News and Archive

Please get in touch for more information about any news item: PCAS Contacts

You are welcome to post your own comments and photos

News can also be found in the PCAS magazine Double Nine

Follow the work being done by PCAS volunteer on our Facebook page where you can post your own photos
The Canal & River Trust
is offering a range of events in 2018 as part of its Lottery-funded project: A Gem in the Landscape

JULY 2018 – BICENTENARY EVENTS – More details on the Events page
The reopening of the canal between Melbourne and Bielby will be celebrated on Wednesday 25 July and our Boat Rally and events will be held on the following weekend. PCAS continues to work in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and some of the events are Lottery-funded. Thornton Lock and Walbut Lock are now fully restored and operational and boats will be able to reach Bielby for the first time since the 1930s.

25 July 2018
At long last the two miles of the Pocklington Canal between Melbourne and Bielby is now officially open. The joint celebrations with the Canal & River Trust were held today and festivities continue over the weekend. There are pleny of photos on our Facebook page – see above.

July 2018 – New signs
A range of information panels and other signs have been errected at various points along the canal. These have been installed by Heritage Heroes volunteers.

14 February 2018 – PCAS adopts a length of the Pocklington Canal
PCAS has adopted the length of canal between No. 7 swingbridge (next to Melbourne Arm) and the junction at Bielby Arm, a distance of about two miles. This is the length that is currently being restored, funded by the successful PCAS Bicentenary Appeal for £250,000. More details on the Canal & River Trust's website.

16 January 2018 – Aviva Community Fund
It was announced today that PCAS has won £1000 in the Aviva Community Fund competition, having received 1423 votes. Thanks to everyone who voted their support for our project to restore Sandhill Lock.

2018 – The bicentenary of the completion of the building of Pocklington Canal in 1818
Happy New Year and please do your best to attend events organised by PCAS and the Canal & River Trust as part of their Lottery-funded project. The first event will be a Pie & Pea supper with a talk on 16 February (sold out 15 Jan). The official reopening of the canal between Melbourne and Bielby will take place during the last weekend in July.

Following completion of restoration of Thornton Lock, the dams have been installed at Walbut Lock and new gates have been built by Hargreaves Lockgates in Sowerby Bridge.

26 November – PCAS Annual Lunch
Our pre-Christmas event was held at the Oaks at Aughton once again and was attended by 81 members and guests – probably a record number.

PCAS Grand Draw Results

Star Prize: won by ticket number 430
2 seats on the first ever cruise along the newly restored length of canal between Melbourne and Bielbly, including champagne and a buffet.

10 further prizes of wine & chocolates claimed by the following tickets:
1. 1950
2. 1873
3. 357
4. 1657
5. 2522
6. 333
7. 2440
8. 2461
9. 2372
10. 2703

3 July, 2 - 7pm – Thornton Lock Open Day
There will be an opportunity to inspect the newly restored lock from the inside, before the dams are removed and the lock is refilled. More details to follow.

3 June – Pocklington Canal on BBC Look North
Here is a short clip on iPlayer (40s from start) about progress at Thornton Lock and Church Bridge. It features Lizzie Dealey of the Canal & River Trust and Paul Waddington, PCAS Chairman. [Sorry – the link is no longer active on iPlayer]

25 May – New gates for Thornton Lock
The new pairs of top and bottom gates were delivered from the Canal & River Trust's workshops at Stanley Ferry recently and they are now being fitted by the Trust. The work has been delayed because the quoin stones against which the gates rest are slightly out of line and the stone must be reshaped to minimise leakage. Photos will appear on our Facebook page

21 May – Spring Fete
Thanks to good weather, the fete was well attended and was very successful at raising funds for canal restoration. In addition to the usual activities, some of the visitors were taught the art of basket weaving – one of the events arranged by the Canal & River Trust as part of the current Lottery-funded project.

24 April – PCAS AGM
The AGM was held at Melbourne Village Hall this year. The existing committee members will be joined by John Dickins. The Chairman Paul Waddington reported on the exciting progress in the past year. Repairs to Thornton Lock are nearly complete and the new gates should be installed in May. Funding is now in place to complete restoration of Walbut Lock in time to open navigation as far as Bielby, as part of the celebration of the Bicentenary of the opening of the canal in 1818. The Canal & River Trust has confirmed that it will maintain Thornton and Walbut Locks, which was a conditiion of the recently announced grant from the IWA.

