IWA's North & East London Branch was most concerned when it heard that Crossrail works would mean the closure of the Bow Back loop on the City Mill River from 2007 when a set of piling dams were to be inserted either side of the Crossrail works. Subsequently came the news that a pedestrian entry path for the 2012 Olympic Games would also be constructed in the adjacent section of the Bow Back loop.
After the Games had ended, the Olympic Delivery Authority, after much Branch pressure, removed the infill that was used to create the Games pedestrian entry route. However, the Crossrail works were still continuing and, until the new Crossrail bridges could be constructed, the piling dams could not be removed. The new bridges, including the DLR diversion route to the new Pudding Mill station were finally completed in early 2015. Since then IWA North & East London Branch has been pressing the authorities for the removal of the dam to facilitate the complete reopening of the Bow Backs Loop.
It seemed that a breakthrough had been made in the negotiations in early 2016, however, the bad news was in the ‘small print’. Crossrail indicated that Thames Water, whose Northern Outfall Sewer was nearby, had said that as the piles had been in place for ten years, they were worried that to extract the piles now might disturb their trunk sewer pipes. So, Thames Water could only agree to the piles being cut off below ground but not extracted. Crossrail were responsible for this work and, to cut their costs, they indicated to CRT they would only cut the piles at 1.25m below water level. When the IWA branch heard of this proposal they identified it was unacceptable on two grounds. Firstly, this shallow depth would preclude the passage of some deeper draft maintenance craft, but also that, as the spot was half way around the loop which had always been prone to excessive silting, any underwater obstruction here would simply cause an excessive accumulation of silt. The local Branch representatives went into battle to get the situation retrieved. After protracted negotiations between the parties involved, and with CRT and the Olympic Legacy team backing IWA’s stance, Crossrail finally agreed that the piles should be cut off at 1.5m below water level. These works are shortly due to proceed.
The aim now is that the whole of the Bow Back Loop should be reopened when the Carpenters Road Lock restoration is completed in the spring of 2017. The local IWA Branch, in conjunction with the St Pancras Cruising Club, is planning a ‘Reopening Rally’ for the late spring Bank Holiday Weekend in 2017 to mark this long awaited event.
Photo: Olympic Park cruises, like this one in July 2016, will soon be a regular occurence with the removal of Crossrails piling dams and the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock
The restoration of Carpenters Road Lock can be watched in real time by clicking on this live feed.
WRG is now looking for waterway restoration projects that would benefit from a Canal Camp(s) in 2017. The first stage of the process invites canal societies, trusts and waterways groups to express their interest in hosting a Canal Camp via the Host a Canal Camp Application Form.
Many of the details will depend on funding and other variables (and some societies are currently hosting a Canal Camp), so it is understandable if a definite proposal cannot be made. However, WRG would like to hear if a canal restoration group would like to be considered for a canal camp at this stage.
In order to arrange site visits for any potential sites WRG need proposals for canal camps by the 15th September for discussion at WRG's Board meeting on the 18th September.
To help WRG get a better picture of the proposed work please include (if possible):
• A description of the work
• Any plans, details of permissions and funding
• Any photos of the site
• Details of potential accommodation for the WRG volunteers
The WRG Board will plan the Canal Camps Schedule for 2017 on the 5th/6th November.
For more information on Canal Camps please read IWA WRG's hosting a Canal Camp Document.
Photo Credit: Chris Clegg Tug JUDITH ANNE and dayboat at Walsall Junction, Walsall Canal - 1966
IWA's Festival of Water comes to Pelsall, near Walsall this August Bank Holiday weekend. One of the attractions includes a collection of 24 historic photos of the canals in the Walsall area, some of which have never been exhibited to the public before. The collection will be displayed close to IWA's stand at the Festival.
Over 120 boats have booked in to attend the Festival which aims to encourage greater usage of the northern Birmingham Canal Navigations. There is a packed schedule of music and other entertainment and plenty of activities to entertain the children including fairground rides, water zorbing, a bouncy slide, a ride-on steam train, Dudley Zoo are bringing face-painters and some small animals, birds of prey, WRGs drive a digger and WOW's canal crafts. Sneak a peak at the full programme and plan which day you would like to go.
A few helping hands from WRG has enabled progress to be made on the restoration of the Ashby Canal. The opening of Bridge 62 on the canal at Snarestone has been celebrated by the Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, Bill Liquorish, and the Chairman of the Ashby Canal Trust, Geoff Pursglove by travelling on Geoff's canal boat Waterloo Sunrise along its restored length. The bridge's brick cladding work was carried out by WRG at a work camp last summer.
The bridge and the associated quarter mile of canal were restored over the last two years using funding from UK Coal. Geoff Pursglove commented "Ironically, the Ashby Canal was built to transport coal from the coalfield around Measham and Moira in 1804. The top eight miles were destroyed by mining subsidence, and now coal is helping to rebuild it.
Photo: IWA's WRG on site at Bridge 62 - Summer 2015
Photo: Bow - Sean Sheahan, LCC; Cllr Liquorish, Chairman LCC; Cllr Pam Posnett LCC; Stern - Mrs Cotterill; Geoff Pursglove, Ashby Canal Trust; Cllr Cotterill, Chairman North West Leicestershire District Council
A reminder that IWA's Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 24th September 2016 at 10:30am at South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy, Prosser Street, Bilston, Wolverhampton WV14 0LN.
In line with recent years we are extending the formal Annual General Meeting to make a day that will give members an insight into IWA activities plus subjects of general waterways interest.
Click here to book your lunch and afternoon tours. Booking is not required for the formal meeting.
In the morning we shall hold IWA's awards ceremony and formal Annual General Meeting followed by short presentations on progress with our marketing of the Association and an update on our practical hands-on restoration activities from the WRG team.
A hot lunch will be provided at no charge but we hope that as last year, there will be generous donations towards WRG's van appeal. There will be plenty of time to discuss issues with trustees and to network with your fellow volunteers and members.
The afternoon session will give the option of visits to the nearby CRT Bradley lock gates construction workshops to view the fascinating traditional skills being used, plus a walk down the line of the Bradley Restoration, a recent initiative supported by IWA.
Visit our AGM page to see full details of the day.
The Northampton Branch held one of its regular Task Parties on Sunday 14th August with 11 volunteers attending. The Branch has been entered into this year's Living Waterways Award, volunteering and community section, which is run by CRT. Part of this process was for some of the Branch's activities to be filmed and on this Sunday Caroline and David from Huckleberry Films visited the Northampton Arm for this purpose.
It was arranged for the volunteers to work in three areas as follows: further work on the 70 metres of new fencing at lock 1 where the Branch has installed one strand of barbed wire to stop the cattle rubbing and breaking the middle rail of the fence: completing the painting of lock 3 and clearing the by-pass channel and weir also on lock 3; and the area and lock landing on the offside at lock 17 was mowed and strimmed along with some weeding of the lock side block paving.
The mosaic at Gayton Sanitation Station and the recently replaced milepost 2 was also filmed with the results of the filming to be shown at the award ceremony which is mid September.
IWA Ipswich Branch has responded to a consultation in respect of the Upper Orwell Crossings, which provides for three new crossings over the upper reaches of the River Orwell in Ipswich.
The project has been confirmed by the Secretary of State for Transport as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and Suffolk County Council has launched a consultation with residents, businesses, community representatives and visitors to Ipswich about its proposal for three new River Orwell crossings close to Ipswich town centre – the Upper Orwell Crossings. The three crossings proposed are:
In March 2016, Suffolk County Council received a provisional funding agreement of £77million from the Department for Transport for these Upper Orwell Crossings.
The Branch made the following comments to the proposals:
It is with much regret that IWA reports the death of David Blagrove at his home in Stoke Bruerne on Friday 12th August. For over 60 years David's life was dedicated to the restoration and promotion of the waterways, beginning in the 1950s when, still at school, he helped set up IWA's Reading Branch and campaigned for the restoration and re-opening of the Kennet & Avon Canal. In 1961 he became joint owner of Enterprise, an old working boat converted to run as a passenger boat operating on the remaining navigable section of the River Kennet and carried out commercial carrying at the same time. The following year he helped set up the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and was an early council member.
