London's biggest, brightest and best waterways festival is fast approaching and IWA is looking for individuals to be part of its success. There are many different tasks that need to be undertaken to keep this show on the road so everyone would be able to find a role that suits them. If you would like to spend some time in Little Venice over the early May Day Bank Holiday click on the festival web page to find out how you can get involved.
It looks as though there may be no boats attending this year's IWA Cavalcade from the River Stort who are moored north of Roydon. Boats moored in Roydon Marina will be able to attend but it looks like those from Bishop Stortford, Hallingbury Mill and the Moorhen at Harlow may not be able to get through due to over running work on the chamber wall of Brick Lock (14) on the River Stort. IWA is asking people that are booked into the festival to check out the CRT stoppage details and email the Waterspace Manager if you think you have a problem. Photo: Noah's Ark at 2016 Canalway Cavalcade adding to the colour and spectacle
Details are now being finalised for this workshop being held on 1st April at South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy. for more details click here.
The workshop will follow the same format as previous years with large group sessions and breakout seminars: This year's workshop main sessions are:
• Session 1: Building a sustainable volunteer workforce- Nick Ralls, General Manager, Severn Valley Railway.
• Session 2: Importance of marketing and communication- Alison Stenner, IWA Marketing Manager.
• Session 3: Reorganising our organisation- Jonathan Till, Wilts & Berks Canal Trust
• Session 4: IWA Restoration Hub - Jonathan Smith, IWA Trustee
• Session 5: Tony Harrison Legacy - Award Winners
• Session 6: Importance of having a good health & safety culture within your organisation - Mike Palmer, WRG
The workshop is free and open to anyone involved in waterway restoration. For more details and to book go to IWA's online booking system.
With less than 7 weeks to go before the big day, Matthew Rogers has been stacking up the miles in training for the London Marathon. By early Feb he had already totalled 238 miles and additional runs over the past few weeks have seen him well over the 300 mile mark. He received morale boosting news this week though as his employers, North Midland Construction, promised to sponsor his efforts and ensure all his hard work pays off – but he still needs your support!
IWA Fundraising Officer, Sarah Frayne, said “Matthew is really putting in the work for WRG, which is great news for us – the Van Appeal may be over but the need for funding is on going, so I encourage everyone to get behind Matthew and help support waterways restoration along the way.”
The Virgin Money London Marathon is taking place on Sunday 23rd April. Read Matthew’s story and sponsor him here,
Photo: Matthew Rogers in action - please support him
IWA has written to Natural Resources Wales about proposals which may affect water supplies to the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, see IWA Bulletin of 14th February. IWA is extremely concerned that the cherry- picking approach to this complex problem may undo all the good created by the work of the Usk and Wye Abstraction Group. IWA's formal response is available on the campaigns' web page.
IWA's Events team is looking for people who can help the Festival of Water in Ilkeston obtain sponsorship from local businesses and develop/run fundraising opportunities for the August Bank Holiday weekend. Over the last three years the Festival of Water team has run successful events in Saul, Northampton and Pelsall and this new role will be very much a part of a happy, organised team who each year want to exceed the success of the last.
If you would like to bring your networking, fundraising, communication or persuasion skills to help or advise this small, enthusiastic team please email the Committee Chairman Jane Elwell or phone her on 01635 324 25.
Boaters and campers attending IWA's Festival at Ilkeston can make the most of their journey by visiting places of interest in the surrounding area. IWA has compiled a list for a suggested tourist trail which can be found on the Festival web page.
IWA has contacted CRT about new signage which has appeared in London, which displays the number of minutes it would take to reach a destination (by foot and by bicycle) rather than the distance (eg Islington Tunnel 2 minutes, City Road Lock 10 minutes - an unrealistic timing in any case as it involves a detour around tunnel). There was concern that these timings would suggest to cyclists that they were times to be beaten and could be unrealistic leading to even more dangerous cycling. IWA estimates that the timings would require a cyclist to be travelling approximately 10 to 12 miles an hour which is considered to be too fast on a towpath. IWA North & East London Branch have objected to CRT about these signs and suggested that all signage should include actual distances as they were a matter of fact rather than dependent on how fast someone was walking or cycling.
Photo: CRT's new signs in London - guidance or a challenge?
IWA prides itself on its Festivals which promote little used waterways or ones that need a bit of tender, loving care. Our Trailboat Festivals are used to raise awareness of recently restored and isolated stretches of water, like this year's which runs from 27th to 29th May at Moira on the Ashby Canal in the National Forest. A site for the 2018 Trailboat Festival has yet to be identified so if anyone has any ideas of a good location please do contact IWA's Trailboat Officer.
Photo: Jeanne Smith - 2011 Trailboat Festival, Neath Canal
North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch have successfully nominated their Deputy Chairman, Steve Wood, for the West Midlands Region Committee's Victoria Cup award. They wanted to show their appreciation for his activities in so many waterway matters. As a live-aboard boater, he spends much time liaising with CRT local staff, alerting them to problems on the navigation and particularly in ensuring that the opening hours of the Harecastle Tunnel take account of boater’s needs.
Steve first joined IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch committee just over 10 years ago, in September 2006, initially as Planning Officer. Two years later he joined the committee of the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, as Communications Officer, and also became involved with the Burslem Port Trust around the same time. He is also very active with restoration, serving as chairman of the Uttoxeter Canal Restoration group and has been the main organiser for several WRG canal camps and weekend visits, including a recent return visit from WRG Forestry.
For a full report on Steve's nomination read the article in the Branch's newsletter, Knobsticks.
Photo: IWA West Midland Region chairman Helen Whitehouse presenting the 2017 Victoria Cup to a surprised Steve Wood at the Branch AGM.
On Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd March volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and CRT came out to install new mooring rings at Congleton Wharf. Over the two days seven volunteers installed the first six new concrete method mooring rings to continue the work of IWA volunteers throughout the course of the IWA’s Cheshire Ring Mooring Ring Project. The tasks involved digging new holes at the right spacings between the existing rings, mixing and infilling with concrete, clearing around the existing rings and cleaning the local picnic benches.
Photo: Mixing cement in prepation for installing mooring rings
The next planned event for this project will take place at Fools Nook on the Macclesfield Canal to install eight new rings. If you are interested in find out more about this project or wish to get involved please email Alex Melson.
The River Medway is the largest river in the Kent & East Sussex branch area - the non-tidal navigable section runs for 18 miles from Allington though Maidstone to Tonbridge and has 10 locks.
The Branch Committee meet bi- monthly in the Maidstone area and part of its brief is to look at all aspects of the rivers in Kent and East Sussex - this is everything from issues affecting the creeks and harbours on the Thames to the Ouse in Sussex, including restoration, planning applications and river events.
The Branch River Medway representative is sending out this appeal for a second person to assist him in his role. It would mean:
• Gathering information on activities on the River Medway;
• Sending in any pictures /news snippets for the Cargoes magazine, produced quarterly;
• Occasionally giving any relevant Medway information to the committee when he is unable to attend the meetings.
There is no requirement to attend the Branch committee meetings though of course you would be welcome to come along if you wished. If you think this is something you may be interested in please do contact Mike Marsh by email or phone, 07595 428639, and he would be happy to answer any questions.
Some member of IWAKES visited East Farleigh Lock on the River Medway on Saturday at the invitation of the EA to see the work progressing on the lock. Phil Munslow, Waterways Manager of the River Medway explained the problems that have been encountered which means the lock will be closed until June but the work is essential as there was a danger of a major slip which would have probably put the Medway Valley Railway line out of use.
Photo: East Farleigh Lock on the River Medway
Photo: Showing structural problems at East Farleigh Lock
IWA is pleased to report that IWA West Country Branch’s Volunteer Co-ordinator Mike Slade has been shortlisted for Towpath Talk’s prestigious ‘Volunteer of the Year Award'.
This is excellent news for IWA West Country Branch as it reflects the hard work and commitment that Mike has applied to achieve such an accolade, however we now need to generate votes for him to compete against the three other deserving nominations.
We are asking if you, your family, friends and colleagues can please register support for Mike. You can use the voting form at the bottom of page four of the March edition of Towpath Talk, write to: Towpath Talk, VOTY Readers Vote, Mortons Media Group, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincs, LN9 6LZ, or log on to Towpath Talk making sure that however you choose to vote, you ensure that you are voting for "Mike Slade". Votes must be received by the deadline of Friday March 31st 2017, in order to count.
We very much hope that Mike will be selected as the winner of this award and receive the recognition he deserves.
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.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is set to host a major new waterway event this year, with the East London Waterway Festival due to take place on Monday, 28th August.
The event is being held to mark the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock, a £1.8 million project in the heart of the Park which is one of the final pieces of a ten-year programme to regenerate the Bow Back Rivers and preserve an important part of London’s industrial heritage. The completed lock site will form the centrepiece of the festival, which will include a boat flotilla, dragon boat racing, canoeing taster sessions, free boat trips and pedalos. There will also be live music and dance performances, activities for children, food stalls and more.
The Carpenters Road Lock project is led by the Canal & River Trust and includes £680,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £100,000 from London Legacy Development Corporation and £4,500 from the Inland Waterways Association.
Carpenters Road Lock is significant from an engineering point of view, as it had the only ‘double radial lock gates’ in the country. Built in the 1930s, this design included two convex-shaped gates that lifted up vertically to enable boats to pass through. In the second half of the 20th century, the Bow Back Rivers fell out of use and the lock became unusable, with the last passage by boat through the lock recorded in the 1960s. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games saw major works bringing new life to the waterways in what is now Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Photo: Olympic Park cruise 2016 - this year boats will be able to go through Carpenters Lock
Photo: Carpenters Road Lock progress
Any boaters keen to take part in the festival are encouraged to get in touch with the waterways office at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. For more information about the waterways in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Carpenters Road Lock project visit the CRT website page.
The Huddersfield Canal Society and CRT invite boaters to join the first Pennine Explorer Cruise from 23rd June – 1st July 2017. Starting at Portland Basin, Ashton-under-Lyne the cruise will visit Stalybridge, Mossley, Diggle, Marsden, Slaithwaite, Milnsbridge and Huddersfield before finishing at Mirfield.
This “Roving Rally” will allow boaters to enjoy the scenery of this rugged Pennine canal with mutual help with locks and assistance from volunteer lock-winders. A programme of evening events will add to the fun. Alan Stopher, Chairman of the Huddersfield Canal Society, said “Sixteen years on from its reopening the Huddersfield Narrow Canal has already provided a memorable cruise for many. We also know it has a place on many boaters’ cruising wish lists. To encourage use by those who have yet to visit this waterway gem we’re teaming up with CRT and the Calder Navigation Society to welcome boaters from afar to sample these Pennine waterways for themselves”.
Waterway Manager David Baldacchino said “We think the cruise is a great idea. So many people have worked so hard to return this stretch back to navigation and we want as many people as possible to come and enjoy the fantastic beauty that this great trans-pennine link has to offer. The canal offers some of the best sights and scenes and who wouldn’t want to go through the highest, longest and deepest canal?
Places are limited by the capacity of Standedge Tunnel, so early expressions of interest are essential. Boaters should email Huddersfield Canal Society to express interest. First come, first served! Not all boats fit the canal, the controlling dimensions and other information are available on the CRT web site. Those who will fit the shorter wider locks of the Huddersfield Broad and Calder and Hebble canals can continue to complete a circuit. Full length narrowboats can turn at Huddersfield and take their time on the return journey.
Photo: Ian Bradbury, Huddersfield Canal Society – Boat gathering at Diggle Summit
Historic locations on the route of a 19th Century waterway will be explored during two free guided walks at the end of March. Members of the public are invited to join strolls along the original course of the Wey & Arun Canal, including two stretches of the former Guildford to Horsham railway line. The walks are being run by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, which is currently increasing its restoration activities on the northern sections of the waterway.
The first walk is on Saturday, March 25th, meeting at 2.15pm in the car park of Shamley Green Church, Church Hill, Shamley Green GU4 0UD. Led by the Trust’s technical liaison officer, Alan Johnson, it will follow a four-mile circular route to see how the 1865 Guildford to Horsham railway crossed the 1816 canal and explore a newly revealed iron truss bridge.
