11 years ago the Environment Agency piled across sufficient of the entrance to Welches Dam Lock between Chatteris and Manea in Cambridgeshire to prevent access through the lock by boats. EA recently explained in a Parliamentary briefing that this was because the top gates were leaking.
Chris Howes, who has recently been appointed as the new chairman of IWA Peterborough Branch, had been challenging the loss of Statutory Navigation in correspondence with the Waterway Minister, and had asked why EA had never published the necessary Closure Notice. In the last few days an Emergency Closure Notice has appeared on EA’s Team-Up Waterways Calendar. This appears to have been retrospectively issued. The notice has been entered on the calendar dating back to 1st July 2006 (even though no such calendar existed at that date). It is scheduled to “repeat daily” and appears on the calendar seemingly perpetually (at least as far ahead as 2030). No such notice has appeared, either now or in the past, on the main Government website page which lists closures and restrictions on EA navigations.
There is no provision in the Anglian Water Authority Act 1977 to allow EA to close a recreational waterway other than for “the construction, maintenance or alteration of any lock or other work in or adjoining the waterway”. In any case, Section 15 (1) allows them, in those circumstances, only to “temporarily prohibit, restrict or regulate navigation”.
Chris observed "This appears to IWA Peterborough Branch as a clear attempt to rewrite history and retrospectively justify the unjustifiable. The reason given by Mr Forbes in his Parliamentary briefing to the Minister, seriously leaking gates, is no more valid today than it was 11 years ago. The piling doesn't extend across the entire opening and so the gates are still holding back a considerable head of water."
Although Welches Dam and the Horseway Arm are not listed in Schedule 1 of the Anglian Water Authority Act 1977, it is a navigation managed by EA and was previously the main route through the Middle Level Navigations. IWA Peterborough Branch and other local groups have been campaigning for the lock to be reinstated ever since the closure in 2006. To date no agreement has been reached with EA either for them to restore the lock or to allow the voluntary sector to restore it.
All eyes were on IWA in London’s Little Venice over the 1st May Bank Holiday weekend as 140 boats gathered for the Association’s 35th annual Canalway Cavalcade. The boating spectacle proved a huge draw to thousands of visitors who come to see boats decked with gleaming boat brasses, flowers and bunting as well as wander the festival and sample delights such as strawberries dipped in Belgian chocolate and browse an array of crafts such as hand crafted leather goods and Spanish cookware.
IWA’s Parliamentarian of the Year, Lord German presided at the Opening Ceremony, speaking to an audience which included IWA’s Vice President, David Suchet and his wife Sheila. Lord German stressed how important the canals are, adding that pressure should be applied to politicians and the Government to ensure that those restored are not lost.
Singer Paul Weller was spotted amongst the crowds watching the “Waterways Tales” themed pageant, which attracted more than 20 competitors. Ratty and Toad boated along in Wind in the Willows; The Narrow Dog to Carcassonne was represented as well as The Ugly Duckling, who sat dejectedly in a canoe being towed behind four unfriendly ducks.
This year's sponsors, Paddington Central, permitted the organising team to incorporate the Paddington amphitheatre into the festival's entertainments schedule with stalls surrounding it, creating a larger event than ever before. The enhanced space expanded the live music and dance programme to include ukulele and cello recitals, choral concerts and flamenco dancing.
On Sunday evening over twenty boats lit the waters of Brownings Pool as they paraded their displays in the illuminated procession. There were some stunning entries, including nb Chalky as a dragonfly with gossamer wings ablaze with light; nb Non Such sporting a flaming chimney; the stately nb Prince Regent and the cheeky Bantam IV tug with her stern flashing with coloured lights.
For a large collection of photographs of 2017 Cavalcade, and to add others go to the IWA Flickr Gallery. If you would like to see a list of the IWA Canalway Cavalcade prizewinners take a look at our News pages.
Booking IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2018
Would you like to attend IWA Canalway Cavalcade in 2018? Priority booking for boats is now open for IWA members. To be sure of a space book your mooring now.
IWA is finalising details of our Manifesto for the Waterways ahead of the 2017 general election, to ask our future Members of Parliament to pledge their support for the waterways. We are asking prospective MPs to;
Information will be available on the Manifesto pages of the website.
Help IWA to collect pledges for our Waterways Manifesto - Once candidates are announced after 11th May, we will be calling on all of our members and supporters to get in touch with their local candidates, particularly those with waterways in their constituencies, to sign up to the Manifesto.
IWA will follow this up by hosting a Parliamentary reception in June to discuss these waterway issues with newly elected MPs.
IWA is keen for issues caused by the current licensing system to be addressed as an outcome of CRT’s licensing consultation.
This consultation is a one-off opportunity to get a fair deal for boaters and to bring about better boating on our waterways. IWA submitted a paper to CRT on the proposed licence structure in March 2017 outlining some options for discussion, and this input was followed up with a telephone interview as part of Stage 1 of the Consultation process.
