Inland Waterways Association Bulletin

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 issues their own magazine, the Sou’Wester, 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 .


©Stover Canal Trust ©Stover Canal Trust
Unless stated, all material © Stover Canal Trust 2018  


Wikipedia tells us that– “Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little financial value, although sometimes they are sentimental. Geocaching shares many aspects with benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, letterboxing, and waymarking. Generally accepted rules are to not endanger others, to minimize the impact on nature, to respect private property, and to avoid public alarm.” There is a website which shows that containers were placed along the canal earlier this year. The committee understands that the Rangers at Stover Park are aware of the placement of some geocaching boxes along the Templer Way. However, permission has neither been sought or granted for any other placement by the Stover Canal Trust. We are working to increase public access to the canal and will not, therefore, take any action in this matter provided the activity does not create problems for other users. So if you see someone acting furtively alongside the canal it may not be as suspicious as it may appear!


The    Stover    Canal    Trust    has    teamed    up    with    Easyfundraising    as    a convenient   way   for   supporters   who   shop   on-line   to   get   traders   to   donate to our cause. If   you   find   an   item   on-line,   and   the   outlet   subscribes   to   Easyfundraising, simply   by   redirecting   to   the   traders   site   via    and completing   your   purchase   in   the   usual   way   will   gain   a   small   amount   of money for the Stover Canal AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU! We   hope   you   will   consider   this   method   as   a   way   to   provide   us   with FREE   MONEY   to   carry   on   the   restoration   work   of   the   canal   and   it’s structures. Thank you!

Dig starts at Ventiford Basin - May 2016

This year will see the culmination of our research and the programme of work will include the complete uncovering of an early 19th-century clay barge, which worked the canal between Ventiford and Teignmouth; its timber remains have been buried in the silt, probably since before the 1870s. In the past two years, the team has uncovered small sections of the vessel, but this year we hope to have the entire bottom section exposed, all 15m of it. We will also be working on revealing an 80m-long section of the Haytor Granite Tramroad, which was in use between 1820 and 1840 to transport granite from George Templer’s famous quarries at Haytor in Dartmoor National Park, down to the canal at Ventiford. This was unearthed during work leading up to last year’s excavations and is a truly remarkable discovery. The 12km tramroad has international heritage significance and is a unique monument to industry, because the track was built from elongated granite blocks placed end to end, with flanges along the rails to guide the wheels of the trucks,
rather than using the more traditional iron rails with flanged wheels on the vehicles. Although long and impressive sections of the tramroad survive in situ within the National Park, until now it was believed that the track had been lost completely between Bovey Tracey and Ventiford. However, this amazing find, which was a siding off the main trunk, now provides the only significant surviving section of tramroad outside the national park Already   this   year   we   have   found   more   sidings   and   rails   than was originally known from previous excavations.
© Phil Newman
Also, keep up with events as they happen on Facebook

2017 - See our progress since 2011 on our new pages

Lower Towpath-Phase 1 Lower Towpath-Phase 1 Graving Dock Lock Graving Dock Lock Ventiford Basin and the Granite Tramway Ventiford Basin and the Granite Tramway

Annual General Meeting - March 2017

The       Stover       Canal Trust    held    its    Annual General     Meeting     at K   i   n   g   s   t   e   i   g   n   t   o   n     Community   Centre   on the 18 th  March. Opening    the    meeting at       10       am,       Trust Chairman,   John   Pike, reported                  that significant        progress had   been   made   in   the last      12      months      in preparing   the   basin   at Ventiford    for    potential r   e   -   w   a   t   e   r   i   n   g   .     Acknowledging        that the    site    unfortunately looks    like    a    building site   at   present,   Mr   Pike   assured   the   audience   that   future   plans   include   landscaping   in   mitigation   for   the   loss   of vegetation   as   a   result   of   the   preparations.   Detailed   plans   are   included   in   the   planning   application   submitted   to Teignbridge planners which can be found on their Planning Online website for public comment. Following   the   election   of   officers,   and   refreshments,   members   heard   a   fascinating   talk   by   the   Rev’d   Nicholas   Pearkes on the redundant slate quarry near Littlehempston. The   Penn   Recca   Mine   at   Landscove,   near   Combe   village   was   Devon's   only   slate   mine.   It   had   been   worked   as   early   as 1381,   but   is   now   totally   overgrown   and   no   longer   visible.   The   slate   had   been   used   to   roof   Dartington   Hall,   and   also   the army barracks in Madras. To   work   the   quarry,   everything   was   initially   hauled   manually.   Later   a   horse   windlass   was   brought   into   use.   There   were rail   tracks   from   the   entrance   and   trucks   would   be   hauled   by   pack   horses   to   unload   onto   the   barges   on   the   canal.   The trucks   were   open   ended   so   that   the   heavy   slate   could   be   slid   off   the   end   to   unload.      The   slate   was   all   cut   by   hand   in   a saw pit. By the 1830's, steam power had been brought in to make parts of the operation more efficient. Because   of   the   danger   of   roof   falls,   at   regular   intervals   a   very   long   rope   ladder   was   lowered   into   the   pit,   and   a   miner had   to   climb   up   and   banged   the   roof   with   a   hammer   to   make   sure   that   it   was   intact   and   safe. After   being   worked   out   the mine was 400 ft deep. The mine itself is now totally hidden from view by a tree lined valley. Some   of   the   mine   workers   slept   in   3-storey   dormitories,   and   others   occupied   cottages.   Each   row   of   cottages   had   a pump   and   a   water   trough.   The   industry   kept   large   number   of   people   in   work   in   the   locality.   Many   of   the   buildings   still standing   in   the   area   can   be   connected   back   to   the   slade   industry   including   the   original   Managers   house   and   the   local pub. The   minerals   would   be   loaded   onto   tub   boats   and   taken   down   the   Hems   Canal   to Totnes.   By   constructing   a   tidal   gate   at the   confluence   of   the   Rivers   Hems   and   Dart   it   was   not   necessary   to   dig   a   canal.   It   had   no   locks   but   had   stop   logs   at narrow points along the route for water control. The route to Totnes was approximately 2 miles.
Click on the pictures to see detail of the project.
Built by our forefathers, preserved for our grandchildren

