No. 39July 1971
WANTED - A SECRETARY
The society still has a vacancy for a person who would be co-opted on to the
committee to act as society secretary.
The job would suit a mature person,
with secretarial training or previous experience of this sort of work - plus
typing ability. The job involves dealing with routine correspondence,
.. attending committee meetings (held on the first Friday of each month) to
take minutes and send out agendas, and keeping the filing system in good
Volunteers would not be expected to play a very active part in the
society's work beyond secretarial duties - unless, of course, they want to.
The time the job takes varies, but a reasonable estimate would be two to
three hours a week. It would suit a housewife with office experience, or
a retired person who wants something interesting to do.
Our need for a new secretary is becoming urgent. If anyone feels they
might be interested, but would like more details before committing themselves, please get in touch with the Acting Secretary, Miss June Sparey,
8 Beaufort Road, Maybury Estate, Woking, Surrey (telephone numbers on
Page 6), or the Chairman, Mr. David Gerry, 10 Fairland Close, Fleet, Hants.
[back to top]
THE GOVERNMENT TAKES ACTION
Scene: House of Commons, Tuesday, July, l3, 1971.
Question (from Mr. Cranley Onslow, MP for Woking): "To ask the Minister of State for Defence whether he now intends to institute proceedings for the recovery from the New Basingstoke Canal Company of the cost to public funds resulting from the breach in the canal bank at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, in September 1968".
Answer (from Mr. Ian Gilmour, MP): "Yes".
After nearly three years, the Government is taking positive steps to get back the £5,000 spent by the then Ministry of Technology on repairing the breach which led to serious flooding at the RAE - and washed out the first day of the Farnborough Air Show.
Our sincere thanks to Cranley Onslow for relentlessly pursuing this in the House - and to members who pursued Mr. Onslow and the Ministry of Technology (although the former was only too willing to help). What happens now? An approach will be made to the company asking if they will make a settlement. If not, then off they go to the High Court for what could be a very interesting action - one which may well settle exactly what obligations rest with the owners of the canal over repairs and maintenance.
The canal has really been in the news lately. First, a story broke in the Woking and Camberley papers about police warning children and dog owners to steer clear of the canal because of the danger of picking up an organism which can lead to jaundice in humans and a liver complaint in dogs.
Exactly what the danger is - and where it is - we don't yet know. But we are taking steps to find out, possibly with the help of an analysis undertaken independently by one of the universities after the summer vacation.
If it can be proved that this disease is rampant in stagnant water, then there is a very good case for getting the canal moving again. As members will know, the flow to the Surrey stretch is cut off by the concrete dam erected at Ash Lock - just above the breach in Ash embankment.
Next the Army, with some big guns firing, "declared war" on the canal, according to the Aldershot News. Brigadier Rowley Mans, commandant of the Aldershot garrison, pledged all the help the county councils may need in restoring the stretch of canal which wanders through the military town, making a mockery of the Army's carefully planned landscaping.
On the society committee front, members have been lobbying all members of the Surrey County Council planning committee. Preliminary reports indicate that:
* Negotiations for purchase are continuing.
* Fears that the county councils may back down or lose heart if the going gets rough are unjustified - they won't.
* The complex legal problems are slowly being resolved.
* They would rather the negotiations remain unpublicised.
* "Unofficial" (i.e. privately organised) working parties have caused some embarrassment, enabling red herrings to be thrown into negotiations and confusing the issue - possibly even protracting negotiations. Here we stress, yet again, that these working parties are NOT organised by or the responsibility of this society.
On the question of publicity being given to negotiations, the society is probably guilty. But at public meetings, the question everyone wants the answer to is: "What is happening?" coupled with "How much?" The canal company itself dropped a very broad hint about the latter, in its published accounts for 1969 (which anyone can read at Bush House). In the opinion of the directors', said a note at the end of the accounts,'the value of the company's land is £100,000'. And when Mr, Colin Bonsey, Hampshire County Council Land Agent, is quoted in a newspaper (Midweek News, March 30) as saying: "The indications are that we are not going to reach an agreement with the owners", one can hardly be blamed for putting two and two together and coming up with a startling four.
The canal company has always been ultra-sensitive to criticism and publicity, apparently regarding all publicity as bad publicity (unfortunately for them, it usually is). Bit the society - while anxious to do anything it can to help - cannot always be expected to bow to the canal company's pirouettings. Our members have a very real interest in what happens to this canal - plus the fact that public money may well be spent on it. If people ask us questions, we can only answer them to the best of our knowledge and ability.
