IWA Bulletin Mid-October 2014

Quicklinks: IWA News / Other NewsWork Parties / Events

Top Story 

Elvington Lock Campaign Update

IWA & EA visit to Elvington LockPhoto: IWA and EA visit to Elvington Lock, River Derwent (photo by Alison Smedley)

The current closure of Elvington Lock on Yorkshire's River Derwent was the main topic discussed at a meeting between representatives of the Environment Agency (EA) and IWA held on Monday 6th October.

Elvington Lock, also known as Sutton Lock (being situated between two villages of those names), has been closed since February this year when EA announced its temporary closure due to concerns about the structural integrity of the guillotine top gate at the lock.  

Closure of the lock means that there is a six-mile stretch of the inland waterway network currently not accessible from the rest of the system, and has left a number of boats stranded upstream.  

The meeting took place at EA’s offices in York, followed by a site visit to Elvington Lock, and was an opportunity for IWA to state its position concerning the lock closure (for further information refer to IWA’s position paper).

It was also an opportunity to hear from EA first hand the reasons for the closure. EA shared the early findings of a structural survey at the meeting, and IWA looks forward to receiving a copy of this report as soon as it is available.

IWA’s presentation clearly stated IWA’s aspirations to see the lock brought back into use at the earliest possible opportunity, while EA expressed environmental and economic concerns that IWA accepts will need to be addressed.
 
Both sides now have a better understanding of the complex issues and agreed that sharing background knowledge and ideas had been useful. IWA will now follow up issues surrounding the bottom gates of the lock, which are not owned by EA.

IWA looks forward to a further meeting with EA once progress on some of the issues has been made with a view to getting this lock back into use as soon as possible.

IWA News

HS2 Ltd Publishes List of Additional Provisions

Curdworth Locks, Birmigham & Fazeley Canal (photo by Phil Sharpe)Photo: Curdworth Locks, Birmigham & Fazeley Canal (photo by Phil Sharpe)

HS2 Ltd has published on behalf of the Promoter a list of additional provisions to those already in the Hybrid Bill. These were published in national newspapers and on the internet via HS2 Ltd’s website in September, and comprise ‘55 generally minor amendments to the design of the original scheme’, identified as a result of:

  • Further discussions with landowners and occupiers;
  • Design refinements; and
  • Changes to accommodate the requirements of utility undertakers.


These amendments require the use of land outside the original limits of the Bill, additional access rights, or other extensions of the powers conferred by the Bill, making it necessary to submit an Additional Provision (AP) to the Bill. This group of Additional Provisions were submitted to Parliament on 10th September, with an Environmental Statement covering the environmental impact due to these changes. Challenges to the AP’s can be made by depositing a petition to the Select Committee on HS2, by 17th October 2014, and response to the Environmental Statement (ES) Consultation via the government website by Friday 14th November 2014.

The amendments to the design include:

  • Utilities requirements: the project affects a number of electricity, gas, fuel and fibre optic lines provided by utility companies either in, or above the ground. Since Bill deposit, a number of utility companies have refined their requirements and so changes to the design of these works are needed.
  • Access arrangements: amendments to the locations, alignments and/or width of some access tracks proposed by the original scheme. These tracks are required to provide private access to properties and agricultural holdings; access to undertake utility diversions; and to facilitate construction and/or maintenance of HS2 infrastructure (e.g. balancing ponds, areas where new habitats will be created and auto-transformer stations);
  • Roads and Public Rights of Way: changes to the locations of temporary diversions or permanent realignments;
  • Balancing ponds: the relocation of one of the balancing ponds; and
  • Mitigation habitats: the relocation of one of the proposed habitat mitigation areas.


These amendments affect Community Forum Areas (CFAs) 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, and 26. Within these CFAs, only two have amendments that affect inland waterways, neither change the impact of HS2 on the canal, therefore IWA does not plan to respond.

Find out more about these two amendments in IWA's HS2 section of the website.

Find out more about the Additional Provisions and how to petition at the HS2 website.

