IWA Bulletin July 2011

Top Story

The Waterways Festival, 29th to 31st July 2011

IWA’s Waterways Festival at Shobnall fields, Burton on Trent on 29th to 31st July 2011, looks set to be one of the best attended festivals for quite some time. A huge amount of local media interest is being shown in the festival and its many and various attractions. Over 350 boats and up to 250 exhibitors are now expected. The indications are that the town is taking the event to heart and that it will be the 'not to miss' event of the summer with a large local attendance expected over the three days.



Free Tickets for The Waterways Festival with Countryfile Magazine

IWA and Countryfile Magazine have teamed up to offer tickets for The Waterways Festival.  For more information and to enter please to go: http://www.countryfile.com/webform/win-pair-tickets-waterways-festival-burton-trent


Festival Volunteers

It takes over 300 volunteers to stage The Waterways Festival, so please, if you can spare any time, we need your support. On completion of the online volunteer form Ann Myall, Personnel Manager, will contact you nearer to the event and organise with you personally how you would like to help and in what are area.

  • During the actual event itself. No previous experience necessary, normally working in two hour slots. Simply complete the online form.
  • Local promotions in and around Burton itself. We aim to be out and about for the four weekends prior to the Festival, so need support for this, again no experience necessary as you will always be accompanied. Email if willing to help sandy.jones@waterways.org.uk 


Worldwide Radio Broadcast at The Waterways Festival

Amateur radio enthusiasts are set to stage a worldwide event at The Waterways Festival to celebrate the launch of British Inland Waterways on the Air (BiWota) – a 50-strong group of canal and amateur radio enthusiasts.

Dozens of Amateur Radio Operators are set to take part in the group’s first ever event which aims to share the pleasures of Britain’s inland waterways with people across the UK and world through radio communication from boats, towpaths and even a kayak!

The group will also be participating in the Radio Society of Great Britain’s annual ‘Islands on the Air’ contest from 11.00am Saturday for 24 hours.   The aim of the contest is for the Operators to put as many islands as possible on the air, often with the use of portable and battery-powered equipment. 


IWA News

Droitwich Canals finally open for 'business' 

Historic narrow boats Atlas and Malus were amongst the first vessels undertaking a test run prior to opening of the restored Droitwich Canals (picture right: ladywoodlockoutside Ladywood Lock Cottage on the Barge Canal). IWA started off the Canals' restoration in 1973 with a WRG Big Dig and formed Droitwich Canals Trust to promote the restoration. IWA subsequently loaned money to buy land and a trip boat, and helped Droitwich Canal Trust lease Droitwich Barge and Junction canals from Wychavon District Council. Throughout the long years of restoration, IWA arranged work parties through WRG, gave grants and arranged engineering advice, as well as arranging the insurance for the canal and the works on it, until BW took over responsibilities.

A whole weekend of celebrations marked the completion of the Droitwich Canals on Friday 1 July 2011, 72 years after they were officially abandoned. This event marked completion of the restoration of the waterways, the culmination of nearly forty years of community-led campaigning and volunteering to bring the canals back to their former glory.

240 years after they first opened on 27 June 1771, the newly restored waterway is the final link in a brand new ‘cruising circuit’ – the Mid Worcestershire Ring. The Ring allows boats, cyclists and ramblers to make a 21-mile circular journey through some of the UK’s most beautiful and historic countryside, from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to the River Severn, through the city of Worcester and back to Droitwich.

WRG Summer Canal Camps have begun!


On the Basingstoke Canal work has begun to build a lock landing stage which involves sheet piling and lots of digger and dumper work. The Basingstoke Canal is one of the few canals that WRG works on that is navigable. In the early 1970s restoration work began in earnest, and although 32 miles of the canal were reopened in 1991 there remains an ongoing need for maintenance and improvement works to sustain it.

