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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. ...

Thursday 21 March

Today's news from the web

  • Twin brother tried to save tragic girl’s life after Kidderminster canal fall expressandstar.com

    The twin brother of a six-year-old girl who died after falling into a canal near Kidderminster battled to save her in the moments after the tragic accident, police today said....

  • Mon & Brec canal stretch reopens after £1.2m relining work bbc.co.uk

    A 470-metre stretch of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal canal in Powys has reopened after six months following a £1.2m maintenance project to reline and strengthen it at Llangattock. Water has been released back into the affected section which had been emptied in September to allow the work to take place. The 49-mile (79km) long waterway is expected to be navigable by Friday....

Tuesday 19 March

Today's news from the web

  • Lichfield & Hatherton Trust to buy Cannock canal stretch for £1 expressandstar.com

    Part of a derelict stretch of canal in Cannock is to be sold for just £1 to a restoration group hoping to bring it back to its former glory. The Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust (LHCT) is spending £50 million on opening up miles of the former Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Now, the group wants to purchase the former canal at Wedges Mills in Cannock from the district council. Permission to sell the land for just £1 is likely to be granted by Cannock Chase Council’s cabinet at a meeting on Thursday. LHCT vice-chairman David Dixon said today: “This piece of canal is part of a jigsaw. The overall project involves Hatherton Canal. It goes from the north of Bloxwich via the south side of Cannock through to Calf Heath....

  • Frustration over Shropshire & Newport canal vandalism shropshirestar.com

    Vandals have repeatedly targeted signs, railings and benches along the Shropshire & Newport canal towpath in Shropshire. Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust has decided not to replace a sign at Fishers Lock in Newport as it has been targeted so often. The sign, which told of the history of the canal, has been damaged by air rifles and also set on fire. Trust chairman Bernie Jones said: “We have taken the decision that there is no point in replacing the sign if it’s just going to be vandalised over and over again.”...

Monday 18 March

Today's news from the web

  • Julia Bradbury to open Crick Boat Show crickboatshow.com

    Crick Boat Show organisers have announced that Julia Bradbury will officially open this year’s Crick Boat Show & Waterways Festival on Saturday 25th May. 

    Julia, presenter of the BBC’s series Canal Walks, Countryfile, Watchdog, Railway Walks, Wainwright Walks and many others, will also sign copies of her book on the Waterways World stand, and at 3.30pm will give a ticket-only talk at the show about how her walking life started. 

    Julia says: “I’m delighted to be opening the Crick Boat Show and Waterways Festival.  I thoroughly enjoyed exploring some of Britain’s canals for my Canal Walks series, including the Kennet & Avon, Worcester & Birmingham and Llangollen canals.  They cut a sedate path through some of the country’s finest scenery.  I look forward to sharing some of my memories with Crick Boat Show visitors during my talk.”

    Peter Johns, publisher of Waterways World and show director, said: “Julia is one of Britain’s most popular television presenters and we are delighted to be welcoming her to the show. 

    "Julia’s love of the great outdoors is infectious and her fantastic BBC Canal Walks series revealed the beauty of the canals to millions of television viewers.”

    At the Crick Boat Show over 200 exhibitors will showcase thousands of inland waterways products and services, from boats, engines and chandlery to holidays, brokerage and insurance. 

Wednesday 13 March

Hereford & Gloucester Canal's Dymock development approved

The controversial development scheme at Dymock proposed by the Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust has been granted planning permission by Forest of Dean Council.

Councillors overruled the council's planning department, who darlier had twice recommended refusal (as reported on http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Plans-new-canal-homes-Dymock-set-refused/story-18341445-detail/story.html). 

The Dymock development will provide a new stretch of canal, a village car park, play area, and 19 homes, along with a property owned by the Canal Trust that will be let out to give the Trust a long-term income. 

Five of the properties will also contribute £250 a year, index-linked in perpetuity, towards the maintenance of the canal.

Andrew Denny  | 4.39pm | 1 comment

Today's news from the web

  • Wolverhampton yob named and locked up over string of canal towpath attacks expressandstar.com

    A teenager behind a spate of attacks along canal towpaths that a court heard struck “fear into the public” has been put behind bars for 12 months. Jordan Munroe can today be named for the first time as being responsible for seven attacks spanning over a week in Wolverhampton after magistrates lifted reporting restrictions. The 15-year-old, who has been sent to a young offenders institution, was also given a two-year Criminal Anti-social Behaviour Order (CRASBO). A 14-year-old boy, who was responsible for three assaults but cannot be named, was also made subject to a two-year CRASBO. The conditions ban both teenagers from entering canal towpaths around the city. ...

  • Boris Johnson reveals plans for UK's largest floating village telegraph.co.uk

    Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the capital would have a major role to play in Britain’s economic recovery as he revealed plans to build the UK’s largest floating village at the city’s Royal Docks....

Monday 11 March

Today's news from the web

  • Brentford Lock Toll House opened as museum brentfordtw8.com

    One of London’s smallest museums, based in a Grade II Listed Toll House at Brentford Lock, is going to be opened every Friday by volunteers for the Canal & River Trust. Visitors will be able to find out about the history of the waterways and why Brentford Lock, at the junction between the Thames and the Grand Union Canal, played such an important role when London’s canals and rivers were a transport gateway to the rest of the world. The Toll House dates from 1900s, when the building would have contained ledgers that recorded the type and weight of cargo passing through the lock. The boats would pay a toll on the cargo they carried. ...

Thursday 7 March

Today's news from the web

  • Hereford & Gloucester Canal development at Dymock set to be refused again thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    Plans to restore a stretch of the Hereford to Gloucester canal in Dymock look set to be rejected – again. The scheme, on land off Western Way, would see 20 new homes built around a new section of the waterway. It was initially tabled in March last year but the proposals were withdrawn at the last minute after planners earmarked it to be refused. Since then, applicants the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust and Two Rivers Housing have gone back to the table and revised plans are set to go before Forest of Dean District Council's development committee on Tuesday. ...

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