On a brighter note, the society was able to give positive help to a couple living in Albert Drive, Sheerwater, Woking, whose back garden (with the canal at the end of it) resembled a sponge, soggy with stagnant water. Our newly-appointed consulting engineer, Mr J. R. Gwyther, did some detective work and reached the conclusion that the canal was not responsible for the waterlogging. More likely, the drains were at fault. This information was passed to the couple concerned, Woking Council and the New Basingstoke Canal Company. In fact, we probably did more to find out the cause than everyone else put together. So, if you get problems with the canal - do let us know.
[back to top]
WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES
A new member asked recently what the subscription was used for. The sub - low as it is - simply covers the day-to-day running costs of the society.
We spend a lot of money in postage (though not as much as we could incur, thanks to our volunteer postmen), and we eat up a lot of duplicating paper, envelope etc. Any that is left over goes into the general fund to buy new or replacement equipment as the need arises (like the new addressing system we have just purchased).
Separate from the general fund is the Restoration Fund, into which donations can be made, and the Lock Gate Fund, which financed the building of our first (and so far only) pair of lock gates. If the go-ahead is given to start work on a pair of lowers - the last ones were uppers - we hope the fund will swell again. Incidentally, any volunteer carpenters who would like to try their hand at making lock gates should send their names and addresses to Jeff Holman, 22 Willow Green, West End, Woking, Surrey - in case we decide to build a second pair.
[back to top]
A COMMITTEE RESIGNATION
Shortly before going to print, we have learnt that Mr. Jim Woolgar has tendered his resignation from the society's Executive Committee. Jim gives as his reasons his feeling that the Society is placing too much emphasis on the preservation of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society and that the canal hat dropped on the priority list.
The committee is made up of administrators who, he alleges, are principally concerned with the society's image. He also claims that private working parties on the canal are being attacked, and believes that these are, at the present time, only practical, constructive work that can be done to prevent the canal from rotting away.
It is indeed true that the society and its Executive Committee are going through the most frustrating and difficult period in its history. The committee, of which Mr. Woolgar has been a part, has always acted by majority decision and if too much attention has been paid to the image of the society it has been because the majority of the committee sincerely believe that it is through a strong and well-organised society that the canal will best be saved.
Mr. Woolgar has been a committee member since the establishment of the society,
and if he has been unhappy with any of the work the committee has done, then perhaps he has only himself to blame because he has not put over his points of view in a sufficiently forceful and persuasive way to convince the majority that he is right.
Of course, the society committee is involved in much administrative work. But at the present time, the society's main function must be to educate the general public to the need for restoration of the canal, to convince the Surrey and Hampshire County Councils of the urgency of the project and last - but by no means least - to keep our own members informed of what is happening and to maintain their interest - no mean feat over four years of very slow progress.
This type of campaign must inevitably result in a lot of "administration." It also results in the need for "administrators". For those of us (and "us" includes ALL committee members) who would rather get on with the job in hand and start real restoration work, administration can be boring, can be frustrating. But most of us believe it is VITAL to have the backing of a smoothly run organisation, and public support, before the society can be said to be ready to play an active part in restoring the canal. For restoration is still, very much, the top priority, and the sooner we can switch our activities from council chasing, letter writing and public speaking to digging the silt and rubbish out of a lock chamber the better.
When the canal has changed hands and if, as we have all hoped and worked for, the society is invited to play a major part in restoration, it may well be that we shall need people of a different calibre on the committee to those we have at present. And it is sincerely hoped that Mr. Woolgar will offer himself for re-election to the committee at that time, because his expertise will be sorely needed.
As long-standing members will know, the New Basingstoke Canal Company has always refused our applications to hold society-organised working parties on the canal, because of our declared policy of full restoration. On the other hand, it has allowed private individuals to undertake clearance work. The committee has discussed many times whether it should work on the canal without permission from the owners; whether it should take the law into its own hards. Probably all committee members have, at some time or other, in their sheer frustration felt that perhaps this was the only thing to do. But in the end, the majority has always ruled out this possibility completely.
The end result is that we have built up a relationship with the two county councils and many other local authorities along the canal as a responsible and reliable body of people, and irresponsible action could so easily have lost all the ground we have gained. The decision to follow this course of action has not been easy, and if we are to reap any benefits by playing the game to rules which were not of our making, only time will tell.