Graving Dock Lock Restoration Recognised - September 2017

The   Canal   and   Rivers   Trust   holds   an   annual   competition   called   the   Living   Waterways   Awards   to   recognise   notable achievements by canal groups all over the country. We   are   pleased   to   announce   that   this   year,   the   restoration   of   the   Graving   Dock   Lock   has   been   recognised   under   the Restoration & Historic Environment category. Jointly   funded   by   awards   from   the   Association   for   Industrial   Archaeology   and   the   Tesco   ‘Bags   of   Help’   scheme,   the major   restoration   was   carried   out   by   volunteers   and   contractors   over   two   years.   The   final   details   of   recreating   the boiler structure and installing a seat have now been completed. Inspection   by   CRT   representatives   took   place   on   the   12th   June   and   they   recommended   our   project   to   the   meeting   of the   judging   panel   in   July.   Along   with   18   other   entrants   under   7   differing   categories,   we   were   invited   to   the   awards ceremony in Birmingham on the 27th September. Our category was won by the Window on the World project.
Trustees and volunteers explain the details of the restoration to representatives of the Canal & Rivers Trust (left)
Before and After views of the lock.
Click here to see the whole story of the restoration.
Graving Dock Lock Graving Dock Lock

Open Weekend 2017

The   biennial   Open   Weekend   was   held   on   the   23rd   and   24th   September.    This   year   marks   the   225th   Anniversary   of the   canal   reaching   it’s   terminus   at   Ventiford   Basin.   A   replica   wagon   was   placed   on   the   granite   rails   there   along   with our plans for the area. There   was   a   ceremony   at   Graving   Dock   Lock   on   the   Saturday   to   mark   the   completion   of   the   restoration   project   and the   display   area   alongside   the   ‘old’   Exeter   Road   was,   as   usual,   set   out   at   the   Sibelco   entrance   to   the   East   Golds works. Displays   were   provided   on   the   Saturday   by   the   RSPB,   the   Barn   Owl   Trust,   Bovey   Heritage   Centre,   Kelly   Mine,   the Ball Clay Heritage Society and others. Teigngrace Church was open over the lunchtime period on both days.
Cllr. George Gribble cuts the tape at Graving Dock Lock on the Saturday.
Interior of Teigngrace Church
One   of   our   volunteers   is   making   various   items   from   the reclaimed   wood   of   old   barges   found   in   the   canal.   A   recent commission   was   for   a   clock   which   is   shown   here.   Other examples   can   be   seen   at   Fanny   Bussells   Retail   Outlet    in Teignmouth   at      50b   Northumberland   Place,   phone   07447 344718

Update December 2017

Logs  For  Sale  Generously filled, net bags of ready cut timber £4 per bag
Our   friend   Daniel   at   MT   Tums    is   now   carrying   stocks   of   logs   for sale.   All   profits   are   going   to   the   canal   restoration   funds.   Thanks Daniel. And the refreshments are well worth stopping by for too!
You   can   find   MT   Tums    at   Teignbridge   Sidings   on   the   ‘Old’ Exeter     Road     TQ12     3QJ     between     Newton     Abbot     and Kingsteignton. Phone 01626 685657 for details.
Proposals for Ventiford Basin - 2018
We   are   presently   applying   for   grants   to   fund   the   re-watering   of   the   Ventiford   Basin.   The   two   year   project   includes   the construction   of   a   small   clay-cored   dam   at   the   Southern   end   of   the   basin,   making   good   the   granite   walls   and   lining   the   bed   with an   impervious   layer   to   make   it   watertight.   The   basin   would   hopefully   fill   with   flood   water   over   the   2018/19   Winter   period   and would   then   be   topped-up   with   a   small   flow   from   the   Ventiford   Brook.   On   completion   of   the   major   works,   landscaping   will   take place resulting in an attractive rest area for residents and tourists enjoying the Stover Trail and Templer Way. Thank   you   to   everyone   who   voted   for   us   in   the   Tesco   ‘Bags   of   Help’   scheme   which   closed   at   the   end   of   May.      The   £2000 second prize will go towards the landscaping phase towards the end of the project.