IWA Bulletin - 12th July 2016

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IWA News

IWA Announces New Legacy Fund

Following a bequest from former IWA consultant engineer and trustee, Tony Harrison, IWA has announced a new fund which waterway projects around the country will be able to bid for.  Tony, who was an expert in hydraulics and hydrology in his professional life, served on IWA’s Restoration Committee for twenty years and chaired it for five years.  Throughout Tony’s long association with IWA many restoration projects benefitted from his advice and expertise, and IWA intends that his legacy will continue by inviting waterway projects to bid for the £200,000 that Tony bequeathed to the Association.  

The criteria for the award of funds will be the maximum amount of good that could be achieved for the inland waterways and applications are therefore invited from any organisation proposing to spend the funds in manners that meet this criteria and that are consistent with IWA’s charitable objectives. Applications can be for any amount up to £200,000 and there could be more than one recipient.

Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, said “I hope that applications will be of very broad scope, reflecting the wide range of Tony Harrison’s interests that included restoration, engineering standards, boating, hydraulics, and economics.”

For further details on this fund and how to bid for it go to IWA's website.
Photo Tony HarrisonPhoto: Tony Harrison

HS2 South Yorkshire - Options for the Eastern Route to Leeds

This is an extract from Gren Messham’s full report on this matter.  To read the full report, click here.

On Wednesday 7th July Sir David Higgins produced two reports on South Yorkshire and Sheffield, to set out the options for the location of the South Yorkshire Hub station.  The option analysis highlighted the difficulties of producing a good design for Meadowhall and the major cost impacts of other options.  The cheapest option was a ‘classic spur/ loop’ combined with moving the mainline further eastward thus addressing Sheffield’s wish for city centre linkage to HS2 and providing a more direct and cheaper main line to the north.    

The impacts of the different options on canal and inland waterways are discussed in Gren Messham's full report.  The cheapest option however, in moving the main route eastward, will avoid the major impact on the Chesterfield Canal restoration near Staveley, and also avoids the route of the Barnsley Dearne and Dove.  On the other hand it will cross the Norwood Tunnel route of the Chesterfield Canal, the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation near Mexborough, and may impose a ‘parkway style’ station in the area.

There remains the impact on the as yet unconfirmed Phase 2 route into Leeds, which seriously impacts navigation along the Aire and Calder Navigation near Woodlesford.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, announced to Parliament, "Before I reach a decision about HS2 in South Yorkshire I will want to consider today’s report in detail. It is my intention to make an announcement on the HS2 Phase Two route, of which South Yorkshire is a part, later this year."

The full report can be read here.

IWA Trustee Elections

The closing date for nominations for trustees for 2016 was on Friday 1st July.  There were vacancies for four nationally elected trustees.  There were four nominations:

  • Rick Barnes
  • Ivor Caplan
  • Gren Messham
  • Jonathan Smith

Rick Barnes and Jonathan Smith will therefore be joining trustees with effect from the AGM, on which date Jim Shead retires.

There were four region chairman posts available for election, and in each case there was one nomination:

East Midlands Region: David Pullen
Eastern Region: John Pomfret
North East Region: Peter Scott
West Midlands Region: Helen Whitehouse
In accordance with clause 19 of the Procedures for Appointing Region Chairmen, John Pomfret and Helen Whitehouse are duly appointed as Eastern Region and West Midlands Region Chairman respectively, and each a trustee with effect from 1st July, the closing date for nominations.

Summer of Canal Restoration

IWA WRG’s summer season of canal restoration kicked off on the 2nd July with 60 volunteers spending the week working on three different projects - on the Grantham Canal in Nottinghamshire, Monmouthshire Canal in South Wales and the Wey and Arun Canal near Guildford.  

There are 22 Canal Camps this summer, to which volunteers are invited to get their hands dirty and try something completely different. Some of the tasks lined up this year include, starting the rebuilding and restoration of Inglesham Lock on the Cotswold Canals near Lechlade, relining a section of the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal near Meretown, and for industrial archaeologists WRG are heading to the Stover Canal to uncover Ventiford Basin and a granite tramway. WRG Camps offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation and other restoration techniques.

