iwa middlesex branch, middlesex matters, summer 2013

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IWA Middlesex Branch, Middlesex Matters, Summer 2013

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  • 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

    Bloom Park,

    Middlegreen Road,

    Langley

    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

    association.

    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

    weekend.

    8th October Branch social evening

    Talk by Richard Thomas on Waterways

    Wonders.

    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

    Chairmans Column

    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

    the arm.

    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

    embankment.

    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

    network.

    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.

    Keith Clayton

    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.

    http://www.cotswoldcanals.com

    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