IWA Bulletin Mid-January 2015

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Top Story 

Popular Canals and Rivers Win Restoration Funds in IWA Raffle

Waterway Recovery Group volunteers repoint a bridge on the Lancaster CanalPhoto: Waterway Recovery Group volunteers repointing on the Lancaster Canal

Canal and river restoration projects across the country will benefit from more than £13,000 raised by IWA’s first Waterways Restoration Raffle, which ended in mid-January after five and a half months of ticket sales.

In all, over 7,000 tickets were sold by IWA directly and through restoration groups.

IWA’s National Chairman, Les Etheridge praised the generosity of ticket buyers and thanked the donors of raffle prizes, which included a number of boating breaks and holidays.

The fact that we beat our original fundraising target well before ticket sales closed is a tribute to the enduring popularity of the waterways” he commented.

IWA has a long history of leading and supporting waterway restoration. It offers expertise and advice to restoration trusts, societies and associations through its consultants and restoration committee, while its Waterway Recovery Group provides practical and technical support to waterways restoration projects as well as providing skills training for volunteers.

Visit IWA's website for a full list of winners and restoration projects that have benefited from the raffle.

IWA News

IWA Discusses Mooring Sales with CRT

Last year, IWA submitted a response to Canal & River Trust’s (CRT) Mooring Sales Consultation, which was followed up with up with a meeting with CRT in December. This allowed IWA to further discuss its views on CRT’s mooring sales proposals, as outlined below.

CRT has identified the need to change its existing mooring sales process to grow its value through the improvement of systems, the reduction of costs and an increase in occupancy whilst also improving customer service levels. CRT has suggested that cost efficiencies may be secured by rationalising the overall number of mooring sites that CRT manages, which it believes will drive improvements at the rest of the sites within the portfolio. In addition, CRT has acknowledged that the existing mooring sales system is not wholly successful as many moorings fail to let, which the Trust attributed to a combination of factors including pricing, varying demand, processes and publicity.

At the meeting in December, it was agreed that, where possible, CRT must let mooring space at the market rate for the area and that, as CRT operate a much wider range of moorings than other providers, site tariffs should vary in accordance with services provided. The services offered at CRT moorings fall into one of three categories:

  • Minimal services, (simple mooring site)
  • Average services (site with car park and water point)
  • Full services (as above with sanitary station and mains power etc.)

It was suggested that the demand for CRT sites offering full services has or would decrease in areas where new commercial marinas have been established. Despite this, CRT should continue to offer moorings and do more to publicise the availability of its minimal and average serviced sites.

The two issues of low and high demand and occupancy at certain sites was also discussed. CRT proposed that the rationalisation of some sites that were no longer feasible due to low occupancy could produce simple cost savings. Where occupancy levels were low at a number of sites in the same area, boaters could be moved to one site and the other sites closed. IWA suggested that prior to considering such closures, tariffs could be reduced to encourage more boaters to moor there, generating a more positive view of the site that could ultimately attract more boaters and perhaps an improvement in sustainability of demand. CRT indicated that such a policy had been successful in the past.

It was also agreed that CRT’s current auction system did not work at many sites where there was low demand, and that a system that advertises and sells the moorings at a fixed price on a first come first served basis could be more effective.

CRT added that in all cases pricing policy continued to be carefully considered to insure that CRT moorings reflect the appropriate market rate for similar serviced moorings in the area. However, the Trust also said that where moorings have been continually discounted below the guide price to encourage demand, a whole site price reduction would be implemented at the next review. This effectively reduces the market rate in the area for the same level of services.

At the other end of the scale where moorings are in demand and high levels of occupancy do or are expected to occur, CRT suggested this could be utilised to lead to mooring co-operatives. Mooring co-operatives are already being investigated in the London area where CRT hopes to work with appropriate groups to assist them in taking up lease schemes for some offside mooring sites. It was noted that the mooring situation in London was not typical of the rest of the network and that it only indicated how circumstances might develop in other heavily urbanised areas.

Unlike at low demand sites, it was agreed that CRT’s auction system was more effective in areas where demand is known to be high. It was thought that reserve prices should remain unspecified but a 'bids over' guide price could be suggested to aid boaters in the auction process. However, if an auction did not result in a letting then the site vacancy should be advertised at an open 'buy now' price.  

Download and read IWA’s response to CRT’s Mooring Sales Consultation (PDF, 242KB).

