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            The UK’s No 1 newspaper for all waterway users                                                                                                                                     Issue 14

     Water, water everywhere, but you can’t see it for the boats!
     In this issue...                      THERE is still no official commitment on the
                                           part of the Government as to a reversal of
                                                                                                                      by Keith Langston                         from over. Their spokesperson was justifiably
                                                                                                                                                                upbeat: “The events drew keen public and media
                                           their policy of funding cuts to British                                                                              attention to the ill-considered cuts that Defra have
                                           Waterways and the Environment Agency                          demonstrated, but also the sheer pleasure which        made to the budgets of those responsible for our
                                           navigations, and regrettably discernible                      the waterways bring, not only to the boaters, but to   inland waterways. When SOW first conceived the
                                           cracks are not yet starting to show in the                    the hundreds of spectators that had come to enjoy      idea of staging parallel events across the country in
                                           official armour?                                              the spectacle.                                         support of IWA's big protest in Birmingham, we
                                             The Minister of State at Defra, who attended the              Lord Rooker held out no possibility of reversing     never realised that we could catalyse as many as 26
                                           Birmingham event over the weekend of the                      the cuts, but on air on The Politics Show from BBC     events in just six weeks.
                                           protests, reportedly said that he held out no                 West Midlands, he indicated that discussions had         “This shows the strength of outrage which
                                           possibility of reversing the cuts. So it appears that         commenced with British Waterways to consider           supporters of the waterways feel against these cuts.
                                           the fight to Save Our Waterways must go on!                   alternative funding strategies for the future.         Cuts that are being made to rectify Defra's
                                             Those in authority now have proof, if indeed proof            While John welcomed that, and will work with         maladministration of farmers’ grants. This has
                                           were needed, that the deterioration of the inland             others of a like mind to achieve a satisfactory        nothing to do with waterways management. One
                                           waterways through a lack of funding will not be               outcome, he expressed the greatest dismay that         supporter's placard read at the Foxton event, 'Defra
                                           tolerated by the vast majority of the electorate.             initial discussions between Defra and British          – Carry Your Own Can!' We are particularly proud
                                           Supporters and craft gathered at over 25 venues               Waterways on the Comprehensive Spending                that we have achieved this in co-operation with the
                                           and the ‘Great British Public’ turned out in huge             Review, to determine the grant to British Waterways    major user groups and thanks to the hard work of
                                           number to encourage them.                                     over the next few coming years, will be starting       many volunteers on the ground, but alas without
                                             Defra has once again quoted past funding totals             from an artificially lowered base. He concluded:       any funding except from our own steering group
                                           in defence of the indefensible but politicians                “We must continue to exert the pressure of our         and a few supporters from the waterways
     Picture round-up of                   should now be aware that the public will not stand            feelings on Defra, The Treasury and Government as      newsgroups.”
     November’s protests               4   for it. Well supported, well organised and well               a whole.”                                                There is a promise from SOW (and the IWA) of
                                           worth doing sums up the events of 25-26 November                The Save Our Waterways (SOW) campaign                things to come. “Now that we have completed the
                                           2006 which can rightly be hailed as the weekend               steering committee although thrilled with the way      dress rehearsal that was the past weekend, we have
                                           when the majority of the British public got to know           that the protest events across the waterways were
                                                                                                                                                                                              Continued on page 2
     Waterways Trust AGM               6   just how much those committed to the waterways
                                           care about what for all of us are some of the
                                                                                                         supported are also aware that the struggle is far

                                           nation’s greatest assets.
                                             This is what Defra had to say in the way of a
                                           statement       on      the     Tuesday       after    the
                                           demonstrations. Note that it makes only a mention
                                           of the ‘in year’ cuts already made and has no
                                           reference to the future cuts previously highlighted
                                           by BW.
                                             “Over the past seven years British Waterways has been
                                           a tremendous success story. It has restored more than
                                           200 miles of canals and waterways and reduced the
                                           backlog of maintenance by a huge investment
                                           programme of £180-million. This has only been possible
                                           because of record levels of government investment –
     The Mighty Thames                 8   £524-million since 2000. The in-year cut of £3.9-million
                                           must be seen against this backdrop and British
                                           Waterway's financial turnover of £190.5-million in
                                           2005/6. We remain confident that British Waterways will
                                           continue to deliver real public benefit and regeneration in
                                   11      the future.”
                                             Defra Press Officer for Biodiversity Department
                                           for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
                                             John Fletcher, Chairman of the Inland Waterways
                                           Association, estimated that about 1000 boats, from
     Stafford                      32      coracles to barges, took part in the Saturday events
     The navigation that time almost       of the weekend, those numbers looked to rise by
     forgot                                about 25 per cent on the Sunday. The co-operation
                                           of so many boaters from a wide range of
                                           organisations has shown the tremendous strength
     Ulster Canal restoration              of feeling on the CUTS issue.
     to go ahead                   35        Mr Fletcher was in Birmingham on the Sunday                 The Blockade well and truly in place on the Birmingham main line between the National Indoor Arena
                                           and was able to show Lord Rooker, Minister of State           and Gas Street Basin. In the front rank of the 50-boat flotilla are four ex-working boats, l to r, Warbler
                                           at Defra, not only the strength of feeling                    from Tamworth and Cepheus, Saltaire and Stour from the BCLM. Perceptive Images
2 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                                     

                                                               MORE DEMOS TO COME
                                                               Continued from front cover
AS reported in this issue the Save Our
Waterways weekend of protests (25-26                           laid the foundations of a much bigger
November) was a resounding success.                            demonstration for the weekend of 24-25 February. If
Thousands of people and hundreds of boats                      any well-wishers would like to support that
turned out at rallies throughout the country,                  campaign they can do so by visiting our website to
braving the elements to show their support.                    purchase our event merchandise, or, simply by
  The level of media attention from national and               making a donation. If you can donate time and
local television, radio and the press must bring a             effort, we especially need volunteers to organise
warm glow of satisfaction to organisers.                       protest events in their own areas. One thing is
  Hopefully now boaters, anglers, ramblers,                    certain. This campaign has only just begun. It won't
cyclists et al are aware of the situation. Now                 end until our waterway heritage is in safe hands.”
those involved must relish the thought of airing                 The British Waterways’ official channels on the
the campaign on the wider stage in the New Year                other hand have been strangely silent following the
– ie the flotilla demonstration alongside the                  weekend of action. They could, as we went to press,
Houses of Parliament on 16 January and the                     only manage this meagre offering, which the
delivery of the petition on the weekend 24-25                  participants in the demonstrations (mostly held in
February to Government via narrowboat on a                     less than good weather) could if they are so minded
low-loader      and      supported     by       further        take as a veiled thank you.
demonstrations across the country.
  Quite what Defra will make of it all is still open to          “The waterways have a tremendous tradition of
conjecture but we can only draw positives at this              volunteer support and the events of the weekend show
stage in the light of the November protest.                    that tradition continues. We are working with Defra on
  Christmas is around the corner and if you’re                 the levels of funding required in the future.”
anything like me (between bouts of revelry); I’ll be
hankering after getting out and about again and                  Could it be that the heavy hand of the Defra
feeling trapped by the seemingly endless dark                  mandarins has been firmly placed over the                Defra Minister Lord Rooker witnesses the weight of public opinion first hand. John Fletcher
nights. So I’m pleased that Waterworld is back on              mouths of those who would like to speak out, but
our screens in January (see this edition) to remind            for the time dare not? Several waterways insiders        opportunities in this country, not less. The           for the waterways. Each is deciding what they can
me of warmer times and some of the enjoyable                   have suggested that might well be the case!              waterways should be sponsored by a department          afford in effort and finance. The contribution of
experiences I have had in my first year as editor of           Allegedly high level Defra officials are unhappy         that recognises their true value and potential for     publicity material and contacts to the weekend of
Towpath Talk. And if some of things we have in the             with the fact that some organisations that they          recreation and regeneration."                          events has been a small but significant part of
pipeline are anything to go by next year will be even          see as being part of ‘the family’ have been in their       David Stevenson, Organiser, Foxton Protest Event     IWA’s overall contribution, but most of the £40,000
better.                                                        view disloyal in purportedly supporting the Save         and an ex-national chairman of the Inland              we have set aside will be spent behind the scenes
                                                               Our Waterways campaign. They could of course             Waterways Association put forward his viewpoint        as a contribution to the cost of researching and
                                                               say that if they chose to, but the campaigners           after enjoying what he described as ‘a great success   gathering information, which helps when we are
                                                               certainly will not!                                      which left no one in any doubt about the strength      trying to get politicians over to our way of
                                                                 The National Association of Boat Owners like           of feelings of the waterway users’. He also raised a   thinking. We welcome the contribution of the
                                                               all other user groups deplores the cuts Defra has        point concerning the all-important financing of the    informal group, Save Our Waterways, several of
                                                               made and fully supports the campaign.                    campaign.                                              whom are also IWA members, as part of the
                                                               Following ‘the weekend’ it has reportedly offered          He said: “From an IWA viewpoint, we felt we had      overall effort. They have made no request for
 Editor                                 Tony Hoyland           three key organisers of the 'Save Our Waterways'         played a useful role in re-establishing IWA as a       funds from us, but I would see their efforts as
 Chief correspondent                    Keith Langston         campaign honorary life membership of NABO,               campaigning organisation once again and hope           their contribution, rather than effort which IWA
                                                               namely: Will Chapman, who is the inspiration             that our efforts, and those of other IWA branches      should fund.”
 Advertising                  Amanda Taylor-Watson
                                                               behind the campaign, Mike Stevens, the                   who took part, will encourage the association to be      A huge number of signatures for the petition
                                  and Tina Watson
                                                               campaign webmaster, and Mike Shefras, who                more pro-active in the future. The protest has given   were collected at the events and that process is
 Publisher                                   Dan Savage        with      Louis     Jankel,     (NABO       Thames       the opportunity for IWA to develop stronger links      ongoing. A great many people gave up a huge
                                                               representative), is a tireless campaigner for            with other organisations which have close              amount of time for the cause and, though we
 Editorial design                      Charlie Waters/         boating on the Thames.                                   involvement with the waterways, be they boating,       would like to, it has not been possible to name
                                         Anita Waters
                                                                 NABO rightly point out that inland boat                angling, nature-orientated or other.                   all the hard-working organisers here. The media
                                                               owners by definition invest their leisure time             “If there have been past differences they should     were well alerted to the campaign and radio and
 Advert planning                       Catherine Smith
                                                               and money in this country. Often this represents         be put aside and we should be ready to meet future     TV crews were in evidence at Anderton,
 Divisional advertising manager Lucy Deacon                    hard-earned savings or retirement assets. This is        threats to the waterways speedily and side by side.    Birmingham, Chester, Foxton, Gloucester Docks,
 Group advertising manager      Lynne Arnold                   a    huge contribution. With very               low      For us, working with 'Save Our Waterways' has been     Little    Venice,    Manchester      Castlefields,
                                                               environmental impact, collectively they have             an eye-opener and an inspiration. We hope that in      Merseyside, Rickmansworth, Skipton, and of
 Publishing director                 Malcolm Wheeler           invested some billion pounds of their own                the coming months, SOW can be allowed to achieve       course that fantastic Sydney Harbour show of
 Managing director                         Terry Clark         money to support and enjoy our national                  its potential by the more fully constituted            solidarity with the ‘Old Country’. The national,
 Finance director                         Brian V Hill         waterway heritage. Many of these same boaters            organisations, for they have certainly showed the      regional and local press carried a good selection
 Marketing manager                          Paul Deacon        worked tirelessly to turn what were once                 way forward in this protest.                           of reports.
                                                               neglected smelly backwaters into pleasantly                “I have been asked, by a number of IWA
                   Printed by                                  restored canals that all can enjoy.                      members, how the Association intends to spend               G Turn to page 4 for picture round-up
       Mortons Print Ltd – Tel. 01507 523456                     They support the proposed Environment, Food            the £40,000 earmarked for the purpose of
                     Contact us                                and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) Select                fighting the Defra cuts. May I suggest they
     Customer services and subscriptions
         01507 529300 or 01507 529490
                                                               Committee investigation. Inland navigation,
                                                               heritage, tourism and many other benefits, must be
                                                               protected and enhanced. NABO chairman, Stuart
                                                                                                                        should include giving assistance with SOW
                                                                                                                        expenditure as a start.”
                                                                                                                          We put that question and suggestion to IWA
                                                                                                                                                                                Help Needed for
               News & editorial
     Tel: 01507 529279 Fax: 01507 529495

                                                               Sampson said: "If foreign travel is to be hit by
                                                               proposed 'eco' taxes on air travel, this government
                                                                                                                        National Chairman John Fletcher. He replied:
                                                                                                                        “Many organisations are working together to fight
                                                                                                                                                                                SOW Campaign
                                                               owes it to the people to invest more in leisure          the Defra cuts and to work towards a better future
                  Advertising                                                                                                                                                   THE contribution to the Save Our
     Tel: 01507 524004 Fax: 01507 529499                                                                                                                                        Waterways Campaign has been achieved by
                 Published by                                                                                                                                                   a team of dedicated volunteers and
    Mortons Media Group Ltd, Media Centre,                                                                                                                                      essentially funded out of their own pockets
    Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincs, LN9 6JR                                                                                                                                      plus a few gratefully received donations.
     Tel: 01507 523456 Fax: 01507 529301                                                                                                                                        They now need your help.
                                                                                                                                                                                  To encourage you to make a contribution they
     Next Issue - 4 January 2007                                                                                                                                                have designed a range of casual wear which
                                                                                                                                                                                they believe you will find to be excellent value
                   WRITE TO US!
 We’d love to hear from you about any towpath                                                                                                                                   Xmas presents: Cap (adjustable to all sizes) £6
  topic – however unusual – because it’s your                                                                                                                                   inc VAT; Sweatshirt £17 inc VAT; Fleece £21 inc
 views that matter. We welcome your pictures,                                                                                                                                   VAT – available sizes: Small, Medium, Large,
      too – but let us know if you want them                                                                                                                                    XLarge and XXL. Add £7.50 for post &
     returned. If your contribution features a                                                                                                                                  packaging.
  special event, ensure it reaches us in lots of
   time for inclusion. Address your letters to:                                                                                                                                   Special price for all three £40 plus P&P £7.50.
   Mortons Media Group Ltd, Media Centre,                                                                                                                                         The only colours available immediately are
   Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincs, LN9 6JR                                                                                                                                       navy blue for the fleece and cap and grey for
                                                                                                                                                                                the sweatshirt. For future orders you can
                                                                                                                                                                                choose from the following sweatshirts –
                                                                                                                                                                                yellow, gold, jade, green, bottle green, brown,
                                                                                                                                                                                deep red, red, burgundy, royal blue, sky blue,
                                                                                                                                                                                black, white, grey, purple; fleeces – black,
         Independent publishers since 1885
                                                                                                                                                                                navy, royal blue, mid grey, bottle green and
 Conditions Editorial is accepted subject to availability of                                                                                                                    lava red.
 space, and editorial policy on content and insertion cannot
 be guaranteed. The publishers retain the right to edit                                                                                                                           Send orders with cheques payable to Save Our
 material submitted. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy                                                                                                                    Waterways; enquiries to: 36, Micklehome Drive,
 through accurate and clear copy, but the publishers cannot
 be held responsible for errors or omissions.                                                                                                                                   Alrewas, Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire DE13
                                                                                                                                                                                7AT. Enquiries for bulk discounts on 07747                                                                                                                                                    897782.
                                                               The boats begin to disentangle after the event. John Fletcher
                                                                                                                                    7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 3

David Suchet                                                                                                                                                           newsinbrief
                                                                                                                                                                        Dismay at BW pump
                                                                                                                                                                        out price hike

is on the case
CELEBRATED actor David Suchet OBE – a boat             was an enormous success and generated a lot of
                                                                                                                                                                        THE cost of BW pump-out cards in the South
                                                                                                                                                                        West region has risen from £6.30 to £12.10.
                                                                                                                                                                          “The increase is due to the increased price
                                                                                                                                                                        British Waterways pays to the electricity
                                                                                                                                                                        suppliers,” claims BW. “British Waterways is not
                                                                                                                                                                        adding any mark-up on this amount.”
owner since 1973 who makes a significant               media interest. The campaign, coupled with                                                                         The cost of electricity to BW has risen from
contribution to the conservation of our                seeming support from Parliament in drawing up a                                                                  4.2p to 7.8p per kilowatt-hour.
waterways – was greeted by supporters                  Select Committee, is the beginning of a move to                                                                    A disgruntled boater said: “Justifying almost
holding placards when he arrived aboard the            recover the waterways from being Defra’s                                                                         doubling the price of a pump-out because a unit
cruiser Lexicon to support the Kingston-upon-          scapegoat.”                                                                                                      of electricity has gone up a few pence makes no
Thames protest held on and below Kingston                Mr Suchet is no stranger to the inland waterways                                                               sense – the extra charge would buy enough
Bridge.                                                and for many years was a ‘live-aboarder’. He bought                                                              electricity to run Blackpool illuminations.”
  Notwithstanding that the Thames was in flood         his first boat in 1973 and it was based on the River
and navigation discouraged, 34 boats braved the        Avon, strategically located for the National Theatre
conditions: largest among them was the passenger       at Stratford. With wife Sheila he lived aboard the                                                               Leeds rolls out trolley
paddle steamer Yarmouth Belle; smallest, a rubber
                                                       52ft narrowboat for six years. He has enjoyed boat
                                                       ownership and our waterways ever since – with a        David aboard the cruiser Lexicon reads his copy of        scheme
  David Suchet said: “The series of events organised   break only when his children were very young. Four     Towpath Talk. Georgina Franks                             BRITISH Waterways is backing a scheme to rid
on our rivers and canals this weekend kick-started     years ago David bought a Dutch barge that took 18                                                                Leeds' streets and waterways of abandoned
the national campaign by waterway user groups. It      months to convert; he spends as much time aboard       his high profile and love of boating and supported        shopping trolleys. The operation has already
                                                       as he can.                                             by his wife Sheila he is the ideal man to hold office     collected over 5500 trolleys since it began in
                                                         David does not take a political stand but works      in relevant organisations as listed: Thames Alliance      April 2006.
                                                       tirelessly on conservation projects as well as the     – Chairman; The Waterways Trust – Vice-President;           Leeds council is working in partnership with
                                                       campaign for free entry into waterway museums          Inland Waterways Association – Joint Vice-President       Trolley Collection Service (TCS) plc to collect
                                                       (see separate article, Waterways Trust AGM this        with wife Sheila; Lichfield & Hatherton Canals            abandoned trolleys off the streets and return
                                                       edition). David believes deeply in the importance of   Restoration Trust – Vice-President; Wendover Arm          them to their owners – the supermarkets.
                                                       preserving our waterways and their heritage. With      Trust – Patron.                                             Residents can report an abandoned trolley to
                                                                                                                                                                        TCS by contacting 01392 882210. Many of the
                                                                                                                                                                        city’s supermarkets have signed up to the
                                                                                                                                                                        service so that they can recover their shopping
                                                                                                                                                                        trolleys quickly and avoid paying a fine. By
                                                                                                                                                                        working this way, the costs of the service are
                                                                                                                                                                        picked up by the supermarket and not the

                                                                                                                                                                        Montgomery Canal
                                                                                                                                                                        THE Friends of the Montgomery Canal are always
                                                                                                                                                                        interested in any old photos or memories of the
                                                                Kingston event                                                                                          Montgomery Canal. The Montgomery Canal
                                                        organiser Louis Jankel                                                                                          stretches from near Newtown, Montgomeryshire,
                                                        heads his boat Madam                                                                                            to Welsh Frankton in Shropshire and must hold
                                                           up stream with the                                                                                           many memories of years gone by to the older folk
David and Sheila Suchet join the protest at                SOW banner in full                                                                                           of the area. If you can help please contact Freda
Kingston-upon-Thames. Georgina Franks                   sight. Georgina Franks                                                                                          Davies on 01938 552817.

G’day UK – We’re with                                                                                                                                      Fast becoming the

                                                                                                                                                           TALK OF THE
you all the way                                                                                                                                            TOWPATH
                                                                                                                                                           ! 1,000’s of items in stock
                                                                                                                                                           ! Bargains galore
                                                                                                                                                           Stock includes: Cookers - Hobs -
                                                                                                                                                           Sinks - Fridges - Bath - Inverters -
                                                                                                                                                           Chargers - VHF’s - Toilets - Heaters
                                                                                                                                                           and lots of Pumps
                                                                                                                                                                  IF IT’S AVAILABLE
                                                                                                                                                                - WE CAN SUPPLY IT
                                                                                                                                                          ! Mooring & Yacht Services
                                                                                                                                                          ! 20 Ton Travel Lift
                                                                                                                                                          ! Maintenance, Repairs, Painting, etc.
                                                                                                                                                          ! 2,000 sq. ft. Chandlery

Members of the Australian Canal Society protest against the cuts to British Waterways budget beside
Circular Quay with the Harbour Bridge as a backdrop.

IN soaring temperatures, members and                   enthusiasts around the world. Banners and
                                                                                                                                                            Tel/Fax: 01405 765737
friends of the Australian Canal Society rallied        placards carried the message of love for the
by Sydney Harbour on 25 November in                    waterways and the importance of tourism to                                                       Albert Street, Goole DN14 5SY
support of the British Save Our Waterways              Britain. Among the group was Ken James,
                                                                                                                                                      (On the Aire & Calder, first marina on right from Goole
campaign. Under blue skies and grateful for a          descendant of William James, who was
                                                                                                                                                       Port. By road, easy access between Doncaster & Hull,
gentle sea breeze, they gathered against the           responsible for the completion of the Stratford
                                                                                                                                                                         2m from J36, M62)
backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and              Canal. Also present were expats from the UK who                                                                                                    VI298861L

Opera House to protest the funding cuts to                                                                               International Paints
                                                       added enthusiastic support. The gathering was
British inland waterways.                              organised by Jan Roden, President, Australian             NEW Major Stockist
 They were excited to open the batting for canal       Canal Society.
4 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                         

                                                                               Thurmaston Lock on the
                                                                               Grand Union on the                THURMASTON
                                                                               outskirts of Leicester,
                                                                               where the local branch of
                                                                               the IWA was well represented by (from left) vice-
                                                                               chairman, John Evans, who also organised the
                                                                               Loughborough event; members Pat and Terry
                                                                               Hind, secretary David Hastie, stalwart supporter
                                                                               Freda Hales and branch member and local                                                                                   ORTH
                                                                               archivist Tony Grocock. Harry Martin                      The crowds gather at the Bugsworth event.                  BUGSW
                                                                                                                                         Mark Heywood

                                                                               Round up of events
The lovely dog Lucy sported a protest vest at Kingston. Georgina Franks
                                                                                                     Compiled by Keith Langston. This is a brief round up of some of the
                                                                                                               hundreds of highlights from ‘Action Weekend’.
                                                                                                            They are listed in no particular order of preference.

