IWA Bulletin Mid-July 2012

IWA News

About People

Other News

2012 Events

Other Information

Top Story

New Electronic IWA Membership

IWA’s trustees have approved the introduction of an electronic membership category for single and joint memberships (for those paying both annually and monthly) effective from 1st July 2012.

Members within this category will not receive printed communication from IWA.  Instead, newsletters and correspondence will all arrive electronically, either by e-mail or by links to the Association’s web site.  This move is in response to some members’ concern for the environment and feedback that they wish to reduce the amount of material arriving in their letter box.  This may be particularly suitable for boaters continuously on the move.  There is also a desire  to continue to reduce IWA’s operating costs so that members’ subscriptions can be even more focussed on our practical work, rather than on the ever increasing cost of postage.

In order to recognise the administrative savings to the Association, and to encourage uptake, the new category will be offered at a discounted rate of 80% of the standard single and joint membership rates.  

Members wishing to transfer to the electronic membership category can either renew their membership by contacting membership@waterways.org.uk. The new rates will be applied from your next renewal.


IWA News

AGM - IWA Members Pre-Meeting
All IWA members are invited to attend a morning ‘What’s on your mind?’ meeting at 10.30am (before the AGM at 2pm) on Saturday 29th September at Chelmsford.

This will include two short presentations: Alison Smedley, IWA Branch Support Officer, on her role in helping branches carry out practical work, and an update on Wild-over-Waterways by Ivor Caplan. We will have the support of several trustees present, and plan to make the morning as informative and interesting as possible.

If you have topics or questions that you would like to have discussed, please let Jerry Sanders promcommchairman@waterways.org.uk know, so that we can ensure that any material facts or information are prepared in advance. We will then endeavour to create a suitable agenda for discussion based on requests received.

There will be additional complementary demonstration displays consisting of (i) a branch recruitment and sales marquee (ii) a display of the new Wild-over-Waterways ‘mini-kits’ and (iii) the range of clothing and lapel pins, which will all be available for purchase.

Full details of the AGM location and agenda will be included in the next (August) edition of Waterways magazine.  There is also further information below, under '2012 Waterway Events'.


ccards2012_150pxIWA Christmas Cards & Calendar

2012 Christmas cards and the 2013 IWA calendar are now in stock and available to buy online from iwashop.com.

The IWA calendar is one month to view with space for daily notes. Twelve months from January 2013 to December 2013, illustrated with a waterway scene in a detachable postcard format. Buy Calendar from iwashop.com

Photos for the 2013 IWA calendar were submitted and voted for by IWA members. View 2013 IWA Calendar photos

Christmas cards are printed on high quality card and supplied in packs of 10 of one design including envelopes.  Buy 2012 Christmas cards from iwashop.com.

For the eighth year in a row, the price of the annual calendar and Christmas cards have been held at just £3.60, making them even better value than ever.


IWA - Who We Are And What We Campaign For

The Inland Waterways Association’s vision is to see a widely-appreciated and well-maintained network of inland waterways available for the benefit of all.

Towards this aim we:

Advocate the conservation, restoration, good maintenance and sensitive development of the inland waterways of England and Wales, including the structures and buildings of the waterways that are an integral part of the waterway environment.

Encourage the fullest use of the inland waterways for recreation and commerce in so far as that is commensurate with the enjoyment of others.

Seek to educate everyone about the use, benefits and heritage of the inland waterways by means of publications, practical examples and participative activities.

This is what we mean in practice...


2011/2012 IWA Annual Review

A low-resolution version of the IWA 2011/2012 Annual Review is now available to download from the IWA website.

The Review includes summary financial statements to 31st December 2011.  The full Annual Review and Financial Statements will also be available from the same area of the web site shortly.

A printed copy of the Review will be included with the next edition of Waterways magazine, due to arrive with members during the first week of August.


Himalayan Balsam Bashing on the Caldon Canal


Volunteers from IWA Stoke-on-Trent branch have joined forces with other charity and volunteer friends to tackle the highly-invasive plant Himalayan Balsam on the Caldon Canal

A Himalayan Balsam work party took place at Cheddleton on 5th July with local volunteers from IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust and a team from Central Shires Waterways - during their first week as Canal & River Trust, the new charity taking over from British Waterways.
Following on from events led by the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust (CUCT) last year, Alison Smedley of IWA Stoke-on-Trent branch is coordinating even more Himalayan Balsam Bashing sessions in the Churnet Valley this summer, in conjunction with CRT, CUCT, RSPB, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Churnet Valley Railway and North Staffordshire Railway volunteers.