When the concept of 'continuous cruising' was introduced, IWA supported and promoted it and we continue to support the right of boaters to cruise the system without being required to have a home mooring. However difficulties have arisen where large numbers of boats without a home mooring have chosen to stay within a small area, putting pressure on services, which were not designed for this purpose. This use of the waterways impacts on the use and enjoyment of the waterways through overcrowding in areas such as London and the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal. As boating and living afloat increases in popularity, this problem is likely to spread to other cities.
Stage 1 of the consultation involved telephone interviews with a number of boating organisations to develop broad options. Stages 2 and 3 will see the refining of these options followed by a consultation with boaters and boating organisations.
CRT has commissioned the independent charity, Involve, to carry out this review of its boat licensing system. Read CRT's full Stage 1 report here.
IWA’s membership magazine, Waterways, is published quarterly and posted to all members of the Association. Each issue brings readers up to date on the progress made across all of IWA’s campaigns as well as fascinating pieces on matters of interest to all waterways users.
The Summer Issue of Waterways has just landed on doormats and includes a piece on The Threat to Anglian Waterways. There are three locks on waterways in the Anglian region which the Environment Agency has closed in recent years - Harlam Hill Lock on the River Ancholme, Dedham Lock on the River Stour and Welches Dam Lock, just off the Old Bedford River linking to the Middle Level. Although these locations are perhaps not on the most popular routes, IWA’s concern is that future closures could affect busier rivers such as the Nene and the Great Ouse.
Read any city newspaper or rental website and you will see rooms on boats available for rent. This quarter’s Waterways offers practical advice for prospective floating tenants, an article which should be shared far and wide as the outcome can be disastrous if a tenant gets it wrong.
As the future of our Anglian waterways hangs in the balance, contributor Alison Alderton reflects on a rewarding cruising experience on one of the most isolated among them - the River Ancholme.
To receive your own copy of Waterways magazine, join IWA today. If you pay by Direct Debit you will also receive a full sized Imrays map of the waterways of Great Britain which includes IWA’s national Directory of the Waterways.
Back issues of Waterways magazineare available to read in the Publications section of our website.
Mick and the Moonshiners, the Bonito Sisters and Martin Frances are all confirmed to be playing IWA’s Festival of Water on the Erewash Canal over the Bank Holiday weekend in August. The Entertainments Marquee will be open from 10.45am each day of the Festival and a packed schedule ensures the festivities will be in full swing all day.
To see the full list of who is playing take a look at the Festival Attractions page.
Just shy of 100 boats are already booked in so if you would like to book a mooring, you will be in good and plentiful company. Our online booking service is working well or you can print out a booking form and put them in the post or scan them on email. We are happy to hear from you whichever method suits you best.
The Ashby Canal at Moira will host IWA’s 2018 National Trailboat Festival from 27th May - 29th May 2017 as part of Moira Canal Festival.
In the Heart of the National Forest the event will revolve around the historic Grade 2 listed Moira Blast Furnace along the restored, isolated length of canal.
On the Saturday and Sunday, there will be a living history display, children’s entertainment, Battle of Britain flight flypast, morris dancing, and a duck race. Shreck the boat horse will demonstrate the old art of boat towing, as he leads the parade of boats. There will be a wide variety of stalls, food and drink.
As a special surprise this year, we are pleased to welcome Inner Magic Circle member Van Buren to perform his fascinating Magic Show and skills over the weekend in his travelling theatre. Get involved as he demonstrates circus skills in the arena.
See the Moira Canal Festival website for lots more information.
On Monday 29th May, boaters will be invited to inspect the new restoration works at Snarestone, and get an illustrated update on the Ashby Canal Restoration project so far, by former Ashby Canal Project Officer Geoff Pursglove.
Photo: The 15,000th London Towpath Walks walker receives Towpath Walks certificate given by Richard Fentiman who led the walk
Would you like to become a Guide on IWA's Towpath Walks in the London area? The London Guide's team numbers around twelve individuals who each lead a small number of walks each year. Walks happen on Sundays and each one lasts two hours. All that's needed to be a Guide is an interest in the waterways. The Towpath Walks are an excellent way to introduce people to the waterways and to help them get to know London better. The Walks also raise money for IWA.
If you think you might be interested in finding out more, please email Roger Wilkinson or call Roger on 020 3612 9624.
Buddleia was cleared from the offside canal wall by the Brereton Community Centre on 31st March. Buddleja davidii is a non-native invasive species, which out-competes native plants producing dense thickets and can cause damage to buildings and structures. Following a thorough search of the area to check for nesting birds, volunteers from IWA Lichfield Branch worked together with volunteers from Brereton Millions and CRT who together filled most of a workboat with the vegetation.
Photo by Margaret Beardsmore
Other volunteers picked 12 bin bags of litter along the canal and the surrounding area.