David worked for Willow Wren Canal Carrying Company during the big freeze of 1962-63 when he became stuck in Stoke Bruerne. He worked briefly for Thames Conservancy as a relief lock keeper before marrying Jean in 1964 and training to be a history teacher. He moved to Stoke Bruerne in 1966 and took up a post at the local secondary school in addition to carrying freight part-time. He joined IWA in 1960 and helped set up the Northampton Branch in 1971-72, serving as its chairman until 1978 during which time the Branch campaigned for the retention of grain traffic to Whitworth's Mill at Wellingborough and organised a series of boat rallies. He gave evidence at a public enquiry into the diversion of the A5 which bisected the line of the Old Stratford Canal and represented the Association at a public enquiry over the routing of the Blisworth bypass.
David was an IWA council member between 1981 to 1990 and was appointed Vice-President in 1991. He frequently represented the Commercial Boat Operators Association at meetings of the Parliamentary Waterways Group at the House of Commons as Vice-President. More recently David co-founded a new volunteer group, The Friends of the Canal Museum, set up to support the museum at Stoke Bruerne. He was also a historian, publishing books on canals and railways, including The Inland Waterways Association - Saving Britain's Canal and River Navigations. As a musician and songwriter he kept the traditions and oral history of the waterways alive with his storytelling and his legendary canal songs.
He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to restoration of the UK waterways.
Photo by Terry Liddle: David Blagrove, Grand Union Canal, Slough Arm on Nuneaton with butty Brighton
Come and join the greatest long distance waterway party ever staged in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Merseyside. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal Bicentenary celebrations reach a high point during 15th to 23rd October 2016 as the historic short boat Kennet re-creates the inaugural ceremonial journey 127 miles across the Pennines from Leeds to Liverpool.
Organised by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society, which runs Kennet as an education boat, and supported by CRT, the voyage will be a culmination of a year of festivities and celebrations in honour of the 200th anniversary of England’s longest canal.
Flotillas “decorated with flags and streamers”, accompanied by “hearty cheering of immense assemblage of spectators” greeted the original ceremonial boat journey in October 1816. That trip lasted only five days but this year the Canal Society crew will take a more leisurely pace so more people can celebrate in daylight hours, leaving Leeds on Saturday 15th October and arriving in Liverpool nine days later on Sunday 23rd October.
Organisers are hoping for a hearty welcome as the boat progresses through Yorkshire, Lancashire and Merseyside, past mills and moorland, through Bingley, Skipton, Burnley, Blackburn, Chorley, Wigan, Burscough and some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.
Kennet organiser Harold Bond said: “We are calling on heritage boats, boat clubs and boaters to create a flotilla of decorated boats to join Kennet along the way. We would love to see crowds lining the canal as we pass by. Several mayors have already agreed to receive us and at least one brass band will be serenading us as we sail past. It would be fantastic if we could be joined by local school children and community groups, cheering and waving flags. Kennet will be decked out in bunting to symbolise the two great shire county roses. It would be wonderful to be greeted by a sea of red and white as our procession sails along. Back in 1816, press reports state that the ceremonial first boat was greeted by peeling church bells, brass bands and cheering crowds, and canal barges were be-decked in flags and streamers. We would love to create that spirit of celebration and achievement again.”
Photo: Short boat Kennet that will be re-creating the 1816 boat passage
For boaters wanting more information about timings and the route, please email the Friends of Kennet. To link into the community celebrations along the ceremonial canal route, please contact Sarah Knight at CRT.
All boats who spend at least a day with the ceremonial flotilla will be eligible for a free 200th anniversary plaque.
Stoke-on-Trent's City Council is investing £1 million in the local canal network in an effort to boost tourism and provide alternative transport routes. The authority hopes that a more attractive canal environment will encourage more boaters to stop off in the Potteries while passing through the area. Council leaders also want to promote the canals for walkers and cyclists, thereby reducing congestion and improving public health.
This project will include works to bridges and canal-side buildings, new signs, better lighting and new access points. The work is expected to start next May and be completed by the end of 2017.
