IWA Bulletin September 2012

IWA News

Other News

2012 Events

Other Information

Top Story

IWA Re-states its Vision and Role

In anticipation of the formation of Canal & River Trust; IWA's trustees and branches spent time reconsidering IWA’s role and what we ‘stand for’. A draft was prepared and circulated to all branches for detailed consideration and responses were used to formulate a detailed document that was issued to all members as part of IWA's Annual Review. It was universally agreed that IWA’s role remained fundamentally unchanged, and that there was still an overriding need to represent all waterway users including those on CRT waters. It was also acknowledged that whilst CRT managed waters are substantial they do not comprise the majority of all inland waterways and IWA considers that it needs to retain a campaign interest ‘nationally’ .

Our Vision

The Inland Waterways Association’s vision continues to see a widely-appreciated and well-maintained network of inland waterways available for the benefit of all.

Towards this aim we will continue to:

Advocate the conservation, restoration, good maintenance and sensitive development of the inland waterways of England and Wales, including the structures and buildings of the waterways that are an integral part of the waterway environment.

Encourage the fullest use of the inland waterways for recreation and commerce in so far as that is commensurate with the enjoyment of others.

Seek to educate everyone about the use, benefits and heritage of the inland waterways by means of publications, practical examples and participative activities.

This is what we mean in practice...


IWA News

Controversy over London Moorings

Following recent IWA calls for Canal & River Trust to take firm action over 'continuous moorers' (boat owners without a permanent mooring who moor continuously in a single area without paying any mooring fees), the situation on the Regent's Canal has hit the headlines of the local press.  At a meeting of 5th September with Friends of the Regent's Canal, Canal & River Trust is said to have put forward proposals for convert some current visitor moorings, which are frequently occupied by continuous moorers, into permanent luxury moorings.  This has provoked protest from some local interests who believe there are better ways of managing the situation.  IWA believes that Canal & River Trust needs to take a firm line in ensuring that all moorers abide by the rules for moorings, and that the current abuse must be addressed, rather than the apparent current 'free for all'. London's waterways have gained useful good publicity in recent months, and IWA's volunteers have been at the forefront of assisting visitors to have the best possible experience.  Throughout the Olympics and Paralympics period, IWA Festivals' team has been looking after moorings along the Regent's Canal and in the Olympic area.


Adoption of Fenny Lock by IWA Milton Keynes Branch

IWA's Milton Keynes Branch has adopted Fenny Stratford Lock in response to the general call for more volunteer input to our waterways by Canal & River Trust. A set-up meeting was held with CRT, represented by Martha Holdom and Miriam Tedder (Volunteer Leader for the South East), at the Lock on 15th August. The Branch was represented by Rodney Evans, Branch organiser for the project, Peter Caswell, Branch Chairman and three other member volunteers of the 15 who have signed up to participate.

It was agreed that the Branch would be responsible for the general tidiness and vegetation control of the area from the Pump House to the Railway Bridge; painting, as required, of the Lock, Bridge, towpath side fencing and Pump House doors; and flower beds and hanging baskets at the Pump House.

CRT and its contractors remain responsible for the lock paddle gear and bridge operating gear maintenance and non-slip surfaces; grass cutting and sanitary station care/operation and refuse disposal. Supply of materials and equipment is being organised with CRT.

The first working party to generally clear up the site was held on Wednesday 29th August. Future work is being planned and working party dates will be arranged in conjunction with the Project Volunteers.


IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch Kidderminster Clean Up

Volunteers from IWA's Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch and a local canal society joined forces to spent an enjoyable day in the sun on Monday 3rd September, tidying up the canal in Kidderminster in advance of the Kidderminster Canal Festival the following weekend. 

The event was organised by the branch in partnership with the Canal & River Trust, and was supported by the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Society.  The towpath was cleared of weeds around Weavers Wharf and a mile of towpath between Round Hill Bridge and Limekiln Bridge was cleared of litter.  Meanwhile teams with grappling hooks retrieved a total of 24 shopping trolleys (including 9 all attached together and in very good condition which were returned to a certain well known high street store for re-use once they have been hosed down and sterilised!).  A couple of bicycle wheels, one whole bicycle, the remains of a sprung mattress and several heavy fence blocks were also removed from the canal. 


IWA Warwickshire Branch Lock-Ransom

IWA Warwickshire Branch held a lock-ransom, at Hatton over the first weekend in August. The lock-ransom was not as successful in financial terms as last year’s event at Calcutt – due to this summer’s poor weather combined with the Olympic attractions.  However, a positive side to the weekend’s much reduced ‘traffic-flow’ was that it gave event organiser Nick Nicholson, and his wife Carole, time to do some ‘gardening’.

