Photo: Les Etheridge Chairman IWA, Speaking at the Association’s Annual Members Meeting and AGM 2015
The Inland Waterway Association’s 2015 Annual Members' Meeting and AGM was held in Salwarpe Village Hall beside the Droitwich Barge Canal, on Saturday 26th September.
Attended by over 70 IWA members the day began with well received presentations from Gren Messham (Chairman of Navigation Committee and IWA Trustee) and Roy Chandler (Chairman Essex Waterways Ltd). Gren spoke eloquently about the work of Navigation Committee and spent some time describing how its interactions vary with the different navigation authorities depending on those authorities’ priorities. For example, Environment Agency lists flooding – both inland and coastal defence, as its top concern, followed by environmental regulation with boating further down the list. In its 2014/2015 Annual Report Environment Agency shows a turnover of £1.3billion with just 0.63% - £8.2m – being spent on navigation. These figures reinforce IWA’s policy on Environment Agency which is that EA needs to provide more effective funding for navigation now and ultimately transfer its navigation responsibilities to Canal & River Trust.
Roy Chandler introduced the work of Essex Waterways along the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation in celebration of IWA’s first 10 years as the navigation manager. The decade has taken the waterway from an asset in administration and disrepair to a leisure amenity that has been improved beyond recognition and with a very bright future ahead of it.
The Association’s AGM followed the presentations and included routine business. The meeting recorded the re-appointment of Les Etheridge and Gillian Smith and appointment of Paul Birkett, as nationally elected trustees. Tributes were paid to retiring trustee Clive Henderson (nationally elected) and to Alan Platt and Vaughan Welch (region chairmen). The appointment of Roger Holmes and Mike Carter as the only candidates for South West and North West Regions respectively was noted. Those gathered were made aware of the vacancies for chairmen in Eastern and West Midlands regions.
IWA Chief Executive, Neil Edwards presented the accounts providing an in-depth breakdown of income and expenditure and Les Etheridge, Chairman of IWA, showed how IWA had worked to succeed in the achievement of its strategic objectives. One item was particularly noticeable as Les presented figures provided by CRT to a meeting of boating organisations in January. The statistics showed that two thirds of boaters without a home mooring moved less than 20km (12 miles) in a year. As IWA continues to support genuine continuous cruisers, the Association’s frustration with boaters who flout the rules is fully justified by these figures. CRT is now taking firm action against boaters moving such small distances without a home mooring.
Following a very enjoyable lunch provided by IWA volunteers and a break which permitted those present to buy branded clothing and Christmas cards as well as spend time networking, it was time for the awards.
Photo: IWA Award Winners at the Annual Members Meeting and AGM, held on 26th September at Salwarpe Village Hall. Left to Right: Derek Bradley (Richard Bird Medal), David Lowe (Richard Bird Medal), Phil Sharpe (Cyril Styring Trophy), Les Etheridge (National Chairman), Steve Connolly (Manchester Branch Chairman, accepting John Heap Salver on behalf of Waterway Recovery Group North West), Helen Whitehouse (Chairman, Lichfield Branch – Branch Achievement Award), Madeline Dean (Richard Bird Medal) and Nicholas Bostock (accepting Christopher Power Award on behalf of Michael Limbrey of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust). Not shown, as unable to be present on the day, also receiving a Richard Bird Medal, was Roger Evans.
The winners of IWA’s National Annual Awards for 2015 were presented at the Association’s Annual Members Meeting and AGM.
The Cyril Styring Trophy, the Association’s premier award, which is presented to an IWA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the Association’s campaign, has this year been awarded to Phil Sharpe for his campaigning work for IWA over thirty years and in particular for his work on the current HS2 Campaign. Phil has spent many hours on the HS2 Campaign, working with others in IWA, and attending and negotiating with local authorities at County Council, District Council and Parish Council level. Phil originally identified the route which would avoid the proposed multiple canal crossings in the Fradley area which has now been adopted by the House of Commons Select Committee. Twenty years ago, Phil also led the combined IWA and Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust teams at the second M6 Toll Road (Birmingham Northern Relief Road) Public Inquiry to fight successfully for navigable crossings for the Lichfield and Hatherton canals.
