The Inland Waterways Association campaigns for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain’s waterways. It is a national charity run by volunteers, and has over 18,000 members whose interests include boating, towing path walking, industrial archaeology, nature conservation and many other activities associated with the inland waterways. The Association Vision is to ensure the inland waterways of England and Wales are restored and maintained to the best possible standards, and kept accessible for the benefit of all people. A regular update on all things connected with these aims is published on their website. The South West Region of the IWA has their own section which can be found here.
The Stover Bargee
We produce a quarterly newsletter called The Stover Bargee which is delivered to members. To see a previous issue please click here.
Built by our forefathers, preserved for our grandchildren
Flooding from the River Teign has again damaged some lengths of the canal bank and towpath but it was good to see water in the lower part of the canal - even if it was flowing! Work parties are suspended under lockdown restrictions but individual members have managed to stabilised the most dangerous sections for safety purposes.
Following the floods came the freeze but the winter sunshine gave photographers the opportunity for some wonderful pictures.
Meanwhile, the oak tree for the Ventiford crane has been sawn to shape and delivered to our yard for finishing.
These bollards have been donated by a member of the public and were used to moor the tug boats at Jetty Marsh. Barges were sailed down the canal and from the early 1900’s were towed to Teignmouth.Whilst the bollards are too large to be placed at Ventiford Basin, being out of keeping with the rest of the area, we are looking to use them as bases for extra seating along the towpath.
The tugboat ‘Kestrel’ at Jetty Marsh Quay, c1914.
During the coronavirus restrictions, our volunteers have still been maintaining the towpath and structures of the canal whilst maintaining the prescribed precautions. In addition, they are progressing the construction of the replica crane to be placed alongside the Ventiford Basin later in the year.We are grateful to the management and workforce at Sibelco for their assistance, particularly in manoeuvring the massive wooden pieces making up the post and jib. This has greatly helped James French of JWF Bespoke Carpentry and Joinery in fashioning the joints. The 2nd August saw a milestone in the basin restoration. The pieces of the crane were taken from our compound at the southern end of the canal along the Stover Way and installed at Ventiford. The crane is taking shape nicely and we are now awaiting delivery of the metalwork. Much remains to be completed including landscaping and planting but we are now planning an opening ceremony for Spring 2022.