IWA is delighted to announce that the Waterways Restoration Raffle has exceeded its target of £10,000 with another six weeks left until the draw. IWA hopes that the raffle will continue to gain momentum so that each of the restoration groups involved can benefit from a substantial boost to their funds.
The final pot will be split between all IWA corporate members with active restoration projects, relative to the number of nominations they've received. A list of the eligible restoration projects can be found on the website.
Friends of the Cromford Canal, Cotswold Canals Trust, Ashby Canal Association and IWA’s Cheshire moorings project have continued to receive the most nominations but a number of other waterways societies have also been well supported. A pie chart to show the current division of nominations amongst all the waterways societies is updated weekly.
IWA would like to thank everyone that has bought and sold tickets to help reach £10,000. As well as supporting restoration projects across the country, ticket holders have a chance of winning one of the following prizes:
Buy online! For more information, a full list of prizes or to purchase tickets see the raffle pages on the website or contact Toby Gomm at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01494 783453 ext.611. The raffle will be drawn on 16th January 2015 at IWA’s Head Office in Chesham.
Photo: Recently cleared Lock 4 at Ironville on the Cromford Canal
Bookings for boats, campsite and trade are now open for IWA's 2015 Northampton Festival of Water.
The Environment Agency is generously offering two for one licences for boats attending the event, and Canal & River Trust plans to make a similarly attractive offer for boaters too. Forms and further information about booking is available on the Northampton Festival of Water pages on the website.
The admission-free event takes place from Saturday 29th August to Monday 31st August, and will be centred around the waterfront at Becket’s Park. It is expected to attract over 200 boats. A wide range of water based activities have been planned as well as high quality entertainment and stalls with plenty to keep everyone amused.
The main aim of the event will be to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the opening of the Northampton Arm in 1815, which connects the river Nene and Northampton to the main canal network.
To mark the launch of Northampton Festival of Water, Festival President, David Blagrove MBE presented the ‘Tiller Pin Trophy’ to the Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh, at a special ceremony at the Nene Whitewater Centre on Friday 21st November 2014. The trophy remains with Northampton until handed over to the next town hosting a major IWA festival.
Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “For generations the Nene was a source of wealth as our town’s industries imported materials and exported products along the canal network. Today our riverside is a wonderful place to relax and the Northampton Festival of Water is set to be a wonderful celebration of our town’s connection with the Nene.
“It is a real honour to receive the Tiller Pin on behalf of Northampton and start the build up to what is set to be a fantastic event with something for all ages, and well worth a visit to Northampton.”
IWA has launched a Portal which allows waterway restoration groups to access a range of studies and reports that have been carried out for restoration projects nationwide.
The project is part of IWA’s ongoing commitment to support waterway restoration. The Association often funds reports or studies carried out for restoration projects. A condition of these grants is that a copy is provided to IWA with shared copyright on the documents.
Over the years many of these documents, which include schematics, feasibility studies and other reports, have been supported in this way. These reports can be made available to trusts and societies interested in seeing what other groups have commissioned, to help support their restorations.
The portal can be accessed via www.waterways.org.uk/portal
Restoration groups that would like access to the portal should email email@example.com
The Port of London Authority (PLA) is currently discussing future operations of hire boats on the tidal River Thames following an incident where a narrowboat on hire was swept on to Dove Pier.
PLA claims that a number of hire companies are encouraging the hirers of their boats to complete cruises involving parts of the tidal Thames without experience of tidal waterways or approval from PLA. Hire companies have been asked to cease these operations until further notice. IWA has asked PLA to explain why it believes its action is appropriate, and in what way this will contribute to better safety on the tidal Thames, and discussions will continue.
All boaters are reminded that a number of factors must be considered when navigating a tidal waterway, including the tidal Thames. These include consideration of:
Considerations specific to the tidal Thames include:
More information on navigating the tidal Thames with a variety of crafts can be found at PLA’s website
Photo: River Thames, Woolwich Ferry (photo by Tim Lewis)
Have you taken any inspiring photographs of waterway scenes recently? We are looking for images to appear in our 2016 calendar and are offering a top prize of £100.