The good work and sometimes dramatic results achieved by these private working parties has never been questioned or "attacked". Their efforts in making sections of the canal look attractive has been appreciated - because they have shown what can be done.
We have not discouraged people from taking part in private working parties. It can also be said that we have not actively encouraged them either. We have, on the other hand, encouraged discussion on the value of the work in our own newsletter, and are most grateful to those members who hove contributed to this discussion. Whether or not the committee's actions in this respect are right or wrong we leave to members to decide, bearing in mind the comments from Surrey County Council printed on Page 2 of this newsletter.
Your Executive Committee will be discussing possible co-options to fill the vacancy caused by Mr. Woolgar's resignation at its next meeting in a few weeks' time.
[back to top]
With this newsletter you will receive a separate sales list - because the list has grown so long that it is no longer practicable to include it in the body of the newsletter. Please keep it - in future only new additions to the stock will appear in the newsletter.
New postage rates mean you will have to calculate the total weight of your order and then add the appropriate, amount for postage - details on the sales list. If you want to order goods, fill in your name and address in the space provided on the back of the list, and send it with remittance to the Sales Manager, Peter Walker, 6 Carlyon Close, Farnborough, Hants. He will send you a replacement list with your order.
Please, please, whenever sending cheques or postal orders make them payable to THE SURREY AND HAMPSHIRE CANAL SOCIETY. 'We are not, repeat not, the Basingstoke Canal Preservation Society or the Basingstoke Canal Trust - just two variations of the theme. And NEVER send loose cash through the post. It gets lost, causes embarrassment, and we can not be responsible for the consequences.
If you have any ideas of further items that could bo added to the sales stock, please let Peter know.
[back to top]
'WARE SNAKES (OR FANGS FOR THE MEMORY)
Our chairman, recently a patient in Fleet Hospital, reports that the chap in the next bed was suffering from a very nasty adder bite which he collected along the canal towpath. The chairman added that he was in the tender care of a nurse who was also an SHCS member. Seems there's no getting away from it ...
[back to top]
One of the society's functions is to keep a check on the condition of the canal throughout its length. Unfortunately, it is not possible for committee members to cover the area regularly - so we are turning to members for help.
We need people to be responsible for keeping watch on the canal's condition in their immediate area. You can take on a stretch as short or long as you like: a mile, the distance between two bridges, or a pound between two locks - it's up to you. All we are asking is that you take a stroll along your length at regular intervals, and report to a committee member any radical change in the condition - abnormally low water levels, damage etc.
In addition, to keep the situation up to date, we would ask you to complete a questionnaire or send in a brief, written report on a quarterly basis dealing with the general aspect and outlining any changes that have taken place. We should also like to know of any planning applications you hear of which may affect the canal's amenities.
People living alongside the canal will probably find this a job which they could easily manage. So if you can help, please get in touch with Jeff Holman, 22 Willow Green, West End, Woking, Surrey (tel. Brookwood 3034) giving him some idea of the area you can cover. We're not expecting you to take on miles of canal -just a bit - and a small portion of your spare time.
On the subject of work, Mr. Stan Sutton of Tongham has given the society another Alien Autoscythe - so now we have three. If you're clearing out the toolshed, give Jeff a ring before you chuck anything away - you never know what we might find a use for. Our thanks to Mr. Sutton for his gift.
[back to top]
PROFILE - ALF ROGERS - BARGEE
"The first time I ever went up this old ditch was when I was about nine or ten years old. I was potty on the water". An 80-year old man sits in his front room, recalling the days when he worked on the Basingstoke Canal.
In about 1907 or 1908 Dick Cobbe, Alf Rogers' step-brother, was persuaded to leave the Thames barges he had worked on and move on to the Basingstoke. "If you like, you can come with me as a cabin boy aboard one of the tugs and we'll see how you take to it", said Dick. "I took to it all right", Alf remembers.
The first trip on the cut that he recalls was taking a boat ("No. 12 it was") down to Shadwell to pick up a load of coal for the Woking Gas Company - about 40 tons. In those days, of course, the barges were unpowered. How did they manage the journey up the canal, along the Wey, and on the Thames?
"You pushed, shoved, got a sail up and got there. Horses towed you to Weybridge, and after that you had to use your wits to get to Kingston. Dick and I were the only two who ever attempted flood water on the Thames to get to Kingston. Once you got there, a tug picked you up. Coming back you had a tug all the way to Weybridge, Horses were no good for pulling you up the Thames loaded". That's how.
Alf had the Dauntless - the first boat he skippered. Then came the Bedjacket (because Dick didn't like it) and the Bluejacket - "That was the one that always went down to the Tilbury part of the Thames, and it's a nasty bit of work when you take a canal barge down there".
He also skippered the Aldershot. Alf knew A. J. Harmsworth, the canal's former owner, who he described as a man "who would always take his coat off and get down to it if a job needed doing". In those days, the barges carried a general cargo - mostly coal and timber. The canal then was "100 per cent better" than it is today. Using the Deepcut 14 locks was "no trouble".
It used to take about one and a quarter hours to get through the six locks at Woodham fully loaded. The run from Woking to Tilbury was done in 48 hours -"regardless", and that included getting back to Woking with a load. Problems of water shortage occurred only in summer.
The barges operated with a skipper and mate. Woolwich was the main place to go for coal. Alf recalls that at Shadwell, just outside St. Catherine's Dock, a "dear little monkey boat nearly sank. It took 45-ton of coal which made its deck level with the water". The only time they used horses on the Thames was when ballast was being taken to the Woking Gas Company.
He remembers an attempt by A. J. Harmsworth, Dick Cobbe and himself to get a barge through to Basingstoke. "We had to block and tackle ourselves over the sand heaps. We got as far as Greywell but couldn't get any further". Alf believes there is some truth in the intriguing tale that barges had been carted round the Greywell Tunnel by road. He heard the story from another Basingstoke Canal captain called Walker.
When Alf married, his wife joined him on the barges. The Harmsworth boats had two side bunks in the for'ard cabin and stools. "Captains had the aft cabin because the cooking utensils were there. The mate had to go for'ard whether he liked it or not". Dick Cobbe and his family almost lived on the Thames and the Basingstoke. Space was short; the aft cabin bunks folded up into the wall, and there was always the uncertainty of your whereabouts - "you didn't know whether you were coming back on the next tide or next week".
The pay was about 35s. a week. "That was good money. But you had to be a good man to get it". Alf lives in Gloster Bead, Westfield, near Woking. In 1915 his association with the Basingstoke ended, when he joined the Royal Flying Corps. "I thoroughly enjoyed working on the canals though", he emphasised. He is one of the few Basingstoke bargees still alive - step-brother Dick died in March, 1955 at the age of 73.
* * * * *
For fuller details of some of the boats and people mentioned in this article, read Boats from the Basingstoke's Past, by Tony Harmsworth, available from the Sales Manager (see list enclosed).
[back to top]
WHAT'S ON - WHAT'S GONE
Nothing definite for the diary yet, "but we are arranging to hold meetings for members only at Woking, Farnborough and Fleet in the autumn. The meetings will enable general discussion to take place, for which there is never enough time at the AGM.
The proposed coach trip to the IWA rally at Northampton has had to be called off because we didn't get enough people to warrant booking a coach. Other ideas for coach trips are being investigated.
Our thanks to Dr. and Mrs. Turner of Farnborough for holding a very successful wine and cheese party in their home.
The three public meetings which constituted our Spring membership campaign brought in 487 new members to the society. The Newsletter Editor, Miss June Sparey, 8 Beaufort Road, Maybury Estate, Woking, Surrey (tel. Woking 63095 at weekends) will be very interested to answer questions they may have about the society, or print their views on a variety of topics in the newsletter.
This month, an exhibition of old Frimley was held in Camberley Library. Among the exhibits were some old postcards of the canal. If anyone has, among their souverirs, old photographs or postcards of the canal, our archivist, Miss Doris Potter, 22 Queen's Road, Fleet, would be very interested in seeing them. If possible, she would like to copy them for the records - and promises to take good care of them while this is being done.
[back to top]
CALLING ALL POETS
The Woking News & Mail printed a delightful verse about the canal in it's July 15 issue wbich we couldn't ignore. The poet is Mr. R. F. Marshall, of 93 Albert Drive, Sheerwater, and we reprint his ode below with acknowledgement to the News & Mail!
ODE TO MUDDY WATERS
Come, let us walk by Woking's water,
The Venice Street to Basingstoke
Who could want its charms to alter
Or of its banks to make a joke.
