss the possibility of standing as chairman of IWA’s London Region, please contact either Neil Edwards, chief executive (Tel: 01494 783453) or Clive Henderson, national chairman (Tel: 01564 783672) for an informal conversation.  Region chairmen posts become due for election on a fixed cycle, and this post becomes due for election again at the 2011 AGM.


Northampton to host campaign rally…


orthampton is to host IWA’s National Campaign Rally in 2011, over the May Day weekend, 30th April – 2nd May. The aims of the Rally will be to celebrate 250 years of the River Nene becoming navigable to Northampton, to encourage greater use of the river, supported by better facilities, and to contribute to the process of reconnecting Northampton with its waterfront. The new marina currently being constructed by the Environment Agency will be complete, representing the first step in revitalisation of the riverside. Organised by IWA’s Northampton Branch, the event is also supported by Northampton Borough Council, the Environment Agency, British Waterways and the Association of Nene River Clubs. It will be one of a series of events being held throughout 2011 to highlight the Nene and its importance to the local area. Rally organisers hope to have traders, entertainment and activities for children during the weekend. There are extensive moorings on the river, adjacent to the Rally site, and it is also hoped to run a temporary campsite in conjunction with the Caravan Club’s Northampton Region, which will enable more visitors to join in the celebrations. There will be free admission for the general public to the waterfront boat moorings and the rally site in Beckett’s Park. The 91-mile River Nene has played a vital role in the area since the Bronze Age with significant finds being made, particularly at Flag Fen in 1982, where a visitor centre and museum record the discovery of 3,000 year old timbers which had been perfectly preserved in the moist soil. However, the navigable section up to Northampton from the Wash was only finished in 1761. The first navigable link to the main canal system via the Grand Junction Canal (now the Grand Union), at Gayton Junction, was completed in 1815. Now with 38 locks, many with electrically operated guillotine style gates, and (usually) a gentle current, the Nene is a relatively easy waterway to navigate. It also passes through some lively towns and attractive small villages and is regarded by many as a perfect representation of an English river.

…and National Returns to Burton


rewery town Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire is to host the 2011 National Festival & Boat Show over the weekend of 29th–31st July on Shobnall Fields. The Festival was held in Burton upon Trent in 2004 and attracted over 300 visiting canal boats, a similar number of campers and traders and was visited by thousands of the general public. Ian West, Chairman of IWA Festivals, said: “We have always wanted to return to Burton. The town made us very welcome in 2004 and the Trent & Mersey Canal gives many of the visiting craft a real choice of cruising routes. The area also has a significant number of restoration projects including plans to link the isolated section of the Ashby Canal at Moira to the rest of the waterway system at Snarestone. Work is already in the early phases of bringing the Uttoxeter Canal back into water, and just a few miles down the Trent & Mersey Canal is the start of  the Derby Canal which  will link Derby City  and the River Derwent to the Erewash Canal, forming a circular cruising route with the River Trent when complete. The arrival of IWA’s National Festival in an area can trigger spending of more than £1 million pounds in the local economy as boaters and campers visit local attractions, dine out and make purchases from shops in the town. The Festival organising team also follows a policy of using local suppliers wherever possible. The Mayor of East Staffordshire Borough Council, Cllr David Leese, said that they were delighted that the Festival was returning to Burton and could promise the Festival Team all the help and support they needed to ensure a very successful event. Organisers would welcome enquiries from anyone wishing to join the celebrations during the weekend – whether traders, entertainers, boaters or campers. For further information e-mail: john. or visit

Shobnall Fields, Burton upon Trent.

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IWA Grants for Wey & Arun Canal


WA has awarded two grants to the Wey & Arun Canal Trust. IWA South East Region has given £4,000 towards restoring a section of the summit level near Dunsfold, Surrey. The canal route is free of blockages here, but heavily silted. The IWA award means the Trust can begin work to make this section navigable for light craft. A further grant of £2,000 from IWA’s Restoration Committee will help finance funding preliminary studies on the northern section of the canal. The W&ACT has also received planning permission for two important projects. Local authorities have given approval for the rebuilding of Southland Lock, the next lock northwards from the current limit of navigation at Loxwood. Construction is expected to start shortly, and it is hoped that the lock will be completed within a year – extending the central section by almost half a mile. The second project is to replace the barriers initially installed on the new B2133 road crossing at Loxwood. The original barriers were unpopular, not only with the Trust, but also with local residents, one of whom described them as “more at home surrounding a prison.” The Trust has come up with a more attractive design which will still meet highway regulations, and is holding a local ‘buy a brick’ campaign to help finance the work required.

Bad News for the Grantham Canal


he Grantham Canal restorers have failed in their attempt to modify a road scheme which they say threatens restoration of the canal. The Grantham Canal Partnership, including IWA, the local canal society and British Waterways, had lobbied for a new bridge to be built at Stragglethorpe Road near Cotgrave. The road currently crosses the derelict canal on the level. However, as part of the scheme to rebuild the A46 trunk road – currently underway as part of the previous Government’s fiscal stimulus programme – a roundabout is to be built alongside. The restorers say this will make provision of a simple bridge “virtually impossible”. In addition, the road will become much busier, making it harder to divert traffic elsewhere for bridge works. Mike Stone, speaking on behalf of the Grantham Canal Partnership, expressed bitter disappointment. “Constructing a navigable bridge in the future may be technically feasible but it would be extremely difficult to achieve, highly disruptive and horrendously expensive”. The Canal Partnership is now reviewing its options for the future.

The newly restored length of canal at Snarestone.

Ashby Canal Reopening


ceremony to officially open the newly restored length of canal at Snarestone was held on 17th September. Among the dignitaries present were the Chairman of Leicestershire County Council Peter Osborne, (who performed the opening ceremony), and IWA national chairman, Clive Henderson. Also represented were: Ashby Canal Association, IWA Leicester Branch, Measham Development Trust, the Ashby Canal Trust, British Waterways, East Midlands Development Agency and the National Forest Company. Two ACA members’ boats had earlier conveyed the official party from the Globe Inn at Snarestone. Before boats were admitted to the restored canal, a new swing foot-bridge was dedicated by ACA chairman Audrey Boston, who funded it in memory of her late husband, the Rev Teddy Boston. A new slipway was then also inaugurated by a ceremonial launching of the trailboat Maggie B.

Wilts & Berks Royal Event


he Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, led the celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Wilts & Berks Canal by naming the Trust’s new trip boat Dragonfly. She went on to cut the first symbolic sod of the Melksham Link using an engraved shovel with help from 65 children from the local school. The event took place on 8th September at Semington Bridge, on the site of the proposed junction between the Kennet & Avon Canal and the Melksham Link, and adjacent to the historic junction between the Wilts & Berks Canal and the K&A.

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Interview THE

Keith Goss: How did you first get interested in the

inland waterways? Paul Roper: I went on my first hire boat holiday just after finishing my A Levels in 1968. Luckily, a friend’s parents owned a boat, and so for three years I went cruising many of the canals of the Midlands during the lengthy university vacations. There was a poor standard of maintenance then, just after the end of commercial carrying. Things are much better today. And boats are vastly superior too, in terms of comfort and technology.

KG: How did you become interested in IWA? PR: Marriage, family and career resulted in a long hiatus in boating until I bought a narrowboat ten years ago and joined IWA. But I had spent many hours walking the towpaths and watching the Kennet & Avon and Basingstoke canal restoration projects coming to fruition. Becoming more active in IWA had to wait until early retirement in 2007. I joined Rescom, became a caretaker regional chairman for the old Central Southern Region and then chairman of the new South East Region.

KG: What attracted you to becoming Navigation Committee chairman?

PR: I was flattered when Clive Henderson asked me over a year ago. British Waterways had just published the 20:20 vision document and I realised that there was likely to be significant change. It appealed to me to be in the driving seat of Navcom and hopefully be able to influence the pace and direction of this change.


Keith Goss talks to IWA’s new Navigation Committee chairman Paul Roper KG: What has been achieved so far? PR: I only formally took over at the AGM last month but have been shadowing for a year and leading on the waterway management change proposals. Revisiting Robert Aickman’s vision of an Inland Waterways Conservancy was fascinating but little did I realise that the IWA proposals would receive so much traction within Whitehall. The future for BW has essentially been agreed. Inclusion of EA navigations is still being considered and has considerable official support, the final decision will have to take into account the detailed practicality of its inclusion on the very tight timescale now set for moving BW into a charitable trust.

