IWA Bulletin Mid-August 2012

IWA News

Other News

2012 Events

Other Information

Top Story

IWA Calls For Action On 'Continuous Moorers'

With the successful launch of Canal & River Trust, IWA has been reviewing its campaigning priorities. Whilst inclusion of the Environment Agency's navigations within CRT remains the top priority the issue of so called 'continuous moorers' is fast climbing IWA's priority action list.

IWA is very supportive of those who wish to live aboard their boat, and indeed for those genuine continuous cruisers who travel the system in a progressive journey. However problems are caused when large numbers of live-aboard boaters without a home mooring wish, for whatever reason, to stay within a narrow geographic area. The problems had been exacerbated by years of enforcement neglect by British Waterways.

A recent survey by BW indicated that over a six-month period around 1000 boats without a home mooring did not move more than 5km and a further 1000 boats not more than 10km.

The situation in the London area and also at the west end of the Kennet & Avon canal is acute. IWA has now raised its concerns at the highest level within CRT. At a recent meeting with Sally Ash (CRT Head of Boating) these concerns were explored in detail together with her plans to tackle the situation. IWA is not alone in having concerns with other organisations, including the trade, demanding action.

See map of hotspots by CRT


IWA News

Liverpool Link Limits

IWA's Chester and District Branch is currently in discussion with CRT regarding the numbers of vessels allowed along the Liverpool Link on any one day.

There is currently a limit of just six boats per transit and only 3 transits in each direction each week. This means a maximum of only 18 boats a week can reach Liverpool.

Feedback has indicated that bookings have been turned down or required considerable re-planning on the part of the skippers requiring transit despite moorings in Liverpool being relatively empty.

It has been proved on several occasions that more than six boats per transit is possible (2010 Mersey Convoy and 2011 'Spring on the Waterfront').

IWA is also concerned that the weed problem on the Link is getting worse.


himalayan_balsam_chiltern150pxChiltern Branch Himalayan Balsam Work Party

Volunteers from IWA's Chiltern Branch have helped control the spread of Himalayan Balsam by spending a day clearing the plant from a Grand Union Canal side pond.

A productive morning’s work on Saturday 4th August saw eight IWA volunteers, accompanied by Garry Timberlake, the volunteer co-ordinator from Canal & River Trust, clear the side pond at Lock 44 on the Marsworth flight of all visible Himalayan Balsam.  Some of the plants were over 2 metres tall and had grown substantially since an initial site visit at the end of June.  All the weed was removed from the site and the amount shown on the transit in the photograph belies the amount removed as it had been crushed down for transportation along the towpath. 

Branch representatives, along with Garry from CRT, will monitor the situation over the rest of this summer and next year to see whether they have managed to eliminate the plant or whether further removal is required in this area. 

Group Photo shows Chiltern Branch members with Garry Timberlake from C&RT - from left to right: Hillary Winter, John Brice, Lyn Horridge, Garry Timberlake, Brian Horridge, Brian Harris, Peter Winter.  Photo taken by Frank Trumble.

See more photos of the Chiltern Branch clean up


bulletin_birmcleanup150pxIWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch Clean Up

IWA's Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch held a successful clean up, in conjunction with the BCN Society, at Bentley Bridge on the Wyrley & Essington Canal on Saturday 11th August. Volunteers cleared the basin (which is the end of the former Bentley Canal) of rubbish, repainted the bridge handrails and carried out some vegetation clearance.  The improvements had an immediate effect in that a boat moored in the basin overnight. 

Photo by David Struckett.


crt_rebrand150pxIWA Birmingham, Black Country and Worcestershire Branch Assist with CRT Rebranding

IWA's Birmingham, Black Country and Worcestershire Branch has assisted Canal & River Trust with its rebranding process.  Branch chairman, Dave Pearson, has led a small team of branch volunteers in this project to replace the old British Waterways logo with the new Canal & River Trust logo on signage in certain hot spots around the West Midlands waterway area. This is part of a Canal & River Trust project to use volunteers to eventually replace the logo on all signs across the network.