Alison Smedley, Campaigns Officer for IWA, who lives in this area, welcomed the plans. She commented "I think it's fantastic that the council wants to encourage more canal boaters to stop in the Potteries. Just a few weeks ago we were celebrating the 250th anniversary of the first sod being cut for the Trent & Mersey Canal at Brownhills. This enabled the Potteries to become the global centre for china production."
Photo: Etruria, where the Caldon Canal meets the Trent & Mersey Canal
As part of a wider regeneration initiative for Lydney, EA is transferring the management of Lydney Harbour to their preferred bidder. The Agency will be working with Richard Cook of Severn and Wye Smokery on a gradual transition of harbour authority responsibilities, operation of flood risk assets and management of a 50 berth marina.
The canal and basin was built around 1810 with a later development of the outer harbour and north pier. The tidal basin was closed in 1976 and in 1980 was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The docks were re-opened in 2005.
Photo: Roger Holmes - Lydney Harbour
The River Stour Trust is seeking a new treasurer. Restoration of navigation to the river, which lies on the Suffolk and Essex border, was one of IWA’s earliest aspirations, and the current vacancy could provide an interesting opportunity for a waterways supporter, ideally located in the East Anglian area, to make an important contribution on this waterway. The Trust owns two substantial buildings (‘The Granary’ in Sudbury, restored under an employment scheme in the 1980s and a purpose-built Education Centre at Great Cornard, funded by the Millennium Lottery Fund following restoration of the adjacent lock, which was similarly funded), operates a small fleet of passenger and work vessels and has agreements with the Environment Agency for certain works on the river. The Trust also runs a range of social and supporting events and activities – full details are on the Trust's website. If you would be interested to discuss the post, which would be on an entirely voluntary basis, please contact the Trust’s chairman, John Morris.
Boaters need to pay attention to exhaust gases, particularly petrol engine exhaust fumes if they can smell them in the boat’s cabins because they can contain carbon monoxide (CO) in quantities that will harm or kill warns UK Parliamentarians and the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS). The call follows the publication of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch safety bulletin concerning the recent deaths from CO poisoning of two people in Norfolk. In June a man, woman and dog were found dead on their motor cruiser on Wroxham Broad which had its petrol engine running whilst on a remote mooring on the popular waterway. Investigations found that exhaust fumes from running the engine could blow back in and fill their boat’s cabin space within three minutes.
Jonathan Shaw, Chief Executive of Policy Connect and the former Minister for Waterways, had this simple message: ‘If you can smell exhaust fumes in the cabin there is an issue that needs your attention. If those are petrol engine fumes act immediately. At low concentrations over longer periods it can cause long-term health and memory problems. Higher amounts of CO can kill in just a few minutes.’
Previously, 16 boaters have died from the toxic gas in exhaust fumes in the past 20 years. Graham Watts the BSS manager said: ‘CO is a colourless, odourless gas, hence the well-known silent killer tag, but you can smell the fumes from the exhaust, so that is why we promote the simple advice if there are exhaust fumes in the cabin, find out why, act to stop the problem and don’t put it off. Safe boating is to understand and take control of all risks. This includes knowing about the CO risk and being able to recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning.’
The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning as the toxin begins to take effect, these include headaches, nausea and dizziness. As time passes and, or the amount of CO builds, you may suffer chest pains and breathlessness leading to seizure and unconsciousness. So the early recognition of the symptoms is critical, but if nothing is done, death can happen quickly.
Avoid problems by staying alert to engine fumes and keep them out of the cabin by:
These are the critical points:
More information is available on the boat safety scheme website.
The Institute of Fundraising is running a workshop on Wednesday 14th September in Birmingham which is targeted at heritage organisations. This one day interactive workshop will provide trustees with all the information and guidance they need to understand the role of fundraising in their heritage charity, the practical support they can offer to help maximise money raised and the governance issues with respect to fundraising. Go to the Institute of Fundraising website for more details.
Long serving Chairman of Lancaster Canal Restoration Partnership, Hal Bagot of Levens Hall, is to step down after 18 years of service. Lancaster Canal Restoration Partnership (LCRP) was set up by a group of enthusiasts as a group to promote and deliver the regeneration and ultimate restoration of the Lancaster Canal by exploring opportunities, leads and ideas, of which LCRP members bring to the partnership. Members of LCRP include Lancaster Canal Trust, IWA, CRT, Cumbria County Council, South Lakeland District Council, Kendal Town Council, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council.
