Newsletter No. 32August 1970
ALL ABOARD FOR THE RALLY
Here's hoping this newsletter reaches you in time to remind you about the Inland Waterways Association's National Rally of Boats on August 7, 8, 9 and 10. A grand programme of events has been lined up and over 350 boats are now due at Millmead, the Guildford rally site. Space prevents us from giving the whole programme in the newsletter, but here are the high spots:
Friday: Arrival of boats; crews' get together in the evening.
Saturday: Morning - canoe demonstration, judo, sub aqua demonstration, Punch and Judy; Afternoon - official opening ceremony, review of boats, Morris dancing, tug of war, water-borne steel band; Evening - barn dance and barbecue, firework display.
Sunday Morning - life saving demonstration, canoe slalom, boat handling; Afternoon - Guildford Silver Band, greasy pole contest, sub aqua demonstration, athletic display, Festival Queen competition; Evening - choral concert, special revue at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.
Monday Morning - mad regatta, boat handling; Afternoon - children's fancy dress, Young People's Music Club of Famborough, IWA Forum, songs by Shalford Guides.
Taking place throughout the rally will be boat trips, exhibitions, radio controlled model boats, children's sideshows, a balloon race and the waterways art exhibition. When you are in Guildford, look out for the many attractive shop and window displays, including those at Harveys which cover many aspects oi the rally with a collection of lace plates on show, and at Plummers where there are more lace plates and some good items of Heasham pottery.
The society will have three stands at the rally, our main publicity caravan, a small publicity stand outside the rally compound, and our canal workshop where a group of people will be making paddles for locks and our machinery - including we hope the lock gates - will be displayed.
Come up and see us when you're there.
COUNTY COUNCIL NEWS
Negotiations between Surrey and Hampshire County Councils and the New Basingstoke Canal Company opened on July 29 to discuss the terms under which the canal could be acquired by the county councils. No more news of what happened at that meeting, but a Press statement will be issued when the matter is settled.
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It is with regret that we announce Flo Woolgar's resignation as our Membership Secretary. Flo has held office in the society since it started, and the amount of work she has done for it has been colossal, more or less placing herself and her home at our disposal with cheerfulness end patience. We are indeed sorry to lose her services.
Until a new Membership Secretary has been appointed, her duties will be handled by the treasurer, Mr. B. Humpidge, 48 Wood Lane, Fleet, to whom all renewals and subscriptions should be sent. If there is anyone living in Fleet who would be prepared to take on the job, Mr. Humpidge would be pleased to hear from them. The Membership Secretary is not a committee member, and the job involves keeping records of members, dealing with inquiries and new members, and perhaps putting forward ideas for membership drives in areas where they are needed and organising them. The annual renewal date for subscriptions has streamlined the job, and it would suit someone who could work from home and who has a methodical mind.
The secretary is on holiday until August 17, and can be contacted most times at Woking 63095.
August 7. 8. 9. 10: IWA National Bally of Boats and Guildford Water Festival.
Saturday, August 29: St. John's Pete, St. John's Lye, near „oking. Saturday, September 5: Blackwater Fair, Blackwater, Camberley.
If you can help with our stand at either of these two events, please contact Peter Caiger, 42 Orchard Way, Camberley, Surrey.
Also coming! another ramble along the Itchen Navigation, starting from Winchester, autumn. The last ramble along the Itchen proved very popular and it is being repeated by request. Jumble sale, Fleet, autumn, so start collecting jumble now. Date to be announced in next newsletter.
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The famed Basingstoke Canal monster, smoke pouring from its coal-scuttle mouth, growled its way along the Woking Whirl procession route and carried off first prize for the best float by a charitable organisation. The public, who unwittingly donated parts of its anatomy (assembled by Les Harris) were very appreciative. Congratulations to Les for making such a lovely monster out of old tin baths, car body parts and typical canal-type rubbish. If you missed the monster's debut, he is making a return appearance at the Guildford rally.
The hut at Ash Vale has now been fitted with a burglar alarm to deter the youth of the district who made periodic raids on it. If you go to the hut, make sure you are with someone who knows how to switch it off before entering, otherwise ...
The society's application for registration has now been approved by the Charity Commission and we are now a charitable organisation. We can now obtain extra income by covenants, and this is being looked into by the committee.