There's also a WRG team at Eisey Lock on the Cotswold Canals focussing on demolition and rebuilding of the lower gate recesses and walls. WRG is helping the Cotswold Canals Partnership restore two locks on the Thames and Severn Canal and Stroudwater Navigation (collectively known as the Cotswold Canals) which once linked the Thames, through the Cotswold Hills, to the Severn.

To see details of other WRG Canal camps happening this year please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/wrg/canal_camps/canal_camp_dates

IWA’s New Amazon A-store

Check out IWA’s new Amazon A-store for the top range of barbeques, boating equipment, canoes, life jackets and other boat safety equipment and much more.



Residential Caretaker – Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

An opportunity has arisen for a new residential caretaker position on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.  It comes with a residential mooring (with local authority planning permission, just granted) at Heybridge Basin on the Navigation, for which the incumbent will be charged the going rate (dependent on boat length). The post holder will be expected to spend a minimum of 8 hours per week undertaking maintenance and security duties at the moorings area (e.g. grass cutting) for which they will receive a modest salary.  Because planning permission relevant to the mooring is for a fixed period, with renewal subject to review, the post would be for an initial period of 18 months.

For more information or to apply for the position go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/essex_waterways/boating/residential_vacancy or contact the navigation manager Colin Edmonds on 01245 226245 or 07966 375351


IWA Branch and Region AGMs

At their June meeting, IWA’s trustees agreed to make the current requirement for regions to hold an Annual General Meeting optional.  It will be up to each region to decide whether it wants to hold them in future or not.  Where region AGMs are not held, committee members and officers of the region other than the region chairman should be appointed by the branches within the region, with any disputes that cannot be amicably settled by the branches, or by majority view, being decided upon by the region chairman.  Where regions continue to hold AGMs, the costs of doing so should be met by the branches within the region.  Trustees will be amending the region byelaws shortly to reflect this change.

Trustees have also changed the Branch Byelaws, so that the time each year by when a branch is required to hold its AGM has been extended to the end of May, from the current end of March deadline.  Branches are also now allowed to give formal notice of AGMs on the branch’s area of IWA’s website, as well as other current methods such as inclusion in newsletters.   These changes for branches and regions are part of a move to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and cost.


Ballot for Trustee Elections 2011

Nominations for the 2011 trustee ballots closed on 1st July.  For the nationally elected members, there were two vacancies and two nominations (Ray Carter and Gordon Harrower).  Doug Beard decided not to stand again.  For the three regionally elected members (London, Eastern and South East), there was one nomination in each case (Paul Strudwick, Alastair Chambers and Paul Roper respectively).  No ballots are therefore required this year.  Because there was a vacancy, Paul Strudwick became London Region Chairman and a trustee with immediate effect. 

Septuagenarian Kayaker Completes Kendal to London Voyage with IWA's Help.

Peter Woolsey was just 16 in 1957 when he canoed on his own from Kendal to London by inland waterways. Peter, now 70, has just recreated the whole trip again.

IWA’s Jim Shead assisted by helping put together the route and provided advice, IWA’s Warwickshire branch arranged a reception for Peter as he approached Hawkesbury Junction, where the Oxford Canal meets the Coventry Canal, he was then assisted by Warwickshire Branch and then Oxfordshire Branch as he made his way down the Oxford Canal to complete his marathon Journey in London on 12th June.

Peter said: "Clive Henderson, IWA National Chairman, kindly met me at for supper at Napton with Greta and Adrian Russell and their very kind colleagues from IWA’s Warwickshire branch, my special thanks must go to Graham (Nick) whom I renamed Sampson for his valiant efforts in assisting me portage my kayak round so many locks during two days with them. I also want to mention Chris Wardley and his IWA team on the Oxford canal, especially Peter Ellement, who organised assistance and Tricia who organised a meeting for me with the Mayor of Banbury."


'IWA Credit Card' - Virgin Charity Credit Card Scheme

You can now support IWA could benefit by using a Virgin Charity Credit Card. IWA would receive 0.8% cash back on all your spending, which could be topped up to 1% (£1 for every £100 you spend) with Gift Aid.