KG: What are your views of moving the waterways into the third sector? PR: As a lifelong civil servant with the back end of my career spent in Whitehall, I am naturally comfortable with services being funded and managed by government so initially I had reservations. However, it became clear that if the BW and EA waterways remained in the same management arrangements then they would suffer from year on year cuts and remain vulnerable to the sort of short term departmental fiscal crises such as that posed by the Rural Payments Agency fiasco a few years back. I changed my views from scepticism to enthusiastic support in principle of the proposed new arrangements. There is no doubt that a ‘National Trust for the waterways’ would have more financial freedom and enjoy tax benefits. It would also be able to access charitable funds such as grants, legacies and perhaps subscriptions. It should also be able to more

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The Interview effectively harness volunteer effort. All of these advantages will help to close the funding gaps. The key outstanding questions are: will the funding be sufficient and will the governance arrangements be satisfactory.

KG: What is your feeling about funding? PR: Clearly we are in a very austere period for public spending and money will be very tight. The outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review and its precise implication for the waterways should be known within weeks, probably by the time members read this article. However, the government wants the new waterway body to succeed as a flagship example of the ‘big society’ and the negotiated deal will have to pass the ‘fit for purpose test’. Many of the myths expressed by those suspicious of the new arrangements have already been dispelled: the government is committed to providing ongoing funding; the Treasury are prepared to endorse a 10-15 year deal; and it seems that the battle to save the BW property portfolio, spearheaded by IWA, has been won.

KG: How do you see Governance developing in the new organisation? PR: We have been very clear throughout, in our dealings with BW, Defra and the minister, that we want to ensure that a new completely different organisation is formed with a completely different management culture than that which we currently have. We expect the new organisation to have a structure of governance that allows for proper participation in decision making and prioritisation of actions at both national and local level. We see this happening through encouraging full consultation and input into policy at national level by stakeholders, and through local waterway units genuinely seeking to work in partnership with local users to seek their opinion on spending priorities. We additionally believe that where local fundraising is carried out the local partnership should be able to have a direct say as to how it is spent.

KG: Some fear that merging EA navigations into the new body will comprise a BW takeover.

PR: We have stressed that we want a completely new body and that is accepted by both Defra and the Waterways Minister. The new organisation will be very different with a set of Trustees who should ensure that the management is inclusive with substantial stakeholder involvement in the running of the organisation. The best way to ensure that the unique interests of EA navigations are taken into consideration is for them to be part of the new body from day one.

KG: Some Thames boating organisations are suspicious about how things might change for them.

PR: Having just cruised the Thames en-route to the National Festival at Beale Park, I can see that the Thames is a gold standard waterway and the many boaters who enjoy it do not want to see degradation. Neither do I and I do not believe that a move to the third sector will necessarily result in that. It’s important to realise that were the Thames to stay with the current management arrangements then big cuts are on the way and I strongly suspect that the Thames will fare much better in the new organisation than were it to try to compete for scarce funding within the EA, where navigation has a lower priority compared with most of the other EA responsibilities.

KG: How do you see IWA’s campaigning strategy evolving? PR: We have had some very high profile campaigns such as SOS 2010 which involved all of the regions and branches. However, the world is a very different place compared with just over a year ago when we launched that campaign: the general election, when you have the opportunity to gain the ear of MPs at their most receptive, is now over. All public sector budgets are under intense pressure and jobs, pensions and public services are threatened. This is a challenging time to gain public sympathy for the waterways which some will argue is a privileged middle class pastime. In fact, waterways are enjoyed by all sectors of society but we have to be more subtle in the way we campaign. Much of this is going on behind the scenes with both parliamentary engagement and also meetings with Defra and BW at senior levels. I take great comfort from the fact that the IWA message is getting through and our credibility with officialdom is riding high. In short we are punching well above our weight. That said we will keep the strategy under review and if we feel that waterways are not being fairly dealt with or disproportionately disadvantaged then a return to more public campaigning may prove necessary.

KG: You are interested in restoration - what do you think the future holds for that?

PR: It’s always worth reminding ourselves of the huge successes of the restoration movement over the past 40 years. The pivotal role that IWA played and continues to play is now part of folklore. The downside of that success is of course that all the easy restorations have been completed and those that are left to do are beyond the scope of volunteer effort alone, requiring large scale funding and major civil engineering projects to bring them to fruition. Large scale funding is currently hard to come by but that will eventually change. The most successful restoration projects will be those that get all the necessary planning and project work under their belts in time to make bids to funding agencies. Furthermore, it is important to look beyond the restoration itself to identify where the funding will come from to maintain it, rather than expecting the new body to take on new lengths of waterway without a dowry to sustain it.

KG: How do you see IWA evolving in the coming years? PR: I think we will remain the most influential charity campaigning for the maintenance and development of the waterways for the enjoyment of all. However, we will have to evolve. Many of the waterways are set to be run by a charity whose management will include unpaid trustees doing their best to provide a service. The relationship of IWA to this new body will need to be identified and we too will need to go through a culture change. Bashing the impersonal and perceived overpaid top echelons of a public body may be very satisfying but it will no longer be appropriate.

KG: What do you expect to be doing in five years time? PR: By that time I would hope that I would have seen the most radical and beneficial changes to the waterways since nationalisation in 1948. However, with the new IWA rules I will no longer be a trustee. Hopefully I will spend less time writing papers and attending meetings about the waterways and thereby have more time for boating!

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t n i o p w e Vi For the first time in their history, the Mikron Theatre Company find themselves with no formal funding. They have launched a ‘Ruby Appeal’ to enable them to keep touring the waterways in their iconic narrowboat Tyseley. General manager Peter Toon explains why they are worthy of your support. LEFT: The Mikron cast.

Life begins at 40, or does it? Mikron is unique, small and perfectly formed. Their team of four actor musicians perform anywhere and everywhere: in pub gardens, art centres, church halls, aboard ships and in restaurants to name but a few. For 39 years this unique professional theatre company has been carrying musical drama by boat to audiences throughout the national waterways system and extensively in the North of England. Founded in 1963 and based in London performing new work at small theatre venues, Mikron took to the water in 1972 to tour on the waterways of England by narrowboat, performing at canal and riverside pubs, in village halls and community centres, and at festivals and rallies. Mikron is the only professional theatre company that travels the length and breadth of the system including the Grand Union Canal, Regent’s Canal, River Thames, Oxford Canal, Worcester & Birmingham Canal, Kennet & Avon Navigation, River Avon, River Severn and the Shropshire Union Canal. Since then, Mikron have produced more than 40 original plays and employed dozens of actors, as well as many freelance writers, musical directors and designers. The first play written for the waterways was Still Waters in 1972. Performing in 2010 is the production Pedal Power, a new play charting the continuing journey of The Clarion Cycling Club, and The Equal Pay Act – a work celebrating 40 years of the Equal Pay Act. As well as waterways themes, such as the birth of the canal network through to contemporary subjects like the Falkirk Wheel, Mikron have performed social, environmental and historical shows. They have also covered such diverse subjects as the Yorkshire textile industry and the industrial revolution, women’s suffrage, hilltop farming, transport, Fair Trade and pubs and brewing. In addition to their role as a touring theatre company, Mikron are very much part of their local community on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Marsden, West Yorkshire, through Mikron Youth & Community Theatre. Mikron moved north in


1978 to their present base in Marsden at the head of the Colne Valley, in the Pennines, eight miles from Huddersfield. The company has made several recordings on vinyl and cassette, released its first CD, Mikron Live at the Mechanics, in 2002 and recorded a new CD, Mikron Live at Standedge, in 2005. Life as part of the Mikron team is a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. They estimate that in their 39 years of touring they have spent 20,000 hours boating, covered 400,000 road miles and presented 4,000 shows. Mikron have performed in pubs, village halls, community centres and at festivals and rallies. They’ve even performed inside a tunnel, in the bows of a docked boat and in people’s own front rooms. In the summer months you’ll often find them performing outside (whatever the weather!) and this comes with its own challenges: passing dogs who cock a leg on the set mid-scene, music-loving cows who provide a chorus and the memorable heckling from inmates of Reading Prison, when they were performing in the neighbouring abbey grounds. There’s a sense of family about Mikron and this extends to all the friends they have made over the years. Boaters will recognise the unmistakable sound of their narrowboat’s Russell Newbury engine and pull alongside for a catch up on the season’s news. On land, they love to meet up with old friends along the way and they’re always chuffed at the welcome received each year. Mikron have seen more than 100 actors contracted and some household names have been through the ranks. Mark Williams, of Harry Potter fame, cut his teeth with Mikron and Buffy Davis, current member of the cast of The Archers, also performed with Mikron. Mikron’s 2011 season is a landmark 40th year. This is a massive achievement for a professional small scale theatre company, especially one that tours by narrowboat. Mikron is now famous for its national waterways tour, aboard the 1936 Grand Union Carrying

ABOVE: Mikron’s revered narrowboat Tyseley. RIGHT: Enjoying life at the tiller.

