IWA Bulletin - 26th April 2017

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Final Countdown to Cavalcade

Last minute preparations are underway as IWA's Canalway Cavalcade gets ready to put on its colourful show over the Early May Day Bank Holiday Weekend, 29th April to 1st May, at Little Venice in the heart of London.  Participants are travelling from far and wide to be part of this fascinating festival. 

A very important Long Eared Owl has been flying down the Grand Union Canal from Gayton courtesy of ABC Boats who donate this boat for the duration of the festival where it is used as an accommodation boat for the work camp team.
longearedowlPhoto: ABC Boats Long Eared Owl working the Marsworth flight of locks on its way to Cavalcade

IWA Cavalcade' s Press and Publicity Officer, Christine Smith has travelled around 160 miles, working 201 locks on her boat Tickety Boo since 8th April, starting on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to get to this important event.  She was recently spotted at Bull's Bridge in sight of the Grand Union Canal's Paddington Arm so her journey is nearly over.ticketybooPhoto:  Tickety Boo taking on water at Bull's Bridge , ably assisted by Cameo.

Some of the food stalls and entertainment will have an international flavour.  One group that is aiming to thrill is Barraca Flamenca, a flamenco dance team who will be performing in the Amphitheatre on Saturday 29th April at 12 noon, tapas and castanets are optional.
flamencoPhoto:  The Barraca Flamenca line up at Rickmansworth Canal Festival last year

Visitors will be able to vote for their favourite decorated boat from the parade on Saturday afternoon and the illuminated cavalcade on Sunday evening by text.  Full details of this great festival are available on the Cavalcade webpage or in the programme available at the event.

Running for Restoration

The sun and the crowds came out for this year’s London Marathon, as a record 40,382 people took on the iconic 26 mile challenge. Amongst them was Matthew Rogers, who was running on behalf of IWA and raising funds for Waterway Recovery Group.  Matthew had been training for the event since November last year, when he accepted the place from IWA. London was Matthew’s seventh marathon, but his first time taking on this famous course.

Matthew made it round the course in a very respectable 4 hours and 4 minutes and said “the London marathon was everything I expected and so much more. The roar of the crowds is incredible and keeps you going in the harder moments.”

IWA is pleased to report he is not suffering too much following the event and was straight back to work on Monday morning – although he did assure us he would be taking a few days rest from running. He has also said this will be his last ever marathon – but watch this space…

You can still sponsor Matthew through his Virgin Money Giving page.   All funds raised will be supporting IWA's restoration work.

marathon2017Photo:  IWA's Matthew Rogers, runner number 55344, pounding the streets of London

WRG Easter Canal Camp Round-Up

WRG volunteers have been hard at work on three camps this Easter with volunteers coming from as far afield as Germany!  

The first of the Easter camps from 8th to 15th April saw 18 volunteers continue the restoration of Weymoor Bridge on the Cotswold Canal. The main aim of the week was to point and clean the bridge arch in preparation for the next stage of restoration work. Alongside this, other volunteers completed tasks such as removing an Armco crash barrier, clearing vegetation and shifting spoil to identify useful material for the restoration.

The beginning of the second week from 15th to 22nd April saw volunteers finishing of the work completed in the week prior at Weymoor Bridge, again prioritising the bridge arch. The second part of the week was spent at Inglesham Lock, where the primary focus was on the rebuilding of one of the paddle arches using heritage restoration skills.   

WRG were back at Lock 15 on the scenic Grantham Canal from 15th to 22nd April to help complete this Heritage Lottery Funded project so the summer canal camps can move on to Lock 14.  A variety of tasks have taken place during this week including bricklaying, reconstructing a weir, landscaping and cutting new stop plank grooves.  Camp leader Becky Parr said “ This has been a fantastic week in the Vale of Belvoir, the volunteers are learning new skills, everyone is making new friends and it’s lovely to see the lock making progress so quickly”.

