IWA Bulletin Mid-April 2014

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IWA Staff Complete Acheman Challenge

Acheman Challenge TeamPhoto: Acheman Challenge team complete 50 miles, from left Stephanie Pay, Jenny Black, Toby Gomm and Gemma Bolton (photo by Katharine Thivessen)

On Saturday 5th April four members of staff from IWA Head Office completed a 50 mile quadrathlon along the Grand Union Canal. The team has successfully raised £13,530 towards the cost of a new excavator for IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG), although there is still time to donate.

Toby Gomm, Stephanie Pay, Jenny Black and Gemma Bolton cycled, worked a boat through Marsworth locks with the kind support of IWA Chiltern Branch, ran and canoed the 50 mile stretch along the towpath from Harefield to Wolverton as part of the Acheman Challenge. Despite some running pains, the team successfully completed the 50 miles in under 11 hours and enjoyed a warm welcome from IWA Milton Keynes Branch at the finish line, along with a free meal and a drink in the Galleon Pub. The team was also presented with a surprise Acheman Challenge cake by IWA Milton Keynes Branch Chairman, Peter Caswell.

See gallery of images on IWA's Facebook page

Gemma Bolton said, “The support along the route from our team, staff, IWA members and committees was amazing and really helped us along. Recent improvements to the towpaths definitely made things easier and we were lucky that none of us had a flat tyre!"

Mike Palmer, WRG Chairman said, “Raising over £13,000 for our new excavator is a fantastic achievement and the whole organisation sends its thanks. It’s a truly inspiring result that makes us all the more determined to make the most of this summer and get some great work done. To 'overachieve' by such a huge margin shows just how much your team is appreciated and from the photos it is pretty clear that a lot of fun was had as well. Hard work, fun and achievement sums it all up really. Once again many thanks."

Wendy Evans from IWA Milton Keynes Branch said, “Congratulations to you Toby, and your team, for all your exertions today. It is a great pleasure to us oldies to see young people doing something for our waterways.”

The challenge took 10 hours and 45 minutes to complete and consisted of:

  • 22 miles cycling from Harefield to Marsworth.
  • Locking a boat through seven locks over a mile at Marsworth.
  • 17.5 miles cycling from Marsworth to Tinkers Bridge, Milton Keynes.
  • 6 miles running from Tinkers Bridge to Great Linford, Milton Keynes.
  • 3.5 miles canoeing from Great Linford to Wolverton, Milton Keynes.

The total included a generous donation of £1000 from IWA Ipswich Branch, £250 from IWA Chelmsford Branch (nominated by Tim Lewis) and £200 each from IWA Lichfield and IWA Middlesex Branches.  Additionally, IWA Chiltern Branch donated £1000, IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch donated £500 and Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch donated £200 directly to the excavator appeal.

It is not too late to support the team and contribute to the purchase of a new excavator for WRG as donations can be made until the end of May:

  • Online via Virgin Money Giving
  • By text, text ROLT46 followed by the amount in pounds e.g. “ROLT46 £10” to 70070
  • By phone, call Toby Gomm at IWA’s Head Office on 01494 783 453 ext. 611
  • By cheque, payable to The Inland Waterways Association and sent to Acheman Challenge, IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA

The team would like to thank everyone who sponsored them and assisted with the logistics, planning and support along the route. In particular they would like to thank David King; Chris and Judy Clegg for the use of their boat and refreshments; Peter Caswell; IWA Milton Keynes Branch; IWA Chiltern Branch; Canal & River Trust; The Coy Carp in Harefield; The Three Horseshoes in Hemel Hempstead; The Grove Lock in Leighton Buzzard; The Black Horse; Camphill Café; The New Inn in Milton Keynes; The Galleon Pub in Wolverton and Paddlesport Racers Association.

The team would also like to thank their support crew for the day, especially Stefanie Preston for being the event coordinator on the day; David Padfield for cycling alongside the team; Norman Gomm; Lorna Gomm; Rebecca Emerton; Adam Morris; Katharine Thivessen; Rita Pay and Geoffrey Pay.


