Tag Archives: IWA

Canal News – PRESS RELEASE: IWA & HNBC Launch Winding Hole Survey

Canal News

PRESS RELEASE: IWA & HNBC Launch Winding Hole Survey

Issue date: 17th June 2014

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) and the Historic Narrow Boat Club (HNBC) have launched a joint project to gather information about winding holes on the inland waterways.

Winding hole at ConsallWinding hole above Flint Mill Lock at Consall on the Caldon Canal
 ( Alison Smedley)

Winding holes, otherwise known as ‘swinging areas’ on rivers and commercial navigations, are purpose built widenings in a waterway to allow boats to turn in order to change direction of travel along the waterway.

In the original canal era, winding holes evolved at places where working boats needed to turn (other than at canal junctions and arm entrances), usually in the vicinity of factories or wharves. Now, in the ‘leisure’ canal era, traffic flows – in both pattern and total volume – bear little or no resemblance to the more predictable flows for which the original winding holes were created and located.

The project asks boaters to report, via a survey, on winding holes in the areas they know, or have boated recently, in order to identify where winding holes have been lost (or the size of boat that can use them has been reduced) as a result of siltation, overhanging vegetation, prohibiting notices or chains, or permanently moored boats. It also asks for suggestions for new winding hole locations.

The joint initiative came about because both organisations had started to look at issues relating to winding holes around the same time. IWA’s initial concern was centred around a number of locations where winding had previously been allowed, but where signs or chains had been put up preventing boats from turning. HNBC’s concern was loss of traditional winding holes following instances of them being given over to long term moorings.

The information gathered through the results of this survey will allow a greater understanding of the geographical spread of any problems relating to winding holes, and will enable both organisations to lobby navigation authorities about these issues.

A link to the survey can be found at the IWA website, the survey closes on Friday 14th November.

Record Breaking Attendance at IWA’s Canalway Cavalcade 2014


PRESS RELEASE: Record Breaking Attendance at IWA’s Canalway Cavalcade 2014

canal boatsImage: IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2014 by Roger Squires

Issue date: 6th May 2014

Record numbers of people came out to enjoy the colourful spectacle and fun of The Inland Waterways Association’s (IWA) 2014 Canalway Cavalcade over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend at Little Venice in London.

Over 130 boats attended, including a Dutch barge, Azolla, owned by Graeme Heap. She celebrated her 100th birthday at Cavalcade, en route to her birthplace in the Netherlands.

At the Opening Ceremony on Saturday afternoon Libby Bradshaw, Events Manager on the organising committee, introduced Richard Parry, Chief Executive of the Canal & River Trust, and Les Etheridge, National Chairman of IWA. Both emphasised the value of the waterways, the work already achieved and the necessity to continue the job of preserving them. They also stressed the need for more volunteers, not only to work to restore the waterways, but to assist in the organising of such successful events as Canalway Cavalcade.

Councillor Sarah Richardson, Lord Mayor of the City of Westminster, welcomed everybody and thanked IWA for putting on the event. As has become the tradition at Cavalcade, she then rang the ship’s bell to officially open the festival.

The pageant, after the opening ceremony, and procession of illuminated boats on Sunday evening were very well attended with some remarkable constructions including Nelson’s Column, a replica Boris with one of his bikes and some guards from the Trooping of the Colour. There was a wonderful atmosphere amongst the crowds, throughout the three days of the festival.

The awards were presented by John Edmonds, Vice President of London Region IWA, on Monday afternoon and all the waterborne competitions and processions were supported by British Land.

More Canal News – PRESS RELEASE: 40 tonnes of rubbish cleared from the Birmingham Canal Navigations!

More Canal News

WRG HeaderVolunteers

PRESS RELEASE: 40 tonnes of rubbish cleared from the Birmingham Canal Navigations!

Issue Date: 7th April 2014

Over 100 volunteers from Waterway Recovery Group (WRG), The Inland Waterways Association, Birmingham Canal Navigations Society, Dudley Canal Trust and Canal & River Trust (CRT) joined together to carry out a massive canal clean-up on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) on 5th and 6th April.

Using grappling hooks and other tools volunteers removed over 40 tonnes from the canal around Ashted Flight, Typhoo Wharf and Camp Hill Locks – filling four skips in the process! Work boats, provided by CRT, were also on hand to take away rubbish. It is hoped this annual effort on the BCN will help keep the less well used parts of the BCN & Black Country Network from getting choked up with rubbish and becoming impassable for boats.

The usual assortment of shopping trolleys, bicycles and tyres were pulled out of the canal, along with some more unusual items including three goal posts, a safe and a Lancashire boiler shovel!

WRG Leader Chris Morgan said ‘I am very proud of all the volunteers who got involved and travelled from across the UK to help clean up the canals of Birmingham this weekend. Thanks to their enthusiasm and efforts we cleared a massive amount of rubbish from the canal. It was great to see WRG and other volunteers of all ages working together to clean-up the BCN.’


Canal News – Restoration Top Of The Agenda At New Annual Conference

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PRESS RELEASE: Restoration Top Of The Agenda At New Annual Conference Pic restoration

Photo: IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group ‘Canal Camp’ volunteer holiday held in 2013 to restore part of the Monmouthshire Canal.

 Issue date: 27th March 2014

Waterway restoration will be at the top of the agenda during a special workshop taking place in May aimed at starting to overcome some of the big challenges facing restoration groups across the country.

The workshop, being hosted by the Canal & River Trust and The Inland Waterways Association, is intended to become an annual event aimed at addressing some of the big restoration challenges of the time. It will bring members of waterway restoration groups, local authorities and other interested bodies together in one room to discuss a range of issues.

Those present will have the chance to share best practice and celebrate the progress on restoration schemes across the country. The event is also intended to help groups foster new relationships and highlight areas where more support might be needed to progress restoration schemes even further.

Taking place on 10th May 2014 at The Bond Warehouse, Digbeth, the workshop will also see the launch of a University of Northampton report into the benefits of canal restoration. The report re-examines the economic benefits arising from six specific canal restoration schemes (Kennet & Avon Canal , Liverpool Link, Rochdale Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Millennium Link and Chesterfield Canal) helping to demonstrate how similar schemes may benefit their local communities.

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust said; “This promises to be an interesting event and one which I hope will prove really useful to those coming along. There’s a vast amount of knowledge and experience out there and this is just one way of helping to strengthen those links and encourage groups to help each other on their respective journeys.”

“We’re also launching a report which we hope will demonstrate to a wider audience the benefits that canal restoration schemes can bring and help make the case for schemes elsewhere which might not be as far along the road.”

“With so much knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for the waterways in one room it should be a really fascinating day.”

Les Etheridge, IWA’s national chairman said; “There is a long and proud history of successfully restoring waterways in which IWA has played a very significant role. Sharing ideas and best practice benefits everybody. One of the challenges facing all restoration schemes is ensuring that once restored the waterway has a financially viable future. This area is one which I particularly look forward to discussing.”

Canal News – Experts sought to help steer future of canals and rivers in the Midlands

IWA LogoCanal NewsCanal & River Trust Logo

Experts sought to help steer future of canals and rivers in the Midlands
People living in the Midlands are being called on to help guide the future development of the waterways at the very heart of the nation’s historic canal and river network.

Lock 6, Atherstone, Coventry Canal

Lock 6, Atherstone, Coventry Canal

This is a tremendous opportunity for people with ideas and energy to play a leading role in bringing others together to embrace their local canal or river”
Charlotte Atkins, chair of the
We are calling for people in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and north Warwickshire to come forward and help shape the future of their local waterways.
The Trust is recruiting three new members for its Central Shires Waterway Partnership, which plays a key role in getting more people involved in these vital green spaces and ensuring they boost tourism and employment.
Nine people currently sit on the Partnership, drawn from different interests such as boating, canoeing and angling, as well as wider regeneration, media and community engagement backgrounds. The three new members being sought will ideally have experience and expertise in the areas of health and well-being, local authority, social enterprise, volunteering and the natural environment.
Charlotte Atkins, chair of the Central Shires Waterways Partnership, said: “Our waterways are at the very heart of the nation’s historic canal network and as a result they’ve been instrumental in shaping our towns and cities and they remain an enduring reminder of our thriving industrial past.
“As a partnership we believe that it’s now time to put the waterways back at the heart of our communities and use them as a means of tackling some of the great challenges that our region faces. Our waterways have huge potential to boost the Midlands’ economy and to help people lead healthier lifestyles, to gain new skills and simply just to feel a sense of pride in where they live.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for people with ideas and energy to play a leading role in bringing others together to embrace their local canal or river and help create better waterways and closer, healthier, communities.”
The roles are voluntary with agreed expenses reimbursed, and will involve approximately two days a month. Appointments are for three years. For more information please contact waterway manager Darren Green on 0303 040 4040 or darren.green@canalrivertrust.org.uk
Find out more about these partnership vacancies

We want your views on our towpaths
We’re currently consulting on how towpaths are shared to make visiting waterways more enjoyable for everyone.

Apsley, Grand Union Canal

Apsley, Grand Union Canal

Our aim is to improve people’s experience of using towpaths in England and Wales by gaining a more detailed understanding of the ways towpaths are used – whether by boaters, walkers, joggers, cyclists or anglers – and to attract more visitors to regularly use and enjoy the waterways.
We’re inviting people to share their views through an online survey, on anything from signage and behaviour to suggestions for access and surface improvements.
The National Towpath Use Policy will set out our approach to managing safer sharing of towpaths including what we will do and what visitors can do. For example, it will balance the needs of people with the need to conserve and protect heritage and the environment; also how to encourage visitors to better understand the range of towpath activities, be considerate of others and make a difference to these shared spaces.
To find out more about our proposals and give your feedback please visit http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/consultations/current-consultations


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

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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

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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

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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