The photograph shows branch volunteers applying vinyl signs around Stourport basins. Photo by David Struckett.


news_stokeworkparty150pxIWA Stoke Branch Work Party Saturday 18th August

The first of a series of monthly work parties on the Cheshire Lock flight of the Trent and Mersey Canal took place on Saturday 18th August.  These work parties are being organised by IWA's Stoke-on-Trent Branch, in partnership with the Trent & Mersey Canal Society and Canal & River Trust.  Volunteers spent a rewarding sunny day sprucing up Lock 54 on the flight, at Rode Heath.  All the railings, bollards and parts of the lock gates were painted in black or white,  as well as weeds and grass being cleared from cobbles around the lock quadrant. 

The plan is to work up the flight towards Kidsgrove carrying out similar tasks at each lock.  The next work party will take place at Lock 53 at Rode Heath on Tuesday 18th September 2012.  Subsequent dates are Saturday 20th October and Tuesday 20th November. 

Volunteers can turn up just for the morning or the afternoon, or come for the whole day and bring a packed lunch.  All tools will be provided – you just need to wear old clothes and stout shoes and bring waterproofs in case of rain.  Future tasks will include vegetation clearance from walls and bridges, removing weeds and grass from cobble setts and painting handrails, balance beams and bollards. 

Photo by Alison Smedley


Changes in Head Office staff

Lesley Sanders, membership assistant at Head Office since January 2003, retires on 29th August. A successor is not being recruited for the post, but her work is being taken on by Janet Carter, who will also retain some duties with IWA Sales. Jeanette Chalk and Paula Smith have taken on parts of the mail order sales work in addition to their existing duties.

IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have recently been added to the website:

South East Region - Cargoes - Autumn 2012
South West Region - Sou'Wester - Summer 2012
West Midlands Region - Navigation - Summer 2012

Chiltern Branch - Chiltern Grapevine - Autumn 2012
East Yokshire - Branch Newsletter - Summer 2012
Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News - Summer 2012
North Lancs & Cumbria Branch - Towpath Topics - August 2012
North Riding Branch - Northern Navigation News - Summer 2012
South Yorkshire Branch - Keels & Cuckoos - July 2012

2014 Calendar Competition

Photos have been submitted for the 2014 IWA Calendar competition and are available to view online in our gallery of competition entries.

We are offering three free calendars to the photographers whose photos are used in the final calendar. Photos for the Calendar need to be digital with a resolution of at least 300 DPI and at least 2100 pixels x 1500 pixels (can be landscape or portrait). You can usually adjust the settings on your digital camera to take high resolution photos.

Photos for the competition need to be submitted by 31st January 2013. The photos will then be shortlisted and then put to a public vote.

See more information on the calendar competition and uploading photos



IWA Volunteering Opportunities

IWA Events Volunteering

Find out about volunteering opportunities at IWA's 2012 events www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/volunteer/event_volunteers


IWA Committee Help Wanted

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

Max Sinclair Nominated for English Heritage Angel Awards

Max Sinclair has been nominated for the English Heritage Angel Awards for his contribution to the Droitwich Canals. Individuals and groups that have been nominated have been responsible for helping to rescue an historic building or site.

Abandoned in 1939, the Droitwich Canals comprise the Barge Canal, opened in 1771, and the Junction Canal opened in 1854. They were built to facilitate the salt trade, on which the wealth of Droitwich was founded.

By the 1970s, the Barge Canal was overgrown, silted up, dewatered in places and missing most of its operational parts. In the late 1960s one local man started to fight for restoration of the canals. Max Sinclair wrote letters and lobbied locally, culminating in the creation of the Droitwich Canals Trust in 1973.

The Droitwich Canals were opened in summer 2011 after 38 years of restoration. The canals form part of a navigable 27-mile ring passing through Worcester and Droitwich. Over 3,000 boats have used the canal and there has been a 30% increase in towpath users and 50% in visitors to the local tourist information centre.

Along with Andrew Lloyd Webber and his judging panel you can help to decide who will win an Award. See the shortlist and vote now to have your say in who will win this year's English Heritage Angel Awards.


