IWA Bulletin August 2013

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IWA Work Parties Other News

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Top Story

IWA National Festival Opened with Campaigning Speech  

IWA’s National Festival, which took place at Cassiobury Park, Watford, over 19th to 21st July was formally opened with welcome speeches from the Mayor of Watford, Councillor Dorothy Thornhill MBE and Festival Chairman Michael Stimpson, followed by a campaigning speech from IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge. 

In his speech, Les Etheridge revealed that meetings are being sought with senior parliamentarians to try to safeguard the Environment Agency’s navigations by enabling their transfer to Canal & River Trust in pursuit of IWA’s long-held National Conservancy ideal, notwithstanding the Waterways Minister’s recent statement that matters were delayed owing to spending cutbacks.  Les Etheridge also drew attention to the extensive lobbying currently being undertaken to provide the best safeguards for Britain’s waterways affected by the HS2 rail proposals.

The full text of Les Etheridge’s speech is as follows:
"Firstly, may I thank you Dorothy, as Mayor of Watford for opening our 2013 National Festival, here in Cassiobury Park, and what a splendid location it is.

Also whilst it has already been said, I must add my thanks to all the volunteers who make this event possible every year.

The Inland Waterways Association advocates the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and development of the inland waterways for public benefit.  In short this means that we aim to do what is good for the inland waterways and all the many people who use them.

Since the 1950s we have been advocating that the inland waterways should be run outside of government control by a National Waterways Conservancy.  Last year the creation of the Canal & River Trust was a first step towards achieving this. IWA had hoped that the navigations controlled by the Environment Agency would be part of Canal & River Trust when it was set up last July. 

The Government stated at the time that it was their policy that the Environment Agency navigations should transfer to Canal & River Trust at a later stage, potentially in 2015/16.

Earlier this month the government made two announcements of significance to the inland waterways. Firstly the transfer of the Environment Agency navigations would not happen in 2015/16 but  the transfer remained government policy. Secondly the Defra budget would be cut by 10%.

Until last year both the British Waterways and Environment Agency navigations were part of Defra’s responsibilities.  So a reduction in Defra’s funding in the past left both exposed to budget cuts.  The position now is very different as Canal & River Trust has a guaranteed funding package covering 15 years whereas the Environment Agency’s funding is dependent on what Defra can make available. So the two major inland waterway navigation authorities both previously under government control are now headed in very different directions.

Canal & River Trust can plan for the future but the Environment Agency can’t.

Is that reasonable, sensible or justifiable?  It clearly isn’t.

Combining the navigations in the new charity offers economy of scale and opens the door to new fundraising opportunities that are not currently fully available.  Deferring the chance to take advantage of these benefits makes no sense when money is tight.

IWA has asked for meetings with both the minister and the shadow minister so that we can make our disappointment and frustration clear.

We will continue to campaign for the transfer to take place at the earliest possible opportunity.

The new high speed rail link HS2 provides threats to parts of the current inland waterway network and also restoration schemes.

IWA is working closely with other waterways organisations to ensure there is a common understanding of the issues. A project of this nature is bound to have impact and we are working to ensure the best possible outcome for the inland waterways in terms of protection, mitigation and, where possible, betterment.

The IWA marquee includes displays on HS2. Please do go and look at them and also take the opportunity to let us know your views.

As part of enjoying your time at the Festival I would encourage you to take a walk along the towpath.  You will see lots of boats but there is much more for example nature, wildlife and heritage.  You can marvel at the skills of the engineers who in the eighteenth century could ride on horseback across the country to plan and then deliver a project the equivalent of HS2.  Protecting all of this is what IWA is all about.

Our inland waterways are very special so help protect and support them by being a member of IWA. There is a special offer for those who join at the Festival and my colleagues in the IWA marquee will be very happy to talk to you.

Enjoy the Festival.

Thank you."