We’re looking for photos of waterway scenes that feature different seasons, activities and subjects. Take a look at images that have been entered for the competition so far.
All entrants who have their photograph published in the calendar will receive three calendars as in previous years, but there will be also be an online vote for the overall winner who will receive £100 prize.
Find out more about how to enter the calendar competition.
The minutes from Association's 55th Annual General Meeting, held on Saturday 27th September 2014 in Leek are now available to download from the minutes of meetings pages on IWA’s website.
IWA's next Annual General Meeting has been scheduled for 26th September 2015. Location and other details to follow.
Canal & River Trust (CRT) has launched a new edition of the Boater’s Handbook. First published in 2002, the Handbook is written for boat owners and hirers and contains lots of 'getting started' tips as well as important information about how to boat safely.
The original handbook won a Plain English Campaign award for style and clarity and the format and tone have been retained. The changes are mainly to detail and emphasis. Information about navigating rivers has been strengthened, particularly relating to navigating in strong stream conditions. Some additional diagrams have also been added to make things as clear as possible for boaters.
CRT wants all boaters to be aware of the key safety messages:
A hard copy of the handbook was due to be sent to the home address of all CRT licensed boaters in the second half of November. CRT reminds boaters that if they have recently moved house but are yet to update their CRT record, they should do it now to ensure they receive their copy. This can be done by calling CRT customer services on 0303 040 4040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A downloadable copy of the Handbook, and a video setting out key information, can be found at CRT’s website.
CRT has announced that it plans to instigate additional stoppages on the Rochdale Canal.
CRT has acknowledged that over the summer locks 2 and 92 on the Rochdale Canal have become increasingly difficult to use. Lock 2 has a problem with the cill floor, the Trust believes it has heaved, so struggles to retain water and this causes operational problems. Water loss at Lock 92 has become much worse in the latter part of the season to the extent that CRT has received reports that some people have been unable to use the lock.
To fix these locks, CRT wants to add a stoppage at each location this winter, in addition to those already planned, to avoid further problems next year. The Rochdale Canal stoppage included in the original winter works plan was for January/February time to allow grouting work at Lock 8. CRT would like to move this stoppage to be concurrent with these additional works, to be held in either January or March, but cannot guarantee this will be possible. CRT has acknowledged that the addition of long-term stoppages is undesirable after the consultation and work that goes into the winter stoppage plan ahead of its release. However, it has said that it is sometimes not possible to anticipate all the work that will be needed to keep the network running when plans are made so far in advance.
CRT also plans to implement a series of short-term restrictions for the Canal to carry out works that it feels will benefit the general operation. These will be advertised through CRT's stoppage notices and the Trust does not expect them to cause undue delay.
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust has won £50k to create a wildlife corridor in the People’s Millions TV competition run by ITV and BIG Lottery, as a result of a telephone vote which took place on Wednesday 26th November.
The Wildlife Trail will be created along the restored canal next to the closed landfill site at Studley Grange, Royal Wootton Bassett, creating a standing water habitat and with a multi-use path. A kilometre of canal banks will be planted with a variety of hedging, shrubs and wild flowers aiming to provide food and shelter for wild bees, insects and for water voles and wildfowl.
IWA also provided a £4,000 grant towards the match funding for Studley Grange, as part its grants scheme for restoration groups.
The Trust has also been awarded £10k by the Yorkshire Building Society Lasting Legacy Fund to repair a 200 year old structure, Cocklemore Brook culvert.
Both grants were awarded on the results of a competitive public vote. Wilts & Berks Canal Trust has asked us to pass on their thanks to IWA members who voted and made this a success.
A pageant on the River Thames will be one of the highlights of a programme of events to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
The pageant is planned to take place over the weekend of 13th and 14th June 2015, when a flotilla of boats, with the Royal Row Barge Gloriana likely to take the lead, is planned to make its way downstream from Bisham Abbey near Marlow to Wraysbury, close to Runnymede, where the treaty was signed. Magna Carta was authenticated by the Great Seal on 15th June 1215 when English barons assembled at Runnymede to challenge the authority of King John.
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is organising the event in partnership with Thames Alive and Runnymede Borough Council.
Further details of Magna Carta anniversary events are available, as they are added, at Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s website and the Magna Carta 800th website.
The Lapal Canal Trust has been awarded a grant of £5,000 from the Headley Trust, which will be used to fund the cost of Planning Permission for the next stage of restoration in Selly Oak Park.
The Lapal Trust hopes to have IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group working on site next summer once planning permission is in place.
The Lapal Canal forms part of the Dudley No 2 Canal opened in 1798, this was mainly to carry coal from Dudley to London. The link was closed in 1917 following the collapse of the Lapal Tunnel and competition from the railways. The Lapal Canal when reopened will be a significant tourist attraction and complete what will be a popular circular route around Birmingham, restoration will create many jobs and will be an important amenity for walkers, cyclists, fishermen and boaters.
Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s project to restore the abandoned Lichfield Canal and create a seven-mile Heritage Towpath Trail has been awarded a £2,000 grant thanks to a public show of support.
Lloyds Bank Community Fund has awarded grants to four local good causes as voted for by the local community. Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust’s bid was the second most popular.
The award recognises the Trust’s work to bring disused historic land into productive use for public benefit, both as a footpath accessible to all and over time to put an abandoned canal back in water.
The first part of the Heritage Towpath Trail, a wheelchair-friendly section on the canal parallel to the A51 Tamworth Road in Lichfield, was opened in April, and work has continued between Darnford Lane and Cappers Lane, The Fosseway and Muckley Common to open new areas for walkers and joggers.
The Trust hopes that the Heritage Towpath Trail will provide a unique community amenity, in close proximity to Lichfield’s cultural and industrial heritage, and create an important wildlife corridor, from Huddlesford to Catshill Junction at Brownhills, with new nature reserves that link restored heathland and wetland habitats.
Representatives of Association of Pleasure Craft Operators (APCO), and River Canal Rescue (RCR) recently met with Canal & River Trust (CRT) to establish an agreed method for recovering boats that are stuck or have sunk, safely and quickly.
The meeting highlighted the need for CRT to have a procedure for pre-approving contractors to carry out straightforward recoveries (that do not require a crane or diver), to reduce the time taken before a recovery takes place.
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: Photo: Cheshire Locks work party November 2014 (photo by Bob Luscombe)
Saturday, 15th November saw eight volunteers meet for the final Cheshire Locks work party of 2014 with IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and Trent & Mersey Canal Society. The group met at Lock 62 at Malkins Bank, Sandbach on the Trent & Mersey Canal to continue work started in previous months on this set of locks.
Although damp weather meant that painting of the wooden lock gates was not possible, there were a large amount of metal railings in fairly poor state. After some intensive rubbing down preparation, fresh paint was added and the end results really transformed the lock area to a set of locks that hopefully everyone using the canal and towpath will now admire and enjoy. In addition, long covered and somewhat slippery cobble setts were cleared of vegetation and restored to something like their former glory.
This work party marked the end of over two years of work party activity on the Cheshire Lock flight by volunteers from IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire and The Trent & Mersey Canal Society and the overall impact of the work is plain to see when one travels up or down the flight.
In January 2015, the volunteers start a new year of work party’s on the Cheshire locks flight and all the volunteers are looking forward to continuing to transform a much loved and well used section of our waterways.
Photo: Volunteers unearth a safe in the Regent's Canal
Volunteers with IWA London Region took the chance to participate in an IWA canal clean-up in the dewatered Regent’s Canal on Saturday 22nd November.
CRT has recently drained a mile of the Regent’s Canal, close to Limehouse Basin, to carry out major works. IWA was able to collaborate with CRT and organise a work party to make the most of the improved access to the canalbed that enabled volunteers to more easily locate and remove rubbish that is often hidden under water. Around thirty volunteers from the London area, some from as far afield as Chelmsford, came together and managed to clear two sites close to Commercial Road Lock. Navigating sticky mud and uneven ground the group found and removed various items, including a safe, a motorbike, numerous tyres and a suitcase, that could potentially make navigation of the Canal difficult for boaters.
Throughout the day the volunteers were visited by various members of CRT staff including CEO Richard Parry and the CRT media team who was working with London Live. Members of the public also stopped for a chat and to praise the excllent work that the volunteers had achieved.
This was a great opportunity for those involved who all had fun and through their hard work made a real difference to the waterway environment. It is hoped that more waterway events will take place in London next year. If you would be interested in helping to organise these please contact IWA’s Branch Campaign Assistant, Stefanie Preston at email@example.com.
Photo: Volunteers taking part in Bournville canal clean-up (photo by David Struckett)
In spite of wet weather forecasts and unexpected non-arrival of equipment and boats because of a closure, a couple of lorry-loads of mainly industrial rubbish were removed from the Worcester and Birmingham Canal over the 22nd-23rd November. IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch was joined by members of Worcester, Birmingham and Droitwich Canal Society as well as some new to volunteering on the canals including Jerry Kent who attended both days, and father and son team Tom and Matt, who enjoyed the Sunday. Local Councillor Tim Huxtable also joined the team for an hour on the Saturday and made a good job of clearing the drive.
Over twenty people assembled on the Saturday, and cleared the canal to the north of rubbish and various objects, and to the south past Bournville Station. On the Sunday, another ten people worked further south, removing mainly industrial rubbish as well as some clothes and plastic guttering. Rubber tyres of a wide range of sizes were removed, and the grappling hooks also found a couple of machines, bikes, shopping trolleys, and various pieces of 'road furniture' including barriers, concrete blocks and drain covers.
It was only discovered on the Saturday morning that the canal had been blocked off near Birmingham, so the boat organised by the CRT staff was not able to reach the site. This was a challenge as it resulted in not only a lack of boat transport but also no toilets! However, CRT quickly arranged for a lorry to be in attendance, and a nearby supermarket was visited perhaps more than usual to use the facilities!
The Bournville stretch of this canal is almost pristine in appearance, with recently laid cycleable towpath, nice hedges and cut grass. However, CRT might be in for some more work as 'rolling' the new surface sometimes damages brick copings which edge the canal - a whole line of which now slope down towards the water, suggesting that only small rollers should be used.
An interesting feature of the aqueduct over Bournville Lane was noticed when walking under - the concrete repair made after a war-time bomb struck and drained the canal, flooding neighbouring properties. Some photos of the damage were circulated by Jerry, who's 97 year old grandmother-in-law remembers the event.
The weather was not too bad in the end with only a couple of showers on the Saturday morning, clearing away in the afternoon, and none on the Sunday. Overall, it was a successful clean-up and a chance to welcome several newcomers to canal work parties, all of whom enjoyed their day.
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 to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
Northampton Branch - Endeavour - November 2014
South London and North & East London Branches - Meridian Cuttings - New Year 2015
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:
East Midlands Region - Aegre - November 2014
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.
3rd December Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
3rd December Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
6th December Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
6th December Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
6th-7th December Work Party Weekend - Chelmer & Blackwater (IWA Chelmsford Branch & Essex WRG)
7th December Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
10th December Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
10th December Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th December Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
16th December Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
17th December Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
18th December Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
20th December Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
20th December Work Party - Hyde, Lower Peak Forest Canal (IWA Manchester Branch)
3rd January Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
3rd January Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
6th January Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
7th January Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th January Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
14th January Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
14th January Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
15th January Work Party -Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
17th January Work Party - Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
21st January Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
23rd January Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
25th January Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
28th January Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
7th December Waterside Walk - The Olympics, Three Mills and Bow Back Rivers (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
1st January New Years Day Waterside Walk - Ashby Canal, Snarestone (IWA Lichfield Branch)
1st January Waterside Walk - King's Cross to St. Pancras (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
3rd January Waterside Walk - Wrexham (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch)
4th January Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal, Little Venice to Camden (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
18th January Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal, Islington to Hoxton (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
22nd January Waterside Walk - Little Neston (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
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