Friday, 27 May 2011

Boat Fire Safety Week - 30th May - 5th June 2011

Throughout Boat Fire Safety Week, which runs from Monday 30 May to Sunday 5 June, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) will be working with the Harbourmaster in Bristol and lock keepers across the Avon area to highlight fire safety advice to those living or staying on the water.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service Station Manager, Stuart Matthews, said: “We want people to enjoy the time they spend on board their boats and take steps to ensure they prevent fire. If a fire does break out it’s important they know what to do.

“The most important thing is to ensure working smoke alarms are fitted on board. Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke is enough to make you lose consciousness. In a confined space, like a boat, it wouldn’t take long for the vessel to fill with smoke.

“A smoke alarm will wake you in the event of a fire at night, giving you and your family vital extra minutes to escape. The sooner you are alerted to a fire the better.”

For More information on boat fire safety, visit the AF&RS Boat safety pages on their website

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Vandalism - information needed

Above is a photo of a boat that is moored on the tow path at Westmills Newbury, which was vandalised over the weekend 13th 14th 15th. Two other boats had their windows kicked in at the same time, the repair bill for all three boats is estimated to be £700.00 the boat pictured has been vandalised twice before.
The owner Mr P Davis is a life member of the K&A Canal Trust,'said that he is sickened buy this mindless act'
If anyone heard or saw anything please get in touch with the police.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service

Service prepares for Boat Safety Week

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service's boat safety advisor will be out and about on the Kennet & Avon Canal next week as part of national Boat Safety Week.

Canal boat safety is a priority for the Service, given the amount of waterways that run through the Wiltshire area.

Rob Buckland will be visiting boat dwellers and users along the canal between 30 May and 5 June to advise on issues such as smoke alarms, cooking, fuel storage, flares, life jackets and general water safety.

He said: "Since targeting safety messages at the boating community, we have seen a significant drop in accidental boat fires, but we don't want to be complacent. Although boat fires are less common than fires on land, they can have devastating consequences when they do occur. Boats are often in remote locations with difficult access, and when a fire starts on board, it can spread very rapidly."

Wiltshire FRS offer free boat fire risk checks, giving boaters the opportunity to gain invaluable help and advice. This includes emphasising the importance of:

· Fitting a suitable smoke alarm and testing it routinely

· Making an escape plan

· Knowing your location so you can tell the operator in an emergency

· Following fire prevention advice from the Boat Safety Scheme

Optical sensor alarms with hush buttons and 'sealed for life' batteries are recommended for boats, as are those with a British Standard ‘Kitemark’ or a LPCB ‘Horseshoe’ mark. As with smoke alarms in the home, alarms should be tested routinely and should never be disconnected.

To request boat safety advice or to request a visit, call 0800 389 7849 or contact Rob directly on 07734 483880 / email

For further information about general boating fire safety, visit

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Restriction - Claverton


Tuesday 24 May 2011 - Thursday 26 May 2011
A large tree has fallen across the canal from the offside.
The canal is closed to boat traffic until further notice.
Nearest winding holes are Dundas basin, and 400m West of Claverton road bridge.

Enquiries: 01380 722859

Monday, 23 May 2011

New Uniforms for Barbara McLellan Crew

John and Sandra box modelling the new uniforms for Barbara McCellan sponsored by kingstone Mills Linden homes.

Pictures by Edward Ody

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Somerset Coal Canal at Monkton Combe has just got bigger!

Press Release: Somerset Coal Canal Company

Turning longer boats in the winding hole at the end of the restored arm of the Somerset Coal Canal at Brassknocker Basin, just outside Bath, has always been tight if not impossible. Now the Company has added a whole foot to the size of the basin. Simply by cutting a "notch" in the stone coping has increased the width from 61.5ft to 62.5ft. Now even the longest boats based in the marina can be winded (turned) without having to reverse all the way to Dundas Basin.

A little grinding goes a long way!

