IWA Bulletin January 2015

Quicklinks: IWA News / Other NewsWork Parties / Events

Top Story 

IWA Awards Grant of £15,000 to Chesterfield Canal Trust

Historic Narrowboat Python (photo by Chesterfield Canal Trust)

Photo: Historic Narrowboat Python (photo by Chesterfield Canal Trust)

IWA was pleased to announce that it has awarded a grant of £15,000 to Chesterfield Canal Trust, to help fund the restoration of narrowboat Python.

The grant has come from the Keith Ayling Bequest. Keith Ayling  was a former long-standing chairman of Chesterfield Canal Trust and the purchase of Python was his last project for the Trust.

Major works are needed to preserve the integrity of the historic narrowboat, owned by Chesterfield Canal Trust, which cannot operate in its current condition. Python is used by the Trust as a publicity vehicle to promote the work of the Trust (the volunteer crew engages with members of the public and boat owners at canalside events), and to help maintain the Chesterfield Canal (e.g. volunteers have used the boat to help clear offside vegetation). Further volunteer activities were planned but have been postponed until the necessary works can be carried out.

To fund these works Chesterfield Canal Trust applied for a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund in 2014; the Trust also planned to use any money awarded to equip the boat with interpretation materials about its history. Despite support from many, including IWA and Canal & River Trust (CRT), the application was unsuccessful and the project stalled, with Python remaining out of service.

However, although IWA does not normally make grants for the restoration of individual vessels, it considers the Trust’s project to be of significance in engaging the public with the waterways, so has agreed to make a grant from the Keith Ayling Bequest to help fund the work. A total of £15,000 will be given to Chesterfield Canal Trust to fund the essential work on Python.

Gordon Harrower, IWA National Treasurer, said "IWA is pleased to be able to support the restoration of Python, and the Finance Committee believe that this is a fitting use of the Ayling Bequest. Keith was passionate about the Chesterfield Canal, and Python was the last project in which he was involved. This project will help to continue the great work of the Trust and Python, which engages the wider public with and enables everyone to enjoy our waterways."

Robin Stonebridge, Chair of Chesterfield Canal Trust, said "Keith Ayling would be thrilled that Python is being given a new lease of life to promote the waterways he loved, and attract more people to the pleasure of using our waterways. Hundreds of people have taken Python to their hearts over the last few years, and she has been sorely missed at events over the last year. The support from IWA is a tremendous boost to getting her up and running again, and we intend to keep her busy for many years to come. The crew who have spent so much time restoring Python are eager to ensure she is up and running in 2015."

The Trust is currently developing a plan for the restoration and preservation of Python to ensure her long-term future is secured. This will enable Python and Chesterfield Canal Trust volunteers to continue to engage with the public and contribute to the maintenance of the Chesterfield Canal. The Trust also hopes to include interpretation of Python’s history and the development of ways to share this with the public in the project.

IWA News

HS2 Phase 2 Fradley to Crewe - ‘Safeguarding’ Consultation

Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley (copyright Waterway Images, Harry Arnold)Photo: Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley (copyright Waterway Images, Harry Arnold)

In November 2014, HS2 Ltd issued on behalf of the Department for Transport, a consultation on the Secretary of State’s proposal to put in place ‘Safeguarding’ of the current route for part of the Phase 2 Birmingham to Manchester arm. This consultation closed on 6th January, and IWA has made a response. The section runs from Fradley to Crewe, and affects the now single viaduct crossing of the Trent & Mersey Canal above Shade House Lock and the crossing above Great Haywood around the marina entrance some 650m north of Great Haywood Junction. At Fradley, the ‘Safeguarding’ maps show the ‘original’ route as the base, whereas the announced route changes (September 2014) may require the Phase 2 crossing to move slightly. At Great Haywood Marina, the ‘Safeguarding’ maps include the marina entrance and a section of berths north of the east-west running route, as well as car parking and environmental planting to the north of the marina.

