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Tuesday 30 April

Today's news from the web

  • Police hunt man after string of K&A boat burglaries avonandsomerset.police.uk

    Bath and Wiltshire police are appealing for information to help trace a 39-year-old man, Allan Campbell. Officers want to talk to him about a number of canal boat burglaries over the past three months. He is described as white, 6ft 2ins tall, of proportionate build and with numerous tattoos on his arms, hands, chest and back. He has no fixed address and is believed to have been in the Warwickshire area recently but may have moved on. Bath police are investigating eight canal boat burglaries that they believe are linked. Three happened over the Easter holiday weekend in the Bathampton and Claverton areas. ...

Monday 29 April

Grand Union's Slough arm closed after cracks appear in bridge

On Friday 26th April CRT closed the Slough arm of the Grand Union Canal, and its towpath, after serious cracks appeared in the brick abutment of Reeds Bridge (bridge 2A), close to the junction.

Peter Walker, engineering manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “On Friday evening we noticed that one of the brick sides that supports Reeds Bridge had significantly moved so for safety reason we have had to temporarily close the canal and towpath around the bridge.  We’re not sure yet what has caused this problem and over the next few weeks we will be carrying a full and thorough investigation and we hope to have the canal and towpath back open as quickly and possible.”

Andrew Denny  | 10.36am | add a comment

Sunday 28 April

Today's news from the web

  • Max Sinclair on Independent on Sunday Happy List 2013 independent.co.uk

    Max Sinclair Canal enthusiast For half a century this man has inspired thousands of volunteers in his campaign to rescue the Droitwich canals in Wychavon, Worcestershire. Max, now 82, led helpers who bought diggers, built locks, made new towpaths, and cleared away 300,000 tonnes of mud. ...

Saturday 27 April

Today's news from the web

  • Burnley canal-plunge toddler's mother calls for fencing bbc.co.uk

    The mother of a Burnley boy rescued from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is calling for safety fencing on the canal side to prevent further accidents. Two-year-old Ayaan Shah was walking with his mother in the Colne Road area of Burnley on 15 April when he ran off. He was found face down in the canal ... His mother Nazia Khan said: "I don't want any other mothers to go through what I've gone through."...

  • Gloucester Waterways Museum in line for £1m revamp thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    The tourist attraction is developing a project to celebrate Gloucester Docks' contribution to the nation. This week it found out the Heritage Lottery Fund has given it initial support of £60,700 to help improve its visitor experience. The project, called From Birmingham to the Sea, will see the museum change its displays to tell the story of the River Severn and the canals from Sharpness to Birmingham. ...

  • Ulster Canal 'to reopen' after 80 years belfasttelegraph.co.uk

    Part of the cross-border Ulster Canal which has not been used for 80 years is to reopen, it has been revealed. The 14km route runs from Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh to Clones in Co Monaghan. New towpaths and bridges will also be created as part of the 35 million euro work which is expected to take three years....

  • Seaman’s last journey was on the Calder and Hebble Canal halifaxcourier.co.uk

    A former seaman and boat lover who died after a battle with cancer had his perfect send off in a “barge” coffin. The funeral cortege with a difference involved popular Robert Boothroyd’s family following him to his service along his favourite canal. Robert, 60, was an ex-merchant seaman and boat engineer who dedicated his time to a charity which runs canal trips for disadvantaged children and community groups....

Friday 19 April

Today's news from the web

  • Canoeist remains resolute in £4K battle for river access burtonmail.co.uk

    A CAMPAIGNING canoeist who is aiming to get free access for all on Britain’s waterways has vowed to continue his fight, despite being forced to give up a court case into the matter. Andrew Biddulph challenged Burton on Trent Mutual Angling Association and requested £4,000 compensation from the club, after he discovered there were restrictions in place for a section of the River Dove for which the club holds the fishing rights....

Thursday 18 April

Today's news from the web

  • Mirfield Boat Co completes Ziff inspection launch restoration examiner.co.uk

    The Mirfield Boat Co has completed restoration of the inspection launch owned by the erstwhile owner of the Rochdale Canal, the late Arnold Ziff. The boat is a replica of an inspection vessel used on the Rochdale Canal. The boat was last used by the Ziff family for corporate entertaining, but had fallen into disrepair. ...

Wednesday 17 April

Today's news from the web

  • Elevated Cycle Path For Regent’s Canal londonist.com

    Landscape architect Antony Nelson, a director at Design International, has drawn up a plan for a raised cycle path along the Regent’s Canal. The dedicated bike path would run between Angel and Hackney partly over the canal itself. The proposal also calls for a series of cultural hubs along the route. Nelson will be canvassing canal users later in the year, before presenting his idea to the Mayor and Transport for London. ...

Monday 15 April

Today's news from the web

  • ‘Put bikes over barges on London's Regent’s Canal to end battle of the towpath’ standard.co.uk

    An elevated bike path along the Regent’s canal has been proposed as a way of ending the growing “battle” between cyclists and pedestrians. Landscape architect Antony Nelson, 41, came up with the idea after being forced to abandon the towpath between Hackney and Islington due to increasing congestion and “fast and aggressive” cycling. He plans to consult canal users on the design, which would use lightweight steel panels to minimise costs, and hopes to win support from Transport for London. The elevated path would weave across the canal and allow boats to pass below....

Friday 5 April

Today's news from the web

  • Work starts to repair collapsed lock on the Aylesbury Arm canalrivertrust.org.uk

    Last week the wall at Buckland Lock, on the Aylesbury Arm, partially collapsed opening up a large crater along the towpath. As a result the lock, which is over 170 years old, has been closed until it can be repaired....

Wednesday 3 April

Only lock on Witham Navigable Drains upgraded

Cowbridge Lock, the only one on the the Witham Navigable Drains has just been subject to an eight-month, £70,000 upgrade.

While Anton’s Gowt Lock, under the control of CRT, gives access from the River Witham to the western drains, under the jurisdiction of the Witham Fourth District Inland Drainage Board, to access the Maud Foster and the Stonebridge drains, controlled by the Environment Agency, boats must pass through Cowbridge Lock.

A routine structural survey in 2011 of this 1940s lock revealed deterioration, largely due to metal fatigue of the superstructure and guillotine gate. 

In conjunction with Dave Carnell, IWA representative for the East Midlands, helped draw up a refurbishment programme to ensure that not only would this vital link lock continue to allow access to the Witham Navigable Drains north of Boston but it should continue to protect the Maud Foster Drain -- and thus the northern parts of Boston -- from flooding.

Work included removing and overhauling the worn lock machinery, replacing the gate counterweight, renewing upright supports, replacing cross braces, fitting a new 4.5-tonne guillotine gate, shot blasting the entire structure that was not being scrapped, and repainting. To enable these works, the lock required damming off at both ends, scaffold to be erected in and around the lock to enable dismantling and reconstruction works using a 27-tonne crane, which had to gain access across the eighth tee of the adjacent golf course.

Work is now complete and the lock is once again available to boats.

Andrew Denny  | 4.31pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Captain Kidd is inspiration for Droitwich Canal basin mural droitwichstandard.co.uk

    The vast wall in Droitwich's Netherwich Basin will again be brought to life this year with another temporary mural from members of Droitwich Arts Network. And residents are being invited to play their part with a public painting event next Saturday (April 6) in Vines Park to help put together the huge 64 foot wide design. Last year’s Great White Shark has been released from captivity and back into the ocean in preparation for a pirate ship to set sail down the town’s historic canal to the Netherwich Basin. This year’s design will depict the ship being apprehended in the canal basin and has been given the title Captain Kidd’s Last Adventure. ...

  • Maffi puts in a plea for boaters to collect rubbish narrowboater.blogspot.co.uk

    On my journey this year I travelled 429 miles, operated 17 lifted bridges and went through 267 locks. My collection of 149 bags of rubbish on my journey this year brings to 306 bin liners full of our rubbish collected. Yet I failed in my task. Not once did I stop and feel that someone had beat me to it. The whole point of me doing this is to encourage others to follow suit. I know some are, but most aren't. ... Litter is a problem. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Even though you may not discard litter, if you don’t pick it up when you see it, you are contributing to its effects....

  • Views being sought over Ashby canal development at Measham burtonmail.co.uk

    A multi-million pound scheme to transform the former mining village of Measham into a canal-side development will be reviewed by residents. Measham Parish Council is inviting residents to give their views on the scheme by holding a public meeting at the village’s St Laurence’s Church Hall in High Street, on Tuesday, April 9, from 7pm. ...

  • £1,000 grant to IWA Milton Keynes for cleanups waterways.org.uk

    The Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation’s London Luton Airport Operation Fund has awarded £1,000 to IWA Milton Keynes Branch. The award is to be used to defray the Branch’s costs of mounting its bi-annual clean-up weekends covering over 20 miles of the Grand Union Canal all through Milton Keynes down to south of Leighton Buzzard....

  • £65,000 HLF lottery grant for Oxford Canal waterways.org.uk

    On 28th March, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced a grant of £65,000 to a consortium of organisations, including IWA, to improve engagement with the people of Oxford in the city’s canal. Oxford City Canal Partnership is a consortium, including Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, IWA, Oxford Civic Society, Oxford City Council and Jericho Living Heritage Trust. ...

Thursday 28 March

Frances Done appointed CRT trustee

Frances Done, the chair of The Waterways Trust between 2003 and 2012, has been appointed a trustee of the Canal & River Trust.

The appointment fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Maria Cassoni earlier this year.

Frances Done is currently chair of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. In making the announcement CRT chairman Tony Hales said “As we aim to get more young people involved with the canals in the coming years, her role with the Youth Justice Board will be invaluable.”

Frances Done describes herself as a regular holiday boater. A chartered accountant by training, during the 1990s she was director of finance and then chief executive of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and was later with the Audit Commission. 

During her time with Rochdale Council she led negotiations on the local authority side for the restoration of the Rochdale Canal.

Andrew Denny  | 3.49pm | add a comment

Friday 22 March

Today's news from the web

  • World Pooh Sticks Championships cancelled due to high river levels on Thames motorboatsmonthly.co.uk

    Organisers of the World Pooh Sticks Championships have announced that this year's event has been cancelled due to "unsafe" river conditions on the Thames. The Rotary Club of Oxford said that water levels are too high for its safety boats to be out on the river, but that it would try to hold the event later in the year. ...

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