John Moss, Stone’s “Mr Canals”, has received an award from national charity The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) for his exceptional service to IWA’s campaigning for the waterways.
John was presented with IWA’s Richard Bird Medal at Stone Food & Drink Festival, where his volunteer colleagues from IWA Stoke-on-Trent branch turned out in force to support the event and to show their appreciation for everything John has done for the local waterways over the past almost 40 years.
IWA Vice President Harry Arnold MBE presented John with his award, explaining how he had first met him on Staffordshire’s waterways in the 1960s and was delighted to be here to recognise his friend’s unstinting work for waterways causes. John had been at the inaugural meeting of IWA Stoke-on-Trent branch in 1974 and has served on the Committee ever since, championing a variety of initiatives including organising Working Parties, skippering a trip boat and attending events and festivals to demonstrate canal painting, fender making and knot tying, especially supporting the IWA education initiative “Wild Over Waterways – WOW”
John was a leading light of Stone Canal Conservationists for many years - working to promote and enhance the waterway in the birthplace of the canal network, liaising with the Town Council and canal-side businesses in Stone. In particular his input into the town guides and distribution to boating visitors via attractive and secure canal-side “Town Information” leaflet boxes has been welcomed and emulated far and wide.
Stone Food & Drink Festival Chairman Richard Stevens, also thanked John for all his work over the 7 years of the festival, saying it is a great honour and a great pleasure to work with him as part of the group organising the annual Stone event, acknowledging, “when John commits he commits”.
IWA Stoke on Trent branch Chairman Roger Savage underlined John’s commitment to the local waterways: “John has undertaken various ‘roles’ to support the work of the branch for more than 30 years, he is a great ‘doer’, rather than ‘politician’ or ‘wordsmith’, although he has also briefly served as Chairman. We are grateful for all he has done and continues to do.” John thanked his friends for attending the presentation, wished them a great day in Stone and concluding “I enjoy what I do and am so proud to be recognised by my waterways volunteer colleagues” he set off to continue with his Food & Drink Festival work.