IWA Bulletin May 2015

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IWA Manifesto - Securing the Best for the Waterways

IWA Manifesto
IWA’s Waterway Manifesto campaign is gaining momentum, with the number of pledges doubling in one week as members across the country embrace the campaign by contacting their local candidates.  

The list of those pledging their support, which can be viewed on the Pledges page of IWA’s website, currently stands at over 200 and includes two former waterway ministers, a former Secretary of State for the Environment, and the leader of one of the main parties.  

IWA branch committee members around the country have been taking the opportunity to talk to candidates in person, often at waterway locations or on board boats.

The manifesto, which has gained support from all the main parties, identifies five key points that IWA is asking future Members of Parliament to support should they be successfully elected on 7th May. The five points are protecting waterways heritage, building a relationship with waterway groups, joining the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways, supporting the transfer of navigations currently managed by the Environment Agency to Canal & River Trust, and to support the provision of new affordable off-line moorings.

Do not forget, if the candidates for the constituency where you live are not yet on the list, it is not too late to contact them. All the information you need to help you can be found on the manifesto pages of the website.

If you have received pledges of support but have not already let us know, please forward them to Alison Smedley by email at alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk, or by post to the Branch Campaign Team at Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA.

IWA News

Help Keep WRG on the Move - £120,000 Van Appeal

WRG Vans
IWA has launched an appeal to help its Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) raise £120,000 to buy four new vans to replace its current aged fleet.

WRG’s existing vans have been in operation for around eight years, and have provided vital support on many waterways restoration projects. In this time, the vans have covered over 400,000 miles, the equivalent of travelling around the world sixteen times! Having been worked hard it is now time to retire the vehicles so that a new generation of vans can help a new generation of volunteers deliver restoration projects on the UK’s waterways.

The unmistakable red vans have played a crucial role in a number of projects including the restoration of the Hanbury Flight and Barge Lock on the Droitwich Canals in the Midlands and the construction of Over Basin on the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal. This summer they will be busy helping WRG to support the restoration of Bowbridge Lock on the Cotswold Canals and to repair and rebuild Bridges 41 and 62 on the Ashby Canal. Along the way they will be ferrying equipment and volunteers to many other canal camps and weekend digs throughout the year.

Chairman of WRG Mike Palmer said "WRG vans have been a vital part of our operations since the very beginning. Without them we wouldn’t be able to get the right materials and the right people to where they are needed most. We’re so grateful to our existing transport but we now need to replace them with something more reliable. We’re asking for your support to help us continue to restore our waterways so that they can be used and appreciated for generations".

You can support the appeal by making a donation or getting involved in the events and activities planned for the coming months. More details are available at the Van Appeal web pages.

Restoration Workshop 2015 “Getting it on the map”

Saturday 25th April saw a good attendance of restoration groups at the third Restoration Workshop run jointly by IWA and CRT. A wide range of subjects was covered supporting the key message that it is important to get your project on the map in lots of different ways. In local plans to safeguard the route by mapping the profile of the waterway to understand the context and also get it on the communities’ map so they are involved and tell the stories of the waterway.  All of this being supported with the evidence of why the waterway is being restored, in particular what benefits it will bring to the area and community. The day also included lots of practical examples of how CRT can offer its support – from the engineering of canal lining, to local planning and the water framework directive.

In his opening speech, Richard Parry stressed that CRT wanted to see more waterways opened across the country and was happy to support restoration schemes whenever possible, regardless of whether CRT owned the waterway. It was a very positive day at which the different sessions allowed constructive exchanges between delegates who shared experiences. In closing the Workshop, Les Etheridge reminded delegates that IWA and CRT were both there to help. IWA has been supporting waterways and restoration for nearly 70 years and was very happy to look at new and different approaches in continuing this support.