The AGM was followed by a presentation about the Canal & River Trust's Lottery-funded project by Lizzie Dealey. The project is now in full swing and with a variety of events (see below) planned for 2017 and restoration of Church Bridge started. The restoration will be done by volunteers, led by experts in the conservation of historic structures.

5 April – Pocklington Canal to receive a grant of £106,400 from the Inland Waterways Association
PCAS has been successful in its application for funding to support restoration of the canal. Here is a link to the IWA press release. This is the largest grant PCAS has ever received. PCAS press release here

Tony Harrison died in 2014. For those interested in knowing more about him, there is a short obituary and article in this issue of the IWA magazine Waterways.

14 March – Canal & River Trust's Lottery-funded project
The Project Officer Lizzie Dealey has written an article for Double Nine, which members will receive soon. Here are some events which you might like to attend. Book in here.

Lizzie has a blog about what's happening with the project.

4 January – Sheila Nix MBE
It was announced in this morning's York Press that Sheila Nix has died on 28 December at the age of 95. The funeral is at St Olave's Church, York on Friday 13 January at 12.45pm. An obituary will be published in Double Nine.


Sheila Nix MBE

Sheila Nix, a life long enthusiast for inland waterways, and prominent member of the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society, died aged 95 at her home in York in late December. She was a founder member of PCAS, joining its original committee in 1969, initially as joint secretary, but soon taking on the full duties of that role. Later in 1969 she took over the editorship of the society’s magazine, Double Nine, continuing in that post for an astonishing 35 years.

Sheila Nix was brought up in York, and after attending the Bar Convent School, and studying French and Latin at Leeds University, returned to York to become a teacher at St Peter’s School. It was there that she met her husband, John, who was a teacher of Mathematics. John was also active in the society, taking charge of its stall which he took, with Sheila, to numerous local events and waterway gatherings. When John’s health failed, Sheila took on the running of the stall herself, which she continued to do with enthusiasm.

Even in old age, Sheila worked tirelessly to promote the restoration of the Pocklington Canal. She retained the job of secretary, and continued to run the society’s information centre at Canal Head on Sundays and Bank Holidays until she was no longer able to drive a car at about the age of 85.
Besides her very heavy involvement in PCAS, Sheila also found time to serve the waterways movement in several other ways. She was active in the River Foss Society and was a member of the council of the Yorkshire Derwent Trust. She also served on committees of the Inland Waterways Association at both branch and regional levels. Her services to the waterways movement were recognised in 1993, when she was awarded the Cyril Styring Trophy by the IWA for her outstanding contribution in furthering the association’s campaign. In the year 2000, she receive her MBE for services to inland waterways.

Paul Waddington

1 January 2017 – Happy New Year
2016 was a great year for PCAS. Restoration of Thornton Lock started in August and work on brickwork has been completed by volunteers. There is still work to do on the wing-walls above and below the lock. New gates will be built at the Canal & River Trust worshops at Stanley Ferry and fitted in spring. The work is being funded by the PCAS Bicentenary Appeal, which now stands at £140,000. Thank you to everyone who has supported our appeal or helped PCAS in other ways.

21 December – IWA grant
PCAS has received a generous grant of £5000 from the Inland Waterways Association,in support of our Bicentenary Appeal. PCAS has been a corporate member of IWA since 1969 – the year that PCAS was formed. Over the years, PCAS has had considerable financial and other support from IWA.

12 December – Grand Draw winners
The PCAS Annual Lunch was held at the Oaks Golf Club at Aughton, once again. It was an unseasonably sunny day in late November and it was very enjoyable. The Grand Draw was held after the meal and here is a list of the winners:


Many thanks to those who donated prizes for the draw and to those who bought tickets, even if you did not win this time.
Proceeds of the raffle will go to support the PCAS Bicentenary Appeal.


