This month's bulletin includes the future of bookable moorings at Rembrandt Gardens, the Treaty Street visitor mooring trial, essential Carbon Monoxide safety tips and ... Christmas markets!
Winter brings stoppage season! We hope you haven’t had any nasty surprises. Here’s a breakdown of the big ones on the Trust’s London Waterway:
18 November to 20 December – the Paddington Arm is now closed at Bridge 7D.
28 November (Monday) to 8 January – the Lee Navigation will be closed at Bridge 23 (please note that Tottenham Lock will also be closed while the navigation is closed, to ensure safe working).
4 January to 17 March – Brick Lock (Lock 14) on the Stort will be closed.
The Regent’s will be closed at St Pancras Lock (Lock 4). This stoppage has been brought forward and will now take place from 9 January to 10 February 2017.
The installation of a new footbridge near St Pancras Lock has been postponed until 27 March 2017. The works are planned to take five days and navigation will be possible but boats could be held up for a maximum of four hours.
As part of our work developing the London Mooring Strategy, we conducted a survey earlier this year and found strong support for bookable moorings. 59% of respondents said that they’d be willing to pay to guarantee a mooring spot, with £10 a night suggested as a sensible charge.
Therefore, in order to test a paid-for bookable mooring scheme we are planning on making the following changes to the two bookable moorings in Little Venice from 3 January 2017:
The following will remain the same:
We’re working with web developers, doing some testing and planning to go live in early December for bookings from 3 January 2017. Keep your eye on our webpage.
Following consultation on moorings in the Kings Cross area last year, we have now launched a trial visitor mooring which will run from November 2016 to April 2017. This will cover the moorings between Maiden Lane Bridge (York Way) and the Treaty St. access point. There will be no change at this stage to the towpath between the Treaty St. access and Thornhill Bridge (Caledonian Road), nor between Thornhill Bridge and the Islington Tunnel.
The trial will operate while we consider plans for installing electric bollards on moorings in the Islington stretch of the canal, as part of a project funded jointly by Defra, Islington Council and the Trust. Technical details are currently being developed for this project, and there will be consultation on its implementation soon.
The London Waterway Forum in October heard about how we’ve been working hard over the summer to progress the mooring strategy. Since then, we’ve held a conference to engage local authorities in the London Waterway region in the strategy, and to highlight areas where we can work together in partnership, such as in providing better boater rubbish collection facilities, making provision for moorings in planning policy, and supporting the creation of new boating businesses.
We’re also continuing to work with the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and the Environment Agency to ensure an integrated approach to moorings in the Lee Valley, as well as continuing to meet with other stakeholders around the region. Work continues to analyse the use of short term moorings, including towpath and visitor moorings, and we are also reviewing the results of the Who’s on London’s Boats survey to assess the demand for long term moorings.
We are already starting to trial new approaches to inform our policy development, such as the Rembrandt Gardens bookable mooring scheme and the Kings Cross Visitor Mooring trial, and aim to start formulating the strategy next year.
The Canal & River Trust’s Board of Trustees and Executive Team were in London on 21 and 22 November for a board meeting and they took the opportunity to visit several places on the network. They started the day at Granary Square and walked the towpath in King’s Cross, to see how the area has been improved by recent redevelopments. They then visited Poplar HARCA, the housing association that is leading an “adoption” of the Limehouse Cut to help local communities get involved in waterside activities and towpath clean-ups.
Then there was a boat trip around the waterways of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park before a drinks reception at the House Mill.
Sorwar Ahmed, Waterway Boating Manager, said:
“It was fantastic showing the Trustees some of the highlights of the network in London and we had some really interesting discussion around our London Mooring Strategy. The Trustees and the Executive Team are fully engaged with the opportunities and challenges the capital presents and I’m sure we’ll see them on the towpath again very soon. Of course, some of them live in London! So it wasn’t an entirely new experience.”
Have you seen our new “Welcome to…” signs on the network yet? We’ve recently added some at Carpenters Road Lock, Sweetwater, Old Ford and Bow Locks.
And don’t forget that you can watch the full restoration online: two cameras are installed on site, giving you a close up view of the works.
We’ve heard of more boaters harmed by Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning in recent weeks. Boats are built to keep water out, but this also makes them good containers for gases and fumes.
When carbon-based, appliance and engine fuels, such as gas, LPG, coal, wood, paraffin, oil, petrol and diesel don't burn completely, CO is produced. CO build-up in the cabin can occur with one or a mix of these factors:
10 tips to keep you and your crew alive!
1) All the crew should know the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to react if it is suspected.
2) Install fuel burning appliances properly, in-line with makers’ directions.
3) Follow servicing guidelines. Maintenance should be routine and competent. Don't allow bodged repairs, adjustments and adaptations.
4) Always use appliances as per the instructions and never use cookers for space heating.
5) Don’t block ventilation. Appliance fuels like gas, coal, wood, oil, paraffin, etc. need sufficient air to burn safely.
6) Don’t bring charcoal barbecues on board, or have them near a cabin during or after use. Only stone-cold charcoal is safe.
7) Keep engine fumes out of the cabin space. Never use a portable generator in or near a cabin.
8) Learn about the danger signs. Spot potential hazards before CO occurs.
9) Deal with problems immediately. Never use equipment you suspect has problems.
10) Install a certified CO alarm (BS EN 50291-2). Test it routinely and never remove the batteries.
In early 2017 we’ll be replacing the gates at St Pancras Lock. Overall costs are expected to top £158,000 and will ensure that the lock can continue to operate effectively. Each lock gate weighs three tonnes, the equivalent of a fully grown male giraffe!
As part of the project members of the public will be invited to walk inside the drained lock at a special open day weekend on 4 and 5 February. People will have a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the two centuries old structure, with guided tours from the Trust’s engineers and heritage experts. There will also be the chance to see some of the items salvaged from the canal bed.
The Trust will be spending over £43million this winter to repair and restore waterways across the country. Last year the construction team unearthed some weird and wonderful items when it drained the canals in preparation for essential works. Items included a bag of bullets, a WW2 hand grenade, 16ft dead python and a Volkswagen Camper Van.
Find out more about the Open Day programme.
Knowing the location of your nearest defibrillator (or AED) could be crucial if someone is suffering a cardiac arrest. We had a look at a few of the mobile phone apps that are available and think the GoodSAM could be a useful tool to have on your smartphone. Not only does it tell you the location of your nearest defibrillator, it can also identify nearby first aiders and alert them to your emergency. Have you downloaded? Are there other apps which do a better job? Let us know. Remember: in an emergency always dial 999 first.
For everything that Father Christmas isn’t bringing down the chimney, are you looking for a way to get hold of your parcels? We were contacted by the people behind Doddle who think their service could be useful to all boaters and the liveaboard community in particular. We haven’t used and don’t endorse, but simply share with you as an idea to explore.
The Limehouse Social Market is going all out to celebrate the festive season in style, continuing their mission to unite the community by providing a social environment in which everyone is welcome. There will be Baileys hot chocolate, caroling, elves, and Christmas craft workshops all with the backdrop of outstanding food, beautiful waterside location, retail traders and the Sugar For My Soul bar. 11am-5pm on Saturday 26th November, Saturday 10th December and Sunday 11th December at Limehouse Basin - E14 7LB.
The House Mill (E3 3DU) in Bow will be hosting a Christmas Fayre on 26 November (noon to 6pm) and 27 November (11am to 4pm). Join them for arts, crafts, vintage, food and a visit from Father Christmas!
The start of November saw over a dozen volunteers from Gerald Eve, a local consulting firm, clearing the Little Venice pool of litter. They used grapple hooks, flung into the water, to drag litter and rubbish from the bed of the waterway back onto dry land. A knife, tyres, bike frame, wheel clamp, scaffolding poles, and even a set of keys and a wine glass, were amongst a bumper haul. Jack Newman, volunteer leader, said: “We’re really grateful to the volunteers for turning out and helping clean the canal. Grappling is a real art, so hopefully they had some fun too. We’re getting more and more support from local volunteers, so if anyone is keen to get involved, do get in touch.”
One of our sister blogs recently looked at security and provides some useful tips.
We’ve been told of a boat’s ropes being cut above Widewater Lock at Harefield and our Mooring Rangers are aware that the local police are looking at recent anti-social behaviour, so please make sure you report any incidents to us and to the police. You can call 101 if it is not an emergency.
Eco Talent could give you a step up into a new career and the chance to help protect the environment.
Activities will include:
With the Trust’s London towpaths more popular than ever before, we are transforming over 16 miles of towpath between Paddington and West Drayton, working in partnership with Transport for London under the Quietways programme. Our floating visitor centre 'Jena' visited several sites between 23 and 29 October and offered a series of drop-in events for people to find out more about the proposed improvements and the benefits they will bring. We had a fantastic turnout, talking to over 1,100 people during 12 events in 10 different locations – thank you all for coming! There is still time to submit your views by 30 November by visiting our webpage, but hurry! If you missed us, you can view the exhibition boards here.
Join us at Towpath Taskforce! This month we’ll be out across the waterway helping to get our towpaths looking their best. More information on each of these events can be found by clicking the links below. All tools, equipment and instruction will be supplied, please wear old clothes and hard-soled footwear and if the weather forecast is looking wet, don’t forget the waterproofs!
Saturday 10 December – Mile End
Tuesday 13 December - Southall
Thursday 15 December - Enfield
Sorwar Ahmed is Waterway Boating Manager for the Canal & River Trust in London. He’s engaging communities and developing social enterprises to improve the waterways for everyone! Every month he gives a round-up of news and views, essential reading for boaters and anyone with an interest in London’s canalsSee more blogs from this author