100 Volunteers Clear 40 Tonnes of Rubbish from the Birmingham Canal Navigations

Photo: Volunteers help cleanup the canals of Birmingham (photo by Alan Lines)Photo: Volunteers help cleanup the canals of Birmingham (photo by Alan Lines)

Over 100 volunteers from Waterway Recovery Group (WRG), IWA, Birmingham Canal Navigations Society, Dudley Canal Trust, Coombeswood Canal Trust and Canal & River Trust (CRT), including their Chief Executive Richard Parry, joined together to carry out a massive canal cleanup on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) on 18th and 19th April.

Volunteers spent the weekend clearing over 40 tonnes of rubbish along the BCN Old Main Line at Smethwick Junction and surrounding locks. Lots of interesting ‘treasures’ were pulled out of the canal including motorbikes, a freezer, a Hindu deity statue, a shotgun, several parts of a car … and of course a few shopping trolleys! It is hoped this annual effort on the BCN will help keep the less well used parts of the BCN & Black Country Network from getting choked up with rubbish and becoming impassable for boats.

WRG Leader Chris Morgan said 'This is the first time we have worked in this area, it was great to be surrounded by so much canal heritage, structures and features. The volunteers certainly enjoyed themselves! Thanks must go to all the societies who supplied the work boats to take the rubbish away and to Canal & River Trust staff who worked diligently to empty the boats, we have already started planning the 2016 event'.

The event was also supported by volunteers from the Friends of the Tipton Cut, IKON Gallery Slow Boat project, British Telecom and Black Country Adventures Boat Project.

Take a look at phtos from the event on Flickr.

Canal & River Trust Announces Publication of New Licence Terms and Conditions

IWA, Residential Boat Owners Association and Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs, as well as CRT's Navigation Advisory Group, have said they support changes announced by CRT to the terms and conditions of its boat licences, which come into effect from 1st May 2015.
CRT has said that the changes are intended to provide greater clarity, so that all boaters know what is expected, and can be clear about what they are signing up to. The revised terms and conditions take into account feedback received from boaters following publication of the draft changes.
Ian Rogers, Head of Customer Service at CRT, comments “There have been boat licence terms and conditions in, more or less, this form since at least the early 1970s, and they have been through many revisions over the years to keep up with changing times.
We believe that most boaters accept that we need a clear and effective approach to manage and operate the waterways so that everyone can enjoy them, being fair to all users. It is up to the Trust to make clear what is expected of all boaters when they come on to the system, and this is what the terms and conditions set out to do.
We have listened to the feedback we've had, and have modified the changes we are making in a few areas.  We will continue to listen to our users and to be as clear as we can about what we require from boaters, given our understanding of the law, so that we make it possible for as many people as possible to enjoy the waterways - whilst we also invest increasing amounts in their care.
Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman said, “IWA wants to see the waterways managed so that everybody gets a fair chance to enjoy them and we recognise the need for changes to CRT's terms and conditions to help them achieve this.

The Residential Boat Owners’ Association said “RBOA welcomes these changes to the terms and conditions which we believe will help the Trust to manage the waterways effectively for the benefit of all compliant users.

The latest amendments made, together with the finalised licence terms and conditions are available at CRT’s website.

CRT Boaters' Meeting

Following the IWA and CRT Restoration Conference in Birmingham on 25th April, Richard Parry held an open Boaters’ Meeting. He gave an enthusiastic presentation of the Trust’s 10 year strategy, which takes forward its vision that 'Living waterways transform places and enrich lives'. Regrettably, the subsequent debate was dominated by a small group of boaters objecting to CRT’s clarification of the licensing arrangements, which require boaters either to find a legitimate home mooring or continuously cruise. Not only did they appear to disagree with every effort that CRT is making to resolve the current mooring issues but refused to accept any alternative view.

IWA believes that their behaviour was neither reasonable nor fair to the majority of responsible boaters, some of whom were seen to walk out in frustration before the end of the meeting having not had the opportunity to discuss the CRT 10 year strategy. IWA continues to support CRT in its recent actions to solve mooring problems for the majority of users.

