IWA Bulletin Mid-June 2014

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Over 120 boats at IWA's National Campaign Festival in Chester

National Campaign Festival 2014Photo: IWA National Campaign Festival at Chester (photo by Dave Chapman)

With over 120 gaily decorated craft and thousands of people enjoying the sunshine, IWA's National Campaign Festival in Chester, which took place 6th - 8th June, was a spectacular event. Never before had so many boats, from all over the country, been assembled in the basin at Tower Wharf to support IWA Chester and Merseyside Branch's campaign to repair and reopen the River Lock leading onto the River Dee.

The festival was opened by the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Bob Rudd, who acknowledged that Chester had been left behind in making the most of its local waterways, and promised that the newly launched Chester Waterways Strategy would be acted upon.

Both IWA and Chester Canal Heritage Trust members have worked with Canal & River Trust, Cheshire West and Chester Council to develop a vision for Chester's canal and river connection which they believe would be the catalyst for growth and regeneration in the area.

The event featured live music, entertainment, guided tours, free boat trips and children's activities from IWA's Wild Over Waterways. The Lyceum Brass Band featured WW1 and WW2 music as part of a D-Day commemoration and an RAF Spitfire delighted crowds with five flypasts and a wing wobble.

IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch also organises regular work parties in the basin at Tower Wharf to carry out work such as painting, weeding and litter-picking. The branch has amassed over 200 volunteer hours since they started work in September 2013 and has made a visible difference to the area.See Campaign Festival 2014 photo gallery on Facebook

See full article on A Vision for Chester's Waterways
Download the full Vision document (2 MB PDF download)

IWA News

IWA's 2014 Himalayan Balsam Campaign

Family Volunteers at ConsallPhoto: Family volunteers at a Himalayan Balsam work party on the Caldon Canal in 2013 (photo by Stuart Collins)

IWA is pleased to announce the start of its 2014 Himalayan Balsam Campaign.

After a successful season of tackling the invasive species in 2013, IWA is once again organising a series of work parties to remove the plant from waterways across the country. Working with the support of Canal & River Trust (CRT) and local waterway societies, a number of IWA branches plan to pull up the invasive plants, which can cause problems on canals and rivers.  

Work parties will be spread over June and July with efforts concentrated in the weeks of 21st – 29th June and the 19th – 27th July. Having two focus weeks a month apart means both early and late growth can be tackled effectively. In addition, during these weeks IWA will be reporting on the branch work parties and launching a social media campaign to increase public awareness of the problems Himalayan Balsam can cause.

Himalayan Balsam work parties are great volunteer events for all the family as the plant is non-toxic and easy to pull-up. The full list of Himalayan Balsam work party dates can be viewed on IWA's website and all branches would welcome the support of enthusiastic volunteers. With locations across the country there are many opportunities to get involved. You could volunteer at your local work party, take a trip further afield and help stop the spread in a neighbouring area before the plant appears on your local waterway or join a group you may be passing whilst boating. If Himalayan Balsam is not a problem in your area, why not offer to help an IWA branch near by?

Volunteering on a Himalayan Balsam work party could not be easier. Participants just need to turn up in suitable clothes and footwear, a packed lunch and have plenty of enthusiasm as the rest of the equipment is provided. This year, participating branches will have Himalayan Balsam Bundles to hand that include high visibility vests, a selection of gloves and Himalayan Balsam banners and leaflets. These are available thanks to two grants of £2300 each, awarded to IWA by The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and The Robert Clutterbuck Charitable Trust, and the kind donation of almost £160 worth of gloves from PPE supplier Protec Direct.

Himalayan Balsam is a non-native invasive species that grows along waterway corridors. The plant grows in dense patches and crowds out native plants over the spring and summer before dying back in the winter to leave the ground bare. Where this happens along the banks of canals and rivers there is no vegetation to strengthen the integrity of the banks over the winter and they are left susceptible to erosion. This can cause navigation problems for boaters and an increase in the need to dredge as well as problems for ecosystems in the waterway. It is for all these reasons that IWA is once again running a Himalayan Balsam campaign that everyone is encouraged to participate in.

