Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Body of OAP found in Abingdon Marina

Thames Valley Police today confirm that the body of a woman found at South Quay in the marina in Abingdon shortly after 8pm yesterday (Wednesday) is that of Abingdon resident, Valerie Adams, 75. 
Police are not treating the death as suspicious at this time.

£6,000 award for Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

The Wilts & Berks Canal in Swindon will be a better place for anglers, ramblers, cyclists and boaters thanks to an award of £6,000 from NatWest Community First.
The Wilts & Berks Canal towpath near Kingshill in Swindon: Picture by Bob Naylor©
A fine carp caught at Kingshill in Swindon: Picture by Bob Naylor©
The W&B Canal Trust will use the money to buy materials and hire machines so that Trust volunteers can repair and widen the towpath of the canal between Westlease and Kingshill.
Piling will be used to stabilise the bank and the towpath surface will be repaired and improved… and the depth of the canal will be improves so that the Trust tripboat, Dragonfly, can travel further.


The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust trip boat on the canal in Swindon: Picture by Bob Naylor©

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chair of K&A Canal & River Trust Waterway Partnership named

Former K&A Canal Trust Administrator, Fleur de Rhe Philipe has been appointed as the chair of the Kennet & Avon Canal & River Waterway Trust Partnership. 
Fleur de Rhe Philipe: Picture by Bob Naylor©
Fleur is a former employee of the K&A Canal Trust and later a member of the board of Trustees. She has been a member of Wiltshire Council since 1997 and she is currently the cabinet member for economic development and strategic planning.

Tony Hales, chair of Canal & River Trust said: “I am delighted that such a high calibre of people have come forward to chair these important positions of governance within the Canal & River Trust. Each will prove to be well placed to champion the interests of their local waterways. The Waterways Partnerships are integral to the stewardship and development of the network, providing new perspectives and insights, opening up new resources and ideas, and giving local people a greater opportunity to support their local canals and rivers: something that is integral to the success of the Canal & River Trust.”



Other Chairs appointed
North Wales & Borders 
Jim Forrester — currently director at Imperial War Museum North in Manchester where he has delivered services to over 2,500,000 visitors over the last ten years and drawn in champions, stakeholders and potential funders, raising substantial capital and revenue funding each year.  Previously a boatbuilder on the canals, Jim has spent the last 27 years working within charities in a variety of roles; from boat conservator to director of a new branch of a national museum in the region.
South Wales & Severn  
Jack Hegarty — has been managing director of Wychavon District Council since 2004, where he leads a complex public sector organisation, builds relationships with Ministers, MPs and Councillors and deals with local communities and partner organisations at a national and local level.  He was directly involved with the Droitwich Canal restoration for 11 years.
North West 
Professor Steven Broomhead — currently professor of entrepreneurial education at Liverpool Hope University, Steven previously spent eight years as chief executive at Northwest Regional Development Agency, prior to which he was chief executive at Warrington Borough Council.  He has held the position of chair at a number of private and public organisations. 
West Midlands 
Peter Mathews CMG — is past chair of the Black Country Consortium, which works to coordinate regeneration in the Black Country area of the West Midlands, and chairman and managing director of Black Country Metals.  A prominent business leader, Peter has held the position of chair at various national and international organisations including The World Recycling Conference, UKTI Advanced Engineering and the Midlands World Trade Forum. 
Museums  
Laurence Newman — Chairman, Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. Previously, Laurence spent 20 years with KPMG where he was the partner responsible for their Leisure and Tourism Consulting Group.   He is also a non-executive director of Grove End Housing Ltd, a trustee of Creativity, Culture and Education and a member of the Advisory Board of The Foundation, a growth and innovation consultancy.

A written record of all meetings will be publicly available on the web.  All positions on the Partnerships will be un-remunerated, but agreed expenses will be reimbursed. 

Those interested in joining a newly appointed chair on their local Waterway Partnership or in applying for one of the remaining positions of chair can find role descriptions and application details at: www.waterscape.com/trust from Thursday 1 December.  Applications for membership open on Friday 9 December 2011.

No forecast for clearing BW's £40 million dredging backlog

"Government require BW to operate and maintain waterways to standards that reflect use and prospects of use", said Waterway Minister, Richard Benyon in answer to a question in Parliament from David Heyes about when the backlog of dredging on British Waterways’ canals and rivers would be cleared.
The Minister went on to say: "Dredging is an operational matter for British Waterways (BW) and it applies risk-based prioritisation to its maintenance expenditure." 
"BW estimate that the cost of clearing the current backlog of dredging would be approximately £40 million and BW has not set a time scale for dealing with the dredging backlog." he said.
He concluded by saying: "Future prioritisation of expenditure on the operation and maintenance of the waterways will be a matter for the Canal and River Trust, once BW’s functions and assets in England and Wales are transferred to the charity."

Waterway charity transition trustees to meet Boaters' manifesto representatives

Canal & River Trust Transition Trustee  John Dodswell has told Peter Underwood that he, John Bridgeman and Jane Cotton will meet with representatives of the Boaters' Manifesto to discuss it on Tuesday 20 December 2011 to and he has provided brief biographies of the three.

John Bridgeman CBE
John is British Waterways’ vice chairman, chair of the Fair Trading Committee and the Wales Advisory Group and a pension trustee. He is a former director general of Fair Trading, member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and CEO of British Alcan Aluminium plc. He is also regulatory director of the British Horseracing Authority, chairman of the Audit and Standards Committee for Warwickshire County Council, complaints commissioner for the Direct Marketing Authority and a longstanding trustee of three Oxfordshire charities. Lives near Banbury and so knows the Oxford canal, among others, and keen on the Welsh canals.

Jane Cotton
Jane has been human resources director and a deputy chief executive of Oxfam, one of the UK’s largest and most successful charities, for the past 11 years. Prior to this she worked in Departments of Transport and Environment in both policy and human resources roles. In the 1990s Jane was resources director of the Charity Commission and human resources director of Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. She brings particular expertise in organisational development and change management; also in volunteering, fundraising and charity governance. Lives near Princes Risborough, Bucks. Obviously, knows a lot about running charities and pay strategy; she will chair the Remuneration Committee of CRT.

John Dodwell
John is a chartered accountant who moved into corporate finance and corporate law. He is a former finance director or chair of several property companies (including setting up joint ventures), a former charity trustee (including dealing with investments) and has been a member since 1961 of The Inland Waterways Association, of which he was General Secretary 1970-73. He was chair of the Commercial Boat Operators Association. He will relinquish membership of the Inland Waterways Advisory Council and of the British Waterways Advisory Forum on becoming a trustee for the new waterways charity. Having sailed dinghies, fished and canoed on the Thames and elsewhere in his youth, he went onto hire cruisers over most of the network, enjoying the waterways’ built and natural environment. He now owns an historic narrow boat; it’s an old BCN tug which draws 3 ft over its 51 ft length.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

25th anniversary of the death of K&A Canal restoration legend Sir Hugh Stockwell

It was 25 years ago today that Kennet & Avon Canal legend General Sir Hugh Stockwell died. He had been an inspirational leader in the battle to save the K&A canal — and far more successful in this than in his battle over another canal when he was  ground commander for the Allied Task Force in Suez.  

General Sir Hugh Stockwell
That experience prompted him to say to the Queen, "I've lost one canal Ma'am — and I'm buggered if I'm going to lose another one."

The General, as he was always known, had joined the Kennet & Avon Canal Association in 1962 the year it became a Trust. He became the Chairman of the Wiltshire Branch and in 1966, after the resignation of Captain Munk, he became Trust Chairman.

When the General retired from the Army in 1964 after 42 years service he came to live beside the canal at Horton where he lived until his death.

The General is remembered for his charm and clear vision and his chairmanship has been described as "firm but friendly". He was prepared to change his mind completely if convinced and he never failed to show his appreciation of every effort, however small, always taking time to congratulate the unseen and unsung volunteers.

The General’s warmth and generosity was contagious, he was never mean, devious or scheming. He was a renowned General, but a people described him as a truly great gentleman. The struggles of the Trust to overcome apathy and to set a course for the re-opening of the canal was very dear to his heart.

Sir Hugh Stockwell outside his canalside cottage at Horton
In the obituary to the General in the Trust journal, The Butty, Trust Council member, Don Collinson said, "My memories of Sir Hugh are legion. From 1967, when he took over as Chairman from the founder of the Trust, Captain Lionel Munk, it became my privilege and pleasure to continue to serve as Vice-Chairman under his leadership until 1974 when he was appointed President. 

"They were exciting formative years; he was tireless in his efforts to give the canal ‘the kiss of life’ and stimulate a holding position to one of progress and advance." 

In October 1967 the General was appointed Vice-Chairman of the new Inland Waterways Advisory Council and he commissioned the first printed costed practical ‘Restoration Scheme’ booklet for the Kennet & Avon Canal ready for the first meeting. He carried the day and the scheme, broadly, still formed the pattern of restoration when he died in 1986. 

Another triumph for the General, the result of many meetings and boat trips with Bath Corporation, British Waterways Board and Trust officers, resulted in the, then unparalleled,  grant in July 1969 of £7,500 to be matched by the Trust for the first joint restoration scheme for the Widcombe Flight, Bath. This scheme was to be the catalyst for the success story of the K&A and many other waterways. 

Don Collininson concluded: "We all respected his authority and command, and yet, everyone felt at ease in his company. He was a gentleman in every way and all his friends and the Trust owe much to him and his inspiration."

Mike Corfield added to the obituary: "We were fortunate in the Devizes and Pewsey Branch that the General lived between our two main centres, we could rely on his support at all our events. Whatever the event, from wine and cheese parties in Devizes Town Hall through canal fairs on Devizes Wharf to barbecues at Pewsey Wharf he would be there. He was a great enthusiast for voluntary work on the canal and he always asked about anything taking place.

"He had worked hard to get the scheme to restore the Crofton Flight under way and was very distressed when the 1976 moratorium on voluntary work was imposed and such work as we were able to do he took a keen interest in — even if it was just the surreptitious removal of a fallen tree from the canal.

"He gave us constant support while we built the Canal Centre, although he was not able to join in the physical work he gave us every encouragement; as the Centre came to be used he was a regular visitor, to the office where he could check on restoration progress, to the shop where he regularly bought his Christmas gifts and later to the exhibition. 

"On the Trust Council, the General could be relied on to get to the root of matters that we might have argued back and forth for some time. Impatient of anything that might delay the opening of the canal, he would castigate the Waterways Board, their workers and local councils for what he saw as either indifference or procrastination. 

"As we progressed and completion became a reality rather than a dream, he became lavish in his praise for everyone concerned, encouraging where he had previously scorned."

General Sir Hugh Stockwell, GCB, KBE, DSO & Bar (June 16, 1903 – November 27, 1986)

K&A Canal Trust Vice President 1963, Chairman of Wiltshire Branch 1964-67, Trust Chairman 1967-74, Trust President 1974-86.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Santa to visit Swindon aboard W&B Canal Trust boat

Santa will be onboard the festively decorated Wilts & Berks Canal Trust trip boat, Dragonfly, on the 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th of December in Swindon.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Boaters to be elected to Canal & River Trust Council



Boaters can get involved in shaping the future of Britain’s waterways say British Waterways who are calling for boaters to stand for election for the Canal & River Trust Council.




Tony Hales, chair of the Canal & River Trust, said:  “The boating community has a wealth of hands-on experience of the waterways, and having boaters on board is essential to the success of the Canal & River Trust.  I am writing to all licence holders and I encourage them to put themselves forward and add their voices to those shaping the Canal & River Trust’s future.”

The new charitable trust takes over from British Waterways in April 2012 and the nominations for boaters’ positions on the Council open on 12 December 2011.

Seven positions on the 35-strong council are to be filled by boaters or boating businesses.  Four positions are to be elected by boat licence holders and two positions elected by boating businesses.  

The British Canoe Union, which holds a collective licence for around 60,000 individual and club members, will be asked to nominate a person to fill a further position representing all those who use the waterways for waterborne sport and recreation without holding individual licences.  

A  Canal & River Trust employee will also be elected by all employees at this time to serve on the Council. 

The Council will help to shape policy, raising and debating issues, and providing guidance, perspective and a sounding board for the trustees.  It will also have the power to appoint or dismiss trustees. 

Members of the Canal & River Trust Council will be expected to bring the experience and perspective of the constituency they represent and to provide a voice for their interests.  In exercising this role they will have tact in the interests of the charitable purposes of the Trust.  

Members will serve for a term of four years.

Boaters who want to stand for election in any of these groups will need to complete a simple nomination form which will be available to download from 12 December 2011 at: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/councilnomination and must be returned by 18 January 2012.  

To be eligible to stand for election and vote in the election, boaters must hold a 12-month boat licence on 18 January 2012.  Nominations must be supported by ten sponsors who each also hold a valid 12-month boat licence on this date. 