IWA Works with CRT to Create Interpretation Toolkit

IWA has worked with CRT to create a Toolkit to help local groups create different kinds of interpretation and tell the story of the waterways. The Toolkit is a PDF that outlines a number of interpretation options, from audio tours to display panels, and provides advice of how to approach each one. There are also a number of examples to help inspire groups. In addition, there is a short video that accompanies the Toolkit and investigates why interpretation is important and how various attractions have used interpretation, the video features advice from IWA’s Youth Development Co-ordinator, volunteer Gillian Bolt.

The Toolkit and video can be viewed at CRT’s website.

Challenge Yourself Along the Grand Union Canal

Grand Union Canal Tring Summit - Peter ScottPhoto: Grand Union Canal, Tring Summit (photo by Peter Scott)

Are you ready to test your endurance in support of Waterway Recovery Group’s (WRG) Van Appeal? Take on the Grand Union Challenge on 27th and 28th June and walk or run a 25km, 50km or 100km route along the Grand Union Canal towpath.

Travel this historic and scenic route, which will take you through both urban settings and tranquil countryside, to help raise funds for WRG’s van appeal. When you register for the event you will be able to choose to support the Van Appeal by selecting IWA as your charity to support. IWA will help publicise the fundraising efforts to maximise sponsorship and cover the costs of those participating to raise money for IWA's WRG.

Places cost £29, £39 or £49 depending on the distance with free snacks, drinks and hot food included. Students and over 65's receive a 50% discount on the registration fee. There is a minimum level of sponsorship you need to raise prior to the event.

More information, including how to register, is available at the Grand Union Challenge website, or from Toby Gomm at toby.gomm@waterways.org.uk or on 01494 783453 ext. 611.

IWA North West Region Awards

Photo: IWA North West Region awards - (left to right) Mike Haig (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch), Maurice Ward (Small Tasks Team Volunteers (STTV)), Audrey Smith, Paul Mills (STTV) and Alan Platt (IWA North West Region Chairman)Photo: IWA North West Region awards - (left to right) Mike Haig (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch), Maurice Ward (Small Tasks Team Volunteers), Audrey Smith, Paul Mills (Small Tasks Team Volunteers) and Alan Platt (IWA North West Region Chairman)

IWA North West Region held its 2015 social event and Region Awards Ceremony in late April. The event was held at Eldonian Village on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and provided an ideal opportunity to further investigate the area, where it is hoped IWA Chester and Merseyside Branch’s biennial rally will be held in 2016.  

David Smith was awarded the Region’s Kenwin Trophy, which was accepted by Audrey Smith on his behalf. David and Audrey joined IWA in 1970 and he promptly became involved with the Derwent campaign at that time. From then he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the waterways, around the country and for the Lancaster Canal in particular.

The Tetlow Trophy was given to the Small Tasks Team Volunteer group, led by Paul Mills and Maurice Ward. They have built up a dedicated team over the last couple of years which has done wonderful improvement works across the Region. Following IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch’s donation to the group, Mike Haig, Vice Chairman of IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch, presented a further donation to the group, expressing the Branch’s thanks for all their hard work.

In addition to the presentation of the trophies, attendees were also shown a selection of photos from events that took place across the Region in 2014, had the opportunity to see Dave Smallshaw’s presentation on the Liverpool section of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and enjoyed a walk to Stanley Docks.

Making Waves on the Montgomery Canal

Photo: Boats at Welshpool Wharf, the Montgomery CanalPhoto: Boats at Welshpool Wharf, the Montgomery Canal

Making Waves, the programme of events that hopes to bring the Montgomery Canal alive this summer, is under way. Supported by Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, Friends of the Montgomery Canal, and IWA Shrewsbury, District & North Wales Branch. The lively summer-long programme of events will celebrate the Canal in Wales and show what the navigation brings to the borders of Montgomeryshire and Shropshire and what it promises for the future

Several successful Making Waves events have already taken place including a towpath walk at Four Crosses, a litterpick in the centre of Welshpool, and in Llanymynech, and Llanymynech Rocks! the story of limestone and the Montgomery Canal, with demonstrations of a limekiln in action, films in the unique Hoffman Kiln, and activities for children by the Montgomery Canal Artist-in- Residence.

