IWA Bulletin September 2013

Top Story

Operation Starburst on the Canals of Manchester

IWA Manchester Branch, working in partnership with Canal & River Trust and supported by Waterway Recovery Group, is planning another weekend canal clean up event in the Manchester area over the weekend of 19th and 20th October 2013.
The event will follow on from last year’s event, which commemorated the 40th anniversary of ASHTAC.
This year, the event is to be branded 'Operation Starburst', with a starburst effect created as volunteers work in five different locations based on a central meeting point.
Ian Price, chairman of IWA Manchester Branch said “The name, Operation Starburst, was chosen to reflect the concept of working on different canals around a central meeting point, as well as continuing the theme from the even larger scale events that took place over forty years ago.   Operation Ashton took place in 1968, and this was followed by Ashton Attack (ASHTAC for short)  in 1972 which saw 1,000 people working on the canals in this area.  Those events contributed to the reopening of the Cheshire Ring in 1974.”
Steve O’Sullivan, Volunteer Co-ordinator for Canal & River Trust said “The meeting point will be Portland Basin at Dukinfield Junction, the junction of the Lower Peak Forest and the Ashton Canals, as this provides an ideal meeting point for volunteers, who will be ferried out from there to five different locations nearby.  No work will need to be carried out in this area following the successful clean up last October by IWA and CRT volunteers, as well as dredging works being carried out this summer by CRT.”
These days, whilst inland waterways are highly valued by communities for leisure and for wildlife, in some areas they are subjected to fly-tipping and vandalism. Waterway volunteers coordinated by IWA have become renowned for canal clean ups around the Birmingham Canal Navigation each year and elsewhere.  This Manchester annual event builds on this and gives volunteers a chance to take part in a canal clean up in the north of the country.  The improvements, both to navigation and the overall appearance of the canal and towpath, will benefit all users of Manchester’s waterways.
The five proposed locations, where rubbish and debris will be pulled out of the canal and put into workboats, are:  Hyde (on the Lower Peak Forest Canal), Stalybridge (on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal), Ashton Locks on the Ashton Canal, and Newton Heath and Failsworth on the Rochdale Canal.  Volunteers are encouraged to go to Portland Basin first for signing in and a health and safety briefing, before being ferried in minibuses to one of the locations.
Work, which will involve pulling rubbish and debris out of the canal with grappling hooks, as well as litter picking for those who prefer a lighter task, will take place between 10am to 4pm on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October.  Volunteers are advised to wear stout footwear and bring waterproofs in case of rain.
For volunteers from further afield wishing to make a weekend of it, basic accommodation will be available and can be booked via the WRG website.
Further details are available from Alison Smedley, IWA Branch Campaign Officer, by email  alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phone 01538 385388/07779 090915.


IWA News

HS2 Coverage in the News

The national press has recently reported on the proposed HS2 new rail line, citing comments and survey results from individuals and organisations, indicating the project is not justified and forecasting the imminent abandonment of it.

IWA's position hasn't changed as meetings are still going ahead and the parliamentary timetable for submission of legislation remains in place. Unless some political action is taken to halt work, the HS2 project will continue. IWA will therefore carry on checking the plans, consulting widely on what is proposed, preparing submissions for consultations, and taking on expert help to build our case and protect the interests of the waterways community, as it would be unwise to assume anything else.

Find out more about IWA's HS2 campaign.

Keep updated on IWA's HS2 campaign activities.

Planning for New Marinas

One of IWA's two planning consultants, Bob Dewey (BA(Hons), MBA, MRTPI) has issued some advice on planning for new marinas, to explain how the planning system operates and how local authority planners may react to objections.

There have been a few examples recently where waterway interests or groups have supported or opposed new marinas being constructed and have tried to use the planning system to do this.

The planning system operates so that the development plan is of paramount importance in decision making. Only in very exceptional cases will decisions be made which run contrary to policies in the Plans. So the first step should always be to get involved in the preparation or revision of the development plans so that policies are put in place which deal with such matters.

When an application is being decided, the planning officer probably knows very little about the operation of the canal system and thus if you are to persuade him to your point of view, you need think very carefully how you argue your case.

Read the full guidance on planning for new marinas

IWA Staff Vacancies

IWA is looking to recruit a Fundraising Officer and a Design & Web Content Assistant to join the team at Head Office.

IWA Fundraising Officer: IWA seeks to improve its generation of income (apart from income through membership fees and trading via its subsidiary trading companies), and in particular the need to address new funding sources. The Association also wishes to establish a more professional and vibrant income generating scene that will bring benefits to IWA’s overall image within the waterways community.

This post holder will play a central role within the Head Office team and will be responsible for identifying and generating new funding sources for the Association.

See more details and apply

Design & Web Content Assistant: The Inland Waterways Association has been working to promote its campaign work by improving print and digital communications. IWA is seeking to strengthen its waterway campaigning presence by increasing output of print material, website and social media content. The new Design and Web Content Assistant will assist with the current promotional activities together with the Website and Design Officer.

The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate strong graphic design skills, in order to prepare layouts for advertisements, leaflets, posters, publications and other printed material as well as web graphics. The role will also involve designing emailers, web content editing as well as assisting with maintenance of social media channels.
See more details and apply

Annual General Meeting - 28th September

A Members Workshop is to be held during the morning of the 28th September prior to IWA's national AGM.  Interested members are invited to attend two of the following subjects...

1)    How do we make IWA more distinct from Canal & River Trust?
2)    What should IWA be campaigning for?
3)    How do we improve IWA's image?
4)    How do we recruit a wider variety of members including younger people?

This offers an opportunity for members to have a say in these subjects. You do not need to be a committee member of your branch, and if you know of other members who might be interested then please let them know.

The intended format will be tables of up to 8; a short introduction to the topic, table discussions and a feed-back of conclusions.

If you would like to attend, please book in by email to agm2013@waterways.org.uk.  Please also advise which two of the four topics you consider to be the most pressing.

The event venue is Ettington Community Centre, Rogers Lane,  Ettington, CV37 7SX -       www.ettingtoncommunitycentre.co.uk - and includes free refreshments and buffet lunch.  Full details of the AGM are in the current edition of Waterways magazine.

IWA Chelmsford Branch Harp Concert Fundraiser

At the beginning of August IWA Chelmsford Branch members had the opportunity to attend a light classical Harp Concert at the Maldon United Reform Church.
The concert was presented by Eileen Cannom and was performed by Kirsten Smith, a committee member of IWA Chelmsford Branch. This was the second concert presented by Eileen for IWA. Eileen lives in Heybridge and had been very impressed by IWA volunteer work along the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. She hoped the donations taken at the door would help to buy equipment for the volunteers.
Before the performance Molly Beard, Chelmsford Branch Chairman, gave an informative talk about IWA, its aims and objectives, and the work of WRG and Essex Waterways volunteers. 
Kirsten delighted the audience, of about 65 people, with a variety of traditional and modern pieces, some accompanied by her beautiful singing.  Kirsten also took time to explain to the audience how she became interested in the harp and how it is played.
The event also provided an opportunity to display information about IWA and waterways. Refreshments of tea, coffee and cakes were also sold to raise funds.
The donations, including £100 from Jewel Motor Companyof Heybridge, who sponsored the event, came to £358.82.

About People

Christine Potter
We are saddened to announce that Christine Potter died peacefully on the 15th August following a long illness. Christine was an IWA member who was harbour master at IWA Festivals for the disabled moorings for very many years as well as being an active member of IWA Birmingham Branch. A thanksgiving service for Christine’s life is to take place on Friday 20th September at 12 noon at St John’s Church, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9PT and will be followed by a private cremation. 

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:

Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - September 2013

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

South East Region - Cargoes - Autumn 2013

Northampton Branch - Endeavour - August 2013
Chester & Merseyside Branch - Chester Packet - May 2013

IWA Work Party Reports

IWA Northampton Branch Task Party - 18th August 2013
IWA Northampton Branch held a Task Party on 18th August 2013 at Lock 17 on the Northampton Branch of the Grand Union Canal.

This year, the Branch adopted a 4¾ mile stretch of the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal, as part of Canal & River Trust's adoption scheme, and is believed to be the largest canal adoption in the country.

The work carried out included strimming and general vegetation clearance, and the landing below the lock was lengthened revealing a bollard, long buried under three foot high overgrowth. Boats up to 70 foot are now able to land crew easily rather than just 40 foot previously. Shrubs and trees adjoining the lock landing were cut back to create an improved margin depth along the length of the landing and improve access to the lock.

Floating debris and weed was also removed above the lock; and litter picking, edging and weed clearance was undertaken.  It was good to see the paintwork completed at the first task party at the lock a month earlier, still looking bright and shiny.

