IWA Bulletin - September 2018

Quicklinks: IWA Member Discounts


Ebley Mill Waterways in Progress reportPhoto: Ebley Mill by Mike Gallagher

Waterways in Progress is a new report to be published in the near future by our Restoration Hub in conjunction with members of the Hub's High Level Panel of restoration movement representatives.

Highlights from the report were presented to delegates at the World Canals Conference this year hosted in Ireland earlier this month by IWA's Mike Palmer MBE. Case studies included Ebley Mill on the Cotswold Canals project, Hollingwood Hub on the Chesterfield Canal and the built and natural assets on the Montgomery Canal.

Using case studies such as these, Waterways in Progress seeks to spell out how well thought-out, partial restoration initiatives can start to deliver right from Day One.

You can subscribe to receive a PDF copy of the report as soon as it is published. Find out more and sign up


This summer, our Waterway Recovery Group has held 17 Canal Camps across 10 waterways. These holidays with a difference saw over 250 volunteers, restoring locks, building towpaths and preparing restoration sites.

Photo: Mon and Brec Canal by Ralph Mills

One of the big highlights included six weeks spent bringing the restoration of Inglesham Lock in the Cotswolds close to completion. At the start of the project the lock site by the Roundhouse in Lechlade was filled with rubbish and silt, with tree roots undermining the structure meaning that large areas needed to be rebuilt. This IWA led project to restore the gateway from the Thames to the Cotswold Canals has been eight years in the making and it's fantastic to see such good progress.

Photo: Inglesham Lock

Volunteers also spent a week on the Lichfield Canal for the first time in a number of years. The group worked on the towpath retaining wall at Fosseway Heath, which will be over 100 metres long when finished.

Probably the most unique project that we have supported this year is the uncovering of original canal artefacts during an archaeological dig at Ty Coch Locks on the Monmouthshire Canal near Torfaen. See what the volunteer teams uncovered here!

Although the majority of the Camps take place over the summer, a number continue through autumn and winter. If you're interested in any of these, just give us a call on 01494783453, or find out more below:

20th-27th October
Grantham Canal
Wey & Arun Canal


Over the summer it has been great to hear that many of you have been taking part in our Silver Propeller Challenge and visiting some of the various locations across the waterways system.

With our IWA Festival of Water at St Neots, many of you took the opportunity to visit the Challenge locations to be found on the Middle Level Navigations (Holme and Horseway Lock) and on the Great Ouse and its tributaries, including some who travelled across The Wash to get there.

Others have been spotted visiting locations around the waterways, such as the end of the Wendover Arm, the top of the Ashby Canal and the Dee Branch in Chester.

Have you visited any locations as part of the Challenge? We would love to hear from you if you are taking part – why not post a photo of a Silver Propeller location that you have visited on our social media accounts? You can post your pictures to our UK waterways Flickr group, or tag your images on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with #silverpropeller.

Or email us at silver.propeller@waterways.org.uk


Work commenced over the summer on the Boston Tidal Barrier on the River Witham following years of consultations and missed opportunities. We lobbied for the flood barrier to impound the water on the currently tidal section of the Witham through Boston, which would have facilitated navigation between Grand Sluice Lock on the River Witham and EA's new Black Sluice Lock, improving navigation and associated economic benefits in the area.

Steel pilings (on the left in the photograph) are now being constructed to protect the wall of the Port of Boston from scouring and damage when the channel is reduced to 18m wide during construction of the barrier.

David Pullen, IWA East Midlands Region Chairman, said "It is such a pity, and a huge wasted opportunity, that these pilings are not to be utilised to form one side of the by-pass lock we were originally promised during extensive public consultations. It is also hugely frustrating that neither EA nor Boston Borough Council have seen fit to comply with the Barrier Inquiry Inspector's report to consult with IWA on the navigation management plan for the Barrier."

On the right in the photograph is the beginnings of piling to construct the coffer dam where the main chamber of the barrier will be.

Dredging has also been carried out, by a method known as beam dredging, where a large metal beam is dragged along the river bed on outgoing tides. This disturbs the silt which is washed away with the tide.

Photo caption: Looking downstream from a viewing area towards the barrier construction works, with Black Sluice Drain outfall (and the navigation lock out of shot), to the right.