There is also plenty still to come including the Mongomery Canal Triathlon on 9th May and the Welsh Waterways Festival over 4th and 5th July. Further information about all these events and more is available at the Making Waves website.

IWA West Riding Branch to Support Local Festival

IWA West Riding Branch will once again be supporting the Skipton Waterway Festival this May Bank Holiday weekend. The Branch stand will be onsite for the three days of the festival thanks to the group of volunteers who have agreed to staff the stall. IWA members are welcome to call by for a chat with the volunteers, especially if they are interested in seeing how they could become more involved with Branch activities themselves.

The Festival runs from 2nd to 4th May. More informations is available at IWA’s calendar.

David Edwards-May Postpones Running the London Marathon

A week before David was scheduled to run for IWA in the London Marathon he unfortunately sustained an injury during training. Following a visit to a physiotherapist he was strongly advised not to run and David realised he would not be able to complete the marathon this year.

However, David’s place in the marathon has been automatically transferred to 2016 so he is able to represent IWA at next year’s event. David will be contacting everyone that has sponsored him.

If you have any queries relating to this news please call IWA’s Fundraising Officer Toby Gomm on 01494 783453 ext. 611. 

About People

Don Evans

Don EvansIWA is saddened to report the death of Don Evans who passed away on 10th April. Don was an active member of the waterways community and was keen to share his passion for the waterways with many, including his family. He became an IWA member in 1960, and soon joined the Midlands Branch Committee. This was a time when many waterways enthusiasts were protesting to secure the future of navigations across the country and Don played his part in these efforts. In 1961, along with his brother Brian, Don attended a small rally organised by the young Staffs and Worcester Society, in Kidderminster Basin. The hope was that the group might save the Basin from being infilled. They also protested on Stourbridge Town Arm that year, and although Don on Max Sinclair’s boat Vesta became grounded alongside Narrowboat Dane, smaller boats managed to get into the town. This and the Stourbridge Rally the following year, changed the canal scene and gave confidence to the protesters and restorers. These were just two of many protest cruises and demonstrations the brothers participated in, which included protests on the Ashby Canal and the cruise to Sandiacre to demonstrate against closure of the Derby Canal. Don also worked at IWA Rallies to which he took his 20ft plywood cabin boat for accommodation, it appeared at Wellingborough on the Nene in 1966, at the Leicester National Rally in 1968 and Birmingham in 1969 to name a few. Don’s support for IWA was recognised in 2004, when the Association awarded him the Richard Bird Medal.

Don always retained an interest in the Midlands Branches but also became a member of Inland Waterways Freight Group for many years and attended meetings until recently. In addition, he was a long serving member of the River Avon Trust.

In addition to his volunteering, Don ran a local shop and post office business and before he retired began selling and sometimes fitting Diesel engines. He also sold and serviced generators and built a number of special generators for larger jobs. He was always willing to help anyone and generous with his knowledge and the practical application of it, both mechanical and electrical.

Other News

Cuckoo Boat Launched Safely on the Chesterfield Canal

Photo: Chesterfield Canal Trust's Cuckoo boat successfully launched and on the Chesterfield CanalPhoto: Chesterfield Canal Trust's Cuckoo boat successfully launched and on the Chesterfield Canal

The first Cuckoo boat to be built for over 80 years has been safely launched on the Chesterfield Canal.

The boat was built by volunteers from Chesterfield Canal Trust, who began the project in the early 2000s and started to build in 2011. Volunteers used hand tools, as the original builders would have done, to build the boat, which took four years to complete. The work was led by David Bownes who has a vast knowledge of Cuckoo boats, having worked on one as a young man. Thanks to this build, there are now several others who have picked up this knowledge.

