IWA Bulletin - 13th May 2016

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IWA News

New IWA Directory reveals the condition of Britain’s 6,500 miles of inland waterways


Photo: Hoe Mill Lock on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
Mainland Britain enjoys 4,700 miles of navigable inland waterways, but that still leaves more than a quarter of our 6,500-mile canal and river network either derelict or unnavigable, new research from IWA shows.

The findings are contained in a new Waterways Directory, detailing the complete canal and river network of England, Wales and Scotland, its condition and the myriad bodies responsible for it.  IWA is making the Directory freely available online, as a record of the state of the nation’s waterways and as part of our commitment to their protection and restoration.

John Pomfret, who compiled the Directory on behalf of the Association, said: “This information has never before been available in one place in an easily accessible and searchable format. By ensuring the data is available on our website as a public resource, IWA is adding significantly to the knowledge of our waterways that is readily available to all.”

The Directory is conceived as a dynamic, evolving reference work that can be updated as the condition of our waterways change. So we’re encouraging users of the publication and those with expert knowledge of even the remotest reaches of the network to help us keep the Directory as accurate and current as possible,” he said.

As well as benefiting anyone with a professional interest in our inland waterways, the IWA Waterways Directory will be valuable to academics, historians and canal enthusiasts alike. By highlighting waterways which may be less familiar to many inland boaters, IWA hopes to encourage more interest in ensuring their protection and development.

Why not take a moment and have a look at the Directory now?

A bumper year for IWA Canalway Cavalcade

The 2016 IWA Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice over the early May bank holiday was launched with a VIP Reception where IWA's national chairman, Les Etheridge, paid tribute to the dedicated volunteers who made this prestigious event happen.

The theme of Canals Alive was reflected in the decorated boat parade with the winner, Webbies, showing how canals host boating, fishing, cycling, canoeing and running.  There was plenty of life on a Noah's Ark with giraffes, iguanas, herons, owls and chimpanzees on board two by two.  A 59ft shark threatened to consume the crew of Highlander and a 30ft mallard campaigned against feeding bread to ducks.  Around 130 boats were present at this year's festival adding to the colour and pageant of the event.





Photos: Competitors in the Decorated Boat Parade.

Boaters showed their skills in boat handling competitions over the weekend as they manoeuvred their vessels around Brownings Pool under the keen eyes of the judges. For the first time there was an award dedicated to 'Idle Women', who kept cargo on the waterways moving during wartime.


Photo:  Theodora enhanced their performance with traditional boating dress.

Food and drink was much in evidence with 16 different outlets to tempt the palate with a wide range of dishes from around the world.  Traders reported a brisk trade displaying wares like jewellery, crafts, bags, cards, toys, cheese, fudge, shoes and pottery.  Organisations like Pirate Castle and Facial Attraction provided activities for children as well as the entertainment for them in Rembrandt Gardens. 

The sun came out for this year’s Cavalcade and so did the crowds. The WRG fudge stand was as popular as ever, with some people even returning to the stall having developed a taste for it last year! After three full days of fudge selling the team almost entirely ran out, with all the vanilla fudge being finished off by lunchtime on Monday.  In total, £2,110.42 was raised to add to the Van Appeal total; a fantastic amount and nearly £500 more than last year. This could not have been achieved without the huge effort put in by the volunteers on the stand over the weekend, with their very convincing sales pitches - Jude Palmer was reassuring customers that there is no such thing as calories on a bank holiday.  A huge thanks must also go to Carolyn Smith for donating the fudge and producing such an irresistible treat.


Photo: Mike Palmer MBE and Maria Hearnden tempting passers-by all in a good cause. 

Live music on the water added to the festive atmosphere with sessions from Noyze Boyze Jazz Band, Rhythm & Blues Brothers and Bob Dwyer's Jazz Band. 

More photographs of this spectacular event and a list of the prizewinners is available on the IWA website blog. For a larger collection of photographs of 2016 Cavalcade, and to add others go to the IWA Flickr Gallery.

2017 Booking
Would you like to attend IWA Canalway Cavalcade in 2017? Priority booking for boats is now open for IWA members.  To be sure of a space download and complete the booking form now.

IWA London Region Contributes to Olympic Park Lock Restoration

IWA’s London Region has donated £4750 towards works being carried out to restore Carpenters Road Lock in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.  The restoration of the lock is the final piece of a project to open up four miles of the Bow Back Rivers to navigation and is a legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.  