A massive thank and well done to all Canal Camp leadership teams for their amazing work over the past couple of weeks.
lockarchPhoto:  Rebuilding an arch at Inglesham Lock.

It's Not Too Late to Sign Up for a WRG Camp This Summer!

There are still spaces available for Canal Camps running this summer and there is something for everybody.  Whether you want to have a go at bricklaying at IWA’s flagship Inglesham Lock restoration, try your hand at archaeology on the Monmouthshire Canal or discover the derelict Lapal Canal  on the Birmingham Canal Navigations, there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people, learn new skills and do something worthwhile.

You can find out more about WRG Canal Camps by visiting our website page or by contacting Jenny Black or Alex Melson on 01494 783453 ext 604.

Essex Waterways are Now Ship Shape

IWA’s subsidiary company, Essex Waterways Ltd, has had a busy winter, including the following works:

●    Heybridge Basin Sea Lock.  New upper mitre gates have been installed and the lock was reopened on 30th March.  Fitting of the outer caisson gate will take place during a stoppage between 2nd October and Christmas 2017; this has been the largest project on the Navigation to date, with the total cost (all funded by Essex & Suffolk Water) of about £2 million.  A new sewage handling system has been installed at Heybridge Basin.  The old septic tank has been replaced with a new pumped system using mains drainage and was operational by Easter.

●    Hoe Mill Lock.  New lower gates have been installed.  Apart from the Sea Lock, these are the largest gates on the Navigation.  The February cold snap interspersed with a couple of spells of rain created very difficult conditions for EWL staff and volunteers and flash flooding of the Navigation from rain running off frozen ground caused the lock dams to need re-setting seven  times during the process.

●    Paper Mill Lock.  A WRG Canal Camp in February removed a great deal of towpath vegetation and overhanging trees below Paper Mill Lock.  This work paved the way for substantial culvert and towpath repairs planned for later in the year.  In addition, significant brickwork repairs were carried out on both lock wing walls.

●    Little Baddow Lock. Landing stage and bank piling has been replaced with equipment hired from Avon Navigation Trust twinned with EWL’s own plant and machinery.   The oak timber for this project was sourced from Essex Wildlife Trust’s Weeleyhall Wood, near Clacton, in a partnership between EWL and EWT.  Felled as part of EWT’s woodland management programme the trees were recovered by staff and volunteers of both organisations, transported to Danbury and milled to size.

●    Barnes Lock. New lower gates fitted and the lock refurbished during early April.  The Navigation was fully open in time for Easter.
heybridgebasinlockPhoto: Essex & Suffolk Water - Heybridge Basin Lock

Can You Help Safeguard Our Waterway Heritage?

As part of the IWA’s primary objective to protect the inland waterways, its Navigation Committee has been considering how it can work better to ensure that heritage is retained and conserved. To assist with this IWA has been looking at major waterways heritage buildings in the West Midlands, which are at risk in various ways, primarily because they do not have either a sustainable plan or effective statutory protection.
The following examples, taken from this region, may help to explain IWA's concerns. They are not managed as CRT assets, have no conservation plans in place to ensure their future, and where they are Listed this does not appear effective:

The Langley Maltings is one of the finest buildings on the BCN, it is not owned by CRT and since a major fire, is in danger of being lost. As a Listed building, the local authority could take enforcement action but is reluctant to do so and the likely success of such action is questionable.

The Tipton Gauging House is vital to an understanding of the history of commercial carrying. It was disposed of by BW to a developer and although planning approval for the site requires some remedial work, this building is at risk unless a viable future can be found for it.

Chillington Basin, Wolverhampton, is one of the best examples of a canal and railway transhipment facility.  It is currently in the possession of a holding company with no plans for its future. Moorings may be possible, but a sustainable use for the remainder of the site is needed.