On completion, the challenge of its launch had to be faced. At 70 feet long and a weight of nearly 10 tons, craning was considered too dangerous as the boat may have snapped in half and building a cradle for it was too expensive. Instead, it was agreed to launch it down the slipway with an especially lengthened trailer, a process that went without a hitch on the day.

Cuckoo boats were unique to the Chesterfield Canal. Built between the 1770s and the 1920s they were horse drawn craft that were never equipped with engines; a mast was used when they ventured onto the River Trent. The last Cuckoo boat known to be in existence, Dawn, rotted away over twenty years ago.

The boat will be named on 6th June at the Worksop Water Day organised by the East Midlands Waterways Partnership, at the Lock Keeper pub in Worksop.

More information about the Cuckoo boat is available at Chesterfield Canal Trust’s website.

Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust Receives Funding from M6toll Operators

Photo From left to right front - Brian Kingshot (LHCRT Chairman), James Hodson (MEL Director of Motorway Operations), Tom Fanning (MEL CEO), Michael Fabricant MP, Peter Buck (LHCRT Engineering Director) and Eric Wood (LHCRT Founder and President)Photo: (left to right front) Brian Kingshot (Trust Chairman), James Hodson (MEL Director of Motorway Operations), Tom Fanning (MEL CEO), Michael Fabricant MP, Peter Buck (Trust Engineering Director) and Eric Wood (Trust Founder and President)

Midland Expressway Limited (MEL), operators of the M6toll, has donated £50,000 to Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Trust.

Trust President Eric Wood accepted a cheque for £50,000 from Tom Fanning, MEL CEO at a ceremony by the Lichfield Canal Aqueduct. The Trust plans to use the donation to help fund the modification of the Lichfield Canal Aqueduct in readiness for opening as a pedestrian route from Brownhills to The Boat Inn on the A461. As a thank you, Chairman of the Trust, Brian Kingshott, presented Tom Fanning with honorary life membership of the Trust.

Narrowboat Completes Overnight Stay on Dartford Creek

Pentargon Springer on Dartford CreekPhoto: Pentargon Springer on Dartford Creek

Following Northfleet Harbour Restoration Trust’s clearance of parts of Dartford Creek, including Nelsons Row Slipway on Steam Crane Wharf, a narrowboat, Pentargon Springer, has successfully stayed overnight on the Creek. Pentargon Springer's skipper intends to keep the boat on the Creek for the next two weeks to survey various mooring spots both floating and drying out. It is thought that  there is a permanent 3 feet pool of water behind the cill at the lock gate that could accommodate a fair few narrowboats without the worry of drying out. The skipper, however, is intending to dry out as well to show how it should be done and that it is safe to do so.

The Trust hopes that overnight stays like this will help to promote the use of Dartford Creek.

£700,000 Project to Improve the River Soar for Boaters Gets Underway

At the end of April, CRT began a £700,000 dredging project that aims to make Leicestershire’s waterways easier for boaters to navigate.
The project on the River Soar hopes to clear 12,000 tonnes of mud and silt from the bed of a 9 mile stretch of the waterway. The dredging will take place in two phases; the River will be dredged from Belton Road in Loughborough to Zouch Lock near Hathern in the first phase, which is expected to be completed by the end of May. The second phase of the project will then focus on the River between Junction Lock near Rothley and Lime Kiln Lock to the north of Leicester city centre with work expected to be completed by the end of June.

Annual Rally on the River Arun

On 19th April, canoeists, kayakers and small boat owners took to the water to celebrate the centuries old navigation rights on the River Arun at the annual rally organised by Wey & Arun Canal Trust between Pulborough and Pallingham Quay. The aim of the rally is to continue the long tradition of boats navigating this section of the Arun, as the Trust has a strong interest in maintaining these rights.