The total cost of the historic lock restoration project, led by CRT, is £1.75million, which also includes £680,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £100,000 from the London Legacy Development Corporation.  The contribution from IWA has been raised by the Association’s London branches and pooled together to make a single donation.  

Speaking at this year’s IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London Region Chairman, Paul Strudwick, said:  “Several years ago during Canalway Cavalcade, IWA London Region promised Canal & River Trust £4500 towards the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock. At this year's event I had the pleasure of fulfilling that promise and presented a cheque for a slightly higher amount of £4750 to Richard Parry, CRT’s Chief Executive.”

The lock, which was built in the 1930s, hasn’t been used since the 1960s and work is due to commence in 2016 and take 12 months to complete.
Readers of Bulletin are reminded that any boaters interested in the Olympic Park cruise being held on 9th July.strudwickparry

Photo:  Paul Strudwick, IWA London Region chairman, presenting a cheque at the VIP Reception to Richard Parry, Chief Executive CRT, for £4,750 as IWA's contribution to the refurbishment of Carpenters Road Lock.

IWA grant boosts work on Shrewsbury & Newport Canal

Restoration of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals has been given a boost by a grant of £3000 from The Inland Waterways Association to Norbury to Newport Canal Restoration Community Interest Company (NTNCR), to facilitate the work being carried out on the Newport Branch of the canal. The grant money has been allocated to materials and equipment used by volunteers at the canal camps run by IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group, at Forton, between Norbury and Newport in Shropshire. 

Speaking at the annual Norbury Canal Festival, held at the junction where the Newport Branch joined what is now the Shropshire Union Main Line, Bernie Jones from the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust, which works very closely with NTNCR said:  "We are very grateful for the continued support of IWA. Without this vital assistance it would be very difficult for us to fund the two WRG camps we have planned this year. The money will largely be used for plant hire and to cover material costs to enable us to re-water the section of our canal at Forton."

The two Canal Camps run by Waterway Recovery Group will take place from 13th to 20th August and 20th to 27th August and whilst the first week is now fully booked, there are still spaces available on the second week for a few more volunteers wishing to spend a working holiday on this rural canal in Shropshire.  

See Other Waterway News for more on Shrewsbury & Newport Canal.

IWA launches new Restoration Hub


IWA and CRT jointly held their third waterway restoration workshop in April,  ‘Why the Blue and the Green matter’, attended by more than 80 delegates, representatives from across the restoration movement.  The newly published Environmental Framework for Restoration Projects in England and Wales, a guide to the key environmental legislation and policy that all restoration projects need to consider, whether restoring 30 miles or 30m of waterway, was launched at the event and is now available to all.  The new Framework intergrates with the Restoration Work Stages guidance published by the IWA/CRT Restoration group in 2015. 

Les Etheridge, IWA national chairman, opened the workshop and announced a new Restoration Hub headed up by IWA’s Jenny Black.  With access to expertise such as consulting engineers and planning advisors, the combined skills of the Waterway Recovery Group Committee, Restoration Committee and the articles within the restoration area of IWA’s website, Jenny and her team will act as the central point for restoration enquiries and requests for project specific support.  The ideas is that the hub will be reinforced by the very talented and experienced people within the restoration movement who would want their experience and expertise to benefit others treading the same path.  

Throughout the day delegates had full sessions attended by all, followed by break out sessions with a choice of topics to engage with including partnerships, water supply environmental impact assessment, writing a good delivery/sustainability plan, fundraising and social media.  

Chris John of Environmental Consultancy ECUS presented a full session offering an interesting and informative look at the new Environmental Framework, outlining the importance of knowing where the restoration project water is coming from or indeed going to come from and how any restoration can help benefit the local environment.  Delegates were advised to advised to consider the environmental impact of their canal restoration project before starting work.

IWA’s Geraint Coles talked through the background findings from the State of the Nation survey.  The responses received so far tell a lot about each restoration and many schemes are showing some great progress.  He made it clear that restoration isn’t getting any easier with projects finding funding tricky and he called for all of the projects who have not yet submitted answers to the survey to please go ahead and respond so that a true picture of the status of the movement can be delivered.   

