IWA Bulletin August 2011

Top Story


Sunshine and Success for The Waterways Festival 2011

The huge swell of support from boaters, volunteers, exhibitors and visitors has generated the most successful national festival for IWA since 2007.

The Waterways Festival, staged in Burton-on-Trent from 29th to 31st July, also enjoyed beautiful weather for the three day event which was a welcome return after a run of mixed weather for the last four years.  

Latest figures from the festival organisers revealed:

  • Around 25,000 visitors attended the event over the three day period
  • 360 boats moored along the Trent and Mersey canal – stretching 1.5 miles in either direction of the festival site.
  • 28 historic boats on show
  • 350 camping units stayed on-site
  • 100s of volunteers were involved in staging the festival
  • Over 250 exhibitors - ranging from boat builders to local crafts people

Commenting on the success of The Waterways Festival 2011, Ian West - IWA Festivals Chairman said:

It’s been a delight to return to Burton which has been a beautiful site for us to stage this year’s festival.  We have been really encouraged by boaters, local authorities and of course, the general public, who have attended and supported the IWA’s longstanding campaign for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain’s Inland Waterways. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us this year – it’s been a truly spectacular event.

IWA News 


IWA Responds to HS2 Consultation

IWA has submitted its response to the government consultation on the preferred route of the new HS2 railway line.

IWA’s interest is where the construction or tunnelling work might affect the existing or prospective waterway network. On in its proposed route from London Euston to Birmingham the preferred route crosses the canal network 12 times, one of these being a crossing of a current and viable canal restoration project. 

IWA has said that the project should employ construction methods that would allow works to take place without closing the canal or alternatively minimum disruption during the winter stoppage season. There are additional concerns that the crossing of the Lichfield Canal at Cappers Bridge might not be high enough to prevent the newly built bridge having to be demolished and the consequential affect on the restoration of this canal. 

IWA has recorded its surprise and disappointment to see from the ‘Environmental Features Legend’ on the maps that whilst other heritage and nature conservation sites have been identified, there is no recognition of the significance of Conservation Areas. Consequently there is a concern that the route may have been planned without any attempt to avoid its adverse impacts on Conservation Areas.

Download the full document that forms IWA’s official response to the HS2 consultation


Sponsored IWAlk along the Montgomery Canal
Saturday 27th August 2011

IWA's Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch is organising a sponsored IWAlk on the Montgomery Canal to raise money for the Inglesham Lock Appeal

This is the ideal opportunity to see the Montgomery Canal in all its glory and to see how much more work is necessary to join the English section down to Wales at Llanymynech.

Money raised by this sponsored walk will be split 50/50 between IWA's National Campaign Appeal which is raising money for Inglesham Lock and to kick-start the next Maesbury Canal Festival which is being organised to highlight the need for restoration.  All profits from the Festival will be given to current restoration projects; in 2010 over £2,000 was donated by the Festival committee to Shrpshire Union Canal Society's ‘Buy a Barrow of Boulders’ campaign.

There is more information at www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/appeals/iwalk___montgomery_canal


wrgiwaingleshamIWA National Restoration Appeal Race Night Success

A Race Night was held in aid of the Inglesham Lock Appeal on Saturday 23rd July. The night raised over £2,000 for the appeal.

IWA would like to say a big thank you to Jude Palmer for organising the event and all other volunteers that helped out & came along and participated in the race night.


IWA 2010 - 2011 Annual Review and Reports Available Online

IWA's 2010-2011 Annual Review as well as the full Annual Report & Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2010 are now available at www.waterways.org.uk/information/governing_documents/annual_report_and_accounts


logobow150pxGift Membership

Have you thought about making a gift of annual membership of IWA to a friend?

You can order a gift of membership through IWAshop or by calling 01494 783453 ext 600/601.

You receive a Gift Membership Voucher and Complimentary Card to pass on to the lucky recipient.