This was an action of growing importance on our inland waterways - the fight against Himalayan Balsam. 

Warwickshire’s waterways may be more fortunate than some in other parts of the country, and other IWA Branch areas – in that (as yet) they don’t appear to be suffering from the relentless spread of this invasive species. Hopefully, the sighting and removal of the first few small samples of this pernicious pest, will help keep it that way for some time to come. 

This action marks yet another example of IWA Warwickshire's Branch’s commitment to help make boating and tow-path walking through Warwickshire as enjoyable an experience as possible, for both locals and visitors alike. 


New Waterway Manager for Essex Waterways

Essex Waterways has appointed Graham Brown, formerly a senior ranger with Essex & Suffolk Water based at Hanningfield Reservoir, as the new waterway manager for the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.  Graham commenced duties on 10th September and succeeds Colin Edmond, who will be working on just a part-time basis (3 days per week) from the end of September, before fully retiring at the end of November.  Graham will be based at the Essex Waterways office at Paper Mill Lock on the Navigation.


Funding Applications Invited

IWA has two restricted funds for which applications for funding are invited from non-profit-making waterways groups:

The Research & Studies Fund currently has just over £5,000 available for distribution, and was originated from donations made by former members of IWA’s Restoration Committee, and is intended to be spent on research studies to benefit waterways restoration.  There are no particular application forms or other restrictions, and applications for funding would normally be considered in the first instance by Restoration Committee.

The New Power Family Award Fund was originated from a donation of £20,000 made by the Power Fund (a family trust run by the Power family), with a view to making donations for studies and consultants work that might be needed for restoration projects to put forward applications to Lottery or similar public funds for substantial funding of major restoration projects.  The intention is that grants are made from profits of the fund, with most of the capital maintained.  The Power Family also provided the endowment which produces the cash prize paid with the Christopher Power Prize, awarded each year.  The recipient of the 2013 is to be announced, along with other National Awards winners, at the AGM at the end of the month.  Again, there are no particular application forms or other restrictions for this funding, and applications would normally be considered in the first instance by Restoration Committee.


Restoration Committee Appointments

Carolyn Theobold and David Jarvis have been appointed to IWA's Restoration Committee, to succeed Chris Birks, who retired in June, and Ray Buss, who retires in November.


IWA Solent & Arun Branch

On a recommendation to trustees from South East Region, IWA's Solent and Arun Branch has been disbanded.  The area and responsibilities covered by the former branch have been divided between IWA's Guildford & Reading and Kent & East Sussex branches.  Solent & Arun Branch had long suffered from being an area with few inland waterways, but with members who interests lied predominantly in the Midlands.


IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last (mid-August) edition of the Bulletin:

East Midlands Region - Aegre - September 2012
Lee & Stort Branch - Recorder - September 2012
Leicestershire Branch - Winding Ways - September 2012
Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - September 2012
North Lancs & Cumbria Branch - Towpath Topics - All 2012 editions now available
Northampton Branch - Endeavour - August 2012
Warwickshire Branch - Bear Essentials - September 2012

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

South East Region - Cargoes - Autumn 2012
South West Region - Sou'Wester - Summer 2012
West Midlands Region - Navigation - Summer 2012

Chelmsford - News From the Mill - July 2012
Chiltern Branch - Chiltern Grapevine - Autumn 2012
East Yorkshire - Branch Newsletter - Summer 2012
Great Ouse Branch - Ouse News - Summer 2012
Ipswich - Anglian Cuttings - Summer 2012
North Lancs & Cumbria Branch - Towpath Topics - August 2012
North Riding Branch - Northern Navigation News - Summer 2012
Peterborough - Hereward - Summer 2012
Shrewsbury - Shroppie Fly Paper - Summer 2012
South Yorkshire Branch - Keels & Cuckoos - July 2012

2014 Calendar Competition

Photos have been submitted for the 2014 IWA Calendar competition and are available to view online in our gallery of competition entries.

We are offering three free calendars to the photographers whose photos are used in the final calendar. Photos for the Calendar need to be digital with a resolution of at least 300 DPI and at least 2100 pixels x 1500 pixels (can be landscape or portrait). You can usually adjust the settings on your digital camera to take high resolution photos.

Photos for the competition need to be submitted by 31st January 2013. The photos will then be shortlisted and then put to a public vote.