For further information please visit http://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/charity-credit-card/


Inglesham Fundraising Update

£44,818 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 http://www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=1294


Help Raise Funds for IWA if you Shop On-Line

IWA now participates in the easyfundraising scheme. It's absolutely free to you and IWA can gain donations from the participating retailers of up to 2.5% or more of the value of your shopping when you use it.

For more information please see http://www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/online_fundraising_


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: http://www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies


Other News

Local Waterway Partnerships in the West Midlands and North West begin work

Appointments have been made to the trial Local Waterway Partnerships that will advise on and influence the management of canals and rivers in the North West and the West Midlands.  These trial Partnerships, alongside a third trial already underway on the Kennet & Avon Canal, will work with local waterway managers until the new waterways charity becomes fully operational in 2012.

The Partnerships held their inaugural meetings on 31 May (North West) and 15 June (West Midlands) where they started the process of working through management plans, looking at how to engage new volunteers and identifying potential sources of additional funds to help look after the waterways.  A written record of all meetings will be publicly available on the internet.

The chairs of the Partnerships, Professor Steven Broomhead in the North West and Peter Mathews CMG in the West Midlands, worked with Roger Hanbury of The Waterways Trust and with the local waterway managers, Debbie Lumb and Dean Davies respectively, to identify the founding members.  All positions on the Partnerships will be unremunerated, but agreed expenses will be reimbursed.

Subject to forthcoming consultation by Defra, each of the existing eleven administrative waterway regions in England and Wales will have Local Partnership Boards appointed by the new charity to guide local decisions.  The trials being set up now will provide important lessons ahead of 2012 about the scope of the charity’s Local Partnership Boards and how they should operate.  Further information is available at West Midlands Partnership Board and North West Partnership Board


National Waterways Bodies to Join Together

Agreement has been reached in principle for The Waterways Trust to merge its operations with the planned new waterways charity when it is established in England & Wales next year.

The organisations will bring together over 2,000 miles of historic canals, rivers and docks, three important waterways museums, the national waterways collection and national waterway archives.

The full detail of the merger will be developed over the coming months, with The Waterways Trust continuing with its programme of work. The new charity is expected to launch in April 2012, or soon afterwards, and The Waterways Trust's project-based fundraising and delivery work, and its role in building partnerships in England and Wales, will continue within the new charity.

The Waterways Trust’s three museums, at Gloucester, Ellesmere Port and Stoke Bruerne, will be transferred as a group and continue to be managed together in the new charity.


Waterways Projects Win Grant from the Big Lottery Fund


Projects to build an electric trip boat on the Chesterfield Canal Trust to refurbish the Iron Trunk Aqueduct at Cosgrove on the Grand Union Canal have both gained grants from the Big Lottery Fund. The projects were entered into the Jubilee People’s Millions competition and were both finalists in their regions. The winners were chosen by TV viewers after viewing short films about two projects and voting for the one they supported.

The Chesterfield Canal Trust won a cheque for £60,000 to build and equip an electric tripboat. The boat will be based at Kiveton Park. It will be fully accessible for the disabled, with an electro-hydraulic system to enable any user to steer the boat from anywhere within it, regardless of disability.

Wolverton & Greenleys Town Council won £60,000 to restore the Iron Trunk Aqueduct on the Grand Union Canal. The project will involve cleaning and repainting the aqueduct in its original colours and returning it to its former glory. The project will also include replacing information boards around the site for visitors, school children and canal users, as well as clearing vegetation to make the aqueduct more visible and to encourage more visitors.



First complete passage of the Chesterfield Canal for 104 years?

Andy Robinson, James Woods and Chris Capon took their canoe the full 46 miles of the Chesterfield Canal from Chesterfield to West Stockwith on the River Trent. They set out from Chesterfield on the morning of Friday 10th June and arrived at West Stockwith Basin 5.15pm on the Sunday. They carried the canoe, full of kit, round 52 locks and wheeled it on a special trolley on the unrestored section between Staveley and Kiveton Park.

