This week saw our Silver Propeller Challenge completed for the first time since its launch last year. The intrepid couple who were the first across the finish line were a husband and wife team, Michael and Jo Morehouse, who have been video blogging about their experiences via a YouTube channel and keeping fans updated on social media through their social media accounts.
The Silver Propeller Challenge aims to encourage boaters to visit 20 or more lesser-explored waterways across the UK and it was with a visit to Standedge Tunnel that Micheal and Jo finally made it to their 20th location.
The couple have been boating the network since May 2017 and found out about the IWA Silver Propeller Challenge after its launch in early 2018. They realised they had already ticked off eight or nine of the destinations and made the decision to go for it and visit as many as they could. Their social media followers grew, with their YouTube channel now having over 10,800 subscribers and well over 1,000 on both Twitter and Instagram. It was this interaction that drove them forward as they knew they were encouraging other people to visit these rarely visited destinations.
As Michael says, "We appreciate the IWA's cruise-it-or-lose-it ethos and wanted to highlight some of the gems of these out of the way places. There were some canals where there was no love lost, but others were definitely worth the struggle, including the Ashby Canal and the end of the Montgomery."
More information about where Michael and Jo visited can be seen in the next issue of Waterways Magazine (Winter 2019). If you are interested in listening to some of The Minimal List vlogs, these can be found on YouTube.
As part of our work to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of inland waterways, we have launched a new resource to help influence planners and policy makers by proving the value of the waterways across the UK.
The report, authored by Nicki Schiessel Harvey (IWA trustee) brings together previously written reports and is useful for anyone looking to evidence the benefits that a waterway can bring to an area.
With funding being cut and budgets being squeezed, it is only natural for decision-makers to overlook investment in areas that aren't perceived as important to their local communities. IWA is working to ensure that inland waterways are given the full support they deserve and are appreciated for the far-reaching benefits they bring to an area. It is this desire to prove the value of inland waterways that led to this literature review being commissioned.
The report uncovered two main areas that we feel merit further investigation; Waterways Heritage and the Benefits of 'Active' Waterways, with boats navigating the water. We will be focusing on these two areas of research over the next few years.
It also summarises a range of existing and planned research into themes relevant to waterways; Heritage, Green Infrastructure, Health & Wellbeing and Economic Development & Regeneration.
The Department for Transport is asking for evidence on air pollutant emissions from domestic vessels and inland waterways.
They are particularly keen to hear from boat owners and operators, as well as marinas and navigation authorities. The objective is to understand more clearly the extent of emissions from vessels that do not currently fall within the scope of environmental regulations and to establish if government can do more to address emission issues.
The Government's Clean Air Strategy 2019 sets out the need to reduce emissions from all sources to improve air quality, including emissions from vessels.
The consultation is open until 11th January 2020: Domestic shipping air pollution: call for evidence
IWA will be responding with a submission and we would encourage members to respond individually too. If anyone has any comments or views, please contact Alison Smedley, IWA Policy & Campaigns Officer.
August 2020 is a significant date for IWA as it is the start of our 75th Anniversary year. Where better to start the celebrations than with the annual IWA Festival of Water on the waterway where it all began, the Worcester & Birmingham Canal?
Back in August 1945, Robert Aickman and Tom Rolt met on the canal at Tardebigge, Worcestershire to discuss the need for an organisation to speak for the inland waterways of the UK. It was at this meeting that plans for IWA were developed and then six months later, in early 1946, the IWA was officially formed.
IWA's Festival of Water, held over the August Bank Holiday weekend (29th - 31st August, 2020) is expected to be one of the highlights of the 75th Anniversary celebrations. The festival will be held in Perdiswell Park in Worcester, with all the visiting boats moored along the banks of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. It promises to be a spectacular event, which is fully supported by Worcester City Council.
Spaces for boats and camping (tents, caravans, motorhomes etc.) are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
Find out more and book your space for the IWA Festival of Water.