                                                                               GLOUCESTER Docks No one will mind if             Shelia Suchet were among the protestors        Middlewich Branch. Little Venice London
                                                                               this venue is singled out for having the         and David addressed the large crowd of         BBC, ITV, The Press Association and local
                                                                               most illustrious campaigner present. Take        onlookers. Ware The Town Crier turned out      media representatives all attended this
                                                                               a bow that wonderful lady Sonia Rolt; the        in support of the protesters and the           high profile event. Murad Qureshi, a
                                                                               tireless activist spoke to the TV crews          blockade was a complete success. Among         Greater London Assembly member and
                                                                               much to the delight of the watching crowd.       the craft were a traditional coracle and two   chairman       of     London    Waterways
                                                                               Leicester IWA event had to contend with          Dutch Barges. Thrupp Weather conditions        Commission visited and gave his support
                                                                               closed locks and ‘red light’ conditions due      were atrocious but the event on the Oxford     to the campaign. Manchester Castlefields
                                                                               to torrential rainwater swelling the River       Canal was hailed as a complete success.        BBC1 attended and News 24 took regular
                                                                               Soar. However many supporters got there          Rickmansworth Fifty boats blockaded the        feeds from the event including an
                                                                               on foot. Birmingham attracted a great deal       canal and local MP David Gauke made an         interview with organiser Graham Bridge.
                                                                               of media attention including the                 encouraging speech. Peter Mazillious, who      Mathew Corbett (of Sooty fame), a canal-
                                                                               attendance of Lord Rooker, Minister of           has a scale model canal in his garden at       side resident and IWA member, was also in
David Gauke, MP for South West Hertfordshire was in                            State at Defra. The amount of attractive         Batchworth Lock, fashioned a blockade          attendance. Stoke Bruerne Over 150
attendance at the Rickmansworth event on Saturday.       RICKMANSWORTH         SoW ‘wear’ being paraded earned the              upon it. Bugsworth The attractive basin        protestors and some 40 boats toughed it
Perceptive Images                                                              event the sub title ‘SoW Clothes Show’; it is    was packed with boats, many passers-by         out in driving rain. However their blockade
                                                                               this Christmas’ ‘must have’ apparel! The         signed the petition and several boats          was a complete success. Skipton This, the
                                                                               Anderton Boat Lift event attracted the           sported banners. Chester The historic          northern-most event, was a great success
                                                                               attention of the BBC who interviewed             narrowboats Gifford and Radiant journeyed      and attracted good media coverage. The
                                                                               Christine Thompson of the Trent & Mersey         to the city from their base at the National    Boaters Christian Fellowship and IWA
                                                                               Canal Society. Banbury Christmas                 Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port, in support of     Northumbria visitors helped to swell the
                                                                               shoppers in the town centre were among           the blockade that was attended by city MP      numbers. Last but not least It is the stuff
                                                                               those who signed the petition, attracted by      Christine Russell. Hatton The severe           that good yarns are made of, but also your
                                                                               the official Town Crier. Bulborne saw those      weather brought down a tree which for a        worst nightmare. A bomb in the cut! Well
                                                                               all important ‘users’, canoeists, supporting     short while impeded the movement of            not really, but a WWII hand grenade was
                                                                               the boaters. Devizes attracted over 50           boats. BW cleared the obstacle quickly and     discovered in the Grand Union canal
                                                                               boats to their event that was followed by        the event was visited by a large number of     towards Harefield and, until the bomb
                                                                               an evening party with live music from            supporters including West Midlands MEP         squad had made it safe, boats were
                                                                               ‘Tinkers Bag’. Foxton The campaigners put        Phillip Bushill-Mathews. Goring The river      prevented from travelling to the
                                                                               on a splendid show for the cameras of BBC        blockade was achieved by eight boats and       Rickmansworth event. If your event was
                                                                               East Midlands. The bottom Basin was full         60 protestors despite the Thames being in      omitted accept our apology in advance as
                                                                               of boats displaying banners. Kingston            flood condition. Middlewich A well-            these were the reports to hand as we went
                                                                               upon Thames A flotilla of 30 boats paraded       supported demonstration with 25 craft          to press
                                                                               through Kingston Bridge despite the near         took place in poor weather at the junction       With thanks to Julie Arnold IWA for her
  BUGSWORTH                                                                    flood conditions of the river. David and         of the Trent & Mersey and Shroppie             valued input to this item.
                    It was not only
                    boaters who wanted
                    to make their voices
                    heard. Roger Olver

                                             United in battle! (l to r) IWA
                                             Birmingham joint organiser Ivor Caplan,
                                             Mike Stevens SOW committee and
                                             webmaster, Vaughan Welch IWA Birmingham
                                             joint organiser. Perceptive Images                                       DEVIZES

                                                                                                                   Above and right:
                                                                                                                Devizes Wharf was
                                                                                                             blockaded by 52 boats
                                                                                                                  taking part in the
                                                                                                                    national protest
                                             The Black Country Living Museum working boats head off              against the cuts to
                                             in tandem to become lead boats in the successful blockade          BW’s funding from
                                             of the Birmingham Main Line. Perceptive Images                        Defra. Bob Naylo
                                                                                                    7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 5

                                                                                                                                          Canal Trust stops
                                                                                                                                          selling cards
                                                                                                                                          THE K&A Canal Trust shops and tearooms have
                                                                                                                                          stopped selling pump-out cards.
                                                                                                                                            Ken Allen, the managing director of K&A Trust
                                                                                                                                          Enterprise, said: “We and many other traders on
                                                                                                                                          the canal have stopped selling BW pump-out
                                                                                                                                          cards because along with the price rise they have
This image from Bulborne                                The Great Blockade of Ware, Herts, was upstream of                                reduced our commission on sales to less than 30p.
stresses the fact that all           BULBOR             the road bridge of Ware, The 'town crier' pictured is                               “This would mean that we would make a loss
waterway users could be                                 John Shacklock, Secretary IWA Lee & Stort Branch.                                 on credit card or cheque sales.”
affected by the cuts. Perceptive Images                 John Shacklock                                                                      At the K&A Canal Partnership meeting in
                                                                                                                                          November members of the K&A Trade Association
                                                                                                                                          tackled BW South West general manager, Ian
                                                                                                                                          Jarvis, over the matter and he has promised to
                                                                                                                                          assess the situation and report to them.

                                                                                                                                          Marina plan for
                                                                                                                                          Wolverton canal
                                                                                                                                          A NEW marina is part of plans to revitalise
                                                                                                                                            The Milton Keynes Council’s Wolverton Area
                                                                                                                                          Action Plan was formulated to revive the town
                                                                                                                                          after the decline of its manufacturing industry.
                                                                                                                                          It aims to regenerate the area while
                                                                                                                     GLOUCESTER           maintaining its heritage roots.
                                                                                                                                            The marina development would be ‘a showcase
                                                                                                                                          and provide a unique waterside/cultural
                                                                                                                                          experience for the residents of Wolverton’.
                                                                                                                                            Consultation on the plan will run until 12
                                                                                                                                          December. The plans can be viewed online at
                                                                                                                                 or email
Settings like this are worth demonstrating for. W Chapman

                                                                                                                                          Canal wall repairs in
                                                                                                                                          WORK began to strengthen a 50-metre section
                                                                                                                                          of waterway wall on the Grand Union Canal in
                                                                                                                                          Stockley Park between Rigby Lane Bridge and
                                                                                                                                          Dawley Road Bridge in late November.
                                                                                                                                            The towpath will be closed along this stretch
                                                                                                                                          throughout the works, which are expected to
                                                                                                                                          take eight weeks. Notices at either end will
                                                                                                                                          provide information on an alternative route. The
                                                                                                                                          project is being funded by British Waterways
                                                                                                                                          and will cost £90,000.

                                                                                Above: The assembled
                                                                                crowd at Gloucester                                                  BESPOKE HAND CRAFTED NARROWBOAT EXCELLENCE

                                                     HAWKESBURY                 were treated to
                                                                                notable speeches from
                                                                                David Drew, MP for
                                                                                                                         TONY GALLIMORE
                                                                                                                                         BESPOKE HAND CRAFTED NARROWBOAT EXCELLENCE
Around 1000 visitors witnessed the blockade in the                              Stroud; IWA                                                                                 BOATS
bottom basin with the vast majority adding their                                Chairperson for
names to the burgeoning petition list. J Colledge                               Gloucester and
                                                                                Hereford; Julia Hones;
                                                                                Bruce Hall MBE,                     We currently have a range of
                                                                                chairman of the
                                                                                Cotswold Canal Trust;
                                                                                IWA vice-president
                                                                                                                    4 widebeam craft on offer
                                                                                Sonia Rolt; Martin                   A LUXURY DOUBLE-CHINED MOTOR CRUISER
                                                                                Whiteside from Stroud                from 45’ up to 70’ in length and 12’ beam, offered with
                                                                                District Council; and
                                                                                                                     full Vetus hydraulic package (bow thruster, steering,
                                                                                Stan Waddington,
                                                                                                                     windlasses), suitable for serious river cruising and living
                                                                                member for
                                                                                environment from
                                                                                                                     aboard and certified to ‘category c or d’ depending on
                                                                                Gloucester County                    specification. Built to any stage of completion.
                                                                                Council. Clive Field, the            A LUXURY WIDEBEAM ‘NARROWBOAT’ STYLE
                                                                                Chairman of the
                                                                                                                     vessel, suitable for living aboard. 55’ to 70’ length, 10’6”
                                                                                Gloucester and
                                                                                                                     beam, to your own specification.
                                                                                Sharpness Canal and
                                                                                River Severn Users                   A LUXURY ALL-STEEL MOTOR CRUISER
                                                                                Forum who acted as                       40’ length and 12’6” beam with inboard diesel
                                                                                MC. Christina Ruth                       engine, bathing platform and raised cockpit, fully
                                                                                                                         bespoke interior in a choice of timbers and epoxy
                                                                                                                         paint finish. Certified to ‘category c.’
Above: The canal was
well and truly blocked                                                                                                    A LUXURY DUTCH LUXEMOTOR
at Hawkesbury.                                                                                                           from 43’ to 70’ length and 13’ beam, fitout and
Hugh Baton                                                                                                               equipment similar to above.

                                                                                                                         PLUS ALL THE STYLES OF
                                                                                                                         HIGH-CLASS BESPOKE NARROWBOATS
                                                                                                                         WE HAVE BECOME WELL KNOWN FOR
                                                                                                                         All the above vessels are built to order, to any stage
                                                                                                                         of completion and come fully CE marked by the
      ANDERTON                                                                                                                                                                                    TO299051L

                                                                                                                          TEL: 02476 641762
 Right: The towpath at                                                                                                    FAX: 02476 372167
    Anderton above the                                                                                          
 lift. Perceptive Images
6 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                              

Free Trust
to realise
       It really does seem that the buzzword around the
      waterways these days is funding; the main topic of
       conversation at the recent Waterways Trust AGM                                     The Waterways Trust has now adopted the collective title(s) National Waterways Museum followed by the location ie
     certainly followed that trend, reports Keith Langston                                Ellesmere Port, Gloucester or Stoke Bruerne. A £2-million refurbishment has just been completed at Ellesmere Port.
                                                                                          Keith Langston

AS prestigious venues go, the               Karen Moore the ‘Trust’s’ Head of             a corridor away discussing the need to        that aim they have recently spent a cool     Revolution and today they have a new
hallowed halls of the Palace of             Development in Scotland gave the              defend our sovereignty by massively           £2-million      on      an     impressive    lease of life, used for pleasure and
Westminster must rank among the             meeting an enlightening overview of           increasing spending on what is                refurbishment scheme at Ellesmere Port.      recreation. But because the National
most impressive. The ‘Trust’ was            activities north of the border. Her           euphemistically termed ‘our nuclear             The Waterways Trust is, along with         Waterways Museum is not free like our
privileged to hold their 14th annual        department’s efforts were rightly             deterrent’. Those same public servants        the inland waterways, part of the            other national museums, so many
meeting on Thursday 23 November             commended by the CE, and they were            are also well aware of the staggering         nation’s tourist industry. Such visitor      people are being deprived of the
2006 in Committee Room 14 of the            offered as a template for others to           cost of maintaining our military              attractions are of course competing in a     knowledge of their importance to our
House of Commons. That was at the           work to.                                      presence in the so-called flashpoints of      free market for a share of people’s          nation’s history and their continuing
invitation of Andrew Miller MP, who           The ‘Trust’ is not backward at              the modern world. For worthy                  disposable income. Simply speaking           contribution to life today.”
is a labour member representing             promoting commercial activities and           organisations like the WT perhaps the         there is a great deal of visitor choice,       Mr Suchet also noted that the
the constituency of Ellesmere Port          under the guidance of their                                                                         and accordingly the public now       Government’s policy on free-entry for
and Neston.                                 enthusiastic           Commercial                                                                   demands value for money.             national museums has been a
  The funding connection. Sufficient to     Director, Bruce Strachan, they are     In the eyes of many observers, the                           Attractions have to attract          resounding success, with 34-million
say that the Waterway Trust’s current
major sponsor is the possibly soon to be
                                            actively growing that segment of
                                            their operation. If funds from
                                                                                   ‘Trust’ now simply needs to build                            families.
                                                                                                                                                  The WT management has
                                                                                                                                                                                     visits being made to these museums last
                                                                                                                                                                                     year alone. He concluded: “And it is my
‘cash-strapped’ British Waterways           central government are to be               on those solid foundations.                              identified what it sees as a big     ambition for the National Waterways
organisation.      British     Waterways    restricted (albeit via BW or                                                                        obstacle in the way to               Museums to be able to open their doors
afforded the WT monetary support for        otherwise) the ‘Trusts’ commercial            future watchwords will have to be ‘self       expanding their visitor share. They          free of charge, so they too can realise
the trading period 2005/2006 up to a        activities will become a crucial factor in    help’ and lots of it!                         currently have to charge admission           their full potential.”
level of almost £0.9-million.               maintaining their wellbeing and                 In a similar way to their major             prices at their three sites, something         The Trust is calling for just £450,000 pa
  There were over 100 delegates             possible growth. Any visitor will see that    sponsors, the Waterways Trust will need       which they see as being unfair               from government to enable it to open
welcomed to Westminster by Andrew           the ‘museums’ (and what a turn-off that       a secure and steady stream of funding in      competition, now that most other             the museums free of charge. Evidence
Miller – a great supporter of inland        word is to most youngsters) have been         the future, in the present climate it looks   ‘museums’         (following       earlier   has shown that such a move would
waterways in general, Waterways Trust       attractively laid out and are very            increasingly likely that they will need to    government legislation) are able to offer    enable them to double visitor numbers
in particular and a good friend to the      definitely visitor friendly. In the eyes of   generate a bigger proportion of it            ‘free entry’. The ‘Trust’ does not at        within two years.
National Waterways Museum Ellesmere         many observers, the ‘Trust’ now simply        themselves. There are of course many          present qualify under the ‘free museum         The Patron of the Waterways Trust is
Port. Another currently used set of         needs to build on those solid                 ‘funding pots’ both British and European      entry for all scheme’ a fact that their      HRH Prince of Wales. The Trust employs
buzzwords is ‘social inclusion’ an          foundations.                                  but the pressure on all of them increases     management team say they are striving        around 75 persons incorporating staff at
activity with which The Waterways             It is a sobering thought that while the     year on year, while the income to them        hard to change. Chief Executive Roger        their three museum sites, head office and
Trust     expertly    illustrated   their   delegates sat within the Palace of            struggles to keep pace.                       Hanbury is confident that given the          including their regional representatives.
association.                                Westminster reviewing a year in the life        One way of increasing income is by          facility of free entry, which of course      They have a nine-person Museums
  They are actively concerned with          of the Waterways Trust those elected to       growing visitor numbers to their              comes with a proportionate annual            Management Board and a seven-person
many community-based projects and           look after the nation’s security were just    attractions, indeed as a part of achieving    government grant, they would then            Board of Advisors to the Trust in Scotland.
                                                                                                                                        have a greater chance of increasing          Their full-time executive staff currently

  John set to concentrate on
                                                                                                                                        income from ‘on-site’ commercial             numbers nine professionals headed by
                                                                                                                                        activities. There are reportedly many        Roger Hanbury who is based at Llanthony
                                                                                                                                        recent examples of such successes            Warehouse, Gloucester Docks. At this
                                                                                                                                        throughout the UK.                           time the post of general manager at the
                                                                                                                                          The ‘Trust’ is fortunate in having no      National Waterways Museum Ellesmere

  his lifelong ambition
                                                                                                                                        less than five active and high profile       Port is vacant.
                                                                                                                                        vice-presidents who all have in the past       Chairman of the 12 trustees is Frances
                                                                                                                                        worked to promote their aims and             Done CBE – a lady with the most
                                                                                                                                        aspirations – namely Paul Atterbury,         impressive CV. She will long be
                                                                                                                                        John Craven, Sonia Rolt, David Suchet        remembered for her role as Chief
                                                                                                                                        and Timothy West, two of whom                Executive of the highly successful
                                                                                                                                        attended at the AGM. They were the           Manchester 2002 (The Commonwealth
                                                                                                                                        greatly respected Sonia Rolt and the         Games). Mrs Done, who hails from the
                                                                                                                                        super-supportive        and     extremely    North West of England, is currently
                                                                                                      Frances Done, chairman            eloquent David Suchet.                       Managing Director Local Government
                                                                                                      of the Waterways Trust,             In an address to the meeting, Mr           with the Audit Commission. During an
                                                                                                      seen with John Fletcher,          Suchet      delighted     delegates     by   accomplished         career     in    local
                                                                                                      IWA chairman, on the              remarking: “This (said while making a        government she served on Manchester
                                                                                                      occasion of a                     circular motion with his hand towards        City Council and thereafter became
                                                                                                      presentation to him of            the impressive interior of meeting           Chief Executive of Rochdale Borough
                                                                                                      an original 1839 plan of          room 14) is a great set!” He added,          Council.
                                                                                                      the reservoir, which was          somewhat tongue-in-cheek that on his           She retired from politics in 1988 and is
                                                                                                      built to feed the                 return to location filming he would          an ex-board member of the Manchester
                                                                                                      Manchester Bolton &               have to ‘talk with the designers as          Ship Canal Company. She was once
                                                                                                      Bury Canal. The                   their past (make believe) efforts to         described by a member of the financial
                                                                                                      presentation was to               create ‘this place’ fell a little short of   sector press corps as being both a
                                                                                                      mark his retirement as a          being the real thing’. Mr Suchet did         ‘woman to watch and a smooth
                                                                                                      trustee of the                    however have a very important                operator’. Listing among her hobbies ‘a
                                                                                                      Waterways Trust an                message to impart to the delegates, as       love of cruising the inland waterways’
                                                                                                      organisation that John            he was charged with launching the            this impressive lady is an excellent
                                                                                                      served from August                ‘Trust’s’ new initiative. Accordingly, the   choice of chairperson. With Frances
                                                                                                      2000 until November               popular      actor     and     waterways     Done’s steady hand on the tiller, the
                                                                                                      2006. In addition to his          enthusiast launched a campaign for           Waterways Trust can at least face any
                                                                                                      time-consuming role               government to fund free of charge            stormy waters they may in the future
                                                                                                      with the IWA John will            access for all to the National               encounter with confidence.
                                                                                                      now concentrate on                Waterways Museums.                             If you wish to receive a copy of
                                                                                                      helping to achieve his              Mr Suchet said: “Never has it been so      Waterways Trust           detailed     and
                                                                                                      lifelong ambition, the            important that all children and adults       informative annual review entitled
                                                                                                      reopening of the                  should be aware of our extraordinary         People Love The Water contact them at
                                                                                                      Manchester Bolton &               past and our position in world history.      The National Waterways Museum,
                                                                                                      Bury Canal.                       Museums provide this knowledge. The          Gloucester: 01452 318200 or visit the
                                                                                                                                        waterways were vital to the Industrial       website
                                                                                                                                                         7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 7

Bigger basin opens at Loughborough                                                                                                                                                               newsinbrief
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Narrowboats now a
IT took a fair-few weeks longer to complete                                                                                                                                                       national Icon
than predicted, but British Waterways has                                                                                                                                                         NARROWBOATS are the latest English Icons to
now completed its promised bigger canal                                                                                                                                                           have been voted for by the public alongside
basin, so near – and dear – to the heart of                                                                                                                                                       Winnie-the-Pooh, Westminster Abbey, Rolls-
Leicestershire’s largest market town, reports                                                                                                                                                     Royce and the stiff upper lip. The project to
Harry Martin.                                                                                                                                                                                     identify the Icons of England, which launched in
   And that was made official on Thursday 23                                                                                                                                                      January and was commissioned by Culture
November at 11am, when a narrowboat chugged up                                                                                                                                                    Online, a part of the Department for Culture,
the Soar Navigation and slid smoothly alongside a                                                                                                                                                 Media and Sport, now includes 74 official Icons
pontoon, where she was greeted by a quartet of                                                                                                                                                    of England. The Icons provide an insight into
professionals who had been instrumental in                                                                                                                                                        the cultural heritage uniquely important to life
making it all happen.                                                                                                                                                                             in England and the people who live there. For
   The bigger basin now provides a 25-metre winding                                                                                                                                               further information visit:
hole and mooring slots for six boats. When the
overall project is completed, it will also include a
shower and toilet block and a pump-out station as                                                                                                                                                 Cash boosts restoration
an extra bonus for boaters, an increasing number of
whom use this stretch of the popular East Midlands                                                                                                                                                THE Shropshire Union Canal Society has
Cruiseway.                                                                                                                                                                                        received a boost of £50,000 toward the cost of its
   As an appropriate prelude, one of the main                                                                                                                                                     latest project on the Montgomery Canal.
organisers of the annual Loughborough Canal and                                                                                                                                                     The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in
Boat Festival – set up 10 years ago as part of the                                                                                                                                                collaboration with British Waterways awarded
successful campaign to save the historic basin and                                                                                                                                                the cash. The project, expected to cost about
the surrounding wharf – Jo Swift with her husband                                                                                                                                                 £101,000, will see the restoration of the northern
Morris were invited to bring their beloved             (From left) William Davis Ltd’s managing director, Guy Higgins; Charnwood Borough Council leader,                                          section of Crickheath Wharf, near Oswestry, on
narrowboat, Helaire, from her berth at Barrow-upon-    Coun Max Hunt; British Waterways’ East Midlands general manager, Caroline Killeavy; and Jamie Crosby,                                      the dry section of the Montgomery Canal.
Soar to mark the occasion.                             contracts manager of UCS Civil Ltd haul Helaire into the Loughborough Basin.                                                                 The wharf is an important historical site, once
   Jo said: “We are delighted to have been invited                                                                                                                                                receiving large quantities of limestone, by mineral
to bring the first boat into the big new basin,        Caroline Killeavy; developer William Davis Ltd’s            William Davis Ltd and Bournston Estates.                                       tramway from Porthywaen Quarry, near Llynclys.
which so many people have worked so hard to            managing director, Guy Higgins; Charnwood                     William Davis is currently constructing a five and                             Work began in early November when
secure for posterity. It’s quite an honour and one     Borough Council leader, Coun Max Hunt; and Jamie            four-storey block, which will house 179 units of                               volunteers began clearing vegetation. After the
which we will never forget, nor all those other        Crosby, contracts manager of UCS Civil Ltd, which           student accommodation, with café bars and                                      winter break, volunteers will work on the site
people who did so much to save a part of               carried out the basin-widening work for BW.                 restaurants on the ground floor, and which is                                  on the first weekend of every month in 2007.
Loughborough’s heritage which, without their             The newly-widened canal basin and the                     scheduled for completion in August 2007.
efforts, could have been lost.”                        surrounding wharf – the history of which dates back           The second phase of the building development
   The arrival of Helaire – winner of the best-        more than 200 years, when it was Leicestershire’s           will consist of 35 private apartments and, together                            New Quay development
illuminated boat competition at this year’s hugely-    first inland port – is the focal point of a controversial   with public open space, walkways and seating area                              A NEW canal basin and more than 130
successful Loughborough Festival – was greeted by      £30-million development by BW, in conjunction               space, the bigger canal basin will occupy 66 per cent                          apartments are set to be created in a multi-
British Waterways’ East Midlands general manager,      with Loughborough-based builder and developer,              of the overall development site.                                               million pound development at the end of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Edinburgh to Glasgow canal link project.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Work     on     the    £35-million     housing

