Chris Howes

Chairman Eastern Region

I’ve spent most of my life on, and often unintentionally in, the water, messing about in boats. A few years ago I graduated from small self propelled boats to a larger motorised boat, when my wife and I bought a narrowboat on the Middle Level. The boat and I are these days rarely parted.

Approaching 60, and having retired after nearly 20 years as a local authority councillor, I welcomed the new experiences and challenges that came with boat ownership and IWA membership. I have the honour of serving as Peterborough Branch Chairman and have thrown myself enthusiastically into branch activities, including work parties and several attempted campaign cruises to Welches Dam - some more successful than others.

I’m also Chairman for the Eastern Region IWA. In 2018 the region hosted a well attended IWA Festival of Water in St Neots. We were delighted to welcome visitors from across the canal network to the beautiful Rivers Nene and Great Ouse and the Middle Level with its great skies and stunning sunsets.

I’ve reconvened an Eastern Region Committee and I try and visit all the region’s branches every year, as well as representing IWA interests on a number of bodies - including the Bedford to Milton Keynes Waterway Trust. The Chairman of the East Midlands Region and I have teamed up with the EA and Lincs C.C. to launch a major new initiative - the Boston to Peterborough Wetland Corridor which aims to build a new waterway to cut the current 250 mile +135 lock journey between the two to under 50 miles and 4 locks.

Between all this, my wife and I try and find time to do some ‘serious’ boating. Our ‘lock tally’ in 2016 and 2017 exceeded 900 locks both years.

I try to bring considerable drive, significant experience from complementary walks of life, and a track record of achievement to my role as Trustee.