The Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd 

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Newsletter "174" August 2002


Bugsworth Basin Report Tractor Appeal Fund An interesting find Jack Brady
Whaley Bridge Warehouse The Liverpool Link Annual Walk
Oct. 5th and 6th
Awards for All
Editorial Tractor Fund Sales Offers Postbag News from the IWA
Book Review Peak Forest Canal the early years Extracts from 1881 Census Words of Wisdom
Rochdale Canal Restoration Photos Frogs and Toads Waterways Object Name Thesaurus Foxton Incline
  Return to 174 Newsletter Archive Index

Go to the IWPS/PFCC Sales Pages

IWA Press Releases

This photograph shows the transformation of the Rochdale Canal in Failsworth at the site of the former Co-op supermarket which was demolished to allow complete restoration of the canal to be achieved. See more pictures of the Rochdale
Photograph: John Rigby

Bugsworth Basin Report

by Ian Edgar MBE   -     Chairman and Hon Site Manager

Since my last report in April 2002 we have been working with British Waterways on the Consultants Report. Progress has not been as speedy as we would have liked but BW Engineers have been extremely stretched coping with what could have been catastrophes on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Soote Hill near the Anderton Boat Lift and on the Caldon Canal. At both locations, the canal leaked and there was slippage of or close to a high embankment. Situations not that different to Bugsworth. Both these jobs took precedence over Bugsworth in BW engineer time but now, the T&M work having been completed and the Caldon work well under way BW can help us move forward again. Assuming of course there is not another disaster on what might appear to some to be a crumbling system.

I would like to say here that, having visited and seen both the above jobs in progress I was very impressed with the size of the projects and the engineering skills required to bring them to a satisfactory conclusion. In the case of the Caldon it was surprising the section had not failed long ago and much of the damage was caused by neglect and the actions of others years ago. It was once again made clear to me that the skills required to do these rebuilds (for that is really what they are) are right outside the capability of volunteers. IWPS volunteers have done as much as we can to repair the channel at Bugsworth. Now we have to rely on the professionals. There is no other way.

British Waterways decided that although we had a wealth of information gained at great expense via ground and topographical surveys a further expense of commissioning an additional ground investigation would be justified if the engineers were to understand the exact conditions in the structure between the Lower Basin Arm and the much lower parallel Blackbrook

This was to be a temperature survey to produce thermal gradients to identify water flow through the land. To do these tests the Basins had to be full to NWL and BW agreed to the substantial water loss this would entail. Consequently the planks were raised and the Basin slowly re-watered. To our great consternation the level went down again alarmingly quickly. This could only be another major leak which we soon found. It was in the bed and in the usual place at the base of the wall close to the emergency repair carried out by Faircloughs. This further failure emphasised quite clearly the parlous state of this structure and by it’s very location called in to question the method used for the temporary repair and indeed one method we had anticipated using for the final once and for all solution. In other words the problem has not been solved, we still have no firm indication of methodology for the job and consequently we cannot go out to tender for the work. This is a setback but it is not a disaster. We are not looking at another area of leakage but part of the same problem as before.

We are still looking at a programme as the last ‘174’ with the construction period more precise now as March 2003 to December 2003. Re-opening still Easter 2004.

With Don Baines I attend formal quarterly meetings with British Waterways to monitor progress with meetings as required in between to address problems as they arise. Outside these formal meetings we are regularly in touch with the Engineering staff of BW contributing our own observations and specialist site knowledge as the scheme evolves. Whilst it might appear that progress is slow I am fully aware, and I have mentioned this many times, we have to get it right this time. We cannot spend £1m and still have the Basin leaking.

In the meantime our small band of regular volunteers maintain what seems to be an expanding site or maybe as we get older it appears that way. As always we still need help so do come along on our working days or give me a ring on 01663 732493.

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The Society (and especially the volunteers who maintain Bugsworth) are indebted to The Inland Waterways Association for a grant of £2000 towards the cost of an additional tractor mower. The calls on the IWA funds for grants are many and we are very grateful to the IWA for their confidence that this money will be well spent on a very worthwhile project.

The Society is also grateful to The Waterways Trust who have offered £750 to the Tractor Fund. In its letter The Waterways Trust advise that total requests amounted to £400,000! The overall level of grant had to be reduced so once again we are pleased others have seen Bugsworth Basin and IWPS worthy of support.

This means the Tractor Fund now stands at £5008.00 which has been raised by specific donations to the Fund, sale of redundant equipment etc. and the donation of items for sale.

We are very grateful to all those who have helped achieve this figure. To get the machine most suited to the job we do not yet have enough money so we are keeping the Appeal open, making extra efforts to raise funds from grants and seeking further donations. If you would like to help please send anything you can afford to me and I will pay it in to The Equipment Fund. Hopefully we will have what we need by next Spring (2003) and purchase the tractor then.

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Many years ago when the Entrance Canal was being cleared of silt a keen eyed volunteer found a Half-Crown which was placed in the Society’s finds archive. In our search for funds we have been clearing items not relating directly to the structure of the Basin and this we offered for sale to a coin collector who advertised in, of all publications, SAGA Magazine. It could perhaps be described as truly selling the family silver.

During our chat on the telephone stating we were selling this coin in aid of funds to restore a canal etc. it turned out that he was also a canal enthusiast. He was not a dealer but specialised in half crowns. I described the coin as being black (from being in the mud), was dated 1916 and appeared to me as a non-expert to be sharp and without any wear on the edges or either face. Subject to inspection he would offer £25 for the coin but on no account was I to clean it. Just send it as it was. Other enquiries to dealers valued it at around £5 so his seemed a good deal. Being trusting and our new contact sounding a reputable man I posted off the coin to him.

Almost immediately came back the cheque for £25 for the Equipment Fund with a very nice note. Dated 1916 the coin was silver and it did indeed have very little wear. Being silver it would wear very quickly so it is most likely the coin went in to the canal around the date of minting. Furthermore the coin had a severe scratch across the head of the King which was a common occurrence in those days to show disapproval of the monarchy at a time when the people showed their disapproval of the carnage of the First World War and those who led it.

So what story could this coin tell? Who was the poor unfortunate who lost 2/6d in the canal which was a lot of money then. And who did the defacing? We will never know but what an interesting tale could be told.

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We were very sad to hear of the death of Jack Brady at the age of 90. Jack was the last Chairman of The Peak Forest Canal Society until dissolution in 1985. The Society under his direction virtually ‘saved’ the Lower Peak Forest.

Recently Don Baines was contacted by his daughter who enquired if we would like Jack’s box of papers on canals. Don accepted with alacrity and these will now be added to the Society’s archives. If I remember rightly the archives of the PFCS went to the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port.

Much of this archive material makes fascinating reading. There is some duplication with our own archives but in this case included in the box was an issue of ‘Onward’ No. 32 and in there is an article by Bessie Bunker telling of her fight with the Chapel-en-le-Frith Rural District Council about a new diverted sewer – the very one which has contributed to our troubles with leaks alongside the Lower Basin Arm. Bessie thought she had secured a proper replacement of the clay puddle by the Council but I doubt it. In the absence of any drawings, specifications of works etc. this is all we have to go on to advise our consultants and engineers what to expect, However it does fix the date of construction of the sewer more accurately – late 1965/early 1966. Although the sewer trench was to be backfilled to British Waterways Board requirements, i.e. with a clay seal throughout, I doubt the BWB even bothered. BW then was a very different body to now where all the assets are secured. Bessie records that BWB wanted to ‘get rid of Buxworth Basin’ and IWPS was not on site at that time – work started on September 14th 1968.

From ‘Onward’ No. 42 and bearing in mind the problems we have now which would have stopped the early restorers in their tracks we quote Bessie Bunker:

‘It may take as much as three years to complete, and there may be faint-hearted ones who will fall by the wayside. Already there have been disappointments; but no-one can know the calibre of a person, however a good talker that person may be, until they have proved themselves. With gratitude and humility we call to mind Drake’s prayer:

"O Lord God when Thou givest to Thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same until it be finished which yieldeth the true glory".

Quite. Let us hope that after all this time we may finish the job soon.

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British Waterways are looking for a tenant for this magnificent building and we wish them well in their endeavours. The building, although re-roofed some years ago, is in a sorry state and the longer it remains unoccupied the worse it will get. A substantial tenant will be required but BW have indicated flexible terms, rent free periods, support in conservation and restoration costs etc. There are a number of potential planning uses and any tenant/developer will have to comply with English Heritage requirements. Although this building is unique (with the canal feeder from Toddbrook and Combs passing through it), we hope that common sense will prevail and any restrictions imposed be sensible and not too onerous.

On an historic note I can well remember the Society Annual Dinner in 1973 at the Jodrell Arms Hotel in Whaley Bridge. Councillor F. Woodward, Chairman of Whaley Bridge U.D.C. was the Guest who rose to speak. ‘The Society will no doubt be pleased to know’ he went on’ that the Council is going to improve the amenities of Whaley Bridge and will be building a swimming bath on the site of the canal warehouse. The Council will be pleased to offer the fabric of the building to the IWPS to demolish and build elsewhere’.

I have never seen so many dropped jaws. That went down like a lead balloon and even before the dinner had finished furtive groups were discussing the situation which had been presented to us out of nowhere. We had not an inkling of all this which increased my resolve that IWPS should have a greater connection and influence with local authorities.

The Dinner was on the Saturday. On the Monday my telephone overheated. Bessie was on full steam. Following a lot of lobbying she was informed on 18th December 1973 that the Dept. of the Environment had listed the building. Despite threats from the Local Authority that they were going to demolish it anyway the building survived. We hope now that, after such a chequered history, and with a more heritage conscious BW a tenant will secure the future of this fine building.

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Further to earlier writings on the above I am personally pleased that the option which takes the new cut in front of the Liverpool Waterfront Buildings (so called in the presentation as the Three Graces but as a Liverpudlian I have never heard them described as that) has been adopted. Apparently 77% thought like me with the other 23% bothering to reply being split, one would assume, with the ‘do nothing’ option and the river cut option. I cannot believe that anybody would go for the covered raised navigation along the Strand and I suspect this was included to focus attention on the practicality of the other routes.

BW are quick to point out that no funding has been secured for this project. Nor has the route been secured. So there is still a lot of work to do and a lot of ‘ifs’. However I do hope I see it in my lifetime

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This year our group of walkers are going over the border to walk some of the interesting sections of the above two again-connected canals. This new connection is of course via the Falkirk Millennium Wheel which many of us will have already seen and even travelled. Whilst on Saturday we will pass through the site of the Falkirk Wheel and view what remains of the locks the wheel replaces our interest is in other features and for this we will have guides from both the Forth & Clyde Canal Society (Saturday) and The Linlithgow & Union Canal Society (Sunday).

Further information will be distributed to those on the Walking List shortly but if you want to come (or even think about coming) then please contact me on 01663 732493 and I will arrange for you to be added on to the list.

On these week-end away walks, each of us arranges our own accommodation. We meet up at one location and shuttle some cars around so that we can return to get the rest at the end of the days walk. There is a ‘pub’ stop around half-way and the walk is usually from six to eight miles, almost all on the level. On the Saturday evening most of us gather for an informal and very friendly meal together but that is optional and those who wish to dine elsewhere are quite free to do so. To enable those of us who have to return for work on the Monday we usually finish the walk around 4 p.m. on the Sunday but there is so much to see on the canals of the Falkirk area that we are staying an extra day when we can do our ‘own thing’.

We do not plan to travel on the wheel on the Saturday or Sunday but we do recommend it if you have not already had this experience. It is certainly something not to be missed.

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We are pleased to announce that the National Lottery Awards for All has made an award to the Society of £4550.00 for the fitting out of one of our 20’ shipping containers as a small exhibition area which includes production of photos, encapsulation, a very large Duratran of the Basin pages of the 1889 Survey, a ‘Timeline’, display shelving and the design and production of a colour leaflet.

Work proceeds on this project. The container has, as already reported, been fitted out with lighting and a suspended ceiling. The floor has now been sanded and varnished, the walls covered in loop carpet, and steel frames with timber shelves built to display some artifacts. A small team are working on this project but we need further help. It must be completed by next Spring to claim the grant.

The above is in addition to the re-print of the Bugsworth Basin fold-out leaflet which is sponsored by the Derbyshire Building Society. Updating of this has just been completed and it will be printed shortly. Just in time for we are down to the last six or so of the old first edition. This fold-out leaflet is very popular for sale to passing visitors and yields us a good income as the cost is totally covered by sponsorship.

If you do not have a copy it can be obtained from me by post for £1.00. For ease of payment you can send unused postage stamps to this value.

Ian Edgar MBE

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Editorial by Don Baines

Firstly I have to apologise for the lateness of the July issue of 174 but, having spent two weeks on the Greek Island of Thassos, followed almost immediately by two weeks Jury Service at Manchester Crown Court and then by a week in Scotland, time has simply passed by very quickly. Not only that, the Chairman also had two weeks in Greece during this time but when I got back his reports were waiting in my e-mail in-box. I was also relieved to find other contributions from Derek Brumhead to help fill the pages.

Tractor Appeal Fund

Further to our Chairman’s appeal for donations of unwanted equipment etc, to the Tractor Appeal Fund, I have the following to offer:

For Sale

One used electric Flymo, Model DLE 900 watt. Donated by IWPS member, Ernie Brame, the machine, described as having had one careful owner, is in good working order and comes complete with tools and accessories (even the Instruction Sheet is included).

£20 only
secures this good buy.

I still have an IBM PS2 (386) Personal Computer available for anyone who wants a simple machine to use for word processing or doing those simple accounts. This too is in good working order and comes complete with colour monitor, keyboard and mouse. Must be worth £50 (o n o) to help this good cause.

Contact either Ian Edgar or myself about these items.

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IWPS Web Pages

We are continually developing and improving the IWPS web pages which you can find at:

I am still working on a web page version of Martin Whalley's article "Setting the Record Straight", a chronology of events leading up to the reopening of Bugsworth Basin Project at Easter 1999, which appeared in Onward 118, October 1999. Also continuing is work on the web page version of the buff-coloured £1 Bugsworth Guide Leaflet.

Don't forget to look at David Kitching's own very interesting pages on the way at:

You can also see the PFCC/IWPS Sales Brochure, which is also accessible through the IWPS web pages, offering the full range of books, clothing, souvenirs, etc on a new web site at:


Copy for Newsletters - Please note that the deadline for publishing the next newsletter is 1st October 2002 so please try to let me have your copy before that date.

Please send any newsletter input to me, Don Baines, if possible on a 3½" disk (disks will be returned or provided if required). Typed input, photographs, sketches or drawings, can be scanned in.

You can email any input, text or graphics, to me at

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Dredging Canal Magazines

From the July 2002 issue of '58', magazine of the Worcester Birmingham Canal Society comes the following article (exactly as written):


On Sunday 19th May. with the sun shining, and high hopes for another good outing, forty of our members, plus guests, boarded the yellow and red coach at either Droitwich basin. or at the Boat and Railway ready for the journey to Bugsworth Basin, situated in the area bordering Cheshire and Derbyshire. Following a comfort stop at Keele services we set off through the wilds of Sandbach, Congleton and Macclesfield, with savage but beautiful scenery to enjoy, whilst our driver negotiated the narrow winding road towards Whaley Bridge

We passed the large antennae at Dogrell Bank together with large numbers of cyclists in the Macclesfield district, and were pleased to once more see a large number of cattle in nearby fields just a year after the dreaded Foot and Mouth ravaged our countryside

From Whaley Bridge another narrow road led to the village of Bucksworth or should it be Bugsworth, where the Navigation Inn lay close to the basin, a nightmare of manoeuvring for a coach, but a pretty building with a welcoming staff. Whilst orders for lunch were being collected, we were entertained by a slide show of historic pictures by the IWPS together with accompanying chat from local volunteers. This made us realise that by comparison our Droitwich restoration though lengthy is through easy terrain. What with glacial slides, leaking canal beds, and the need for a by-pass to be built, the task must have seemed impossible. Indeed, it is still frustrated by the pervious nature of the clay and other leaking areas.