See photos of the Droitwich Canals Restoration


Canal & River Trust and Trent Vale Landscape Partnership to Improve Habitats at Trent Port
CRT is working with the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership to increase awareness of the unique natural, cultural and industrial heritage that the River Trent is home to. The project aims to enhance an existing project to revitalise an area of wetland by creating much-needed habitats for waterway wildlife.
The wildlife on the River Trent is some of the most diverse in the country. The Partnership is clearing a two-hectare pond on an existing nature reserve, which will provide a crucial refuge for wading birds and amphibians.
The partnership needs help to raise £2,000 to install an otter holt, owl box and tern rafts, giving the visiting wildlife a reason to stay.


wollaton_hall150pxRailway to Rescue East Midlands Canals!

The railways are notorious for having contributed to the demise of our inland waterways but now canals closed by the LMS and LNER are to be resurrected with a little help from the Great Western Railway. This unlikely situation has arisen via the name and number plates of a 1940 GWR ‘Hall’ class locomotive, named after Nottingham’s Elizabethan  ‘Wollaton Hall’. These are being put up for sale to help pay for the restoration of two 200-year old East Midlands canals, which were closed under railway ownership around the time that the locomotive was built.

Nottingham transport historian (and IWA Life Member) Peter Stone purchased the plates from British Railways in 1962.  Peter is also a trustee of both the Friends of the Cromford Canal and the Grantham Canal Society. The engine plates are to be sold at the ‘Railwayana’ auction taking place at Derbyshire County Cricket Ground on 8th September and all the proceeds split between the Cromford and Grantham Canal charities.

Both canals were built in the 1790s by local engineer William Jessop and played major roles in the growth of trade in the East Midlands, before falling into railway hands in the 1850s.  The 17-mile Cromford Canal, which ran from Cromford and Pinxton to join the national inland waterway network at Langley Mill, was key to the development of the Industrial Revolution and was later owned by the Midland Railway.  The 33-mile Grantham Canal meandered from the then market town of Grantham, through the Vale of Belvoir, to join the River Trent at Nottingham and served an essentially agricultural community. Leisure boating is once again possible on 4 miles of the Grantham at Woolsthorpe and the FCC is aiming to have a trip boat operating out of Cromford next year.

The sale of the ‘Wollaton Hall’ plates takes place at Derby on 8th September. The auction (at the Cricket Ground at DE21 6DA, just off the Pentagon Roundabout) commences at 10.30 am, with viewing from 07.30 am.

Photo (courtesy of Hugh Potter) Pat Morriss, Chairman of the Friends of the Cromford Canal, Peter Stone and Mike Stone, Chairman of the Grantham Canal Society, with the locomotive plates in front of historic Wollaton Hall.

For further information please contact Peter R. Stone Tel. 01590 672673 / 07905 449311.  peter.stone@transporttrust.com



IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • 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 20% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UK Boat Hire - 15% discount on 2012 holidays
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount

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


2012 Waterway Events

ashtac150pxIWA Manchester Branch Plan Canal Clean Up to Commemorate Ashtac

IWA's Manchester Branch, working in partnership with CRT, is planning a weekend canal clean up event at Dukinfield Junction over the weekend of 13th and 14th October 2012. 

As well as being a practical way for people to get involved in helping clean up the waterways that meet at Dukinfield Junction, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the 40th anniversary of an even bigger canal clean up, ASHTAC. 

Ashton Attack (ASHTAC for short) followed on from Operation Ashton, and saw approximately 1000 people work on the Ashton Canal and the Lower Peak Forest Canal over a single weekend in March 1972.  The event contributed to the Cheshire Ring being re-opened to navigation just two years later, in 1974. 

Over the weekend of 13th and 14th October volunteers will work in all three directions from Dukinfield Junction - on the Ashton Canal, the Lower Peak Forest Canal and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.  Rubbish and debris will be pulled out of the canal and put into workboats.  Those preferring a lighter task can have a go at litter picking.  Work boats to put the rubbish in will be provided by the CRT, along with all tools and equipment required for the event. 
For both events volunteers are advised to wear stout footwear and bring waterproofs in case of rain. 

