IWA Bulletin - 10th March 2016

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IWA News

IWA 2017 Calendar Competition

After much close examination of beautiful photographs, debates over the merits of various waterway features, shortlisting and counting of votes,  the IWA Calendar 2017 winner has been decided.  This photograph of the Grand Western Canal by Mark Gliddon will be put to various uses by IWA as well as in its calendar.  Congratulations to Mark on producing such a lovely image, he will be receiving a complete set Nicholson Waterways Guides and three copies of the 2017 IWA calendar.

Grand Western

Photo:  Grand Western Canal by Mark Gliddon

Middle Level Commissioners Consult on Navigation Powers

IWA has received details of a consultation from the Middle Level Commissioners (MLC), the navigation authority for the Middle Level river system, which comprises 100 miles of navigable waterways in Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough City Council) and Norfolk. For some time IWA has supported the MLC in working to update the legal framework which currently governs their navigation function. This is out of date and does not align with modern requirements or the statutory framework available and applicable to other navigation authorities.

MLC are consulting on obtaining powers:

  • To obtain better waterway management powers, and provide increased facilities in connection with their navigation function;
  • To enable the Commissioners to levy charges in respect of and require the registration of vessels using the Middle Level waterways, including   the ability to charge where vessels overstay time limits in force at a mooring place;
  • To enter into arrangements with other navigation authorities regarding such matters as the mutual recognition of registrations and licences;
  • To temporarily close sections of those waterways to enable works to be carried out or the holding of certain events;
  • To remove sunken, stranded and abandoned vessels and vessels and vehicles sunk in MLC waterways and to recover the costs of doing so where the owner of the vessel/vehicle fails to act;
  • To enable the making of more up to date byelaws regarding the management of the navigation;
  • To require vessels using the Commissioners’ waterways to have insurance

MLC would aim to enter into reciprocal or similar arrangements with other navigation authorities to reduce costs and ensure the recognition of each other’s licences and registrations. They also aim to treat unpowered vessels in a manner consistent with the way that they are dealt with on other navigation authorities’ waters.

IWA’s Navigation Committee will discuss this consultation at its next meeting in April. The Middle Level is an important part of the East Anglian waterways, and IWA wants to see the MLC obtain the powers it needs to continue to run its navigation effectively. If you have any comments you would like to bring to Navigation Committee’s notice, please contact your regional representative or email Navigation Committee.

If you would like to read the consultation, it can be found here

Broads Public Consultation: Your Views Wanted...

IWA has been asked for its views  on two important plans being prepared by the Broads Authority.  These plans set out the strategic priorities and spatial planning policies for the management of the Broads as reported in Late February Bulletin.

To help IWA do this, a consultation event has been booked for Thursday 17th March to get feedback and guidance on how IWA should respond to the proposals.  It will take place at Poringland Community Centre, Overtons Way, Poringland, Norwich, NR14 7WB.  Poringland is about 6 miles south of Norwich on the B1332 Bungay Rd. The meeting starts at 8:00pm.  All consultation documents are available here and at various council offices, libraries and museums across Norfolk.

Anyone interested in coming to the meeting or helping to organise it should contact Paul Strudwick.

WRG Clears the Way for Grantham Canal Restoration

From 26th-28th February over 15 volunteers from WRG’s Forestry team, several trained in use of chainsaws, helped Grantham Canal Society clear large trees from around Lock 14. This work will allow other volunteers to set up and establish the site compound, ready for restoration work to start once Lock 15 has been rebuilt.

This work is part of the larger Grantham Canal Heritage Initiative funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  WRG is also running 4 week-long canal camps this summer helping restore Lock 15.  For details of all WRG's Canal Camps visit IWA's website for locations and dates.

The Grantham Canal is 33 miles long with 18 locks and over 60 bridges.  Building started in 1793 and took four years at a cost of £129,000 – £13,500,000 in today’s money.  The canal not only contributed to the prosperity of the area by encouraging trade but also brought a considerable amount of skill to the area. Once the canal was completed the builders either settled nearby or moved to the next project.

Numerous hours of work have already been spent on restoring one of Jessop’s locks back to its former glory. The lock concerned is Woolsthorpe Middle Lock, so named as it’s the middle lock in the Woolsthorpe Flight of seven. This will be the sixth lock to be restored on the canal and is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, CRT and the Grantham Canal Society.  Apart from missing both the top and bottom gates the lock walls were leaning inward and it was obvious that a significant amount of restoration work was necessary.

