IWA's Waterways Directory, detailing the complete canal and river network of England, Wales and Scotland, its condition and the myriad bodies responsible for it, has been updated.
Since the launch of the Directory in 2016 over 600 waterway enthusuiasts, canal historians and academics have downloaded it and many have emailed the author with updates. John Pomfret, IWA trustee and long term activist, originally compiled the Directory as he wanted to see this information in one easily searchable place. His research has been ongoing and his latest update includes an additional 25 entries, numerous corrections and additions regarding responsible authorities, addition of details of types of structure owned by the different authorities and additional detail on waterway branches and former lines, with corresponding corrections to mileages.
All those who have downloaded the Directory so far will be sent the updated version but if you would like to download the directory for the first time, please provide your details here.
Following the closure of Ardrishaig Pier to all marine and road traffic after structural collapse of part of the pier on 20th May 2017, IWA has now received reassurances from Scottish Canals that repairs will be put in place.
Ardrishaig Pier is situated on Loch Gilp, a sea loch, and just outside the entrance to the Crinan Canal. Whilst closure of the pier does not affect Crinan Canal traffic or access to and from the Crinan Canal, IWA was concerned about the significant impact the closure would have on the timber traffic which had been operating through Ardrishaig Pier. IWA wrote to Scottish Canals in July explaining that IWA supports inland penetration of seagoing vessels so that the environmental advantages of inland waterway freight over road freight can be realised, and that IWA would wish to see repairs carried out to the pier as a matter of urgency so that the TimberLINK traffic was not disrupted.
The TimberLINK network, including the traffic from Ardrishaig to Troon, keeps significant numbers of large timber lorries off unsuitable roads. The Forestry Commission Scotland ships about 100,000 tonnes of timber per year using this network, about 30,000 tonnes of which goes via Ardrishaig. The loss of this pier would have a significant impact on local roads, tourism and on the future of the timber operation.
Scottish Canals has now confirmed to IWA that the first phase of repairs to Ardrishaig Pier on the Crinan Canal have been completed and the pier has now reopened for restricted freight use. The next phase of the project will be an upgrade of the pier, restoring it to full operation and widening and lengthening it to accommodate larger vessels and increasing its capacity. The works are anticipated to begin in early 2018.
The pier dates back to 1800, with alterations carried out between 1817 and 1837 under the direction of the Thomas Telford. The harbour pier was again extended in the mid-19th century to berth the Clyde steamers that transferred passengers onto the Crinan Canal. Richard Millar, Director of Infrastructure at Scottish Canals, said: “Ardrishaig Pier plays a vital role in the economy of the local area and since the structure’s closure we’ve been working to come up with a solution that will bring the pier back into use and restore the important timber operations of the area. We’ve now reopened the pier to restricted freight use and are actively looking into how we can safeguard and improve one of the Crinan’s most important structures, ensuring the pier is cared for into the next century and beyond. We’d like to thank the local community and hauliers for their patience and understanding during the pier’s closure.”
Congratulations to our IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch, who won the Living Waterways award for Community and Volunteering at a ceremony held in Birmingham on 27th September. The accolade was awarded for the Branch's organisation of Eldonian Village Canal Festival (IWA's 2016 Campaign Festival) in June 2016. The event celebrated the bi-centenary of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and aimed to increase the number of boats and encourage investment in this stretch of the Liverpool Link whilst bringing local people to the canal.
Over 80 boats moored along the canal during the Festival weekend, local politicians were taken on a cruise to see the positive impact that improving the canal environment could have for their community, and over 20,000 people attended the festival. Children were able to get afloat on the free canoes provided by CRT whilst families queued to have a ride down the moorings on the free trip boat, funded by the Branch.
People from the local community got involved by helping with Canal Cleanups to improve the area ahead of the event, pupils from local schools learned about the history of canals and youngsters took part in angling taster sessions with the local angling club.
The Living Waterways Awards are managed by Canal & River Trust to celebrate the achievements of those who are working together to unlock the benefits of canals and rivers.
