IWA Bulletin June 2013

IWA News

IWA Work Parties Other News

Waterway Events

Other Information

Top Story

IWA National Trailboat Festival 2013

The annual three day IWA National Trailboat Festival was held on the River Rother in East Sussex over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The event was organised by IWA Kent and East Sussex Branch. Over 20 boats arrived on trailers from as far away as Blackpool and Carmarthen. They entered the water at Scots Float near Rye and cruised up the river to Bodiam where the opening ceremony on Saturday was performed by Councillor Ian Jenkins, Chairman of Rother District Council.

The National Trust and the Environment Agency had prepared suitable sections of the banks of the river so that the boats could moor below the castle. This made them an exciting attraction for all those who visited Bodiam Castle over the wonderfully sunny Bank Holiday weekend.

With the river filled with boats, visitors were able to imagine what it might have been like many years ago. A display area told the story of the rescue of a Rother sailing barge by the Hastings Historic Shipwreck Museum. The Primrose, built in 1887, was likely to have used the wharf at Bodiam. There were also displays about the two restoration projects currently underway in the IWA Kent and East Sussex Branch area, the Thames and Medway Canal and the Sussex Ouse.

A highlight of the Festival was on Saturday evening when, following a barbecue and live music there was a competition for the best illuminated boat.

See photo gallery on our Facebook page

IWA News

Devon to host 2014 IWA National Trailboat Festival

IWA and Devon County Council are delighted to announce that next year's IWA National Trailboat Festival is to be held at the Grand Western Canal Country Park.

The event will form the main celebration of the Canal’s bicentenary year. Construction work began in 1810 and was completed in 1814.

The festival will take place over the late May Bank Holiday weekend (24th – 26th May) in 2014.  There will be a big public festival day held at the Mid-Devon Showground on Saturday 24th May, with a range of live music, performers and entertainments, all with a birthday party theme.  

There will also be a number of smaller satellite events happening at locations along the Canal on the other two days, including an illuminated night time parade in Tiverton and a fun day in Sampford Peverell.

The event will also provide an opportunity to celebrate completion of repairs to the breached embankment at Halberton, and will enable the message to be spread nationally that the Canal is once again fully operational.

The Canal remains open for all to enjoy with just a small diversion from Swing Bridge to Watton Bridge whilst those repairs are carried out.  Works on repairing the embankment are due to commence in June and, all being well, should be completed by the end of this year.

The festival will attract dozens of colourful trailboats from around the UK.  Thousands of visitors enjoyed live music and entertainment at IWA's 2008 National Trailboat Festival, which was also held by the Grand Western Canal, and the 2014 festival aims to be even better.

The 2014 IWA National Trailboat Festival will be organised and run by Devon County Council’s Grand Western Canal Ranger Service, under the direction of an organising committee which includes local Canal enthusiasts and councillors, on behalf of IWA. 

Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman said “I am delighted that the National Trailboat Festival is to return to the Grand Western Canal in 2014 in its bicentenary year.  The Canal is a beautiful waterway, and I am sure will attract a good turnout of boat owners with their trailboats.  The Inland Waterways Association greatly appreciates the strong support shown by Devon County Council for its waterways and its on-going commitment to the Grand Western Canal, especially after the canal breached following the torrential rains last autumn. We look forward to seeing the canal fully re-opened next year to coincide with the Trailboat Festival."

The canal suffered a serious breach on 21 November 2012 at the Swing embankment which rises nearly 60 feet from surrounding fields at Halberton. This followed unprecedented rainfall of 38mm during the early hours coupled with the inflow of water into the canal from adjoining land. Water levels in the canal rose by 25cm within a matter of hours.

Earlier this year, Devon County Council pledged £3million to repair, restore and modernise this part of the Grand Western Canal following the damage.

IWA Branch Recognition at Waterway Renaissance Awards

Winners of the Waterway Renaissance Awards were announced at a ceremony on 23rd May 2013 in Birmingham.

