IWA Bulletin - 12th October 2017

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IWA News

New National Chairman Steers IWA Toward a Ten Year Vision

IWA has announced the appointment of Ivor Caplan as chairman for the Association.  Long term waterways enthusiast and activist, Ivor was elected National Chairman by the Association’s trustees following a vote on Saturday 7th October.  He succeeds Les Etheridge who stepped down after five years in the role and takes the helm at a crucial time for the charity as a new vision and five year objectives are unveiled.  

Photo: IWA's New National Chairman, Ivor Caplan

Ivor has been a trustee of IWA since 2010 and has been active in the waterways movement for over 40 years holding senior roles within IWA’s Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch, Navigation Committee, Residential Boat Owners Association and BCN Society.  He lived afloat for fifteeen years and now spends as much time as possible cruising extensively. 

An architect by profession Ivor has a particular interest in the built environment believing that conservation can only be achieved in the long term by finding sustainable uses for heritage buildings.  The election to the role of chairman comes at a key time for the Association as it agrees a new long term vision and five year objectives.  

Commenting on his new role, Ivor said: “IWA is uniquely placed given our independence, our wider perspective, and our strong heritage to champion the cause of the waterways to ensure that they never come under threat again and are developed to realise their even greater potential for the benefit of all.”

Over the next five years IWA plans to focus on four core areas that trustees of the Association believe will make the biggest difference to the waterways:
Speaking for the Waterways - IWA will work to ensure that the important role our inland waterways play in the UK’s infrastructure and economy is better understood and appreciated.
Protecting - Our objective is a well-funded, properly maintained waterway network with sustainability at its core
Restoring - Working through the Restoration Hub towards creating an exciting, vibrant and robust restoration sector that can deliver successes and re-openings as well as building on our existing reputation as the ‘go to’ provider of knowledge, advice and resources for waterways restoration projects.
Inspiring - IWA wants to inspire a new generation of waterway users, whilst ensuring the existing users experience the best the waterways can offer.  We want to attract new volunteers to the sector and ensure that those already volunteering across the waterways are safe, happy and motivated.

The new vision and objectives for the Association will be supported by a new logo which will be used across all parts of the Association including Waterway Recovery Group and Essex Waterways Ltd.  This was unveiled to IWA supporters at IWA’s AGM in September and will be shared with all members in the Winter issue of Waterways magazine. 

Reflections on the Chairmanship of Les Etheridge

Photo: Les Etheridge and David Suchet at the unveiling of the blue plaque commemorating the life and work of Robert Aickman

Les Etheridge stood down as IWA chairman this month following five successful years in charge.  Les will continue as IWA trustee and will remain active in his local branch as well as with South East Region committee where he will support Verna Smith, the newly elected Region Chairman.

During his tenure Les has overseen the launch of some extraordinarily successful campaigns, perhaps most notably the action to mitigate the effects of HS2 on the Trent & Mersey canal near Fradley Junction.   He has been instrumental in maintaining and building on the respect we command in Parliament and has overseen the Association’s actions to bring about a sustainable future for the waterways currently under EA’s jurisdiction to the point where EA and CRT are in talks with Defra to ascertain the right funding levels for a transfer.  He has made it clear that whether the transfer proceeds or not, IWA will continue to lobby vigorously for funding levels on EA waterways to be increased.  

IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group continues to be held in the highest regard as the catalyst for progress for so many canal restoration projects and an exemplar of best practice in the restoration movement.  Les promoted the idea of a Restoration Hub with WRG acting as a central contributor to practical restoration progress as a part of the Hub.  The Hub provides an essential service to the restoration movement, offering insurance, engineering advice, health and safety training, volunteer management experience and a useful advice helpline.

Les announced at this year’s AGM that over the last five years he has seen a 550% increase in the number of work parties carried out along our waterways.  Our dedicated volunteers in our 33 branches across the country are clearing debris, painting lock gates, cleaning graffiti, laying mosaic trails, installing mooring rings and planting community gardens, giving freely and enthusiastically of their time and energy.

It is to Les’s credit that IWA is seen as an impartial referee and reference point on waterways matters as well as a forceful campaigner and it is his direction that has led IWA to the point where it can announce a ten year vision and five year objectives.