Read the full ES consultation at the Gov.uk website.

Phase 2 Announcement

A further HS2 update was recently announced. It is understood that Sir David Higgins plans to make an announcement on 27th October, about some of the options around the route of Phase 2. David Higgins, Chair of HS2 Ltd, suggested earlier this year that it made sense to accelerate Phase 2 generally, and to build the section from the end of Phase 1 (near Fradley) to Crewe earlier to get a road/ rail transport intersection into operation quickly. The announcement may include reference to this, and other issues like the route around Sheffield, around Stoke on Trent and recent speculation about the location of the East Midlands station, currently close to the Erewash Canal.

The definitive announcement about a confirmed 'preferred route' is not, however, expected until 2015 after the general election.

£100 Top Prize for IWA’s 2016 Calendar Competition

Winning photograph chosen for September in IWA's 2015 Calendar - Henley, River Thames (photo by Emma Lambourne)Photo: One of thirteen winning photographs chosen for IWA's 2015 Calendar - Henley, River Thames is the September image in the 2015 calendar (photo by Emma Lambourne)

IWA has launched its 2016 calendar competition and is offering £100 as the top prize.

Budding photographers are encouraged to submit their snaps of waterway scenes to the annual competition. We are not just looking for sunny summer photos; photographs can feature different weather conditions and seasons as well as a range of waterway activities and subjects such as different types of waterways craft, cycling, angling, walking, wildlife and structures.

The final thirteen photos for the calendar (12 months plus cover shot) will be selected by a panel of judges to demonstrate a balance and variety of waterway craft, activities and locations.

All entrants who have their photograph published in the calendar will receive three calendars as in previous years, but after the final images have been announced, there will be an online vote for the overall winner who will receive £100 top prize.

Last year over 600 photos were submitted to the annual competition. The final calendar which features IWA member photos is still available to buy online.

Find out how to enter and more information about the Calendar Competition.

Find out how to win the competition with our Photography Tips for IWA's Calendar Competition.

Waterways Restoration Raffle Exceeds £6,500

IWA Waterways Restoration Raffle nominationsPhoto: IWA Waterways Restoration Raffle nominations

IWA’s Waterways Restoration Raffle has raised over £6,500 since its launch on 1st August. This is due to a combination of more than 3,000 ticket sales and some generous donations.

The raffle aims to benefit waterways restoration projects across England and Wales by donating 100% of the profit towards projects run by IWA corporate members and an IWA volunteer-led moorings improvement project on the Cheshire Ring.

Friends of the Cromford Canal is in the lead, with 10% of the total nominations so far. Other restoration groups that are also doing well include Cotswold Canals Trust, Ashby Canal Association and Shropshire Union Canal Society.

If you would like to enter the raffle, tickets are £2 each and come in books of five. For further information or to purchase tickets visit the raffle pages on IWA’s website or contact Fundraising Officer, Toby Gomm at toby.gomm@waterways.org.uk or on 01494 783 453 ext. 611.

The raffle will be drawn on 16th January 2015 at IWA’s Head Office in Chesham.

£4.5 Million Restoration of Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge Completed

Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge opening, (from left), Cllr Mike Pusey (Sutton Weaver Parish Chairman), Cllr Allen Wales (Frodsham Mayor), Cllr Andrew Dawson (Cheshire West and Chester Council), Graham Evans MP, Cllr Mike Jones (Cheshire West and Chester Council Leader), George Ballinger (CRT Head of Engineering), Cllr Lynn Riley (Cheshire West and Chester Council), Richard Parry (CRT chief executive)Photo: Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge opening, (from left), Cllr Mike Pusey (Sutton Weaver Parish Chairman), Cllr Allen Wales (Frodsham Mayor), Cllr Andrew Dawson (Cheshire West and Chester Council), Graham Evans MP, Cllr Mike Jones (Cheshire West and Chester Council Leader), George Ballinger (CRT Head of Engineering), Cllr Lynn Riley (Cheshire West and Chester Council), Richard Parry (CRT chief executive)

Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge over the River Weaver, near Frodsham, Cheshire, was reopened on Saturday 11th October after a £4.5 million restoration.

