PRESS RELEASE: Over 70 Boats take part in Olympic Park Cruise

Issue date: 15th July 2016

As part of the ongoing legacy from the London 2012 Olympics, over 70 boats gathered on Saturday 9th July to take part in a cruise around the Olympic Park in East London.  The event was jointly organised by IWA North & East London Branch, Canal & River Trust, London Legacy and St Pancras Cruising Club to give boaters a chance to explore the Bow Back Rivers following their re-development.

The boats, some of which had travelled from the Midlands and North West for the event, gathered at Bromley-by-Bow for a safety briefing and words of welcome. The number of boats taking part, along with the remaining blockage on the Bow Back Loop, meant that the boats were split into two groups.  After setting off upstream the two flotillas separated, with one entering the Olympic Park below Old Ford Locks to pass around the Olympic Stadium, and the other group taking a sharp right turn just after the Bow Flyover, to proceed through City Mill Lock and along the Waterworks River to turn in the entrance of Carpenters Road Lock, which is still awaiting restoration.

After retracing their routes the two flotillas passed each other back on the main Lee Navigation and explored the other route, before returning to the moorings at Bromley-by-Bow for an event hosted by London Legacy and CRT at the local brewery to celebrate the event.  

Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, said:  “It was fantastic to have the opportunity to be on board one of the boats on this special cruise.  IWA London Region is helping to financially support the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock and everyone looks forward to the day when it is open and the full Bow Back Rivers can be explored”.  


ENDS

Further information about the cruise

On Saturday 9th April boats set off in two flotillas from Bromley-by-Bow on the Lee Navigation towards the Olympic Park. One group proceeded upstream to just below Old Ford Locks where entry to the Park was made. The other made a sharp right turn, just after the Bow Flyover, to proceed through City Mill Lock and into the Waterworks River. With careful planning, the lockkeeper at Three Mills Lock had regulated the level of the water here so that boats could travel through the lock chamber without stopping, to avoid a potential bottleneck.  This flotilla then proceeded up past the Aquatics Centre and the trip boat moorings to the entrance of the still-to-be-restored Carpenters Road Lock. All boats turned in the lock entrance here and retraced their steps. Meanwhile the first group of boats passed around the Olympic Stadium and continued onwards to the Crossrail Blockage. Here they turned at the ‘Bulls Eye’ painted on the wall and retraced their incoming route.

The two sections of the flotilla passed each other whilst they were back on the main navigation and continued to proceed along the channels they had not previously navigated.  All then returned to the Bromley-by-bow moorings.

Originally it was planned that many of the boats would go on to sail around the Isle of Dogs. Unfortunately, by then, the wind on the main river had got up and white horses were evident on the Thames. The Port of London Authority advised that, in their opinion, to proceed around the Isle of Dogs was unwise and their advice was taken.  When Carpenters Road Lock is reopened next year, that event itself may offer the opportunity to complete those elements of the cruise that boats were not able to complete on 9th July 2016.


Photographs

“Boats muster at the start of the Olympic Park cruise.”  Photo by Roger Squires.

“IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge was amongst those taking part in the cruise.”  Photo by Roger Squires.


Press Contact

For further information please contact Alison Smedley, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phoning 07779 090915.


Notes for Editors

IWA is The Inland Waterways Association, a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of canals and rivers.  IWA is a national organisation with a network of volunteers and branches who deploy their expertise and knowledge to work constructively with navigation authorities, government and other organisations.  The Association also provides practical and technical support to restoration projects through its expert Waterway Recovery Group.
IWA - Keeping our waterways alive.
www.waterways.org.uk

“Boats muster at the start of the Olympic Park cruise.”  Photo by Roger Squires.

“IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge was amongst those taking part in the cruise.”  Photo by Roger Squires.