iwa middlesex branch, middlesex matters, summer 2013
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DESCRIPTIONIWA Middlesex Branch, Middlesex Matters, Summer 2013
Inland Waterways Association Middlesex Matters Summer 2013 http://www.waterways.org.uk/regions_branches/london/Middlesex/middlesex
Middlesex Branch Newsletter email: [email protected]
No. 31 Summer 2013
Cava lcade 30th Anniversary
The Cavalcade opening ceremony; Councillor Angela Harvey, Lord Mayor of the City
of Westminster is flanked by Libby Bradshaw, Events Manager and Les Etheridge,
National Chairman of the IWA, with Jon Guest, Waterway Manager Canal & River
Trust (London) on the left. Photo: Ray Gill
Inland Waterways Association 2 Middlesex Matters Summer 2013 http://www.waterways.org.uk/regions_branches/london/Middlesex/middlesex
Organised by Slough Borough Council
two days of fun for all the family
Slough Canal Festival
7 - 8th September 2013
Entrance to the festival and parking is free
gates are open from 11am to 5pm on both days.
Diary Dates 2013 & social evenings
11th June Branch social evening
Talk by Loraine Granger from the Hillingdon
Narrowboats Association on the work of the
5-7th July Riverside at Ware
Ware Boat Festival.
19-21st July Cassiobury Park Watford
IWA National Festival.
1st September Canalside, Angel Islington
Angel Canal Festival.
7 - 8th September Bloom Pk, Slough
Slough Canal Festival.
10th September Branch social evening
Talk by Jon Willis on - Crofton beam engines.
14 - 15th September London riverside.
The Mayors Riverside Festival spectacular
8th October Branch social evening
Talk by Richard Thomas on Waterways
12th November Branch social evening
Talk by Tony Brooks on Boat Wintering.
Middlesex Branch social evenings are held at Hillingdon Canal Club, Waterloo Rd, Uxbridge.
Social meetings are not held in July, August or December.
For more information contact the Social Secretary Lucy Smith on,
[email protected] or 07947 451376.
Entrance is free and all are welcome including non members.
Inland Waterways Association 3 Middlesex Matters Summer 2013 http://www.waterways.org.uk/regions_branches/london/Middlesex/middlesex
In January this
year I was looking
forward to the fact
that the Slough
Arm of the Grand
Union canal was
to be dredged, or
at least spot dredged for the first time in
ages. My plan was, following the
completion of this work, to promote the
Slough canal and the Slough Canal Festival
in order, hopefully to get boaters to cruise
How things have changed! In February
we discovered that the Slough arm was not
to be dredged, as resources have to be
allocated to more urgent work such as the
Ridgeway Trading Estate; where the Canal
& River Trust has to secure the collapsing
More bad news was to follow as in late
April the C&RT announced the closure of
the slough arm at Reeds Bridge (bridge 2A)
as they had to carry out very urgent work to
the supporting walls. At the time of writing
the canal still remains closed.
In their press release of 2nd May 2013,
the Canal & River Trust stated Fixing it will not be cheap and as a charity we dont have an endless pot of money.....
This is true and the Trust will have to
budget its limited resources to achieve the
best it can in terms of keeping the network
open. In the press release Jon Guest was
also quoted as saying Thankfully, considering the age of our canals, problems
like this are extremely rare. This is also true but as the network ages are we to see
an increase in such problems?
The Slough canal was built in 1882 so is
only about 130 years old and although not
all the structures are this old, many of the
main road bridges have for instance been re
built, there must be many structures
approaching the end of their useful life.
I can only assume that the CR&T have
inspected the other bridges, aqueducts and
embankments to see if there are any other
problems to resolve.
One worry is that some back office
accountant at C&RT will start questioning
if they should spend so much money on
maintaining what may be seen by some as
an underused dead end canal.
The IWA has to tread a careful course in
not being unreasonable in expecting what
the C&RT can achieve with its limited
resources. Our aim should be to keep all
parts of the canal network open for all
users, including boaters.