Lunch was of a high standard, there being plenty of choice and good service to say nothing of the tempting variety of ales etc from the bar

Out into the sunshine once more despite the early morning forecast of rain by afternoon and the group split into three parties for a tour of the historic basin. Dominated by the remains of old rail tracks used in loading and unloading the narrow boats in the early days following original construction around 1790, the basin provided much to contemplate What a shame that due to the leakage we were unable to travel from Bugsworth by boat, for I understand from those who walked into Whaley the scenery was quite special.

Our driver performed a near miracle in reversing the coach from the basin up to the main road drawing applause from those of us who would not even have attempted the feat in our own cars Once down in Whaley Bridge, we found and boarded the 'Judith Mary' a well-equipped vessel, which was to take us on a cruise along to Furness Vale (actually to New Mills - Ed) along the main line of the Peak Canal. Drinks were available on board, and we were given an interesting commentary during the outward journey.

A great pity that the nature of the surrounding area, and the low siting of our seats prevented our viewing the interesting nearby valley in detail, but there were plenty of boats moored in the Marina, and along the waterway to promote comparative comment. I am frequently struck by the huge variation in the condition of boats, all of which are being lived on.

We re-boarded our coach soon after disembarking from the tour boat, and managed to get caught up in Sunday evening traffic returning to Stockport and Manchester, although once we regained the M6 Motorway, things became easier. I never thought I would say the M6 was easy!

I think the final stop at Keele was a welcome to all of us, for it had been a long day. The weather had held miraculously, only a couple of showers on the return journey, and I understand from one of the locals, that had we visited on the previous day, the story would have been different, as the rain and poor visibility would have spoiled our enjoyment. Perhaps Jon had made an agreement with the powers that be! Anyway thanks to him for the arrangements, and an enjoyable day out.
Mike Kettle


Out trip to Bugsworth Basin and the Peak Forest Canal was as guests of the IWPS. A very special word of thanks to the Society for their assistance with all the arrangements and the very warm reception they afforded us. They organised lunch and the boat trip and entertained us over lunch with a presentation. After lunch they arranged a short sight seeing tour to familiarise us with the territory. We arranged a raffle on the coach to assist their fundraising and the WBCS made this up to £100, for which their Chairman Ian Edgar, expressed his deep appreciation.

It was an opportunity for me to meet Don Baines for a second time. We regularly exchange e_mails and canal's gossip. I hope the next meeting will be on our turf and we can look after them as well as they entertained us.    Jon Axe.

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Impossible Dream or ‘Inclines from Hell’?

Recently I received the following letter from Michael Handford which I passed on to Ian Edgar for comment as he too is a member of the recently-formed Cromford Canal Society:

Dear Editor,

I was at the formation of the Cromford Canal Society and was delighted as you at its launch.

Once IWPS has completed the basin renovation, can I suggest a joint campaign with CCS to plan restoration of the Cromford and High Peak Railway in such a way as to enable craft to complete a transfer from Whaley Bridge to Cromford? That is probably as daft (and as imaginative) as a proposal I read recently published in 1955 to restore the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Best wishes,

Mike Handford

In his own inimitable style, Ian wrote back to Mike:

".... I am not sure whether you are serious about the C&HPR. I feel that this would have been a wonderful enthusiasts line even with all the problems associated with Health & Safety. I think it rather bizarre that passengers could be carried up some of the inclines under traction alone and, if there was not enough steam up the whole train would slide down to the bottom to have another go. That is what regularly happened! The fact that boats could do the same thing on low loader wagons is even more bizarre. The curves on this line were so tight that only short tank locomotives could be used and wagons limited to the SWB ones of the era.

On the other hand you approached me some years ago to get involved in the restoration of the Derby Canal. My response was to ‘forget it’ - it was too far gone. Look how wrong I was on that one! The Hereford & Gloucester was another one. There are more ‘impossible dreams’ now but C&HPR as a boat lift? I don’t think I will ever see it....."

Mike’s reply to Ian is in typical vein:

".... Yes, I am serious about the C&HPR. The easiest thing in the world is to think immediately, or middle distance. The world is getting richer. Things which were impossible are no longer so. Who wold have envisaged the current (and planned) millions spent on restoration and development? Project that forward. What could be visionary for Cromford and the Peak Forest Canals? What could excite the next generation? What could secure their long term viability?

Imagine it! The world’s only boat carrying railway! More exciting than a restored Foxton or the Falkirk Wheel.

So! I think C&HPR should be in IWPS’s vision. If it was in Derbyshire CC’s vision and Cromford CC’s too, that would help.

Remember South Pacific ‘- if you don’t have a dream, how you going to have a dream come true?

And remember Koch who, seeing the Royal Shakespeare Company’s vision for a new Swan theatre gave them £10m.

Can we help form a C&HPR society? There are lots of railway restoration groups. Is there an IWA equivalent? Perhaps we should contact them...."

At the end of his letter Mike expressed the hope that I would print the letter - only too happy to do so, Mike. I wonder what kind of response we will get; in addition to more than 200 IWPS members, ‘174‘ is circulated to some 120 other canal societies and organisations, it should stir somebody to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

Personally speaking, my cynicism to such a proposal is somewhat similar to Ian’s. Knowing a little about the C&HPR I have a vision of a once-proud boat owner examining the wreckage of his beloved craft firmly embedded in the catch pit at the bottom of the Middleton inclines together with the truck already there. If only I were a cartoonist!

But who knows? Only a few years ago we scoffed at the "impossible" schemes being put forward; the Lancaster Canal, Lichfield and Hatherton and the Rochdale to name but three. Look at the vision that has restored the Huddersfield Narrow, the K and A, the Chesterfield and others now well advanced. New canals are being built or proposed, so, who knows, Mike’s vision may be more than just a pipe-dream.


Subsequent to writing the above I had a conversation with my son-in-law’s father, a very keen steam railway enthusiast, on the subject of the Cromford and High Peak Railway and the possibility of its restoration as a means of carrying canal boats. "Crackers" is the word that sticks in my mind, "I’ll lend you a couple of videos on the history of the C&HPR to show you just how difficult it was to operate." These videos entitled: "The Cromford and High Peak Railway"; Part1, The Route Explored, and Part 2, Memories of the High Peak, are presented by Alan Rimmer, author of the very good book on the subject (available from IWPS Sales), and distributed by Robert Cartwright Productions, 12 Dearnsdale Close, Stafford, ST16 1SD, are well worth watching.

On a historical note and quoting from the cover sleeve: The Cromford and High Peak Railway, of standard gauge, was opened by 1831 at the dawn of the Railway Age, from Cromford to Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire - a distance of 33 miles. Engineered by Josiah Jessop - the line originally employed 9 inclined planes, over which wagons were hauled by stationary steam engines.

The inclined planes enabled the line to climb from the valleys of the Rivers Derwent and Goyt to the southern uplands of the Peak District, where the track reached a maximum elevation of 1266 feet above sea level.

Hopton Incline, 1 in 14 over its steepest section, carried the distinction of being the steepest adhesion worked gradient in the British Isles to be worked regularly by steam locomotives.

To avoid engineering works of any magnitude, the line was built with a number of tight curves, the most severe being at Gotham, where the line swung through almost 90 degrees on a radius of 2.5 chains (55 yards for those who can’t remember the old measures).

Taken over by the London and North Western Railway in 1877, the greater part of the northern section of the line from Ladmanlow, near Buxton, to Whaley Bridge, closed in 1892. The southern section continued to carry traffic for over 60 years, closing in stages, until finally in 1967 the operational life of the High Peak came to an end.

In the company of Alan Rimmer, a leading authority on the Cromford and High Peak, we follow the original alignment from Whaley Bridge to Cromford. The journey is enriched by the memories of footplate men, and those having close associations with the line. Together with the chronicle of a 19th Century passenger and the use of archive film, they provide a fascinating insight into one of this country’s most interesting railways.

I would recommend any would-be restorers to first watch these films, they just might be deterred, but, there again, they might be even more inspired!

Don Baines - Editor 174

Wisdom is oft times the ability to shut up

Lead me not into temptation; I can find my own way

A hangover: the wrath of grapes

If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t more people happy? 

With thanks to Buoys Own - magazine of Black Buoy Cruising Club

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Residents of Bugsworth - 1881 Census  

Extracted by Peter J Whitehead

An occasional series of extracts from the 1881 Census taken on Sunday, 3rd April and Monday, 4th April 1881.

Census place: Chinley, Bugsworth and Brownside. Public Record Office Ref: RG11.

Key: Col.2, Marital Status. Col.3, Relationship to Head of Household. Col. 4, Age. Col. 6, Birthplace.

Dwelling: Canal Bank Cottages





Labourer at Print Works Calico

Manchester, Lancs






Chinley, Derbys

Dwelling: Bugsworth Toll Bar

George LOWE




Coal Miner

Bugsworth, Derbys






Bugsworth, Derbys






Bugsworth, Derbys






Bugsworth, Derbys

Dwelling: Wood Cottages





Stone Mason

Bugsworth, Derbys






Bugsworth, Derbys

Joseph A




Stone Mason

Bugsworth, Derbys





Stone Mason

Bugsworth, Derbys





Cotton Weaver

Bugsworth, Derbys






Bugsworth, Derbys

Mary J





Bugsworth, Derbys






Bugsworth, Derbys

Frances A





Bugsworth, Derbys

Dwelling: Wood Cottages





Groom and Gardener

Norbury, Ches





Groom and Gardener

Madeley, Shrops

Margaret L





Disley, Ches

Louisa RUFUS





Coalbrookdale, Shrops

Dwelling: Wood Cottages

William ALFORD




Coal Miner

Boxwich, Ches






Chapel-en-le-Frith, D






Chapel-en-le-Frith, D

Dwelling: Carrington House

Frederick SAXBY




Calico Printer

Ringman, Sussex

Mary A





Liverpool, Lancs

Ernest C B





Furness Vale, Ches

Herbert S





Furness Vale, Ches






Bugsworth, Derbys





Domestic Servant

Shrewsbury, Shrops





Domestic Servant


Dwelling: Gow Hole Toll Bar





Coal Miner

New Mills, Derbys






Prestwich, Lancs





Warehouse Hand at Cotton Print Mill

Sugley, Ches





Apprentice to Blacksmith

Bugsworth, Derbys

Dwelling: Bugsworth Basin





Iron Moulder













Leeds, Yorks






Bislird, Yorks

Mary A





Bislird, Yorks






Henley-on-Thames, Oxfords

Dwelling: Bugsworth Basin





Travelling Draper

Bugsworth, Derbys

Mary C





Bugsworth, Derbys

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BOOK REVIEW by Derek Brumhead

Kinder Scout: Portrait of a mountain

Edited by Roly Smith, published by Derbyshire County Council, Libraries and Heritage Department, pp 144, 2002, ISBN 0 903463 68 7, £12.99

This a beautifully produced book with over a hundred wonderful coloured photographs of great variety as befits the scope of the book. Its inception stems from an exhibition in New Mills Heritage Centre of the extraordinary wind eroded stones on Kinder by Stephen Lewis of New Mills. Originally, the publication was to be just a collection of Stephen's photographs but it has been ambitiously enlarged to mark last year's 50th anniversary of the Peak Park, the country's first National Park.

Following a Foreword by Sir Martin Doughty, the chapter headings and their well known authors/specialists show the scope and authority of the book - Introduction by Roly Smith, Geology by Trevor Ford, Natural History by Stephen Trotter, Human History by Bill Bevan, Routes to the Top by Kevin Borman and Jeremy Ashcroft, Access History by Roly Smith, Recreation by Roger Redfern, Management by Stephen Trotter. The layout is enhanced by two clever foldouts - contrasting end papers of the nineteenth century hachered map and the modern OS map; and a centre spread with a specially drawn map of the walking routes on the top.

A good deal of emphasis is placed on the nineteenth century enclosures on the grouse moors of the Kinder plateau, the1932 Kinder Trespass and the subsequent opening up of the moors to the public. The book, in fact, is dedicated to the memory of Benny Rothman who died in January 2002. The only black and white photographs in the book are from this period in the 1930s. Additionally, there are several interesting brief quotations from past tourist guides of the Peak from such writers as Charles Cotton, Louis L Jennings, Edward Bradbury, Thomas L Tudor, John Leyland, and Mrs Humphrey Ward.

The book can be purchased from local bookshops, the libraries, and New Mills Heritage Centre.


In the late eighteenth century the district then known as Warksmoor (now spelt Wirksmoor), which was destined to become an industrial suburb of New Mills, was an uninhabited rural area of wooded slopes and pasture leading down to the river Goyt. By the end of the nineteenth century there were two new roads, the present A6 and Albion Road, five new cotton mills on the banks of the Peak Forest Canal, an iron foundry, a railway station, warehouse and sidings, a Board School, a post office, a laundry, six pubs, a Methodist Chapel and Sunday school, two rope walks, and many shops. By 1901 over three hundred new houses supported a population of over 1500. Originally quite separate from New Mills (it was in Cheshire), Newtown was joined to it administratively in 1876, and physically by the opening of the Union Road Bridge in 1884, both events accompanied by considerable controversy.

The latest publication of New Mills Local History Society is an account of the growth this new industrial suburb. A4 in size, with 36 pages, the text includes a table of housing and population between 1851 and 1901, 12 maps from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and 16 photographs, many from the Society's collection. It is on sale at New Mills Heritage Centre and Book Stop on Market Street, price £3.50.

The Peak Forest Canal at Newtown about 1910

Although opened in 1797, the canal still looks a relatively new cut in this photograph. Woodside Mill, which was burnt down in the 1960s, is conspicuous. It was a fine example of the mills built alongside the canal during the second half of the nineteenth century. Hawthorn Bank (built 1903) and Acorn Terrace (built 1900) provide conveniently_sited homes for the millworkers. To the left of Woodside Mill is part of Victoria Mill. A transfer shed for unloading goods under cover on and off the canal can be seen on this side of the canal; so can part of a low, long building which is the Newtown ropery.

Thanks to New Mills Local History Society for their kind permission to reproduce this photo and caption from their publication New Mills - A look back at its Industrial Heritage, which contains several pictures featuring the Peak Forest Canal and is available from the New Mills Heritage Centre.

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The Peak Forest Canal - the early years

The following extracts taken from the "Manchester Mercury"were collected by the late Jack Brady and provide us with more information about the building and operation of the Peak Forest Canal.

June 1793

Intended canal from Ashton Canal to the Limestone Rocks in Derbyshire. Notice of a public meeting at the Anchor Inn in Stockport on July 11th 1793.

Canal to run from "The intended Aqueduct Bridge in Dukinfield to Chapel Milton and Whaley Bridge and the Wagon Railway from Chapel Milton to the Limestone Rocks at or near Loads Knowl in Derbyshire. Reports of the Engineer will be ready for inspection". George Worthington, Solicitor, Altrincham,

August 25th 1793

Application made to Parliament to bring in a bill to obtain an Act for the above canal.

January 6th 1795

Further call on promoters for extra capital, (This is one of many such calls)

May 10th 1796

"Meeting at the house of Samuel Goodwin at the sign of the Old Angel, Macclesfield on 22nd April"

Full report of the meeting which was about the building of the canal from the higher level at Marple to the Caldon Canal at Endon. Subscribers solicited.

January 31st 1797

To be sold by auction at the house of Joseph Adkins, the Navigation Inn, Marple, estates in Marple and Mellor.

Lot 1. - A messuage or dwelling house known by the name of Routing Walls, situated on the banks of the Peak Forest Canal, and will be an eligible situation for a boatman working from Whaley to Marple, Also the tolls arising from Marple New Bridge Bar.

September 12th 1797

Meeting of General Assembly of the Peak Forest Canal Co. at the Rams Head Inn, Disley. Lengthy notice expressing concern that the sum of £80,600 already subscribed was insufficient for completing all the railways, stone roads, etc., Decided that £40,000 extra should be raised. The canal ran from Aqueduct Bridge in Dukinfield to or near Chapel Milton, with a branch to Whaley. Railways or stone roads to Leads Knowle within Peak Forest.

October 17th 1797

Felony - Whereas in the night of Thursday the 28th of September 1797 the bank of the Peak Forest Canal over Strines Valley in Marple was cut or broken down, and thereby very considerable damage was done of the said canal and to the lands and Printing Works adjoining....

January 16th 1798

Wanted on the Peak Forest Canal, A person completely qualified to act as a toll collector at Bugsworth, Nr. Whaley Bridge. Apply by letter or personally to Mr. Thomas Brown, the Surveyor, at the Canal Office Marple, I.S. and George Worthington, Clerks to the Company, Altrincham.

April 10th 1798

Peak Forest Canal. Notice regarding reductions in tonnage rates on Lime, Limestone and Lime Ashes, and Coal for the burning of Limestone...... to provide for a full supply for all lime burners on the banks of the canal.

Reduced Rates to - Lime 1½d/ton/mile.

Limestone - 1d/ton/mile, Lime Ashes ½d/ton/mile.

Re-use Limestone and Limestone for paving roads - ½d/ton/ mile.

Stone for building - 1d/ton/mile,

February 5th 1799

Lengthy notice about proposals for the administration of the Peak Forest Canal. Meeting at the Red Lion, Heaton Norris.

April 9th 1799

Notice of premiums for Lime Burners who have established lime kilns on the canal. 4% off the transport of limestone with total limit of £100 in one year.

June 10th 1800

Long notice regarding a meeting at The Red Lion, Heaton Norris to discuss the raising of further money for completing the Peak Forest Canal and Railway, and for financing the operating of the canal already constructed.

Sale of four Passage Boats, one from Manchester by Ashton to Marple, "The boats from Manchester to Ashton and Marple are navigated on the canal every Sunday"

March 18th 1801

New Islington Lime Works, Near Ancoats Lane, Manchester. Limestone brought down from Peak Forest by means of the Peak Forest Canal and Ashton Canal. Capable of burning 2500 tons [125 boatloads - Ed.] of lime per week. Sold at 18d per load (13d per load at Marple to which must be added transport cost to Manchester), "The lime that is brought by canal to Manchester is frequently fallen"

March 8th 1802.

To be let. Lime Kilns at Disley, near coal pits now working under the direction of Messrs. Dodgeson, Apply at Hag Bank Colliery, Nr. Disley,

November 8th 1803

Lock Building. To Stone Masons. To be let at the Navigation Inn, Marple, the building of 16 locks between the upper and the lower levels of the Peak Forest Canal at Marple. The locks are to be chiefly of ashlar stone, which is to be provided at the expense of the contractors from quarries now open for inspection, Plans and specifications may be seen and all particulars will be given on application to Mr. Brown on the premises on the 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd. of the present month. Marple. Nr. Stockport. Nov. 7th 1803.

April 2nd 1805

Notice of Meeting of Peak Forest Canal promoters for discussing means of raising money for the discharge of debts. Samuel Philips, Samuel Oldknow, John Grimshaw, Lawrence Peel, James Mallalieu, Nathanial Haywood, John Philips, George Duckworth, John Parker and William Jones.

November 12th 1805

Peak Forest Canal, The public are hereby informed that the locks uniting the upper and lower levels of this canal being now completed for navigation the canal is open for a Through_Fare Trade which holds out a very advantageous prospect to persons desirous of establishing connections for the conveyance of goods and merchandise upon the canal and enables the proprietors to offer the following reduced prices, Limestone scrap to be delivered at Bugsworth 2sh [shillings] and 2d

Limestone scrap to be delivered at Manchester 6sh. and 0d

and at the intermediate places in like proportions.

Apply to Mr James Meadows at Manchester or to Mr. William Wright at Marple

[Note: this entry and the one for November 8th 1803 above show the flight of locks at Marple to have been completed in two years! Ed.]

May 20th 1806

On Sale - at Mr. Oldknow's Canal Wharfs, Store St., M/C.

Lime per horse load of 200 lbs. - 18d
  "     "   ton   18/-
  "   Ashes per ton 5/-

Marple Tor Paving Stones (Dressed) per ton 9/-
    "       "      "         "     (Random)   "    "   6/-
River Pebbles (Grit Stones)               "    "   6/-
   "        "     (Granite & Blue)            "    "   9/-

Limestone Saplings [?] for walks and roads and a quantity of oak roots per ton 7/-

January 9th 1810

The Peak Forest Fly-boat Co. Having purchased the boats and the carrying concern of Mr. John Wardle from M/C to Chapel en le Frith, and united it with the concerns of Messrs. R Hibberson, are enabled to ensure their friends a more regular and expedious conveyance, and in every respect superior to any hitherto offered to the public whose approbation and support they are emulous to merit. The boats will leave Piccadilly, M/C every morning at 5 o'clock and arrive at Bugsworth for Chapel en le Frith the same evening, will leave Bugsworth every afternoon at 4 o'clock (Sundays excepted) and arrive in Manchester early the following morning. In addition to the above conveyances the proprietors have established a Market Boat which will leave Bugsworth every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12 o'clock, will collect goods at the different wharfs along the canal, and arrive at M/C at 8 o'clock the following morning, will leave M/C every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at l o'clock and arrive at Marple the same evening.

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News from the IWA


IWA has announced the winners of its National Annual Awards for 2001.

The Kenneth Goodwin Trophy, awarded for progress on a waterways restoration scheme, has been presented to Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust. The Trust has had a very successful year, both in obtaining government support in requiring provision for future navigation to be included in the construction of the Birmingham Northern Relief Road, and in practical work achieved at Darnford Lane and Tamworth Road. Presentation of this award will take place at Crick Boat Show on 3 June.

The Waterways Companion Award has been awarded to Tony Harmsworth, recently retired senior ranger, of Basingstoke Canal Authority. He has been a member of the Surrey & Hants Canal Society since its founding, and is a former restoration consultant to the Society. In the late 1960s, he and his father built gates for the Basingstoke Canal and he was part of the team that supervised a job creation scheme at Deepcut. The Waterways Companion Award is given to the local authority or similar body, or to a specific officer or employee, who has provided significant assistance to a waterways restoration scheme. Presentation of this award took place at the recent Annual General Meeting of Surrey & Hants Canal Society.

The Cyril Styring Trophy, which is awarded to an IWA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the Association's campaign, has been awarded to John Burrell, a member of IWA's Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch. John, a retired solicitor, has provided many hundreds of hours of legal research and assistance in supporting IWA's campaigning work relating to navigation byelaws, harbour revision orders, proposed Transport & Works Act Orders, rights of navigation, etc. Most recently, John has provided extensive support in enabling IWA to appear at the public inquiries to upgrade the West Coast Mainline railway, at which Railtrack PLC seeks lengthy closures of canals in the Midlands without due allowance for navigation as part of Works Order. The award will be formally presented later this year.

The John Heap Salver, the Association's major fund raising award, has been awarded to David and Sheila Baldwin. They ran IWA's stand at the National Exhibition Centre's Boat, Caravan and Leisure Show, at Birmingham, for the last eleven years, as well as IWA's stand at the Inland Waterways Exhibition at the National Indoor Arena in 2000. The award is being presented locally.

The Christopher Power Prize is awarded to a person, society or trust that has made a significant contribution to the restoration of an amenity waterway, and has been awarded to Roger Leishman of the Wendover Arm Trust for his role in the completion of Little Tring Bridge, and extending the existing navigable canal for half a mile. Roger is Restoration Director for the Trust, and spends much time travelling to various groups, talking and showing slides about the Arm, raising funds as well as informing a wide selection of people about the canal. He produces a regular newsletter, and organises many work parties. Under his guidance, working parties have excavated and built over 200 metres of towing path wall, which has been backfilled to form a new towpath from the bridge to the winding hole. Presentation of this award is due to be made at the Tring Canal Festival on 3 June.

The Vivian Bulkeley Johnson Salt Award is given to a person or body making the most significant contribution to the furtherance of freight by inland waterways. The award has been awarded to Lafarge Aggregates in recognition of their furtherance of inland shipping by advocating and demonstrating the practicability of carrying substantial cargoes of aggregates and minerals on the inland waterways, particularly on the Aire & Calder Navigation and the Trent.

Anderton Boat Lift

Over 700 guests rode through Anderton Boat Lift during the second week of May, in a special event to celebrate the fundraising efforts of the Anderton Boat Lift Appeal. The Appeal raised over £430,000 towards the cost of restoring the Lift, and the week-long event was held as a 'thank you' to the Appeal's 700 Sponsors and Patrons.

Martin Bell OBE, former MP for Tatton, launched the Appeal in 2000. The Appeal is a partnership between The Waterways Trust, IWA, the Anderton Boat Lift Trust, the Friends of Anderton Boat Lift, the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs and British Waterways.

From 7th to 12th May, the Sponsors and Patrons were welcomed at the Anderton Boat Lift Visitors Centre, before being taken through the Lift on the trip boat Edwin Clark in 24 successive boat trips. After a chance to look at the exhibition on the restoration of the Lift, they attended a reception where they met British Waterways' engineers who carried out the restoration work.

Over 1,000 individual sponsors gave £240 each to the Anderton Boat Lift Appeal. 100 Bronze Patrons gave £500 each and four Silver Patrons gave £2,500. Six Gold Patrons gave £10,000 each to the Appeal. These are: IWA; the Friends of the Anderton Boat Lift; the Trent and Mersey Canal Society; the David Wadham Charitable Trust; Alperton International and Waterway Recovery Group. WRG raised its funds by a sponsored abseil from the top of the lift in October 2001. In total, over 2,000 people gave to the Anderton Boat Lift Appeal.

Ashby Canal

British Waterways has completed a new operation plan for the Ashby Canal, a substantial part of which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The report will form the basis of a strategy for future maintenance and restoration work on the canal so as to protect rare aquatic species and should help gain English Nature's support for restoration at the canal's northern end.

Action is necessary to safeguard habitats following Leicestershire County Council's decision, made with the support of British Waterways, to apply for Transport & Works Act order to restore a 4.2 kilometre section of the Ashby Canal to full working order within ten years. The most northern part of the canal was closed during the 1960s due to mining subsidence and has remained largely untouched since then. If the order is granted, restoration will open up the new section of the canal to boaters and other leisure users such as walkers, cyclists and anglers. English Nature is concerned that this increased use along the length of the canal could threaten some of the more delicate species.

The work is being phased over a five-year period to reduce any potentially detrimental effects on wildlife. Among the recommendations that are being implemented is the dredging of short sections of the canal to remove the silt that is being stirred up by boats. This will improve light penetration and encourage plant growth as well as helping boaters. A one and a half metre section of emergent fringe is being left at each side of the canal to protect delicate bank species.

Changes are also being made to maintenance procedures. New environmentally-friendly bank protection made of coir, a coconut fibre, which enables plants to grow through it and water voles to burrow into it, will be used in future, in place of the traditional steel piles.

In addition to rare plant life, the canal is home to several endangered animal species, including the native White-clawed Crayfish, now nearing extinction in other parts of the UK, due to the threat from American Signal Crayfish, which carry a deadly virus. Tests are being carried out to establish whether Signal Crayfish have reached the canal and natural barriers will be erected to protect the White-clawed Crayfish without restricting boat traffic.

Cheshire Ring

Special arrangements have been made by the Manchester Ship Canal Company with British Waterways to permit Bridgewater licensed craft to use all of the Cheshire Ring of Canals during the period of "Aquafest" - 6th July to 11th August _ without paying an additional licence fee, subject to a few simple conditions. British Waterways licensed craft booked into "Aquafest" that fulfil similar simple conditions will be able to stay on the Bridgewater Canal throughout the period and that those mooring in Salford Quays will be able to transit Pomona Lock without paying the normal fee.

Cotswold Canals

HRH The Prince of Wales visited the Cotswold Canals on 23rd May in his capacity as Patron of The Waterways Trust. During his visit to The Tunnel House Inn, Coates, The Prince of Wales spent time meeting representatives from The Waterways Trust and other project partners including IWA, British Waterways and the Cotswold Canals Trust. The Prince of Wales received an update on the progress of the restoration and met volunteers from Cotswold Canals Trust at Sapperton Tunnel. He also unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit.

This summer, The Waterways Trust will launch a major fundraising appeal to support the restoration of the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames and Severn Canal. The Prince of Wales visit should help raise the profile of the restoration and the Cotswold Canals Appeal.

In July 2001, The Waterways Trust and British Waterways published a feasibility report indicating that restoration will bring at least 1.8 million new visitors to the area each year, as well as generating £8.5 million in visitor spending. It would create 500 permanent new jobs and over 1,400 construction jobs. The restoration is likely to cost about £82 million.

Grand Union Canal - Northampton Arm

The official unveiling of a newly restored lift bridge, No 7, on the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal took place on 3rd May. The restoration work cost £50,000. Northampton Borough Council and BW provided funds, with support from IWA's Northampton Branch and the former Grand Union Canal Society. The opening ceremony coincided with the annual boat rally in Northampton held by IWA's Northampton Branch.

Lift bridge number 7 was one of around ten such lift bridges built on the Northampton Arm when the canal first opened in 1815. Before the installation of this new structure, only one of the original bridges remained standing on the Arm. As the newly restored bridge is no longer needed for access it has been set in the open position, but to make the bridge safer it will be set back slightly from its original position so that the headroom is improved while maintaining its original angle. There are plans to replace another bridge, No 6, later in the year.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

British Waterways has continued improvement works on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to help remove some of the problems encountered by boaters on the canal last year after it was reopened. The towing paths over a 2.6 km length from Stalybridge to Mossley have been improved, lock gates built before the Millennium Lottery Fund funded work have been repaired to make them more water tight, and canal monitoring systems have been improved.

Water supplies to the canal have been supplemented by bringing two extra reservoirs back into use at Diggle and Brun Clough, although water will still have to be managed carefully. The supply of water to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal remains a challenge because of the 74 locks and short intervening pounds made necessary by the hilly nature of the canal.

Over the next few weeks, BW will start work on the provision of more water taps and three new sanitation facilities blocks on the Greater Manchester side and three on the Yorkshire side. BW has spot-dredged known trouble spots through the full length of the canals and has introduced a new mooring scheme at Apsley Basin.

Kennet & Avon Canal

The Kennet & Avon Canal was closed to navigation for three miles between Lock 15 at Semington and Lock 21 at Seend at the end of April following a breach to an embankment at Seend on 22nd April. The damage occurred on the offside bank of the canal, west of Seend Bottom Lock. A three-metre section of embankment collapsed and around four million gallons (18 million litres) of water drained into a field alongside the waterway. A drainage ditch carried the water away into the local river system.

British Waterways' engineers believe the embankment was weakened over time by wash from boats, by a stream that runs beneath it, and by the burrowing activities of water voles. No boats were affected by the embankment's collapse and there was no damage to adjacent land and property.

BW provided a temporary structure to reinforce the collapsed embankment and the canal was opened a week later. Further work to secure the embankment will take place while the canal remains open.

Lancaster Canal _ Northern Reaches

The newly restored Change Line Bridge in Kendal was formally re-opened on 13th May by Dr John Satchell of the Kendal Civic Society, and a horse followed in its ancestors' footsteps by crossing the bridge, recreating a 200 year old canal tradition - although the canal has not yet been restored to water at this point.

Despite the lack of water, Change Line Bridge is an important piece of heritage in Kendal. Like similar bridges elsewhere on the connected canal system in England, this bridge has a special design where horses pulling canal barges could transfer from one side of the canal to the other (when the towpath switched sides) without the bother of having to unhitch the rope from the boat. Although now not used by horses, the bridge remains as an attractive feature of the area, with its unusual curves, and the most northerly bridge of its type in the country.

The Heritage Lottery Fund, South Lakeland District and Kendal Town Councils and the Civic Society and United Utilities funded the restoration of the bridge. British Waterways made a substantial contribution to the restoration by acting as main contractor.

The bridge, which was built in 1819, is unique in Cumbria and should help raise awareness of the Lancaster Canal's important contribution to the development of Kendal in the early 1800's."

Norfolk & Suffolk Broads

The Broads Authority held its third annual public meeting on May 14th at Acle and launched a public consultation on the Authority's new, five year Broads Plan, which is provisionally scheduled for publication in late 2003.

The Broads Plan will provide a 20-year vision for the future management of the Broads and a set of objectives for the next five years. It will integrate the Authority's responsibilities of conservation, recreation and navigation in the context of the economic and social welfare of the people who live and work in the Broads.

Regents Canal

Michael Meacher MP, Environment Minister, launched a new group to help encourage environmental and safety improvement on the Regent's Canal and part of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal on 9th May. Organised by Thames21, with the support of British Waterways London, Canal Keepers is a pilot scheme that aims to recruit approximately 40 volunteers by the end of 2002.

The volunteers will become part of a network of bodies focusing on environmental and safety issues on London's waterways and, in particular, they will assist British Waterways, local councils and the Police.

The role of the Canal Keeper will be primarily to help visitors to London's waterways each year enjoy their day in safety, providing a visible and reassuring presence. The Canal Keepers will be fully trained and equipped; work with businesses to make sure they keep their premises clean; report the dumping of rubbish to the Environment Agency and the local council. Their approach is intended to be advisory and co-operative rather than confrontational

The initiative is part of a programme of improvements to London's waterways, which have included volunteer litter picks and education projects. In 2001, the programme unveiled 'Taranchewer', a £110,000 purpose-built boat that sucks up rubbish and BW reports that this has led to a 25% increase in the cleanliness of London's canals.

Rochdale Canal

When the funding for restoration of the Rochdale Canal was finalised, Compulsory Purchase Orders were served on a number of landowners to provide for the alternative route of the Rochdale Canal where it was to be diverted to cross under the M62. Two of the landowners appealed, and their appeal was only heard at the beginning of May. Fortunately the High Court found in favour of the canal's restoration, but it leaves British Waterways with about five weeks to access the land and complete the diversionary route before the date scheduled for opening on 1st July. British Waterways believes that it can reschedule work with the contractors and is optimistic that the work might yet just be finished on time. There are also a number of other contracts that are expected to run right to the final date.

Many new road crossings are moving towards full re-opening to road traffic, including Ben Healey Bridge in Littleborough and Kingsway Bridge near Milnrow. At Edinburgh Way junction with the northern end of the A627 (M), a number of overnight motorway closures allowed the road surface to be progressively raised a foot or so at a time until it was high enough to cross the canal tunnel created in the middle of the roundabout. The junction is now a traffic light controlled crossroads over the tunnel, and increasing numbers of lanes have re-opened on all approaches to reduce the delays being caused to road traffic. Two significant slip roads that will avoid the traffic lights, however, have still to be completed.

During May, an IWA member was allowed to bring his boat, with another, from the canal's summit down into Littleborough with British Waterways' staff in attendance to investigate practical difficulties. One of the most serious of these was the significant delay at some locks, caused by water management problems exacerbated by there being no by-washes on the flight. By-washes have now been provided at the two most difficult locks.

In keeping with the removal of the extra toll for use of the 'Rochdale Nine' in Manchester, British Waterways is negotiating to remove the levy charged by Calderdale for use of the east side of the canal. It is likely that full control of moorings and licence fees will pass to British Waterways from Calderdale Council on 1st July.

Boaters using the Rochdale Canal in the first few months after its opening should expect a range of minor difficulties as the new works are tested and faults ironed out. This will be a necessary symptom of such fast-track restoration work followed by immediate opening of the canal. Whilst IWA will lobby for continued improvements to the canal once opened, the Association commends British Waterways' work in attempting to reopen the canal within such a tight timescale, and in planning to make the canal immediately available for use.

Worcester & Birmingham Canal

The Worcester & Birmingham Canal Society formally took over the ownership and running of an 8-berth narrow boat at its annual boat gathering at Tardebigge on 4th May. Music for Living, a Downs Syndrome charity that has closed and was formerly based in Swindon, has donated the boat. Cecilia, an eight-berth boat built around five years ago, will be used to provide holidays for groups of people, such as children with learning difficulties, who would not normally have the chance to experience the inland waterways.

The acquisition of the boat provides a new role for Worcester & Birmingham Canal Society, which was formed in 1969 to protect and preserve the 36 miles of canal and 58 locks on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. The Society hopes to secure corporate sponsorship for Cecilia to cover the cost of running holidays throughout the year.

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This information taken from an RSPCA Pamphlet is pertinent to Bugsworth Basin (and many other places of course).

There is one species of frog and two species of toad native to Britain. The Common Frog and the Common Toad are widespread and relatively common throughout Britain. The Natterjack toad is now rare and mainly confined to some coastal sand dunes and is speciality protected by law.

How do you tell the difference?

Common frogs have a smooth, moist skin: are mottled shades of green, yellow or brown and have a distinct brown patch behind the eye. They move in springy leaps. Toads have a dry warty skin and are usually grey-brown in colour. Natterjacks have a yellow stripe down their back. Common toads crawl rather than hop whilst Natterjacks often run quite fast.

Ugh! But they're all slimy!!

Frogs' skin is not actually slimy but it does contain special glands whose secretions keep it moist and supple. This is important because they breath through their skin as well as their lungs which enables them to stay under water for a long time, In contrast toads have a tougher, drier skin. This means that they are unable to breathe through their skin as well as frogs but it does enable them to survive on land in drier places.

Gardener's friend?

Gardeners should welcome their presence. Both species eat a lot of beetles, bugs and woodlice. The frog's diet also includes a large number of slugs and snails whereas toads eat a lot of ants. These dietary differences mean that competition for food is reduced when frogs and toads live in the same area. Their liking for warm, moist conditions often results in people finding toads and frogs in greenhouses. However, as the sheltered conditions often favour a variety of insects and other small creatures there is usually plenty of food for them.

Where do they hibernate?

During the autumn, as night-time temperatures drop towards freezing point frogs and toads seek out their winter quarters. Female and immature frogs and most toads overwinter on land in sheltered places such as under old logs or in stone walls. In contrast most male frogs return to the water and lie dormant in the mud at the bottom of the pond. Remember they are able to breathe through their skin. Should the pond freeze over for a long time there may be problems for the frogs as they will suffocate when all the oxygen in the water has been used. This risk can be reduced by regularly melting the ice on part of the pond by placing a pan of hot water on it. This method eliminates the possibility of shock waves harming the pond inhabitants

Danger! Toads Crossing

In the spring toads often migrate in large groups and over distances of a kilometre or more in order to return to their pond to breed. When they cross roads many get squashed by cars. You can help by carrying them across. In some areas 'toad patrols' are organised. Other measures can be taken and details of these can be obtained from the Project Manager. 'Toads on Roads' Campaign. PO Box 1, Halesworth. Suffolk P19 9AW

Too much spawn?

Toads lay long strings of eggs but frogs produce clumps of spawn. Sometimes people worry that they've got too much spawn in their garden pond. However it has been estimated that out of every 2,000 eggs laid, only about five will survive and become adult animals. Fish, newts, birds, water shrews, water beetles and many other insects eat tadpoles. (Tadpoles are also cannibals and will eat other tadpoles!) Therefore, laying such large numbers of eggs is necessary for the species to survive.

Keeping tadpoles

An interesting means of learning more about these animals is by keeping some tadpoles. However, you must only borrow the spawn for a few weeks. (don't forget that Natterjacks are protected by law). When the tadpoles hove developed hind legs you must return them to the pond from which the spawn was collected.

Take only a small amount of spawn (no more than half a teacupful). The spawn should preferably be from a garden pond. Keep it in pond water in an aquarium tank in a well lit area but not in direct sunlight. Add some aquatic plants to the tank. When the tadpoles have grown to the point that their external gills have gone, dangle a small piece of meat in the water for half on hour, three times a week. About a quarter of the water should be changed at least once a week. Partial changes are also important after removing the piece of meat). If using tap water leave it to stand for 24 hours to allow any chlorine to evaporate before adding it to the tank.

Peter Pan syndrome

Sometimes tadpoles do not 'grow up' and develop into froglets (or toadlets). Instead the tadpoles get larger and larger, up to 12 cm long. The most likely cause of such incomplete development is too low a temperature in the pond.

Garden ponds

Throughout the countryside large numbers of ponds have either been filled in, allowed to silt up or become polluted, As a result, garden ponds have become increasingly important for frogs and toads and they often thrive in these mini 'nature reserves'.

A number of garden centres and pet shops are now selling Bullfrog tadpoles. These are an exotic species and must not be released into any pond in this country. In fact the RSPCA would prefer you did not buy such animals at all. The introduction of foreign species of flora and fauna can upset the balance of nature with disastrous consequences. Think what the introduction of mink has done to the water vole population

Further reading

Frogs and Toads: Trevor Beebee. Whittet Books 1985.

How to Make a Wildlife Garden: Chris Baines, Elm lee Books 1985.

Reptiles and Amphibians in Britain Deryk Frazer, Collins New Naturalist 1983.

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Rochdale Canal Restoration

These two views of the Rochdale Canal, together with the one on the front cover, were kindly sent to me by a former ICL colleague of mine, John Rigby.

They show the incredible transformation which has taken place in the Failsworth area

Don Baines

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From "Report", newsletter from the Boat Museum Society, comes this article:

Just published is a further output of hard work at the Museum and with input from waterway experts around the country. With our efforts with the Research Journal and related objectives we are very appreciative of these efforts.

Sir Neil Cossons in his forward says "Thesaurus building is one of the key tasks necessary for a specialist subject area to make itself understood for the future. The Waterways Trust, with its combined interest in the historic environment and its conservation and accessibility, is determined to present a catalogue of its collections to allow the public, both for general interest and specialist research, the opportunity to find out about canals and rivers. Of necessity this is work behind the scenes and it has involved leadership from mda (formerly the Museum Documentation Association) and a partnership between the curatorial staff of The Waterways Trust and colleagues from the Inland Waterways Heritage Network.

The Thesaurus represents a tremendous achievement by all those who have contributed in establishing, for the first time, guidance and common principles for nomenclature and the use of object names within the field of inland waterways. It also starts to record the wealth of often fast disappearing terminology associated with this important area of the nation's industrial heritage."

This first Edition of the thesaurus is not a definitive document but it represents a significant step in attempting to record a terminology that is rich and varied and is not covered in full in other written sources. If you do have access to the web, have a look.

The National Inland Waterways Collection

In the same vein is a further step to making accessible the over 14,000 items in the collection of the 3 Museum sites. It is hoped to offer themed tours of the collections along with enhanced learning resources in the near future.

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The "Thomas" Lift
Constructed at
Foxton, Leicestershire

Whilst searching through the collection of books, magazines, newsletters and other memorabilia passed on to me by Celia Osborn, daughter of the late Jack Brady, I came upon a pristine copy of a booklet with the above title about the Foxton Incline.

The booklet which describes the construction and operation of the lift, is a reproduction, by The Danetre Press Ltd, Daventry, of the original published by Robt. J Cook & Hammond and written by Gordon Thomas, the engineer responsible for its design.

The booklet contains several pictures of the incline in operation together with engineering drawings by Gordon and James Thomas, Engineers, London WC1.

I don’t know if the booklet is still in print but it’s a collectors gem and well worth searching for. - Don Baines

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IWA Press Releases

Date: 30 July, 2002


The Inland Waterways Association ('IWA') today announced the appointment of Dr David Fletcher CBE, the chief executive of British Waterways, as a vice-president of the Association. The decision to make the appointment was taken at the July meeting of IWA's Council.

The appointment is with immediate effect, although Council's invitation was made in the light of Dave Fletcher's forthcoming retirement as chief executive of British Waterways. Dave Fletcher and his wife Mary have also been appointed honorary life members of the Association.

Richard Drake, IWA National Chairman said "The invitation to Dave Fletcher to become a vice-president of the Association is an acknowledgement of Dave's standing in the inland waterway movement. This should be seen, not so much as a reward for past services, but as an invitation to assist in the future. Dave will be joining a dedicated group of vice-presidents who have used their experience and standing to benefit the Association's work, very often behind the scenes and unseen by members. I know that Dave's commitment to the inland waterways will remain as strong as ever, notwithstanding his forthcoming retirement as chief executive of British Waterways, and I am delighted that Dave has agreed to serve the Association in its future endeavours."

Dave Fletcher said "The invitation to become an IWA vice-president has a come as a complete surprise to me, although I regard it as a great honour. My commitment to the inland waterways is undiminished by my forthcoming retirement from British Waterways, so I shall be pleased to help the Association in any way I can in the future."

Richard Drake added "Dave's energetic approach to getting things done has brought great vitality to the inland waterways, and under his leadership British Waterways has been transformed. I have no doubt that Dave will serve the Association well, and I believe history will show Council's appointment to be a wise one. We need powerful figures with strong commitment, who are willing to be outspoken, if we are to

rise to the challenges and grasp the opportunities to make the waterways meet the needs of the new millennium."

Date: 18 July, 2002


The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) today announced that, in November this year, John Fletcher is to succeed Richard Drake as the next IWA National Chairman.

Richard Drake will have completed four years in the post and announced his decision to retire as National Chairman earlier this year. Richard Drake said, "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as National Chairman, and have been privileged to be involved in many success stories that the Association has campaigned for and supported over the years."

John Fletcher, is a well known and popular figure on the waterways. He has been a member of the Association for over twenty-five years and is currently chairman of IWA's North West Region, a member of many local waterway societies, and a trustee of The Waterways Trust.

John Fletcher said, "I am honoured and delighted to have been asked to serve as IWA's National Chairman. Over the last fifty years, the Association has achieved a magnificent revival of the inland waterways. In recent years, even the major navigation authorities and Government have adopted IWA's objectives. But a lot more requires to be done. We will continue to safeguard and encourage the brightest sustainable future for our inland waterways."

Judith Moore, Chairman of IWA's Finance and General Purposes Committee said, "John's knowledge and contacts through The Waterways Trust present a tremendous opportunity for The Inland Waterways Association."

John responded, "While I am a trustee of The Waterways Trust in my own right, my personal views usually coincide with those of the Association. Although these views may not always prevail at The Waterways Trust, I can at least ensure that they are heard. Both organisations have very similar aims, as was recently demonstrated by the signing of a 'Memorandum of Understanding' in May 2002. However, only IWA is a representative membership organisation - the two charities work in very different ways. I am sure that each role will benefit the other."

John Fletcher will formally take up his duties as National Chairman on 16th November 2002, subject to ratification at a meeting of the Association's Council that takes place on that day.

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