Second Phase of Brentford Waterside Development Approved

Phase 1 buildings alongside the Grand Union Canal at BrentfordPhoto: Phase 1 buildings alongside the Grand Union Canal at Brentford

The second phase of a 520 home waterside development in Brentford has been approved by Hounslow Council and Mæ Architects appointed to design the latest phase of buildings.

The second phase of work at Brentford Lock West will see 141 new homes built and new commercial space created along Commerce Road. The site is owned by ISIS Waterside Regeneration and includes an area of land between Commerce Street to the west and the Grand Union Canal to the east. In March 2012, outline planning application for the whole site was approved by Hounslow Council. The outline application, which consisted of around 500 dwellings, commercial space and a watersports hub, showed that the development would be implemented in a five to seven year programme and detailed schemes for each part of the site would be submitted in separate phases.

Final approval for the detailed Phase 2 plans was granted on 22nd December and consists of two residential blocks, with a selection of four bedroom town houses and one, two and three bedroom apartments, at the centre of the site.

IWA Middlesex Branch has followed the development. The Branch submitted no comments on the second phase planning application as it felt the plan’s details were in compliance with the approved regulatory plans and planning parameters. The Branch was also generally supportive of Phase 1 development, which has included towpath improvements, new mooring rings and smart card service bollards for boaters. However, the Branch did question CRT and ISIS’s installation of a floating pontoon on the dock edge. It was revealed this had been installed without planning permission, which was then applied for retrospectively. The pontoon was placed at its current location to provide a launching site for the paddle sports hub that is temporarily located close by. It has been agreed that the hub will not remain here and IWA Middlesex Branch advised the Council that if it intended to grant retrospective planning permission for the pontoon, it should only be temporary until the hub moves as in its current position the pontoon prevents boats from mooring in front of the Brentford Lock West marketing suite. As such the pontoon has planning permission until February 2019.

On completion of Phase 2, the northern part of the site, designated for commercial use, will be developed, followed by the provision of affordable housing in the final phase.

ISIS Waterside Regeneration is jointly owned by CRT and MUSE Developments. Half of its returns are re-invested by CRT to maintain and enhance waterways in its care.

IWA Chiltern Branch Donates £750 to Chesterfield Canal Trust

Judy Clegg (IWA Chiltern Branch) hands over cheque for £500 to John Lower (Chesterfield Canal Trust) 14th December 2014Photo: Judy Clegg (IWA Chiltern Branch) hands over cheque for £500 to John Lower (Chesterfield Canal Trust) 14th December 2014

IWA Chiltern Branch has donated £750 to Chesterfield Canal Trust (CCT), a donation that was possible due to the Branch’s successful fundraising throughout 2014. An initial donation of £250 was made in gratitude of CCT’s excellent welcome and itinerary put together for IWA Chiltern Branch members who visited the Chesterfield Canal during their Branch weekend away. A further donation of £500 was made during IWA Chiltern Branch’s allocation of funds at the year-end. The Branch identified CCT’s work as worthy of investment and was sure the Trust would use the money well.

Last Chance to Enter IWA Calendar Competition

Have you taken any inspiring photographs of waterway scenes recently? Submit them to IWA’s calendar competition before the closing date on 31st January and you could be in with a chance of winning £100.

We are looking for photos of  waterway scenes that feature different seasons, activities and subjects to appear in our 2016 calendar. All entrants who have their photograph published in the calendar will receive three calendars as in previous years, but there will be also be an online vote for the overall winner who will receive £100 prize.

Take a look at images that have been entered for the competition so far.

Find out more about how to enter the calendar competition.

Grant Funding

Many organisations and charities offer free funding opportunities in the form of grants that can be applied for by going through their specific application process.

To view the list of all the grants currently on the website please visit Available Grants.

This month the following grants have been added to the website:

IWA Membership Workshop

IWA’s next membership workshop, Energising Member Experience, is planned to take place at Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery on 28th March 2015 between 10.00am and 4.00pm. Those interested are invited to attend the event, which hopes to demonstrate different ways of engaging with both current and potential members.

More details are available at IWA’s website.

About People

Bob Huntsman

IWA is saddened to report the death of Bob Huntsman on 4th January at the age of 90. Bob joined IWA in 1974 and soon took an active role as a member on IWA East Riding Branch’s committee, which he sat on until 2013. His principal waterways interest was in navigation issues on local waterways and he spent a lot of time on issues linked to the Driffield Navigation system. This included time as an appointed commissioner to the Driffield Navigation Trust, a role that allowed him to liaise between IWA and the Trust. In addition, he was very much involved with ambitious plans to develop navigation at Hedon Haven.

