IWA Bulletin - 24th May 2017

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IWA News

General Election - Don't Let Our Waterways Be Forgotten

This unexpected General Election is focusing, quite rightly, on important issues like Brexit, the NHS and social care but IWA will be making contact with the candidates to make sure that the future of our waterways remains on the government agenda.

IWA has now published its Waterway Manifesto and would like your help in asking our future Members of Parliament to pledge their support to the following issues:

•    Ensure that legislation takes account of the enormous economic, social and health values of our waterways;
•    Support the work of volunteers in restoring and regenerating our waterways;
•    Press the new Government for implementation of the transfer of EA’s navigable waters to Canal & River Trust;
•    Support initiatives for affordable moorings and affordable boating;
•    Support local waterway groups in their constituency and get actively involved with the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways.

Please ask your local candidates to back our campaigns. Find out more and read the full 2017 Waterways Manifesto

CRT Licence - Having Your Say Stage 2

The first stage of CRT's boat licensing consultation has been completed (see Bulletin 10th May) and the next steps have been announced. 
Involve, the company undertaking this project for CRT, has now reviewed all the conversations and prepared a report which can be found here.  The report indicates the themes that were raised during the first stage. These will be considered in the series of workshops that will form stage two of the consultation.
All CRT boat licence holders have been given the opportunity to express an interest in being part of the workshops.  A survey was emailed to all boaters for whom CRT hold a registered email address, while the customer services team was on hand to complete the survey for non-email registered boaters.  The survey closed on 30 April 2017 with 988 boat licence holders registering an interest in attending a workshop.
There will be nine workshops taking place across the country with fifteen places available in each.  The workshop participants will be representative of the different types of boater, and views expressed, to ensure a fair and wide-ranging discussion.  The participants have been randomly selected by a member of the Involve team, who is not involved with the consultation. Customer responses to the nature of their boating will be used to make sure there is a balance of customers across the workshops.
The workshops will take place between 18th May and 29th June 2017.   Boaters that have a place on a workshop will have been informed.  For those attending these workshops IWA's views on the opportunities arising from this consultation may be helpful in aiding discussion.  
Involve will review and collate feedback from the workshops, which will then determine the themes for stage three.  This final stage, which will be launched in late July, will give every current boat licence holder the opportunity to comment on the consultation. 

Cycling the Length of the Country for WRG

Paul Shaw, a WRG volunteer, canal camp leader, chainsaw operator and plant instructor, will be taking on a new challenge this summer to raise money for IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group.  Paul will be cycling over 1000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just 14 days, starting on 20th June.  The route will include miles of towpath, riverside paths, and National Cycle Network routes.

Click here to find out more and sponsor Paul or check out his Facebook page.

paulcyclePhoto:  Paul Shaw who will be cycling for WRG

IWA Restoration Raffle

IWA is continuing its commitment to restoring more waterways across the country with the launch of its 2017 Restoration Raffle.  Tickets are available through IWA's online shop through this link

alexrafflePhoto:  IWA's Alex Melson taking charge of the Restoration Raffle tickets

ticket2017Picture:  For a chance to win £1000 or a one week boating holiday buy IWA Restoration Raffle tickets online.

Massive Lock Gates Installed in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

A project to restore the historic Carpenters Road Lock in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park reaches its pivotal stage last week, with the installation of two giant new lock gates which weigh over 14 tonnes each.  The work is being carried out by CRT and is one of the final stages of a ten-year programme to restore the Bow Back Rivers and preserve an important part of London’s industrial heritage.  These gates are the only ‘double radial lock gates’ - two convex-shaped gates that swing up vertically to enable boats to pass through - anywhere in the country and will provide the opportunity to navigate from the waterways around the former Olympic Stadium to Waterworks River, which in turn runs south, eventually out to the River Thames. They will also ensure that the lock plays an important role in flood prevention, with the gates being automated to enable flood water to be distributed to channels within the Bow Back Rivers.
The project includes funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the London Legacy Development Corporation and IWA. Work has also included repairing the lock walls and rebuilding the counter balance weights that enable the gates to open.   Carpenters Road Lock was built in the 1930s, however in the second half of the 20thcentury, the Bow Back Rivers fell out of use and the lock became unusable, with the last passage through it by boat recorded in the 1960s. The advent of the London 2012 Games saw major works bringing new life to the waterways in what is now Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