The section of route covered by the consultation is that first suggested by Sir David Higgins (Chair of HS2 Ltd) in his initial review of the project in March 2014. His "HS2 Plus" report recommended that the line from Birmingham to a new regional transport hub at Crewe be constructed by 2027, six years earlier than planned. This was intended to integrate road and rail services for the region as a whole, delivering faster services more quickly to Manchester, the North West and on to Scotland. The Secretary of State asked HS2 Ltd to include this proposal in its work on the consultation responses he had invited to the Preferred Phase 2 Routes which closed on 31st January 2014.

Sir David Higgins produced a second report, "Rebalancing Britain" on 27th October 2014, in which he reiterated this proposal, and set out others to improve east-west connectivity from Liverpool to Hull, in the form of a ‘Northern Strategy’ for transport.

As a result of these reports and support from cities in the region for the acceleration of this section of the route, the Secretary of State stated he "considers the material is sufficiently persuasive in favour of an onward connection from Phase One through Crewe. It is therefore appropriate to consult on issuing safeguarding directions for that part of the route now".

‘Safeguarding’ here is a process which, if approved, will require local authorities with planning responsibilities on this section of route (designated on detailed plans accompanying the Safeguarding Consultation) to consult with HS2 Ltd when considering conflicting developments within the safeguarded corridor. Basically, it should ensure that no new development goes ahead, which will increase the difficulty of constructing this section, and also trigger certain compensation-type options for landowners under ‘statutory blight’ from HS2’s development.  

IWA’s response is one mainly of principle. The Secretary of State’s Department for Transport has been considering the Phase 2 responses for 11 months without coming to any public conclusion across the whole route. It would be much better and more transparent for all affected if the Phase 2 route had been confirmed first rather than (as here) a section is being ‘safeguarded’ before the route itself is clear. As the consultation document itself states (Section 2.1.14), "further work will be required to finalise the Phase Two route to enable the Government to make a decision, and this work may include further changes to this element of the route corridor in the light of further development" – potentially meaning the safeguarding could be in the wrong place, development could be prevented unnecessarily and equally allowed to go ahead on the final confirmed route. IWA’s own Phase 2 Preferred Route response suggested changes to the route at both waterway impacted sites, on which no feedback has been received.

IWA concludes the Phase 2 route consultation response may be delayed for political rather than practical reasons. This means individuals, organisations and businesses may suffer additional upheaval and impact unnecessarily as a result of opting for ‘Safeguarding’ now rather than after the route had been confirmed, as was the case for Phase 1.

Download IWA's HS2 Crewe - Fradley Safeguarding Consultation Response (PDF, 249KB).

Download IWA’s 31st January 2014 Response to the whole Phase 2 Route Consultation.

IWA Responds to CRT Consultation on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

CRT has launched a consultation on proposals to change the way it manages the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from Hancock’s Swing Bridge to Stanley Locks.

CRT’s proposals are that:

  • The area between Hancock’s and Stanley Top Lock will have freedom of movement for all boats wishing to visit
  • Staff and volunteers will continue to operate Hancock’s bridge and Netherton Bridge. Hancock’s bridge will continue be opened between 9-10am and 2-3pm as the agreement with the local authority
  • Passages will start from Stanley Top Lock (rather than Hancock’s bridge)
  • Boats booking a passage into the dock will be able to enter and leave on any operational day subject to a pontoon being available
  • Pontoon bookings will be available for seven nights will be without charge, additional nights will be charged at £20
  • Booking on line should be available from April 2015 and will be for the next three seasons so boaters can book in advance
  • A limit will be put on block bookings (six boats), parties with more than six boats will need to contact the office for authorisation
  • No shows or cancellations within five days of travel will be charged at £20
  • We seek feedback on the non-operational day(s) this could remain as Tuesday, or move to Saturday or be Saturday and Sunday


IWA has responded to the consultation and, overall, welcomed the revised proposals to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal access and Liverpool Link booking policy. This is in line with IWA’s view that access to the Leeds & Liverpool canal for boaters and other canal users should be open and unrestricted throughout its entire length. Therefore, the proposal to remove the existing restrictions and allow freedom of movements for all boats from Hancock's Bridge 6 to the Liverpool terminus at Eldonian Village is a welcome policy change supported by IWA.

The revised plans to start and finish Liverpool Link transits at Stanley Locks is also a welcome development as IWA believes that this historic canal feature will become a popular attraction for the area with boaters and community volunteers working together to highlight the value of this previously under-appreciated waterways landmark.