Anniversary Plaque at Tapton Lock

On 29th April, the Mayor of Chesterfield, Cllr Alexis Diouf, unveiled a plaque on the Chesterfield Canal, which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the re-opening at Tapton Lock and thanks the volunteers who have dedicated time to the restoration of the Canal.  The ceremony was attended by volunteers, both past and present, including a number from Chesterfield Canal Trust and several members of IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group, who had helped with the restoration.Photo: Volunteers and the Mayor of Chesterfield beneath the commemorative plaque,  (lef to right) Dave France, Alexis Diouf Mayor of Chesterfield, Mick Hodgetts and Terry Berridge

On 29th April, the Mayor of Chesterfield, Cllr Alexis Diouf, unveiled a plaque on the Chesterfield Canal, which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the re-opening at Tapton Lock and thanks the volunteers who have dedicated time to the restoration of the Canal.

The ceremony was attended by volunteers, both past and present, including a number from Chesterfield Canal Trust and several members of IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group, who had helped with the restoration.

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.

Sun Shines on Spring Canal Cleanup Through Milton Keynes

Volunteers gather at IWA Milton Keynes Spring Cleanup, Fenny Stratford Lock, 17-04-15 (Stefanie Preston)Photo: Volunteers gather at IWA Milton Keynes Spring Cleanup, Fenny Stratford Lock

Over 10 miles of the Grand Union Canal through Milton Keynes, from Fenny Stratford Lock to Galleon Bridge at Wolverton, have had the benefit of a spring clean. Over Friday 17th and Saturday 18th April, forty-three volunteers joined IWA Milton Keynes Branch's Canal Cleanup and picked litter from towpaths, wrestled heavy materials from hedges, and used grappling hooks from boats, to remove several tons of rubbish from the canal and its surroundings. The bright spring sunshine boosted the enthusiasm of the teams as they worked along the Canal.

The collected rubbish included an encouragingly smaller haul of bicycles and shopping trolleys than in previous years. There was, however, an increase in waste materials from boat fittings. More challenging finds included motorbikes, double mattresses and assorted furniture. Scores of black sacks were filled with discarded food wrappings and drink containers.

The Canal Cleanup is organised twice yearly by the IWA Milton Keynes Branch, generously sponsored by the Wyvern Shipping Company and supported by the Canal & River Trust (CRT). Regular volunteers from IWA were pleased to be joined by members of Milton Keynes Sub-Aqua Club, the local scuba diving club. This was their first time on the Cleanup. They resisted the allure of the canal waters and put great energy into hauling out rubbish. Volunteers also came from Buckingham Canal Society, Parks Trust and the local area.

CRT staff contributed their time and effort, and brought equipment, including a dredger to help with heavier loads. CRT Trustee, John Dodwell, and Chief Executive, Richard Parry, came to see the operation and joined in with the work. Their presence was very much appreciated.

IWA Milton Keynes Branch has been carrying out these Canal Cleanups for over twenty years, and they help to keep the canal and towpath in a condition that everyone can enjoy. The next one will be planned to pass along the same route in October 2015, so keep an eye out for details later in the year.

Sunshine Welcomed as Branch Begins Painting at Red Bull

Photo: IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch volunteers work on Lock 44Photo: IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch volunteers work on Lock 44

April was a turning point for volunteers at IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch’s work party at the Cheshire Locks on the Trent & Mersey Canal. On 16th April, after a fair few wet days earlier in the year, the rain finally stayed away and the sun came out long enough for the volunteers to paint. Volunteers from the regular team were joined by two hard working teenagers (working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award) and Naomi from CRT, all of whom put in a great day’s work and almost completed Lock 44 painting at Red Bull. The Lock now looks so much better than it has done in a long while.

The Canal was busy with boats and dog walkers who were keen to give positive comments and encouragement. The hope is that the weather will be fair again in May to allow the completion of painting at Lock 44.