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ABOVE: Artistic Director Marianne MacNamara

Company narrowboat, Tyseley. Tyseley is a converted town class boat that was discovered near Oxford as a disused restaurant boat. She has been faithful to Mikron since she was purchased and the Russell Newbury engine chugs along happily mile after mile. Nearly 10,000 people saw a Mikron show in 2009 and this figure looks like it will be even bigger in 2010. They are often able to perform at more than 100 different venues nationally. In most cases Mikron do not charge a ticket price. The team of actors passes a bucket round after the performance. This means people can give what they can, enabling everyone to have access to professional theatre on their doorstep (or gunwale). Mikron have stuck to the ethos of touring by water for 39 years. A new play, charting the history of the Bridgewater Canal is on the cards for 2011, and this will bring Mikron back to their waterway roots. But sadly, 2011 could be Mikron’s last season. For the first time in their history, Mikron find themselves without any formal funding whatsoever. This, coupled with rising everyday costs, means that Mikron may have to sell their trusty narrowboat to raise enough money to make the 40th season a reality. In response to this, Mikron have raised a ‘Ruby appeal’. Donations, no matter how small, will help to make this landmark year a success. More information on Mikron and their work can be found at

Peter Toon,

General Manager, Mikron Theatre Company

ABOVE: The ‘Ruby Appeal’ Below: Mikron’s first waterways play was Still Waters in 1972.

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BEALE PARK SUCCESS STORY This year’s National Waterways Festival went down well with IWA members and visitors alike


hat a lovely Festival” was the way one visiting IWA member put it. The Beale Park site looked at its best in the sunshine – with visiting Dutch barges on the lake along with the exhibition and historic craft. However, this time there was a full programme of lake entertainment as well with pink Water Zorbing balls contrasting with demonstrations by model boats and warships. In between there were rescues by the Newfoundland Dogs, the replica Thames shallop being rowed by a team of twelve and parades by the historic craft visiting for the weekend – including L’Orage, one of the original Dunkirk Little Ships.

Tom Rolt centenary Tom Rolt’s centenary was celebrated in style and the replica wharf and crane, built by volunteers especially for the weekend, was highly praised. With historic craft “waiting for orders” alongside and staffed by volunteers from IWA and the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, the feature looked the part and certainly reflected Tom Rolt’s interest and


support for working narrowboats. The wharf was named “Barry’s Wharf” in honour of Barry Green, a key member of the Festival Committee who had also been an IWA Trustee for many years and who sadly died earlier in the year. Sonia Rolt attended the Festival on two of the days – and organisers held a tea party for her on the Sunday afternoon with Timothy West and Prunella Scales joining the festivities. Sonia had also brought along many early editions of Tom’s books and signed copies for enthusiastic purchasers during the day.

New members recruited The new-look IWA marquee – launched at Redhill in 2009 – was extremely successful again and hosted a good display of waterway books and merchandise. Over 100 new members were signed up for IWA by the volunteer talk team. The café and children’s area with the Rolly Toys – moving bark chippings with the mini-diggers – was extremely popular although it provided a lot of back breaking “clearing up” by the IWA volunteer supervisors.

ABOVE: Bill and Sheila Saner of Navigation Narrowboat Co receiving the Lionel Munk Trophy from Michael Shefras. RIGHT: Cllr Graham Pask of West Berkshire Council passing the Tiller Pin Trophy to Cllr David Leese, Mayor of East Staffordshire Borough Council.

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National Festival Report LEFT: Ron and Mary Heritage of IWA’s Oxfordshire Branch received an award from Festival Director Ian West for recreating Cressy’s historic voyage of 1939.

The Festival Awards Ceremony was held on the Monday morning. The Chairman of West Berkshire Council, Cllr Graham Pask, and his wife were present to pass on the Tiller Pin Trophy to the Mayor of East Staffordshire Borough Council, Cllr David Leese, ready for the Burton upon Trent 2011 Festival. With good weather during the weekend, organisers were pleased with the attendance, especially given the current economic climate. Despite earlier concerns, the Festival also attracted good exhibitor numbers of 244 traders, 503 visiting boats and 406 camping units which included motor homes, caravans and tents. Thanks must go to the 2010 Event Chairman, Michael Shefras, who did a fine job in the Thames area, and to all our sponsors. We also have to thank all the hundreds of volunteers who make the whole thing possible. Some work all year round, some come for the three week build and dismantle whilst others work during the Festival weekend. They all pay the full fee to attend as well – whether with their boat, camping unit or as a day visitor – and without them the Festival just would not happen.

Going for a Burton ABOVE: Lots of fun for young visitors to the Festival.

LEFT: Spreading the word!

The National Festival & Boat Show is returning to Shobnall Fields in Burton upon Trent in 2011. The event was last there in 2004 and everyone received a very warm welcome. However, not everything is the same – the date has changed! The Festival will take place over the weekend of 29th-31st July 2011. Put the date in your diary and book your place!


FESTIVAL AWARDS & PRIZE WINNERS Award Description Winner General Category Penny Briscoe Best Junior Drawing Peter Smedley Rank, Hovis McDougall Best Festival Cake Rose Wyatt Cruising Category Nationwide Anglia Best non-continuous Journey Caroline & Andy Soper (DB Neeltje) A P Herbert Longest Journey Bernard & Anne Hughes (Ein Cariad) Robert Aickman Most Enterprising journey Paul & Eileen Garner (Destiny 2/Quercus) Stand Category Mastervolt Award Best commercial stand Hercules Hydraulics Ltd Canal Boat Award Best non-commercial stand Surrey & Hants Canal Society Boat Category Waterways World Best Amateur fit out Tim & Gwyn Evans (Tryst No 1) Calor Rose Bowl Best kept galley Tim & Gwyn Evans (Tryst No 1) Cressy Award Best Residential Boat Andrew & Rose Bimson (Isander) & Emma & Don Blackburn (Libertijn of Alphen) Alfred Ritchie Cockerel Best Working boat Laurence Williams (Kangaroo & Australia) Offley and Slack Prop. Cruising Club St Pancras Cruising Club Ray Dunford Trophy Best Illuminated Boat nb ‘Wildcat’ Marian Munk Trophy Best private craft Emma & Don Blackburn (Libertijn of Alphen) Lionel Munk Trophy Best commercial entry “First Dawn”, Navigation Narrowboat Co

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| IWA waterways - Winter 2010

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Holiday Hiring


Holiday The hire boat industry has a proud past and a bright future, as KEITH GOSS explains…


he 1970s and ‘80s were arguably the heyday of hire boat holidays on the canals. You didn’t see that many private boats around in those days. Today it is different – private boats rule the roost. But present day boat owners were, in so many cases, yesterday’s hirers, a week or fortnight’s holiday on the waterways being the natural entry route into boating – and the recruiting ground for future Inland Waterways Association members. And despite some contraction in recent times, the hire industry continues to thrive and attract newcomers to the canals. Of course the history of hire boating goes back a lot further than 40 years. The first boats available for weekly hire appeared on the Norfolk Broads and the River Thames in the early part of the 20th century. Canal holidays lagged some way behind – it was not until the 1930s that pioneering boatyards such as the Inland Cruising Association (subsequently Inland Hire Cruisers) at

Chester began offering boats for hire on the Llangollen and Shropshire Union canals.

The Anglo Welsh hire base at Great Haywood.

The Tom Rolt factor The publication of Tom Rolt’s famous book Narrow Boat led, not only to the founding of The Inland Waterways Association in 1946, but also to an upsurge in interest in cruising the main canal network. Hire bases began to spring up around the system from the late 1940s. Early operators included the Wyvern Shipping Co at Leighton Buzzard on the Grand Union Canal, Blue Line at Braunston, Canal Pleasurecraft at Stourport and Swan Line at Fradley on the Trent & Mersey Canal. Canal Cruising Co at Stone, established in 1947 by Rendel Wyatt, was one of the notable early firms. It was their hire cruiser Ailsa Craig that was famously hired by IWA co-founders Tom Rolt and Robert Aickman for a campaigning cruise through Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. The company is still in business today, and is still run by members of the Wyatt family.

