The Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd 

Campaigning    Restoration    Preservation    Development 

Newsletter "174" June 2012

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Chairman's Report Ian Edgar Restoration, Retrospective and Prospective by Michael Handford
News Items - Ashby and Droitwich Canals Plate and Girder Bridges on the Lower Peak Forest Canal by P J Whitehead
Thames and Severn Canal archive photos Letters to the Editor
Call Out by Linda Goulden Olive Bowyer - a Tribute by Derek Brumhead
Wandering Duck The Denver Sluices by Mark Ireland
New Welcome Sign for Bugsworth Basin Otterspool Weir, Bredbury, Stockport by P J Whitehead
The New Mills Torrs Hydro and Torr Mill by Derek Brumhead Canal & River Trust - Update from Trustees
Extract from Bye-Laws  

Fenders, ropes, boat cruises, day boat hire - Phone/Fax 01663 747808 
The IWPS is not responsible for the content of external websites

Need some expert advice? Contact: Paul Johnson
Mobile: 07767 747868


Expertly crafted by Keith Scammell, this superb model of Bugsworth Basin is now installed in the IWPS Display Unit. Approximately 1.8 metres long the model depicts all the features of the basin from the gauging stop place to the Upper Basin as it was at the turn of the 20th century. Photo: Don Baines

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Chairman's Report

By Ian Edgar MBE  Chairman & Hon Site Manager Bugsworth Canal basin


Probably the most important and potentially uplifting development since the last ‘174’ in March is that our new Management Volunteer Paul Syms has made great strides in meetings with British Waterways, structural engineers, Planning Officers and other professionals with regard to our almost essential need for a new Bugsworth Basin Visitor Centre.  As reported previously we have full Planning Consent for a new building which subsequently hit snags in that the ground conditions to support it appeared so bad there was no solution acceptable to all the partners.  Paul has done a lot of work on this and from the previous position of us having actually abandoned any intention of building next to Bridge 58 Paul has now reached agreement with the British Waterways engineer that a new lighter design would be acceptable subject to just a few further site investigations.  The new building being slightly smaller would cost less but still be acceptable for our purposes at least for the foreseeable future. The big difference now is that Paul being a professional can speak and negotiate with others on an equal level. I never had that experience nor professional ‘clout’. This is very obvious when Don Baines and I are party to the meetings held with the people that matter. I am sure that this professionalism is welcomed by our partners and it shows. I am very pleased that we have Paul working with us.  There are other ‘irons in the fire’ which, as of now, would be unwise to put in to print but we are moving ahead.  

The old Todd Brook Reservoir Valves have been removed from store in the garden of Canal House and are now erected on a concrete base and await blast cleaning. Our thanks to Mark Hatch of Canal House for his patience in storing the valves for us and especially for covering the cost of a Hi-Ab crane on a lorry to put our valves in position. Cleaning is now scheduled to be done on the 23rd June 2012 weather permitting. Many thanks to Bev Clarke who has managed this project right from the beginning. Also to be cleaned on that day will be the RSJs supporting the tramway bridge, two steel tube gates and spot cleaning of the railings alongside the Lower Basin Arm. The steel horizontal rail spacers are badly corroded in places. When cleaned and immediately primed we will be able to see which we can repair and which will need replacing. These railings have been repainted at least three times to my knowledge but previously we have never been able to really eradicate the rust. It is a never ending job and we hope that once this blast cleaning has been done it will reduce the rate of deterioration.

Bevan Clark checks the vertical alignment after the ex-Todd Brook valves had been hoisted into position.   Photo: Don Baines

The other valves removed from Todd Brook Reservoir at the same time and stored at Bugsworth have now been removed by Whaley Bridge Local History Group to an engineering company in Whaley Bridge for them to be cleaned there and a mounting frame made and fitted. These two separate valves (ours is a twin) will be mounted below the head bank at Todd Brook Reservoir.

Trees overhanging the channel have been cleared for this year. There are still more to do but we will leave these to next winter. A lot of progress has been made clearing trees off the lime kilns which, in gale conditions, threatened to bring down stonework. This has been a job we have not been able to get down to despite pressure from English Heritage. to remove them. It is not good practice to allow trees to grow out of an ancient monument. A clear view of the kilns including the outline of the charge holes which can now be seen from wharf level. There is no intention to allow the public on to the kilns. The exposed slope will now be grass seeded and further tree growth monitored and removed. Once the debris caused by the kiln work has been cleared away and the setted incline cleaned off interpretation of this particular part of the Basin will be much easier and informative. This volunteer work is expected to be finished by the end of June.


This has now been completed and is being reviewed and digested by British Waterways and ourselves.  It is a very detailed and comprehensive document which guides us through what we need to know for the further stages of a Heritage Lottery Fund bid. PLB Consultants have done a good job – it is now up to us to study this long and very detailed document and come to some conclusions. Hopefully we will be able to give more information in the next ‘174’.


An increase in subscriptions to a more realistic level has been discussed for a long time but we have failed to ‘grasp the nettle’ and put them up. The cost of printing this ‘174’ four times a year is more than the Single Subscription of £4 which still leaves postage and envelopes to be covered. The shortfall (even though postage and envelopes were donated) was therefore being covered by other donations which was not a proper use for those funds even though many members kindly added something extra to their subscription cheques or standing orders. I recommended to the Council of Management that we should now put the rates up to which they agreed.  It was then put as a motion to the Annual General meeting and the motion was carried.

The New Rates:

            Single £6.00

            Joint   £10.00

            Full Time Student  £5

            Life    £100

            Corporate   £20

Andy Eadon, our Membership Secretary, will be handling this lengthy and time consuming process. Please make arrangements, if you pay by Standing Order, to increase the amount now and tell Andy.  You can wait for Andy to contact you but to pre-empt his letter will help him a lot and at the same time save postage, the cost of which is now becoming a major expense for small societies doing a big job such as the IWPS.

The Single Rate has gone up from £4 to £6 (50%) but this will still barely cover the cost of printing ‘174’.

I am a member of several canal and railway societies and all of them are facing the dilemma of putting up subscription rates and taking the risk of losing members. The Single Rate of £4 has been that for many years. We hope you like what the Society is doing and that you will continue to support us.  Please do not ‘drop out’ now.


As part of the PLB Activity Plan Consultation several meetings were held with local boating, education and resident representatives and one of the important issues which came out of these was the ‘identity’ of The Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd. Many thought we were a national organisation and some confused us, even at the meetings, with the Inland Waterways Association.  Your Council of Management, and several individuals, including myself, have felt for a long time that we should have a name more appropriate to our activity and which promoted Bugsworth Basin to a wider audience.  Like the issue of subscription increases we failed to ‘grasp another nettle’ and do something about it but now we must tackle this issue.

Perhaps we need to explain to some of our Members, particularly those, and there are many of them, who did not know our antecedents.  The IWPS was formed in 1958 as a spin-off from the Inland Waterways Association whose policy then was not to bother too much about the minor waterways either long derelict and dry or just about open even in 1958. Our Founder Bessie Bunker was all over the country fighting what appeared then to be  lost causes and the IWPS was then truly a ‘national’ organisation although the IWPS never came up to the same stature and  size of the IWA.  Since those early days new and local Societies were formed which ‘looked after’ and promoted their own particular waterway on their own ground. Bessie Bunker, although not in good health even then, broke down doors, wrote letters, lobbied, gate crashed meetings and insisted she made herself heard. But clearly she was not alone and with her health seriously deteriorating the IWPS settled on the difficult task of Bugsworth Basin and Bessie adopted a more ‘supporting’ rather than a ‘proactive’ role with regards to other waterways. So, since 1974 when I became involved in the IWPS we were not a ‘national’ organisation although our support for other societies was there when needed. History tells us that those other Societies like the Kennet and Avon, the Shropshire Union, the Chesterfield and the Huddersfield did an excellent job and re-opened their waterways mainly without any IWPS input and they continue to thrive. The article in this issue of ‘174’ by Michael Handford  supports my view more succinctly than I could ever do.  Bessie’s rift with the IWA has, by the way, long been healed!