In the afternoon, seminars included a preview of the new, impressive cost and benefits tool kit developed with Peter Brett Associates who have a wealth of experience of canals across England, Wales and Scotland.  The tool can help calculate the headline cost of restoring part or all of a waterway and with some pretty simple input of estimates of visitor numbers and other information it can forecast headline impacts.  It works on quality data and gives something which could be of great benefit in the early stages of a restoration both in indicating the potential cost and perhaps more importantly at this stage helping to convince others about the advantages of a scheme through an initial but credible benefits forecast.  

The workshop was closed by Richard Parry .  At the very beginning of the day Les Etheridge had welcomed the renewed vigour with which CRT is pursuing restoration of the waterways in its care, such as the Grantham and Montgomery canals.  Lottery announcements for the substantial grants for Carpenters Road Lock on the Bow Back Rivers and the Pocklington Canal are welcome achievements in a time after recession when funding can be hard to come by, such that the close of the workshop felt extremely, positive, supportive and forward looking. 

Invite WRG to your Bonfire Party

Can you help?! Do you have a canal restoration project that needs lots of vegetation and trees cleared ...
WRG is looking for a site to host their 2016 Bonfire Bash weekend on the 5th-6th November. Along with our chainsaw team, WRG Forestry, our volunteers (up to 100 people) can clear an incredible amount in just 2 days.

bonfirePhoto: WRG getting fired up

Last year WRG volunteers carried out major vegetation clearance along the line of the old, but now very overgrown, towpath near to Alton and Crumpwood Weir, on the Uttoxeter Canal.  Have a look at these photos to get some idea of what can be achieved.  

If you have a suitable project please get in touch with IWA's Volunteers Co-ordinator by email or phone IWA at Chesham 01494 783 453 ext 604.

IWA's Essex Waterways Wishes Gladys Bon Voyage

Thames sailing barge Gladys winters at Heybridge Basin on the Essex Waterways each year where her crew carry out annual maintenance before she returns to operate from her summer mooring in St Katharines Dock in London.


Photo:  TSB Gladys heading for the bright lights of London for the summer

IWA Chairman Meets Waterways Chief Executives

In our last issue of Bulletin we reported that Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, and Gren Messham, IWA Duputy Chairman met with Waterways Minister Rory Stewart.  At the meeting the Minister suggested that IWA should be represented at the Environment Agency (EA) Navigations Transfer Project – Chief Executives Familiarisation Visit.  As a result Les Etheridge joined Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of EA and Richard Parry, Chief Executive of Canal & River Trust (CRT) on Wednesday 27th April 2016 at Islip Lock on the River Nene and St Ives Lock on the River Great Ouse.  Discussions were really constructive and Les was able to explain to Sir James that IWA are determined to find a sustainable future for the EA navigations and the need to ensure they are appropriately funded.   
A highlight of the visit was seeing St Ives Lock reversed (as happens in flood conditions) and even at normal river levels the power of the water flowing through the lock was quite amazing. 


Photo: 2nd from left - Richard Parry, Chief Executive CRT.  3rd from left - Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive EA.  Far right - Les Etheridge, IWA national chairman. 

See you at Crick?

Crick Boat Show is described as the country’s biggest inland waterways show and IWA will have two stands.  There are over 40 new boats to view and more than 250 exhibitors plus there is music from the likes of The Tom Robinson Band and a Blondie tribute act.  Parking is free and children can enter the show for nothing so it looks like being a pretty good family day out as there are lots of activities on offer.

Gren Messham, IWA’s deputy chairman, is giving a talk on Saturday 28 May at 11.45am on the topic of “Getting Afloat”. Aimed at the novice boater, Gren’s talk offers advice on where you might go in the UK, how much time you may need, how you can get an idea of what’s involved, and guidance on what boating can cost.  He will be joined on stage by Ivor Caplan and Alison Smedley to ensure that all questions from the floor can be answered.

As you wander the show come and see our volunteers at Stand WW53/54 in the big marquee area to browse an exciting range of maps, books and guides. It’s lovely to see them all laid out before you as it makes it really easy to choose.  Plus we have our show special membership deal.  Join IWA for just £3 for 3 months and then get a free Imrays map of the waterways of Great Britain including our brand new directory of the waterways when your 12 month membership starts.
When you make your way down towards the boats we'd love to welcome you on stand Q4 where the restoration projects IWA has been supporting most recently will be showcased. It's a chance to find out more about the work our volunteers have been doing and also to join IWA.