Organised by the IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch, the festival was supported by the Eldonian Housing Association, Liverpool Culture and Canal & River Trust.
Photo: Fastest competitor runner 156 talks to Dave Smart, Navigation Manager, Essex Waterways Ltd
115 runners rose to the challenge of Essex Waterways Ltd’s (a subsidiary of IWA) first ever 10km run along the beautiful Chelmer & Blackwater from Hoe Mill Lock towards Maldon. Promoted as #Essex10k nearly £1500 was raised to support towpath improvements along the Navigation with work starting in October this year when a Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camp will visit the waterway.
The fastest runner completed the course in just 41 minutes and one participant ran the course with her dog.
The Essex 10km run was supported by IWA member Frangipani SUP, who held an event to paddle board from Chelmsford to Heybridge Basin, 13.8 miles in total.
Feedback from the runners was incredibly positive with many saying how pretty the route was, especially the stretches on the towpath itself.
Photo: Roy Chandler, chairman Essex Waterways Ltd welcomes Rt.Hon. John Whittingdale MP aboard Victoria
Rt. Hon. John Whittingdale, MP for Maldon, visited Paper Mill Lock on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation to learn more about the opportunities offered by the trip boat Victoria, recently purchased by Essex Waterways Ltd which manages the navigation.
Victoria was acquired with the help of a LEADER grant from the Rural Development Programme for England, via the Essex Rivers Local Action Group and the Rural Community Council of Essex. The boat is available for group bookings and tours of the Chelmer & Blackwater; for enquiries call Chelmer Cruises on 07507 055021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Credit Roger Wilkinson. 40th anniversary of the London Walks led by IWA volunteers. Group led by Guide Roger Wilkinson and photographed by the Meridian line.
In June 1977 Dr. Michael Essex-Lopresti attended an organised walk in London. Sadly the experience left him dissatisfied as he received so little information about the canals. He commented on this to IWA, whose response was, "How about guiding a walk yourself ?" In the forty years since that first suggested walk nearly one thousand walks have been enjoyed by nearly 16,000 customers. All the walks are led by IWA volunteers and have raised over £43,000 for the Association. Customers can choose from more than twenty routes between Denham, the Olympic Stadium, and Docklands and hear about topics as diverse as the history and operation of the canals, the people who built them, the interesting buildings alongside them as well as some of the people who lived beside them.
If you would like to come on one of the Walks, just turn up – no booking required. Click here for a list of future Walks.
We are saddened to report the death of Helen Bullock. Helen was secretary of IWA East Midlands Region Committee for over twenty years. For most of that period, her late husband David edited and printed the Region’s magazine and Helen helped with the printing and publication. IWA fully appreciates the many years of support given by Helen to the Association.
Photo: Credit Darren Shepherd - First you see it, then you don't
September 2017 - Ashton Canal
Ten volunteers turned out to scrape down and paint Lock 7’s metalwork. Unsightly graffiti was painted over on the ironwork, the bridge and the lock bridge were returned to newly coated black and white. Whilst some future touch-up will be required the overall appearance was much improved. Volunteers cut a trench for a future path to the recently installed Incredible Edible garden and many roots and rocks continue to be exposed. Clearing the debris around the top of the short access steps further improved the look of the offside landing and the garden was given a good weeding as the weeds had made the most of the team's absence over the summer. The day was capped off with a litter pick in both directions from the lock.
Earlier this month a team of four working on the Trent & Mersey Canal installed a total of 36 mooring rings in one day. 11 rings were added between Preston Brook Tunnel entrance and the stop lock to assist boaters waiting for the tunnel & operating the lock and 25 rings were installed north of Ollershaw Lane bridge at Marston. These will benefit boaters visiting Lion Salt Works or stopping at the Salt Barge. As if the workers had not done a hard enough days work already, grass was also trimmed back where it was growing across the coping stones.
This work was completed as part of the Cheshire Ring Mooring Ring Project.
Photo: Smiling and afloat thanks to a grant secured by IWA Lichfield Branch
One of IWA’s aims is to encourage and support as many people as possible to enjoy our beautiful inland waterway network. IWA Lichfield Branch therefore applied to Rugeley Town Council for a grant to hire the Walsall Enterprise narrowboat from the Truman Enterprise Narrowboat Trust to permit groups of elderly and disabled people to get out and experience a trip on water.
The Walsall Enterprise is a community narrowboat with disabled access, a large open front deck and volunteer crew is also provided.
In total the branch organised five boat trips, four of which were circular trips in Rugeley with the last one cruising to Great Haywood. Groups from Wilson Keys Sheltered Housing, the LDD group (a charity for young people with learning and other disabilities), and Rugeley Community Church enjoyed what was for many ther first boat trip. Around 50 people were given the opportunity to get afloat and were treated to refreshments made by the branch's cake makers.
It was a memorable day for all concerned and the branch is indebted to The Truman Enterprise Narrowboat Trust for their help.
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.
Photo: John Grogan MP
The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways has elected John Grogan MP as its new chairman, at its inaugural meeting held recently following the start of the new Parliament.
Mr Grogan, whose Yorkshire constituency of Keighley has the Leeds & Liverpool Canal running through it, is an experienced chair of All Party Parliamentary groups, and pledged his support for IWA’s Waterway Manifesto during the run up to the general election campaign.
Key issues facing the Group over the coming months include waterway funding, provision of affordable moorings and waterway restoration.
John Grogan MP said “The United Kingdom boasts over 6500 miles of inland waterways. They are important for tourism, the transport of goods and also as a home for many people. I hope to be a vigorous voice in championing the cause.”
Among the Vice Chairman and Officers of the group remains previous Chairman and former Waterway Minister, Richard Benyon MP, along with Lord German, John Cryer MP, Wendy Morton MP, Michael Fabricant MP, Jonathan Lord MP, Conor McGinn MP and Ranil Jayawardena MP.
MPs are aware of the importance their constituents attach to the inland waterways as places to unwind and enjoy recreational activities like boating, angling and other healthy exercising as well as the interest in the historic environment often found there. The APPGW is well placed to ensure interest in these resources is reflected in the attention they get, and that they are not overlooked.
The floods of 2015 caused the total destruction of the 19th century Crowther Bridge on the Calder & Hebble Navigation near Brighouse and over the last 18 months the bridge has had to be completely rebuilt. Flood resilience was an important aspect to bring to the new design but the new bridge resembles the original as closely as possible. A new towpath completes the scene.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Barry Collins, said: “The opening of Crowther Bridge is another milestone in our flood recovery work and great news for visitors to Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve and users of the canal and towpath. The new bridge has been expertly built to resemble the historic bridge as much as possible, with flood resilience measures incorporated into the build to protect against any damage in the future.”
Crowther Bridge and the recent Elland Bridge rebuild have been financed through £5.5 million from the Department for Transport flood recovery fund.
The Sankey Canal, Britain's first industrial canal, received a major boost this week when a new partnership was announced between The Sankey Canal Restoration Society, the Canal & River Trust, and St Helens, Warrington and Halton borough councils. The newly launched Sankey Canal Partnership has pledged its support for the regeneration of the 14 mile Sankey Canal corridor. The man-made waterway was opened in 1757, pre-dating the Bridgewater Canal by four years. It begins in St Helens and runs through Newton-le-Willows, Winwick, Warrington and ends at Spike Island in Widnes, where it connects into the River Mersey.
The Partnership aims to carry out surveys and consultations in preparation for funding bids which would enable the canal’s restoration to be delivered in phases.
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
This year our range includes three photographic designs and three paintings. Send seasonal greetings to your family and friends with the added benefit of supporting IWA. Visit IWA's Christmas shop online to buy one or more of the attractive designs.
Photo: Some of the range of images available on IWA Christmas cards. Click here to go to IWA's shop page.
Every page includes a lovely waterways postcard sized photo with a perforated side so that the image can be used as a postcard once you no longer need it as a calendar. A wonderful 2 in 1 idea making the calendar a unique and useful gift. Postage is included in the price of the calendar and it costs just £5.50.
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