Rowing boats and traditional narrowboats have been able to pass underneath throughout the project but the Weaver Navigation is expected to be open to all river traffic by the end of October. Work has also started to dismantle the temporary bridge which has kept road traffic moving while the restoration of the swing bridge took place. The successful temporary bridge was a later addition to the original plans, included partly because of IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch's involvement in the initial consultation. The Branch was keen to emphasise that IWA was happy with the restoration plans but reluctant to support a project that involved severely restricting road access on the A56 in and out of Frodsham, a route taken by 20,000 vehicles a day, for over twelve months.

IWA's Navigation Committee was also involved with the project from early 2012, when IWA lobbied the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group to support British Waterways' case to ministers that it was unfair for British Waterways (BW), which was soon to become Canal &  River Trust (CRT), to bear the full cost of the work at an estimated £4 million. The Committee believed that the fact that the bridge was not just a waterways feature but also an important part of local infrastructure that carried the busy A56 trunk road over the navigation had to be taken into consideration when sourcing funding. After the project went to consultations with DEFRA and the Department for Transport, the funding that BW/CRT was expected to provide was reduced to £1million with further funding supplied by Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Department for Transport.

The restoration of the 88-year-old bridge started in summer 2013 and is the first complete refurbishment in its history. The bridge now has a new deck and beneath the bridge extensive refurbishment of the unique buoyancy tank structure on which the bridge swings was carried out. The completion of this work will extend the bridge's life by over fifty years.

At a special ceremony to mark the project’s completion on Friday 10th October, a vintage Leyland Cub lorry and a modern day HGV, supplied by Huntapac Produce Ltd, drove across the bridge to highlight the vehicle weight changes the bridge has had to cope with since it opened in 1926. On the river, a flotilla of rowing boats from Runcorn Rowing Club and boats from the River Weaver Navigation Society also joined in the celebrations.

Booking Forms Available for IWA National Trailboat Festival 2015

Boat and camping booking forms for the IWA National Trailboat Festival 2015 are now available to download from IWA’s website.

The IWA National Trailboat Festival 2015 will take place at the Westmorland Show Ground, Crooklands, Cumbria, on the northern reaches of the Lancaster Canal over the weekend 30th May to 1st June.

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 canalside event.

The Country Fest is a two day show and will take place over the weekend with 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 to entertain visitors.

There will be a boaters day on the Monday with a visit to the Hincaster Tunnel, and hopefully an opening of the restored stretch.

IWA National Trailboat Festival 2017 Announced

IWA is pleased to announce that the IWA National Trailboat Festival 2017 is to be hosted by Ashby Canal Trust. The Festival is planned to take place on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th May 2017 with a tour of the canal restoration work for boaters attending the Festival on Monday 29th.

IWA Trailboat Festivals are held on landlocked and isolated stretches of waterway, or waterways that are too shallow for narrow boats. The Festivals are usually organised by groups with a strong interest in restoring and developing a local waterway or a feature on it, or promoting an under-used waterway. Such organisations are invited by IWA to bid to organise one of these festivals as a means of increasing public support for their project and interest in the waterway.

The IWA National Trailboat Festival 2014 was hosted by Devon County Council on the Grand Western Canal in Devon in 2014. The Festival played a large part in celebrations of the Canal’s bicentenary year. 

Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Flood

Flooding at Paper Mill Lock on the Chelmer & Blackwater NavigationPhoto: Flooding at Paper Mill Lock on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

Heavy rain on 13th October lead to the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation being in flood for the first time this winter.

At Paper Mill Lock, the section of the Navigation most prone to flooding, water levels were high and parts of the towpath submerged. In addition, there is strong stream across the Navigation.

If you have any concerns related to the flooding contact Navigation Manager, Graham Brown on 01245 226245 or 07966 375351 during business hours. For emergencies that cannot wait until normal business hours, use the out of hours number 07968 020554.