If you do plan to go to Crick remember to take your IWA membership card as this will gain you access to the VIP marquee and vintage tearoom.  If you are not a member yet, join here and get a free map of the Waterways of Great Britain.

Take a look at the Crick Boat Show website to buy tickets in advance.


Photo:  Plenty of boats to be viewed at Crick 

An update to IWA’s Articles of Association

Trustees are to propose a revision to the IWA’s Articles of the Association at the September AGM.  The Articles of Association are the document that sets out how IWA is run.  The proposals were presented and discussed by trustees at their most recent meeting, held on 9th April, following a discussion and commitment for change by trustees last October.

The general idea behind the changes to our Articles is to modernise them in line with the Charity Commission model Articles permitting IWA greater flexibility and agility going forward.  Trustees will have a slightly enhanced discretion in setting arrangements for the Association, particularly with respect to membership categories and the appointment of directors / trustees.  The new Articles also now include the provisions in IWA’s existing Memorandum of Association, consolidating the two former documents into one new one, making it easier to understand, and in line with the latest Companies Act provisions.
The proposed new articles, which have been professionally reviewed by specialist solicitors, including all changes suggested by trustees can be found at https://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/proposed_articles_of_association.   
If you would like to compare the proposal to our current set of Articles, please view our current version.
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions relating to the proposed changes please send them to Neil Edwards at Head Office [firstname.lastname@waterways.org.uk] before 31st May.  

Trustees will further review the proposed new Articles at their 18th June meeting and a final recommendation will be presented for approval at the 2016 AGM in September.  Full details will appear in the August edition of Waterways magazine.

In summary the main changes between our current Articles and the proposed new ones are as follows: (The references to individual Articles below are to the proposed new Articles)

  • Article 9: Introduces a more formalised way of defining and dealing with Conflicts of Interest.
  • Article 11: Allows trustees to introduce new, or amend, membership classes, and to change membership rates.
  • Article 20: Introduces a new power for a minimum of 10 members to petition for a Members’ Resolution to be discussed at an AGM.
  • Article 26(2): Requires corporate members to specify who their nominated representative is (in order to vote at meetings, etc).
  • Article 29: Allows trustees to specify which, if any, committee chairmen should be ex-officio trustees – that might include region chairmen and / or chairmen of certain, or all, national committees.
  • Article 34: Allows trustees to set out the procedures for election and / or appointment of trustees.
  • Article 39(7): Allows trustees to terminate the directorship of an unsuitable trustee – but requires a vote in favour by not less than 75% of all directors.
  • Article 46: Requires greater clarity on what powers and functions are delegated.
  • Article 62: Allows subsidiary companies to retain profits rather than be required to remit all profits to the Association at the end of each year.

Tax Changes Affect Gift Aid

The Autumn 2015 budget saw the announcement of new interest and dividend income allowances for individuals, which came into effect on 6th April 2016.  Interest on bank accounts and dividends from shares are now paid gross, rather than with tax deducted.  An individual may earn up to £1,000 interest tax free (reduced to £500 for higher rate and £0 for additional rate tax payers). In addition, everyone can receive up to £5,000 in dividends tax free.  Where donors previously relied on the tax paid on bank account interest or dividends on shares to enable them to sign a Gift Aid declaration, they may now no longer be able to do so, and it is the donor’s responsibility to let the charity (e.g. IWA) know of the change in their circumstances. 

Claiming Gift Aid works on the basis that the donor has already paid income tax in any given tax year. There is no liability on charities to check each donor’s tax position, but these changes in tax arrangements may be of concern to individuals whose income tax bill is close to or less than the amount they are declaring for Gift Aid.  In the worst case scenario, a tax liability may arise and donors could find themselves being chased by HMRC.  If you think you are no longer paying sufficient income tax to allow IWA to claim Gift Aid on your IWA membership or other donations, please advise Tracy Higgin, Membership officer at Head Office.

