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Committee Meeting Notes - September 2017

Meeting Notes and Actions – September 13th 2017

1.0  Apologies-  Trevor Hunt

2.0  Notice of Items to be raised under Any Other Business:

  • See 9.0 below

3.0  Minutes of last meeting and acceptance of same 


4.0  Matters arising not covered elsewhere on agenda (See AOB)


5.0  Secretaries Report Plus Adoption Groups Update (Duncan)

See Appendix -1-

6.0  Treasurer’s Report (Piers L)

See Appendix -2-

7.0 Membership Report (Kate)

MCS Membership Statistics - 13 September 2017

Members on my list          

128 (+1)

Honorary members                               


No. of members NOT PAID

2 (-1)

No. of members UNDERPAID

8 (-2)

                                                                           (Changes from last report, May 2017)
We have one new member, Ralph & Anita Granger of Macclesfield.
Those who have not paid are Tom Chalmers and Margaret Lovatt.
All the 'underpaid' members were contacted via a past Milestone - I hope for corrections to
appear in the next subs year (November)

8.0 Programme (Stewart)



Helen Gardener

Waterways Recovery Group



Judy Jones

The Trials & Tribulations of CRT Heritage Advisor




AGM & Members Presentations



Adam Comerford

Water Management:Too little,Too much, Just right



Phil Clayton

Curious Canal Tales & Oddities



Patrick Marks




David Baldacchino


9.0 Any Other Business:

  • HALOUS…….feedback on the event ..COMMENTS:HALOUS 2017 raised over £485 this year our highest for a few years , this was split almost equally between the shop and donations, the shop did well on tea towels and cakes , but books and bric-a-brac was less popular….areas we though to improve upon for 2018 are :
    • Improve publicity before and after the event next year
    • Use time saving as a benefit to boaters” it takes 1 hr not 3”!
    • More cakes for 2nd day
    • Look to replace display boards
    • Make it clear what we plan to spend the money on , for those donating to us.

HALOUS and MCS Insurance came up in discussions, and it was agreed we should look into insurance costs and cover to ensure we had the best deal (as insurance costs were in the top five of the MCS costs) –ACTIONS, PIERS TO INVESTIGATE

  • Feedback on membership questionnaire and trips event and quizzes 
    • Based on the responses from the membership all plans for events quizzes etc. will be shelved due to lack of interest…..we tried !
    • Position of Chairperson and what to say to the membership at our first event 
      • Duncan offered to be Chairman , but it was agreed that he should continue as Secretary
      • It was agreed that Ian should ask if there were any members interested in joining the committee as Chairman or Publicity lead.-ACTION IAN-DONE (by Kate in the end )
    • Heritage File update
      • Duncan explained his ideas regarding the file, this would follow the Ripon example but have more substance including more social history and old photos, he will try to have a draft to show members at the session Judy Jones is leading in November 2017.
      • In addition, the plan was to generate a photographic record of the canal and to follow an identical route each time for comparative purposes. -ACTION DUNCAN
    • Website Update
      • We conformed that this was up and running
      • Stewart to provide an updated schedule to post on the site-ACTION STEWART-DONE
      • Also, we should add a joining form – ACTION KATE TO SEND THIS DUNCAN OR UPLOAD IT TO THE WEBSITE-DONE
      • We need more photos to add to the site– IN HAND ACTION WITH DUNCAN
    • Bollington Boat and Folk festival
      • It appears that no one attended this event from the committee
    • October 2017 Veg Bashing session Macc to Marple
      • Duncan confirmed dates (9th to 13th Oct) and will make some comments on this at the MCS meeting, it was confirmed that MCS was the only group in the UK doing this work which as seen as a best practice. .-ACTION DUNCAN-DONE
    • Green Flag Award and discuss buying a flag to put up in Macclesfield (costs /where etc.)
      • The old 2016/17 Green Flag will be given to the Ray and Audrey in Scholars Green to run up their flag pole.
      • It was tabled that another Green Flag should be put in Macclesfield, two alternative sites proposed, Freedom Marina (assuming they have a flag pole) or on CRT land in or near Swettenham Street. .-ACTION DUNCAN
    • Benches along the canal, look to discuss if we should offer to fund a new bench in Hurdsfield also update on other benches promised by CRT
      • Piers has identified possible sites for new benches that will be supplied by CRT (between Congleton and Kidsgrove), these will be installed at some stage in the next few months- ACTION PIERS
    • Ring the Ring
      • This item was explained so the MCS team knew what this was all about, i.e. installing multiple extra mooring rings on the Cheshire Ring
    • Attending CRT Annual Public meeting (21st Sept in Birmingham- I have two tickets for this) and Pocklington Canal meeting (1st October).
      • No other committee members plan to attend, Duncan and Piers will attend the CRT event, Duncan will attend the Pocklington Event.
    • Planning Application Submitted for Housing Development at Marple Wharf
      • The Marple plans were discussed briefly and generally seen as a good plan, there were some reservations over the access for boaters to the new services area, Ian will investigate and advise on status of these plans – ACTION IAN