Changing the name of the Society has many implications particularly relating to the Charities Commission and Companies House. It can be done and I believe it is essential we re-name and re-brand our Society so that we can promote and identify with Bugsworth Basin to ensure a better future in perpetuity.  We have a free-of-charge offer from a well established and very experienced marketing, advertising and graphics  company to carry out this task once we have given them the brief  which is very generous. Once we have their suggestions it will be placed before our Council of Management and, once agreed, before an Extraordinary General Meeting. No changes will be made without the approval of an EGM. I would like to see the changes made as quickly as possible and certainly not wait for the next Annual general Meeting next Spring.

Members may have views on this. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to make any comments or, particularly, suggest a new name for the IWPS.  There are no doubt many ways of making this change so please put anything on the table for me to discuss with the Council of Management.

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We are in a new canal age. The last fifty years have seen an astonishing change in both public and political perceptions of inland waterways.  Restoration is no longer some lunatic ideal but one accepted as obvious and desirable by the man or woman in the street.  If you need any proof of this go to the centre of Birmingham or Leeds where the new developments of pubs, nightclubs and restaurants face the canal not back on to it. Properties facing the canal fetch a premium of around 20% compared with identical properties that do not.

Money has not really been a problem. The costs of restoration escalate with health and safety requirements and the greater difficulty of later canal schemes. At the same time we have had Manpower Services, Heritage Lottery, Regional Development Agencies, European Union money and others. The ease of accessing money has waxed and waned.  Nevertheless I remain to hear of any well-managed, well-respected, well-planned scheme held up for lack of money.  Of course schemes need to fight for money and progress here can be maddeningly slow. But it is progress even so.

So what has been achieved?

First generation restorations like the Kennet and Avon Canal have been completed.  Here the entire track remained in the same ownership and each obstacle was manageable with engineering solutions.  Even the formidable Caen Hill flight of locks at Devises is only one lock to restore twenty nine times.  Given that, and given money from Heritage Lottery, the restoration was simple and straightforward when compared to later schemes.

The second generation of restorations was more difficult. Schemes like the Forth and Clyde, Union, Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow Canal had the benefit of essentially single ownership (apart from the Falkirk flight of locks) and the disadvantage of major obstacles. In the case of the Rochdale Canal this involved moving a supermarket, repositioning a motorway and nearly two miles of concrete infill. The Huddersfield Canal had Standedge Tunnel and the Bates factory.  Nevertheless, given access to funding and engineering expertise, solutions were found and restorations completed. The Montgomery Canal is also in this category and restoration proceeds - slowly but the important fact is that it does proceed.

The third generation of schemes is with us now. Restorations like the Cotswold Canals have part of the track intact and part of it lost. Part is held in one ownership (The Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation) and part (mostly the Thames and Severn eastern side) is in multiple ownership. So the issues to be resolved include repurchasing and rebuilding lost sections of canal. Here again £25 million sourced from Heritage Lottery Funds, Regional Development Agency and others is now restoring the canals from Stonehouse on the Stroudwater Canal to Brimscombe on the Thames and Severn. The next objective will be to restore the Stroudwater Canal from Saul to Stonehouse, thereby linking the canals to the national network.

The fourth generation of restorations is also with us.  Examples include the Wey and Arun and the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canals. Here there are issues of both tracks which are not intact and multiple ownership. This is not entirely true for the Ledbury to Hereford length of the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire but the essential problems of reassembling land ownership remain.  Despite these substantial issues restoration in both cases proceeds with impressive expertise and achievement. Big money has not arrived yet though the Wey and Arun Canal Trust in particular are skilled at raising eye watering sums of money from volunteers and other sources.

What could happen as these schemes approach completion? I suspect the fifth generation of restorations will follow. This could include restoration and completion (for some were not completed) of the Kington, Leominster and Stourport: the Chard: the Dorset and Somerset; the Bude; and other canals.  Here there are formidable obstacles - virtually no intact track, multiple ownership. Yet even here each obstacle could be solvable with expertise and money. The Bude Canal has a restoration trust and an active members society. The others, including the Salisbury and Southampton Canal and the Itchen Navigation, do not.

Is there a sixth generation to come? I suspect there is. These are most likely to be new canals linking existing destination waterways that are connected with the national system at only one end. So we may see new canals linking the Oakham and Stamford, the Grantham and Sleaford, the Cambridge to Lee and Stamford, the Broads and the eastern waterways, Gloucester and Berkeley Canal to Bristol, Cromford to Chesterfield and (via the Peak Forest Tramroad [I think Michael here means the Cromford and High peak railway – Ed]) to Whaley Bridge in the Peak Forest, Ashby to the Trent and Mersey and/or to the Charnwood Forest, Keilder Water to Ripon, Newtown on the Montgomery to the Kington Leominster and

Stourport, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal at Hereford to Brecon on the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal and others.

Is this impractical? Go back I ask you and remember the totally impractical, enormously difficult and expensive, pointless proposals to restore the Kennet and Avon Canal in the 1950s. We have made the future in the form we wanted. The fact that there are first and second generations of schemes completed and third and fourth generations taking place speaks for itself. If you do not believe this is possible you need to explain why we can put men on the moon but not restore the fifth and build the sixth generation.

M A Handford October 2011

Michael Handford is the author of several books on the Stroudwater Canal, is a long serving director on the Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation and was a founder member of the Stroudwater Canal Society (now the Cotswold Canals Trust) in 1972. He fought successful public enquiries on the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals, the Montgomery Canal, The Wendover Canal and, most notably on the Rochdale Canal where the Ministry of Transport was obliged to redesign the Manchester Outer Ring Road Motorway, move a supermarket and several miles of concrete.

At various times he has been involved with the Bude Canal (ex director), Ashby Canal (on Ashby Canal Trust committee), joint founder and first chairman Melton Mowbray and Oakham Canals Society (now Vice President), early promoter of the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Society, joint founder of the Derby and Sandiacre Canals Trust, former Vice Chairman Foxton Inclined Plane Trust and was for many years Chairman of the Inland Waterways Association Restoration Committee. He helped organise the opposition to the closure and infilling of Bristol docks in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is a founder member of the Montgomery Waterway Trust, suggested and helped form the original ideas for a Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Society through the Shropshire Union Canals Society walks.  He was honorary consultant to the Lancaster Canal Trust and the Monmouthshire Canal (where the Department of Transport, believing it could never be restored, agreed to remove and pay for the removal of road obstacles in Cwmbran if it was). As ex Chairman Monmouthshire Canal Trust, he first suggested links between the Swansea, Neath and Tennant Canals to form a viable 30 odd mile network.  He is member number one on the Friends of the Leominster Canal.

He was educated at the Universities of Reading and Bristol where he read degrees in Geography, European Studies and Economic and Social History.

When he retired he was Professor of International Relations at Cyprus International University. Prior to that he had been Senior Lecturer in the Centre for International Transport Studies at London Metropolitan University. Professional qualifications included Fellow of The Charted Institute of Transport, Fellow of The Institute of Commerce, Member of The Institute of Transport Administration. Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, Fellow of The Royal Historical Society and Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics.

He served as councillor on Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council 1983-95 (taking a deeply corrupt administration to the High Court.  Twenty eight councillors subsequently lost their seats).

He was a director of the Environment Council 1993-96, was member of the Water and Recreation Panel in the Regional Council for Sport and Recreation, and still serves on the Access and Recreation Committee of the National Forest.

Comment on Michael Handford’s Restoration Retrospective and Prospective                   

Oh, how I agree with Michael about the future of canal restoration. I remember on one of our early IWPS Canal Walks on the Hereford & Gloucester Canal saying ‘Forget it, it’s too far gone’ and this from a man who had just taken on Bugsworth Basin! Everything has changed. We are in for a bad time funding wise but things will improve. I think  Michael has overlooked some prime Northern  candidates for his Third  Section.  The Sankey, the Pocklington, the Manchester Bolton & Bury, Runcorn Locks and then the Weston canal to form a new ‘ring’ taking in the Weaver and the Anderton Lift on the Trent & Mersey. Then there is the Newport Branch off the Shropshire Union at Norbury Junction and the associated Shropshire Canals leading to the River Severn, the Lichfield and Hatherton which already has a new steel aqueduct  over the M6 Toll Motorway going nowhere and funded by the Society! What forethought and what vision! Then there is the Stafford canalisation of the River. The Stockport may be in the Third or Fourth of Michael’s sections – you can take your pick! All these have super energetic and forward thinking societies working for their future. On our recent IWPS Walks visit to Ireland we could see that there are Societies working hard to restore Irish Canals both in the north and south. They have learnt a lot from their English, Welsh and Scottish counterparts. All right, money poured in to the Royal Canal will maybe not give a good return until other navigations are restored, and future monies may well not be forthcoming in the near future due to the dire Irish Economy but good times will come again. Britain and Ireland cannot be in recession for ever.  Did I hear hollow laughter?

