IWA Bulletin Mid-April 2013

IWA News

IWA Work Parties Other News


Waterway Events

Other Information

Top Story

IWA Calendar Competition Results

The votes are in and we can now announce the competition winners!

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to submit photos for the competition and thank you to the hundreds of people who voted for their favourite in each category from the shortlist.

View competition results

IWA News

IWA Co-ordinates HS2 Campaign

IWA is putting together a working group to co-ordinate a campaign to modify and improve the alignment of  HS2 route where it adversely impacts on  the inland waterways - both for existing navigable waterways, and for waterways under restoration.  The Association will shortly be consulting with all IWA branches - even those branches a long way from the rail route have members who go boating in affected areas.
Phase 2 of the route affects the Ashby Canal, the Chesterfield Canal and the Barnsley Canal restoration schemes.  IWA is working with representatives from the restoration groups affected by  phase 2 of the HS2 route as well as with Canal & River Trust and other waterways interests.  Other navigation authorities impacted by the scheme include the Manchester Ship Canal Company and Derbyshire County Council.  This IWA-led initiative will seek to work with HS2 Ltd to resolve all the waterway related issues that will affect both navigable and restorable waterways within phase 2.
From south to north HS2 phase 2 crosses the existing waterway network as follows: -
Manchester Line   

  • Trent & Mersey Canal, at Fradley (a couple of hundred yards east of the phase 1 double crossing around Wood End Lock)
  • Trent & Mersey Canal, just north of Great Haywood
  • Shropshire Union Canal -  Middlewich Branch, at Clive Green
  • Trent & Mersey Canal, at Bostock Hall
  • Bridgewater Canal, at Little Bollington
  • Manchester Ship Canal, at Partlington

Leeds Line

  • Coventry Canal, at Pooley Hall (parallel to M42)
  • River Soar Navigation, at Radcliffe on Soar
  • River Trent (Cranfleet Cut), at Long Eaton
  • Erewash Canal, at Sandiacre
  • Erewash Canal, at Stanton Gate (1/2 mile north of the Sandiacre crossing)
  • Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation, at Tinsley (parallel to M1)
  • Aire and Calder Navigation, at Normanton
  • Aire and Calder Navigation, at Woodlesford (Leeds main line)
  • Aire and Calder Navigation, at Woodlesford (York spur line)

In addition to the crossings, there are several locations where the proposed line of the railway would run parallel to the waterway corridor and there are concerns about the potential noise effect on the adjacent waterways.  These areas include: -

  • Birmingham & Fazeley Canal, at Curdworth (albeit divided from it by a noisy M42)
  • Trent & Mersey Canal, in parts of the Stone/Stafford/Rugeley Corridor
  • Erewash Canal, in the Stapleford and Sandicare area
  • Aire and Calder Navigation, in the Woodlesford area (Leeds Branch line)

The working group plans to publish a formal response in time for the public consultation later this year. IWA will seeking contributions from all waterways interests.
In the meantime discussions regarding the two major concerns on phase 1 are on-going.  The first issue is the sizeable bridge required over the Digbeth Branch of the Birmingham Canal Navigations, where the railway is planned to enter the new Curzon Street station. Various design options are being considered. The second relates to the proposed double crossing of the Trent and Mersey Canal either side of Woodend Lock. There are concerns that the line will damage the tranquil environment that the listed lock and house presently enjoy.

IWA Lobbies to Save Lapal Canal Restoration

IWA has joined local residents to campaign against private developers' plans which would affect the restoration of the eastern end of the Dudley No 2 Canal (known locally as the Lapal Canal).  When plans were first agreed by Birmingham City Council for the proposed new Sainsbury store at Selly Oak, a corridor of land along the route of the old Dudley No2 Canal was incorporated along with restoration of the canal, which would be funded by the developers. The canal would eventually connect with Hawne End, via the Lapal Tunnel and on to Dudley and Stourbridge.  The development partnership has, however, now submitted revised plans which withdraws its previous commitment to restore the waterway.