Winding Hole Survey

IWA and the Historic Narrow Boat Club (HNBC) have today launched a joint project to gather information about winding holes on the inland waterways.  

Winding holes, otherwise known as “swinging areas” on rivers and commercial navigations, are purpose built widenings in a waterway to allow boats to turn in order to change direction of travel along the waterway.  

In the original canal era, winding holes evolved at places where working boats needed to turn (other than at canal junctions and arm entrances), usually in the vicinity of factories or wharves. Now, in the 'leisure' canal era, traffic flows - in both pattern and total volume - bear little or no resemblance to the more predictable flows for which the original winding holes were created and located.

The project asks boaters to report, via a survey, on winding holes in the areas they know, or have boated recently, in order to identify where winding holes have been lost (or the size of boat that can use them has been reduced) as a result of siltation, overhanging vegetation, prohibiting notices or chains, or permanently moored boats. It also asks for suggestions for new winding hole locations.  

The joint initiative came about because both organisations had started to look at issues relating to winding holes around the same time. IWA’s initial concern was centred around a number of locations where winding had previously been allowed, but where signs or chains had been put up preventing boats from turning. HNBC’s concern was loss of traditional winding holes following instances of them being given over to long term moorings.  

The information gathered through the results of this survey will allow a greater understanding of the geographical spread of any problems relating to winding holes, and will enable both organisations to lobby navigation authorities about these issues.  

A link to the survey can be found at the IWA website, the survey closes on Friday 14th November.

IWA's 2015 National Trailboat Festival to be Held on the Lancaster Canal

IWA Trailboat Festival 2013Photo: Trail boats at the 2013 National Trailboat Festival (photo by Angela Acott)

IWA's 2015 National Trailboat Festival will take place at the Westmorland Show Ground, Crooklands, Cumbria, on the northern reaches of the Lancaster Canal over the weekend 30th - 31st May.

The festival, which is to be hosted and organised by Lancaster Canal Trust, will be part of the 'Country Fest' show (see the Country Fest website), an annual canal side event.

Activities for the whole family, as well as a variety of food and drink providers, exhibitors, food demonstrations, trade stalls, music and dance, crafts and a beer festival are planned to entertain visitors over the weekend.

IWA's annual Trailboat Festivals are usually held on isolated stretches of inland waterway, and aim to promote the restoration or development of local waterway, a feature on it, or to promote an under-used waterway.  

This year's IWA National Trailboat Festival was held on the land-locked Grand Western Canal at Tiverton, in Devon, over the Bank Holiday weekend 24th to 26th May. The festival celebrated the Grand Western Canal's 200th anniversary with a birthday party theme.

Forty trail boats attended and thousands of visitors enjoyed the boat parade entertainment, which included a hot air balloon, lanterns, samba band, disco and boat handling competition.  The event has been acclaimed a great success.  Although a wet Saturday necessitated an early closure that day, sunny weather on both the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday brought out the Devon crowds.

The event also provided an opportunity to celebrate completion of repairs to the breached embankment at Halberton, and for visitors to express their appreciation of Devon County Council’s investment in the waterway.

David Blagrove MBE

Photo David Blagrove on Nuneaton on the Slough Arm, Grand Union, Slough Arm (photo by Terry Liddle)Photo: David Blagrove on Nuneaton on the Slough Arm, Grand Union, Slough Arm (photo by Terry Liddle)

IWA is delighted to report that IWA Vice President David Blagrove was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on 14th June. David has been a life-long supporter of the inland waterways since growing up on the Thames at Abingdon.  He subsequently spent many years in commercial carrying on the canals and two spells as an IWA trustee, and he is an ever-enthusiastic supporter for waterway traditions, canal history and promotion of freight carriage on the waterways. A keen educationalist (David was a teacher by profession before retirement), his waterway books are widely read and he provided a column for IWA’s waterways magazine for many years. David is currently chairman of the Friends of the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne, and so the timing of the announcement of the honour, coinciding with the Friend’s annual family festival at Stoke Bruerne, where David has lived for many years, was highly appropriate.

