IWA Bulletin Mid-March 2011

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Cross Party Support for New Waterways Charity at IWA Parliamentary Dinner

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) held its annual parliamentary dinner on Tuesday 8th March.

In attendance were the waterways minister, Richard Benyon MP; former waterways ministers, The Rt Hon Alun Michael MP (Labour), Tony Baldry MP (Conservative) and Jonathan Shaw; together with The Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP, Secretary of State for Wales, who is IWA’s  local constituency MP. Anne McIntosh, chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee, and Roger Williams, Liberal Democrat spokesman for the waterways, also attended, together with 13 other MPs with key riparian constituencies. Tony Hales, and Robin Evans chairman and CEO of British Waterways and Dr Paul Leinster CEO of the Environment Agency were also present.

The dinner provided the opportunity to inform those present, of IWA’s support for the principle of the New Waterways Charity, and to focus on the best practical approach, so that progress to third sector status could be successful. This had to include, ensuring that adequate funding and other issues surrounding governance, together with the ability to subsequently include other waterways were properly accommodated.

There was a lively discussion within the room throughout the dinner, but a general consensus emerged from all sides of the political spectrum present that a third sector approach appeared to be a positive way forward, and that there was a case for the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group to reconvene and to look at these issues during the consultation period.  Alun Michael announced that he was taking positive steps to reconvene the group. The MPs present showed their support to Alun Michael and Tony Baldry over this undertaking , which is to proceed with  assistance from IWA’s  campaign team.


IWA News

Alun Michael MP Named IWA ‘Parliamentarian of the Year’

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has made its 2011 award for ‘Parliamentarian of the Year’ to the Rt Hon Alun Michael MP for Cardiff South and Penarth who also sponsored the evening.

The award was made at IWA's Parliamentary Dinner (see above) on 8 March.

The MPs included Richard Benyon, the waterways Minister, and the Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan, IWA constituency MP.

It was also attended by the senior representatives of Defra, British Waterways and the Environment Agency.

Clive Henderson, IWA national chairman was delighted at such good attendance for the Dinner and at the incisive contributions from so many of those present.

Turning to the presentation of the award, he said:

‘Alun has been a great supporter of the waterways for many years where his enthusiasm about the need to develop partnership between Government and the community and voluntary sector couldn’t be more relevant than it is now. When he was the Waterways Minister he recognised the need for public investment in the waterways.

He shares IWA's vision for the waterways to transfer to the third sector and has argued that case persuasively in Parliament and elsewhere, using his influence to maintain the opportunities for that transfer.’  

The announcement met with widespread approval from all those who were present.


Advance Tickets now on sale for The Waterways Festival 2011

Burton-upon-Trent, in east Staffordshire, is to host the 2011 Waterways Festival over the weekend of 29th-31st July on Shobnall Fields. There will be over 350 boats; exhibitors with wares ranging from chandlery to home-made sweets; live bands and other entertainment; real ale bar; fairground rides and Wild over Water activities for children.

  • Three day advance, daytime only ticket - £15 (£19 on gate)
  • Adult advance ticket - £8 (£10 on gate)
  • Concession ticket - £7 (£8 on gate)
  • Children under 16 GO FREE! When accompanied by an adult.

Order your tickets online: http://www.waterways.org.uk/shop/list_products?category=212

Keep up to date with the latest festival news and sign up to the Festival Times newsletter: http://www.waterways.org.uk/em-signup 


Craft Workshops at The National Waterways Festival

You can now book for craft workshops taking place at The Waterways Festival 2011, 29th-31st July on Shobnall Fields.

New workshops for 2011 - Appliquéd patchwork, Folk Art and Crochet.

Other workshops - Button Fenders, Side Fenders, Rope Splicing and Maintenance, Decorative Rope Work, Beginner’s introduction to hand painted lettering, Painting Traditional Roses and Castles, Bold and Beautiful Jewellery, Big Knitting, Rag Rugs, Victorian Fabric Christmas Tree Decorations, Willow weaving

All materials and tools are provided at cost in all workshops. Students will be able to take home a finished or partly finished article.

For more details or to book your workshop visit http://www.waterways.org.uk/events_festivals/the_waterways_festival/craft_workshops or ring 01494 783453 extension 603 and ask to book on the Festival Workshops.


Re-opening of Hall Bridge on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

The Chairman of Essex Waterways, Roy Chandler, welcomed the Chairman of Essex County Council,  Rodney Bass, representatives of Maldon District Council and the Local Parish Council to the official opening of Hall Bridge near  Heybridge on 5th March. The official party had arrived by boat from Daisy Meadow, Heybridge for the opening and were warmly greeted by a small group of the volunteers who had helped restore the bridge. In his remarks before opening the bridge Councillor Bass praised the project as a shining example of volunteers and local government at all levels working together for the improvement of the environment.

Essex Waterways Ltd, undertook the re-building of the bridge in 2010 as part of its continued improvements of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. The design of the new bridge is based on the original timber bridges used on the Navigation. All architectural and engineering design was undertaken by volunteers.

Work of re-building the bridge started in February 2010 with a week-long Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camp. They undertook the demolition of the badly eroded deck of the old bridge. Local contractors were used to rebuild the brick parapet walls and install the bridgedeck. A further Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camp formed the three connecting footpath links.

Some of the money for the work came from the Redrow Homes development which is adjacent to the bridge. This was supplemented by footpath funds from Essex County Council. This money, together with the considerable volunteer contribution from Essex Waterways Ltd and the Waterway Recovery Group, has resulted in an improved footpath network and enhancement to the designated Conservation Area. This was achieved at under half the cost of the original consultants estimate.

Hall Bridge is believed originally to have been a swing bridge to allow sailing barges up to Bentalls Warehouse. The later brick built bridge which had “keyclamp” handrails and a concrete deck was suffering badly from erosion of its steel support beams.

Whilst not part of the official public footpath network, the bridge has an important role as a missing link. It is well used as part of the circular walk comprising the Navigation towpath and the sea wall to the Blackwater Estuary. It  provides a convenient route for residents in Freshwater Cresent and the new Lakes development. This was recognised by Maldon District Council when granting planning permission for this development with a requirement that Section 106 funding be made available to assist with rebuilding.

For further information and photographs please go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/essex_waterways/repairs_maintenance/opening_of_hall_bridge_near_maldon


Virgin Money Giving Fundraising Pages

Planning a sponsored event? You can now set up your own fundraising page for IWA on the Virgin Money Giving website:



Inglesham Fundraising Update

£33,000 has been pledged so far, but there is still an enormous gap between what has been raised and what is needed to complete works planned for this year.

Check out what needs to be done this year http://www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/appeals/work_plan_2011

We have updated the donation page so that it's easier to make a donation 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_


Organise an Event for the Inglesham Lock Appeal

If you or your branch would like to organise an event to raise funds for the Inglesham Lock Restoration Appeal, please contact gemma.bolton@waterways.org.uk


IWA Volunteering Opportunities

Canalway Cavalcade 30th April - 2nd May 2011

We are looking for volunteers to assist in running Cavalcade over the weekend to do jobs such as setting up equipment, erecting signs and fencing, bucket rattling, brochure distribution, stewarding and bar staff.

For more information please see http://www.waterways.org.uk/events_festivals/canalway_cavalcade_2011_/volunteer_opportunities


The Waterways Festival 29th - 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 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 


IWA Branch and Region Help Wanted

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


Photo Archivist Required

We are looking for a volunteer archivist to help re-organise our digital photo archive and scan in our paper and slide archives 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.


Other News

Local Mooring Strategy update

IWA’s chairman of Navigation Committee, met with BW to discuss the apparent lack of progress with local mooring strategies and to understand the issues. Progress with the Kennet and Avon Canal trial has been very slow, with some stakeholders being reluctant to accept the need for their lifestyle to be affected by any regulation, even if this was in fact a more rigorous enforcement of the current rules regarding overstaying at visitor moorings. BW is now in the process of trialling another approach on the Lea and Stort, IWA saw the draft proposals which are currently out for consultation. These in summary envisage dividing the Lea into 6 zones, which BW terms ‘neighbourhoods’, along its entire length, between which boats are required to undertake a continuous journey staying no more than 14 days in any one neighbourhood at any one time, and not being allowed to return to the same zone within a fixed time limit. Extended stay charges will be applied to any boats exceeding the time limits in each zone.

IWA is supportive of the process of improving enforcement of the existing rules, although it has some matters of detail it wishes to further discuss relating to some of the conditions, and practicalities, it therefore generally welcomes the principle of the approach, which allows boats to remain on the Lea indefinitely, provided that they abide by the rules. 

For more information please see http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/listening-to-you/consultations-and-reviews/current-consultations

2011 Census

This year’s Census takes place on 27th March and should include all people, households and overnight visitors. It is used to help plan and fund services for your community - services like transport, education and health.

Taking part in the census is very important and it's also compulsory. You could face a fine if you don't participate or if you supply false information. Most people will receive their census forms either via the Royal Mail or hand delivered. However, continuous cruisers and other boaters without a fixed address may be missed.

If you haven't received a form by 18th March you can contact the Census Helpline on 0300 0201 101 and arrange for a form to be delivered.

Further information is available at www.census.gov.uk.


IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

The following special offers are now available exclusively 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 go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/member_services/member_discounts_special_offers_public

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

29th April - 2nd May: National Campaign Festival, Northampton
30th April - 2nd May: Canalway Cavalcade, London
27th - 30th May: Welsh Waterways Festival & IWA National Trailboat Festival

10th - 12th June: Stoke Bruerne Gala Weekend

29th - 31st July: The Waterways Festival, Burton-upon-Trent


Upcoming Work Parties

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

19th - 20th March - Thames & Severn Canal (wrgBITM)
Contact: Dave Wedd 01252 874437 or email bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

1st - 2nd April - Swansea Canal Big Clean-up.
Contact: enquiries.southwalessevern@britishwaterways.co.uk or call 01452 318000

2nd - 3rd April - Wey & Arun Canal (NWPG)   
Contact: Bill Nicholson 01844 343 369 or email bill@nwpg.org.uk

9th - 10th April - Birmingham Canal Navigations Cleanup
Contact: WRG Enquiries 01494 783453 or email enquiries@wrg.org.uk www.wrg.org.uk

9th - 10th April - Hereford & Gloucester Canal (wrgBITM)
Contact: Dave Wedd 01252 874437 or email bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

9th - 10th April - Thames & Severn Canal (KESCRG)
Contact: Eddie Jones 0845 2268589 or email eddie@kescrg.org.uk


Upcoming Towpath Walks

17th March - Wey & Arun Canal (Wey & Arun Canal Trust)
Details: 10.00am start. 5.5 mile guided walk taking in locks 12 to 6 on the canal near the Surrey/Sussex border. Sir Roger Titchborne pub car park, Alfold Bars, Loxwood,
Sussex, RH14 0QS. (TQ 037334)
WACT Office 01403 752403 office@weyandarun.co.uk www.weyandarun.co.uk

20th March – Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London (London Walks)
Details: 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.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk.

20th March - Gloucester & Sharpness Canal (Friends of Purton)
Details: 1.00pm start. Guided tour through the remains of the Purton Hulks led by Paul Barnett.
Tour fee £3.50 per person. Approx 2 hours weather permitting. Meet Purton Lower Bridge, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal (SO692044).
Contact: Paul Barnett 07833 143231 barnadillo@aol.com www.friendsofpurton.org.uk

23rd March - River Itchen, Southampton (Hampshire & IoW Wildlife Trust)
Details: Guided Walk - Mansbridge. 10.30am - 12 noon. Meet at White Swan Pub, Mansbridge Road, West End, Southampton, SO18 3HW (on the A27, SU449156) for a stroll around the Navigation and Itchen Valley.
Contact: Polly Whyte: 01489 774413 PollyW@hwt.org.uk

24th March – Trent and Mersey and Shropshire Union canals, Middlewich (IWA Chester & District Branch) 
Details: The Big Lock, Webb’s Lane, Middlewich (CW10 9DW) is the base for this walk which follows the towing paths of the Trent and Mersey and Shropshire Union canals and uses the lanes, tracks and footpaths in the valley of the River Dane to connect the two canals.  The walk is 3.4 miles long, the map reference is 702 668 OS Explorer267.
Contact: Social Secretary 0151 608 6487.

3rd April – Paddington Branch, Grand Union Canal  (London Walks)   
Details: Paddington Basin, Little Venice. Meet 2.30pm, Edgware Road ( Circle & District) 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. 

9th April - The Lapal Canal (IWPS)
Details: Dudley No. 2 Canal aka The Lapal Canal. Start at around 10.00 am and aim to finish at 4.00pm, the length of the walk is about 5-6 miles. 
Contact: Ian Edgar, Top Lock House, 7 Lime Kiln Lane, Marple, SK6 6BX, 0161 427 7402 or e-mail ian@theedgars.co.uk

13th April - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Stafford (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: A circular walk of about 4.5 miles based around the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.  10.15 for 10.30 am start at the Radford Bank Inn (Crown Carvery), Radford Bank (A34), Stafford, ST17 4PG. Optional pub lunch afterwards. 
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore 07581 794111 margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

17th April – Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London  (London Walks)  
Details: 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.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk.

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

Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Jo Gilbertson and Gemma Bolton