Alison explains,” Himalayan Balsam is an invasive plant introduced to Britain in the mid 19th Century by Victorian gardeners. It is the tallest annual plant in the UK, growing to a height of over three metres and very problematic because it crowds out native plants and can take over whole areas of river and canal bank. The seeds explode from the seed pod and up to 800 per plant are released which can travel for up to seven metres from the plant. If the seeds land in a stream, river or canal they will be taken downstream where they will start a new colony, which is one of the reasons this plant is so difficult to control.”

Julie Arnold, chairman of the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, reported that work by volunteers is already making a difference, “Last year we focussed on the river section of the Caldon Canal, as it flows towards Consall Forge. There is already a decrease in the plants growing there this year. It shows that if we all hit the Himalayan Balsam hard again this year we can make a real difference, gradually halting the invasion of this plant and allowing species native to the Churnet Valley to re-establish.”

Alison continued: “Himalayan Balsam bashing is a fairly easy task – it pulls up easily and we are slashing the larger areas of it. The various organisations are collaborating on land around and between the canal, river and railway, and everybody is welcome to join in. All equipment is provided, along with tea and coffee – you just need to bring yourselves and some waterproofs in case of rain!

It is a fantastic way to spend time in the beautiful Churnet Valley; all ages can get involved, doing as much as they are able. Children that come along have great fun too; they are very welcome, accompanied and supervised by an adult. So it is a great activity for all the family; you can spot wildlife, see boats and join in with other friends of the waterways and the Churnet Valley.

Darren Green, waterway manager for Central Shires said; “We’re delighted to be continuing the long tradition of working in partnership with volunteers on the Caldon Canal. This project is a fantastic example of local people taking an active role in improving their environment and working together to keep their local canal special. As responsibility for canals and rivers in England & Wales transfers from British Waterways to a new charity, the Canal & River Trust, communities will have many more opportunities to get involved in this way. This support, combined with plans already in place to improve towpaths in the area, will ensure that the Caldon Canal has a really bright future”.

This year canal volunteers have also tackled Himalayan Balsam around Consall Forge whilst a team led by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has been bashing the invasive plant on more canal-side land in Cheddleton.  Another work party in partnership with North Staffordshire Railway volunteers took place at Froghall on 13th July, on land around the canal and Churnet Valley Railway.

To find out more about future work parties planned, call Alison Smedley on 01538 385388 or 7779 090915 or email to alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk.  Other Himalayan Balsam Bashing events, including elsewhere around the country, can be found listed under Events.

Top photo © Alison Smedley.  Bottom photo © Julie Arnold, Waterway Images


Cheshire Locks Project

IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch has been making progress with its Cheshire Locks Project (a joint initiative with the Trent and Mersey Canal Society) and some dates have now been fixed for work parties on the flight.  The work parties will take place on alternating Tuesdays and Saturdays in the third week of each month, starting with Saturday 18th August.  Dates for the rest of the year will be Tuesday 18th September, Saturday 20th October and Tuesday 20th November. 
Each session will start at 10am and finish by 4pm.  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 stout shoes and bring waterproofs in case of rain. 
Tasks will include vegetation clearance from walls and bridges, removing weeds and grass from cobble setts and painting handrails, balance beams and bollards.  The works will take place between Kidsgrove and Rode Heath, with the exact location for each date to be announced. 
If you would like to join in on any of these dates, or would like any further information, contact Alison Smedley alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk 01538 385388 or 07779 090915. 


2014 Calendar Competition

Following on from the success of IWA's 2013 Calendar Competition, we are running another competition for the 2014 IWA Calendar.  Photos have already started to be submitted 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

About People

Rose Skinner

Rose Skinner, died on June 27, aged 87. She was born, lived and raised children on canals throughout the UK and was one of the last people to carry freight on boats on the Oxford Canal. Rose and her husband Jack helped IWA's campaign to save the southern Oxford Canal when it was threatened with closure in the 1950s. They were both well-known working boaters and regular attendees at early IWA National Rallies.

Michael Helliwell

We are saddened to report the death of Michael Helliwell in June. Michael was a Norwich solicitor and IWA member since 1956 who did much to safe guard lesser-used corners of the Norfolk Broads. He also looked after the interests of a wide range of users on the Broads over many years.


IWA Volunteering Opportunities

Can You Help IWA Sell Christmas Cards?

IWA will be teaming up with Canal & River Trust to sell some joint Christmas cards in aid of IWA and CRT at two charity Christmas card shops.  The cards will be sold in the 9 week run up to Christmas this year as part of a joint fundraising trial.
We are looking for volunteers to cover our obligation to help out at these shops for just one day a week in Skipton and Beaconsfield. If anyone could give a day or even a few hours during the period in late October, November and December, we would love to hear from you.
If you would like to know a bit more or would like to offer help please contact  jo.gilbertson@waterways.org.uk

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

Leicestershire Branch Social Secretary - The Branch Social Secretary would be required to arrange monthly social meetings from September to May and occasional additional events. Experience of sourcing speakers and liaising with established venues would be an advantage but not essential. The retiring Social Secretary will be pleased to give assistance initially.

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

Official Launch of the Canal & River Trust

CRT was officially launched on 12th July and was marked with celebration events around the country, including the lighting up of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

See more information on the CRT website.

See the video marking the launch of CRT including a speech by Prince Charles, Patron of the new charity.

Poncysyllte Aqueduct was lit up to mark the occasion. View photos on the CRT website.


Wilts & Berks Canal Planning Application

The Wiltshire, Swindon & Oxfordshire Canal Partnership has submitted a planning application for 'The Melksham Link' on the southernmost stretch of the canal. The link would provide a new route for the Wilts & Berks Canal in Melksham using part of the Bristol Avon in the town centre. The plans include two new locks and a new set of town centre moorings.
View Melksham Link planning documents.

Cotswold Canals Project Update

The Cotswold Canals Partnership has announced that it needs further funding to complete the current stage of restoration of the Cotswold Canals. Earlier this year, Stroud District Council announced that it had not been able to secure a suitable developer to deliver the vision for Brimscombe Port. The plan was that commercial property development would feed funding back into the restoration for the rest of the canal.

However, following a market testing exercise, it became clear that in the present economic climate, not only would private sector developers not provide funding for the project but that they also required several million pounds of additional public sector investment. The Partnership is therefore faced with the challenge of restoring the canal without a guaranteed income stream.

Stroud District Council will be making its case to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Homes & Communities Agency to see if they will make up the shortfall to allow the current restoration schedule to continue.  Members of the council’s new Executive will meet shortly to consider a report outlining the options available to the scheme.

Canal & River Trust Seeking Waterway Volunteering Experts for New Advisory Group
CRT wants to encourage more people from a range of backgrounds and communities to get involved with their local waterway. As part of this, the Trust is establishing a new Volunteering Advisory Group.
CRT is looking for people who have extensive experience in establishing and leading volunteering groups in a waterways setting to get involved with the new Advisory Group.

The Volunteering Advisory Group will be chaired by Dr Justin Davis Smith CBE, Chief Executive of Volunteering England.
The roles are voluntary with expenses paid and the Group will meet twice a year.

For further details see the CRT website

For an informal discussion about the roles call Caroline Killeavy at the Canal & River Trust 07710 175504.   Closing date for applications: 27th July 2012.


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

Himalayan Balsam Work Parties – Various locations
Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native species that crowds out other plants.  Several IWA branches are holding work parties to start to tackle the problem this summer.   You will need to take a packed lunch (for full day sessions) and waterproofs in case of rain.  All tools and equipment will be provided. 

  • Saturday 21st July – IWA Chelmsford Branch on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.  Meet at 9am at Paper Mill Lock, Little Baddow, CM3 4BS
  • Wednesday 25th July – IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch on the Caldon Canal.  11am to 4pm.  Meet at Cheddleton (at top of the locks)
  • Friday 27th July – IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch on the Caldon Canal.  10am to 1pm.  Meet at Consall Forge (by the Lime Kilns)
  • Saturday 4th August – IWA Chiltern Branch on the Grand Union Canal.  10am to 1pm.  Meet at Lock 44, Marsworth, to clear Himalayan Balsam from the sidepond. 