Des Pinnock

IWA is saddened to report the death of Des Pinnock on 7th January. Des joined IWA Gloucestershire Branch committee in early 1985 and was branch secretary until 1994. He was also chairman of the Gloucester 1990 National Waterways Festival, which was a successful and profitable event. In 1993 Des joined Cotswold Canals Trust's council and took on the role of membership secretary. Despite resigning from the council in 2010, Des continued as membership secretary until his death.

Lee Helliwell

IWA is saddened to report the death of Mrs Lee Helliwell. Lee was a long-standing IWA supporter for many years alongside her husband Darryl Helliwell, who was twice IWA North West Region chairman. Lee worked closely with Joan Heap, wife of the former IWA national chairman John Heap. Joan chaired a successful informal IWA fundraising committee and it was in these activities that Lee was heavily involved. Lee and Darryl were also regular attendees at most of IWA's major campaign events in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Other News

Further Funds Secured for Caldon Canal Towpath Improvements

Towpath works on the Caldon CanalPhoto: Towpath works on the Caldon Canal

£1.5m has been secured by Staffordshire County Council to allow towpath improvements to continue along the Caldon Canal.

In February 2014, work to improve the towpath along the Caldon Canal, including the Leek Arm, began at Stockton Brook near Stoke-on-Trent. This was part of a £7.5m project, funded by the Government’s National Park Cycle fund and other organisations, to improve cycle access to and around the Peak District. One of the four new cycle ways that was to be developed as part of the project included the Caldon Canal towpath, which was to be improved as a result.

An initial £2m was provided for the towpath improvements and to date the work carried out has helped to link Stockton Brook, Endon and Deep Hayes Country Park. It has been announced that the further £1.5m will be used to finish the towpath improvements as the resurfacing of the towpath to Leek and Cheddleton is yet to be completed.

The estimated completion date is January 2016.

CRT Seeks New Partnership Members for Manchester & Pennine Waterways

CRT has appealed for four new members to join its partnership caring for the Manchester & Pennine waterways.
Sitting alongside the Trust’s local waterway management team, the voluntary partnership plays an important role in providing strategic direction for the area’s canals and navigable rivers. The aim of the partnership is to give interested parties a voice in the development and management of their local waterways so they can help shape plans, guide the Trust’s spending decisions, develop local engagement and external funding, and champion the interests of the waterways.

The Manchester & Pennine waterway is responsible for seven canals and the Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre in Marsden. With offices at Kidsgrove, Rochdale and Marsden, the waterway covers a diverse patch that stretches from Huddersfield in the east and Northwich in the west to just north of Stoke-on-Trent in the south.

Partnership meetings are bi-monthly and partners are encouraged to get actively involved in promoting the waterways in their care.

The deadline for applications is 2nd February 2015 and short-listed candidates will be interviewed in February. For more information, contact partnership chairman Walter Menzies on 07736 351024.

CRT Appoints New Head of Customer Services

CRT has announced the appointment of Ian Rogers as its first permanent head of customer services. The new role supports the Trust’s ten-year strategy to create stronger connections between CRT and the people who use its waterways each year, and is part of a renewed focus to improve the service it offers to customers.  

CRT has said the priority of the new role is to lead its programme of customer service improvements, ensuring that all parts of the organisation put customers at the heart of what they do. The role also has direct responsibility for leisure boating, licencing and enforcement.

Ian comes from Aon, the large insurance broker, where he was managing director of the Aon Affinity division. Prior to that, he worked in senior customer service roles at Dataforce, Thomas Cook and Eurostar. He starts with CRT on 2nd February.

Grant Awarded for Staveley Town Lock

Derbyshire County Council has received a grant of £37,500 towards the manufacture and installation of new lock gates at Staveley Town Lock on the Chesterfield Canal from The Veolia Environmental Trust.

The work will be the third phase of a project to construct Staveley Town Lock in Staveley Town Basin and the lock itself is being built by volunteers from Chesterfield Canal Trust.

CRT Dredges Shropshire Union Canal

CRT has announced that over 7,000 tonnes of silt has been dredged from the Shropshire Union Canal near Chester to make the canal easier to navigate for boaters.
CRT has dredged a four-mile section of the canal between Salmons Bridge and Hoole Lane Lock. Along this stretch the dredging has created a 6.7m wide, 1.35 metre deep channel. Work began in mid-November and is due to be completed by the third week in January.