Caen Hill Flight: fragile handle with care                                                                                                                                                        development is due to start within the next few
                                                                                                                                                                                                  months. The scheme is a joint venture between
                                                                                                                                                                                                  housebuilder Mactaggart and Mickel and
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Edinburgh Quay Limited.
                                                         BW’s South West operations manager John Ward              replacing, but hopefully over a longer time span.                                The scheme will form a key part of what has
               by Bob Naylor                           told the User’s Group meeting that Lock 40’s new              “We could reduce the risk of gate failure by more                            been dubbed as Edinburgh's 'Little Venice' district
                                                       gates cost £25,000. The total cost was £40,000 and          careful boat handling.                                                         in Tollcross and Fountainbridge, which already
MYSTERY still surrounds the circumstances              BW is not able to claim against anyone.                       “It is a case of treat the gates with care and try to                        boasts apartments and a string of restaurants and
that led to a five-week stoppage during what             When the flight reopened, BW had lock keepers             ensure that other users do the same,” he concluded.                            bars as part of the Edinburgh Quay development.
should have been a peak time for the Caen Hill         supervising passage through Lock 38 – and a few
Flight – but there is general agreement that all       weeks later another stoppage was announced – this
is not well with many of the locks on the flight.      time for 10 days for those gates to be replaced.             TEL: 01535 605703
  Press reports that the lock was rammed by a            The K&A Canal Trust Hon Engineer, Mike Lee said:
‘mystery hit and run boater’ and damaged beyond        “The Caen Hill gates were made between 1987 and
                                                                                                                    FAX: 01535 606229
repair have been dismissed by canal users.             1989 and fitted by early 1990 – just in time for the
  At a K&A Users’ Forum in Devizes, Steve Rudd,        Queen’s visit.                                               EMAIL: SALES@PUFFERPARTS.CO.UK
who was on a boat at the bottom of the flight at the     “There were a number of deficiencies, some poor            WEBSITE:WWW.PUFFERPARTS.CO.UK
time of the stoppage, said: “We looked at the lock     quality oak being the main one and the fitting of
immediately after the stoppage and we could see        straps instead of steel caps on the mitre posts; a
no evidence of impact by a vessel.                     recipe for the start of rot.                                 Opening hours:
  “The lock gates were rotten and would have failed      “The normal life of a pair of timber gates is about        Monday-Friday 9-5 • Saturday 10-2
without being hit by a boat.”                          25 years. Unfortunately the Caen Hill bottom gates           CLOSED SUNDAYS AND
  After the stoppage was announced BW mounted          and all the Crofton Flight gates will not last that long     ALL BANK HOLIDAY WEEKENDS
a rescue mission to crane out six stranded boats       as serious rot is developing in the timber and they
and take them by lorry to Bradford-on-Avon.            will all need replacing within the next two to three         WHALE GULPER 220 SHOWER PUMP £128.00 OUR PRICE ............................................. £87.99
                                                                                                                    THETFORD C200 Swivel Toilet PRICE DOWN again at just................................................£188.00
  Some hireboats stayed and operated from Devizes      years.
                                                                                                                    SHURFLO WATER PUMP 30 P.S.I. 10 LITRE/MIN Ignition Protected..................................£49.99
until the flight reopened.                               “There are many other gates which also need                Shower Pumps we have 3 makes in stock from..........................................................................£55.99
                                                                                                                    3/8” Brass Curtain Rods 48” plus 2 ends and 1 middle pillar.......................................................£9.70
                                                                                                                    3/8” Brass Curtain Rod 54” plus 2 ends and 1 middle pillar......................................................£10.49
                                                                                                                    3/8” Brass Curtain Rod 36” plus 2 ends........................................................................................£7.99
                                                                                                                    White light with 16 LED’s surface mount, switched..................................................................£12.25
                                                                                                                    Inset as above current draw .1 amp/hour on both of these..........................................................£12.55
                                                                                                                    Single L.E.D. courtesy light - for steps etc...................................................................................£3.25
                                                                                                                    700gph Bilge pump 3⁄4” outlet ..................................................................................................... £16.99
                                                                                                                    Float switch too suit....................................................................................................................£12.99
                                                                                                                    Inlander 12/24v Fridge with stainless door...............................................................................£399.00
                                                                                                                    Inlander 12/24v Fridge with white door....................................................................................£360.00
                                                                                                                    Rule 500 gph bilge pump and float switch..................................................................................£35.99
                                                                                                                    JABSCO DE LUXE Macerator Toilet.......................................................................our price £424.99
                                                                                                                    30” x 24” heavy duty Fibreglass shower tray, still only..............................................................£74.50
                                                                                                                    Jabsco 11 litre min water pump .................................................................................................. £54.99
                                                                                                                    Multifuel stoves 3 makes in stock, from...................................................................................£275.00
                                                                                                                    6 different chimneys plus liners, coolie hats all in stock
                                                                                                                    Stove Kit - Reducer, Pipe, Cast Collar, Chimney and Coolie.....................................................£95.00
                                                                                                                    110 amp Leisure Battery COLLECT ONLY still ....................................................................... £48.99
                                                                                                                    All STERLING POWER PRODUCTS at 17% off Sterling List price YES 17%
                                                                                                                    We stock chrome lighting, Mushroom vents, Fender eyes etc
                                                                                                                    Brass Mushroom Vent only.........................................................................................................£19.85
                                                                                                                    A range of cookers at reduced prices also 4 burner Hobs 600 wide in Green to clear ............... £75.00
                                                                                                                    Lighting spares - bulbs, lenses etc in stock
                                                                                                                    NEW LED 4 (side pin) or 8 (back pin) LED Bulbs to fit G4 fittings...........................................£3.99
                                                                                                                    Ecofan from large and small, both in stock, from.......................................................................£74.99
                                                                                                                                       BESIDE THE LEEDS-LIVERPOOL CANAL near BRIDGE 197A
                                                                                                                                                If you are on the Leeds Liverpool why not call in!

                                                                                     Water leaking through
                                                                                     the middle of a mitre                             B OAT P ARTS AT P RICES TO P LEASE
                                                                                     post on Lock 28 by
                                                                                     Upper Foxhangers                                   EXCELSIOR WORKS, HALL TERRACE, RIDDLESDEN
                                                                                     Bridge in the Devizes                                  KEIGHLEY, WEST YORKSHIRE BD21 4HB
                                                                                     Flight.                                                              VAT REGISTRATION NUMBER 808 9673 83                                                              PU298730L
                                                                                     Bob Naylor
8 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                                

The mighty Thames
                                                       – a commercial highway

                                                                                                                                                                                                     River Thames freight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     One tug towing two
                                                                                                                                                                                                     barges with at least 20
                                                                                                                                                                                                     heavy goods vehicle
                                                                                                                                                                                                     loads of domestic
                                                                                                                                                                                                     waste in containers. All
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Keith Langston unless
                                                                                                                                                                                                     otherwise stated

                                                                                                                    In preparation for the 2012 games, the recently      to be at the southern end of the Prescott Channel,
    London 2012 is, as we all know, Olympic year for the UK in                                                    much maligned Defra agencies – British Waterways,      in the region of Three Mills Bridge.
                                                                                                                  the Environment Agency and Natural England – are         If all goes well, British Waterways hopes to be on
  general, and for London in particular. The capital’s mighty river                                               working together to develop the most sustainable       site by Feb/March 2007 with tidal ‘lock out’ achieved
 will play its part in both the massive constructional build up and                                               waterway restoration project possible. One of the      by the end of that year and the lock operational by
                                                                                                                  key proposals is to build a new lock and water         mid 2008, when the main Olympic construction
              the event proper, reports Keith Langston                                                            control structure on the River Lee above Bow Tidal     phase begins. Once the Olympics are over, as well
                                                                                                                  Locks to provide a means of allowing 350-tonne         as then being available as a centre for leisure
                                                                                                                  freight barges to deliver construction materials to    boating, the newly invigorated waterways could be
FOR hundreds of years the tidal reaches of the               London’s Olympic plans offer a unique                the Olympic Park site, and in the reverse direction    used to transport waste and recyclables from the
River Thames have been an important                        opportunity to restore the north east London area      remove the ‘spoil’ created by the building work.       new homes and businesses that will have been
highway for both freight and passenger traffic             known as the Bow Back Rivers and give them a             If British Waterways’ vision is allowed to come to   established in the area.
along almost all of its length and particularly            central role in the delivery of the Games and long     fruition, something in the region of 8000 tonnes of      There are other schools of thought however. Some
in bringing goods and commodities to and                   term ‘Legacy’ plans.                                   bulk construction materials could be transported       ‘Thames watchers’ would prefer a more ambitious
from Greater London.                                         British Waterways proposes maximising the use        daily to and from the Olympic Park by water, taking    scheme altogether, which envisages a much larger
  The former docklands adjacent to the city have, in       of the Bow Back Rivers for sustainable transport,      at least 800 lorry journeys off the congested roads    barrier (and lock) being erected across the tidal Bow
a large part, been converted into attractive modern        leisure, education and nature conservation. Making     of east London. That single environmentally sound      Creek itself, below the Bow Locks and before the
commercial and residential accommodation. The              these forgotten waterways fully navigable again        fact alone is reason enough for the project to be      creek’s confluence with the Thames. Either way the
river, which on more than one occasion in the past         presents one of the biggest opportunities in Britain   given the green light.                                 future for freight on the river is encouraging.
has been described as an open sewer, is now for the        to move commercial traffic on an inland waterway         The new lock would be in the region of 62mx8m          The international aggregates conglomerate Foster
main part clean and free from serious pollution. On        and provide a sustainable transport network for        with a waterway depth of around 2.4m and an air        Yeoman already uses the Thames/Medway waters
a bright sunny day the river, in truth, really does look   future generations. The Thames and Bow Back            draft of some 3m beneath bridges. There isn’t too      for the transportation of various grades of
like a golden thread running through the very heart        Rivers are of course connected to, and thus a part     much dredging to do, report the surveying              aggregate used extensively by the construction
of what many believe to be the world’s greatest city.      of, the UK’s inland waterways network.                 engineers, but there are lumps/debris that will need   industry, and to that end they have created a huge
                                                                                                                  to be removed from some locations on the now           ‘virtual quarry’ at Grain on the Medway. The
                                                                                                                  derelict and somewhat polluted watercourse. The        company has vast expertise in the transportation of
                                                                                                                  exact position of the proposed lock has not yet been   mineral products, a commodity ideally suited to
                                                                                                                  announced, but the favoured location would seem        being carried by boat or barge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Semoir is operated
                                                                                                                                                                                                     as a stores barge for
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the London passenger
                                                                                                                                                                                                     boats and static
                                                                                                                                                                                                     floating restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                     carrying booze, carpets,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     toilet rolls and
                                                                                                                                                                                                     anything that is
                                                                                                                                                                                                     difficult to deliver by
                                                                                                                                                                                                     road vehicles because
                                                                                                                                                                                                     of the parking
                                                                                                                                                                                                     restrictions and
                                                                                                                                                                                                     congestion charge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Semoir would be a
                                                                                                                                                                                                     suitable size vessel to
                                                                                                                                                                                                     go into the Prescott
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Channel if it is built to
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the present proposed
                                                                                                                                                                                                     dimensions so she
                                                                                                                                                                                                     could deliver liquid
The Foster Yeoman flagship Yeoman Bridge loading stone (aggregate) bound for London at Glensanda,                                                                                                    refreshments to the
on the west coast of Scotland. Foster Yeoman                                                                                                                                                         Olympic site!
                                                                                                                                       7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 9

                                                                                                                   High-speed commuter travel is a growing trade. Thames Clippers is the leading provider of commuter
                                                                                                                   passenger services on the River Thames, operating fast modern boats over the key central stretch of the
                                                                                                                   river between Central London at Savoy Pier, through Canary Wharf and on to Greenwich and now
                                                                                                                   beyond to Woolwich.

A tug pushing a barge loaded with aggregate upstream near St Katherine’s Wharf.
                                                                                                                                                  Holding fast, the 1060
                                                                                                                                                   horsepower tug Sea
                                                                                                                                                      Challenger II.

     Bow Tidal Lock.

  To their credit, the products forwarded from the      Bridge, a vessel that travels regularity between           present, containerised domestic waste/recyclable        river of aggregates is seen as being a key factor in
Grain facility utilise the water and the railways,      Glensanda and Grain.                                       products etc on barges propelled by tugs is             keeping future construction in London within
they do not just rely on the overcrowded roads of         The creation of a virtual quarry and building            thankfully a common sight, each voyage replacing        acceptable ecological boundaries. There is an
the south-east. The firm operates a fleet of ships,     material storage and transhipping site on one of           in excess of 20 heavy goods vehicles.                   estimated future shortfall of capacity in that area of
barges, tugs, and owns its own main line railway        the many currently unused Thames Quays would                 There are 28 riverside sites in London referred to    well over a million tonnes, and the report
locomotives and mineral wagons. The split of            be part of any plan Foster Yeoman and the Olympic          as Safeguarded Wharfs, and the office of the Mayor      comments accordingly on that fact – ‘The possible
transportation method of goods from Grain is            constructors may have in order to service the multi-       of London in consultation with the Port of London       implications to London of this anticipated shortfall
almost exactly one third by each type – water, road     million pound Olympic infrastructure building              Authority and the various riparian authorities has      in aggregates capacity should be closely monitored
and rail. In addition to its well-known Torr Works in   programme. Delta Wharf is currently used as such a         recently reviewed the future of those together with     and appropriate mitigation measures implemented
the Mendip Hills and other facilities nationwide,       facility.                                                  45 other sites downstream of the Thames Barrier.        if necessary’.
Foster Yeoman operates a vast and isolated quarry         With the water depth made constant by                    These are a summary of the findings.                      Waste recycling and disposal is one area where
complex at Glensanda, on the west coast of              separating the Bow Back Rivers from the tidal                Of the existing 28 Safeguarded Wharfs: 16             river traffic looks set to continue growing. Six sites
Scotland.                                               Thames, barge traffic will be able to ply between          operational and nine non-operational or road-           were specifically identified as being capable of
  From there, by using dedicated ship logistics, they   the designated storage area and the site. It may be        served wharfs are viable or capable of being made       being made viable to accommodate the growth in
deliver crushed rock aggregates throughout Europe       that, by using barges of a shallower draft than at         viable for cargo handling and should retain their       green industry operations or waste processing.
with the minimum environmental impact. The              present, the firm will be able to deliver direct from      safeguarded status. Three wharfs are no longer          Those sites were Convoys Wharf in Lewisham,
quarry is able to produce up to 15 million tonnes       their Grain facility.                                      viable for cargo handling and should be de-             Orchard Wharf, Peruvian Wharf, Debden Wharf in
per annum if worked to capacity, but currently            Whatever the outcome, if this ecologically sound         designated as Safeguarded Wharves. One wharf has        Barking and Dagenham, Manor Wharf/Borax Wharf
processes six million tonnes a year from a site that    approach is adopted, it would be good news for the         had its designation removed.                            in Bexley and Frog Island in Havering.
they claim has 150 years worth of reserves. The         hard-pressed road users of London. Furthermore,              Of the proposed Safeguarded Wharfs: 19                  As for the transportation of ‘people’, many
quarry has a 200-metre deep channel to the sea and      given enough lead time (and after all stone does not       operational and six non-operational or road-served      consider that London lags behind other world
a capacity to handle vessels with a draught of up to    go ‘off’), maybe a Thames-side virtual aggregate           wharfs are viable or capable of being made viable       cities in its degree of utilisation of river traffic for
14 metres. To that end the company has a fleet of       storage facility could see a resurgence in canal           for cargo handling and should be safeguarded by         both commuters and tourists. However, all that
self-discharging ships and they are the vessels         freight traffic with bulk deliveries made to the           direction of the Deputy Prime Minister. However, 19     could be about to change and the coming Olympic
which supply their strategically placed European        interior regions of the UK!                                of the proposed sites are not viable for cargo          Games could be the culmination of a Thames
‘Virtual Quarries’ while keeping the roads free of        There is still a fair amount of freight on the lower     handling.                                               renaissance – more about that in a future edition
hundreds of thousands of tonnes of road freight         reaches of the capital’s river, and even some regular        The continued and much increased shipment by          of Towpath Talk.
annually. The company’s flagship is the 97,000-         traffic into and to the north of the city itself, but of
tonne self-discharging bulk ore carrier Yeoman          course there is room for much, much more. At

                                                                                     The ‘not so pretty’
                                                                                     neglected River Lee (as
                                                                                     opposed to the Lee
                                                                                     Navigation) soon to
                                                                                     become part of the            Alan C Bennett & Sons Ltd Tug Sea Challenger II* nudges a 1615 cubic metre capacity (1000 ton) barge
                                                                                     Olympic Park                  alongside the Foster Yeoman loading facility at Grain on the Medway. * Alan C Bennett & Sons Ltd is
                                                                                     development.                  part of the Foster Yeoman Group.
10 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                                

A barge too far on K&A                                                                                                                            Mooring fees
A NEW boat owner’s nightmare
ordeal trapped for six hours under a
road bridge near Devizes has
prompted British Waterways to
review their published dimensions
                                                                                                                                                  are set to soar
                                                                                                                                                  LONG-term mooring fees for the 2007 boating season are set for an
for boats that can use the Kennet &                                                                                                               increase of around 10 per cent.
Avon Canal, writes Bob Naylor.                                                                                                                      Prices of BW-managed moorings are to increase by an average of 10.4 per
  Chris Evans had his solar-powered,                                                                                                              cent, while end-of-garden moorings will increase by an average of 11.1 per cent.
wide beam catamaran, Solaris, built by                                                                                                              Changes take effect from 1 April 2007 and a letter has been sent to BW’s long-
RLL Boats at Keynsham, to the maximum                                                                                                             term mooring customers advising them of the price changes.
dimensions that the Waterscape website                                                                                                              Sally Ash, BW’s head of boating development, said: “It’s important that our
and the charts for the Kennet & Avon                                                                                                              customers pay the local market rate for their mooring and again this year mooring
Canal said could navigate the canal.                                                                                                              sites have been reviewed on this basis.
  Chris said: “We had her built 13ft wide                                                                                                           “Demand for boating continues to exceed supply of available moorings, so
with a draught of 2ft 9in which we                                                                                                                making sure our prices are set at the right level is an important part of our
thought would give us plenty of margin                                                                                                            wider commitment not to unfairly under-cut the cost of private moorings.”
for error and we made the pontoons of the      Solaris, dwarfing narrowboats at Hilperton before travelling to be craned out at Widbrook            Mooring contracts are generally for 12 months and the price changes take
catamaran so that they could be flooded so     Marina, Bradford-on-Avon to complete its journey to Maidenhead by road. Bob Naylor                 effect from the customer’s first renewal following 1 April 2007. For some
that she would sit lower in the water to get                                                                                                      customers therefore the higher price will not be payable until March 2008.
under some of the lower bridges.”              to move enough to let other boats get by.       where they were craned out and taken                 Average mooring price increases for each of BW’s waterway units are as follows:
  They set off from Keynsham to take the       We wondered how they were going to fare         to Maidenhead by lorry.
boat to Maidenhead on the River Thames.        when they got to the bridge at Hilperton          Chris Evans praised BW staff for their                                            End of Garden                   BW Managed
  “We had a great journey from                 Marsh and, sure enough, they got stuck          help during the journey and said: “We                London                         12.4%                           6.7%
Keynsham to Bath – it was when we              under the bridge and had to bend down           loved the Kennet and Avon and we were                South West                     8.8%                            9.9%
started up the Bath flight of locks that       the control levers before they were able to     surprised at how receptive canal people              South East                     11.0%                           10.4%
things got interesting and although we         scrape under it.”                               are to new ideas. We would love to come              Central Shires                 5.7%                            12.2%
didn’t get stuck we touched the bottom           Chris added: “We finally met our              back – but not on this boat.                         East Midlands                  7.8%                            11.7%
regularly,” said Chris.                        Waterloo at Martinslade Road Bridge               “It was a great disappointment that we             West Midlands                  7.4%                            10.7%
  “All went reasonably well until we got       near Devizes. After being stuck there for       had to abandon the trip.”                            Wales & Border Counties        18.5%                           9.9%
to Hilperton where we ran aground.”            almost six hours we realised that we              Lucy Poulton of British Waterways said;            North West                     10.4%                           11.2%
  Spencer Collins of The Boatyard,             would have to admit defeat.”                    “We are now going to conduct a thorough              Yorkshire                      17.7%                           11.2%
Hilperton, said: “They were stuck fast for       When they finally got free, they              review of our published information,                 National average               11.1%                           10.4%
some time and eventually they managed          headed back to Bradford-on-Avon                 specifically looking at dimensions.”

Gold licence fee increases
THE price of a Gold licence, which gives              Bargees’ pub calls ‘time’                                                                                                    Funding secures
                                                                                                                                                                                   boats’ future
boats access to all of BW and EA
waterways, will increase by 9.7 per cent              A PUB that gave its name to a canal has seen its               success effectively brought about the demise of the
from 1 January 2007.                                  last pint pulled, reports Les Green.                           Runcorn & Latchford and much of ‘its’ bed was
  The revised rate reflects the 12 per cent             The Blackbear, situated by the side of the A50 in            incorporated in the new ship canal.
increase in EA licences from January 2007 and         Warrington on the main road out to the M6 and Knutsford,         The only part of the Runcorn & Latchford retained was       THE Windermere Steamboat Museum’s
the 2.7 per cent increase in BW licence fee from      is now boarded up and a ‘For Sale’ sign fixed outside, while   the stretch at the rear of the pub that linked the MSC at     collection has been secured with a
April 2007.                                           planners, developers and local residents deign to realise      Stockton Heath to the wharves on the non–tidal Mersey         £465,596 grant from the National Heritage
  Sally Ash, BW’s head of boating development,        the worth of the area’s rejuvenated waterways.                 at Howley Quay. Built to take the wide beam barges of the     Memorial Fund and will be cared for and
said: “When the price of the Gold Licence was           The ‘Blackbear canal’, correctly titled the Runcorn &        Mersey (normally called ‘flats’) the canal had only two       operated by the Lakeland Arts Trust.
originally introduced it reflected the average        Latchford canal, ran at the back of the pub and originally     locks, Manor Lock connecting with the river and Twenty          The trust has been working on a rescue project
costs of a 12-month licence for the boat’s ‘home’     linked the non-tidal Mersey at Latchford with Runcorn          Steps Lock connecting with the MSC. Barges were towed         with the Windermere Nautical Trust, which
waterway and the short term licences that             when that town was still a busy river port. It was built by    by small MSC tugs to Twenty Steps Lock and then horse         owns the boats. The boats, many of which sail
would otherwise be required to visit the other        the Mersey and Irwell Canal Company between 1799 and           drawn to the river over a distance of some 1 1/2 miles. The   on the lake and are in an interior ‘wet dock’, are
navigations plus an administrative charge.            1804, with the aim of eliminating the difficulties of          Blackbear was the only pub on the line of the canal.          in urgent need of further conservation.
  “In setting the increase for the Gold licence,      navigating the tidal stretches of the river below                The canal fell derelict by the early 60s and was              The Trust’s aim is to create a team of specialist
particularly in years like this when the              Warrington and therefore competing with the then newly         tragically the scene of the drowning of a local child; it     boat builders to restore the craft, creating a
increases being applied by each organisation          opened Bridgewater Canal. The Duke of Bridgewater, a           was eventually filled in and landscaped into a linear         centre of excellence in the field, interpret the
are very different, BW and EA have to ensure          shareholder in the parent company, strongly opposed its        park. Although the bargees no longer called, the pub          boats in a museum and continue to use them on
that the Gold licence does not become the             building but to no avail.                                      continued to trade successfully as a local to the people of   the lake.
lower cost option for a large number of                 The opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 was         the village of Latchford and for many years it was used         The boats were collected by George Pattinson a
boaters, thereby undermining the individual           a response to the growing demand for a navigation to           as headquarters for the famous Latchford Albion               local builder with a passion for the boating
organisations’ financial strategies.”                 take the largest vessels of the day into Manchester. Its       amateur rugby league team.                                    history of the Lake District.

Watch out for Waterworld                                 in the 2006 ITV News Group awards.                            Stories include features on historic boats, modern
              by Tony Hoyland                              This series will also mark the broadcast of               individual designs, a boat festooned with fairies, a
                                                         Waterworld in London’s ITV region for the first time.       live-aboard actor, and a hunt for water voles.
THE popular lifestyle series Waterworld, presented         Waterworld is a must for all those with an interest         Cameras follow the old working boat Vulcan
by Timothy West, returns to our TV screens in            in our waterways, their history, boating and its            through the Anderton Boat Lift, and explore the
January 2007.                                            associated lifestyle.                                       Bow Back Rivers of London, currently being restored
  The programme has been a firm favourite with             Central transmission of the 2007 series, shot in the      so that boats can transport millions of tons of
viewers since its launch by ITV Central in 1999 and      Midlands and London, begins Thursday 4 January at           building materials for the Olympic Games.
currently has an audience in excess of one million       7.30pm on ITV1. The 10 programmes run for 11                  Keith Wootton, series producer, said: “The series
in the Midlands region alone – a figure that tops        weeks, with a gap at week five. As Towpath Talk went        aims for a mix of lifestyle, leisure and history, with
that of many network programmes. The series was          to press it was expected that London transmissions          seamless transitions between the Industrial
also voted Popular Feature Programme of the Year         will run on Tuesdays at 7.30pm from mid-February.           Revolution and modern times.”
                                                                                                                       Keith believes one of the major reasons for the
                                                                                                                     show’s continued popularity is that viewers can
                                                                                                                     escape the modern ‘speed of life’, slow down, and
                                                                                                                     become absorbed in the tranquillity of the
                                                                                                                     waterways and the traditional way of life                 Timothy West’s passion for the waterways is the
                                                                                                                     associated with them.                                     bedrock of the Waterworld series.
                                                                                                                       “To escape the ‘rat race’ seems the most common
                                                                                                                     reason for buying a boat, or taking a waterways           to protect the Lichfield and Hatherton canals from
                                                                                                                     holiday,” Keith added. “The escape often involves         the M6 Toll motorway, and Terry and Monica
                                                                                                                     offloading the mortgage by selling the house, and         Darlington (along with whippet Jim) on their way to
                                                                                                                     buying a boat instead – especially in London, where       the south of France for their best-selling book,
                                                                                                                     the price of property makes even City moorings            Narrowdog to Carcassonne.
                                                                                                                     look cheap.”                                                Keith said: “Their entrance to Calais harbour gave
                                                                                                                       As a boater himself for more than 30 years,             us the most dramatic narrowboat sequence we’ve
                                                                                                                     Timothy West’s passion for the waterways is the           shot, riding the six-foot waves of a high-speed
                                                                                                                     bedrock of the series. Tim’s wife Prunella Scales,        Seacat. Narrowboats aren’t supposed to do that!
                                                                                                                     along with David Suchet, Pam Ayres, radio DJ Alex           “And our greatest challenge? Filming water voles.
                                                                                                                     Lester, and the late American soul singer Edwin           Everyone can tell you where they are, but they’re
                                                                                                                     Starr (who, to the surprise of many, lived                never to be seen when the cameras are rolling. This
                                                                                       Terry and Monica              overlooking the canal near Tamworth) are also             year, though, we’ve finally got them!”
                                                                                      Darlington brave a             among celebrities featured on the series.                   If you’ve missed Waterworld, tune into Discovery
                                                                                     Seacat wave at Calais.            The programme follows adventurous English               Real Time where episodes are currently being
                                                                                                                     Channel crossings with Chris Coburn, campaigning          repeated European wide.
                                                                                           7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 11

                                                                                                                                 Basin End, Chester Road,
                                                                                                                                Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8LB
                                                                                                                                      Tel: 01270 625122


                                                                                                                               SEE OUR MAIN AD. ON PAGE 30
Tel: Tina 01507 529436 or Amanda 01507 529443 Fax: 01507 529499

                                                                                                                                                Page 18

                                                                                                                                         Page 20-21


                                                                                                                                                Page 21

                                                                                                                                         Page 22-23

                                                                                                                                                Page 27
                                             Lily FMC 1914 Saltley iron Bolinder 20hp semi-diesel engine and Swallow C&C all
                                             steel 1934 Yarwoods returning northwards from Soulbury bottom lock. Jim Payler

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12 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                        

                                            We are now in the process of building a 57’ semi trad narrowboat.
                                                                                                                                                7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 13

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                                                  Priory Marina, Barkers Lane, Bedford MK41 9DJ
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   Lichfield    close     to   the                               privately owned marina we                                  include:
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14 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14           

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                                                                  KM299902L                                                                                          DA300273L


                                                                                  Call Martyn on                           07914 401 036

                                                                                                             Satellite Prices

                                                                               Sat Finder Kit    £50
                                                                                                         LCD & LCD/DVD TV’S
                                                                                                                  14” LCD TV £225
                                                                                                                  15” LCD TV £250
                                                                                                                  17” LCD TV £350
                                                                                                                 15” LCD/DVD £350
                                                                                                                                                          Digi Box
                                                                                                                 17” LCD/DVD        £450
                                                                               Satellite Dish £125               12 VOLT TV’S       POA                   £200
                                                                                             Fitting service at your location
                                                                                 To include cable, connectors and all leads, plus a demonstration
                                                                                          showing you how to set up your new system.                            £75
                                                                               Satellite Packages                PACKAGE 1       • Satellite Dish
                                                                                                                                 • Digi Box with own TV
                                                                                                                 £375.00         • Satellite Finder Kit
                                                                                                                                 • Satellite Dish
                                                                                                                 PACKAGE 2       • Digi Box
      8a Gibb Street, Long Eaton, Nottingham NG10 1EE                                                            £650      .00   • 15” LCD TV
                                                                                                                                 • Sat Finder Kit
           Tel: Lisa 0115 972 9333 or 07980 131987                                                               PACKAGE 3       • Satellite Dish
                                                                                                                                 • Digi Box

                                                                                                                 £725.00         • 17” LCD TV
                                                                                                                                 • Sat Finder Kit
                                                                                                    7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 15

   Boater buries head in sand!
Yes it’s true, we were
recently informed of
an experienced                                       A boat is a
boater who chose                                  huge investment
to ignore our                                     but can be totally
                                               protected from galvanic
offer of a free                               corrosion via Shorepower
information pack                                 Connection for only
and paid the price                                  £69.99!
in the form of
new props and
underwater fittings!
Request your free information pack on 01977 513607
or email:
Download information @ or
By post: Safeshore Marine, Millmoor House, Low Common, Methley,
                                                                                                     A solution to storing those items that take up all that valuable
Leeds LS26 9AF Yorks UK
                                                                                                               S P A C E on your Narrowboat.
 Boatbuilders / Chandlers / Manufacturers / Boating Clubs & Marinas                                 A Custom Made/Weatherproof/Storage Box that sits on the roof
Safeshore Marine 70 amp advanced galvanic isolators are available direct to                                                of your narrowboat!
trade at the UK’s most competitive prices ... please phone or email for
quantity discounts and trade sales.
Fitting a galvanic isolator to your steel/grp/wooden boat or yacht takes about 30 minutes and
is probably the best accessory money can buy. It will protect your vessel and investment and
will provide year on year protection. Ask your surveyor now!

                                                                                                    Top Box comes in two standard sizes. Enquire at your local chandlery
                                                                                                       alternatively call/text 07791 992479 or email
              Don’t be an Ostrich!                                                                                          for your nearest stockist.
                                                                                                       07791 992479 or

                                                            Thermal & Acoustic Insulation                                                  Authorised Distributor

   Do you want to be:                                                                                               If the answer is “Yes”
   Warm and comfortable on cold, damp days and nights?                                                              then choose ThinsulateTM Insulation
   Free from condensation that leads to mould and mildew?                                                           to achieve that all important -
   Cooler and more comfortable on those hot summer days?
   Free from unwanted and obtrusive noise such as traffic and neighbours?                                           “Cabin Comfort”
                                                                                                              Spray         Mineral      Polystyrene ThinsulateTM
                                                                                                              Foam           Fibre
                                                                                          Thermal               ✔             ✖                ✔               ✔
                                                                                          Sound                 ✖             ✔                ✖               ✔
                                                                                          Hydrophobic           ✔             ✔✖               ✔               ✔
                                                                                          Non toxic             ✖             ✔                ✖               ✔
                                                                                          Easy to use           ✖              ✖               ✖               ✔
                                                                                          Recyclable            ✖              ✖               ✖               ✔
                                 Diverse Marine Solutions Ltd, Premium House,
                                 Hambridge Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5SS,
                                 Phone: 01635 47894, Fax: 01635 580176
                                 Web: e-mail:                                                                                            DI299890L
16 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14              

     Special Offers this month...                                                        All prices include VAT
  Buy any multifuel stove from stock and get a                             Whale gulper shower pump........................ £94.95
  fitting kit inc. Collar, Flue pipe, 12” Chimney,                         Thetford C200 toilet 12v ............................. £195.00
  Coolie Hat, Adaptor & Sealer for.................£80.00 Shower mixer set complete ........................ £43.95
  Morso squirrel stove no boiler..................£409.00 Jabsco 290par-max water pumps 25PSI.....£49.95
  Stovax Brunel multifuel stove...................£405.00 RULE bilge pumps from................................£11.49
                                                                           12 gallon twin coil calorifier inc. pressure
  ECOFAN warm air stove fan ......................... £75.00
                                                                           release valve ................................................. £208.00
  3x1kg fire extinguishers & blanket............. £60.00 Stoves DIT500 cooker stainless steel only
  Anodes Special 1.5kg.......................................£9.90 .........................................................................£395.00
  Offer 2.5kg.......................................................£16.95 Ranger 4 cu ft fridge 12/24 volt white.....£360.00
  96 amp starter battery..................................£40.00 Sterling 1800w inverter...............................£275.00
  30” brass tiller tube with handle & pin.......£21.50 Galvanic isolator 30 amp...............................£64.50
  Eisan loo blue 4 litre size buy 2 for.............£15.00
                                                                                                   The staff at
  Heavy brass 4” mushroom vent.................. £17.60                                  Lime Kiln Chandlery wish all of
  12” Double skin chimney..............................£29.00                               their customers Seasons

  6 Bridgnorth Road, Compton (on A454), Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV6 8AA,
                        On Bridge 59 - Staffs & Worcs Canal
       Phone (01902) 751147 or Fax (01902) 753853 | Ask for Dave or Carol Elwell

            All prices correct at time of going to print. Most items available on next day carrier.
                                    Contact us for discount on larger orders                                                                     LI298573L
                                                                                                                                             7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 17

Winterising your boat                                                                                                                                                               Splicing a loop

                                                                                                                    number and capacities. Check that your
                 In part three of his series, Nigel Beckett explains how                                            extinguishers are not dented or gouged and that
                  paying attention to minor detail now can save time                                                any gauge still indicates that the extinguisher is
                                                                                                                    serviceable. Ensure that the safety pin is still in
                             come the new boating season                                                            position.
                                                                                                                                                                                 What you will need....
IN part two of Winterising Your Boat, we                 for fixing fenders should be examined for security.        G Horn, Running Lights, Bilge pumps. These items
considered the LPG system and in earlier                                                                            should be functionally tested on the shakedown trip.
articles, we looked at the electrical systems            G The hull. All cleats, fairleads and rails should be      Bilge pumps should be checked to ensure that they
aboard a boat. Actually many boaters have the            checked for condition and security.                        have not become blocked with debris in the bilges.
more central boat systems in mind a lot of the
time, it tends to be the smaller items which             G Mooring pins. Do you have enough, are they               G Sails and rigging. These should be cleaned with
can be easily forgotten, so this issue we will           accessible when stowed and are they stowed with a          fresh water and then dried before storage in a cool
look at the items which although small or                hammer? This might seem basic but you’ll be                dry place. Sails should be checked for wear, holes
infrequently used can cause serious problems             surprised how many people are left holding                 and the seams checked for integrity. As with ropes,
if not properly maintained.                              mooring lines while these items are located in the         halyards and sheets should be cleaned dried and
                                                         bowels of a vessel.                                        stowed coiled for the next season.
G Anchors and chains. For most people using the
inland waterways anchors and chains are a part of        G Hoses. Do you have your own hoses for filling            G Tools. When winterising a boat it’s a good time
a boat’s equipment that is rarely used. A typical        with water? If so, they need to be flushed out             to check the toolkit. Keep a note of all the tools you       Separate the rope....
anchor assembly will comprise an anchor, a length        periodically to ensure that the water you put into         use over the winter while carrying out the various
of chain, a length of rope and shackles. This            the tanks does not become contaminated. I use a            tasks; this will help you to assemble a good basic
assembly is made to a particular length ie the           strong solution of Milton sterilising solution, the        toolkit for next season.
whole assembly should be half the length of the          stuff you clean out babies’ bottles with, left in the
boat. The anchor should be attached to the chain         hose overnight and then rinsed out with clean              G Spares. All boats should carry spare light bulbs,
with a shackle then the chain to the rope again          water.                                                     fuses, filters, hose, ropes, shackles, oil, electrical
with a shackle. One third of the assembly length                                                                    tape, wire and string. Again, keep a note over the
should be chain and two-thirds rope. The rope            G Shore leads. Have you ever considered why shore          winter.
should be permanently attached to the boat. Check        supply leads always seem to be sold in 25-metre
that the anchor, chain and shackles are free from        lengths? Well the answer is simple; it’s a matter of       G Furnishings. Should be removed cleaned and                 Thread the fid through the rope....
corrosion. Check that the rope is in good condition,     discrimination. When an electrical engineer works          stowed in a cool dry place for the winter. The BSS
not frayed or worn. Make sure that the assembly          out how a system will react to a fault, he takes           recommends that all furnishings and insulations
can be stored in the boat so that when deployed it       various factors into account, length of cable being        materials meet the latest national/international
is free to extend itself without snagging.               one of those factors. Boats are thought to be              standards for fire resistance and smoke or toxic
                                                         moored within a reasonable distance of their shore         fume emission.
G Ropes. If you look around many marinas you             supply, a few metres, and so a standard supply lead
will find hundreds of examples of ropes that have        length has been determined. Any change to this             G Aerials. Radios should be checked on the
not been maintained and are frayed, tangled and          length could have serious repercussions in the             shakedown trip; any weakness when transmitting
generally a mess. Yet ropes are simple to                operation of circuit breakers etc. Anyway, is your         or receiving could be due to the radio itself or the
maintain. When stored, ropes should be clean, dry        shore lead in good condition? Check the lead for           aerial or coaxial connecting lead. Check the aerials
and coiled. Ropes of all types are best cleaned          cuts and abrasions. Check that the plug at either          condition, security and its connection lead to the
simply in fresh water, then hung out to dry so that      end is serviceable and of the IP 44 type.                  radio.
when stored they don’t grow moss or mildew.              Unserviceable leads should be replaced.
Frayed ropes can be repaired if you know how.                                                                       G Life vests and life buoys. Do you have enough?
Gaining a few basic skills can preserve your ropes       G Fire extinguishers. Are your extinguishers in            Again, they should be cleaned and stored for the             Pull the first strand through....
and enrich your boating experience. The following        date, or more importantly, will they be in date for        winter.
sequence of photographs shows how to splice a            the next boating season. BSS Chapter six covers fire
loop into a rope.                                        extinguishers in detail. The number and capacity of          These tasks might seem a lot of fuss but next
                                                         the fire extinguishers depends upon the size of boat       year when all you have to do is unpack and refit a
G Fenders. And their attaching ropes should be           and so reference to Chapter Six of the BSS is              few items before setting off along the river you’ll
cleaned and stored in a cool dry place. Any cleats       important to determine that you have the correct           be glad that you made the effort.

 Devastated by
 arson attack
 A NARROWBOAT enthusiast has been left
                                                         talkback    Y O U R C H A N C E T O W R I T E T O U S O N A N Y T O W PAT H T O P I C
                                                                                                                                                                                 Pull each strand through....

 heartbroken after an arson attack on a
 £70,000 boat he and two friends spent a                              TOWPATH TALK,                              Make your voice heard
 year working on, writes Debbie Cowan.                            Po Box 43, Horncastle,                         AN even easier and very effective way of
   Thirty-seven-year-old Tim Conheeney and two                                                                   contacting your MP, or MEP, local councillor, et
 friends saw all their hard work ruined in a
                                                                   Lincolnshire LN9 6JR                          al, is to go to
 matter of minutes after vandals broke into a                                   This works. I have had two letters in reply from my
 yard at Halliwell and set fire to their boat.                                                                   MP and he has enclosed a letter from Barry Gardiner,
   Mr Conheeney, who is a professional                                                                           Minister at Defra with the latest. I am currently               Continue until each strand has been
 cabinetmaker at Excell Furniture, based on the                                                                  writing back to my MP asking him to sign the Early              threaded six times....
 estate where the boat is stored, said: "It's                                                                    Day Motion being proposed, No 2757 that could force
 heartbreaking. I've lost count of the number of
 hours we've spent on it.
                                                         Looking for the big                                     a full-blown debate on the matter in The House. It is
                                                                                                                 important now that more MPs sign this Motion.
   "We were here most evenings and weekends              leak on ‘sodden Soar’                                         David Daines, Membership Secretary, HNBOC,
 but we enjoyed it. All we've got to show for it                                                                                                                  email
 now is a burned-out shell.                              I AM writing with regard to an article in
   "We'd just finished it and even had buyers lined up   Towpath Talk (issue 13) by Harry Martin,                ED: Thanks for the tip. A reader has also passed on the
 – a retired couple who wanted to live on it."           “Big leak on sodden Soar”.                              details of which you can also
   For the past year, the friends had been renting         My house is just visible among the trees to           use to make your voice heard concerning the Defra cuts.
 a storage space on the Halliwell Industrial             the left of the picture and I have been aware of
 Estate, off Rossini Street, Halliwell.
   The 57ft steel-framed narrowboat was fully
                                                         the flooded field all summer, it is now a lot
                                                                                                                 What a waste                                                    Remove the waste ends....
 furnished and cost £40,000 to build. However,             However, Harry is quite wrong to say the lock         I TOTALLY agree with your article in Towpath
 the friends are not insured.                            is leaking, it is not, but the canal bank in front      Talk (issue 12) about job losses at BW, no one
   He also said: "We were led to believe the site        of the lock is breached quite badly and this is         likes to see anyone put out of work. But I do have
 was very secure, with cameras and patrolling            the cause of the flood.                                 to say they seem to waste a lot of money on daft
 security. We don't know how they got into the             British Waterways have been aware of this             projects; I read the other day where someone
 site or what they used to start the fire but it was     several months as I telephoned them then and            phoned BW and asked where they could dispose
 definitely deliberate. They also set fire to a van      they confirmed this, but to date have done              of waste oil, and I understand they then carried
 further down the road.                                  nothing about it.                                       out research as to where oil could be taken. Was
   "Everyone who works here is devastated for                                              R Farrow, Zouch.      this necessary? In this day and age even my local
 us. One lady was in tears and there's talk of                                                                   supermarket takes the stuff; any boat yard will
 starting a fund towards the repair costs."              ED: Harry Martin says Mr Farrow is quite right          deal with it for a few quid. And surveys to find
   Fire officers were at the scene for nearly three      and I was wrong about the precise source of the         out what boaters most want, is it not clear
 hours and police investigations are ongoing.            leak but, in mitigation, the lock is the nearest        channels working locks and moorings?                            The finished eye.
                                                         landmark.                                                                                         Mark, email
18 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                        

                                                                                                                                                                 THE SmartLight is a fully adjustable remote-
                                                                                                                                                                 controlled halogen lamp that puts you in complete
                                                                                                                                                                 control of the beam with the touch of a button.
                                                                                                                                                                   It can rotate 440 degrees (that’s more than all
                                                                                                                                                                 the way round!) and elevates through 120
                                                                                                                                                                 degrees. It is mounted using a magnetic base
                                                                                                                                                                 and a separate fixable base. This makes the
                                                                                                                                                                 SmartLight a portable spotlight that can be in a
                                                                                                                                                                 regular secured fixed spot using the fixable
                                                                                                                                                                 base, or by utilising its magnetic base, it can be
                                                                                                                                                                 placed on anything metallic.
                                                                                                                                                                   Situated at the front of your boat, you can
 ACTIVITIES and sports can take their toll on           DEK-KING by Wilks is an alternative to teak                                                              direct the powerful beam in any direction while
 muscles and joints, often leading to stiffness and     decking that can be easily fitted by amateur and                                                         you are at the rear navigating. This versatile
 soreness the next day. Blue Active Gel is a new        professional alike.                                                                                      searchlight has many applications and can also
 muscle and joint rub that combines many of               By simply joining the DEK-KING strips                                                                  be used when returning to your boat at night to
 nature’s most powerful ingredients to create a dual    together, using the tongue and groove joint and                                                          light the pathway for your return. Or if in
 action rub praised by many of the UK’s leading         bond with the Stelmax adhesive, a continuous                                                             difficulty, the SmartLight's powerful beam can
 sports men, women, and therapists.                     area of decking ready to be adhered to your                                                              be used as a hazard
   Blue Active Gel contains: Golden Emu Oil an          deck is created.                                                                                         or attention-seeking
 Australian remedy associated with many of the            The material used for DEK-KING is of an outdoor                                                        unit by switching to
 world’s greatest athletes; Glucosamine Sulphate,       grade PVC that is UV stabilised and contains a                                                           its         continuous
 well known for its ability to help maintain healthy    colour-fast pigment and inbuilt graining effect                                                          flashing facility. For
 joints; Aloe Vera, a popular natural muscle remedy;    that is totally convincing. Combined with the                                                            further information
 and MSM, a source of sulphur needed to help            integral dark caulking edge and the distinctive      ready to fit and made to the customer’s             contact Tech-Tronics
 maintain the health of joints.                         black DEK-KING tongue, the result will look like a   template; or full fit – Wilks fitters will fully    Ltd on 0161 872 6275
   The gel is easy to apply and quickly absorbed; it    traditional craftsman-laid deck.                     install the new DEK-KING. For further               or visit
 cools the affected area on immediate application,        There are three supply options from Wilks for      information visit the website www.dek-    
 but its soothing properties last for hours.            DEK-KING: product only – for the DIY        Tel: 01621 869609 or email
   Blue Active Gel is available in three sizes; 50ml,   installation; pre-fabricated mats – supplied
 150ml pump action bottle, and a 300ml                                                                                                                           AN online self-assembly sofa company
 professional tub. They are priced at £7.95, £12.95,                                                                                                    believes it has solved the
 and £19.95 respectively. Visit                                                                                                              perennial problem of getting a full-sized sofa
 email or call the           BRASSED off with polishing those mushroom vents and portholes when you could be polishing off            into a narrowboat.
 Pioneer Trading Company on 01526 344971.               a pint down the pub?                                                                                       Intosofa sofas arrive in three packages with clear
                                                          Then the answer is Incralac Brass Lacquer, which protects brass, copper, gunmetal, bronze and          instructions for easy assembly, which takes about half
                                                        aluminium from tarnishing. Incralac is a non-discolouring, rapid-drying clear lacquer that will give     an hour. There are four attractive collections with a
                                                        a maintenance-free coating for many years to come. Originally developed to stringent military            range of over 50 fabrics, including faux leather and
                                                        standards for use in protecting non-ferrous metals such as shell cases, Incralac is now used in the      faux suede, chenilles and textured weaves. Each
                                                        marine environment and is suitable for both interior and exterior use.                                   collection consists of a chair, standard sofa,
                                                          Incralac is now also available in aerosol containers for applying over large or intricate areas. But   medium sofa, sofa bed and large sofa.
                                                        care must be taken when using an aerosol to prevent overspray onto enamel paintwork.                       The sofas are extremely good value at £199 for
                                                                                                  Another product now available in the Rylard range is           a standard sofa, £229 for a medium and £249 for
                                                                                                Aerowax, which was originally developed for the aerospace        a large sofa, whatever design or fabric is chosen,
                                                                                                market. It is a high quality, traditional wax-based polish       with free delivery to UK mainland addresses. To
                                                                                                (not polymer or silicone based) that adds a protective film      request a brochure, free fabric samples or order
                                                                                                to all exterior non-ferrous metal surfaces, such as spars for    log onto or call 01535 604090.
                                                                                                extra protection from the elements. Though light and
                                                                                                flexible, the film is very tough and not affected by extreme
                                                                                                changes in temperature. Available in both 1l and 5l
                                                                                                containers, Aerowax is user friendly and easy to apply.
                                                                                                  For further information contact Mainline, 2 Sefton Road,
                                                                                                Litherland, Liverpool L21 7PG. Tel 0151 920 6451 or email

                                                                                      From steel shell to fully fitted narrowboat.
                                                                                                  It’s your choice
                                                                                       Providing a flexible approach to meeting
                                                                                                your needs and budget
                                                                                    We have a dedicated wide beam production site
                                                                                                       55ft Trad Sailaway
                                                                                                     55ft Semitrad Sailaway
                                                                                                          lined £28,330
                                                                                                      55ft Cruiser fully fitted              10, 11 & 12ft
                                                                                                             £51,707                         wide available

    55ftx10ft Hull only £18,900
    55ftx11ft Sailaway £32,400
     60ftx10ft Fullyfit £104,950
                                                                      7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 19

     Time is aWhat we leave behindwith usas a
               companion that goes
                                   is not

                   important as how we have lived”
                                                                                  Patrick Stewart from the Star Trek Generations

                                                                             e i s im
                                                                           im        po                   .
                                                                          T            rta           ll..
                                                                                           nt to us a

                                                                              You want time to pass slowly as you
                                                                              savour each moment of the first cruise on
                                                                              your very own Calder Valley Marine

                                                                              We have taken time          to create a
                                                                              superbly designed and fully equipped boat
                                                                              meeting exacting standards and offering high
                                                                              levels of internal comfort.

                                                                              You wish for time to fly after placing
                                                                              your order as you eagerly await delivery of
                                                                              the brand new narrowboat of your dreams.

                                                                              We spend time with you to ensure your
                                                                              boat buying experience is pleasurable and
                                                                              pressure free.

                                                                              Now take the time to visit us. We are
                                                                              conveniently located in West Yorkshire and
                                                                              have showroom, marina and chandlery shop.

                                                                              We deliver on time.

                                                                                                 de al


                                                                                  Qu al i t y M                      .
                                                                                                ari n e            er
                                                                                                        P ro v i d
                                       A member of the       British Marine

Apperley Bridge Marina • Waterfront Mews • Apperley Bridge • West Yorkshrie • BD10 0UR • t 01274 616961 • f 01274 616993
     Saville Town Wharf • Mill Street East • Dewsbury • West Yorkshire • WF12 9BD • t 01924 467976 • f 01274 467976
                                                    . cvma
                                                  ww      ri n
                                                               e .co . u
                                                                          BROKERAGE SECTION                               7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 23


                                                                   Tel/Fax 01405 765737
                                                                 Berthing & Yacht Services
                                                                                                                                          25’ Westerley Windrush GRP Bilge
                  50’ Dutchstyle Widebeam Steel Barge
                  10’ Beam. Launched Oct. 2004. Perkins                                                                                   keeler. Yamaha 9.9 hp High Thrust
                                                                                    Zodiac Inflatable. Futura 2.                          outboard. 4 Berth. 6 Sails inc.
                  6 cyl diesel. Edwardian style fitout, mainly                      Suzuki 30hp 2 stroke engine.
                  mahogany, with some marquetry inlay and                                                                                 spinnaker, anchor/chain, cooker,
                                                                                    Including Snipe trailer.                              sea toilet and VHF etc.
                  decorative glass. Forward double cabin                            Top speed approx. 40mph.
                  and separate aft cabin.                                                                                                 Price £5,500
                                                                                    Asking price only £1,600
                  A comfortable liveaboard available with
                  residential mooring.
                  Price £95,000                                                     30’ Broads Cruiser. 10’ 6” Beam.
                                                                                    GRP AquaFibre by Herbert Woods
                                                                                    in 1983. BMC 4cyl diesel. Fixed                       31’6” Colvic Sea Rover by Thames
                                                                                    double berth plus extra double.                       Marine. Heavy lay-up GRP with
                                                                                    Shower, fridge & cooker with                          20hp inboard diesel. Many years
                                                                                    sliding roof over saloon. Spacious                    loved and lived aboard with
                                                                                    boat at an economical price.                          extensive cruising in the Med. Now
                                                                                    Price £17,500                                         lying Newark ready for a new
                  51’ 6” Dutch Steel Motoryacht.                                                                                          owner. Price £12,500
                  14’6” Beam. Cord steel hull with teak                             21’ 4 Ton Hillyard. Beautiful
                  superstructure. Twin Gardner 6 LXB                                classic yacht. Complete restoration
                  diesels. Wheel steering from saloon                               2002 Mahogany on oak. 6HP                             Plans & Pre-cut steel kits
                  position or upper helm. Bow & stern                               inboard Petter diesel. SSR and                        available for exciting new design
                  thrusters. Forward V-berth cabin and                              BW Safety cert.                                       50’ Tug or Trawler style cruisers.
                  separate aft cabin. Sleeps 7 in 4 cabins.                         Asking price £6,495                                   Please call for details
                  A comfortable boat lovingly restored.
                  New electronics & lots of extras.
                  Price £95,000
                                                                                    50’ Widebeam steel barge. 12’                        58’6” Narrowboat by Eastwood Eng.

                                                                          LD                                                     D
                                                                                    Beam. Built by French & Peel in                      65hp Thorneycroft diesel with large

                                                                     SO                                                       OL
                                                                                    2000. Perkins diesel with                            tanks. 240V appliances include fridge,
                                                                                    bowthruster and hydraulic
                                                                                    steering. Fully double glazed and     S              microwave, auto washing m/c, TV,
                                                                                                                                         video & digital set-top box. A tidy well
                                                                                    large tanks. A complete cruiser or                   cared for liveaboard with lots of
                                                                                    liveaboard. Asking price £69,500                     storage. Asking price £39,500


                                        Viking Marine (Goole) Ltd, Albert Street, Goole DN14 5SY

                                                                 VIKING MARINE
24 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                        

  Boats Broad and Narrow Ltd MILLAR MARINE
                      The Boat Window
                      Fairies Hill Moorings                                                 •   Victron 12v 30 amp Charger........................................................................£320
                                                                                            •   Quayside Shoes...................................................................................10% OFF
              Whitwood, Castleford, West Yorkshire                                          •   Johnson Viking 16 Shower Pump OE, 12v 16 ltr.......................................£89.95
              • Easy reach from Midlands and South                                          •   Brass Mushroom ....................................................................................... £22.50
                                                                                            •   Victron 12v 2500va Inverter/120 amp Charger..........................................£1585
                 (A1, M1 to Junction 31, M62)                                               •   Bilge Pumps..........................................................................................20% OFF
                                                                                            •   Jabsco Water Pump 12vt 25psi 2.9 gpm..................................................£54.95
                                                                                            •   VHF Radios ............................................................................................... £59.95
          Why not a BRAND NEW BOAT?                                                         •   Gulper 220 12v..........................................................................................£89.95
         We build narrowbeam, broadbeam &                                                   •   Waeco 12/24v Fridge (one left) 10% off list plus free mains adaptor ... 10% OFF
                                                                                            •   Life Ring, Orange......................................................................................£14.95
         Dutch Barge style shells to Sailaway,                                              •   West Epoxy System............................................................................15% off list
                                                                                            •   Sikaflex 291 ........................................................................................ 15% off list
         part/full fitted to suit your budget.                                              •   Chrome surface mounted 12v Halogen Light (last 50)...............................£7.95
                                                                                            •   Seat, Stand, Slider (sold separately for £159.95) ................................... £129.95
             • Based on a 10:6:5:4mm quality shell                                          •   Battery Box (small)......................................................................................£8.95
                                                                                            •   Battery Box (large)....................................................................................£11.50
                  • Beta Marine Diesel Engine                                               •   12/24 volt Fridge ..................................................................................... £389.50
                         • Stainless tank                                                   •   Shoreline 12/24v Fridge Freezer.............................................................£499.00
                                                                                                               ANODES BUY 4 OR MORE AND GET 10% OFF
                  • Individual to each customer                                             •   Shurflo 12v 10.6 ltr Water Pump................................................................£60.00
              • Full contract protection & insurance                                        •   Fire Ext 8A-55B ......................................................................................... £17.95
                                                                                            •   Fire Blanket ............................................................................................... £12.50
                                                                                            •   Whale Toilet Empty Pump, 12v, 38mm ports...........................................£213.65
                  PRICE GUIDE:                                                              •   Life Ring, red/white ................................................................................... £19.95
        Narrowbeam 40ft sailaway £22,000                                                                                LIFEJACKETS, AUTO AND MANUAL 10% OFF LIST
                                                                                                              • 2 Burner Stainless Hotplate/Grill.....................................£148.50
         Broadbeam 40ft sailaway £30,000                                                                      • Crossland Filters ........................................................... 20% OFF
        Dutch Barge 50ft sailaway £55,000                                                                     • Caprice Cookers, limited amount................................£450 each
                                                                                                                                    OFFERS FOR LIMITED PERIOD

      Ring Mike on 07771 580 593                                                                     Don’t forget our annual holiday: we will be closed from
                                                                                                         29th December 2006 and re-open 15th January
    for boat sales information or log on to                                        e-mail:
                                                                                            Warehouse C, 24 The Wharf, Shardlow, Derby DE72 2GH                                             BO298520L           Tel: 01332 793358 Fax: 01332 799167                                                                       MI299317L

                STOCKED                                       Lyons Boat Yard Ltd
               CHANDLERY                                         CHANDLERY FIT-OUT REPAIRS SALES BOATYARD FACILITIES
                                                                      FOR SALE 58’0 Pickwell & Arnold Trad 1997,
           MAIL ORDER AVAILABLE                                       Aristocratic lines, beautiful fitout, used as a live aboard,
                   All major cards welcome                            must be seen, owners moved abroad .................£52,000
                                                                                                       abroad................. £52,000

        If you’re iced in this winter                                                                               We can arrange the following for DIY fitouts:
                                                                                                                    ★ INSULATION: sprayfoam, thinsulate, rockwool
             don’t get iced up!                                                                                     ★ BALLAST: slabs, blue brick
   Mikuni Mx40 diesel unit (7 day timer) + 3 free radiators................£1099                                    ★ TIMBER: solid timber to your requirements, 9mm x
                                                                                                                      8’0 x 4’0 marine grade Ply Oak/Ash/Maple faced,
   Mikuni Mx40 (without Danfoss timer) + 3 free radiators................£1050
                                                                                                                      18mm x 8’0 x 4’0 marine grade flooring Ply
   Ecofan 800 & 18” single skin chimney combi...............................£99.00
                                                                                                                    ★ All other fit out equipment available from the
   Ecofan 800 (Twin blade) Nickel or Brass......................................£74.00
                                                                                                                      paint on the outside to the soft furnishings on the
   Ecofan 802 (Triple blade) Brass only............................................£96.00                             inside
   12 inch x 6 inch double skin chimney...........................................£28.00
                                                                                                                    ★ CURTAINS, BLINDS & CUSHIONS: custom
   18 inch x 6 inch double skin chimney...........................................£35.00                              made onsite to order
   Calor LPG Propane 13kg bottles ................................................. £16.95

                                                                                                                    ★ DIY fit out moorings
   House coal 25kg bags....................................................................£5.20
   Taybright smokeless 25kg bags .....................................................£6.90
                                                                                                                  Coded welders, Electrical engineering, Diesel
   Flue brushes 5’0.............................................................................£4.99             injector specialists, Re-bottoming, over plating
   Solid fuel stoves available to order please call us with your
   requirements, Morso, Bubble, jotul, Becton, etc... Fully fitted or DIY
                                       All prices include VAT

 Lyons Boatyard Ltd, Limekiln Lane, Birmingham B14 4SP
 Tel: 0121 474 4977 Open 6 days Tue-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm
                                                                                            7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 25

                             Wharf House                                                                         SHOBNALL MARINA
                                Narrowboats                                                                                      • Covered dry dock (DIY/serviced)
                                                                                                                                 • paint dock • extensive chandlery
                                                                                                                            • signwriting/painting • gas/diesel/ pumpout
                                     Boat Builders and Chandlers
                                          Winners of ‘Favourite Boat’ at                                                             • mechanical & joinery work
                                            Crick Show 2003 & 2005                                                               • call-out service • CORGI gas fitter
                              The Chandlery stocks a wide range of products which we                                             • Marine surveyor & BSS examiner
                              are constantly expanding, and as boat builders ourselves, we
                              particularly specialise in help and advice for those fitting out                                    ◆ On-line chandlery
                                                      their own boats.                                                            ◆
                              Specialising in Advanced Electrical Systems for boats
          For more details ring                                                                                                    ◆ BOATS ALWAYS       FOR   SALE ◆
 Phill or Sue Abbott on 01788 899041                                                                                          40ft - £23,000       57ft OLD
                                                                                                                                                      S - £45,000

          or Fax 01788 891535                                                                                                 52ft - £37,000            - £19,500
                                                                                                                                                   65ft SOLD
          or come and see us at                                                                                               55ft - £39,000
        Bottom Lock, Dark Lane,
   Braunston, Northants NN11 7HJ                                                                              JANNEL           SHOBNALL MARINA, SHOBNALL ROAD,
                                                                                                                              BURTON UPON TRENT, STAFFS DE14 2AU

                                                                                                  WH295158L                                                                                                 01283 542718
 Visit our website:                                                                                             website:

  D D LE  01606-832460 AT
MI                       S
      9 Canal Terrace Middlewich, Cheshire CW10 9BD
    Bespoke boat builders to your spec
   Boats Built to any stage of completion
     Sailaways from £21,000 inc. VAT
    Fully fitted from £40,000 inc. VAT
             Dry dock for hire
        Boat Repairs and servicing

Opportunities available for boat sponsorship
 Two free RYA courses with every boat sold

          BOATS FOR SALE
39ft fully fitted boat with cruiser stern
             £40,000 inc VAT

                  Boats also for hire, please contact for details                          MI298860L

                                                        •                                                             •
                                                            BOAT BUILDERS
                                                        •                                                             •
                                                                    NEW BOATS,
        FOR SALE                                                  OLD TRADITIONS
   New 57ft traditional                                     Sue, Lee & Garry welcome all their
  narrowboat finished to                                  customers, whether first time owners or
      sailaway stage                                       old friends a quality shell built to your
           POA                                               specifications at affordable prices.
   • Over 50 years experience • Wide Beamers • Dutch Barges • Sailaways • Bespoke

Call in and see us at: Unit 67 Rd A, Boughton Industrial Estate,                                                      Telephone 01623 863576
Boughton, Nr Newark, Notts, NG22 9LD                                                                                                       XR299825L
26 TOWPATH TALK 7 Dec0ember 2006, issue 14                                                           

                                                                                                                                                   DREAM NARROWBOATS
                                                                                                                                                    Hull Repairs                        FOR A HIGH CLASS BOAT FIT-OUT
                                                                                                                                                    and Replating
                                                                                                                                                    Tel:                                For sale 57’ trad and 57’ cruiser. Both ready now.
                                                                                                                                                    07747 441241                        We are a live-aboard specialist and cater to your
                                                                                                                                                    e-mail:                             every need. Our boats are finished and equipped
                                                                                                                                                    to an extremely high standard. So why not make
                                                                                                                                                                                        your dream narrowboat come true.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Our basic spec
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Vetus 4.17 engine with 3.5kw travel pack
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Vetus flush toilet with 215 waste tank
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Vetus accumulator tank
          THE ONLY SPECIALIST NEWSPAPER                                                                                                                                                 • Galvanic isolator • 12v fridge
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Full size washer/dryer
          COVERING BRITAIN’S WATERWAYS                                                                                                                                                  • Caprice 2040 cooker • 1000w inverter
                                                                                                                                                                                        • 18mm solid oak floor on 18mm ply
                 NOW 17 ISSUES A YEAR                                                                                                               Contact us:                         • 20mm ash roof & sides above gunnels
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Fully tiled bathroom with full size shower
             Keep in touch with the boating community                                                                                               Narrowboats                         • Fully tiled galley
            Advertise your launch, special events, menu,                                                                                            Kingslock                                 THESE BOATS ARE COMPLETELY EQUIPPED
                                                                                                                                                    Boatyard                                          AND READY TO CRUISE
                open days, boat sales and services                                                                                                  Booth Lane

                                                                                                                                                    Middlewich                          Telephone: 01270 501047. Mobile: 07817 935639
    CALL THE TEAM NOW on 01507 529443/529436                                                                                                        CW10 OJJ                            Email:

                                                                                      A W OPE
                                              RY WHARF L
                        d   ed
                      an pt
                    rd acce
                 rca s
              ste ard
                                      R BU Norbury Junction, Staffordshire ST20 0PN      EE N 7
                                                                                    TD K 8AMD-A6YS
            Ma bit c                     The Wharf,
         a, e                                                     Tel: 01785 284292 Fax: 01785 284251 Email:
     Vis jor d                                                                                  PM
          a                                       &
     st m
 mo                                                             Agents for most major companies including Webasto, Bubble, Isuzu, Wilsons
      WELCOME to the beautiful setting of Norbury Junction in the heart of the Shropshire Union Canal, where you will find a warm and friendly welcome.
       FULL BOATYARD FACILITIES AVAILABLE INCLUDING: All hull repairs including welding, fabrication and plating work undertaken

  • Brokerage Boats new/secondhand                       • Off licence
  • New Chandlery                                        • All engineering work and mechanical work
  • Fishing Tackle                                       • Plumbing, gas and electrical work
  • Laundry service washes                               • New engine installations
  • Slipway                                              • Safety and compliance work                          FULL
                                                                                                             CALL OUT

  • Gifts & Grocery shop                                 • Diesel/solid fuel stove fitting                    SERVICE

           Bottom blacking in our covered dry dock • Brand new boats built and fitted to any stage                                      Rear View                                              Front View                                   Inside
                                • Vintage engine specialist • Full and part refits
 We can offer an excellent paint job by our experienced boat painter and decorative artist in our fully covered
                                              and heated wet dock
    Or why not pop into our old fashioned fully licensed tearoom, hire one of our two day boats, enjoy the
                                                                                                                                                    BRAND NEW BESPOKE BOATS BUILT TO ORDER
      hospitality of our bed and breakfast or our holiday cottage and browse over our fleet of hire boats.                                   We only build bespoke boats to your specification or we can design one with you.
                             Winter and summer moorings and long term available.
             We are a boat yard for boaters run by boaters, all facilities are available even on our                                                       We only build two boats a year so don’t miss the slot!
                     turn round days, gas, diesel and pump-outs. Coal and smokeless fuel.

                                                                           SECOND HAND BOATS FOR SALE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  U NDER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                PRICE NOW REDUCED TO                   PRICE NOW REDUCED TO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              REF 10120
              REF 10111                              REF 10123                            REF 10114                                         REF 10119                                     REF 10121               £27,500 REF 10115                        £39,950
                                   47 foot all steel, tug style narrow                                          This is a unique opportunity to acquire a piece of       36 foot traditional style            40 foot traditional style
 43 foot 6 inch traditional                                              59 foot cruiser style narrowboat       English canal heritage complete with full working                                                                                    60ft traditional style narrowboat
                                   boat built by G.M. Manufacuring       built in 2004 by Dragon and            history. Battersea was built in 1936 by Harland and      narrowboat built in 1991             narrowboat built in 1989 by            built by Steel Craft in 1991 and
 style narrowboat built            in 1985. Fitted with a Lister HW3     fitted out at Holidays afloat in
                                                                                                                Wolff at Woolwich, London for the Grand Union
                                                                                                                Canal Carrying Company. She was built as a large         powered by a two cylinder Lister     Liverpool boats and powered by         powered by a Perkins P3 in it’s own
 by Garstang engineering           with Blackstone gearbox. Potential    Market       Drayton        2005.      Woolwich motor boat and during her working days
                                                                                                                she has appeared as a cargo carrying narrowboat
                                                                                                                                                                         Alpha water cooled diesel            a BMC 2.2. Beautiful boat in           engine room. Complete repaint in
 in 1989. Powered by a             five berth narrow boat - Make-up                                                                                                      engine. Two berth narrowboat         excellent condition throughout.        2003. Fitted with 1500W inverter,
                                                                         Complete with Beta 42 with             and trip boat. Not to mention being the training
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     landline socket and ring main. A
                                   double in saloon, cross bed and                                              boats for the Idle Women in the war. She has now         consisting of two make-up single
 marinised Ford diesel             side bed in back cabin. Superb
                                                                         Twin alternators. Charging 5           been lovingly restored as a long distance luxury
                                                                                                                cruising narrow boat, professionally fitted out by       berths in saloon area. A nicely      Featuring permanent double             well laid out boat with five berths
 engine       in      good                                               domestic batteries and 1 starter,      Brinklow Boat Services. She still retains her original   fitted boat with compact shower      bed, compact bathroom, galley          (1 double, 1 single in back cabin
                                   lines complete with traditionally                                            appearance. Battersea comes complete with a fully
                                                                         adverc battery management,                                                                      room, cassette toilet, galley and    and forward saloon complete            and 1 make up double from Futon
 condition. A tidy boat            decorated back cabin, tidy
                                                                         solid fuel stove and 240V
                                                                                                                fitted and traditionally decorated back cabin,
                                                                                                                engine room with a vintage Lister HA2, and a steel       saloon with solid fuel stove. Will   with solid fuel stove and two          in saloon). A well presented boat.
                                   engine room, shower room,
 and ready to cruise.              dinette, galley and long forward      washing machine. An ideal live-
                                                                                                                undercloth conversion. Featuring many unique
                                                                                                                characteristics. MUST BE SEEN! Offered with non-         make a supberb boat, ideal ftb.      easy chairs. Ideal first time boat,    Fully equipped and ready to use
 £24,950 ono                                                             aboard. £49,750 ono                    residential mooring at Norbury and last survey
                                                                                                                                                                         £21,995 ono                          ready to cruise. £29,500               now. £44,950 ono
                                   tug deck. £32,500.00 ono                                                     report. £89,950 ono

                      01 785 284292 or EMAIL                                                                                                                                                                                                        NO298669L
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 27

                 Boats for Sale
                                                                                                                                 Boats Sales/Buildng                                                                                                                                          Boat Safety
      2+2 Berth (Double bedroom & double sofabed in
    lounge), fully fitted kitchen & bathroom, 240v + 12v                                                                                                                                                      South West’s premier boat builders
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    on the Kennet & Avon
 throughout, stainless steel water tank, large gas locker,
  Beta Marine diesel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Chris Williams             Reg No 220530

   engine, completed                                                                                                                                                            • Engine Service Contracts available • Also Outboard Engine Services
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Reg No 504

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BSS Boat Safety Examiner
        May 2005.                                                                                                                                                                 Offering a wide and comprehensive range of boat products. Builders,                               LPG CORGI Registered Gas Installer

                                                                                                                                                                                                   Designers, Chandlers and Repairers.
   £54,000 ono                                                              ‘Buttermere’             ‘Derwent’                ‘Zwerver’                                                All workmanship guaranteed • Build slots available for 2006                                   Covering all inland waterway craft
                                                                            65ft ex-hire, cruiser    63ft ex-hire tug-style   Dutch Motortjalk.                                                       Webasto Authorised Dealer
      Call John:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mobile: 07963 974793

                                                                            stern. Mid-80’s shell    with trad stern. 1992.   33ft x 12ft all steel. A                                          For a FREE brochure and DVD call or
    07966 450432                                                            with mid-90’s refit.     Sleeps 6 in spacious     rare small Dutch                                                  email:                                                   Office: 01509 812225
          visit                                                             Sleeps 10 (including 2   interior. Lying afloat   barge. Recent survey                                                                                           AS SEEN ON
                                                                                                                                                                                              Tel/Fax: 01225 775100
                                                                            fixed double beds). 2    Rugby. £37,950           available. Lying                                                                                             BBC’S TOP GEAR                  E-mail:

      for photos
                                                                            showers, 2 toilets.                               ashore Nuneaton.                                                                                                                                 Web
                                                                            Lying afloat Rugby.                               Priced to sell at
                                                                            £34,950                                           £24,950
                                                                             Further details at 01926 864156

                                                                                                                                                                                  IMPORTANT NOTICE
main bedroom, fully fitted kitchen and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BOAT SAFETY SCHEME Thomas Randell
bathroom, 240v and 12v throughout, stainless                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Barge and Boat Company covering Northern
steel water tank, boat safety cert to 2010,
Beta Marine diesel engine, awaiting soft                                                             Boat Shop UK                                                                 DO NOT BUY A NEW SAILAWAY NARROW
                                                                                                                                                                                      NARROWBOAT UNTIL YOU VISIT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        England.   40 years waterways experience.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For further details tel: 01535 632788.       7
furnishings and paintwork, £56,000 ono. Tel.                                                             Narrowboat Consultants                                                                                                                                         Westview Close, Bradley, Keighley W Yorks
John 07966-450432.                    TO299930L
                                                                                                                                                                        or phone                                                   BD20 9BU                             SK620771H

                                                                                      THE BOAT SHOP WILL SELL                                                                     Andy for info pack on 07967 303224
                 Boats Wanted                                                          YOUR BOAT FOR YOU FOR                                                                                                                                    AN298518L

                                                                                             JUST £500                                                                                                                                                                                         Engines
                                                                                         With over 20,000 hits a month
           50’ NARROWBOAT                                                            The Boat Shop is becoming one of the

                                                                                                                                                                                          eaco oats
 WANTED BY SWAP OR PART-EX                                                           biggest websites for Narrowboat Sales.
                                          Have two new                               ★ Looking for narrowboats to sell
                                           properties in
                                        Bulgarian seaside
                                         resort, f/f 2 bed.
                                        house with walled
                                                                                     ★ Buyers waiting ★ Cash available
                                                                                             Tel: 01908 635071
                                                                                                                                                                                        B   A Friendly
                                                                                                                                                                                          Family Business
                                       gdn and pool and f/f
                                       1 bed. apartment on                                   See our website with over                                  BO283352H                    Bespoke Narrow Boat Fitters
                                             complex.                                            60 boats for sale                                                                    Quality boats using traditional                                                   • Engine servicing, repairs and installation

                                          Tel: Michael                                                                                                                              materials, with a modern approach.                                                  • Plumbing, heating and gas work
                                          07900577427                                                                                                   All types of work undertaken.                                                     • Electrical repairs and installation
                                                                                         Also Many Clients Waiting for your Boat!                                                    Customer inspection encouraged                                                     • Call out service
NOT USING YOUR BOAT IN 2007? Careful                                                                                                                                                         throughout build.                                                          • Mooring • Blacking
Kiwi couple looking for 55-58 ft, 4-6 berth
narrowboat for continuous cruising April-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  01926 492968
October 07, anything considered, price
negotiable. Email:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A friendly, family run business
                       Engines                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All canalside services available including
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          pump outs, diesel, water, mooring, gifts,
BMC 1.5 ENGINE, Thorneycroft marinised,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          books, maps and chandlery
Hurth 2:1 gearbox, £950. Tel. 07931 317347
Halesowen.                           TO299457L
                                                                                                                                                                                        Tel: 07786 961326                                                                                                             KA299098L

              Property for Sale                                                                                                                                                          or 07949 984656
                                                                                                                                                                                      or 01509 551940 out of hours/                                                                           Engineering

                                                                                                                                                                                             answer machine
     EX-LENGTHSMAN’S                                                          FOR SALE                                                                                                           email:
         COTTAGE                                                                           Ready Spring 2007 57ft Semi Trad.                                                                                                        Towpath Engineering Services
  Detached cottage beside swing bridge 182 Kennet and
 Avon Canal, near Bath. Substantially extended to approx
                                                                                Shell by XR&D. Josher bows. Recessed side panels. Spray
                                                                                       foam insulated. Superb fit-out in white ash.                                                        Loughborough, Leics                               BE298512L                   A bespoke mobile service for the
                              1850sq ft, including 4                                      Webasto central heating. Beta engine.                                                                                                                                           discerning narrowboat owner
     E d

                          bedrooms, 2 reception rooms,                                            Price on application.
   IC e

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
 R c
P du

                           an office and more. Set in a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Repairs Servicing and Breakdowns

                                                                                Build slots available, fully fitted/sail away. We are a small

                            beautiful location, but still                     family business, dedicated to building quality boats, either to
                            within 3 miles of Bath City                                     your design or our proven layouts.                                                                                                                                          Painting and Varnishing Welding and Fabrication
                                       Centre.                      • email:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        07970 733216

                              £550,000 £515,000
     Tel: 01225 466707 Mobile 07710 284894
 More details to be found

  READER ADVERT FORM                                                                                                                                                                         THIS FORM MUST NOT BE USED FOR TRADE ADVERTISING




   ...................................................... POSTCODE ....................
                                                                                                                                                        EXAMPLE ....                                                                                BOATS FOR SALE
    Card No:                                                                                                  s r   r   TM

                                                                                                                             ;                              “MAPLE” 47ft trad with Lister SR3                                                       BOATS WANTED
                                                                                                                                                           engine Fixed double & single bunk above                                                  CANALIA
    Expiry Date:                         Signature:                                                  SWITCH ISSUE NO.

                                                                                                                                                           “Alde” C/Heating and Morso S/F                                                           ENGINES
                                                                                                                                                                                       Stove BSC                                                    EQUIPMENT
   Cheques/Postal Orders made payable to TOWPATH TALK

                                                                                                                                                                                       to 2007,                                                     PARTS AND SPARES
   Please enclose a SAE if return of photograph is required

                                                                                                                                                                                       June 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   4x2 BOX - UP TO 35  PIC ENCLOSED

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    £25,000                        WORDS, FULL
              Tel: 01507 529300 • Fax: 01507 529490                                                                                                                                                                                                COLOUR PICTURE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ONLY £35.25 inc VAT
                                                                                                                         EXAMPLE ....
                                                                                                                                                        YAMAHA outboard                                                                            LINEAGE - 60p PER WORD inc VAT
                                                                                                                                                        3.5hp engine, air
   Whilst every care is taken, the publisher cannot be liable for any mistakes in advertisements taken over the telephone.
                                                                                                                                                        cooled, in excellent                                                                       MINIMUM 12 WORDS
   Any advertisements once received (either by post or phone) and processed, cannot be cancelled or money refunded.
                                                                                                                                                        condition, £280.
   (SECOND CLASS)                  FREE                                     EUROCHEQUES WELCOME                                                         WEBSITE - PLACE YOUR ADVERT ON THE WEBSITE
                                               On occasion Mortons Lifestyle, may decide themselves, or permit other                                    FOR ONLY AN EXTRA £2.00
                                               reputable companies, to make offers of products or services which we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          £              .

                                               may believe to be of interest to our readers. If you DO NOT wish to have
                                               the details you have given here passed on. Please tick the box
                                                                                                                                                        CHEQUE/PO ENCLOSED                                                                                              TOTAL
28 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                                                                                 

                                    Gifts                                                                                                                 Holidays/Hire                                                                                                                   Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                              TIME TO DISCOVER
                                                                                            STEAMBOAT HOLIDAY
                                                                                                        cruise the sea lochs and canals of
                                                                                                       Scotland’s West Coast in an original

                                                                                                              coal fired steam Puffer.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Relax, slow down, take a short break, a week or longer on
                                                                                                         Nick Walker, The Change House,
                                                                                                                                                                                     one of our fully equipped, quality assured, narrowboats.
                                                                                                      Crinan Ferry, Lochgilphead, PA31 8QH
* books * maps

                                                                      much more *
                       Secure online catalogue with                                                             Tel: 01546 510232        PU300153L
                                                                                                                                                                                     Cruise the Cheshire Ring, explore historic Chester to see the
                                                                                                                                                                                     spectacular aqueducts on the Llangollen Canal all from our
                            over 1200 items.                                                                                                                                         base on the Bridgewater Canal.
                        Email:                                                                                                                                  We provide expert tuition for beginners.
                 * guides * dvds * videos * plaques * prints * &                                                                                                                          CLAYMOORE NAVIGATION
                                                                                                                                                                                            The Wharf, Preston Brook, Cheshire, WA4 4BA

                                                                                                                                                                                                Tel: +44(0) 1928 717273 (24 hrs)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fax: +44(0) 1928 718888
                                                                                          Luxury Holiday Hire Boats in Yorkshire                                                            
                                                                                        Rochdale Canal : Cruise the highest canal in the UK!                                                        Email:
                 On line Book and Gift Shop                                           Explore Yorkshires unspoilt waterways on one of our boats
                                                                 available for short breaks or weekly hire
                                                                                               2-7 berth boats available, all year round                                                                  Insurance
                               Buy on Line                                                        Fully equipped to ensure you have wonderful relaxing holiday.
                                                                                                        Steering and Lock tuition provided. Pets welcome.
               UK and Continental Maps and Guide Books                                                      Wide Beam Canal Cruise Boat
                   Boating and Canal books including
             History, Boat maintenance, Canal Crafts, fiction
                                                                                                   Dining cruises, canal trips for the family, private party hire
                                                                                                      Call for a brochure or see our website for full details
                                                                                                  Bronte Boats, The Marina, Hebden Bridge HX7 8AD
                                                                                                                                                                                                          MARINE INSURANCE

                            Videos and DVDs                                                                         West Yorkshire                                                                                   Fast and competitive quotations for
                           Gifts and CD roms                                                            01422 845557
                 Rosie and Jim dolls, books and videos                                                                                                                                            PLEASURE AND COMMERCIAL CRAFT
                       Model boats and Chandlery                                                                                                                                            Also TAILOR-MADE COVER FOR MARINE BUSINESS
                   Mail and telephone orders welcome                                                                                                                                 • We offer a personal, friendly service available 7 days a week
              23 Pine Gardens Surbiton Surrey KT5 8LJ                                                                                                                                • You will get good advice from our years of experience • You will receive a policy with good security
                             020 8399 0486              CA298514L

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mercia Marine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Underwriting) Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Tel: 01684 564457 Fax: 01684 578532
                                                                                                                                                                                           E-mail: or log-on to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Insulation                                                                         Services

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                                                                                                                                                      7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 29


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                                                                                                                                         7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 31

Green light for £900-million Trent scheme?
               by Harry Martin                         spring, and if the plans submitted by Isis Waterside      for community facilities such as a doctor’s surgery          “The ability to learn about the waterways and
                                                       Regeneration and English Partnerships meet with           and a nursery, together with parks, a dockside             mess about in boats is seen as a key attraction,
                                                       their approval, the development could be                  square and a river-front walk with a ‘lifting’ bridge.     combining high density urban living, good
WORK on the £390-million housing and                   completed in 2009.                                          The housing aspect of the plan will provide              contemporary architecture and high quality open
commercial redevelopment of the Trent                    Those plans envisage 2200 flats and houses,             homes for young people, families and retired               space with a great sense of the outdoors.”
Basin – one of the biggest regeneration                nearly 2000 sqare metres of office space and 3700         people and include ‘water villas’ served by a jetty          Chairman of Nottingham Regeneration Ltd,
projects of its kind in Europe – could start           square metres for shops, bars and restaurants on          over the river wall.                                       which promotes the city, Mich Stevenson, said:
next year, if Nottingham City councillors              the 20-acre site, which lies between the canal and          Northern director of ISIS, Alistair Dickens, said:       “The Waterside is considered one of the largest
give it the green light.                               Colwick Racecourse.                                       “The opportunity to live by, enjoy and engage with         projects in Europe and has opened up exciting
 They are due to determine the application next          The scheme includes nearly 1000 square metres           the river is at the heart of the scheme.                   prospects for a 21st Century city.
                                                                                                                                                                              “Everyone has worked extremely hard to make
                                                                                                                                                                            this come to fruition.”
                                                                                                                                                                              The Waterside development will be the first
                                                                                                                                                                            phase of a £900-million scheme to transform the
                                                                                                                                                                            north bank of the Trent – an overall 250-acre site
                                                                                                                                                                            the size of 216 Olympic swimming pools.
                                                                                                                                                                              The most dramatic individual aspect of the
                                                                                                                                                                            overall plan is a futuristic waterside landmark
                                                                                                                                                                            towering 210 feet above the river that will form the
                                                                                                                                                                            centrepiece of more major development on the
                                                                                                                                                                            Victoria Embankment.
                                                                                                                                                                              The tower would use water from the river to
                                                                                                                                                                            power lighting across the park and city bosses hope
                                                                                                                                                                            the images drawn up by award-winning architect
                                                                                                                                                                            Julian Marsh will help their bid to win £25-million
                                                                                                                                                                            of lottery funding.
                                                                                                                                                                              This aspect of the scheme, dubbed the O Zone,
                                                                                                                                                                            would provide new sports and leisure facilities, an
                                                                                                                                                                            energy learning centre, a performance area and
An artist’s impression of                                                                                                                                                   road and flood defences, while a wind turbine
  a view from a balcony                                                                                                                                                     would provide power for 400 homes in the
 gives some idea of the                                                                                                                                                     neighbouring Meadows residential district.
              scale of the                                                                                                                                                    At the heart of the scheme is the Island Park,
            development                                                                                                                                                     designed by Thomas Heatherwick, which uses a
overlooked by the 210ft                                                                                                                                                     series of concave shapes and water round three
        futuristic tower.                                                                                                                                                   islands linked by criss-crossing walkways.

Council backs canal campaign
GLOUCESTERSHIRE County Council has                    Regeneration project.”
                                                                                                                 Volunteers beat Defra blues
backed the Liberal Democrat Group’s
campaign against winter closures on the
Gloucester to Sharpness Canal.
  A Liberal Democrat motion to condemn the
                                                        In response to major cuts to its budget, made by
                                                      Defra, British Waterways propose to restrict access
                                                      to the canal during the winter months to those
                                                      who book the day before. The Liberal Democrat
                                                                                                                 with their own cutbacks
closures commanded the support of the whole           group say that restrictions on access to the canal         ON 4 November 130 volunteers dispersed
council chamber, with councillors from all parties    will encourage people to use other waterways and           along sections of the Grantham Canal for two
voting in favour.                                     redirect tourism out of Gloucestershire, potentially       days of hard restoration work – the annual
  Coun Bill Crowther, Liberal Democrat                threatening the Urban Regeneration Project in the          volunteers’ reunion.
spokesman for Economic Development who                city of Gloucester.                                          The enthusiasm and cheerfulness of the
proposed the motion, said: “I am delighted by the       Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr Jeremy               volunteers over the weekend, helped relieve the
support the motion received. The Gloucester to        Hilton who seconded the motion, said: “I attended          gloom concerning the swingeing budget cuts to
Sharpness Canal is a very popular tourist             a public meeting with boat owners on the closures          national waterways funding, implemented by Defra
attraction frequented not just by boaters but by      to the canal recently and have also spoken                 in the current financial year.
runners, walkers and cyclists. It brings trade to     privately to some directors of the Gloucester                And with ‘green’ issues so much in the news, the
settlements adjoining the canal and supports a        Heritage Urban Regeneration Company. It is clear           restoration of the Grantham Canal has never been
variety of wildlife. It is also a precious heritage   to me that although Defra are making                       more relevant or important to the local
asset recalling an important development in our       unnecessary cuts to the budget, British                    environment. Particularly since the Government
county history.                                       Waterways must take some of the blame for these            will be promoting an initiative, through Natural
  “A major problem is the City and County             restrictions. British Waterways stand to gain a            England to persuade the nation to get out into the
Councils have failed to make sure a specific          colossal sum of money from the Gloucester Quays            countryside and take exercise in the open air.             Now these are the kind of cutbacks that can make
economic and tourism strategy is in place to          development scheme and should reinvest this                  The volunteers were from the Waterway Recovery           a REAL difference! Canal tree clearance near
manage and develop tourism in the Docks and the       money into the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal.              Group (WRG), part of the national group, Inland            Cropwell Bishop.
Canal while the regeneration of the Docks takes         “Now that the County Council has given its full          Waterways Association (IWA), together with the
place. Without such a strategy British Waterways      support to the motion it will write to the Chief           Grantham Canal Restoration Society. Projects                 Thanks to the kind help of St Hugh’s College,
will continue to do as it sees fit, without any       Executive of British Waterways as well as David            planned included clearance of the canal bed,               Grantham, and South Kesteven District Council,
accountability for the impact it may have on          Miliband, Minister for the Environment, in order           restoration of a bridge area and clearing water            with accommodation, supported by the excellent
anyone else.                                          to express opposition to these cuts. The council           channels.                                                  organisation of the logistic personnel from WRG,
  “Restricting winter passage will plummet the        will also be petitioning Gloucestershire’s MPs to            The burden of two days’ hard labour was offset by        the event was very successful.
canal into a state of long term decline at the very   sign a Parliamentary motion to save Britain’s              the prospect of a Saturday evening reunion                   Coupled with the completion of the restoration
moment when we need it to be more vibrant than        waterways. This issue is paramount to British              celebration with friends and contacts made over            programme, a very rewarding weekend was made
ever so as to support the Gloucester Urban            tourism and particularly to this county.”                  the year at other WRG work camps.                          possible.

  £258m dream now viable
  A DISUSED canal between South and West               However, we in the Trust believe that our                The restoration of the network would cost an
                                                                                                                                                                         Council blasts tree
                                                                                                                                                                         chopping scheme
  Yorkshire could be re-opened after                   enthusiasm and determination to succeed,               estimated £258-million and it is likely the bulk of the    COUNCILLORS have slammed plans to cut down
  investigations by a consultancy deemed               combined with the help and support of our              money would have to come from funding agencies.            dozens of trees along the banks of the River Stort
  the scheme viable, writes Debbie Cowan.              partner organisations, make this reinstatement           The consultant’s report says: “Funding a                 in Bishop's Stortford.
    The scheme would cost an estimated £258-           achievable.”                                           restoration scheme on the scale of the Barnsley,             Coun Les Pinnell revealed the plan by British Waterways
  million.                                               The Trust is a member of the Barnsley Canals         Dearne and Dove Canal is likely to rely on one or          to the town council. The details of the tree management
    The Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust           Consortium, a grouping of local authorities, the       two core funders making up 80 per cent of                  programme would see the removal of around 60
  (BDDCT) wants to reinstate two derelict canals,      Inland Waterways Association, the Royston and          funding for major projects. These funders will             sycamores along the stretch of water between Jackson
  which form the missing Yorkshire Waterways Link      Carlton Community Partnership, and other               normally be from the Lottery, The European                 Square and the Tanner's Arms pub in London Road.
  between the River Calder at Wakefield in West        interested bodies. The Consortium appointed            Union and/or the Regional Development                        Mr Pinnell said: “It seems they are taking just about as
  Yorkshire and the Sheffield & South Yorkshire        consultant engineers Atkins to carry out a             Agencies or English Partnerships.”                         much down as they possibly can. Bishop’s Stortford has
  Navigation at Swinton in South Yorkshire.            detailed feasibility study of the restoration, and       The report suggests that costs could be                  been devastated enough with all the development going
    A spokesperson for BDDCT said: “Once               this was published in November 2006.                   reduced in some areas by using volunteer labour,           on at the moment, and people are going to be even
  restored, the Barnsley Canal and the Dearne &          The results of the Engineering Feasibility Study     but the scheme could also be cut back to save              madder if they see this happening too.”
  Dove Canal would form a broad canal ring, in         conducted by the consultant engineers Atkins           large parts of those expenses. However, that                 Coun Norma Symonds said removing the trees would
  conjunction with the Sheffield & South Yorkshire     were officially launched by Ed Balls, the Labour       option would be likely to run into opposition              result in the loss of vital habitats for creatures living
  Navigation, the New Junction Canal, the main         MP for the Normanton constituency at Waterton          from barge enthusiasts.                                    along the river, such as voles and kingfishers.
  line of the Aire & Calder Navigation, and the        Park Hotel Walton Hall on Friday 3 November.             It is likely that the construction work on the             BW stated that the work was vital and had been
  Wakefield branch of the Aire & Calder.                 The feasibility study recommends the                 new canal would have to be phased over at least            authorised following a detailed study to assess the
    “Parts of the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove           waterway should be restored fully from the Aire        50 years. In the meantime, it has been                     condition of the trees. An audit had highlighted a
  Canals are still intact, while others have been      and Calder Navigation to the Sheffield and South       recommended that negotiations are started with             number of diseased trees as well as others that were
  filled in, and in some places even built over.       Yorkshire Navigation.                                  landowners on the route.                                   damaging the fabric of the waterway and impeding
                                                                                                                                                                         access, posing a danger to boaters and other river users.
32 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                             

The Stafford Riverway
– The navigation that time alm
                                                                                                                                                                        The waterway historically known as
                                                                                                                                                                        the Stafford Branch Canal and Sow
                                                                                                                                                                        Navigation, linking the county town
                                                                                                                                                                           of Stafford with the National
                                                                                                                                                                          Waterways Network, is now the
                                                                                                                                                                            subject of renewed bids for
                                                                                                                                                                               writes Tony Hoyland

                                                                                                                                                                        From the junction of
                                                                                                                                                                        the Stafford Branch
                                                                                                                                                                        Canal on the Staffs &
                                                                                                                                                                        Worcs Canal looking
                                                                                                                                                                        towards bridge 101.

EVERY day we hear of a waterway project                  tourism value. As well as boaters and their crews      former Baswich Salt Works (now the Baswich              Victorian Spa towns such as Harrogate and
staking its claim for restoration status. Many           coming into Stafford, riverside scenes and presence    Industrial Estate) and there was an elegant roving      Llandrindod Wells. It was designed by George
factors decide pecking-order priority, but               of boats in the town centre would act as a magnet      bridge at the junction. There was then a small          Wormald and opened in 1892. The building was
what cost can be placed on reconnecting with             for visitors and tourists, which in itself would       pound (about 100ft long and 20ft wide) with             extended in 1893 and became the Royal Brine
our heritage and opening new avenues for                 encourage job creation and economic regeneration       sandstone walls, and a lock house on the left. The      Baths in March 1895 following the visit of
economic benefit?                                          The Stafford Riverway Link is part of Stafford’s     channel led to a trough aqueduct over a drainage        Princess Mary Duchess of Teck (later Queen Mary,
  Such is the argument laid down by the Stafford         industrial heritage and so it seems fitting that it    channel, before entering a lock, which was known        the wife of the future George V). On the side of
Riverway Link (SRL) a group formed to promote the        should once again become a vital factor in the local   as Baswich Lock or St Thomas’ Lock.                     the Baths, facing the River Sow was some brass
reconnection of Stafford town centre with the            economy.                                                 The Lock was built to the same dimensions as          lettering ROYAL BRINE BATHS which proudly
Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.                      Plans for a connection from Stafford to the          locks on the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal and        indicated the function of the building. The Baths
  As early as 1976, many considered that the             Staffordshire & Worcester Canal, which opened in       had a nominal fall of 6ft 6in, but the actual fall      treated patients suffering from various
Stafford Branch could be restored easily in              1772, had been proposed from Radford as early as       depended upon the river level. Boats would leave        complaints including rheumatism, gout, sciatica
comparison with some of the restoration                  1798 to ‘carry coals, lime and merchandise’ to the     the lock and turn left to enter the River Sow           and neuralgia. The brine, a concentrated solution
projects then taking place. Clearly, the Link            county town. However, these plans never                directly. After about a mile upstream, boats would      of sodium chloride (common salt), was piped
would provide a destination and focus from the           materialised and were abandoned in favour of           enter a short channel that led to a wharf just before   from Stafford Common.
Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal into              building a narrow gauge tramway.                       green bridge in the centre of Stafford. The               Salt deposits had been discovered at a depth of 360ft
Stafford and offer moorings for boaters. The               But by 1813, the owners of the tramway were          Navigation could reportedly cope with boats up to       on Stafford Common to the north of the town during
Link would give boaters the opportunity of               bankrupt and the tramway closed in 1814. Then the      72ft long and beam 6ft 9in, with the draught varying    boring operations about 1881 by Stafford Corporation
staying in Stafford, exploring and using the local       plans to construct a link at Baswich gained            between 3ft 10in and 5ft according to the level of      when searching for a water supply for the town. The
facilities and so attracting new income into the         credence, this was a little further north than         water in the River Sow.                                 Stafford Salt and Alkali Company Limited was
local economy.                                           Radford and would directly lock down into the River      There was an immediate reduction in the price of      founded and the extraction of brine started.
  If restoration were to go ahead, the benefit for the   Sow.                                                   coal in Stafford.                                         The company opened a second works in Baswich
town would be enormous in terms of leisure,                Work began on the one-and-a-half-mile                  Opposite Stafford Coal Wharf, the riverside           (on land opposite the entrance to the Stafford
tourism, the environment, economic regeneration          navigation in 1814, which eventually opened in         scene was enhanced by the construction of the           Branch Canal) and supplied it with brine (for
and heritage.                                            1816. It left the main canal at Baswich, near St       magnificent Brine Baths in 1891, one of Stafford’s      processing) pumped from Stafford Common
  The SRL rightly claim there would be added             Thomas’ Bridge (Bridge 101) opposite the site of the   architectural gems, and Stafford’s answer to the        through a two-mile-long pipeline which passed

A footbridge once over the River Sow or River Penk now in the middle of nowhere after realignment of            The remains of the right-hand side roving bridge over the junction at the entrance to the Stafford
the two rivers, but today used as a public footpath.                                                            Branch Canal.
                                                                                                                                        7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 33

most forgot

                                                                                                                       Probable end of Navigation as there is a concrete pipe at the Road Bridge (Green Bridge).

  Alongside the hedge was the basin and in between the two trees at the end was the entrance to the
  aqueduct leading to the lock, the photo taken at the junction with the Staffs & Worcs Canal and the
  Stafford Branch Canal.

  through the centre of the town (feeding the Brine          Stafford to the National Waterways Network for the
  Baths) and which followed the towpath of the Sow           benefit of the community and all interested groups.
  Navigation. Coal was delivered at the wharf here             • To further the preservation, conservation and
  and large amounts of the finished product, salt,           restoration of the SRL, and to promote and
  were taken away. To satisfy demand, another                stimulate public interest in protecting its wildlife
  works was built between the canal and railway              and respecting its history.
  near Lodgefield Bridge (Bridge 102) before the start         • To establish partnerships with local authorities
  of WWII.                                                   and other bodies that will facilitate this restoration.
    Unfortunately over the years the brine                     The navigation forms the first part of Stafford
  pumping process was not kind to the                        Borough Council’s Littleworth to Baswich Bridge
  environment, it caused subsidence in the north             Waterside Doorstep Walk and the towpath is used
  of the town, and after a protracted legal battle           as a footpath.
  salt production in Stafford was banned (1970)                From Stafford Town Centre there is footpath
  and the pumping of brine stopped. This, together           access to the River Sow at Green Bridge (Bridge
  with social changes and the effect of time, sealed         Street) and there is convenient car parking nearby.
  the Baths’ fate. They were closed in 1974 when             Part of this route has access for the disabled.
  the Riverside Sports Centre opened a little                  There is also a public bus service from the
  further to the east, and were demolished to                Staffordshire and Worcester Canal at Radford Bank
  make way for the Civic Centre.                             (A34), which is accessed from the towpath at Bridge
    Although its main purpose was to carry ‘coals,           98 (Radford Bridge).
  lime and merchandise’, the waterway eventually               For further information on the SRL write to: Stafford
  became popular with pleasure boaters. In 1907 it is        Riverway Link, 84 Chillington Drive, Codsall,
  recorded that pleasure boating was a popular               Wolverhampton,       Staffs    WV8       1AY,    email
  pastime and carried on locally between Baswich    or telephone 01902 842464.        Entrance to aqueduct removed, but footbridge still in situ, June 1971.
  Lock and Green Bridge. Rowing boats and canoes
  could be hired from ‘Old Joe’ whose boatyard was at
  the side of the Royal Brine Baths. And the following
  year, 1908, saw the opening of the Victoria Pleasure
  Grounds (later Victoria Park). It is interesting to note
  that provision for pleasure boating and cruising on
  the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal was
  written into the Act of 1766.
    During the 1920s traffic using the Branch declined
  until the wharf eventually fell silent, there were no
  more working boats, the channels narrowed with
  sprawling, choking foliage and the waterway was
  neglected. The coal wharf and channel in Stafford
  were infilled in the 1930s. The area was left open and
  later used as a car park. The wharf is now the site of a
  multi-storey car park and a former Tesco supermarket.
    At Baswich, the old channel was converted into
  an overflow weir. The Roving Bridge, Lock and
  Aqueduct survived until they were demolished
  during the improvements to drainage that took
  place along the Sow Valley in the 1970s, although
  traces of this Bridge and the pound walls are still
  visible. The river channel, all the other bridges
  and most of the towpath into Stafford are still in
  place. Weir levels on the river have been changed
  as part of flood relief works, and the Rivers Sow
  and Penk have been realigned.
    Bob Bowden, Norman Cooper & David Jones form
  the nucleus of the SRL team; they have been
  actively involved in the project in one shape or                     The site of the
  another since 1997. They recognise that the                         entrance to the
  restoration of this link is of considerable appeal and        Stafford Branch Canal
  would significantly enhance the county town of             from the Staffs & Worcs
  Stafford as a place in which to live, work and visit.       Canal showing the left-
  Its main objectives are:                                        hand remains of the
    • To promote the restoration of the historic river         roving bridge over the
  and canal waterway linking the county town of                              junction.
34 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                              

 The Roger Murray column                                                                                                                                                    in a grease-stained shirt and jeans
                                                                                                                                                                              The town seemed deserted. There was just
                                                                                                                                                                            nobody to ask. The only sign of life were the cars

Belonging to a caring society
                                                                                                                                                                            zooming down the street splashing through the
                                                                                                                                                                            black puddles.
                                                                                                                                                                              I spotted a chap locking up a shop and ran over
                                                                                                                                                                            to ask him where the canal was. He eyed me up
                                                                                                                                                                            and down in a hesitant sort of way and reluctantly
                                                                                                                                                                            offered to drive me there. When we got to where
                                                                                                                  hundreds of volunteers who 30 or 40 years ago             the boats were moored, it was just different. I
                                                                                                                  selflessly dug and cleared them out and petitioned        thought I was in a dream. It then turned out that I
                                                                                                                  government to preserve them for the future as...          was in Stourbridge and not Stourport! What a
                                                                                                                  ‘Navigations’!                                            cock-up! I must have said the wrong town to the
                                                                                                                    One difficulty cruising the navigations, or canals      taxi driver.
                                                                                                                  as we call them today, is that you kind of get              I asked the man if there were any buses to
                                                                                                                  isolated, miles from anywhere with no means of            Stourport. He looked at me as if I was stupid
                                                                                                                  terrestrial transport, and it’s no use saying why         expecting buses at that time of night. I then asked
                                                                                                                  depend on a car when there are so few buses and           if he knew of a local taxi firm. He said he only
                                                                                                                  convenient railway stations.                              knew of one and he would ring them up from his
                                                                                                                    It is also getting increasingly difficult to find       home, so we drove to his house on a remote
                                                                                                                  convenient places to leave a car near the canal.          housing estate. He instructed me to wait at the
                                                                                                                  Many canal-side pubs, understandably, get a bit           front door while he phoned for cab to take me to
                                                                                                                  shirty about leaving cars in their car park.              Stourport; then telling me to wait at the corner of
                                                                                                                    Bikes are the answer. What a healthy way to get         the road as a cab would be along in 10 minutes.
                                                                                                                  around and politically correct with no pollution. I       With that, he shut the door. I suppose he
                                                                                                                  was quite relieved at how bike riding came back so        understandably wasn't for taking any chances
                                                                                                                  easily after so long. I suddenly felt young, lithe and    with this questionable stranger.
                                                                                                                  sporty, until spotting myself in a shop window. Not         I waited on the corner, trying to shelter under a
                                                                                                                  dissimilar to Compo of the Last of the Summer Wine.       privet hedge from the now bucketing-down rain.
                                                                                                                  It put me off a bit but, not to be deterred, I bought a   Every now and again, the lights of a car would
                                                                                                                  couple of cheap mountain bikes from a bike                appear at the end of the road; I would step out, but
                                                                                                                  emporium in Whaley                                                                       they just whizzed past
                                                                                                                    It’s surprising how
                                                                                                                                                “I was quite relieved at how                               leaving me in their
                                                                                                                                                                                                           spray. I was now
                                                                                                                  much ground you can             bike riding came back so                                 beginning to shiver as
                                                                                                                  cover on a bike,                                                                         20 minutes had gone
IT’S like a minor revolution – an unbelievable             All the organisations suffering the Defra cuts feel    especially when you               easily after so long. I                                by with no cab to
call to action with so many canal-minded                 very aggrieved, each believing they are a special        cycle back the same          suddenly felt young, lithe and                              rescue me.
people coming together to protest against the            case. I could be wrong, but our waterways might          route you have just                                                                        That very thin veneer
Defra cuts. It really is the awakening of a              not be considered with the special kind of priority      done on the boat, which       sporty, until spotting myself                              of civilisation had
caring society in support of these waterways.
We really do care!
                                                         we would expect in this pecking order. Although
                                                         Defra has relented slightly, it does not look good for
                                                                                                                  took hours! It feels like
                                                                                                                  flying!     The      only
                                                                                                                                                     in a shop window.”                                    deserted me. Here I
                                                                                                                                                                                                           was in the middle of
  At the request of Towpath Talk, Save Our               the future.                                              problem was that Hilary was very wobbly on the            England, yet it seemed as remote as Siberia in the
Waterways campaign and Mike Stevens, who is                I have a suspicion that British Waterways could        towpath and nearly fell in when an angler pulled          middle of a howling wet night. I suddenly felt very
acting as the Defra action webmaster for the             have unwittingly shot themselves in the foot,            his fishing pole back to let a boat go through. She       sorry for vagrants and homeless people. I could
waterways newsgroup uk.rec.waterways, I have             having previously announced in the media about           landed in all his maggots. That was it. Bikes were        die anonymously of hypothermia and nobody
lobbied my MP, but I must say I am a little              wearing a commercial hat with the intention of           out! So we are back to surreptitiously parking cars       would know.
pessimistic about the outcome.                           becoming more self-sufficient with less                  on remote lay-bys and things.                               Time dragged on and still no taxi. I would have to
  Not that I have little faith in my MP but, on          dependence on government funding.                          What you must never ever do is what I did some          knock on the man’s front door again and beg for
looking at the broader picture, I suspect the              They also shouted from the rooftops that their         years back when I left the car at Stourport. We were      help. He appeared with a grunt, was stoic and non-
waterways are seen by those in high places as a          property portfolio was worth half a billion pounds       heading the boat along the Staffs and Worcester,          committal, saying he would ring them again and I
kind of middle class leisure facility, whereas there     and they intend to embark on a six billion pound         making for Great Haywood. The boat’s engine               should wait at the corner. Back to the dreaded
are other organisations also suffering cuts which        waterside regeneration programme.                        started playing up, so we moored up at Kinver to try      corner and, thankfully, a taxi did eventually come.
are possibly considered to have more national need         They could be taken literally at their word. Not       to sort it out, which turned out to be a major repair       It felt like the height of luxury sitting in the back
priorities and they are also lobbying with just as       really the profile of a needy organisation holding       situation with me covered in oil and a job that           of that cab, although the driver didn't seem over-
much vigour.                                             out the begging bowl!                                    could not be resolved. It was getting late at night       communicative; he must have also thought the
  Cuts have been made in the flood and coastal             And while on the subject of the canals being           and the unanimous crew decision was to pack up            drowned rat he had in the back looked suspicious.
defence organisation, dealing with our coastal           possibly considered as a middle class leisure            and go home.                                                We finally got to my beloved car in Stourport. An
defences and flood plains. They say that it could not    facility, Robin Evans, the BW chairman, made a             I walked up to the pub to phone for a cab to take       oasis in the dreadful wilderness. I opened the door
have come at a worse time in view of the                 pointed remark in his speech at the 2006 AGM. He         me to collect my car. The taxi driver said he was         and the little light went on, there were all my
threatening weather pattern changes through              said: “The inland waterways are not the preserve of      booked up, but if I was ready to go immediately he        things, the familiar smell, it was dry and secure. I
global warming.                                          a few thousand middle class boaters.”                    could fit me in. So off we went. When we got to           could have hugged it!
  The State Veterinary Service is also suffering cuts.     What an odd thing to say. Perhaps he was trying        Stourport, I couldn't recognise where I had left the        A police car drew up alongside and made me get
They are monitoring the threat of Foot and Mouth         to bury the middle class leisure image, although it      car. We drove around for a bit and I still couldn't see   out of the car. After a bit of explaining and showing
disease and Bluetongue, saying that animal health is     was not the most sensitive thing to say, considering     anywhere familiar. The taxi driver was getting a bit      my licence, they went on their way. Reckon the cab
the biggest threat to our food chain. They are also      that boaters possibly provide his biggest earned         fractious and said he would have to leave me as he        driver must have tipped them off. The moral of this
closely monitoring Avian Flu (Bird Flu) which is         income apart from property.                              was late for his next customer. So out I got. I           story is. Never underestimate how important it is to
hovering just over the horizon. A vital service to the     I would also like to remind him that he wouldn't       realised it was a bad decision as I watched him           belong! It’s a lonely world out there as a vagrant,
community is being severely hampered by these cuts.      have any canals to administer if it wasn't for the       speed off into the drizzle of the night and I was only    even in Stourbridge!

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                                                                                                                               7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 35

                                                                                                                                       Lough Neagh
                                                                                                                                       Strategy launched
                                                                                                                                       Lough      Neagh    Partnership            Portmore Lough are two smaller lakes
                                                                                                                                       officially launches the Lough              associated with Lough Neagh. Lough
                                                                                                                                       Neagh Marketing Strategy this              Beg lies to the north of Lough Neagh
                                                                                                                                       month. In 2003 the Partnership             at the start of the Lower Bann River
                                                                                                                                       received a funding package from            and Portmore Lough flows into the
                                                                                                                                       the Department of Agriculture              south-east of Lough Neagh.
                                                                                                                                       and Rural Development of £3.2-               The Lough is used as a source of
                                                                                                                                       million under the European BSP             water for Belfast. Many of the local
                                                                                                                                       Programme.                                 people make a living from the Lough,
                                                                                                                                         The programme has initiated a major      mainly from fishing and sand
                                                                                                                                       regeneration initiative for the entire     extraction. There are several main
                                                                                                                                       Lough Neagh area, and over 135             tourist attractions situated around

                                                                                                                                       significant projects have been             the shores of the Lough and many
                                                                                                                                       allocated assistance to help revitalise    opportunities to partake in land and
                                                                                                                                       the Lough. However, linked with the        water-based recreational activities.
                                                                                                                                       development of important recreational      Seven district councils operate in the
                                                                                                                                       infrastructure is the need to ensure the   Lough Neagh Wetlands area.
                                                                                                                                       Lough is promoted and the new                The new marketing strategy intends

                                                                                                                                       facilities are sufficiently marketed.      to address all issues connected with
                                                                                                                                         Lough Neagh is situated in the           development          through         the
                                                                                                                                       centre of Northern Ireland. It is the      employment of a new marketing
                                                                                       Keith Langston’s regular                        largest freshwater lake in the British     officer. The creation of a new website
                                                                                                                                       Isles into which six major rivers flow;    and a film about the Lough will also

                                                                                        look ‘over the water’                          it is a relatively shallow lake. The       soon be made available. Jim Canning,
                                                                                                                                       Lower Bann River provides the exit,        chairman of the Lough Neagh
                                                                                                                                       carrying water from the north end of       Partnership, remarked: “It is vital that
                                                                                                                                       the Lough at Toome to the sea on the       we build on the success of the new
                                                                                                                                       northern coast of Northern Ireland.        facilities going on to the Lough, and

Taoiseach pledges backing
                                                                                                                                         The rivers flowing into Lough Neagh      the implementation of the new
                                                                                                                                       drain about 43 per cent of Northern        marketing strategy will make more
                                                                                                                                       Ireland, plus part of County               people aware of what the Lough has
                                                                                                                                       Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland.       to offer and how it is quickly

for Ulster Canal project
                                                                                                                                       There is no incursion of seawater into     changing.” For more information
                                                                                                                                       Lough Neagh. Lough Beg and       

JUDGING by the Defra funding cuts controversy, some
politicians on this side of the Irish Sea could rightly be
                                                                   this ‘missing link’ in our inland waterways network would bring
                                                                   major benefits to the communities living in the canal corridor
                                                                                                                                       Major marina
accused of failing to realise the full potential of the
inland waterways and their relationship to tourism.
  Fortunately, the same cannot be said of their opposite
numbers in Ireland. Much to the delight of tourist chiefs and
                                                                   and would be a major boost to the development of tourism in
                                                                   the region. It would, of course, also be of great benefit to IWAI
                                                                   members in providing them with additional waterways to
                                                                   explore and enjoy.
                                                                                                                                       works underway
enthusiasts ‘over the water’, the Inland Waterways Association       He said that IWAI was committed to working in partnership         The enhancement of Ballyronan Marina, funded by Lough Neagh Partnership
of Ireland was able on 7 November 2006 to issue this statement.    with the statutory authorities to ensure the success of this        and Cookstown District Council, is underway. The project will provide an
  The president of IWAI Brian Cassells today warmly welcomed       project and would welcome the opportunity to meet with the          additional 36 berths with a new slipway and mast crane and build a new
the announcement last Saturday night by the Taoiseach Bertie       project team at the earliest possible date. Mr Cassells also        children’s adventure play area. A further upgrade at the Battery Harbour is also
Ahern of plans to restore and reopen the Ulster Canal. He said:    acknowledged the support and commitment shown by Eamon                                                                     underway with new
“On behalf of the members of our association and inland            O’Cuiv, Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands, to                                                          berth facilities and
waterways enthusiasts everywhere, I would like to thank the        the project over the last number of years.                                                                                 improvements to the
Taoiseach for his commitment to the restoration and re-              The IWAI president made this statement at the beginning of                                                               Lough Neagh Rescue
opening of the Ulster Canal at the Ard Fheis on Saturday night.”   the campaign. “This is the millennium project to illustrate co-                                                            facility. Both projects are
  Mr Cassells went on to say that IWAI believed that reinstating   operation and trust, the one that threatens none but benefits                                                              due for completion in
                                                                   all. The canal is a gem, a forgotten cultural and heritage jewel;                                                          Spring 2007.
                                                                   let’s show our new face to the world, let’s reopen the Ulster
                                                                   Canal now.
                                                                     “The ultimate dream of all waterway enthusiasts is to be able                                                              Work will soon be
                                                                   to sail from Coleraine to Limerick. The missing link is the now                                                              underway; engineers
                                                                   derelict Ulster Canal. Built in 1841 to link the Erne system and                                                             show the plans for
                                                                   the Shannon with Lough Neagh, its success was short-lived. A                                                                 Ballyronan Marina.
                                                                   poor water supply, inappropriately sized locks and the                                                                       Eimear Kearney LNP
                                                                   imminent arrival of quicker rail and road transport sounded its
                                                                   death knell. Now the economic prize is a different one – tourism
                                                                   – to bring much needed inward investment to a forgotten corner       Dublin Branch AGM
                                                                   of Ireland.”                                                         Starts 8pm at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club, South Bank, Pigeon House Rd,
                                                                                                                                        Ringsend on Thursday 7 December 2006. The guest speaker for the night
                                                                                                                                        is from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and will speak on
                                                                                                                                        the canals and rivers of Dublin.
This is a typical scene on the well-maintained, user-friendly
and picturesque inland waterways of Ireland. The great                                                                                  Volunteers wanted for Work Parties
importance of these arteries to the tourist industry is not lost                                                                        Ulster Canal Work Parties – volunteers needed
on Irish politicians. Keith Langston                                                                                                    ‘Making Structures Visible’ 2 December 2006 at Carsons Bridge.
                                                                                                                                        Contact Nigel McMorris at nigel.mcmorris AT
                                                                                                                                                                         Colin Becker on mobile: +353 (0)87 24 26 249

                                                                                                                                                                           Boyne Navigation
                                                                                                                                                                            In addition to working on the Grand Canal
                                                                                                                                                                            and the Royal Canal, the Dublin branch is
                                                                                                                                                                            campaigning for the restoration of the
                                                                                                                                                                             Boyne Navigation. They want to hear from
                                                                                                                                                                             people interested in getting involved in
                                                                                                                                                                             heritage restoration work. Skills (like
                                                                                                                                                                             stoneworking) would be welcome, but
                                                                                                                                                                             they can use anyone who is willing to
                                                                                                                                                                              help in any way. The Boyne Canal Action
                                                                                                                                                                              Group (sub-committee of the Dublin
                                                                                                                                                                              branch) continued its work programme
                                                                                                                                                                              for 2006 starting 7 October and thereafter
 John Fletcher, national chairman IWA, presenting Brian                                                                                                                       every second Saturday through until May
 Cassells, president Inland Waterways Association Ireland,                                                                                                                     2007. The work this season is to open the
 with a copy of the IWA publication on heritage boats, a                                                                                                             navigation up on to the river above Oldbridge by
 beautiful piece of Irish Crystal has passed in the opposite                                                                            removing the concrete dam at the horse bridge and putting in new lock
 direction. Also in the photograph are other members of                                                                                 gates in its place. If you can help please talk to Mick Kinahan on 0868150483
 the IWAI 'crew' who visited the recent Beale Park event.                                                                               or Tommy McLoughlinon 0872771591.
 IWAI\                                                             Awaiting restoration, Ulster canal lock at Silver Stream. Brian      For more information visit the IWAI web site is at
36 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                               

                                                                                                                                                                             Waterways Craft Guild – Training
                                                                                                                                                                                     Courses 2007
                                                                                                                    Advertise your event free in our                         27 January
                                                                                                                        What’s On diary. Send                                Roses, Castles and Signwriting Tasters – National
                                                                                                                                                                             Waterways Museum, Gloucester. £58 + £6
                                                                                                                            your details to                                  materials for Guild members. £63 + £6 materials
                                                                                                                                             for non-members.

                                                                                                                                                                             3- 4 March
3-29 December                                            11 December                                                14 December                                              Roses and Castles – National Waterways Museum,
Christmas Art Exhibition by Michele Field. John          ‘Clothes of the Cut’ by Les and Freda Hales – Ashby        Christmas Social – Chelmsford Branch IWA.                Gloucester.
Radcliffe Hospital, Level 2, Headley Way, Headington,    Canal Association. MIRA Sports and Social Club,            Moulsham Mill, Parkway, Chelmsford, CM2 7PX.
Oxford. Visit                  Watling Street, Nuneaton. Starts 7.30pm.                   Starts 8pm. Contact 01245 358342.                        25-27 August
or contact 01865 371188.                                                                                                                                                     Roses & Castles, Signwriting and Cabin Lace &
                                                         12 December                                                15 December                                              Crochet – IWA Festival and Boat Show, St Ives on
10 December                                              ‘The Shropshire Union Canal Society – What do we do?       ‘Saturn – old boat, new problems’ by Tony Lewery.        the river Great Ouse.
Guided ecology walk – Friends of Montgomery              And how do we do it?’ – Paul Mills, Fundraising and        Ellesmere Port Boat Museum Society. Starts
Canal. Burgeddin Lock Cottage (BW office) near           Projects Officer, SUCS. IWA Chester & District Branch.     7.30pm. Tom Rolt Centre, National Waterways              6-7 October
Arddleen to Wern Nature reserve and return. Starts                                                                  Museum, Ellesmere Port.                                  Signwriting – National Waterways Museum,
2pm. Contact Maggie Ellis 01938 590543.                  13 December                                                                                                         Gloucester.
                                                         ‘Restoration and Re-opening of the Southern                16-17 December                                           Fenders and Ropework – Bonded Warehouse,
Pinkneys Green and Beyond – Loddon Valley                Stratford Canal’ by Rett Hume – IWA Warwickshire.          Santa Cruises – on board nb George Watson Buck from      Stourbridge. £39 + £6 materials for Guild
Ramblers. Pinkneys Green, Bucks/Berks. A 10-             The Globe Hotel, Theatre Street, Warwick, starts           Llanymynech Wharf (afternoons). Tickets £5 ea.           members. £49 + £6 materials for non-members.
mile/five-hour River Thames Path walk through            7.30pm. Non-members welcome. Contact Alan                  Presents for children; refreshments for adults.
Hurley and Marlow returning via Bisham Woods.            Bridgman       01789      267134     or    email           Booking: 01691 830506; visit the website                 3-4 November
Meet at the car park in the woods south of Pinkneys                                   or       email      Beginners Roses and Castles – Park Head Pump
Green. Starts 10am.                                                                                                                              House, Dudley, West Midlands. £75 – £5 reduction
                                                         Musings over mince pies – IWA North Lancs and                                                                       for Guild members.
Henley Dragon Boat Winter Series II – Henley             Cumbria. Chorley Brewery Wharf, 15 Dark Lane,              20 December
Dragons. Henley – Marsh Lock to Temple Island.           Whittle Springs. Starts 7.30pm. Contact 01257 274440.      ‘The Thames Creeks’ by Dr Roger Squires – Surrey         24-25 November
Long-distance race for dragon boats. Email:                                                                         and Hampshire Canal Society. Contact David Millett       Signwriting – Park Head Pump House, Dudley, West or visit the website              ‘Nottingham Canal’ by Mike Golds – IWA Lichfield. Guild    01252 617364.                                            Midlands. £75 – £5 reduction for Guild members.                                    Room, Guildhall, Bore Street, Lichfield. Starts 7.45pm.
                                                                                                                                                                             For more information telephone 01384 569198 or

                                                         Huddersfield Narrow Canal                                  Oxford Canal
                                                         Stoppage: Lock 20 West to Lock 13 West 6 Nov-15 Dec        Stoppage: Napton Flight                 6 Nov-15 Dec
                                                         Stoppage: Lock 2 West to Lock 1 West 6 Nov-15 Dec                                                                  Stourbridge Canal

Ashby Canal
                                                         Kennet & Avon Canal
                                                         Stoppage: Greenham Lock 86
                                                         Stoppage: Lock 38 Caen Hill
                                                                                                 20 Nov-17 Dec
                                                                                                  27 Nov-9 Dec
                                                                                                                    River Avon (Stratford)
                                                                                                                    Stoppage: Avon, Strensham, Pershore Lock 6 Nov-15 Dec
                                                                                                                    Stoppage: Marcliffe Lock               15 Nov-20 Dec
                                                                                                                                                                            Stoppage: Stourbridge Locks

                                                                                                                                                                            Stratford-upon-Avon Canal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     13 Nov-15 Dec

                                                                                                                                                                            Stoppage: Lapworth Flight Lock 2 to Lock 19
Stoppage: Shenton Aqueduct           6 Nov-15 Dec                                                                   River Great Ouse                                                                                 6 Nov-15 Dec
Stoppage: Marston Junction Stop Gate      4-8 Dec        Leeds & Liverpool Canal                                    Stoppage: Hermitage Lock               1 Nov-31 Mar     Stoppage: Lock 21 to Lock 38             6 Nov-10 Dec
                                                         Stoppage: Calverley Wood Embankment 6 Nov-2 Feb                                                                    Stoppage: Shirley Drawbridge, Bridge 8 20 Nov-15 Dec
Ashton Canal                                             Stoppage: Bridge 9 to 12A               6 Nov-11 Dec       River Soar                                              Stoppage: Lock 40 to Lock 53, Stratford 20 Nov-15 Dec
Stoppage: Bottom Lock 1 to Top Lock 18 6 Nov-15 Dec      Stoppage: Locks 5 to 8 (Rufford Branch) 6 Nov-15 Dec       Stoppage: Loughborough Arm (only)       1 Apr-31 Aug
                                                         Stoppage: Foulridge Tunnel to Barrowford Bottom            Stoppage: Bishop Meadow Lock            27 Nov-8 Dec    Tame Valley Canal
Bridgewater Canal                                        Lock 51                                20 Nov-15 Dec                                                               Stoppage: Perry Barr Locks                    11-15 Dec
Stoppage: Astley Bridge                 6 Nov-16 Dec     Stoppage: Wigan Flight Locks                5-17 Dec       River Thames
                                                                                                                    Stoppage: Chertsey Lock                1 Nov-21 Dec     Titford Canal
Caldon Canal                                             Llangollen Canal                                           Stoppage: Penton Hook Lock             1 Nov-23 Feb     Stoppage: Titford Locks                       11-15 Dec
Stoppage: Ivy House Embankment         27 Nov-15 Dec     Stoppage: Hurleston Lock Flight       6 Nov-8 Dec          Stoppage: Bray Lock                    1 Nov-23 Feb
                                                         Stoppage: Wrenbury Church Lift Bridge No19                 Stoppage: Boulter's Lock               1 Nov-21 Dec     Trent & Mersey Canal
Coventry Canal                                                                                6 Nov-15 Dec          Stoppage: Days Lock                     1 Nov-2 Mar     Stoppage: Junction Lock 17, Fradley       6 Nov-15 Dec
Stoppage: Atherstone Lock 1             6 Nov-15 Dec                                                                Stoppage: Clifton Lock                 1 Nov-23 Feb     Stoppage: Hassal Green Lock No57          6 Nov-15 Dec
Stoppage: Huddlesford Junction: from Bridge 83,          Macclesfield Canal                                         Stoppage: Osney Lock                   2 Nov-23 Feb     Stoppage: Ridgway's Lock No 38            6 Nov-15 Dec
Plough Bridge to Lichfield Cruising Club Pedestrian      Stoppage: Bosley Lock No 3               6 Nov-15 Dec      Stoppage: Pinkhill Lock                6 Nov-19 Jan     Stoppage: Cockshutts Lock No 37           6 Nov-15 Dec
Bridge                                1 Jan-4 Mar 07                                                                Stoppage: Shifford Lock               20 Nov-22 Dec     Stoppage: Big Lock No 75                      4-15 Dec
                                                         Middle Level Navigations                                   Stoppage: Abingdon Lock               27 Nov-15 Dec     Stoppage: Armitage Rail Bridge               22-27 Dec
Crinan Canal                                             Restriction: Salters Lode Lock – Boats over 63 feet in
Stoppage: Ardrishaig sealock to Lock 13 6 Nov-2 Mar 07   length are not currently able to lock through Salters      River Weaver                                            Union Canal
                                                         Lode Lock at the junction of the Middle Level              Stoppage: Anderton Boat Lift                            Stoppage: Reddingmuirhead                 6 Nov-17 Dec
Dudley No 2 Canal                                        system and the tidal River Ouse. until further notice                            6 Nov-15 Dec & 23 Dec-2 Jan
Stoppage: Highbridge Bridge, Dudley No 2 Canal                                                                                                                              Wednesbury Oak Loop
                                    20 Nov-15 Dec        Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal                               Rochdale Canal                                          The navigation is closed             until further notice
                                                         Stoppage: Culvert No 28                  6 Nov-15 Dec      Stoppage: Lock 53 to 52                6 Nov-16 Mar
Erewash Canal                                            Stoppage: Gilwern Embankment             6 Nov-15 Dec                                                              Worcester & Birmingham Canal
Stoppage: Stensons Lock                 27 Nov-8 Dec     Stoppage: Llangyndr Lock Flight          6 Nov-15 Dec      Rushall Canal                                           Stoppage: Bridges 80 to 82, Selly Oak 27 Nov-8 Dec
                                                         Stoppage: Talybont Aqueduct              6 Nov-15 Dec      Stoppage: Rushall Locks                7 Nov-16 Mar
Forth & Clyde Canal                                      Stoppage: Bridge No 111                  13 Nov-8 Dec
Stoppage: Lock 16 to Lock 2             6 Nov-17 Dec     Stoppage: Gilwern Aqueduct               13 Nov-8 Dec      Shropshire Union Canal                                   Stoppage information
                                                                                                                    Stoppage: Embankment 58                6 Nov-15 Dec
Grand Union Canal                                        Montgomery Canal                                           Stoppage: Whitby Bottom Wide No1 Lock 16 Nov-15 Dec      This information is correct at time of going to press,
Stoppage: Aylesbury Arm                   6 Nov-8 Dec    Stoppage: Brithdir Lock                   6 Nov-15 Dec     Stoppage: Tyrley Lock flight               4-15 Dec      but stoppages may be subject to change. For the latest
Stoppage: Northampton Arm                 6 Nov-8 Dec    Stoppage: Lockgate Bridge 71        until further notice                                                            information on stoppages and restrictions, go to the
                                                         Stoppage: Wern Bridge No 107              20 Nov-8 Dec     Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal                     website which can also be
Grand Union Canal Leicester Line                                                                                    Stoppage: Stourport Barge Locks (Broad) 9 Oct-15 Dec     accessed via our own website
Stoppage: Watford Locks 1 to 7          6 Nov-8 Dec      Netherton Tunnel Branch Canal                              Stoppage: Stourport Narrow Locks       30 Oct-15 Dec     or telephone 01923 201401.
Stoppage: Pywells Lock 21        until further notice    Stoppage: Aqueduct 2, Tividale Aqueduct 6 Nov-15 Dec       Stoppage: Lock 34, Boggs Lock         27 Nov-15 Dec

                                   The Heritage of the Inland                                                                                         The Old Chester Canal
                                   Waterways                                                                                                          A History and Guide
                                   with former Blue Peter presenter                                                                                   Chester Canal is one of England’s oldest canals. Here are
                                   John Noakes                                                                                                        some of the stories and pictures of its inception and its
                                   Filmed by award nominated TV documentary makers                                                                    life, its boats and its people. Including a 60 page guide to
                                   at locations across six counties, this DVD features                                                                explaining the canal, this book
                                   some of the UK’s most                                                                                              will appeal to anyone
                                   stunning canal routes,                    Price                                                                    interested in Chester or                        Price
                                   whilst celebrating the history
                                   and heritage of the canal                   £14.99                                                                 England’s Inland Waterways.                        £13.95
                                   network.                                inc. p&p                                                                                                                         inc. p&p

  call 01507 529300                                                                                                                 or visit
                                                                                                                                      7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 37

Land Rover keeps                                                                                                                              Canal managers
                                                                                                                                              receive police awards

trust on track
                                                                                                                                              TWO           British
                                                                                                                                              W a t e r w a y s
                                                                                                                                              employees, Graham
                                                                                                                                              Smith     and     Ray
                                                                                                                                              Farrow, involved in
                                                                                                                                              the care of west
                                                                                                                                              London’s        canal
HARWOODS Land Rover of Pulborough,                                                                                                            network     are    to
Sussex, have provided the Wey & Arun Canal                                                                                                    receive an award for
Trust with a brand-new Land Rover Defender.                                                                                                   their contribution to
  Handing over the keys to the new Land Rover,                                                                                                tackling serious and
Glyn Woodage, Chief Executive Officer of the                                                                                                  organised crime.
Harwoods Group, commented: “Our support for                                                                                                     The             awards,
the Wey & Arun Canal Trust dates back to the                                                                                                  Operational Command
mid-1990s. We felt then, and still feel now, that                                                                                             Unit       Commander’s
restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal is an ideal                                                                                               Commendations, will be
cause for Harwoods to support, especially as it is                                                                                            presented by Chief Supt      Ray Farrow (left) and Graham Smith, who between
a local concern that really needs Land Rover                                                                                                  Ian Thomas from MPS          them have 20 years service with BW, are to receive
vehicles for the tough tasks at which they excel.”                                                                                            Marine Support Unit. The     awards for dedication ‘beyond the call of duty’.
  The Chairman of the Wey & Arun Canal Trust,                                                                                                 OCU awards, which are
Peter Foulger, said: “We are immensely grateful to                                                                                            usually given to members     commend the dedication     involved in a series of
Harwoods for their generous support. The Land                                                                                                 of the Police force,         of these officers whose    armed robberies. I would
Rover Defender is the perfect vehicle for canal                                                                                               recognise extraordinary      assistance     in    an    like to thank British
restoration jobs. Harwoods need not fear that the                                                                                             work in the service of the   intelligence-led           Waterways officers for
new Land Rover will sit in a garage without                                                                                                   people of London.            operation went beyond      their continued support
getting mud on its wheels.                                The new Land Rover is soon put through its paces on site at Loxwood.                  Chief Superintendent       the call of duty. Their    and look forward to our
  “We have put it to immediate use on our central                                                                                             Ian Thomas, Borough          professionalism     and    continuing partnership
restoration project in Loxwood and at other sites         across the region, helping to spread the word                                       Commander of MPS             extreme hard work led to   to patrol and police the
up and down the canal. Next year it will also be          about the benefits of completing restoration of                                     Marine Support Unit          the arrest of two men      canal     systems     of
hauling our display vehicle to shows and fairs            the Wey & Arun Canal.”                                                              said: “I am privileged to    who were believed to be    London.”

                                                                                                                                              over the
                                                                                                                                                        Harry Martin looks at some rare birds that
   Few sights are more
     spectacular in the
                                                                                                                                                         are seldom seen, but it’s worth keeping
  natural world than the                                                                                                                                      a decent pair of binoculars to
  osprey hunting for fish.                                                                                                                               hand in the hope that they may appear
       RSPB Images

VISITORS to Scotland or to Rutland, England’s               If the hawk-eyed hunter emerges with a fish –           I can recall two memorable moments in the late
smallest county, during the spring, summer                often a large trout – it carries the victim, clutched   1900s when I witnessed the appearance of the
and autumn may have been privileged to                    headfirst in its claws to optimise the                  bittern in the East Midlands.
catch sight of an osprey.                                 aerodynamics, and flies back to its nest or a             The first coincided with the official opening of the
  This big fish hawk was persecuted by ghillies and       favourite feeding post.                                 Attenborough Nature Reserve, a former gravel pit
gamekeepers in their over-anxiety to preserve the           This big brown and white bird – almost two-feet       which lies only a few feet from the north bank of
precious fish-stocks of their misguided masters.          long from beak to tail with a five-and-half-foot        the River Trent a few miles south of the City of
  As a result, it had been extinct as a British           wingspan – builds a huge, untidy nest of sticks         Nottingham and which, although it takes its name
breeding bird for 50 years until, in the early 1950s, a   high in a tree or on a cliff. Those that have bred at   from the village in which it lies, was opened by the
pair bred high in a Scots pine near Loch Garten on        Rutland Water nest on one of the pole-mounted           world-famous naturalist, David Attenborough.
Speyside, Scotland.                                       platforms the wardens have erected especially             Local birdwatchers recorded that the bittern
  The birds’ comeback was undoubtedly aided by            for the purpose, laying a single clutch of two or       stayed for 36 days and entertained high hopes that
the enormous efforts of the Royal Society for the         three eggs.                                             another would join it and the pair might stay and
Protection of Birds, keeping egg-collectors at bay by       Another bird that became extinct as a breeding        breed there. Alas, those hopes have yet to be
mounting a 24-hour watch and surrounding the              species in Britain is the shy and secretive bittern.    fulfilled.
nest site with barbed wire to secure the osprey’s           A once-common bird on marshland throughout              The second was on a cruelly cold winter’s day at
tenuous hold on a British breeding ground.                the country, the bittern was literally shot out of      Swithland Reservoir, which is cradled in the tree-
  Since then, numbers have increased to more              these shores by so-called ‘sportsmen’ and               fringed granite outcrops that characterise the
than 100 breeding pairs, including one                    disappeared from sight in 1868.                         Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire.
successfully introduced to Rutland Water –                  But about 40 years later European migrants came         With the aid of a powerful pair of binoculars, I
Europe’s largest man-made lake – with the result          back to re-colonise and the breeding population         was able to distinguish the brown-and-buff-
that more can be seen on passage throughout the           reached its peak in the 1950s.                          streaked bittern – standing upright with its beak
country between April and October when they                 Since then it has declined dramatically; this time    pointing aloft and so-cleverly-camouflaged to blend
have been observed while fishing on lakes and             due to the drainage of the marshlands and the           with the surrounding clump of reeds.
reservoirs en route.                                      resultant reduction of the reedbeds where they live,      It was a rare sight that I will always treasure,
  The osprey feeds almost exclusively on fish and         feed and breed and which need to be surrounded by       because it is a fair bet that there are more people
there are few sights that are more spectacular in         fairly deep water to provide their essential diet of    who have heard the bittern than have seen it –
the natural world than when this most-impressive          eels and fish.                                          rather like the nightingale, but there the
creature makes a kill.                                      In consequence, the bittern’s breeding ground is      resemblance ends.                                        The bittern’s breeding ground is confined to East
  The hunt for fish food begins at a fair height,         confined to East Anglia and largely restricted to the     The sweet song of the nightingale has inspired         Anglia and largely restricted to the Norfolk
when the bird flaps and glides over the water until       Norfolk Broads.                                         innumerable romantic poets to write about it in          Broads. Neil Smith
it spots a potential meal swimming near the                 Unlike the osprey, the bittern remains here           rhapsodic terms. Not so that of the bittern, whose
surface. Then, after a brief pause – maybe a              throughout the year and severe winter frosts can        ‘song’ – its mating call – is a deep, sonorous ‘boom’
momentary heavy-winged hover – it dives swiftly           drive them out of their East Anglian stronghold and     which sounds something like a far-away foghorn
with wings partially closed and plunges feet-first        further inland to the edges of reed-fringed lakes       but, for me and anyone else who has heard it, has a
into the water.                                           and reservoirs.                                         romance all of its own.
38 TOWPATH TALK 7 December 2006, issue 14                                                

 Canalside development
 thrown out by council                                    Countryfile focus on
                                                          Cotswold Canals
 AN application from Peel Holdings, the
 Manchester based conglomerate, to build
 275 homes by the side of the Manchester
 Ship Canal, on land that was once a
 thriving timber yard, has been rejected by
 Warrington councillors. This is despite Peel
 agreeing to increase the ratio of ‘affordable            THE project to restore the Cotswold Canals was featured on BBC’s
 homes’ in the development from 11 to 20                  flagship rural affairs programme Countryfile in mid-November.
 per cent to gain acceptance.                               The Countryfile team were in Stroud exploring environmental issues for the
   Peel Holdings is a major influence in the              programme.
 north-west and owns among other things, the                Presenter John Craven interviewed Roger Hanbury, chairman of the Cotswold
 Manchester Ship Canal, Liverpool Airport,                Canals Partnership and Chief Executive of The Waterways Trust, for the
 Mersey Docks and Harbour Board and large                 segment on the Cotswold Canals.
 sections of Birkenhead Docks. However, at                  Roger said: “The restoration of the Cotswold Canals will bring huge benefits
 nearby Walton Lock, abandoned when barge                 for the southern Cotswolds and especially for the Stroud valleys. As well as
 traffic on to the upper reaches of the tidal             providing a better-managed environment, which will allow wildlife to thrive, the
 Mersey ended in the 80s, Peel is progressing with        restoration will help to regenerate Stroud as a waterside town, attracting inward
 plans to build some 400 new homes while                  investment, tourists and developing new leisure and recreation opportunities.
 restoring the lock and improving the area for              “Waterside locations are attractive to both residents and visitors, meaning more
 wildlife.                                                people will want to live, work and relax in the area.
   There have been, in recent months, several               “As we have seen from other waterway regeneration projects, an initial
 successful       applications      for     housing       investment of public funds attracts significantly more in private investment
 developments at waterside locations, in                  bringing with it new employment and training opportunities.”
 response to public demand, as a result of the              The segment considered the environmental impact of two proposals to
 River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal having            reconnect 300 metres of the canal, which had been severed by the construction
 been cleaned up to such a level that Atlantic            of a by-pass in the 80s. One was the construction of a concrete trough which
 salmon are now reportedly seen leaping up local          would cross the River Frome and disturb a ‘much-loved’ nature reserve, or a
 weirs.                                                   more costly option which would take the canal in its trough through a 60s
   These developments come at a time when the             landfill site.
 Warrington Borough Council is beginning to                 The restoration of the Cotswold Canals led by the Cotswold Canals
 realise the asset it has with the newly clean            Partnership is a major first step in reconnecting England’s two greatest rivers,
 rivers and is actively looking to develop a              the Thames and the Severn.
 positive waterside strategy. In a recent                   The first phase of the project has received funding from the Heritage Lottery
 consensus, 42 per cent of Warrington residents           Fund and South West Regional Development Agency. It is also supported by
 asked identified improving waterside locations           nearly 30,000 members of the public who signed a petition in favour of the           Roger Hanbury and John Craven filming on the Stroudwater Canal at
 as vital to the success of the initiative.               restoration plans.                                                                   Stonehouse

Pay & Display at all BW                                                                                                                        Fallen oak tree closes
                                                                                                                                               Sowerby Bridge
South West car parks
ALL BW car parks in the South West             the machine at Pewsey had been out of             “Anecdotal evidence suggests that by
Region are to be made Pay & Display            order for most of the three months or           introducing a charge we will create a
and the charges standardised                   more that it has been installed and the         better turnover of space availability,
following a two-week consultation              ticket machine at the Caen Hill car park        especially during the summer months,
with some canal users, writes Bob              is vandalised and emptied almost as             that will increase casual visitors to the
Naylor.                                        soon as it gets any money in it.                canals.”                                                                                                     The BW team
  BW had 19 responses from a document            BW says that they will issue a permit                                                                                                                      removing the fallen
sent to 500 boaters in the region.             valid for all of their car parks on the K&A                                                                                                                  tree.
  Of these, two were supportive and three      to customers with BW moorings on the
asked what effect it would have on             canal.                                                                                          THE Rochdale Canal at Sowerby Bridge was closed to navigation on 30
specific locations.                              Susie     Mercer, Leisure         Services                                                    October when a 200-year-old oak fell across the waterway as a result
  On the strength of this, BW intend to        Development           Manager,        British                                                   of high winds.
implement the scheme and put the               Waterways South West, rejected calls for                                                          Fortunately, no one was hurt when the 40ft tree fell and there were no boats
management in the hands of a specialist        all licence holders to be issued with a                                                         moored in the immediate area.
contractor who will be responsible for         permit and said: “The boat licence fee                                                            It took BW a day and a half to remove the tree, with a passage opened for
servicing the machines and clamping            pays for the right to keep a boat on the                                                        three waiting boats less than 24 hours after the navigation was closed.
cars that overstay or do not have a valid      water and use the navigation.                                                                     John Banks, maintenance supervisor, said: “Fortunately the team has recently
ticket.                                          “Additional benefits such as parking                                                          completed a Wind Blown Trees safety course and were impressively able to get
  At the Canal Users’ Forum in Devizes,        have always been allied to the mooring                                                          the navigation back open within 24 hours.
John Arthurs of Newbury asked: “How            fee and not to the licence fee.”                                                                  “Last year it cost £3000 to get a contractor in to remove a similar-sized oak tree
much revenue does BW get from the                Other people can buy a permit for all                                                         on the same stretch of waterway. So with the latest incident and two other trees
parking meters in use at the moment?”          car parks along a given waterway for                                                            that went down earlier this year, their training has more than paid for itself.”
Paul Griffin of BW said: “We cannot give       £175 a year.                                                                                      The tree was cut up and positioned on the canal banking as a habitat for wildlife.
out that information because it would            She went on to say: “We do not believe
put our operatives at risk.”                   that the introduction of charging will          Caen Hill car parking meter – vandalised
  It was pointed out from the floor that       deter visitors.                                 yet again.
                                                                                                                                                New Thames lock booking system
Boat count cracks down on ‘freeloaders’                                                                                                         THE booking system for Thames
                                                                                                                                                Lock on the Grand Union Canal
                                                                                                                                                in Brentford will change from
                                                                                                                                                                                          with a contact telephone number.
                                                                                                                                                                                            British Waterways will continue to
                                                                                                                                                                                          man Thames lock during the summer
BW has just completed its second                 Simon Salem, BW’s marketing                                                                    1 January 2007.                           months – 1 April-30 September 2007.
national boat count to provide up-             and customer service director,                                                                     British Waterways report that the       The lock will be manned two hours
to-date information about the                  said: “This is the second year that                                                              changes will only affect journeys         either side of a high tide that falls
licence status of all the boats on its         we’ve conducted a single national                                                                made during the winter months,            between 8am and 6pm. The bookings
waterways.                                     boat count. Taking place right                                                                   from 1 January-31 March and 1             procedure will continue to apply
  BW patrol teams between 6-17                 across the network in such a short                                                               October to the end of December.           during the summer months outside
November         carried      out       the    space of time, it means that we                                                                    From next year, Thames Lock will        the manned hours.
comprehensive annual check along 2200          get a comprehensive picture of                                                                   no longer be constantly manned              British Waterways is currently
miles of waterway. The information             evasion on our waterways.                                                                        during working hours, so advance          producing a new 2007 Tidal Locks
gathered forms the foundation of BW’s            “I know our patrol teams have                                                                  booking will be required for all users    Availability leaflet covering Thames
crackdown on licence evasion. During           made great efforts this year to                                                                  wishing to travel through it.             Lock, Bow Lock and Limehouse Lock,
2006, BW has recovered more than               crack down on the freeloaders                                                                      Boaters are requested to contact        for publication in December. The
£680,000 of overdue licence fee income         who, for whatever reason, haven’t                                                                the lock office at least 24 hours         leaflet details high water times on
and 126 unlicensed boats have been             bought a boat licence. These         An unlicensed boat removed from the Regents                 ahead of their journey. If calling        each day along with information on
seized under Section 8 powers.                 boaters are unwelcome on our Canal in October                                                    outside normal manned hours,              the pre-booking times and manned
  The data is now being collated with local    waterways and we’ve made a real                                                                  messages will be processed the next       hours of all three locks. For a copy of
and national licence evasion rates due to      inroad into getting them licensed or off officer Lisa Jarvis spotted 47ft                        working day when the 24-hour              the new Tidal Locks Availability
be reported in January 2007. The               the waterways over the past 12 months.” narrowboat, Cragdale. Subject to a police                notice period begins. If leaving a        leaflet, call 020 7985 7200.
information held in BW’s computer system         An additional benefit of the count was enquiry, the £20,000 boat had been                      message, boaters are asked to leave         For bookings and enquiries for
will then also provide up-to-date case lists   recorded at Foxton Locks on the Grand reported missing a week earlier from                       the date and time of call, together       Thames Lock, call 020 8568 2779.
of boats requiring enforcement action.         Union Canal when South East patrol Braunston.   7 December 2006, issue 14 TOWPATH TALK 39

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