IWA News

Extraordinary General Meeting

The Extraordinary General Meeting, held on 12th April, to consider revisions to IWA's Articles of Association approved both resolutions with large majorities.  The minutes of the 2013 AGM were approved by 285 votes for and none against with 29 absentions.  The second resolution, which the amendments to the Articles was approved by 304 votes in favour, 10 votes against and just 1 absention.

40 Tonnes of Rubbish Cleared from Birmingham's Canals

Rubbish collected on the BCN Clean-up (photo by Alison Smedley)Photo: Rubbish collected on the BCN Clean-up (photo by Alison Smedley)

Over 100 volunteers from IWA, Waterway Recovery Group (WRG), Birmingham Canal Navigations Society, Dudley Canal Trust and Canal & River Trust (CRT) joined together to carry out a massive canal clean-up on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) on 5th and 6th April.

Using grappling hooks and other tools volunteers removed over 40 tonnes from the canal around Ashted Flight, Typhoo Wharf and Camp Hill Locks – filling four skips in the process. Work boats, provided by CRT, were also on hand to take away rubbish.  It is hoped this annual effort on the BCN will help keep the less-well-used parts of the BCN & Black Country network clear from rubbish that might otherwise deter less adventurous boaters.

The usual assortment of shopping trolleys, bicycles and tyres were pulled out of the canal, along with some more unusual items including three goal posts, a safe and a Lancashire boiler shovel!

WRG Leader Chris Morgan said ‘I am very proud of all the volunteers who got involved and travelled from across the UK to help clean up the canals of Birmingham this weekend. Thanks to their enthusiasm and efforts we cleared a massive amount of rubbish from the canal. It was great to see WRG and other volunteers of all ages working together to clean-up the BCN.’

See photos from the weekend.

Canalway Cavalcade Event Programme Announced

The programme of events has been announced for IWA's 2014 Canalway Cavalcade which is held annually during the May Day Bank Holiday weekend at Little Venice in London.

The programme for the event taking place from 3rd to 5th May, lists the schedule of entertainment for the weekend which includes live music, a boat pageant, boating competitions and awards, a Real Ale Bar, Morris dancing as well as trade and refreshment stands.

Children's entertainment ranges from performances from Punch and Judy, to a boating pool with Bubbles of Fun, a treasure hunt, teddy bear's picnic, and a range of craft activities.

Supporters of the popular waterside event include British Land, ABC Boat Hire, AST Services Ltd, Canal & River Trust, City of Westminster, Lowery Civil Engineering Solutions, Porter & Co. and Paddington Central.

See the Canalway Cavalcade website pages for more details, site plan and link to the programme.


IWA National Trailboat Festival 2014 Programme Announced

The 2014 IWA National Trailboat Festival is to be held at the Grand Western Canal Country Park.

The festival will take place over the late May Bank Holiday weekend, 24th – 26th May 2014.

Organisers have announced a programme of events, which will form the main celebration of the Canal’s bicentenary year. 

On Saturday 24th May, the Grand Western 200 event will take place in the Mid Devon Showground.  A canal festival with musicians, performers and activities for all ages. There will be 30 to 40 colourful boats moored along the water’s edge, crafts and trade stalls, trips on the Horse-drawn barge, and local food and drink.

On Sunday 25th May there will be a Canal Basin Carnival, which includes a boat handling competition, followed by an illuminated boat parade later that evening, with music and food, as well as a dazzling display of lanterns built by local schools.

On Monday 26th May there will be the Sampford Peverell Navvies’ Fair which is a Georgian themed village fair, with stalls, games, maypole dancing, puppets shows etc. Free entry.

The 2014 IWA National Trailboat Festival is being organised and run by Devon County Council’s Grand Western Canal Ranger Service, under the direction of an organising committee.

Find out more about IWA's 2014 National Trailboat Festival Programme.


IWA West Riding Branch to Host Thwaite Mills Boat Gathering

Boat Trip at Thwaite Mills, Peter ScottPhoto: Boat trip at Thwaite Mills (photo by Peter Scott)

IWA West Riding Branch plans to host a Boat Gathering at Thwaite Mills over 27th to 29th June on the Aire & Calder Navigation as part of the annual Leeds Waterfront Festival.

