|Volume 5, Number 9 - Summer 2004|
News From Elsewhere
The following restoration information has been extracted by David Smallshaw from the IWA's monthly Head Office Bulletin which is sent free to Association members on request.
"Bridging the Years" is the title of a new web site that has been two years in development. The Lottery's New Opportunities' Fund financed the work. The web site has many thousands of digitized images, including photographs, maps and artifacts that cover the Bridgewater Canal, the Manchester Ship Canal, Trafford Park and other associated subjects . It is part of the www.transportarchive.org.uk, accessed directly at www.canalarchive.org.uk.
Tameside Council has made its collection of archive photos available on its web site at www.tameside.gov.uk/history. Over 11,000 images are available, including over 300 on the Ashton, Huddersfield Narrow and Peak Forest Canals.
Cotswold Canals: British Waterways has revised the scope of its bid, on behalf of the Cotswold Canals Partnership, to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant towards the first phase of completion of restoration of the Cotswold Canals, and submitted the new bid in April.
In June 2003, British Waterways submitted a bid for just over half the funding for the £40m restoration of the seven-mile Stroudwater Navigation, from Saul Junction to Stroud, and a further 2.5 miles of the Thames & Severn Canal from Stroud to Brimscombe.
Following discussion between the partners and other funders for the planned restoration work, the bid was scaled down to cover a 6-mile stretch from Brimscombe Port on the Thames & Severn Canal east of Stroud to The Ocean on the Stroudwater Navigation west of Stonehouse.
Although, immediately, this section of waterway will not be attached to the main waterway network, it retains a high proportion of the original project's benefits to the local community. The cost of the revised project is £23 million and could be completed by 2008. Matching funds to the Heritage Lottery Fund bid are being sought from the South West Regional Development Agency, Stroud District Council, Gloucester County Council, the private sector, Landfill Tax Credits and fundraising by Cotswold Canals Trust and The Waterways Trust.
The Partnership intends to look for funding for the restoration of remaining sections at the same time as delivering the revised bid, particularly focusing on the last 3 miles of the Stroudwater Navigation and the challenge to restore the waterway beneath the M5 and the A38. Development of the Conservation Management Plan for the full 36-mile restoration continues. The Plan aims to ensure the waterways are cared for up to, during and after restoration in a sensitive and sustainable way, considering both the built and natural heritage alongside each other. The first draft of the Plan can be viewed at www.britishwaterways.co.uk/cotswolds.
Rochdale Canal: The Canal was reopened in the Callis Mill area for the beginning of April after a landslip that occurred in February was cleared. The comprehensive clearance and repair operation was completed in about six weeks. The landslip occurred after several days of heavy rain, when more than 1,000t of earth slipped into the canal below Lock 14.
Shrewsbury & Newport Canals: IWA has withdrawn its objection to the Borough of Telford and Wrekin's application for an order under the Transport and Works Act for a proposed rail freight terminal adjacent to the disused Trench end of the Shrewsbury Canal. This follows the granting of legal undertakings by the Borough to IWA that should safeguard the canal during the proposed construction works. Without these, the works could have had a detrimental effect on the future of the canal and prospective restoration plans.
The undertaking provides that the Borough Council will use reasonable endeavours during the construction of the authorised works to avoid physical damage to the canal.
Sussex Ouse: IWA has announced a grant of £2,000 from its restoration grants fund towards the production of "The Sussex Ouse - A Vision for the 21st Century", which the Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust hopes will raise general awareness of the Trust and its aims. The Trust aims to promote a greater awareness of the benefits that the river can bestow on local communities, and to work with other interested agencies for the conservation of the structures associated with the river's history; restoration of navigation to the river above Lewes; protection of the river's banks and wildlife; and improvement of opportunities for educational and leisure use.
Thames & Medway Canal: IWA has announced that it has offered a grant of £2,000 to Thames & Medway Canal Association. IWA's Chelmsford and Kent & East Sussex branches have also each offered £500 towards the cost of an Economic and Employment Benefits Study of restoration of the Thames and Medway Canal between Gravesend and Higham.
The Thames & Medway Canal was built to provide a shorter and more militarily secure route between Chatham Dockyard and London. It was not a financial success and the tunnel between Higham and Strood was converted to become the present railway route, leaving a section of canal between Gravesend and Higham, which was in use until 1934.
Wey & Arun Canal Trust: The Trust has restored an undershot waterwheel, about 14' in diameter, which lifts water about 7' from the river Arun to assist water supply, at Lording's on the Arun Navigation. The Trust has restored 9 locks and 22 bridges, and runs a successful trip boat operation, carrying 5,000 passengers per annum, on the 1.75 mile Loxwood Link section. (Right)
Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust: The Trust has been offered a grant of £186,000 from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs towards the fitting out of its new visitor centre, The Wharf House. The project has also received a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Centre, which is to include a tearoom, offices, a manager's flat and bed & breakfast accommodation, is due to open in April 2005.
The Trust has completed its restoration of House Lock, near Oxenhall, which has been undertaken entirely by volunteers - mostly by the Trust's regular volunteer workforce, but also with support from visiting groups, such as Waterway Recovery Group.
Lagan Navigation: The last remaining, but rather derelict, lock keeper's cottage in public ownership on the Lagan Navigation, near Belfast, is one of the 21 projects to be featured in BBC Two's Restoration programme, the new series of which commenced on 8th May. Also featured is the Lion Salt Works alongside the Trent & Mersey Canal near Northwich. (Right, from the FULBOURNE website)
River Blackwater (N. I.): The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland has submitted a funding bid of £699,000 to the Lough Neagh Partnership to cover 50% of the cost of the construction of a navigation channel under the (Northern Ireland) M1 Motorway crossing at Tamnamore near Dungannon in County Tyrone. The Blackwater connects the Ulster Canal (and thus the Shannon-Erne waterway and the rest of the connected system in southern Ireland) to Lough Neagh and the navigable river Bann and the sea at Coleraine in the north. It is therefore an essential link in connecting the waterways of Northern Ireland to those in the south.
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