IWA Trailboat Festival, Chesterfield is a Bank Holiday must-do

Thirty five trailboats are expected to attend the festival in Chesterfield's Staveley Town Basin on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May.  There will be five trip boats operating and on Monday 30th May there will be a special flotilla of trip boats and trailboats ten miles up to the River Rother at St Helena's Dock and back.  Spaces can be booked for what should be a real treat.
Along with an illuminated boat parade on the Saturday night, visitors can expected to be tempted and entertained by canoeing, learn to drive a digger, birds of prey, a climbing wall, belly dancers, a bungee trampoline, fire eaters, morris dancers, music, dozens of stalls plus food and drink including a Real Ale bar run by Brampton Brewery.

Cruise to Pelsall on an Explorer Cruise for a Cracking Festival

There are just 6 spaces left on the Explorer Cruise to IWA's Festival of Water in Pelsall during August.  The cruise is organised by Birmingham Canal Navigations Society and starts on Friday 19th August.  To have a look at the itinerary or to book a space, visit our Pelsall pages for more information. 
There is a packed schedule of entertainment and music organised already to make sure you have a lot of fun over the August Bank holiday weekend.  More details to follow but we are sure there will be plenty of interest in the hula hoop workshops.  To book a mooring or campsite, fill out the booking form.  You are sure to meet old friends or make new ones. 
Alternatively make sure you receive the most up to date news about the Festival by following the Festival page on Facebook.  You can invite your Facebook Friends too. 

IWA Branch News

IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch

A tour of Runcorn Locks was undertaken by 26 branch members starting at the Bridgewater Motor Boat Club with an interesting introductory talk and informative film “Unlock Runcorn”. 

The tour took the group initially through Runcorn and then on to the locks themselves where a walk down to the Manchester Ship Canal showed the brickwork at the top of the filled in locks. Since the closure of the locks, houses and flats have been built adjacent to the original canal but there is still plenty of space and plans are being drawn up to build a new Marina part way down the flight.  Work is going to start next year in emptying the locks so they can be restored in preparation for the flight to be in water once again following work by the Runcorn Locks Restoration Society.

IWA Peterborough Branch

One of the best attended joint IWA Peterborough Branch and Middle Level Watermans Club cruises took place over Easter.  For the full story and photographs take a look at the Branch newsletter

IWA Northampton Branch

IWA Northampton Branch spent the early Spring Bank Holiday 2016 at historic Braunston, Nurser's Dock, with kind permission from Tim Coghlan for the tried and tested Boat Gathering.  2016 brought some exciting new additions as well as a Best Turned Out Boat competition, talks and walks, Sunday night Team Quiz, boaters' pack quizzes and a village treasure hunt


Mary Croft

It has been announced that Mary Croft passed away on Monday 2nd May.  Colin and Mary Crofts have been long-standing committee members of IWA South Yorkshire and Dukeries Branch and branch stalwarts for even more years. 

Other Waterway News

CRT - London Mooring Strategy

Canal & River Trust is setting out its plans to develop a London Mooring Strategy to address the unique challenges and opportunities of boating in the capital.

Boating in London has become more challenging as boat numbers on London’s waterways continue to grow, with an increase of 400 in the past year. This has led to pressure on moorings, facilities and infrastructure.  It can be hard to find space at towpath moorings in the most popular areas while the supply of long-term moorings isn’t enough to meet demand.  Over the past few years the Trust has been working with boaters and other stakeholders, including IWA, on solving the problem.  While a number of trials have been carried out and there have been some positive changes, for example the creation of new long-term moorings and bookable moorings, it is clear that a plan of action that covers all aspects of London moorings, developed with waterway users, is necessary to make a significant difference.  

A London Mooring Strategy will allow the Trust to take a look at how to manage these issues, as well as make the most of opportunities that will help the charity maintain the waterways for the benefit of boaters and other users.

The London Mooring Strategy would aim:

  • For better provision and management of a range of facilities and mooring types in London
  • To manage the high number of boats in London and to mitigate the environmental impacts on the waterways and neighbours
  • To help ensure fair sharing of water space
  • To enable a wider range of boaters to visit and navigate in London
  • To protect existing, and generate additional, income to maintain the waterways in London
  • To support a London waterway destination and tourism strategy
  • To ensure the mooring strategy contributes to the Trust’s aim that London’s waterways help to transform neighbourhoods and enrich people’s lives

The Trust has been gathering information from various groups, including its Navigation Advisory Group, the London Waterway Partnership, national boating organisations and other key stakeholders.  There will be a programme of workshops for interested parties over the coming months. 

