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Thursday 31 January

Today's news from the web

  • Regent's Canal community recalls Gemma McCluskie body part trail bbc.co.uk

    On 6 March last year a human torso was discovered in London's Regent's Canal. Following the macabre find, people living, walking, working and kayaking in the area knew there were two arms, two legs and a head yet to be discovered - possibly by them. It was six months before the final part of Gemma McCluskie's body - her head - was found in the canal in Hackney, east London, as revealed in graphic detail during the murder trial of her brother....

Tuesday 29 January

Today's news from the web

  • Work starts to repair breached Trent and Mersey Canal bbc.co.uk

    Work has finally begun on repairing part of a Cheshire canal which collapsed in flooding last year. The Trent and Mersey Canal breached its banks at Dutton after heavy rain in September, leaving a hole the size of 12 double decker buses in the side. The Canal and River Trust is investing nearly £2.1m to fix the damage. It will use 12,000 tonnes of stones and other materials to reconstruct the 235-year-old canal embankment and will also install new drainage....

Monday 28 January

Today's news from the web

  • Wey & Arun Canal restoration moves to next lock bbc.co.uk

    Volunteers restoring a canal that runs though Surrey and West Sussex are hoping to start work on another lock. The Wey & Arun Canal Trust was given permission to restore Gennets Bridge Lock in Chichester in 2011, but had to finish work on another site before fundraising could begin. It aims to have raised enough money to start work on the new lock this summer. The estimated cost of restoring the lock is £365,000 but using volunteers could halve that, the trust said....

Thursday 24 January

Today's news from the web

  • Historic canal side mill to go under the hammer for £1 thisisstaffordshire.co.uk

    A historic canalside mill which has had planning permission for residential development is going under the hammer later this month with a reserve price of just £1. Port Vale Mill, in Milvale Street, Middleport, is a five-storey mill sitting in almost half an acre and which previously has had planing consent for conversion for 14 apartments, construction of two apartments and nine houses plus parking and landscaping. The mill holds Local Listing status which means that it has architectural significance and is in a conservation area....

  • Freezing Hilton models frolic on 'beach' in the snow by the Thames dailymail.co.uk

    It's a tried and tested publicity stunt - girls in bikinis running along a beach get a lot of public attention. But in the absence of a beach, or sunny tropical scenery, the Hilton created their own 'pop-up beach' along the banks of the Thames in what could be described as the most ridiculous marketing campaign ever. The group of seven models - dressed in nothing but flattering navy blue swimsuits - were hired to prance about in the snow as part of a promotional campaign by the Hilton to publicise their most recent sale. ...

  • Video: Watch newsreader plunge into freezing canal while texting her boyfriend mirror.co.uk

    This is the moment a clumsy radio newsreader plunged into a freezing canal while texting her boyfriend instead of looking where she was going. Laura Safe failed to live up to her surname when she walked straight into the icy cold canal. An eyewitness even called out to try and stop her from falling in - but she didn't hear him in time. ...

Wednesday 23 January

Londoners told: Stop dumping household rubbish on the canal

The Canal & River Trust has announced a growing problem of household rubbish being dumped on London’s towpaths. It says the problem is particularly acute on the eastern half of the Regent’s Canal, in Islington, around Broadway Market in Hackney and at Mile End Park. "The Trust has been faced with bins overflowing with household rubbish and domestic waste. We empty the bins in the morning and within hours they’ll be full again,” said a spokesman in a press release on 23rd January. “The bins are designed to be used by passers-by for disposing of light litter such as drink cans and food wrappers. But it seems a selfish minority are bringing bags stuffed full of domestic rubbish.” The Trust says that the rubbish is clearly of domestic nature, because much of it features household waste like food tins, bottles or food preparation put into supermarket carrier bags. The areas concerned all feature large numbers of liveaboard boaters without permanent moorings. However, the Trust spokesman was very careful to say that there was no evidence the problem originated with them, and it could not be sure who was responsible. Rubbish collection has been outsourced to utilities group Fountains, who are responsible for emptying the towpath bins and the three boaters’ refuse points at Little Venice, St Pancras and Old Ford. Representatives of the London continuous cruisers have in the past criticised the presence of only three refuse points on the eight-mile canal. In the past some boaters have suggested a rubbish boat should service the canal, but the Trust said that this would only work if it was daily and reliable, and that this was unaffordable. It says that to report overflowing bins, people should call the London office on 020 7517 5560, but appealed again for people not to use the bins for domestic rubbish.

Andrew Denny  | 5.11pm | 1 comment

Today's news from the web

  • ‘Barge rage’ as locals protest over boaters' smoke & noise in Islington standard.co.uk

    Barge owners living on Regent’s Canal are being confronted by residents over noise and pollution. Homeowners are reported to have marched to the edge of the waterway in Angel, Islington, to complain about smoke from boat engines pouring into their kitchens, bedrooms and gardens. Resident Sarah Morris, 21, said the noise made it difficult to sleep: “Summer is the worst because we normally keep windows open. But winter can be bad when they burn smoky coal. People have gone to the towpath to complain but often are shouted at.” Nearby residents include Boris Johnson....

Monday 21 January

Today's news from the web

  • Newsreader topples into BCN canal after losing her footing while texting dailymail.co.uk

    A Birmingham radio newsreader plunged into a freezing canal in the city as she texted her boyfriend. Laura Safe, who works for the Capital FM Breakfast Show, lost her footing after she walked down the steps of the Mailbox shopping centre and slipped into the icy water. She was hauled to safety by property boss Neil Edginton who spotted the drama unfolding as he walked along the canal on Wednesday....

Sunday 20 January

Today's news from the web

  • Grieving boater's suicide after death of brother staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk

    A grieving narrowboat dweller hanged himself a month after his brother had taken his own life, an inquest heard. Robert Gallacher, originally from North Lanark- shire in Scotland, had been “affected deeply” by the death of his brother Tony in August 2012, Cannock Coroner’s Court was told last week. He returned to Scotland for his brother’s funeral but was moored along the Shropshire Union Canal, close to the Anchor Inn at High Offley, near Eccleshall, when he died....

Thursday 17 January

CRT advertises for new financial trustee

The Canal & River Trust has been advertising for “an exceptional financially qualified individual” to join its board of trustees, overseeing its Audit Committee and joining the Trust’s Investment Committee.

The move follows the early resignation, for personal reasons, of the original trustee in this role, Marisa Cassoni. She was appointed only last March, before the Trust was launched, and after retiring as finance director of the John Lewis Partnership.
Along with high-powered financial experience the new trustee will be expected to have “an empathy with the natural and built heritage of the inland waterways.”

The post is voluntary and unsalaried, and will be an initial three-year appointment for around three days a month.

CRT chairman Tony Hales said: “We are seeking an exceptional trustee who is as enthusiastic about the waterways as we are and who can play a vital part in ensuring they continue to flourish.”
The post is being advertised on exec-appointments.com and in the Sunday Times: http://appointments.thesundaytimes.co.uk/job/427688/trustee until 4th February.

Andrew Denny  | 12.30pm | add a comment

Today's news from the web

  • Burnley's £3m Weavers’ Triangle plan includes new wishbone canal bridge thisislancashire.co.uk

    A striking Y-shaped footbridge is to be built to help form the gateway to the Weavers’ Triangle in Burnley. The 'wishbone' structure is part of a £3million investment for the town's former cotton heart-land. It will link the new university training college and planned offices in Slater's Terrace with Sandygate Square, the landscaped heart of the mill complex, over the Leeds Liverpool Canal. The bridge will be just yards from where The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles arrived on a barge to tour the site in May last year....

Tuesday 15 January

Today's news from the web

  • Devon County Council pledges £3 million to repair Grand Western Canal thisisexeter.co.uk

    Devon County Council is pledging up to £3 million to repair and modernise the Grand Western Canal by 2014. Council leader John Hart said the money would be included in the authority’s capital budget which will be examined next week. The decision follows the catastrophic breach of the canal wall at Halberton in November following torrential downpours. Mr Hart said today: “This is an historic feature with many listed structures along its length. “It is a major tourist attraction and vital to Mid Devon’s economy and to Devon as a whole. “I am awaiting a detailed report on exactly what we can do and what it will cost but I believe Devon County Council has a duty to restore the canal and to do that as quickly as possible....

Monday 14 January

Today's news from the web

  • Lorry crashes into Lancaster canal bridge lep.co.uk

    A canal bridge has been closed after a 7.5 ton lorry crashed into its parapet and knocked sandstone bricks into the water below. Police said the HGV was trying to cross the Lancaster Canal bridge, known as Moon’s Bridge, in Hollowforth Lane at Woodplumpton, near Preston, when it collided with the wall. The rear of the lorry was left hanging partly off the bridge and heavy lifting gear had to be used to rescue the vehicle. The driver was unharmed. The bridge is now closed to motorists and the canal below is also out of operation. Moon’s Bridge Marina, which is on the southern side of the canal and home to more than 100 boats, is still open for business, but is now only accessible by car from Woodplumpton Road....

  • Devizes MP: 'I am not a celebrity. It is not the jungle' independent.co.uk

    ... To be fair, one of her constituency towns, Marlborough, is twinned with Gunjur, in south-west Gambia, and she is going as part of a long-running exchange programme. She is paying, and insists she's not "making any political points". She defends taking her middle child out of school, saying she will learn a lot. But Eliza clearly has her mother's measure: when Perry suggested a canal-boat holiday on the Kennet and Avon Canal, which is in her constituency, she said: "Mummy, if you think we're going on a canal holiday so that you can put out a press release, you're wrong."...