The John Heap Salver, the Association’s major fundraising award, has been awarded to Waterway Recovery Group North West for its fundraising activities over the last 30 years. As well as providing volunteers to work on restoration projects on its regular weekend digs, WRG North West also carries out fundraising activities which support its restoration activities. Anyone who has attended a waterway festival will recognise the WRG North West stall with its bric-a-brac and second hand books. The group also runs a paper recycling scheme known as the Paper Chase, which involves the collection of newspaper in the Manchester area to be sold to the recycling industry. WRG North West has built up a proud tradition of funding its own activities and being able to donate substantial amounts to WRG national appeals for replacement diggers and vans over the years, as well as being generous in support of appeals by waterway restoration groups.
The Christopher Power Prize is awarded to a person, society or trust that has made a significant contribution to the restoration of an amenity waterway and includeas a cash prize of about £1,000. It has been awarded to Michael Limbrey of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust. Michael was instrumental in setting up the Trust, whose role is to act as a lead co-ordinating bridge between waterway organisations, local authorities and other public agencies in the campaigning for and restoration of the Montgomery Canal. Michael also set up a membership organisation within MWRT – the Friends of the Montgomery Canal - which is specifically aimed at locally-based supporters. Michael, through both these organisations, was actively involved in the recent ‘Making Waves’ series of events which were held over the summer to raise the profile of the use of the restored central section of this key waterway.
Richard Bird Medals are awarded to members whose efforts and support are considered to have brought significant benefit to the Association over a sustained period of time. This year, Richard Bird medals were awarded to:
Madeline Dean of Lancashire & Cumbria Branch, for the work she has done for IWA nationally and for the branch since she joined IWA in 1980. For 17 years she was sales officer for the branch and has also served as chairman, vice chairman, and contributed significantly to the trailboat and campaign festivals held on the Lancaster Canal.
Derek Bradley, for his work during his time as Cambridge Branch chairman, and later as Eastern Region chairman. Derek was chairman of Cambridge (now Great Ouse) Branch for 8 years, and continues as an active committee member. During his time as Eastern Region chairman he supported all the branches in the region, which covers a wide geographical area, and built good relationships with the navigation authorities in the area.
Roger Evans, for his volunteering activities with WRG and IWA over many years. As well as editing North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch’s magazine, Roger is also actively involved in the branch’s Cheshire Locks Project, which is a joint project with the Trent & Mersey Canal Society, of which he is also currently chairman. Roger is a familiar figure at IWA festivals where he helps with the set up and take down as well as working on the sales stand during the event.
David Lowe, for his many years of campaigning as an IWA member for the retention and promotion of the northern waterway network. David has operated many commercial boats over the years, including passenger boats, restaurant boats, hire boats and freight carrying craft. David currently advises the industry and navigation authorities about freight carriage, and has been secretary and is currently chairman of the Commercial Boat Operators Association.
The Branch Achievement Award, awarded annually to an IWA branch that has made the greatest progress and achievement in promoting the Association’s aims and objectives during the past year, was awarded to Lichfield Branch. Among many other activities, such as responding to a staggering number of planning applications every year, this busy branch has this year completed exceptional towpath improvements in Rugeley alongside the new visitor moorings created by the branch and been recognised for its work on HS2, especially at Fradley. In addition, Lichfield Branch holds well attended branch meetings, has an excellent programme of walks and fundraising activities and makes regular donations to waterways groups. The branch’s newsletter was also commended by the judging panel.
Readers of Bulletin are reminded that nominations for national awards can be made by individual members and branch and region committees, and full details of the awards and how to nominate an individual or waterway organisation can be found on the national awards pages.
Nominations should be submitted by 31st March each year.
The Inland Waterways Association has welcomed the appointment of Richard Benyon MP as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Waterways. Mr Benyon was elected by MPs and Lords at the inaugural meeting of the Group for the new Parliament on 8th September.
Mr Benyon, MP for Newbury, was the Waterways Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs between 2010 and 2013, during the period that saw the creation of Canal & River Trust.
Welcoming Mr Benyon’s election, IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge, said: “The APPG for the Waterways has benefited from having previous Waterways Ministers as Chairman and I am delighted that once again the APPG will have such a knowledgeable and highly regarded Chairman in Richard Benyon MP; we look forward to contributing to the work of the Group.”
Photo: Competitors and their Canine Companions Take to the Water in IWA’s First Triathlon
IWA’s fundraising efforts broke new ground in the planning and running of a Waterways Triathlon which took place on the beautiful Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex on 20th September.
68 participants signed up to challenge their fitness and skills on a course which stretched from Hoe Mill Lock to Maldon for the running section, from Hoe Mill Lock to Beeleigh Lock for the canoe section and along local roads for the cycling section. Participants had the choice of either a 50km or a 30km course through beautiful countryside with all contestants taking part to raise money for two local waterways causes – Essex Waterways and The Susan Trust.
The triathlon attracted singles, couples and families as well as six runners who brought their dogs along with them. Four of the dogs even took part in the canoe section. The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Paul Hutchinson, launched proceedings and ensured that all the canoe groups set off together and on time. Some groups divided the course into sections to complete one stage each in a relay and others participated as groups.
The Mayor made time to talk with Graham Brown, Navigation Manager for Essex Waterways and toured the Lock area. There were lots of supporters enjoying the sunshine with several of the well-wishers having walked down to the start from Paper Mill Lock. The first of the 30km course triathletes, twins Jordan and Liam Case, completed all three events in a very impressive 2 hours and 41 minutes. The fastest time on the 50km section was 3 hours 15 minutes.
All of the participants and their supporters were invited to a barbecue at the finish to bring a very sociable and relaxing end to the sunny day.
Each participant paid an entrance fee to cover the costs of running the event and then chose between two charities to support with any sponsorship monies raised. Benefitting from the triathlon are local waterways causes, Essex Waterways, responsible for managing, maintaining and improving the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation and The Susan Trust, a historic Chelmer lighter boat restoration project.
Photo: Walkers Take a Welcome Break During WRG’s Sponsored Walk Around the Droitwich Ring
36 people took part in Waterway Recovery Group’s Sponsored Walk, which took place on the 19th September around the Droitwich Ring. The walk was organised in aid of IWA’s Appeal for £120,000 for four new WRG vans to support canal restoration - and is set to raise over £5,000 with more donations coming in.
Snow White with her Seven Wharfs, fun van hats and some whoopee cushions ran, walked and hobbled their way around the 22 mile ring, whilst fifteen more walkers walked a 5 mile stretch of the Droitwich canals. Teams were named after some of WRG's current and previous vans.
A special mention goes to Mike Palmer who dressed as Snow White for the day. He even shaved his legs for the event as a result of Team RFB's amazing fundraising efforts, which now totals over £3,000.
The walk was a great opportunity for volunteers to see the Droitwich canals fully restored, particularly for those of them who were involved in the restoration of the Hanbury Flight and the Droitwich Barge Lock. The Droitwich canals are a perfect example of what volunteer effort can achieve.
Thanks go to everyone who took part on the day and helped make the event such a success.
If you'd like to sponsor one of our teams you can find their fundraising pages and donate via the Virgin Money Giving website.
Three vacancies have arisen at IWA’s Head Office in Chesham and we are looking for enthusiastic individuals to come and join our small and friendly team. If you are interested in applying, please find further details and get in touch by following the link below. Alternatively, we would very much appreciate it if you could forward the details to any neighbours, friends, ex-colleagues or family members who you think might be interested in working with us.
Two of the roles would suit anyone who might have a desire to work in the volunteering sector, as we are looking for an assistant volunteers co-ordinator and a volunteer support officer. After 18 months with IWA our previous assistant volunteers co-ordinator, Amber Jenkins, has left to take up an appointment with RSPB Scotland as volunteer development officer.
We are also looking for a communications officer. This role would suit somebody who is looking for a part-time position, who has experience of communications and perhaps some public relations knowledge.
The three positions are all detailed on IWA’s job vacancy pages
Please do help us spread the word.
On 19th September, Aylesbury Canal Society organised a special event to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Grand Union Canal’s Aylesbury Arm, as well as the society’s move from the Town Basin to Circus Fields. An official opening celebration of the society’s new facility marked the occasion.
Hundreds of visitors enjoyed the double celebration including IWA’s National Chairman, Les Etheridge, who received a special invitation to attend the event.
IWA’s Chiltern Branch was represented by Chris Clegg, who manned the Branch’s stand and also the ACS’s stand, which featured an excellent display of archive photos of the Town Basin, including some of IWA’s National Rally held there in 1961.
Photo: The John Varley Trip Boat
The Chesterfield Canal Trust has received a grant of £20,850 under a funding scheme that injects illegally generated income back into crime prevention.
The Trust is delighted to have been selected to receive support from Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s NICE (Neighbourhoods investing Criminal Earnings) Fund and plans to use the grant to buy a new hull. The hull will then be fitted out using funds from other sources, to replace the John Varley, its Chesterfield-based trip boat. TheTrust hopes that the new trip boat will be ready for service in 2016 and launched at IWA’s National Trailboat Festival, scheduled to take place at Staveley Basin on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May 2016.
The Trust campaigns for the full restoration of the 46-mile long canal and the development of the Rother Valley link as well as promoting the waterway as a canal for all. It runs boat trips to enable members of the public and community groups to enjoy the natural surroundings offered by the waterways.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has allocated £131,684 between five organisations as part of his NICE Fund, which was launched last year to provide financial support to community capital projects which will leave a lasting legacy for their communities.
Photo: Abseilers Inspect the Anderton Boat Lift
Abseilers have carried out an aerial inspection of the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’ – Anderton Boat Lift, a scheduled ancient monument near Northwich.
The 80 foot tall structure dates from 1875 and lifts canal boats 50 feet between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey Canal. It was fully restored to working order in 2002 in a £7 million project, to which IWA made a significant contribution.
The inspection of the Lift is part of the structure’s ‘MOT’ to ensure that it is kept in good working order. The specialist abseiling team has been brought in as this is the most efficient way to check for corrosion or any other defects.
The work is being carried out by Canal & River Trust.
Photo: The Blocked Section of the Canal Basin at Nelson’s Wharf on the Grand Union Canal at Stockton
Willow Wren Training has been granted planning approval to reopen the remainder of the historic canal basin at Nelson’s Wharf on the Grand Union Canal at Stockton. The planning process revealed that the development would produce an ecological net gain and that there were no ground pollutants preventing reconnection to the mainline.
Nelsons’ Wharf is the site of the old Nelson’s Cement works where horse drawn and steam powered narrowboats were used to bring in coal from the Warwickshire coalfields and take out lime and cement products until the works closure in 1949.
The first 50m of the old arm was opened when the wharf was reinstated and a new training centre built in 2014. A further 200m has remained buried by the derelict cement factory which was finally demolished in the mid-1960s.
Altogether, some 16,000 cubic meters of concrete, bricks and soil needs to be removed before the basin can be re-watered. A new footbridge is to be installed where the old rail bridge used to sit. The bridge is needed to carry a public footpath over the arm which now runs through the Nelson’s Works site.
When the basin has been restored, services installed and ground landscaped, Willow Wren Training will offer quiet rural moorings for up to eight boats as well as a maintenance base for its training fleet.
IWA has been informed by Peel Holdings, that due to the installation of safety gates into the Bridgewater Canal at Worsley, the canal will be closed to all navigation during the course of the works.
The canal will be closed from 2nd November to 29th February. Approximately 400m West of the M60 motorway bridge and 1300m East of Bridgewater Marina.
The canal towpath is planned to remain open during the works.
Winter moorings for 2015-16 went on sale on 1st October, offering boaters the chance to tie up for the winter (start of November to end February) at a wide selection of Canal & River Trust sites across England and Wales.
