June 1967


Pondtail Bridge
New Bas Canal Co
Our 1st Working Party
Fleet Carnival
Help Needed
Books, maps, ramble etc.
Woking boat trip
Chrap Holidays

Contact the Society



Newsletter No. 4June 1967

We would like to thank all members who wrote to Hampshire County Council about the proposed lowering of this bridge. You may have heard by now that plans have been altered and the new bridge will now have a headroom similar to that of Reading Road Bridge, that is 6' above water level. We feel sure that letters from members,and a visit to the offices by two Committtee members were instrumental in making the Council change their minds and alter the plans.

However the battle of the bridges may not yet be over. Wharf Bridge, Farnborough Rd, is the next one to be re-built, and so far the County Council have not informed us of the proposed headroom.

Another meeting was held with the owners of the Canal. Messrs D.Gerry and L.Harris representing the Society. Once again we requested permission to work on the Canal. The Company stated that they might consider our request if we agreed to their future plans for the canal, which they declined to reveal! We did not feel we should agree to this.

However the Committee again wrote to the Canal Company, confirming our request for permission to work on the canal in order to prevent further deterioration. A reply was received giving us perm­ission to work on the canal in order to prevent further deterioration on a section of the canal between Chertsey Road and Arthur's Bridge Road, Woking.

OUR FIRST WORKING PARTY will meet on SUNDAY 25th JUNE at 10:30a.m. at BREWERY ROAD CAR PARK.(This is five mins. walk from Woking Stn. Go down Chobham Rd,over the canal bridge and turn left into the car park). The majority of the work will be cutting down gorse, brambles etc. so please come suitably clad and if possible with saws, axes, rakes slashers etc and sandwiches if you intend to eat.

As this is our first working party we assume there will be a good turn out, but please remember that we hope to arrange numerous others in the future which will need equal support. The future degree of Cooperation from the owners will depend on how well this work is carried on — no ruthless cutting of trees etc. Please turn up prepared for serious work and ready to follow instructions.

The frequency and location ot other working parties has yet to be decided but you will be informed. It would be helpful if on this first occasion you could let the secretary know if you intend coming, so that we have some idea of numbers.

The Society is to enter the procession on Wednesday 1st June at 6.30 pm to gain publicity. So far it is planned to enter two or three trailed boats suitably decorated and in order to emphasise other aspects of canals we would like members or friends dressed as fishermen, navvies(complete with decorated wheelbarrows) ramblers etc. to take part in the procession. People will also be required to diptribute leaflets about the Society along the procession route.

If you would like to join in the fun and hard work, and help us to gain more members, please contact L E Harris,198, Hermitage Woods Crescent, St. John's,Woking, Surrey for all details (Office telephone -Reliance 9133 extension 366.

As each month passes and more activities are arranged, the amount of duplicating which has to be done increases at an alarming rate. A number of members are already helping with this work and to them we are extreme,y grateful. Is there anyone else who has reliable access to duplicating equipment or ideally an unwanted duplicator?

Alternatively if you cannot help in this way, would you like to be a postman? In order to keep down the large slice of our funds we spend on postage, members of the Committee have been delivering some newsletters by hand. Is there anyone who is willing to deliver newsletters PROMPTLY by hand, particularly in the Farnborough and Byfleet areas? This would probably mean an evening's work once every two months.

Another way in which members can help, as we mentioned in a previous newsletter, is by sending any relevant press cuttings to Mr. P. Dyson 53 Wyke Avenue, Ash, Aldershot, Hants. Mr Dyson is building up a press cutting book which may provide valuable reference in the future. Although we are primarily interested in local waterways, any other material about waterways may be useful. A few weeks ago the "Daily Express" published an article on the Kennet and Avon Canal together with some readers' letters. We have not obtained any cuttings. Please keep your eyes open for us.

As was also mentioned in a previous newsletter, we are manning BOWER'S LOCK on the RIVER WEY during the summer weekends. Support has not been very encouraging. Activity at the lock varies from a handful of boats to 15 on Spring Holiday Sunday. No experience is necessary as tuition can be given. Why not have a go? The lock is an ideal picnic spot and lock keeping makes a cheap day out for all the family. Those of us who have already had a go have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Although little physical work has so far taken place a tremendous amount of work, mainly paperwork, is being done by your Committee. Please help us by supporting activities and giving help in any way you can. The Secretary would be delighted to hear from anyone willing to help in this way.

Enclosed with your newsletter is a leaflet giving the range of canal books published by David and Charles. Any of these books can be ordered at any time through the Society. By ordering through the Society you can help Society funds and also benefit yourself by obtaining them post free. Please send cash with order and allow 3 weeks for delivery.

Members who attended the film show may recall mention being made of a map of the Birmingham Canal Navigation.

This is a dye-line copy of a map dated 1866, measuring about 2' by 2' and showing the whole of the BCN network together with railways.

If anyone is interested inbuying a copy would they please let the Secretary know. Price will depend on quantity ordered but will be between 8/- and 10/-.

The film show held on May 20th was well attended and everyone seemed to enjoy Mr. Edwards old newsreel shots and Mr. Harmsworth's fine film on the Wey Grain Barges. Mr Edwards has very kindly donated this film to the Society together with some photographs.

We will be trying to arrange a canal ramble for one day during the summer, details should be in the next newsletter.

The boat trip held on 3rd and 4th June was a great success. The public seemed to be very interested and events such as this usually result in several new members. We were pleased to meet some of our members for the first time. The majority of us are boatless but this does not mean we are excluded from these trips. Helping hands are always welcome in the difficult job of getting the larger boats in and out of the water, pulling them through difficult stretches and cheering them on their way. Any members turning up can always be sure of a ride.

The weather was good and the Sheerwater rhododendrons in full bloom. No major hazards were experienced except for one fallen tree and the usual accumulation of scrap iron.

Hostelcraft Ltd have very kindly announced that they are prepared to give members of the Society reduced rates. If anyone would like to go hostelling on a traditional horse-drawn narrowboat , read on.

They are offering single members the rate usually charged when 4 or more people make a booking, that is £9 per week which includes ALL MEALS. If anyone is prepared to go June 17th - June 24th (Birmingham to Fenny Stratford) or 24th June - 1st July (Fenny Stratford to Birmingham) there will be afurther reduction.

Anyone interested should contact: Hostelcraft Ltd, 2 Waverley Road, Fordingbridge, Hants. Tel. Fordingbridge 2150, mentioning the Society.


Secretary: Mr Jim Woolgar, 56 Connaught Crescent, Brookwood, Surrey.
[back to top]


Last updated April 2005