IWA is opposing the latest moves by developers 'Harvest' and supermarket giant Sainsbury.  The scheme that has been submitted to the Planning Authority, Birmingham City Council, does not include the reinstatement, or provision for adequate suitable space, for the canal. This, as well as being contrary to City planning policy, would permanently block the route of the former canal that Lapal Canal Trust has been working to restore. Furthermore, the proposals do little to enhance the present unattractive rundown waterway corridor that currently runs through the site.
Waterways supporters are therefore encouraged to object to the proposals, which can be found on the Birmingham Planning website (click on Planning Application Number Search and keying in reference  2013/02178/PA), pointing out that the application is flawed because it does not meet many of the criteria identified in the Selly Oak Local Action Plan adopted in July 2001 as requirements for the regeneration of the Selly Oak area of Birmingham.
There is a full briefing on the details on the IWA website
The closing date for objections is the 2nd May 2013 and they should be addressed to Birmingham City Council, Planning and Regeneration, PO Box 28, Birmingham , B1 1TU.

Navigation Committee
IWA’s Navigation Committee is looking to recruit new members to strengthen the committee. Navigation Committee is a sub-committee of the trustees and has responsibility for preparing policy and directing campaigns on all issues involving navigable waterways in the UK. 

The Committee’s primary interest is boating, and it has a particular remit from trustees to strengthen the Association’s work in representing boat-owners’ interests, as well as promoting improvements to the waterways for all users and the wider public. 

The Committee meets six times each year in the Midlands, but given the Committee’s extensive workload there is an enormous amount of work to be done between meetings. 

The Committee is actively looking for members who have a sound knowledge of boating, and extensive knowledge of the inland waterways network, and who have time to commit to IWA’s cause. There will be meetings to attend, guidance to be written, research to be undertaken, people to meet, media to persuade, and members to be listened to. Technical boating knowledge, a keen understanding of social media, and a determination to help improve the waterways would all be invaluable attributes.  If you feel you could help out, please contact Alison Smedley (Branch Campaign Officer and Head Office support for Navigation Committee) for an initial chat – Tel: 01538 385388 / alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

Canalside Wind Turbine Blown Away on Appeal

A Proposed 67-metre (220-foot) high wind turbine close to the Daw End Branch Canal at Aldridge has been rejected on appeal by the planning inspector.  The turbine at College Farm near Riddian Bridge and Park Lime Pits would have been in the Green Belt and one of the few remaining areas of unspoilt countryside along the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

IWA Lichfield Branch objected to the original application in 2011 because of its visual impact on the rural setting of the canal and the damage to its recreational amenity and tourism value.  Whilst a smaller turbine could have been more acceptable, at 500kw this proposal would have generated more than 10 times the power needed for the farm and could have set a precedent for other industrial scale wind turbines across the Green Belt.

The turbine plans generated a lot of local opposition and were refused permission by Walsall Council because of its excessive size, damage to the openness of the Green Belt, and safety concerns from its proximity to a public footpath.  The applicant then Appealed the decision and also proposed moving the turbine further from the footpath to give a minimum ‘fall-over’ distance of the overall height plus 10% (to comply with Government guidance on separation from public rights of way) but continued to ignore the public access to the canal and towpath which was closer.

However, the planning inspector has dismissed the appeal, citing the effect on the character of the countryside and openness of the Green Belt, the visual impact of both its size and rotational movement, and insufficient safety clearance from the canal and towpath.

For any IWA planning officers opposing similar proposals near waterways, this decision is significant in upholding the advice on safe separation distances in The Companion Guide to Planning Policy Statement 22 Planning for Renewable Energy (which remains extant despite abolition of PPS22 itself).

The Appeal decision can be found on the Planning Portal at http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/CaseSearch.asp by entering the case reference 2175517

For further information on this and other local planning issues in IWA Lichfield Branch area see www.waterways.org.uk/lichfield/planning  or contact phil.sharpe@waterways.org.uk

Volunteers Help Clean up the Stourbridge Canal

IWA Birmingham Black Country & Worcestershire Branch and Waterway Recovery Group supported by the BCN Society, Coombeswood Canal Trust, Dudley Canal Trust and the Canal & River Trust held a successful clean-up weekend on the Stourbridge Canal (13th/14th April). Volunteers helped clear nearly 4 miles of canal – from the bottom of Delph Locks, all the way to the top of Stourbridge Locks, including the Fens Branch, on the Saturday and the 16 Locks at Stourbridge were cleared on the Sunday along with the Stourbridge Town Arm. Approximately 50 tonnes of rubbish was removed from the canal.
This year volunteers found some interesting items in the canal including a safe, a huge DIY store trolley, tyres of all sorts and sizes, car seats, fence panels and of course a few bikes and shopping trolleys.

