IWA Bulletin September 2010

About IWA

2010 IWA Annual General Meeting

The IWA's National AGM will be held at 2.00 pm on Saturday 25 September 2010
at the Grove School, Stafford Street ,Market Drayton Staffs, TF9 1HF.

Meeting agenda and notes.


A meeting of branch, region and national officers will be held in the morning from about 10 am.  Further details will be available in early September.

Lunch Bookings

A two course hot lunch is available priced at £6, but must be pre-booked.  The menu is either steak pie, chips & peas, or a vegetarian option, plus dessert.  The choice must be made when booking so that the school caterers can prepare.

Please note that bookings for food need to be made by 20th September.  The school is some distance from the town, and there are no other nearby catering outlets.

Please complete the Lunch booking form.


Click here for details of how to get there.


Arrive by Boat

For those arriving by boat there will be reserved spaces south of Bridge 62 (Newcastle Road Bridge) on Friday and Saturday.

Friday Evening

Shrewsbury District and North Wales Branch plan to host an informal get-together on the Friday evening at the Talbot (by Bridge 62), 7pm onwards.  No booking required - just turn up.

Saturday Morning Guided Walk

On the morning of the AGM, there will be a walk guided by local canal historian Peter Brown at 10.10 am for people not attending the officers' meeting.  No booking required meet at the school entrance.

Local History

The venue for this year's AGM is particularly appropriate as it is canalside, between the aqueduct over the River Tern and Bridge 62, Newcastle Road.  Grove House, the oldest part of the school, was built in 1777.  In 1827 it was purchased by John Wilson, the contractor who constructed the sections of the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal — now known as the Shropshire Union Main Line — between Nantwich and High Offley and between Gnosall and Autherley.  Wilson was one of Telford's preferred contractors.  He had assisted John Simpson on the masonry of  Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, worked on the Caledonian Canal and various of Telford's roads in Scotland, and had spent a couple of years in Sweden assisting with the building of the
Göta Canal in Sweden.  He was the masonry contractor for the Menai Bridge.  He died early in 1831, his sons John & William taking over the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal contracts.  His descendants lived in Grove House until the 1950s.

What is now the school playing-fields were intended by the canal committee of the to be the site of their headquarters, with the canal manager's house, offices and a committee room.  There would also have been a dock, boat-gauging apparatus and the maintenance depot.  However, they ran out of money, having to borrow £184,600 from the government to complete the canal, and one of the economies they made was to forego having a prestigious headquarters, renting instead an office in Newport.  A less ambitious depot was built at Norbury Junction.

The 2010 Festival at Beale Park

The 2010 IWA Waterways Festival & Boat Show at Beale Park, Reading, held over 28th to 30th August 2010 was graced with sunny weather and has been acclaimed a great success ...
With exhibition boats of all kinds, a flotilla from the Dutch Barge Association and historic craft on the lake it proved a real attraction for the visitors.  Pink water zorbing balls were very popular too although people found walking on water was much more difficult than they imagined. The Newfoundland dogs were impressive with their rescue demonstrations while model boat displays, canoeing and historic boat parades completed a very impressive lake entertainment programme.

Elsewhere around the site IWA’s own marquee proved very popular with the wide range of books and maps, the café, Rolly toys and WOW activities including bricklaying with Waterway Recovery Group.  Nearly 400 children took part in the WOW activities during the three days and families were commenting that the children didn’t want to leave – even when inducements such as food were offered!

The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust members who were sited at the very popular Historic Wharf were delighted with the response they received from the public and signed up many new members.  With 2010 being the 200th Anniversary of the K & A, they were very appropriate occupants for the attraction which was named Barry’s Wharf after a member of the Festivals team who died earlier this year.

With an estimated footfall of nearly 21,000 around the site during the three days, it proved extremely busy and very profitable for the many traders on site.  Visitors were laden with purchases of all kinds, ranging from barbecues, garden furniture, gifts and clothing along with speciality foods. With several of the exhibition boats receiving serious interest from potential purchasers it confirms the Festival as a major venue for boatbuilders.

 The coveted Lionel Munk trophy for the best exhibition boat was won by the Navigation Narrowboat Company with “First Dawn”, the first in a new line of shared ownership boats.

403 visiting boats attended, 406 camping units including RV’s, motorhomes, caravans and tents along with 244 exhibitors.


IWA Gives Grant to Wey & Arun Trust

The Wey & Arun Canal has been awarded two grants from IWA.

Paul Roper, IWA South-East Regional Chairman recently presented a cheque for £4,000 to the Wey & Arun Canal Trust  as a contribution towards restoring a section of the summit level near Dunsfold in Surrey. The cheque was received by members of the trust's mid-week working party, who have been carrying out clearance and maintenance work at this location.

The section of canal near the Three Compasses Inn is known as the Dunsfold cutting and is thought to be the most significant piece of heavy engineering along the canal route, and consequently the source of much anguish for the original builders.

Between Compasses Bridge and the A281 at Fast Bridge, the canal is already navigable (although shallow in places) and has hosted an annual Small Boats Rally for the past few years. To the south of Compasses Bridge, as far as Tickner’s Heath Road, the canal route is clear of blockages after the trust removed two causeways during the 1990s, but is heavily silted.

A further grant, of £2,000, has been additionally agreed by IWA’s Restoration Committee. This will assist with funding preliminary studies on the northern section of the canal route, in the Shalford and Bramley area, where the former canal joins the River Wey. The study work includes a Flood Risk Assessment, which is now being carried out for WACT by specialist consulting engineers Water Environment Ltd of Wimbledon.


Inglesham Lock Appeal Latest

We are pleased to announce that the appeal has passed the £11,000 mark.


IWA and Cotwold Canals Trust representatives are currently planning  out the work for next year, subject to ther requisite funds being raised. Our first priority remains reimbursement to the trust of the initial cost of the purchase of the pound and ancillary land.

We also gratefully acknowledge the generosity of all donors to our appeal.


Situations Vacant - Residential Caretaker - Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

An opportunity has arisen for a residential caretaker position on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

It comes with a residential mooring (with local authority planning permission) at Sandford Mill on the Navigation, for which the incumbent will be charged the going rate (dependent on boat length). The post holder will be expected to spend a minimum of 8 hours per week undertaking maintenance and security duties at the moorings area (e.g. grass cutting) for which they will receive a modest salary.

For more information or to apply for the position go to:


or contact the navigation manager Colin Edmonds on 01245 226245 or 07966 375351

Other News

Mon & Brec Breaches again

The Monmounthshire and Brecon Canal has breached. Following an inspection of the leak situated at Llangatock Aqueduct, British Waterways advise that the canal has been closed between Bridges 115-116 with immediate effect. Repairs are ongoing and the canal is not expected to reopen until after the weekend of 5th September 2010.

Contact Us

IWA Head Office , Island House Moor Road, Chesham , HP5 1WA

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Jo Gilbertson 01494 783453