Audrey Smith, from IWA and interim chair for the Lancaster Canal Restoration Partnership, said: “The Partnership would personally like to thank Hal for his invaluable contribution over the years. So much has been achieved in the time that Hal has been with us”.
Hal’s contribution has been instrumental in achieving:
Hal and wife Susie, while still busy with other commitments, plan to spend more time on their 1898 canal boat Lady Hatherton, which has recently undergone a four year restoration.
Helen Moriarty, recently appointed Project Manager for LCRP to help realise the ambitions of the Kendal to Lancaster Towpath Trail as a major leisure attraction, said “LCRP will miss Hal’s commitment andleadership, we are now tasked with finding a well-driven and experienced individual who can lead the Partnership in achieving and championing this exciting project and fulfil the role as LCRP’s new Chair”.
The recently vacated position will be on a voluntary basis, and is an excellent opportunity to help steer the direction of the Partnership for future projects. Anyone interested in the position should contact Helen to discuss further.
Lichfield Canal’s first free Family Fishing Day was a great success, with over 30 would-be anglers learning how to use a pole and line to catch a fish. The event, run by Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust in association with CRT as part of National Fishing Month, was held in perfect weather at Borrowcop Locks Canal Park on Tamworth Road.
Under the expert guidance of the Lichfield and Hatherton Trust’s fishing coach, Peter Fieldhouse, a director of the Professional Angling Association, the budding fishermen, with the youngest just four years old, were soon hooked on their new sport. All participants were presented with a certificate by the Trust’s Communication Director Christine Howles and the younger anglers were given a fishing pole and tackle together with a goody bag so they can try their hand at fishing on another day.
Dora Hancock, the Trust’s Funding Director, said: “The day was enjoyed by young and old alike.
“Of course it wasn’t just the fishermen who enjoyed the day. It was a real family day out and our towpath walkers also enjoyed watching the fun and talking to participants. Several people asked for more information about volunteering for the Trust and our events team were kept busy providing information to everyone. We also met one man who agreed to be interviewed to capture his childhood memories of playing in the abandoned canal in the 1960s including picking blackberries growing in a disused lock. Finally Peter Fieldhouse has given us advice on how to improve the environment for the fish and other creatures, frogs, newts and vibrant dragonflies to name but a few.”
Photo: Catching them young
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
Warwickshire Branch - Bear Essentials
South West Region - Sou'Wester
Northampton Branch - Endeavour
North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch - Knobsticks
Major IWA events in 2016/2017
26th - 28th August 2017 - IWA Festival of Water, Ilkeston
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.
3rd September Work Party - Burlsem Arm (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire)
4th September Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
7th September Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th September Work Party - North Staffs and South Cheshire (North Staffs and South Cheshire Branch)
10th September Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
10th September Work Party -Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
11th September Work Party - Sleaford (Supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
11th September Work Party -Tardebigge Lime Kilns (Supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
14th September Work Party - Birmingham (IWA Birmingham branch)
14th September Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
15th September Work Party - Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
15th September Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (North Staffs & South Cheshire branch)
20th September Work Party - Banbury (Supported by IWA Oxfordshire branch)
20th September Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
21st September Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
24th September Work Party - Chester & Merseyside (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
27th September Work Party - Banbury (Supported by IWA Oxfordshire branch)
28th September Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
9th October Vegetation Clearance at Hatton (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
23rd October Canal Clean-up in Warwick (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
23rd October Clean-up in Nottingham (IWA Notts & Derbyshire Branch)
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
4th September Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
6th September Waterside Walk - Rushall & Daw End Canals (IWA Lichfield Branch)
18th September Waterside Walk - Grand Junction & Regent's Canals (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
2nd October Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
16th October 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
The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount on holidays (Direct Bookings Only)
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
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
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
Kings Lock Chandlery – 5% discount on purchases excluding all fuels (diesel, gas, coal, wood, etc)
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
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
IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453