Chris Clegg - Volunteer of the Month September 2013

Created on 07/11/2013

Chris, a member of IWA Chiltern Branch, has been volunteering with IWA for many years and in a selection of roles. Here he shares what he’s done in his various roles as well as telling us why he thinks IWA still has an important role to play all these years on.

How and when did you first become interested in inland waterways?
In 1958 I went on a hire boat with my parents on the Staffs & Worcester Canal and since then I’ve never stopped boating.

What’s your favourite waterway?
This changes, it’s always the waterway I’ve been on most recently. I finish my trip thinking of all the nice things about that waterway – they all have interesting points.

What do you do as an IWA volunteer?
I’ve volunteered in different ways with IWA. At the moment I’m a Photo Archivist, so I’m currently scanning photos and colour slides onto the computer and trying to determine where the images were taken. I went on my first canal working party in 1963 on the Stratford Canal – one of the earliest canals to have restoration work carried out by volunteers. I then worked with WRG in various places for around twelve years after that, before taking a break from restoration. I’ve just started volunteering on the canals with IWA again, taking part in a branch work party to remove invasive species on the Grand Union.

Why do you volunteer with IWA?
I volunteer with IWA because I have the time now I’m retired and it’s something I’m interested in. It also suits my abilities as I have a good knowledge of the waterways having boated most of the system – it makes identifying locations easier.

Why do you think the work of IWA is still important?
There’s still work to be done as IWA seek to fulfil their original aim – to see the navigable waterways that are primarily used for leisure managed by a single independent body. IWA also provides a national view that complements the views of local canal trusts and societies. The Association has been doing this job for a long time so provides continuity and has a lot of knowledge.

Having volunteered at both Head Office and out on the canals, which do you prefer?
When it’s raining I prefer to be in the Office! Other than that I enjoy volunteering in both roles.

What’s your proudest IWA moment?
Winning the waterways quiz at Marple National Rally in 1966.

Thank you to Chris for this interview. If Chris's expereinces have inspired you to get involved take a look at our many volunteer opportunities to find one that suits you.

Tags: Volunteer of the Month