IWA's AGM Looks to the Future

Paul Rodgers presenting AGM 2017Photo: Paul Rodgers presenting IWA's new objectives at the 2017 AGM

At IWA's AGM on Saturday on 30th September in Langley Mill, a vision for the future was outlined - previewing a new Vision and five year objectives - and the powerful role that IWA can and will play in the growth and development of our waterways through the promotion of the benefit of Waterways for All.

In front of 116 members, IWA’s Marketing Committee Chairman, Peter Johns, showcased the Association’s five year objectives and attendees of the meeting were offered a first sighting of IWA’s new logo which will be launched to the wider membership and beyond from 1st November.  Trustees felt it important to show the new design to members before it is presented to the wider public.  The new identity reflects all aspects of the Association including Waterway Recovery Group and Essex Waterways Ltd.

The meeting was opened by talks about grassroots campaigning and volunteer action and work parties, the very essence of the Association. This grassroots success of the charity was reflected in the annual Awards ceremony, which was completed by the provision of a new award - Honorary Life Membership of the Association for members who had supported the charity for sixty consecutive years or more.  

The AGM itself was led by Les Etheridge, presiding over his last AGM as IWA Chairman.  Four new Trustees join the board at an exciting time as focus turns to the development of plans to support the delivery of the new five year objectives.

Members attending the meeting were treated in the afternoon to a choice of a walking tour of Langley Mill, where the Cromford Canal meets the Erewash and now derelict Nottingham Canals or a two hour cruise on nb Birdswood, the Friends of the Cromford Canal trip boat.  

Read the full article here

IWA Volunteers Recognised with National Awards

The winners of IWA’s National Annual Awards for 2017 were presented at the Association’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday 30th September.
The Cyril Styring Trophy, the Association’s premier award which is awarded to an IWA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the Association’s campaign, has been awarded to Chard Wadley.
Les Etheridge and Chard Wadley Awards 2017Photo: Chard Wadley, winner of the Cyril Styring Award 2017 with Les Etheridge

Richard Bird Medals are awarded to members whose efforts and support are considered to have brought significant benefit to the Association over a sustained period of time.  This year, Richard Bird medals were awarded to: Lynda Payton, Janet Dunning, Tony Dunning, and Christine Carter

The Branch Achievement Award, awarded annually to an IWA branch that has made the greatest progress and achievement in promoting the Association’s aims and objectives during the past year, was awarded to West Country Branch.  
AGM Award Winners 2017Photo: 2017 National Award Winners l-r:Geoff Bayley, Peter Duckworth, Lynda Payton, Malcolm Braine, Chard Wadley, Les Etheridge, Janet Dunning, Tony Dunning.

Read more about each of the award recipients.

Nominations for national awards can be made by individual members and branch and region committees.  Find out more and nominate an individual or waterway organisation.  Nominations should be submitted by 31st March each year.

Ban on Wood-Burning Stoves in London?

Boaters who have read press headlines proclaiming a possible ban on wood-burning stoves in London can (probably) relax a little. IWA’s London Region has been investigating the Mayor of London’s draft London Environment Strategy, and particularly the parts of it that relate to waterways craft.
We welcome, and are encouraged by statements such as “the Mayor supports increased use of waterways for freight and passenger services as well as leisure uses” and “to enable cleaner vessels to use the waterways, the Mayor will encourage new and refurbished wharves, piers and canal moorings to generate renewable power onsite. Where appropriate, shore power or refuelling facilities for low emission fuels should be provided for all vessels moored onsite. Provision of shore power will be most encouraged at residential moorings.”
And as far as wood-burning stoves are concerned, the draft strategy proposes better enforcement of existing rules specifying the use of wood-burning appliances that have been tested to ensure that they can burn wood without creating smoke.
We are looking forward to working with the Mayor’s office to, as the draft strategy puts it, "ensure that strategies to address air pollutants and CO2 emissions are proportionate and possible".

Good News for Freight at Goole

Proposals to increase charges for freight and remove the free locking period for pleasure boats have been withdrawn following a campaign by both IWA East Yorkshire Branch and IWA’s Inland Waterways Freight Group.

Associated British Ports had proposed to introduce a minimum £500 charge for Ships Dues for river craft at both Hull and Goole.  The levy would have discouraged the use of waterways freight, at a time when efforts are being made to increase traffic on North East waterways.