IWA Lichfield Branch's Rugeley Regeneration Project was 'Runner Up' in the Partnership Category, and ‘Commended’ in the Community Category. Margaret and Derek Beardsmore who have led the project from its inception in 2010 are pictured receiving the two awards at a presentation ceremony at the ICC in Birmingham on 23rd May. The awards were in recognition of the series of improvements to the Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley by a wide community partnership.

IWA Milton Keynes Branch was 'Commended' in the Volunteering Category for its Canal Clean-Up Milton Keynes.

The 2012 Stroud on Water event which incorporated IWA's Trailboat Festival was 'Runner Up' in the Recreation & Tourism category.

The Waterways Renaissance Awards recognise exceptional projects that are helping to care for canals and rivers across the UK.

The twelve winners include the innovative use of giant Archimedes screws at Tees International White Water Centre, the regeneration of Gloucester Docks & Quays, the restoration of historic Lune Aqueduct in Lancaster and a pioneering strategy and masterplan to transform Liverpool Docks.

For full information and results please see Canal & River Trust's website

HS2 Consultations Announced

Two new consultations on the HS2 high speed rail proposals were announced on 16th May, on the Phase One Draft Environmental Statement and on the Design Refinement document.
The Design Refinement Consultation document proposes 14 design ‘refinements’ to the Phase 1 route between London and Lichfield, and several of these affect the previously announced canal crossings.

An analysis of the documents can be found in IWA Lichfield Branch's section of the website.

All the consultation documents can be seen and downloaded from www.hs2.org.uk. Both consultations run until 11th July 2013.

IWA will be submitting a response to each consultation and is currently working on these.  If members have any specific points in either of the consultations that concern them could they please address them to hs2@waterways.org.uk

IWA’s internal consultation on HS2 phase 2 closed on 31st May and the information provided by branches will be included for in IWA’s responses to the HS2 consultations where they are most relevant.  Thank you to all those branches who contributed.

Limited spaces left on WRG’s Summer Canal Camps – Volunteer Now!
IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) runs week long volunteering holidays called 'Canal Camps', with the aim of restoring the derelict canals of England and Wales. Canal Camps are a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and of all ages (18+). The Camps offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation and restoration techniques... and they only cost £56 for the week (this includes food & basic accommodation).
Bookings are going really well for the Summer Canal Camps but there are still a few spaces left so if you're interested in repointing damage brickwork on the Swansea Canal, or assisting in bank protection on the Basingstoke Canal, then find out more on WRG's website

T-shirts onsale now! Make sure you look the part on a WRG canal restoration site, in the pub or at the supermarket... WRG Canal Camp 2013 T-shirts are now online costing only £10 (inc. p&p). Buy now from iwashop.com.

IWA North West and North Wales Region Award

IWA North West Region has made an award to Mike Friend who for the last ten years has been leading the Shropshire Union Canal Society work parties in the restoration of the Montgomery Canal.

The award, the Tetlow Cup, was presented at the Society's work party on Sunday 19th May, in the company of Shropshire Union Canal Society volunteers, who had spent the morning grading and lining the canal at Redwith Bridge.

The trophy is awarded to someone who isn't a member of IWA, but who has made a major contribution to the waterways over a period of time.

In presenting the award Alan Platt, Chairman of the North West Region and a deputy National Chairman of IWA, referred to Mike Friend's ten years as work party organiser for Shropshire Union Canal Society. He was thus largely responsible for their sterling work in the restoration of the Montgomery and maintaining the profile of the canal especially during the current period when outside funds are so hard to come by.

IWA North Riding Branch Open Day

On 4th May, IWA North Riding Branch held an open day at Castle Mills Lock in York. 

IWA North Riding Branch operated Castle Mills Lock to allow widebeam "Moon River" to enter the River Foss from the River Ouse.

For many years, York City Council operated the lock for a hefty fee, but they came to an agreement with IWA North Riding Branch, whereby trained volunteers can operate the lock on request, as a free service to all boaters.

As part of the open day, the branch ran half a dozen shuttle trips upriver and back with passengers.