IWA will actively support development of short and longer term moorings at Eldonian Village and Vauxhall Canalside Park, which combined with an improved winding facility at the canal terminus will greatly enhance the area. IWA suggests a partnership approach involving the Eldonian and Riverside Housing Associations as a good way forward to establish the commercial viability of such an urban marina development.

IWA believes that increasing the capacity for boats wishing to visit Liverpool Salthouse Dock is important. The current situation with three 'incoming' days and three 'outgoing' days effectively limits the capacity to thirty boats transits per week. This has led to many disappointed boaters unable to make the journey during peak periods. The new proposal, if extended to six operational days supporting both 'incoming' and 'outgoing' periods will increase the link transit capacity to thirty-six boats per week which is good news.

However, IWA has identified some specific issues. These include:

  • A proposed £5 charge for those who choose to make bookings via the telephone rather than through the online system, IWA does not support this as it is a move that would increase the cost of boating above inflation rates.
  • A proposed reduction in the duration of free moorings from fourteen days to seven days at Salthouse Dock, this is not supported by IWA but the Association suggested a non-return policy could be considered instead.


For further information email enquries.nothwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk. The consultation closes on Friday 9th January.

IWA Responds to Consultation on Maritime & Coastguard Agency Safety Management Code 

IWA recently responded to the public consultation on the Safety Management Code For Domestic Passenger Ships of Classes III to VI(A) and Domestic Passenger High Speed Craft, which includes passenger trip boats on canals and rivers.

In summary, IWA’s response expressed support for all proposals to reduce Domestic Safety Management Regulations in line with the Government’s Red Tape Challenge. This took into account reports received from IWA members, where the main concern was the charges made by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCGA) for the cost of its engineers and inspectors. It was thought that MCGA made too frequent trips to inspect boats that members felt presented little danger to the public. IWA expressed the opinion that since the new MCGA regulations were started in 2001 boats particularly on canals and inland rivers have been shown to be safe and well managed.   

IWA also presented its concerns that the frequency of lift out or dry docking seemed excessive for canal boats compared with sea going vessels, when the depth of water (usually Class A), the speed of the boat and the distance travelled each day is taken into consideration. Particular concern was held for boaters on canals with no access to dry docks or boat yards. In these instances the only method of an underwater examination is by craning, which can be very expensive, particularly when a large mobile crane is required. In such cases IWA called for less frequent 'out of water' surveys to be considered.  

Update from Essex Waterways Ltd

Paper Mill Lock, Chelmer & Blackwater NavigationPhoto: Paper Mill Lock, Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

IWA's Essex Waterways Ltd, which manages the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, has published its latest update for boaters on the waterway, which includes reports on the progress of work along the navigation, notes on mooring fees and the Helmsman School as well as other announcements. Key points are summarised here and the full newsletter can be viewed on the Essex Waterways pages.

Essex Waterways increased all mooring fees and other charges by 1.5% on 1st January 2015, other than the single day fees for canoes and other unpowered small craft, which remain at £5. The visitor rates at Heybridge Basin had also risen by slightly different percentages to keep sums to round amounts for ease of cash payments.

Essex Waterways Helmsman’s School will not operate during 2015, as Hugh Turner has decided to relinquish the post of instructor. 

A number of works have progressed and more are planned on the Navigation:

  • Renewal of the foot boards, on which boaters stand to wind the paddles, at every lock is due to be complete by the end of January.
  • Work on the new Sandford toilet block has progressed well. With the help of volunteers, the majority of the slates were on the roof, the doors were on and the next jobs are the floor and the electrics.
  • The two new major sewer pipeline crossings beneath the Navigation are almost complete. These are sited above Cuton Lock and below Rushes Lock. Navigation bank works have been undertaken above Rushes lock in conjunction with the crossing.
  • The work that had been planned with Essex Wildlife Trust between Papermill Lock and Little Baddow on the towpath had to be postponed due to bad weather and difficulty of access.
  • Work at Waterfront Place, Springfield Basin, is well underway and the demolition od adjoining premises has been completed. Work to build new homes and re-build the wharf walls is likely to continue well into 2015, but should result in much better moorings including electric from service bollards. There are further wharf wall repairs required at Cressy Court and these should happen before spring.
  • Bank piling repairs above Hoe Mill Lock are due to commence in February. This should be followed by lock cill repairs at Little Baddow and Paper Mill Lock.
  • The rebuilding of the A138 Chelmer Viaduct over the navigation in Chelmsford (the former A12) is intended to commence in February. Discussions with the Highways Agency's contractor with regard to any restrictions to navigation during these works are taking place.

IWA National Award Nominations

IWA Award Winners 2014 (copyrigth Waterway Images)Photo: IWA Award Winners 2014 (copyright Waterway Images)

IWA is looking for nominations for its annual National Awards.
 
Nominations are invited from members, branches and regions and should be emailed to awards@waterways.org.uk by 31st March 2015. Nominations should state which award is appropriate and how the nominee's contribution relates to the award criteria.

The names and contact details of the nominator and nominee should also be provided.
 
The award categories are as follows:

  • Cyril Styring Trophy - For an IWA member who has, in the opinion of trustees, made an outstanding contribution in further the Association's campaign.  This is the Association's premier award.
  • John Heap Salver - For an IWA member who, in the opinion of the trustees, has made an outstanding contribution to raising funds for the Association.
  • Richard Bird Medal - For members of the Association whose efforts and support are considered to have brought significant benefit to the Association over a sustained period.
  • Christopher Power Prize - For a person, society or trust who has made the most significant contribution to the restoration of an inland waterway.
  • Vivian Bulkeley-Johnson Salt - For the person or organisation who, in the opinion of trustees, upon a recommendation from IWA's Inland Waterways Freight Group, has made an outstanding contribution to the furtherance of commercial waterways transport in the United Kingdom.


Award nominations will be considered by an Awards Panel nominated by trustees, and recommendations made to trustees for final approval.
 
Find out more about each award and the winners from previous years.

Last Chance to Buy Tickets for IWA’s Waterways Restoration Raffle

Raffle Pie Chart - December 2014Image: Pie chart illustrating the number of nominations various projects have received as part of IWA's Waterways Restoration Raffle

To date, IWA's Waterways Restoration Raffle has raised over £13,000 towards waterways restoration projects across England and Wales. The raffle closes on Monday 12th January so this is your last chance to buy tickets and be in with a chance of winning one of the fantastic prizes on offer.

All profits will be donated to restoration projects run by IWA corporate members and an IWA volunteer-led moorings improvement project on the Cheshire Ring. The amount of money each project receives will depend on the amount of nominations they received during the raffle.

The raffle prizes include:

  • 1st prize - a two-week boating holiday with Middlewich Narrowboats, worth up to £1,700
  • 2nd prize - a one-week boating holiday with Wyvern Shipping, worth £800 - £1,500
  • 3rd prize - a two-night boating break for at least two people with Cambrian Cruisers, worth £559


Tickets are £2 each, come in books of five and can be purchased from IWA’s website or by phoning Toby Gomm on 01494 783 453 ext.611.

The draw will take place on Friday 16th January.

More information is available at IWA’s website or from raffle organiser Toby Gomm at toby.gomm@waterways.org.uk or on 01494 783453 ext. 611.

About People

Eric Young

IWA is saddened to report the death of Eric Young, who passed away peacefully at home on 1st January after a long battle with cancer.

Eric joined IWA in 1987 and was an active narrowboater and waterways supporter, as well as an ardent fan of Ruston and Hornsby vintage engines. Over the years he was greatly involved with IWA Northampton Branch, initially as Chairman of the Branch’s Rally Sub-Committee, a position he held for some years. In 2001, Eric joined the main Branch Committee and took on the role of Branch Chairman from 2005-2006. He became Deputy Branch Chairman and Police Liaison Office from 2006-2013, when he retired due to ill-health. Eric will be sadly missed by IWA Northampton Branch and his many boating friends.

Other News

CRT to Recruit for North Wales and Borders Partnership

CRT has launched a search for up to six new members to join its partnership caring for waterways in North Wales and Borders.
 
The voluntary partnership sits alongside the Trust’s local waterway management team and plays an important role in the provision of strategic direction for the area’s canals and navigable rivers.