PCAS Bicentenary Appeal – Vote for our project to receive funding from the Galaxy Hot Chocolate
Please VOTE NOW before voting closes

PCAS Bicentenary Appeal – Vote for our project to receive funding from the Aviva Community Fund
[Now closed]

17 November – Canal & River Trust's HLF Project Launch Event

Drop in information event
Pocklington Canal - A Gem in the Landscape
Thursday 17th November, 2:30pm – 7pm
Melbourne Village Hall

This event will be a drop in event for the public to find out more about the Heritage Lottery Funded project which will take place over the next three years, and meet staff from the Canal and River Trust who will be working on this project. In addition, information and updates will be available on the PCAS Restoration Project (which of course includes the current Help for Heroes project), and on the National Nature Reserve – members of PCAS and staff from Natural England have kindly agreed to attend the event.

Refreshments will be provided, and there will be activities for children.

I look forward to meeting you if I haven’t already. Please do get in touch if you have any questions,

Best wishes,

Lizzie Dealey
Pocklington Canal Project Officer
Funded through Heritage Lottery Fund


15 August – Work starts at Thornton Lock
PCAS Working Party Organiser Richard Harker has reported that four loads of stone were delivered to Thornton Lock. This will be used to allow dams to be installed above and below the lock.


28 July – Work at Thornton Lock to start soon

A local contractor, Hagrapat Ltd, has been engaged by PCAS to install dams above and below the lock. This will allow the lock to be emptied and the condition assessed.

With the lock empty, the lock chamber can be measured to allow new top and bottom gates to be built. The gates will be made at the Canal & River Trust's workshop at Stanley Ferry near Wakefield.


21 July – PCAS Bicentenary Appeal reaches £125,000
Thanks to many generous donations, our Bicentenary Appeal fund has reached half its target of £250k. Work will start at Thornton Lock soon.

23 June – Help for Heroes
The Pocklington Canal has been chosen as a venue for rehabilitating and training injured servicemen and women. This will make a valuable contribution to the PCAS project to restore two miles of canal, starting with work at Thornton Lock. Here is an article in the Pocklington Post.

20 May – Donation by the retiring Mayor of Pocklington
At the Annual Mayor Making ceremony held in Pocklington on the 20th May the retiring Mayor, Councillor Martin Ratcliffe, presented PCAS with a cheque for £1000 towards the Appeal Fund. Cllr. Ratcliffe had nominated PCAS as one of the charities to benefit from his fund raising activities during his term in office.

With this and other generous donations the Appeal Fund is almost halfway to meeting its target of £250,000 by 2018.

21 April – PCAS AGM
At the AGM, Sue Dickins, Richard Harker and Ros Sibley were appointed to the committee. We thank retiring members Greg Dixon and Adrian Koster. An increase in membership subscription rates, largely due to the increased costs of producing and distributing Double Nine, the PCAS magazine, was approved, but these will not take effect until January 2017.

13 April – Lottery Funding for the Pocklington Canal


13 April 2016


Important wildlife habitats and historic features on one of Britain’s most picturesque canals are set to be improved after a local project secured a £496,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The funding has been granted for the Pocklington Canal, which runs for 9.5 miles between Canal Head, near Pocklington to the River Derwent in East Cottingwith. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will help to improve conditions for a variety of important species and restore two historic bridges.

The project will also involve a programme of events and activities aimed at encouraging people to get involved, learn new skills and explore their local canal.

Run by the Canal & River Trust, in partnership with the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society, Natural England, the East & North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the project will benefit from a total investment of £682,585 with additional funding coming from the Trust and Natural England.

Virtually the entire length of the canal falls within one of three Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and it is particularly important for aquatic plants, birds, waterfowl, and invertebrates – including 13 different species of dragonfly and damselfly. Part of the project will involve dredging sections of the canal which is important for aquatic plants and cutting back overgrowing reeds to ensure they don’t overwhelm other species thereby improving the SSSI.

Another element of the works will be repairs and repointing of the historic brickwork on the Grade II Listed Church Bridge, which is deteriorating through age and has been damaged by crossing vehicles. The works will be used as an opportunity to train volunteers in important heritage skills such as using traditional lime mortar.

Swing Bridge number 7, in Melbourne, will also be restored back to a design that resembles its original. The structure is one of eight moveable bridges which were built for use by landowners whose land had been cut in two by the construction of the canal. The bridges were replaced in the 1970s but built to very modern specifications in order to accommodate the size and weight of modern vehicles. The works involved in this project will retain the modern standards but change the look of the bridge, and surrounding brickwork, by using more authentic, traditional materials.

As well as the physical works the project will also enable local people to get involved in community events, walks and talks, traditional skills workshops, educational opportunities and even a festival to mark the canal’s 200 year anniversary.

New ‘interpretive’ information will also be installed, helping visitors to understand the value of the built and natural heritage of this hidden gem of a waterway. A Project Officer will be appointed to coordinate the exciting programme of activities and events.

Jon Horsfall, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, said; “The Pocklington Canal is full of unique character and that’s what this project is all about; protecting and improving the wildlife and historical features that make the canal so special and nationally important, but doing it in a way that is sympathetic and in keeping with its valuable heritage.

“We’re delighted that the HLF are supporting our work and we’re looking forward to getting started. The really great aspect of this project is the opportunities it will present for people to get involved. Whether that’s getting your hands dirty and helping to restore a really important historical landmark or getting out and exploring the canalside walks on your doorstep or simply taking the family along to a festival celebrating our local history, there will be something for everyone.”

Natural England Chief Executive, James Cross, said: “I’m so excited by this tremendous opportunity to improve the Pocklington Canal, both for its wildlife and for those who value and visit this special place. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Canal & River Trust and our partners to restore this magnificent waterway to its former glory, and improve its wonderful habitats. This is the result of years of hard work for all who care about this special place and I couldn’t be more pleased. It just goes to show what can happen when we all pull together.”

Alistair Anderson of the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society said “The Lottery funding will greatly improve the canal between Canal Head and Melbourne, which is very overgrown at present. It will also increase the heritage value of the canal and complement the Society’s own restoration scheme.”

The canal was built in the 19th Century to transport coal, lime, fertiliser and industrial goods to Pocklington, and agricultural produce out to Hull and the fast-growing towns of West Yorkshire. During the middle part of the last century the canal fell into disuse and became unnavigable. Despite plans in the 1950s to turn it into a dumping ground for chalk sludge, the canal survived with the section from the River Derwent to the Melbourne Arm being restored with the help of the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society.


For further media requests, and high res images please contact:
Stephen Hardy, communications manager, Canal & River Trust
t 01636 675703 m 07920 077190 e

Notes to editors:

The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales, caring for the nation’s third largest collection of listed structures, as well as museums, archives, and hundreds of important wildlife sites. We believe that living waterways transform places and enrich lives and our role is to make sure there is always a place on your doorstep where you can escape the pressures of everyday life, stretch your legs and simply feel closer to nature. / @CanalRiverTrust / @crtcomms

The East & North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership was established in 2011 with funding from the Coast, Wolds, Wetlands, Waterways LEADER programme. Using a ‘bottom up’ approach, the partnership encourages public, private, community and voluntary groups to work together and ensure that our inland waterways are integral to local economic, environmental and social regeneration.

Established in 2006, Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public. For further information see our website.

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society was formed in 1969 to restore and protect the canal which had been derelict since the 1930s. One of its main aims is to reopen the canal for navigation. PCAS works closely with the Canal & River Trust and other organisations to promote the canal for the local community to enjoy its heritage and wildlife.

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery @HLFYandH

Stephen Hardy
Communications Manager
Canal & River Trust
01636 675703
07920 077190

Follow the Canal & River Trust on Twitter @CanalRiverTrust

Please visit our website to find out more about our work

The Canal & River Trust is a new charity entrusted with the care of 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales. Get involved, join us - Visit / Donate / Volunteer at - Sign up for our newsletter at

Canal & River Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales with company number 7807276 and charity number 1146792. Registered office address First Floor North, Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 1BB.

Elusen newydd yw Gland?r Cymru sy’n gofalu am 2,000 o filltiroedd o ddyfrffyrdd yng Nghymru a Lloegr. Cymerwch ran, ymunwch â ni - Ewch i Rhoddion a Gwirfoddoli yn

Mae Gland?r Cymru yn gwmni cyfyngedig drwy warant a gofrestrwyd yng Nghymru a Lloegr gyda rhif cwmni 7807276 a rhif elusen gofrestredig 1146792. Swyddfa gofrestredig: First Floor North, Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 1BB.

Report in the Pocklington Post

23 March – Grant from the George A Moore Foundation
PCAS has received a cheque for £5,000 from the George A Moore Foundation towards the Bicentenary Appeal, which takes the Bicentenary Appeal fund to £115,000.

17 March – Bicentenary Appeal fund reaches £110,000
Thanks very much for your continued support

27 February – Frog race night raises £1000
This was a repeat of the successful event at Melbourne Village Hall last October. The profit from this and other PCAS events is used to boost the PCAS Bicentenary Appeal.

2 February – WREN funding to improve the Pocklington Canal
More details of this £45.000 project are in this press release by the Canal & River Trust.

Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camp planned for August
WRG has been invited to visit the Pocklington Canal again. The Canal Camp will be from 13-20 August and details can be found in their 2016 Canal Camps booklet (see page 8). The project will be to do work at Thornton Lock, which will be dewatered beforehand.

11 December 2015 – Press Release

A press release about the PCAS Bicentenary Appeal fund having reached £100,000 has been sent to the local press and the waterways press. The appeal was launched in February.

This photo shows the state of the top gates of Thornton Lock.



11 December 2015 – Grant from Pocklington Town Council
PCAS has received a generous donation from the Council towards the Bicentenary Appeal. Thanks very much to the Town Council, which has been a great supporter of PCAS over many years.


3 December 2015 – Bicentenary Appeal fund reaches £100,000

Thanks very much to everyone who has donated to our appeal so far.


29 November 2015 – Launch of West Wolds Radio
Our Chairman, Paul Waddington, was interviewed on the official launch day of the new radio station in Pocklington.

22 November 2015 – Ivor Nicholson

We are very sorry to report that Ivor has passed away in Dove House Hospice, and offer condolences to his family.

Ivor was a very active crew member on New Horizons, the PCAS trip boat, in recent years. An obituary will appear in the next issue of Double Nine. Ivor's funeral will be at Haltemprice Crematorium on Wednesday 2nd December at 11.30am, all welcome. However, if you would like to go on to the post funeral reception at the Mercure Hotel Willerby, please inform Bob Ellis

30 October – Frog racing night raises nearly £1000
Following the successful Bicentenary Fete in May, PCAS held another well attended event at Melbourne Village Hall. Thanks to all who came to support his event.

6 November – Canal & River Trust and Natural England sign agreement on management of English canals
The Pocklington Canal was the venue for a meeting of the chief executives of the Canal & River Trust and Natural England.
Press release

21 October – Lord Halifax launches the restoration of navigation to Bielby



9 October – £500 donation from the Pocklington District Lions

From the Lions' Facebook page

ANNOUNCMENT! £2,000 raised by Pocklington District Lions Club.
On Friday, 25th September Pocklington District Lions held their annual charity golf day (Ian Steel Memorial Trophy) at the The KP Club. 55 ladies and gentlemen golfers participated from the local area, York and Beverley. We raised £2,000.00 from the day (from entrance fees) and sponsorship from local businesses – all of which we would like to thank. £500 will be donated to each of the following four good causes chosen by the club members: Alzheimer’s Society (East Yorkshire), Breast Cancer Care, Pocklington Canal Amenity Society and Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (East Yorkshire). Pictured here is the winning team from Yara - Andrew Kendall, Tim Murdoch, Chris Gowthorpe and Steve Wilson. Thank you to all those that took part and for the local businesses for your generous sponsorships! The 2016 Charity Golf Day to be held at The KP Club on 9th September 2016.

Sincere thanks to the Lions for supporting our Bicentenary Appeal.

11 September – PCAS merchandise

PCAS is now selling mugs and fridge magnets to raise funds for the Bicentenary Appeal.

Buy now for Christmas!

10 September – Visitors' reviews of the Pocklington Canal on TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor is well known for reviews posted by visitors to hotels, restaurants and other attractions, so it was hardly surprising when reviews of the Pocklington Canal started to appear a couple of years ago. Join in if you like.

25/26 July – PCAS Bicentenary Boat Rally

About 10 boats took part in the a boat rally at Melbourne on the Pocklington Canal over the weekend of 25th and 26th July.  The rally was to mark the bicentenary of the passing of the Act of Parliament enabling the canal to be built.  The boat travelling the furthest was one named Cwm, which has a home mooring in Brighouse in the West Riding.

During the course of the weekend, there were a number of attractions including Morris Dancers, a nature safari, model narrowboats, a display of historical documents and a barbeque.  There were also stalls organised by the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society, the Canal & River Trust, the Inland Waterways Association, the photographer Stephen Jones, and a Lifestyle group from Melbourne.


The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society’s tripboat, New Horizons, was offering short boat trips on the Sunday.

There was a steady stream of visitors, especially on the Sunday morning, but rain on the Sunday afternoon put a damper on the event. 

A spokesman for the canal society said that, despite the mixed weather, the rally raised several hundred pounds boosting the Bicentenary Appeal Fund to more than £87,000.

Thanks to Stephen Jones for these photos. More photos can be found on the PCAS Facebook page.

16 July – Visit of Canal & River Trust North East Waterways Partnership to discuss PCAS restoration plans

Members of the NE Waterways Partnership met with PCAS representatives at Melbourne Village Hall before a site visit taking in the length of canal to be restored between Melbourne and Bielby.

Some members of the group were able to stay for a boat trip afterwards.

From left to right: Chris Hawksworth, Peter Scott, Jon Horsfall (Waterways Manager), Mark Penny (Waterways Partnership Chair) and Hilary Brook, plus Martin Walton, who manages the canal and works closely with PCAS volunteers.

12 July – Canal & River Trust Safari
Our next event will be the Bicentenary Boat Rally over the weekend of 25 and 26 July. The Trust has issued a press release about the event and will be having a Safari at Melbourne Arm on the Saturday afternoon.

9 July 2015 – Waterway Recovery Group visit the Pocklington Canal again

PCAS received an unexpected offer of help from the Waterway Recovery Group. After discussing the possibilities with the Canal & River Trust it was decided to install a water point at the visitors' mooring on Melbourne Arm.

Unfortunately, it proved impossible to find the existing water pipe that supplies the sanitary station building, which was not where the map indicated it had been laid. At least it was possible to dig a trench, lay the new pipe and restore the surface of the footpath.

If anyone is any good at water divining, we might have a job for you.

Thanks to Colin Hobbs and his team of volunteers, who enjoyed the sunny weather.

29 June – PCAS wins support from the Aviva Community Fund
Our project to obtain funding to produce a new Canal Guide received 1214 votes. Thanks to everyone who gave us their votes and to Aviva for making this competition available. The new Guide will be published later in the year.

Join us for the annual Balsam Bash – 26 June

Please spare a few hours and help get rid of this invasive plant, which is becoming a problem at various sites along the canal. It pulls out very easily.


West Wolds Radio

West Wolds Radio is based in Pocklington and will start broadcasting in 2015.

PCAS is very grateful to Tony Barker and his colleagues for all the publicity that the Pocklington Canal and PCAS has received since the start of the year. Have a look at their website and there is a great deal about the canal. Just what we need in our Bicentenary Year.


24 May – PCAS Bicentenary Fete
Pocklington Canal Amenity Society (PCAS) held its Annual Spring Fete, Sunday 24th May at a new venue Melbourne Village Hall, which was its first major fundraising event for the Bicentenary Appeal. This appeal is to raise funds to allow restoration and navigation of the Pocklington Canal as far as the Bielby Arm. The event was well supported with stands from Canal & River Trust, Inland Waterways, PCAS’s own stand featuring the history of the canal, also in attendance were many local craft stalls, static engines, fairground ride along with the usual tombola, bric-a-brac, cake stalls. We were also assisted by our usual team of caterers from Canal Head.

We had a steady stream of visitors who donated generously with several new members joining which enabled us to raise in the excess of £1000 on the day.

Many thanks to all exhibitor, volunteers and the general public who made it a successful day.
This report by Debbie Smith appears in the Pocklington Post

14 May – AGM
Trevor Taylor and Tim Charlson joined the PCAS Committee. Maggie West and Peter Wood had indicated their intention to resign because of other committments, and we thank both of them for the work they have done for PCAS.

The AGM was followed by an excellent video showing practical work being done on the canal by working party volunteers, the Waterway Recovery Group and weed cutting by contractors. Thanks to Geoff Kelly for producing the video and to Dick Watson for doing the organisation and narration.

1 May – Vote for PCAS

PCAS is producing a new Canal Guide and has entered a competition to raise funds for this project. Please vote for us.

There is a simple process to register and if you are a Facebook user, there is no need to do this.

UPDATE – We received 1214 votes and have received the £960 we applied for from Aviva.Thanks to Aviva and to everyone who gave us their votes.


30 April – PCAS is on Facebook

Have a look at our new PCAS Facebook group

PCAS had a website back in 1995, before most people had home computers. We have been slower to get on board with social media.

We now have a Facebook page thanks to Jennie Brigham, who volunteered for the job. Please have a look and keep up to date with the latest news from PCAS.

12 April – Survey for visitors to the Pocklington Canal
The Canal & River Trust has created a short survey, which visitors to the canal are being invited to complete. It is now available on this page of the Trust's website: Survey

The results of this survey will be used to support the application for Lottery funding, which is in development. If you have visit the canal, please spend a few minutes taking the survey.

3 March – Dredging below Cottingwith Lock

The Environment Agency is dredging the length between the tail of Cottingwith Lock and the River Derwent. This section is heavily silted and it had become difficult for boats to get on and off the canal. The River Derwent is non-tidal but the water level does vary.

Thanks to Hala Bukhari from the Environment Agency for sending photos of the work.

The dredging should avoid problems in July, when a number of boats will be attending the PCAS Bicentenary Rally

24 February – PCAS BICENTENARY APPEAL LAUNCHED – Extension of navigation to Bielby
A press release has been circulated to the local radio and TV, the local press and waterways press.

23 February – PCAS Boat Rally to take place in July
One of the events planned for 2015 is a Boat Rally. More information...

19 February – Progress on the Heritage Lottery funded project
Here is an article from the Pocklington Post giving the latest information about progress of the project that received development funding last year. Rachel Walker, who is pictured in the article, has been appointed by the Canal & River Trust as Development Officer for the project. Some PCAS members already know Rachel from her time at the Yorkshire Waterways Museum at Goole. The target for submission of the second stage of the HLF bid is October 2014. This article is based on a press release by the Canal & River Trust. Rachel will be giving a talk about the project on 15 May, and PCAS members are welcome to attend – see Events page.

13 February – Weedcutting on the Pocklington Canal
The non-navigable length of the canal has become progressively overgrown with vegetation over many years. During the past two weeks, weed cutting has taken place between Thornton Lock and Walbut Bridge and then between Silburn Lock and Top Lock. The work has been funded by Natural England and the Canal & River Trust. Phillippa Baron tells us more...


PCAS Bicentenary Appeal
An appeal for funding will be launched soon. A press release will be distributed both locally and to the national waterways press towards the end of February. Watch this space!

Saturday/Sunday 14/15 February – Waterway Recovery Group work camp

WRG volunteers will be returning to the Pocklington Canal to work on the open bywash at Thornton Lock and to do scrub clearance close to No. 8 swingbridge near Bielby. The PCAS contact for the project is Paul Waddington. Information about the useful work that WRG did on the canal last year can be found further down this page. It is expected that WRG will hold another one week Work Camp on the canal this summer.

PCAS restoration project

As members of PCAS will have read in our magazine Double Nine, PCAS would like to carry out a major restoration project to restore the canal for navigation between Melbourne and Bielby. The project formed part of an unsuccessful bid for Lottery funding, submitted in 2012.

We remain committed to restoring the entire canal for navigation.

In order for PCAS to be able to use its existing resources efficiently and raise additional funds to support the work, it will be necessary to save money wherever possible, while carrying out work to the standards required by the Canal & River Trust. There are various ways that this can be achieved, for example by using volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group in addition to our own volunteers, using local contractors, and disposing of silt removed during dredging on nearby fields with the cooperation of local farmers.

PCAS is meeting with the Canal & River Trust to explore ways of taking the project forward. It is helpful that the recent visits of the Waterway Recovery Group achieve a lot and that the work of our local contractor Slater Engineering at No.8 Swingbridge has been commended by the Trust.

When the restoration project has been completed, it will be possible to used two more locks and a swingbridge.


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