See more information on the calendar competition and uploading photos



IWA Volunteering Opportunities

Banking Advice Sought

IWA's Finance Commitee has set up a small working group to review the Association's banking arrangements.  This is planned to be a short exercise and has been prompted by excessive bureaucratic demands and poor service from the Association's present bankers.  Advice is being sought from any IWA members who have current or very recent relevant experience in the corporate (or third sector) banking industry.  If you can help, please contact Alan Platt (alan.platt@waterways.org.uk) or Kerry White (kerry.white@waterways.org.uk).

IWA Committee Help Wanted

Restoration Committee - Minutes Secretary

IWA's Restoration Committee wishes to recruit a new minutes secretary, as the present minutes secretary to the Committee has now become a full member of the committee.  Restoration Committee meets six times per annum at different venues around the country, providing an opportunity to learn about a wide range of restoration projects.  The role would entail taking minutes at the meeting and writing them up promptly afterwards for agreement with the committee's chairman before circulation.  Travel expenses are offered.  If you are interested, please contact Vaughan Welch (vaughan.welch@waterways.org.uk), the committee's chairman.

Promotions and Communications Committee Members

Promotions and Communications Committee is one of IWA's National Committees. Our role is  to consider areas within our remit and to respond to new challenges as they occur. For a list of our roles and responsibilities see www.waterways.org.uk/information/national_committees/promcomm
We are looking for people who are prepared to join us for meetings every two months near Solihull, West Midlands, to tackle what is usually a fairly demanding agenda. You need to be able to join in and enjoy discussion with a view to evolving policy to recommend to IWA's trustees.  You should be willing to take on a specific project as might occur and see it through to completion. We are also faced with larger events to manage and attend, running recruitment and sales stands.

Meeting and talking to people is a necessary skill, both inside committee and outside.

Please contact Jerry Sanders (jerry.sanders@waterways.org.uk) for further information.


IWA Events Volunteering

Find out about volunteering opportunities at IWA's 2013 events www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/volunteer/event_volunteers


Other 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 at: www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies


Other News

First boat on new section of the Wey & Arun Canal in Surrey since 1871

Recent work by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s volunteers has enabled boat trips to run on a recently restored section of Canal in Surrey for the first time in over 140 years. The Trust already runs hugely popular trips at Loxwood, West Sussex.

The most recent restoration work focused on a section of canal next to the entrance to the Three Compasses pub, located by the Dunsfold Road at Alfold, which is at the Summit (highest part) of the whole canal and runs along the edge of Dunsfold Park.

The Trust has refurbished its 12-seater boat  – the 'John Smallpiece' and the inaugural trips were held on 1st and 2nd September.

More information is available at The Wey & Arun Canal Trust's website: www.weyandarun.co.uk/n120827.php


RBOA Produces a Paper on Continuous Cruising

The Residential Boat Owners Association has produced a paper on continuous cruising, covering the current debate on overstaying. The paper also discusses a wider view of the issues including various mooring options and also substantiates the position of those who undertake continuous cruising legally and responsibly.

RBOA proposes that:

  1. CRT should give greater consideration to new applications for continuous cruising licences possibly with a requirement to maintain a simple pro-forma log.
  2. CRT should progress minimum serviced, low cost, residential moorings in suitable locations.
  3. CRT should continue their efforts to encourage all marinas to include a percentage of residential moorings.
  4. Linked to above items 2 and 3,  CRT should ensure that residential boaters are aware of their rights to obtain housing benefits towards mooring fees and licences where appropriate, even if they don't have a formal residential mooring.
  5. RBOA to continue campaigning for a more reasonable approach towards payment of Council Tax through a lower band or conglomerate valuation of a length of moorings.
  6. CRT to consider a local mooring permit for specific locations to encourage progressive journeys even if they are only over a relatively small area between designated moorings.
  7. Improved enforcement - If a range of cruising or mooring options is offered, CRT could focus enforcement on those who blatantly refuse to comply. Peer pressure may have some influence if alternative options are available.
  8. RBOA to work with CRT in encouraging local authorities to look favourably on residential moorings.
  9. RBOA to consider ways of increasing promotion and support for the interests of those who choose to continuously cruise in a legitimate and responsible way.

Locomotive Plates Raise over £16,000 for Cromford and Grantham Canals

The name and number plates of a 1940 GWR ‘Hall’ class locomotive, were put up for sale to help pay for the restoration of two 200-year old East Midlands canals, which were closed under railway ownership around the time that the locomotive was built.

The auction for a nameplate and numberplate from Great Western Railway locomotive 'Wollaton Hall' took place last Saturday at Derby.

The exercise was highly successful and the nameplate fetched an astounding £12,000. The cabside numberplate raised a further £1,500 and the Auctioneers waived their fees.

The Friends of the Cromford Canal and Grantham Canal Society were each presented with a cheque for £6,750. Each of the charities is able to claim Gift Aid which brings the total per society to over £8,400.

The nameplate and numberplate were put up for auction by Nottingham transport historian (and IWA Life Member) Peter Stone who purchased the plates from British Railways in 1962.

It is anticipated that the FCC will put the money towards the introduction of a heritage trip boat at Cromford and and the GCS towards the massive task of restoring the Woolsthorpe flight of locks.

Photo of 5999 'Wollaton Hall' at Taunton in 1951 courtesy Peter Triggs.

Environment Agency PlantTracker App for Invasive Plants

The Environment Agency has warned that September is the peak growing season for problem plants known as ‘invasive non-native species'. People who are out and about can help track them down using an App called ‘PlantTracker’.

An invasive non-native species is described as any non-native plant that has the ability to spread, causing damage to the environment.
Invasive Species often grow rapidly and can smothering waterways, affecting aquatic life and out-competing native species.  They can also impede drainage and cause flooding. According to EA figures these plants cost the British economy a minimum of £1.7 billion per annum and are spreading quickly across the UK.
EA hopes that PlantTracker will help gain a comprehensive picture of the presence of invasive non-native species in the UK by enabling users to submit geo-located records of their sightings on an iPhone or android device. The App has been developed by The Environment Agency, the University of Bristol’s Nature Locator team, and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.  

PlantTracker now has 14 plants on its list and features image galleries of both the target species and any possible confusion species to help users with identification in the field.
PlantTracker is available free from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store by searching for PlantTracker (one word), or from the website http://PlantTracker.naturelocator.org/ where you can also follow the progress of the project and the reports that are coming in.
You can also follow progress on twitter using #PlantTracker and @envagencymids, or at www.facebook.com/naturelocator


IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • IceGrippers - 20% discount until December 2012
  • Guildford Boat House- 20% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Narrowboat Services - 10% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - up to 20% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UK Boat Hire - 15% discount on 2012 holidays
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount

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 NarrowBoat subscription


2012 Waterway Events

WRG Reunion Weekend 2012

Date: 10th/11th November (accommodaton available from Friday evening)
Location: Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal
cost: £13 

The annual get-together for 100+ volunteers, hopefully bringing together first-timers from this year's camps, old hands and regulars from all of WRG and other regional working party groups for a major scrub bashing and big party on the Saturday evening.

This year we will be holding the weekend on the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal after a successful Easter Camp which saw 275m of new canal created by WRGies in just two weeks - see photos here. The plan for the weekend is to clear around a mile of canal, thick with trees and vegetation in preparation for excavation and towpath work in 2013. There will also be work for WRG Forestry and the possibility of some machine work.

For more information and to book please see the WRG website



ashtac150pxIWA Manchester Branch Canal Clean Up to Commemorate Ashtac

IWA's Manchester Branch, working in partnership with CRT, is planning a weekend canal clean up event at Dukinfield Junction over the weekend of 13th and 14th October 2012. 

As well as being a practical way for people to get involved in helping clean up the waterways that meet at Dukinfield Junction, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the 40th anniversary of an even bigger canal clean up, ASHTAC. 

Ashton Attack (ASHTAC for short) followed on from Operation Ashton, and saw approximately 1000 people work on the Ashton Canal and the Lower Peak Forest Canal over a single weekend in March 1972.  The event contributed to the Cheshire Ring being re-opened to navigation just two years later, in 1974. 

Over the weekend of 13th and 14th October volunteers will work in all three directions from Dukinfield Junction - on the Ashton Canal, the Lower Peak Forest Canal and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.  Rubbish and debris will be pulled out of the canal and put into workboats.  Those preferring a lighter task can have a go at litter picking.  Work boats to put the rubbish in will be provided by the CRT, along with all tools and equipment required for the event. 
For both events volunteers are advised to wear stout footwear and bring waterproofs in case of rain. 

Timings for Saturday 15th September (Work Party Taster Day) are:  11am open discussion at Portland Basin Museum, 1 Portland Place Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside OL7 0QA, followed by 1pm work party along the Lower Peak Forest Canal from Dukinfield Junction. 