Friday 11 January

Today's news from the web

  • Historic Dowley Gap L&L aqueduct to be opened to the public during annual maintenance work thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    A 240-year-old aqueduct on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal near Bingley will host its first open day as repairs are made to the grade II-listed structure as part of the Canal & River Trust’s annual waterway maintenance programme. The trust, which took over the running of 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales in July, is inviting people to walk along a 50 metre drained section of Dowley Gap Aqueduct and see for themselves what it takes to keep the landmark in working order. The aqueduct, which spans the River Aire, is being drained so that any leaks can be mended....

  • Grand Western Canal campaigners launch fundraising bid to repair Halberton breach thisisthewestcountry.co.uk

    Collection boxes are being distributed throughout Mid-Devon to raise funds to repair the breached Grand Western Canal embankment near Halberton. Fund-raising group Friends of the Grand Western Canal is handing out the boxes to businesses across the region and has so far raised more than £1,650 through a Just Giving website it set up to generate donations. Darren Willetts of Cameras Plus in Gold Street, Tiverton, was one of the first shops in the town to request a box. He said: “The canal is an important part of Mid Devon life and it would be terrible to lose it....

Thursday 10 January

CRT introduces National Users Forum

The Canal & River Trust has formally announced a new National Users’ Forum, which will replace the old British Waterways Advisory Forum (BWAF).  

As with the old BWAF, the new Forum is intended to keep the principal users of the waterways up to date with strategic developments and give an extra way for national bodies to reply on issues of national importance to their members.

The group will meet twice a year, with the inaugural meeting scheduled for 21st February 2013 at CRT’s West Midlands HQ at Peel’s Wharf, Fazeley, and the second meeting in September at a location to be announced.

Roger Hanbury, head of governance services at the Canal & River Trust, said the Forum would be open to groups with recognised national membership and invited such groups to nominate a representative to attend.

“The Forum will be another important conduit for the organisations who use and have a love for the waterways to feedback the thoughts and advice of their members,” said Roger Hanbury. The first meeting would require making arrangements for chairing proceedings, together with agreeing the Forum’s terms of reference, which could potentially differ from those of the BWAF.

“If a waterways group would like to attend and hasn’t yet nominated a representative, please get in touch with me at roger.hanbury@canalrivertrust.org.uk” he said.

Andrew Denny  | 4.52pm | add a comment

Wednesday 9 January

CRT chief Robin Evans to resign

The Canal & River Trust announced today that Robin Evans will resign as chief executive in May 2013, ten years after he became head of its predecessor, British Waterways.

Robin Evans revealed that he had made the decision last November, “to pursue other interests and opportunities”, after overseeing BW’s transition to a charitable trust, and felt it was the right time for a new leader.

He said: “It has been a privilege to lead these two great organisations and I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years. Having agreed the transfer of the waterways into the Third Sector together with £500m of endowment property and a 15-year funding agreement from government, the Trust is on a more secure financial footing with a more positive outlook than we’ve probably ever had.

Robin Evans said he left the Trust with “the foundations for a strong and vibrant future for our much-loved waterways.”

Tony Hales, chair of the Canal & River Trust, said: “We will be very sorry to lose him. He has served with great dedication and inspirational vision. His determination to see that vision realised in the foundation of the Trust, has transformed the long term prospects for the waterways. The former Board of British Waterways and the current Trustees wish him well and thank him for his outstanding contribution to the canals and rivers we all love.”

No replacement has yet been announced, but the trustees of the Canal & River Trust will begin the selection process shortly. CRT chairman Tony Hales, who had himself planned to retire in April, will delay his departure to help ensure a smooth transition.

Les Etheridge, national chairman of the Inland Waterways Association, also praised Robin Evans’ tenure. “It will, in time, be seen to be both visionary and unprecedented,” he predicted.

“He has steered the former British Waterways, through some of the most severe and testing economic times, and has managed a successful transfer to the third sector with the formation of Canal & River Trust, complete with a dowry of a 15-year stable funding settlement from government.”

“The fact that the Trust exists today is testament to his vision, strength and determination.”

Les Etheridge warned that the role would be very hard to fill. As well as the ability to manage the Trust, a new chief executive would now need to drive a “culture change” for the organisation.

*Edited 4.30pm to include comment from IWA chairman Les Etheridge.

Andrew Denny  | 9.49am | 1 comment

Today's news from the web

  • My Boat Roofed Shed tinyhouseblog.com

    The shed roof is made from a clinker built boat that is 14ft long and 7ft wide at its widest point. The boat is an inshore fishing boat made between 1900 – 1910. It was placed on a frame of 4 telegraph poles with cross beams. Once in place the walls were filled in using aluminium windows from a 1940′s caravan and single glazed windows from our 400 year old farm house....

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