Photo: The Chesterfield Canal (courtesy of John Lower)
It seems a while since mid-November when IWA posted its first draft reply to HS2’s proposed routes from the West Midlands to Manchester and to Leeds. Thank you to those who took the time to read the document, and especially those who came back with comments, extra points and further information to change or reinforce what IWA was saying.
Despite the intervening Christmas and New Year break, the reply has been widely discussed with IWA’s own experts and with other organisations interested in the scheme and with a waterways related ‘mission’. People like the Ashby, Barnsley Dearne & Dove and Chesterfield Canal Trusts, marina owners and operators, Peel Holdings, and Canal & River Trust. With everyone working together, we can make a stronger aligned response and get a better deal for the waterways.
So, with a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has contributed, IWA’s response was sent during the last week of January. It has grown since it last appeared, and is now a better document making a clearer case for what HS2 needs to do to properly protect the inland waterways. It is a truly nationwide response, reflecting IWA’s strengths knowledge and capabilities. If you have a little time and interest, please take a look at what IWA has said in its response. Any comments welcome to the usual email - email@example.com.
Photo: WRG volunteer operating an excavator
The Inland Waterways Association’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) plans to purchase a new excavator in 2014.
WRG intends that the new 2.5 tonne excavator will play a key role in assisting its volunteers with waterway restoration work as well as allowing other waterway societies to undertake projects without the costs involved in commercial plant hire. To enable the excavator to be easily transported around the country WRG also plans to buy a new trailer. WRG aims to use the excavator to train the next generation of waterway navvies in the operation of a technical, but essential, piece of equipment.
In December 2013, WRG’s old JCB excavator Blue was donated to Buckingham Canal Society, after seventeen years of service to the waterway restoration movement. Although Blue was still going strong, it began to show signs of age and WRG decided that the excavator’s days of travelling around the country to different work sites should come to an end and that a replacement was required.
The new excavator, a trailer and other essential operational accessories (including a quick release hitch, buckets and vandal guards) are likely to cost around £30,000. The majority of this cost can be met by generous legacies already received from supporters but some further funding is needed and plans are in hand to raise this with a range of fundraising activities during 2014.
Mike Palmer, WRG Chairman, said “We were all very sad to see Blue go after so many years of service but our volunteers give their time freely and they deserve kit that is reliable and effective. It is time to find a new, modern excavator that will make waterway restoration work all the more efficient. Additionally the new model will be far more environmentally friendly with a low emission engine and use the latest eco oils. After Blue’s huge contribution to waterway restoration on many sites, the new excavator is expected to continue to make a difference all across the network for years to come”.
Photo: IWA desktop calendar for February 2014
The next time you are out and about by the waterways why not take a camera with you, if you upload your photographs onto our Flickr group page they could be chosen to go on our new monthly desktop calendar that anyone can download.
Each month there will be a different waterways theme for the calendar. Winners will have their photo featured in the desktop calendar and will receive a £5 voucher to spend at IWAshop.com. The deadline for entering photographs to the IWA Flickr group page is 3 days before the end of the month. Any photos entered will need to be a minimum of 1920 pixels x 1200 pixels. Winners will be announced on IWA's social media pages and in the IWA Bulletin. The desktop calendar will be available to download from IWA's website.
The theme for the March desktop calendar is 'Waterway activities', submit your photo by 26th February to be in with a chance of winning.
Photo: Neath & Tennant Canals (courtesy of John Pomfret)
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council is seeking comments for its Report of Deposit Representations. The report is a list of all submitted statements of support and objections to the Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP). IWA South Wales Branch has made substantial contributions to this document as have Neath & Tennant Canals Trust, Swansea Canal Society, Swansea Community Boat Trust, Canal & River Trust and many other interested organisations and individuals. The council will shortly decide on the final LDP, which will directly affect the ability of various parties to restore the Neath & Tennant and Swansea canals and to achieve the proposed 35-mile Regional Waterway integrating these canals with the River Tawe.
Further comments from individuals on the LDP are needed to support the branch’s and other canal groups’ contributions. Such submissions should clearly state that you support the alternative site and hence the protection of the canal route, before going into reasons why this protection is needed.
Links to the LDP, Register of Alternative Sites of January 2014 and the Report can be found at the Council's website. The deadline for submissions is 10th March 2014.