About People

James Sutherland

We are saddened to report the death of IWA’s longest-serving member James Sutherland.  He was recruited by Robert Aickman and had been an IWA member since July 1946.  James Sutherland was IWA’s second treasurer, taking over from Frank Eyre, who emigrated soon after his initial appointment.  In the disagreement between Aickman and Rolt following the August 1950 National Rally at Harborough, James Sutherland sympathised with Rolt. This coincided with developments in James’s own career as a civil engineer and he stood down from office within IWA but always remained a member. He was appointed an honorary member of the Association in 2006 as part of the Association’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. His funeral is due to take place at midday on 4th June in East Clevedon.

Edmund Whelan
We are also saddened to report the death of Edmund Whelan, RYA’s long-standing member of staff, earlier in May. Edmund was RYA’s in-house barrister from 1981 until he retired in 2007, and whilst a keen sea-going yachtsman he always keen to assist on inland waterways legal matters and helped out on many IWA campaigns, often applying RYA’s considerable resources in the background.

IWA Branch and Region Magazines

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

South East Region - Cargoes - Summer 2013

Chiltern Branch - Grapevine - Spring 2013
Ipswich Branch - Anglian Cuttings - Summer 2013

IWA Work Parties

Canal Work Party in Warwick – 12th May 2013

A work party organised by IWA Warwickshire Branch and supported by Canal & River Trust took place on 12th May. Twenty participants had a productive morning, using grappling hooks to clear the canal of its ‘hidden treasures’ between Bridges 46 and 48 of the Grand Union Canal near Tesco’s at Emscote, Warwick. Volunteers also collected litter from the towpath beyond the bridges.

CRT provided a boat to carry a haul of approximately 4.5 tons of scrap. In addition, a road trailer was also filled to capacity. The total haul included 20 bicycles, 2 motor cycles, 1 motor scooter, 23 shopping trolleys, 8 shopping baskets, a metal fuel tank, a bath, a lawn mower, many car exhausts and seats, hose reels, tractor tyres and lots of road signs. It took 8 volunteers to lift a 250 cc motor cycle and 5 to lift the other 125 cc model from the canal bed.  A substantial array of other unidentifiable metal objects and domestic goods was lifted from the canal and many bags of rubbish collected from the towpath.
Further work parties are planned in the autumn in the Leamington and Warwick area.  If you would like to volunteer to take part, please email info.warwickshire@waterways.org.uk

Salterhebble Working Party - 18th May 2013

On Saturday 18th May, IWA West Riding Branch held a work party at Salterhebble locks on the Calder & Hebble Navigation, supported by Canal & River Trust.

The volunteers were split into groups to clean cobbles, remove debris from the cut, and clear the towpath. The Calder Navigation Society volunteers used nb Savile to remove debris from the cut up to the end of the canal towards Halifax. Unfortunately the weather was overcast and there were intermittent showers all day so the planned painting tasks couldn't take place.

CRT arranged the equipment and Shire Cruisers lent the branch a boat for tea and coffee making.

The branch has organised another work party on Saturday 27th July 10am-4pm to complete the work, do the painting and do some Himalayan Balsam bashing. If you would like to take part please email the branch westriding@waterways.org.uk

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

Other News

Oxford Canal Marina Plans Refused
On 18th May, Daventry District Council refused planning permission for controversial proposals for the construction of a 200-berth marina at Barby Lane adjacent to Oxford Canal, near Braunston. The marina proposals included 85 car parking spaces, landscaping and associated facilities, and the change of use of an agricultural dwelling and barn to mixed use for chandlery, reception and storage.

The plans, although backed by Canal & River Trust, were opposed by many other waterside interests in the area, who held the view that this further marina would over-saturate the area with moorings for which there was now insufficient demand, and potentially cause even longer queues on the busy lock flights in the area, especially at Napton. In refusing permission, the Council’s planning committee stated that the proposal would result in harm to the character and appearance of the canal conservation area and its landscape setting, due to the cumulative impact resulting from its relationship to other marina developments in the locality.

Viaduct Shipping Moves Unloading Operation

The Northwest based Viaduct Shipping has moved its unloading operation from Frodsham to Runcorn Docks.

Viaduct Shipping operate a number of barges and small coasters which transport imported wheat from Seaforth grain terminal for onward transport to Nelstrops mill in Stockport. In so doing they take some 1800 lorry journeys off the roads each year.

Viaduct Shipping found that in order to deliver the tonnages required by their customer they needed deeper water for the vessels to operate in and that has resulted in forming operational agreements with Runcorn Docks.

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% 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
  • 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

Theatre Tribute to Alan Eggby

The Mikron Theatre Company will be performing 'Beyond the Veil' in tribute to Alan Eggby.

Alan Eggby was recently IWA South London Branch Chairman but he was also a longtime sponsor of the Mikron Theatre Company.

The performance will take place at the London Canal Museum on Monday 8th July at 7:45 pm.

Tickets: £10 in advance, £11 on the door, concessions £8 in advance,  £9 on the door. 
For more information please visit the Canal Museum website

IWA National Waterways Festival Workshops Announced

The workshops to be held at IWA National Waterways Festival have now been announced and are available to book online. The workshops will take place at the festival between 19th July –21st July in Cassiobury Park, Watford.


Beginner’s Introduction to Hand Painted Lettering
Scumbling and Decorative Finishes
Painting Traditional Rose and Castles

Big Knitting

Big Knitting


Willow Weaving

Rope Workshops

Button Fenders
Side fenders
Carrick Knot Mat
Rope Maintenance & Splicing

Major IWA Festivals and Boat Rallies

19th - 21st July IWA National Festival - Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire 

Other Festivals and Boat Rallies


6th - 9th June Russell Newbery Register Rally
7th - 9th June Beale Park Boat Show
7th - 14th June BCN Explorer Cruise A
9th June Shrewsbury River Festival
14th - 16th June BCNS Pelsall Canal Festival
14th - 16th June Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival
15th - 16th June Stoke Bruerne Gala Weekend
17th - 24th June
BCN Explorer Cruise B
20th - 23rd June Lymm Historic Transport Day
21st - 23rd June Newbury Waterways Festival
28th - 30th June Thwaite Mills Boat Gathering
29th - 30th June Chesterfield Canal Festival


5th - 7th July  Ware Boat Festival 2013 - Festival of London Waterways
5th - 7th July Guildford Festival Boat Gathering
6th - 7th July Stratford River Festival
12th - 13th July Evesham Festival
13th - 14th July Cosgrove Canal Festival
20th - 21st July Pershore Town River Festival
20th - 21st July Preston Riversway Festival
27th July Linslade Canal Festival
28th July Audlem Festival of Transport


10th - 11th August Blisworth Canal Festival
24th - 26th August
Outdoor Leisure Show
24th - 26th August North Cheshire Cruising Club Boat Gathering


1st September Angel Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
7th - 8th September Slough Canal Festival - Festival of London Waterways
14th - 15th September Mayor's River Thames 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 June Work Party - Tardebigge Lime Kilns (WBDCS supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
9th June Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA N Staffordshire & S Cheshire Branch)
14th June Work Party - Leeds and Liverpool Canal (IWA West Riding Branch)
15th June Towpath Taskforce - Lapworth (Canal & River Trust)
15th - 16th June Wey & Arun Canal (WRG BITM)
18th June Work Party - Cheshire Locks, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA N Staffordshire & S Cheshire Branch)
20th June Work Party - Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
22nd June Work Party - Ware, River Lee (IWA Lee & Stort Branch)
22nd June Work Party - Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch)
22nd - 23rd June Himalayan Balsam work party - Swansea Canal (Swansea Canal Society supported by IWA)
23rd June Bugsworth Basin Work Party (The Inland Waterways Protection Society)
23rd June Work Party at Brindley Bank, Rugeley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
27th June Himalayan Balsam work party - Caldon Canal (IWA N Staffs & S Cheshire Branch)
29th June Himalayan Balsam work party - Pocklington Canal (IWA East Yorkshire Branch)

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

Upcoming Towpath Walks

16th June London Towpath Walk (IWA London Region)
21st June Leven Canal (IWA East Yorkshire Branch)
25th June Grand Union Canal, Leighton Buzzard (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 Gemma Bolton