IWA Bulletin Mid-October 2012

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2012 Events

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Les Etheridge Succeeds Clive Henderson as IWA National Chairman

Les Etheridge has been appointed as IWA’s new national chairman following a planned succession from Clive Henderson, who has stepped down after four years in the role. Clive's term at the helm covered a time of considerable challenge and change for the inland waterways culminating in the formation of Canal & River Trust, in which Clive played a leading role. 

Les Etheridge's appointment as national chairman was made by IWA's trustees at their meeting on 13th October.  A member for over 27 years, Les’ active role in IWA started in 2004 when he joined IWA’s Finance Committee and was subsequently elected as a trustee in 2006.  For the last four years he has been National Treasurer and last year worked with WRG in respect of IWA’s Inglesham Appeal. Locally, Les is also treasurer of IWA’s Kent & East Sussex Branch and chairman of the organising committee of the 2013 National Trailboat Festival.

Thanking Clive for his service as national chairman, Les was asked to comment on his role as the incoming national chairman:

'It is important to remember that IWA is concerned for the nation's waterways, not just those managed by Canal & River Trust.

Whilst CRT and IWA have similar objectives, we clearly have different roles. CRT is a navigation authority, whereas IWA is not (other than for the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation) and that potentially leads us at times to different views.  A comparison was made at our AGM to CRT being the landlord and IWA being the tenant’s association, and I firmly believe that is a valid way of looking at it.

As two charities, it is natural for IWA and CRT to work together for the common good in terms of delivering our charitable objectives.  So hopefully we can celebrate each other’s successes and equally tell each other when we think something is wrong.  My intention is to ensure that in a professional and constructive way CRT is well aware of IWA’s views’.

He continued :

‘With the establishment of CRT in 2012 we have the start of the delivery of Robert Aickman’s vision of a National Waterways Conservancy. 

In an article in the September 1976 Waterways World Robert talked about the difference between an ‘Authority’ and a ‘Conservancy’ and to quote the opening words of his article he said :

“The words speak for themselves.  An Authority gives us orders.  A Conservancy looks after the property which, as citizens, we are supposed to own.”

He went on to expand on the benefits of volunteers and how they would respect and work for a Conservancy but not an Authority.  Thirty six years later the titles may have changed but we can recognise exactly what he was talking about.

What I would most like to see in my term as IWA National Chairman would be the delivery of the benefits that Robert Aickman foresaw.  To achieve that all inland waterway supporters must work together in a constructive manner and I believe IWA has a leading role to play in ensuring this.

Other National Officer Appointments

IWA's trustees also appointed Alan Platt, Paul Roper and Ian West as deputy national chairmen, and Gordon Harrower as National Treasurer.  Gordon Harrower also succeeds Les Etheridge as chairman of IWA's Finance Committee.

IWA News

WRG Volunteers Make Progress on North Oxford Canal Bridges

Volunteers from IWA's Waterway Recovery Group are currently working alongside Canal & River Trust to help restore two historic accommodation bridges on the North Oxford Canal near Barby, Northamptonshire.  Bridges 79 and 80, originally built in the 1770s, have slowly fallen into a state of disrepair and WRG volunteers are using their heritage restoration skills to restore these bridges back to their former glory. One of the aims of this project is to improve WRG's working relations with Canal & River Trust, and to develop a suitable framework allowing other volunteers to work on more technical projects with the Trust in the future and to demonstrate what volunteers can do.

Work started on Friday 5th October with volunteers repairing and repointing Bridge 79 and over the weekend the coping stones on Bridge 79 were reinstated. On Monday (8th October) volunteers began work on the challenging rebuild of Bridge 80 – firstly they had to remove large sections of the Bridge’s parapet as the brickwork was found to be seriously unstable. Since then, they have spent the rest of the camp rebuilding the wingwall and parapet of Bridge 80, along with cleaning out and repointing cracks on both bridges.   Volunteers are concluding work on site today (Monday 15th October)

See photos of progress on North Oxford Canal Bridge repairs

IWA National Festival 2013

IWA's 2013 National Festival is to be held at Cassiobury Park on the Grand Union Canal in Watford over the weekend of 19th to 21st July.  IWA intends that this will form part of an IWA Summer Festival of London Waterways.  Further information will be available shortly, and booking forms for boaters, campers and exhibitors should be available before the end of November.

