IWA Bulletin June 2011

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All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group Discuss Financing of the NWC

The All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group met again on the 8 June at the House of Commons.

Former Cabinet Member and ex-Waterways Minister, The Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, chaired the meeting which was in the form of a formal inquiry into the financial arrangements of the proposed new waterways charity.

The following witnesses were called and gave evidence:

  • Robin Evans, CEO of British Waterways,  who was accompanied by Margaret Bennet , of Think Consultants  who are advisors to British Waterways on charity funding issues.
  • John Edmonds, chairman of IWAC, the independent statutory consultative body set up to advise government on the inland waterways.
  • Clive Henderson, chairman of the Inland Waterways Association.

Giving evidence to the inquiry on behalf of IWA, Clive Henderson briefed the assembled MPs on the history of the funding gap and built the case based on information in the public domain, that the amount of funding currently on the table amounted at best to a £15 million shortfall and possibly as much as £45 million. He then went on to detail that these figures didn’t seem to include an un-quantified dredging deficit amounting to 291kms of waterway, that might according to a freedom of information request  lodged by IWA, with British Waterways, amount to anything between £23 million to £245 million.

The conclusion was, according to IWA,  that whilst continuing to supporting a move into the third sector, the matter of accurately determining how much was needed to fund the effective operation of the waterways had not been undertaken and only figures based on maintaining principal assets were being used - not the actual cost of maintaining the ‘track’ and even within the estimates for principal assets, the costings were based on accepting a decline in standards to a level at which 26% would be in ‘poor condition’ over the period of the funding settlement from Government.

Clive ended by pointing out that to put the gap in funding in context, it was worth somewhere between 180-550 metres of the Government’s new HS2 project.

The Rt Hon Alun Michael MP is to consider all of the evidence presented and is minded to prepare a   report which may be submitted to the Waterways Minister. 

IWA is assisting the Parliamentary Waterways Group by providing ongoing secretarial support.

To read Clive Henderson's full report please go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/news/campaign_news/iwa_paper_for_pwg_inquiry_into_ncw_funding

IWA News


IWA National Restoration Appeal Race Night - Saturday 23rd July

‘Gee-Gees, Great Grub and Giggles’

Come along and join us at IWA’s National Restoration Appeal Race Night, and help us raise funds to restore Inglesham Lock on the Cotswold Canals.

Time: 7:00pm for 7:30pm dinner, followed by races
WRG Marquee, The Waterways Festival Site, Burton upon Trent, DE14 2BB. Click here for map
£6 per ticket, to include fabulous WRG kitchen supper OR if you can't attend why not just sponsor a horse and we will let you know if you win!

 To buy tickets for the evening (tickets will need to be shown on the night in order to gain access to the race night) please contact Jenny Black at IWA Head Office via email or 01494 783453 OR book online through IWA's shop. http://www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=1523

Whether you can attend or not, how about joining in the fundraising fun by sponsoring:

  • One of 8 races on the night (min £50) - race sponsors get to name their race and sit in the 'Royal Box' whilst watching their race, enjoying 'Bubbles and Nibbles' courtesy of the WRG kitchen
  • Sponsor a horse (£10) - Name your nag and if it's a winner you win too at odds of 3-1

If you would like to sponsor a race or horse, please contact Jude Palmer via email or 07739 045326. All cheques for sponsorship need to be made payable to 'WRG' and sent to: Jude Palmer, 3 Finwood Road, Rowington, Warks, CV35 7DH.



The Waterways Festival Launches Vibrant Craft Workshops

From painting traditional roses and castles or making your own fenders, rag rug or decorative rope work, The Waterways Festival 2011 has launched a vibrant mix of fourteen heritage and modern day crafts for people to try.

The creative workshops, which will run throughout the festival, have been specially designed to appeal to those who wish to learn more about the traditional crafts of the inland waterways or update their skills with new modern crafts such as big knitting.

Activities range from button and side fender making, traditional canal boat painting, willow weaving, rope splicing and new crafts such as big knitting and folk art.   All the workshops are professionally tutored, so booking a place in advance is advised.