Timings for Saturday 15th September (Work Party Taster Day) are:  11am open discussion at Portland Basin Museum, 1 Portland Place Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside OL7 0QA, followed by 1pm work party along the Lower Peak Forest Canal from Dukinfield Junction. 

Timings for the weekend of 13th and 14th October weekend are:  10am to 4pm each day.  For volunteers from further afield wishing to make a weekend of it, basic accommodation will be available.  Further details are available from Alison Smedley, IWA Branch Campaign Officer, by email  alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phone 01538 385388/07779 090915.  Photo – View of Dukinfield Junction during the ASHTAC weekend.  Photo by Harry Arnold, Waterway Images.


IWA Chiltern Branch Weekend Away to York – 21st - 24th September A few places are still available on this four day coach outing that features guided tours of the Grantham Canal and the Pocklington Canal, a visit to the National Railway Museum, a three hour cruise on the Yorkshire Ouse and entry to York Minster. The cost based on two sharing is £300 per person and includes all coach travel, three nights half board accommodation and all visits. For full details see www.waterways.org.uk/chiltern/branch_events or contact Colin Bird, Tel 01932 248178, email colin.bird@waterways.org.uk.


IWA's National AGM Weekend 2012 - 29th September

This year's IWA National AGM will be held on 29th September at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford.

A meeting for those who are interested in the running of the Association will start at 10.00 a.m. This is your chance to grill the trustees, discuss the future of the Association and meet old friends.

The formal AGM will be held at 2.00 p.m.

There will be a cooked two-course lunch available at £6.50 with a choice of menu, which needs to be booked in advance.

Book online or download booking form.

AGM Location and information

Overnight Accommodation

You are also invited to join us for an evening meal at Chelmsford’s Everest Gurkha Bar & Restaurant on the Saturday night and there's a free boat trip aboard passenger barge Victoria on the Sunday. Please see further details.

Election of Nationally Elected Trustees 2012: Les Etheridge and Clive Henderson retire by rotation, and there is a third vacancy caused by the resignation of Jerry Sanders mid-year. Nominations have been received for

Thus, there are four (4) nominations for three (3) vacancies. See further information and how to vote.


Some dates for your diary in 2012:

Shackerstone Family Festival - Leicestershire 1st - 2nd September
Maesbury Canal Festival - Shropshire

1st - 2nd September

FolkSail 2012 - East Yorkshire 1st - 2nd September
Canal Festival and Beer, Cider and Perry Festival - Gloucestershire 1st - 2nd September
Lock 200 - Gloucestershire 6th - 9th September
Withymoor Island Boat Gathering - West Midlands 7th - 9th September
Ellesmere Boat Rally - Shropshire 7th - 9th September
Slough Canal Festival - Berkshire 8th - 9th September
Black Country Boating Festival - West Midlands 14th - 16th September
Whitchurch Gathering of Boats - Shropshire 15th - 16th September
RNLI Rally - Surrey 22nd - 23rd September
Village at War Weekend - Northamptonshire 28th - 30th September
Parkhead Canal Festival - West Midlands 29th - 30th September
Banbury Canal Day - Oxfordshire 7th October
Stourbridge Navigation Trust - Open Weekend - West Midlands 20th - 21st October
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.

See IWA's Events Calendar for 2012 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

2nd September 2012 - Volunteer Day on the Hanwell Flight (Friends of Hanwell Flight, CRT)
Details: Runs from 10.00am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 4,00 pm. Meeting at the bottom of Green Lane W7/ Lock 97; packed lunch needed or of course you can go to The Fox (CAMRA award winning)
Contact: Simon Bell on 0208 579 8388 besimonbe@gmail.com or Friends of Hanwell Flight is 075 3333 5280.

3rd September 2012 - Kidderminster Canal Clean Up (IWA Birmingham Branch)
Details: IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch will be holding a Clean Up on the Staffs & Worcester Canal in Kidderminster on Monday 3rd September. Meet at Weavers Wharf, Kidderminster. All tools and equipment will be provided. You will need to wear stout shoes, and bring waterproofs and a packed lunch (although there are shops/cafes nearby for lunch if you prefer). This event is supported by the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Society.
Contact: sk63@btinternet.com

15th September 2012 - Work Party Taster Day, Dukinfield Junction, Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
Details: Starting with an open meeting at 11am to discuss developing local community relationships and volunteering opportunities with the Canal & River Trust, followed by a work party from approximately 1pm working from Dukinfield Junction along the Lower Peak Forest Canal.  The work will include cutting saplings growing out of the towpath edge in preparation for a canal clean up to be held over the weekend of 13th/14th October 2012.  Bring your own lunch, or refreshments available from the Bridge View Café adjacent to the Portland Basin Museum.  You are advised to wear stout footwear and bring waterproofs in case of rain.  All tools will be provided.
Contact: chairman@manchester-iwa.co.uk

18th September 2012 - Cheshire Locks Work Party (IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch)
Details: A regular monthly work party as part of the Cheshire Locks Project, being held on alternate Saturdays and Tuesdays in the third week of the month. Tasks will include vegetation management, clearing cobble setts, painting fences, balance beams and bollards. No experience necessary, all tools provided. Bring waterproofs and a packed lunch, and wear stout shoes.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/


Upcoming Towpath Walks

2nd September 2012 Wendover Arm, Grand Union Canal (Wendover Arm Trust)
Details: Walk an Arm's Length - Walk the length of the Wendover Arm, just under 7 miles, and see this delightful canal currently under restoration. Walkers can start anytime from 9.30am and the last departure is 12 noon. Refreshment stops en route and hot food / bar available at The Grand Junction Arms. Registration Fees - Includes Goody Bag, Walker's Pack, Car Parking & Shuttle Bus: £10 Adults, Children FREE
Contact: membership@wendoverarmtrust.co.uk

6th September 2012 - Morning Walk at Whittington (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: A circular walk of about 5 miles taking in Whittington Barracks firing range (disused!), Hopwas Woods, and the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal towpath back to the village.  Gradual rise to Hopwas woods and steeper descent to the canal.  Easy going.  No stiles.  Dogs on leads welcome.  Meet at 10.00 for a 10.15 am start at The Dog Inn, 2 Main Street, Whittington, Staffordshire, WS14 9JU (Tel: 01543 432601).  Leader: Ed Rule. 
Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

9th September 2012 - Buckingham Canal Guided Walk (Buckingham Canal Society)
Details: Join the Buckingham Canal Society for a 5 mile circular walk along the disused Buckingham Canal and learn about the history and heritage of the canal that use to run from Cosgrove to Buckingham. Meet 2pm at Cosgrove Lock, Grand Union Canal. (post code MK19 7JR) for a 2 hour walk
Contact: chairman@buckinghamcanal.org.uk

15th September 2012 - Ridgmont Ramble (Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust
Details: Hear progress of the project to restore the Victorian Ridgmont Station buildings.
Trace the route of a 3-4 mile section of the planned Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway from the cattle creep beneath the M1 motorway and westwards to Cranfield Road. Then on to Salford Ford for refreshments and a minibus back.
Contact: info@b-mkwaterway.co.uk

22nd September - Stourbridge Canal (Broadfield House Glass Museum
Details: Jewels on the Cut is a leisurely stroll along the Stourbridge Canal towpath that examines the local industries, and in particular the glass-making facilities both past and present, from the perspective of the waterway that once served them. Start time for all of the walks is 10.00am, meeting at 09.45am in Canal Street by the Bonded Warehouse. There is a nominal charge to cover costs and under-16s should be accompanied by an adult.
Contact: glass.museum@dudley.gov.uk

24th September - Grand Union Canal (Railway & Canal Historical Society)
Details: Cheddington to Tring (8 miles/13 km approx), led by Graham Bird. Meet at Cheddington Station on arrival of hourly LM service due at 1104 - prior booking not required. Lunch stop at a local tavern.
Contact: Graham on 020 8747 3694 or (on the day only, please) mobile 07717 220026.

To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/


Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton