November 2015 Work Parties

IWA Northampton Branch
Created on 16/12/2015

Photo: IWA Northampton Branch at Lock 16

November weather was a mixed bag with some areas experiencing mild conditions and others finding themselves working in the snow!  Regardless of the weather, volunteers were able to undertake a huge amount of work and a variety of tasks such as vegetation clearance, debris removal and railing repair.

Read on for information of what our branches have been up to on the waterways.

IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch - Towpath Vegetation Clearance at Liverpool's Eldonian Village

IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch volunteers spent a cold day at the start of November successfully clearing the greenery along the wall by the Eldonian Village Hall all the way to the Vauxhall Bridge along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. The two wheel barrows being used could not keep up with the rate of weed clearance.  A local resident bought out hot drinks and biscuits which were welcomed by all the volunteers.  The Branch will be hosting IWA's National Campaign Festival at Eldonian Village in June 2016.

Eldonian Village Work party Nov 2015Photo: IWA members at Liverpool's Eldonian Village

IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch - Observe Armistice Day in Kidderminster

Volunteers from IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch held a small but successful work party in the northern half of Kidderminster on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, undertaking a mini Cleanup and scrub-bash between Limekiln Bridge and Tesco.

A dinghy was provided by Canal & River Trust, which allowed access to the off-side for removal of rubbish and the clearing of overhanging branches. Other volunteers collected six bags of rubbish and removed more scrub along the towpath. Being the 11th of November, and being right by St Mary's church, the volunteers listened out for the clock chime at 11 o'clock and observed the one minute silence in rememberence.

In all, four shopping trolleys were removed from the canal - one of which had been 'crunched' by a boat, but as the others were in good condition, they were returned to the 'goods inwards' entrance to Tesco, where staff were appreciative. The crunched trolley was used to transport the bags of rubbish back to base.

Kidderminster Work Party Nov 2015Photo: Kidderminster Cleanup

IWA West Country Branch - a Busy November

IWA West Country Branch held several work parties during November, attracting over 30 volunteers and undertaking over 120 hours of work along the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal.

Time was spent cutting back overgrowth and rubbish removal along Lyndale Avenue, Bridgwater and volunteers carried out a partial deep cut back of the vegetation around the car park, rubbish removal from the canal and a towpath tidy from Bathpool Marina to Firepool Lock.

They also carried out the cutting and removal of vegetation overgrowth including a large area of brambles from the canal bank between the Old Taunton Rd bridge and the A38 road bridge in Bridgwater.

IWA Lichfield Branch - Fence Replacement a Big Challenge

Volunteers spent a weekend in November on the Trent and Mersey Canal removing and replacing the existing posts and rail on the Mossley Canal Bridge. This had been identified as being unstable and dangerous and with CRT's agreement the work was undertaken by experienced volunteers from IWA Lichfield Branch.

The removal of the wooden posts proved to be problematic and while one was rotten and came out easily, the other was concreted in firmly. After much effort, it snapped off near the base and the remaining wood had to be drilled away. All that remained was to cut the replacement posts and rail to size and shape, fix into position, concrete the base and paint the new wood. The railings on top of the bridge and the gate opposite were also refurbished and painted and the hedge beyond the bridge cut back and leaves cleared to improve access.

Lunch and facilities were provided by The Mossley Tavern which was much appreciated by the eleven volunteers who had worked in freezing conditions.

WRG's Bit In The Middle Group- Working Through the Snow

Waterway Recovery Group's BITM volunteers working on the Chelmer & Blackwater Canal experienced some extreme weather conditions over a weekend in November.  Snow, heavy rain and gales battered the volunteers who removed ivy, brambles and rogue trees from the structures at Beeleigh Flood Lock and Chapmans Bridge.

WRG BITM Nov 2015Photo: WRG volunteers on the Chelmer & Blackwater Canal

IWA Northampton Branch - By-wash Weir Clearance Continues

IWA Northampton Branch volunteers working on the adopted Northampton Arm (Grand Union) continue their winter task of clearing the by-wash weir channels at each of  the 17 locks along the Arm.  November’s work party tackled lock 16 with 14 volunteers dividing their efforts to clearing the overhanging brambles, cutting the vegetation growing along and in the bywash channel and removing litter from along the towpath.  After much effort a large trolley from a nearby DIY store was retrieved from the lock chamber, along with several shopping trolleys and other debris. 

Northampton Arm Lock 16Photo: Lock 16 by-wash weir clearance

IWA Manchester Branch - Cake Tin Disaster Averted!

IWA Manchester Branch had a good turn-out this month with three new volunteers joining the regular team. Work concentrated on the Ashton Canal lock 10 with towpath and by-wash vegetation clearance and a clean back of the cobble and coping stones.
The downside of the day was when the lemon drizzle cake tin was dropped in the cut. Happily the volunteers had already eaten the cake and the tin was eventually recovered!

In addition to these work parties, in November, IWA Ipswich Branch continued to support the River Gipping Trust, IWA Lincolnshire Branch were supporting the Sleaford Navigation Trust, IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch worked on the Burslem Arm and Congleton. IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch supporting Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society held their monthly work party weekend at Tardebigge Lime Kilns, IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch continued to support the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust on the Uttoxeter Canal.


Interested in getting involved as a volunteer with IWA? Take a look at IWA's information on volunteering.

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