It is important that we keep track of the
work and ensure that the canal opens as
soon as possible. However we have to do
more to promote use of this arm and
therefore this is why we will be asking all
our members with boats to attempt to visit
the Slough Canal Festival this year.
We have to show the Canal & River
Trust that we do care, that we will fight and
that we do use all parts of the canal
If we do nothing then who can blame the
Canal & River Trust if they decide that one
way of matching budget to expenditure is
to allow underused parts of the system to
fade out of existence.
Chairman IWA Middlesex Branch
Inland Waterways Association 4 Middlesex Matters Summer 2013 http://www.waterways.org.uk/regions_branches/london/Middlesex/middlesex
Slough Arm Closed The Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal has had to be closed due to a serious
structural fault with bridge 2a. This is a footbridge known as Reeds bridge a short
distance from the M25. It is in imminent danger of collapse resulting in the towpath
and bridge being closed at this point.
One of the brick-built sections that
support Reeds Bridge moved and
cracked, resulting in the entire
abutment, the towpath and the
waterway wall sinking by 1m and sliding
into the canal.
The Slough Arm and towpath at Reeds
Bridge is currently closed while the
Canal & River Trust carries out
emergency works. They hope to
complete the emergency works by the end of June 2013.
The emergency works are already underway and include: the diversion of electricity
and communications cables (including an 11,000V high voltage electric cable),
temporarily filling the canal with stone to prevent further movement and provide a
safe platform for workers, the removal of the main body of the bridge, demolition of
the towpath side abutment, removal of the waterway wall and towpath; and finally
building a temporary towpath and reopening the navigation. Once these initial
emergency works have been carried out the Trust will investigate a permanent
solution for the replacement of the bridge.
Aylesbury Arm Closed
On Thursday 28 March 2013 C&RT announced
the closure of the Aylesbury Arm from lock 11
to lock 13.
The closure was due to a collapse of the lock
wall on the towpath side at Lock 12 which has
resulted in the lock chamber being unstable and
unsafe for navigation.
Work is expected to start in July and the
section will remain closed until further notice
The towpath is also closed.
Enquiries: 0303 0404040
Inland Waterways Association 5 Middlesex Matters Summer 2013 http://www.waterways.org.uk/regions_branches/london/Middlesex/middlesex
ACS members at the 25th anniversary
Congratulations - 25 years of the ACS Twenty-five years ago the Australian Canal Society came into being. To celebrate the
anniversary 58 members enjoyed a lunch at Oatlands Golf Club, in the centre of Sydney.
One of the ACS members, Julie Nugent, is a descendant of the canal engineer James
Brindley and she gave a talk about her famous forebear and his connection with Australia.
Middlesex Branch Sales Stand events 2013
Robin will be out and about with the branch sales stand visiting some of the festivals etc in
and around the Middlesex area.
5 - 7 July Ware Boat Festival - River Lea
19 21 July IWA National Festival, Cassiobury Pk, Watford.
7 - 8 September Slough Canal Festival - Bloom Park
21 September Hanwell Locks - Open House weekend
If youre at one of these events and you see the sales stand why not introduce yourself
to Robin and have a chat or even spend some time helping, youll be most welcome.
Middlesex Branch donations The Branch recently made a donation of 200 to the Cotswold Canal Trust Bowbridge Appeal
and received a letter of thanks from Justine Hopkins of the CCT administration team.
The Committee are always willing to consider donating to any waterways related cause. So if
you know any group that might benefit, let us know and well see what we can do.
Inland Waterways Association 6 Middlesex Matters Summer 2013 http://www.waterways.org.uk/regions_branches/london/Middlesex/middlesex
IWAs 2013 National Festival set for Watford.
19 - 21 July at Cassiobury Park The IWA 2013 National Festival is to be
held at Cassiobury Park on the Grand Union
Canal in Watford over the weeken