Sustainable Boating, talk by Bowman Bradley, 26 Jan at Strood YC

Thursday 26th January 2023: 7.30 for 8.00pm
Strood Yacht Club, Knight Road, Strood. ME2 2AH
Bowman Bradley, Chair of the Inland Waterway Association’s Sustainable Boating Group.

Bowman will talk about the work of the group, their vision of how inland waterways boating might be made sustainable in the future, how that vision has developed over the last two years and the intended work of the group going forward. Bowman will be interested in the views of members as to how they might contribute towards the vision and any suggestions they might have as to what the group might look at in the future.

Bowman is a retired mechanical engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He has been a ‘canaller’ since the mid 1970’s and a narrowboat owner since 2005. Other members of the Sustainable Boating Group own a variety of canal craft ranging from historic narrowboats through ‘conventional’ diesel powered leisure craft to a state-of-the-art electric narrowboat.

Entry is free with a raffle to cover costs. All IWAKES events are open to non-members and you are encouraged to bring friends. Similarly, if you know a local club or society that might be interested, please do tell them.

Maidstone River Festival raft race, 30 July

EA Notice to Mariners – The Maidstone River Festival is taking place on Saturday 30 July 2022.
As well as a high number of vessels in the Maidstone area. There will be a raft race running between 2:30pm and 3:30pm, from the High-Level Railway Bridge and Maidstone Bridge (by Thai Orchid).
For safety reasons, we ask that boats remain on their moorings or give way. Please do not try to navigate through the raft race. There will be a safety boat and stewards at the front and rear of the race, but it is very likely that participants will be in the water at some point during the race!

Maidstone Mayor’s Court of Survey, Sat 11 June

Swan being “upped” at last year’s event

This curious local event, organised by Hampstead and Yalding Cruising Club, reminds us that the swans on the Medway belong to the Mayor of Maidstone, not the Queen as elsewhere. The Mayor of Maidstone is carried on a flotilla down the river to the Hawkwood stone (halfway to Rochester) then back to Wateringbury where some swans will be checked and tagged by the Swanmaster.

If you would like to join a flotilla of motor cruisers from Rochester to meet the Mayor’s boats at the Hawkwood Stone, please contact

Allington Lock to reopen tomorrow, 3 June

Good news for motor boaters! After a protracted period for major refurbishment, the lock will reopen on 3 June 2021. Initially it will be operated by the contractors, and the lock will be available for two hours before high water and two hours after, between 7am and sunset.

The Environment Agency staff expect to take full control of the lock [and resume normal service] in the week commencing 7 June. For any queries, phone 01622 752864 or email

IWA talk on River Medway, Thurs 23 Jan

The Kent & East Sussex Branch of the Inland Waterways Association invite you to an open meeting on the River Medway (the non-tidal bit).

David Payne and Jason Adams from the Environment Agency will be giving an illustrated talk on the Environment Agency’s work on the River Medway, and all are welcome to attend, whether IWA members or not.

Thursday, 23 January 2020 at Strood Yacht Club, Knight Road, Strood, ME2 2AH, at 7.30pm for 8pm

Maidstone River Festival, 27 July 2019

Thanks to sponsorship by Weston Homes, the Maidstone River Festival is back after a pause of a few years and we are planning a day all the family can enjoy. The River Festival started 40 years ago and people of all ages in Maidstone have great affection for what was the county town’s biggest annual event. We’ll have dressed up boats, raft races, fun and games for all the family. There will be illuminated boats in the evening and it will all end with a big bang as an award-winning fireworks display will go off from the top of Fremlin Walk in the town centre.

More info at

Whopping EA fees hike promotes protests

Boaters on the non-tidal Medway and Thames are to be hit by inflation-busting increases in fees from next year. If boaters abandon these waterways the result will be counter-productive for the Environment Agency.

The public consultation on the EA’s proposed navigation charge increases for 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 is now live here.

Please respond using this online tool which will enable the EA to manage their comments more effectively. However, if you prefer to respond by email or post, you can email using ‘Navigation charge proposals 2019 to 2021’ in the title. You will get the consultation documents and a form in the post to complete. All responses must be received by Thursday 30 August 2018.