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About us

Essex Waterways manages and maintains the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation as a subsidiary company of The Inland Waterways Association. Essex Waterways Ltd took over the management of the Navigation in 2005, in order to save the waterway from closing.  

Latest News

Who we are

Essex Waterways Ltd is managed by a board of directors, each appointed for a term of three years (eligible for reappointment), by the trustees of The Inland Waterways Association.  The current directors are:

  • Roy Chandler – Chairman
  • Neil Edwards – Company Secretary
  • Colin Edmond
  • Craig Holliday Dave Smart
  • David Carrington Jim Jenkins John Pomfret

Job Vacancies

Salary £14.48 per hour (£13.21+9.6% enhance in respect of holidays)

Essex Waterways Ltd is looking for a qualified skipper (must hold a Boatmasters’ Licence or equivalent for carrying up to 50 passengers, as required by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency) to operate our trip boat Victoria on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.

This is seasonal work from April to end of October, and is a zero-hours contract – i.e. subject to your availability.  Shifts are typically 3½ hours long and you can expect around 20 bookings each year including some weekends and evenings.

You will join our existing team of skippers on Victoria, offering trips to groups along the beautiful waterway, including operating locks based at Paper Mill Lock, Little Baddow, Essex CM3 4BS.

To find out more please call the Navigation Manager on 07966 375 351 or email

What we do

IWA is responsible for licensing boats to use the navigation, for moorings, for operating the sea lock at Heybridge and associated services, for looking after the willow trees along the navigation – which provide a source of income through timber sales for cricket bats – and general maintenance of the navigation, its structures, the towpath, water supplies, waterside furniture and operating mechanisms. IWA also looks after the lock cottage at Heybridge, the Company’s small office at Paper Mill Lock (near Little Baddow), facilities for boaters at Springfield (Chelmsford), Paper Mill Lock, Sandford, Hoe Mill and Heybridge, and the company’s former maintenance vessels, motor vehicles, plant and equipment.


Essex Waterways Ltd is a trading subsidiary company of The Inland Waterways Association, a registered charity that campaigns for the preservations, conservation, restoration and development of the inland waterways of Great Britain. 

As a private company, Essex Waterways Ltd is bound by the requirements of the Companies Acts, although it also tries to act in the best interests of the waterway and for the benefit of the public.  Any surplus funds that are made at the end of each year’s trading are passed to The Inland Waterways Association, and are placed in a Restricted Fund that can only be spent on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, as part of IWA’s charitable purpose.