Jose Maynard, IWA Craft Workshop organiser said: “We are delighted to be able to offer a wide variety of crafts at the festival this year, for people who enjoy learning traditional and new crafts.

“We have excellent tutors holding the workshops, amongst which we have a Guinness World Record holder, Ingrid Wagner – who knits textiles on a very large scale – she has a unique 21st century approach to knitting!   A good number of our tutors also belong to professional associations such as the International Guild of Knot Tyers and the Waterways Craft Guild.

“Traditional waterways crafts are becoming increasingly popular across the UK and we hope that festival visitors will join in the fun!”

Craft Workshops can be booked now and the courses on offer are:

  • Button Fenders (Tutor: Dave Walker)
  • Side Fenders (Tutors: Dave Walker and Bob Myall)
  • Rope Splicing and Maintenance (Tutor: Colin Grundy)
  • Decorative Rope Work (Tutor: Bob Myall)
  • Beginner’s introduction to hand painted lettering (Tutor: Dave Moore)
  • Painting Traditional Roses and Castles (Tutor: Julie Tonkin)
  • Bold and beautiful jewellery (Tutor: Phil Stone)
  • Big Knitting (Tutor: Ingrid Wagner)
  • Rag Rugs (Tutor: Kath Evans)
  • Victorian Fabric Christmas Tree Decorations (Tutor: Eileen Garner)
  • Willow weaving (Tutor: Eddie Glew)


  • Appliquéd patchwork (Tutor: Rosemary Wiffen)
  • Folk Art (Tutor: Julie Tonkin)
  • Crochet  (Tutor: Pat Walker)

To find out more about The Waterways Festival Craft Workshops, please visit www.thewaterwaysfestival.co.uk or to book a place please call 01494 783 453 ext 603 and ask for festival workshops or book online.


news_woolsey_warks_150px IWA Warwickshire Branch supports 'marathon' kayaker

Peter Woolsey was 16 in 1957 when he canoed on his own from Kendal to London by inland waterways. Peter, now 70, is recreating the whole trip again. The Inland Waterways Association has supported the trip by giving publicity, support and advice.

IWA Warwickshire branch arranged a reception for Peter as he approached Hawkesbury Junction, where the Oxford Canal meets the Coventry Canal, on Sunday 5th June (see photo). Peter said he was absolutely astonished by the reception he got to welcome him to Hawkesbury by IWA Warwickshire members and generally humbled by the support of the enthusiastic members and their level of interest in what he was doing to raise awareness of the waterways, and inspire people to take up canoeing or kayaking as a leisure activity with the help of IWA and the BCU.

He also said he would be grateful for the assistance of anyone near to the locations he was passing through for a helping hand with portage around the locks and under bridges at locks which sometimes are a bit tricky single handed.

Peter left from Kendal in Cumbria on Saturday 28th May 2O11 and is due to arrive at London Bridge on Sunday 12th June.

follow him for the rest of the route and read his blog online http://www.phpaddlers.com/p-and-h-sea-kayaks/70-years-old-and-still-going-strong-%E2%80%93-kendal-to-london-in-a-kayak/


news_rugeleywp_150pxRugeley Community Volunteers Improve Canal Aqueduct Area

A blustery wind and overcast sky greeted 19 volunteers as they gathered at the Brindley Bank Aqueduct area on Sunday morning.

With heavy showers forecast, the group rolled their sleeves up and tackled the long-standing graffiti on the bridge wall. Luckily, they had brought that magic ingredient, elbow grease! Four hours later the graffiti was gone.

Another group did an excellent job of painting the aqueduct railings white. The ‘gardening team’ cut the grass, removed Himalayan Balsam and trimmed vegetation along the path leading from Wolseley Road.

The work party was organised by the Inland Waterways Association, and supervised by British Waterways.  Volunteers included local residents, Inland Waterways Association Members, Rugeley Lions, Landor Society, Town Councillors, a Police Community Support Officer and helpers from Gnosall, Wolverhampton and Hednesford.