“Large scale boating for pleasure played an indispensable part in securing the survival of the waterways”

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Holiday Hiring Lionel Munk and Maid Line

The late Captain Lionel Munk was chairman of The Inland Waterways Association from 1958 to 1970, guiding the Association through one of the most difficult periods of waterway history, culminating in the passing of the 1968 Transport Act. This resulted in a new order for much of the waterway network. He also served as chairman of the Kennet & Avon Canal Association (later to become the K&A Canal Trust) and the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO). He is probably best remembered, however, as the founder of Maid Line, later Maidboats Ltd. From humble beginnings, this became one of the largest and most famous canal and river hire fleets. Expanding from the Thames, Captain Munk subsequently established a base at Brinklow on the Northern Oxford Canal. He was one of the first operators to regularly display canal cruisers at the Earls Court Boat Show, thus attracting many new people to the waterways. It was often said that he elevated the status of boating holidays in the social order of things: to take a canal holiday, in comfort, was no longer deemed to be eccentric. IWA co-founder Robert Aickman once remarked: “History may well decide that Captain Munk’s most important contribution to the waterways cause was the Maid Line fleet. For large scale boating for pleasure as envisaged by Captain Munk played an entirely indispensable part in securing the survival of the waterways.” Captain Lionel Munk with IWA activist Felix Pearson.

Boating Agencies

Whilst primarily associated with holidays on the Norfolk Broads, the major agencies Blakes and Hoseasons began to represent canal-based hire companies in the 1970s. They advertised minimum standards of comfort and facilities, and gave newcomers to the waterways a sense of security with the product they were booking. Both still operate today, with Blakes having some 470 craft available in the UK, and Hoseasons advertising 2,300 boats worldwide. Other agencies have joined them in recent years, most of them internet-orientated. They include Drifters, and Waterways Holidays, based in Aldershot.



Early canal cruisers came in all shapes and sizes and were, by today’s standards, decidedly primitive. Toilets were either ‘bucket and chuck it’, with shovels supplied to bury the contents, or were sea-toilets, flushing straight into the canal (unthinkable, and indeed illegal, today). On board heating was largely non-existent and drinking water was generally stored in bulky containers. Outboard engines were the norm, and lengthy treks carrying petrol cans to distant garages were all part of the canal holiday. Then came the steel narrowboat and with it, in stages, came water-cooled diesel engines, proper drinking-water tanks, better cooking and heating facilities and, perhaps best of all, pumpout toilets. The advances in boat technolgy and design have continued and the hire boat of 2010 is a real home-from-home featuring showers, central heating, full-sized cookers and fridges, colour TVs, DVD players and videos. Over the years operators have come and gone. There were Shropshire Union Cruises at Norbury Junction, Ladyline at Barbridge, Aylesbury Cruisers, Club Line Cruisers at Coventry and Brummagem Boats in central Birmingham, to name but a few. All are now consigned to history. British Waterways had a go at hiring too in the 1960s and ‘70s, and were berated by other operators for doing so; “landlords competing on unfair terms with their tenants” was the oft repeated complaint. They gave up after a while, to concentrate on running the waterways. But other operators came and stayed. The industry produces more than its fair share of great survivors, big and small. Anglo-Welsh, Alvechurch Boat Centres and Black Prince have all been on the scene for 30 years or more, but so too have small family concerns like Chas Hardern on the Shropshire Union Canal and Teddesley Boat Company on the Staffs & Worcs Canal.


Primitive to luxurious

Maid Line’s Maid Mary Sheila at Watford Locks on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal in the 1970s.

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Hire Boats Down The Years Clockwise from top left: Inland Hire Cruisers’ Bobby at Beeston Iron Lock in the 1950s. British Waterways’ narrowboat Lupin in the 1970s. Turn round day at Shropshire Union Cruises’ Norbury Junction base in the 1960s. A Shropshire Union Cruises’ narrowboat in the 1970s with distinctive sliding roof. The 1950s Canal Cruising Co hire boat Magician was a former river launch. The interior of an early Canal Cruising Co craft. A 1980s Anglo Welsh narrowboat at Great Haywood. A classic cruiser designed by Holt Abbott of Canal Pleasurecraft. Aylesbury Cruisers’ Aylesbury Garganny at Hawkesbury Junction in the 1960s.



Photos by Waterway Images unless otherwise credited.

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There are today over a hundred hire firms operating on the waterways of Britain. The ‘market leaders’ are three multi-based concerns: Anglo-Welsh (almost 150 boats at 11 bases), UK Boat Hire, incorporating Alvechurch Boat Centres and Viking Afloat (almost 200 boats at 12 bases) and Black Prince Narrowboats (almost 100 boats at six bases). But there are numerous medium-sized operators with fleets of between 15 and 30 boats, and even more small firms offering ten craft or fewer. You can hire a boat anywhere from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands to Godalming in leafy Surrey, from March and Ely in the Cambridgeshire Fens to Llanfoist near Abergavenny in the Brecon Beacons. The biggest concentration of bases remains in the Midlands, with the Llangollen Canal, Four Counties Ring and the Avon Ring being the most popular holiday routes. So who are today’s hire boaters? It is still a predominantly middle-class activity, with lots of overseas visitors boosting the numbers. They come mainly from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada, and also from Scandinavia. Some 25 years ago a TV series entitled Travelling Man, starring Leigh Lawson, was broadcast over there and it generated an explosion of interest in Britain’s canals. The Norwegians, in particular, flocked to our waterways – and they have kept on coming. Look out for their national flag flying from the stern of hire boats all through the summer months – it’s a latter day Viking invasion. And what does it cost to hire a present day luxury, all mod cons narrowboat. A fourberth boat will cost in the region of £900 for a week in June. Which may sound a lot, until you bear in mind that it represents the entire cost of the holiday – there are very few extras to pay for once you are aboard. Your boat is your home and your entertainment for the week. Furthermore, there are all kinds of deals normally on offer: early booking bonuses, short break/long weekends, late availability, long-term hire rates etc. After a few difficult years, many operators have reported good performances in 2010. A number of factors – the decline of the pound against the euro, the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, security concerns – have persuaded more people than ever to holiday at home this year. And where better than on the canals, following in the footsteps of IWA co-founders Robert Aickman and Tom Rolt to discover a hidden Britain. Political and funding issues notwithstanding, the future looks comparatively bright for the hire industry. And that is good news for the inland waterways and its long term future.


An optimistic outlook

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Holiday Hiring MAIN PICTURE: Hire boating on the incomparable Brecon & Abergavenny in South Wales.

Hotel Boating

For single travellers, or those who wish to experience the waterways with an extra degree of comfort, hotel boat holidays are an enticing prospect. Some 14 operators provide holidays in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The boats carry between three and twelve guests, with prices ranging from £185 per person (for a three day break) to an average of around £800 per person (for a week’s cruise). Guests can help with working the locks and mooring up if they so desire, or simply sit back, relax and let the crew do everything for them. Above all, hotel boat holidays represent a great way of meeting fellow waterway enthusiasts. For a full list of operators visit www. or obtain a copy of the Waterways World Annual.

BELOW LEFT: A modern Alvechurch Boat Centres narrowboat. BELOW CENTRE: The Black Prince base at Stoke Prior on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.




BELOW RIGHT: Bidford Boats are based on one of the loveliest sections of the River Avon.

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DJ-Dwayne at CC-BY-SA

Boat holidays are not, of course, restricted to the UK. The beautiful Irish waterways – the Shannon, Barrow, Grand Canal, Lough Erne – have long been popular with discerning British visitors; so too are the Dutch canals, with their charming windmills, lift bridges and characterful waterside towns and villages. But the lucky French have a network of waterways much larger than Britain’s, and there is a long tradition of holiday hiring here. French canals are, in general, larger and more dramatic than those of the UK and the weather is better; and the further south in the country you go, the better it gets. You can choose between the Canal du Midi (probably the most popular waterway), the waterways of Burgundy and Central France, Champagne and the Paris Basin, Brittany etc. There are numerous hire fleets and agencies, many with offices in the UK, but the following are good starting points: France Afloat ( and Le Boat ( Further east, you can now hire boats in Poland (through


Hoseasons) but one of the loveliest cruising areas in Europe is the Mecklenburg Lake region, north of Berlin in Germany. This is a wonderful land of lakes, canals and forests, popular with the Germans and Dutch, but at present receiving very few British visitors. Get there first! If you’re seeking something even more exotic, how about the Clyde River in New South Wales or the Murray River in South Australia, where ‘houseboat’ holidays are on offer. But these are not houseboats as we know them, they are luxury river craft available for weekend and weekly hire. But the most fabulous boating we know of is to be found on Lake Tinaroo in Far North Queensland. This is a tropical mountain escape on the stunning Atherton Tablelands just an hour’s drive inland from Cairns. Awake to the sound of tropical parrots in the forest, catch a monster-sized barramundi from the deck of your boat and experience ‘heavenon-earth’ down under. For more information on Australian boating holidays visit www.luxuryafloat.