Boaters evening events include a barbeque on the Friday and quiz on the Saturday, whilst across the Festival venue, there will be plenty to do. Activities include, heritage and historic craft, childrens' activities, stalls, refreshments and free boat trips. There will also be a vintage bus running to the centre of Leeds, where there are other free Festival events taking place along the regenerated waterfront.

Thwaite Mills Watermill Museum is located in Stourton, 2 miles south of the city centre off the A61.

Boat entry forms for the gathering can be found on the branch web pages.


IWA South Wales Branch to Lead Training of New Volunteers

IWA South Wales Branch is to lead a project to find new volunteer helmsmen for waterway groups on the canals of South Wales.

The Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust and The Islwyn Canal Association both run trip boats on the Monmouthshire Canal and have begun the search for new volunteer helmsmen to operate their boats.  There is also a tripboat on the Neath Canal operated by Neath and Tennant Canals Trust.
The organisations are to work with IWA South Wales Branch to provide volunteers with the training required to obtain the required certification. Training is free for those who volunteer to operate The Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust’s and The Islwyn Canal Association’s trip boats after completion of the course.
For further details and application forms email Tony Pugh at tony.pugh@waterways.org.uk or phone 07970413803. 

Montgomery Canal Triathlon

Canoes at the ready, Llanymynech (Alex Ball CRT)Photo: Canoes at the ready, Llanymynech (photo by Alex Ball)

For the third year, Friends of the Montgomery Canal and IWA Shrewsbury, District & North Wales Branch are planning the Montgomery Canal Triathlon on 10th May, to raise money for the Maesbury Canal Festival, in September.

Participants of the Triathlon cycle, canoe and hike the 35 mile length of the canal over the course of one day, and can choose to take part in the whole Triathlon or individual disciplines. In addition, local enthusiasts will be out in force to work locks, marshal road crossings and provide refreshments for participants.

Over a hundred entries have so far been received, including entries from Richard Parry, CRT Chief Executive, and Andrew Stumpf, Head of Wales, Gland┼Ár Cymru (CRT in Wales).

More information, entry forms and sponsorship forms can be found at the Friends of the Montgomery Canal website.


About People

Michele Field

IWA is saddened to report the death of Michele Field, who passed away on Sunday 6th April. Michele was a member of The Guild of Waterway Artists for many years and produced work that many would be familiar with. Over the years Michele’s paintings often featured on IWA Christmas cards.


Other News

CRT Consultation on National Towpath Use Policy

Cyclists resting, Harry Arnold Waterways ImagesPhoto: Cyclists resting (photo by Harry Arnold, Waterway Images)

Last month, Canal & River Trust (CRT) launched a consultation as part of the development of a National Towpath Use Policy and has invited towpath users to comment on its proposals. Readers are reminded that there is a month left to submit comments, which must be received by Friday 2nd May.

The aim of the policy is to improve the experience for those who use towpaths in England and Wales, to attract more visitors to regularly use and enjoy the waterways and to encourage shared, safe use of towpaths.

CRT sees the Policy as a form of social contract or memorandum between the Trust and users of its waterways, and explains that the Policy is a shared commitment to conserve and improve the waterways in its care.

CRT aims for the policy to help promote and protect a number of key principles, which include:

  • Towpaths’ established uses in supporting boating, angling, walking and other waterbased activities, should be balanced with their role in connecting places.
  • Towpaths should be free to access for all users who wish to walk, run, fish, cycle etc. and who are committed to behave considerately to other users of the towpaths.
  • Towpaths should be improved where needed, to accommodate increased visits safely and to improve disabled access.
  • The tradition of horse boating is part of the heritage of our waterways and improvements made should follow the guidance for horse boating.
  • Where there are concerns over capacity or underlying condition, towpaths will not be promoted as part of a wider route network.

To meet these principles CRT has identified a number of actions that it plans to undertake. These actions include:

  • Working in partnership with local authorities and local communities to improve and promote the use of its towpaths for a wide range of users through:
    • The delivery of surface improvements in line with CRT’s Towpath Guidance Document including the design of towpaths to encourage safe shared use.
    • The encouragement of local communities to work with CRT to maintain towpaths.
    • The reclamation of towpath width for safer shared use where practical and appropriate.
    • The review of towpath use where there is evidence of conflict.
  • The clear outlining of behaviours expected from towpath users through:
    • The publication and promotion of a Towpath Code.
    • The development of shared use signage.
  • Working with partners to enhance the towpath environment for visitors through:
    • Work with key interest groups.
    • Work with local authorities and the Police.
    • The promotion of alternative routes around the busiest towpaths.