Fish and Eel Passes Help Migration

Hardham Weir fish pass with eel pass attached to weir wall (photo supplied by ECS)Photo: Hardham Weir fish pass with eel pass attached to weir wall (photo supplied by ECS)

Fish and eel passes have recently been installed at Hardham Weir where the rivers Rother and Arun meet. ECS Engineering undertook the work as part of the Environment Agency’s (EA) programme of coordinated measures designed to help the recovery of fish and eel numbers across the country.

Fish and eel passes allow the animals to by-pass river obstructions, such as Hardham Weir, and continue on their natural migratory path up-stream, where they spawn. Many passes also include eel traps that aid EA in properly recording eel numbers and accurate data about the eel population. This is an important tool in helping EA analyse the effectiveness of its eel management programme and report back to the European Commission. 

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.

First IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch Work Party of the Year

IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch had its first work party of 2015 at Lime Kiln Bridge, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, on 14th January. The volunteers carried out a litter pick through the town as far as Caldwall lock and back, collecting about eight bags of rubbish. After warnings of snow, cold and more to come, it was a relief to find the weather bright and sunny, but cold enough to be happy for a lunchtime finish! 

First Cheshire Locks Work Party for New Leader

Lock 62 in top condition with clean stone-work and exposed cobbles and setts (photo by Andy Hellyar-Brook)Photo: Lock 62 in top condition with clean stone-work and exposed cobbles and setts (photo by Andy Hellyar-Brook)

IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch has a new Cheshire Locks work party organiser, Andy Hellyar-Brook, and January 15th was his first event, as well as the first Cheshire Locks work party of 2015. Six enthusiastic volunteers, with hands-on support from CRT, turned out for the work party at Malkin’s Bank, near Sandbach on the Trent & Mersey Canal. It is well known amongst the volunteers that winter work parties are always a bit of a lottery with regard to conditions, however, on this occasion the weather turned out to be not as bad as forecast, although it was still cold and windy with occasional rain.

Due to this, plans to finish painting Lock 61 could not be carried out. The group set to clearing cobble setts, lock landings and edging along the stone-work around Lock 62 and below Lock 61 instead. In addition, as the hedgerow had shed its leaves it exposed quite a bit of litter, which was also cleared away.

At the foot of Lock 61 volunteers uncovered an unusual cobbled area with large, gently converging stone paving with no clear function. The stone is in excellent condition with very little apparent wear.

Malkin’s Bank flight is looking really tidy and well cared for thanks to all the hard work of volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and Trent & Mersey Canal Society and the ongoing support of CRT Manchester & Pennine. The overall impact of the work is plain to see and the work party volunteers are looking to bring the whole of the Cheshire Flight up to this standard progressively over the next three years, a time scale that should insure they can keep up the standard set to date.

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:

South West Region - Sou'Wester - January 2015

Chelmsford Branch - Chelmsford Branch Newsletter - January 2015
Lancashire & Cumbria Branch - Towing Path Topics - January 2015

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

Warwickshire Branch - Bear Essentials - December 2014
Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - January 2015

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2015

2nd - 4th May 2015 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
30th - 31st May 2015 - IWA Trailboat Festival, Cumbria
29th - 31st August 2015 - Festival of Water, Northampton

IWA Fundraising Events in 2015

22nd February 2015 - IWAlk, West Midlands

IWA Branch Events in 2015

3rd - 5th July 2015 - Ware Boat Festival, Hertfordshire
4th - 5th July 2015 - Welsh Waterways Festival, Wales

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

21st January Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
23rd January Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
25th January Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
28th January Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)

4th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th February Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
7th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th February Work Party - Stoke on Trent (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
10th February Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
11th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th February Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
12th February Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
18th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th February Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
21st February Work Party - Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
22nd February Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
25th February Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
27th February Work Party - Congleton (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

22nd January Waterside Walk - Little Neston (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

1st February Walk - Wolfhampcote (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
1st February Waterside Walk - Mile End to Limehouse (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
15th February Waterside Walk - The Olympics, Three Mills and Bow Backs Rivers (IWA Towpath Walks Society)

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 - up to 67% off magazine subscription until January 2015
  • CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
  • 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
  • Forge Studio - 10% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • King's Lock Chandlery - 5% 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