Olympic Park Waterways - Bow Back Rivers

Following enquiries by IWA, Canal & River Trust has held further discussions with London Legacy Development Corporation to see whether a boat procession would be feasible in 2013.

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open in two phases over the next 18 months or so. The North Park (around the River Lea, including the Velo Park and wetlands) will begin to open in phases to the public from 27th July 2013. This area of land and waterway is not owned by CRT. The South Park (the area around the Olympic Stadium, Orbit and Aquatic Centre) will open in Spring 2014. From the time that LLDC inherits the Park in late November this year much of it will return to a construction site as temporary infrastructure is removed, new buildings are erected and the Parklands are re-landscaped. Prior to transformation, the responsibility for site security and safety will reside with the principle contractors. The CRT-owned waterways within the Olympic Park are currently leased to LLDC until December 2014 so that the Corporation can complete the transformation as quickly and efficiently as is practically possible. The land between the Velo Park and the South Park will therefore remain with the contractor until 2014 which will of course include the towpaths and other vantage viewing areas to which there will be no public access.

LLDC is very keen to give people an opportunity to see the Park during this intervening period. Bus and boat tours are currently being planned to start in December and other initiatives called 'dents in the fence' are being programmed to give people views of the Park from the outside before the Park is formally unveiled to the public in 2013 and 2014.

During the recent 'Open House' weekend staged two weeks' ago, free boat trips were arranged for the public between Three Mills and Hackney Wick to which 500 people booked. These trips were extremely popular (and we hear could've been booked 10 times over) as they gave people an opportunity to see the Olympic Park from the western boundary.

The new Hackney Marshes Centre, recently built by Hackney Council, lies a short distance from the navigation and, with its function room and bar, could prove an ideal venue for a boaters get together. The website www.hackney.gov.uk/hackney-marshes-centre.htm provides more information.


IWA Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch Calendar

IWA's Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch has again produced an attractive waterway calendar, for 2013, featuring beautiful photos of the inland waterways around the branch area. 

The calendars cost £4.50 each - further details at www.waterways.org.uk/shrewsbury/2013_calendar.



Ashtac 40th Anniversary Canal Clean Up – Dukinfield Junction

A large scale canal clean up, held over the weekend of 13th/14th October, has been deemed to have been a great success, with 100 volunteers across the two days joining in various activities in all three directions from Dukinfield Junction. 

The event was organised by IWA Manchester Branch working in partnership with the Canal & River Trust.  Waterway Recovery Group North West supported the event by supplying some of the tools and equipment, and by arranging accommodation in a nearby community centre for those people travelling from further afield. 

The main focus for pulling rubbish out of the canal was the Lower Peak Forest Canal, where reports from owners of deep draughted boats had indicated that there was a lot of rubbish in the canal.  10 truck loads of rubbish were taken away for scrap during the weekend, including several motorbikes, lots of bicycles, numerous tyres and a safe. 

On the section of the Ashton Canal heading north east from the junction (towards the Huddersfield Narrow Canal) vegetation was cleared from the towpath, a wooden fence was painted and shopping trolleys and an ancient looking photocopier were removed from the canal.

On the Ashton Canal heading south west from the junction vegetation was cleared, wooden fences were painted and a stretch of canal grappled for rubbish.  Bridge 28 of the Ashton Canal was cleared of rubbish and the offsides of the bridge were cleared of vegetation and a deep amount of soil and debris. 

