January 1968


National Film Theatre
Forthcoming events
Boats from the Bas' Past -1

Contact the Society



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Newsletter No. 9January 1968.

Newsletter No. 8
Once again we must apologise for the fact that the quality of the last Newsletter was below normal standard.The reasons for this are somewhat involved but we will try to prevent a reoccurance.

Annual General Meeting.
This is being held on January 27th. 1968 at 7:30 in the Brookwood Memorial Hall. The Chairman1s,Secretary's and Treasurer reports are included with this newsletter,together with an agenda. Refreshments will be served. After the usual formalities we hope to have some interesting discussion and visual material on activities of the Society in the past year.

National Film Theatre.
The show of waterways films shown at the National Film Theatre on January 7th. was attended by 34 members. We were very pleased to meet new members who had not already attended Society functions. The whole day was devoted to waterways and we saw "The Maggie" suppotted by other snippets of film including some on the Basingstoke. N.walsham and Dilham Canal and the Forth and Clyde canal. Due to wrong information given to us, a newsreel fragment on the Basingstoke canal was seen by only a few members it formed part of the next film programme.

The Society and Canal have received considerable publicity over the past few weeks. Letters have appeared virtually every week in Aldershot and Woking local papers. Articles on the canal by Flo Woolgar illustrated with photographs by Dick Snell, appeared in the December issues of "Hampshire - the County Magazine" and "Motor Boat and Yachting".

All this publicity not only stirs up interest in the canal, but brings in enquiries about membership of the Society.

Forthcoming Events.
Where possible you will be reminded of these in subsequent newsletters. Please make a note in your diary now. We are consistently approached by members who say they wished they had attended one or other of our activities but they forgot.

This newsletter will not be distributed until after Sunday 14th. January when we are having our next working party at Ash Barge Yard. Would members attending working parties in the future please bring cutting equipment if possible.

Saturday 27th. A.G.M. Brookwood Memorial Hall 7:30pm.

Saturday, 3rd February.
Working Party at Ash Barge Yard 9.30am.
Sunday l8th February. Ramble along the canal from BROOKWOOD to R WEY. Depart Brookwood bottom lock ( A322 bridge) at 10:30am. Saturday 24th. Working party at Ash Barge Yard 9:30am.

Also during this month a house to house drive for new members will take place. Anyone willing to deliver leaflets please contact the Secretary. We will need a lot of help. March.
Saturday 9th. Jumble Sale at St. John's, Woking, Memorial Hall. Time yet to be announced. Please save your jumble now. Helpers will also be required for leaflet distribution, sorting and selling jumble. Further details later.
Saturday 16th. Working party at Ash barge yard, 9:30 a.m.
Saturday 23rd. An evening meeting will be held at Fleet on the subject, "The canal in your town". Time and place to be announced.

Ash Barge Yard
Our first two working parties have moved a lot of undergrowth and the area is looking a lot tidier. The next two or three parties will involve trimming and after that we will think about hedging, fencing and possibly building a slipway.

Great Bottom Flash which is situated next to the yard harbours a number of sunken boats. Some members have expressed interest in the remains of boats which are to be seen along the canal.

In the next few newsletters Mr. Tony Harmsworth will briefly cover points of interest about them. He starts in this newsletter with the three boats in Great Bottom Flash. Boats from the Basingstoke's past.

Boats from the Basingstoke's Past.
On the inside is to be seen the "Basingstoke". This was the last barge to attempt the trip to Basingstoke in October 1913. It was built at Appledore in N.Devon for the South West Canal Company and was used for carrying bricks from Nately Brick Works to Basingstoke and Ash. In the 1900's it was sold to Mr. A. J .Harmsworth and used during the first World War for carrying round timber from Crookham to Weybridge for transport to London. After the war it was used as a lightning boat for carrying coal from Weybridge to Woking until the mid 1930's,when it was brought to Ash Vale and the iron frames removed to build the barge "Brookwood".

The other two boats to be seen at Great Bottom Flash are a matched pair of narrow boats which were built by Fellows, Norton and Clayton Ltd. at Uxbridge in 1912 for Mr. A. J. Harmsworth. They were built with wash boards and a windlass forard, similar to a barge, to give protection against wash, while towing in the tidal Thames to London. They were worked by Mr. Sam Seymour for many years carrying flour from Weybridge to Aldershot, round timber from Crookham to London and general military merchandise during World War 1. Until the mid 1930's they carried coal to Woking when the cabins were removed and they were used as lightning boats for carrying timber and coal from Weybridge to Guildford and Woking. When war again broke out they were brought to Ash Vale and moored in Great Bottom Flash as anti-invasion obstacles. After the War they were taken to their present spot where they were allowed to sink.

The punt on the outside of these boats is the dredging punt, "Mudlark" used for many years for dredging the Woking end of the canal.

For Sale
We have a few calendars left which we would like to dispose of. Their price is therefore reduced from 3/6 to 2/6. The photograph itself is well worth the money and the calendar tab could easily be removed for use in the future.

Reprints of newsletters l-6 1/- the set.
Short history and map of the Basingstoke Canal 1/-
Notes from Priestly 's book on Canals in Southern England(L833) 1/-
We can also supply any of Messrs. David and Charles books post free.

The Committee would like to thank you for your support. A special thanks should be said to the following:
The postmen who deliver newsletters regularly. This letter will be posted via the G.P.O. because the A.G.M. is rapidly approaching. However we look forward to your co-operation in the new year.
The Walker family who because of typist's poor eyesight in the wee small hours of the morning, were inadvertantly missed off our list of helpers at the jumble sale. The Walkers turn up in force at every Society activity, a sincere thanks for their support. Mr. Chisman for enrolling a new member and members who have asked for details to be sent to friends or taken extra membership forms determined to return them filled.
Lastly, to Dick Snell for his continuing stream of new members, for selling a gross of biros for the Society in the space of a week, for his work on the Committee and all the visual material which he produces for us single handed. He will be greatly missed at Committee meetings. He spends so much time on other Society business that he is leaving the Committee in order to enable him to have at least 4 nights sleep per week.

Footnote: One of our members Mr. P. Roberts of Lickfolds Farm, Rowledge, Farnham, Surrey is interested in trying to purchase and maintain one of the remaining Basingstoke barges. If anyone is interested would they please contact him.
Footnote 2: Since our visit to the National Film Theatre the Society is to obtain a copy of the piece of film shown on the Basingstoke Canal, It will be shown sometime in the future at one of our evening meetings.

Secretary - E.J.Woolgar, 56, Connaught Crescent,Brookwood,Woking, Surrey. Tel. Brookwood 4064.
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