Issue date: 2nd May 2013
The May bank holiday weekend will see a colourful gathering of canal craft at Paddington’s Little Venice Basin for Canalway Cavalcade, and a reminder that our canal system provides wonderful opportunities for pleasure boating, fishing, walking and even cycle routes for commuters.
It is also worth remembering that the canal system was built to carry freight and while in this day and age much of the system is not ideally suited to this purpose there are certainly parts of our waterways where the freight potential should be taken far more seriously than often it is.
The theme for this year’s Canalway Cavalcade is Celebrating London’s Waterways and it is most appropriate that the occasion will be the opportunity to present the Vivian Bulkeley-Johnson trophy to a firm based in Brentwood. Bulkeley-Johnson was a canal enthusiast with his own cruiser but had also built up the Willow Wren company, one of the last major narrowboat firms. He gave the trophy to the Inland Waterways Association to be presented each year to an individual or firm that had made a significant contribution to freight carrying by water.
It is our pleasure that this year the trophy goes to S. Walsh and Sons Ltd. Starting in 1968 in the civil engineering plant business the company now provides a wide range of services to the construction industry. In particular they have increasingly used water transport and have a well developed marine division. Their barges are servicing a large number of sites including Lotts Road, Crossrail’s Canary Wharf station Blackfriar’s station, Crossrail and Thames Water’s tunnelling activities and land reclamation projects in Pitsea and Wallasea Island. Their fleet capacity has been increased by modernisation of existing craft and new tugs and barges from the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
It is not unusual for people to comment on the lack of freight traffic on the Thames. David Hilling of IWA Freight Group thinks that “this is changing. On some days the Walsh company alone could have 10,000 tonnes on the water – just think of the 450 lorries that this keeps off London’s roads - a favourable image of water transport which others could bear in mind.”
For further information please contact David Hilling by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
See more information about Canalway Cavalcade 2013
Notes about IWA