The work party was one of a series which are being held throughout the year. The longer term aim is to re-surface the path leading from Wolseley Road, re-profile the historic ‘Bloody Steps’, and improve the canalside area.

For information on future work parties, please email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk . Or ring 07581 794111.

(Photo by Margaret Beardsmore) See more photos of the workparty.


news_sharon_linacre_150pxSharon Linacre Runs Chester Half Marathon For IWA

On Sunday 15th May, Sharon Linacre ran the Chester Half Marathon, raising £175 for IWA through Virgin Money Giving.

Sharon's training involved weeks of preparation, some of it running and cycling the towpath of The Trent and Mersey and Shropshire Union Canal.

Sharon said "With my four stone weight loss and new found energy it has also made boating more enjoyable and locking is definitely easier now, and I can run between the pounds for fun."

Her target was 2 hours 20 minutes but she managed to achieve her personal best of 2 hours 12 minutes.

Donations can still be made to Sharon’s fundraising page. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=SharonLinacre&faId=96161&isTeam=false

For further information please see Sharon's account. http://www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/news/campaign_news/sharon_linacre_runs_chester_half_marathon_for_iwa


'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, topped up to 1% with Gift Aid which could work out as £1 for every £100 you spend.

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


Inglesham Fundraising Update

£44,203 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

The Waterways Festival at Burton-on-Trent 29th to 31st July 2011

It takes over 300 volunteers to stage this event , 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 


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

Founding Trustees Appointed for New Waterways Charity

The founding trustees have been appointed for the new waterways charity that will take over the running of British Waterways’ canals, rivers and docks in England and Wales from April 2012. Working closely with British Waterways’ Board until the new charity takes control,

The new waterway charity’s inaugural trustees are:

Lynne Berry OBE
John Bridgeman CBE
Jane Cotton
John Dodwell
Tom Franklin
Tony Hales CBE
Nigel Hugill
Simon Thurley

For detailed biographies please go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/news/other_news/nwc_founding_trustees


1470 Charity Fundraisers on the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation for 'Walk for Life'

1470 walkers took part in 'Walk for Life' along the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation canal towpath on Sunday 15th of May. The annual sponsored walk aimed to raise £125,000 for the Farleigh Hospice who provide care, free of charge, to local people affected by life limiting illnesses.

The Navigation is managed by Essex Waterways Ltd. on behalf of IWA and stepped in to prevent its closure in 2005.


The Iron Trunk Aqueduct waterways project

The Iron Trunk Aqueduct waterways project has reached the finals in the Peoples Millions.

The Iron Trunk Aqueduct carrying the Grand Union Canal over the River Ouse near Cosgrove is 200 years old this year and British Waterways supported by local partners, including IWA, are seeking funding to give it a well deserved make-over. This will involve draining the aqueduct, cleaning and repainting it, and removing vegetation. Other initiatives involve a community recording project, the creation of a circular walk and use of the recording project as an educational resource for school activities. The voting happens by phone on 27th June, but a message of support can be left on the Peoples Millions website here.


The application is for £60k towards the project cost of around £300k, and every vote counts.


Moorcroft_Brindleys_Canal_vaseMoorcroft donate ‘Brindley’s Canal’ vase to support Etruria Canals Festival

World renowned Stoke-on -Trent art pottery Moorcroft donated a stunning vase ‘Brindley’s Canal’ to Etruria Canals Festival to award as a prize to the ‘Best turned out traditional working canal boat’.

The limited edition vase, designed by Kerry Goodwin, is valued at more than £1100 and was presented to the winner by Tristram Hunt MP when he opened the 18th Etruria Canals Festival on Saturday 4 June, at Etruria Industrial Museum on the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Caldon Canals at the heart of Stoke-on-Trent.

Moorcroft were delighted to support the 2011 Etruria Canals Festival, explaining “The history of the Potteries is defined by the relationship between ancient canals, smoking bottle ovens, coal and clay.  Brindleys Canal  is a natural expression of historic fact for Moorcroft and ties us to our home in the heart of a panorama of chimneys and smoke serviced by the waterways which were once the principal route to an outside world hungry for ceramics made in North Staffordshire.”

