IWA Bulletin - 14th February 2017

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IWA News

IWA Keeps Up the Pressure on East Anglian Waterways Threat

IWA’s campaign to raise awareness that some EA waterways may have to close in the future due to lack of funding has been continuing, with nearly 200 letters or emails written so far to MPs and local authorities in EA’s Anglian Region.  More detailed information about the issues and the campaign can be found on this link to the campaign web page.  Everyone who uses EA navigations for boating, livelihood or recreation is encouraged to contact their local constituency MP about these concerns (even if you don’t live near an EA waterway) and to ask for the matter to be raised with the Waterway Minister, Therese Coffey MP.   Those living on or near EA Anglian Region navigations are also encouraged to write to the leader or person responsible for environment at their local councils, at district and county or unitary level.  A selection of letter templates is available at the above link.  Named contacts at local authorities, and information about which waterways are in which MP’s constituencies, is available on request by contacting Alison Smedley, IWA's Campaigns Officer.  

If supporters have already written to MPs, or if you are going to, don’t forget to let Alison know so that we can keep a track of the overall support for the campaign.  Many thanks to everyone who has already written letters or emails about this important issue. Whether or not EA’s waterways are transferred to CRT, these navigations need to receive increased funding from Government in order to halt the progressive deterioration that is currently taking place.  Your support for this campaign is critical to achieving this. 

WRG Leading a Merry Dance


On Saturday 18th March, WRG will be hosting a barn dance at Lapworth Village Hall, to raise money for this year’s forthcoming activities. The Van Appeal may be over, but we now need to keep WRG on the road!

It would be fantastic to see as many people as possible out to support the event and also to enjoy a fantastic evening of food, drink and dance, hosted by ‘Rogue Music’.

Tickets are £15 per person, with an optional £2 extra for breakfast, for those who plan to stay -  you can find all the details of the event and book your place here.

IWA's Boost for the Pocklington Canal

To mark the bicentenary of the Pocklington Canal, the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society intends to extend the navigable length of this waterway by two miles to the village of Bielby.  This will require the construction and fitting of new oak gates at Thornton and Walbut Locks.  IWA is delighted to be able to contribute £5,000 to this appeal as well as carrying out practical work through WRG.

More details about Pocklington Canal Amenity Society's Bicentenary Appeal are available here

IWA's Canalway Cavalcade is Approaching

The greatest show on earth, well on the London waterways anyway, will be coming to Little Venice on 29th April to 1st May.  All the boat spaces have been booked and allocated, the entertainers are lined up, traders are clamouring for a stall at this wonderful event and the programme is being designed.  The theme for boaters to get their creative skills working on is 'Waterway Tales' so there should be some exciting displays in the decorated boats parade and the illuminated procession. 
pisces2016Photo: Pisces demonstrating that 'Canals are Alive' at 2016's Canalway Cavalcade

Paddle Pawl Stops Latest Update

Following the request in Late November 2016's IWA Bulletin for boaters to report where lock paddle gear on CRT waterways still had paddle pawl stops fitted, a number of responses have been received.  These have been added to a list on the website and IWA is now asking for any further updates to keep this list up to date, so that we can use it to remind CRT that we wish to see these paddle pawl stops being removed. 

Paddle pawl stops are generally either fixed metal bars welded in front of the paddle pawl to prevent its removal, or can be created by the pawl being taken off and repositioned so that it cannot be lifted completely off.  
When you are out and about over the coming months please let us know if you come across any other locations which can be added to this list.

Locations where Paddle Pawl Stops are reported to still be in place:

  • BCN -  Wolverhampton 21, Titford and Ryders Green
  • Caldon Canal - Planet Lock
  • Lee Navigation -  Various locations
  • Montgomery Canal - Frankton and Aston Locks
  • Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal - Various locks including Filance, Gailey and Penkridge locks
  • Stourbridge Canal - Stourton 4, Stourbridge 16 and Delph flight
  • Stratford Canal - Various locations
  • Trent & Mersey Canal - Several locks between Kidsgrove and Wheelock.

