Recognition for Waterway Campaigners in Queen's Birthday Honours

Issue date: 18th June 2012

The Queen's Birthday Honours, announced on 16th June, brought recognition for a host of waterways campaigners, including three former IWA trustees:


Fred Blampied MBE: Fred Blampied has been an active campaigner for the inland waterways in the South West, and in particular around Bristol, since 1955, when he first joined IWA.  He became the inaugural chairman of the Association’s South West Branch in 1960, and has been part of, or worked closely with, its successor committee (IWA South West Region and IWA Avon & Wilts Branch) ever since.  Fred became closely involved in local waterway restorations and causes for more than fifty years; he co-ordinated and led visiting work parties further afield in the 1960s and 1970s – including the Ashton and Stratford-on-Avon canals.  Fred’s greatest achievement was his work with other like-minded organisations in resisting proposals of partial infilling and restricting navigation in the City Docks.  Part of the campaign included the first Water Festival, which showed what could be done with the Docks, and Fred was deeply involved with this in 1971, and in each of the successive years until Bristol City Council took over full organisation of the growing event later in that decade.  The event, which would never have happened without Fred Blampied, has become one the largest tourism generating Festivals in the West Country today and highlight of the Bristol City calendar.


John Baylis BEM: John Baylis has led campaigning work for IWA for over 30 years, and has been instrumental in all the major waterway development and restoration projects in the East Midlands since the early 1970s.  He was the driving force behind the restoration of Frankton Locks on the Montgomery Canal -  negotiating, leading work parties, devising engineering solutions, inspiring volunteer support and making sure the funds were there; and he was part of the team that restored the upper end of the Erewash Canal and has continued with the maintenance of the Great Northern Basin at Langley Mill ever since.  He led IWA's Navigation Committee for over 10 years, was a deputy chairman of IWA, chairman of  IWA's East Midlands Region and a director of Waterway Recovery Group for 30 years (many of those years as its deputy chairman).  He was awarded the Association's most prestigious award, The Cyril Styring Trophy, at the 2011 AGM.

Roger Squires BEM: Roger Squires has made a life-time commitment to promoting the importance of the UK's historic canals and rivers, particularly the waterways of the London area.  Roger is an IWA life member of over 30 years standing, and was its deputy national chairman until September 2009 and chairman of IWA's Navigation Committee until 2010.  He was a trustee of the Association and chairman of its London Region, from November 2000 to September 2009.  He is a trustee of the London Canal Museum, a member of the London Waterways Commission and a UK Director of the American Canal Society.  Roger Squires has been a leading organiser of Inland Waterways International since its foundation, an organiser of the World Canals Conference (responsible for bringing it to the UK - Liverpool - in 2007), and ambassador for the UK waterways through Europe and America, all at his own expense and initiative.  He was commodore of St Pancras Cruising Club for 10 years.

Others honoured in the Birthday Awards include:

Beryl Windsor BEM - organiser of the annual Angel Canal Festival in North London,
Di Skilbeck MBE - President of the Boat Museum Society at Ellesmere Port,
Norma Hornby MBE - Chairman, Canal Boat Adventure Project in Warrington,
Shirley Beckwith OBE - chairman and co-owner of City Cruises plc, London Docklands
Sir Tony Baldry - MP for Banbury, co-chairman Parliamentary Waterways Group, former waterways minister and long-standing IWA member.