Timings for the weekend of 13th and 14th October weekend are:  10am to 4pm each day.  For volunteers from further afield wishing to make a weekend of it, basic accommodation will be available.  Further details are available from Alison Smedley, IWA Branch Campaign Officer, by email  alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phone 01538 385388/07779 090915.  Photo – View of Dukinfield Junction during the ASHTAC weekend.  Photo by Harry Arnold, Waterway Images.


IWA's National AGM Weekend 2012 - 29th September

This year's IWA National AGM will be held on 29th September at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford.

A meeting for those who are interested in the running of the Association will start at 10.00 a.m. This is your chance to grill the trustees, discuss the future of the Association and meet old friends.

The formal AGM will be held at 2.00 p.m.

There will be a cooked two-course lunch available at £6.50 with a choice of menu, which needs to be booked in advance.

You are also invited to join us for an evening meal at Chelmsford’s Everest Gurkha Bar & Restaurant on the Saturday night.


Election of Nationally Elected Trustees 2012: Les Etheridge and Clive Henderson retire by rotation, and there is a third vacancy caused by the resignation of Jerry Sanders mid-year. Nominations have been received for

  • John Butler
  • Les Etheridge
  • Clive Henderson
  • Gillian Smith 

Some dates for your diary for autumn 2012:

Black Country Boating Festival - West Midlands 14th - 16th September
Whitchurch Gathering of Boats - Shropshire 15th - 16th September
Lambeth Country Show - London 15th - 16th September
RNLI Rally - Surrey 22nd - 23rd September
Village at War Weekend - Northamptonshire 28th - 30th September
Parkhead Canal Festival - West Midlands 29th - 30th September
Banbury Canal Day - Oxfordshire 7th October
Stourbridge Navigation Trust - Open Weekend - West Midlands 20th - 21st October
BCN Society Bonfire Rally - West Midlands 4th - 5th November

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 2012 and 2013 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

15th September 2012 - Work Party Taster Day, Dukinfield Junction, Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
Details: Starting with an open meeting at 11am to discuss developing local community relationships and volunteering opportunities with the Canal & River Trust, followed by a work party from approximately 1pm working from Dukinfield Junction along the Lower Peak Forest Canal.  The work will include cutting saplings growing out of the towpath edge in preparation for a canal clean up to be held over the weekend of 13th/14th October 2012.  Bring your own lunch, or refreshments available from the Bridge View Café adjacent to the Portland Basin Museum.  You are advised to wear stout footwear and bring waterproofs in case of rain.  All tools will be provided.

18th September 2012 - Cheshire Locks Work Party (IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch)
Details: A regular monthly work party as part of the Cheshire Locks Project, being held on alternate Saturdays and Tuesdays in the third week of the month. Tasks will include vegetation management, clearing cobble setts, painting fences, balance beams and bollards. No experience necessary, all tools provided. Bring waterproofs and a packed lunch, and wear stout shoes.

29th September 2012 - Aylesbury Arm (IWA Chiltern Branch)
Details: Join IWA Chiltern Branch for a lock painting session on the Aylesbury Arm.  Meet at Tescos Superstore, Tring Road, Aylesbury, HP20 1PQ at 10.30 am for a briefing session with the Canal & River Trust, before setting off to paint Lock 15 nearby.  All tools, materials, protective overalls and gloves will be provided by the Canal & River Trust.

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/


Upcoming Towpath Walks

15th September 2012 - Ridgmont Ramble (Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust
Details: Hear progress of the project to restore the Victorian Ridgmont Station buildings.
Trace the route of a 3-4 mile section of the planned Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway from the cattle creep beneath the M1 motorway and westwards to Cranfield Road. Then on to Salford Ford for refreshments and a minibus back.

22nd September - Stourbridge Canal (Broadfield House Glass Museum
Details: Jewels on the Cut is a leisurely stroll along the Stourbridge Canal towpath that examines the local industries, and in particular the glass-making facilities both past and present, from the perspective of the waterway that once served them. Start time for all of the walks is 10.00am, meeting at 09.45am in Canal Street by the Bonded Warehouse. There is a nominal charge to cover costs and under-16s should be accompanied by an adult.

24th September - Grand Union Canal (Railway & Canal Historical Society)
Details: Cheddington to Tring (8 miles/13 km approx), led by Graham Bird. Meet at Cheddington Station on arrival of hourly LM service due at 1104 - prior booking not required. Lunch stop at a local tavern.

To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/


Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton