Tag Archives: Inland Waterways Association

Canal News – Over 80 Volunteers at IWA Warwickshire Branch Work Party

IWA Logo

PRESS RELEASE: Over 80 Volunteers at IWA Warwickshire Branch Work Party

On Sunday 9th March IWA Warwickshire Branch held a work party on the Grand Union Canal. The day was the warmest of the year to date and over 80 volunteers joined the branch to clean-up up the stretch of canal between Clements Street, Leamington Spa, and the Aqueduct over the River Avon in Warwick.

The day had not started well as the tug and hopper had been cast adrift from its moorings by thieves who had stolen the securing ropes. This did not deter the volunteers as once the craft had been retrieved everyone got to work with grappling hooks and litter pickers and collected enough rubbish from the canal and towpath to fill a hopper and car trailer. This was the biggest haul of rubbish IWA Warwickshire Branch has secured from a large clean-up event, which was largely due to the hard work of IWA members, Leamington Spa Army Cadets, students from The University of Warwick, a Warwick youth group and local residents.

The predominant items dragged from the canal were shopping trolleys, around fifty were recovered, and a selection of over twenty bicycles. Other more unusual items collected included, a ladder, a Heras fencing panel, traffic cones, a supermarket advertising banner, a gas bottle and mattresses. The litter pickers produced over thirty bags of rubbish.

The hopper hold was quickly filled to its full capacity with the debris collected. As the hopper was taken back to Hatton, walkers on the towpath stopped to photograph the unusual sight and struggled to believe all the rubbish had come from the canal in one morning.

Overall, the clean-up was a great success due in no small part to the incredible response from the local community and the support from Canal & River Trust, in particular Steve Lambert who operated the tug and hopper.

IWA works party March 2014

Canal News – IWA Award for 60 Years at the London Boat Show

IWA Logo

1John Fevyer, for IWA, receives the award from National Boat Show Chairman, Peter Gordon.  Image Copyright onEdition 2014©

PRESS RELEASE: IWA Award for 60 Years at the London Boat Show

Issue date: 7th January 2014

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has received a special award from the organisers for its loyal attendance at the London Boat Show. IWA was a founder exhibitor when the event was first launched 60 years ago, and hasn’t missed a year since.

The show is an opportunity for IWA to promote the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain’s inland waterways as well as the Association’s specific campaigns. Although the Boat Show is primarily aimed at the offshore sea-going boater, it was once the only national show of its kind, and has enabled IWA to encourage thousands of newcomers to canal and inland rivers over the years, and well as being a recruitment source for hundreds of IWA members. IWA’s stand has long been an important attraction for the show – providing the principal focus for information on inland boating.

The stand is organised and run by a dedicated team of IWA volunteers, mostly from the London area, who build the stand in the days running up to the show, man it throughout the time the show is open, and then dismantle everything afterwards. In past years, this has frequently meant overcoming blizzard weather conditions to get there! This enables the stand to produce a surplus for the Association each year.

The London Boat Show, which always takes place in January, features a wide range of boats, inside the venue as well as a display of tall boats and other vessels in the Royal Victoria Dock immediately outside the exhibition centre. ExCeL also hosts a dedicated marina and a naval ship (either a destroyer or frigate).

The first London Boat Show was held at Olympia in 1954, before the event moved to the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in 1957 following growth in attendance. The event then moved to ExCeL in 2004 and included a Watersports Action Pool, which showcased smaller craft such as dinghies, kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards.


London Boat Show 2014

The 2014 London Boat Show is Europe’s first boat show of the year.

The 60th boat show to be held in London brings thousands of boats, brands, products and suppliers under one roof for nine days.

Canal News – IWA Lichfield Branch & HS2 High Speed Rail

Canal News

IWA Lichfield Branch – Decking Preparation and Strimmer Training

A very brave eight volunteers from IWA Lichfield Branch arrived at St Augustine’s Firld on the Trent & Mersey Canalon Sunday 27th October, which had the worst weather forecast seen for a long time. As it happened, the only rain the group faced was during the break for tea and cake, so the volunteers managed to complete most of what was set out to do.

The main job of the work party was to clear the decking area again, which had become badly overgrown during the summer, and to start clearing the canal bank.

IWA Lichfield Branch is only at the beginning of what is quite a complicated project. The next stage will be to replace part of the decking, which is rotten, and begin to sandbag the canal bank.

IWA Lichfield Branch Work Party – Friday 8th November

The branch’s Friday work party saw a lucky thirteen volunteers working in the Brindley Bank area by the aqueduct on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley.

The footpath from the bottom of the ‘Bloody Steps’ to the aqueduct was finished in quick time, so the team started to fill in behind the piling at the far end of the moorings.

The grass had the last cut of the year, with the footpath from Wolseley Road having the side vegetation strimmed. The steps were cleared of leaves and accumulated moss to make them safer during the winter months.

Meanwhile, work to rebuild the wharf wall continued, although hampered by the persistent rain. The team was joined by a Police Community Support Officer, who advised that reported incidents of anti-social behaviour are well down since IWA started the renovation work, and that some offenders had been caught. Anyone observing anything untoward on the waterways should call the ‘101’ telephone number to report any incidents.

The branch’s volunteers are of all ages, and many wear different ‘volunteering hats’. On this occasion the branch members included volunteers and visitors from the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, Stafford Riverway Link, Rugeley Lions, CRT, the Police, and local residents.

 volunteersbrindleybank_8thnov_mbeardsmorePhoto courtesy of Margaret Beardsmore.

HS2 High Speed Rail, Phase 2 route affects several canals – January 2013

The Government announced its preferred routes for Phase 2 of the High Speed Rail (HS2) network on 28th January. Phase 1 was from London to Birmingham and onto Lichfield (see January 2012 report below) and Phase 2 extends the line to Manchester and to Leeds. The plans show several canal crossings in IWA’s Lichfield Branch area, including the Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley and Great Haywood, the Coventry Canal at Polesworth, and the planned restoration route of the Ashby Canal at Measham.

The Lichfield to Manchester section starts from the Phase 1 link to the West Coast Main Line (WCML) near Streethay. This link already crosses the Trent & Mersey Canal twice, at and near Woodend Lock. The new line adds a further bridge over the canal between Woodend and Shade House locks, creating three canal crossings in close proximity above Fradley Junction. Further north it crosses the T&M again right alongside the marina at Great Haywood, on a viaduct about 10 metres high, although the plans don’t even show the marina.

 LockShade House Lock, Trent & Mersey Canal. HS2 will cross through the woods in the middle distance. Pooley Hall Colliery Basin moorings, Coventry Canal.

Untitled-2The HS2 bridge will cross right over this point.

( Photos by Phil Sharpe)

The Water Orton to Leeds section crosses the Coventry Canal at Polesworth, by a bridge about 10 metres high, after cutting through the canalside Pooley Fields Heritage Centre. At Measham where it runs close to the A42 it crosses Burton Road, but with no bridge shown over the adjacent Ashby Canal line where proposed for restoration.

Numerous alternative alignments were considered at the planning stage and are detailed in the documents now released. A public consultation on the preferred options is promised during 2013. IWA will seek to minimise the visual and noise impact of the three new canal crossings and to ensure proper provision for the Ashby Canal restoration. We also continue to challenge the alignment of the Phase 1 WCML link with its 2 avoidable crossings of the canal, which threaten destruction of the lock cottage at Wood End Lock and would seriously damage the historic canal environment. With construction of Phase 2 expected to closely follow on from Phase 1, the need for this temporary link to be built at all is now very questionable.

North of the Lichfield Branch area, the Manchester route of HS2 and its link to the WCML near Wigan also crosses the Middlewich Branch and the Trent & Mersey again near Bostock Hall, the Bridgewater Canal at Agden Bridge and the Manchester Ship Canal. The Leeds route crosses the River Soar at Redhill, the River Trent’s Cranfleet Cut, the Erewash Canal (twice), the Sheffield Canal and the Aire & Calder Navigation three times between Wakefield and Leeds. All these crossings have adequate headroom, but there is no indication of any bridges to allow for the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal between Staveley, Renishaw and Killamarsh where the main route and a branch to a proposed Maintenance Depot cross the original canal line in several places.

All the plans and supporting documents can all be seen at:



Canal News – PRESS RELEASE: IWA Launches 2015 Calendar Competition

Canal News


PRESS RELEASE: IWA Launches 2015 Calendar Competition



Following the success of previous competitions, The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) is pleased to announce the launch of its 2015 Calendar photography competition.

IWA is looking for photographs of UK waterways and is offering three free calendars to the photographers whose photos are used in the final calendar.

Entrants may submit up to 20 photos. Please include a brief description of the waterway location when uploading your photos.


Photos can be submitted by:


All submitted photos will be added to the calendar competition group on Flickr.

As summer is the main boating season, the competition receives more sunny summer photos than for any other season. Entrants can increase their chances of being shortlisted by submitting spring, autumnal or winter photos.

IWA is also looking for a top winter shot to be used as a 2014 Christmas card. A photograph will be selected from the competition submissions prior to shortlisting. The photographer will receive three calendars PLUS ten packs of their Christmas Card (100 cards).

Photos for the competition need to be submitted by 31st January 2014. The photos will then be shortlisted and then the public will be able to vote for the shortlisted photos.

Notes: Photos for the Calendar need to be digital with a resolution of at least 300 DPI and at least 2100 pixels x 1500 pixels (can be landscape or portrait). You can usually adjust the settings on your digital camera to take high resolution photos.

Photos uploaded may be used by IWA for publicity purposes, on the web site, in marketing material, our Annual review or as part of our IWA Calendar. Any photos selected for use will be credited where possible.

Please see full photography terms and conditions.

The 2014 IWA Calendar featuring photographs from last years’ competition is available to buy for £3.60 from IWAShop.com



Canal News – BCNS Bonfire Rally 2013 – IWA walk around Kingsbury Water Park

poppy-sandCanal News


BCNS Bonfire Rally 2013


Engine Arm Junction, at the top of Smethwick locks.

02 – 03 Nov 2013
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Real ale, fireworks, live music and a barbeque!

Real ale, fireworks, live music and a barbeque.

The Society AGM will be on the Friday evening.

More information will be available nearer the time.

 Kingsbury Water ParkKingsbury Water Park.  One of the smaller lakes at the park.

© Copyright David P Howard and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 IWA walk around Kingsbury Water Park


Dog & Doublet Inn
Dog Lane
Bodymoor Heath
Sutton Coldfield
B76 9JD

05 Nov 2013
10:15 am – 1:00 pm

Join the IWA Lichfield Branch for a morning walk around KingsburyWaterPark.

Enjoy a walk around KingsburyWaterPark organised by the Inland Waterways Association, Lichfield Branch.

A gentle stroll around the WaterPark and along the Birmingham & FazeleyCanal

Meet at the Dog & Doublet Inn at 10.15 for a 10.30am start. Optional lunch afterwards at the pub. 

Easy going and fairly level. 

Dogs on leads welcome. 

Leader Derek Beardsmore. Further information from Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk 

Canal News – IWA to Celebrate Stratford Anniversaries – Festival Plans Announced

Canal News

IWA Logostratford_festivalPRESS RELEASE: IWA to Celebrate Stratford Anniversaries – Festival Plans Announced

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has offered support to Stratforward and other local organisations in Stratford-upon-Avon to ensure appropriate celebrations for the significant waterways anniversaries in 2014. Stratforward Business Improvement District, an organisation of local businesses, has been responsible for organising the annual Stratford River Festival for the past five years, and is organising an even bigger and better event in 2014, at which IWA plans to have a significant presence.

The Association had looked at holding a 2014 National Festival in the town, and had held discussions with Stratford District Council to review the options for the holding such an event in place of the usual Riverside Festival. However, in the light of the poor financial outturn of the 2013 National Festival at Watford the Association has decided against planning festivals of this type for the foreseeable future, as the financial risks for the Association are too great. IWA will, instead, put its efforts into rallies with clear campaign objectives, and proven annual gatherings such as Canalway Cavalcade, as well as supporting other major events such as Stratford River Festival and Crick Boat Show, where IWA hopes to have an enhanced presence. IWA’s commitment to such events will produce more benefit for the Association, and for the waterways in general, at less risk.

 Moorings & Boatyard RKMoorings and boatyard in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

These are private long term moorings. Ahead is the new Premier Inn by One Elm Lock, No 52.  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

IWA has announced plans to hold a number of significant events in 2014, starting with the annual Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice in London, over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. This is followed by IWA’s annual National Trail Boat Rally over the late May Bank Holiday weekend on the Grand Western Canal, and is to be hosted and organised by Devon County Council, and will include celebrations for re-opening the canal following the major embankment reconstruction currently in progress. IWA’s 2014 National Campaign Rally takes place at Chester in early June and will promote improved waterway connections through the city and to make better use of the river Dee and all parts of the Shropshire Union Canal in the area. IWA Festivals also plans to hold a significant event, in the style of a traditional boat rally, over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the details of which are planned to be available at the beginning of the year. Furthermore, IWA branches plan to hold a range of rallies up and down the country.

Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, said “IWA has a busy year planned for 2014 and our Festivals team has been tasked with an ambitious range of events to support. Festivals are important to us for the promotion of the waterways where they are held, and the engagement with a wide range of boaters, other waterway users, as well as the opportunity to draw in new waterway supporters. The old formula for IWA’s National Festival clearly no longer works and a new style is needed. We intend to support a wider range of events across the country.”

Winding HoleWinding hole on the Stratford-upo-Avon Canal

Just above the Birmingham Road bridge.

Where the parked vehicles can be seen there was formerly a small basin arm running directly away from the camera serving a brickworks which occupied the right hand side of the picture. The winding hole was necessary to allow boats to turn into the basin.  © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Canal news – Forthcoming Attractions – Huddlesford Gathering


Canal News


Canal News – The Proposed Redevelopment of Selly Oak Junction, Worcester Birmingham and Dudley No 2 Canals

Canal News

IWA Logo

The Proposed Redevelopment of Selly Oak Junction, Worcester Birmingham and Dudley No 2 Canals

a-stretch-of-the-lapal-canal-in-selly-oak-park---ivor-caplanA stretch of the Lapal Canal in Selly Oak Park indicating how attractive the restored canal will be for residents and visitors.  Photo by Ivor Caplan.

To enable this site to be developed J Sainsbury’s and Land Securities have set up a joint development company known as Harvest.  During March Harvest submitted a planning application to develop the former Selly Oak Junction and the land surrounding it, primarily to create a superstore and a Life Sciences Park.

The scheme that has been submitted to the Planning Authority, Birmingham City Council, does not include the reinstatement, or provision of adequate suitable space there for, of the Dudley No 2 Canal. This, as well as being contrary to City planning policy, would permanently block the route of the former canal that Lapal Canal Trust has been working on to secure its restoration. Furthermore, the proposals do little to enhance the present unattractive rundown waterway corridor.

Waterways supporters are therefore encourage to object to the proposals, which can be found on the Birmingham Planning Website, click on Planning Application Number Search and key in reference  2013/02178/PA, pointing out that the application is flawed because it does not meet many of the criteria identified in the Selly Oak Local Action Plan (LAP) adopted in July 2001 as requirements for the regeneration of the Selly Oak area of Birmingham as follows:

The LAP states

  1. “Any new development in this area should also assist with the future reinstatement of the former Dudley No 2 (Lapal) Canal.  New development should also be designed so that it is well related to the existing Worcester & Birmingham Canal and the reinstated Dudley No 2 Canal

    The proposal clearly does not meet that since the ‘protected line’ of the Lapal Canal is proposed to be a green walkway.

  2. “British Waterways and the City Council are now committed to working together to ensure the continued renaissance of the canal network as an integral part of the City’s economic, social and environmental well-being.”  The LAP also states that Selly Oak is noted to be a stage 1 priority area for this

    The proposal clearly goes against that commitment since the un-restored Lapal Canal is not planned to be an integral part the ‘canal network’ and the canal side proposals for the Worcester Birmingham Canal corridor include a linear high rise student apartment block that blocks out much light will make the area unwelcoming.

  3. referring to the former PPG13 it includes the statement: that development proposals should not adversely affect inland waterways”

    Clearly, the submitted proposal does adversely affect inland waterways since it does not allow for an inland waterway to be restored and adversely affect the setting of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal

  4. With reference to the Lapal Canal it states that;  Meanwhile, development should restore the section between the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and Selly Oak Park, and the option of restoring the remainder of the canal kept open and Birmingham Canal and Selly Oak Park, and the option of restoring the remainder of the canal kept open

    Clearly the proposal does not allow for the restoration of the Lapal Canal

 volunteers-working-on-the-lapal-canal-in-selly-oak-park---ivor-caplanVolunteers working on the Lapal Canal in Selly Oak Park. The threatened section of the canal through the ‘Harvest’ development is just beyond the new bridge in the distance.  Photo by Ivor Caplan.

Additional Points

  1. The former PPG13 (now absorbed into the National Planning Policy Framework) also states: “local authorities should identify, and where appropriate protect, disused waterways (by allocating land in development plans and ensuring sites and routes are not severed by new development or transport infrastructure), where there is a reasonable degree of certainty of a restoration project proceeding in whole or in part within the plan period.”

    Clearly, the proposal does not protect the disused Lapal Canal

  2. J Sainsbury has declared that it operates to certain Values which include the following and which (superficially) run counter to the proposal that has been submitted:

    (a) For us, retailing is about more than quality products and great service. It’s     also about supporting and helping the communities where we work, and being a good neighbour. We aim for our stores to be at the heart of the communities they serve.

    (b) At Sainsbury’s, respecting the environment is about doing the right thing. We aim to be the UK’s greenest grocer, which is great for our business but even better for the environment.

  3. The National Planning Policy Framework, issued in March 2012 includes the following statements which are against the proposal that has been submitted:

    (a)    Proposed development that accords with an up-to-date Local Plan should be approved and proposed development that conflicts should be refused unless other material considerations indicate otherwise.

    (b) Plans should conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of this and future generations

The closing date for objections is the 2nd May 2013 and they should be addressed to Birmingham City Council, Planning and Regeneration, PO Box 28, Birmingham , B1 1TU.

Canal News – IWA Welcomes Increase in CRT Dredging


IWA Logo

IWA Welcomes Increase in CRT Dredging

IWA Press Release

26 November 2012

The Inland Waterways Association has welcomed the announcement by Canal & River Trust that it will increase its spending on dredging over the next ten years.

In a speech to the AGM of the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators on 23rd November, John Dodwell, Canal & River Trust trustee explained that a ten year dredging programme was being planned, effectively doubling the current annual £5 m spend on programmed dredging. He went on to explain that two key elements will be looked at by the Navigation Advisory Group. One will be to increase the ratio of spot dredging to main-line dredging. The second will be to change the “failing threshold” measure. At present if 70% of the channel cross section in each km meets the depth criteria, then it is deemed Ok. On this basis, only about 7% of the total mileage fails. It’s proposed to raise this so that 90% of the cross section in future must comply – it is estimated that this will double the failing lengths, but this is actually more in tune with what users say.

DroitwichDroitwich Barge Canal emerging from under the A449

The canal has now been dredged and the earth dam that was more or less at the tail of the embankment has been excavated out.  © Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

  IWA had previously criticised British Waterways for the lack of dredging. As far back as July 2010, in answer to a series of detailed parliamentary questions placed on behalf of IWA, the Waterways Minister Richard Benyon MP had explained that British Waterways had plans to only dredge between 30 kilometres (km) and 40 km of its waterways during 2010-11, at an estimated cost of £4.5 million. He went on to explain that British Waterways estimated that 291 kilometres of its canals and rivers required dredging. IWA subsequently gave evidence on this gap to the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways inquiry into the formation of CRT.

Speaking of the announcement of the increased funding, Les Etheridge, IWA national chairman said:

“IWA has been steadfast in seeking to demonstrate the need for increased funding for navigation on the canal and river network .It has been clear anecdotally for many boaters that there has not been enough depth of water for navigation, and we have sought to highlight this with hard evidence. We are delighted that this campaign has resulted in a commitment for additional spend on this important area”.

WoodseavesCanal maintenance boat in Woodseaves Cutting, Shropshire

Woodseaves Cutting is dark, narrow and tree enshrouded and shallow. Not often does one exceed 2mph. Several sections are too narrow for boats to pass each other, north of Hollings Bridge, where I was confronted by this tug pushed butty full of dredgings. I waited!  © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Canal News – Nov 29th 2012 – Canal Camps 2013

Canal News  – Nov 29th 2012

Waterway Recovery Group launches its Canal Camps for 2013!

Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) runs a programme of unique week-long residential volunteering opportunities, known as ‘Canal Camps’ designed to restore the derelict canals of England and Wales to their former glory. Canal Camps give you the chance to do your bit for the environment whilst having a fun holiday.

We have 23 Canal Camps planned for 2013 giving volunteers the chance to get involved in various activities such as the reprofiling and lining of the Lancaster Canal at Stainton, to the restoration of damaged brickwork on the Swansea Canal; or the rebuilding of towpaths on the Chelmer and Blackwater to the construction of a new lock on the Chesterfield Canal!

We’ve still got two working holidays running this Christmas on the Uttoxeter Canal (Staffordshire) and on the Cotswold Canals (near Eisey Lock) from the 26th December 2012 – 1st January 2013.

The Brochure has been sent to the printers but we thought you’d like to have a sneak peek!! Click here to view an online version of the brochure.

If you’d like to request a hard copy please click here (if you subscribe to Navvies you will automatically be sent a copy with your next edition).

To see all our Canal Camp locations for 2013 and get further details go to:   https://waterways.org.uk

Book now!

Online: http://www.wrg.org.uk

Email: enquiries@wrg.org.uk

Phone: 01494 783 453 ext 604 Keep in Touch!

Subscribe to Navvies magazine