Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Stalwart to Retire

colin_edmond2_150pxIssue date: 17th may 2012

IWA's own waterway, the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, is looking to recruit a new Navigation Manager, following the announcement of the forthcoming retirement of Colin Edmond, who has been in charge of the waterway since IWA rescued it from administration in 2005.

The Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation runs through a largely unspoilt part of rural Essex and connects the county town of Chelmsford with the tidal estuary of the river Blackwater at Heybridge Basin. It has remained open and independently run throughout its history. Never having been nationalised, it continued to carry commercial freight until 1972, and an increasing number of leisure users since that time. It was designed by the renowned canal engineer John Rennie and most of his original structures are intact, together with the entire length of the original waterway. In 2005, IWA stepped in to rescue it from administration and closure, and since then it has been managed by IWA’s subsidiary Essex Waterways Ltd as a not-for-profit operation.

It is hoped to appoint the new manager by the end of the summer, to allow Colin to retire at the end of November.

Roy Chandler, chairman of Essex Waterways Ltd, said: “Prior to working for Essex Waterways, Colin had been employed with the Company of Proprietors of the Navigation for twenty years as lockkeeper at Heybridge Sea Lock, coming to the Navigation with a sea-faring background.  Colin took on further responsibilities when the old Navigation Company went into administration and, with his years of practical experience on the waterway, became the logical choice for Navigation Manager when IWA took on the waterway.  I think the new manager will probably have a more office-based role, but none-the-less will need to be prepared to handle all eventualities on the waterway, and at all times of the day and night."

Anyone interested in applying can download an application pack at:

Essex Waterways Ltd is also looking to appoint an assistant ‘lengthsman’ / assistant ranger to support practical work on the Navigation. 

Roy Chandler added: “The post may be particularly suitable for someone graduating from an agricultural college or similar background this summer.