The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) launched a national appeal on Saturday 26 June 2010, in order to raise funds for the restoration and re-commissioning of Inglesham Lock at the junction of the Thames and Severn Canal with the River Thames, which is part of the Cotswold canals scheme.
The announcement was made the IWA’s Chester Rally, and to coincide with the commemoration of the Centenary of Tom Rolt, one of IWA’s founders.
Speaking on behalf of IWA, Clive Henderson, national chairman said:
‘Today we are announcing that we want to extend the Thames.’
‘Inglesham is the gateway to the Cotswold canals restoration, and an iconic structure. IWA is keen to present an opportunity to get it open and create a usable link to the network.’
‘IWA wants to raise funds towards the Restoration of the canal from the junction with the Thames, involving the restoration of Inglesham lock chamber and to fund the purchase and restoration of 380 metres of the pound above the lock. ‘
‘In doing so we want to provide a new front on the Cotswold canals restoration campaign, to encourage momentum and engagement with local residents. This new restoration front will compliment the work in the Stroud valley. We also want to force further movement on the full realisation of the Cotswold Water Park where it links to the Wilts and Berks Canal. This is the shortest and simplest route to reconnect Swindon with the national waterways network. We hope therefore, to encourage and capture the imagination and support of the population in and around Swindon in relation to regeneration of Swindon Town centre as part of the Wilts & Berks master plan.’
‘IWA wishes to show continued support to the Cotswolds Canal project following its previous set back regarding certain funding commitments, and to consolidate and build on the recent gift of the lock at Inglesham to the trust by British Waterways.’
‘We are creating a new project on the Cotswolds Canals that our volunteer restoration arm Waterway Recovery Group can wholly own from start to finish; and to help develop and facilitate new forms of volunteering from those who may be interested in just giving a day or half a day’s time through to fully committed weekenders and week- long ‘canal campers’ thereby encouraging more participation by locals and waterway supporters.’
‘The target for IWA to raise in support of the whole appeal is £125,000’
He went on to say;
‘If everyone who supports our cause raised and donated just £10 we would easily meet our target.
Just go to www.inglesham.org.uk to make a donation , or send your donations marked ‘Inglesham’ to IWA Head Office ,Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA ‘
Notes for Editors
The Inland Waterways Association is a registered charity, founded in 1946, which advocates the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and development of the inland waterways for public benefit.
IWA works closely with navigation authorities, national and local authorities, voluntary, private and public sector organisations. We campaign and lobby for support and encourage public participation in the inland waterways. IWA also manages the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation for the public benefit, through its subsidiary Essex Waterways (www.essexwaterways.com), having stepped in to prevent its closure in 2005.
IWA actively supports waterway restoration, and through its waterways restoration volunteering organisation, Waterway Recovery Group (www.wrg.org.uk), organises and subsidises over 20 week-long waterway restoration working holidays for volunteers of all ages throughout the UK each year, as well as conducting multiple work parties around the country on most weekends. This particularly enables young people to participate in the preservation and restoration of our heritage, and in doing so learn construction and heritage skills.
IWA is organised into 35 local branches covering geographical areas of the country, through which volunteers coordinate activities as diverse as policing planning applications through the waterway corridor, organising festivals and events to raise public awareness, providing engineering expertise, raising money for restoration schemes, and providing education on the value and benefits of their local waterways.
There is much more information at www.waterways.org.uk
The Cotswold Canals
The Cotswold Canals Trust is restoring the Stroudwater Navigation and Thames & Severn Canal for the benefit of the public. This canal runs through Gloucestershire and part of Wiltshire traversing the glorious Cotswold Hills.
The Trust is the largest canal restoration society in the country with about 5500 members who share the vision of seeing the 36 mile length of these historic waterways restored to their former glory.
The Cotswold Canals Trust is a member of the Cotswold Canals Partnership which comprises Stroud District Council, Cotswold District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Wiltshire Council, the Environment Agency, The Waterways Trust, Inland Waterways Association and many other organisations that support the project. Further information can be found at www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org.
A major £25 million project is currently under way to restore what is perhaps the most difficult 6 miles of the waterway centred on Stroud. This project is being led by Stroud District Council with major financial contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the South West Regional Development Agency.
The Trust has an active volunteer force working on many restoration projects along the length of the canal.
The Aims of the Cotswold Canals Trust are:
To promote for the benefit of the community, the reopening of the Cotswold Canals.
To promote the restoration of the two waterways to give a balance between the needs of navigation, development, recreation, heritage, landscape conservation, wildlife and natural habitats.
To promote the use of the towpath as The Thames & Severn Way.
To achieve restoration of the Cotswold Canals as a navigable route from Saul Junction to the River Thames.
The Trust publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Trow, which is sent to all Cotswold Canals members. New members are welcome. The Trust is a registered charity, No. 269721. www.cotswoldcanals.com
The History of the Cotswold Canals