Last year WRG volunteers spent nearly 2400 volunteer days helping restore the canals of England and Wales on summer canal camps. With more volunteering opportunities on offer this summer even greater progress can be made on a number of restoration projects.

There are still a few spaces left on the Summer Canal Camps. Click here for more details.


Photo: Rebuilding the chamber of Lock 15 on the Grantham Canal using bricks and blockwork

WRGie repointing a wall

Photo: A WRG volunteer repointing on the Monmouthshire Canal

Call to lobby Bridgewater Canal Company

Following on from our campaign for Bridgewater Canal licensing arrangements, Bridgewater Canal Company are now seeking to extend restrictive changes to their reciprocal agreement with Canal & River Trust.

There has long been a reciprocal agreement in place to allow boats licensed on the Bridgewater Canal to access local CRT waterways, and for CRT licence holders to use the Bridgewater Canal without any additional charge.  The recent changes mean that boaters may be charged a £40 supplementary licence fee for a return journey along the Bridgewater Canal. 

IWA has been campaigning since November 2015 for BCC to reverse these changes to its agreement, which is discouraging CRT licensed boaters from making the transit from Preston Brook to Leigh and Manchester.  The change to policy is likely to damage the local economy as the numbers of visiting boats will be reduced. This change is also unlikely to be agreeable to CRT under the Reciprocal Agreement, which will impact the current mutually agreed concessions.

Further to this, BCC management are now seeking to extend this non-return policy to hire boats. We have already observed an impact on visitor numbers along the canal and we are concerned that this trend may continue unless pressure is put on BCC to adopt a more welcoming policy.

IWA has put forward alternative proposals to allow visiting boats up to seven days in any 28 day period, encouraging boaters to transit the canal end to end and return within 28 days, allowing visiting boats time to stop over at the various attractions along the waterway.

We urge members to support IWA's proposals and write to Bridgewater Canal Company (Peel Dome, INTU Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8PL) or email Bridgewatercanal@peel.co.uk.

IWA Response to Middle Levels Commissioners

IWA's Navigation Committee has replied to the 2016 Order and Byelaws consultation process on the navigable waterways of the Middle Levels.  The full response can be reviewed via this link where responses show IWA's understanding of MLC's position.   

A New Perspective on the Olympic Park

olympic park cruise main stadiumPhoto Roger Squires: Olympic Park Cruise - a whole new angle on the sights of the Park

More than 70 boats gathered last weekend, at Bromley By Bow to take part in a cruise around the Olympic Park.  The event was initiated by IWA North & East London Branch, CRT, London Legacy, and St Pancras Cruising Club to give boaters a chance to see these newly opened waterways and was co-ordinated by Andrew Phasey on behalf of IWA.

The popularity of the cruise and a barrier on the Bow Back loop, created by the Crossrail project, meant the cruise, on Saturday 9th July, had to be undertaken in two parts – the Inner Park loop and around the Stadium and along the Main Park spine via the Waterworks River and past the Aquatics Centre.
Olympic Park Waterways CruisePhoto: More than 70 boats took part in the Olympic Park Cruise

After a safety briefing and a few words of welcome the two processions of boats moved from their moorings upstream towards the Park. One group proceeded onwards to just below Old Ford Locks where the entry to the Park was made. The other made a sharp right turn, just after the Bow Flyover, to proceed through City Mill Lock and into the Waterworks River. With careful planning, the lockkeeper at Three Mills Lock had regulated the level of the water here so that boats could speed through the lock chamber without stopping and proceed up past the Aquatics Centre to the entrance of the still to be restored Carpenters Road Lock.  All boats turned in the lock entrance here and retraced their steps.  Meanwhile the first group of boats cruised around the Olympic Stadium, then returned to the point where the flotillas passed each other and then proceeded along the channels they had not previously navigated before returning to the Bromley By Bow moorings.

City Mill Lock Olympic Park CruisePhoto: City Mill Lock

Next year, when Carpenters Road lock is re-opened, it is hoped that a planned cruise through Three Mills Lock and on around the Isle of Dogs will take place.  This year the wind put paid to these hopes. 