Moorhens have fled the waters rank
And sought afar their pleasures new
But then, who cares for waterfowl
Who left when foul the waters grew
And weeds bestrew the broken bank
Here nightly hoots the lonely owl.
At far less cost than one new plane
We could this waterway restore
See this stream flow sweet again,
To give us pleasure evermore.
Let lovers walk with no regret
Down paths made new, where flowers grow
Let all who have them, cares forget
Where Woking waters sweetly flow.
Now, who can give us another rhyme? Or have we a composer in our ranks who could set this psalm to restoration to music? Offers please to the Newsletter Editor.
We need two more volunteer postmen to deliver newsletters once every two months. Districts vacant are Odiham/North Warnborough/Greywell and Brookwood/Bisley. The general urban district of Woking has also contributed to our great influx of new members, and any volunteers to do a bit of delivering in the Woking area will also be welcome.
Offers of help please to the Newsletter Editor. Any new members, irrespective of where they live, who would like to join in this very worthwhile work please don't wait to be asked - we can probably fit you in with a few newsletters to deliver.
HAVE YOU RENEWED YET?
Renewal forms were sent out with the last newsletter to those members who were due
for renewal. So if you haven't rejoined yet please - do it now! If you have lost
your banker's order/covenant form, the secretary can let you have another. Our
subscription rates (in case you have forgotten) are Family (husband and wife) 75p;
Single Adult 60p.
It makes everyone's work so much easier if our members renew promptly. Perhaps you are not going to renew because you are leaving the district - in which case please tell us so that time and postage are not wasted. And, don't think it is not worth renewing: after four long years it looks at last as if the end is in sight, and we shall surely be needing all the support we can get - even if your support just amounts to a few new pence in our kitty and your signature on a piece of paper.
The Membership Secretary, Mr. Alan Babister, 31 Elmsleigh Road, Cove, Farnborough, Hants, is ready to take your renewal. Let's keep him busy.
We shall also be switching over to a new addressing system for newsletter envelopes. If by the time the next newsletter is published (September) you will have moved, please let us have a note of your new address: either to Mr. Babister or the Newsletter Editor.
If anyone knows of an organisation which might be interested in buying our old addressing machine (a Roneo, working on a stencil principle, complete with equipment and filing cabinets for about 1,000 addresses) please get in touch with the Newsletter Editor. The price will be about £35. We are only parting with it because of space reasons - it's in perfect working order.
A DROP IN THE OCEAN by Bob Humphrey
Map reference OS 169 942572: Sunday June 6. Does this jog your memory? Well, it didn't rain, but it wasn't really sunny enough to take the wife and kids down to the coast for the day. In fact, it was just nice to be digging up spadefuls of black, oozy mud, and that is just what five adults and two young kids were doing. Of course, you remember now: it was the official working party to clear Cowshott Stream.
Work started at the northern end of the canal feeder and by midday a trench 4' 6" wide by 2ft deep had been cut through about 60ft of accumulated silt. At this point one-third of the labour force diverted their attention to removing Army married quarters surplus bric-a-brac from the southern end of the culvert. Many interesting objects were found, including a modern twin-tub washer, pressure cooker, Dinky toys, Wellie boots and a set of antelope's horns. With these removed, a slight flow of water was seen heading in the direction of the canal. As various other assorted bits of rubbish were removed, the flow was seen to be moving almost at a slow walking pace - stagnant waters were now on the move!
Work at the other (northern) end had now been concentrated on diverting water from Cowshott Stream to the canal feeder. The old weir was again made operational so that the canal received the bulk of the water instead of flooding Black Horse Bridge in times of heavy rain.
However, our efforts were a drop in the ocean: 60ft of silt removed and about three quarters of a mile to go to do the job properly. It doesn't take a mathematical genius to work it out, but at the present rate of labour (volunteers from you) it should take 66 working parties, say at one a month . . . approximately 5 1/2 years to clear the feeder!
As a postscript to the event, the police were pleased to receive the 73 rounds of live ammunition that we found in the silt, although they thought that the circumstances in which they had been found was rather peculiar - if not rather suspicious!
WHIRLING AT WOKING
Thanks to some quick work by Stuart Browning and member Ken Foat, the society was represented at the Woking Whirl. Mr. Foat's boat was decked up to join the carnival procession, and he also hitched our caravan on to the back of his car and towed it to Woking Park. We should like to hear from anyone who has a 2,000 cc vehicle with towing attachment who would be willing to pull the caravan to the usual sort of summer functions. Volunteers please give names and addresses to Stuart Brooming, 34 Parvis Road, West Byfleet, Woking, Surrey.