The vase celebrates “Brindley’s Canal” and incorporates rivers of pots flowing from Staffordshire potbanks and a multitude of bottle ovens belch out smoke. A small boy is lost amongst the mass of productivity. His guardians stand momentarily in their 1930’s attire, adding a human element of colour to the industrial landscape along the Trent and Mersey Canal where boats ply their cargoes to and fro. The landmark design (117/9), new for 2011, comes in a limited edition of 100 pieces. www.moorcroft.com

Stoke-on-Trent City Council continues to support the ever popular Canals Festival event, even though some city museums are under threat of closure from spending cuts announced earlier this year. Volunteer friends of Etruria Industrial Museum are hoping to establish a charitable trust to run it in the future; to find out more visit http://www.friendsofetruriamuseum.org.uk/ and click on “Support us”.


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

10th - 12th June: Stoke Bruerne Gala Weekend

1st - 3rd July: Droitwich Canal Opening
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. 

18th - 19th June - Wilts & Berks Canal (wrgBITM) 
Details: Lock 2 at Seven Locks, preparing for the new bridge.
Contact: Dave Wedd 01252 874437 bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

25th - 26th June - Basingstoke Canal (NWPG)
Details: Construction of back pump pipe.
Contact: Bill Nicholson 01844-343369 bill@nwpg.org.uk

25th June - 2nd July - Basingstoke Canal (WRG)
This camp will involve building a lock landing stage or two which involves sheet piling. As ever with the Basingstoke Canal, there will be lots of digger and dumper work.
Contact: Jenny Black 01494 783453 ext.604 or email enquiries@wrg.org.uk or book online

Upcoming Towpath Walks  

 12th June - Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (IWA Chelmsford Branch)
Details: The walk will cover the top half of the navigation from Chelmsford to Paper Mill Lock. The cost will be £2 per adult and includes transport from Paper Mill Lock back to Chelmsford and is open to anyone who would like to join us.
Contact: Paul Strudwick 01245 358342 paul.strudwick@waterways.org.uk

15th June - Evening Walk from Wolseley Bridge (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: A circular walk on the edge of Cannock Chase returning along the Trent & Mersey Canal.  About 4 miles.  Optional pub meal afterwards.  Meet at 6.30 for 6.45 pm start at The Wolseley Arms, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford, ST17 0XS (junction of A513 and A51 between Rugeley and Stafford).
Contact: Tim Burgin, Tel: 01889 579039 or Email: timburgin@btinternet.com

17th June - Grantham Canal Evening Walk (IWA Notts & Derbys Branch)
Details: Meet at 7pm. The Walk will be led by Colin Bryan of the Grantham Canal Society, and will take in some of the navigable stretch of the canal before returning to the Rutland Arms for refreshments.
For further information
: please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/regions_branches/east_midlands/Notts_Derbyshire/grantham_canal_walk_june_2011

19th June – River Lea, Enfield Lock, Ponders End (London Walks)
Details: Meet 2.30pm Enfield Lock 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

25th June - Stourbridge Canal (Broadfield House Glass Museum)       
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. Cost is £3.50 per adult, under-16s by arrangement.
Contact: Broadfield House 01384 812745

3rd July – Regent’s Canal, Little Venice to Camden (London Walks)
Details: 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 or email sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476 or email rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk 

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


About People

Laurel Stevens

Laurel Stevens passed away just after 10.00 pm on Sunday 8th May. She was an IWA member for nearly 44 years. She edited the SONACS Newsletter for 20 years producing 8 issues a year across a period moving from Gestetner sheets to photocopying. She was a talented artist and often illustrated the Newsletters.

Gill Rimmer

Gill Rimmer passed away peacefully on the morning of 1st June. She fought a battle with cancer for over 12 years. A vibrant and cheerful lady who many will remember from the days of Black Prince boats and more recently Challenger. Gill was a devoted canal and narrow boat enthusiast who will be remembered by many.

Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Jo Gilbertson and Gemma Bolton