The curly Wyrley is the place to be this August

Our Festival of Water in Pelsall, near Walsall is pretty much there in terms of entertainments, food and trade stalls.  All we need now is you.  Come and join over 100 boats and lots of campers who have paid just £35 to spend a long weekend by the banks of the Wyrley & Essington Canal.

From 10am on Saturday 27th to 4pm on Monday 29th August, visitors will get the chance to see a collection of classic cars, a packed schedule of live music and dance or to eat and drink the days away from a fabulous collection of food stalls and of course the Real Ale bar.

Book your boat or campsite spot now.  The team look forward to welcoming you to Pelsall North Common, to meet old friends and make new ones too.

There is FREE parking and entry for all festival visitors.

IWA Branch News

Lee & Stort Branch

The Ware Boat Festival, which took place from 1st to 3rd July, is part of Ware Town Festival and is the branch's main event each year.  The Saturday boat parade was timed to mostly avoid some heavy showers and to synchronise with a street carnival procession.  The theme this year was Roald Dahl which encouraged boaters to give full vent to their creative instincts.  A boat handling competition followed the parade, with some seasoned boaters being shown up by young Toby in 'Diplodocus'.  The now traditional Quiz Evening followed when Branch Chair Craig Haslam could give full vent to his more extrovert  tendencies. 


Photo by Mike Jones: Annie & Walt surrounded by Oompaloompas


Photo by Mike Jones: Boat handling by Toby

Manchester Branch

The Ashton Canal is the location for a very worthy initiative being launched by IWA's Manchester Branch.  Based on a pilot scheme which started in Todmordon 2007, Incredible Edible aims to turn unused plots of land into sources of food or plants to encourage bees. The Branch is working to cultivate an area by Lock 4 of the Ashton Canal for the benefit of passing boaters whose access to fresh vegetables and herbs may be limited.  At their June work party they planted strawberries, beetroot, chives, onions, parley and peas.  Progress on this can be followed through IWA Manchester Branch's Facebook page.

manchesterediblePhoto:  The newly constructed raised bed being planted out

South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch

Sunday 5th June 2016 saw the first balsam bash at Hexthorpe Park, Doncaster for South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch. This came about as members were becoming concerned that the view of the river was completely obliterated because of these tall pink flowered plants. In some areas it had totally taken over and eradicated other plants, elsewhere it was mixing with other wild plants.

The working party attracted the attention of several walkers who were amazed when told how the plants spread their seeds by exploding seed pods and the fact that the seeds can spread up to seven metres from the mother plant and will dominate all the other native plants. They also had not realised that when the seedpods exploded near moving water they could be carried downstream and populate another area.  After about three hours a reasonable area had been cleared but there was about 90% more Himalayan Balsam left to clear.


Photo: 'Dr Livingstone I presume' - Balsam bashing at Hexthorpe Park

North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch

Talking about Himalayan Balsam, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch are going to be very active in the next month with several Himalayan Balsam Bashes.  It’s a great task for children to join in, and there will be a family volunteering day at Stockton Brook on Saturday 16th July.  At the Froghall Canals Fun Day on Sunday 17th July there will be an afternoon work party to remove Himalayan Balsam so why not come along and support your Branch? For locations and dates of these work parties look on the Branch website.

Another new task is the Cheshire Mooring Rings project.  There will be a work party on Friday 15th July to install several new rings at Wheelock Wharf and the Branch would welcome anyone who would like to come along and help.  Also, if anyone else is interested in getting involved in the project to install new and replacement mooring rings at visitor moorings around the Cheshire Ring, do let Alex Melson know at head office.

Lancashire & Cumbria Branch

Yet more activity on IWA's campaign to eradicate invasive species.  On Saturday 20th August there will be a Balsam Bash at Haslam Park, Preston, with Friends of Haslam Park.  Anyone who is interested in going can email the Branch for more details.

Lancashire & Cumbria Branch has a new venue for its branch social meetings starting from September 2016. This is St Chads Parish Centre, 235 Town Lane, Whittle le Woods, Chorley, PR6 8AJ. This venue is a lot more sociable than the current venues and has parking and a bar. Topics that will be covered in this seasons programme include: River Mersey Link; Lancaster Canal; Bugsworth Basin; Manchester Bolton Bury Canal and 200 years of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.  For further details check out the Branch website

Northampton Branch


Northampton Branch has had a busy time as it held three working parties in one week installing a mile post, a memorial plaque dedicated to the memory of Eric Young, long time Branch and committee member and, with the help of St Giles Cub & Scout Group, collected 30 bags of rubbish from Lock 2 to Lock 17.

northamptonrubbishPhoto: What a load of rubbish!  Collected with the help of St Giles Cub & Scout Group

Milton Keynes Branch

Milton Keynes Branch are planning their summer events and would welcome visitors.  Firstly, there will be a Branch stall to the Buckingham Canal Society’s Cosgrove Festival on Sunday 17 July near Cosgrove Lock.  Secondly they will be attending the Linslade Canal Festival on Saturday 30 July.  This free event takes place in Tiddenfoot Waterside Park, Linslade, LU7 2AF.  It showcases traditional craft skills and local arts & crafts, and also raises the profile of life on the canal, the town’s heritage, and local conservation projects.  Historic and working narrow boats as well as pleasure boat trips will provide a colourful and vibrant attraction on the canal.  A programme of live music will run throughout the day.  For further details of the Branch's activities visit their IWA website page.

Other Waterway News

Looking for Heritage Action Zones

Historic England has now launched its new Heritage Action Zones initiative, which aims to help bring sustainable development to under-valued historic areas across England.  Villages, old towns, neighbourhoods and quarters that are rich in industrial, rural, cultural or faith heritage, are often neglected and under-used. Canals are an example that these areas can become symbols of deprivation and dilapidation but can be transformed by regeneration and renewal.

Historic England wants to unlock the potential of such historic sites and is now calling for applications for its new scheme. Working with local partners, they will focus help and resources on historic areas where growth is needed in order to bring them to life.

To be considered for Heritage Action Zone status an area needs to be of significant historic interest, and able to contribute to the social, economic and environmental needs of a place.
They can be urban or rural, a whole town or a conservation area, a streetscape, series of buildings or multiple places and include both listed and unlisted sites.

The closing date for applications is 5 September 2016 and the first round of projects is expected to begin in April 2017. Guidance, criteria and relevant documentation is available on the Historic England website.  If you have any questions about the Heritage Action Zone initiative, please contact Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone team.

Update on London Mooring Strategy Consultation

The first stakeholder consultation event took place on 24th May at the Holiday Inn, Camden Lock.  The workshop was very well attended by a range of different user groups, including live-aboard boaters, cruising clubs, rowing clubs, canal-based businesses and local communities to name but a few. It resulted in a lot of valuable information about what people felt was important about London’s waterways, what the needs and aspirations of different waterway users are, the issues that need to be addressed, and the locations where challenges or opportunities exist to improve the experience of boating in London.
The next steps will be to continue meeting with stakeholders and gathering data, with a view to developing plans that will build up to form a comprehensive strategy for the whole of the CRT’s London waterway network. The initial focus this year will be winter moorings, short term moorings, and bookable moorings, together with a programme of engagement with statutory and local authority partners.
The full workshop report and presentation given on the night can be found on the London pages on CRT's website.   

Want to Bring Your Boat to the Capital?

As part of the review into moorings in London, CRT is conducting a survey to gauge the level of demand for boaters wanting to visit the capital together with their interest in being able to pre-book a short-stay mooring ahead of their arrival.

The Trust is planning to trial pre-bookable short-stay mooring spots that will let boats reserve a place to moor and is asking boaters who want to visit London to carry out a short survey about any previous experiences of boating in the capital. The Trust wants to find out what facilities boaters may want at such sites, and what they may expect to pay for them.  To  give some context to your answer to this question CRT charges £6 a night at Llangollen which includes water and electric supplies and most places on the Thames charge around the same although usually without any services.

To ensure that CRT gets a balanced view from all boaters who use the London waterways it is important that IWA members and regular boaters who know, and use, the London waterways complete the survey online.

Can you help The Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust meet its match funding target?

The £1.5m Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust's Wappenshall project is hanging by a thread.  In order to retain the Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1m, the Trust needs to raise a further £300,000 by 5th September 2016 to add to the £200,000 match funding raised so far.

Chairman of the SNCT, Bernie Jones said "After all the hard work put in by our fundraising team over the past 3 years, it would be an absolute tragedy if this project was now to fail. We desperately need this money, or the HLF grant will lapse. This would mean having to start at square one all over again and other match funding grants would also then be lost."

If you can help the Trust in any way, please get in touch with Bernie at bjones@sncanal.org.uk or call 07971 016322.

Photo: Help Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust restore Wappenshall Wharf

Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally

Over the weekend of the 25th and 26th June a total of 67 historic narrowboats and some 7,000 visitors attended the 14th Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally, making it once again the largest rally of such narrowboats anywhere on the canals.

The Rally was opened by Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman in recognition of this being the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Association in 1946 which has done so much to save and preserve the inland waterways.

Les Etheridge, with a little help from the Friends of Raymond, helmed the Nutfield dressed as Arthur Bray, its boatman for many years, as it towed its famous butty Raymond from the Grand Union Canal into the marina. Raymond  was steered by Richard Parry, CEO of CRT, who had opened last year’s Rally.  

As Les Etheridge passed under the Marina’s  famous 1834 Horseley Ironworks Bridge in the pouring rain, he declared the 2016 Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally ‘Open!’  His acclamation was accompanied by the sound of the church bells of Braunston, and  celebratory music from Daventry Brass Band, which had retreated into the nearby beer tent, from where it continued to play.

After the parade, an 80th  birthday party was held for Nutfield by the Friends of Raymond , for which a special cake in the form of Nutfield  in a lock had been made by former working boatwoman Alice Lapworth. This was formally cut by Les Etheridge.   

There was the now well established canal artists’ marquee, with a special exhibition of the life and works of the legendary Braunston canal boat painter Ron Hough, who died last year. Before the formal opening of the Rally, a commemorative plaque to Ron was unveiled by Les Etheridge in the presence of Ron’s wife Yvonne and daughter Angela.

All profits, which exceeded £6,000, were donated as usual, to canal causes. The main recipient was the Friends of Raymond  which  received £2,000 for their important restoration maintenance of Nutfield & Raymond.  A number of other donations were made to canal societies attending the Rally, including £1,000 to The Friends of The National Waterways Museum, Stoke Bruerne, whose narrowboat Sculptor has recently undergone  major restoration and £400 to IWA.

The Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally is sponsored by Braunston Marina and Towpath Talk, and is supported by CRT.  Braunston Marina will be hosting the event again next year on the last weekend in June - 24th to 25th June 2017.  

braunstonlesPhoto by Tim Coghlan:  Les Etheridge, National Chairman IWA stepping into the role of Arthur Bray, steering Nutfield

arthurbrayPhoto: The original Arthur Bray


Photo by Tim Coghlan:  Friends of Raymond receiving their donation

Could you be who Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is looking for?

Following a re-structure of the executive team at the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and the commencement of an exciting set of new initiatives such as the work at Pewsham top lock, where funds have been made available by Chippenham Area Board and the Peoples Postcode Lottery in conjunction with CRT's Heritage Heroes project, Wilts & Berks are looking for experienced people who can help take a management and/or leadership role.  If you are looking for a new challenge, or know someone who is, you might want to consider a new role that will help the Trust plan and drive its burgeoning project portfolio? There are commercial, building and maintenance roles available too which will all help to support the Trust's expanding activities and help to tackle the new projects in a professional, expert manner.  If your interest is piqued and you would like to talk about any of the opportunities in more detail please contact Derek Flexer, Volunteers and Commercial Director, WBCT.

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust Receives Queen's Award

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust and its volunteers have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.  David Penny and Maggie Jones from thel Trust attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on 24 May 2016 where they met other winners of this year’s award in the presence of the Queen.  Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust volunteers will be invited to receive the award from Dame Janet Trotter, DBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, in a ceremony later this summer.

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust is a group of volunteers who are working to rebuild 34 miles of canal between Hereford and Gloucester which will then connect this waterway with the national network. The canal will stretch from the River Severn at Gloucester, via Newent, Dymock and Ledbury to Hereford, using more than twenty two locks and three tunnels.  The original Hereford & Gloucester Canal took 53 years to build and was completed in 1845, making it the last major route built in Britain, apart from some navigations in Birmingham and the Manchester Ship Canal. The canal was formally closed in 1881 to allow construction of the Ledbury to Gloucester railway which in turn was closed by Dr Beeching in 1964.hereford1

Photo: Water in the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal at Kymin East


Photo: Heritage boats in Over Basin, Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal

Restoration of the Montgomery Canal

The Montgomery Canal Forum at Newtown on 27th June was the best attended ever with news and information about the Montgomery Canal.  The Forum, first held in 2006, is an annual public meeting which looks at the canal, its restoration and what it can mean to Shropshire and mid-Wales.  The meeting coincided with the publication of a new booklet dealing with all aspects of the canal and its restoration. This document can be seen online where it identifies a ten-year ambition, with restoration to Welshpool, subject to the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund.  An announcement is expected in September about whether this bid has been successful.

The Montgomery Canal runs from Frankton Junction near Ellesmere, through Welshpool to Newtown. It was closed after a burst bank in 1936. Restoration started in 1969 and since then hundreds of volunteers from Shropshire Union Canal Society and IWA’s WRG have spent thousands of days working to restore locks, bridges and weirs on the canal. This year volunteers are again working on the length from Redwith Bridge on the B4396 to Crickheath Wharf.

Elland and Crowther Bridge Now Open

Elland Bridge and Crowther Bridge on the Calder & Hebble Navigation are now open to boat traffic despite both needing to be completely rebuilt after the Boxing Day floods when both were badly damaged.  Engineers have planned the rebuild so that the canal can be reopened to boats now the new bridge foundations and a concrete arch are in place. Boaters can now use the canal while the remaining works to rebuild the bridge take place, reinstating an important link from Hebden Bridge to Wakefield and beyond and to the Huddersfield Broad Canal.
You can view this notice and its map online on the CRT website

News from the River Gipping

Volunteers from the River Gipping Trust hold working parties around 60 times a year supported by IWA Ipswich Branch.  Their current project is the re-instatement of the by-wash at Pipps Ford, Needham Market, but substantive work on the excavation has been delayed this spring by very high water levels and the need to protect a kingfisher nest which appeared in the bank which was due to be excavated.  The group have not been idle however and have used the time available to clear out a transverse ditch which will become a backwater when joined to the river and they have started the replacement of  broken brickwork in the weir at Pipps Ford. Like many other waterway working parties they have been carrying out a Himalayan Balsam eradication. 

Work on the bywash excavation itself will recommence once they are sure the kingfisher nest is no longer active...probably mid August, according to the local wildlife trust.gipping

Photo: River Gipping Trust dealing with himalayan balsam


Photo:  Replacing brickwork at Pipps Ford Weir

Tardebigge Lime Kilns Adoption

The Worcester, Birmingham & Droitwich Canal Society has adopted the lime kilns at Tardebigge and is in the process of restoring/conserving them. The Society regularly holds work parties with volunteers and has gifted a significant amount of time over the last year.  Bromsgrove Scout group was keen to get involved in the local project and has carried out a number of supervised tasks.
The Society is currently working on an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to support the continued restoration of the lime kilns.  To find out more about the work of the Society visit its website.

tardebiggekilnsPhoto: Lime Kilns at Tardebigge

Volunteers Restore Dundas Aqueduct Toll House

Volunteers have restored a nineteenth-century toll house at Dundas Aqueduct on the Kennet & Avon Canal in order to create a ‘welcome station’ for people visiting the historic structure

Working with CRT volunteers have spent the last year working on the building, which stands next to the aqueduct at the junction of the Kennet & Avon Canal and the now derelict Somerset Coal Canal.

One of the most spectacular sights on the Kennet & Avon Canal, Dundas Aqueduct was built by renowned waterway engineer John Rennie to take the canal over the River Avon, and was the first canal structure to be designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the country. The toll house, originally used to take fees from boats passing from one waterway to the other, will now be a welcome point for the area’s many visitors.


Aylestone Meadows Working to be Himalayan Balsam Free

Aylestone Meadows Appreciation Society members have been active through the summer, working to manage this pretty, pink flowered monster that is taking over the waterways.  They've been out on CRT workdays alongside their volunteers and members of IWA's Leicestershire Branch with City Council groups and informal groups of their members.

It’s best to pull the plant up to prevent later sprouting and, fortunately, they come up so easily so there’s a kind of satisfaction in it!  Last year and this summer the Society have worked on the Grand Union Canal between Marsden Lane and Mill Lock and it’s great to see that there is very little balsam in that area.

To find out more about Himalayan Balsam, please read the IWA fact sheet and the article by Ross Clements.  Ross is a one man balsam basher – he works tirelessly to remove the plant from waterways in Leicester and knows all there is to know about this pesky plant.

Panama Canal Gets Restoration on a Large Scale

For boaters that find Denham Deep Lock a little intimidating the newly expanded Panama Canal would prove overwhelming.  The new locks are the size of the Empire State Building, with doors that were built using enough steel for 19 Eiffel towers and walls lined with enough basalt rock for two of Giza's great pyramids.  As such, they can accommodate much bigger ships: monsters able to carry more than 13,000 containers, whereas previously the biggest vessels the canal could accommodate could carry only 5,000 of them.

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:

Ipswich Branch - Anglian Cuttings
North Lancs & Cumbria Branch - Towing Path Topics

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2016/2017

27th - 29th August 2016 - IWA Festival of Water, Pelsall
29th April - 1st May 2017 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, Little Venice

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

13th July Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
13th July Work Party - Staffs & Worcester IWA Birmingham Branch
14th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
16th July Work Party - Greater Manchester IWA Manchester Branch
20th July Work Party - River Gipping Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch
27th July Work Party - River Gipping Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch

3rd August Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
6th August Work Party - Burslem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
10th August Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
10th August Work Party - Staffs & Worcester (IWA Birmingham)
11th August Himalayan Balsam Bash - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire)
13th August Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
14th August Himalayan Balsam Bash - Warwick (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th August Work Party - River Gipping Trust (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
20th August Himalayan Balsam Bash - Preston (IWA Lancs & Cumbria Branch)
24th August Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
25th August Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

13th July Waterside Walk & Picnic - River Avon (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th July Waterside Walk - The Olympics, Three Mills & Bow Back Rivers (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

7th August Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
21st August Waterside 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:

Enjoy the Waterways Through Hire Boats and Leisure

ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount on holidays
Airedale Cruising, Skipton, Yorkshire Dales  - 10% discount off skippered day cruises
Blackwater Boats, Essex CO4 5HF - 10% discount off boat trips
CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
Canal Boat Magazine - 12 issues for £21.99 + Gourmet Society Plus
City Centre Cruises - 10% discount for Sunday lunch cruises
Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
Jenny Wren, London NW1 8QS - 10% discount off cruises
Middlewich Narrowboats - 25% discount off hire price of Willow
Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd- 10% discount on published prices

Eating Out

Bounty Pub, Bourne End SL8 5RG - 10% discount off food
Clifford Arms, Staffordshire ST18 0SR - 10% discount off food
Fingerpost Pub & Restaurant, Pelsall WS3 5AU - 10% discount off food
Kings Lock Tearooms, Leicester LE2 8LT - 10% discount off food
Ring 'O Bells Pub, Marple SK6 7AY - 10% discount off food
Three Locks Pub, Stoke Hammond MK17 9DD - 10% discount off food
Wharf Pub, Bugbrooke NN7 3QB - 10% discount

Better Value on Boats and Equipment

Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
Calcutt Boats - 5% online discount
Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing
Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
IceGripper - Special offer on ladies walking boots
Marine Mega Store Ltd - 15% discount
Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
RoadPro- 5% discount
Solar Technology International- 10% discount on PV Logic Narrow Boat Kits & Foldup Panels
Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
Zead - Free Postage & Accessories


Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
Forge Studio - 10% discount
I Love Meet and Greet Ltd - 15% discount
Lee Sanitation - 10% on orders over £100
Paper Wizard - 15% discount
River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
Wavetrain Marine - 5% discount on selected training

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

Member Discounts

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IWA News

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