[back to top]
THE NARROW BOATS - Part 2 by JON TALBOT
In the past, the narrow boats have carried every conceivable type of traffic. Their mainstay has always been coal, but other bulk cargoes such as timber, chalk, wheat, sand, salt, bitumen and china clay were carried in large quantities until the early 1950s, when tonnages began to fall off rapidly. In the last five or six years cargoes have included motor car transmissions, bicycles, dried fruit, tomato puree and motor oil! Before the war an important traffic from Birmingham to London was the carriage of cars in a "knocked down" state for export. Special boats were built for this traffic, which was operated by Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd., a very progressive and fiercely competitive company that operated over 100 pairs of narrow boats as well as having boat building, barge operating and wharfage interests.
In 1934, the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company was formed, as an offshoot of the Grand Union Canal Company and Grand Union Stevedoring and Wharfage Ltd, The GUCCC had over 180 pairs of boats, most of which were all steel or composite (steel sides and 2 1/2" elm bottom) craft built at Woolwich by Harland and Wolf. Another famous carrier was the Samuel Barlow Coal Company of Tamworth, Staffs. They had about 26 pairs, most of which were immaculate in appearance and maintained with the same pride as the old traction engines. Sadly, Barlows sold up about 1953 and now run a fleet of scruffy lorries. As well as the smart boats of the "number ones" (the owner-boatmen) there were some small fleets worthy of mention - two that come to mind were those of Cerebos Salt and A, Wander & Co. of King's Langley. The cabin panels of the latter bore the entreaty "Drink Delicious Ovaltine" - the first and last example of canal boat advertising. They ceased operating about 1953.
Many canals were nationalised in 1948. This was beneficial, for it wrested many waterways from the suffocating grasp of railway ownership. Unfortunately, the bigger boat fleets were nationalised also. The 250 or so pairs of Grand Union and Fellows Morton boats soon dwindled to 120 pairs and began to run at a loss. By 1960 there were less than 60 pairs on the Grand Union; by 1968 there were 32 pairs; in the summer of 1969 the opening of the Tilbury Terminal condensed the fleets further, leaving nine pairs in trade. Now the only regular narrowboat traffic on the Grand Union is Rose's Lime Juice (three pairs running between Brentford and Boxmoor) and a monthly boatload of coal from Baddesley Colliery, Coventry to Berkhamsted. On the entire canal system there are some 35 pairs plus about a dozen "single motors" - boats which do not tow butties as they mostly work over narrow, heavily-locked routes on short runs only. In addition, there are roughly 80 "day" boats operated by the British Steel Corporation on short-haul work in the Birmingham area.
About 400 miles of Britain's 3,000-mile canal system carry heavy commercial traffic in barges and small coasting vessels of up to 400 tons capacity (an exception is the Sharpness Canal in Gloucestershire which carries 1,000-tonners
- just!). Much of the remaining mileage can handle narrow boats only and in the present commercial climate this traffic can but decline. One can only applaud the efforts of one or two small groups of enthusiasts in obtaining new traffics. However, to expect the narrow boats to prosper when other forms of water transport are declining or barely holding their own is like cutting a slice of rather crumbly bread and expecting it to stand up without the support of the remainder of the loaf.
There is undoubtedly a place for narrow boats on short runs in congested urban areas and, possibly, as an extension to lighterage services. However, lighterage is declining rapidly and small boats do not make money when sitting on top of oil drums and bike frames. For yet another fine old tradition, the end is in sight.
*The Narrow Boat Trust is appealing for funds to buy narrow boats and keep them in their original trading condition. The British Waterways Board has issued a tender list of narrow boats for sale. Each boat could cost £1,000 - or £16,000 if the Trust was able to buy them all. It hopes to buy at least some of the boats, and any funds donated will be put to this use. Donations should be sent to the Rev. R. D. Howe, Potterspury Vicarage, Nr. Towcester, Northants, who can also supply details of membership of the Trust.
Newsletter Editor: Miss June Sparey, 8 Beaufort Road, Maybury Estate, Woking, Surrey. Tel: Woking 63095 (weekends only) Camberley 29463 (after 5 pm)
[back to top]