Pant's on the Montgomery Canal

Pant was the location of WRG's latest work party over 4th and 5th February on the Montgomery Canal.  WRG have paid several visits to this site to prepare for the removal of a disused railway embankment which was constructed after the canal was closed to replace a bridge across the canal. This weekend work saw the clearance of trees and undergrowth from the embankment and the preparation of the dry canal bed for access by the machinery needed to demolish the embankment later this year.  Importantly, the abutments of the old bridge, which had been hidden within the bank for 50 years, were located, allowing engineers to plan how the bank will be removed.

This year sees the start of the Heritage Lottery Fund supported project to reopen the canal to Crickheath Wharf where boats can turn.  After that there will be two miles of dry canal to Llanymynech, including the railway embankment.  This link to Llanymynech is a vital part of the borderland canal route between Llangollen and Newtown and will connect mid Wales to a canal and river network which stretches right across the country.
montwrgPhoto: Pant's where the WRG action is


Bob Meadows

IWA is saddened to report the death of Bob Meadows.  Until he became ill with mesothelioma, Bob was a regular on camps, North West weekends and Branch 'Paperchases' - often first there with his trailer and doing an essential job by taking the rubbish to his local tip. Following the news of his terminal condition, Bob very generously decided to make a huge donation to the WRG Van Appeal before, rather than after his death. He always hoped to see BOB, the new WRG van and this was made possible by a trip to Wigan in the wet. Bob was just the sort of person to make unconventional plans like this donation. He will be missed very badly, but his name lives on in BOB.  

twobobsPhoto: Bob Meadows meeting BOB in the rain.

IWA Branch News

IWA Manchester Branch

Boaters visiting the Sports City complex in Manchester will have no problems finding a mooring now that IWA Manchester Branch has replaced 11 missing mooring rings in the pound above Lock 5 on the Ashton Canal.  The mooring rings were installed as part of IWA's Cheshire Ring's Mooring Ring initiative, Ringing the Ring.  It was combined with a training day in January where nine volunteers were trained by CRT on how to use power tools and operate a powerbarrow.  Everyone agreed that these skills will definitely come in handy both when volunteering but also in their "civilian" lives, because who doesn't need to drill a hole in concrete from time to time!

This section of the Ashton Canal is in Manchester Branch's adopted length and therefore further improvements and mooring rings are planned on up to Lock 10, where the Manchester and Stockport Canal (under restoration) joins the Ashton Canal.  powerbarrowPhoto: Volunteer Elisa being trained in how to operate the power-barrow.

manchester3Photo: Volunteer Maarja happy after she has accomplished the drilling of the hole for a mooring ring at the power tools training session.

IWA Northampton Branch

The branch carried out vegetation clearance in the car park adjacent to bridge 47 on the Main Line at Gayton on Tuesday 17th January. The area was strimmed, raked and pruned and the trimmings were stacked at boundary edge. A considerable amount of litter was collected at this event which was supported by 11 volunteers and by CRT.northantsteamPhoto:  IWA Northamptonshire volunteers finding time to pose for the camera

northantstruckPhoto: The haul from IWA Northamptonshire's January work party

Following concerns about what would happen if someone was taken ill on a work party at a remote location IWA's Northampton Branch discovered that there would be a much higher chance of recovery if a defibrillator was available.  This equipment has now been purchased at a cost of just over £1000 and is taken out to all branch events.  The branch have also highlighted seven location on the Northampton Arm, which is 4.75 miles long, where the emergency services have road access. These points are now in the East Midlands Ambulance system, so it should be easy for them to locate an incident by post code and OS grid reference.

IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch

North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch held a Cheshire Locks work party on 19th January at Red Bull, Kidsgrove with the intention to paint locks, manage vegetation and remove rubbish to improve and maintain the appearance of the area.  Seven volunteers contributed a total of 42 hours of activity although the weather was unsuitable for painting so the team worked on litter picking on the Trent & Mersey Canal and the Hall Green Branch (which leads to the Macclesfield Canal), around Hardings Wood Junction from lock 42 up to Harecastle Tunnel.
nsscjan17Photo:  North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch on their Cheshire Locks work party

IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch

Chester & Merseyside Branch are raising awareness of the fact that the proposed route of the HS2 Phase 2b track between Crewe and Manchester has been re-aligned in several locations.  In the Branch area this has a major impact in the area of Billinge Green Flash and Whatcroft Hall on the Trent & Mersey Canal, where a single canal crossing has now been replaced by three, the largest of which bisects the area at Billinge Green Flash.

The original route included a single canal crossing in the vicinity of Brambles Cuttting to the east of Whatcroft Hall, and the effect of HS2 upon on the Trent & Mersey Canal Conservation Area at this location was reported back to HS2 by way of a consultation.

Following feedback from the consultation in 2013, the HS2 phase 2b route refinement was announced on 15th November 2016, indicating the re-alignments that were made to the proposed route, which, in this area, were necessary to avoid brining and gas storage infrastructure in the Lostock Gralam area, and to minimise the risk of subsidence due to underlying geological conditions, and to reduce the impact on the Conservation Area at Brambles Cutting.

The realignment now includes three canal crossings:-
A.    Close to Bridge 177 approx. 450m west of Brambles Cutting.
B.    Between Bridge 179 (Whatcroft Lodges) and Bridge 180A (railway), where the canal and lane to Whatcroft Hall converge/diverge.
C.    Across the area that encompasses the larger of the two flashes at Billinge Green, at the point to the western side, where a spit of land separates the canal from the flash.  

Not only is the horizontal re-alignment a major issue, but the vertical alignment has been raised by 3m which increases the proposed track level to between 13m and 16m above the canal water level at the three crossing locations.

For further information on this and refined plan and profile map for HS2 2b in the area of the three proposed canal crossings in the Whatcroft Hall/Billinge Green Flash area go to the government website

Whilst IWA is coordinating all responses to HS2 Ltd. at a national level, the Branch would encourage people to look at the documents above to see what HS2 is planning and to respond on an individual basis to this issue which would have a disastrous effect on the environmental and visual aspect of this beautiful area of our canal system.

This is the link to the HS2 Phase 2b Crewe to Manchester and West Midlands to Leeds Route Refinement Consultation documents including the response form.

IWA Ipswich Branch

The River Gipping Trust, supported by IWA Ipswich Branch, has made much progress towards re-instating the bywash at Pipps Ford Lock on the River Gipping, just south of Needham Market, Suffolk.  The aim is to restore the bywash around the lock;  the bywash was filled in during historic re-building activities and re-establishing it will allow the diversion of the flow of the river around the lock chamber. The lock can then be drained, cleaned out and any necessary repairs carried out.

In the lead up to Christmas volunteers successfully excavated and graded the new channel sides to within two metres of the planned entry point for the river and they are now waiting for some good, reasonably dry weather to enable the continuation of the excavation. The lock is located in a private garden area, and the owners have been extremely helpful and supportive, so the Trust wants to avoid making too much mess at the bottom of their garden. While waiting for the drier weather to arrive the workparties have been concentrating on keeping the towpath along the river clear, cutting back  scrub and overgrown weeds, and also removing a number of trees that succumbed to the winter weather and fell into the stream.

The workparties meet every Wednesday at Pipps Ford , and also on the second Saturday of every month, and as always, all volunteers would be made very welcome!

pippsPhoto: Clearance at Pipps Ford October 2016

IWA Branch and Region Network

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.

Other Waterway News

A Day of Waterways History

The Railway and Canal Historical Society’s 9th Waterways History Conference will be held on Saturday 24th June 2017 in The Noble Room, The Staff House, University of Birmingham. Those who are not members of the RCHS, especially IWA members, are welcome: the charge is £22.
The four main sessions of the conference, Waterways Research, Researching the People, Researching the Waterways and Outlines of On-going Research, will be followed by a general discussion of ‘A Way Ahead for Waterways Research’.