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1969 Anzani Super Single 5 hp outboard engine. £40. Ring John Bull, 01-942-0300.
Dinghy rack, adjustable, fits any make of car. Can be seen at New Haw weekends, or at the rally. Apply cruiser September Song, or to Gordon Webb, 16 Balfour Road, Brighton, Sussex. Price £3.
Radiator Grille for 1961 Mini, good condition. June Sparey, Woking 63095.
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WATERSIDE INNS OF THE BASINGSTOKE
The series first published in the newsletter has now been gathered together into an attractive booklet. Written by Jon Talbot, the booklet visits the Basingstoke's canalside inns, tells of their history and the recollections of their regulars. Attractively illustrated with sketches and map, it is available from the Sales Manager, Peter Walker, 6 Carlyon Close, Farnborough, Hants, price 2s.6d., postage 6d, or from the society stand at the rally and elsewhere. Apart from being interesting, the booklet gives you some good suggestions for an evening out, if you like a bit of history with your pint.
The committee has been considering running a series of wine and cheese parties in particular areas along the canal for members in that area, to enable better contact between the committee and our members. If anyone has any experience of organising this kind of event, can offer advice, or is willing to lend their home for a party, please contact Peter Caiger, 42 Orchard Way, Camberley.
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IF YOU ABE MOVING...
Don't forget to inform the secretary of any changes of address. Several members have done this in the past - others haven't and it can cause embarrassment when it is time to renew subscriptions. So please, if you are moving, let us know about it.
STORY OF A STICKER
Our "Save the Basingstoke Canal" car stickers are proving their worth. Reports are coming in of their effectiveness, for example: member Mrs. Susan Amos of Crowthorne, was flagged down by a curious motorist who had heard of all other canals except the Basingstoke... The secretary, parked outside an East End of London pub, was approached by two anxious Irish "navvies" concerned that "they" might be closing the canal. They used to work near it and liked to eat their sandwiches on the towpath... Another member, carrying out his work as an accountant in Camberley, was asked lots of questions by curious employees who had seen the sticker on his car... A man living in Selby, Yorks. wrote to the secretary after seeing a sticker at an air display at RAF Church Penton - 200 miles away. He wrote: "At the end of the war a local man, with the aid of salvaged machine tools, founded the ball and roller bearing firm of Pollard & Co. He became a millionaire and was accompanied on the board by three more millionaires. It is not an improbability that a passing spectator like that might offer more help to your society than curiosity".
The message on the car sticker may be dramatic, but it makes a change from "Cut Road Taxes" and the like. If you want to join the fun and haven't got a car sticker, contact the secretary.
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SCHOOLS AND THE CANAL
The interest taken by schools in the canal and its potential for educational purposes is growing. Robin Walker sends us this account of a project undertaken at Crookham County Junior School, of which he is a pupil:
"After a day's walking along the canal bank, everyone was tired and nettle-stung. It was June and we had just completed a walk from Greywell Tunnel (east end) to Malthouse Bridge, a total distance of over eight miles. A few weeks later we made another trip from Frimley to Frimley Aqueduct. This inspired me to ask if we could have a display in the main hall of the school. Before this I encouraged my headmaster to join the SHCS and also my teacher. The headmaster also enrolled the school.
The display was mounted for two days before the end of term. At lunch on the first of these, as I was guarding the model lock, the headmaster said: "Pens won't write uphill - you know that, don't you?" I looked at hia, mystified, until he pointed towards the display board with the petition forms on it. Children were signing the forms with the SHCS biro displayed. In the play time and lunch breaks of the two days we had 100 signatures.
I didn't realise that only voters can sign petitions, but Mr. Gerry (SHCS chairman) suggested I sent the names, together with a letter, to Hampshire County Council. This I did, and had a reply from the chairman of the council saying that he was aware of the interest of young people in the canal and that he hoped it would be possible to purchase it".
Our thanks to the Headmaster and staff of Crookham school - not to mention the children - for taking such an active interest in the society and the canal, and also to Robin for showing such initiative!
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We are now closing the petition with a grand total of 15,000 signatures. A further 2,500 were presented to Sir Howard Roberts, chairman of Surrey County Council's planning committee in July, and another 2,500 signatures will be presented to Hampshire County Council at a reception during the IWA rally. This means that each county council has received 7,500 signatures. Thanks to all of you who got so many forms filled up.
An anonymous person sent the secretary an article from an American magazine describing how a group of Girl Scouts are clearing junk from a New Jersey river. Scouts, guides and youth clubs have not been forgotten when talking about volunteers, and the committee is thinking about having a conference or meeting for youth leaders to discuss this. If any member has contacts in this direction, please let the secretary know.
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From: Paul Dyson, 53 Wyke Avenue, Ash, Aldershot.
It is becoming very obvious, not only in the campaign for the restoration of the
Basingstoke Canal, but throughout the canal system, that the question of damage to banks caused by powered craft is assuming paramount importance. The reasons are obvious: increased maintenance costs and reduced depth due to silting.
From experience, I would say it is optimistic to suggest that only about 1% of users are to blame. I would put the figure at least at 50%. And again from experience, I would say that this is not due to irresponsibility, but simply through ignorance.
Damage to banks is caused when bow and propeller wash crests or breaks at the bank, and this is caused in turn when propeller revolutions and therefore the amount of water shifted by the propeller becomes excessive. It is not necessarily caused by high speed. It is plain, therefore, that a great part of this problem is caused by overpowered boats, and by boaters trying to go faster than the canal will allow. (Bad hull design nay also contribute). The maximum speed any canal craft can go is at maximum revolutions without making bank wash. As soon as any bank wash is caused, speed is reduced. This maximum speed is therefore directly related not to engine size, which above a certain level is irrelevant, but to depth and width of the water channel, hull profile and propeller pitch.
I have steered a narrow boat at about 6mph and caused no bank wash, and have caught up with small cruisers causing enormous damage, and incidentally unnecessarily using expensive fuel, by making a huge stern wave. It is also interesting to note that a loaded narrow boat and butty require only about 20hp to attain maximum speed.
The solution does not therefore lay with speed limits which are largely irrelevant, and extremely difficult to enforce. The answer is (l) To make bank washing an offence punishable by withdrawal of licence; (2) Education to convince boaters that when they are washing the banks they are going slower and using more fuel; (3) Issuing approved hull designs for canal craft and charging higher licence fees for unsuitable types; (4) Relating licence fees to engine size and not to length of craft, to discourage overpowered craft (length of craft is only relevant to moorings).
From: Andrew McPhail, Ladybower, Elveden Close, Pyrford, Woking
In one of the past newsletters it was mentioned that a species of grass eating carp was being tested by the Ministry of Agriculture with a view to controlling weed growth in canals. This reminded me of a book I read entitled "Man and Nature" by A. A. Milne. One of the chapters describes what happened when this carp was introduced into an American lake reserve for water birds to reduce the overabundance of water plants. Briefly, the carp were too successful. They ate all the weed and stirred up the muddy bottom while eating the roots. Coarse fish died out owing to the muddy water and consequent lack of light to see their prey. Ironically, there was insufficient food left for water fowl. Finally a very costly scheme had to be carried out to eliminate the carp.
In the light of this, it seems wise to be careful before releasing carp on to the inter-connocted British waterways until the full effects are known.
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Perish the thought - but this year we are producing society Christmas cards. They have a simple greeting, and an attractive drawing of Langman's Bridge, Woking. Price is 7d. each, 6s. a dozen (1s. postage on any quantity). Available at the rally from our stand or contact the Sales Manager, address on Page 2.
The threatening noises being made by the Post Office regarding increased postal charges mean we shall have to have a re-think about postage oa sales items, particularly if the weight allowance is changed. If ordering by post, please make sure you allow for postal charges.
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NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE
The Daily Telegraph of June 17 reported that the British Waterways Board was planning to restore the Grand Union as a traffic artery to cut down the flow of transport carrying exports down the M1 and through London to the docks. Goods would be offloaded outside the city and taken to the Thames by barge. Such a plan would ease congestion in the city as well as saving time. The Daily Mail reported that Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire County Councils were to spend £40,000 restoring the 12-mile Erewash Canal to cruiseway standards.
Hon. Sec: Miss June Sparey, 8 Beaufort Road, Maybury Estate, Woking, Surrey. Tels Woking 63095 (weekends), 01-992-5167 (weekday evenings)
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