Maesbury Canal Festival Pulls in the Crowds

Historic Shroppie fly-boat, Saturn, leaves Frankton Lock en route to Maesbury (photo by Harry Arnold, Waterway Images)Photo: Historic Shroppie fly-boat, Saturn, leaves Frankton Lock en route to Maesbury (photo by Harry Arnold, Waterway Images)

Almost thirty narrowboats, including trading and historic boats, squeezed down the Montgomery Canal for the fourth Maesbury Canal Festival over the weekend of 6th and 7th September.

Ashore, more that forty stalls treated visitors to a selection of produce, crafts, demonstrations and entertainment, including IWA’s programme of children’s activities, Wild over Waterways.

Councilor Arthur Walpole, chairman of the Local Joint Committee, opened the event, jointly organised by volunteers from the IWA Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch and the Friends of the Montgomery Canal. Speaking later, CRT Chief Executive Richard Parry reaffirmed CRT’s support for the restoration efforts under way on this part of the waterway network, before joining others on the trip boat Countess of Maesbury, pulled by strawberry roan cob Cracker, a familiar sight on the local canals hauling the historic Shroppie fly-boat Saturn. Visitors to the Festival were able to enjoy the largely forgotten experience of horse-drawn boat travel on a length rarely used by boats since it was restored a few years ago.

Judith Richards, Chairman of the organising group, commented: “This year's Maesbury Festival more than lived up to the standard of previous festivals and cemented the reputation of the Montgomery Canal for providing friendly and enjoyable events for visitors and local residents.

“It was hard to look at the crowded and colourful festival site and to remember that fifteen years ago this was an empty field next to a canal that had been abandoned decades before. With Maesbury benefiting from so many visitors, it shows what the return of boats can bring to other places when, like Maesbury, they are reconnected to the national canal network”.

Braunston Marina Makes Generous Donation to IWA

IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge, presents cheques to IWA Promotion & Communication Committee Chairman, Jerry SandersPhoto: IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge, presents cheque to IWA Promotion & Communication Committee Chairman, Jerry Sanders

At IWA's AGM on 27th September, IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge presented a cheque on behalf of Tim Coghlan, Chief Executive of Braunston Marina, to Jerry Sanders, Chairman IWA's Promotions & Communications committee.

The cheque was presented to IWA's Promotions & Communications Committee as a donation to IWA for supporting Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally over a period of some years. 

Jerry Sanders said "Quite apart from the pleasure in attending an extremely well managed show is the amount of business we achieved at our stand and the delightful spectacle of so many historic boats attending the event."

The annual rally organised by the Marina, features well over eighty historic working narrowboats. All profits go to canal and local causes.

IWA West Country Branch Benefits from Town Council Grant

IWA West Country Branch projects is to benefit over the next year from financial support from Bridgwater Town Council.

In Bridgwater, each Town ward has £1,000 a year to allocate to target areas within their community. This year Westover Ward councillors chose to support IWA West Country Branch in its work on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal.

Grant Opportunities

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.

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:

Broads Forum and Broads Navigation Committee Vacancies

IWA’s Navigation Committee is seeking a suitable candidate with an interest in the East Anglian area to represent IWA on the Broads Forum.  

The Broads Forum acts as a reference group to offer advice and comment on the Broads Authority's strategic aims and objectives. IWA’s current representative, Brian Holt, is stepping down in February and a replacement is sought. More information about the Broads Forum can be found at the Broads Authority website.

The ideal candidate will have a good practical knowledge of the Norfolk Broads. It will not be necessary to become a member of IWA's Navigation Committee or to attend IWA's Navigation Committee meetings provided regular reports are submitted. 

Anybody interested should contact Alison Smedley, Branch Campaign Officer, at alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk.

In addition to this opportunity, the Broads Authority has invited IWA to nominate suitable individuals to sit on its Navigation Committee.

The Broads Navigation Committee has identified IWA as one of the bodies appearing to the Broads Authority to represent a group of users of the Broads navigation area and as such, the Broads Authority is inviting IWA to put forward nominations for membership of the Committee.

