IWA Bulletin

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IWA Vice Chairman, David Suchet is the face of a new video which is being released alongside the Waterways in Progress report published by our Restoration Hub. Both the report and the video will be launched at our annual Restoration Conference on Saturday 30th March 2019.

Mr Suchet has also written a foreword for the report, in which he explains how, by working alongside volunteers from the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Trust, he has seen firsthand the differences that small stepping stones of progress make along the way to full length canal restoration. As he says, “This report shows the magic that can be created by visionary groups of volunteers who are determined to make a difference to our waterways.”

Waterways in Progress shows how restoration initiatives can start to deliver right from Day One and includes case studies such as Ebley Mill on the Cotswold Canals project, Hollingwood Hub on the Chesterfield Canal and the built and natural assets on the Montgomery Canal.

Sign up to receive a copy of the report when it is launched on Saturday 30th March.


Our IWA Festival of Water takes place in Waltham Abbey on the Lee Navigation over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A key event in our campaigning calendar, the event offers a weekend of fun for boaters, campers and all who love spending time by the water.  Lee Valley Showground, next to the Lee Valley White Water Centre and Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills, is the site of the Festival with plenty of space to accomodate over 150 boats and many campers too.  

Our Vision for London’s Waterways and the importance of protecting the Capital’s canal and river heritage will be a focus for the event, which takes place 24th - 26th August 2019.

The entertainment programme has been filled with exciting, local and national acts and the Festival offers a broad range of children's rides and attractions.  Our 2019 Festival of Water promises to be a highlight.   Boaters and campers booked into the event are invited to an exclusive wristband holder evenings of entertainment and an illuminated boat procession on the Sunday evening is open to the public too.  There is a bar on-site to make the evening go with even more of a swing.

To reserve your boat or campsite pitch, book online or download boat and campsite booking form. Download trader application form.


Earlier this month, Ivor Caplan, National Chairman, attended a meeting with Catherine Topley, Scottish Canals Chief Executive and Richard Millar, Director of Infrastructure. John Pomfret and Alison Smedley, both members of IWA’s Navigation Committee also attended the meeting in Glasgow.

The meeting follows on from IWA’s recent campaigning in Scotland and after providing an overview of IWA’s background and history, outlining the wealth of advice and practical support that IWA can offer, discussion turned to recent issues on the Lowland Canals.   It is IWA’s view that the long term future of these canals would be much more secure if more locks and bridges could be made available for user operation by the boaters and that boaters should be able to make a booking on any day of the week, rather than the current restrictions. The importance of the hire boat trade was also stressed.

The IWA team, including IWA Navigation Committee’s two Scottish representatives, Richard Davies and Jonathan Mosse, also met with members of Keep Canals Alive!, an informal alliance of user organisations.  IWA offered support and advice to the group and will continue to work with them to overcome a number of issues on the Scottish canals.

Photo: Twechar Lift Bridge, Forth & Clyde Canal undergoing repairs March 2019. Photo by Alison Smedley

Following the announcement last year of additional funding from Transport Scotland it was good to see the promised repair works being carried out on Twechar Lift Bridge on the Forth & Clyde Canal, ahead of an anticipated May reopening of that and Bonnybridge Lift Bridge. 


From 1 April, 2019, at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm will become a mandatory requirement on nearly all private and non-private boats in scope of the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Requirements. BSS Certifications will not be issued to boats without alarms.

IWA supported proposals for this during the consultation held last year, and welcomes the introduction of this requirement, which applies to boats with accommodation spaces i.e. areas within a boat surrounded by permanent boat structure and where carbon monoxide gas may accumulate.

Although the need for CO alarms is being introduced to help protect boat owners from sources of the toxic gas from neighbouring boats, the alarms are also expected to prevent death or injury to crew members from their own boat engines or appliances.

The BSS has just published a new handout as an essential guide to all the new requirements and background information. It covers what is required and how the checks will be carried out by BSS Examiners and how the alarms will help keep crew members safe, including:
• CO alarm makers guidance about where to place a CO alarm to achieve best protection,
• What type of CO alarm to buy,
• What to do if a CO alarm goes off,
• What to do if carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected.

The BSS essential guide handout is available on its website and copies will be distributed by BSS Examiners. It is also available for marinas and boat clubs to distribute. It can also be viewed or downloaded from the Boat Safety Scheme website.