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News Items

Droitwich Canals Restoration Wins Institute of Civil Engineers Awards

The Institution of Civil Engineers West Midlands Awards were held on 9th May to showcase the best of civil engineering in the region. A total of 20 projects were nominated, including the £12.7 million restoration of Droitwich’s Canals, which re-opened in July 2011 marking the end of a 38-year drive to restore them.

The entry for Droitwich Canals Restoration won the construction category and went on to win the award for overall winner. The ceremony was attended by the construction team and Wychavon District Council.

Seen on the IWPS walk along the Ashby Canal

Hugh Potter, photo Geoff Pursglove

This is one of the original Midland Railway mile posts (made from  a railway sleeper cut in  half diagonally, making 2 posts). The mileages were carved in  the top. The ACA tried to preserve some of these with varying degrees of success. There is one preserved at Stoke Bruerne. The new ones are steel replicas of the originals, as by 1990 there were very few left, all mainly rotten. Some had been replaced by BW, but showed the new length (allowing for abandonment), so the numbering wasn't consistent.  There were 1/2 mile posts as well but only one or two survived, but I haven't seen them lately. The very first Canal Co. ones were stone, and I understand there is  at least one left, hidden in  undergrowth , but I have not seen it.


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Plate Girder Bridges on the Lower Peak Forest Canal


These bridges are of a box section and they became popular for the construction of railway bridges during the second half of the 19th century. The deck for the track could be either along the bottom of the box or along the top depending upon site conditions. At first, the material used in their construction was iron but later this was replaced by steel. The plates forming the box were joined together by angles, rivets and bolts to obtain girders of the required size. Additional elements were attached to the plates between the top and bottom to add stiffness and prevent lateral buckling. As the use of steel became more prevalent, welded girders replaced riveted and bolted girders.


There were four plate girder bridges on the Lower Peak Forest Canal, only one of which is still extant. The fourth bridge will be illustrated in a later issue.


Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Bridge (Main Line) looking towards Ashton-under-Lyne, 28 July 1978. This plate girder bridge, which is still extant, is notable for its low headroom above the canal.

London and North Western Railway Bridge (Stalybridge Junction Line),
20 June 1965.
This plate girder bridge, which is notable for its length, is seen looking towards Ashton-under-Lyne. It was demolished in 1973. In the background, the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Bridge (Stalybridge Branch) can be seen. This bridge was built in 1845 and the deck is supported by six cast-iron ribs. The two platforms of Dukinfield Station extended over the canal on either side of the bridge and these were supported by plate girders. Dukinfield Station and the platforms were demolished in 1968.

Dukinfield Gas Works access bridge, looking towards Ashton-under-Lyne, 1962.
This plate girder bridge, which is no longer extant, is the nearer and lower of the two bridges and it connects the gas works, off the picture to the left, with Charles Street, Dukinfield, off the picture to the right. The farther and higher bridge is the L&NWR bridge.  Chapel Basin Loading Stage and Dockyard are in the foreground and these facilities were used by the Dukinfield Coal and Cannel Company. In 1965 these features were filled in but not destroyed.

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Thames and Severn Canal Archive Photos

Golden Valley Lock on the Thames and Severn Canal, early 20th century. This is lock 16 of 44 locks on the canal and it is situated in Chalford, Gloucestershire, on the approach to the west end of Sapperton Tunnel.

The locks below the Daneway Portal of Sapperton Tunnel, Thames and Severn Canal, early 20th century. These locks descend through Siccaridge Wood towards Golden Valley and Brimscombe, Gloucestershire.

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Letters to the Editor

I received this letter from Dave Goodwin, author of the first article we featured about skew bridges. Perhaps Dave’s letter will inspire others to write on the subject.  DB - Editor 174.

Dear Don

I found the SKEW BRIDGES article by John Morley in '174' extremely interesting, though it took me several readings before I began to appreciate it fully! The subject is most complex, the history likewise, and it COULD mean yet more letters to the Editor?

I drew myself a scaled time-line, plotting the various technical changes (from 'false' and weak arches to mathematically generated perfection) and began to make comparisons. I sympathized with the early men, forced into practical methods, but take issue with the promotion of George Stephenson since his turnip/ penknife, full scale in wood patterns/ copies in stone ON SITE was surely lagging behind the trends elsewhere at his time?

Peter Nicholson as you know is my personal hero, since he started applying mathematics to the problem (after a gap of almost 30 years), developing tools and templates and advocating the cutting of finished stones IN THE QUARRY.

Of those who followed on, making improvements, Charles Fox's calculations brought the use of cheaper brick construction into the equation; George Buck certainly deserves a medal for his refinements and the fact that his methods formed the standard text to be followed by railwaymen for 60 years.

I feel Stephen Ballard is unjustly marked down however, being described as merely 'continuing the art as opposed to advancing it', since his canal bridge at Monkhide on the old Hereford & Gloucester remains the skewiest example on the waterways after all? Plaudits for the 1930's Underground structures, brickbats for modern concrete, railway electrification and modern men in general..!

This old stick in the mud is pleased that it tripped off so much correspondence,

Yours sincerely

Dave Goodwin

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Call Out

Through the open window, over their heads,
I send you warm grass breathing,
sweet elder tuning in and out.

I send whistles - and a damp rope to your hand.
There is a ladder for you, if you look,
flaking its rust and chalk onto the coping.

I send a sack of maps for you to leave behind.
I send the green glimmer on the water’s brown
and the long ridge dozing under cloud.

Linda Goulden

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Olive Bowyer – A Tribute

Derek Brumhead

Olive died on 30th April 2012 after a short illness, she was 89. Olive, who had a career as a primary school teacher ending finally in Marple, was a founder member of New Mills Local History Society in 1982 and also a member of the committee during all that time up to the last. She was also the society treasurer for many years. When she retired she lived first in Hague Bar, before moving to New Mills. Some years ago she suddenly surprisingly decided to move to Chapel en le Frith. This placed her more conveniently near her beloved donkeys at the sanctuary near Peak Forest which she supported for years and sponsored a donkey. The move didn’t stop her from continuing to attend meetings of the society, the society’s committee and the heritage management committee. When she stopped driving John Humphreys very obligingly provided a honorary taxi service for a number of years.

Olive was devoted church member, a former member of Brook Bottom Methodist chapel and later Disley Baptist church, where she was an active member for many years and at one time the church secretary and also served as treasurer. She was a member of the deaconates for most of her years at Disley. Only a few weeks ago she had a letter in the Buxton Advertiser about “the book that changed the world”, i.e. the Bible. Her faith controlled her life in having a heart for people and animals who needed help and support and guidance.

Olive was in fact a great animal lover and owned dogs and cats. Her favourite was Glenda who barked continuously in her car, you could hear them coming. Glenda has her own tiny plaque at a stile near Ollersett Farm (on the way to Gib Hey) – it’s still there, it says ‘Glenda of Whitle’. Olive lived in Ollersett at that time, so perhaps Glenda came from that hamlet. As far as Olive was concerned, animals could do no wrong, she welcomed dogs with open arms (literally) when working at the heritage centre, usually ignoring their owners. None of her dogs were let off the lead when on walkies and the cats always stayed indoors. One cat was white and since it was deaf (apparently all white cats are deaf ?) it was certainly not let out in case, Olive said, it got run over.

She was a strong-willed person, once she got something between her teeth she would not let it go until the matter was resolved. She was also a long-term member of the heritage management committee and a volunteer for many years, going back to when it first opened in 1987.

Olive was also a long term member and supporter of our society. She is remembered, of course, for her extensive knowledge of the canal system. Her three books, Towpath Guides for the Upper and Lower Peak Forest Canal, and the story of its Construction and Development, provide a well-researched and detailed source of information for walkers and researchers alike. Our members found it a privilege to work with her when the books were updated during recent years and published jointly with the New Mills Local History Society. A stickler for accuracy she went through the texts with the proverbial fine-toothed comb but finally expressed great pleasure and satisfaction with the results. John Humphreys took the photographs for her. Together with her friend and neighbour Madeline Mason in New Mills, she provided many plants, especially foxgloves, for planting around Bugsworth Basin and which still flower today as a fitting memorial to her kind generosity, which was also manifest in the twenty or so charities which she supported.

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The Overnight Canal Boat Experience
Your hosts, Mark and Ruth, have both travelled around the world from China and Pakistan to Australia and New Zealand.  These trips have been designed to show you a very special and hidden side to the UK and we're proud to be the first and only hostel boat trip in the country.
Wandering Duck is the UK's only overnight canal boat trip for Budget travellers

We offer 2 and 4 night trips on our 69ft narrowboat

All meals are included
Complimentary Tea, Ground Coffee, and Hot Chocolate (with marshmallows)
Good Hot Showers
Comfy Bedding (Real Duvets)
Experience England's hidden backwaters

Wandering Duck is the Canal Boat Experience

Trips start from £95 (UK pounds) for two nights and include all meals.

Visit the Wandering Duck website or contact Mark and Ruth for more details

+44 7584 122 614 for information or bookings

The boat, complete with crew, is available for charter by groups of 4 to 10 people for cruises spending a minimum of one night on board - phone Ruth for details.  

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The Denver Sluices

By Mark Ireland

Most people see the Sluices at Denver, Norfolk as flood prevention structures to keep the tidal River Great Ouse from flooding the below sea level Fens, but they are much more than that.

Apart from being an aid to navigation between The River Nene Old Coarse at Salters Lode, out to sea via Kings Lynn and to Downham Market and all places South on the Ely Ouse and tributaries, the main use for the sluices is for the transfer of water between the several channels.

The first thing you notice when standing on the bridge above Denver Sluice Lock is the different heights of the rivers, The Great Ouse, The Ely Ouse and Great Ouse Relief Channel (Flood Relief cut off channel).

At high tide the tidal river can be as much as 15 feet above the relief channel !

At Denver there are three main sluices, Denver Sluice to keep the tide out of the Ely Ouse, AG Wright Sluice to maintain the Ely Ouse and the Impounding Sluice to control and hold water in the Ouse Relief Channel.  This relief channel empties into the tidal Ouse just before Kings Lynn and is used to store water as well as flood relief. The Ely Ouse was up to the maximum on my visit because they were holding water due to the drought.

There are two smaller sluices: the Diversion Sluice sends water to the south of the Impounding Sluice; and the Residual Flow Sluice to the north of it. There is also a lock between these two sluices allowing navigation north of the Impounding Sluice towards Downham Market and Kings Lynn.

The relief channel has two Siphon Sluices to allow it to pass under the River Wissey near Stoke Ferry and The Little Ouse near Brandon.
A siphon being like the U bend in your toilet allowing the flood relief channel to pass under the other waterway.

Water from the Ely Ouse was being sent Down The Diversion Sluice from the Ely Ouse at a rate of 90 tons a minute on my visit, into the flood relief cut off channel south of the impounding sluice. The Impounding Sluice causes the river to be at a higher level to its south compared with the north and thus causes the river to flow in reverse up to the Blackdyke Pumps near Mildenhall. From here it is pumped by pipeline to feed two reservoirs near Colchester.

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New Welcome Sign for Bugsworth Basin

Finally, after many months of discussions over the design and layout for the new sign, protracted negotiations with High Peak Borough Council Planning Department and other delays, the sign has finally been installed on the footbridge at Bridgemont Junction. Thanks to Eric Riley and his team at True Creative based in Didsbury, Manchester.

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Otterspool Weir, Bredbury, Stockport

By Peter J Whitehead

Otterspool Weir on the river Goyt, which has a head of about 1 metre, is to have a micro-hydro energy generator with an installed capacity of 68kW using two Archimedean screws with a variable speed drive.

Stockport Hydro Ltd and the Industrial Provident Society are behind the scheme, which is supported by H2ope. Construction work, by Harry Fairclough Construction, began on the 3 October 2011.

The IWPS has considered the construction of a similar micro-hydro generator to be installed on the Blackbrook River at Bugsworth to power a future visitor centre. For this project a Kaplan type turbine may be a better solution than the Archimedean screw type with the advantage of a greater head of water provided by the existing weir. Potential problems that would need to be solved first include: where such a generator could be housed and, probably the most important, is whether there is an adequate flow of water in the river to sustain either type of generator. - Ed.

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The New Mills Torrs Hydro and Torr Mill

Derek Brumhead,

As most members will know, a working hydro electric power scheme now operates in the New Mills Torrs gorge. In June 2008, a reverse Archimedes screw twelve metres long, two and half metres wide and weighing ten tonnes arrived in the town on a low loader. Since there was no road access, in a spectacular operation it was winched over the 30 metre high Union Road bridge into the Torrs gorge. It has been installed on the site of Torr Mill, a former cotton spinning mill, making use of the fall of about 20 feet over an adjacent weir which powers the inclined screw generating about 70 KW of electricity and should generate about 260,000kwh of electricity a year. The output is used by a local Cooperative supermarket and any surplus fed into the National Grid. A fish ladder has been provided.

The scheme is an interesting case of the modern re-use of the eighteenth century water power site. Torr Mill, was opened on this site at the confluence of the river Goyt and river Sett in the 1790s, when it was not much larger than a barn. At that time, this mill took water from directly above the large weir and excavations not only exposed the arched entry of this water into the mill (located on sketch map) and the tailrace tunnel under Union Road bridge, but also part of the of the original wheel with its iron rim and· wooden spokes. These are being preserved for display in the Heritage Centre. Two bricked-in windows were also exposed. These appear to have been the exterior basement windows of the original late 18th century mill which were hidden when the mill was enlarged.

This leads us to the interesting fact that the present foot bridge over the river Goyt (below Union Road bridge) was relocated about the time that the mill was enlarged. It used to be a few yards nearer the weir but was moved to its present position to make room for the new mill. It is shown as ‘intended bridge’ on the sketch map (1828) The old bridge and site of the new bridge is marked on the sketch map. The head race above the weir was replaced (as shown on the sketch map) by a leat (‘goit’) from a sluice gate (upstream in the river Goyt) which crossed the river Sett by a trough to power a broad overshot waterwheel set deep down in the basement of the mill.

An interesting aspect of the scheme by Water Power Enterprises which cost £300,000 is the way it was funded. There was a grant of £135,000 and a £61,000 loan, but the rest was raised through a £500 share offer taken up by around 200 mainly local people and businesses. Any such hydro-electric power scheme obviously depends on a suitable site, and the water drop height and volume per second. The North-West region with its climate and hilly topography and countless streams, rivers and mill sites is ideal for future schemes. It is interesting to speculate what the wheelwrights and millwrights establishing the early rural cotton mills in the late- eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries would make of this 21st century use of one of their water power sites.

Admittedly, this is only a nod in the green direction, but a very impressive one adding to the existing attractions of the. Torrs gorge, which include high level road and railway viaducts, the spectacular Millennium Walkway, and superb outcrops of a Carboniferous (Coal Measures) sandstone, the Woodhead Hill Rock. United Utilities require a minimum flow over the weir and this results in the screw not turning in times of low rainfall. It also ceased operating last year for a considerable time, when a beach of stones and gravels swept down both rivers was deposited across the intake following three days of heavy rain.

Recently a similar scheme has been set up on the river Goyt at Chadkirk, where there are two short, reversible, Archimedes screws.

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29 March 2012


There is still a lot of process to complete before the Trust can finally become responsible for BW’s waterways in England and Wales, but every week brings important progress and a step nearer the final transition. There continues to be tremendous interest in all that we are doing not least in Parliament where some of us gave evidence to the Efra Select Committee (13 March) and to the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group (15 March). We hope that Parliamentarians found the sessions as useful and stimulating as we did and that their understanding and goodwill delivers an approval of the Transfer Order in the timeframe we need.

We have continued to meet people from all around the waterways and hear their views on our progress. This remains an invaluable source of wide ranging views and perspectives that help us build our vision for the future. In particular a number of us attended the joint IWA/BW workshop in February with representatives from most existing canal societies. This not only gave us an opportunity to meet face to face with many more people, but it also gave us a further insight into the passion and commitment of the waterway movement.

We recently met with some of the trustees of The Waterway Trust to learn from their experiences and achievements, and also to understand their ambitions. We were impressed by all that we heard and all trustees from both organisations remain optimistic and enthusiastic about the forthcoming merger.

We also now have a strong presence at each BW Board meeting as we gradually become more involved in guiding and influencing strategic policy and priorities. We have complete and unrestricted access to all BW’s information and people and we are grateful for the warm welcome and cooperation we continue to receive throughout the organisation.

Since the last update in this series, there have been a number of notable announcements by Defra and the Trust including:

• the agreement of what we view as a tough but fair 15 year funding contract with the Trust. The contract gives 15 years of certainty about government funding and is worth approximately £800m over that period.
• the laying before Parliament on 29 February of the Transfer Order necessary to complete the changes for British Waterways envisaged in the Public Bodies Act
• The appointment of the Chairs to the remaining Waterway Partnerships
• The elections and appointments to Council
• The appointment of three additional Trustees
• BW Scotland has announced the members of their new Board

This short update sets out some of the more recent progress we have made and finishes with a look forward to some of the processes that still have to complete before the Trust can launch.

Royal Patron for the Trust

We were delighted to tell our first Council meeting yesterday (28 March, see below) that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, a long-time supporter of the waterways, will become the first Patron of the Canal & River Trust. As a passionate advocate for British heritage, nature, communities and tourism, the Prince will be an important voice of support for the Trust. The Prince’s patronage is further testimony to the wide-ranging support the Canal & River Trust has already received, and another important milestone in building support and credibility of the Trust in the lead up to its launch.

Council Meeting

The first meeting of the Canal and River Trust’s Council was held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham yesterday (28 March 2012). 29 members of the 32-strong Council were present. For a full list of members and brief biographies, see Appendices A and B.

As this was Council’s first meeting, there was an emphasis on getting to know fellow members of Council, Trustees and some of the Executive. We also took the opportunity to update everyone on progress to date. In the afternoon everyone took part in a series of very useful group discussions on merging the many and varied stakeholder interests into a common and compelling vision for the Trust.

Appointment of Trustees

Council ratified by written resolution the appointment of all the current Trustees as follows:
Lynne Berry OBE
John Bridgeman CBE
Marisa Cassoni
Manish Chande
Jane Cotton
John Dodwell
Tom Franklin
Tony Hales CBE
Steven Shine OBE
Simon Thurley CBE

Brief biographical details of each trustee are attached as Appendix C.

After the first full year of the Trust one third of trustees will be up for election by rotation each year.

Tony Hales, who is Chair of both British Waterways and the Canal & River Trust, announced that he would step down in 2013 in good time for his successor to chair the Trust’s first Annual Meeting in September. After six years with British Waterways and about a year with the Trust, he believed it was right that the Trust should have an early opportunity to appoint a new Chair once the transition was complete and everything was up and running.

This decision is typical of the selfless and considered way in which Tony has so successfully lead the transition from British Waterways to the Trust.

We are also sorry to say goodbye to Nigel Hugill, a member of the British Waterways Board and a transition trustee. Nigel is leaving us because his voluntary activities have now extended to take on the exciting and demanding role of Chair of the Royal Shakespeare Company. We thank him for all his help and advice in the last year and wish him well for the future.

Application to the Charity Commission

As you’d expect with a transfer of this complexity, we have been having detailed pre-registration discussions with the Charity Commission. These are progressing extremely well and we are well on course to ensure registration will be complete in good time for the transfer to the Trust in the summer.

Launch Date

It is frustrating for everyone that we cannot yet announce a definite launch date for the Trust. This is because we are dependent on Parliamentary approval and there is no way of guaranteeing when this will materialise. We are though very hopeful that all the necessary processes will have been completed by mid June to allow a launch in late June or early July. As soon as we can be sure of the date we will announce it as we hope as many people as possible can join us at the events we are planning in every waterway.

Next steps

Some of the remaining milestones before the launch are listed below:

• the completion of the scrutiny of the Transfer Order by the relevant Committees of Parliament
• the debates on the transfer by both Houses of Parliament
• the registration of the Trust by the Charity Commission
• appointment of members to the remaining Waterway partnerships

We will keep you updated.




Central Shires – Charlotte Atkins
East Midlands – Danny Brennan
Kennet & Avon – Fleur de Rhe Philipe
London – Brian Fender
Manchester & Pennine – Walter Menzies
Museum & Attractions – Laurence Newman
North East – Mark Penny
North Wales & Borders – Jim Forrester
North West – Steve Broomhead
South East – John Best
South Wales & Severn – Jack Hegarty
West Midlands – Peter Mathews
All Wales – Dr Mark Lang


Private Boating

Clive Henderson
Vaughan Welch
Ivor Caplan
Ann Farrell

Boating Business

Nigel Stevens, Shire Cruisers:
Anthony Matts, Foxton Boats:


Chris Bailey


British Canoe Union – Tamsin Phipps
Country Land And Business Association – Ross Murray
Institute Of Historic Building Conservation – John Yates
Local Government Association – Councillor Ken Hudson
Ramblers Association – David Gibson
Society For The Environment – Peter Matthews
Sustrans – Martyn Brunt
The Railway & Canal Historic Society – Peter Brown
The Angling Trust – David Kent
The Wildlife Trusts – Neil Wyatt
Waterway Recovery Group – Mike Palmer
Welsh Local Government – Alison Ward




Central Shires – Charlotte Atkins

Charlotte served as the Member of Parliament for Staffordshire Moorlands 1997-2010 and is a former Transport Minister. She was given the first ever Parliamentarian of the Year Award by the Inland Waterways Association in 2008 in recognition of her campaigning to promote the funding and regeneration of waterways. Charlotte is a volunteer with and Trustee of Rudyard Sailability, a charity providing water-based activities for disabled people at Rudyard Lake that in 2011 won the Queen's Award. Charlotte is a Staffordshire Moorlands District Councillor.

East Midlands - Danny Brennan

Danny hails from the Gorbals in Glasgow. He has operated at executive director level in English public service (permanent and interim management) for the past decade, in the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and Norfolk.

His areas of expertise include: strategic infrastructure and economic development; local regeneration, community safety, community development and engagement; environmental services; planning (land use, greenspace, transport); waste disposal and roads maintenance delivery and procurement; sports, leisure, culture; relationships and investment in voluntary, community and business sectors; and cross sectoral partnership development and delivery in all of the above.

He spent the previous 10 years in various policy and structural fund programme roles in the European Commission (economic and social policy, regional development, labour market, welfare and equalities). This included “Accession Countries” development in these areas and policy support to Commissioners and Directors General, based in Brussels, with extensive international work and travel. Before that, he worked in Regional government in the West of Scotland, specialising in youth and adult education, community development, rural and urban economic development and managing industrial re-structuring.

On the personal development front, he has recently completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Law at Nottingham Law School. He is a keen photographer (especially landscape, community), has a young family and is also involved in local community activity in his home village of Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire.

Kennet & Avon – Fleur de Rhe Philipe

Fleur has been a member of Wiltshire Council since 1997, currently as Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Strategic Planning. As Company Secretary of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust for ten years, Fleur was instrumental in setting-up the Partnership which achieved a grant of £25 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to complete the restoration of the waterway.

London – Brian Fender

A former Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (1995-2001) and non-Executive Chairman of BTG plc (2003-2008), Brian is currently President of the Institute of Knowledge Transfer. An Imperial College graduate, he taught chemistry at Oxford University for 17 years. He has been Vice-Chancellor of Keele University (1985-95) and is a former Chairman of the Science Board of the Science and Engineering Research Council and Director of the international research laboratory, Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble, France. Previously held non-executive positions include the UK Meteorological Board, the Hong Kong University Grants Committee and President of the National Foundation for Educational Research. He currently chairs a regional theatre Trust and a garden Trust.

Manchester & Pennine – Walter Menzies

Professor Walter Menzies. Previously Chief Executive of the Mersey Basin Campaign, a third sector partnership dedicated to sustainable development through the improvement of waters, the regeneration of watersides and the engagement of communities and businesses. Walter has also held non-executive positions at Waterwise, Healthy Waterways Trust, Land Restoration Trust and Look 2011.

Museum & Attractions Partnership – Laurence Newman

Chairman, Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. Previously, Laurence spent 20 years with KPMG where he was the partner responsible for their Leisure and Tourism Consulting Group. He is also a non-Executive Director of Grove End Housing Ltd, a Trustee of Creativity, Culture and Education and a member of the Advisory Board of The Foundation, a growth and innovation consultancy. Trustee of The Waterways Trust and Chairman of the Trust’s Museums Management Board.

North East – Mark Penny

Mark Penny is 49, a Yorkshire man born in Leeds, a chemist by training but a people and service leader by choice. Previously Director of Customer Service and Networks for Yorkshire Water, Mark spent over 30 years with the water company. He now runs Summers Day management consultancy and is trustee of the Aire Rivers Trust. Last year he was also President of the Institute of Water (Northern Branch). Married to Shelley they have 5 children and his hobbies include fishing, rugby, cooking and collecting brewery advertising memorabilia.

North Wales & Borders – Jim Forrester

Jim is currently director at Imperial War Museum North in Manchester where he has delivered services to over 2,500,000 visitors over the last ten years and drawn in champions, stakeholders and potential funders, raising substantial capital and revenue funding each year. Previously a boatbuilder on the canals, Jim has spent the last 27 years working within charities in a variety of roles: from boat conservator to director of a new branch of a national museum in the region.

North West - Steve Broomhead

Currently Professor of Entrepreneurial Education at Liverpool Hope University, Steven previously spent eight years as Chief Executive at Northwest Regional Development Agency, prior to which he was Chief Executive at Warrington Borough Council. He has held the position of Chair at a number of private and public organisations.

South East – John Best

After a period as a professional musician in the early 70s, John Best trained as a town planner and spent 24 years in London local government working in regeneration and housing renewal, including 5 years as borough planning officer for the London Borough of Haringey. He moved to Milton Keynes in 1996 and for 12 years oversaw the city’s development, first as Environment Director and then for five years until 2008 as Council Chief Executive.

In 2008 he set up John Best Re.Generation Limited, a small international consultancy helping places work out what they are good at and how they might become even more successful. In addition, he is Trustee and Director for the Bedford Milton Keynes Waterway Trust, and chairs an Arts charity, Arts Gateway MK. He looks forward to building for the CRT a network of active people who share his enthusiasm for the area and its waterways.

South Wales & Severn – Jack Hegarty

Jack has been Managing Director of Wychavon District Council since 2004, where he leads a complex public sector organisation, builds relationships with Ministers, MPs and Councillors and deals with local communities and partner organisations at a national and local level. He was directly involved with the Droitwich Canal restoration for 11 years.

West Midlands - Peter Mathews

Peter is past Chair of the Black Country Consortium, which works to co-ordinate regeneration in the Black Country area of the West Midlands, and Chairman and Managing Director of Black Country Metals. A prominent business leader, Peter has held the position of Chair at various national and international organisations including The World Recycling Conference, UKTI Advanced Engineering and the Midlands World Trade Forum.

All Wales – Dr Mark Lang

Dr Mark Lang is committed to the building of a strong Welsh civic society, and to best practice regeneration and economic development activities. He is a Fellow of the Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales, and is Director of Communications for Cambrian Transport. Formerly a political advisor to a member of the National Assembly for Wales, he has a PhD in Political Science from Cardiff University. He is passionately committed to the wider value of waterways for education, economic development, transport, and community development, as well as tourism and leisure.


Private Boating

Clive Henderson

Member of IWA since 1984, life member from 1996. Served on IWA Warwickshire Branch Committee 1988 to 2003 and Chairman 2002 to 2003. West Midlands Region Committee 2002 onwards and Chairman March 2003 to September 2009. Elected trustee September 2009. Clive has been a boater since 1982 and has owned a narrowboat since 1984. He has cruised most of the connected system. He is interested in industrial archaeology and history. He resides beside the Stratford-on-Avon Canal with a garden mooring in a house built before the canal in 1790 once owned by the canal company and occupied by the canal manager and a toll office.

Professional Qualifications and Employment: BSc (Chemical Engineering). Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).

He is a retired partner of Ernst & Young, Chartered Accountants (1971-2000), self-employed business consultant (2001 to date). Vice Chairman and Governor of a College of Further Education (2001 to date). Parish Councillor. Past President the Rotary Club of Solihull St Alphege.

Vaughan Welch

Retired Technical Buyer and Contracts Manager specialising in electrical and civil engineering materials and services, including the costs of managing health and safety within the contracts and writing the contractual Terms and Conditions and their enforcement.

Started boating in the early 60’s when there was still some commercial traffic on the waterways and a boat owner for more than thirty years, currently own a Peter Nicholls built narrowboat moored on the BCN. I have cruised and walked most of the connected system, as well as many isolated and derelict waterways.

A Trustee and Director of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) for ten years, three years as its Deputy National Chairman, with waterway restoration and the West Midlands portfolio. I regularly attend the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group to represent waterway restoration interests and former Southern Regional Judge for BW’s Lock and Bridge Competition.

Chairman of the Droitwich Canals Trust, member since inception of the successful Partnership that saw the reopening of both canals on 1 July last year. Director and Trustee of both the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Trust and the Lapal Canal Trust; and IWA’s representative on the Cotswold Canals Partnership.

Ivor Caplan

My professional career included canal regeneration and conservation projects up to retirement in 2004 as Head of Architecture at Sandwell MBC. I have retained an interest and involvement in waterways planning and heritage projects. We have cruised for 35 years over most of the waterways system and 15 years living afloat has led to an involvement in all aspects of residential boating through the RBOA.

I have been involved with many aspects of the IWA, as Branch Chairman, managing its Waterways for Youth initiative and serving as an IWA trustee and WM planning officer. I have supported canal societies, am currently secretary of the BCN Society and serve on the West Midlands Waterways Partnership.

As well as cruising extensively, my other interests include painting, walking and canoeing and I am a national forum member for Asthma UK. When not cruising we live in Stone, on the Trent & Mersey Canal.

Ann Farrell

After studying physics at Bristol University, Ann worked in the CEGB’s Nuclear Research Labs at Berkeley before training as a teacher. Meanwhile she had married Donal and started a family. They have four children and four grandchildren.

Ann moved to Chester in 1972 where she taught in a large comprehensive school for over 20 years. She was a Chester City councillor for 24 years and held the portfolio for culture and heritage in the City’s administration from 2001-7.

Ann’s love of boating started in her early teens when she learnt to sail in a variety of dinghies on the River Blackwater. After several canal holidays on hireboats, she bought her own narrow boat ‘Ena May’ in 1992. Since then she has cruised 14,000 miles, worked through 9000 locks and explored 95% of the network. Ann is currently Vice Commodore of the Nantwich Boat Club.

Boating Business

Nigel Stevens, Shire Cruisers

Nigel Stevens and his wife operate a hire fleet and full service boatyard with moorings in Yorkshire. Their customers are intensive users of the Pennine waterways. He was a Waterway Recovery Group organiser, and Chairman of London IWA in the early seventies, and later worked for the restoration of the Rochdale Canal by running a hire boat on the first 6 miles to be re-opened. Nigel has represented British Marine Federation members on the British Waterways Advisory Forum since 2005, and was its chairman from 2007 to 2010. He is a past chairman of the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators. Nigel is a Cranfield MBA. He was a member of the Partnership which produced the award-winning restoration of warehouses at Sowerby Bridge. Nigel looks forward to helping Council play its part in building a new way of looking after the waterways.

Anthony Matts, Foxton Boats

Since the early 1960s, I have been involved with the canals, long before most people were aware of their existence. My business has continued for almost 50 years. In addition to trading in boat engineering and salvage, hiring, hospitality and retail, I have been involved with the Boat Safety Scheme since 1980 and subsequently became an assessor of the Boat Safety Inspectors. I am also a member of the Committee of Marine Engineers, (small ships group) and seconded to the British Standards Sub-committee for small craft.


Chris Bailey

Chris started his career with British Waterways in 1976 as an apprentice carpenter and once qualified moved onto a Supervisor’s role on the BCN, followed by a Section Manager’s role in the East Midlands. After re-qualifying as a Civil Engineer and Safety Advisor, Chris was seconded and then employed as an HR Manager working on national employment provisions.

He was the Manager of the Black Country Canals for 5 years during which time he was seconded as an Operational Manager on a major Canal restoration in Scotland. As Enterprise Manager, Midlands, working on behalf of the Central Shires Waterways, his current role is to secure funding through partnerships.

Chris is a trustee of the BW Pension Fund, and a board member of two local partnerships.
Outside of work, he is the Vice Chair of Governors at his local primary school.



Nominated representative: Tamsin Phipps

A self-motivated individual with the ability to work in harmony across all areas of society at local, national and international levels, Tamsin has had a varied career from Special Needs Teacher, Army Officer, Management Development Training Manager to her present role of the British Canoe Union’s Public and Government Affairs Manager (which area of responsibility covers key stakeholder relationships including managing the BCU’s relationships with the International Canoe Federation and a secondment to London Organising Committee Olympic Games 2012). Tamsin has always been passionate about the waterways and their use and place in people’s lives. Tamsin has canoed since the age of 14 learning with the Girl Guides but is keen that the inland waterways should be promoted and used by the general public for walking, angling cycling, watching wildlife, etc.

Tamsin is a member of IWAC and the K&A Waterway Partnership.
Her voluntary work includes being an active leader for both Brownies and Guides together with being a Trustee for a Community Narrow Boat Falcon Adam based on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Aldermaston. This work shows her commitment to the inclusion of young people in society and the recognition that they have a voice that should be heard.

As an athlete, Tamsin has won the prestigious Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race on three occasions.


Nominated representative: Ross Murray

Ross Murray’s professional work managing urban estates in the South Wales Coalfield has given him first-hand experience of industrial archaeology and Victorian infrastructure.

Ross is Vice-President of CLA. He is a practising Chartered Surveyor and landowner, and his family’s estate at Llanover, in Monmouthshire, South Wales is bisected by the Brecon-Newport Canal. He regularly uses the canal towpath for recreation. Ross is also a Trustee of the Wye and Usk Foundation, and is a former Secretary-of-State appointed member of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.


Nominated representative: John Yates

IHBC Chair 2005-8.

John has 33 Years’ experience of guiding change to historic places, 22 years as English Heritage Inspector of Historic Buildings (now part-time, dealing with Shropshire and Herefordshire). John is visiting lecturer on University of Birmingham Historic Environment and Heritage Management postgraduate courses. He is a specialist in industrial heritage, with good detailed knowledge of the English waterways network and its contexts.


Nominated representative: Councillor Ken Hudson, Preston City Council

Ken Hudson was elected to Preston City Council in 1978. He was Mayor of Preston in 1993/94 and has served as Council Leader since 2007. Ken is also chair of the City Centre and Guild Committees and is playing an active role in the regeneration plans for Preston City Centre. A keen boater, Ken owns his own narrowboat on the Lancaster Canal and was awarded an MBE for his service to Lancashire’s waterways, in particular the construction of the Ribble Link in Preston. Ken is also Chairman of the LGA Rural Commission.


Nominated representative: David Gibson

David has been interested in canals for many years and has been a volunteer on a group which has actively restored derelict canals. He was also a council member of the Inland Waterways and a keen boater. Latterly David has been a Rambler volunteer as an Area Access Officer and a footpath secretary. He also does voluntary work with the Lancaster Canal Trust.


Nominated representative: Peter Matthews

Peter is a past Chair and current Board Member of the Society, a Chartered Environmentalist, Scientist and a Water and Environment Manager. Peter’s career in water management spans over 45 years. After some 35 years he retired from Anglian Water International as Deputy MD in 1999.
Since then he served on the Board of the Environment Agency for six years and the Board of the Port of London Authority, recently having retired. He is the Chair of the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator and of the Sustainable Organic Resources Partnership.

He is also on the governing boards of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, European Water Association and the Society for the Environment and has been the President/Chair of all three of those organisations at one time.

Peter is also Chair of his own consultancy, Pelican Portfolio. He is a Visiting Professor at Anglia Ruskin University (also having been a VP at Imperial College and served as a Governor of Anglia Ruskin), a Past Pitt Fellow of Pembroke College Cambridge University.

His experience of executive and non-executive roles is very substantial in a diversity of organisations including charity and not-for-profit. He has received several awards including an OBE in 2007 for services to water and the environment and a gold medal for outstanding contribution to the European Water sector.


Nominated representative: Martyn Brunt

Martyn has had a career in regional and national journalism and communications at Barclays Bank, Barclaycard, and National Express, and has longstanding connections with BW and as manager of the National Cycle Network. At Sustrans he has led projects in sustainable transport, access to stations, cycle network development and use of mobile technology in promoting cycle networks.


Nominated representative: Peter Brown

Peter was brought up in Somerset, obtained a physics degree at Manchester University then became an accountant in local government. After working for Somerset, Southampton, West Suffolk, Suffolk and Dudley, Peter was for 19 years Borough Treasurer at Great Yarmouth.

Since taking early retirement in 2000, Peter’s main interest has been researching and writing canal history. He is currently preparing a book on the Shropshire Union system. He has had many articles published in NarrowBoat and Waterways World, as well as in Waterways Journal, the Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society and several canal society magazines. He also gives talks about canals and about the two engineers in which he has a particular interest, Thomas Telford and Sir William Cubitt. He is a regular user of The Waterways Trust’s archives, and was financial adviser to the Black Country Museum for 5 years.

With his wife he has owned or had a part share in a boat since 1990 and they have travelled the network extensively. Peter has been a member of the Railway & Canal Historical Society since 1993; was elected to Council in 2007 and appointed to the Managing Committee in 2008. He was Journal Editor 2002–8; Photographic Collection Curator 2008–11; Reviews Editor from 2011


Nominated representative: David Kent

David Kent champions the value of angling as a sport and recreation, its value across the social spectrum, and participation for young people, the contribution it can make to the stewardship and promoting of waterways for all, and in generating income for the local economy and CRT. He has been an angler for 55 years of which 40 have been spent as an administrator at club, regional and national level. David spent 32 years in the water industry with the Trent River Authority, Severn Trent Water Authority and finally with Severn Trent Water Ltd as a Manager, Financial/Business Systems. In 1998, David took early retirement from STW and became Manager of the East Midlands Business & Environment Club until full retirement in 2006.

Angling Trust Life member.


Nominated representative: Neil Wyatt

An ecologist and botanist by training, Neil Wyatt is currently Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Neil is a full founder member of the Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management, a Chartered Environmentalist through the Society for the Environment and is also a Fellow of the RSA. He is passionate about canals and is a member of the West Midlands Waterways Partnership, helping support the establishment of the new Canal & River Trust. He is a Director of Land Care Associates, The Wildlife Trust’s environmental consultancy. His hobbies include model engineering and photography as well as cycling and walking with his family.


Nominated representative: Mike Palmer

Employed by BBC as Technical Coordinator for London 2012 Olympics (Nations & Regions)
Chairman - Waterway Recovery Group (1996–current)
Trustee - Inland Waterways Association (1995-2007)
Member – Inland Waterways Advisory Council (1998-2007). Retained as Advisor on volunteer matters
Volunteer leader for numerous Canal Camps and other waterway events since 1985


Nominated representative: Alison Ward, CBE, CEO Torfaen County Borough Council

Alison Ward is Chief Executive of Torfaen County Borough Council which includes Cwmbran, Pontypool, and Blaenavon. Alison grew up in Herefordshire and went to Exeter University to read Law. After qualifying as a Solicitor she did her Solicitor’s articles in Ross-on-Wye before spending two years practising criminal law in Sheffield. She then joined West Glamorgan County Council in 1987 as a Solicitor. After a further brief spell in private practice, Alison returned to West Glamorgan as a Child Care Lawyer and specialised in that area of law until Local Government Reorganisation. She joined Neath Port Talbot CBC as Assistant Director of Social Services and Housing where she acted as Social Inclusion Advisor to the WLGA. She joined Torfaen in 2002 as Assistant Chief Executive (Customer Focus & Relationships) and was appointed as Chief Executive in November 2004.



Lynne Berry

Lynne Berry is an associate of Civil Exchange and a visiting Senior Fellow at CASS Business School, City of London University, She has held five Chief Executive posts: WRVS, the General Social Care Council, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Charity Commission and the Family Welfare Association. She has served on many Government bodies including the Office of Civil Society Advisory Board and several Better Regulation Task forces, most recently to reduce burdens on charities and social enterprise. She is also a trustee of the Anne Frank Trust, Cumberland Lodge, the International Women's Forum UK and Pro Bono Economics. Previous non-Executive roles included NCVO, the National Centre for Social Research, the European Division of the DTI and she was chair of CPAG. She has received a number of honours including an OBE, an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff University and two Honorary Doctorates. She lives near the Kings Cross development in London and on the banks of the River Trent where she is restoring a 1950s wooden boat.

John Bridgeman

John is British Waterways’ vice chairman, chair of the Fair Trading Committee and the Wales Advisory Group and a pension trustee. He is a former director general of Fair Trading, member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and CEO of British Alcan Aluminium plc. He is also regulatory director of the British Horseracing Authority, chairman of the Audit and Standards Committee for Warwickshire County Council, complaints commissioner for the Direct Marketing Authority and a longstanding trustee of three Oxfordshire charities.

Marisa Cassoni

A qualified chartered accountant since1975 Marisa has been the Finance Director of the John Lewis Partnership, one of the UK’s leading department stores, since June 2006. Prior to this, Marisa spent five years as Group Finance Director at The Royal Mail where she played an instrumental role in guiding the company through its renewal programme. Between 1998 to 2001 Marisa was the Group Finance Director at Britannic Assurance plc and was the Group Finance Director of Prudential's UK division from 1994 to 1998. In 2005 Marisa was appointed non-executive Director of GFI, a company listed on New York Stock Exchange where she chairs their audit committee. Marisa is a Governor of the Peabody Trust and, until very recently, was a member of the Accounting Standards Board.

Manish Chande

A member of the institute of chartered accountants and a chartered surveyor Manish Chande is Senior Partner of Mountgrange, a private real estate group that specialises in UK commercial property investment and development. He has been in the real estate business for 28 years. Before joining Mountgrange, Manish was on the main board of Land Securities plc. In 1997 he co-founded and was Chief Executive Officer of Trillium, a company specialising in property outsourcing. Prior to Trillium, Manish worked at Imry Merchant Developers plc, as the Finance Director, and then as Chief Executive in 1995. Manish originally trained as a chartered accountant and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales since 1980. In 2003, he was appointed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport as a Commissioner of English Heritage, a position he held until 2011; and in 2007 was appointed a Trustee of The London Clinic.

Jane Cotton

Jane has been human resources director and a deputy chief executive of Oxfam, one of the UK’s largest and most successful charities, for the past 11 years. Prior to this she worked in Departments of Transport and Environment in both policy and human resources roles. In the 1990s Jane was resources director of the Charity Commission and human resources director of Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. She brings particular expertise in organisational development and change management; also in volunteering, fundraising and charity governance.

John Dodwell

John is a chartered accountant who moved into corporate finance and corporate law. He is a former finance director or chair of several property companies (including setting up joint ventures), a former charity trustee (including dealing with investments) and has been a member since 1961 of The Inland Waterways Association, of which he was General Secretary 1970-73. He relinquished being chair of the Commercial Boat Operators Association and his memberships of the Inland Waterways Advisory Council and of the British Waterways Advisory Forum on becoming a Trustee. Having sailed dinghies, fished and canoed on the Thames and elsewhere in his youth, he went onto hire cruisers over most of the network, enjoying the waterways’ built and natural environment. He now owns an historic narrow boat.

Tom Franklin

Tom Franklin is Chief Executive Think Global, a membership charity that works to educate and engage people about global issues such as climate change and sustainability. He was previously Chief Executive of the Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity. He is currently a member of the Independent Panel on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England. He was previously a local authority councillor for twelve years, including a period as council leader, and was an expert adviser on ‘Better Public Spaces’ to the Beacon Council Awards Scheme, and was Chief Executive of Living Streets, a charity promoting better streets and public spaces for pedestrians.

Tony Hales

Tony is Chairman of British Waterways. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Capital and Regional plc and Chairman of NAAFI Pension Fund Trustees. He was previously Chairman of Workspace Group plc., Chief Executive of Allied Domecq, a Non-Executive Director of HSBC Bank plc, Welsh Water plc and Aston Villa plc, and Chairman of NAAFI. He is a Trustee of Welsh National Opera and a Trustee of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation.

Steve Shine

Since 2007, Steve has been Thames Water’s Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Main Board. He is leaving in March 2012 to take on new challenges. Steve started his career with London Electricity Board in 1973 as an apprentice Electrician, whilst working he qualified as an Electrical Power Engineer and later took degrees in Management, Marketing and in 1993 he finally gained a Masters in Business Administration. Steve worked his way through various roles in the electricity business and became the MD of London Electricity Contracting and a member the Executive Board of London Electricity (Later EDF) in 1996. In 2000 he worked to form a Joint Venture between Eastern Electricity and London Electricity known as 24Seven and became the MD of this very successful company. In 2003 Steve left the Electricity sector to become the CEO of SGB UK, part of Harsco Corporation (an industrial services company), where he transformed the performance of the business. In 2010, Steve was awarded the OBE by the Queen for services to industry.

Simon Thurley

Simon was educated at London University where he took an MA and a PHD. After working for English Heritage in the 1980s he went to be curator of the Historic Royal Palaces for eight years. In 1998 he moved to be director of the Museum of London and in 2003 chief executive of English Heritage. Simon is an historian specialising in English architectural history and has written many books and presented television programmes on the subject.

This update received from British Waterways - April 5th 2012

Late yesterday the Charity Commission confirmed the registration of the Canal & River Trust under registration number 1146792.  The news means that the fledgling Trust, which already has a Board of Trustees, a governing Council and, in HRH The Prince of Wales, a Royal Patron, is now legally permitted, and will soon be ready, to raise charitable income to support its objectives.

The Canal & River Trust’s Deputy Chair, Lynne Berry, commented: “This is such exciting news and another important milestone towards the launch of the Canal & River Trust this summer.  The new Trust is now a fully-fledged charitable body, ready and able to take on the care of the canals and rivers of England and Wales, and ready to start fundraising.”

The Canal & River Trust is due to take over the care of 2,000 miles of waterways, historic buildings, museums and archives from British Waterways and The Waterways Trust in England and Wales.  The move, which is subject to Parliamentary approval, will be the single largest transfer of a public body into the charitable sector, and is underpinned by a guaranteed 15-year funding contract with Government.

Lynne added: “The creation of the Canal & River Trust is one of the most exciting projects in the charitable sector at the moment and will hold in trust for the nation one of our most extraordinary national treasures.  Charitable registration means that we are now almost ready to start raising income from charitable sources, to add to the waterways’ solid foundation of Government and self-earned income.

“There has been a tremendous amount of work to get us to this point and the Trustees would like to thank the Charity Commission for their assistance in our application, and our legal team for their hard work behind the scenes.  The Canal & River Trust is all about securing the future of the waterways, and today’s announcement brings us one step closer to realising this dream.”

For more information about the Canal & River Trust, including its charitable objects, visit

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Extract from the Bye Laws

On the subject of the LNER Byelaws Poster, I received this note from IWPS member Neil Turns, unfortunately too late for the March issue of 174, but which adds some interesting notes to the material already received. - Ed.

It’s surprising how quickly relatively recent history becomes forgotten and gives rise to quite significant misunderstandings.

The London & North Eastern Railway was created as a result of the 1922 grouping of mainline railways. Its main constituents in England were the Great Northern, Great Eastern, North-Eastern and Great Central Railways. In Scotland it included the North British and The Great North of Scotland Railways.

No doubt the Directors feared that statutory notices in the names of these railways would be considered invalid in legal proceedings and thus they hastened to replace them by their own notices. The warning poster therefore cannot be earlier than 1923, but is probably soon after that date.

Forty Shillings in 1923 would probably be equivalent to about £120 today, allowing for the inflation which followed the First World War.

However this is a maximum fine. Except in cases of repeat offences, magistrates would normally impose fines of not more than 50% of the maximum. Courts also had discretionary funds available to pay such fines in the case of extreme poverty.

It is therefore unlikely that anyone was sent to prison as a result of infringing this bye-law.

N Turns BA, MSc. February 2102


Reproductions of the poster on the page 30 are available in A3 size at a cost of £2.00 on good quality paper for framing or £3 encapsulated plus postage in a paper tube to prevent damage £1.50. Please send your order and cheque made out in favour of The Peak Forest Canal Co. Ltd. to Ian Edgar MBE at the address inside front cover.


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