ESSENTIALS:Daily opening | Crew lunches | PAT testing | Thanks & Welcomes | Useful info |
OPPORTUNITIES: Feb 4 Social | Enable vols |
NEWS: Bookings | Defibs | AGM 2017 | Waterways Chaplains | CRT Open Days | Family skeletons!
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Crewed News 3  January 2017
Plenty of mornings like this in January; Roger. like all sensible crews dressed for sub -zero temperatures 

This is the third issue of our monthly e-news.  Its purpose is to keep Waterways Experiences’ volunteers in all the essential loops.

 It’s also YOUR mouthpiece, so please keep your news, comments, ideas questions and pictures coming by emailing

You might have noticed that the layout is still evolving and it’d be good to include more pictures of busy volunteers – if you’re a smartphone user, please try to capture magic moments and mail them in to share in the next issue. 

Click TLs and Trustees to read behind the summaries in this issue.  Links are to the minutes of monthly Team Leaders’ and quarterly Trustees’ meetings.

Picture:  Plenty of trips started like this in January; Roger Puddifoot, like all sensible crews, dressed for sub -zero temperatures and frozen ropes 



Wednesdays are well established work days supported by a dozen or more regular volunteers.  They shoulder the responsibility for nearly all our maintenance work.  Would you be interested in helping regularly on a different day of the week?  If so, click here to read about Roy Cook’s proposal, and support it if you can. 


Prompted by comments from a couple of booking and crewing team members, Team Leaders debated the appropriateness of our continuing to ask clients if they would like to include crews in their catering plans. This can cause awkwardness for admin team volunteers and clients alike.  

Sympathy with this concern was expressed around the table, but a decision was deferred to the March meeting, pending views from crew members on the subject.

 Please discuss this with WExp colleagues and relay your views via the skipper if you’re crewing, or mention to your team leader or any trustee.  Or email before 15th March.  Your views will influence the decision, so do please respond on this!  



Faulty electrical equipment can cause fires or worse, so making sure that all the equipment we have on board and around the base is safe is a high priority.  John Dickins has bravely taken on the job of testing every single portable appliance using something called a 'PAT test'.  You've probably already noticed 'Tested' labels on appliances and their plugs.  
Because appliances have a habit of moving around the site and in some cases getting damaged, John is now appealing for everyone's help in tracking down the untested and potentially dangerous ones.
John's message is "if you find anything without a "Tested" label or damaged in any way, including the lead, please tell me. And if you think anything is in a dangerous state, do not use it: instead mark it up with a label "Do not Use" and tell me!"  
Contact John at or call him on 0775 949 8624

'Thank you' Brian Frost and John Blake for responding to the appeal for help with Safeguarding - after completing the external training course, they’ll be helping John Bennett with this important Enable team role.

Welcome and congratulations to:
  • Andrew Murray for taking on Training Team leadership
  • Newly qualified skippers George Harper and David Hayward
  • Nine new members who have recently completed their Sheldrake 3 and/or Widebeam basic crew training: Bob Gabbey,  Anne Whitmore,  Mark Alston,  Ed Magee,  Nigel Parke,  John Canty,  Phil Moody,  Pete Fidler and Geordie Gilroy. We’re all looking forward to meeting you on board!


Since Rick became chair of WExp and leader of the Maintenance Team, he, with help from other volunteers, has developed, published and keeps updated several very handy guides for WExp volunteers - for example ...  
Maintenance news
Skippers' and crews' guide to SH2 & CS
Who does what in WExp,
Privacy Policy (essential for those with @wexp email address),
How to claim expenses
Volunteer role vacancies



There are a few spaces left - email to book your place.


Can you help with any of the following?
  1. Our WExp flagship service urgently needs someone to help out with vital admin jobs, particularly during April - July.  More information here.
  2. Thanks to an excellent response to Alice’s recent appeal, the first three Enable / Young Carer trips are only missing one person for May bank holiday.  
    There are also some vacancies for the week-long summer trips starting August 12, 19 and 26.  
    If you’re interested in crewing on any of these, or know of a responsible young person looking for a career-enhancing week of challenging fun, please contact

  3. Last year we were fortunate in attracting grants to cover the cost of all three of the one week holidays from Prudential, the Graham Rowlandson Foundation and our friends at Abbotts Langley Tough Ten.   Each gave generously the £2,500 or so needed for each holiday.   

    We’re now casting around for sponsors to cover this year’s extended programme of trips for disadvantaged teenagers.  If you happen to know anyone who might be interested in helping us with this hugely valuable project, please drop a note to , or mention it to Alice, Marion or Sally if your paths cross.

News snippets


2016 was a record bumper year, but it looks as if 2017 might be even busier.  On 14th January 2016 we had 82 day trips booked for the coming year.  On 19 Jan this year, the equivalent number was 110 – an increase of 31%.  Please help spread the word – ‘book early to avoid disappointment’.

… AND TRIPS OFF TO A CHILLY ONE!  (Watch this clip filmed by Andrew Murray last week!)

Now that most skippers and many crew members have received training in how to use these life-saving devices, each of our boats is being equipped with one.

AGM 2017
Our next AGM will be on a sunny June evening, to be followed by a social trip aboard Sheldrake 3. Put the date in your calendar now – 20th June 2017, 6.30pm.  Reason for change of timing is in Trustee meeting minutes.

There is a long history of chaplaincy on the waterways dating back to the days of commercial carrying.  Recent years have seen a revival of the concept, coincidental with the rise in residential boating.  Locally the St Albans-based chaplaincy is particularly active. We’re delighted to be able to host their meetings and recently, provided a day’s training for chaplains unfamiliar with the realities of navigating the canals.  This nice video clip describes their work – do share it around!

Ever wondered what’s beneath the water? You have the chance to explore when the Canal and River Trust opens a couple of its lock refurbishment sites in our area to the public:  St Pancras Lock in London on 4/5 Feb and Stoke Bruerne, Northants on 11/12 Feb. More info on the CRT website

Funny coincidences can come to light when you get chatting to other crew. Word has it that the respective great grandfathers of Roger Puddifoot and Richard Tregoning were on opposite sides of a notorious 19th century Wigginton poacher-gamekeeper spat that ended in murder.  Luckily their descendants are better behaved (we trust!)
What is Danny saying?
Best catchy captions included in next month's issue - email 
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