Photo: Big Ben, Houses of Parliament
IWA has welcomed plans announced by the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group (APPWG), to hold an inquiry into Canal & River Trust (CRT), to evaluate the development, progress and future plans of the charity.
IWA strongly supported the establishment of CRT in 2012 when it took over management of 2,000 miles of British Waterways' navigations - about half of the UK's waterways. Although CRT has opened up new streams of revenue, created a greater role for volunteers, and now has the potential for better maintenance of waterways and greater user-involvement in their management, IWA remains concerned that it will not reach its full potential without integration with the Environment Agency's waterways.
The intention of the inquiry is to understand the aims, goals, progress and challenges of the new charity. APPWG, led by Chair, Sir Tony Baldry MP (a former Waterways Minister), proposes to hold an evidence session which would produce a report of the Inquiry’s findings, together with recommendations for government and other relevant bodies.
Topics for discussion include:
IWA welcomes the opportunity to celebrate the Trust's achievements over the past two years, and to highlight some of the issues IWA has been campaigning for, particularly the transfer of EA navigations. IWA was a major influence in ensuring that CRT received an adequate financial settlement from Government when it became a charity in 2012, and is now lobbying for the transfer of EA navigations to CRT, subject to the right financial terms.
List of Witnesses:
Photo: Saul Rally 2005
IWA's Saul Waterways Pageant, taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend at Saul Junction, will showcase a diversity of interests on and around the waterways.
As well as water-based competitions and demonstrations, activities will include walking, fishing and cycling as well as featuring live music, markets, refreshments and a real ale bar.
On the water, a daily Historic Lifeboat Parade will take place and Severn Area Rescue Association will perform demonstrations throughout the event. Competitions will include boat handling, and an illuminated boat display on the Saturday Evening.
Over the weekend there will be a market featuring stalls from boaters, charities, local groups, exhibitors and traders. A Boat Jumble will take place on the Bank Holiday Monday and attendees are invited to hire a stall, or bring a few items along to be sold on their behalf. Space is limited so tables must be ordered in advance.
Live music throughout the event will include folk, blues, 60s and 70s rock and pop as well as sea shanties, played on a range of instruments from electric and acoustic guitars, to bodhran, harmonica, mandocello, tenor guitar, flute, cajon, bodhran, ukelele bass and piano.
Tim the Magician will entertain children on each day and there will be craft workshops including rope-making.
Full details and timetable are available on IWA's website.
Evening entertainment for boaters and campers will include a quiz, live music and an open mic night. A few spaces are still available for boaters and campers. Booking forms are available for download online from IWA's website.
There will be no admission charge for those visiting during the day, although programmes will be available for £2 which includes entry into a lucky draw to win £50.
The event takes place at the junction of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and Stroudwater Navigation over the weekend Saturday 23rd to Monday 25th August 2014 and aims to promote the restoration work taking place on the Cotswold Canals as well as the use of the waterways locally and nationally.
Photo: Stratford River Festival (photo by Richard Sanders)
IWA joined celebrations for the restoration of Warwickshire waterways at Stratford River Festival over the weekend of 4th to 6th July.
Crowds descended on the 6th annual river festival, which this year highlighted anniversaries for the restoration of the Southern Stratford-upon-Avon Canal and the Upper Avon Navigation, which were reopened 50 years ago and 40 years ago respectively.
Tributes included a re-enactment of the re-opening of the two waterways by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the unveiling of commemorative plaques.
Visitors could find out about the restoration projects in an exhibition organised by IWA with The Stratford upon Avon Canal Society and CRT, which featured archive photographs and historic film footage from the 1960s and 70s.
Children and adults tried their hand at bricklaying with volunteers from IWA's WRG, who were promoting the restoration work that they carry out on canals and river navigations throughout the UK.
IWA Warwickshire Branch showcased the work they have done to improve the local waterways recently, fundraising for waterway projects and a branch initiative to digitise 20,000 slides, depicting UK canals and rivers in the 60s, 70s and 80s, which belonged to Warwickshire resident, the late Rhodes Thomas. Additionally, the branch stand featured children's activities from IWA's Wild Over Waterways.
As well as celebrating past successes on waterways in the local area, the event looked towards the future. Local groups are campaigning for an extension of the Warwickshire Avon to Warwick, to create a new cruising loop that would benefit villages and businesses along the river. Supported by IWA, the Avon Navigation Trust, CRT and Stratford & Warwick Waterways Trust are conducting a feasibility study for the extension.
Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, said "this was a fantastic event celebrating the reopening of local waterways which benefitted from IWA campaigning and work parties in the fifties and sixties. IWA strongly supports the Avon Extension and the creation of a new cruising ring."
Photo: Gough's Orchard Canal Camp
Since the 1960s hundreds of miles of canals and river navigations have been saved from dereliction and gradually more and more miles are being brought back to life by dedicated volunteer groups around the country.
For more than forty years, IWA's Waterway Recovery Group has supported restoration of derelict inland waterways by co-ordinating volunteers and providing expertise and equipment. Every summer, WRG organises over twenty-five week-long working holidays aimed at giving canal restoration projects a ‘big push’ with extra volunteers, technical support and advice.
WRG’s 2014 summer season of canal restoration began on Saturday 5th July, with over sixty volunteers spending the week working on three different projects, on the Grantham Canal in Nottinghamshire, the Monmouthshire Canal in South Wales and the Cotswold Canals in Gloucestershire.
There are twenty-two Canal Camps running this summer, to which volunteers are invited to get their hands dirty and try something completely different. Some of the tasks lined up this year include, starting the restoration of Inglesham Lock on the Cotswold Canals near Lechlade, relining a section of the Lancaster Canal at Stainton, and, a new addition, carrying out towpath improvement work on the Pocklington Canal in East Yorkshire. WRG camps offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation and other restoration techniques.
Last year WRG volunteers spent nearly 5000 volunteer days helping restore the canals of England and Wales on our Canal Camps and weekend digs. With more volunteering opportunities on offer this summer, it is hoped that even greater progress can be made on a number of restoration projects.
Photo: Sir Tony Robinson (photo by Walking Through History)
Sir Tony Robinson is backing a canal restoration campaign to encourage more people to engage with derelict canals across the country.
IWA is working alongside CRT in this campaign and both organisations want to see more people involved in waterway restoration, which, as a recent study by the University of Northampton illustrates, benefits communities both economically and socially.
IWA and CRT are working to provide more information on waterways under restoration so that the public can learn about the history of these navigations.
IWA hopes that this will lead to a greater engagement with local waterway restoration projects. IWA has put together a selection of resources for use on such projects by local restoration groups. Additionally, IWA can provide support through its WRG, which provides canal restoration opportunities for volunteers.
At the height of the Industrial Revolution, the country had a waterway network of over 5000 miles. However, with the growth of the rail and road networks the use of canals declined and their upkeep was neglected. In the 1960s and ’70s, volunteers began work to restore various waterways and this continues today.
The campaign has already had a good reception in the press and was covered on BBC Breakfast, with an interview from IWA's Restoration Committee Chairman, Vaughan Welch.
Find out more about CRT’s support for waterways restoration.
Find out more about IWA’s WRG’s work to restore waterways and how you can get involved.
Photo: Visitor learns to drive a digger with WRG at Chesterfield Canal Festival
The Chesterfield Canal Festival, organised by Chesterfield Canal Trust, attracted thousands of visitors over the weekend of the 28th June.
The entertainment on offer included belly dancers, Black Pig Border Morris, birds of prey displays, a ukulele band, vintage vehicles, stalls and boat rides. IWA’s WRG was also at the Festival teaching visitors to drive a digger, kindly supplied by Hewden.
WRG was involved in the construction of Constitution Hill Bridge, which was formally opened at the beginning of the Festival, and is running two Canal Camps on the Chesterfield Canal this summer to continue its support of the Chesterfield Canal Trust in the restoration of the waterway.
IWA has launched the sale of its 2015 calendar.
The calendar, which features photographs submitted and voted for by IWA members as part of its annual calendar competition, is now available to buy from IWAShop.com.
Featured waterways include the Oxford Canal, Shropshire Union Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal, Coventry Canal, Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, Kennet & Avon Canal, Grand Union Canal, Northampton Arm and the River Thames. See winning calendar competition photographs.
The proceeds from the sale of the calendar support IWA's campaigns.
Over 600 photographs were entered into the competition which aims to promote waterways, activities and wildlife from all over the UK waterway network.
IWA would like to thank everyone who supported IWA, by taking the time to submit photographs or vote in the competition.
Many organisations and charities offer funding opportunities in the form of grants that can be applied for through their specific application processes.
This month information on the following grants has been added to IWA's website, all of which are open to applications:
To view the full list of grants currently on the IWA website visit Available Grants.
Photo: Robert Aickman
To mark the centenary of IWA founder Robert Aickman’s birth, Tartarus Press is to publish a new edition of the second volume of his autobiography, The River Runs Uphill – A story of Success and Failure. The new edition includes a reinstated chapter and passages that Aickman removed before the first edition was published.
The River Runs Uphill is to be re-published on 17th July and is available to pre-order from the Tartarus Press website now.
Throughout August, Midland Chandlers is offering IWA members a 10% discount off purchases. This is double the 5% discount that IWA members usually receive.
View all discounts that IWA Member's receive on the IWA website.
Photo: CRT workboat, Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal (photo by CRT)
On 8th July, CRT published its 2013/14 Annual Report & Accounts at its Annual Meeting in Birmingham.
CRT stated that during its first full year as a charity it had met challenges but felt it had made a good start.
To summarise the Annual Report & Accounts CRT listed what it felt were the highlights of the charity's year. These included:
The full CRT Annual Report & Accounts can be downloaded from CRT's website.
CRT has announced that new water regulations mean that over the next two years it will have to review the design of its water points and make changes to some as explained on CRT's website, which contains information on the water compliance works and facilities maintenance.
Some of the new style water points being installed by CRT have not been met with universal approval from boaters, with comments that they are more inconvenient or downright awkward to use. This has led boaters to ask what are these new regulations that they have not heard about; and boatyards, moorings operators and other navigation managers have pondered whether these new regulations might apply to them too.
The answer seems to emanate from the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, which were made under section 74 of the Water Industry Act 1991, and which replaced all the different byelaws of individual water undertakers and set out standards for water fittings and requirements for prevention of back-syphonage, etc. These are the current regulations. Of particular relevance is that Defra guidance interprets the regulations as requiring double check valves on outside taps that may be connected to hosepipes. The regulations do not apply to fittings installed before 1999.
Where CRT seems to have been caught by extra requirements is that, under regulation 8 of the Private Water Supply Regulations 2009, which came into force from 1st January 2010, it appears to have been advised that it qualifies as a private supplier, as it redistributes water supplied to it by a water undertaker (i.e. a water company). If CRT is deemed to be a private water supplier, it comes under local authority regulation and local authorities are obliged under the regulations to carry out a risk assessment within five years of the regulations coming into force of each private supply (other than a supply to a single dwelling not used for any commercial activity), hence the 2015 deadline referred to by CRT. The Drinking Water Inspectorate’s guidance note on regulation 8 states that the regulation does not apply to "caravan sites where there is a single owner of the overall site" (so is equally unlikely to apply to boat marinas) nor "ports where there is a single owner of the whole site", which may provide some reassurance for others concerned that they might be affected. Notwithstanding the fact that it might not be a legal requirement in every case, adherence to the 1999 regulations is best practice and is recommended for the safeguard of clean water supplies to all concerned.
The Heritage Alliance is running a series of one-day workshops with the Institute of Fundraising for fundraisers. They have a number of workshops taking place across the country, covering thirteen different fundraising topics. The courses, which cost £20 each, are for any member of staff, volunteer, committee member or trustee, or Heritage Open Day organiser, from a heritage or community group with responsibility to develop and deliver fundraising activities for a heritage project.
Find out more about the Giving to Heritage courses.
On 2nd July, The Supreme Court ruled that United Utilities can continue to discharge water and treated sewage into private watercourses.
This judgement was reached in the case of The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v United Utilities Water Plc. The judges ruled that subject to section 117(5) of the Water Industry Act 1991, United Utilities is entitled to discharge into The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd's canals (i.e. the Bridgewater Canal and the Manchester Ship Canal) from any sewer outfall that was in use on or before 1st December 1991. The ruling was based on the judges' beliefs that this right could be inferred from the existing statutory restriction preventing sewerage companies discontinuing the use of existing sewers until an alternative had been constructed, as well as United Utilities' general duties to provide the North West of England with water and sewerage services.
This ruling only applies to sewer outflows in use on or before 1st December 1991 and not any later constructions.
Download a summary of the case (130KB) or the full judgement (123KB) available at The Supreme Court website for more information.
Photo: Bridge installation at Weavers' Triangle (photo by Burnley Council)
A 50 tonne footbridge across the Leeds & Liverpool Canal has been installed as part of the £100m regeneration project in Burnley.
The footbridge, part of the Barnfield Burnley Developments a joint venture between Barnfield Construction and Burnley Council, will link Sandygate Mill and the University Technical College with an area proposed for bars and restaurants. This particular phase is part of the On the Banks heritage regeneration scheme being implemented in the historic Weavers' Triangle. The project includes the development of public realm, office and creative workspace, residential, leisure and retail centres along the North and South sides of the canal.
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.
Photo: Volunteers clear the Macclesfield Canal towpath at Congleton (photo by Bob Luscombe)
Despite a forecast of heavy showers and a dull overcast morning, fourteen volunteers from the local area arrived to support the second IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch work party at Congleton Station on 27th June. This is a new venture working in partnership with a number of local organisations including Congleton Town Council and Congleton Sustainability Group as well as CRT, Sustrans and Northern Rail.
The volunteers continued the work started at the first work party with further litter picking and vegetation clearance along the Macclesfield Canal towpath edge. A highlight of the work party was the uncovering of the cobbles on Snake Bridge 76 and the transformation from a somewhat weed covered pathway to the open look was remarked upon by a number of walkers on the day as well as many people who have seen pictures of the bridge on Facebook.
Following discussion with the volunteers on the day, it has been decided that this will now become a regular monthly work party on the fourth Friday of each month. The work parties will initially focus on the canal area around Congleton Station with plans to look at improving the whole area from Congleton Wharf through to Buglawton at a later date. The combination of efforts from all organisations involved is hoped to enhance Congleton as a destination area for boaters, cyclists, walkers and all other users of the towpath and canal.
Photo: Litter picking on the Paddington Arm (photo by Ray Gill)
Maybe it was the predicted bad weather, the World Cup, Wimbledon or just a busy Saturday but it was a small party of four volunteers that turned out to help with IWA Middlesex Branch’s canal clean-up on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal in Alperton on Saturday 28th June.
The day was not off to a good start as the CRT workboat operator was delayed in getting on site due to an early morning emergency call out. In addition, it was clear that the rain was there for the day and the volunteers would have the added challenge of dodging participants of the Grand Union Challenge who were running, walking and paddle-boarding 100km along the canal for charity.
The group decided to concentrate on litter picking and were surprised how much mess can be found on the canal towpath, beer cans, soft drink cans, beer cans, bottles (vodka seems a popular drink), and, of course, beer cans. Several full bags each later, the volunteers stopped for a short lunch and cup of tea, aboard the CRT workboat.