Acknowledgement: Grateful thanks to Harry Arnold for photographs and much original research. CC-BY-SA Informatique at flic

Hiring all over the world

Boating through Athlone on the

River Shannon.

Jaap Boersema

The comfortable interior of a modern narrowboat is illustrated by this view of an Ashby Boat Co craft.

Details of boat hire operators throughout Britain may be obtained from the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO), Marine House, Thorpe Lea Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 8BF. Tel: 08448 009575, or visit www. Alternatively, visit the British Waterways website, or pick up a copy of the Waterways World Annual, which publishes a full list of hire fleets as well as providing a Route Planning Map featuring boatyard locations.

ABOVE: Lovely scenery on the Mecklenburg Lakes in Germany. LEFT: Peaceful moorings on the Murray River, South Australia.

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Discover The Beauty Of Wales with Castle Narrowboats

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

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

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

HIRE FLEET Our well known 20 boat hire fleet is maintained to a high standard. Boats are available for short breaks, weekly hire – or longer!

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

Cruise the Monmouth and Brecon Canal, through the Brecon Beacons National Park. Visit our website for up to date availability Or call 01873 830001 for a brochure Day boats also available Castle Narrowboats, Church Road Wharf, Gilwern, Monmouthshire NP7 0EP

Relaxing, Refreshing & Memorable Explore the waterways of England and Wales aboard hotel narrow boats Snipe & Taurus. “Food superb, a wonderful holiday” Bill & Sue (guests)

Offering 4 - 7 night cruises, from April to October. Private cabins, en-suite available. Perfect for couples, singles or small groups.

For details, contact Canal Voyagers

Tel: 07921 214414

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The WRG team at Gough’s Orchard Lock on the Stoudwater Navigation.

Waterway Recovery Group –

Forty years old! 2010 has been a busy year for WRG, as JENNY BLACK reports


his year the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Since the 1970s, WRG has been the foremost national waterways voluntary coordinating force, helping local canal restoration schemes, providing equipment, expertise, publicity, and most importantly volunteers.  Everyone is welcome to come along and help restore Britain’s waterways, whether it’s on one of WRG’s week-long restoration working holidays called Canal Camps, or on the weekend working parties held around the country each year, mostly in the summer months. To celebrate its 40th birthday, WRG has had a busy year restoring waterways from the Cotswold Canals in Gloucestershire to the Chelmer & Blackwater in Essex.


WRG in 2010 This year’s canal camp season started early with a February camp on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex. Volunteers helped start the transformation of Hall Bridge at Heybridge, undertaking the demolition of the badly eroded old deck. This was followed by local contractors fitting the new timber bridge deck and rebuilding the brick parapet walls.  Rebuilding of the bridge has now been completed and will be linked with a new footpath network. WRG returned to the navigation in August, working alongside the Essex Waterways Team, assisting with bank protection, painting, and repairs along the navigation. At Easter WRG continued to work on rescuing an accommodation bridge on the Wilts & Berks Canal, near Shrivenham, from the last stages of decay.  Steppingstone

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WRG’S 40th Birthday!

BELOW: Rebuilding Lock 17 on the Basingstoke Canal’s Deepcut flight. BOTTOM: Reconstructing the chamber at Gough’s Orchard Lock.

Bridge has been in the canal camps schedule since 2006 and this year WRG helped move the project towards completion by rebuilding the wing walls, reinstating the towpath and landscaping the surrounding area. June saw the start of seven weeks of canal camps helping the Cotswold Canals Partnership restore two locks on the Thames & Severn Canal and Stroudwater Navigation (known collectively as the Cotswold Canals). The first four weeks of the summer were spent at Gough’s Orchard Lock, near Stroud. In 2009 WRG started to rebuild the lock walls and this year saw us continuing to re-construct the lock chamber, reinstate the coping stones and landscape the lock side. There is still some residual work to be done but a fantastic amount of work was completed this year.  WRG also visited Eisey Lock, near Cricklade to undertake a similar project, rebuilding the lock chamber and replacing the coping stones. In three weeks WRG, with the help of KESCRG and NWPG, restored one side of the lock chamber using heritage techniques and lime mortar, which followed on from work in 2009 reconstructing the offside chamber wall.  WRG volunteers thoroughly enjoyed working on the Cotswold Canals and look

What do our volunteers say?

James Dawson-Goodey, Student, Hertfordshire, aged 20 “I found my first canal camp great fun, it’s an excellent way to meet new people and learn new skills. Bricklaying was fantastic. The social side was brilliant and extended my knowledge of British culture, aka real ale! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys the outdoors.” Julia Davenport, Full-time Mum, Crewe, aged 42 “I absolutely love the canal camps. This year I assisted on the Mon & Brec Canal Camp which was great fun and very rewarding, especially when you see volunteers enjoying themselves while restoring the canal system. I’ve learnt a lot of new skills and really enjoy using dumpers, diggers and other toys.... sorry tools! It’s a great way to make new friends and do something completely different.” 

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WRG’S 40th Birthday! Volunteers wanted!

WRG always need volunteers to keep the waterways restoration movement going forwards. No matter how long or short you can volunteer your time, you can be sure you will have made a difference. WRG attracts a wide range of people: from young volunteers taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme; to waterway enthusiasts who wish to make a contribution to restoring and preserving the system; to people who just want to get outdoors and dirty, have fun and learn new skills. Volunteers attending our activities must be aged between 18-70, but apart from that age doesn’t matter, nor does previous experience. Whatever you end up doing on site, you will have a unique and memorable experience while helping us to keep the waterways alive for future generations. If you are interested in finding out more go to or to receive a ‘Volunteer 2011’ (published in December) information pack email Jenny Black  at or call 01494 783 453 ext 604. forward to projects such as Inglesham Lock in 2011.  Remember to donate to IWA’s Inglesham Appeal so that WRG can start restoring this magical entrance to the Thames & Severn Canal campaigns/appeals/iwa_national__restoration_ appeal___inglesham_lock_ WRG also ran a week on the Chesterfield Canal, continuing work at Renishaw Narrows. Work included constructing a new wash wall to protect the new bank. Volunteers had to build foundations in concrete and then spent the week laying blocks and bentonite matting.  The Basingstoke Canal in Surrey is one of the few canals WRG work on which is navigable. Although 32 miles of the canals have now been fully restored, there is an ongoing need for maintenance and improvement works. This year WRG spent two weeks, in July and August, working on Lock 17 (Deepcut flight), repointing the lock chamber and rebuilding the two upper wing walls which involved blinding, reinforcing and shuttering.  The Montgomery Canal continues to be one of our most popular canal camps and this year we ran two camps, continuing to reconstruct the historic Crickheath Wharf near Oswestry. This was a great location for first timers and experienced WRGies, as volunteers got involved in constructing the stone wharf wall using heritage techniques. Volunteers also transplanted vegetation into the new canal and nature reserve habitats. WRG will also be returning to the Montgomery Canal for Reunion Weekend in November, continuing with rebuilding the wharf and clearing the line of the canal. For more information go to the WRG website: As well as working on the Montgomery Canal, WRG spent two weeks in August on the Monmouthshire Canal in South Wales. Volunteers worked on restoring Draper Lock, near Cwmbran and started to prepare other locks for restoration work. Tasks varied from construction, to the more destructive scrub bashing!


The end of October saw WRG busy on the Grand Western Canal in Devon and Somerset. Activities here were focused on helping to preserve the Nynehead Lift, a spectacular lift constructed by James Green between 1831 and 1838 to raise small vessels 24ft from the canal to the aqueduct above. There was plenty of tree felling and scrub clearance work involved. WRG don’t just get outdoors and dirty restoring the waterways – this year they have also supported the Welsh Waterways Festival on the Monmouthshire Canal and IWA’s National Waterway Festival at Beale Park - running the car parks, erecting marquees, educating the public, litter picking and providing other site services. In May, WRG ran a Leaders Training Day for volunteers to find out about being a canal camp leader and in July organised a Skills Training Day, so that volunteers could learn new skills such as bricklaying, van driving, and scaffolding. We also managed to find time to celebrate our 40th birthday with a party which involved cake, beer and a ‘History of WRG in 40 Objects’. As well as our week-long canal camps, volunteers from our regional groups have been busy throughout the year working on projects across the country.  Between them, WRG’s regional groups have ensured that almost every weekend in 2010 there has, and will be, volunteers at work somewhere in the country restoring the waterways. 

STILL TO COME Christmas Camp Date: Sunday 26th December – Saturday 1st January. Location: Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal. Cost: £56. | Accommodation: School hall. Acitvities: Vegetation clearance, winter activities. Details: Our main Canal Camp programme ends in October, but that doesn’t mean we go into hibernation for the winter. WRG works all year round and every year we run a Christmas Camp from the 26th December through to New Year’s Day. This year we are spending the festive season on the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal which will involve lots of scrub bashing, bonfires, and other winter activities. Festive Season Canal Camps are just as much fun as summer ones so book online now!

ABOVE: Rebuilt Hall Bridge on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. BELOW: WRG volunteers on duty at the National Festival at Beale Park.

| IWA waterways - Winter 2010

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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

“Thank you for a fantastic day. Your guidance, gentle coaxing & patience got the best from both of us” Sharon and Steve, Belper

Book your course now

Tel: Terry 01785 824012 Mob 07947 337492

IWA waterways - Winter 2010 |

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IWA at Work News from around the branches compiled by Jim Shead

Branch Sales & Publicity The Guildford & Reading Branch stand is particularly well travelled, having been to many events including Beale Park Boat Show, Reading Water Fest, Guildford Festival Boat Gathering, Goring & Streatley Regatta, Newbury Waterways Festival and the National Festival at Beale Park. Volunteers ensured that the stand featured sales, publicity and a Lucky Locks Game. Branch stands not only raise funds from sales and games but also ensure that IWA is seen as an active organisation in the local community. Most people enjoying the waterways in the Guildford and Reading area must now be aware of IWA and this is crucial for boosting IWA membership both locally and nationally. The branch stand in action at the Weybridge Festival in September.

Branch Magazines and More

to an ancient elm pipe found in the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. The geographical reach of the magazine is also far from local, covering the Mon & Brec, Monmouthshire Canal, Wilts & Berks and the Lichfield & Hatherton Canal. Local IWA magazines are important for keeping in touch with members who support us (the silent majority) and for encouraging volunteers to join in our activities. Not all branches have volunteers with the enthusiasm and the right expertise to produce magazines of this standard, although there are many very good ones about. Now that many of these publications are available on the web it is well worth searching for a good editor and having a look at what other branches and regions are doing.

Cantley Staithe opening

The village of Cantley, on the River Yare in Norfolk, celebrated the opening of a new ÂŁ300,000 riverside amenity on Saturday September 18th with a day of music, sailing and entertainment. The derelict village staithe has been transformed into an attractive community area with moorings, fishing facilities and one of only two slipways in the area, which will open up the river to a wide cross section of river users. IWA was part of the ambitious partnership project, which included the Broads Authority, Broadland Environmental Services Ltd (BESL), British Sugar, Broadland District Council, the Environment Agency, Cantley Parish Council and two landfill community fund schemes, Biffaward and WREN. The redevelopment work on the staithe was carried out by BESL as part of the River Yare flood defence work.

The last edition of Chelmsford Branch Magazine had an article and photos of Susan, the sole surviving timber Chelmer & Blackwater lighter which is now in the care of The Susan Trust . A local story and just what you may expect from a branch magazine, but what impressed me was that the branch produced a 36page magazine full of interesting articles and pictures on subjects ranging from electric boats


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IWA at WORK High and Dry The West Riding Branch have been closely monitoring the situation on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, where the driest winter and spring for many years has caused the closure of the western end of the canal. As a result of the lack of rainfall, reservoirs are extremely low. A photo of the reservoir at Foulridge was featured on the front page of the branch magazine Mile Post.

Waterway Community Day at Stone IWA Stoke-on-Trent branch held a Waterway Community Day on 2nd October at Canal Cruising Co’s hire base at Stone on the Trent & Mersey Canal. Visitors were able to explore the boatyard and learn about taking a holiday afloat, life on board a working narrowboat and restoring the lost canals of Staffordshire with volunteers from the branch. The family-run Canal Cruising Co is a great supporter of IWA’s work and owners Karen and Peter Wyatt were delighted to host the Community Day during Stone’s annual Food & Drink Festival. The event also featured Wild Over Waterways –WOW – with free children’s activities depicting life afloat, traditional canal art and water safety.

Although the towpath improvements were an IWA initiative, British Waterways supplied the equipment, back up and management of the work party, with a workboat and crew to facilitate the activity. Rugeley Lions Association had a team of eight people who made a great contribution to the day, and Rugeley Town Councillor Justin Johnson and Police Community Support Officer Liz Dale worked hard to remove the graffiti – community support in the real meaning of the words. This is the third such volunteer event in Rugeley and IWA Lichfield Branch believes it is making a real difference to the way the waterway looks, for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. More work parties are envisaged for the future, and will be publicised in this publication and in The Bulletin.

Branch. The Trent & Mersey Canal at Rugeley – improved by IWA Lichfield

Get Your Photos Published Canal Cruising Co’s hire base a Stone.

Lichfield Branch Improves Rugeley On 26th September IWA Lichfield Branch brought together local volunteers to improve the canal towpath walk and navigation through Rugeley on the Trent & Mersey Canal. The 32 volunteers made a huge difference to the appearance of the area along the canal. Benches were repaired and painted, vegetation was cleared, notice boards were replaced (and now have information on them), and the canal bank was repaired in places. Four bikes and a shopping trolley were pulled from the canal with grappling hooks. The graffiti at the Brereton end of the towpath was removed, and the Community Payback Team cleared vegetation from the sloping bank at Station Road Bridge.

These days digital cameras are almost universal, so good quality photographs are within everyone’s grasp. We no longer have to worry about the technicalities and can concentrate on framing a perfect shot. Every year IWA publishes a calender containing 14 waterways photographs, which helps to raise both our profile and funds. IWA also needs photos for campaigning and publicity purposes so please have a look back at your recent shots to find some that you could contribute to IWA. We need 13 horizontal postcard format shots for the months January 2012 to January 2013, and one high quality vertical shot for the front cover, which is always the most difficult picture to find. Please send your photos of canal or river scenes to Jim Shead at iwa@jim-shead. com or by post to 32 House of York, Charlotte Street, Birmingham B3 1PT. Is your branch doing something that demonstrates the great work that our members do? If so let us know - send your story and pictures to

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01283 742970 20/10/10 10:14:20

Debdale Wharf Marina, Near Kibworth, Leicestershire LE8 0XA

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

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

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IWA waterways - Winter 2010 |

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Water, water everywhere... except on the L&L feature article next day on the subject of the drought and the canal. “In its 220year-history, nothing like it has happened quite on this scale on the LeedsLiverpool.” The journalist had taken the trouble to investigate the reason for the closure (“Winterburn, the only British Waterways reservoir on the east side of the Pennines, has been closed to canal abstraction because there is also a statutory requirement for it to feed compensation water into Eshton Beck, a tributary of the River Aire and vital for the removal of treated sewage from local villages. It was decided there was not enough water for both Eshton Beck and the canal.”) and to interview traders whose jobs had been affected. The operators of “a luxury boutique-style hotel aboard a 60ft-long canalboat,

Axis of Weevil

The Post has been particularly hot on the subject of wildlife this summer. My stalwart Yorkshire correspondent has forwarded me no less than seven cuttings on this subject alone. Water voles “have been found at Kiveton Community Woodland, near Rotherham” says one cutting. Hooray! But another article tells us “The mammals were given full legal protection two years ago, making it a crime to intentionally kill or injure a water vole or (and this is the crunch) disturb their habitats.” Might the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal be held by some ill-wishers to be disturbing their habitats? Kiveton Woodland is on the site of Kiveton Colliery and adjoins the canal’s summit level. Other cuttings show a heron swallowing a fish at Hebden Bridge on the Rochdale Canal, and conservationist volunteers uprooting Himalayan Balsam in the Peak District National Park, along with an article calling for volunteers “to rid Park of invader”. Crayfish of the Red Swamp variety, “a native of the south-eastern United States have been spotted in the Regent’s Canal…raising fears that they could spread across the country along waterways,” was another piece of summer news. Finally, although other media organs took up the story of the weevils put in the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal by BW to destroy the weed, the Post let itself down by reporting the story under the most excruciating headline of the quarter: “British canal joins the axis of weevil”.


Lady Teal” had been relocated to Skipton from the middle of the affected area and were delighted with the new length. “It’s perhaps the best stretch of all on the Leeds-Liverpool. Maybe Lady Teal should be renamed Lady Luck.” As my old headmaster was wont

to remark: it’s an ill wind that blows a saxophone. BBC Radio 4 carried a 27 minute feature on the canal in mid-September in which the presenter, Helen Mark heard “from Vince Moran of British Waterways about the reason for the recent closure of almost half the canal.”


The North West’s problems with drought this summer received their full share of media attention, with several television news items; both BBC and ITV picked up on the unfortunate closure of the Leeds & Liverpool summit, as did the Yorkshire Post. Several features during August mentioned the problems: an item of news reported “Fish on the move as water levels fall in drought-affected canal” and was accompanied by photographs of men wading in the canal with nets and a close-up of a pike being placed carefully in a bucket. A mischievous imp within me wondered what the reaction would have been had the paper published photographs of foxes being rounded up for removal to places where they could be better hunted. Rather less contentious was a

Low water levels at Foulridge Higher Reservoir.

A FISHY TALE It is not only the north that has been making the running with wildlife stories this summer. For a rural canal running through what our late vice-president Sir John Betjeman would have described as “sweet uneventful countryside”, the Ashby Canal gets its fair share of newspaper coverage. The Leicester Mercury took up the curious tale of an angler from the Measham Angling Club who caught a 5lb sturgeon (Yes. That’s right, a sturgeon) during the Shackerstone Fishing Club’s Challenge Cup Event in July last. The fisherman concerned said “It was caught on a worm and then it just took off like an express train. At that point I was convinced that it was a carp…when I saw it surfacing I thought to myself ‘it can’t be a sturgeon’ but it was.” The item did not say whether it was a male or female fish, but caviar-lovers among members may be interested to visit the Moira Cut in order to find out. Then in August the Mercury took up the matter of the stalled extension of the Ashby Canal north of Snarestone. “Villagers are fighting rival campaigns for and against an opencast coal mine” announced the paper. UK Coal PLC wants to mine coal and fireclay from the site of the former Minorca Colliery near Measham so as to extract an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of coal over three years and has offered £1.23 million towards the cost of restoring the upper part of the Ashby Canal, abandoned piecemeal in the 1950s and ‘60s. Not unnaturally, opponents of the scheme fear the impact of noise, dust and lorry traffic. But, “It is said that a silent majority in the village supported the mine plan because of the benefits to the canal and the tourism and job creation” and the local pro-restoration group, including the vice-Chairman of Measham Parish Council, feel that three years disturbance might be a price worth paying.

| IWA waterways - Winter 2010

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Cuttings Please

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

FESTIVALS DRAW THE CROWDS IWA’s celebrations for Tom Rolt’s centenary at Chester were well covered by The Chester Chronicle in July. The paper gave the event a full page and several pictures, although the reporter failed to understand the difference between a locomotive and a train: “The Tom Rolt steam train from the Talyllyn Railway regularly blew its whistle and let off steam”. To be fair the rest of the event was pretty thoroughly reported and its significance stressed. The aptly-named Ron and Mary Heritage, who were in the course of recreating the original 1939-40 cruise of Cressy, were presented with a commemorative medallion by the Sheriff of Chester, and Clive Henderson’s speech launching the initiative to restore Inglesham Lock was given due recognition. However, this lavish publicity was exceeded a month later by that given by the (Bristol) Evening Post when reporting on the Bristol Harbour Festival. Whilst the Chester Chronicle had estimated “more than 100 decorated boats of every type squeezed themselves into Chester Basin” no estimate of people numbers was given. The Evening Post, however,



Save Your System!

Finally we may spare a thought for our neighbours across the Channel who are facing similar repercussions from the world recession to ourselves. The magazine Vie sur l’eau recently bore an article by our fellow-countrywoman Di Murrell headed (and I translate) “The British Invasion”, a title that might just possibly touch French sensibilities over Joan of Arc. Winston Churchill once addressed a public meeting in France with the words (spoken in his inimitable French): “Frenchmen! Be on your guard! I am about to speak French!” Similarly Di issues a clarion call to the French not to allow their waterways to fall victim to economic cuts. “For us [English enthusiasts] to navigate in France represents all that we have ever dreamed of. An integrated network of deep and clean canals and rivers; thousands of kilometres of well maintained waterways…which we have navigated these last fifteen years, it is nearly too beautiful to be true.” She concludes her article with a challenge. “After having fought to save our own system, it is difficult to stand aside, observing incredulously the apparent indifference of the Frenchmanin-the-street towards one of the greatest resources that his country can offer and a Government that wishes to get rid of it. We are ready to start a new campaign, even if the canals threatened do not belong to us.” So Frenchmen, be on your guard! Di has spoken (or at least, written!). The Canal Lateral a la Garonne

on the magical French waterw


Great Britain


Historic ships Matthew and SS in Bristol Harbour.

“estimated 250,000 people descended on Bristol for this year’s harbour festival – one of the UK’s biggest free events.” Five whole pages, including the front page, plus an editorial were devoted to this admittedly monster event. “We say Festival showed city at its best” said the leader, and underlined the difference between an event such as IWA’s at Chester put on largely by a voluntary body and a municipally funded Jamboree. “After all, where else could visitors enjoy international stars such as the city’s own singing sensation Paul Potts or the New York City Ballet within an hour or so of each other. However most of the 172 different performers wowing the tens of thousands of festival-goers came from Bristol and the South West.” The paper then reflected “Yes, it costs a lot of money to put on but it brings with it a multi-million pound economic boost and the need for that can’t be understated.” Wise words and ones we should all bear in mind over the next few months as the financing and operation of our waterways comes under scrutiny. Both events in their own ways underline the economic value of the inland waterway system.


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Waterways World

When built over 200 years ago, the UK’s canals enabled the industrial revolution to take place. It began in the UK and rapidly spread around the world. Without our distinctive narrow canals, with their unique narrowboats, this would not have been possible. Remarkably, much of the system remains today, virtually unaltered - a testament to the engineers of the late 18th century NarrowBoat Magazine celebrates this heritage with regular articles on the waterways, the boats that traded on them, the people that ran them and their distinctive folk arts. Regular features include: • Famous Fleets - canal carrying companies of the past • Preserving our Heritage - historic buildings under threat • Accessing archives - practical advice for research • Traditional Techniques - how the waterways worked

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The Spring 2011 issue of Waterways will be published in January 2011. Editorial copy closing date is 28th December 2010.

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

M Star Letter M Success on the Chelmer & Blackwater I read with special interest the interview with Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation Manager Colin Edmond in the Autumn 2010 issue of Waterways. IWA should be proud of its role in ‘rescuing’ this waterway from decline and the hard work of Colin and Roy Chandler is to be applauded. It is a good few years since I was down in this corner of Essex but I’m looking forward to returning to have a look

Selling off the family silver

at this lovely waterway next summer. I hope I might find time for a pint or two at the Old Ship Inn at Heybridge Basin. Finally – good luck to Colin at the New York Marathon!

David Spedding, Richmond, North Yorkshire

Getting off the Beaten Track The article ‘Off the beaten track’ (Autumn 2010 Waterways) was an excellent idea because it highlights that isolated parts of the canal and river network can be enjoyed by boaters. The River Arun is at the heart of our branch so publicising its use is welcomed. I am, however, concerned that more details would be needed to safely cruise the river. Yes, it is possible if you get the timing of the tide right to travel from Littlehampton to Pallingham Lock. However, this can only be safely done in boats of between about 10 and 15 feet long. Also, it is not possible to return on the same tide so boats are often recovered up a steep and awkward slipway at Pulborough. (The high tide at Pulborough is about 3.75 hours behind the harbour mouth.) Sadly, I think that the Swan Inn at Pulborough closed some years ago to be replaced by a housing development. I believe that there is a pub at Fittleworth, a few miles further north, but this is just a bit too far to walk from the river. There is the White Hart at Stopham Bridge, just upstream of Pulborough. If people want to go there then they are best going just upstream of the pub through a beautiful old multi-arched bridge and going ashore under the modern road bridge. However, the bank is rather slippery. The Solent & Arun Branch organises an annual trip up the river to demonstrate, and record, that the river is used. This is done to ensure that if (or when) the Wey & Arun Canal reaches the Arun, that boats can pass between the two. For the upper reaches, we take bow saws and tree loppers!

Brendan Whelan, Secretary, IWA Solent & Arun Branch

It was good to see some publicity given to some of the ‘unconnected’ waterways in the south but I have a couple of comments. The article gives the impression that the Grand Western Canal is not available to conventional powered craft which is no longer the case, as the photographs attest.  Incidentally, the main photograph shows the horse boat Tivertonian being

Good luck to IWA’s fund raising appeal for restoration of Inglesham Lock, but it’s sad that British Waterways did not get on with its original plan to renovate and open the adjoining Round House as a holiday let or, better still, have given it to the Cotswold Canals Trust for holiday letting. I believe BW has or is about to sell it off; another piece of the family silver gone!