Voting will take place between 8 February and 9 March 2012 via a designated website or by SMS text.   Voting by post will also be possible, but only for this first set of Council elections.  The election is being managed by Electoral Reform Services.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Further 11 mile section of the K&A Canal closed

The Kennet & Avon Canal was granted 'Cruiseway' status in April this year — 55 years after the government tried to close the canal.  Ironically since then the canal has suffered a high number of closures.  

The navigation in Bath is closed indefinitely because of the unsafe condition Victoria Bridge, the historic listed structure on the River Avon that is the responsibility of Bath and North East Somerset Council. 

And now British Waterways have announced the indefinite closure of more than 11 miles of canal between locks 61 (by Crofton Crossing Bridge) to Copse Lock 80 near Hampstead Marshall because of what they describe as extremely low ground water levels.


Wilton Water — low water level: Picture by Bob Naylor©


British Waterways have issued the following notice:


NAVIGATION CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE LOCK 61 TO LOCK 80 
Thursday 17 November 2011 until further notice
The canal has been closed to navigation between Crofton Lock 61 and Copse Lock 80 due to lack of adequate water supplies to support boat movement. 
All of the locks within the closed section will be padlocked to prevent use. We are allowing levels in individual canal pounds to recover slowly. Several sections are very low and will take some time to come back to normal level. This is a long term problem brought about by ground water level being extremely low, in fact it is at the lowest level for 90 years. 
The reservoir level is also very low and currently has little or no feed to recharge the system. The current stoppage is necessary to recover levels and help protect aquatic life in the canal.
British Waterways is currently looking to support the closed section with additional water supply from other sources. 
The current closure is being reviewed weekly, and with little or no significant rain forecast the current closure may remain in force for some weeks.
Craft that are trapped within the closed section are requested to remain where they are, but to adjust mooring ropes to accommodate changes in water levels.
Any request for craft movement will be dealt with on an individual basis and will be subject to available water supplies, canal water levels and individual circumstances.
British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Enquiries: Tel: 01380 722859 or  0800 4799947 (Option 2)Email: kennetavon@britishwaterways.co.uk

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dangerous Bridge closes Kennet & Avon Canal in Bath

The stretch of water from Widcombe Lock (7) the bottom Lock in the Bath Flight — to Weston Lock (6) on the River Avon is closed and there is no forecast of when it might be open for navigation in the future.
Victoria Bridge, Bath: Picture by Bob Naylor©


Victoria Bridge—closed to pedestrians and cyclists Picture by Bob Naylor©
Boats cannot use this part of the River Avon because experts say that a footbridge is too dangerous for boats to go under it. 

Victoria Bridge has been closed to cyclists and pedestrians since October — and last week the towpath alongside the river was closed. Bath and North East Somerset Council say that they are looking into the possibility of a £400,000 temporary repair 'by the summer'  with hopes of a full restoration by 2013.



Victoria Bridge looking splendid in the artist's impression of the Bath Riverside Development


The historic Victoria Bridge was the centrepiece of the controversial 2,000-home Bath Riverside development and local people are expressing dismay that the work has started on the houses but the bridge repair was not part of the agreement between Crest Nicholson and B&NES for the first phase of the project. 

A B&NES spokesman said, "The latest inspection of Victoria Bridge by the council’s independent structural engineers has revealed further deterioration of the structure especially on one of the central hangars.  This is a serious issue because any weakness in the central area of the bridge increases the risk to the structure. We will be implementing temporary emergency strapping to help support the bridge this week."

Victoria Bridge is a Grade 2 listed structure and it is an example of the work of Bath engineer James Dredge. It was built in 1836 and like the many other bridges he designed that are still in use all over the world it is a radical alternative to the established suspension bridge design.

More on this story:



To find out more about Dredge bridges go to➤➤ Derrick Hunt's-James Dredge website 

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Boaters' Manifesto — final version published

Boaters' Manifesto
New Website at: http://boatersmanifesto.weebly.com

This manifesto was compiled as the result of responses to a request made on half a dozen boaters’ groups of Facebook (total membership around 2,500) and through various individual boaters’ Twitter networks and discussion groups.
Boaters were asked to let the transition trustees know what they actually need from them so that they can respond to the new charity with enthusiasm and commitment. A first draft was produced and offered to same group of boaters for further amendments and additions and this is the result.

Key Points

1. Waterways are about boats and boaters and the Canal and River Trust needs to listen to boaters more closely and have more representatives on the board.
2. Before the Canal and River Trust accepts the legal burden of running the waterways it must ensure proper funding to keep all waterways open, navigable and properly maintained, otherwise it should refuse to do so.
3. Boaters have lost faith in the most senior management of British Waterways and believe that the government should accept the cost of making them redundant to give the Canal and River Trust and fresh start.
4. The Canal and River Trust must develop a system of working that values full time paid staff and their skills above the expediency of using cheap contractors in order to maintain the skilled workforce the waterways require.
5. The Canal and River Trust must enforce a simplified set of mooring rules across the entire waterways system without fear or favour.
6. The Trust must make it a priority to ensure non-boating users of the system make a financial contribution to its upkeep and that their use of the system does not impinge on its primary purpose of navigation.
7. The Canal and River Trust must ensure it is open to Freedom of Information Act requests and operate in a totally transparent fashion if it is to earn and retain confidence.
8. Those for whom the waterways are a home have a special interest in and value to the Canal and River Trust and should be clearly represented at board level and consulted on all navigational issues.

Why the Canal and River Trust should listen to boaters

Navigable waterways were not only created for boats, they are only still with us today because boats and boaters found a new use for them as commercial traffic came to an end.
It has been boaters – not cyclists or walkers or fishermen – who have fought to reopen neglected canals in the face of official opposition; with British Waterways only jumping on the bandwagon in recent years.
Canals without boats don’t last very long for other users as there is no longer a reason to keep the unique industrial heritage in working order, the structures crumble, the water silts up and little is left. Waterways need boats as much as boats need waterways.
Boaters are the only group that has already made a substantial financial and personal commitment to the waterways as well as the only collection of individuals that pays substantial annual fees for their upkeep.
Boaters, especially those with many years of experience and those who live on their craft and travel widely on the system have a wealth of expertise that has been largely ignored by British Waterways and those who helped to compile this manifesto fear that the Canal and River Trust may continue this policy.
Most of all we would like to see many more experienced boaters, proper users of the system, taking a role at national and regional level than the current proposals suggest. Just five out of 35 (7 if you include boating business representatives) at a national level is simply inadequate. It is vital that many more than the proposed 50 per cent are elected by people concerned with the function of the waterways, primarily boaters.

Navigation

Boaters need to be assured that all existing navigations are sufficiently well maintained to enable the vessels designed to use them to travel the whole length of those waterways at all times of the year and operate locks and other equipment with relative ease and safety.
Waterways must not be allowed to deteriorate through lack of maintenance and the Canal and River Trust must have sufficient contingency funds to deal with a major breach – on the scale of those on the Shropshire Union Canal the Monmouth and Breconshire Canal in recent years - without delay.
This means that sufficient government funding is a prerequisite for the Canal and River Trust and if the levels of funding do not fill the massive gap identified by the IWA, and the specialist waterways MPs group, the trustees should refuse to sanction the creation of the charity. It will not be enough to depend on optimistic projections of future charitable income and would be dangerous to do so.
We believe some of the financial projections offered by British Waterways and Defra are simply wrong as they do not model the true cost of creating a well maintained system and accept the projections of a ‘steady state’ with a massive maintenance backlog and need to be tested far more critically than seems the case at present.
If the funding is not adequate to keep all waterways open, navigable and well maintained the Canal and River Trust should refuse to accept the task of running the waterways.

Management

Executive management
Boaters and many others have completely lost faith in the most senior levels of British Waterways’ management in recent years and almost all those who contributed to this manifesto want to see the current directors removed before the Canal and River Trust begins to run the system. It is our belief that government should bear the cost of making these people redundant as the new charitable role is essentially different. Our concern centres on the enormously expensive pay, pension and perks packages of the most senior directors and their willingness to grab bonus payments when staff are being penalised by pay rise well under the rate of inflation and we believe that their continued presence will make it extremely difficult to create any trust among boaters in the Canal and River Trust. That is especially the case as many of the commercial ventures in which they are supposed to be experts have failed to produce promised results.
Boaters do not believe the Canal and River Trust should be willing and will not be able to pay such large scale remuneration and feel that the removal of a group of directors who have little understanding of waterways or boats would do more to give the Trust a fresh start than any new logo.

Middle management
British Waterways’ workforce has become disconnected from the system it looks after. This is due to attempts to farm out much of the bankside and construction work to the cheapest available contractors, along with a policy that obliges the workforce to work in teams covering large areas.
Boaters would like to see visible individuals responsible for a particular stretch of waterway, with clear responsibilities and accountability in the event of failures. 
We believe the skills of the workforce should be valued, encouraged and passed on, especially as caring for a 200 year old artefact requires special expertise. We would like to see work brought back in house and apprenticeships encouraged along the lines of those provided by the National Trust.

Mooring
Whatever else the Canal and River Trust does it will achieve most with most boaters if it applies the same rules on mooring to all parts of the waterways system and enforces them without fear or favour.
This does not exclude setting up special rules in hot-spot areas; but they should then be available for all hot-spots in the country that want to adopt them. We do not believe there is anything wrong with the current mooring guidelines but feel they must be applied equally and effectively across the country. Don’t make rules the Canal and River Trust can’t enforce.

Towpath issues.

Boaters do not mind sharing the towpaths with fishermen, walkers, cyclists and dogs – although we draw the line at motorised vehicles and horses, other than those used to tow boats.
We do believe it is essential the Canal and River Trust finds ways of ensuring all those users contribute to the costs of upkeep and abide by a national set of rules.
Once again enforcement will be the key to stopping dog fouling, rubbish and speeding cyclists putting lives at risk.
We would encourage the new Trust to get into schools, angling clubs, cycling, ramblers etc and educate them about the policies on the towpath, and about canals and waterways in general so we can all enjoy them


An open society?

The Canal and River Trust needs to be completely open with boaters and other supporters and we would urge Trustees to stop avoiding the inclusion of the charity in Freedom of Information legislation.
Given the sensitive existing issues over directors pay, commercial operations such as BWML, pub chains and property development it is essential that the Canal and River Trust’s supporters are able to assure themselves that the murky goings on under British Waterways are brought out into the open and that complete transparency is the rule as soon as the charity begins business.
The Canal and River Trust is vitally important to boaters. Other users can always find what they're looking for somewhere else, if the new trust is not up to scratch, their stake is minimal. If the canal system crumbles then where are all the boat users going to go? 


Liveaboard boaters

The Canal and River Trust should endeavour to help those who live on their boats by the provision of more residential moorings where needed and perhaps usable postal addresses (BFPO can do it for the forces), recycling facilities, more potable water and sewage disposal points.
Those who live on the waterways system, several thousand people, should have specific representation on the board of the Trust.

Peter Underwood compiled the manifesto following requests from half a dozen boaters’ groups on Facebook (total membership around 2,500) and through various boaters’ networks on Twitter.

For more information go to: Boaters' manifesto Facebook page 
And you can follow Peter Underwoods blog 'Living Afloat' at: http://peterunderwood2.blogspot.com

Dredging on the K&A Canal — historic picture

As the water level drops and the bottom rises on the Kennet & Avon Canal to the point where even getting a boat off its mooring is sometimes impossible... and there are no plans in place for any dredging we came across this picture of Burbage Wharf by Mary Powell that harks back to the days when the depth of the canal was kept nearer to the depth that John Rennie had intended. 

Burbage Wharf dredging: Picture by Mary Powell©
Can anyone date this picture?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

K&A Canal Crofton closed at Froxfield

Wilton Water — low water level: Picture by Bob Naylor©
The Kennet & Avon Canal is shut to navigation at Froxfield Bottom Lock (70).  British Waterways say this is due to low water levels in Wilton Water and the action is necessary to safeguard the navigation east of the lock, which will remain open.


There is a winding hole at Froxfield that will allow boats approaching from the east to turn. 

Boats that are currently moored west of Lock 70 must phone Freephone Canals (0800 4799947) if they wish to pass through Lock 70.

This closure will remain in place until the water level in Wilton Water recovers — a natural process, dependent on rainfall and groundwater levels.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Boaters' Manifesto — A transtion trustee responds

John Dodwell, one of the Transition Trustees for the new waterway charity, The Canal & River Trust, has responded to the draft Boaters' Manifesto document prepared by Peter Underwood 
John Dodwell's response can be seen in full on Peter's Blog 'Goodbye Blackberry Way' at: http://peterunderwood.blogspot.com/2011/10/boaters-manifesto.html