The aim of the partnership is to give canal enthusiasts a voice in the development and management of their local waterways so they can help shape plans, guide the Trust’s spending decisions, develop local engagement and external funding, and champion the interests of the waterways.

The North Wales & Borders waterway management team is responsible for six canals and rivers and two visitor attractions. These include the Montgomery Canal, the Shropshire Union Canal, the Llangollen Canal, the Anderton Boat Lift, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the River Weaver. This covers an area that stretches from Ellesmere Port to Wolverhampton, Runcorn to Winsford, Llangollen to Nantwich and Frankton to Newtown in Powys.

CRT has said the ideal candidates would be team players who are able to engage and inspire, and to talk with community groups, businesses, at public meetings, and with the media. The Trust hopes to have representatives from a wide spread of geographical areas bringing their local knowledge to the partnership, perhaps alongside expertise in a relevant field such as fundraising, tourism, waterway or youth activities, business, planning or community work.

Partnership meetings are bi-monthly and partners are encouraged to get actively involved in promoting the waterways in their care.

The deadline for applications is 31st January 2015. For more information, contact Alan Platt, North Wales & Partnership Member, at alan.platt@waterways.org.uk, or, Wendy Capelle, CRT Waterway Manager, on 0303 040 4040 or at wendy.capelle@canalrivertrust.org.uk.

Volunteers set to Restore Locks on Grantham Canal after Heritage Lottery Fund Investment

Canal & River Trust (CRT) has announced that a volunteer-led project to restore a series of historic canal locks on the Grantham Canal has received a £830,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
 
The five-year project will be managed by CRT and Grantham Canal Society (GCS). The restoration work is to be carried out by volunteers from GCS with support from IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group and Grantham College.
 
The project’s aim is to bring  locks 14 and 15, near Woolsthorpe, back into working order for the first time in around 80 years and to lay the groundwork for the restoration of a further two locks (numbered 12 and 13).  As part of this, a tailored training programme will be available, offering volunteers the chance to gain important heritage skills and restoration knowledge, which they can use on other sections of the Canal.
 
In addition to the physical works, the project will also aim to raise awareness of the Canal’s built and natural heritage and encourage more people to explore it through festivals, walking trails, archaeological activities, on-site information and online resources.  
 
The works will be a major milestone in the on-going efforts to restore the Canal whilst also helping to care for its important ecology by improving conditions for aquatic species to thrive.
 
The two locks were designed by renowned engineer William Jessop and many components and design features are largely intact from their original construction over 200 years ago. Sadly, since the Canal was closed to boats in 1929, the locks have become overgrown and have collapsed in some places. Now volunteers will be helping to reverse the decline by rebuilding collapsed lock walls, clearing out earth and debris from the lock chambers, installing new wooden gates and refilling with water.

Marine Accident Investigation Branch Publishes Report on Amphibious Vehicle Accidents

On 17th December, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) published its combined report on the investigations of the sinking and abandonment of the DUKW amphibious passenger vehicle Wacker Quacker 1 in Salthouse Dock, Liverpool on 15th June 2013 and the fire and abandonment of the DUKW amphibious passenger vehicle Cleopatra on the River Thames, London on 29th September 2013.

Both accidents resulted in the passengers and crew rapidly abandoning the vehicles while on the water but fortunately, no-one was badly hurt. However, the outcome of either accident could have been very different and both had the potential to have resulted in major loss of life.

The main findings of the investigations are that:

  • The converted DUKWs had not been properly approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) when they were certified to carry passengers in 2000.
  • Over the years, the MCA’s regulatory supervision was insufficient to ensure the DUKWs were being operated safely.
  • Following the sinking of Wacker Quacker 1, extra buoyancy foam was inserted into the London DUKWs without considering its proximity to machinery, which directly led to the fire in Cleopatra.

The full report, which contains MAIB’s recommendations, can be downloaded at the MAIB website.

CRT Launches Consultation on Marple Aqueduct Refurbishment and Improvements

Marple Aqueduct, Peak Forest Canal (photo by Tony Kozary)Photo: Marple Aqueduct, Peak Forest Canal (photo by Tony Kozary)

CRT has, together with Mellor Archaeological Trust, secured £2.3 million of investment (including £1.5m HLF grant) to conserve, interpret and celebrate the works of Samuel Oldknow, the driving force behind construction of the Peak Forest Canal and owner of Mellor Mill, which when finished was the largest cotton mill in the world.

As part of this project, Marple Aqueduct is getting a £500,000 repair, conservation and access improvement make over that is intended to open its surroundings up to reveal this impressive structure, which is currently rather overwhelmed by vegetation.

However, as part of this work CRT has determined that the offside parapet itself, which is and has always been readily accessible from passing boats and currently unfenced, requires some sort of parapet fence to reduce the hazard. They have begun a consultation, which will close on 31st January 2015, to seek views on the overall improvements at the aqueduct, and specifically the proposed fencing and its design, positioning and detailing to fit in this Grade 1 Listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument, which crosses the River Goyt at heights of up to 100 feet.

IWA plans to respond to the consultation with concerns over the proposals.

CRT’s consultation, pictures of the work and further information on Samuel Oldknow are available at CRT’s website.


National Grid Installs New Mooring Rings on London’s Waterways

Camden Lock, Regents CanalPhoto: Camden Lock, Regents Canal

National Grid and CRT have identified sites for new mooring rings on London’s canals, with some already installed.

Following a potentially fatal incident near Acton Lock on the Regent’s Canal in 2014, when a boater managed to hammer a mooring pin through the concrete that houses the 400,000 volt National Grid cables. National Grid has carried out extensive works to the area, including the installation of new mooring rings. It is hoped that the mooring rings will lessen the need for boaters to use mooring pins and reduce the risk of a similar incident occurring in the future.

In addition to the mooring rings already installed near Acton Lock, National Grid has worked with CRT to identify further sites between City Road in Islington and Hackney Wick that would be suitable for mooring rings in the grass verge. The energy company aims to install rings in these locations by the end of March.  

CRT has also announced that it will review other locations where new mooring rings could be installed, especially where the towpath is currently concrete and prevents mooring. New rings in the concrete towpath in the Camden section of the Regent’s Canal at Camley Street are already scheduled for installation by the end of March.

CRT has reminded boaters to take care when using mooring pins to prevent the repeat of similar incidents in the future.

Contractor Appointed for Construction of Maidenhead Town Centre Stage 1

A contractor has been appointed for the £2.1million first phase of the scheme to regenerate Maidenhead's waterways.  Greenford Ltd has been appointed to deliver the reinstatement of the waterway through the section of York Stream in the town centre from the A4 St Cloud Way to the railway arches north of Stafferton Way. Work is expected to begin January, with this initial stage predicted to take approximately eight months.

The waterways scheme is a key element of the town centre regeneration programme envisaged in the Area Action Plan. It aims to breathe new life into Maidenhead town centre by restoring and enlarging old waterways. Funds are being provided by the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership's Growing Places loan fund and Section 106 money generated by town centre developments.

The next stage of the scheme will take place from the point where York Stream splits from Moor Cut at Town Moor, down to the Saint Cloud Way Bridge and from the railway arches to Green Lane. Further stages will add a weir at Green Lane to deliver the full target water depth and also restore Moor Cut to create the town centre waterway ring.

CRT Advises Boaters to Wear Lifejackets in Tunnels

Harecastle Tunnel, Trent & Mersey Canal (photo by Jacqui Hatcher)Photo: Harecastle Tunnel, Trent & Mersey Canal (photo by Jacqui Hatcher)

CRT has advised that lifejackets be worn when traveling through canal tunnels. This follows the release of the coroners report on the death of a boater in Harecastle Tunnel on the Trent & Mersey Canal in May 2014.

CRT reviewed tunnel safety as requested by the North Staffordshire coroner after the Harecastle Tunnel fatality. The steerer of a privately owned narrowboat was reportedly knocked from the boat when it collided with the wall in the section of the Tunnel where the roof is low. It was reported at the inquest that the boater’s wife and son could not call for help as they had no mobile phone signal in the tunnel. The boater’s body, which had suffered a broken neck, was recovered the following day.

The coroner’s report makes a number of recommendations including that lifejackets or buoyancy aids should be worn; that a telephone system or radio link should be installed in the tunnel; and that safety helmets should be loaned to those using the tunnel. CRT has considered the report and advised the wearing of lifejackets or buoyancy aids in canal tunnels.

New Bookable Visitor Mooring Site at Rembrandt Gardens, Little Venice

Pool at Little Venice (photo by Hannah Ranken)Photo: Pool at Little Venice (photo by Hannah Ranken)

CRT has launched a new bookable visitor mooring site at Rembrandt Gardens in Little Venice in response to feedback received from the consultation on the Paddington Basin and Little Venice pool mooring proposals earlier this year. The Trust will be working with Bespoke Boating Solutions, a local independent mooring provider who will operate the mooring on a voluntary basis, to pilot the scheme until the summer.

CRT has said that boaters will be able to book the mooring (free of charge) during the pilot scheme, although this will be reviewed for the summer season in line with the proposals made during the consultation. Bookings will only be possible online, up to one month in advance. The maximum stay time per booking during the pilot period will be seven days, with no return within one calendar month. To ensure that all boaters get a fair chance to use the mooring when visiting the Paddington area, boats will be limited to 14 days use of the mooring each year.

The mooring, alongside Rembrandt Gardens in Browning’s Pool, will provide up to three berths, although these will be subject to size limitations. For all enquiries and bookings contact RembrandtGardens@gmail.com.

Montgomery Canal Consultation to Develop Plans for Community Activities

Glandŵr Cymru, CRT in Wales, has announced that it plans to host a public meeting in the Carreghofa – Llanymynech – Pant area to give interested parties a say on the type of community activities they would like to see along the Montgomery Canal.

The community activities have been enabled by a £160,200 development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This will help Glandŵr Cymru progress plans to apply for a further grant towards the £6 million cost of restoration of a derelict section of the canal.

The funding includes the opportunity to stage community activities and Glandŵr Cymru would like to hear the views of local people to see what activities they might be interested in.

The consultation meeting is to be held in the Llanymynech Village Hall between 10.00 am and 2.00pm on Saturday 10th January.

Shrewsbury & Newport Canal Trust Appeals for Pledges

Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust is seeking the support of the public to help continue its project to create a Visitor Centre and community hub as a means of funding the restoration and maintenance of two Grade II listed 19th century canal warehouses.

The Trust has secured a grant of £1m from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the project. As HLF rules stipulate the grant is made in two phases and to release the second round of funds, the Trust must raise an additional £400,000. To date it has raised £70,000. It is asking for support in the form of pledges that can be made via the Trust's website, where further information on the project and its funding can also be found.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust Passes Half Way Mark in Appeal to Raise Funds for new Bridge

Wey & Arun Canal Trust has announced that it has raised almost 60% of the total aimed for in its appeal funding to restore the stretch of the Wey & Arun Canal between Dunsfold and Alfold in Surrey. So far, more than £413,000 of the £700,000 needed has been raised.

Central to the restoration is the plan to build a new bridge at one of the entrances to Dunsfold Aerodrome, at the end of Three Compasses Lane in Alfold. The new bridge would replace the main barrier to navigation in this section, a concrete causeway into the aerodrome that was built during the Second World War. This part of the restoration project would include the building of a realigned entrance road and the demolishment of the old causeway so boats could travel freely on the Canal for over a mile.

The planning application for the bridge and road realignment is under consideration by Waverley Borough Council. The Trust hopes that work will start in early 2015.

Additional Safety Measures to be Installed Alongside the Bristol Avon

Additional safety railings are to be fitted along part of the River Avon in Bath in response to the recent review by the into the death of Sammuel Amin in September.

The Environment Agency plans to erect temporary railings down the left-hand side of the sloped riverside pathway leading down from Green Park Road.  Bath & North East Somerset Council plans to replace these with permanent railing in mid-January 2015.

This latest safety measure has been added to a programme of works planned by the River Safety Group in 2015. The Group reviewed the circumstances around the death of Sammuel Amin and recommended that some form of barrier should be installed along this section of the towpath.

