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IWA is governed by its trustees, who are usually appointed for terms of three years.  A trustee may not serve for more than twelve years out of any fifteen.  There are always a minimum of five and a maximum of seventeen trustees (or eighteen if a national treasurer is co-opted).  The current trustees are:

Rt Hon Sir Robert Atkins

Sir Robert has had a long and varied political career, serving as MP for nearly 20 years and MEP for North West Region of England for 15 years.  He was knighted in the 1997 Dissolution Honours List in recognition of his service as a Member of Parliament, as Minister of State for Northern Ireland and as Minister of State for the Environment.

As well as being a keen boater and narrowboat owner, Sir Robert was President of the “Ribble Link” Canal Campaign.  He was first appointed an IWA trustee and North West Region Chair in 2017.




Rick Barnes

Rick started volunteering with Waterway Recovery Group in 1998 shortly after university, and following family boating holidays. He has been a member of the Association since 2001 and in that time has been a member of the former IWA Festivals Committee, Finance Committee and was a Deputy National Chairman until early 2022. Rick remains active in the restoration movement and is a member of the WRG board.  He has owned a share in a boat since 2016, was first appointed an IWA trustee in 2016 and commenced a new term in 2022.

Professionally, Rick is a Programme Manager and Chartered Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the delivery of complex engineering projects and strategic infrastructure programmes across a range of sectors.






Dave Chapman

Having worked with Xerox Corporation for 30 years, Dave’s time there included 15 years reviewing operating company performance and driving change in Europe, East Asia and Africa and 5 years facilitating relationships between European, US and Japanese organisations.

Dave has been a member of IWA since 1973 and is a long-time boater. He has been heavily involved in IWA national festivals and chairman of Chiltern Branch since 2013.  He has been an IWA trustee since 2019.







Stuart Craig

Stuart is a narrowboat owner and has just turned 66.  He is married with two dependants: both furry and of the barking kind.

By mid September 2023 he will have retired as the CEO of a small charity, so if selected as a trustee he will have a little more time on his hands to serve IWA.

His career began in housing and homelessness for a decade and a half, until he got the travel bug.  In 1991 he found himself volunteering as a fundraiser for a hospice project in the tiny kingdom of Swaziland (now called Eswatini) in southern Africa.  Two years later he got the chance to work in South Africa, which has been the focus of several development sector jobs since.  Possibly his favourite job ever was seven years at Comic Relief (2008-15) managing a portfolio of grants to organisations working on poor housing conditions, in 14 different African countries.

He has become very familiar with how boards work in the charity sector, as many of the organisations he has worked with have been of a similar size to IWA.  In particular he has a strong understanding of good governance; he has a good grasp of the respective remits of a staff team and a Board of Trustees; and he is very familiar with budgeting, management accounts, strategy development etc.  As a recent charity CEO he was responsible for programme delivery, financial control, HR, fundraising, communications and all day to day functions of the charity. He would like to think this comprehensive set of responsibilities could be of value to the Board.

Nick Dybeck

Nick is a retired chartered civil engineer where he was responsible for managing a number of major construction projects. He has experience as a company director and charity trustee. Most recently, Nick has worked with several companies reviewing governance and risk management.

Nick’s interest in the waterways started with canoeing the River Nene. He has owned a narrowboat since 2001, living aboard when working away from home and more recently using it as a weekend retreat.  He was appointed an IWA trustee in 2020.  He is currently national treasurer.







Paul Lynam

Paul was brought up in London and joined the then London Electricity Board where he qualified as an Accountant and led the Financial Accounting function through the electricity privatisation.  He had a varied career, but kept being drawn back to finance, gaining experience across Government Departments, Management of Flood Risk management projects, insurance and risk management

He owned a narrowboat for 10 years, Joining IWA during that period. He started volunteering with the Northampton Branch on their Adopted Arm of the Grand Union, and then stepped up  7 years ago as the Treasurer of the Northampton Branch. Paul still volunteers and leads on the regular work parties.




Peter Marlow

Peter has a lifelong interest in canals, particularly from a walker’s and nature-lover’s perspective.  This dates from when he was taken to see Sapperton Tunnel when researching a school project.  He is a member of the Cotswold Canals Trust, his local restoration project.

Peter has experience as a charity trustee, having served 6 years (two terms) with PM4NGOs, a US-based NGO which develops free guides in project management for the international development sector and provides on-line certifications.  He is also a trustee of the Kambia Appeal a UK-based charity that aims to improve the medical conditions in the Kambia district of Sierra Leone.

Peter is a Chartered Engineer, a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a member of the Association for Project Management.





Charlie Norman

Charlie first lived on a wooden Norfolk Broads Cruiser in Thames Ditton in 2008 and has owned two boats since. The latest, a small narrowboat is moored on the River Stort with time happily spent between the sleepy Stort and buzzing Hackney.  After writing to the editor of Waterways magazine to find out how to become more involved, a stint at Cavalcade led to many years volunteering with IWA.  Charlie was appointed an IWA trustee in 2022.

With a political and environmental communications background, Charlie currently works for a charity that uses the law to defend the human rights of LGBT people globally, having previously worked at Friends of the Earth, The European Parliament, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.





Sue O’Hare

Sue’s career was in new technology and innovation, working with a variety of organisations from corporates to public sector and start-up companies. In parallel she held voluntary roles including chairing a professional association and serving on the board of a science and technology outreach organisation.  She is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.

Sue is a long-time boater. She started by hiring on the inland waterways, had a share in a boat for 13 years, and became a boat owner just before the COVID-19 pandemic. Sue has served on IWA’s Navigation Committee since 2016 and was appointed Chair in 2022. She was first appointed as an IWA Trustee in 2020 and has been a Deputy National Chair since 2021.










Hannah Rigley

Hannah has been a liveaboard boater since Autumn 2020, based on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in South Wales. Her decision to move onto the waterways was both a way to counteract rising property costs and to complement her passion for the inland waterways lifestyle and heritage. Hannah is chair of IWA South West & South Wales Region and was appointed as an IWA trustee in 2021.

Hannah currently works for Miller Research, a sustainability and social research consultancy that primarily operates in the public sector. She has previously held a trustee position when she was a Sabbatical Officer, an elected position acting as one of Cardiff University Students’ Union’s primary student representatives. Hannah also spent four years as a local authority governor at a Cardiff primary school. As a younger member of the community, Hannah seeks to utilise her experience to inspire the next generation of passionate IWA members.




Paul Strudwick

Paul has been boating since he was taught to sail by an uncle at the age of eleven, and has owned narrowboats on the canals for nearly 40 years.  He joined British Telecommunications (then the GPO) in 1965 and took early retirement in 2000.  Since leaving BT he has run his own limited company and worked, as a technician, in one of the country’s top grammar schools.

Paul was first elected as a trustee in 2006 and has had several spells as a trustee since.  He has been London Region Chair since 2010 and served on Navigation Committee, Cavalcade Committee and the old Promotions Committee.  He helped develop the Silver Propeller Challenge scheme and is committed to widening the membership of the Association so that IWA is recognised by others as being a ‘broad church’ representing not only the boating and heritage interests, but all other users such as walkers and casual visitors.

Mike Wills

Mike Wills has been fascinated by the inland waterways since his teens. Studying economic history helped develop the passion, and early experiences included digging out a disused lock and helping to raise a sunken wooden narrowboat which was subsequently converted into a houseboat. Regular towpath walks and dozens of narrowboat holidays helped him to introduce lots of his family and friends to the waterways. In 2019 he purchased part of a worsted mill and wharf on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and subsequently has restored it to create a four storey house.

He is a Chartered Accountant and has worked as a senior civil servant, a tax partner in a medium sized practice and has been engaged as a non-executive director or consultant in a number of varied companies ranging from gold refining, electronic product recycling, pet food manufacture and insurance services. Most recent experience has been in setting up, running and subsequently selling a specialised school and as a non-executive director and trustee of a Housing Association.  Mike has also previously spent some years as Chair of Governors of both a primary school and a secondary school.  He was appointed an IWA trustee and a member of Finance Committee in 2022.




Mike Wills was appointed National Chair at the 30th January 2024 trustees meeting.

Sue O’Hare is deputy national chair (Navigation and Campaigns)

Nick Dybeck is deputy national chair (Restoration)

Peter Marlow is deputy national chair (Membership and Environment)

Paul Lynam is deputy national chair (Finance)