Applicants, amongst other skills and qualities, should have a good knowledge of:

  • The Broads and its special qualities
  • The navigation area and current relevant issues
  • The varied recreational uses of the Broads
  • The boating industry and the current issues the companies face

It should also be noted that Broads Navigation Committee members are required to attend at least 75% of committee meetings.

Applicants are required to complete an application form to be submitted alongside a nomination form completed by IWA.

For further information regarding the Broads Navigation Committee vacancy, including a full job description, or to register your interest in applying for the position please contact Alison Smedley, Branch Campaign Officer, at alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk. Any interest in this position should be registered by Friday 14th November.

Website Watcher

IWA’s Navigation Committee is looking for a volunteer to review website pages associated with boating, to provide feedback on the quality and quantity of currently available information, as well as identifying potential gaps in content.

The volunteer will be recruited for a year to work with IWA's Navigation Committee and the website team.

The individual will need to fit the following criteria:

  • IWA member
  • Access to internet and emails
  • Ability to write content where gaps are idenitified
  • Knowledge of boating and navigation issues
  • Not currently connected with the website (eg. not a website editor)


It would not be necessary for the website watcher to become a member of Navigation Committee or to attend Navigation Committee meetings as all communication could take place electronically.

If you are interested in this role, please contact Gemma Bolton by emailing gemma.bolton@waterways.org.uk.

Other News

CRT Consultation on Mooring Sales

Canal & River Trust (CRT) is inviting people to take part in a consultation about how it sells its long-term moorings.

The consultation will focus on the way the CRT prices, allocates and sells its long-term moorings. Proposed changes aim to give customers a greater range of mooring options including flexible permit lengths. Currently, the majority of CRT's mooring vacancies are publicised and sold by auction via a mooring sales website.

The All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group published a report in September 2014, which highlighted concerns over the socio-economic inclusiveness of auctioning moorings off to the highest bidder. The Group recommended that the policy should be reviewed to encourage more diversity on the Waterways. See full APPWG Report as well as a summary of APPWG Report.

The Trust is not proposing to go back to a waiting list arrangement for allocating moorings, nor to remove the auction system completely.

The consultation runs from Monday 6th October through to Monday 3rd November and the document can be viewed on CRT's website. Comments and views should be submitted by email to mooring.updates@canalrivertrust.org.uk.

Calor Gas Ltd Recalls 6kg Calor Lite® Cylinders

Calor Gas Ltd has issued an immediate product recall on all 6kg Calor Lite® cylinders manufactured between 2008 - 2011 inclusively, following concerns regarding the potential deterioration of the cylinder.

A small number of 6kg Calor Lite® cylinders have been found to be showing signs of premature internal deterioration which over time could potentially lead to a gas escape.

Any 6kg Calor Lite® cylinders manufactured in 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011 should be returned to a 6kg Calor Lite® retail outlet immediately. Cylinders manufactured outside of this date range are unaffected and safe to use as are cylinders from 2008-11 that have already been checked. These are marked with a hole punched into the flat metal tare disc that sits on top of the cylinder just below the valve.

The date of manufacture of the cylinder can be found in two places on the cylinder base ring:

  • Firstly adjacent to the words ‘Property of Calor Gas Ltd’ there is a box in which there are two letters, then two numbers which denote the year of manufacture i.e. 08, 09, 10, or 11, followed by one letter.
  • In addition, at the very bottom of the base ring the third row of text shows the date of manufacture i.e. 2008, 2009, 2010 or 2011.


Boaters can find the nearest 6kg Calor Lite® retail outlet by using the ‘Find-a-Stockist’ facilities at the Calor Gas Ltd website. Boaters returning a cylinder from the critical period, will be given for free, a full replacement 6kg Calor Lite ®cylinder.

Further information about the recall can be found at the Calor Gas Ltd website. Alternatively, there is a dedicated 6kg Calor Lite® team that can be contacted on 0800 783 4141.

Grantham Canal Discovery Day Raises £1600

Dirty Duck Race at Grantham Canal Discovery Day (photo by The Grantham Canal Society)Photo: Dirty Duck Race at Grantham Canal Discovery Day (photo by The Grantham Canal Society)

The Grantham Canal Society’s Grantham Canal Discovery Day was a great success on Sunday 13th October. Despite a misty start the weather soon cleared and the event attracted many visitors and raised over £1600 for the Society.

The Mayor & Mayoress of Grantham, Cllr Ian and Mrs Anita Selby, opened the Discover Day and spent several hours at the event. There was plenty to see and do for everyone, with lots of entertainment on offer and information to browse. Children’s entertainer, Julia Damassa, kept the kids happy whilst parents browsed books, canalware, handicrafts and honey farm produce, to name but a few, whilst others took a short trip on The Grantham Canal Society’s narrowboat, The Three Shires. Live entertainment included singer Suzie Litton-Wood and dancers Maids of Clifton alongside the Dirty Duck race, sponsored by Towpath Talk. IWA also had a presence with IWA Lincolnshire Branch running a stall and children’s WOW activities, and IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch providing various support.

The event attracted the attention and support of a number of local radio stations as Graham Wright from BBC local radio acted as MC for the day, BBC Radio Lincolnshire included the Discovery Day as one of its destinations in its regular Pirate Gold feature and Gravity FM broadcast its afternoon show from the event.

Such a success could only be attributed to a stalwart amount of hard work put in by both Tony & Rosemary and a heap of keen volunteers on the day, raising over £1600 towards the maintenance and restoration of the Grantham Canal.

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust On Short List to Receive £10,000 Donation

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is one of thirty charities to be included on the Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) Group’s Lasting Legacy Fund shortlist. If the Trust is one of the fifteen most voted for charities from the list, it could win £10,000.

This year is YBS Group’s 150th Anniversary. To celebrate this YBS Group is looking to give fifteen charities a donation of £10,000 each from the YBS Group Lasting Legacy Fund. The donation is to be used in a specific project that will make a lasting difference to the community the charity operates in. The public have been invited to choose which fifteen charities receive the money by voting for their favourites from the short list at YBS Group’s website.

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is the only waterways charity to appear on the short list and if successful plans to use the £10,000 to repair the 200 year collapsed old brick culvert under the restored canal at Pewsham.

For more information or to take part in the vote and help decide which charities receive £10,000 visit the YBS Group website. Voting will remain open until 31st October 2014 and YBS Group plans to announce the results in November. 

Pennine Canal Festival

Over 2,000 people are expected to take part in the 2014 Pennine Canal Festival, which takes place on the South Pennine Ring and is aimed at building stronger links with communities along the canal corridors.

The Festival includes a number of events planned for October and early November, with activities for all ages. It is organised by CRT, with the support of local authorities, the Rochdale Canal Society and Huddersfield Canal Society. The autumn events have received sponsorship from the Rochdale and Pennine Townships and Todmorden Town Council.

Full details of all the activities are available at the My Rochdale Canal website. The Festival programme includes an autumn canalside seed gathering walk, canalside nature discovery and craft sessions, the Todmorden illuminated boat and lantern parade, lantern making workshops, kayaking taster sessions and a family fun fishing day.

The South Pennine Ring is a 70 mile circular route including most of the Rochdale Canal, Ashton Canal, Huddersfield Broad Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal and part of the Calder & Hebble Navigation. The ring provides a variety of canal scenery, including probably the most dramatic upland landscape on the canal system as the route passes over the Pennines.

River Stour

Due to adverse conditions on the River Stour following heavy rain, it has not been possible for contractors to complete the installation of the new gates at Flatford Lock. It has therfore been necessary to postpone the re-opening of Flatford Lock that was scheduled to take place on Sunday 19th October. The re-opening of Flatford Lock will be re-scheduled once the lock has been completed.

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.