For more information please go to www.waterways.org.uk/gift_membership


lapel150pxNew IWA Lapel Badge

A new IWA lapel badge is now available to buy from IWAshop.  High quality 'cloisonne' metal and enamel badge which all members will be proud to wear. IWA's logo is in silver coloured metal with a blue background. It is 18mm long. The standard fitting is a pin with a small butterfly clasp on the back so that it can also be worn as tie pin.

Available to buy for £3.99 from www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=1573


Inglesham Fundraising Update

£49,041 has been pledged so far.

Proposed works for this year include damming of the canal from the Thames and the construction of a piled landing stage for the lock.

To donate please go to www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=1294


IWA Volunteering Opportunities

Office Volunteers Required

We are looking for an additional volunteer to help out at our Head Office in Chesham. Work hours are flexible and full training will be provided. For further information please email gemma.bolton@waterways.org.uk.


IWA Branch and Region Help Wanted

For a full list of volunteer opportunities go to: www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies


Other News

Canal series on the One Show

BBC1's The One Show plans to air a series of items about the canals for a week. The canal series begins 22nd August and will run daily on The One Show at 7pm on BBC One.


Council pledges support for Buckingham Canal restoration project

South Northamptonshire Council has pledged its full support for the restoration of the disused Buckingham Canal, which closed down in the 1960s. The Buckingham Canal Society would like to see the waterway restored and reopened, using the original route wherever possible, and is seeking to develop partnerships with landowners, local authorities and other organisations to help it achieve its aims.

The council will now work to:

  • Keep the Society informed of any consultations on plans and strategies, or other opportunities for the canal society to contribute to the development of its plans;
  • Provide advice on grant funding opportunities and assist the Society in applying for funds;
  • Consider opportunities to provide the Society with equipment and materials; and
  • Introduce the Society to other organisations that may assist its restoration plans.

The waterway to Buckingham ran a total of just under 11 miles from the Grand Union Canal at Cosgrove Lock along the Stony Stratford and Buckingham Arms. The original route passed through Old Stratford, Deanshanger, Thornton, Leckhampstead Wharf, Thornborough Mill, Maids Moreton Mill and Bourton Meadow.

Much of the canal is now dry, and parts have been built over. Certain sections of the route would need to be created anew due to the development that has taken place in and around villages since the canal’s closure.  

Early in 2010, the Society commissioned an outline feasibility study regarding the restoration of the entire length of the canal arm. The report concluded that it was a feasible project, although significant funding and commitment will be required.

More information about the Buckingham Canal and plans for its restoration are available at  www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk


Stroud Brewery Bridge Opens

The new bridge which carries the A46 over the old Thames and Severn Canal at Merrywalks, opened to traffic on 21st July, although there are still some finishing works to be carried out.

Work on the bridge, started in July last year and cost £1.8m.

The ongoing Cotswolds Canals Restoration Project aims to reconnect the River Severn with the River Thames.

There is more information on the Cotswolds Canals Projects at www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org/


Derby Canal restoration plan approved

Derby City Council has given outline planning permission to begin restoration work on seven miles of the Derby Canal from Swarkestone to Borrowash, as a result of campaigning from the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Society.

Part of the original route of the canal has been filled in, but there a footpath along nearly the whole length.
Erewash Borough Council and South Derbyshire District Council were due to consider applications for other sections of the canal later in July.


DCLG Consultation on the Draft National Planning Framework

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a consultation on the draft National Planning Framework. A criticism of the draft is that under this proposed system the presumption will be in favour of development.

Full details of the consultation can be found at www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/planningsystem/planningpolicy/planningpolicyframework/


Drought Restrictions

Due to an exceptionally dry spring and summer so far, the reservoir levels for the Oxford Canal are close to the minimum at which they can operate.

As a result British Waterways has imposed a restriction from Lock 15 Marston Doles to Lock 21 Claydon on the Oxford Canal from 2nd August until further notice. Access through these locks will be allowed between 9am-4pm only each day and locked outside these times.

British Waterways has also imposed restrictions on the locks at Hillmorton on the northern Oxford Canal and the on Leicester section of the Grand Union Canal for similar water shortage reasons.

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:

  • Blacks/Millets - 15% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Narrowboat Services - 10% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount  

Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.