Photos of the event can be found on the WRG website.

Cold weather Doesn't Stop WRG Volunteers From Restoring the Canals!

Over 50 Waterway Recovery Group volunteers braved the wintery April conditions and carried out restoration work on the Lancaster and Cotswold Canals over the Easter holidays.

From the 29th March-6th April 18 hardy volunteers undertook restoration work on the Lancaster Canal. The camp had three main tasks - to reinstate coping stones on wing walls and repair the adjacent transition walls (in dry stone walling) at Stainton Crossing Bridge; underpin a wing wall at Stainton Aqueduct and divert the stream to prevent future scouring; install drainage in the newly profiled area  adjacent to the channel that was dug out during last year's camps. In very dry weather, spoiled only by a biting cold wind, they were able to achieve all their objectives which have assisted immensely in preparing the next section of the canal to be returned to navigable condition.
Originally WRG had also planned to work on the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals but due to the unseasonal cold weather conditions, the planned work for the working holiday (concrete-laying) could not go ahead and no alternative work that could be arranged in time for the start of the camp.  Luckily WRG was able to find an alternative site at short notice on the Cotswold Canals! From the 29th March volunteers have been working on two locks near Stroud - Griffin Mill and Ham Mill - carring out activities such as lock clearance work, demolition and bricklaying.

Summer Volunteering with Waterway Recovery Group

As the weather slowly warms up, IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) is looking forward to its summer programme of working holidays called ‘Canal Camps’. Canal Camps are a unique week-long residential volunteering opportunities designed to restore the derelict canals of England and Wales to their former glory. 'Canal Camps', are a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and of different ages (18+). WRG Camps also offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation and restoration techniques! And best of all they only cost £56 per week (includes food & accommodation).  No previous skills or experience are required. 

WRG has 23 Canal Camps planned for 2013 giving volunteers the chance to get involved in various activities such as constructing a brand new lock on the Chesterfield Canal, or repairing damaged lock chamber brickwork on the Swansea Canal; to completing the restoring of Steppingstone Lane Bridge on the Wilts and Berks; or carrying out bank protection work on Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation.

View an online version of WRG’s Working Holiday brochure.
Request a hard copy.

See all our Canal Camp locations for 2013.

Festival Summer Raffle
Just a reminder that you only have until the September AGM to buy your Festival raffle tickets. Tickets will be available for £1 each from the IWA Summer Festivals.

This could be a great opportunity to introduce a friend, colleague or relative to the beauty of our inland waterways – who can resist a chance to win a week’s canal holiday – or a day out on the Shroppie? Perhaps your boat needs a new mooring in the lovely Cheshire countryside?

1st Prize: A free week’s Holiday with The Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd on any 4, 5 or 6 berth boat during October or November 2013

If you’d like more tickets, just drop an email to canalway.cavalcade@waterways.org.uk with your name and address, or phone 07979 676461.

New Member of Staff at Head Office

Stefanie Preston has joined the Association's staff at IWA Head Office as the Branch Campaign Assistant, a newly created part-time role supporting the work of Alison Smedley, the Branch Campaign Officer.

Stefanie, a recent graduate in Historical Archaeology from York University, has a background in volunteering with The National Trust, and has recently also completed a conservation internship at Basildon Park.

Stefanie will be involved in helping promote IWA branch work parties and campaigning activities through local and national press, websites, local community groups and organisations as well as providing support to IWA’s Volunteer Coordinator.