Photo: CRT Members of Restoration Team, with Vaughan Welch (courtesy of Canal & River Trust)
IWA's Restoration Committee and Canal & River Trust (CRT) have teamed up to provide help and support for waterway restoration schemes across England and Wales.
The new partnership has a national role to raise awareness of, and encourage broad support for canal and river restoration. The team aims to support groups, and provide information on restoration and best practice.
CRT's restoration team members are Jason Leach (Strategic Enterprise Manager), Julia Tinker (Restoration Co-ordinator) and Kate Langley (Restoration Assistant). They will work alongside Vaughan Welch and Geraint Coles from IWA's Restoration Committee. The team plans to invite local trusts and societies to a workshop on 10th May.
Waterways World and Canal & River Trust have announced the launch of the Annual Waterways Awards, recognising and promoting excellence in the inland boating industry and the waterways community.
The first Annual Awards will be presented in April 2014. The award categories will be in two broad groups of ‘industry’ and ‘waterways’, and are as follows:
(a) Industry Awards
(b) Waterways Awards
Each category will have a winner plus up to two highly commended awards subject to suitable standards being reached.
Nominations are encouraged from relevant businesses and organisations, and the widest number of submissions will be sought. The Awards are open to all organisations operating on non-tidal, inland waterways within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Organisations are asked to submit their own nominations but third parties are also encouraged to nominate deserving cases.
Nomination forms are available from the Awards web page, and can also be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Sue Stelfox on 01283 742960.
The Awards judging panel will comprise:
Les Etheridge, IWA national chairman; Mark Langley, Waterways World Technical Editor; Bobby Cowling, Waterways World editor; David Fuller, independent marine surveyor; Sarah Dhanda, Senior Federation Director BMF.
A sixth ‘panel member’ will be provided by means of a public vote. A shortlist of candidates in each category will be announced on the Awards website and the public will be encouraged to vote in each category from among the nominees. The results of that voting process will form the sixth panel member.
Photo: Barton Swing Bridge, Manchester Ship Canal (courtesy of Graham and Marilyn Speechley)
Warrington Council has called for talks with Peel Ports (owners of the Manchester Ship Canal Company) to discuss ways to reduce disruption to traffic in Warrington town centre caused by opening swing bridges on the Manchester Ship Canal to allow freight vessels to pass.
Container barge services on the Manchester Ship Canal rose from 3,000 in 2009 to 15,000 by 2012. Customers include Kellogg's, Princes Food and Kingsland Wine. In 2012, Peel Ports added a second crane at Irlam Container Terminal, upstream from Warrington.
The Council has requested Peel Ports to reduce vessel movements passing through the swing bridges around Warrington during peak travel periods. Proposals outline that no more than 20% of vessel movements through the swing bridges should take place at peak times, equating to no more than 150 such movements throughout the year. This would be expected to decrease to 15% in the next five years. The council states that Peel Ports has so far refused to agree to this.
Peel Ports was disappointed by the Council’s statement, saying that the company had been in discussions with the cabinet member for transportation as well as with other senior highways officials within the Council. Peel Ports claims it has already implemented a number of the Council’s suggested measures, including increasing the number of nighttime and off-peak sailings. Peel Ports also state that they have taken all the required actions to support an 'early warning' swing bridge alert system and is now waiting for implementation of the messaging on the signage and matrix warning infrastructure by Warrington Borough Council.
Other Council requests of Peel Ports include:
Photo: River Great Ouse, St Ives (courtesy of Tim Lewis)
The Environment Agency (EA) plans to move its web content from its own existing website www.environment-agency.gov.uk to www.gov.uk on 1st April 2014, this date may change. Once the content has been transferred to GOV.UK the existing website will close.
EA’s new homepage address on GOV.UK will be www.gov.uk/environment-agency. This homepage will not link to all Environment Agency content but a search via an internet search engine or the search function on GOV.UK should direct users to the relevant information. Any web pages saved as bookmarks or favourites in an internet browser should still work, with the user redirected to the same content at its new location.
EA has been working with Defra to simplify web pages and documents on boating and waterways before the information is added to GOV.UK. EA has asked for feedback to help guide this process; proposals can be viewed and comments submitted on Defra's website until 21st February 2014.
Government states that the development of a single government website, GOV.UK, should give customers simpler, clearer and faster access to government information and services. GOV.UK should also save money by reducing the number of publicly-funded government body websites.
Photo: Bridge by Somerton Deep Lock, Oxford Canal (courtesy of Carmen Smith)
English Heritage (EH) and Canal & River Trust (CRT) are to run a stakeholder consultation on the draft proposal for a new National Listed Building Consent Order. CRT, as owner of the third largest collection of listed structures in the UK, is to be involved with the pilot project. During this pilot scheme EH plans to give CRT a National Listed Building Consent Order so that CRT can carry out pre-determined conservation work to masonry hump back bridges and canal locks without having to gain local authority planning consent every time. This should allow CRT to carry out canal heritage repairs more quickly and efficiently.
Repair and maintenance works covered by the pilot CRT Consent Order are likely to include replacing lock gates, rebuilding damaged bridge parapets and carrying out occasional alterations in the interest of public safety. A pre-agreed schedule of works will be prepared as a part of the Consent Order.
The recent Thames floods have delayed work on the £4 million reconstruction of Whitchurch Toll Bridge.
The bridge is to be completely dismantled and rebuilt; it was originally thought that works would be finished by the end of April. This date has now been revised and it is expected that road traffic should be able to cross the bridge at the end of July; however, the river should be open to boats by the end of March.
To help contractors, Balfour Beatty, re-open the bridge as soon as possible, further limited night closure notices may be issued in the first two weeks of April.
Around 6,000 vehicles a day normally use the 112-year old bridge that links Whitchurch-on-Thames in Oxfordshire with Pangbourne in Berkshire.
Photo: Working Boat gathering at the Black Country Living Museum (courtesy of Tim Lewis)
Dudley Canal Trust’s plans to build a new visitor centre, The Portal, by the Dudley Canal Tunnel and Limestone Mines has received a million pound funding boost.
£1 million has been given to the project from the European Development Regional Fund. This latest grant can be added to the funding already secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£989,200), J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Wolfson Foundation, Dudley Canal Trust Trips Limited and the Dudley Canal Trust. Work on the centre and a bridge to link the site with the nearby Black Country Living Museum is expected to start this summer and take twelve months to complete at a cost of around £3million.
Photo: The Falkirk Wheel links the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals
The Scottish Government has announced it will contribute £500,000 towards the development of a new visitor centre near Falkirk, which is part of the Helix Project, a £43million redevelopment of the land between Falkirk and Grangemouth.
The visitor centre, expected to cost around £1.2million, is to be located by the new horse head sculptures, the Kelpies, in Falkirk. The Kelpies mark the entrance to the extension of the Forth & Clyde Canal that will take boaters to a new sea lock on the River Carron and out on to the Firth of Forth. The lock, basin and Kelpies Hub (with facilities for boaters) are expected to open in Spring 2014 and the visitor centre in the Summer.
The Glasgow Arm of the Forth & Clyde Canal is also to benefit from new funding, with £450,000 awarded for improvements to the Pinkston Paddlesports complex in Port Dundas. The complex has been designed to meet the correct criteria to become Scotland's first competition standard paddlesports centre.
The Oxford Canal Heritage Project was launched following a Heritage Lottery Grant awarded in March 2013. Managed by the Jericho Living Heritage Trust, the Oxford Canal Heritage Project works with local communities to raise the profile of the Oxford Canal from Duke’s Cut to Hythe Bridge Street.
In advance of an all-day celebratory event in Oxford on May 3rd, two competitions have been announced:
Oxford Canal Radio Playwriting Competition, to be mentored by Mark Haddon, Paul Rutman, and Katie Baxendale, and judged by Philip Pullman. Closing date Monday 24th February.
Art Competition for all ages. Closing date Sunday 16th March.
Full details of how to enter are available at the new Oxford Canal Heritage website.
Additionally, on Sunday 27th April, there will be a free talk on the history of the canal in Oxford, told through works of art (as an Oxfordshire Artweeks Preview) at the Jam Factory, St Frideswide's Square, Oxford.
Swansea Canal Society was awarded the Bernard Jones Memorial Award at the 2013 Tidy Wales Awards on 22nd January 2014. The Society was given the award in recognition of the work it had undertaken during 2013 to improve the Swansea Canal.
The Tidy Wales Awards were set up over twenty years ago to recognise the efforts of volunteer groups who work to restore and improve their local environment and communities.
The Wey and Arun Canal Trust has announced that Peter Flatter will take on the role of Vice President of the Trust.
Peter has worked with the Trust over many years to help the organisation achieve its restoration aims and benefit the local environment. In his new role, he will support the work of Trust President, Lord Egremont, and work with its other Vice Presidents, who include Peter Beresford, David Fletcher, Nick Herbert, Francis Maude, Paul Vine and John Wood.
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 they have been undertaking.
Photo: Volunteers work on Lock 63 of the Cheshire Lock flight (courtesy of Steve Wood)
IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and the Trent & Mersey Canal Society met on Saturday 18th January for a further work party at Malkins Bank on the Cheshire Lock flight of the Trent & Mersey Canal.
It was a mild day, but the threat of rain prevented any painting being carried out. Instead, the team concentrated on exposing the cobbles at Malkins Bank locks 63 & 64. All eight bottom gate quadrants (both locks being paired) were exposed, although there is more work to be done on the towpath ramp below lock 64 at the next work party, due to take place on Tuesday 18th February.
Work parties on the River Gipping happen on a weekly basis, organised by the River Gipping Trust (RGT) and supported by IWA Ipswich Branch. This Autumn the volunteers were once again blessed with a run of decent weather which lasted right up to the storm at the end of October. Since then the persistence of cold and damp weather has slowed the group down a bit and caused them to call a very early halt to one session at Pipps Ford.
However, the timber for the bridge at Pipps Ford was milled at the end of October, and the members of the work party meeting at White House Farm have been able to make significant progress undercover, while the Pipps Ford group have had to deal with the weather and the aftereffects of the storms.
The volunteers are near completing the first of the two side frames for the bridge and have prepared the laminations for the four curved bearers. The work party used remarkable wood glue that set in minutes in spite of the very low temperature.
Away from the farm, the regular work party have been completing the replacement of the earth fill behind the new bridge abutments at Pipps Ford, so that the fill has time to settle before the bridge components are fitted into place. One of the next jobs will be to prepare moulds and cast new coping stones for the abutments. The stones will then be put in place once the bridge is in position.
Luckily, the October storm came and went without causing any structural damage to any of our active sites, though we had to clear fallen trees from the lock site at Baylham, and we are aware of a number of other sites where trees have been weakened and are leaning over the river.
Sadly for RGT and Ipswich Branch one of their regular members, Don Brazinski, attended his last work party in November, and has now returned to his native America after 41 years in the UK. The Trust and branch would like to thank Don for all of his support over the years.
The work parties will continue through the winter, and be split between White House Farm, Baylham and Pipps Ford. For the moment, our first Saturday of the month work party will take place at White House Farm.
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 Spring 2014 edition of Waterways is now available to view online.
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch - Worcester Bar - Winter 2013/14
East Yorkshire Branch - Wolds Waters - January 2014
Northampton Branch - Endeavour - February 2014
South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch - Keels & Cuckoos - February 2014
Middlesex Branch - Middlesex Matters - Spring 2014
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:
Major IWA events in 2014
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 - 7th September 2014 - Maesbury Canal Festival (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.
5th February Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
5th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th - 9th February Work Party Weekend - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (supported by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
9th February Stoke-on-Trent Canal Clean-up (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
12th February Work Party - Kidderminster (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
12th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
14th February Work Party at St Augustine's Field, Rugeley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
15th February Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
18th February Work Party - Malkins Bank (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
19th February Work Party - River Gipping (IWA Ipswich Branch)
20th February Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd February Work Party - Hyde (IWA Manchester Branch)
22nd February Work Party at Leathermill Lane, Rugeley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
23rd February Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
26th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
1st March Work Party - Dee Branch, Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
1st March Work Party - Firepool Lock (IWA West Country Branch)
1st March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
1st - 2nd March Work Party Weekend - Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (IWA Chelmsford Branch)
3rd March Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
5th March Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
5th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th - 9th March Work Party Weekend - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (supported by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
9th March Warwick Canal Clean-up (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
12th March Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
12th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
13th March Vegetation Clearance - Caldon Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
15th March Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
15th March Painting & Vegetation Clearance - Work Party, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
19th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
20th March Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd March Work Party - Hyde (IWA Manchester Branch)
26th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
28th March Erewash Canal Clean-Up (supported by IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch)
29th March Erewash Canal Clean-Up (IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch)
30th March Bi-Annual Canal Clean-up - Tinsley (IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch)
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
16th February Walk - Napton Bridge (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
16th February London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
2nd March London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
4th March Walk at Alvecote, Warwickshire (IWA Lichfield Branch)
16th March London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
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
IWA's February 2014 Bulletin newsletter is available to read in an alternative format.
Read online (via Issuu)