Photo: Front Cover IWA 2015 Calendar, Somerton Deep Lock, Oxford Canal (photo by Jim Jewell)
The results for the IWA calendar competition are in!
Congratulations to the following winning photographers whose photographs will be used in IWA's 2015 Calendar:
Jim Jewell, Kathryn Dodington, Philip Braude, Emma Lambourne, Wendy Jones, Elaine Scott, Bill Perry, Adam Porter, Peter Critchley, Angela Marks, Colin Grundy, Bill and Mark Welton.
Take a look at the winning photographs that will appear in IWA's 2015 calendar.
The competition aims to promote waterways, activities and wildlife from all over the UK waterway network. Over 600 photographs were entered, which were then shortlisted into categories and voted for by the public. The winning photographers will receive three IWA 2015 calendars each.
IWA would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit photographs or vote in the competition.
Photo: Swallow volunteer Lewys Morgan (14) at Spon Lane Locks
Historic Cowburn and Cowpar ex-working boat Swallow is to attend the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Clean-up.
Swallow is to be moored at Phoenix Wharf from Saturday 5th - Sunday 6th April, so that volunteers and members of the public can view and learn about the ex-working boat alongside a visit to the BCN Clean-up.
The BCN Clean-up is planned to take place over the weekend of 5th April in Birmingham. Volunteers are welcome on either or both days, those who are based further afield can book into volunteer accommodation if they wish to stay for the full weekend. You can book your place on the clean-up, request accommodation for the weekend and find out more about the event at IWA's Website.
Swallow attends events countrywide and owner David Lowe is very happy to support the BCN Clean-up by bringing the boat for members of the public and volunteers to explore.
Photo: IWA Chiltern Branch volunteer, John Brice (photo by Gemma Bolton)
On the 26th March 2014, staff from IWA Head Office joined volunteers from IWA Chiltern Branch, with support from Canal & River Trust (CRT), to repaint a set of locks at Marsworth on the Grand Union Canal, ahead of the Acheman Challenge.
Volunteers used wire brushes to remove damaged and cracked paint and then re-painted the lock gates and bollards at Lock 43. The task was almost finished by mid-afternoon but, unfortunately, work came to an early end due to rain and the last coat of paint is to be applied at a later date.
IWA Chiltern Branch member Chris Clegg said “The sun shone during the morning, but by 2.45pm there was a heavy shower and we called it a day, with the top gates substantially finished, and the bottom gates and lockside bollards and ladders painted as well. It was an enjoyable, productive work party”.
Take a look at the timelapse video of the work party. A gallery of photos is also available to view on the IWA Volunteering Facebook page.
Head Office staff will be locking a boat through Marsworth on 5th April as part of their 50 mile Acheman Challenge, which also involves cycling, running and canoeing, representing a variety of waterway interests. Due to a very generous donation from an IWA life member of £4,000 the team has now raised £8449 to date, including pledges, towards a new Waterway Recovery Group excavator. IWA Ipswich Branch has also donated £1,000 and IWA Lichfield Branch has donated £200. These large donations mean the team is now raising their target from £5,000 to £10,000.The team would like to thank everybody that has donated so far.
In addition to the fundraising efforts of the staff, Owen Morgan, son of BCN Clean-up leader Chris Morgan, has been making paracord bracelets in red and white with black elastic to sell for £2 each at the BCN Clean-up to raise funds for WRG's new excavator.
Photo: Himalayan Balsam on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (photo by Alison Smedley)
IWA’s Branch Campaign Team has begun preparations for the Himalayan Balsam season. If you or your branch would like to get involved and organise a Himalayan Balsam work party, or know of an area that is affected by the invasive species then contact Alison Smedley or Stefanie Preston.
If you would like to attend a Himalayan Balsam work party take a look at the confirmed events listed on the IWA website. None in your area? Then why not arrange a branch day out to help your neighbours tackle the problem before it spreads to you, the Branch Campaign Team is able to help arrange this.
More information about Himalayan Balsam and IWA's campaign is available on IWA's website.
This is a reminder that on 10th May, IWA and CRT plan to host a Waterway Restoration Workshop at the Bond in Birmingham.
The workshop, being hosted by CRT and IWA, is intended to become an annual event aimed at addressing some of the big restoration challenges of the time. It hopes to bring members of waterway restoration groups, local authorities and other interested bodies together in one room to discuss a range of issues.
The workshop will also see the launch of a University of Northampton report into the benefits of canal restoration. The report re-examines the economic benefits arising from six specific canal restoration schemes (Kennet & Avon Canal, Liverpool Link, Rochdale Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Millennium Link and Chesterfield Canal) helping to demonstrate how similar schemes may benefit local communities.
Further information is available at IWA's website.
Photo: IWA Lichfield Branch Treasurer, Barbara Hodgson presents Brian Kingshott, Chairman of the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust with £500 cheque (photo by Phil Sharpe)
IWA Lichfield Branch held another successful jumble sale with Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust at the Peace Memorial Hall in Penkridge on 15th March. The jumble took nearly £400, which was shared between the two groups. The event also saw IWA Lichfield Branch deliver a donation of £500 to Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust from the proceeds of its other fundraising activities. The money is to go towards the Trust’s Feet of Clay Appeal, which is raising funds to clay line and re-water another section of the Lichfield Canal.
An historic RAF Hawker Hurricane will be performing a flypast at the IWA National Campaign festival in Chester on Saturday 7th June 2014.
This fighter plane was at the forefront of Britain’s defence in 1940, with more Hurricanes than Spitfires fielded by RAF Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain. Unfortunately, of the 14,533 Hurricanes built, only twelve are still airworthy and of these only six are based in the UK.
The RAF is proud to operate two of these historically important aircraft and the campaign festival organisers are thrilled that the Hurricanes plan to perform a flypast on Saturday, operations permitting.
The National Campaign Festival is to be hosted by IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch and held in the Tower Wharf area on the Dee Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal from 6th-8th June. The Festival hopes to promote both the use of the neglected Dee Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal and the vision to see a lock in the old mill race at the end of the weir, so that visiting boats can access the River Dee up to Farndon. The event promises to provide entertainment for all with boats, trade stalls, live music and now a Hurricane flypast.
Read more about the 2014 National Campaign Festival at Chester.
Photo: Boats navigate the re-opened Grand Western Canal
The Grand Western Canal and towpath was officially re-opened on 19th March after the completion of structural repairs to a breached embankment at Halberton, caused by severe weather in November 2012.
A group gathered at Swing Bridge for the official re-opening of the canal by the chairman of Devon County Council, Councillor Bernard Hughes, who is both a long-standing IWA member and Waterway Recovery Group supporter.
The Grand Western Canal suffered a serious breach of its northern bank in November 2012, which closed a half-mile stretch of the canal between Greenway Bridge and Rock Bridge. After the incident, Devon County Council and its partners developed a programme of works to repair the breach and introduce new measures to reduce the likelihood of a breach in the future. These new measures included inspections of all infrastructure along the canal, the installation of a water level monitoring and alarm system, additional and improved stop boards and an increase in the height of the embankment.
There is to be a second phase of works that will be informed by the results of a detailed hydrological survey of the canal and the surrounding catchments. The plan is to construct new sluices and weirs to further improve the canal’s resistance to breaches through a greater ability to control water levels.
The works were carried out by contractor South West Highways Ltd and were finished in time for the canal’s 200th anniversary celebrations, which includes IWA 2014 National Trailboat Festival. The festival is to be held over the late May Bank Holiday with the main event at the Mid-Devon Showground on 24th May and several satellite events along the length of the canal on 25th and 26th May.
Photo: River Thames at Pangbourne (photo by Tim Lewis)
The width of the navigation arch at Whitchurch Toll Bridge on the River Thames, between Whitchurch and Mapledurham Locks will be restricted between 1st April and September 2014.
The restriction is in place whilst the bridge is reconstructed. The main works, which were scheduled to take place during the five month river closure from November 2013 to March 2014, have been significantly delayed by the extreme river conditions experienced this winter.
From 1st April onwards the navigation channel will be open to river traffic. The width of navigation will be restricted to varying degrees throughout the on-going works. The minimum navigation width will be 7.0 metres. When this is in operation, one-way river traffic will be managed by the contractors during lock keeper hours of duty. To permit safe navigation, a buoyed channel will be in place and this will be lit between sunset and sunrise. Some overnight and two full-day navigation closures will also be required over the revised programme.
Poor river conditions have and continue to cause problems elsewhere. Many rivers still have strong currents and great care should be taken when navigating these. The Bristol Avon is now largely re-opened with the exception of Lock 3 whilst the eastern end of the Kennet & Avon Canal (K&A) is still largely closed. CRT hopes that the K&A will re-open soon and plans to reassess the situation this week (31st March - 6th April).
Photo: Boat horse Chelsea with handler Corinne Rose and narrowboat Birdswood at Cromford Wharf
The Friends of the Cromford Canal (FCC) team’s plans to re-introduce horseboating to the Cromford Canal began with horse-drawn passenger boat trials on 17th March.
Thirteen year old Dales-cross-Clydesdale mare Chelsea was the star of the trials, managing to pull the 21-tonne, 70-foot heritage narrow boat Birdswood from Cromford Wharf through High Peak Junction to Leawood Pump House at a quicker pace than has been achieved with the boat's electric motor.
Following the success of the trials, Chelsea is to become a member of the horseboating team that plans to hold fourteen public horseboating days in the 2014 season. Dates available at the FCC's website.
Four boats have navigated through Dudbridge Lock on the Stroudwater Navigation for the first time in seventy years. The Dudbridge Locks were restored by Stroud District Council and volunteers from Cotswold Canals Trust and Stroud Community Land Trust. Work included fitting paddle gear to the locks, laying new towpath and concreting the area to make it ready for the opening.
The celebration also marked the completion of a project by Stroud Community Land Trust to restore the derelict pleasure gardens of The Lawn, the Victorian mansion that adjoined the canal prior to its demolition many years ago.
Photo: Anderton Boat Lift (photo by Tim Lewis)
On Friday 21st March, the Anderton Boat Lift was awarded the Engineering Heritage Award by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. The Lift restoration and on-going operational success was praised by John Wood, Past President & Chairman of the Institute’s Heritage Committee, as a great example of engineering heritage being preserved. He also noted the important role volunteers had played in the campaign to get the lift repaired. Richard Drake, former IWA National Chairman and past chairman of The Anderton Boat Lift Trust, also spoke at the award presentation ceremony at the Lift and thanked all the voluntary groups that had supported the Campaign.
The Anderton Boat Lift was built by Edwin Clark in 1875 to lift cargo boats from the River Weaver to the Trent & Mersey Canal. The lift was closed in 1983 after severe deterioration of the structure was discovered. £7million was raised to fund the restoration, which was completed in 2002.
The Big Lottery Fund in partnership with ITV has announced that The People's Millions programme has re-opened for applications. This lottery stream has funded a number of waterway restoration and development projects in recent years.
A total of £3.8 million is available through the programme and four awards of £20,000 - £50,000 will be made in each ITV region for projects that improve the local community. The programme has benefitted a number of waterway projects over recent year and is open for applications from voluntary and community groups.
The closing date for applications is 16th May 2014.
More information is available at The People's Millions Website.
Photo: Swansea Canal (photo by John Pomfret)
On Sunday, 30th March Swansea Canal Society launched its Community Canoe Hire Project from the Swansea Canal slipway at Coed Gwilym Park, Clydach.
Throughout the spring and summer, open canoes and sit-on-top kayaks will be available for hire on Sundays and schools and similar organisations will be able to book sessions on Tuesday mornings. At present, the navigable section of the canal will be north from Coed Gwilym Park towards Trebanos for approximately half a mile.
This project has been generously funded by SPLASH (Natural Resources Wales) and Sports Wales with the assistance of the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust, the City and County of Swansea, and CRT.
For more information visit Swansea Canal Society's website.
On Saturday 22nd March, Birmingham Canal Navigations Society (BCNS) celebrated forty years since the re-opening of the Titford Canal.
BCNS held the celebration at the historic Titford Pump House, now the Society’s headquarters, which originally back pumped water up the six Oldbury Locks to maintain water levels in Titford Pools. Guests included those who had been involved with the re-opening in 1974 as well as the Mayor of Sandwell and CRT Chief Executive Richard Parry, who were all able to view photographs of the canal from the 70s.
Photo: Basingstoke Canal (photo by Ray Carnell)
Following good visitor numbers in 2013, the Basingstoke Canal Centre is to extend its opening hours for 2014. It is a good place to start any visit to the canal with a large car park, tea room and the opportunity to purchase boating licences. Alternatively, day, week or annual licences for kayaks, canoes and rowing boats on the Basingstoke Canal can now be purchased online.
This section contains volunteer reports from IWA branches and IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). IWA branch reports contain information from their latest work parties where volunteers have worked to help maintain their local canals. WRG reports on its canal camps and weekend digs to keep readers up to date with the restoration work the group has been undertaking.
Photo: Volunteers clear vegetation on the Northampton Arm
IWA Northampton Branch has held four work parties in February and March, which have amassed to a further 130 volunteer hours spent on the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal. The branch has concentrated on the Far Cotton area of Northampton, litter picking and clearing vegetation. On the litter pick, volunteers continued from Lock 16 and worked back to Bridge 14, there was so much rubbish over this stretch that it took two work parties to complete the task.
The vegetation clearance was also a much bigger job than first thought and included clearance from the narrows back to Lock 17 where the strimmers that the Branch purchased were put to good use.
In April the branch plans to start painting at the Sanitation Station at Gayton Junction.
IWA Chelmsford Branch and Essex WRG have continued their regular weekend work parties on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in 2014. Over the weekend of 1st-2nd March, volunteers completed concreting the path at the south quay at Heybridge Basin, a job that had been started by London WRG in February. Paving slabs were also relayed on the existing pathways around the toilet block as they had subsided over the years.
Photo: Volunteer lock painting on the Cheshire Locks (photo by Bob Luscombe)
After several wet months, the dry weather of the week meant that volunteers at this month’s Cheshire Locks work party were able to get on with jobs that had been previously deferred. Lock 63 on the Trent & Mersey Canal was the venue for the 15th March IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch work party and a group of volunteers made the most of the dry, if somewhat breezy, conditions to finish painting the lock. Lock 63 is a set of double locks with a large amount of metal railings so it has taken some time to prepare, and paint both the lock gates and all the metalwork. However, the finished work is a fine testament to the work of the various volunteers that have continued throughout the winter months to finish both the vegetation clearance and painting.
In the afternoon the volunteers moved on to Lock 64, again a double set and given the favourable conditions were able to complete the painting of the gates and wooden mooring posts.
Next month, the branch plans to return to Lock 64 to finish painting the metalwork and cobble clearance, before moving onto Lock 62.
Photo: Volunteers dismantle barrow hoist at Hatton (photo by Greta Russell)
When clearing the offside towpath up Hatton Locks, it was noted that one stretch had badly subsided. So when IWA Warwickshire Branch members took part in a CRT project with CRT Volunteer Lock Keepers and Towpath Taskforce volunteers, on Lock 40 on the Wilmcote flight of the southern Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, it became obvious that the large quantity of rubble accumulated from the dismantling of the side wall could be used to raise the level of the path at Hatton. Participants on the Wilmcote project helped move the hopper containing the rubble through 16 miles and thirty-four locks to above Lock 30 on the Grand Union Canal. On Sunday, 23rd March, a dozen Warwickshire Branch volunteers met near the Ugly bridge to unload the hopper containing the rubble, which was positioned alongside the towpath being repaired. A barrow hoist, supplied by CRT, was erected to aid in raising the rubble from the hold. In addition to the hoist, rubble was also shovelled over the gunnels into big bags and dragged to where it was needed. During this time the sun continued to shine even if it was accompanied by a cold wind. As the work was completed by late lunchtime, the volunteers enjoyed an impromptu picnic in the sun by the side of the locks.
The Hatton project is part of Warwickshire Branch's effort to restore the towpath on the offside of Hatton Locks. The next stage will be to clear a section of earth embankment which obstructs the offside lock landing below Lock 31. The soil from this embankment will be used to cover the rubble laid down on the Sunday. If you would like to join us on future working parties please e-mail email@example.com.
Photo: Volunteers construct the bridge for Pipps Ford by-wash on the River Gipping (photo by River Gipping Trust)
The latest development on the River Gipping work parties, run by the River Gipping Trust and supported by IWA Ipswich Branch, is the progress made on the new bridge to go over the by-wash at Pipps Ford. It is near completion and should be ready for the Alde Valley Spring Festival in April, for which it will be one of the major exhibits at White House Farm, Great Glemham.
The bridge is made of oak grown and cut to size at the farm where Jason Gathorne-Hardy kindly provided work space. After the festival the bridge will be transported to Pipps Ford for installation.
Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches.
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:
Major IWA events in 2014
3rd - 5th May 2014 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
24th - 26th May 2014 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Devon
6th - 8th June 2014 - IWA Campaign Festival, Chester
23rd - 25th August 2014 - Saul Waterways Pageant
Branch Boating Events in 2014
2nd - 5th May 2014 - Braunston Boat Gathering (IWA Northampton Branch)
4th - 6th July 2014 - Ware Boat Festival (IWA Lee & Stort Branch)
6th July 2014 - Rochdale Canal Boat Gathering (IWA West Riding Branch)
6th - 7th September 2014 - Maesbury Canal Festival (supported by IWA Shrewsbury, District & North Wales Branch)
Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area on the website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.
2nd April Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
2nd April Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
5th April Work Party - Dee Branch, Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
5th April Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
5th - 6th April BCN Cleanup 2014 (Waterway Recovery Group, IWA Birmingham Branch and others)
7th April Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
8th April Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
9th April Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
9th April Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
10th April Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
11th - 12th April Milton Keynes Bi-annual Canal Clean-up (IWA Milton Keynes Branch)
12th - 13th April Work Party Weekend - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (supported by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
13th April Bi-Annual Canal Clean-up - Tinsley (IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch)
13th April Work Party - Beverley Beck (IWA East Yorkshire Branch)
15th April Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
16th April Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
17th April Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
19th April Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
23rd April Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
26th April Work Party - Hyde (IWA Manchester Branch)
27th April Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
30th April Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
30th April Work Party - Wardle Lock (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch and IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
3rd May Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
3rd May Work Party - Dee Branch, Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
5th May Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
7th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th May Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
8th May Work Party - Caldon Canal (by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
10th-11th May Work Party Weekend - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (supported by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
13th May Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
14th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
14th May Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country and Worcestershire Branch)
14th May Work Party - Wardle Lock (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch and IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
15th May Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th May Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th May Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
21st May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
24th May Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
28th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
28th May Work Party - Wardle Lock (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch and IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
6th April London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
20th April London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
24th April Waterside Walk - Marston (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
4th May Waterside Walk - London (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
18th May Waterside Walk - London (IWA Towpath Walk Society)
22nd May Waterside Walk - Bunbury (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar
The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
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 www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_area/member_discounts_special_offers_public
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
Read Bulletin in an alternative newsletter format:
Read online (via Issuu)
Think you know where this is? Take part in the mystery photo challenge and submit your answer here.
The last mystery photo showed Froghall Tunnel on the Caldon Canal. Well done to the eleven people who answered correctly!