On 15th March the All-Parliamentary Waterways Group met for the fourth and last time under the Rt Hon Alun Michael MP’s chairmanship.
He announced at the hearing that he was standing down as the chair. He has been succeed by two co-chairs – Tony Baldry MP (Conservative) and Huw Irranca-Davies MP (Labour).
Waterways stakeholders have much to thank Alun Michael for in reconstituting the All-Party Group when he did. It was before the Parliamentary procedures to deliver the Canal & River Trust had begun. So before the enactment of the Public Bodies Bill – the legislation that provides the power to both abolish British Waterways and to make the orders that allow the Canal & River Trust to come into being (inheriting the British Waterways statutory powers and functions and receiving both the operational and the commercial property).
The timing allowed the Group to question British Waterways and others, and hear from experts, on issues of appropriate governance for the Trust and the robustness of the funding package that was being presented. The findings were presented to Defra Ministers. This focus helped Parliamentarians to understand the issues and raise matters of importance to them and stakeholders.
In Tony Baldry and Huw Irranca-Davies, the cross party support for the waterways is reinforced and they have both maintained the keen interest in the waterways instilled in them during their time as Waterways Ministers.
The main purpose of the hearing was to allow the Waterways Minister, Richard Benyon MP, to report to the Group on the agreement reached on public funding for the Trust. The much improved funding package – now broadly £800m over 15 years compared to the initial offer of £390m over 10 years.
Both the Minister and Tony Hales, chairman of British Waterways and the Trust, believed that it was a 'tough but fair' settlement. The Group asked detailed questions about the Trust and the Government’s future role, including:
The Minister revealed that whilst much of this was for the Trust to decide, Defra would maintain close dialogue with the Trust over the period from launch through to the two-year review in 2014. There would be as many as three reporting meetings a year, so the Government would have a good feel for how the Trust was faring well before the review.
View full note of the meeting.
The Remaining Parliamentary Procedures
The Transfer Order was laid on 29th February. The Efra Select Committee took oral evidence on 13th March and the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee took oral evidence on 24th April. The latter Committee had already decided (in March) to trigger a 60-day scrutiny period under the new Enhanced Affirmative Procedure that applies to this order. There will be debates in both Houses of Parliament. Richard Benyon announced on 26th April that, subject to Parliamentary approval, the Government planned to formally transfer the waterways to the C&RT in July. However, IWA understands that the present intention is still for Defra and the Trust to celebrate the Trust’s creation at the end of June.
Inglesham Lock Restoration Appeal
The Inglesham Lock Restoration Appeal closed to personal donations at the end of April (although we will not be turning away any funds that arrive after this date). IWA would like to say a big thank you to everybody who has contributed
Donations totalling just over £100,000 have been pledged towards the Inglesham Lock Appeal.
Last year, WRG volunteers set up the site compound, cleared vegetation, and started rebuilding the upper wing walls. In 2012, volunteers plan to assist in the construction of a dam to enable access to the lock chamber, as well as repair the stop plank grooves, instal new stop planks and continue the repair of the wing walls.
WRG will be on site from 11th August until 1st September. Volunteers will also be on site throughout the year with weekend work parties planned in April, May, and June. If you are interested in volunteering this summer to help restore the lock please visit the WRG website for more information.
Please send a cheque made out to 'IWA' to: IWA Inglesham Appeal, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA or donate online
See the photo gallery of restoration work undertaken so far.
IWA Leicestershire Branch Volunteer at Lime Kiln Lock
IWA's Leicestershire Branch organised a work party at Lime Kiln Lock on 20th April. Ten volunteers joined Stuart Collins, BW’s Volunteer Co-ordinator for the area.
Significant areas of the wall forming the boundary on the off-side of the lock had graffiti covering them, including the slate plaque commemorating the holding of the IWA National Rally there in 1967. The firm smooth surface of the plaque was cleared using bi-carb and pan scourers along with some of the brickwork. Much of the graffiti was also removed from the lock balance beams.
A build up of moss and weeds was removed on the hard areas around the lock. All the vegetation removed was distributed around the site to compost down and the site looked much improved after the morning.
At their April meeting, IWA's trustees approved a new policy for the Association on Freight on Inland Waterways. The policy is available on the web site at www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/freight_policy.