IWA Honorary Consultant Engineers
Tony Harrison has retired as one of IWA honorary consultant engineers after over 20 years in the post.  Tony, who has been an active IWA member since joining the Association in 1954, jointly took over the role of honorary consultant engineer jointly with Roy Sutton and both served as active members of IWA’s Restoration Committee for many years, Tony as chairman.  Tony looked after the ‘wet’ side of the work, with water flow issues, etc, with Roy looking after the ‘dry’ side with structures.  Tony Harrison is now an honorary life member of the Association and was awarded The Cyril Styring Award, the Association’s most prestigious award, in 2010.  Roy remains in the post, and is now being joined by two new engineers, Howard Worth and John Taplin, who were appointed by IWA’s trustees on 13th April.  Howard Worth has had a life long career in engineering, working on projects worldwide, include 5 years as Curator Of Technology at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.  John Taplin has a long career in water engineering and was honorary consultant, responsible for all engineering works, to Lower Avon Navigation Trust for 17 years.  The Association is also grateful to a number of other members who have expressed an interest in supporting this work.

IWA North West Region Branches
Following a review by the branches in IWA’s North West Region, IWA’s trustees have agreed some changes to branch names, the membership areas of each branch and the waterways that each branch covers. The review was prompted by the closure of Merseyside Branch just over a year ago, and the conclusion that it was unlikely the branch would be re-launched in the near future:

  • IWA Chester & District Branch has been renamed IWA Chester and Merseyside Branch.
  • IWA North Lancs & Cumbria Branch has been renamed IWA Lancashire and Cumbria Branch.
  • The boundaries of waterways responsibility between the above two branches and also with IWA Manchester Branch have been adjusted slightly; full details will be on the relevant branch web pages shortly.
  • The membership areas of all three branches have been adjusted slightly.

There have also been adjustments to the membership area between IWA Lancashire and Cumbria Branch and IWA North Riding Branch, and the boundary of coverage on the Macclesfield Canal between IWA Manchester Branch and IWA North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Branch, which will also be updated on the website shortly.
All IWA members can, of course, continue to be a member of whichever branch they wish – and all the publications or every branch and region are now available on the website.

About People

Roger Lorenz
We saddened to report the death on 8th April of Roger Lorenz, long-time waterways campaigner.  Roger was a metallurgist who bought up a number of old working boats and barges from the 1960s onwards.  He was a marine engineer and surveyed narrow boats for Manchester Ship Canal passages.   He was treasurer for IWA’s Manchester Branch for many years, a member of IWA’s Inland Shipping Group for even longer, a member of various waterways trade organisation, ran a boatyard by Barton Aqueduct with his brother Paul and for a time employed as the co-ordinator for Steam Coal and Canals project on the Bridgewater Canal.

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:

IWA - Waterways Magazine - Spring 2013

Chelmsford Branch - Newsletter - April 2013
East Yorkshire Branch - Wolds Waters - April 2013
Lee & Stort Branch - Recorder - February 2013
North Riding Branch - Northern Navigation News - Spring 2013
South London / North & East London branches - Meridian Cuttings - March 2013

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

East Midlands - Aegre - March 2013

Shrewsbury Branch - Shroppie Fly Paper - Spring 2013

IWA Work Parties

IWA North Lancs & Cumbria Branch Clean Up - 6th April 2013

IWA North Lancs & Cumbria Branch held a clean up on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Brierfield near Nelson on Saturday 6th April.

Fifteen volunteers collected 60 bags of rubbish, including one shopping trolley, one pushchair, and one castored cage for a factory.

Photo by Alan Davies.

IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch Clean Up - 7th April 2013

IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch held their biannual canal clean up on the 7th April at Tinsley on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal.

The branch was joined by Members of the Abbeydale Rotary Club and Tinsley Marina residents.

After a safety talk by the resident CRT lock keeper, approximately 30 volunteers split into two groups, one working towards Sheffield and the other working down the Tinsley Lock Flight. Volunteers collected roughly 40 bags of rubbish.

At about 12.30pm a radio car from Radio Sheffield arrived on the scene. The event was scheduled as the last clue in their Sunday morning location finding quiz. Branch members Mavis Paul and Malcolm Fielding were interviewed to explain what the volunteers were doing and what IWA was about.

Participants were rewarded with pie and peas.

It was noted that the amount of rubbish collected had decreased over the years, indicating that the clean ups are having a positive effect on the area.