Off-side Vegetation on the Macclesfield Canal

Macclesfield Canal offside vegetation project (photo by Bob Luscombe)Photo: Macclesfield Canal offside vegetation project (photo by Bob Luscombe)

Macclesfield Canal Society led a successful week of volunteer work from 14th to 19th September, removing dangerous and nuisance hard vegetation from the Macclesfield Canal Summit, principally on the off-side of the canal.

Twenty-two volunteers drawn from  the Macclesfield Canal Society, IWA Manchester Branch, WRG North West, North Cheshire Cruising Club, Furness Vale Boat Club, Historic Narrowboat Club and the local boaters' community put in a total of thirty-eight volunteer days to clear about 11 miles of canal bank and ten bridge-holes and narrows.

Original plans were to cover the Upper Peak Forest Canal as well as the Macclesfield Canal. However, two days' work were lost due to mechanical problems with the CRT workboat and another half day dealing with the aftermath of the discovery of a wasps' nest on the towpath, which did not appreciate being disturbed.

It was thanks to a partnership that this event went ahead, CRT provided tools, a chipper, a boat, seven workdays of staff time and chipper training for a number of volunteers; the Macclesfield Canal Society recruited the volunteers, planned the work and did the admin; and a CRT lead volunteer operated the workboat, dealt with health & safety and supervised the volunteers. Then of course there were the volunteers who came from a number of organisations.

This was an important event not just because of what was achieved, but because it was the first time volunteers have been deployed in this way, and it has proved that volunteers can be a force multiplier for this type of work. A further useful outcome is a “How to do this right” paper to help CRT and volunteers make future exercises even more successful in Manchester & Pennine and other CRT regions.

Subject to CRT resources, it is intended that vegetation on the Peak Forest Canal summit will be dealt with in a similar manner in 2015.

IWA Oxfordshire Branch Helps to Prepare For Banbury Canal Day

Volunteer Jane Homer painting Lock 29 on Oxford Canal, Banbury at IWA Oxfordshire Branch work party, 25-09-14 (photo by Stefanie Preston)Photo: Volunteer Jane Homer painting Lock 29 on Oxford Canal, Banbury at IWA Oxfordshire Branch work party (photo by Stefanie Preston)

On Thursday 25th September, volunteers joined IWA Oxfordshire Branch on a chilly morning at Banbury Town Lock on the Oxford Canal. The task was to prepare the canalside area for the upcoming Banbury Canal Day on 4th October. This included painting the lock gates and furniture, putting up signs and cutting vegetation back from the towpath. The lock gates had been painted only the year before but were already well worn and looked significantly better following the lick of paint they received. By the end of the session the area looked much better and ready for Banbury Canal Festival.

IWA Leicestershire Branch Work Party Features on BBC Radio

Volunteers at IWA Leicestershire Branch's Lime Kiln Lock Clean-up (photo by Alison Smedley)Photo: Volunteers at IWA Leicestershire Branch's Lime Kiln Lock Clean-up (photo by Alison Smedley)

IWA Leicestershire Branch held a canal clean up on the Soar Navigation in Leicester on Saturday 4th October. The event was well supported by Leicester City Council who provided three workboats for the event, and by CRT.  

A wet and windy weather forecast meant for a small number of volunteers but those who braved the morning rain enjoyed themselves and dried out in the afternoon when the sun came out.  

By lunchtime, the volunteers had collected seventeen bags of rubbish and assorted larger items out of the canal. By the end of the day, this had increased to a full trailer load of rubbish including a bicycle and an almost serviceable office chair.  

The Leicester City Council workboat was used to collect floating rubbish and access rubbish on the offside. They also went a short way up the Willow Brook where rubbish makes its way down into the canal where it joins the navigation below Lime Kiln Lock. Other volunteers grappled rubbish out from the bank whilst others litter picked along the towpath and around the lock, and carried out a bit of vegetation clearance around the lock.  

Julie Mayer from BBC Radio Leicester also braved the wet weather and came along with a radio car and interviewed four of the volunteers live on the “Tony and Julie” Saturday morning radio show.   

The CRT welfare van unfortunately arrived with a full toilet tank and had to be taken to Loughborough to be emptied, thus highlighting the relevance of one of IWA Leicestershire Branch's campaigns for getting boaters' facilities installed in Leicester.

