The Brian Sheppard Award

Brian Sheppard was born in Pontypridd near the Glamorganshire Canal in which he became interested at an early age. He became an Inland Waterways Association member and had an absorbing interest in canals – in their history and engineering and in cruising widely over our waterways system. An engineer by profession, Brian and his family lived for many years in the Bridgend area and latterly, after retirement, they moved to Llansawel, Carmarthenshire, with Brian retaining his waterways interests.

In January 2001 Brian died suddenly whilst abroad on holiday. A substantial sum of money, donated in lieu of flowers by many people attending the funeral, was given to the IWA South Wales Branch by the family. The Branch Committee decided it would be appropriate to commemorate Brian’s life and his contribution to the waterways cause by making an annual award. The IWA South West region committee asks for nominations and decides annually who should receive it.

After discussion with Brian’s family, it was decided that the award should take the form of an authentic model of a Glamorganshire Canal Boat designed and made by John Burden, who is an acknowledged expert in this field.


This year it was awarded by the IWA South West Region to Gordon Walker, the Chairman of the Swansea Canal Society. Gordon is a councillor for the Clydach ward of the City and County of Swansea. He is a retired firefighter with over 30 years’ service, who received the Royal Humane Society Medal (Bronze) in 2001. His dedication to the welfare of the residents of Clydach and surrounding areas is unlimited and his energy is boundless.

The photo shows Tony Pugh, Chairman of the IWA South Wales Branch, presenting the award to Gordon at the Society’s recent Annual General Meeting.