Since July 2015, when the compound was erected and site hut installed, a team of volunteers have been on site 5 days a week under the supervision of a qualified CRT site engineer. The compound area, including a small copse of trees, had previously been cleared and prepared by a team of WRG personnel together with a large group of Grantham Canal Society volunteers.


Photo: WRG volunteers tree clearing at the site of the Grantham Canal


Photo: WRG volunteers after a few hard days' work.

Wheels for WRG

IWA's fundraising has paid off as WRG has ordered two new vans.  This means there will be six vans for use during the busy spring and summer months to help out with transportation at the work camps.   


IWA Canalway Cavalcade - 30th April to 2nd May

IWA Canalway Cavalcade has been organised entirely by IWA volunteers annually for over 30 years.   It is situated at the junction of the Regent’s Canal and the Paddington Branch of the Grand Union Canal at Little Venice, during the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. The theme of this year’s Cavalcade is ‘Canals Alive’, mirroring IWA's mission 'Keeping Our Waterways Alive'

Over 100 boats will be attending, all competing to display as many buntings, blooms, illuminations, polished and gleaming cans and chimneys as possible! Some boaters will have travelled hundreds of miles through the 3500 mile network of navigable waterways to be there. They’ll be taking part in processions and pageants accompanied by a marvellous variety of music,  There’ll  be plenty of kids’ activities too including favourites like Punch & Judy, Mylo the Mime Artist and The Teddy Bears’ Picnic, competitions; trade stalls; a real ale bar; a wide variety of tasty snacks and food...and lots, lots more.


Photo: Lots of polishing going on at Canalway Cavalcade 2015

To see what goes on have a look at this YouTube clip.

The growing success of Canalway Cavalcade means there are an amazing variety of opportunities to join the existing team of volunteers who run the event over the weekend.  Simply complete the IWA volunteering form  and email it to Ray Carter.

IWA Attends the Ragged School

Two days of learning, 526 Visitors, six activities and more than 15 dedicated volunteers, made the February half term one of the most successful at the Ragged School Museum on the Regent's Canal in London.  Before being turned into a Ragged School, the Museum’s buildings were working warehouses for goods brought into the city and during this activity week visitors discovered Victorian life on the Regent’s Canal and thought about what it would have been like to live and work on the waterway.


Photo: Ragged School Museum Cafe as seen from the Regent's Canal

Visitors enjoyed a range of activities and displays for all ages, produced by the Learning team and IWA.   Robin Bishop from IWA Middlesex Branch joined in for a day. The Victorian Classroom and East End Kitchen were also open for exploration, as well as face painting and a model canal to “float their boats”.

Boat making

Photo:  Making boats at the Ragged School Museum activity week

Activity sheets

Photo:  IWA Activity sheets were put to good use at the Ragged School Museum

Invasive Species Campaign - What Gets Your Boat?

The waterways of Britain certainly are alive but not all the residents are welcome.  Test your knowledge of what lives on or in our canals and rivers by taking IWA's quiz. Your responses will help us understand the levels of awareness amongst our supporters, and how IWA can take our invasives campaign forward.

Ringing the Cheshire Ring

Visitor mooring sites around the Cheshire Ring will benefit from the proceeds of IWA's national raffle by replacement and additional mooring rings.  This work will be carried out during 2016 to tie in with the 40th anniversary of the reopening of the Cheshire Ring.  Funding is available for around 200 rings.  If anyone is interested in getting involved in the project to install some new and replacement mooring rings at visitor moorings around the Cheshire Ring or wishes to suggest locations do let Alex Melson at head office know.

IWA Branch News

IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch

The Branch Social Meeting in April has a change of date, it is now on Wednesday 27th April and will be a joint one with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society.  Mike Clarke, Chairman of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society will be presenting  "Celebrating 200 years of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal".
The venue will be the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre, New Market Street, Colne, BB8 9BJ.  The theatre was booked as it  is expected that there will be a lot of interest for this event.  Doors will be open from 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
Please come along at the begining of this celebratory year and find out what is happening on the canal and how the anniversary will be celebrated during 2016.

