This summer has seen a huge move forward in the restoration of Inglesham Lock on the Cotswolds Canals. The project, funded from an IWA Appeal in 2010, has taken several years to get up and running, but thanks for a huge effort by volunteers in September 2015 the chamber was cleared of tonnes of rubbish, finally allowing for access into the lock chamber.
In the summer of 2016 WRG volunteers have spent over 4000 hours working at Inglesham Lock. Volunteers have repointed and repaired damaged brickwork below the waterline and installed scaffolding to allow safe access to the higher levels of the lock chamber walls. The WRG excavator was then used to all the remove coping stones, allowing for sections of the lock chamber to be taken down to sound brickwork. In September IWA's Honorary Consultant Engineer, Roy Sutton, and a team of volunteers visited the site to install profile boards so that rebuilding work could start using bricks and concrete blocks. Significant steps have now been taken to rebuild a section of the south wall. Click here to see photos of the work.
KESCRG volunteers are returning on the weekend of 1st/2nd October to the lock to continue rebuilding work.
WRG will be returning to the site next year, with lots of canal camps and rebuilding work planned. Dates for 2017 Canal Camps will be released in December.
Photo: Work in progress at Inglesham Lock
Photo: Brickwork repair, Inglesham Lock
IWA's 57th AGM was held this past weekend at South Wolverhampton & Bilston Academy, Wolverhamption. With over 80 attendees and a series of presentations sandwiching the AGM portion of the day, members enjoyed a busy morning followed by a guided tour of the Bradley Lockgate Workshop and a choice of walks along the route of the proposed Bradley Canal restoration.
Dave Pearson leads a group of IWA members on a guided walk of the Bradley Canal proposed restoration route
During the Annual General Meeting members were asked by Chairman Les Etheridge to approve a special resolution to amend and thus modernise IWA's Articles of Association. The meeting voted in favour of these changes and the most up-to-date version of the Articlescan now be viewed on the website.
The meeting recorded the re-appointment of Ivor Caplan and Gren Messham and the appointment of Jonathan Smith and Rick Barnes, as nationally elected trustees. Tributes were paid to retiring nationally elected trustee, Jim Shead and to Paul Birkett who resigned in July. All region chairmen positions have now been filled with the appointment of Helen Whitehouse (West Midlands Region) and John Pomfret (Eastern Region) in July and the AGM re-appointment of David Pullen (East Midlands Region) and Peter Scott (North East Region).
Les Etheridge reviewed IWA's year with a series of slides highlighting a selection of the Association's achievements, such as the branch management and delivery of over 350 work parties this year. Individual branch campaigns have included activities to re-open Carpenter's Road Lock, Fulney Lock and developments on the River Parrett. Attendees were informed of progress on our HS2 campaign, as well as on the transfer of EA Navigations to CRT. Waterway Recovery Group has run camps at 15 different sites across the country, committing just under 3,600 volunteer days in the process.
Les promised that 2017 will be just as busy as this year, if not more so. The Association is actively seeking to recruit more members, to harness the power of our volunteer workforce to ensure greater protection and restoration of our waterways, and to make even more of our resources next year.
Winners of IWA's Awards 2016 standing from l to r: Les Etheridge - National Chairman, Graham Treagus (Richard Bird medal), Roy Chandler, Chairman Essex Waterways (Cyril Styring Trophy), Rick Barnes and Jonathan Smith representing Waterway Recovery Group (John Heap Salver), Captain Roger Francis (accepted the Christopher Power Prize on behalf of Richard Dommett MBE, Regeneration Manager - Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust), Andrew Hemmings, IWA Awards Officer, Alan Platt (accepted the Branch Achievement Award on behalf of Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch), Barry Robins (Richard Bird Medal), Wendy Humphreys (Richard Bird Medal).
The winners of IWA’s National Annual Awards for 2016 were presented at the Association’s Annual Members Meeting and AGM.
The Cyril Styring Trophy, the Association’s premier award, which is presented to an IWA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the Association’s campaign, has this year been awarded to Roy Chandler, Chairman of Essex Waterways since 2006.