Dieter Jebens,

towed stern-first – was it too windy Crookham, Fleet to wind? The section on the River Arun IWA ANNUAL should have made it clear that the SUBSCRIPTION RATES reason ‘Navigation Authority’ is in Adult, single £27.00 inverted commas is because this Joint/Family £34.00 only applies to the Littlehampton Details of all other rates are Harbour Board section, the available from IWA Head Office – see the Directory on page 44. Environment Agency only being responsible for water supply and flood prevention, not navigation, above Arundel Bridge. Larger craft can go up as far as Pulborough but only at certain states of the tide: ie when there is sufficient headroom under the bridges and sufficient water to cover ‘The Pies’, a shale outcrop in the bed of the river – a nice judgment!  It will be some years before the Wey & Arun Canal is open but craft coming off the placid canal waters will not find the Arun an easy passage!  

Alan Smith, Whitton, Twickenham

While it is pleasing to see an article about the Neath Canal, it did not include all the work done in the last few years. The National Trailboat Festival next year will be held on the newly restored section at Ynysarwed. Boats attending will use the new slipway at Ynysbwllog close to the newly-built aqueduct, the longest single span aqueduct in the UK. From the site they will be able to cruise 9 km down the newly restored locks into Neath. The Resolven slipway is on the restored upper section of the canal. The latest Nicholson guide shows both slipways and the aqueduct.

Margaret Gwalter, Chair, IWA South Wales Branch

IWA waterways - Winter 2010 | Letters.indd 43


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Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA. Tel: 01494 783453 e-mail: Website: Vice Presidents: Harry Arnold MBE, 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, Chris Birks, Ivor Caplan, Ray Carter, Alastair Chambers, Les Etheridge (Deputy Chairman),Alasdair Lawrance, Alan Platt, John Pomfret (Deputy Chairman), Paul Roper, Jerry Sanders, Peter Scott, Jim Shead, 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: Paul Roper (Chairman). Tel: 0118 981 3381  John Baylis (Deputy Chairman), Alastair Chambers, Steve Connolly, Ian Fletcher, Peter Kelly, John Pomfret, Peter Scott, Vaughan Welch      Restoration Committee: Vaughan Welch (Chairman). Tel: 0121 477 9782.     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. 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.           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.   Inland Waterways Freight Group:  John Pomfret (Chairman). Tel: 01788 891027. 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.                       Eastern Secretary: Nigel Long. Tel: 01733 553782.              London Contact: Roger Squires. Tel: 020 7232 0987.               North East & Yorkshire Chairman: Peter Scott. Tel: 0114 2301870.                     North West Chairman: Alan Platt. Tel: 01352 720649.                      


South East Chairman: Paul Roper. Tel: 0118 9813381. South West Secretary: Peter Kelly. Tel: 01752 843556.      West Midlands Chairman: Vaughan Welch. Tel: 0121 4779782.    

Branch Contacts                

Avon & Wiltshire John Gornall. Tel: 0117 962 4644.       Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Dave Pearson. Tel: 01299 404273. Cambridge  Stephen Foote. Tel: 01763 838936. Chelmsford Jan Thurston. Tel: 01702 529553.                 Chester & District Gillian Bolt. Tel: 0151 678 9300. Chiltern Peter Winter. Tel: 01494 813338.      East Yorkshire Mrs Chris Stones. Tel: 01482 875894.                     Gloucestershire & Herefordshire Martin Turner. Tel: 01291 650605. Guildford & Reading Gareth Jones.    Ipswich Charles Stride. Tel: 01728 831061.     Kent & East Sussex Roy Sutton. Tel: 01342 317569 Lee & Stort John Shacklock. Tel: 01992 465643.                       Leicestershire Peter Dand.                    Lichfield Phil Sharpe. Tel: 01889 583330. Lincolnshire  Penny Carnell. Tel: 01469 530138.     Manchester Steve Connolly. Tel: 01942 679310.                       Merseyside & West Lancs Andrew Lawton. Tel: 01695 572389.                       Middlesex Robin Bishop. Tel: 020 8452 2632. Milton Keynes Peter Caswell. Tel: 07702 668924.                     North & East London  Roger Squires. Tel: 020 7232 0987.          North Lancashire & Cumbria Tony Dunning. Tel: 07730 113894.              Northampton  Andy Timms. Tel: 01327 830381.                      Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire  Mike Snaith. Oxfordshire Ron Heritage. Tel: 01869 277400.                       Peterborough Nigel Long. Tel: 01733 553782.                     Shrewsbury District & North Wales  Dawn Aylwin. Tel: 01691 830403.             Solent & Arun  Brendan Whelan. Tel: 01903 816012.                   South London Lesley Pryde. Tel: 07787 372408.                      South Wales  Margaret Gwalter. Tel: 01792 851271.                       South Yorkshire & Dukeries Mavis Paul. Tel: 0114 2683927.               Stoke-on-Trent   Alison Smedley. Tel: 01538 385388. Warwickshire Sue Roy. Tel: 01926 497845.                     West Country Chris Jewell. Tel: 01288 352298.                       West Riding Alastair Furniss. Tel: 0113 2539401.

| IWA waterways - Winter 2010

Directory.indd 44

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“A major advance in marine propulsion” Mark Langley, Waterways World.

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IWA waterways - Winter 2010 |

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Order from the Inland Waterways Association Bookshop Call 01494 783453



The Inland Boat Owner’s Book - 4th Edition. Graham Booth

Narrowboat Planning – 1st edition Graham Booth

The fourth, completely revised and updated, edition of the most comprehensive guide to owning a boat on Britain’s Inland Waterways. Written by technical consultant Graham Booth, this book provides a complete guide to all aspects of boat ownership.

Narrowboat Planning provides inspiration, ideas and technical solutions for the design of accommodation in a canal boat.

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Waterways World Canal Guides

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Our clear and easy-to-use guides are the ideal companion for all the users of the waterways, whether walking, cycling or boating to enjoy the beauty of the canal. Choose from Grand Union, Kennet & Avon, Llangollen & Montgomery, Oxford and Shropshire Union canal guides.

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Perfect Christmas Gifts WATERWAYS ADVERTISING Winter 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

48 p048_iwa.indd 1

Index to Advertisers AB Tuckey ........................................................... 20 ABC Leisure ............................................................4 ABNB .....................................................................3 Axiom Propellers ................................................. 45 B Beardall Marine Services ................................... 16 BC Boat Management ......................................... 21 Beacon Park Boats ............................................... 24 Blisworth Tunnel Narrowboats ............................. 35 Boat & Caravan Show .............................................5 Boatshed Grand Union ........................................ 45 Braunston Marina ...................................................4 Caldwells ............................................................ 35 Canal Cruising Co ................................................ 31 Canal Voyagers ................................................... 31 Canvas Man ........................................................ 20 Castle Marinas ..................................................... 16

Castle Narrowboats ............................................. 31 Colecraft Boats ................................................... 39 Debdale Wharf Marina ........................................ 39 Fox’s Boats .......................................................... 20 JL Pinders ............................................................ 39 Lee Sanitation ..................................................... 35 Limekiln Ltd ........................................................ 39 Maestermyn Group ............................................. 24 Marine Injection Services ..................................... 20 Mel Davis ............................................................ 16 Mercia Marina .....................................................IBC Midland Chandlers ............................................ OBC Ocean World Leisure Wear .....................................3 Pennine Cruisers ................................................. 24 Powercell Batteries .................................................3 PRM Marine Ltd ................................................... 45

Riversdale Barge Holidays .................................... 24 Rose Narrowboats ............................................... 31 Saul Junction Marina ........................................... 45 Shobnall Boat Services ........................................ 21 Swanley Bridge Marina ........................................ 20 Tattenhall Marina ................................................ 35 The New & Used Boat Co .................................... 17 Tingdene Marinas ..................................................2 TR Boat Handling ................................................ 35 Video Active ....................................................... 39 Websters Insulation ............................................. 20 Wharf House Narrowboats .................................. 45 Whilton Marina ................................................... IFC Wilderness Trailboats .......................................... 21 Worcester Marine Windows ...................................4

| IWA waterways - Winter 2010

20/10/10 14:45:05

• Midland Chandlers chandlery superstore • New and Used Boat Co brokerage and Aqualine boats • Aqua Narrowboats - workshop, boat builders and hire boats • Classic Line - hire boats • Willow Tree Tea Rooms • Trade n’ Post shop

mercia.indd 1

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Waterways Winter 2010  

The magazibe of the Inland Waterways Association

Waterways Winter 2010  

The magazibe of the Inland Waterways Association