Northampton Arm Navigation Conditions

IWA Northampton Branch has passed on information gathered through IWA members with regards to the condition of the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal, a step that was taken after CRT dismissed the need for dredging of the navigation at its South East Waterways Forum in April.

The branch has since met with CRT and agreed the following plan:

  • There are regular issues with pounds between Lock 5-6, 6-7 and to a lesser extent 8-9. CRT already has a stoppage booked for the Arm for 24/11/14 to 19/12/14 with the attention of addressing these issues.
  • The branch has arranged with Nick Wolf who has kindly agreed to take his working boat  Aldgate down and back up the Arm on Wednesday 9th July, with CRT in attendance, to record all issues regarding defects, vegetation works and dredging.
  • CRT defect notifications will be updated based upon the information supplied by the branch to support spot dredging activity and also leakage at Lock 17. In terms of spot dredging CRT will include in the plan, works to undertake local silt removal in the first quarter of 2015.
  • CRT provided data on the proposed removal of reed growth using a heavier duty reed cutter, and these works will be phased in for late winter 2014.

IWA Northampton Branch is pleased with the plan as it is progress in its campaign to improve the condition of the Northampton Arm.

Dredging on the Slough Arm

Dredging on the Slough ArmPhoto: Slough Arm dredging May 2014 (photo by John Dodwell)

IWA Middlesex Branch
has reported that Land and Water began dredging the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal in the week commencing 21st April. At the Waterways Forum Meeting in March, CRT announced that the expected cost of the operation was £750,000 with an estimated duration of six weeks.

Land and Water were still dredging the arm in the week commencing 2nd June and had reached Middle Green Road Bridge by 5th. This work to improve the navigation should be of benefit for those who plan to attend the Slough Canal Festival later in the year and IWA Middlesex Branch and others involved with the Festival hopes improved navigation will encourage greater use of the Slough Arm both over the Festival weekend and throughout the rest of the year. The Festival will once again be held at Bloom Park on 13th and 14th September.

Stratford-upon-Avon River Festival,  5th - 6th July 2014

IWA will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the re-opening of the River Avon from Evesham to Stratford and the 50th anniversary of the re-opening of the Southern Stratford Canal at the Stratford-upon-Avon River Festival on 5th and 6th July.

The Festival will be held at the Recreation Ground, Swans Nest Lane, where IWA Warwickshire Branch will have a large marquee on the river front showcasing its activities in Warwickshire over the weekend.  A larger IWA marquee, situated alongside Bancroft Gardens, will be exhibiting and also showing film of the restorations on Friday 4th July through to Sunday 6th July.

Friday afternoon will be dedicated to a re-enactment in Bancroft Basin of the re-opening of the Southern Stratford Canal and the River Avon by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the unveiling of commemorative plaques. Further details of this event can be found at the IWA website.

IWA and IWA Warwickshire Branch look forward to welcoming visitors to the events over the weekend. For more information please email info.warwickshire@waterways.org.uk.

Ware Boat Festival

The annual Ware Boat Festival organised by IWA Lee & Stort Branch, takes place on the River Lee in Ware and is planned for July 4th – 6th this year.

Over the weekend there will be plenty to do and see including a Friday barbecue, Boat Parade, Boat Handling, Boat Jumble, Quiz Evening, Sunday open-air Service, Teddy Bears Picnic, Ware Brass on Priory Island, Herts Sea Cadets, Herts Boat Rescue, Canalability  and a selection of stalls. To add to the fun on the Saturday it is also Ware’s Carnival Day and Town Fair. The theme for this year’s Ware Festival is Cartoons and Superheroes.

Boat Entry Forms are available to download.

For more information contact IWA Lee & Stort Chairman, Les Hunt.

Harp Concert to Raise Funds for IWA

Following a successful harp concert last year, Kirsten Smith is to play once again at Maldon United Reformed Church, Market Hill, Maldon on Saturday 5th July to raise funds for IWA Chelmsford Branch.

The concert is the third to be presented by Eileen Cannom for IWA. Eileen lives in Heybridge and had been impressed by IWA volunteer work along the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. Eileen organises the yearly concerts to help raise funds for equipment for use by IWA volunteers, last year over £350 was raised. The concert begins at 1pm and finishes at 2pm with refreshments available from 12.30pm. Entry is free with any donations going to IWA.

For more information contact IWA Chelmsford Branch Secretary, Chris Chandler.

Grant Funding

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

The following grant-making bodies are currently offering grant funding and are open to applications:

Property Management – Assistance Sought

IWA’s subsidiary company Essex Waterways Ltd manages a substantial area of land alongside the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, as well as a number of buildings, structures and other property. Much of the land has been with the original Navigation Company since the 1790s when the waterway was first built, and some cases has been subject to only very informal management. Getting unregistered land recorded with the Land Registry, determining exact boundaries and legal responsibilities with neighbouring farmers and other land owners, checking the safety, condition and structural integrity of built structures and other assets is a time consuming business, and Essex Waterways is looking for some further voluntary assistance in these tasks.

Some of the work would require site visits and inspections, and possibly visits to the Navigation Company’s archives at Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, but there is also scope for desk-top work for volunteers, particularly in interrogating the Land Registry website for registered boundaries of neighbouring properties and other information, which could be undertaken by one or more volunteers based anywhere in the country, so long as they have an Internet connection and some familiarity in the subject.

If you would be interested to assist, please contact Roy Chandler (chairman, Essex Waterways) or Neil Edwards (chief executive at Head Office) with a summary of any relevant experience you may have in these areas, to discuss further.

Video Volunteer Wanted

Video is an extremely effective tool for raising awareness; videos are more likely to be shared on social media sites and have the potential to go viral. IWA is looking to expand the number of videos it publishes on YouTube and shares via social media and needs your help.
We are looking for a volunteer, with previous video filming and editing experience, to work on projects with Head Office Staff in Chesham for at least one morning or afternoon each week (hours flexible).
The videos will range from simply speeding up footage of a work party (which may already be available) to create a faux time-lapse with some opening/closing frames inserted (see example from a recent work party) but there is also the potential for working on bigger projects.
If you are interested, please email Gemma Bolton with details of any experience, software used, and contact information by 30th June 2014.

Volunteer Opportunity - Editor of IWA South West Region Newsletter, Sou'Wester

IWA South West Region seeks a volunteer to take on the role of editor of the region’s newsletter, Sou’Wester. The role would include collating and proofing relevant content before formatting it into an A5 booklet to be sent to Head Office for printing and circulating. Access to a computer as well as some IT skills would be beneficial, although help will always be on hand. Sou’Wester is published quarterly.

For more information or to express an interest in taking on the role, please contact Region Chairman Roger Holmes.

Other News

CRT Consultation on Central London Visitor Moorings Plan

CRT has proposed changes to visitor moorings in central London in a draft visitor moorings plan.

The draft plan outlines proposed changes to visitor moorings in a selection of central London locations to ensure the moorings in popular locations are used fairly. CRT has already consulted on mooring changes in Paddington Basin and Little Venice, and this plan looks at possible changes to visitor moorings between Kensal Green and Victoria Park.

CRT has reported a growth of 62% in boat numbers on London waterways since March 2012 and recognises the need to address the increase in demand at popular mooring sites. The sites covered in this plan are Kensal Green and Little Venice on the Paddington Arm and Broadway Market and Victoria Park on the Regent’s Canal.

The key elements of the plan are as follows:

  • A recognition that shorter than fourteen day moorings are needed at four popular central London locations to cater for growing numbers of visitors
  • Introduction of a more consistent approach to stay times at central London visitor moorings; at sites signed as fourteen days, reduce these to seven or remove the ‘Visitor Mooring’ designation
  • Confirmation of extended stay charges at all central London visitor moorings, where new signs will be installed
  • A new Visitor Mooring site at Broadway Market in Hackney
  • Introduction of an advance booking facility for two boat lengths at Rembrandt Gardens, Little Venice
  • Recruitment of volunteer Caretaker Boaters at the most popular locations to welcome boaters and help the Trust manage site quality and relationships with neighbours

IWA London Region is concerned about some of the details in the plan, particularly the failure to identify any limitation on 'no return periods'  for the use of  visitor moorings. The proposed plans allow for a boat to stay for 14 days, move for one day, then return for another 14 days. A published non return period is essential for equality of opportunity for all users of such moorings.

CRT is to hold a consultation on the plan to which IWA plans to respond.

Further Restoration of the Cotswold Canals to Begin in June

Stroud District Council has announced that work to restore a further length of the Cotswold Canals has just begun.

The council has awarded a £390,000 contract to Alun Griffiths Ltd. to dredge and widen 120m of the Thames & Severn Canal above Wallbridge Lower Lock. The contract includes construction of a bypass channel to carry the flow of Slad Brook around the lock.

Alun Griffiths Ltd. Has worked on the canal project previously as the contractors who restored Ryeford Double Locks and built 330m of new canal at Capel’s Mill.

Stroud District Council has also awarded a £110,000 contract to Land & Water Services for the dredging of 4500 tonnes of material from the canal below Wallbridge Lower Lock. The company expects to begin work here in July. In the meantime, McCarthy & Stone is making good progress with the bored piled wall, necessary to retain their site overlooking the lock.

A third contract valued at £170,000 has been let to Cheltenham based Britannia Construction. This should see the Wallbridge Lower Lock restored early in 2015, once the other work has been completed.

Recreating the 1957 Journey That Saved the Stratford Canal

In 1958 Warwickshire County Council applied to the Department of Transport seeking an Act of Abandonment for the southern section of the Stratford Canal so that they could lower the canal bridge at Wilmcote since they decided that the canal was no longer navigable. However, in March 1957, two canoeists from the Stratford Canal Society, Michael Fox and John Pinder, had bought the required ticket and paddled from Stratford upon Avon to Hockley Heath in a Canadian canoe. This ticket was later produced as evidence to demonstrate the canal had been navigated in the previous three years so the canal could not abandoned. Thus the canal was saved to allow volunteers to restore it under a lease taken out by the National Trust.

It is now widely recognised that the efforts of these two canoeists helped turn the tide for Britain’s neglected canals. To celebrate this milestone the Stratford Canal Society with IWA and CRT is calling on local canoeists to take part in a paddle along the much-loved waterway to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the official reopening ceremony by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on Saturday 11 July 1964.

The event takes place on Saturday 21st June from 2pm recreating the journey taken in 1957. Anyone interested in coming along please meet at Wharf Tavern, Hockley Heath, Solihull, B94 6QT to see the paddlers off on their journey or to take part. Paddlers will need to be able to provide their own canoes and safety equipment to take part in the event.

One of the original canoeists, John Pinder hopes to launch the re-enactment. Michael Fox passed away on 20th June last year aged 91 so it will be a fitting tribute to his role that his daughter Geraldine will be paddling in a Canadian canoe for a short distance at the start of the event.

This event will be a fitting tribute to the action of two men, which ultimately saved the canal from being filled in and lost forever and was a turning point for Britain’s then beleaguered inland waterways.

Lock Opening on the Wey & Arun Canal

The completion of the restoration of Southland Lock on the Wey & Arun Canal will be marked by an opening ceremony on 21st June. The section of canal available for navigation is now over 3 miles long, with six restored, new or rebuilt locks.  One of the Trust’s workboats, May Upton reached Southland Lock as volunteers continued preparations for the official opening.

Local builders dismantled the original Southland Lock in the early years of the 20th century, after the canal became disused. The Wey & Arun Canal Trust found only a few remains and has rebuilt the lock completely. Its appearance is similar to the original, thanks to the use of local bricks, although the dimensions are slightly larger and modern piles and concrete sit behind the brick facing. The volunteer-led project has taken three years, at a cost of about £350,000, all raised by the Trust itself. 

Cotswold Canals Trust to Postpone HLF Bid

Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) has postponed the submission of its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the restoration of the next stage of the Cotswold Canals until November 2015.  

CCT is the lead partner in the next stage of the restoration of the Cotswolds Canal, Phase 1B. This phase plans to restore the 4 mile section of canal from Saul Junction to Stonehouse and connect the restored canal to the national navigable waterways network.