A diagram which has been produced by the Boston Barrier Team with the help of the Boston Harbour Master to advise navigational craft of the Boston barrier works between the Grand Sluice Lock No: 3 to the Wash.


70 metres of motorway bridge on the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal has been given a new lease of life by IWA Northampton Branch in collaboration with Lemon Pop Workshops.

The bridge, which had been a focus for graffiti for a number of years now features a historic timeline of Northampton through the ages, including Northampton Castle, the Battle of Northampton in the War of the Roses, the Great Fire of Northampton, the importance of the boot and shoe industry and the building of The Guildhall to the floods in 1998.

Photo by Geoff Wood

The project was supported by pupils and staff from Delapre Primary School, who had also worked on the Northampton Arm Nature Trail mosaics, another IWA Northampton Branch initiative. Year 6 students were asked to share their ideas for the design, which included their favourite places and buildings in Northampton. 60 children plus staff and volunteers then spent three days transforming the site with rollers and paint brushes.
With time to spare, a large red narrowboat with helmsman, swans, trees, shrubs and flowers was also created on an adjacent wall.

IWA Northampton Branch is planning on continuing this project with artwork on the offside wall and is appealing for ideas and help from local artists. Please contact northampton@waterways.org.uk.


130 participants ran 10km along the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex on Sunday 16th September. The challenge raised funds to support the maintenance and development of this local treasure.

The Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation runs through a largely unspoilt part of rural Essex and connects the county town of Chelmsford with the tidal estuary of the river Blackwater at Heybridge Basin. The navigation is 13.8 miles (22.1 km) long and has 13 locks. Our subsidiary company Essex Waterways Ltd took over the management of the Navigation on 14th November 2005, in order to save the waterway from closing.

The route began at Hoe Mill Lock and ran through the scenic countryside of Ulting, Maldon and Langford.


Four families and five children aged between 6 and 13 spent a weekend on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex making bird boxes and clearing vegetation.

The third Family Camp of 2018 organised by our Waterway Recovery Group also saw the group learning about the workings of a sea lock, which can only be opened at high tide, before helping five yachts into Heybridge Basin.

Family Camps are designed to encourage younger people to enjoy the satisfaction from conserving our waterways, and the weekend's waterways theme continued with accommodation on board the Haybay Barge nestled in the Blackwater Estuary.

For the finale, the decorated bird boxes were fixed in trees along the navigation.

Keep an eye out for next year's Family Camps, which will be announced in November.


Following the success of last year's trips, IWA Lichfield Branch together with the Truman Enterprise Narrowboat Trust once again ran a series of Community Boat Trips on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Rugeley in September.

Community Boat at Leathermill Lane, Rugeley (MB)Photo by Margaret Beardsmore

Trips for the elderly, young people and disadvantaged groups were all free of charge thanks to a grant from Rugeley Parish Council.


21 volunteers helped to litter pick and grapple rubbish from the Nottingham Canal as part of the annual IWA Nottingham Branch Cleanup on Thursday 13th September. The haul included a full sized aluminium garage door, 26 bicycles, 15 shopping trolleys, 8 tyres, fence panels, traffic cones and other assorted items.

An enthusiastic cohort from local company Xylem took part in the activities, which also included litter picking on the towpath side, whilst another team set off on the workboat to tackle offside and any waterborne litter.

Photo by Archie Roberts


We are saddened to report the death of IWA vice president David Wain at the age of 91.

IWA National Chairman Ivor Caplan said "David was a real gentleman and he always had a kind and supportive word for everyone."

David was one of the pioneer hire-boat operators, taking over the helm of the firm 'Inland Cruising Association' (founded in 1935) on the death of his father, Geoffrey Wain, in 1956. After building the business up to 23 craft by 1972, he sold the firm, and a year later set about establishing a visitor centre and waterways museum at Llangollen. David ran that business until selling up in 1987.

In 1962, David became involved with the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators and served in various roles, including secretary and chairman over the next 12 years, and was much involved in the 1968 Transport Act. That Act established the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council as government's advisor on inland waterways matters, and David was a founding member, and eventually became its chairman for over 15 years, a period during which his influence on the inland waterways scene was immense. David had a long and supportive involvement with IWA, particularly in his local area in the North West, and was an IWA vice president for over 25 years. His services to the waterways were recognised with an OBE.


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