IWA London Region will be talking to CRT to discuss the issues, building on previous studies that need to be considered in this new Strategy. IWA members are encouraged to attend the CRT User Forum workshop on Tuesday 24rd May 2016, 6.30pm to 9pm at the Holiday Inn - Camden Lock, 30 Jamestown Road, London NW1 7BY.  Book a place in advance by e-mailing CRT for the opportunity to meet the CRT team and put your points to them directly.

Alternatively IWA's London Region chairman is happy to discuss individual issues by e-mail or phone 07885 240291.  The development of the London Mooring Strategy is anticipated to be completed in 2017.

Check Over Wendover's Progress

The Wendover Arm Trust will be holding the first of their 2016 restoration open days on Sunday 5th June at Drayton Beauchamp.  There will be guided walks up to the work sites, information boards and tea and cakes.  For more details see Wendover Arm Trust's Open Day PDF

Wappenshall Funding Appeal update – Getting there! 

Since early 2014 the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust has been trying to raise match funding of £500,000 to restore the warehouses and basin at Wappenshall Wharf. The total cost of the project is £1.5 million and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which has extended the final Round 2 submission date to 12/12/16, will contribute £1 million towards this as long as a balance of £500,000 can be raised.

In early March the Trust launched a local appeal to the communities and villages around Wappenshall. The project was particularly relevant to them as the restoration plans include the creation of a local community centre, there being nothing like that in the immediate area. Since then volunteers have delivered many thousands of appeal leaflets direct to people’s doors – and it is starting to pay off as new pledges from the local community are being received.

As a means of inspiring volunteers, and the local people, a panel has been erected at the entrance to Wappenshall Wharf to display the target needed and the amount that has been achieved so far. At the end of the last monthly Wappenshall workparty the latest total of £173,000 was revealed. The Trust are through to the 2nd round of an application for £100,000 of European funding and are extremely hopeful that they will be successful with this.

WappershallPhoto: Crowdfunding by Shrewsbury & Newport Canal Trust?

Cycling, Walking and Paddling the Montgomery - All in One Day!

The fifth Montgomery Canal Triathlon on 7th May was a great success with over two hundred people taking part, including groups from many local organisations and others from as far as Lancashire, Staffordshire, Hampshire, Bristol and Sevenoaks.   Notable entrants from CRT were Chief Executive Richard Parry, Andrew Stumpf, CRT Head of Wales, and Ani Sutton, CRT North Wales & Borders Development and Engagement Manager. The youngest entrant was just 10 years old, and the oldest was 73.


Photo: Cyclists being given the go signal by the Mayor of Newtown

The event was started by Cllr Richard Edwards, Mayor of Newtown, who saw entrants off on the first stage, a 17-mile towpath cycle ride to Pool Quay, north of Welshpool – the volunteer who acted as 'sweep' for the first part of this stage then went off to compete in the Market Drayton 10K run.  There followed an 11-mile section on foot from Pool Quay to Morton, south of Oswestry. This section included some recently resurfaced towpath, with rougher conditions through the unrestored dry section at Pant, finally passing the length currently being restored by volunteers of the Shropshire Union Canal Society.  The Triathlon was completed by seven miles in canoes, finishing at the Weston Arm, below Frankton Locks.

The first entrants started at 8.30am, and the last arrived at the finish at 7pm.  A local couple tackled the whole course on foot, starting before the other participants and taking 11 hours for the 35 miles.  All entrants were presented with medallions of local slate: gold for those who had completed the whole course, and silver and bronze for those who completed two sections or one.  The event was organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal who received help from other Montgomery Canal organisations in stewarding road crossings, working locks, and helping entrants at other points on the course, including staff from Tesco who assisted where the canal passes their Welshpool store, and a team from CRT who helped with the administration at the conclusion of the event.  In all, about 60 stewards helped to make the event a success.

Christine Palin, chairman of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal said, “We were delighted that the Triathlon went so well. We are currently working to see if funds can be raised for  next stages of restoration.  Funding is not easy these days, but experience on other canals shows all the social, economic and environmental benefits of a reopened canal. We look forward to the days when mid-Wales can see these benefits from joining the Montgomery Canal to the rest of the waterway network.”

