Craig Shanks

Nov 272018


The Autumn 2018 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 259: Autumn 2018:
Editorial, Chairman’s report, Volunteers at work, Tuesday Volunteers, Contractor work, Canal Centre development plans, News from the Boat Company, Social media, Artefacts, Events, A Woking philosopher?, Water Problems by Duncan Paine, GDPR reflections, Sales, BCS Membership, BCS information, and Crookham wharf.

Nov 272018


The Summer 2018 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 258: Summer 2018:
Editorial, Chairman’s AGM report, AGM report, Society accounts for 2017, AGM, Work on the canal, The perils of Facebook, Events, Environment Agency, Old Pinkerton’s new progress, General Data Protection Regulations, BCS Membership, BCS information, and Crookham Wharf.

Sep 232018

The Illustrated talks for the 2018/19 season have been announced and are listed below. Please come along to hear presentations about a variety of subjects from interesting and entertaining speakers in the company of fellow enthusiasts. For details of the venue and more about the Canal Society social meetings, please click here.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the last season of talks to be organised by Malcolm Brickwood, who announced a while back that he is stepping down from this role. We thank him for his enthusiasm and support, and for engaging many interesting speakers during his tenure.

HOWEVER, we have yet to identify his successor. Unfortunate though it is, if we do not find somebody who is willing to take over the role for 2019/2020, then this will be the last series of Society talks to take place at Chobham.

Wednesday, 17th October 2018 – 8pm

Kim Lowe: ‘The Life of Brookwood Cemetery’

This talk will discuss the creation of the Cemetery, the design, and the people who have been laid to rest in the Cemetery.



Wednesday 21st November 2018 – 8pm

Pam and Mark Bathurst: ‘The History and Restoration of the Paddle Steamer Medway Queen “Heroine of Dunkirk”’

The talk traces the history of the Medway Queen since launch in 1924, service on the Thames estuary, use as a minesweeper in WWII and seven trips to Dunkirk, returning to her old route until 1963. Use as an Isle of Wight nightclub from 1966 until 1974, return to the River Medway in 1984, and rebuilding of her hull.


Wednesday 19th December 2018 – 8pm

David Linsell: ‘Power from Poo’

This talk will introduce Thames Water with an overview of the company; its geographic coverage, customers and handling volumes of clean and waste water, plus tonnes of dry solid material for disposal. It will describe the sewage treatment with historical development, basic elements in a sewage work, sludge processing, anaerobic digestion, pasteurization and thermal hydrolysis. Finally, power generation in combined heat and power plant plus future developments will also be discussed.


Wednesday 16th January 2019 – 8pm

Pete Starling: ‘By Barge to Blighty – The role of inland waterways and the evacuation of casualties in the First World War’

During the first world war with the number of casualties being on unprecedented scales, evacuation to the base hospitals at the coast became a major problem. This talk will highlight the role of the inland waterways as a means of casualty evacuation.


Wednesday 20th February 2019 – 8pm

Malcolm Head: ‘Archaeological Treasures of the Thames’

This show and tell discussion will feature a number of artefacts that have been recovered from the River Thames during dredging operations conducted over a number of years. Of varying ages, it’s remarkable that the objects, some of which are very fragile, have survived mechanical dredging and are available to enjoy today, many years after they were lost or discarded.


Wednesday 20th March 2019 – 8pm

David Rouse: ‘200 Years of The Thames and Medway Canal’

The Thames and Medway Canal, originally built in the early 1800s, now running from Gravesend to Higham in North West Kent and has an interesting military, engineering and social history. Unfortunately, the canal was never the commercial success hoped for. This talk traces the timeline from initial fundraising, construction challenges, the impact of railway fever, and eventual demise of the canal. Looking forward, the canal could be developed into a green safe water corridor, supporting fishing, informal boating and other activities.

Wednesday 17th April 2019 – 8pm

Officer William Sargent: ‘Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit’

This talk will discuss the way in which the Marine Policing Unit (MPU) is responsible for policing the 47 miles of River Thames within the Met area (Dartford to Hampton Court) as well as providing a specialist response to over 250 miles of canals and waterways, lakes and reservoirs and other bodies of water in London.

Mar 182018


The Spring 2018 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 257: Spring 2018:
Editorial, Chairman’s Report, Update on the Future of the Basingstoke Canal Society, Future of the Basingstoke Canal Update, JMC, Inspecting Our Canal, Weedcutting, Fly, BBC CountryFile, Society Annual General Meeting, Events, Chobham Talks, The Battle of Pondtail or how the canal was saved by a good lunch, Farewell Peter Coxhead and Ken Thornber, BCS Membership, BCS information and Tunnel inspection.

Dec 042017


The Winter 2017 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 256: Winter 2017: Editorial, Chairman’s Report, Update on the Future Management of the Basingstoke Canal, Letter, Men at work, BCA Operational Report to JMC, Canal Society Work Party, New work boat “Jim Douglas”, Odds & ends, Chobham Talks, Voices from the past, Sales stand, Trip boats, Farewell Ron McLaughlin and John Kilburn, BCS Membership, BCS Information and Kingfisher.

Nov 222017

Looking for Christmas cards? Look no further.

We have two new designs available. The first features a photograph by Paul Drane of Rosebud preparing to depart on a Santa Cruise and the second a winter scene of boats moored at the Canal Centre, painted by Nancy Larcombe.

Paul Drane card front

Paul Drane card

Nancy Larcombe card front

Nancy Larcombe card

Price is £3.50 for a packet of 10 identical cards. All profits from the sale of these cards help to support the Basingstoke Canal.

To order please email Denise Smith.

Aug 292017


The Autumn 2017 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 255: Autumn 2017: Editorial, Chairman’s Report, Dogmersfield slip – nearly finished, Volunteering on the Basingstoke, More volunteering, New work boat?, David Junkison, JP & Kitty Report, Cream Tea cruises, Sales, Chobham Talks, ‘Juniper’ at Galleon Marine, Woking Grand Prix, Farewell Les Harris, John Humphries OBE, Clive Durley, Jan Smith and Terry Harrison, BCS Membership, BCS Information and Dogmersfield slip works.

Jun 122017


The Summer 2017 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 254: Summer 2017: Editorial, Chairman’s AGM report, AGM report, Society Accounts for 2016, Work Party report, Winter & spring works on the canal, Lock 14, Developments in Woking, Bits and pieces, The Canal in Woking during WWI, Sales, Ian Cripps, BCS Membership, BCS information and Dogmersfield slip works.

Mar 022017


The Spring 2017 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 253: Spring 2017: Editorial, Chairman’s report, Basingstoke Canal Future Management Options, Moves at Ash Lock, Society Work Party activities, Volunteers – We need you!!, Winter works on the canal, Reminiscences of dredging the canal and how the Society became the proud owners of a Ruston Bucyrus Dragline, Chobham talks, Canal Society AGM, Letters, Membership, BCS information and Busy morning at Ash Lock.

Dec 082016


The Winter 2016 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 252: Winter 2016: Editorial, Chairman’s report, Society Work Party activities, Notes from the JMC, There is no such thing as an accident!, C&RT – The Future, Canal winter works, Canal works Winter 2016/17, William Carter, canal owner 1905-21, Chobham talks, Letters, Canal still in trouble in the 1890s, “Chain Gang” to King John’s Castle, Christmas on the Canal at Odiham, BCS Membership, BCS information and Dry Dock in use.