The Chesterfield Canal Trust believes that this may be the first end-to-end passage of the Chesterfield Canal by a boat since the Norwood Tunnel collapsed in 1907.

The team did this for fun, as a challenge and to raise money - half will go to Fairplay and half to the Chesterfield Canal Trust. To donate, go to http://www.justgiving.com/sponsored-canal-dawdle or send a cheque to Andy Robinson, Hollingwood Hub, 22 Works Road, Hollingwood, Chesterfield, S43 2PF.


news_wyorks_towpath150pxWest Yorkshire Probation Community Payback Delivers Canalside Benefits

A 1km stretch of towpath along the Aire & Calder Navigation near Stanley Ferry has been improved by Community Payback teams from West Yorkshire Probation.  Work took place between October 2010 and May 2011 and covered the towpath between Stanley Ferry and Birkwood Lock.  Over 1,000 unpaid work days have been recorded by the group and a further 2km is planned in for the next section of towpath refurbishment, between Kings Road Lock working towards Fairies Hill Marina.


New Footbridge at Bow

The following link shows pictures taken by Tim Lewis of the new footbridge at Bow which is part of the Bow Flyover towpath works.



news_museumaward150pxCanal Museum Proves its Popularity

The Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne has won the 2011 Northamptonshire Heritage People’s Choice Award, for the second year running.

The Northamptonshire Heritage Awards celebrate achievement in museums and heritage across the county. For the People’s Choice Award, members of the public voted for their favourite museum, historic house or heritage centre. The strongly contested category attests to the popularity of the canalside museum.

David Henderson, Museum Manager, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the accolade. No other museum or heritage location has won the People’s Choice Award two years on the trot. Our success is down to the dedication of the staff team and invaluable support of the Friends of the museum and the local community. As well as receiving votes from people in the region, I was astounded to find out that we had support from Australia, New Zealand and Germany. It may be a small museum but it has international appeal!

The Canal Museum is housed in a restored cornmill in the picturesque canalside village of Stoke Bruerne in Northamptonshire. The museum is open daily from April to October, 10am to 5pm. For more information visit www.stokebruernecanalmuseum.org.uk


IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • 15% Discount Card for Blacks/Millets
  • 10% Discount at Willowbridge Marina for IWA Members 
  • 5% Discount at Midland Chandlers
  • Special Hire rates to IWA members with Europcar

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 http://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.


Events and Festivals

23rd July: Inglesham Lock Appeal Race Night
29th - 31st July: The Waterways Festival, Burton-upon-Trent; Craft Workshops; Tickets


Upcoming Work Parties

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

16th - 17th July - Basingstoke Canal (wrgBITM)
Details: Bank repairs.
Contact: Dave Wedd 01252 874437 or email bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

16th - 17th July - Thames & Severn Canal, Eisey Lock (London WRG)
Details: Dig Deep project.
Contact: Tim Lewis 07802 518094 or email london@wrg.org.uk


Upcoming Towpath Walks  

17th July – Regent’s Canal, Islington – Mile End
(London Walks)
Details: Meet 2.30pm Angel 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 or email sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476 or email rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk

24th July - Stourbridge Canal
(Jewels on the Cut)  
11.00am 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.
Contact: Broadfield House 01384 812745 

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


About People

Ron Bingham

Ron Bingham died on 21st June. Ron and his wife Olive were avid boaters on their narrowboat, 'Coal Boy'. Ron was, for many years, chairman of London Region’s Planning and Navigation Committee, and a member of IWA's National Navigation Committee. He was a key campaigner on planning issues on London's waterways. Perhaps his most notable achievement was in respect of the old Broad Street Line bridge over the Regents Canal in Hackney. The Railway had wanted a six months closure but he proved to the Inquiry that bridges could be removed and replaced with minimal stoppages.


Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Jo Gilbertson and Gemma Bolton