IWA Middlesex Branch

Spring it seems is here, the sun shines and the daffodils are out so the Middlesex Branch is supporting the Friends of Slough Canal in the Big "Slough Canal" Clean Up which takes place on the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal on Saturday 2nd April 2016. Meet at the Salvation Army Hall, Stoke Road, SL2 5BW at 9 am for the safety briefing.

IWA Chiltern Branch

The Last Days of Carrying on the Grand Union was presented by Terry Putnam at the branch meeting on 24th February.  Terry is a steam train enthusiast and it was after a visit to Berkhamsted Station in the 1960s that he discovered the Grand Union Canal and was hooked.  He and his friends spent many weekends travelling north from London to find and photograph the commercial narrow boats and befriend their crews.  So his presentation at the branch meeting was a good insight into the hard lives of the boatmen and a reminder of how much the waterways have changed. It was particularly relevant for the Chiltern Branch as Terry's photographs and account covered the southern Grand Union Canal.

IWA Chiltern Branch's annual Lock-Aid event will held at the bottom lock (Lock 39) on the Marsworth Flight on 6th and 7th August.  It is more than just a fundraising event for canal restoration, although that is an important part as it is an opportunity to meet members, prospective members and the general public to explain what IWA do and to answer those questions about our waterways.  Contact John Brice for further details of this event or call on 07740 733241 for more information.

After six years as Secretary of IWA Chiltern Branch, Liz Norris will not be seeking re-election at the forthcoming AGM; Judy Clegg, Publicity Officer, is also standing down after three years, due to family commitments.  Please contact Dave Chapman on 07808 720555 if interested in either role.

IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch

At the Branch's AGM held on Friday 12th February 2016 the achievements of this branch were reviewed:

  • A number of causes were supported including £500 in support of Burslem Port and a contribution to Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust of £4000 to help with efforts to make Froghall Tunnel navigable by boats with a larger air draught.  
  • Over 120 planning applications had been reviewed during 2015.  Some significant planning issues were:  the Hughes Concrete site in Leek, Stone Crown Wharf and the local plan for Stafford Borough. 
  • Cheshire Locks Project – since the start of the campaign three  of the duplicate locks that had been closed have been opened but two different ones have closed.  Without IWA’s campaign it is likely that all 5 would currently be closed.  
  • Branch projects had received good recognition last year including IWA’s national Himalayan Balsam campaign which was the winner in the Environment Category of the Living Waterways Awards, presented in October 2015.  North Staffordshire and South Staffordshire Branch’s involvement in Himalayan Balsam work parties going back to 2011 acted as the catalyst for the national campaign which started in 2012.  
  • Also at the Living Waterways Awards in October, Harry Arnold (IWA Vice President and a member of the branch) was presented with an outstanding achievement award.
  • The Hazelhurst Junction Bridge Project was awarded a “Going the Extra Length” award by CRT Central Shires in December.  
  • Richard Bird medals were awarded to Canal Cruising Company (presented at the dinner in March) and Roger Evans (presented at the inter branch skittles evening in October).

IWA Milton Keynes Branch

To acknowledge the success and progress that the Wendover Arm Trust has made in its aim to get water from Wendover to Bulbourne, Milton Keynes Branch has made a donation of £300 to the Trust.

Clean for the Queen

IWA West Country Branch Clean for The Queen event attracted around 30 volunteers who collected 28 black bags of rubbish plus some other larger items.   They were joined by some of Tesco's staff from two of their Taunton Stores.

IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch with Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch Adopters had a chilly but successful Clean for the Queen day with over 30 volunteers, including scouts through their A Million Hands project, and a visit from CRT Chief Executive, Richard Parry.

IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch joined forces with a community group, Middleport Matters, and CRT volunteers to undertake a Clean for The Queen along the towpath and cana, plus the streets of Burslem Port.  CRT supplied a small boat and trained volunteers used it to remove floating rubbish along the Trent & Mersey Canal whilst Burslem Port volunteers picked litter along the line of the Branch Canal. A group of young people from the YMCA were dispatched along the towpath and the local Boys Brigade worked outwards from Middleport Park. A total of 53 volunteers collected around 70 bags of rubbish in a very busy and successful day.