Currently pleasure craft benefit from a free penning period for the use of the locks to the River Ouse at Goole either side of high tide.  The introduction of a cost could have put pleasure craft in danger, particularly longer narrow boats that cannot use alternative routes.  Charity preserved historic barges were also on the list for a big increase in fees.

Read the full article.

Propelling Restoration Forwards

Free workshops and webinars are being offered to those involved in bringing derelict waterways back to life.  From income generation to first aid training, IWA’s Restoration Hub is bolstering the information and resources available to groups across the country as well as providing forums for sharing ideas and experiences.   

Over the next 12 months the Hub is focussing on improving approaches to health and safety within the restoration sector and has released a new video: Creating a Culture of Safety.

Fundraising Webinar - 14th November 2017 (evening)
This webinar will explore the current fundraising climate and opportunities that canal restoration trusts and societies could make the most of to increase their income.  Led by Terry Cavender (Buckingham Canal Society) & Sarah Frayne (IWA's Fundraising Officer) this is an online webinar which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
Reserve your spot on the Fundraising webinar here.

First Aid Training - 10th March 2018
The Hub has organised a one day first aid course for Restoration Group Site Leaders and Working Party Organisers on Saturday 10th March at Rowington Village Hall, Warwickshire.  The course is free (lunch included) but limited to 14 people.
Reserve your place on the First Aid Course here.

2018 Waterway Restoration Workshop – 14th April 2018
Jointly run by IWA and Canal & River Trust, the 2018 Workshop will be held on Saturday 14th April at South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy.  This free training workshop is aimed at waterway restoration groups and hopes to give volunteers support and information to assist in the development of their schemes.  It is also a great opportunity for those passionate about waterway restoration to share and discuss ideas.
Reserve your place at the Waterways Restoration Workshop here.

Islip Footbridge Replacement, River Nene

Islip Footbridge Replacement
Islip Footbridge, just downstream of Islip Lock at Thrapston on the River Nene, has been a long standing hazard to navigation with its restricted headroom of 2.2 metres or less depending on river conditions.  The footbridge, which is owned by Northamptonshire County Council (NCC), was also in a poor condition and IWA Peterborough and Northampton Branches (the branch boundary is just upstream at Thrapston Bridge), along with Environment Agency and other local organisations, have been campaigning for its replacement for many years.  EA have worked closely with NCC over the past four years to ensure that they understood the risks posed by the old low headroom footbridge, to advise on a suitable design and the navigation requirements for the new bridge, and to help raise funding for its replacement.  

The project was not an easy one, with the new bridge requiring landowners’ agreement and consent regarding the design, height and a slight relocation/realignment, and ground conditions required a special piling method so as not to cause damage to the adjacent Grade 2 listed mill building. All of this added significantly to the costs, of which NCC agreed to pay 50% if the balance could be raised locally. A project team was formed comprising of NCC, EA, East Northamptonshire Council and the Association of Nene River Clubs.

IWA Northampton Branch was among the funders of the replacement bridge, using legacy funding in memory of John Faulkner, along with Northamptonshire County Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Environment Agency, Thrapston Town Council, Islip Parish Council, NCC Member Empowerment Fund and Association of Nene River Clubs.  

The old footbridge was removed on 26th June to enable new foundations to be built in readiness for the replacement bridge and the new bridge was craned into position on 1st September.  

The new footbridge provides 3 metres of clear headroom in normal river conditions and, for those who pass over it (rather than beneath it) it is now wheelchair and pram friendly with a non-slip surface along its length.

IWA Branch News

IWA Oxfordshire Branch - boats at Banbury

Banbury Canal Day 2017Photo: Standing head and shoulders above the crowds at Banbury Canal Day

30 volunteers from IWA Oxfordshire Branch were out in force to support another enjoyable Banbury Canal Day on 1st October. With only 6 weeks’ notice, the branch, headed up by their Chairman Steve Good, strived to get the usual boat trips running on the canal for the day – complete with volunteers to safely run them. And what a success! The branch hosted nearly 1,000 people on board the four boats and raised the profile of IWA through the event. Through this event relationships have been strengthened with Tooley’s Boatyard and the branch have been able to reach out and engage with more volunteers from the River Thames – which will help to strengthen their activity in that part of the branch area in the future.

Boat enthusiast, IWA member and local legend, Peter Cole, was on the water once again with his tiny electric barrowboat.  Although this will be his last year, having missed only three Canal Days in the history of the event.