There will be similar heritage buildings or structures in other areas and IWA is asking branches to carry out a survey to identify and record these on a database. This will enable Navigation Committee to determine the extent of the risk to the waterways heritage and to work with branches to try to ensure that they are protected. IWA is well aware that finding a viable future for these buildings is not easy and even Listing does not always ensure their retention. Identifying them will be an important start in demonstrating that IWA does care about protecting the country's heritage and this will enable it to look into national and local initiatives that may help to ensure their security for the future.

Navigation Committee is aware of the amount of work currently taken on by branch committees and the problems associated with increasing their workload so it is looking for members/supporters to help to carry out this important job and help to safeguard our heritage. If you are prepared to volunteer for this, for even a short time, please contact your local IWA Branch contact through the Branch webpage

Diary Date for IWA Members

The Aldercar High School, Langley Mill in East Midlands will be the venue for this year’s Annual General Meeting on 30th September.  The format is to be similar to last year, with some topical presentations followed by the formal meeting before lunch and then two optional site visits in the afternoon.  These may include a boat trip on the Cromford Canal and a tour of restoration and development works achieved over the years around Great Northern Basin, the junction of the Erewash, Cromford and Nottingham Canals.

Hopeful News from Scottish Canals

IWA welcomes the news that hire boating will continue on the Scottish lowland canals, following the announcement that an agreement has been reached between Scottish Canals and hire boat owners to enable operations to carry on in 2018.  

As reported in the last Bulletin, IWA's main concern had been that the increase of fees for hire boat operators of up to five times their present rate, including for use of the Falkirk Wheel, had led to the announced closure of all hire fleet operations based at Falkirk. IWA considered that the loss of the entire hire fleet would have been very bad news for the future of the Forth & Clyde and Union canals, as boats are essential for the long term vitality of any waterway, and therefore welcomes this new development.

Fees for private boat owners to use the Falkirk Wheel have not increased, although it is possible that capacity for them to use the boat lift will be restricted as a result of Scottish Canals' Rotate project, which proposes that a static pontoon would be fitted to one of the caissons.  IWA will continue to monitor the situation and campaign to minimize any restrictions on the use of the Falkirk Wheel by private boats.
falkirkwheelPhoto: Nigel Essery - the iconic Falkirk Wheel

A Donation to Essex Waterways

essexdonationPhoto: London Region IWA chairman Paul Strudwick (right) giving a £1000 donation from the region, mainly raised by London Walks, to Roy Chandler of Essex Waterways. This is going towards the cost of an outboard motor for the their recently rebuilt ex WRG work flat.

Restoration Meeting - 14th May

Trustees are aware that some members would like to know more about the development of our restoration work and how the Restoration Hub  is expected to enhance IWA’s support for restoration.  A meeting is therefore being held for members to hear an update on the progress that has been made with the Hub and to discuss any issues in an open manner.  The meeting will be chaired by IWA's Vice President Tony Hirst starting at 2.00pm on Sunday 14th May 2017 at Lapworth Village Hall, Old Warwick Road, Lapworth B94 6LD.  

It would help us in arranging the meeting if members planning to attend could notify Jenny Black along with notification of any questions that they might wish to ask to help us try to ensure that answers are available on the day.

2017 General Election

IWA will again be producing its Manifesto for the Waterways and asking candidates to pledge their support for it.  Details will be available in the next Bulletin.


Judith Pope Joins IWA

At the start of April IWA welcomed its new Volunteer Engagement Officer, Judith Pope to its staff team. This role is to support volunteers across the regions and branches in practical ways helping to ensure that:
•    all volunteers feel supported and valued in whatever role they carry out;
•    the volunteer network is promoted and celebrated so it continues to grow and develop;
•    IWA’s visibility and relevance is increased through volunteer activities.  

