Friends of Regent’s Canal - Meeting Report

Date and Time:
Monday 7th December 2015, 7pm to 8:30pm
Studio 7, Holborn Studios, Eagle Wharf Road.

Ian Shacklock

1. Present

Steve Burt St Pancras Cruising Club
Andrew Ghosh
Bill Risebero Reachview Resident
Christine Risebero Reachview Resident
Emilios Tsavellas Urban Planning, University College London
Christopher Moon-Miklaucic Urban Planning, University College London
Duncan Bertram Urban Planning, University College London
Ben Plagerson Angel Wharf Residents' Association
Ruth Barker Angel Wharf Residents' Association
Ross Emerson Angel Wharf Residents' Association
Becca Wolff Boat resident and Islington Boat Club
Carolyn Clark Community Historian
Rose Parnis Skipper, Laburnum Boat Club
Morgane Vacher Boater
Pierre Merat Boater
Fiona Cullen Angel Association
Guy Taylor Hillingdon Narrowboats Association
Fanny Blank London School of Economics
Marina Ecouomidou Ice Wharf
Bob Philpotts Resident of Tower Hamlets
Nic Shore Volunteer
James Tregaskis Resident, Sturt's Lock
Beverley Dean Angel Association
Eric Sorensen Angel Association
Beryl Windsor Angel Canal Festival; St Pancras Cruising Club
Gordon Meen Reachview Resident
Ian Shacklock Friends of Regent's Canal
Del Brenner Regents Network. London Waterways Commission; Regents Canal CAAC
Richard Elkan London Canal Volunteers CRT

2. Apologies

Penny Gamez

Roger Squires

Fiona Maclean

Martin Reading

Garrie Naden

Dave Bedford

Mikaela Khan

3. Introductions

3.1 At the start of the meeting, all the attendees introduced themselves.

4. Review of Facilities.

4.1 The National Bargee Traveller Association (NBTA) had arranged a public meeting (on 9th December) with the Canal and River Trust (CRT) to discuss provision of facilities, such as water taps, pump outs, rubbish bins, recycling facilities and mooring rings.

4.2 The chair suggested that the Friends website could be used for publishing information on boat yards and emergency services for boaters. Although these types of facilities had been squeezed out of central London, they are still important for visiting and local boaters.

5. Bangor Wharf


5.1 Residents of Reachview in Camden had been forewarned about proposals to redevelop Bangor Wharf. This site had been earmarked as an ideal interchange between road and water but the council was keen to exploit it for high density residential accommodation instead. Further information is available on our website.

6. Transfer of waterways from Environment Agency to CRT

6.1 The Inland Waterways Association was ramping up its campaign to transfer the Environment Agency navigations to the Canal and River Trust (CRT). This has no direct on the Regent's Canal, which is already being managed by the CRT, but it is of general interest to boaters who cruise through other parts of the waterways network.

7. Waste facility at Eagle Wharf Road

7.1 The North London Waste Plan includes a proposal to operate a recycling facility on the site that is currently being used as a warehouse for the Museum of London. An extract from the draft proposal is available here .

7.2 Opinions were very divided over this proposal. Campaigners for water-borne freight are very keen to see a revival of the canal for this purpose, which is in keeping with government policies on modal shifts from road to rail and water. However, leisure users and immediate neighbours were in favour of lighter vessels on the canal.

8. Phone masts in conservation area

8.1 Vodafone has held talks with the freeholders of Angel Wharf regarding the installation of mobile phone masts overlooking the canal at Packington Bridge. Further information is available on our website.

8.2 Residents of Angel Wharf are particularly disturbed by this proposal because it will harm a green roof. Canal campaigners are equally disturbed because this site is in a conservation area that members of the public choose to visit to escape from busy modern life. Others feel that the need for mobile communications outweighs the importance of roof-level aesthetics.

9. Vacancy for London Mooring Ranger

9.1 The Canal and River Trust has advertised a vacancy for a mooring ranger in central London. (This vacancy had already expired before the meeting).

10. Towpath maintenance in Regent's Park (gardening opportunities)

10.1 The chair appealed for volunteers to take responsibility for maintaining vegetation along the towpath in Westminster.

10.2 If no vounteers are available and if no organisations are prepared to adopt this stretch of the towpath then the Canal and River Trust will consider concreting over the entire width of the walkway.

11. Angel Canal Festival


11.1 Beryl Windsor gave an illustrated review of this year's festival (on Sunday 6th September) and invited volunteers to take part next year.

12. Heritage project (Tower Hamlets)

12.1 Carolyn Clark described progress so far with a heritage project. Volunteers have now visited three archives and gathered some great material. Seven oral histories have been completed. A mini-exhibition was held on the Hertford Union Canal at a community event at Growing Concerns on Ducketts. This has now been substantially developed for and large exhibition of the Hertford Union Canal on display at the London Canal Museum until 27th March 2016. Work is now pressing ahead on the Regent's Canal.

12.2 The project included plans for a community heritage exhibition in the summer. There is now a possibility this will be a much larger Festival event in the Art Pavilion and negotiations are taking place with LBTH on this.

13. Holborn Studios update

13.1 No further news about this unpopular planning application.

14. Urban Design discussion

14.1 The meeting was attended by three students from UCL who were particularly interested in the public realm at City Road Basin.

15. Mosaic displays

15.1 Guy Taylor addressed the meeting with suggestions to create mosaics along the towpath. His ideas were inspired by similar displays along the River Thames.