Caldon Canal Milepost Painting

Following on from work parties earlier in the year, volunteers have been continuing to paint the mileposts on the Caldon Canal. The work is being carried out ahead of next year’s anniversary celebrations, 40 years since the re-opening of the Caldon Canal in 1974.

Some of the mileposts are the original Trent & Mersey Canal Company (original proprietors of the Caldon Canal) mileposts, whilst others are the replacement replicas which were installed in the 1980s by the then Caldon Canal Society.

Earlier in the year, volunteers from IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust painted all the mileposts between Etruria Junction and Hazelhurst Junction. 

During July and August, two of the volunteers, Philip and Philippa Balfour, took on the challenge of painting the rest of the mileposts along the Caldon Canal, from Denford to Froghall.  They carried out the painting over four separate days, and travelled by bicycle from one milepost to the next. 

As a result, the mileposts are all looking fresh in their black and white paint, ready for next year’s celebrations. 

Photo: Philip and Philippa painting the milepost in Cheddleton. 

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.



Other News

Canal & River Trust Winter stoppages

Canal & River Trust has announced its winter stoppage programme.

In the spring of each year, the Trust begins to plan the following winter’s major works and maintenance programmes and some of these call for stoppages or restrictions.

Over the past three years CRT has encouraged more active involvement of waterway users in planning the timetable of works by publishing its plans online and inviting feedback on them.

The plans for the 2013/2014 winter works programme have now been finalised and are available at Canal & River Trust's website.


Work on Staveley Town Lock Requires Concrete

The last two weeks in August saw a Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camp at Staveley on the Chesterfield Canal. WRG volunteers have been helping the Chesterfield Canal Trust to build a new Staveley Town Lock.

Following the opening of Staveley Town Basin in January 2012, there was only sporadic work on the lock until the Chesterfield Canal Festival in June when the work gained momentum.

Since then, hundreds of blocks and bricks have been laid, a secure compound has been built, footings for a new washwall have been excavated and concrete poured for foundations.

Chesterfield Canal Trust has raised over £30,000 so far with its Donate-a-Brick for Staveley Town Lock Appeal. This appeal will continue, accepting amounts from £5 upwards.

However, the money is now being spent at an alarming rate, so the Trust is making a fresh appeal. In the next few weeks, the Trust's volunteers plan to pour hundreds of cubic metres of concrete, delivered by lorry, and that is hugely expensive!

You can Donate a Cubic Metre of Concrete for £80. If you Gift Aid your donation, it becomes worth £100. All donations will be acknowledged on the Trust’s website and in its magazine, Cuckoo (unless requested otherwise).

You can Donate a Brick or Donate a Cubic Metre of Concrete via Chesterfield Canal Trust's website or send a cheque (made out to the Chesterfield Canal Trust) to the Treasurer at 47, Whitecotes Park, Walton, Chesterfield, S40 3RT.

Carpenters Road Lock Funding

Canal & River Trust is seeking funding for the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock in East London.
The Lock has been abandoned for more than 40 years but CRT wants to demonstrate to potential funders that the lock and the space around it will be well used and cherished by visitors, waterway users and local communities. 

CRT has devised a short survey for waterway supporters to fill in, to assist the Trust with its funding bids (due in early September). It will also give users the opportunity to stay involved or simply track progress.  The survey needs to be completed before Wednesday 4th September 2013.

Find out more on Canal & River Trust's website.


Maidenhead Waterways Update
Maidenhead Waterways Restoration Trust has had a good summer, with some important key developments for the project:
  • A (>£300k) detailed design contract has been funded and let after a competitive tender, placing the restoration group in a position where, by early 2014 they should be able to commence implementation of their consented plans, once funding is in place;

  • A major £100m redevelopment of the pivotal Chapel Arches site in Maidenhead town centre, through which the Thames stream flows, has received planning consent and the build is set to start in January/February 2014. It is designed to embrace the restored waterway and will part fund the creation of the waterside setting from which it will benefit. The Trust is now liaising with the developer to converge their respective plans;

  • Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the Trust’s joint application to the Government funded Growing Places scheme has just been confirmed as successful. £1.6m of interest free loan funding will be topped up by Section 106 funds from the early Area Action Plan developments to fund a £2.1 million first-stage implementation of the waterway commencing early next year. Section 106 receipts from ongoing Area Action Plan developments will be used to repay the loan, which is being underwritten by the local authority.

420 Mile Gutless Kayaking Trip

Justin Hansen, who suffers from Crohn's disease, plans to kayak 420 miles along the inland waterways from Skipton to Bristol during September 2013.  Justin, who has had his intestines removed, is to be attached to a life support system for all 32 days of this trip.

Completion of this journey would represent a world record for an endurance trip, surviving on artificial nutrition.

Waterways to be covered include the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Aire & Calder Navigation, Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation, River Trent, River Soar, Grand Union Canal, Oxford Canal, River Thames, Kennet and Avon Canal and, finally, Bristol Harbour.
Justin is to be accompanied by two narrow boats as support vessels. The boats will be used to store medication, to provide a safe and sterile environment for medical procedures, and to act as accommodation for the rest of the team. One narrow boat has been organised for the entirety of the trip and a second boat organised for parts of the trip, but a boat is still required to accompany the party between Cromwell and Braunston. Competent crew have been organised who can collect and return boats as necessary and fuel costs have been factored into the budget. Please contact trevor.roberts@canalconnections.com if you think you may be able to help.

The trip will raise funds for research into the early detection and treatment of bowel cancer. All funds raised go directly to St Mark’s Hospital charitable foundation.
Please see the Gutless Kayaking website for more details of this trip, the research and the condition.

See also a map with a guideline to the places and dates of the trip.


Ash Tree Tagging

Ash dieback disease has been rapidly spreading across the country since October 2012, and sightings have been confirmed from Edinburgh to Penzance. Scientists are working to understand how the disease spreads and to identify potentially resistant trees.

You can help by tagging the UK’s ash trees. Ashtag has produced a fully recyclable tagging pack that will enable you to physically tag any ash tree, diseased or otherwise, with a numbered aluminium AshTag and then geo-tag it to become the ‘steward’ of that tree.

Find out more on the Ashtag website.

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Airedale Cruising - 10% discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% online discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • 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 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UK Boat Hire - 15% 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 NarrowBoat 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


Waterway Events

The Saltisford Canal Trust Heritage Open Days Weekend

The Saltisford Canal Trust is again taking part in the Heritage Open Days weekend in September. This year the Trust is planning a weekend of free canal heritage events on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th September, from 10 am to 5 pm, at their canal side gardens in the centre of Warwick.

There will be a craft marquee with handmade gifts and a cake stall. Outside will be short boat trips aboard Saltie 2, a historic steam narrowboat, model boat displays, children's activities, folk music, and a chance to meet a friendly baby Alpaca or some Pygmy Goats.

Visitors can explore the Saltisford waterside gardens trail, experience the new sensory garden, learn more about the history of the local canals in the Visitor Centre, and soak up some waterway heritage. In smaller marquees will be a beer tent, live folk music, children’s activities, tombola, information on the Trust and displays by other local canal societies.

Most activities are free of charge, with some by donation.

For more information please see the Saltisford Canal website.

Festivals and Boat Rallies


7th - 8th September Slough Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
6th - 15th September Mayor's River Thames Festival
13th - 15th September Burnley Canal Festival
14th - 15th September Village at War Weekend (Stoke Bruerne)
21st - 22nd September Whitchurch Gathering of Boats
21st - 22nd September Huddlesford Heritage Gathering


6th October Banbury Canal Day

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

8th September Bugsworth Basin Work Party (IWA supporting The Inland Waterways Protection Society)
12th September Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
14th-15th September Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (WBDCS supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
17th September Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
19th September Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
20th-22nd September Work Party - Ashby Canal (WRG BITM)
21st September Work Party - Cheshire Locks, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffs & South Cheshire Branch)
21st September Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
21st September Canal Clean Up - Nottingham (IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch)
22nd September Bugsworth Basin Work Party (The Inland Waterways Protection Society)
24th September Work Party - Banbury (IWA Oxfordshire Branch)
25th September Work Party - Southcote Lock, Kennet & Avon Canal (IWA Guildford & Reading Branch)
28th September Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

3rd September Morning Walk around Alrewas & Fradley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
7th-9th September Walk - Ludford (Friends of the Leominster Canal)
15th September London Towpath Walk (IWA London Region)
24th September Towpath Walk - Grand Union Canal, Wolverton (Railway & Canal Historical Society)

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


Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Stefanie Preston