IWA Timeline: 1962 - 1964


The restored lock with an electrically operated guillotine gate was opened at Salters Lode on the Middle Level.  The Middle Level Commissioners agreed to follow this with the dredging of Well Creek.

A protest cruise was held on the Chesterfield Canal to draw attention to the poor condition of the navigation.

A wall of the Marple Aqueduct on the Peak Forest Canal collapsed and the whole structure was closed.

IWA's National Rally was held at Stourbridge to draw attention to the poor state of the Stourbridge Canal, and to oppose plans to close the waterway.  The rally was held in defiance of British Waterways' claims that the participants had no right to use the canal or to clear the obstructions to navigation.  The result was that a record number of boats attended the rally and much favourable publicity was obtained.

In June the Lower Avon was formally reopened from Tewkesbury to Evesham.


An Inland Waterways Association member offered £80,000 to help restore the Upper Avon navigation.

The resoration of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal continued at a rapid pace with the Royal Engineers and prisoners from Winston Green augmenting the regular volunteers.

The National Trust acquired the River Wey as a gift from its former owner, Mr Harry H Stevens.

The first Waterways Museum was opened at Stoke Bruerne.

IWA's National Rally was held at Little Venice at the junction of the Grand Union and Regent's canals.


The "Hawton" Interim Report was published.  Entitled "The Future of the Waterways" it borrowed its name from an earlier IWA policy document, as well as some of its ideas, and although it did not (of course) meet all the aims of IWA, it did represent a major step forward.

1964_stratfordLaughing Water II was the first boat to make the journey on the restored Stratford-upon-Avon Canal from Lapworth to Stratford, arriving there on 22nd February.  IWA's National Festival was at Stratford-upon-Avon to mark the reopening of the canal by HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.  The Festival was held from 9th to 15th July, instead of the normal August time, to coincide with the royal opening.

Discussions started into the best way of restoring the Upper Avon.  On the Kennet & Avon Canal, the long standing obstruction at Bridge Street Bridge in Reading was still causing a block to craft wishing to enter the canal, but the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, with IWA's support, started to organise restoration projects, jointly with British Waterways, using volunteer labour.

In October, Robert Aickman retired from his role as chief campaigner and editor of the Bulletin, roles he had fulfilled since the start of IWA over 18 years before.  He remained as a member of the Council and was still to contribute much to IWA over the coming years.  Captain Munk, who as Chairman had formally been responsible for administration, now took on the campaigning role as well.  Hugh McKnight became editor of the Bulletin.

The abandonment of the Derby Canal was authorised by the Ministry of Transport.  On the Aire & Calder Navigation, it was announced that new 210-ton capacity compartment boats would be used to take coal to Ferrybridge Power Station where they would be automatically lifted and tipped to unload.  The proposed route of the M6 motorway threatened navigation on the upper reaches of the Lancaster Canal.  A new Bill for the Rochdale Canal presented the prospect of closing the Rochdale nine locks in Manchester, thus destroying the route that was to become known as the Cheshire Ring.

The restoration of the Welford Branch of the Grand Union Canal was the objective of the newly formed Market Harborough Old Union Canal Society.

IWA Member John Glover launched Canal and River Monthly Review, the first magazine to be dedicated to inland waterways.