Photographers, both amateur and professional, were invited to submit photos to our annual competition. Photographs were shortlisted for each category and the category winners and an overall judge's winner were chosen by Jessops.
It is now time to place your votes for the public winner from the eight category winners.
Entrants can expect to see their imagery used across IWA's website, blog pages, printed leaflets, reports and other communications materials. Photography received in this way allows us to improve the effectiveness of what we do and ensures that as much of our income as possible is used to protect and restore our waterways rather than in the purchase or rental of imagery. Good images really bring our communications materials to life and increase support for the waterways overall.
Our 2020 competition will launch next month so keep your cameras handy.
IWA West Country Branch hosted a Waterways Forum for waterway groups in the South West peninsula on Saturday 12th October 2019.
The forum provided an opportunity for local waterway group to meet up, exchange information and ideas, and to hear about current and proposed developments on local waterways. The event was attended by some 30 waterway enthusiasts, representing operational waterways, those undergoing restoration and others in need of regeneration.
Organisations present included Bude Canal Trust, Bude Canal & Harbour Society, Rolle Canal Society, Stover Canal Trust, Friends of Exeter Ship Canal, Friends of Grand Western Canal, Somerset Navigators Boat Club and Langport Town Council. Several presentations were given to the forum including one from Ellen Hawes, IWA's fundraising officer. All of these were well received.
Creepy cruises have been spooking visitors of all ages on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex this week. One-hour boat trips run by IWA's Essex Waterways have been departing from Heybridge Basin in Maldon and Paper Mill Lock near Chelmsford. Guests at Paper Mill were greeted by an undead skipper, with his ghoulish helper and wandering witch. Grisly ghouls including a ghost bride, a screaming werewolf and a chainsaw madman were encountered along the tour.
IWA saved the waterway from closure in 2005 and its subsidiary company Essex Waterways now runs the navigation. The proceeds from the trips go back to maintaining the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation for the benefit of all. We now have three boats offering one-hour boat trips and charter cruises for group outings and celebrations. Find out more about our boat trips on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.
We are saddened to report the death of longstanding IWA member and volunteer, Pat Barton.
Pat contributed to IWA's major events including IWA Canalway Cavalcade and the National Festival over 35 years, managing boat bookings, waterspace, volunteers and children's activities. Always generous with offers of accommodation and catering, several VIP events were catered from Pat's boat. Pat Barton was awarded a Richard Bird medal in 2012 in recognition of the many hours of support given to IWA's major events.
In 1990 Pat set off from Godalming in her narrow boat Quercus for a 2,500-mile cruise, which raised £5,890 towards the purchase of a specially equipped narrow boat for people with disabilities.
Pat also served on the committees of IWA Lichfield Branch and IWA Guildford & Reading Branch for many years, as well as working for the Basingstoke Canal, as secretary to the Canal Director in the early 90s, and with many of those involved in its restoration.
Read more about Pat Barton.
The funeral is to be held on 18th November at Stafford Crematorium, Tixall Rd, Stafford ST18 0XZ at 1pm. Pat has requested donations to IWA instead of flowers.
Support our campaigns when you shop with us.
Our calendars for next year are available to buy from our online shop, along with a selection of Christmas cards with waterways scenes.
You can choose from a traditional landscape calendar or a portrait version with detachable postcards.
Both are illustrated with a waterway scene and show one month to view with space for daily notes. You can see the full selection of calendar images on our online shop.
Shop for calendars and Christmas cards.
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.
Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
Calcutt Boats - 5% online discount
Channelglaze Ltd. - 10% discount on double glazing
Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
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
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
Buy online and raise money for IWA at no cost to you this Christmas. It is so easy to do your shopping with thousands of partner sites 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 £1500 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.
Take part in the mystery photo challenge and submit your answer here.
See the answer and those that guessed correctly for the previous mystery challenge!