CRT has also acknowledged that towpath users must contribute to efforts to make towpaths enjoyable places to visit. With this, the Policy principles and proposed actions in mind CRT has developed a Towpath Code that, after the consultation, it plans to role out nationally and encourage towpath users to follow. The proposed Towpath Code asks towpath users to remember:

  • Share the space
  • Drop your pace
  • Pedestrians have priority
  • Be courteous to others
  • Follow signs and obey local bye-laws
  • Give way to oncoming people beneath bridges
  • Give way and use common sense
  • Avoid wearing headphones
  • Keep dogs under control
  • At all times, keep children close to you

CRT has asked for towpath users comments on the proposed Towpath Code. All comments should be sent to sharingtowpaths@canalrivertrust.org.uk or alternatively complete CRT’s online response survey. All comments and surveys must be submitted by Friday 2nd May.

Download and read the full consultation document, which lists all principles, proposed actions and the full Towpath Code (PDF, 2.9MB).

More information on IWA's views of Cycling on the towpath is available at IWA's website and in IWA's Cycling Code.


External Funding Helps Young People Discover the Waterways

In partnership with a number of youth and environmental organisations, CRT has secured external funding to deliver two projects over the next year that will encourage young people to engage with the waterways.

The first initiative, funded through the Cabinet Office’s Youth Social Action Journey Fund and led by the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, begins this spring and will be delivered by CRT in partnership with the RSPB and the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs.

The project will see four full-time facilitators employed to work on canal-focussed local ‘Action Squads’.  Themselves young people, the facilitators will work alongside the Trust’s volunteering teams and will recruit and support young people to set up their own waterways focused Action Squads.

The second Cabinet Office funded project (from its Vulnerable & Disengaged Young People’s Fund) is also a year-long partnership project. Led by vInspired, the initiative will run until March 2015.

Two consecutive groups of young people will work with the Trust four days a week for six months – thirty people over the year. Working across the Trust's Central Shires waterway, the young people will again lead social action activities that will count towards a ‘Level 2’ accredited City & Guilds qualification in conservation.


Work to Develop the Next Phase of Staveley Basin Underway

Staveley Basin ProgressPhoto: Progress at Staveley Basin

The next phase of the development at Staveley Basin on the Chesterfield Canal has started with contractors beginning work to build wing walls to support the lock bridge.

Derbyshire County Council manages the project and has agreed to fund £89,000 towards the scheme with Chesterfield Canal Trust contributing £76,000 in funds and volunteer time.

Ace Developments from Chesterfield has started an eight week contract to build the wing walls which will support the unfinished lock bridge already in place which will carry a road over the canal.

The Staveley Basin project is part of work being completed with the help of volunteers to restore and improve Chesterfield Canal making more of the waterway navigable.

The project has already seen the development of a mooring basin which can house up to twenty large canal boats and twelve smaller crafts.

Lichfield Canal Heritage Towpath Trail Opened

Photo: Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust Heritage Trail Launch (photo by Margaret Beardsmore)

On Sunday 13th April, the Lichfield Canal Heritage Towpath Trail was officially opened by Lichfield Greenhill Bower Queen Savannah Bennett, and Deputy Bower Queen Charlotte Aspley with a crowd of around 70 people.

This section of the Trail, from Lock 25, at the Borrowcop Lock Canal Park on the A51 Tamworth Road, to the bus stop adjacent to the A38 bridge, has been made disabled friendly by volunteers from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust after months of hard work.

Special guest Paul Woolley, an advisor to spinal injury units at Oswestry and Sheffield, was the first to prove the Trail’s suitability for wheelchair users.

The section, which runs alongside the rewatered Pound 26, (a pound is the length of canal between locks), Lock 26 and Pound 27, will also be in water later this year.

Work is currently going on to create a winding hole, where narrowboats can turn around, and Pound 27 will be lined with puddled clay before being filled with water. It is hoped to have the first load of clay placed at the end of May.

