South Wales Branch

Welcome to the South Wales Branch Pages

 South West Region Magazine The Sou'Wester

 To View The Sou'Wester click here

South Wales Branch E-Newsletter

To subscribe to our quarterly E-Newsletter, send an email with 'Subscribe' in the subject line and your email address in the body to 



Neath Canal Cleanups - May & June 2018

IWA South Wales Branch Members have been asked to support the Neath & Tennant Canal Trust

Neath & Tennant Canal Trust are joining with Keep Wales Tidy for 2 clean up events on the Neath Canal. The 1st is on Saturday 12th May, meet at Bridge Street in Neath for a session from 10 am to 1 pm. The second will be on 23rd June with more details to come which will be on our website.  If you are able to come you would be very welcome and it would be even better if you would let me know by ringing me on 07973336097 or by email at so that we may have enough kit for everyone.

If any IWA Members have the time please support.

Waterworks-Ty Coch Restoration Project Update
Pat Cleary visited the Ty Coch site today (2nd March), first time for a year. There have been many developments since that last visit, not surprisingly. The improvement immediately noticeable is the new road leading to the compound off Hollybush Way, a much easier way to reach the project. Next, the new workshop is a remarkable improvement compared with the facilities available a year ago. Inside is a 3000kg mobile hoist and currently a new top gate is being constructed for Shop Lock.

 Of the eight locks in the programme, the top (nearest Cwmbran) three have yet to be started. The condition of the rest, starting at the bottom, is currently as follows:

Tredegar and Ty Coch Bottom Locks: good progress has been made on the spillways and in the locks re-pointing has begun. 

Lower Brake Lock: complete except for the lower gate which is being manufactured by a contractor and expected on site soon. 

Shop Lock: complete except for gates. These are being manufactured in the new workshop now.  

Brake Lock: a start has been made on the spillway.
See photo gallery

Richard Dommett, Restoration Manager for the Trust, said that significant progress has been made in the development of a new type of modular lock gate. It is estimated that, amongst a number of other advantages, the new design will quadruple the life span of a gate from 25 years for the traditional wooden design. Details of the new design cannot be disclosed at present but Richard states that he expects this to change in a year or so – watch this space for an interesting article! A decision has been made to fit traditional wooden gates to Shop Lock and the new modular type to all other locks, thus enabling a direct long-term comparison of the two types over an extended period.

As can be seen, a great deal has been accomplished in the last twelve months, but there is still a long way to go. In order to achieve completion, four teams of volunteers are being created and there is still a place for you! There is training available for people of both genders, all capabilities and all ages. It is great fun and you get fit in an enjoyable social atmosphere. Join up! For more information on how to volunteer via our project email or call Heidi Carey 01633 648072. The Waterworks-Ty Coch Project also has a Facebook page.
Posted 18 March 2015

Appeal for Committee Members

Your Branch committee is appealing for new members. Several members including the Chair have indicated that they will  be retiring or reducing their commitment at the forthcoming AGM (see link on the left). This is an opportunity for you to contribute to the efforts of your branch to improve the canals of South Wales. We are entering a new phase of development with the introduction of the Swansea Bay Inland Waterway and restoration programmes underway and in planning on the Mon & Brec. Contact any members for more information.
Posted 27 February 2015

Introducing The Swansea Bay Inland Waterway (SBIW)

After consultation with interested parties,  the South Wales Branch of the Inland Waterways Association is pleased to announce the name of the proposed integrated waterway linking the Swansea Canal  to the  Neath and Tennant Canals via a new route through Swansea Vale, the River Tawe and the Docks: The Swansea Bay Inland waterway.