The canalside was alive with juggling stilt walkers mingling amongst thousands of visitors.  There was live music, fairground rides and falconry.  Tooley’s Boat Yard, known for its role in Tom Rolt’s adventure in Narrowboat was also open to visitors.

IWA Lichfield Branch - Coventry Canal Walk

On Tuesday 5th September 2017 an intrepid group took a guided walk to visit some local sights and get a taste of the rich and varied history of the area.  A walk along the River Anker led to Coldecote Hall, which revealed its violent and political past. The route then took walkers along the Coventry Canal at Wood Bridge, past Springwood Haven Marina and onto the Quarryman's trail to hear about stone brought to the canal by horse-drawn wagons.

See full report on IWA Lichfield Branch pages.

Next branch walk Thursday 9th November 2017 – Great Haywood and the Trent & Mersey Canal Walk.  Visit IWA Lichfield Branch website page for details

IWA West Country Branch - An Uplifting Walk

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, 23 members joined IWA West Country Branch on a five mile walk along the proposed route of the new Silk Mills “Park and Glide” project in Taunton.  

The project will see eco-friendly electric boats shuttle passengers between the car park and the town centre.‎  The site of a planned boat lift and visitor centre at Silk Mills was a highlight of the walk.   Robert Hodgeson described how the lift would link a disused part of the Grand Western Canal with the River Tone in Taunton. The new vertical boat lift and visitor centre will offer opportunities to experience 19th century life on Somerset's wetlands and canals and will form a lasting tribute to the engineers who built the world's first commercial boat lifts here in Somerset.

The walk was organised in collaboration with the Friends of Grand Western Canal, which is trying to raise sufficient funds to finance a route feasibility study.

west country branch cheque Oct 2017Photo: Mike Slade from the IWA West Country Branch handing over a donation to Robert Hodgeson and Hugh Dalziel (Friends of the Grand Western Canal)

IWA North & East London Branch - Supporting Restoration

IWA's North and East London branch has given £1000 to the Wey & Arun Canal Trust to support their restoration of the canal's Summit Level.  
On receiving the cheque trust chairman Sally Schupke commented “We are really grateful to North and East London IWA for their donation, and for the efforts of their members on Waterway Recovery Group working parties. They make a huge contribution to the project.”
Tim Lewis, IWA North & East London Branch chairman was with other volunteers from London WRG who spent a weekend working on final landscaping tasks at Compasses Bridge, which is at the Alfold entrance to the Dunsfold Park aerodrome and business complex.

North and East London Branch donation to Wey & Arun Trust 2017Photo: IWA's North & East London Branch chairman Tim Lewis with Wey & Arun Canal Trust chairman Sally Schupke

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

Navigate with your Smartphone

A new project called Open Canal Map is aiming to provide waterway users with free easy canal mapping on phones, tablets and desktop computers.

The map lists key structures including locks, aqueducts, movable bridges, towing paths found on the UK’s navigable waterways. Over 500 user contributed additions have also been made.

People are encouraged to make additions to the map, such as good places to moor and facilities such as water points and launderettes. Contributions can be made directly to the layers on Google Maps.

The map is based on open data released by the Canal and River Trust, and has been developed to include non-CRT waterways.

Google Maps now allows you to download whole areas of map, so Open Canal Map should prove useful even in more rural parts of the network.  You can discover Open Canal Map and add information about your local waterways at www.opencanalmap.uk

Bringing up the Boats

Canal & River Trust has lifted eleven historic narrow boats and barges from Ellesmere Port Canal Basin for a major conservation project thanks to an Arts Council England grant of over £300k.

The boats, which date from the late 1800s to the 1950s were originally built to carry freight but have gradually deteriorated and are now in need of major restoration.

Once on dry land, the conservation team will be able to assess the options for each vessel, looking at the condition and historical significance of each. Options include whole or partial conservation or, where this is not possible, deconstruction. Boats will also have a 3D image created so that, even if the actual vessel has been deconstructed, an accurate record is captured for future study.

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 Christmas Shop

Choose from 6 New Christmas Card Designs

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.

iwaxmas20017Photo:  Some of the range of images available on IWA Christmas cards.  Click here to go to IWA's shop page.  

2018 Calendar Now Available

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. 

Buy your calendar here. 
2018calendarPhoto:  A collection of prize winning photographs and dates for 2018 - it's IWA's famous calendar, available online.  

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