Planned work for Phase 1B of the restoration includes the installation of new bridges at Walk Bridge near Saul, the creation of a new canal channel next to the River Frome under the M5, installation of two new bridges under the A38 and a new bridge under the main north-south railway line and the building of a mile of new canal.

CCT members and others have been working on an HLF bid since June 2013. The Trust had planned to submit the bid in November 2014 but have postponed submission at the suggestion of HLF. This is because the restoration of the section from Stonehouse to east of Bowbridge (Phase 1A) must be substantially complete before the bid goes in and the Phase 1B bid must be transparently based on an evaluation of Phase 1A. Secondly the bid for Phase1B, which will be one of the most expensive HLF funded projects in the country, must be of a high standard in all sections. This includes the engineering details and plans to manage the canal once it is open.  The Trust must also show how local communities, including people of all ages, interests and abilities, will be actively involved with the project and how the natural environment, local economy and cultural heritage will benefit.  This is a large amount of information to collate and will take until 2015 to complete properly.

Lock Works Completed on the Stroudwater Navigation

The stretch of the Stroudwater Navigation from Pike Lock eastwards through both Blunder and Newtown Locks is, once again, navigable.

Around four years ago the heel post of one of the Blunder Lock top gates disintegrated and the lock was left unusable. Additionally, at Newtown Lock, both top paddles had become detached from the paddle racks over time.

Volunteers with Cotswolds Canals Trust have since modified and refurbished a set of old Thames lock gates to replace the top gates at Blunder Lock and installed new paddle gear and undertaken re-pointing work at Newtown Lock. The Stroud Valleys Canal Company arranged for a new set of bottom gates to be installed at Blunder Lock and it is now possible to navigate this stretch of the canal.

Restored Stretch of the Montgomery Canal Opens

The first narrowboat in almost eighty years has navigated a newly-restored stretch on the Montgomery Canal.

The 450m stretch between Redwith and Pryces Bridge was completed last month by volunteers with Shropshire Union Canal Society who have worked on the project over the past six years. The first cargo to navigate the length was a barrel of beer, the traditional offering on the completion of a canal to the navvies who would have built it.

Volunteers now plan to move on to restore the next section of the canal to Crickheath Wharf.

Successful Trip For Navigation Rights Cruise

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust has successfully held its annual navigation rights cruise.

Nine boats were launched on the River Arun at Pulborough and navigated to Pallingham Quay, the highest point navigable by boats on the Arun, in around three and a half hours.  The aim of the event is to ensure that, when restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal is completed, there is no legal reason why boats cannot venture from the canal into the Arun. These cruises were started by IWA in around 1983 with the Wey & Arun Canal Trust taking over in 2011.

The annual navigation event plays the vital role of proving that navigation rights continue to be exercised. When the canal is reopened it will once again be possible to travel from London to Arundel and Littlehampton along rivers and the Wey & Arun Canal.

Saltisford Canal Trust's 30th Anniversary

Canal Contemplation AreaPhoto: Canal Contemplation Area (phot by Saltisford Canal Trust)

On Tuesday 10th June, a Canal Contemplation Area was opened to mark the 30th Anniversary of Saltisford Canal Trust.

The Canal Contemplation Area consists of six old oak lock gates donated by CRT, arranged in a landscaped area to form a sheltered tranquil space alongside the Saltisford Canal. The lock gates were donated as part of extensive refurbishment works on the Lapworth Lock Flight in Warwickshire and have been hand restored and mounted in concrete lined trenches to form the centre-piece of the new lawned area, overlooking the canal in the heart of Warwick. Handmade new oak benches, wheelchair accessible paths, Wi-Fi hotspot and canal heritage interpretation boards are also part of the scheme.

Latest Update from CRT on its Towpath Mooring Management Project

In September 2012 CRT’s Trustees and the Trust’s Council considered and endorsed a policy paper on non-compliant continuous cruising. As a result of this review, and after further planning, CRT created a Towpath Mooring Management project.

CRT has released its fourth update on the progress of the project, which can be downloaded to read from the CRT website.

The Towpath Mooring Management project is expected to last for at least three years and started in April 2013.

Parkhead Canal Festival

Photo 2012 Parkhead Festival (photo by Martin Attewell)
Photo: 2012 Parkhead Canal Festival (photo by Martin Attewell)

Dudley Canal Trust’s 50th Anniversary is to be celebrated at this year’s Parkhead Canal Festival.

The Festival is held every two years by Dudley Canal Trust and Worcester, Birmingham and Droitwich Canal Society; this year it is planned for the 27th and 28th September. There will be a selection of commemorative memorabilia on sale to mark the 50th Anniversary of Dudley Canal Trust as well as a selection of historic workboats, vintage vehicles, trade stands, a brass band, fairground and real ale bar to keep visitors entertained.

Anybody wishing to book on to the event should contact Steve Bingham at  ste.bingham@talktalk.net or on 07964 151552.

Canal Construction on the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal

The weekend of 14th June saw the arrival of the first materials for the Canal construction at Dymock. The plan is for construction to be completed within the next ten weeks. For regular updates and videos of progress visit the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust Facebook page.

Volunteers also began a period of ten days of work on the Vineyard Hill section of Canal, near Over, surfacing the towpath and undertaking other improvements on site.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust Vacancy

In view of the amount of planned restoration work to be funded in the near future, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust has decided to appoint a part-time paid Fundraising Assistant. The Trust seeks a good communicator who is also an efficient administrator. Specific fundraising experience is not required.

If you are interested please contact Sally Schupke.

CRT Staff Accept 2014/15 Pay Offer

UNISON and Unite members working for CRT have voted to accept the Trust’s 2014/15 pay offer.

The offer will implemented on 1st July and includes a consolidated increase of 2% on all pay.

Latest Volume of Waterways Journal Available Now

The latest Waterways Journal, produced by Boat Museum Society, is now available to purchase.

Waterways Journal Volume 16 contains the articles Robert Aickman and the ‘garish melodrama of the campaign for the waterways’, Concrete boats & barges – Solutions for wartime steel shortages, Box Boat 337- A rare survivor restored and Richard Abel & Sons, of Runcorn and Liverpool.

The article on Robert Aickman, which reviews the impact of his personality and campaign style on the early IWA and the inland waterways in general, may be of particualr interest to members.

If you would like a copy of Waterways Journal Volume 16, order forms are available at the Boat Museum Society website.

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.

Work Party at Bathpool

On Saturday 7th  June IWA West Country Branch were at Bathpool. In between the showers fifteen volunteers with the support of CRT managed to clean-up the area and improve the stretch of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal. There was also time for a planning session to consider branch activities in the coming months. A further clean-up, two Himalayan Balsam work parties and branch support at a Waterways Explore and Sea Scout event were confirmed, details of which can be found at the branch web pages.

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:

Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News - Summer 2014

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

North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch - Knobsticks - Spring 2014
Ipswich Branch - Anglian Cuttings - Summer 2014

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2014
23rd - 25th August 2014 - Saul Waterways Pageant

Branch Boating Events in 2014
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 (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.

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 June Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
17th June Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
18th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th June Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
21st June Work Party - River Lee at Ware (IWA Lee & Stort Branch)
21st June Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
24th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
24th June Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Leicester (IWA Leicestershire Branch)
25th June Himalayan Balsam Evening Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
25th June Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
28th June Work Party - Paddington Arm, Grand Union Canal (IWA Middlesex Branch)

1st July Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
2nd July Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
2nd July Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
5th July Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
5th July Work Party - Dee Branch, Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
7th July Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
9th July Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
9th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
9th July Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
10th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Caldon Canal ( IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
12th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Shrewsbury & Newport Canal (supported by IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch)
13th July Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
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)
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 Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Marsworth (IWA Chiltern Branch)
24th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
28th July Himalayan Balsam Work Party - Rickmansworth (IWA Chiltern Branch)
29th July Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
30th July Work Party - River Gipping (IWA Ipswich Branch)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

19th June Waterside Walk - Wey & Arun Canal (Wey & Arun Canal Trust)

1st July Waterside Walk - Basingstoke Canal (Railway & Canal Historical Society)
6th July Waterside Walk - King's Cross to Camden (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
9th July Waterside Walk - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
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)

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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