The aim of this proposal is to:

  • restore the Swansea canal above Clydach
  • build a new cut from the Swansea Canal into the River Tawe
  • build a new cut from the River Tawe into Kings Dock
  • reinstate the link between the Tennant Canal and Kings Dock
  • restore the Aberdulais aqueduct

On completion, the waterway will provide a 37-mile navigation from close to the Brecon Beacons National Park, via the Tawe and Neath valleys, through some of the most important historic South Wales industrial areas to the South Wales coast at Swansea and Neath. This amenity will benefit local communities providing employment through attracting visiting boats and tourists and providing excellent recreational facilities.
Posted 27 February 2015: Corrected 18 March 2015

2015 Mon & Brec Events from Bernard Illman

May 21/22: Education Days at Goytre Wharf with our Trip Boat.
May 23/24/25: Trip Boat operating on the lake at Tredegar House.
June 13: The Cwmbran Big Event.
June 20/21: Pontnewydd Waterway Festival at Five Locks, Boaters are encouraged to make the trip, weed cutting and dredging will have been carried out. The Trip Boat will be operating on, the as yet, isolated section below Five Locks and the centre of activity will be in the adjacent Glenside community hall.
July 25: Pirates Day at Fourteen Locks.
July TBC:   Possible event on the Crumlin Arm. Limited dredging has been promised by June.
August 31: The (world famous) Duck Race preceded by the Llangynidr Show on Sunday 30th. (Ducks are still being recovered from the A4042!)
September 6: The Canalathon, from Pontymoile to Brecon.
Posted 27 February 2015

Swansea Canal - from Martin Davies

In preparation for the two week summer work camp at Trebanos Locks, starting on July 12th, Glandwr Cymru staff got togged up in their Michelin Man wet suits to replace the rotting stop planks at the top end of both the Upper and Lower Locks.

The new six inch deep stop planks will ensure that the volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group will be safe working in the lock chambers from which debris, lost coping stones and silt can be now removed.

The WRG volunteers will be coming from all over the UK to help restore the locks.

See Gallery for photos
Posted 28 June 2014

Glamorganshire Canal at Pontypridd

Visited today, first time for a while. Much work has been dome recently by the Pontypridd Canal Conservation Group (PCCG) restoring the impressive double locks 31/32, the only intact exampe left on the canal. See gallery for photos and click here for the PCCG website.
Posted 14 April 2014


Swansea Canal Canoe Launch

On Sunday, 30th March Swansea Canal Society launched its Community Canoe Hire Project from the Swansea Canal slipway at Coed Gwilym Park, Clydach.

Throughout the spring and summer, open canoes and sit-on-top kayaks will be available for hire on Sundays and schools and similar organisations will be able to book sessions on Tuesday mornings. At present, the navigable section of the canal will be north from Coed Gwilym Park towards Trebanos for approximately half a mile.

This project has been generously funded by SPLASH (Natural Resources Wales) and Sports Wales with the assistance of the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust, the City and County of Swansea, and CRT.

See gallery for photos and click here for a You Tube video
Posted 2 April 2014



Torfaen Council wins "Vibrant and Viable Places" Award

A major element of the council's bid is the restoration of Five Locks to 'Canal Quarter' in Cwmbran town centre. The council's announcement can be found at:
Posted 2 February 2014.


New Canoe Hire Venture on the Neath Canal

Against a background of on-going concerns about the lack of boating facilities on the Neath Canal, the Neath & Tennant Canals Trust has been encouraged by the creation of a canoe hire business based on the upper section of the canal at Resolven. South Wales Canoe Hire is operated by Encounter Adventure, a local business which promotes outdoor adventure activity days in the Brecon Beacons. The facility is based at Ty Banc,  which was originally a canal lengthsman’s cottage and more recently used as a cafe and base for Enfys, a trip-boat for the disabled. The building, which had been empty and boarded-up for a number of years, has been given a new lease of life in promoting water-based activities on the canal.
See photo gallery
Posted 29 January2014


Fourteen Locks Centre

Keep up to date with progress at the Fourteen Locks website and the ETR (Education Through Restoration) website (including a blog on the restoration).


Search for waterway events in your area using our online events calendar.

Contact the Branch

Margaret Gwalter

Local Waterways

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal


Waterways Under Restoration

Neath & Tennant Canals
Swansea Canal