Plans are underway for a future wildlife reserve along this section of the Trent & Mersey Canal, with funding provided by Brereton Millions.
On 5th May branch volunteers were back up at Brindley Bank in Rugeley to cut back vegetation which was encroaching over the towpath, and remove overhanging branches from the top path.
Photo by Margaret Beardsmore
As well as scrub bashing, volunteers from the Branch did their bit to support the local ecosystem by installing bat boxes in some of the trees and trialling wildflower seed scattering.
IWA Birmingham Branch volunteers cleared a considerable amount of accumulated rubbish on the short length of the Lapal Canal in Selly Oak Park on Saturday 22nd April 2017. The clean-up project took place ahead of Selly Oak Festival which will take place in the Park in June.
Volunteers from IWA North Lancashire & Cumbria Branch spent a Bank Holiday Sunday helping boats through the seven Johnson’s Hillock Locks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal on 30th April.
As well as talking to boaters about IWA campaigns, the day was also an opportunity to fundraise for the waterways through the sale of delicious homemade cakes.
Love Your Waterways and visit IWA at Rickmansworth Canal Festival which occupies a site alongside the Grand Union Canal between Batchworth and Stockers Locks including a significant part of the Aquadrome Park. This year IWA Chiltern Branch is supporting the event run by Rickmansworth Waterways Trust by organising the waterspace boat bookings.
Waterway Recovery Group will be entertaining the navvies of the future with a fun bricklaying activity and IWA’s Chiltern Branch has a campaign stand promoting the work of the Association. Rickmansworth is renowned as a music festival as well as a canal festival so we hope to see you there on either 20th or 21st May from 10.30am onwards. For more details visit the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust website.
Head down to IWA Northampton Branch's annual Boat Gathering at Stoke Bruerne on the Grand Union Canal from 19th to 21st May. There'll be activities for the whole family taking place over the weekend including a village treasure hunt, vintage tearoom, live music, historic boats, boat competitions, guided walks, food and drink.
Two theatre performances will take place over the weekend, Isobel's War by Kate Saffin and Idle Women and Judies by Heather Wastie.
Further details are available here.
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.
Delve deeper into the history of canals and their heritage. Birmingham City University is running a 2 day course for those interested in gaining more of an insight into canals and issues with maintaining them.
The course, which includes a boat trip into Dudley Tunnel and the limestone caverns, takes place over the weekend 12th - 13th May. Find out more and book your place.
How to get afloat for less will be among the major themes of this year’s Crick Boat Show & Waterways Festival, to be held at Crick Marina between 27th-29th May 2017.
Expected to attract over 25,000 visitors, the show will feature displays of GRP cruisers, advice on low-cost ways to boat our inland waterways and around 40 new boats will be exhibited, both narrowboats and wide-beams.
IWA will have two stands at Crick - we will be selling our well-priced books, maps and guides as well as providing updates on our most recent campaigns and asking visitors to join the Association to show support for our campaigning work across all 6,500 miles of inland waterways.
For tickets and information take a look at www.crickboatshow.com
CRT has published its draft winter maintenance programme for 2017-18 and is asking boaters to take a look and give their feedback on the plans "to make sure as little disruption as possible is caused".
Boaters can find the programme on the Trust’s website.
Comments are welcome until Friday 16 June and will then be reviewed by the Trust before it publishes a revised plan. Boaters will then have a further chance to comment before the finalised plans are published at the end of the summer.
IWA has been contributing to discussions with CRT about future stoppage planning and has put forward a suggestion for CRT to return to a system which ensures a through route from north to south is kept open, along with other suggestions to contribute to a more holistic approach to winter stoppage planning.
Photo: Gardeners World Live 2016 boat in bloom
CRT has launched its first-ever ‘Boats in Bloom’ awards when the Trust will be presenting colourful certificates to anyone whose boat or waterside planting brings a smile to the face of passers-by.
There will also be a number of special prize categories for which people can nominate themselves or others by 31st July 2017. Entries will be whittled down to a shortlist by a judging panel and then opened out to a vote on the Trust’s website for visitors to vote for their favourites.
The prize categories are:
Boats in Bloom
Towpaths in Bloom
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
A Beginners Guide to Living on the Waterways
by Nick Corble and Allan Ford - £16.99
An estimated 15,000 people live on board boats in the UK and at any one time thousands more are interested in doing so. The aim of this beautifully illustrated guide is to help people live the dream and not the nightmare, providing a useful step by step introduction to the basics of making a life afloat. Fully updated this new edition of A Beginners' Guide to Living on the Waterways covers different types of liveaboard craft suitable for canals, rivers and estuaries, and the good and bad points of the different options. It goes on to discuss practicalities such as moorings, engines (including basic maintenance and fault finding), heating and cooking, sanitation, furnishing a boat, survival tips and finances. This is a must-have guide for all those considering the alternative way of living that a boat offers, as well as those who are already there!
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
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
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