IWA Manchester Clean-up

Fence panels successfully removed from the canal, Operation Manchester 4th October 2014Photo: Fence panels successfully removed from the canal

Volunteers who attended Operation Manchester, a canal clean-up organised by IWA and CRT in Manchester over the weekend of 4th and 5th of October, were extremely busy pulling rubbish from the Ashton and Rochdale Canals, litter picking and cutting back vegetation.

The first weekend of October was IWA’s annual big clean-up in Manchester. Following on from successful events in 2013 and 2014, volunteers returned to the canals of Manchester to improve the waterways. This year, work focused on the Ashton and Rochdale Canals. Over the weekend fifty-two volunteers turned out, braving very wet weather on the Saturday, and filled two skips with rubbish pulled from the canals. On top of this nineteen solid fence panels, two heras fence panels, over thirteen long (up to 5 metres in length) pieces of scrap metal, a stop plank, a lamp post, a 4.5 metre ladder, a big red child’s car, a double mattress and numerous shopping trollies and bicycles were pulled from the canalbed.

Part of the team that pulled all of the rubbish out were twelve Officer Cadets from Manchester & Salford Universities Royal Naval Unit who were there on the Sunday. They were a great help in getting the heavy stuff out and were not afraid to get their uniforms very muddy!

It was not just canal rubbish that was tackled with volunteers litter picking up to Lock 3 on the Ashton Canal and Lock 81 on the Rochdale Canal. Vegetation was also tackled and cut back at Lock 82 on the Rochdale Canal and around the first two bridges from Ducie Street Junction on the Ashton Canal.

Overall, the weekend was a great success especially considering Saturday’s weather.

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:

East Yorkshire Branch - Wolds Waters - August 2014
Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News - Autumn 2014

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

Peterborough Branch - Hereward - Summer 2014
Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch - Worcester Bar - Autumn 2014
West Riding Branch - Mile Post - September 2014
Chelmsford Branch - Chelmsford Branch Newsletter - October 2014

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

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

October
16th October Work Party - Lapworth (Supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
17th-18th October Work Party - Milton Keynes (IWA Milton Keynes Branch)
18th October Work Party - Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal (supported by IWA Manchester Branch)
18th October Work Party - Lapworth (Supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
21st October Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
22nd October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
24th October Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
26th October Work Party - Tinsley Marina (IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch)
28th October Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
29th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)

November
1st November Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
1st November Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
2nd November Big Canal Clean-up Warwick (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
3rd November Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
5th November Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
5th November Work Party - Hatton Locks (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
9th November Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
12th November Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
13th November Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
15th November Work Party - Lapworth (supported IWA Warwickshire Branch)
15th November Work Party - Newton Heath, Rochdale Canal (IWA Manchester Branch)
15th November Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
19th November Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
20th November Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd November Canal Clean-up - London (IWA London Region)
22nd-23rd November Canal Clean-up - Bournville (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
25th November Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
26th November Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
28th November 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

October
19th October Waterside Walk - Braunston (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
19th October Waterside Walk - Little Venice to Camden (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
23rd October Waterside Walk - Higher Walton (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

November
2nd November Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
16th November Waterside Walk - Newbold on Avon (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
16th November Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
27th November Waterside Walk - Northwich (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

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

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • Airedale Cruising - 10% Discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - 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
www.waterways.org.uk/about/contact_us
Bulletin is edited by Stefanie Preston

ABOUT IWA


Read Bulletin in an alternative newsletter format:
Download PDF (1.8MB)
Read online (via Issuu)

Mystery Photo Challenge

Do you know which junction is in this 1974 photo? Take part in the mystery photo challenge and submit your answer here.

See the answer and those that guessed correctly for the previous mystery challenge!

IWA News

Other News

IWA Work Parties

Other Information

Recent Blog Posts

The Pros & Cons of Living Afloat

Chard Wadley - Volunteer of the Month October 2014

Desktop Calendar

Download the IWA October Desktop Calendar