Due in no small measure to Roy's leadership, enthusiasm and determination, the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation has been revitalised from what was a rundown state. It is now a well maintained and much used thriving asset which is popular with the local population of anglers, boaters, canoeists, walkers and paddleboarders. Roy has very much led the restoration of the waterway from the front and continues to lead his team in the management of this sustainable waterway.
The John Heap Salver, the Association’s major fundraising award, has been awarded to Waterway Recovery Group for its hugely successful "Van Appeal" raising £120,000 to buy four new vans to support the annual Canal Camps programme. Coffers have been swelled through sponsored walks and the ever popular fudge sales at IWA's Canalway Cavalcade. The vans play a vital role in transporting volunteers and equipment on the week long volunteering holidays and weekend digs and will be used on projects such as the restoration of the Grantahm Canal and Inglesham Lock. Two vans have been purchased already and two further vans will be purchased in time for the 2017 season.
The Christopher Power Prize is awarded to a person, society or trust that has made a significant contribution to the restoration of an amenity waterway and this year included a cash prize of £1,000 (in favour of the winner's Trust). It has been awarded to Richard Dommett, Regeneration Manager, of the Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abargavenny Canals Trust. He has played a leading role in campaigning and fund raising at both a local and national level and has dedicated over 14 years since retirement from British Waterways to canal restoration as a volunteer. Most recently he has focused his attention on the regeneration of the disused southern section of the Monmouthshire Canal, co-ordinating major schemes between Newport and Cwmbran, and developing community engagement and volunteering on the waterway. His prototype steel lock gate, developed in conjunction with Swansea University, is being piloted at the current time but has the potential to make canals cheaper to maintain and easier to restore.
Richard Bird Medals are awarded to members whose efforts and support are considered to have brought significant benefit to the Association over a sustained period of time. This year, Richard Bird medals were awarded to:
Barry Robins, Chairman of East Yorkshire Branch for 20 years until 2013 and now editor of the Branch newsletter. Barry has encouraged more boating on our lesser used waterways and over the years has introduced many young people tothe canals, leading multiple narrow boat trips from his school.
Graham Treagus, who has been an IWA member for nearly 50 years and has served on IWA Northampton Branch's committee for 42 of those years. Graham is talks and social meetings coordinator and has hosted committee meetings in his home providing tea,coffee, beer and delicious cake.
Wendy Humphreys, Chair of IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch. Wendy has supported the branch in a range of different roles over a sustained period and was involved in the planning for IWA's 2006 Trailboat Festival.
Richard Bird Medal Award Winners 2016 from l to r: Barry Robins, Wendy Humpreys and Graham Treagus
The Branch Achievement Award, awarded annually to an IWA branch that has made the greatest progress and achievement in promoting the Association’s aims and objectives during the past year, was awarded to Shrewsbury District and North Wales Branch. The branch was praised for its excellent branch newsletter and enterprising fundraising activities. Despite being a large and rural area, the branch has a strong, active network of volunteers who enjoy good relations with the waterway groups in the area. The committee has developed strong relationships with local politicians and played a key part in the publication of the Welsh Manifesto earlier this year.
Nominations for national awards can be made by individual members and branch and region committees, and full details of the awards and how to nominate an individual or waterway organisation can be found on the national awards pages.
Nominations for 2017 should be submitted by 31st March.
A historic bridge over the Uttoxeter Canal in rural Staffordshire has finally been restored thanks to a three-tiered package of assistance from IWA. The four-year project by Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust to restore Bridge 70 near Denstone had hit a temporary cash flow problem until IWA stepped in with short-term aid in addition to its earlier help with engineering consultancy and skilled volunteer labour.
IWA’s honorary engineers worked with Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust to draw up the specification of work needed for the bridge restoration, while volunteers from WRG mounted four canal camps to manage the encroaching woodland around the bridge, repoint the stonework, install drains and a waterproof membrane, and relay the top surface.
To enable the final stage of the restoration of the bridge parapets, IWA devised a package with Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust for a short-term loan finance arrangement, so Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust could complete and pay for the work, thus unlocking a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will pay for the project retrospectively as part of the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership scheme.
IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge said: “We always tell societies to come and talk to us if they have a problem as we may well be able to help. The success of this arrangement for Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust is an example of IWA’s ability to help restoration projects in innovative ways.”