The next major event on the Montgomery Canal will be the Canal & Food Festival on Saturday 2nd July which promises coracle racing, canoeing, angling, boat rides and entertainment.

Wey & Arun Stroll

Community groups and charities can raise money for their good causes at the same time as supporting an organisation which is bringing a historic waterway back to life.  They are being invited to take part in the Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s annual sponsored walk – keeping half of the amount they raise.

This year’s walk, known as the Poddle, is on Sunday, June 5th. Its 12-mile route through some beautiful Surrey and Sussex countryside takes in locations linked with the 200th anniversary of the canal’s opening.  The Trust is giving other organisations the opportunity to raise money through a 50/50 sponsorship option. If a team of walkers raises more than £200 sponsorship, a minimum of £20 each, it is happy to split their proceeds equally with a cause of their choosing.
“This will benefit groups such as the scouts and guides and other young people’s groups,” said Poddle co-ordinator Margaret Darvill. “They can take advantage of us making all the arrangements, while helping themselves and the trust at the same time.”

The walk’s morning section of about 6½ miles is from North Hall in Loxwood, West Sussex to the Three Compasses pub at Alfold in Surrey, where lunch will be provided. The newly combined Arun Navigation and Wey & Arun Junction Canal was officially opened there by Lord Egremont in September 1816.  The route takes in the canal from Devil’s Hole Lock, past Gennets Bridge Lock – where walkers might see volunteers at work – to the new Compasses Bridge. It passes through the picturesque Sidney Wood, along parts of the un-restored waterway.

Those who would like to do a shorter walk can just join the afternoon 5½ mile section, starting at 1pm from the Three Compasses. The route goes to Alfold village, over farmland and then along the Surrey-Sussex border and back to North Hall for tea and cake.

“We, of course, also welcome individuals who want to support the canal restoration to take part, added Mrs Darvill. “Almost anyone can join in, with the proviso that the route includes stiles and some hills so may prove difficult for some.”

Individuals and groups can register to join the Poddle on the Wey & Arun Trust website, by phoning 01483 894606 or e-mailing the Trust.  Supporters who are unable to do the walk could sponsor the Trust’s ‘last man’ walker, volunteer to act as a marshal on the day or man a refreshment point.

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:

South West Region - Sou'Wester
Milton Keynes - Towpath Telegraph
Lee & Stort Branch - Recorder
Lichfield Branch - Lichfield Lines

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2016

28th May - 29th May 2016 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Staveley

11th - 12th June - IWA Campaign Festival, Eldonian Village, Liverpool

9th July - Cruise around Olympic Waterways - Email for details

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

14th May Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
15th May Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
17th May Work Party - Oxford Canal (Supported by IWA Oxfordshire Branch)
18th May Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th May Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
21st May Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
24th May Work Party - Oxford Canal (Supported by IWA Oxfordshire Branch)
24th May Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
24th May Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
25th May Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
25th May Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
27th May Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
28th May Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

1st June Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
4th June Work Party - Chelmer & Blackwater (Essex WRG)
4th June Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
5th June River Don - Himalayan Balsam Bash (IWA South Yorks & Dukeries)
8th June Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th June Work Party - Staffs & Worcester (IWA Birmingham Branch)
9th June Work Party - Uttoxeter (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
11th June Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
15th June Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
22nd June Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
29th June 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

15th May Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
29th May Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

5th June Waterside Walk - Grand Junction & Regent's Canals (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
  • Bounty Pub, Bourne End, SL8 5RG – 10% discount off food
  • 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
  • Fingerpost Pub and Restaurant, Pelsall WS3 5AU - 10% on food
  • Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
  • Forge Studio - 10% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • I Love Meet and Greet Ltd - 15% discount
  • Jenny Wren - 10% of London cruise
  • King's Lock Tearooms, Aylestone LE2 8LR - 10% 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
  • Ring O Bells, Marple - 10% discount on food
  • River Canal Rescue - Up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • Solar Technology International- 10% discount on PV Logic Narrow Boat Kits & Foldup Panels
  • 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


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Mystery Photo Challenge

Take part in the mystery photo challenge and submit your answer here.

See the answer and those that guessed correctly for the previous mystery challenge!

Recent Blog Posts

David Edwards-May - Volunteer of the Month May 2016
A fantastic weekend at IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2016
"It All Starts With Canals" - Interview with Liz McIvor

Desktop Calendar

Download the May Desktop Calendar