  • Tee shirt/sweatshirt top for Adoption Group Volunteers to be funded by MCS ?
    • This was raised as CRT do not supply any clothing to Adoption Group volunteers and several of those regular volunteers had voiced frustration over this, so it was tabled that perhaps MCS could provide something??
    • The prices tabled seemed very high so let’s look at alternatives and perhaps a sleeveless fleece or coloured high viz top – ACTION DUNCAN

10. Date and venue of next meeting.   

  • Booked for 13th December 2017 at Silk Trader Macclesfield (I made sure it was written in the diary this time!)   

Appendix -1-Sectrtaries Report

There has been low activity on secretarial engagement over the Summer break.

Invitations have been received to attend the following events:

  • Pocklington Canal (1/10/2017 £10 each), I plan to attend this not sure if anyone else is interested?
  • CRT Annual Public Meeting in Birmingham (21st September Free, 2 tickets reserved)
  • Town Planning updates (primarily the Marple development)

Other Items:


This seems to have been a success, Piers will update us on the final tally but I believe it will be somewhat better than in recent years, I think this was due to good weather and having a well-stocked cake stand!


A recent meeting with our web designer Steve Wood helped move this forward and the website is now live. The old website still seems to exist, this will support and ease the transfer of any old site historical information. Some dates have been added to the calendar but this needs more work /additions…I am seeking out a few more photos to use on the site. 

Canal Dredging:

This topic has been a long ting coming but I can confirm it is being done right now. A contractor (Land and Water) has established an office in Swettenham Street, they have spot dragged Bosley Top Lock and removed the obstructing wall and there are some substantial stones now out of the canal (hopefully to be reused elsewhere). The plan (briefly) is to dredge from Br47 up to Marple (below this is a target for 2018), they have assigned 2-3 farmers’ fields for north and south of Macclesfield to simplify dumping of the silt. However, the silt in the Macclesfield area has a degree of contamination so will be filtered at a works that will be established at Swettenham Street, the silt form this location will go to land fill. Some of the area around Bollington will not be dredged (due to the recent leaks and concerns that dredging may make these worse again), although on a recent boat trip it seems more of this area is being dredged than one would have expected!

This means that boaters progress is slowed especially around Swettenham Street in Macclesfield as boats go back and forward….

Green Flag:

The Macc and Upper Peak were awarded Green Flags again, the ceremony was held at Hull Town Hall and attended by Piers Lambert.

Some other canals were also awarded the Green Flag as this concept spreads more widely in the CRT world.

To thanks the volunteers a celebration event was held at Marple Social Club on 18th August and this was attended by several volunteers from the Macc Adoption Groups and many of the Volunteer Lock Keepers from Bosley and Marple.

Adoption Groups:

These have all continued through the Summer break although attendances have fallen off a little as folks are off on summer holidays, we do however, have a core group that turn up on a regular basis which is heartening. The work is basically similar for each group and includes litter picking, vegetation clearance, set cleaning /weeding, bank repairs, painting, wall repair, and bench replacement, painting etc. ...

Having re painted the towpath side of the Dane Aqueduct the off-side work also needs to be planned, starting with replacement of railing rods where required by CRT contractors. 

Piers has been leading the re painting of the Bosley Flight and progress is significant, and we expect to have the whole flight re painted by October 2017.

The garden at Lock 5 is in great shape and has been used by boaters and locals, however, we do need a sign to let people know it’s for local use and access.

Heritage File

The format of this has basically been agreed and a draft will be generated and shown as part of Judy Jones presentation in November, this will give members a chance to comment and provide feedback.

Off Side Veg Bash 2017:

This is progressing well and we have booked a boat for w/c 9th October with CRT. We held an assessment trip on 5th September to identify where the work needs to be done and if we require additional skills (chainsaw certified CRT people) and ideally on which days, also to identify any key Ecological issues we should be aware of …..this was seen to be very useful as in the past we did not really know which areas needed the most work. 

MCS (via Ray) were the first group in the UK to arrange such work and as such this concept is known by senior management in CRT (Richard Parry) and now being copied on other canals (notably T&M this year), so this is probably something we should be more proud of and shout about a little more.


Appendix -2- Treasurer’s Report