IWA News

IWA Statement on Canal & River Trust Visitor Moorings

IWA has called upon Canal & River Trust to be steadfast in its resolve to sort out the misuse of visitor moorings by boaters, many without home moorings, who occupy such popular spots on a near continuous basis.  The call comes in the wake of a ruling by Lord Justice Jackson to allow a judicial review sought by Mr Nick Brown, who is claiming that Canal & River Trust has misinterpreted section 17(3)(c)(ii) of the 1995 British Waterways Act in its moorings guidance.  This is the latest in a long list of legal attempts by Mr Brown to challenge Canal & River Trust’s ability to manage visitor moorings.

IWA believes the essence of Mr Brown’s claims is that any boater should be able to moor wherever he or she wants, shuffling short distances within a small area every 14 days, for as long as they want, on a first come, first served basis, regardless of popularity or demand for visitor moorings.  IWA believes that such a ‘free-for-all’ would  not be in the best interests of most boaters and points to overcrowded moorings in London and the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal where some boaters, including some residentials, have monopolised many visitor moorings to the exclusion of genuine visiting boaters.

Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, said “Canal & River Trust has a duty to manage visitor moorings in the best interests of the whole boating community.  We are disappointed that Mr Brown’s actions will require  CRT’s charitable funds to be used to re-examine the facts yet again, and that Lord Justice Jackson has acceded to the application.  These funds would be much better spent on maintenance.

IWA has a heavy postbag from boaters concerned at the visitor moorings situation, with the vast majority of boaters wanting CRT to take fair, but tough, action against those who are abusing the rules who seem to have little regard for the wider boating community.  IWA fully supports and encourages residential boaters provided they act responsibly, and IWA believes that those who have established lifestyles as a lack of past enforcement by CRT and its predecessor British Waterways need to be treated with sympathy and fairness; but a judicial review of the moorings guidance  will simply risk further frustration amongst a majority of boaters about an increasingly unsatisfactory position.”

Canal & River Trust has acknowledged that the Judicial Review of its Guidance does not prevent any ‘section 8’ enforcement proceedings continuing, as the courts will decide on whether the requirements of s.17 (3)(c)(ii) have been met by reference to the facts of each individual case.  This is already stated in CRT’s Guidance.

On 23rd July 2013, at the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Jackson confirmed the decisions of three previous judges not to give permission to argue four out of the five issues raised by Mr Nick Brown in his claim for a judicial review of the Canal & River Trust’s ‘Guidance for boaters without a home mooring’.  Lord Justice Jackson acknowledged that the interpretation of one sub-section of the British Waterways Act (s.17(3)(c)(ii)) was not an easy matter and might benefit from further consideration.

Mr Brown raised his claim for judicial review in early 2012 but in litigation of this type the claimant has first to get the permission of the courts to take it forward.  Such permission has been refused to Mr Brown on three previous occasions, but at the fourth time of asking the Court of Appeal has given permission for arguments to be heard, on strictly limited grounds, on just one of the issues that he put forward.  Mr Brown had sought in his claim to argue:

a. that it was unlawful for the Trust to issue any guidance on the issue of boaters without a home mooring
b. that the Guidance misinterprets s.17(3)(c)(ii) of the British Waterways Act 1995;
c. that the Trust may not use s.43 Transport Act 1962 to impose certain terms and conditions;
d. that the Trust might be in breach of boaters human rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights; and finally
e. that in publishing the Guidance the Trust (or its predecessor British Waterways) was in breach of the Equality Act 2011.

Of these Lord Justice Jackson has only given limited grounds to consider claim (b).

UK to Challenge European Commission Over Red Diesel

On 24th July, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs indicated that the UK Government intends to challenge the Reasoned Opinion issued by the European Commission in May. A challenge, which is supported by IWA.

The Reasoned Opinion was issued by the Commission in support of its formal request that the United Kingdom amend its legislation “to ensure that private pleasure boats such as luxury yachts can no longer buy lower taxed fuel intended for fishing boats”.  Making the use of white diesel compulsory for leisure boaters would have a number of consequences for both boaters and fuel suppliers. IWA is concerned at the costs to boaters having to change their equipment to enable them to use white diesel as well as the cost to fuel suppliers in having to install a new or second tank and pump in order to supply white diesel.

IWA considers that it is simply not practical for most boats that use the inland waterways to have two tanks – one for red diesel and one for white; that inappropriate modifications would raise safety concerns; and that many diesel suppliers would not supply both red and white diesel.

More information regarding IWA’s views on the current issues surrounding the use of red diesel by boaters can be found in the IWA briefing note.

White is the New Red – WRG Volunteers Restore Historic Bridge on the Grand Union Canal 

Lady Capel’s Bridge (Number 163) on the Grand Union Canal is a grade 2 listed bridge that was in desperate need of repairs and repainting. Over the past two weeks, ten dedicated volunteers from IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group took up the challenge and set about restoring the bridge. Firstly, staff from Canal & River Trust removed the damaged paintwork allowing WRG volunteers to repoint and repaint the exposed brickwork. The volunteers then spent three days applying a breathable white paint to the bridge returning it to its former glory. WRG was happy to help restore the bridge in Watford as part of the Waterways Festival’s celebration of the Grand Union Canal and thoroughly enjoyed speaking to passing walkers, boaters and cyclists about the work and WRG’s involvement in canal restoration.

This project continues to demonstrate the real benefits that volunteers bring to the waterways and highlights the importance of working in partnership with Canal & River Trust to help maintain our canals. Visit the WRG gallery to see photos of the volunteers in action.

IWA “WOW”s Watford Parents  

IWA’s National Festival at Cassiobury Park in Watford was blessed with warm weather, a lovely site and great moorings for the boats.  Families turned out to enjoy the event and over 400 children signed up for a WOW children’s activity Passport.

With brass rubbing, crafts, “Right Tool for the Right Job” and our new “Build a Bridge” activity to name but a few, children and parents took part with great enthusiasm.  There was a huge mix of nationalities and ages – one child could speak Russian, Italian and Egyptian as well as English due to her parentage – and some necessitating sign language and demonstrations to show how the activity worked – so the volunteers were busy all weekend. 

Supporting activities were provided by the Medics on site, the National Trust, RSPB, the International Guild of Knot Tyers and London Canal Museum whilst Waterway Recovery Group did their very popular brick laying as well as offering digger training to all ages.

The WOW team received many kind words from parents and children who really appreciated the activities on offer.  One parent was even moved to write thanks and compliments into the book at our Information Desk on her way out which was much appreciated.

The aim of the WOW activities is to help children learn more about their waterways and the history behind them in a fun way.  The families of Watford certainly helped us to achieve that aim.

To find out more about WOW activities or if canal societies or other waterway group would like to borrow one of IWA’s WOW kits for their event, please get in touch with Gillian Bolt at gillian.bolt@waterways.org.uk and take a look at the web page.

WRG Trains Volunteers of the Future at Waterways Festival 

IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group successfully ran excavator driving and WOW bricklaying experiences on their stand over the weekend of the National Waterways Festival. The bricklaying activity was as popular as ever but the real success for 2013 was the new ‘learn to drive a digger’ experience. Hewden Plant Hire kindly donated the use of a 3-tonne excavator allowing members of the public to learn basic excavator skills under the instruction of WRG volunteers. The experience proved to be a popular activity over the weekend, with over 80 members of the public, aged between 3 and 62, taking part in the 15 minute experience – let’s hope it encourages a wider range of people to get involved in canal restoration work in the future.

IWA Chiltern Branch Gives Donations to Canal & River Trust 

IWA Chiltern Branch has donated £1000 to Canal & River Trust to help meet the costs of repairs on the Aylesbury Arm and the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

One of the donations of £500 was made to Jeff Whyatt, General Manager of CRT’s South East Area, and is for work on Lock 12 of the Aylesbury Arm, which collapsed in March. This is a very expensive task and the failure of the lock has closed the navigation. It is hoped that the work will be completed by October.

The other donation, also of £500, was presented to John Guest, General Manager of CRT’s London Area, as a contribution towards the costs of repairs to Reeds Bridge, a footbridge over the Slough Arm. The canal was closed whilst the footbridge was removed.

The cheques were presented to Jeff Whyatt and John Guest by IWA Chiltern Branch Chairman, Dave Chapman, at the IWA National Waterways Festival, Cassiobury Park, Watford.

Photo from left: Keith Clayton - IWA Middlesex Branch Chairman, Jon Guest - CRT London Region Manager, Brian Fender - London Region Partnership Chairman, Ian West - IWA Festivals Chairman, Dave Chapman - IWA Chiltern Branch Chairman, John Best - South East Region Partnership Chairman, Jeff Whyatt - CRT South East Region Manager and Paul Strudwick – IWA London Region Chairman.

HS2- Another Consultation

HS2 consultations have come in quick succession, the third now open and focusing on phase 2.

IWA has replied to the first two consultations, on Design Refinements, and a draft Environmental Statement on the phase 1 London to Birmingham route which includes the ‘stubs’ for routes to Manchester and Leeds, the latter of which has a major impact on the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley. These responses are on the website, and so far we have heard nothing more.

The third recent consultation is on the phase 2 routes announced at the end of January, from Birmingham to Leeds and from Birmingham to Manchester. There have already been two small changes from the January route, near East Midlands Airport, and at Sheffield Meadowhall. Launched on 17th July, this consultation closes on January 31st 2014 and is available to view or download on HS2’s website.

In view of the large size of the documents and the variety of information they contain, IWA will prepare a ‘digest’ focusing on waterway issues to be made available via our website for the benefit of our members. Those of you who visited the National Festival will have seen the map of the phase 2 routes with ‘Canal Impact Hotspots’ marked showing HS2’s effect on current navigations, with restoration impacts in addition.

So, whether your interests are narrow or wide canals, cruiseways or commercial, from the Trent and Mersey to the Manchester Ship Canal via the Aire and Calder, HS2 is affecting waterways and restorations as it plans its routes northward. Despite occasional press comment, parliament continues to legislate for its progress, and we all need to remain vigilant to ensure our waterways’ interests are protected for the long term.

If you have any information or comments please send them to hs2comments@waterways.org.uk.

National Waterways Festival 2013 - Award Winners

The winners of the 2013 National Waterways Festival awards have been announced and are as follows. Photos of award winners can be found on the IWA Facebook page.

Penny Briscoe Award
Best waterway/festival drawing or paining - under 9s
Ruby Moorse
Aged 6, Narrowboat Guelrose
Rank Hovis McDougall Trophy
Best cake made on site during the Festival
Marjorie Marchant
Narrowboat Constable
Offley Slack Propeller
Cruising club with highest percentage of boats attending the Festival
Cotswold Canal Cruising Club
Ray Dunford Trophy
Best illuminated boat to this year's theme of Elton John
Michael and Marion Birch
Narrowboat Muttley
East Staffordshire Floral Shield
Best floral decorated boat attending the Festival
Michael and Marion Birch
Narrowboat Muttley
The Campsite Award
Best decorated campsire unit (tent, caravan or motorhome)
Robert Taylor
A P Herbert Trophy
Longest journey to the Festival in qualifying period
John and Nancy Harman
Narrowboat Perfect Harmony
Robert Aickman Challenge Trophy
Most enterprising non-continuous journey to the Festival
Michael and Denise Bending
Narrowboat Densie
RCR Cruising Challenge
Most enterprising non-continuous journey to the Festival
David and Sylvia Jarvis
Narrowboat Orchid II
The Beta Marine Trophy
Best commercial stand at the Festival
Cook Spanish
Canal Boat Trophy
Best waterway related stand
Wey & Arun Canal Trust
Calor Rose Bowl
Best designed private galley
Rodney Wardlaw
Narrowboat Hazell Nut
Waterways World Challenge Shield
Best boat fit out by an amateur
Craig Haslam
Narrowboat Nimrod
Cressy Award
Best residential boat at the Festival
David and Angela Dunham
Narrowboat Norfolk Belle
Alfred Ritchie Cockerel Award
Best working boat at the Festival
Michael Pinnock
Narrowboats Clover and Fazeley
Marion Munk Memorial Trophy
Best private entry boat
Rodney Wardlaw
Narrowboat Hazell Nut
Lionel Munk Award
Best commercial boat at the Festival
Hotelboat Kailani
built by Aqualine Marine Ltd.

Canalway Cavalcade 2014 Preparation Begins

Canalway Cavalcade, now in its 31st year, is held over the three days of the May Day Bank Holiday in the heart of the capital in Little Venice. As preparations begin for the 2014 event the organisers are looking for volunteers to help in the following areas.

  • Catering Manager and Assistant
  • Entertainments Assistant
  • Site & Services Assistant
  • Sponsorship and Advertising Managers

For more information and to apply please contact Jerry Sanders, Commercial Director, at exhibition@waterways.org.uk or phone 07788 204442.

Booking forms for Canalway Cavalcade 2014 are now also available on the website.

IWA and Essex Waterways Ltd. Annual Report & Accounts and Annual Review

IWA's Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 31st December 2012 for both IWA and Essex Waterways Ltd. are now available online.  IWA's Annual Review for 2012-2013 is also available online and a printed copy will be included with the August edition of Waterways magazine – due to be delivered to members next week.

CRT & IWA 'All together better’ - Best Practice Workshop

On the 18th May IWA, Canal & River Trust and nearly 100 delegates from local waterway societies/trusts and partnerships attended a joint workshop in Birmingham. The workshop explored how artificial barriers can be broken down through working together for the benefit of the waterways.

A selection of presentations and documents from the day can be downloaded from these pages.

About People

We are saddened to report the recent death of Barbara Rees, aged 91. Barbara joined the committee of the former IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch (now IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch) in 1983 before becoming the Branch Chairman in 1988 and holding the position until 2001. Her long commitment to IWA and its work was recognised when Barbara was awarded a Richard Bird Medal in 2001.

IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:

Lichfield Branch - Lichfield Lines - Summer 2013
North & East London Branch and South London Branch - Meridian Cuttings - Autumn 2013
Chelmsford Branch - Chelmsford Branch Newsletter - July 2013

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:

East Midland Region - Aegre - Summer 2013

Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News - Summer 2013
North Riding Branch - The Northern Navigation News - Summer 2013

IWA Work Party Reports

IWA Chiltern Branch Balsam Bash at Marsworth  

Last year IWA Chiltern Branch climbed into the side ponds by Marsworth locks and pulled up and removed from site all of the Himalayan Balsam. Other branches across the country also removed Himalayan Balsam from their areas and on going back this year found that, although still there, the quantity of Himalayan Balsam was well reduced. This was not the case for IWA Chiltern Branch who, on their return on 24th July, found the plant to be completely absent from the area, highlighting just how successful the removal of this plant can be in capping its spread.

Despite there being no Himalayan Balsam the volunteers weren't short of work to do, climbing down into the side ponds they removed other invasive plants so that our native species could thrive and create a diverse habitat.

For more pictures visit our Facebook page.


IWA Volunteering Opportunities

IWA Branch Volunteer Vacancies:

Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches.


Other News

The Environment Agency Launch Mooring Enforcement Trial on the River Thames

The Environment Agency has announced trials of a new moorings enforcement scheme, using a firm of private contractors, at three of its moorings.  In general, unless otherwise indicated, boat owners can stop free of charge for up to 24 hours on public open land owned by the Environment Agency. Some moorings have an associated charge, either for mooring at any time, or after an initial free period. Unfortunately, some customers do not pay the charges applicable and stay moored up longer than they are entitled to.

The Agency says that misuse of moorings is widespread and causes constant problems for boaters on the Thames. However, the Agency finds that dealing with misuse is an expensive issue as the cost of pursuing offenders is often more than the value of the outstanding mooring fees. They are therefore looking for a faster enforcement solution, which could be adopted by the owners of moorings along the river. Such a solution would aim to increase access to free 24-hour moorings on the Thames and to allow Agency  enforcement officers to spend more time dealing with other important issues such as boat registration.

The Agency has announced a six-month mooring enforcement trial at three of its mooring sites, and is working with car park management company District Enforcement to apply the same civil enforcement rules used to monitor private car parks.

During the trial, any boat owner who breaches the conditions of use of the selected free 24-hour moorings will be issued with a penalty charge of £100 (£60 if paid early). If an offence is committed, Environment Agency officers will submit a report with accompanying evidence to District Enforcement who will then send a Mooring Charge Notice to the registered boat owner by post. District Enforcement will pursue payment using County Court proceedings if necessary. The mooring sites will comply in all aspects of the industry's approved codes of conducts for operators, as part of this an appeals process will be in place.

The Agency has been working with River User Groups to develop this trial with a view to finding an approach to illegal mooring that can be used by landowners along the river as part of a coordinated move to tackle the issue.

The trial begins on Thursday 1st August at the Environment Agency Moorings in East Street, Oxford. Further trials at sites in Weybridge and Walton upon Thames begin on 15th August 2013. The trials will finish in February 2014 after which the Environment Agency will share the results with the public.


Successful Trip For Navigation Rights Cruise 

Forecasts for heavy rain at the end of June failed to deter a small flotilla of boats from casting off from Pulborough, West Sussex, on 22nd June with the crews determined to show once again that the Arun is navigable as far as Pallingham Quay.

By midday the five boats and crews  plus nine canoes were heading upstream towards Pallingham. The group then explored the nearby stretch of the canal before heading back to Pulborough, completing the trip in three and a half hours.

The Wey & Arun Canal joins the river just downstream of Pallingham Quay. The aim of this annual event is to ensure that, when restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal is completed, there will be no legal reason why boats cannot venture from the canal into the Arun. These cruises were started by IWA in around 1983 with the Wey & Arun Canal Trust taking over in 2011.

The annual navigation event plays the vital role of proving that navigation rights continue to be exercised. When the canal is reopened it will once again be possible to travel from London to Arundel and Littlehampton along rivers and the Wey & Arun Canal.

Arrival of the Cromford Canal Trip Boat  

The Friends of the Cromford Canal new trip boat arrived at Cromford Wharf by large low-loader on Saturday 27th July.  The Friends have held a fund raising campaign to purchase and refurbish a traditional canal narrowboat “Birdswood”, which was built in 1938 and will fit in well with the historical heritage area around the canal and mills.

The boat has been moored at Langley Mill, Nottinghamshire, undergoing a total repaint in Cromford livery and has been re-engineered from diesel power to electric due to wildlife sensitivities at its new base at the northern end of the Cromford Canal.

Once the crews have been trained and the required licences obtained, trips will be available on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from Cromford Wharf to High Peak Junction and back. Passenger services should start in late August or early September. It is the Friends’ intention to operate the trip boat “Birdswood” not only to take tourists but also to provide an educational resource for schools.

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust Appeal for Help

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust is looking for someone with experience of reed clearance. The Trust has been trying to keep reeds under control but they have finally grown too tall. The next option is to apply for a Natural England licence to spray the reeds. If anyone has experience in spraying reed beds and would be interested in helping The Wey & Arun Canal Trust please contact the Trust's chairman Sally Schupke at sally_schupke@weyandarun.co.uk or on 07771 923368.

Canal & River Trust Partnerships Annual Public Meetings 2013 - Update

The 2013 schedule for Canal & River Trust’s Annual Public Meetings is now available on the Trust’s website. Within the schedule there are links to information for those planning to attend meetings and the relevant waterways page, as well as links to documents from meetings already held.


IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Airedale Cruising - 10% Discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Guildford Boat House- 20% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Midland Chandlers - 15% discount  ***Just for August 2013***
  • Narrowboat Services - 10% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UK Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd - 10% discount on published prices
  • Zead - Free postage and accessories

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 www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_area/member_discounts_special_offers_public

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

Members can also support IWA with a NarrowBoat subscription

Boat Insurance

IWA has an arrangement with insurers Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue that provides top quality boat insurance and access to the basic waterway rescue service for boat owners, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways. 

See more information about the IWA insurance scheme for boaters


Waterway Events

Dust Down Your Gas Mask - Stoke Bruerne Goes to War Again  

Stoke Bruerne’s annual Village at War event, the only wartime vintage themed canal festival, is taking place this year over the weekend of 14-15th September.

The WWII weekend, organised by the Friends of The Canal Museum, starts at 7pm on Friday 13th with Lola Lamour singing 40s songs in The Navigation pub. The wartime theme continues throughout the weekend with events ranging from tea dances and vintage fashion shows to re-enactments from living history groups such as the Pitsford Home Guard.

There will be plenty to do for everyone with a Summer Produce Show and Health and Beauty Display (1940's style keep fit classes) on the Village Green. As usual there will be plenty of historic boats in attendance, including the Museum boat Sculptor which saw action in London as a fire boat in the Blitz.

Day tickets are £5 per person (accompanied under 16s are free) and weekend passes are £10. All surplus proceeds from the event will be donated to The Friends of the Canal Museum and other village and not-for-profit groups. Full details of the Village at War Weekend and advance booking forms can be found on the Friends website.

The event is organised by the Friends of the Canal Museum in partnership with the Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne and the local community to raise awareness of the Museum and all that the canal side village has to offer.

Festivals and Boat Rallies


10th - 11th August Blisworth Canal Festival
24th - 26th August North Cheshire Cruising Club Boat Gathering


1st September Angel Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
7th - 8th September Slough Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
6th - 15th September Mayor's River Thames Festival
13th - 15th September Burnley Canal Festival
14th - 15th September Village at War Weekend (Stoke Bruerne)
21st - 22nd September Whitchurch Gathering of Boats
21st - 22nd September Huddlesford Heritage Gathering


6th October Banbury Canal Day

Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area on the website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.

See IWA's Events Calendar for a full list of waterway events. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.

Upcoming Volunteer/Clean-up Events

1st August Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
3rd August Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Lune Aqueduct (IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch)
8th August Himalayan Balsam work party - Beeston, Nottingham (IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch)
9th August Work Party - Leeds & Liverpool Canal (IWA West Riding Branch)
11th August Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
15th August Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th August Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th August
Work Party - City Road Basin, London (IWA supporting Canal & River Trust)
18th August
Bugsworth Basin Work Party (IWA supporting the Inland Waterways Protection Society)
20th August
Work Party - Cheshire Locks, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
20th August
Work Party - Slough Arm (IWA Middlesex Branch Supporting Canal & River Trust)
24th August Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
25th August Bugsworth Basin Work Party (IWA supporting the Inland Waterways Protection Society)

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar

Upcoming Towpath Walks

4th August London Towpath Walk (IWA London Towpath Walks Group)
10th August Walk - Milton Cross (Friends of Leominster Canal)
18th August London Towpath Walk (IWA London Towpath Walks Group)
20th August
Towpath Walk - Grand Union Canal, Wolverton (Railway & Canal Historical Society)

To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar


Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Stefanie Preston