The Staff House is near the University Station entrance to the main campus, and there is parking available on the campus. The provisional programme and booking form may be found here

historicPhoto: How to find out more about historic waterways at the R&CHS conference

August Festival for Carpenters Road Lock

Unfortunately due to unforeseen delay to the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock, the East London Waterways Festival originally scheduled for end of May Bank Holiday weekend will now take place on August 26th-28th with the main event day and formal opening ceremony taking place on Monday Bank Holiday, August 28th.
The new August date will ensure the lock is ready, fully commissioned and tested before what will be a fantastic event celebrating the re-opening of the Bow Back Rivers in  Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  Due to a busy events schedule in the Park which includes the IAAF World Athletics Championships, IPC World Athletics Championships and West Ham domestic fixtures, the only date available this calendar year is Monday Bank Holiday August 28th.
To participate in the celebrations and cruising weekend, which will involve tidal extension to Bow Creek and tidal Thames on August 26th to 28th please email London Legacy

2017 CRT Living Waterways Awards Open For Entries

CRT launched the 2017 Living Waterways Awards on Wednesday 1st February and is calling for people and organisations from across the UK to enter their inspiring waterway-based projects for recognition.  Led by an independent panel of experts drawn from the voluntary, environmental, arts, heritage, engineering and architecture sectors, the Living Waterways Awards celebrate the passion and energy that is improving canals, rivers, lochs, lakes and reservoirs the length and breadth of the nation, making them exciting places to live, learn and spend time.

From dedicated volunteer-led schemes to exciting construction projects, and from innovative designs to pioneering environmental initiatives, there are seven award categories up for grabs:
1. Art & Interpretation
2. Community & Volunteering
3. Contribution to the Built Environment
4. Education & Learning
5. Natural Environment
6. Recreation & Tourism
7. Restoration & Historic Environment

The closing date for entries is Friday 17th March 2017.  Further details can be found on the CRT website.

The winners of the 2017 Living Waterways Awards, which are sponsored by Kier, Arcadis, CPC Civils, Vinci and Fountains, will be announced at a ceremony in Birmingham on 27 September 2017.

Water Supply to Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal at Risk

Natural Resources Wales has just published its proposed revisions to Welsh Water’s licences for abstraction from the River Usk.  There is concern that the proposed licence changes put the future of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal at risk, along with all the future economic, environmental and social benefits it delivers.   Natural Resources Wales are being asked to reconsider their current position.  Since it opened in 1812 the Canal has been largely fed from the River Usk. Subsequently Welsh Water’s predecessors built reservoirs to capture 90% of the water in the catchment for public water supply and the river later gained its Special Area of Conservation designation.  The canal abstraction currently does not require a licence as CRT has a historic and statutory right to abstract water from the River Usk which is its primary source of water.

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canals were constructed 200 years ago and have been supplied with water since then from the River Usk at Brecon and by various tributaries under powers provided for in the enabling Acts. Since that time, water capture and use from the Usk and its tributaries for public supply has grown massively such that the canal now accounts for only a small percentage of overall abstraction from the catchment.  The canal forms part of the natural resources of Wales – it is heavily used by local people as public open space and is the most popular visitor attraction within the Brecon Beacons National Park; the visitor economy contributes £17m pa to the local area and supports 390 FTE jobs; the Canal is also an important wildlife corridor and is a waterbody in its own right under the Water Framework Directive currently meeting Good Ecological Potential.  Unlike public water supply, the Canal has no storage capacity and so it is very vulnerable to variations in the supply from the River on a daily basis.  Any reduction in abstraction to preserve target flows in the River must therefore be met by supporting supplies from elsewhere or water levels in the Canal will quickly drop off - closing navigation and impacting other recreation and leisure uses; damaging structures; and crippling the businesses that depend on the Canal.

The Canal is currently navigable as far as Five Locks (between Pontypool and Cwmbran), but publicly-funded projects are already underway to use the restoration of Canal sections south of here as a catalyst for regeneration in Cwmbran and Newport, connecting more heavily-populated areas of South Wales with the National Park

CRT is seeking clear assurances from Natural Resources Wales that the future of the canal will not be put at risk. IWA wishes to ensure that the canal has navigable depth and that the connected restoration remain viable and will be expressing our views to National Resources Wales.  There are 28 days from the 23rd of January 2017 to make representations to Natural Resources Wales.  Contact IWA's Campaigns Officer, Alison Smedley for information on how to get involved in this consultation. 

Beavering Away at University of Exeter

The Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber) was resident in Great Britain until approximately 400 years ago when they became extinct after being hunted for their meat and fur, which was used as a fashion accessory for hats, coats and gloves.  Last November, following a reintroduction trial, they were declared native again in Scotland by the Scottish Government and there is now a debate about whether the dam-building animals should be reintroduced into England and Wales.

A scientific research trial led by a partnership of organisations and examining the potential benefits and disadvantages of reintroducing the beaver is now taking place on the River Otter. Experts at the University of Exeter are monitoring the impacts of small populations of reintroduced beavers upon people and the environment.

There is much debate surrounding reintroduction of the species and how it should be managed if and where it occurs. An independent and impartial study by the University of Exeter, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, is now evaluating public attitudes to beaver reintroduction across Great Britain.  Participation is anonymous and all views are to be welcomed. To have your say you can click on this link to complete a survey. 

Those who complete the survey can enter a draw to win an iPad Mini   - the survey closes on the morning of Wednesday 1st March.

Further details are available from Roger Auster, Research Assistant, University of Exeter. 

beaverPhoto by Mike Symes from Devon Wildlife Trust: Last year this female, part of a licensed reintroduction trial on the River Otter, gave birth to five young, higher than the average of 3 young per litter. Beavers tend to have one litter per year and young beavers stay with their mother for up to two years.

Rock Legend Backs Canal Restoration

Dave Berry, famous for classic hits like the Crying Game, has been appointed as Restoration Ambassador for the Chesterfield Canal Trust.  Dave is a long time supporter of the Trust. He was presented with his Honorary Membership and Ambassador certificate at Hollingwood Hub, by Bev Hunt, the Secretary, and Kath Auton, the Membership Secretary of the Trust.  Dave Berry lives locally, in Dronfield, and first made contact with the Chesterfield Canal Trust whilst taking his granddaughter on a Santa Special cruise a few years ago. He was impressed by the work that the Trust’s volunteers do and decided to help.
In 2014 he cycled the full length of the canal raising several hundred pounds in sponsorship. He has spoken at a Supporters’ Group meeting and is often to be found walking or cycling along the canal.

The appointment is timely, because the Trust has just launched a Restoration Appeal fund entitled ‘A Place in History’. In 2016, it spent over £85,000 on the restoration of the canal undertaken by its volunteer Work Party.  All monies raised will go towards the costs of plant and materials used by the volunteers.  Details of the appeal, including how to donate, are on the Trust’s website .

Dave’s chart successes were in the 1960s, but he is still working hard. In April and May, he is touring with Wayne Fontana, Chris Montez and the Merseybeats on the Solid Silver 60s Show, covering thirty one dates. For further information, go to his website

daveberryPhoto: Dave Berry with Bev Hunt and Kath Auton

Exeter Ship Canal Has Friends

The newly formed Friends of Exeter Ship Canal got down to work in January cutting back unwanted willow saplings and brambles from the canal banks and cleared about 150 metres of the bank along the along the towpath from Salmon Pool swing bridge towards Double Locks.

Volunteer co-ordinator Mike Grayshan said: “Many willow saplings were sprouting that if allowed to get any bigger would threaten the banks with erosion. Anyone who walks, runs or cycles along the towpaths will know what a nuisance overgrown brambles can be.  We had around a dozen volunteers, including a contingent from Exeter Sea Cadets, for our first work party".