Deputy Chairman of Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, Julie Arnold, said “We are extremely grateful to IWA for this facility. It truly ‘Bridges Funding Gaps’ allowing more external funding to be accessed by a small canal charity such as our Trust. This project demonstrates the unique way that IWA is able to work in partnership to deliver waterway restoration through expert advice, practical volunteering and unlocking grant funding.”
Photo: Caldon and Uttoxeter Canal Trust celebrate IWA's bridging loan
The Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex hosted IWA's second waterways triathlon on 25th September when 40 participants canoed (or paddleboarded), cycled and ran their choice of a 30km or 50km route.
All funds raised will support new towpath repairs and build along the Navigation and will benefit walkers, cyclists and runners almost immediately as volunteers plan to be carrying out the work later this year.
Photo: The cycling leg (or legs) of IWA's Triathlon
We would love to encourage even more people to get involved next year, either as volunteers or attendees.
Volunteer roles are varied and can range from selling books, maps and memberships, to engaging with local communities to encourage sponsorship to organising the campsite or waterspace bookings. If you believe you might have a skill or a passion that could help IWA in the planning and management of these events please let us know.
Attendance at our events ranges from bringing your boat or tent or simply turning up on the day ready to enjoy the spectacle.
Trailboat Festival here.IWA's National Trailboat Festival for 2017 will be located at Moira, on the restored, isolated stretch of the Ashby Canal. Find out more about next year's
IWA Festival of Water, Ilkeston - 26th to 28th August 2017
The 2017 IWA Festival of Water will be bringing boats, campers and visitors to the Erewash Canal. To reserve a mooring or a pitch for Ilkeston take a look at the Festival pages now.
For more information on all of IWA's events visit our Events page to see the comprehensive list.
Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area of our website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.
It has been a busy summer of canal camps and festivals, but the van appeal rolls on. What’s more, it is very nearly the end of the road; with the total at over £115,000 we are reaching the last crucial stages and every donation counts. We have enough money to place an order for the third van in the next few months but need one last push for the final van.
The WRG team have not been idling over at this stage though, with lots of donations being collected at the Trailboat and Festival of Water celebrations, through the ever popular drive-a-digger stand. Just last week, Sarah Frayne, IWA's Fundraising Officer, ran 10k at CRT’s Two Arms on Two Legs event on the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal, with all sponsorship raised going to the appeal, donations can still be made through Virgin Money Giving.
We’ve been amazed by the response so far and we know with your help we can make it all the way to the finish line. The appeal will officially close at the end of October, so if you’ve been thinking about writing a cheque, please send it in now.
Three IWA projects reached the finals of the 2016 Living Waterways Awards, reflecting the wide range of activities undertaken by volunteers from IWA.
Commended in the Education and Learning category was IWA’s Towpath Walks. As part of its campaign to maintain public access to the waterways, IWA has been running guided towpath walks in London for nearly 40 years and has so far introduced over 15,000 people to London’s towpaths. Through a long-term collaboration with London Walks, these walks are widely promoted and ranked among the premier guided walks available in the capital. Chris Bushill, a satisfied customer who nominated IWA for the awards said: “Towpath Walks have played an important role in making London’s towpaths one of the capital’s most popular open spaces. As well as introducing many people to the world of waterways, they have raised over £41,000 to support local restoration and community projects.”
Photo: Recognition of the contribution Towpath Walks makes to education and learning
Commended in the Community and Volunteering category was IWA Northampton Branch for their adoption of the 4.5 mile Northampton Arm. Since 2013 some 80 volunteers have between them taken part in over 70 work parties tackling a wide range of tasks such as vegetation clearance, litter picking, painting locks and clearing byweirs.
Commended in the Community and Volunteering category was IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch for organising over 162 work parties since 2012 at a range of locations across their branch area. Over 200 volunteers have taken part carrying out tasks such as painting (lock gates, lock furniture, mileposts, railings and fences); removing rubbish from the canal and litter from towpaths; hedge laying and planting; clearing weeds and vegetation; restoring a cast iron historic bridge; and controlling invasive plants.
IWA's popular photography competition is now open. As well as appearing on IWA's calendar and cards, the best entries will be used to promote the waterways of the country in posters, flyers, leaflets and websites.
For details on how to submit photographs go to the competition webpage.
If you are interested in running for IWA in the 2017 London Marathon please write a brief paragraph on why you would like the place and how you might raise the sponsorship money, and email this to Sarah Frayne or telephone 01494 783 453 ext.611.
IWA Northampton Branch hosted a Task Party on Friday 23rd September with a party of 14 volunteers from Nationwide Northampton, making a total of 20 with Branch volunteers.
The party worked on the River Nene Town Moorings in Northampton between Town Lock and South Bridge carrying out a tremendous amount of work on vegetation clearance, litter picking and filling 12 bags of rubbish plus a haul of shopping trollies and bicycles.
The Task Party was well supported by the Environment Agency and Northampton Borough Council who collected the rubbish. Please see this link to photos of the day.
IWA is organised through a network of eight Regions and 33 Branches across the country. To find a Branch near you click on this link which will take you to information about the Branches, their newsletters, contacts and the local waterways in their area.
Over the summer CRT carried out a survey to gauge the level of demand for boaters wanting to visit London’s crowded waterways and their interest in being able to pre-book a short-stay mooring ahead of their arrival. The 1,400 responses have now been collated and the results will be used to inform CRT's mooring strategy for the capital.
The survey showed that perceived pressure on mooring space was putting some boaters off visiting London. Of the 27% of respondents who hadn’t visited the capital by boat, 85% said it was because they weren’t certain they’d find a place to moor. There was appetite for an increased range of mooring options, with 59% of all respondents saying they’d consider paying for a reserved mooring.
The results showed:
• 73% had visited London by boat, of which 45% had visited in 2016 and 18% in 2015. 10% had visited before 2010.
• Most visiting boaters moored on general towpath moorings (64%) or visitor moorings (63%), with 14% stopping on paid private moorings.
• 59% of respondents said they would consider paying for a reserved mooring, with most boaters saying they’d pay £10 a night.
• When thinking of cruising into central London, having a safe and secure place to moor was important to 92%, while having a guaranteed place to moor was important to 74%. 63% wanted to moor close to local services, attractions or transport links while 50% thought it was important to moor close to boat facilities.
Matthew Symonds, boating strategy & engagement manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “We’ve had a great response to the survey and I’m pleased that boaters have got in touch to share their views, both positive and negative, of boating in the capital. Our job is to manage the finite space on the canals so that all boaters have a fair chance of finding somewhere to moor up, and in popular places like parts of London this becomes even more important. Taking this into account we’re planning to trial pre-bookable short-stay mooring spots at Rembrandt Gardens which will begin later in the year. It’s no surprise to see that boaters want to see more facilities, and we’re doing what we can to find suitable places to put them. Boaters also want to see more mooring spaces and rings and we’ve worked hard to get funding to install around 3,500m of rings over the past two years, creating or improving around 195 mooring spots. Also high on the list were requests to reduce overstaying and better enforcement of the rules.”
The Trust will also be carrying out further engagement work including surveys of boaters and other stakeholders in London over the coming months to help inform the wider London mooring strategy.
Photo: A popular spot - Regents Canal at Camden
As previously reported in Bulletin, on the weekend of 15 October the heritage boat *Kennet* will be setting off from Leeds and travelling the full length of the Leeds Liverpool canal to emulate the first journey in 1816. To celebrate this CRT are holding a boaters’ reception in Leeds Docks on Friday 14th October. Mike Clarke, a canal historian best known for his research into the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and President of both the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society and the Railway & Canal Historical Society, will be giving an illustrated talk on the history of the canal. He will be looking in particular at the canal's early promotion to explain the forces behind the canal revolution of the 18th century.
Drinks and a buffet will be served on the evening and the organisers would like to see as many boats and barges in the city as possible. A photo call from Leeds Bridge at around 12 noon on the 14th is planned to recreate the famous boaters rallies of the 70s and 80s and generate interest in the voyage. To book a place please do so through the Eventbrite link. Please feel free to forward this invitation to additional members in your club, society or association.
For further information about this event contact:
Development & Engagement Manager
North East Waterways, Neptune Street, Leeds LS9 8PB
Photo CRT: Leeds Dock
'Bells were rung and guns fired to mark the inaugural passage along the length of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal' according to reports at the time.
On Saturday 15 October the Leeds and Liverpool boat Kennet, together with a flotilla of other boats, will set out from Leeds on a nine-day journey to recreate the 1816 inaugural passage and to celebrate two hundred years of the canal. This time we will be missing out on the guns, and bells will be ringing along the length of the route to greet the Kennet as she passes by. The bells will be rung by members of the local bands of ringers.
As Kennet arrives at the Five-Rise locks at Bingley, the ringers will 'fire' their bells: that's to ring all their bells all at once to sound one huge C-R-A-S-H of all the bells, and then to repeat it, about once evey second, several times: this is a 2016 imitation of the celebratory cannon-fire heard in 1816.
Ringing will start in Leeds with the bells from Leeds Minster and finish in Liverpool with the bells of Pier Head, with more than 30 other towers ringing their bells along the route.
The Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust's annual Newent and Oxenhall Open Day on Saturday 10 September was buzzing with people, braving the elements to find out more about the Trust's plans to build the section of Canal from Oxenhall through Newent Station.
A recently-acquired section of the Canal route southwards from Oxenhall links the site to Newent's old station, on the east side of the town. The plan is to restore the station platforms, which are still in situ, and run the Canal between the platforms. An original footbridge, which has been stored on site, will be restored to its former glory and a tea room and visitor centre will be built in the original style of the former station building.
There was a constant stream of visitors on Saturday walking along the newly created path through the Old Willows nursery, on through the woods skirting the Ell Brook and finishing at the station.
Picture: Artist's impression of the vision for the canal at Newent station
Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust has been presented with the Heart of England in Bloom’s special Environmental Award.
Announcing the award at the presentation ceremony held at Aldridge Parish Church Hall on Thursday September 15, Heart of England in Bloom chairman Roger Bache said “Undertaking any restoration project is never easy but to do it purely through volunteers makes it a monumental task. Lichfield Canal volunteers have literally moved heaven and earth to restore the first section of the former canal, digging it out where it’s been filled and rebuilding walls and locks, with salvaged bricks and stone whenever possible. As if this feat of engineering wasn’t enough, they have restored the towpath and provided landscaping and seating to allow people to access and enjoy the fruits of their labours – a truly amazing piece of voluntary graft. Here’s to the next section!”
The canal project was also praised for its part in helping Blooming Lichfield win a silver gilt award in the Small City category, with the judges saying: “It is truly amazing the scale of what the canal volunteers have achieved.” Heart of England in Bloom is one of 17 voluntary groups that organise the regional entries for the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign which encourages participants to transform neighbourhoods and bring economic, environmental and social improvements to local communities.
Photo: The award winning Lichfield Canal environment
Thousands of people made the most of the sunny weather to enjoy waterside fun and games at Leigh Canal Festival last weekend.
Organised by a group led by the Canal & River Trust, this was the second year the festival had been staged in the town. Linking into the national heritage weekend initiative, the festival was spread over several sites. Kittywake trip boat provided cruises along the Leigh branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and visitors were able to enjoy free canoe taster sessions, a climbing wall, live music, beer festival, a children’s lantern procession and vintage car display.
Several trade boats, selling a range of crafts, were moored along the towpath and other leisure boats congregated by the Waterside Inn to add to the boating festival spectacle. Leigh boat owners Mary and Peter Unsworth were the lucky recipients of the ‘best boat’ award.
The festival was launched on Friday afternoon with a VIP boat trip aboard Kittywake, attended by Leigh MP and Manchester mayoral candidate Andy Burnham.
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
North Lancs & Cumbria Branch - Towing Path Topics
9th October Vegetation Clearance at Hatton (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
23rd October Canal Clean-up in Warwick (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
23rd October Canal Clean Up - Nottingham (IWA Notts & Derbyshire Branch)
To find out what branch activities and working parties are going on in your area have a look at IWA's events calendar. By volunteering for these clean up events you can make a big difference to your local waterway. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
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