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Tuesday 14 February

Today's news from the web

  • Moveable weirs to form part of council’s alternative flood defences yorkshirepost.co.uk

    A phased approach is now being proposed following further work by the Environment Agency, Leeds Council, British Waterways and other partners including Yorkshire Water, with the aim being to see improvements in place within two to three years. Existing weirs at Knostrop and Crown Point would be removed and replaced with moveable alternatives while Knostrop Cut would be removed to widen the river by merging the canal and the River Aire....

  • Slough Arm clear-up plans sloughobserver.co.uk

    A major clean-up of Slough Canal will be carried out next winter after calls from organisers of the town's annual festival. A drop in the number of boats attending the long-running Slough Canal Festival is being blamed on the state of the Slough Arm of the main Grand Union Canal....


Thursday 9 February

'Big Waterways Clean Up helps clean the Olympic waterways

Environmental charity Thames 21 has launched the Big Waterways Clean Up, an initiative to  transform 50 waterway locations along 18 miles of canals and rivers in time for the Olympics. 

The campaign aims to get at least 4000 people involved in more than 80 events along the Lee Navigation, Regent's Canal and other London-area waterways. The events include walking litter picks, wildflower meadow planting and invasive weed species removal.

Waterways minister Richard Benyon is backing the launch, and said: “The Big Waterways Clean Up is an excellent example of how communities can turn their local environment into an area they can be proud of. I am delighted that I have been able to give a helping hand to clean up what will be a focal point for visitors when they come to London to visit the Olympic Games.”

Thames 21 is launching the scheme in partnership with British Waterways, London Waterways Commission, Environment Agency, London 2012 Changing Places programme, Mayor of London, Team London, British Waterways, Olympic Park Legacy Company, Port of London Authority, London Councils, City of London Corporation, and the Inland Waterways Association.

You can find your next local Big Waterways Clean Up event on the Thames 21 Events page

Andrew Denny  | 5.42pm | add a comment


Today's news from the web

  • Leeds metal thief causes canal chaos yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk

    A canal was shut due to oil pollution after metal thieves severed a main power cable serving hundreds of homes. The damage cost £100,000 to repair and sparked a £25,000 clean-up for metal worth just £50. Police are hunting those responsible for the attack on the oil-filled 33,000 volt power line on a footbridge gantry over the Leeds Liverpool Canal near Redcote Lane, Kirkstall. Fortunately power supplies to Bramley received an immediate back-up when the cable was cut. But it is estimated that 1,500 litres of cooling oil spilled from the cable and though much fell on to banking, a quantity entered the canal, confirmed a spokesman for British Waterways....


Wednesday 8 February

Cotswold Canals Trust organises 40th anniversary 'founders reunion'

The Cotswold Canals Trust has announced a 40th-anniversary "Founders Reunion" of those who attended its first meeting.  

Over 300 people came to that inaugural meeting at Stroud Subscription Rooms on 5th May 1972. The meeting began the efforts which eventually led to the current work to reopen both the Stroudwater Navigation and Thames and Severn canals.

This year's anniversary event, on Saturday May 5th 2012, is open to 'original members', who joined what was then the Stroudwater Canal Society. It will be informal, with a buffet supper and display of photos and film of the early days.

For details of the Founders Reunion, contact Dave Elliott on 07816 260 046. 

The organiser of the inaugural meeting, Michael Ayland, is expected to be present. He has written a short history of the Trust, on http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/history-of-the-trust.php, describing that first gathering. He originally booked a meeting room for fifty, expecting it to be perhaps half-full. He hurriedly change the venue to the ballroom when the local response was overwhelming.    

The Cotswold Canal Trust is now the largest canal restoration group in the country with a membership of over 6,500. Today, many of those members work as volunteers alongside the restoration contractors. 


Andrew Denny  | 12.21pm | add a comment


Today's news from the web

  • Chichester Ship Canal Trust plans to join canal to sea midhurstandpetworth.co.uk

    The Chichester Ship Canal Trust has revealed plans to include transforming the canal basin area in the town by building an educational hub with offices and opening a brand-new shop. The trust wants to build a moving bridge at Donnington and create a lock near the Witterings, which will allow boats to enter the canal....

  • New Film Targets Safety in Thames Rowing Hub server1.pla.co.uk

    The Port of London Authority (PLA) has published a second film to help rowers use the tidal Thames safely, this time focusing on rowing in the upper district of the river. The film is principally aimed at providing rowers who are new to the river with a simple guide to the unique Code of Conduct for safe rowing on the tidal Thames. The PLA is encouraging other navigators on this busy stretch of river to watch the film too, so that they fully understand the principles of the Rowing Code. The Code was developed by the PLA and Thames Regional Rowing Council (TRRC) and launched in 2006. ...

  • Cromford Canal 1.3mile stretch set to open to boats in £300k project bbc.co.uk

    Derbyshire County Council has approved a £300,000 programme of dredging, to reopen a 1.3-mile stretch of Cromford Canal to boats. The work will be undertaken between Cromford Wharf and Leawood Pump House. Cromford Canal is part of the World Heritage site and the council said the investment would bring "long-term benefits to the area"....

  • River Trent canoe rescue after narrowboat owner slips on ice bbc.co.uk

    A narrowboat owner who slipped into the River Trent has said he owes his life to a canoeist who pulled him out. Richard Ramsdale, a coach for Canoe England, was paddling near Colwick Marina by chance because the stretch of water he planned to use had frozen. He found 74-year-old Ken Jackson "clinging on for dear life" after he slipped off his boat's narrow and icy ledge while fixing a chimney on Monday....


Tuesday 7 February

Today's news from the web

  • Call for waterways squaddies mirfieldreporter.co.uk

    Residents have been asked to help improve Dewsbury’s waterways as part of a new project. The Dewsbury Water Linked project will see improvements made to the Calder and Hebble Navigation and the River Calder, under the guidance of British Waterways. Last year the project was awarded £174,000 by the Big Lottery Fund and now it wants to recruit up to six people to form a Wildlife Action Squad....


Monday 6 February

Today's news from the web

  • Queen's Diamond Jubilee: Plans for river pageant unveiled as 1m expected to line the route | Mail Online dailymail.co.uk

    As the country marks 60 years to the day since the Queen found out about her father 's death and her subsequent ascension to the throne, it has been revealed that more than a million people are expected to flock to London's River Thames for her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June. The Bank Holiday weekend from June 2 to 5 will be the focus of the 2012 Jubilee celebrations, marking the Queen's 60-year reign with a river pageant featuring a 1,000-strong flotilla on the River Thames. ...

  • History repeating for new owner of Middlewich Narrowboats middlewichguardian.co.uk

    A Royal Air Force serviceman who helps save the lives of wounded soldiers has flown to the rescue of Middlewich Narrowboats. Greg Williams, a critical care nurse in the RAF’s Air Support Team is the new owner of the Canal Terrace boat hire company. It has been revealed that the business went into liquidation before Greg took control with a major investment which saved 12 jobs. Greg currently lives in Wiltshire but has had a passion for Middlewich’s canals since he was 19....

  • A sad April day - Ken Fairhurst's memoir of the burning of Telford's warehouse at Ellesmere Port ukcanals.net

    ...The next day (1st April 1970) I set off to pick up my load; as I was approaching Ellesmere Port there was a strong smell of burning, and the air was filled with smoke. As I turned into the entrance to the docks I was greeted by a multitude of fire hoses, several fire engines were at the scene, a security man came to me and said "You can't come in here today driver, one of the warehouses is on fire". I could see from where I stopped that it was Telford's warehouse that was ablaze and was badly damaged, and although the flames had died down by then there was still lot's of smoke around....

  • Olympics site clean-up completed google.com

    Work to clean up the Olympic site and create the largest urban park in Europe for more than 100 years has been completed, the Environment Agency has said. An area the size of 297 football pitches, much of which was polluted, has been cleaned up, with 300,000 wetland plants and 2,000 native trees planted and five miles of the River Lea restored. The Environment Agency, which has worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the London Development Agency and other partners on the site said it had helped the ODA decontaminate two million tonnes of soil so it could be reused. On the River Lea, invasive species including Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and floating pennywort have been removed, along with concrete walls, to improve the river habitat for wildlife and users....


Friday 3 February

Picture of the day: The Ashby Canal mini-boat

We have no idea at which waterways festival this photo was taken, but clearly it was in a different era of health & safety consciousness!  Does this boat still exist, and is it still used as a trip boat?


Andrew Denny  | 11.24am | 1 comment


Today's news from the web


Wednesday 1 February

Councillors call for visitor moorings at Rochdale

Local councillors at the Rochdale suburb of Sandbrook have called for British Waterways to install visitor moorings where the Rochdale Canal runs through their neighbourhood. 

The site is close to the culvert under Edinburgh Way, a major construction site for the reopening of the canal in 2002. Yet despite the major works there, and it being close to the Sandbrook Way retail park with all modern shopping and leisure facilities, boats have never been easily able to moor there. Instead, they often continue to Littleborough or Castleton.

The councillors say they have received “overwhelming support” not only from boaters but from local residents for stabilising the bank and installing official visitor moorings. They say it would bring extra life and business to the local retail park, assist in community safety and could mean that people take better care and pride at the proposed location.

In a letter to the Rochdale Chronicle, Councillors Dale Mulgrew and Pat Colclough, said: “We were astonished by the level of interest that this idea generated when we did our walkabout around those neighbourhoods and we received a very strong endorsement indeed.”

Mike Reeve, the manager of the adjacent pub, The Sandbrook, is also enthusiastic about the idea, saying it would be a 'tremendous boost' to have boats stopping there. "Having canal boats here, and installing some lighting on the towpath, would give a greater sense of security to local residents."

Andrew Denny  | 4.03pm | 1 comment


IWA cautiously welcomes Canal & River Trust deal

The Inland Waterways Association today issued a statement that cautiously welcomed the settlement Defra has made on funding the new Canal and River Trust. 

The Association said: "We need to ensure that any early teething problems are no more than that, and not symptoms of greater problems, and we will want to convey any issues of substance arising to Government before it conducts its two-year review in 2014. 

"We will also keep an eye on progress towards the absorption of the EA navigations in 2015/16 to ensure that no last minute hitches derail the transfer.

"[However] in times of tight fiscal restraint, seeing the original settlement substantially increased together with retention of the full property portfolio of commercial premises and land has to be regarded as a relatively good deal."

Andrew Denny  | 4.44pm | add a comment


Tuesday 31 January

Today's news from the web

  • New Edinburgh canal strategy aims to foster a 'canal culture' in the city local.stv.tv

    A plan that sets out a vision for the future of Edinburgh’s Union canal was launched at the Lochrin Basin today. The plan, which sets out to foster a ‘canal culture’ in the city, has been developed following months of community consultation. At the launch officials were keen to emphasise the Canal Strategy was not just another wishlist, highlighting a series of developments that are to go ahead in the coming months. These include the construction of a new secondary school on part of the former Fountainbridge Brewery site, the development of a £2.5m ‘centre of excellence’ for water sports at Meggetland, and a new private development by Cala Homes at Ratho that will see 20 new berths for houseboats added to the waterway....


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