Trustees have approved that IWA's Northampton Branch moves from the Association's East Midlands Region to its Eastern Region, following a request by the branch and consultation with neighbouring branches. The change of region took immediate effect from trustees' decision on 14th April, and various references on the website will be updated shortly.
Trustees also agreed that the name of Cambridge Branch be changed to Great Ouse Branch on recommendation from the branch to reflect the wide area, from Kings Lynn to Bedford, that the branch covers. The change of name took immediate effect, and various references on the website will be updated shortly.
IWA Northampton Branch's annual Northampton Boat Gathering has been postponed due to Strong Stream conditions on the River Nene resulting in the river being closed to navigation. The Gathering was due to be held on Friday 4th May to Sunday 6th May 2012 at Becket's Park. Instead, the branch hopes to hold the Gathering later in the year, over the August Bank Holiday.
A Memorial service will be held for David Howarth at 1pm on Friday 25th May at Christ Church Heaton, Chorley New Road, Bolton. David was part of IWA’s Festival team, with responsibilities for the festival site layout and logistics, for a number of years, and was also a former treasurer of IWA’s Manchester Branch.
IWA Events Volunteering
Find out about volunteering opportunities at IWA's 2012 events www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/volunteer/event_volunteers
IWA Branch and Region Help Wanted
Have a look at a list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. here is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches at: www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies
Licence evasion across British Waterways’ canals and rivers in England and Wales, according to its latest licence check for 2012, is at a record low, with 96.6% of boats holding up-to-date licences.
The latest national boat check conducted in March 2012 showed that each BW region had improved its evasion rate by at least 1% with its Midlands and South regions reducing their rates by 2.4% and 2.3% respectively.
As recently as 2007, the national evasion rate was over 10%, but since March 2010 it has been consistently below 5%.
The next national boat check is due to take place in March 2013, and is likely to be the last time the boat check will take place over a two-week period. Instead, BW believes the standard monthly data collecting and enforcement process are now sufficiently comprehensive in their coverage to enable BW to identify licence evaders.
|Wales & West||5.0%||3.6%||-1.4%|
|South (London & K&A)||7.2%||4.9%||-2.3%|
Work Starts on Parapets at Loxwood High Street Canal Bridge - Wey & Arun Canal
Work has started to construct brick-faced parapets on the Loxwood High Street Canal Bridge.
Working with representatives of Loxwood Parish Council and Loxwood Society in a joint 'Loxwood Bridge Committee', the Wey & Arun Canal Trust agreed an acceptable design for the parapets. The brick parapets will be in keeping with the award-winning Loxwood Lock and horse-bridge constructed by Canal Trust volunteers in 2005-6.
Completion of the parapets is expected by early June.
Fundraising contributions came from the NatWest CommunityForce Grants Scheme, Chichester Community Chest, Billingshurst Lions and individual canal trust members. Money was also raised from individuals “buying a brick” or buying tickets for one of the special canal cruises organised by Loxwood Society.
To aid fundraising, Loxwood Society have organised a Cream Tea Canal Cruise on Wed 16th May at 2.30pm and a Quiz Cruise with a Barbecue on Friday 8th June at 6pm. Phone 01403 752032 for tickets.
The Forth & Clyde and Union Canal towpaths are to feature as part of a new 373-mile Scottish National Trail, running from the northern end of the Pennine Way at Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath, due to be launched by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond later this year. The new trail will utilise part of the Southern Upland Way as part of its 81-mile route from the English Border to Edinburgh, from where it will make its way for 51 miles to Milngavie and the start of the West Highland Way, using most of the full length of the towpaths of the Union and Forth & Clyde Canals. The trail then heads north to Aviemore and onto Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point on the Scottish mainland. Filming is now taking place for a two-part documentary on the new national trail, to be broadcast at Christmas, with an accompanying book to be published in the autumn.
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.
Spitfire to Give Fly-past at Stroud-on-Water - 2nd - 4th June
A flypast by a super marine Spitfire will announce the opening of the Stroud District’s main Jubilee event - the Stroud-on-Water Festival. The flypast, at 12.05pm on 2nd June heralds the start of the three-day festival, which is taking place in the grounds of Marling School.