The disabled-friendly section, is part of an ambitious programme to create a seven-mile Heritage Towpath Trail alongside the Lichfield Canal, which when restored will run from Huddlesford to Catshill Junction.

Google Street View Images of Canals and Rivers

Google imagery of some waterway locations is now available online which will encourage people to virtually explore canals and rivers in the same way that they can use Street View to navigate roads.

Canal & River Trust loaned the Trekker from Google and captured footage of over 130 miles of waterways between August and November last year. 20 staff and volunteers from the Trust trekked across 72 locations around the country.

Imagery now available includes:

  • Bingley five-rise locks
  • Little Venice
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Find out more on CRT's website.


Dredging in the West Midlands

Work has started on a two-year project to dredge sections of several canals in the West Midlands.

The £800,000 work will improve the Daw End Branch of the Wyrley and Essington Canal near Walsall and the Birmingham Main Line and Rushall canals.

CRT plans to remove about 7,500 tonnes of silt and other materials that have built up in the canals.


World's first iron hulled boat returns to Monkland Canal 

A nineteenth century boat that revolutionised maritime design has been returned to its original home on the Monkland Canal after a £300,000 renovation.

The design of the 63-foot-long vessel Vulcan, was considered revolutionary when it was launched on the Monkland Canal in 1819. Vulcan was the the world’s first iron-hulled boat, a full size replica of which arrived at Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life in Coatbridge on 27th March 2014.

The replica, which closely follows the design and construction of the original, is significant in its own right as the last boat built on the Clyde using traditional riveting techniques. Its construction marked the end of a trade that had flourished for 160 years.

Utilising a range of media and artefacts, the attraction will celebrate the history of the canals, ironworking in North Lanarkshire, and Vulcan’s role in revolutionising shipbuilding when it is formally opened in the summer.

For more on the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, visit the Museum's website.


New Trust to be Launched in Memory of Boating Enthusiast Roger Lorenz

A new Trust, which will offer young adults between the ages of 18-30 the opportunity to learn traditional boating skills, will be launched at the Stratford River Festival on 5th/6th July.

The Roger Lorenz Trust has been set up in memory of Roger who was a boat enthusiast for over 40 years and had a long history of involvement on the canals, as a surveyor and a member of various waterway related committees. His wife Stef is passionate about keeping her late husband’s love of canals and boating alive.

His original broad-beamed boat, Neptune, will be used by the Trust to provide training opportunities to learn about steering, mooring and maintenance of a vintage diesel engine. The courses, which the Trust hopes to begin in May 2014, will run over the course of a weekend and include talks about the history of the canal network. The Trust is hoping to offer several different modules and, in time, an NVQ qualification to participants on its courses.

The Trust is currently seeking donations to support its work and to enable it to register as a charity. To find out more about the courses on offer, or how to donate, please contact Stef Lorenz on 0161 7070 588.


Wilderness Boat Owners’ Club 25th Anniversary Cruise

Wilderness boats approach lowered Pentlin Lane Bridge, coming up from Newport on the Monmouthshire Canal, from the 2010 IWA Trailboat Newport Rally Photo: Wilderness boats approach lowered Pentlin Lane Bridge, coming up from Newport on the Monmouthshire Canal, from the 2010 IWA Trailboat Newport Rally (photo by Neil McGarry)

The Wilderness Boat Owners Club has organised a cruise along the Kennet and Avon Canal over the Mayday Weekend, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Club, set up by Audrey Baker in 1989, and in memory of the Club’s first Chairman Keith Hadden, who sadly died in 2010.

Around eighteen Wilderness boats from as far afield as Norfolk and Devon plan to gather  at Pewsey on Friday 2nd May. On the Saturday the flotilla will cruise to Devizes and then descend the Caen Hill Flight on Sunday. The Cruise will officially end Monday lunchtime at Semington Dock, in the new workshop of Wilderness Boats’ original manufacturer, Ian Graham.



Volunteers Needed for Crick Festival

In 2010, IWA Festivals borrowed Wind in The Willows costumes from Henley Museum, for the Beale Park National Festival. A group of IWA volunteers dressed up in costumes and wandered round the Show. This year, the organisers  of Crick Boat Show plan to borrow the same costumes and are looking for volunteers to carry out a similar role, both those with ‘previous experience’ and anyone who fancies a volunteer opportunity with a difference.

Waterways World, organiser of the Show, is looking for four volunteers on each of the show days, to take it in turns to wear or escort one of four costumes (so two characters at a time will come out). Volunteers will need to walk around as Rat/Toad/Mole/Badger and wave, pose for photographs, hug children (but not speak). The job of the escort is to make sure the person in costume does not trip over. Volunteers will only need to wear costumes for 30 minute intervals.

Crick Boat Show & Waterways Festival will be held at Crick Marina near Daventry in Northamptonshire, 24th - 26th May 2014 and is organised by Waterways World in partnership with the CRT and Crick Marina.

If you are interested to help out, please contact sarah.kidd@wwonline.co.uk.



IWA & WRG Work Party Reports

This section contains volunteer reports from IWA branches and IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). IWA branch reports contain information from their latest work parties where volunteers have worked to help maintain their local canals. WRG reports on its Canal Camps and weekend digs to keep readers up to date with the restoration work the group has been undertaking.


55 Volunteers Clean-up Over 5 Miles of the Erewash Canal

Volunteers on the Erewash Canal Clean-up (photo by Alison Smedley)Photo: Volunteers on the Erewash Canal Clean-up (photo by Alison Smedley)

IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch joined forces with the Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association (ECP&DA) and Canal & River Trust (CRT)  to carry out a canal clean up on the Erewash Canal on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th March. The two-day event left the canal between Cotmanhay and Sandiacre, a length of about 5.5 miles, much improved after litter from the towpath and submerged and floating rubbish from the canal was removed.   

CRT supplied two workboats, with staff to operate them, on both days.  A tug and pan travelled down the canal to collect bags of litter and items of rubbish pulled out of the canal by volunteers working ahead on the towpath. This was followed by the workboat Bollin with volunteers on board picking out waterborne litter and rubbish from the offside of the canal. As the team passed through each lock, volunteers also cleared debris from the bywashes.    

ECP&DA volunteers took the lead on the Friday, when about thirty volunteers, including some IWA members, turned out to pull rubbish from the canal between Cotmanhay and Gallows Inn Lock. A litter pick was also carried out and by the end of the first day over fifty bags of rubbish had been collected. These bags, along with the rubbish collected on the work boat Bollin during the day, filled the skip at Gallows Inn Lock.

On Friday a very shiny motorbike was pulled out of the canal. The Police were notified, came to take it away and mentioned that it had only been missing for a week.  Also retrieved from the canal was a trophy with the figure of a boxer. A bit of detective work has discovered that it was presented by the Wolverhampton Amateur Boxing Club.  A spokesman for the club said that they were “intrigued and delighted” to hear of the find, and looked forward to the trophy being returned to them in due course.

On the Saturday, IWA members formed the majority of the twenty-five volunteers who turned out for the second day of the clean up, where the same methods were used to deal with the submerged rubbish, waterborne litter and towpath litter between Gallows Inn Lock and Sandiacre Lock.  

The usual assortment of shopping trolleys, bicycles and tyres were pulled out of the canal, along with much unidentifiable and miscellaneous rubbish. At one point on the Saturday afternoon, a small group of tenacious volunteers collected some eight bags of rubbish out of just one blocked culvert by Pastures Lock. By the end of Saturday when the rubbish from the work boat had been transferred to the pan, it was pretty much full with all the rubbish from the two days’ work. 


Caldon Canal Cast Iron Bridge Painting

Photo: Volunteers repainting cast iron bridge (photo by Alison Smedley)

The weather stayed dry on Thursday 10th April for volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch to continue their project, started last autumn, of painting the iconic cast iron bridge at Hazelhurst Junction on the Caldon Canal.
The bridge, which dates back to 1842 and has Listed status, has intricate cast iron balustrades in a scalloped pattern, which the volunteers discovered was surprisingly time consuming to scrape and wire brush in preparation for painting.  The small number of volunteers on this particular occasion meant that only one side of the bridge was tackled (half of which was receiving a second coat of white paint following the start of the project in the autumn, while the other half received its first coat).  The handrail on that side of the bridge also had a second coat of black.  It was good to note that the new bridge deck surface, that had been barrowed into place on a previous work party, had consolidated nicely and formed a good towpath surface over the bridge.
Work will continue at the next work party scheduled for Thursday 8th May, when it is hoped that CRT will be able to supply a work boat to use as a platform to enable the lower parts of the bridge to be painted.  Do consider joining in, as it would be great to start to tackle the balance beams and the sidepond handrails at this lock too if there are enough people.


Update from the Chester Tower Wharf

Preparing the service block at Tower Wharf for paintingPhoto: Volunteers prepare service block for a fresh coat of paint

IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch has clocked up many volunteer hours and completed lots of valuable tasks in the Chester Tower Wharf and Dee Branch area of the Shropshire Union Canal. This has helped keep the area clean and tidy and improve facilities for all waterway users. Tasks completed so far include painting lock balance beams and railings at Dee Lock, Graving Lock and Bridge Lock; weeding at Old Port Basin and Bridge Lock, where bulbs were also planted; and clearance of the overgrown area close to Bridge Lock and overgrown turf covering the mooring rings at Tower Wharf and Bridge 126. At the latest work party on Saturday 5th April, volunteers prepared the Service Block for a new coat of paint. This was to be finished at the beginning of May but due to popular demand from the volunteers to get their good job completed sooner an extra work party was scheduled for 16th April.



IWA Volunteering Opportunities

IWA Branch Volunteer Vacancies:

Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches.


IWA Branch and Region Magazines

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

North & East and South London Branches - Meridian Cuttings - April 2014

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

East Midlands Region - Aegre - March 2014

Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch - Shroppie Fly Paper - Spring 2014


Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2014

3rd - 5th May 2014 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
24th - 26th May 2014 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Devon
6th - 8th June 2014 - IWA Campaign Festival, Chester
23rd - 25th August 2014 - Saul Waterways Pageant

Branch Boating Events in 2014

2nd - 5th May 2014 - Braunston Boat Gathering (IWA Northampton Branch)
27th - 29th June 2014 - Thwaite Mills Boat Gathering (IWA West Riding Branch)
4th - 6th July 2014 - Ware Boat Festival (IWA Lee & Stort Branch)
6th July 2014 - Rochdale Canal Boat Gathering (IWA West Riding Branch)
6th - 7th September 2014 - Maesbury Canal Festival (supported by IWA Shrewsbury, District & North Wales Branch)

Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area on the website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.

See IWA's Events Calendar for a full list of waterway events. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.


Upcoming Volunteer/Clean-up Events

17th April Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
19th April Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
23rd April Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
26th April Work Party - Hyde (IWA Manchester Branch)
27th April Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
30th April Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
30th April Work Party - Wardle Lock (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch and IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)

3rd May Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
3rd May Work Party - Dee Branch, Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
5th May Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
7th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th May Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
8th May Work Party - Caldon Canal (by IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
10th-11th May Work Party Weekend - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (supported by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
13th May Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
14th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
14th May Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country and Worcestershire Branch)
14th May Work Party - Wardle Lock (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch and IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
15th May Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th May Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th May Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
21st May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
24th May Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
28th May Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
28th May Work Party - Wardle Lock (IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch and IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)

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


Upcoming Towpath Walks

20th April London Towpath Walk (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
24th April Waterside Walk - Marston (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

4th May Waterside Walk - London (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
18th May Waterside Walk - London (IWA Towpath Walk Society)
22nd May Waterside Walk - Bunbury (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

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


IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • Airedale Cruising - 10% Discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - 6 Issues for £6
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Marine Megastore Ltd. - 15% discount
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount  
  • Paper Wizard - 15% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard 
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd - 10% discount on published prices
  • Zead - Free postage and accessories

Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.

To see details of how to take advantage of these offers, please go to www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_area/member_discounts_special_offers_public

For IWA members who receive a printed copy of this bulletin in the post, please contact the membership team on 01494 783453 for the details of the offers.

Members can also support IWA with a Narrow Boat magazine subscription

Boat Insurance

IWA has an arrangement with insurers Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue that provides top quality boat insurance and access to the basic waterway rescue service for boat owners, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways. 

See more information about the IWA insurance scheme for boaters


Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Stefanie Preston


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