Photo: Cleaning for the Queen at Burslem Port


Admiral Sir William O'Brien

Former Chairman of  Kennet & Avon Canal Trust Chairman, Admiral Sir William (Bill) O’Brien, died on 19th February at the age of 99. During the 17 years he served as Chairman, from 1974 until 1991, he oversaw the restoration of the canal and its re-opening by the Queen.
Admiral Sir William O’Brien, who was known affectionately by Kennet & Avon Canal Trust members as ‘The Admiral’ or — simply – Bill, moved to Devizes in 1971 when he retired after a distinguished career in the Navy and quickly got involved with Kennet & Avon Canal Trust.  His outstanding personal qualities contributed hugely to the eventual re-opening of the canal.
He saw the potential for canal restoration through the Manpower Services Commission’s Job Creation Scheme launched in 1975. After a year of tough negotiations with British Waterways Board, he got approval to use the Scheme to work on the ‘Dry Section’ of the canal between Dundas and Avoncliff.   Bill considered this to be the most important achievement of his time as Chairman. Both the Dry Section and Caen Hill Flight were the obstacles that gave people the excuse not to fund Kennet & Avon Canal Trust’s work. Once the Dry Section was restored, it was realised that the canal really was going to be restored and according to Bill everything else followed from that.
In 1990, 16 years after Bill took over the Chairmanship of Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, HM The Queen officially re-opened the canal — and in August 2015 Bill returned to Caen Hill to join in the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of that event.   He is remembered with admiration, affection and gratitude by everyone who worked with him at the Trust.


Photo:  Admiral Sir William O'Brien celebrating 25 years of the reopening of the Kennet & Avon Canal

Other Waterway News

Closure of Linton Lock

A large hole has been discovered at Linton Lock on the River Ouse.  As it poses a risk to boaters and anyone around the lock, CRT have padlocked it so navigation through is not possible.  CRT engineers are looking into it and hope to start work on repair soon.  Updates will be available on the CRT website

Linton Lock

Photo:  CRT - A gaping hole at Linton Lock

Last Chance to Nominate for Living Waterways Awards

Do you have a waterway-based project that you think is worthy of an award? The Canal & River Trust’s Living Waterways Awards are now open for entry and are  looking for fantastic projects that are helping to transform canals, lakes, rivers and lochs into exciting places to visit, play, live or work.

There are seven categories:
Art & Interpretation; Community & Volunteering; Contribution to the Built Environment; Education & Learning; Natural Environment; Recreation & Tourism and Restoration & Historic Environment.

This is a chance to celebrate the success of a project and the people who have helped make it happen. Find out more here.  Closing date: Thursday 16 March 2016

CRT Consults Boaters

CRT will be asking around a third of their licence holders for their opinions on a range of topics including: how boaters use Trust’s waterways and what their experience of them is like; the services provided for boaters such as moorings, facilities and the licence renewal process; the ways they would like to receive information; and their views on how well they feel the Trust is caring for the waterways.  Using the feedback from their boaters CRT will identify local examples of what is working well and what needs to be improved upon, so lessons can be learnt from best practice and improvements can be prioritised.

The online survey is accessed via a link in an email or letter (where the charity does not hold email addresses) which was sent to a third of the charity’s boat licence holders recently.  It will be repeated each year with the aim of having contacted the majority of boaters on the Trust’s waters in each three-year cycle.  Boaters will have until 25 March 2016 to complete the survey.

IWA welcomes the opportunity for boaters with CRT licences to be consulted on their views and experiences and hopes there will be a high response rate which would provide wide representation across the network.

Help from Network Rail Gets Creek Back on Track

Dartford and Crayford Creek Restoration Trust have had a huge boost in their campaign to Bring the Boats Back thanks to work undertaken by Network Rail.

Crayford Creek has had the navigation route blocked to boats for decades by a mangrove forest of overhanging trees.  Network Rail had recently been undertaking maintenance on their Crayford Railway Viaduct and they agreed to clear the passage for boats. 

In the short term this will mean that Shaun Liam Wall will bringing his Narrow Boat,  Pentargon Springer, up in early Summer  to lead the way for more boats to follow and reclaim this part of the national inland waterways. Shaun said “I am over the moon to finally be able to get my boat to Crayford Creek, the excellent work that Network Rail has done is simply fantastic and I can’t wait to get my boat moored in the Crayford basins”.  The St Pancras Cruising Club are also planning to visit the Creek during their cruise of the River Medway.

Mike Hannan, the IWA Kent & East Sussex (IWAKES) Branch Chairman, said “I am delighted that the Creek is now fully navigable and look forward to seeing it being used in the near future”

The Dartford and Crayford Creek Restoration Trust has already been clearing mooring space along Dartford Creek. The goal is to make the two Creeks a major destination for recreational boats and for the enjoyment of the general public, reversing decades of neglect.


Photo: Trees blocking navigation before Network Rail clearance


Photo:  Clear navigation after Network Rail's work


Photo: Shaun Liam Wall will be bringing his Narrow Boat, Pentargon Springer, up the Creek to lead the way for more boats to follow

Non Tidal Thames Up and Running

Work over the winter on the non-tidal Thames has been fully completed - with all locks open again for the spring but navigation restrictions due to the strong or decreasing stream were still in place last week on many reaches of the river.  Maintenance work at two locks - Cookham and Penton Hook has been postponed to a later date. 

The 2015-16 winter programme finished with minor works completed at Godstow, Day's and Temple locks.  The work was part of a £1million programme over the past few months which also included St John's, Culham and Boulter's Locks.     

Disruption at Weirs Orchard Moorings

Boat owners fear one proposed version of Oxford’s £120m flood alleviation scheme would destroy their lifestyle. People living at Weirs Orchard Moorings on the Thames are concerned that Option A, which involves widening Weirs Mill Stream to increase flow, would spell the end for the water-borne community.  The boat-dwellers prefer the Environment Agency’s Option C – which involves a new channel being created across Iffley Meadows in what was a small stream about 100 years ago.

Tim Wiseman, who has lived on moorings in the area for 11 years, said: “Option C is great as it solves the problem, doesn’t have as big an effect on the environment and it would be less disruption for us.  We were told we would have to be put up in hotels or rented accommodation for three to six months and our boats would be stored somewhere if the decision to widen the river went ahead.  It would be devastating if we were forced out. It would shatter a community that is really close and has been here for a long time, with established livelihoods.”

About 30 people live on the 17 moorings, which have been occupied since before the Second World War. Residents were shocked when the plans first came out.  About 12 people met with Oxford City Council leader Bob Price, along with fellow councillors John Tanner and Jean Fooks, on Saturday to give their points of view on the major project.

The Weirs Orchard Moorings are one section of the plans for a seven-kilometre drainage system to reduce flooding in Oxford.  The channel, which could be as wide as 150m in places, will run from Seacourt Park-and-Ride in Botley Road past Willow Walk and on to the Devil’s Backbone – a path which leads to South Hinksey.  The scheme aims to reduce flood damage to more than 1,000 homes and businesses as well as tackling the impact on the economy, roads and railways in the face of major flooding.

Protection Orders for the Oxford Waterways

Contraversial powers used to tackle anti-social behaviour in central Oxford are to be used in a fresh crackdown on illegal boaters along the city’s canal and rivers.  Oxford City Council wants a new public spaces protection order (PSPO) to cover the River Thames, the Cherwell and Oxford Canal.  Council officers and police would be able to enforce it with £100 on-the-spot fines and prosecutions that could lead to £1,000 fines, as part of efforts to tackle illegal mooring, drunken antics and criminal and environmental damage.  It would stop people mooring boats at riverbanks without permission from landowners, obstructing paths or the waterways, putting up structures or leaving rubbish and failing to control dogs.

Jericho and Osney city councillor Colin Cook said: “The PSPO will be for the benefit of not just residents, but also boaters and tourists. It will make enforcement easier and less expensive.”  Figures from the local authority, record that almost 100 crimes were reported to police along the waterways between April 2014 and October 2015. They included arson, burglary, drug-related offences, shouting abuse, and a man who hooked a kayaker with his fishing line while drunk. In the past year people have also complained about boats moored along the Thames near Abbey Road and others in Castle Mill Stream next to Jericho.

It is thought up to 30 boats are moored without permission at any one time. The authorities have struggled to take action due to confusion about land ownership.  Court cases to evict them can also take several months.

The new PSPO has been drawn up with support from the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust.  But the PSPO proposals have prompted concern from boaters, with many arguing there are not enough mooring spaces in the city.  Historian and boater Mark Davies, 60, said: “If people are mooring without permission then they may well be putting themselves and others in jeopardy, so a financial penalty is the obvious way to prevent that. It is an affordable alternative to house prices in the city. Most would be happy to pay if there were more mooring sites.”
The new PSPO is due to be examined by the city council scrutiny committee and if passed it would be the second put in place by the city council since 2014.

UK’s First InfraCore FRP Road Bridge Floated Down Thames

Engineers from the Environment Agency have been able to inspect the first InfraCore road bridge made using fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) after it paused on the River Thames outside Environment Agency offices before continuing on to the installation site at Mapledurham. The 13 metre long bridge, which weighs less than 13 tonnes, was being transported to the weir and lock complex using floating pontoons.  Despite its lightweight design, the construction of the bridge makes it strong enough to support up to 60 tonnes, more than enough for the installation in Mapledurham.  Apart from bridges, this innovative and lightweight material has been successfully used for manufacturing lock gates and moveable bridge decks, with over 400 installations across Europe.

The new bridge will replace an ageing structure that has insufficient capacity for modern vehicles and so enable the Environment Agency to complete a larger refurbishment project of the local lock complex. The strength of the design is complemented by a minimal need for maintenance and an expected lifetime of 100 years, which is supported by a 50 year warranty on the construction and even a 10 year limited warranty on the wear surface.


Photo: The lightweight nature of the Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) bridge deck meant it could be easily floated down the Thames ready to be lifted into position, avoiding the cost and inconvenience of road transport.

Lichfield Preparing for Restoration

Lichfield Canal volunteers’ recent Forestry Day in Darnford Park succeeded in removing a group of trees to make way for an environmental mound which will create a sound barrier to the busy A38.  Three newly-trained chainsaw operators from Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, supervised by an officer from the Forestry Commission, cut down the trees in the last opportunity before bird-nesting season.  More volunteers then moved in to clear the brash with help from the operator of a chipper hired for the day.

The Darnford Park site will contain a staircase lock required to lower the level of the canal sufficiently for tunnels to be built under the A38 and the A51 Tamworth Road.  Earth from the canal bed will be used to build an environmental mound alongside the A38 and a sandstone outcrop will be created in the open park area, the ideal habitat for a variety of birds and bees.  The environmental mound, a very effective sound barrier to the A38 traffic noise, means surplus soil is retained and used on site rather than being transported on local roads and recreates a lowland heathland surface.  It also incorporates log stacks, used to protect specimen trees and provide ‘bug hotels’ for invertebrates, and increases the biodiversity of the area for birds and other wildlife, as well as trapping carbon which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere through burning.

The Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust is restoring the seven-mile length of the Lichfield Canal, which was abandoned in 1954 but the route through Darnford Park is a new section because the original path is no longer available.  The work is being carried out under licence with Lichfield District Council, who own the park, but land ownership will be transferred to the Trust later.


Photo: Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust volunteers clear the brash from felled trees in Darnford Park, Lichfield

Ashby's Golden Gathering

The Ashby Canal Society is celebrating 50 years with a gathering on 4th to 5th June at Snarestone Wharf.  For further details go to the Association's web site.

Water From Wendover

The members of the Wendover Arm Trust Working Party are a hardy bunch and continue with pipe capping, bulk excavation and rough profiling throughout the winter.  Despite some bad weather the project is mainly complete to within 100 metres of its next stage.  Other tasks that have been carried out recently include drainage, a tidy up of the storage site and the excavation of a base for a bench seat near the footpath to Wilstone Reservoir.  The bench will be in memory of a supporter who died recently leaving a legacy to the Trust.  CRT has now completed work at the old pumping station at Whitehouses which will enable the Trust to continue the restoration along this section.  As well as having its own working party, the Wendover Arm Trust receives valuable help from Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group and WRG.  The next Open Day to show progress of the restoration is on Sunday 5th June between 12noon to 5pm at Drayton Beauchamp Church.

excavationPhoto: Excavation carried out by Wendover Arm Trust Working Party


Photo:  CRT completing work at Whitehouses, an old pumping station on the Wendover Arm

Honorary Research Fellow for National Waterways Museum

The Canal & River Trust has appointed its first ever Honorary Research Fellow as part of a drive to increase awareness of the rich social history of Britain’s canals and rivers.  Dr Jodie Matthews, from the University of Huddersfield, will work with the Trust’s museums and archives, and alongside canal researchers and industrial historians, to promote greater public appreciation, new research and understanding of the importance of Britain’s waterways.  

Jodie Matthews is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Huddersfield.  Her research explores the way in which canal figures contributed to conceptions of the nation in the nineteenth century, and how those ideas inform thinking today.  Jodie has begun to establish a new Canal Research Network, bringing academics, heritage professionals and enthusiasts together to talk about new approaches to exploring waterways history and research.  At the same time Jodie is one of a team advising on the new designs of the Gloucester Waterways Museum.

