Friends of Regent’s Canal - Meeting Report

Date and Time:
Wednesday 22nd June 2016, 7pm to 8:30pm
London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RT

Ian Shacklock

1. Present

Lisa Tang Cally Arts
Frances Balfour Resident
Chris Vincent Resident
Fiona Maclean London Narrow Boat Association,local boater, resident
Eric Sorensen Angel Association
Jo Murray Resident
Rosanna Chambers London Wildlife Trust
Rod Wakem Resident
Roger Squires IWA (NE London). St Pancras Cruising Club
Sophie Stuckey Resident
Nick Reading Birkbeck College
Andrew Deans Resident
Molly Gadenz Volunteer, Lower Regents Coalition
Del Brenner Regents Network. London Waterways Commission; Regents Canal CAAC
Dohne Arnold Resident Noel Road
Beverley Dean Angel Association
Nick Turley
Gordon Meenn Reachview Resident
Adrian D
Dave Holladay
Elzbieta Siwinska The Floating Showroom
Ian Shacklock Friends of Regent's Canal

2. Apologies

Jacob Kennedy

Garrie Naden

Dave Bedford

Carolyn Clark

Fiona Cullen

Gillian Comins

Kevin Dean

Giles Eyre

Jennet Eyre

Fanny Blanc

Beryl Windsor

Rod Gray

Brian Voakes

Jonathan Engels

Tony Islander

Councillor Barbara Grahame

Councillor Paul Convery

John White

Caroline Neller

Julie Klovstad

David Fathers

Fiona Russell

Sorwar Ahmed

David Gee

Greg Klaes

3. Introductions

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

4. Redevelopment of former sorting office in Paddington.

A public consultation is taking place at the old post office (128-142 Praed Street, W2 1NX) on Friday 24th June (2pm-8pm), Saturday 25th June (10am-4pm), Monday 27th June (2pm-8pm). Further details are available via

5. Redevelopment of Regent's Wharf

5.1 There are proposals to rejuvenate the office spaces at Regent's Wharf in All Saints Street N1 and to improve the public realm. This backs onto the canal opposite Copnehagen School. A public exhibition will take place at the London Canal Museum on Thursday 30th June (6pm to 8pm) and on Monday 4th July (5pm-8pm).

5.2 For further information contact Nick Garland on 020 3697 4344 or via

6. Obstructions at Canalside Studios


6.1 A year ago we supported a campaign to resist an inappropriate development at Canalside Studios near Kingsland Basin. See section 4.5 of the notes of our public meeting on 13th May 2015. Further details are available on our website. The campaign was effective as the application was withdrawn shortly after the proposal was exposed in two separate local newspapers.

6.2 One year later, four large metal containers have appeared on the same forecourt. They appear to serve no practical purpose apart from demoralising the residents who would have been overshadowed by the proposed structure if it had been approved.

7. Bi-centenary celebrations

7.1 On 12th August 2016 we will have an opportunity to celebrate the bi-centenary of the completion of the first phase of the Regent's Canal construction. This connected the Paddington Arm to Camden Town. Roger Squires had suggested that a suitable location for celebrations was the rooftop of the Lock Keeper's Cottage that is occupied by Starbucks (above the Regent's Canal Information Centre) and urged the Friends of Regent's Canal to publicise and promote this event.

7.2 The chair agreed to contact Starbucks along with the new owners of Camden Lock Market and the heritage adviser of the Canal and River Trust. Note - we have already been approached by the Friends of Regent's Park who would like to join in with any celebrations.

8. Peroni promotion at Kingsland Road Basin


8.1 For a six-week period a short stretch of the towpath has been leased to the House of Peroni. This has resulted in the displacement of traditional narrowboats to make way for a contemporary floating lounge.

8.2 The chair had consulted the Canal and River Trust to find out whether this space will be booked by large corporations on a permanent basin and offered to provide feedback from residents about any extra noise pollution.

9. Threat to Camden Market independent traders


9.1 It has been reported in the Camden New Journal that many of the independent food traders will be forced out of Camden Lock Market following the award of a contract to Kerb Food company. See article and editorial comment.

9.2 Two online petitions have been created. One via and another via 38 degrees.

10. Angel Community Canal Boat Trust (ACCT)


10.1 After 35 years of regular support Islington Council has been forced to cut its funding for the Angel community canal boat. This means that this community asset will cease to exist next year unless other sources of income can be found.

10.2 The ACCT will be holding its AGM at 7pm on Wednesday 29th June at the Islington Boat Club, 16-34 Graham Street, N1 8JX. Anyone interested in attending this event should contact or leave a message on 020 7254 4499.

11. Noise pollution below St Pancras Way.

11.1 Complaints have been circulating about a boat outside the Constitution pub with a particularly noisy generator. This led to a letter being published in the Camden New Journal.

11.2 The Canal and River Trust has been aware of this situation since February and is in discussion with Camden council.

12. Organic farmer seeking wharf in London

12.1 We have been approached by Greg Klaes, a registered organic farmer in Oxfordshire, about an initiative to bring produce into London by boat. His team featured in Barging around Britain series 2, episode 5 and they produce squash and pumpkins for restaurants in London. They use a pair of sheeted up working narrowboats and their aim is to bring the boats to London over a three month period in Autumn. The biggest threat to this project is unavailability of any wharves with road access.

12.2 Questions were raised about storage of perishable goods on a narrow boat but the meeting agreed that this proposal should be supported in principle.

12.3 Roger Squires advised the the only available free wharf on the Regent's Canal is above Johnson's Locks near the Ragged School Museum.

12.4 The chair agreed to follow up Greg's proposal with the Canal and River Trust and other parties.

13. Bells for pedestrians at bridges


13.1 Towpath users in Hackney had tweeted questions about some bells and signage at certain bridges in Hackney. These were installed as an experiment by a design researcher at Goldsmiths College who is hoping to work with the Friends of Regent's Canal to make pedestrians feel more comfortable on the towpath.

14. Re-opening of Pump House Cafe

14.1 The popular cafe at City Road Locks has been closed for two years due to problems with sewage. The building has now been renovated and it should be open again to the public in late July.

15. Bangor Wharf planning refusal


15.1 The chair announced that the controversial planning application at Bangor Wharf had been refused by Camden planning officers. It did not reach committee as the decision was made by a delegated authority. Reasons for refusal refusal are available here.

16. Water for Wildlife project


16.1 Rosanna Chambers gave a presentation on the Water for Wildlife Project that is being funded for three years by Thames Water and Esmee Fairbairn. Rosanna is a project officer working for the London Wildlife Trust. The project will include monitoring of freshwater habitats across London aiming to strengthen their wildlife value for a number of key aquatic species (with a particular focus on dragonflies and damselflies).

16.2 Extracts from this presentation are available on our website and further information is available from

17. Greening the Regents project


17.1 Molly Gadenz of the Lower Regents Coalition gave a presentation on Greening the Regents. She explained how her group managed to acquire funding for two phases of a project to clean up the canal and to plant green infrastructure.

17.2 Extracts from this presentation are available on our website.

18. Volunteering update

18.1 Beryl Windsor is recruiting volunteers for the Angel Canal Festival on Sunday 4th September. Anyone interested in helping for two hours on the day is invited to St Pancras Cruising Club for a volunteer training evening. These will take place on Tuesday 5th July and Thursday 4th August at 8pm and drinks and nibbles will be provided at the bar.

18.2 The chair noted that we are often approached by potential volunteers who want to get involved with helping the canal. We rarely organise events ourselves but we can provide a useful service through putting them in touch with the right people.

18.3 Andrew Deans asked about graffiti removal. The chair commented that this is normally handled by the local council. (See example in Islington Council Tax brochure 2010-2011).

19. East End Canal Festival


19.1 The Friends will have a stall at the East End Canal festival on Sunday 26th June. This will be at the Art Pavilion and canalside in Mile End Park. This is part of the East End Canal Heritage Project. Further information is available on our website.