Friends of Regent’s Canal - Meeting Report

Date and Time:
Wednesday 22nd March 2017, 7pm to 9pm
London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RT
Ian Shacklock

1. Present

Bob SmallElm Village Tenants and Residents Assoc (EVTRA)
Ed LeeElm Village Tenants and Residents Assoc (EVTRA)
Bob Welfare    Volunteer lock keeper
Steve BassResident, Treaty Street
Sukky Choongh-CampbellConsultant
Hilary NorrisResident, Treaty Street
Lisa TangResident, Treaty Street
Guy TaylorHillingdon Narrowboats Assoc
Helen BriceItinerant boater
Andrew BosiIslington Society
Gordon MeennResident, Reachview
Jonathan Malins-Smith Islington Boat Club
Gerald GrimesResident, Thornhill Bridge Wharf
Jo MurrayResident
Rachel Tyndall
Fiona MacleanLondon Narrow Boat Association,local boater, resident
Molly GadenzVolunteer, Lower Regents Coalition
Richard Garner Walker
Oliur Rahman  NK Trust UK
Fiona RussellResident, Reachview
Nic ShoreVolunteer
Lee WilshireLondon Waterways Project
Alexander GudmestadCRT (Canal and River Trust)
Gareth George CRT (Canal and River Trust)
Kate SaffinCHUG (Canals in Hackney Users Group)
Tom PhillipsCHUG (Canals in Hackney Users Group)
Jan WoodHistory Pin
Emma SmithResident, Ice Wharf
Vincent McCartneyHolborn Studios, Eagle Wharf Marina
Diana Bradford Resident, Ice Wharf
Eric SorensenAngel Association
Sam DuckworthBoater
Tim BriceBoater
Ian ShacklockFriends of Regent's Canal
Lorraine FoxThe Sandwich Barge
Del BrennerRegents Network. London Waterways Commission; Regents Canal CAAC
Dave HolladayIntegrated transport specialist
Adrian D
Dave Mendes da CostaBoater
Dickon LevingeBoater

2. Apologies

Andrew Dismore AM

Beryl Windsor

Clemency Gibbs

Elzbieta Siwinska

Bill Riseboro

Beverley Dean

Fiona Cullen

Charles Manson

Councillor Paul Tomlinson

Councillor Roger Robinson

Lester May

Lesley Pride

Dee Searle

3. Introductions

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

4. Announcements

4.1 Volunteers are needed for the Canalway Cavalcade . This is a major festival at Little Venice that runs from 29th April to 1st May. For volunteering requirements visit the festival's website or contact Jerry Sanders on 07788 204442.

4.2 Volunteers are needed for the Angel Canal Festival on 3rd September. We are looking for helpers on the day as well as for new recruits to organise future events.

4.3 A lottery-funded heritage project known as "King's Cross Story Palace" is underway. It involves gathering stories from King's Cross over the past 100 years. (See flyer). If anybody in our network can assist with this project then they are encouraged to contact Jan Wood (

4.4 The chair pointed out that this was the first public meeting for six months and suggested that these larger meetings should be supplemented by ad-hoc meetings that could be called at short notice, typically for sub-groups with specific interests. He encouraged interested parties to make use of the Facebook group for initiating these meetings.

5. Overview of current issues

5.1 Ian Shacklock presented a short slide show illustrating why some proposals are proving to be controversial

5.2 This included Regent's Wharf, Bangor Wharf, the Ted Baker site and Bow Wharf (already under construction).

6. Mooring in London

6.1 Helen Brice described her experiences over the past decade as an itinerant boater in the London area.

6.2 She began by reflecting on some recurring mechanical failures when the boat was first launched but stressed that these inevitable drawbacks are offset by the sense of adventure that comes with that lifestyle. She explained that being self-employed was an important factor in enabling her to keep to the rules and spirit of continuous cruising (e.g. moving on at least once a fortnight).

6.3 Mooring space in central London is hard to find and Helen stated that she often needs to traverse across London before finding a suitable space.

6.4 There were some general discussions between residents, boaters and CRT representatives about compliance with the mooring rules (e.g the rise in triple mooring).

7. Bins by Boat project

7.1 Lee Wilshire, founder of a social enterprise known as London Waterways Projects described a waste collection initiative that is being trialled in west London.

7.2 The project name is Bins by Boat and its purpose is to collect boaters' waste and recycling via water based collections directly from their boat as an alternative to limited towpath facilities. It is hoped that this will encourage councils and businesses to make better use of the waterways for the purposes they were designed for instead of putting everything onto road vehicles.

8. Eco zones in Islington

8.1 In July 2016 it was reported in the Islington Tribune that electric charging points would be installed at the Noel Road and King's Cross stretches of the canal in Islington. This topic was also discussed at our meeting on 19th September 2016.

8.2 Lee Wilshire explained some of the technical aspects of these charging points. Not all boats are equipped to make use of this technology.

8.3 Sukky Choongh-Campbell, a former pollution officer at Islington council, acting in a personal capacity, explained the background to this project that resulted in a grant being awarded from DEFRA.

9. Planning applications and proposals

9.1 The meeting agreed to object as a group to the revised Bangor Wharf application. This offers no significant improvements since the previous application.

9.2 The meeting agreed to object as a group to the Regent's Wharf application, based on the illustrations in the earlier slide show.

9.3 Camden council is still willing to hear public comments on the Ted Baker redevelopment (Big Brown Ugly Building).

9.4 A major development is being proposed at the Morrisons site in Chalk Farm. The council is interested in hearing our suggestions on how the developer could contribute to the canal.

10. Freight in the City

10.1 Dave Holladay told the meeting about a recent presentation on water freight that was given by Alex Veitch, head of global policy at the FTA (Freight Transport Association). A copy of this presentation is available here.

10.2 Dave explained that the Regent's Canal is still suitable for freight traffic, subject to certain limitations (e.g. maximum water and air draughts, maximum beam and maximum length) and asked for thoughts on how the lock capacity might be impacted. He estimated that the maximum payload was about 80-100 tons