To celebrate the restoration, CRT and partners are planning a range of community events and activities, including an East London Waterway Festival on Monday 28 August, so people can learn about the history of the lock and rivers. The event will include free boat trips, water sports activities and a film screening with Nomad Cinema. More information is available on the CRT website

carpentersgatePhoto: Gates being installed at Carpenters Road Lock this month

IWA's Restoration Hub Update

On Sunday 14th May IWA held a meeting to update members on the progress that has been made with the formation of the Restoration Hub and to discuss any issues or concerns they might have, as well as looking forward to plans for 2017/18. The meeting was attended by over 30 members and volunteers, including seven IWA trustees.

During the meeting it was stressed that the Hub is more than just one single committee.The Hub has six distinct elements all working towards supporting, enabling and champion restoration it covers all of IWA’s restoration work including replacing  the activities of IWA’s Restoration Committee.

The Restoration Hub is now acting as a coordinating point for all enquiries from restoration groups and other involved waterways restoration and is averaging around 20 queries per month from advice on lock restoration to websites/ social media. The hub aims to match a call for help with someone who can provide answers or support, and draws on a panel of experts to provide the necessary expertise.

A small working group has also been recruited to produce single national vision for restoration over the next six to eight months – giving us a ‘big picture story’ to sell – a national view of restoration. This report will help the High Level Panel element of the Hub to influence politicians and decision makers locally and nationally to support the value of waterways and restoration. We are currently taking steps to recruit the High Level Panel from our current members and from supporters/ volunteers from the wider restoration movement.

Over the next 7 months the Hub will:

  • Continue to build our Restoration Hub Team (panel of experts/High Level Panel);
  • Improve connections with restoration groups and understand key issues so we can be proactive in the support we offer;
  • Send a quarterly Restoration Hub E-newsletter to share best practice;
  • Improve resources – revamp key chapters of the Technical and Practical Restoration Handbooks;
  • Run training days for Restoration Groups – safeguarding and site health & safety;
  • Establish a working group to create a national vision for restoration.

More details about the Restoration Hub can be found here.

IWA Branch News

IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch

IWA’s North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Branch, in partnership with Waterway Recovery Group, is the second branch this year to have a project through to the in-store voting stage of the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ programme. The branch applied for funding towards the cost of a WRG Family Canal Camp which will be held on the Uttoxeter Canal and hosted by Caldon and Uttoxeter Canal Trust. It is the first time WRG have held a camp of this kind, which will enable families with children aged 8 – 14 to take part in a weekend of canal activities in a fun and safe way.

The project could receive one of three grants - £1,000, £2,000 or £4,000. The voting will run throughout May and June, in the two Tesco Express stores in Uttoxeter; every customer making a purchase in these stores will receive a token to vote for their favourite project. The projects with the most votes will receive the most funding, so we would encourage all local IWA members and volunteers to head to one of these stores and get involved.

Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust Chairman Alison Smedley said “CUCT are very excited to be the first society to host this new type of WRG camp. I am delighted that Tesco have recognised the value of the work that will be going on and hope we can get lots of people into the store to vote and maximise the amount of funding the project receives.”

familycampPhoto:  Family Camp to gain from Tesco fundraising

IWA Northampton Branch

IWA Northampton Branch Committee would like to draw boaters attention to the unofficial help that is being offered on the Northampton Arm.  An individual sometimes assisted by another person will offer to carry out the lock operation in exchange for money, alcohol, cigarettes or food.  Apparently, the going rate can be up to £50.
The individuals appear to be under the influence of alcohol and/or other substances, can get abusive and one of them has a habit of taking his clothes off.  Should a boater be approached by these individuals, the committee would strongly suggest that you decline their offer of help as there is a concern about the risk of these individuals operating locks.  Local CRT management are well aware of the situation and are endeavouring to resolve the problem.

Should boaters encounter any problems during their transit of the Arm it is very important that it is reported to the Police so that they can build up a history of incidents.  To report an emergency please call the Police on 999.  There are notice boards at locks 1, 12 and 17 that give an exact location.  To report other incidents (non-emergency) call 101 (or 0300-011-1222). This can be done anonymously.

The Northampton Arm has changed for the better over the last few years and the Branch is concerned that instances of this nature should not impact on the wellbeing of boaters.

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

High Sheriff of Shropshire Launches Montgomery Canal Appeal

The appeal for the restoration of the Montgomery Canal – was launched on 26 April by the High Sheriff of Shropshire, Mr Charles Lillis.
The appeal is to raise funds to restore the canal beyond Crickheath, the end of the current Lottery-funded restoration. Volunteers plan to work on the dry section of the canal through the village of Pant to the Welsh border at Llanymynech. This section includes a disused railway embankment, which volunteers of IWA's WRG have already prepared for removal, and Schoolhouse bridge on a local road south of Crickheath, the last bridge obstruction in Shropshire, where a volunteer engineer has been preparing plans for reconstruction.

Chairman of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust Michael Limbrey said, "We are delighted with the launch of the appeal. Our guests showed a great deal of support for the restoration, recognising that the revived canal will be a valuable and attractive part of the national waterway network and a great asset to the local community.  The canal towpath is already open throughout the length of the canal, and on 6 May it will be busy with the annual Montgomery Canal Triathlon, where visitors from across the country will cycle, walk and canoe the 35-mile canal. It's a great family event, fully booked again this year."

The appeal has already got off to an excellent start : £118,000 has been raised so far, helped enormously by £70,000 from the Tony Harrison legacy fund administered by IWA.  Just before the launch, £5,000 was received from a private trust, subsequently confirmed to be an annual gift. Another supporter handed over a personal cheque for £1,000 at the event.  More information about the appeal and how to contribute is on the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust web site

montappealPhoto: © Harry Arnold, Waterway Images
L to R: John Dodwell (Chairman of Mont Canal Partnership), Sue Thompson (High Sheriff of Powys), Michael Limbrey (Chairman, Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust), Charles Lillis (High Sheriff of Shropshire), Sir Robert Atkins (Chairman, IWA North-West Region).

Pershore's Own Guardian Angel

Avon Navigation Trust has formed a partnership with the Angel Hotel to provide a five boat mooring in Pershore.  Wychavon Chairman Frances Smith cut the ribbon and she, with Pershore Mayor Bob Gillmor, christened the new mooring with a bottle of Pershore Brewery ale at a VIP event that was also blessed by glorious spring sunshine and the Maritime Volunteer Service, who provided a guard of honour.  It was also an opportunity to celebrated the fact that the Angel Hotel's freehold has been purchased by Chief Executive Darren Eden, which will protect its future in the town at the centre of the community.

The Angel financed the materials and lease the land to Avon Navigation Trust, which designed and built the mooring free of charge.  It is the latest partnership project, following on from a mooring at the Fleet Inn at Twyning in 2015.

angelmooringPhoto:  New moorings at Pershore

Lost Leeds & Liverpool Canal Milepost Rescued From Railway Auction

One of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal’s heritage mileposts has been rescued from a railway memorabilia auction and restored to its rightful place on the towpath in East Lancashire, thanks to Bob Pointing, chairman of CRT's North West Partnership.  As part of the Leeds & Liverpool’s 200th birthday celebrations, Bob was involved in launching the EveryMileCounts bicentenary campaign but, by complete coincidence, came across the missing canal milepost while checking out the catalogue for a sale of railway antiques at a saleroom in Poynton, Cheshire and negotiated for it to be returned to its rightful owners, CRT.  This month after being carefully restored and repainted by volunteers, the milepost has finally been returned to its original location on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath at Church, near Accrington.

Bob Pointing said: “I was so surprised when I saw one of OUR mileposts offered in the sale with a note suggesting it would make ‘a useful garden ornament’! Presumably it must have been stolen or mislaid at some point. We are delighted to have the milepost restored to its rightful place alongside the canal.”

This particular milepost is significant because it marks the half way point of the trans-Pennine canal – the longest man-made waterway in England. Since the EveryMileCounts project started over a year ago, £5,770 has been donated by individuals and groups, and more than 100 volunteers have donated their time and expertise to painting and repair work, including damaged half and quarter mile posts.  The project has resulted in the restoration of 32 missing mileposts, 80 missing or damaged distance plates and over 100 missing half and quarter mile posts.
Although the canal is 200 years old, the original cast iron mile markers date back to the 1890s.  They were installed as a response to legislation introduced to regulate canal freight tolls - the Railway and Canal Rates, Tolls and Charges Order of 1893.  This prompted the whole of the canal to be re-surveyed and new mileposts, along with half and quarter mileposts, installed along the towpaths.  Over a century later and now gleaming in their new black and white paint, the milestones provide an attractive reference point for walkers, cyclists and boaters.

llmilepostPhoto:  CRT North West Partnership chairman Bob Pointing (centre) after installing the missing milepost with the help of Emma Fielding and volunteer Neil Hartley - Alice Kay

Ignore Petrol Engine Exhaust Fumes at Your Peril

If you can smell petrol-engine exhaust fumes inside your cabin or covered deck area, stop the engine, outboard or generator and get out warns the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) – you may not have any leeway to escape the threat of carbon monoxide (CO).  The call follows the publication of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report into the circumstances that lead to two people dying from CO poisoning on their moored motor cruiser, Love for Lydia, in Norfolk.  MAIB investigations found that exhaust fumes from running the engine could blow back into cabin and fill the space with deadly levels of the poison gas within seconds.

In June last year a man, woman and dog were found dead on their motor cruiser on Wroxham Broad which had its petrol engine running whilst on a mooring.  Five months later in November, another boater died and two fellow yacht club members were sent to hospital to recover after they too fell victims to fumes from an engine which was running on the moored boat.  Reports gathered in the last two decades indicate that at least 19 boaters have died and another 24 have had medical attention at hospital after inhaling the toxic CO in exhaust gases.  So the speedy recognition of the initial symptoms is critical, and if the signs are ignored as the levels of CO build, the situation could get extremely serious.

  • Avoid problems by staying alert to engine fumes – keep them out of the cabin;
  • Run portable generators ashore and away from the boat, never aboard;
  • Don’t run a propulsion engine when moored if the exhaust fumes are blowing back inside, even if your batteries are desperate for a charge. Wait until the wind changes for the better or move to a different mooring;
  • Be a good neighbour and don’t run petrol engines where exhaust fumes could enter a nearby boat cabin;If you’re smelling and breathing in petrol-engine exhaust fumes, stop the engine and get off the boat;
  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning, if anyone is indicating they are suffering, get them medical help. If the symptoms are severe – call the emergency services;
  • Install a CO alarm certified to the BS EN 50291-2 standard, test it routinely and never remove the batteries.

Latest News from Bridgewater Canal - now open

As reported in the January edition of IWA's Bulletin, the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal has been closed for the rebuilding of Vicars Hall Bridge.  IWA had requested that Peel Holdings postpone the stoppage until the autumn to reduce the impact on boating but, unfortunately, the owners of the Bridgewater Canal decided to schedule this work from February to mid June.  The waterway reopened on 23rd May with the first boat passing through.
vicars1Photo:  Construction work at Vicars Hall Bridge, Leigh Branch of Bridgewater Canal - Conny de Hoogt-Padding

Glasson Branch of the Lancaster Canal Gets a Facelift

CRT has worked in partnership with Thurnham Parish Council to completed a £25,000 project that has transformed the gateway into Lancaster’s 230-year old Glasson Dock.  Once the largest port in the North West, importing cotton, sugar, and spices from Africa and the Indies, Glasson Dock situated on the head branch of the Lancaster Canal has changed significantly since the harbour opened in 1787.  Located on the 2.5 mile stretch of the Glasson Branch on the Lancaster Canal which opened in 1826 and provided the towns of Kendal, Lancaster and Preston with a link to the sea, today, Glasson Dock is a Scheduled Monument, protected by the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.  Glasson is a quiet village with a marina and a small, active port and the Glasson Branch of the Lancaster Canal has swopped cargo for leisure boating.

New shrubs, trees and a grassed area were planted to replace overgrown vegetation and broken and uneven paving.  A new bench now offers a viewpoint to enjoy the renewed space and look out onto the dock and cycle racks have also been installed nearby via Morecambe Bay Partnership.
glassonbenchPhoto: A new look to Glasson Dock

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 - Buy this book

https://www.waterways.org.uk/product_images/beginners_guide_to_living_on_t_2082_1.jpgA 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!

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