Our Silver Propeller Challenge lists some of the least visited stretches of water in the UK. One of these destinations is Welney or Welches Dam Lock on the Old Bedford River, which has to be among the most difficult to reach due to the fact that the Environment Agency blocked off the entrance to Welches Dam Lock with interlocked steel piles back in 2006. The only way into the Old Bedford River is via the Old Bedford sluice and the tricky and muddy tidal channel at Salters Lode, but intrepid IWA boaters haven’t been put off and have reached Welney and Welches Dam five times in the past two years, proving that it is possible to get there.

Each time, the boaters have received a warm welcome at the Lamb & Flag Inn at Welney. On 14 March 2019, a group of IWA members and supporters gathered at the Lamb & Flag and John Revell (IWA Peterborough Branch) gave the pub’s licensee a framed collage of three photographs showing boats using the Old Bedford River to The Lamb and Flag.

Don’t forget to take a look for the collage next time you are visiting the Lamb & Flag by car, canal boat, cruiser or canoe.


We are supporting the Great British Spring Clean (22nd March to 23rd April), organised by Keep Britain Tidy. IWA branch volunteers are set to join the army of people around the country who will be cleaning up the countryside, by organising several work parties along our inland waterways. Keep an eye on IWA’s website for a waterways work party near you.


This weekend 30 - 31st March, over 50 volunteers will gather to clear rubbish from in and around the Dudley No2 Canal on the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

Taking place on Saturday 30th March and Sunday 31st March 2019, the BCN Cleanup weekend is a great opportunity to have fun and meet new people while clearing shopping trolleys, tyres, bicycles and even more exciting treasures from the canal.

It is hoped this annual effort will keep the less well used parts of the BCN and Black Country network from getting choked up with rubbish and becoming impassable for boats.

In previous years, volunteers have collected upwards of 50 tonnes of rubbish from the canals.

The Cleanup usually includes volunteers from The Inland Waterways Association and its Waterway Recovery Group, Birmingham Canal Navigations Society, Dudley Canal Trust, Coombeswood Canal Trust, Canal & River Trust, Friends of Tipton Cut and local residents.

Find out more about the BCN Cleanup.


Another large scale Cleanup is being organised by IWA Milton Keynes Branch on Friday 5th April and Saturday 6th April on the Grand Union Canal, starting at Fenny Stratford Lock.
Volunteers can bring a boat or come on foot, litter-picking from the towpath and hedges, or working aboard a boat to retrieve items from the canal or opposite bank.
Find out more at www.waterways.org.uk/miltonkeynes


IWA Manchester Branch took advantage of the unusually sunny weather in February and had a productive day. Working on the Ashton Canal, between locks 11 and 12, volunteers mostly removed soil and vegetation covering the towpath and coping stones between the locks. With twice as many volunteers than the January party, the work progressed very quickly. The Manchester & Stockport Canal Society also kindly joined the team, after they had finished their own work party, since IWA volunteers had helped them the week before.


Many of the offers below can be claimed simply by using your IWA membership card.  For others, log in or phone the membership team on 01494 783453 for details.

Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.

Enjoy the Waterways Through Hire Boats and Leisure

ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount on holidays (Direct Bookings Only)
Blackwater Boats - 10% discount on boat trips
CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount on holidays
Canal Boat Magazine - 5 issues for £5.00
City Centre Cruises - 10% discount for Sunday lunch cruises in Manchester
Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount on adult beginner 'Stand Up & Paddle' lessons
Jenny Wren- 10% discount off cruises
Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd- 10% discount on published prices

Eating Out

To take advantage of eating out offers you just need to produce a valid IWA membership card.

Kings Lock Tearooms- 10% discount on food
The Clifford Arms Pub - 10% discount on food
The Three Locks Pub - 10% discount on food

Better Value on Boats and Equipment

Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
Calcutt Boats - 5% online discount
Channelglaze Ltd. - 5% discount on double glazing
Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
IceGripper - 20% discount on ICETrekkers Diamond Grip
Kings Lock Chandlery - 5% discount (exclusions apply)
Marine Mega Store Ltd
- 15% discount
Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
RoadPro - 5% discount
Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard


Forge Studio - 10% discount
Harbour Clean - 10% 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 1 day RYA SRC VHF Licence Course

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

We have been looking at ways to provide more benefits to the waterways and everyone who uses them, and have extended our insurance offer to help you find the best available cover for your boat, your home and your car.  Every policy purchased or renewed helps IWA, allowing us to further our charitable work for the waterways.

See more information about the IWA insurance schemes 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.


IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453