The towpath bridge over the junction and the stonework of the aqueduct over the River Tame had grass and other vegetation removed from them.  In addition to this the whole area was litter picked, so anyone visiting Dukinfield Junction will certainly notice a difference.  Boaters using this stretch of canal have already reported an improvement in navigation along the first section of the Lower Peak Forest Canal. 

The weekend was 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 derelict Ashton and the Lower Peak Forest canals 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. 

At least a dozen of the volunteers who came along this time had been at ASHTAC forty years ago, and several others called in to the event to join in the reminiscing.  Among the artefacts that people brought along were photographic displays, an ASHTAC commemorative booklet, a hand painted “ASHTAC - sign in here” board and even Mr Mac’s cardboard collecting box for donations for tea and coffee!  Mr Mac (David McCarthy) was present carrying out the same function as he did 40 years ago – keeping the volunteers refreshed with tea, coffee and biscuits.

CRT took the opportunity to launch their “Towpath Taskforce” initiative for their Manchester & Pennines area over the weekend, and IWA Manchester Branch are pleased to have been able to support this initiative.  This initiative will be taken forward in the form of joint IWA/CRT monthly work parties, on the fourth Saturday of each month. 

Several workboats were used by volunteers during the weekend.  CRT provided "Audlem" (which had been brought to site over the previous two days by one of the volunteer skippers) and IWA Manchester Branch provided historic boat "Ironsides".  Ashton Packet Boat Company provided a workboat to use as a platform to access offside vegetation, having towed it to the site using historic wooden motor boat “Joel”. 

CRT provided staff to take the rubbish away by truck, and waterway manager David Baldachhino joined in himself for one of the days, joining the volunteers in tasks such as vegetation clearance and fence painting. 

The management of the Portland Basin Museum and the Bridge View Café were both extremely supportive in allowing use of their facilities, including special “Navvies Lunch” offers in the café. 
As well as the monthly work parties which will start on Saturday 27th October, and thereafter on the 4th Saturday of each month (excluding December), IWA Manchester Branch are keen for a larger scale clean up to become an annual event, on a different part of Greater Manchester’s waterways each autumn.

View photo gallery of Ashtac 40th Anniversary Canal Clean Up at Dukinfield Junction


IWA Chiltern Branch – Aylesbury Lock Painting

Members of IWA’s Chiltern Branch took part in a Canal & River Trust lock painting marathon on Saturday 29th September.  IWA members joined members of other local organisations for a briefing session before setting out in different groups to paint three locks on the Aylesbury Arm.  There were about 35 people in total, from various local groups, including children who enjoyed joining in. 

Volunteers were all issued with protective overalls, gloves and lifejackets if they were working near the lockside. Four hours later, after preparing all the surfaces and applying lots of paint, all three locks were looking really smart and wet paint notices were put on to warn boats using the locks. All the equipment, paint, planning and organisation was provided by CRT. 


IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last (mid-September edition of the Bulletin:

Chester Branch - Chester Flyer - Autumn 2012
West Riding Branch - Milepost - September 2012

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

East Midlands Region - Aegre - September 2012
South East Region - Cargoes - Autumn 2012

Chelmsford Branch - Newsletter - October 2012
Chiltern Branch - Chiltern Grapevine - Autumn 2012
Ipswich Branch - Anglian Cuttings - Autumn 2012
Manchester - Manchester Packet - September 2012
Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - September 2012
Stoke-on-Trent Branch - Knobsticks - Autumn 2012
Warwickshire Branch - Bear Essentials - September 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

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

Trent & Mersey Canal Breach
As reported in the earlier October Bulletin, following heavy rainfall the Trent and Mersey Canal suffered a breach at Dutton Hollow, near Preston Brook between Middlewich Big Lock 75 and Bridge 213. Significant damage was done to a supporting embankment at Croxton Flash near Middlewich.

The preliminary repairs estimate is £1.75m. The repairs will be done as a matter of urgency. CRT has explained that it starts each year with a £2m contingency within its budget. In the early autumn CRT reviewed this budget and decided to allocate £1m of the contingency for extra bank protection on the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergacnny Canals. CRT was about to allocate the remaining £1m for additional works elsewhere, but these funds will now all go towards the Trent & Mersey Canal breach repairs.

Over £11,000 has been raised so far for the Trust's Trent & Mersey Canal Emergency Breach Appeal. This includes a donation of £1000 from the Trent and Mersey Canal Society, and £250 from Birkenhead YMCA following sponsored car washing and other activities.

At least 50 metres of embankment will need to be repaired working from the river below the breach, which CRT says will be challenging. The estimate is that 1,000 tonnes of material (the embankment was largely made of sand) has been washed away. The breach at Dutton, was thought to be caused by saturated ground from heavy rainfall, combined with a tree (still in leaf) that had fallen and destabilised the bank. CRT had not recorded any leaks at the embankment before the deluge or any other reasons to be overly concerned. CRT has recorded is thanks to those who alerted them to a developing problem at the site so that it was able to take action by getting stop planks in before the breach happened.

CRT has reported that engineering work at both of the affected sites has made good progress in recent days. At Croxton, the contractor has completed a temporary access road and constructed a temporary dam close to the damaged embankment. This has allowed CRT to start reducing the water levels in the affected area. Tree clearance has been completed and a design for the site repairs is now underway. At Dutton, the geotechnical team has completed a review of the site and ground investigation will be undertaken shortly to assist the design of the repairs there. The outline programme for completing the repairs at Croxton remains Christmas. The programme for Dutton is more vague but a spring completion is a realistic target. The canal and towpath will remain closed at both sites until repairs are completed.

Boaters affected by the situation are encouraged to contact CRT as soon as possible by phoning the Red Bull offices on 01782 785 703.

Donations of £5 can be made to the emergency breach appeal by texting 'BREACH' to 70800. You will be charged £5 plus one message at your standard network rate. CRT will recieve a donation of at least £4.97 from all major networks of your £5. By using this service you agree that CRT may contact you in the future. If you would rather they didn't, text DECLINE to 70007.

See Trent & Mersey photos


Heritage Lottery Fund Support for Mersey Tug Tender SS Daniel Adamson

THE Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, which is restoring the historic Mersey tug tender SS Daniel Adamson, has received initial support for a £3m Heritage Lottery Fund bid, including development funding of £37,300.

HLF has approved a first-round pass application to assist the Society work towards a second-round application next year. The Society resubmitted a fresh application to HLF following last year’s unsuccessful bid.

SS Daniel Adamson is the UK’s last steam tug tender, built at Tranmere in 1903 for an Ellesmere Port - Liverpool passenger ferry and barge towing service. Later sold to the Manchester Ship Canal in 1921, as a tug and, with a new art deco double decker saloon, acted as the directors’ inspection vessel.

The coal-fired ship will be restored to public service, sailing from Liverpool Cruise Terminal or the city centre Canning Dock all over the Mersey, Weaver and Ship Canal.

More information is available at www.danieladamson.co.uk


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
  • IceGrippers - 20% discount until December 2012
  • 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

WRG Reunion Weekend 2012 - 10th to 11th November
(accommodaton available from Friday evening)
Location: Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal
cost: £13 

The annual get-together for 100+ volunteers, hopefully bringing together first-timers from this year's Canal Camps, old hands and regulars from all parts of WRG and other regional volunteer groups for a major scrub bashing and big party on the Saturday evening.

This year WRG is holding the weekend on the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal following a successful Easter Camp which saw 275 metres of new canal created by WRGies in just two weeks - see photos here. The plan for the weekend is to clear around a mile of canal, thick with trees and vegetation in preparation for excavation and towpath work in 2013. There will also be work for WRG Forestry and the possibility of some machine work.

For more information and to book please see WRG's pages on the website


Some dates for your diary for autumn 2012:

Stourbridge Navigation Trust - Open Weekend - West Midlands 20th - 21st October
Dunsfold Canal Rally - Surrey 27th 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 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

18th October - Work Party - Lapworth - Stratford Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Regular twice monthly work party at Lapworth. Tasks vary each time but include lock painting, litter picking, veg clearance and path work. Work parties take place on the third Thursday and the third Saturday of each month.

20th October - Cheshire Locks Work Party (IWA's Stoke-on-Trent Branch)
Details: Monthly work party organised by IWA's Stoke-on-Trent Branch as part of the Cheshire Locks Project.  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

20th October - Work Party - Lapworth - Stratford Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Details: Regular twice monthly work party at Lapworth. Tasks vary each time but include lock painting, litter picking, veg clearance and path work. Work parties take place on the third Thursday and the third Saturday of each month.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

20th - 21st October - Clean Up, Grand Union Canal, Fenny Stratford to Leighton Buzzard (IWA's Milton Keynes Branch)
Details: A two-day event supported by Canal & River Trust and sponsored by Wyvern Shipping. Heading south from Fenny Stratford, through 3 Locks and Leighton Buzzard to Grove Lock.
Contact: david.king@waterways.org.uk

28th October - Canal Clean Up - Tinsley, Sheffield (IWA South Yorkshire Branch)
Details: All volunteers advised to wear suitable footwear and have waterproofs with them. Gloves, litter pickers and bags are provided by the Canal and River Trust. Pie and peas available at the end (approx. 1pm) if pre-ordered by 15th October.
Contact: Mavis Paul, landline 0114 268 3927, mobile 07725 464611 or by email mavis.paul@waterways.org.uk

3rd-4th November - Work Party - Rugeley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: Work Party weekend at Brindley Bank, Rugeley.  Installation of 20 mooring rings and signage to establish countryside visitor moorings on the Trent & Mersey Canal between Brindley Bank Aqueduct and the A51.  Work being done: digging the holes, fixing and concreting in the rings with brick paving, installing signs.  9.30 am to 4.30 pm on Saturday.  10 am to 1.00 pm on Sunday to finish off and also clear the footpath between the road and steps.   All help appreciated, even for only a few hours.  If you plan to attend on the Saturday, please let Margaret know, as we intend to provide sandwiches at lunchtime.  All necessary equipment to be provided by the Canal & River Trust.
Contact: margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

8th November - Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch)
Details: Meet at Froghall Wharf for some vegetation clearance tasks.  Wear old clothes, stout shoes and bring waterproofs and a packed lunch.  This work party is being organised jointly between IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, working in Partnership with the Canal & River Trust.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

15th November Work Party - Lapworth - Stratford Canal (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Details: Regular twice monthly work party at Lapworth. Tasks vary each time but include lock painting, litter picking, veg clearance and path work. Work parties take place on the third Thursday and the third Saturday of each month.
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

16th October - Grand Union Canal, Warwickshire (IWA's Warwickshire Branch)
Details: A walk down Knowle Locks to the Black Boy pub and back.
Contact: info.warwickshire@waterways.org.uk

24th October - Canal Heritage Walk - Macclesfield Canal (Bollington Walking Fest)
Details: Three mile circular walk including Macclesfield Canal through Bollington, bridges 26 to 29, with historical commentary, and the Middlewood Way - route mostly level. Meet at Bollington Library, Palmerston Street (close to aqueduct) for 10:00am start, back by about midday. This walk is part of the 2012 Bollington Walking Festival. Everyone welcome. Dogs on leads please.
Contact: tim@happy-valley.org.uk

1st November - Morning Walk at Armitage - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA Lichfield Branch
Details: Morning walk from Armitage.  About 5½ miles including countryside, wildlife areas and the Trent & Mersey Canal towpath.  Meet at the Spode Ranch Steakhouse & Grill (former Spode Cottage), Rugeley Road, Armitage, WS15 4AT at 10.15am for a 10.30am start.  Likely to be muddy in places so walking boots essential.  Easy walking but some stiles.  Not suitable for dogs.  Optional lunch at Spode Cottage afterwards. 
Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.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