In the afternoon, the work party pushed on to the North Circular viaduct, which appears to be a popular stop to drink, eat and dump rubbish. By the end of the day, and despite the late start, an estimated fifty to sixty sacks of rubbish had been collected and the workboat was noticeably fuller. A good job done by all concerned and proof that even the smallest numbers can make a difference.
Photo: Santander volunteers lock painting with IWA Northampton Branch, Lock 2 Northampton Arm (photo by Stefanie Preston)
On Tuesday 1st July, IWA Northampton Branch’s regular work party was joined by employees from Santander.
The work party decided to make the most of the sunny and warm weather and chose lock painting as the task for the day. The group split into four teams, three of which were assigned to Lock 2, 3 or 4 on the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal, whilst the fourth team undertook a litter pick around the locks.
By mid-afternoon, the locks were looking significantly improved having received a fresh coat of paint and a general tidy-up in the surrounding area. This was largely possible due to the combined efforts of the Santander employees, IWA Northampton Branch Volunteers and CRT, who achieved a great deal by working together.
Photo: IWA Warwickshire Branch volunteers beneath restored Kingswood Junction fingerpost (photo by Ian Fletcher)
In 1989, in conjunction with British Waterways, IWA Warwickshire Branch installed a fingerpost at Kingswood Junction on the northern Grand Union Canal where it links to the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal.
Subsequently, spring bulbs were planted at the foot of the fingerpost in memory of Doug Smith who co-ordinated the installation of the signpost. Doug also created the iconic Lockmaster maps of the canals and waterways of England and Wales while living in a barrel roofed cottage beside the lock at Dicks Lane on the Stratford-upion-Avon Canal.
Over the years, the fingerpost had suffered at the hands of the weather. In particular, the post was rotting at its base and the paint in the lettering needed renewing. IWA Warwickshire Branch members dismantled the post and concreted in a new ‘godfather’ with the help of CRT Towpath Taskforce volunteers.
IWA members repainted the post and fingers, which were then re-attached to the post on site.
The 1989 plaque was repainted together with a new one which was unveiled at a ceremony on Wednesday 9th July, exactly twenty-five years and twenty-five hours after the 1989 ceremony.
Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches.
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:
East Midlands Region - Aegre - July 2014
West Riding Branch - Milepost - May 2014
Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch - Shroppie Fly Paper - Summer 2014
Major IWA events in 2014
23rd - 25th August 2014 - Saul Waterways Pageant
Branch Boating Events in 2014
6th - 7th September 2014 - Maesbury Canal Festival (joint arranged by IWA Shrewsbury, District & North Wales Branch along with Friends of the Montgomery Canal)
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.
16th July Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
17th July Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
19th July Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
19th July Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
19th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Preston (IWA Lancashire & Cumbria Branch)
21st July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
22nd July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Leicester (IWA Leicestershire Branch)
23rd July Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
24th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
24th July Work Party - Marsworth (IWA Chiltern Branch)
24th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
25th July Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
28th July Work Party - Rickmansworth (IWA Chiltern Branch)
29th July Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
30th July Work Party - River Gipping (IWA Ipswich Branch)
2nd August Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
2nd August Work Party - Dee Branch, Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
2nd August Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Pocklington Canal (IWA East Yorkshire Branch)
4th August Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
6th August Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
6th August Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
10th August Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
13th August Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
13th August Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
14th August Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
16th August Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
19th August Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
19th August Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
20th August Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
21st August Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd August Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
27th August Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
20th July Waterside Walk - Little Venice to Camden (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
24th July Waterside Walk - Wey & Arun Canal (Wey & Arun Canal Trust)
29th July Waterside Walk - Basingstoke Canal (Railway & Canal Historical Society)
3rd August Waterside Walk - Stratford (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
4th August Waterside Walk - River Foss (River Foss Society)
17th August Waterside Walk - Enfield (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
28th August Waterside Walk - Wey & Arun Canal (Wey & Arun Canal Trust)
To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar
The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
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
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
Read Bulletin in an alternative newsletter format:
Read online (via Issuu)