Photo by Malcolm Fielding

Levelling the tipped stoneIWA Lichfield Branch Footpath Renovation Work Party - Monday 18th to Thursday 21st March 2013

A formerly overgrown and narrow footpath leading to the canal in Rugeley has been completely transformed by volunteers.

IWA Lichfield Branch volunteers and friends worked for 4 days to widen and resurface the footpath leading from Wolseley Road, past the South Staffs Water Pumping Station near Albany Drive, to the steps down to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Brindley Bank in Rugeley.

For many years the path has been difficult to negotiate without getting stung by nettles or brambles. So, after preliminary work to clear the undergrowth, IWA invited local volunteers to help upgrade the path so that the canal is more accessible for family walks.  Over the week 21 volunteers turned out to help; some for a couple of hours, some for the whole time.  A total of 293 volunteer hours were worked, which doesn’t include three previous clearance work parties at the site.

The materials and plant hire were funded by grants from Staffordshire County Council Community Footpath Initiative, Rugeley Town Council, Rugeley Traders Association and IWA Festivals. The qualified excavator and dumper drivers were Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust members and hand tools were loaned by the Canal & River Trust.

Four days of shovelling, barrowing, raking, compacting stones and hard work meant the job was completed a day ahead of schedule.

Photo by Philip Sharpe.

Cheshire Locks Work Party - 16th March 2013

Saturday 16th March saw IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch volunteers return for another work party on the Cheshire Locks. Unfortunately a combination of early poor weather and other commitments for many of the regular volunteers meant that numbers were down on this occasion. However undaunted, the volunteers who turned out for the day did a great job in transforming the area around bridge 140.

Vegetation was cleared from the edges of the bridge and posts and rails were given a fresh coat of paint.  A number of local residents passing by made very positive comments with regard to the work completed.

In addition, the work started at the picnic area last month was continued and provides a welcoming site for visitors and local residents alike.

Many thanks to the volunteers who came along for the day and also to CRT for usual support in terms of materials.

Next month we continue on the Cheshire Locks, meeting at Lock 52 on Tuesday 16th April where we will again be undertaking painting and vegetation clearance. Further work parties will take place on Saturday 18th May, Tuesday 18th June and Saturday 20th July as we continue to work our way up the Cheshire Locks.

Anyone who would like to volunteer for all or part of these days is very welcome. All tools and materials are provided, however you need to wear old clothes and stout shoes or boots and bring waterproofs, just in case! All welcome for either the full day (10am – 4pm) or join us for part of the day.

If you have any questions regarding future working parties then please contact Bob Luscombe, Work Party Organiser, IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch.

Caldon Canal Work Party – 14th March 2013

Volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and the Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust (CUCT) returned to Froghall on the Caldon Canal this month to finish work began at the end of last year.

Saplings were trimmed and a number of areas alongside the canal were tidied up. Hedge plants were then used to infill gaps in the existing hedge, overall over 100 plants were put in, leaving the area alongside the towpath looking clean and tidy.

The volunteers then moved on to the basin itself and continued work around the area. The pond, which when first visited was barely visible was cleared of excess vegetation and opened that end of the basin up for all to see. Clearing of the embankment around the basin also continued and by the end of the day, the transformation from what was originally a somewhat overgrown area was complete.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who turned up for the day and the results speak for themselves. Well done for a great job.

Further work parties along the Caldon Canal will continue through 2013 with the next one on  Thursday 11th May. The next few after will alternate between the second Sunday and second Thursday of the month i.e. Sunday 9th June, Thursday 11th July.

If you have any questions regarding future working parties or indeed suggestions as to where we should work then please contact Bob Luscombe, Working Party Organiser, IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch.

Photo by Bob Luscombe.

IWA Volunteering Opportunities

Festivals Schools Initiative Volunteer

IWA Festivals require the services of a dedicated education professional - retired head teachers have done well in the past - to spearhead the Schools Initiative that runs in the background during Festival activity in an area. This needs knowledge of how to approach schools in the right time-scale to be able to encourage teachers to run waterway related activities in the curriculum for the following year. More details regarding 2014 and onwards from Ian West ian.west@waterways.org.uk

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 at: www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies

Other News

Boaters to Safeguard Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Barry Sheerman, Chair of the All-party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) is urging all holiday makers to be ‘carbon monoxide safe’, as the media report a suspected carbon monoxide incident occurring on a private boat in the Lake District.

National media have reported that a 36-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl have died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning during an Easter boating holiday in Windermere. A man, who was also on the boat, received treatment at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Members of the public are being strongly encouraged to take appropriate steps to ensure that they are properly protected against the threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning while holiday making.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas – often dubbed the ‘Silent Killer’ – and can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations. The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning, and include headaches, nausea and dizziness.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is often only seen as a threat in winter months when faulty household boilers or other heating appliances can emit fatal levels of the deadly gas. Charcoal BBQs, portable gas stoves, and generators can also produce lethal doses of the gas, especially within confined spaces such as tents or boats.

Find out more about Carbon Monoxide Safety on your boat.

Review of Renting Thames Lock Houses Extended
A joint study group set up to examine the future of lock sites on the River Thames is to extend its review by a year (until the end of March 2014), the Environment Agency and river user representative have announced.
The group, made up of boater representatives from the Thames User Group (navigation) and Environment Agency managers, is examining the management and operation of a number of lock sites on the River Thames to help understand the implications of renting vacant lock houses rather than housing resident lock keepers.
Environment Agency Chairman, Lord Smith, agreed to form the group after river user representatives expressed concern at plans to rent a number of vacant lock houses in 2011. Lord Smith has capped the number of lock houses to be rented at five whilst further study takes place.

New Grand Western Canal Visitors Centre Officially Opens

Four years since plans were first approved, Devon County Council's Grand Western Canal visitor centre has now officially opened.

The Chairman of Devon County Council, Cllr Jerry Brook was joined by local Olympic athlete, Jo Pavey, who regularly trains on the canal's towpath.

The new visitors’ centre includes high-tech interactive touchscreen displays with information, film and photographs celebrating the canal's history and local wildlife.

The visitor centre is elliptical, using natural and traditional materials including green oak cladding and terne-coated steel that will weather to look like lead.

Below ground, the centre is built on a subterranean Grade II-listed limekiln. Considerable archaeological excavation had to go into work to first pinpoint the exact location and size of the protected limekiln, and to ensure that the visitor centre's foundations did not damage the kiln beneath.

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Airedale Cruising - 10% Discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Guildford Boat House- 20% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Narrowboat Services - 10% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UK Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • 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 NarrowBoat 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

Waterway Events

Audlem RNLI Festival / Safety Afloat Day 2013

A free weekend charity event promises waterways fun for the family.

The Audlem RNLI Festival is being held on the 1st - 2nd June at Overwater Marina in Audlem, Nantwich, Cheshire.

On the fun side the ‘around the island’ raft race, with homemade rafts promises some fierce, but friendly competition and on the serious side Cheshire Fire and Rescue will be demonstrating water rescues and promoting safety.

There will be craft and boating stalls, galley cookery demonstrations as well as a narrow boaters ‘question time’ session.

Rodney Cottrell of the Audlem Lass Boat Service and event organiser says “We are so pleased to be able to bring all these people together for a fun event at such a wonderful marina and I hope it raises loads of money for the RNLI so they can carry on their valuable job of saving lives.”

Nantwich vets are holding a pet show with any and all pets welcome as well as a dog agility course and bird of prey and falconry displays.

Wychcraft Swing Band will be performing on the Saturday evening and on Sunday the twenty two piece Rode Hall Brass Band will be playing in the afternoon. The event is growing all the time with something for everyone.

Over the last 2 years Overwater Marina and the Audlem Lass Boat Service has raised a grand total of £8,500 for the RNLI and look forward to this exciting event raising even more.

Dudley Canal Trust’s First Real Ale Festival

Real Ale and Canals seem naturally to go together, so Dudley Canal Trust has decided to hold its first Real Ale and Cider Festival on its site at by the Dudley Tunnel at Todd’s End, off the Birmingham New Road, just around the corner from the Black Country Living Museum.

The fundraising event will be from 6pm to 11pm on Thursday 27th and 11am to 11pm on Friday and Saturday 28th and 29th June 2013.

There will be 30 plus beers, some not usually seen in the area and some from closer by. There will also be Ciders and some English Wines.

There will be a variety of hot and cold food available.

Major IWA Festivals and Boat Rallies

4th - 6th May IWA Canalway Cavalcade - Little Venice, London
25th - 27th May IWA National Trailboat Festival - Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
19th - 21st July IWA National Festival - Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire 

Other Festivals and Boat Rallies


3rd - 6th May
Northampton Branch Boat Gathering
3rd - 6th May St. Richards Festival
4th - 5th May Loughborough Canal Festival
4th - 6th May IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2013 - Festival of London Waterways
4th - 6th May Norbury Canal Festival
18th - 19th May Rickmansworth Festival - Festival of London Waterways
18th - 19th May Moira Canal Festival
24th - 27th May Erewash Canal Boat Gathering
25th - 27th May IWA Trailboat Festival 2013 - Bodiam Castle
25th - 26th May BCN 24 Hour Challenge
25th - 27th May Crick Boat Show


1st - 2nd June Etruria Canals Festival
1st - 2nd June Audlem RNLI Festival
1st - 2nd June Leicester Riverside Festival
6th - 9th June Russell Newbery Register Rally
7th - 9th June Beale Park Boat Show
7th - 14th June BCN Explorer Cruise A
14th - 16th June BCNS Pelsall Canal Festival
14th - 16th June Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival
17th - 24th June BCN Explorer Cruise B
20th - 23rd June Lymm Historic Transport Day
21st - 23rd June Newbury Waterways Festival
28th - 30th June Thwaite Mills Boat Gathering
29th - 30th June Chesterfield Canal Festival


5th - 7th July  Ware Boat Festival 2013 - Festival of London Waterways
5th - 7th July Stratford River Festival
12th - 13th July Evesham Festival
13th - 14th July Cosgrove Canal Festival
19th - 21st July IWA National Festival - Festival of London Waterways
20th - 21st July Pershore Town River Festival
20th - 21st July Preston Riversway Festival
27th July Linslade Canal Festival
28th July Audlem Festival of Transport


10th - 11th August Audlem Festival of Transport
24th - 26th August Outdoor Leisure Show


1st September Angel Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
7th - 8th September Slough Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
14th - 15th September Mayor's River Thames Festival
21st - 22nd September Whitchurch Gathering of Boats
21st - 22nd September Huddlesford Heritage Gathering

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 2012 and 2013 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

16th April Towpath Taskforce - Widewater Lock, West London (CRT)
16th April Work Party - Cheshire Locks, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
17th April Work Party - Montgomery Canal Triathlon Preparation (Llanymynech) (CRT, IWA and SUCS)
18th April Towpath Taskforce - Burnt Mill Lock, Harlow (CRT)
18th April Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
19th April Work Party - Montgomery Canal Triathlon Preparation (Llanymynech) (CRT, IWA & SUCS)
20th April Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
20th - 21st April Work Party - Little Venice (CRT & IWA London Region)
21st April Bugsworth Basin Work Party (IWPS)
24th April Work Party - Montgomery Canal Triathlon Preparation (Llanymynech) (CRT, IWA and SUCS)
24th April Swansea Canal: Trebanos Lock Clearance (Swansea Canal Society)
26th April Work Party - Montgomery Canal Triathlon Preparation (Llanymynech) (CRT, IWA and SUCS)
27th April Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
27th - 28th April Chichester Ship Canal (WRG BITM)
28th April Westbridge Arm - Northampton Cleanup (IWA Northampton Branch)
28th April Beverley Beck - Annual Litter Pick (IWA East Yorkshire Branch)
30th April Vegetation Clearance Swansea Canal (Swansea Canal Society)
5th May Bugsworth Basin Work Party (The Inland Waterways Protection Society)
9th May Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch
11th May Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (WBDCS supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

21st April London Towpath Walk (IWA London Region)
23rd April Canal & History Walk at the Wey & Arun Canal (Wey & Arun Canal Trust)
11th May Leominster Canal - Berrington Hall (Friends of the Leominster Canal)
15th May Evening Walk at Chasewater (IWA Lichfield Branch)

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

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton