Friends of Regent’s Canal - Minutes of Meeting

Date and Time:
Wednesday 28th May 2014, 7pm to 9pm
London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RT

Ian Shacklock

1. Present

Gillian Comins Angel Association; Living Streets
Fuller, Gary King's College, London
Steve Ballard Canal and River Trust volunteer
Steve Bass Resident, Treaty Street
Hilary Norris Resident, Treaty Street
Phil Wain Resident
Stephen Long Boater
Scott Hamilton Canal and River Trust
Ed Harty
Marina Economidou Resident
James Tregaskis Resident
Bill Tobin Resident
Ruth Aplin Resident
Colin Legge Boater
Hayley Harrison Boater
Lloyd Bishop Resident
Beryl Windsor Angel Canal Festival
Sally Naylor Boater; Inland Waterways Association
Dohne Arnold Resident, Noel Road
Savva Mina Islington Council
Fiona Maclean London Narrow Boat Association
Lewis Towns Crowther and Towns Ltd
Mikaela Khan Canal and River Trust
Stuart Duncan
Cllr Paul Convery Islington Council
Ron Gooding Boater
Sukky Choongh-Campbell Islington Council
Jo Perrett Islington Council
Jon Hood
M Burger
Dave Bedford Lower Regents Coalition
John White Friends of Mile End Park; Lower Regents Coalition
Sorwar Ahmed Canal and River Trust
Caroline Neller Canals in Hackney Users Group (CHUG)
Keith Brown London Boaters
Minerva Lopez
Andrew Inge Boater
Tony Islander London Canals Project
Del Brenner Regents Network. London Waterways Commission
Gordon Meen Reachview Resident
D Michael
John Gilbert
Ian Shacklock Friends of Regent's Canal
Martin Sach London Canal Museum
Cllr Martin Klute Islington Council

2. Apologies

Roger Squires
Beverley Dean
Cllr Alice Perry
Rebecca Aspin
Ian Heptonstall
Jenni Chan
Bhupesh Thapa
Greg Foxsmith
Cllr Philip Glanville
Jamie Wildman
Christine Kemp
Suzanne Fogg
Lee Wilshere
Cllr Carole Williams
Cllr Richard Cotton
Gemma Colgan
Pauline Lord
Bob Philpotts
Charlie Kiss
Russel Hayden
Zimba Moore

3. Introductions

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

4. Announcements

4.1 Holborn Studios news (local listing)

Hackney Council has added the Holborn Studios buildings to its local heritage list. Further details are available on our website and in the Hackney Gazette.

4.2 Bow Wharf.

No news about the Bow Wharf planning application, which had been refused by Tower Hamlets Council and then referred to the Planning Inspectorate.

4.3 Vincent Terrace closure.

A popular beauty spot has been closed to the public while the CRT and Islington Council negotiate terms of the lease at Vincent Terrace. Councillor Martin Klute stated that this should be resolved by the end of the summer.

4.4 Facebook group

We have created a Facebook group that will allow canal supporters to communicate freely with each other. (See

4.5 Snakes in the canal

The Regent's Canal attracted local and national press attention following a disclosure that snakes had been found along its banks. For example, the Camden New Journal and the Hackney Gazette.

4.6 Utilisation of Regent's Canal Information Centre

The chair was concerned that very few people were making use of the canal community table in the Lock Keeper's Cottage.

4.7 Objectives of the Friends of Regent's Canal

Some provisional objectives were printed on the reverse of the agenda that was distributed at the start of the meeting. These were not discussed at the meeting but attendees were invited to study and comment on them afterwards. A copy is available on our website.

5. Volunteering Opportunities

5.1 Friends event - graffiti removal at City Road Basin (7th June).

The Friends had been invited to organise a graffiti clean-up session below Hanover School, near City Road Lock. This was to be the first volunteering event run in our name.

5.2 Creating and manning our stall at the Angel Canal Festival

For the fourth year running we will have a stall at the festival (on 7th September).

5.3 General volunteering at Angel Canal Festival

Anybody wishing to help with the running of the festival (7th September) should contact Beryl Windsor (

5.4 Lower Regent's Coalition

Volunteers are invited to participate in litter clearance events that use canoes. These are based at Limehouse and details can be found on the Facebook page

5.5 Administration and reviewing of our activities

There is an ongoing need for help in running our group and communicating with interested parties. Examples can be found on our website.

6. Clean Air at Regent's Canal - Talk by Sukky Choongh-Campbell (Islington Council)

Sukky explained the council's policies and powers for handling complaints about noise and pollution attributed to canal boats. The number of complaints had dropped considerably since the introduction of a caretaker warden at Noel Road but there were still regular complaints from residents in the Caledonian ward near Kings Cross.

A copy of her notes is available on our website.

Post-meeting note: On 12th June Sukky circulated a draft document named the Best Practice Guide.

7. Effects of wood smoke - Talk by Dr Gary Fuller (King's College, London)

Dr Gary Fuller gave a presentation that revealed the effects of wood smoke and he explained that wood smoke is not currently perceived as a major problem in the UK because it accounts for only a small percentage of emissions nationwide. However, its effect can vary considerably depending on the state of the wood (e.g any coating on it) and it can be more harmful than diesel if the wrong materials are used. Gary's comments were not targeted at boaters because wood smoke from houses is no less harmful than wood smoke from boats.

A number of boaters noted afterwards that these issues are no longer relevant to them in Islington, since there is a ban on burning wood (apart from kindling) but they found the talk very informative.

There was a very brief discussion on diesel emissions. Sukky Choongh-Campbell stated that the council wanted to drastically reduce diesel emissions through the provision of electricity points. She recognised that diesel was still required for the propulsion of boats for the foreseeable future so the focus was on moored boats that used engines for generating domestic power.

A copy of Gary's presentation slides are available on our website.

8. Other discussions

The following items appeared on the printed agenda but there was insufficient time to discuss them at the meeting.

8.1 CRT proposals for visitor moorings in London

8.2 Canalival 2014 (what would it take to make this type of event acceptable?)

8.3 Friends social events (preferred times and venues; discussion themes)

8.4 Signage for pedestrians crossing Maida Hill tunnel.