Suspected Hospital Barge in the Lancaster Canal

Lancaster Canal Trust has said that the remains of a submerged hospital barge for 1920s diphtheria victims may be discovered when a stretch of the Lancaster Canalat Stainton is dredged.

It is thought that the barge became a hospital ship or morgue in the 1920s when there was a diphtheria outbreak, and the boat was used to transport bodies south for burial or cremation.  The Trust has been advised that the former hospital boat may simply have been left to sink at Stainton after it was deemed of no further use.

The Trust hopes that the dredging can take place ahead of IWA's 2015 Trailboat Festival, which is planned for 30th May to 1st June on the northern reaches of the Lancaster Canal.

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.

Caldon Canal Work Party Uncovers Old Lock

Caldon work party Flint Mill Lock, Consall before work beganPhoto: Work party at Flint Mill Lock, Consall, before work began

Volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust met at Flint Mill Lock on the Caldon Canal on Thursday 11th December for their last work party of the year.  

Although known by most people as Flint Mill Lock, this lock is shown on old maps as Consall New Lock. This is because, abandoned and buried alongside it is Consall Old Lock, and the task for the day was to remove vegetation around the overgrown site. The Lock was barely visible at the start of the day, but by the end it had been revealed in all its glory. There is a proposal for an interpretation board to be installed to tell passers by about the history of the Lock and the immediate area. The Lock was replaced prior to 1900 as the original lock chamber was suffering from subsidence due to its proximity to  a nearby hillside, reducing the width of the chamber for the passing working boat traffic.  

Also taking part on the day were Glyn Parkes and his trainees from the Churnet Valley social action and personal development programme led by vInspired and delivered by the Waterways Action Squad, CRT’s youth engagement programme. The participants are working towards a level 2 qualification in Work Based Environmental Conservation that is accredited by City & Guilds. The young people all enjoyed getting stuck in with the task in hand, and were particularly enthusiastic when it came to removing some of the many tree stumps in the lock chamber.  

Work party at Flint Mill Lock, Consall, volunteers uncover the old lockPhoto: Work party at Flint Mill Lock, Consall, volunteers uncover the old lock

This was the last work party on the Caldon Canal until the Himalayan Balsam season in the summer, as the monthly work parties on the second Thursday of each month are moving to Bridge 70 on the Uttoxeter Canal from January. This will give branch volunteers an opportunity to work on a restoration project (as well as the ongoing branch work parties on the Trent & Mersey Canal and the Macclesfield Canal) so look out for further details. The first work party at Bridge 70 will take place on Thursday 8th January from 10am to 3pm. Due to the limited car parking at the site volunteers are advised to meet at 9.30am at Denstone Village Hall, College Rd, Denstone, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire ST14 5HR for a lift, or meet on site at Bridge 70 at 10am having made your own way on foot from either Alton or Denstone.

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.

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:

Warwickshire Branch - Bear Essentials - December 2014
Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - January 2015

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

Lichfield Branch - Lichfield Lines - Autumn 2014
Peterborough Branch - Hereward - Autumn 2014
South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch - Keels & Cuckoos - November 2014
Chester & Merseyside Branch - The Packet Boat - 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, 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

January
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)

February
4th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th February Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
7th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th February Work Party -Trent & Mersey Canal (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)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

January
18th January Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal, Islington to Hoxton (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
22nd January Waterside Walk - Little Neston (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

February
1st February Walk - Wolfhampcote (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
1st February Waterside Walk - Mile End to Limehouse (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
15th February Waterside Walk - The Olympics, Three Mills and Bow Backs Rivers (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

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 - up to 67% off magazine subscription until January 2015
  • 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
www.waterways.org.uk/about/contact_us
Bulletin is edited by Stefanie Preston

ABOUT IWA

Read Bulletin in an alternative newsletter format:
Download PDF (3mb)

Mystery Photo Challenge

Which canal is in this 1974 photo? Take part in the mystery photo challenge and submit your answer here.

See the answer and those that guessed correctly for the previous mystery challenge!

IWA News

About People

Other News

IWA Work Parties

Other Information

Recent Blog Posts

Common New Year's Resolutions (and how to go about keeping them)

Keeping Our Waterways Alive in 2014

November 2014 Work Parties

Desktop Calendar

Download the January Desktop Calendar