Up to forty boats will be on the canal, moored over 400-500m downstream of Dudbridge Locks. Many will be dressed overall and illuminated at night, offering a fantastic spectacle. Trip boats will be running, giving the public an opportunity to view the boats from the water. On offer will be a short 20 minute trip, or a full 1.5-hours cruise offering a journey through the newly-restored Ryeford Double Locks which will be open for the first time over the weekend.
The Festival has many attractions, including music throughout the day from good local groups to Meet on the Ledge. The site is nearly fully booked for traders and caterers, offering a full range of goods and crafts to buy. Especially good is the children’s area, including a climbing wall, Playbus - and the largest bouncy castle in the UK. Large TV screens around the grounds will be showing national Jubilee events.
The three-day Festival will conclude with a Jubilee Firework display on the Monday night, sponsored by Stroud District Council.
Montgomery Canal Triathlon - "Bikes, Boats 'n' Boots" - 2nd June 2012
Organisers of the Montgomery Canal Triathlon Challenge, 'Bikes, Boats 'n' Boots', are making the final arrangements for the event due to take place on 2nd June 2012. Starting from Newtown on cycles, entrants change to canoes in Welshpool and finish the 35-mile canal on foot, walking from Llanymynech to Welsh Frankton.
The organisers have received help from the Friends of the Montgomery Canal who have been clearing weed on the length to Llanymynech. In the next few weeks a difficult length of towpath north of Pant will be improved by Shropshire Council and will form part of the Shropshire Way footpath.
The event is nearly fully subscribed with most entrants intending to complete all three sections. Although there are not many places available for the whole event, entrants will be welcomed to walk the final section.
Entrants who complete any section will receive a local slate commemorative medallion, printed in gold for entrants who complete all three sections, silver for those who complete two, and bronze if only one section is completed.
The Montgomery Canal Triathlon Challenge is organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and IWA Shrewsbury, District and North Wales Branch, and is supported by British Waterways.
Details of sponsorship, entry details and bookings for the event can be obtained from -
Peter & Judith Richards, Canal House, Morton, Oswestry SY10 8BQ
Tel: 01691 831455
For further details please visit the event website
Foreshore Explore Event - Stewards Required - 26th - 27th May 2012
As part of this year’s National Archaeology Week the Tower of London will be opening Tower Beach to the public for one weekend only.
Visitors will have a rare chance to explore the beach in front of this World Heritage Site. Clay pipes, animal bones and fragments of pottery are just some of the artifacts that litter the foreshore, and previous finds have included a medieval knife, a spur and Roman glass.
In partnership with the Historic Royal Palaces, the City of London Archaeological Society and Oxford Archaeology Unit, Thames21 is coordinating the access to the foreshore.
As stewards, you can help us with the following:
Being a steward is very straightforward and Thames21 staff will be on hand to explain where you can help.
If you are interested please contact Ben Fenton firstname.lastname@example.org.
|South Kyme Festival - Lincolnshire||4th - 7th May|
|IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2012 - London||5th - 7th May|
|BCN Society Summer Rally - West Midlands||18th - 20th May|
|Rickmansworth Festival - Hertfordshire||19th - 20th May|
|Moira Canal Festival - Leicestershire||19th - 20th May|
|The Broads Green Boat & Tourism Show - Norfolk||20th May|
|Jubilee Canal Festival at Etruria - West Midlands||2nd - 3rd June|
|IWA National Trailboat Festival 2012, Stroud - Gloucestershire||2nd - 4th June|
|Canalside Jubilee - Surrey||2nd - 4th June|
|Crick Boat Show - Northamptonshire||2nd - 5th June|
|Shrewsbury River Festival - Shropshire||3rd June|
|Stoke Bruerne Museum Gala Weekend - Northamptonshire||8th - 10th June|
|Stafford Boat Club Gathering - Staffordshire||8th - 10th June|
|Leicester Riverside Festival - Leicestershire||9th - 10th June|
|Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival - Cheshire||15th - 17th June|