To see details of how to take advantage of these offers, please make sure you have registered for the IWA website and then log in. Once you have logged in please go to www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/member_services/member_discounts_special_offers

For IWA members that receive a hard copy of this bulletin in the post, please contact the membership team on 01494 783453 for the details of the offers.



27th August - Sponsored IWAlk - Montgomery Canal
Details: The ideal opportunity to see the Montgomery Canal in all its glory and to see how much more work is necessary to join the English section down to Wales at Llanymynech.
More info: www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/appeals/iwalk___montgomery_canal

24th September 2011 - IWA AGM
IWA's National AGM will be held at 2.00 pm on Saturday 24th September 2011 at Cookley Village Hall, Lea Lane, Cookley, Kidderminster. DY10 3RH
More info: www.waterways.org.uk/agm/agm


Upcoming Work Parties

Please see below for a list of canal restoration and clean-up events. 

6th-7th August - Wendover Arm (wrgBITM)
Contact: Dave Wedd on 01252 874437 or email bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

13th-14th August - Wilts & Berks Canal, Seven Locks Flight (London WRG & KESCRG)
Contact: Tim Lewis on 07802 518094 or email london@wrg.org.uk


Upcoming Towpath Walks  

6th August - Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the Aire & Calder Navigation (IWPS)
We usually start at around 10.00 am and aim to finish at 4.00 pm, the length of the walk being about 5-6 miles. 
Ian Edgar, Top Lock House, 7 Lime Kiln Lane, Marple, SK6 6BX. Tel: 0161 427 7402 or e-mail ian@theedgars.co.uk

7th August – Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London
(London Walks)
Meet 2.30pm Bromley-by-Bow Station.Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk 

21st August – Regent’s Canal– Little Venice to Camden (London Walks)
Meet 2.30pm Warwick Avenue Station. Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk

29th August - Stourbridge Canal
(Jewels on the Cut) 
Details: 10.00am start. Jewels on the Cut is a leisurely stroll along the Town Arm of the Stourbridge Canal examining the industrial heritage of the area with particular reference to the Stourbridge Glass Industry.
Broadfield House 01384 812745

To advertise your towpath walks in the bulletin please email details to news@waterways.org.uk.


About People

We are sad to record the death of four well-known and very long-serving IWA members in the past few days.

John Bedingfield

John Bedingfield died on 25th July after a year fighting leukaemia. John was a member for nearly 35 years, including spells as Warwickshire Branch secretary and later chairman. He was actively involved in both the Hawkesbury National Festivals and in work parties on the Southern Stratford Canal and the Saltisford Arm restoration in Warwick. In recent years, after a period of six years working abroad, he became a member of IWA's National Promotions and Communications Committee when he was involved in the launch of the Inglesham Lock appeal.  John's funeral will be on 8th August at St Philips Church, Dorridge.

David Harman

David Harman died of a stroke on 17th July. He joined the IWA in 1958 and was soon involved as London & Home Counties Branch Secretary, preceding Graham Palmer. David worked with both David and Dennis Hutchings. He was an officer at several early national rallies. He was involved with the saving of navigation on the upper Medway in the mid-1970s. He was a committee member of IWA's Kent & East Susex Branch for the past 25 years. He was awarded the Richard Bird medal in 2009.

Val Kirkham

Val Kirkham died peacefully in hospital over the weekend of 16/17 July. Val and her husband Ralph were staunch campaigners and organised numerous events to ensure the retention and restoration of Saville Town Basin, Dewsbury (on the Calder Navigation) and the also the basin at Sowerby Bridge. Whilst Ralph was always the 'front of house' man, it was Val who did the back-room jobs and together they made a formidable team when Raph chaired IWA's national festival in York in 1975.  They were keen members of the Calder Navigation Society and great supporters of the fledgling Huddersfield Canal Society too.

Iris Piggott

We are also saddened to report the death, on 25th July, of Mrs Iris Piggott, long-standing IWA member, former secretary of the Wey & Arun Canal Trust and tireless worker for the restoration of that waterway.  Her funeral is on 15th August in Dorking.


Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton