IWA Bulletin February 2015

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WRG Launches its 2015 Canal Camps

WRG volunteers at work

IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) has launched its Canal Camps schedule for 2015. This year WRG has planned twenty-seven Canal Camps on twelve different canal restoration projects and the schedule is full of great chances for volunteers to have a go at a variety of restoration activities from restoring a lock chamber to digging out a new section of canal.

WRG’s Canal Camps are working holidays that offer a wide range of opportunities for volunteers to learn new skills, from brick laying to operating an excavator, as they restore derelict waterways across England and Wales. Volunteers can enjoy a week away in the great outdoors whilst contributing to the restoration of parts of Britain’s industrial heritage.  

Mike Palmer, WRG Chairman said 'Volunteers are vital to organisations like WRG, without them we simply wouldn’t exist. It still amazes me how much our volunteers can achieve in a week … from clearing mud from a lock chamber to resurfacing a mile of towpath or even rebuilding a bridge parapet. This year we have a busy summer planned – visiting four new canal restoration sites and returning to some old favourites.

Canal Camps are planned throughout the summer and each costs £56 for the week. A full list of Canal Camps is available at WRG’s website and the 2015 Canal Camps Brochure can be read via Issuu or downloaded as a PDF (4.4MB).

IWA News

IWA Responds to CRT’s Proposal to Install Railings on Marple Aqueduct

Marple Aqueduct (photo by Tony Kozary)Photo: Marple Aqueduct (photo by Tony Kozary)

IWA has recently responded to Canal & River Trust’s (CRT) Manchester & Pennine Waterway’s consultation on a proposal to install railings along the offside parapet of Marple Aqueduct as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy project.

IWA is opposed to the installation of railings on the offside of Marple Aqueduct for the following reasons:

  • Railings may encourage trespass into an area that would otherwise be considered out of bounds.
  • The aqueduct is a Grade 1 Listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument and there is no historic evidence that it ever had railings.
  • The national implications of these proposals, in particular the precedent this would set for other similar aqueducts on the canal network.  

IWA’s response also raised a number of points relating to the new safety hazard that would be created by installation of railings, and whether safety concerns could be better dealt with by improved signage such as that in use at Chirk Aqueduct.  

Download and read IWA’s full response (PDF, 526KB).

Update on the Elvington Lock Campaign

Unable to reach its home mooring, this boat waits below Elvington Lock until the lock is repairedPhoto: Unable to reach its home mooring, this boat waits below Elvington Lock until the lock is repaired

IWA has been involved with further meetings and discussions that have taken place about the current closure of Elvington Lock on the River Derwent, following the Environment Agency’s (EA) decision to close the lock in February 2014 due to concerns about the structural integrity of the guillotine top gate. IWA was concerned at the loss of a six-mile stretch of the connected inland waterway network, which has left a number of boats stranded upstream, and instigated discussions in order to get the lock brought back into use.  

IWA representatives have held further meetings with EA and other interested parties and have now had sight of the structural survey on the lock, which identifies what repairs are required. IWA is pleased to be able to report that EA has agreed, in principle, to progress initial repairs to the guillotine top gate, subject to IWA developing a proposal to repair or replace the wooden mitre gates at the downstream end of the lock. Discussions continue with the owners of the bottom gates in order to find a suitable way forward.  

For further background information download and read IWA’s position paper (PDF, 1.2MB).

Order Placed for New Waterway Recovery Group Excavator

Excavator trialed by WRG volunteers at 2014 training dayPhoto: Excavator trialled by WRG volunteers at 2014 training day

IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) is pleased to announce that it has placed an order for a new 2.7 tonne Volvo excavator. This follows a successful appeal in 2014 that raised nearly £20,000 to fund the new purchase.

With a busy 2015 planned that includes WRG’s Training Weekend on the Chesterfield Canal, potential outings for WRG’s  ‘Drive a Digger’ publicity stand, and a number of Canal Camps, WRG hopes to have the excavator in place by spring so it is ready for use this summer. WRG has also purchased a new trailer so that the excavator can be easily transported around the country to where it is needed most. This will enable other waterway societies to also make use of the excavator, and save on the costs involved in commercial plant hire.  

WRG would like to thank everyone who donated money towards the cost.

Waterway Restoration Workshop 2015

IWA and Canal & River Trust have announced the details of their restoration workshop for 2015. This next event in a series of workshops aimed to provide support for waterway restoration projects is titled 'Getting it on the Map' and will focus on how to safeguard the line of canals under restoration.

The aim of the workshop is to ensure that local waterways societies and trusts have more support and information to assist in the development of their schemes and is an opportunity for those passionate about waterway restoration to come together and share and discuss ideas.

The free workshop is scheduled to take place at The Bond in Birmingham on Saturday 25th April 2015. Full details and booking information are available at IWA’s website.

Dutch Lifeboat Crosses North Sea to visit Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

Dutch Lifeboat NH 1816 enters sea lock on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (photo by Roy Chandler)Photo: Dutch lifeboat NH 1816 enters sea lock on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (photo by Roy Chandler)

IWA’s Essex Waterways Ltd. was pleased to welcome Dutch lifeboat NH 1816 to the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in January. The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) lifeboat crossed the North Sea to visit Servowatch Systems, which is based at Heybridge Basin on the Navigation.

KNRM made the journey to present Servowatch Systems with a statue of the 'Bronze Rescuer' as a sign of gratitude for the specialist work Servowatch Systems undertook as part of the development of the new lifeboat, which won the KNVTS Ship of the Year Award in November 2014.

The vessel stayed overnight in Heybridge Basin and after the award presentation in the Jolly Sailor, demonstration trips were provided for the invited guests before the boat returned to Holland.

More information about the visit and NH 1816 is available at Servowatch Systems website.

Walk for WRG

Two WRG Vans

There is still time to sign-up to take part in IWA’s sponsored walk and help raise funds for IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG).

The eight-mile sponsored walk aims to raise at least £1,000 towards the £50,000 WRG van appeal, which will be launched later this year.

The route will take participants along the Stratford-upon-Avon and Grand Union canals in Warwickshire, offering walkers the chance to enjoy a beautiful area of the country whilst raising funds for WRG.

The walk is set to take place on 22nd February, so there are only three weeks left to book your place. Places are £5 per person and under 16s go free (under 18s must be accompanied by an adult), after which it is over to you to raise as much sponsorship as possible.

For more information and to book your place, visit IWA’s website or call 01494 783 453 ext. 611.

IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch Commissions Liverpool Canal Link Plaques

IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch has commissioned a plaque for boaters who cruise the Liverpool Canal Link and also has Transpennine Plaques available for boats that travel between Eldonian Village, Liverpool and Office Lock, Leeds during a calendar year.

If boaters would like to purchase either plaque, they should provide the Branch with proof of passage. For the Liverpool Canal Link plaque, which costs £7, a photo of your boat in Salthouse Dock should be provided along with payment. For the plaque for boaters that travel between Eldonian Village and Office Lock, which costs £6, copies of the relevant boat log and/or photographic evidence should be provided, again with payment.

Details of how to purchase the plaques are available on the branch’s webpages.

IWA Calendar Competition Extension

Calendar Competition 2015 - a selection of entries

We would like to apologise to anyone who experienced a problem submitting photos for the calendar competition on Saturday 31st January. There were some technical problems affecting the submission email address and Flickr. Because of this we have extended the competition deadline to Wednesday 4th February. For more information and to submit photos visit IWA's website.

IWA Events Committee Vacancy

IWA Events Committee seeks a volunteer to fill a vacancy on the committee as Event Administrator. The role includes, amongst other tasks, liaising with local authorities, producing event manuals and other documentation and on-site administration. Anyone who is interested should contact IWA Events Committee chairman, John Butler at john.butler@waterways.org.uk

Other News

Boat Safety Scheme Warns Boaters Against the Use of Damp Fuel in Stoves

Grand Union, Lower Shuckburgh, warming up on a chilly morning - Carmen SmithPhoto: Grand Union, Lower Shuckburgh, warming up on a chilly morning (photo by Carmen Smith)

The Boat Safety Scheme has issued a warning to boaters, that the use of damp wood and logs in stoves could put them at risk of increased costs, stove damage and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Damp fuel will cause stoves to run at a lower temperature as the heat of the fire produces steam and hence the stove requires more fuel to keep the boat warm. The steam dissolves-out flammable, acidic tars, which will cling to, block and damage the stove and its chimney. Damaged stove installations are more likely to leak combustion gases into the cabin space, and because of incomplete combustion as the fuel is damp, those gases are more likely to contain carbon monoxide. Stove flues lined with tar could also lead to a chimney fire. It is therefore crucial that wood fuel is kept in a dry, well-ventilated area.

More information on the dangers of damp fuel and how to check wood is suitable for burning is available on IWA's website.

Next Generation Waterway Support

Volunteers of all ages suppoting IWA's Himalayn Balsam campaign, 2014Photo: Volunteers of all ages suppoting IWA's Himalayn Balsam campaign, 2014

Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society and Canal & River Trust (CRT) have announced details of a conference for waterways societies, trusts and organisations, that will aim to investigate next generation waterway support and where it will come from.

The conference has been designed for anyone who is keen to insure sustained membership growth of their organisation and long term support of the waterways, as well as making membership of their society attractive to the oldest supporter through to the younger generations.

The event is intended to be an informal learning opportunity for all and hopes to provide inspiration, ideas and prompts for innovation.

The free event is planned for 21st March at the Bond Conference venue in Birmingham. For more details or to book a place contact CRT Customer Service Co-ordinator, Sarina Young at sarina.young@canalrivertrust.org.uk or on 01636 675740.

2015 Living Waterways Awards Open for Entries

Canal & River Trust (CRT) has launched the 2015 Living Waterways Awards, which aim to recognise the most inspiring and exciting waterway-based projects across the UK.  
Led by an independent panel of experts, the Living Waterways Awards celebrates the work done by individuals, communities and organisations to improve canals and rivers.  
There are seven award categories that projects can enter:

  • Art & Interpretation
  • Contribution to the Built Environment
  • Community & Volunteering
  • Education & Learning
  • Natural Environment
  • Recreation & Tourism
  • Restoration & Historic Environment

The closing date for entries is Friday 13th March 2015 and winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in October 2015.

More information about the awards and how to enter is available at CRT’s website.

Read about the 2014 finalists, including IWA's WRG, which was commended in the Community & Volunteering sector for its Building Bridges Project.

Chesterfield Canal Trust Receives a Further Grant for Python

Python at Paul Barber's boatyard by Jan WarsopPhoto: Python at Paul Barber's boatyard (photo by Jan Warsop)

Chesterfield Canal Trust (CCT) has received a further grant of £1000 from National Historic Ships UK towards the restoration of the Trust’s historic working boat Python.

CCT plans to use the £1000, alongside a grant awarded by IWA last year, to fund major works needed to preserve the integrity of Python, which cannot operate in its current condition. Python is used by CCT as a publicity vehicle to promote the work of the Trust and engage with the wider public.

Waterway Restoration Photography Competition Launched

‘Lost Wonders of the Waterways World’ has been announced as the theme for Canal & River Trust’s (CRT) photography competition launched, in partnership with IWA, at the end of January.

The competition is asking for photographs of derelict or unrestored waterways that capture the feeling of lost waterways.
The deadline for submissions is Friday 10th April 2015. The winning entry, to be announced in May, will win vouchers worth £500, and two runners up will each be awarded vouchers worth £250.

More information and details of how to enter are available at CRT’s website.

New Series Barging Round Britain Starts This Month

A new TV series, Barging Round Britain, that follows John Sergeant on journeys along a selection of Britain’s canals, starts with a look at the Leeds & Liverpool Canal on Friday 13th February at 8pm on ITV. More information and a preview of the first episode is available at ITV’s website.

IWA & WRG Work Party Reports

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.

IWA West Country Branch Volunteers Complete Training

Volunteers build a dead hedge from cleared vegetation at IWA West Country Branch Work Party (photo by Mike Slade)Photo: Volunteers build a dead hedge from cleared vegetation at IWA West Country Branch work party (photo by Mike Slade)

IWA West Country Branch has had a great start to the year on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal. On 24th January, twelve volunteers with the Branch turned out for a training and vegetation clearance session at Bathpool.

The volunteers were divided into two groups. One cleared excess vegetation growth and used this to make a dead hedge for the benefit of the local wildlife. Whilst the second group of six volunteers were trained by Canal & River Trust staff and successfully gained accreditation in the safe use of various power tools.

Over fifty volunteer hours were given by the group and two new volunteers were welcomed to the team. All in all the Branch was pleased with a very successful day!

IWA Volunteering Opportunities

IWA Branch Volunteer Vacancies:

Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches.

Waterways Magazine

The Spring 2015 edition of IWA's Waterways Magazine is now available to read online.

Read online
PDF version (10.6 mb)

IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:

Chiltern Branch - Grapevine - January 2015

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:

South West Region - Sou'Wester - January 2015

Chelmsford Branch - Chelmsford Branch Newsletter - January 2015
Lancashire & Cumbria Branch - Towing Path Topics - January 2015

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2015

2nd - 4th May 2015 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
30th - 31st May 2015 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Cumbria
29th - 31st August 2015 - Festival of Water, Northampton

IWA Fundraising Events in 2015

22nd February 2015 - IWAlk, West Midlands

IWA Branch Events in 2015

3rd - 5th July 2015 - Ware Boat Festival, Hertfordshire
4th - 5th July 2015 - Welsh Waterways Festival, Welshpool, Mid-Wales

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.

See IWA's Events Calendar for a full list of waterway events. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.

Upcoming Volunteer/Clean-up Events

4th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th February Work Party - Stoke on Trent (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
10th February Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
11th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th February Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
12th February Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
18th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th February Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
21st February Work Party - Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
22nd February Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
25th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
27th February Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)

1st March Work Party - Leamington Spa (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
3rd March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
4th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th March Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
12th March Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
18th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th March Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
20th-23rd March Work Party - Rugeley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
21st March Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
22nd March Work Party - Hatton (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd March Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
24th March Work Party - Burslem Arm (supported by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
25th March Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
27th March Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
28th March Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
29th March Work Party - Sheffield & Tinsley Canal (IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries)

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar

Upcoming Towpath Walks

15th February Waterside Walk - The Olympics, Three Mills and Bow Backs Rivers (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

1st March Waterside Walk - Regent's Park, River Tyburn, Regent's Canal, Little Venice (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
3rd March Waterside Walk - Fradley Junction (IWA Lichfield Branch)
4th March Waterside Walk - River Foss (River Foss Society)
15th March Waterside Walk - Limehouse, Thames, Docklands (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
18th March Waterside Walk - Stratford Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)

To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:

  • ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • Airedale Cruising - 10% Discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - Five issues for £5
  • CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
  • Forge Studio - 10% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • King's Lock Chandlery - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Marine Megastore Ltd. - 15% discount
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Paper Wizard - 15% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - Up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard 
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd - 10% discount on published prices
  • Zead - Free postage and accessories

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

Boat Insurance

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

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Stefanie Preston