IWA Timeline: 2001 Onwards


Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust launched an appeal for £200,000 towards the cost of building navigable culverts in the new Birmingham Northern Relief Road (M6 Toll). Work was progressing on the 700m restored section of the Ashby Canal at Moira.

The use of towpaths was severely restricted from 28 February due to Foot & Mouth disease spreading across the country. Nearly all the restrictions were lifted by the end of May.

Two major canal restorations were completed when the Huddersfield Narrow Canal reopened on 1 May, and the Forth & Clyde Canal on the 26 May.

IWA's National Waterways Festival was held at Milton Keynes on the Grand Union Main Line and attracted 25,000 visitors, 347 boats and 320 caravans.


Anderton Boat Lift was reopened on 26 March, restoring the direct link between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey Canal. 

2002_falkirkOn 21 May the Queen opened the Falkirk Wheel linking the Forth & Clyde Canal to the Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal.

The whole of the Rochdale Canal was reopened on 1 July and on the 11 July the Ribble Link was opened giving the Lancaster Canal a connection by water to the rest of the system for the first time.

In November, the post of IWA national chairman passed from Richard Drake to John Fletcher.

IWA's National Festival was held at Huddersfield on the Huddersfield Broad Canal.  A lower than usual attendance of boats (191) reflected the size restrictions of the canal.  The National Trailboat Festival was held at Tapton Lock on the Chesterfield Canal.  IWA membership was 17,544.



In February the first meeting of the St. Helens Canal Steering Group took place to pursue the restoration of the St. Helens Canal (Sankey Brook Navigation) and to build a new link from it to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

A bid was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant towards the first phase of restoration of the Cotswold Canals.

The National Trailboat Festival was held at Sudbury on the River Stour.  IWA's National Festival was held on the Thames at Beale Park, near Pangbourne.  It was visited by 32,000 people, 567 boats and 497 caravans and camping units.


T2004_burtonhe Derby & Sandiacre Canal Trust launched a ten-year fundraising and development strategy for the Derby Canal with support from local and national organisations.

IWA supported the Waterways Trust campaign for Government funding of the three Waterways Museums.

The National Trailboat Rally was held at Newport on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.  IWA's National Festival was held at Burton-on-Trent on the Trent & Mersey Canal, and even with some wet days attracted 24,000 visitors.


2005_preston_brookBugsworth Basin on the Peak Forest Canal was re-opened at Easter after many years of problems with water leakage.

IWA's National Trailboat Rally was held on the Chesterfield Canal, and the National Festival at Preson Brook on the Bridgewater Canal, where the restored Shroppie Fly boat Saturn was one of the hundreds of boats attending.



On 21st October 2005 work started on the ground on the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal with a first phase £4.5m to cover the first five hundred metres.  Work was largely completed three years later.

Take a look at our current waterway campaigns.