For further information (eg about parking/directions) or to let us know that you are going on any of these events please contact alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phone 01538 385388/07779 090915.  

IWA's National AGM Weekend 2012

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. (see further details above).

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.

Some dates for your diary in 2012:

Shoreditch Festival - London 14th - 22nd July
Newbury Waterways Festival - West Berkshire 20th - 22nd July
Bristol Harbour Festival - Bristol 20th - 22nd July
Cosgrove Canal Festival - Northamptonshire 21st - 22nd July
Audlem Festival of Transport and Gathering of Historic Boats - Cheshire 29th July
Blisworth Canal Festival - Northamptonshire 11th - 12th August
Ponty Paddle - South Wales 18th August
IWA Campaign Festival 2012, Preston - Lancashire 25th - 27th August
Red Hill Marina and Tuggyland Boat Show - Nottinghamshire 25th - 27th August
1912-2012 Centenary of the Bure Navigation Flood - Norfolk
26th August
Shackerstone Family Festival - Leicestershire 1st - 2nd September
Maesbury Canal Festival - Shropshire 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
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

20th July - 200th Anniversary of Regents canal. Clean up (BWCU)
Details: Look out for the Thames21 van in the Bow Wharf Car Park.
Contact: Ben Fenton ben.fenton@thames21.org.uk 07920230970

21st July - Himalayan Balsam Bashing Work Party - Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (IWA Chelmsford Branch)
Details: Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native species that crowds out other plants.  Why not join IWA Chelmsford Branch on a work party day (9am to 4pm) to help control the spread of the plant on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.  All tools and equipment will be provided, but you will you need to take a packed lunch and waterproofs in case of rain. Meet at Paper Mill Lock, Little Baddow, at 9am.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

24th July - Lea Navigation Canoe Clean Up (BWCU)
Details: Limited numbers - pre-registration essential.
Contact: Ben Fenton ben.fenton@thames21.org.uk 07920230970

25th July - Himalayan Balsam Work Party on the Caldon Canal
Details: Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native species that crowds out other plants.  Himalayan Balsam bashing is a fairly easy task - it pulls up easily and is completely non-toxic. All equipment will be provided - you just need to bring yourselves and some waterproofs in case of rain! This is a great activity for all the family (children must be accompanied and supervised). Tea and coffee will be provided.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

27th July - Himalayan Balsam Work Party on the Caldon Canal
Details: Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native species that crowds out other plants.  Himalayan Balsam bashing is a fairly easy task - it pulls up easily and is completely non-toxic. All equipment will be provided - you just need to bring yourselves and some waterproofs in case of rain! This is a great activity for all the family (children must be accompanied and supervised). Tea and coffee will be provided.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

4th August - Himalayan Balsam Removal Work Party - Marsworth
Details: Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native species that crowds out other plants.  It pulls up fairly easily and is completely non-toxic. Why not help IWA Chiltern Branch control the plant on the Grand Union Canal by joining them in a work party to pull up the plant from the sideponds at Lock 44 on the Marsworth flight. All tools and equipment will be provided but please bring waterproofs in case of rain.
Contact: john.brice@waterways.org.uk

11th August - Wyrley & Essington Canal (Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
Details: A BCN Clean Up Work Party in conjunction with the BCN Society on the Wyrley & Essington Canal.  10am to 4pm, meet at Bentley Bridge, Wednesfield, WV11 1BP. 
Contact: Michael Smith-Keary on 07785 551299 or email sk63@btinternet.com.

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

29th July - Grantham Canal (IWA East Yorkshire Branch)
Details: Day trip to the Grantham Canal at Woolsthorpe to see restored locks and work still to be done on the canal. Transport to be arranged depending on numbers.
Contact: roger.bromley@waterways.org.uk

30th July - Grand Union Canal (Railway & Canal Historical Society)
Details: Grand Union Canal Towpath Walk, Tring to Aylesbury (8 miles/14km approx), led by Graham Bird. Meet at Tring Station at 1115. Further information from Graham on 020 8747 3694 or (on the day only, please) 07717 220026. Booking not required; lunch at a nearby tavern.
Contact: grabrail@hotmail.co.uk

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