On Sunday, March 26th, walkers will meet at 2.30pm at the Gunpowder Store, Stonebridge Wharf, on the River Wey at Shalford. With Trust publicity officer Rob Searle, they will explore parts of the canal route down to the former Bramley Wharf, off Station Road in Bramley. This 1½ mile stroll, taking approximately two hours, will take in the Tannery Lane roving bridge and the sites of the Tannery Lane Lock and the Gosden Aqueduct. It is also an opportunity to explore the trust’s Hunt Nature Park and its viewing platform.
Parking for walkers is available at Broadford Business Park, Shalford GU4 8EP, behind the Parrot Inn on the A248.
Most of the walk routes are not on metalled surfaces, so it will be essential to wear walking boots, stout shoes or trainers. The events are free, but donations to the Trust will be welcome. Booking is essential, online via the Trust's website or by calling 01483 505566, by March 20th.
A circumnavigation of Britain by canoe using inland waterways started on 6th March. The Bliss Canoe Trail will include 506 locks, 13 tunnels, 19 canals and rivers, two dry sections and three tidal sections. The Trail website gives details of the route being covered. There is a Facebook page, Bliss Canoe Trail - Hou's going all the way round, for anyone that wants to see regular progress of the canoeists.
The long term ambition is that the ten British Canoeing regions that the trail passes through will organise the adoption of short lengths by local canoe clubs and paddling groups. The aim will then be, that these clubs set a date each year when they invite paddlers to come and share ‘their’ section with them ether for a day or weekend. A couple of years down the line it would be great to set one weekend a year when all of the trail is paddled by lots of groups of paddlers doing different sections over the same two days. Membership of British Canoeing includes the licence which covers all of the waterways paddled on the trip.
Map showing route of Bliss Trail
The Great Ormond Street charity amongst others will be benefiting from the efforts of these intrepid canoeists. More details of that are available on the Bliss Trail JustGiving page.
CRT is looking for people who can commit to volunteering for two or three days per week for a six-week period between mid-April and July 2017 to help restore Church Bridge on the Pocklington Canal. Travel expenses are available for all registered volunteers who ideally live within a 45 minute drive of Pocklington. Volunteers will be trained up by a professional heritage brickwork specialist, and then will work as part of a small team under their supervision to carry out the repairs needed on this Grade Two Listed bridge. Due to the nature of this project this is only suitable for those who are prepared to volunteer for the six week period.
Some prior experience of lime mortaring would be useful but not essential. To contact the project officer about this role, please email or call 07789 934871. This role is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund supported project, ‘A Gem in the Landscape’.Photo: CRT - Church Bridge, Pocklington Canal
HS2 Community and Business Funds worth £40 million are available to communities and local economies that are impacted by the construction of Phase One of HS2.
Go to this website for details of this scheme.
Dozens of boats from around the country will be heading to the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port for the annual Easter Boat Gathering from 14th to 17th April. This year the event is celebrating its 40th anniversary with colourful narrowboats and barges taking centre stage while the museum comes alive with music, theatre and activities for the whole family.
Music fans can look forward to a weekend of performances from some of the folk scene’s finest. The line-up includes: award-winning folk artist Phil Underwood, popular duo Mick Ryan and Paul Downes and Chester-based five-piece Full House. They will be joined by local folk band and regular visitors to the museum - the Wirral Singers and Ringers.
Waterway history will be explored by Heather Wastie and Kate Saffin in ‘Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways’. Idle Women were nick-named from the initials they wore whilst volunteering on the Inland Waterways during the Second World War. Heather and Kate look at their fascinating, but rarely told story through theatre, poetry and music.
The museum will be open for visitors with costumed interpreters bringing the Porters Row cottages and the Slipway to life. There will be behind the scenes tours by the museum’s Young Curators and volunteers plus a whole host of family activities. Boat trips on Centaur and accessible boat Over the Rainbow will also be available.
The entry form for anyone keen to enter their boat for the gathering is now available via the CRT web site or by telephoning the museum on 0151 355 5017.
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
How often have you lost a windlass, tools or keys into the murky canal water? For £35.95 you can own one of these handy gadgets that will lift up to 140lbs, but keep it away from the dog's metal name tag! Details are on the IWA Shop web page.
Photo: Sea Searcher available from the IWA online shop.
The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount on holidays (Direct Bookings Only)
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
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
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
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.
IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453