Judith had a well-spent youth as a WRGie for ten years, she has recently paddled the Caledonian Canal in an inflatable kayak and did a spot of bike-packing from Bristol to Devizes with her four year old child.  Prior to joining IWA Judith worked for 8 years in volunteer support, with a total of nearly 12 years working for Sustrans. This involved supporting over 200 volunteer groups across the UK. judithPhoto: Judith Pope

IWA Welcomes New North West Region Chairman

There was a single nomination for the vacant post of North West Region chairman at the close of nominations on 3rd April.  The nominee was Sir Robert Atkins, a former MP, MEP and Waterways Minister.  He lives near Preston, is a narrow boat owner, has been an IWA member for many years.  Sir Robert Atkins became North West Region chairman with immediate effect, and held his first region committee meeting on 19th April.
robertatkinsPhoto:  Sir Robert Atkins, IWA's new North West Region chairman

Fred Blampied MBE

IWA is saddened to report the death of Fred Blampied.  Fred had been an active campaigner for the inland waterways in the South West, and in particular around Bristol, since 1955, when he first joined IWA.  He became the inaugural chairman of the Association’s South West Branch in 1960, and had been part of, or worked closely with, its successor committee (IWA South West Region and IWA Avon & Wilts Branch) ever since.  Fred became closely involved in local waterway restorations and causes for more fifty years; he co-ordinated and led visiting work parties further afield in the 1960s and 1970s – including the Ashton and Stratford-on-Avon canals.  Fred’s greatest achievement was his work with other like-minded organisations in resisting proposals of partial infilling and restricting navigation in the City Docks.  Part of the campaign included the first Water Festival, which showed what could be done with the Docks, and Fred was deeply involved with this in 1971, and in each of the successive years until Bristol City Council took over full organisation of the growing event later in that decade.  The event, which would never have happened without Fred Blampied, has become one the largest tourism generating Festivals in the West Country today and highlight of the Bristol City calendar.

Charles Kenchington

Charles Kenchington, long term chairman and last president of the former Severn Navigation Restoration Trust, died on Monday 17th April.  Charles championed the promotion of navigation improvements on the upper Severn, originally with David Hutchings from about 1982.  A memorial will be held to celebrate his life at 3pm, on Friday 28th April, at Burford Church, Burford, Tenbury Wells WR15 8HG

IWA Branch News

IWA West Country Branch

At West Country Branch's community litter pick at French Weir in Taunton on Easter Sunday the Branch was presented with tools from Somerset Wildlife Trust. 

westpresPhoto:  IWA West Country Branch volunteers Mike Slade and Jacqui Budd being presented with tools from Olivia Dullaghan.westtoolsPhoto:  An impressive arrat of tools donated by Somerset Wildlife Trust

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

What is the Future for London Waterways?

Residents, boaters and visitors in London cannot fail to observe the congestion on the capital's waterways.  CRT has recently reported that boat numbers in London have increased by 57% since 2012 and it is not just narrow boats, a steady stream of wide beams are cruising down the Grand Union Canal to add to the mix.  This massive increase in vessels is putting tremendous pressure on waterspace, moorings, water points, waste disposal and recycling facilities. 

To address this issue the London Mooring Strategy was set up with the aim of:
-    Better provision and management of a range of facilities and mooring types in London;
-    Managing the high number of boats in London and mitigating the environmental impacts on the waterways and neighbours;
-    Protecting existing, and generating additional income to maintain the waterways in London;
-    Helping ensure fair sharing of water space;
-    Enabling a wider range of boaters to visit and navigate in London;
-    Supporting a London waterway destination and tourism strategy;
-    Ensuring the mooring strategy contributes to CRT's aims that London’s waterways help to transform neighbourhoods and enrich people’s lives.

Following a year of working with a wide range of stakeholders, surveying boaters, and physically looking at every inch of the capital’s waterways, CRT has developed a set of draft proposals to improve boaters’ experience of boating in London. The charity is now running a series of focus groups with boaters to help refine the draft proposals.