The group plans to continue work at Red Bull, moving down the flight and along towards Wheelock. It also wants to organise an opportunity to move back to Harding’s Wood Junction and complete the uplift of the Kidsgrove Locks, so the whole of the Cheshire Flight can be brought up to a high standard progressively over the next three years.

IWA West Country Branch Work Parties Reach 1000 Volunteer Hours

On Saturday 18th April 2015, IWA West Country Branch had two volunteer groups working on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal. The first group collected rubbish from Bridgwater Docks and the Newtown Lock area. The litter collected filled two and a half large commercial wheelie bins plus some other large metal items. In addition, the group painted 8 metres of the fencing and posts around the Dockside car park and removed some of the weeds around the fence posts and access covers.

The second group litter picked along the Canal towpath from Bathpool towards Creech St Michael. The volunteers filled seven black sacks with rubbish and removed items of metal and electricity cables plus a motor cycle tyre. Whilst litter picking the volunteers also carried out a visual inspection of this part of the of the Canal, so they could record structures and identify possible future work party needs and sites.

This latest work party has once again added to the Branch’s volunteer hours spent on the Canal. In the twelve months up to 30th April 2015, volunteers at IWA West Country Branch work parties on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal have given 1014 hours. Four of the volunteer team  have completed over 100 hours each, six have put in eighty hours training for Boat Crew and Helmsman requirements and a further four volunteers have also engaged in getting their accreditation for the safe use of motorised power tools. 

Beverley Beck Litter Pick

IWA litter pick volunteers at the Beverley Beck submarinePhoto: IWA litter pick volunteers at the Beverley Beck submarine

Despite short notice due to a late date change, IWA East Yorkshire Branch managed to assemble a group of volunteers on Sunday 26th April to assists members of the Beverley Beck Boating Association (BBBA) in what has now become our traditional annual clean up along the beck.

IWA took their normal south side and worked from the town end down to the lock at the junction with the River Hull. BBBA took the north side and between us the whole length of the Beck was covered. A gloomy weather forecast pleasingly turned out to be inaccurate and we all enjoyed warm sunny conditions throughout.
Upon finishing at the lock, the bags of rubbish were disposed of and all volunteers were then treated to tea & biscuits in the BBBA club house.

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:

South West Region - Sou'Wester - April 2015

Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - May 2015

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

Chelmsford Branch - Chelmsford Branch Newsletter - April 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 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/Cleanup Events

2nd May Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
6th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
12th May Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
13th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
13th May Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
14th May Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
16th May Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
19th May Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Swansea Canal (supported by IWA South Wales Branch)
20th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
21st May Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
22nd May Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
26th May Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (supported by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
27th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
30th May Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
31st May Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)

3rd June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
6th June Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
6th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th June Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
9th June Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northamtpon Branch)
10th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
10th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
17th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
18th June Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
20th June Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
20th June Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
23rd June Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (supported by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
23rd June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Aylestone Meadows (supported by IWA Leicestershire Branch)
24th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
25th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
26th June Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
27th June Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
28th June Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
29th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Caldon Canal (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

3rd May Waterside Walk - Regent's Park to Little Venice (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
5th May Waterside Walk - Huddlesford and Coventry Canal (IWA Lichfield Branch)
9th May Waterside Walk - River Foss, Terrington to Hovingham (River Foss Society)
17th May Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal, Mile End to Limehouse (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
18th May Waterside Walk - River Ouse, Linton-on-Ouse (River Foss Society)

3rd June Waterside Walk - Ashby Canal nr Hinckley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
3rd June Waterside Walk - River Foss, Easingwold - Coxwold (River Foss Society)
7th June Waterside Walk - Islington to Mile End (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
21st June Waterside Walk - Little Venice to Camden (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
26th-27th June Waterside Walk - River Foss (River Foss 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
  • Boat Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - Annual subscription for just £15
  • 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
  • I Love Meet and Greet Ltd - 15% 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
  • The Three Locks Pub, Grand Union Canal nr. Milton Keynes - 10% discount on food
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard 
  • 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


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