Tim Wheeldon
Somerset Coal Canal Company

Monday, 16 May 2011

Heritage Open Days on the Somersetshire Coal Canal

For the canal enthusiast who doesn¹t mind straying a little further than usual from the K&A towpath, a visit to Combe Hay Locks on the Somersetshire Coal Canal will prove to be a rewarding experience.

A few years ago the remains of the lock flight was all-but invisible, following 100 years of dereliction; so, whilst the K&A was marching forwards towards full restoration, the S.C.C. lay abandoned and unwanted. It had become a ten-mile long by 20 ft wide jungle. Even the formation of the Somersetshire Coal Canal Society did little to alter this at first, because the Society was dedicated to research and preservation. Any thoughts of restoration were firmly put aside in deference to the local landowners, who valued their privacy.

Now all that has changed: the landowners and the S.C.C.S. are pushing forwards eagerly to clear the canal of vegetation, restore its amenity value and, eventually, who knows, to open it for navigation at some time in the distant future. Several locks of the Combe Hay flight have been cleared and, although lacking gates and paddle gear, they now form the centre-piece of an embryonic restoration project.

Part of the lock flight is on a public footpath and can be visited at any time, but later this year the S.C.C.S. will be participating in ³Heritage Open Days² and will be organising a weekend of guided tours. This is an opportunity to learn all about the Bull¹s Nose, the pumping engine with its hidden tunnel and the many other features of the S.C.C. that make it a rather special canal in so many ways.

The guided walks will start hourly from an exhibition site underneath the railway arch opposite Bridge Farm on the Midford road from Combe Hay (ST 746604) during the weekend of 10th - 11th September 2011.

Adrian Tuddenham

The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust NOTICE OF AGM

The forty-ninth Annual General Meeting of The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust will be held at the Canal Centre, Couch Lane, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1EB on Saturday June 11 2011 commencing at 11.00 am to conduct the following business:
Ordinary Resolutions:
1.To receive and adopt the Board of Trustees'Report and Accounts for
the year ended December 31 2010.
2.To elect Members to be Trustees.

2.1Messrs Copley, Fisher and Mundy are to retire in accordance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Trust's Articles of Association.They all, being eligible, offer themselves for re-election.

2.2During the past year David Inight, Mike Rodd, Pauline King and Suzanne Gaia were formally coopted onto Trust Council in accordance with Article 37 of the Trust’s Articles of Association. They all, being eligible, now offer themselves for election.

2.3Further nominations for election to The Board of Trustees:
There are some vacancies. The Board of Trustees has a policy of continuous recruitment to ensure that it has access to the skills and experience to run a modern heritage-based Charity. Properly authorised and seconded nominations are invited from among the Trust membership for persons to sit as Trustees and Directors of the Trust.

3.To re-appoint the Auditors, Messrs David Owen & Co, and to authorise The Board of Trustees to fix their remuneration.
By Order of The Board of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust

Terry Kemp Company Secretary
February 1 2011

A member entitled to attend and vote may appoint a proxy to attend and vote in his/her stead.
Notes for guidance together with nomination forms are available by e-mailing or by writing to The Secretary, K&A Trust, Canal Centre, Couch Lane, Devizes, SN10 1EB.
Closing date for receipt of valid nominations is noon May 31 2011.
Registered in England and Wales: No 726331. Registered Charity: No CC209206

Claverton Family Fun Weekend

Claverton Family Fun Weekend

May 29th - 30th
Come and see this amazing technology in action for just £5 per adult children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult.

Have homemade cakes and refreshments
Learn to tie knots and lasso
Learn about canal life and history
Learn more about wildlife
Learn how to build model railways
See a canal artist at work and have a chance to buy a souvenir
And take in the fabulous scenery from our lawn

For more details go to our web site:

or view our poster here


After 2 very active years as the Trust’s President, Michael Ancram has advised the Council that he wishes to step down as he is now firmly based in Scotland and feels unable to continue to give the Trust the time it deserves. Michael has been a wonderful President, representing us on many occasions, always available to prod and guide the Council, and also managing to attend a large number of Trust events. For many years he has played a major role in helping the Trust to achieve Cruiseway Status for our Canal. We are all very sorry that he is unable to continue.

We are delighted, though, to announce that David Bruce has agreed to succeed Michael, with effect from the AGM on the 11th of June.

David’s affection for the Kennet & Avon Canal began in 1966 when he embarked on his 44 year career in the international brewing and leisure industry. As a trainee brewer at Simonds Brewery in Reading, he spent many a lunch-hour by the Canal as it flowed through Brewery Gut.

Following the sale of Bruce’s Brewery and the Firkin Pubs in 1988, David and his wife, Louise, moved to Hungerford and created The Bruce Charitable Trust ( This Trust provides holidays for disabled people on its four specially-designed, purpose-built, wide-beam canal boats, the first two of which are named after their daughters, Rebecca and Hannah.

During the past 21 years over 11,500 people with special needs, together with their carers, have enjoyed holidays cruising from The Bruce Trust’s two bases, at Great Bedwyn and Lower Foxhangers.

David’s first involvement with the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust was as Chairman of The Last Lock Appeal which raised £10,000 for the restoration of the grass-sided Widmead Lock near Thatcham, just prior to the visit by H.M. The Queen in 1990.

Having floated his latest licensed property venture, The Capital Pub Company PLC (, on the London Stock Exchange, David is now looking forward to becoming more involved, as its new President, with the exciting future of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust.


Reading Waterfest takes place in central Reading on Saturday 18 June. Entertainers are booked, commercial and community stalls are coming to make the event a great day out but we are still rather short of boats. Without boats it will not be a proper Waterfest.

We are therefore asking all Trust boaters to see if you are able to bring your boat to Waterfest. Can you make a special trip or can you adjust your summer schedule to include Waterfest on your way to or from more distant places?. Waterfest takes place on Saturday 18 June but free moorings will be available for Waterfest boats on loop of the loop Kennet behing the Abbey Ruins in central Reading from the preceding Wednesday until the following Monday. We would really like to see you there.

If you already have a booking form please send it in as soon as possible so that we know you are coming. If you dont have a form please contact the Trust's Reading Branch Chairman David Copley on 0118 959 8247 or by e-mail on d.copley247@btinternet.comand he will be very pleased to take details of your boat and send you a booking form. You will be very welcome at Waterfest.

Finally, should you be unable to come to Waterfest by boat, please try to come along by land. The site is in central Reading and under 10 minutes walk from the rail station. There will be lots to see (hopefully including a good turn-out of boats) and do, and if you are able to offer some time to help on the Trust stands we have lots of jobs available. We would love to see you there.

I very much hope that you will be able to put out a suitable piece and thank you in advance for your help.

David Copley
Chairman (Reading Branch)

Bradford-on-Avon Bench has migrated

The memorial Bench from the BoA tearoom gardens has been moved to the area below with a view over the wharf.

Photos by Edward Ody

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Public Catalogue Foundation

This foundation has been engaged on the mammoth task of recording all the oil paintings in public ownership in the UK. On Tuesday 3rd May the latest volume was launched for Gloucestershire and Wiltshire at a reception at Highgrove hosted by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, patron of the Foundation.

Past Chairman and vice President David Lamb was asked by Council to represent the Trust. You may not realize that we have no less than 7 oil paintings in our possession including the large one of John Gould and his boat which is hung over the serving hatch in the Meeting room at Devizes. All these have been faithfully recorded in this new volume.

The photos are in full colour with details of the artist, size etc. They are organised by the location where they are held and the book forms a wonderful source of information as to where you can see them. There are portraits, historical scenes, canal and transport views including aircraft and rail travel.

On leaving the reception each representative was presented with the heaviest goody bag imaginable. The catalogue is some 1.5 inches thick A4 size. It is now available for reference at the museum in Devizes. However starting in June the whole catalogue is being uploaded onto the internet. It will take some time but will be well worth the effort. It is recommended to you.

David Lamb