Some moorings are situated near facilities on selected visitor moorings and some at quieter towpath spots for boaters who want a bit more solitude. Boaters can book their winter mooring through Canal & River Trust’s boat licensing site.
This section contains volunteer reports from IWA branches and IWA's Waterway Recovery Group. 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: A Volunteer Adds the Final Touches to Lock 46 on the Red Bull Flight
IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch’s recent Cheshire Locks volunteer work party successfully finalized the uplift of Lock 46 on the Red Bull Flight. A good turn out of ten volunteers put the final touches to the lock. Volunteers worked hard to complete Lock 44 to 46, but it proved well worth the effort.
The branch plans to start its uplift of Lock 43 at the next work party in October. The original plan to move down to Harding’s Wood Junction has been modified. As the autumn draws in, it is felt that volunteers can make better progress on a single lock than the paired locks and associated canal side ‘furniture’ at the junction. Hopefully work can begin there in the spring.
Rain hindered IWA Oxford Branch’s recent work party on the Oxford Canal. However, volunteers were not deterred and managed to do a bit of pruning and tree lopping where branches overhung the towpath. Arrangements were made to return for painting later in the week.
On Friday 25th September, volunteers went into Banbury and gave the lock's white paint a fresh coat to spruce it up ready for Banbury Canal Day. An annual event organised by Banbury Town Council, the canal day is being held on Sunday 4th October, where IWA Oxfordshire Branch arranges the water events.
Canal & River Trust provided paint and life jackets for the work party.
Photo: Volunteers From IWA Northampton Branch Clear the Westbridge Arm
During August, a task party from IWA Northampton Branch, centred around ensuring the Westbridge Arm was navigable for the Westbridge Arm Challenge at the recent Festival of Water. With great team spirit, volunteers managed to get all the way down to the winding hole so the challenge could take place!
The Canal & River Trust supplied a push tug and flat and the Environment Agency attended with a truck to remove all that had been dragged out and cut down.
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 to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
Birmingham Branch – Worcester Bar
Major IWA events in 2015
30th April - 2nd May 2016 - IWA Canalway Cavalcade, London
IWA Branch Events in 2015
10th October 2015 – Nottingham Canal Festival
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.
3rd October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
3rd October Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (Supported by IWA N. Staffs & S. Cheshire Branch)
7th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th October Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (Supported by IWA N. Staffs & S. Cheshire Branch)
11th October Work Party - Hatton (Supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
11th October Work Party - Sleaford Navigation (Supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
13th October Work Party - Northampton (Supported by IWA Northampton Branch)
14th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
14th October Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (Supported by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcs.Branch)
15th October Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
17th October Work Party - Greater Manchester (Supported by IWA Manchester Branch)
21st October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
23rd October Work Party - Congleton (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
24th October Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
25th October Work Party - Northampton (Supported by IWA Northampton Branch)
27th October Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (Supported by IWA N. Staffs & S. Cheshire Branch)
28th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
31st October Work Party – Chester (Supported by IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
4th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
7th November Work Party - Burslem (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
8th November Work Party - Sleaford Navigation (Supported by IWA Lincolnshire Branch)
10th November Work Party - Northampton (Supported by IWA Northampton Branch)
11th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
11th November Work Party -Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (Supported by IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcs Branch)
12th November Work Party -Uttoxeter Canal (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
18th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
19th November Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Cheshire Locks (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
21st November Work Party - Uttoxeter Canal (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
21st November Work Party - Greater Manchester (Supported by IWA Manchester Branch)
24th November Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal, Burslem Port (Supported by IWA N.Staffs & S.Cheshire Branch)
25th November Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
28th November Work Party - Congleton (Supported by IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
28th November Work Party – Chester (Supported by IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
29th November Work Party - Northampton (Supported by IWA Northampton Branch)
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
4th October Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
11th October Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
18th October Waterside Walk - Regent's Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
1st November Waterside Walk - The Olympics, Three Mills and Bow Back Rivers (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
3rd November Waterside Walk - Polesworth & Coventry Canal (IWA Lichfield Branch)
15th November Waterside Walk - Regent’s Canal (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
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
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