2016 is a special year for the Trust as it celebrates the 300th anniversary of the birth of James Brindley, pioneering canal engineer and also the 40th anniversary of the museum at Ellesmere Port.  The museum will be celebrating both events during the year.  For more information please visit the National Waterways Museum website.

Canal & River Trust moves its North West office in Wigan

The Canal & River Trust is relocating its North West office to Trencherfield Mill from the beginning of March.  The canal-side former cotton spinning mill, dates back to 1907 and is Grade II listed. More recently it has been converted to a mix of office space and homes.

The office move will take place in the first week of March.  The Trust expects to move out of its existing office at Waterside House on 4 March and be open for business as usual at Trencherfield on 8 March. The offices will be closed on 4 and 7 March because of removal and changes to phone lines.

The new address is: Trencherfield Mill, Heritage Way, Wigan, WN3 4BN.  Other contact details remain the same.  Telephone: 0303 040 4040, email: enquiries.northwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk, Twitter: @CRTNorthWest

Safety Recall

The Boat Safety Scheme is alerting boaters to two immediate product recalls, for a Kidde fire blanket and a Novacomet Gas Regulator.
Kidde Fire Blanket Recall
Kidde Safety Europe Ltd is recalling its 1m² “Kidde” or “Lifesaver” fire blankets.  Although there have been no reports of adverse incidents, testing of certain fire blankets has identified a risk, which means that they may not fully extinguish an oil pan fire and/or may allow the fire to re-ignite.
Find out more about identifying or returning this product on the BSS website.
Clesse Novacomet Gas Regulator FEB
Clesse Industries is recalling its Novacomet branded BP1803 LPG regulators manufactured between June 2010 and September 2015. Following testing, Clesse Industries has taken the decision to implement a recall because of concerns about the potential of regulator failure in certain operational and environmental conditions.
Used with propane and butane LPG cylinders, the recall involves all directly cylinder mounted, wall mounted single cylinder and two cylinder manual changeover versions.
Find out more about identifying and returning this product on the BSS website.

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:

Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News
South Yorks & Dukeries Branch - Keels & Cuckoos
West Riding Branch - Mile Post

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2016

30th April - 2nd May 2016 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
28th May - 29th May 2016 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Staveley
11th - 12th June - IWA Campaign Festival, Eldonian Village, Liverpool
27th August - 29th August 2016 - IWA Festival of Water, Pelsall

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/Cleanup Events

12th March Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
13th March Work Party - Sleaford Navigation (Supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
13th March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
15th March Work Party - Banbury (Supported by IWA Oxfordshire Branch)
16th March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
17th March Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
19th March Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
20th March Canal Clean Up - Brownsover, Rugby (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd March Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
23rd March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
23rd March Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
25th March Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
26th March Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
29th March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
30th March Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)

2nd April Canal Clean Up - Slough Arm (Supported by IWA Middlesex Branch)
2nd April Work Party - Avon Lock Paint (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
2nd April Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
3rd April Work Party - Tinsley Marina (South Yorks & Dukeries Branch)
6th April Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
10th April Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
13th April Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
13th April Work Party - Staffs & Worcester (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
14th April Work Party - Uttoxeter (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
20th April Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
27th April Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

20th March Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
27th March Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

3rd April London Towpath Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
17th April Waterside Walk - Lapal Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th April London Towpath Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

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

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • Airedale Cruising - 10% discount off skippered day cruises
  • Blackwater Boats - 10% discount
  • Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - Annual subscription for just £15
  • CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • City Centre Cruises - 10% discount for Sunday lunch cruises in Manchester
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
  • Forge Studio - 10% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • I Love Meet and Greet Ltd - 15% discount
  • King's Lock Chandlery - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Marine Megastore Ltd. - 15% discount
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Middlewich Narrowboats - 25% discount on hire of classic boat Willow
  • Paper Wizard - 15% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - Up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • The Three Locks Pub, Grand Union Canal nr. Milton Keynes - 10% discount on food
  • Wavetrain Marine - 5% discount on 1 day VHF SCR training courses
  • Wharf Pub, Bugbrooke NN7 3QB - 10% discount
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard 
  • 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 the IWA Members discount page.

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 Narrow Boat magazine 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

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Marion Birch