In March CRT presented the draft proposals to attendees of the Better Relationship Group who have been a ‘boater sounding board’ through the development of the strategy to test the ideas and get some feedback.  The proposals, which tie into the seven objectives of the London Mooring Strategy, include increasing the number of boating facilities and managing them better and similarly improving the management and maintenance of short-stay moorings.  The Trust will be expanding the range of new moorings including developing a limited number of short-stay moorings, supporting long-term ‘online offside’ and ‘offline’ moorings in quieter areas, and encouraging the development of long-term moorings from a diverse range of providers.  New boating business will be supported, focusing on key London destinations, and winter moorings will continue to be managed and developed with feedback from boaters.

Over the next month CRT will be running four focus groups across London with a range of boaters.  The Trust will be contacting boaters who attended the initial London Mooring Strategy workshop in May 2016, as well as those who took part in last autumn’s ‘Who’s on London’s Boats’ survey, to identify a diverse range of boaters to take part in these focus groups.  The draft proposals will be developed following these meetings and CRT will invite a wider conversation amongst London’s boating community on the final proposals through the late summer and autumn.

CRT has been working with various groups, including its Navigation Advisory Group, the London Waterway Partnership, national boating organisations, individual boaters and other key stakeholders such as local authorities.

The development of the London Mooring Strategy is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2017. 

london2011Photo: Sandy Goodwin - London, still a popular destination

Flight Diverters Installed on Power Lines Along Stainforth & Keadby Canal

The skies above Doncaster in South Yorkshire are now safer for birds thanks to the efforts of CRT and Northern Powergrid.   The organisations have worked together to help save Yorkshire’s swans, geese and other wildfowl with the installation of special ‘flight diverters’.

Thirty brightly coloured, special attachments known as ‘flight diverters’, have been installed by engineers from Northern Powergrid along 300 metres of power lines located at Lock Hill in Thorne next to the Stainforth & Keadby Canal in Doncaster.  The ‘flight diverters’ which are suspended from the power lines, will help to increase visibility of the lines to birds, particularly those flying from nearby Staniland Marina.

CRT contacted Northern Powergrid to request the installation of flight diverters following the report from a member of the public of a dead swan who had flown into the power lines next to Doncaster’s Stainforth & Keadby Canal.

Jonny Hart-Woods, Senior Ecologist at CRT said: “Collisions with power lines are a major cause of serious injury for large species such as swans, geese and other wildfowl that cannot change direction quickly.  These birds can accidentally fly into power lines because they do not see them at all, or they see them too late to react and they’re injured, which often in this situation proves to be fatal.”

Mark Firth, Overhead Maintenance Coordinator at Northern Powergrid, said: “It is wonderful to be able to make a real difference to the local wildfowl population and enable the birds to avoid our power lines. The highly visible balls are located at nine-metre intervals along a 300 metre stretch and allow the birds to avoid the power line because they see the light panels. Lines without diverters are very hard to see for flying birds so they highlight the overhead power line and make it much more visible.”
flightdivertersPhoto: Northern Powergrid - Installation of flight diverters

Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat Gently Down the Stream

For the second year, the Friends of Dawn Rose are organising a sponsored boat pull all the way from Shireoaks to West Stockwith and back.  Volunteers can raise funds for their organisation or their favourite charity by pulling a 70 foot long, hand-built, wooden narrowboat, the Dawn Rose, along the Chesterfield Canal.  This initiative will run from 22nd April to 17th May. 

Last year WRG's Van Appeal raised over £1,200 from the efforts of Jude and Mike Palmer and Paul Ireson with Sarah Frayne being harnessed to the boat.  A huge range of groups took part in 2016 from the Women’s Institute to the MG Car Club to a group of women from the Co-op. At one stage a skunk got involved with Encounter Exotics! All groups thoroughly enjoyed themselves and raised tidy sums for their good causes.  The journey has been split up into 21 sections which vary from less than one mile to four miles and no locks to nine locks. Particpants can choose which section suits them and on which day and at what time of day – morning or afternoon.  A fee of £50 is paid to the Friends of Dawn Rose and everything else raised goes to the participants' chosen good cause.

Pulling a ten ton boat might sound impossible but in fact it is surprisingly easy. The Friends will supply harnesses with which two people can pull Dawn Rose very comfortably. The team can swap around so the load is spread. The Friends will steer and manage the boat, but teams will be able to help, under supervision.  As the groups will be going at walking pace they can be accompanied by friends and family to share in a great day out along this beautiful waterway.

To find out more, go to the Chesterfield Canal Trust websiteemail the Friends of Dawn Rose, telephone 01246 477569 or write to Sponsored Boat Pull, Friends of Dawn Rose, Hollingwood Hub, 22 Works Road, Chesterfield, S43 2PF.  Leaflets are available from various outlets along the canal.

Chesterfield Canal boats were built to a unique design dating back to the 1770s which was scarcely changed in 150 years. All the old ones have rotted away, so Dawn Rose is the only one in existence, being built over the course of four years by volunteers from the Chesterfield Canal Trust to the traditional design, using hand tools only, and was launched in 2015. 
dawnroseworksopPhoto: Dawn Rose being pulled under the A57 viaduct near Worksop

skunkpullPhoto:  No skunks were harmed during the pulling of this boat

Crick - Boats, Beer and Bands

The T-Rexstasy tribute band will headline the entertainment programme at this year’s Crick Boat Show & Waterways Festival, to be held from 27th to 29th May at Crick Marina, near Daventry in Northamptonshire.

Crick Boat Show offers an interesting day out for all the family with dozens of boats to look round, free boat trips, live music, children’s activities, a real ale marquee, and a large variety of food and drink stalls.

The annual event, which is organised by Waterways World in partnership with CRT and Crick Marina, is the UK’s biggest inland waterways festival with 300 exhibitors gathering from across the canal world, and over 25,000 visitors expected to attend.  

The world’s only official live tribute band dedicated to Marc Bolan & T-Rex, ‘T-Rexstasy’ will be performing in the Wheatsheaf Bar Marquee on Saturday 27th May, recreating the legendary band’s glam-rock days and performing some of Marc Bolan’s biggest hits, including Ride a White Swan, Jeepster, Telegram Sam, Teenage Dream, The Groover, 20th Century Boy, Get it On, and I Love to Boogie.

The ‘Fleetwood Bac’ Tribute Show and ‘Murphy’s Marbles’ will perform at Crick on the Sunday evening and during the day on Saturday, music will include country blues from ‘The Goat Roper Rodeo Band’ and gypsy jazz from ‘Swing Gitan’.  On Sunday there will be country folk from ‘Serious Sam Barrett’ and newgrass, bluegrass and Americana music from ‘The Old Grey Dogs’, while on Monday, visitors can enjoy French-style accordion music and gypsy jazz from ‘Bon Accord’ and blues from ‘Jacksboro Highway’.

Crick Boat Show 2017 will be open from 10am till 6pm every day except Monday 29 May, when it closes at 5pm.  Evening entertainment, which is included in the price of the same day ticket to the show, runs from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.

Ticket prices start at £12 per adult if booked in advance, £15 on the day.  All children aged 16 and under go free.  Senior Citizens and concessions are £10.80 in advance, £13.50 on the day.  Three-day tickets are also available for £23.20 per adult in advance, or £29 on the day.  Senior citizens and concessions are priced at £20.80 in advance, £26 on the day.

For more information, including the full line-up of acts, and to book tickets, visit the Crick Boat Show website, call 01283 742970 or visit Crick's Facebook page

crickshow2009Photo: Tim Lewis - Crick Boat Show

Launch of Montgomery Canal Restoration Appeal

Following recent grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and IWA, organisations promoting the restoration of the Montgomery Canal have got together to launch an appeal for the next stage of restoration.  The appeal, titled Restore the Montgomery Canal!, is managed by a steering group on behalf of the Friends of the Montgomery Canal, Shropshire Union Canal Society, and Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch of the Inland Waterways Association.

The Appeal will be started on Wednesday 26th April 2017 by Mr Charles Lillis, High Sheriff of Shropshire, at The Navigation Inn, Maesbury Marsh, Oswestry SY10 8JB, and will benefit from the generosity of an anonymous donor who will match every pound up to £60,000 raised by the appeal over five years. 

Michael Limbrey, Chairman, Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, said, “The lottery grant means that volunteers of the Shropshire Union Canal Society can restore the canal to Crickheath, and that will open over a mile of new canal. Then there will be just two miles of derelict canal to be restored through Pant to reach Llanymynech.  This canal in this section has been dry for over half a century. Now we want to reline the canal bed so it can hold water again. We will also remove the old rail embankment at Pant, and volunteers of the Waterway Recovery Group have already prepared it for removal. Finally, we have to rebuild School House Bridge, south of Crickheath, destroyed many years ago, and the recent grant from IWA is a massive contribution to this work.   Our ambition is to get to Llanymynech in ten years, provided we can raise the money. That is part of a larger plan to tackle the road crossings which obstruct the canal to Welshpool.

Cotswold Canals Trust Open New Visitor Centre

The historic Gatehouse at Bond’s Mill Estate, owned by the Robert Hitchins Group, began a new lease of life as the third Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre on Saturday 15th April.  Over 50 people visited the Centre between 12 noon and 4pm and brought with them a host of questions and interesting historic facts.  The Cotswold Canals Trust now occupies the Grade II listed building, situated on the Northern bank of the Stroudwater Navigation Canal at Stonehouse.

Originally built as a gun turret within the Second World War defences to protect Bristol and Avonmouth, the octagonal building will be a centre for displays on the history of the Gatehouse, the Stroudwater Canal and the Bond’s Mill business park.

cotswoldvisitorPhoto: Stonehouse History Group Chair Jim Dickson shares historic facts with Stonehouse Mayor Theresa Watt

Friends of Carnforth Coke Ovens

There are several banks of coke or cinder ovens along the northern section of the Lancaster Canal.  They are all located at the canal side opposite the towpath with wharf access. The Friends of Carnforth Coke Ovens have an adoption agreement with CRT for the Springfield site and now have plans to improve the area around the site. In spite of restrictions to access to the ovens the visibility of them from the footpath is still excellent and the rear wall of the oven bank can be viewed from the towpath on the other side of the canal or even better from a boat.
carnforthcokeovensPhoto: Friends of Carnforth Coke Ovens - fencing as part of improvement plans

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 the Lancaster Canal

The picturesque Lancaster Canal, one of Britain’s most beautiful waterways, is the centrepiece of an updated, illustrated guide launched by the Lancaster Canal Trust.

‘The Complete Guide to the Lancaster Canal’ is an indispensable treasure trove of information, maps and photos which will appeal to boaters, walkers, cyclists and anyone who simply enjoys messing about by the water.

The 92 page guide opens with fascinating articles on the history, engineering and ecology of the canal. It then guides readers on each stage of a journey from south to north, starting with the Ribble Link in Preston which opened in 2002 and ending with an unnavigable section north of Tewitfield, near Carnforth, which was severed by the M6 in the 1960s.

At every stage of the canal journey, either on foot or afloat, the guide offers readers essential instructions, top tips and fascinating facts, including up-to-date information on nearby places of interest, shops, services, restaurants and pubs.

‘The Complete Guide to the Lancaster Canal’ (published by the Lancaster Canal Trust) is priced at £6.50 (new 2017 edition) or £5.00 (old 2012 edition) plus p&p and is available from IWA's online shop.


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)
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
Harbour Clean - 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