The Friends of Exeter Ship Canal were formed less than a year ago and already have a growing membership.  Chairman John Monks said: “The canal is greatly appreciated as part of the city’s heritage. We believe that it has the capacity to become once again an active waterway with more boats visiting it in addition to the present recreational enjoyment it provides.  The question of a secure future, financially and environmentally, for the canal is very important for Exeter.  Our aims are to raise people’s interest in the canal and the basin and to encourage participation through volunteering, talks, cruises and fundraising for projects designed to enhance the waterway and increase its use.”

Since the Canal Friends were formed, Exeter Sea Cadets, who use the canal for their activities, have provided support and Exeter City Council has welcomed the establishment of the volunteer group.

Membership is open to everyone who values and loves the waterway. Details of how to get involved can be found on the Friends website
exeterfriendsPhoto: Friends of Exeter Ship Canal at work

Paddington Plans to Cover Over Basin 

Plans for a floating public park have been given the go-ahead by Westminster council. Permission has been given for a garden space on top of the Grand Union Canal in Paddington Basin. The 730-square-metre ‘floating pocket park’, is set to open this spring and will feature open lawns, Tibetan cherry trees, densely planted raised borders, communal seating, and a series of decked platforms and walkways over the water.

It will be constructed from interlocking pontoons made from recycled materials divided into three sections including an events and installations venue complete with pergola and a zone for wildfowl. According to the developers there will also be canal boat mooring for boat-based traders selling food and drinks and it will be open all year round until dusk, with flora to complement all seasons including stem colour in autumn, winter flowers and spring bulbs.

The 'London Floating Pocket Park' is part of the development of Merchant Square by property company European Land and will be opened in May.  IWA's London branches have expressed  concern over lack of consultation with boat users and the potential loss of mooring spaces so will be making representations to the local authority over the impact this installation will have on boating in the capital.
paddingtonbasinPicure: Artist's impression of Paddington Basin 'Pocket Park' - is there enough room to turn a narrow boat?  

No Banbury Canal Day in 2017

Banbury's popular Canal Day will not be held this year due to the extension work being carried out at the Castle Quay shopping centre.  Much of the area used by the canal day will be a building site, both sides of the canal between the BHS bridge and Tom Rolt Bridge will be fenced off and major car parks used for the festival will be out of action.  The longer term future of the festival is uncertain as it will no longer have access to the outdoor car parking area near BHS which usually accommodates 48 stalls.

2017 would have been the 14th year for the canal day which is based around The Mill, Tooley's Boatyard, Banbury Museum and Sovereign Wharf.banburycanaldayPhoto by Robin Williams:  Banbury Canal Day 2013

Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust Has a New Chief Executive

Traci Dix-Williams, from Telford will take up the post of CEO for the Dudley Tunnel & Limestone Mines in April following the early retirement of Nick Morris.

Jeff Luesley, Chairman of Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust, says: “We are delighted to be welcoming Traci to head up our team following her successful track record in managing the high profile Ironbridge Gorge Museum.  Sadly after three years with the Trust, during which time he worked with our funding partners to deliver the construction, opening and running of our award-winning Portal Visitor Centre, Nick had to take early retirement due to ill health.  I’d like to thank him enormously for all that he has helped us achieve here at Dudley Tunnel & Limestone Mines.”

dudleynewceoPhoto: Traci Dix-Williams, new Chief Executive of Dudley Tunnel & Limestone Mines

Manchester City Centre's Winter Work

Two sets of locks on Manchester city centre’s Rochdale Canal are being upgraded and improved, as part of a £115,000 winter works package by CRT.

The Trust will be closing the canal for six weeks from the beginning of February to carry out planned works to a short section, known as the Piccadilly Undercroft, which flows underneath the main A6 Piccadilly road, near the Malmaison Hotel and Ducie Street. A secure construction site is due to be set up during the week beginning February 6th and public access to the site will not be possible.

A worn-out set of oak gates at Lock 84 are to be replaced and at Lock 85, the Trust will be carrying out refurbishment of the chamber walls and existing lock gates.

This winter CRT will be spending over £45million to restore around 164 lock gates across the country, as well as carrying out repairs to aqueducts, reservoirs and tunnels. New lock gates are hand-crafted using traditional methods in the Trust’s specialist workshops. A single lock gate can take up to 20 days to make and in order for it to be watertight, it needs to be built very precisely, fitting tightly to the masonry of the lock walls and any other gate.
piccadillyPhoto: Piccadilly Undercroft

Researching the Boatyards of London

A history project tracing the story of boatyards on the Tideway is to be launched.  The Thames Festival Trust is recruiting a project manager to help manage the Heritage Lottery Funded research programme.  London's Boatyards is an oral history project by the trust with heritage expert Jen Kavanagh and film makers digital:works.

The project is led by Adrian Evans, director of the annual Totally Thames festival, with heritage partner, the Museum of London. The project explores the changing face, within living memory, of London's working river with a particular focus on boatyards.  The Trust says: " London’s docks and the major shipyards of the nineteenth century and earlier are well documented; not so London’s twentieth and twenty first century boatyards. Yet they are rich in heritage. The river is currently undergoing a substantial renaissance.  The Thames needs to protect its boatyards now more than ever, and there is an urgent need to record the stories of those who still have first-hand knowledge of its boatyard heritage".

The project will recruit 20 volunteers and give them heritage training to research these boatyards in local archives. It will involve reminiscence sessions, visits to the facilities and interview opportunities with people who were involved with this aspect of the working river.  The project will culminate with screenings of an oral history film, a photography commission, a public exhibition, a publication and digital content.

Lancaster Sea Lock Winter Makeover

A historic sea lock on the Lancaster Canal at Glasson Dock is undergoing a five week refurbishment.  The lock dates back to 1824 and is a scheduled monument. The gate refurbishment is a complex job, with the gates representing the divide between the freshwater canal on one side and tidal seawater on the other. Divers were employed to release the underwater chains holding the large 10 tonne gates in place. The gates were then cradled in slings and craned out of the water into a temporary open air repair yard created on the grass verge next to the lock.
The wooden frames, which are made of the dense hardwood greenheart, have been in situ for at least 40 years and are amazingly still in good condition but the corroded metalwork and oak planking are being replaced.
The lock gates mark the end of the Lancaster Canal Glasson Branch and are the gateway to the Irish Sea, via Glasson Dock and the picturesque Lune estuary. They are mainly used by sea-going yachts and cruisers moored in Glasson Basin Marina.
The sea lock refurbishment is being carried out in two stages. The newly restored sea lock gates are due to be operational from 13th February but the lock will be closed again for a further five weeks in November for the second stage of the project when the lock gates leading to Glasson Basin are scheduled for a similar refurbishment. 
glassonPhoto: Glasson Dock lock gates being craned out

Upcoming Volunteer/Cleanup Events

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

IWA Shop

All You Want to Know About a Boat But Was Afraid to Ask

This book by Graham Booth, published by Waterways World gives clear details about for anyone considering life with a boat, what to look for in a vessel, the responsibilities of ownership and guidance on maintenance.  Go to the IWA Shop to buy this book for the reduced price of £17.50 plus p&p. 

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 (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 - 5 issues for £5.00
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
Waterside Inn Leamington Spa, CV31 3JZ - 15% discount on food from main menu
Ring 'O Bells Pub, Marple SK6 7AY - 10% discount off food
Three Locks Pub, Soulbury, 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
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

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

Free Donations to IWA Every Time you Shop Online

It is so easy to do your shopping via easyfundraising.  Every time you do, a percentage will be donated to IWA and it will cost you absolutely nothing extra.

There are over 3,100 shops and sites for you to browse and buy through on the easyfundraising site.  Usually the thing that stops people raising money in this way for their favourite charity is that they simply forget.  Since we launched IWA onto easyfundraising we have raised over £1000 so it is a brilliant way to support IWA.  Find out more about easyfundraising.

How to remind yourself to raise money for IWA via easyfundraising:

By using the app, the reminder toolbar or shopping through the easyfundraising site, you can help IWA raise hundreds and hopefully thousands of pounds.

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453