|Droitwich Boat Gathering - Worcestershire||22nd - 25th June|
|Northwich River Weaver Festival - Cheshire||23rd - 24th June|
|Stratford River Festival - Warwickshire||29th June - 1st July|
|Leeds Waterfront Festival 2012 - West Yorkshire||30th June - 1st July|
|Chesterfield Canal Festival - Derbyshire||30th June - 1st July|
|IWA Thwaite Mills Boat Gathering 2012 - West Yorkshire||30th June - 1st July|
|Foxton Locks Festival - Leicestershire||30th June - 1st July|
|Evesham River Festival - Worcestershire||6th - 8th July|
|Wheel 10 - Falkirk Wheel Boat Rally - Falkirk||6th - 8th July|
|Ware Boat Festival - Hertfordshire||6th - 8th July|
|Regent's Canal Festival - London||13th - 15th July|
|Pershore Town River Festival - Worcestershire||14th - 15th July|
|Newbury Waterways Festival - West Berkshire||20th - 22nd July|
|Blisworth Canal Festival - Northamptonshire||11th - 12th August|
|IWA Campaign Festival 2012, Preston - Lancashire||25th - 27th August|
|Red Hill Marina and Tuggyland Boat Show - Nottinghamshire||25th - 27th August|
|Shackerstone Family Festival - Leicestershire||1st - 2nd September|
|Maesbury Canal Festival - Shropshire||1st - 2nd September|
|Ellesmere Boat Rally - Shropshire||7th - 9th September|
|Slough Canal Festival - Berkshire||8th - 9th September|
|Whitchurch Gathering of Boats - Shropshire||15th - 16th September|
|RNLI Rally - Surrey||22nd - 23rd September|
|Village at War Weekend - Northamptonshire||28th - 30th September|
|BCN Society Bonfire Rally - West Midlands||4th - 5th November|
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.
15th May Towpath Tidy - Tottenham (British Waterways)
Details: Help give Stonebridge Lock a new lick of paint and make it sparkling in time for the Olympics. Meet at Tottenham Hale tube/rail station
19th May Towpath Tidy - Pudding Mill (British Waterways)
Details: Come and get stuck in with our planting project to support the Olympic site. E15 2PY - Blaker Road, Pudding Mill
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/
3rd May Walsall Canal Heritage (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: Canal Heritage Walk at Walsall. Learn something about the history of the Walsall Canal on this walk along the Town Arm and Walsall Locks towards Birchills and return.
6th May Grand Union Canal (London Walks)
Details: Kensal Green Cemetery - Grand Union - LittleVenice. Meeting Point Kensal Green Station. Cost £9 Concessionary and student rate £7
16th May Stafford Riverway Link (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: Evening Walk at Stafford. A return walk along the banks of the River Sow to see the route of the Stafford Riverway Link (the former River Sow Navigation). Meet at 6.15 for 6.30 pm start from the Civic Centre car park, South Walls, Stafford, ST16 3AQ (free after 6 pm).
18th May Chesterfield Canal (IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch)
Details: A walk along part of the Chesterfield canal, Meet at 7-00pm at the Hollingwood Hub, 22 Works Rd, Hollingwood, nr Chesterfield. For Satnav users S43 2JP gets you to Troughton Road which is close to the car park. After the walk (of about 3 miles) refreshments will be available in the hub (£3-95 - they need to be prebooked with Mavis White)
19th May Foxton Locks (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Details: A short walk at Foxton locks. The walk is expected to last about 90 minutes and you are advised to wear boots when the recent weather may have made the footpaths muddy.
20th May Bow Back Rivers, London (London Walks)
Details: Bow Back Rivers & 2012 Games London. Meeting point is Bromley–by-Bow Station. Cost is £9 Concessionary and student rate: £7
24th May River Weaver/Shropshire Union Canal (IWA Chester & District Branch)
Details: A new walk starting from the recently refurbished and reopened Badger, Cross Lane, Church Minshull CW5 6DY. From the pub this 3.3 mile walk heads south to cross the River Weaver and the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal before circling to rejoin the canal before passing through Eardswick Wood onto Cross Lane for the return to the Badger.
27th May Regent's Canal (London Walks)
Details: Regent’s Canal, Little Venice – Camden. Meeting point is Warwick Avenue Station. Cost is £9 Concessionary and student rate: £7
To advertise your towpath walks inthe bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/
IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton