Jan-Feb 1973

Hampshire issues Purchase notice
Society Diary
Committee notes
Working Party news
Sunday Ramble
Money Matters

Contact the Society


bcnmsthd39 (11K)

Newsletter No. 48President: The Earl of Onslow         Jan-Feb 1973

Formal notice that Hampshire County Council is to seek compulsory purchase of the Basingstoke Canal has been served and took effect on December 6. The order has been submitted for confirmation by the new Environment Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Rippon and the month given for objections to be lodged expires on January 8.

The proposed compulsory purchase order covers the stretch of the canal in Hampshire from the county boundary to the Greywell Tunnel. Copies of the order can be seen at Fleet Council offices, Aldershot Town Hall and Hartley Wintney's rural district council offices.

The county council anticipates that there will be a public inquiry into the order and it may be at least mid-1973 before an inspector can be appointed to hear evidence.

Evidence of Hampshire County Council's resolve to take over the canal can be seen in its estimates: £10,000 set aside in the current financial year's capital programme, and a provisional figure of £90,000 in next year's budget.

This is a real breakthrough - something which wo have been expecting to happen but after seven years' campaigning seems too good to be true.

So far as Surrey County Council is concerned, the Valuer's Department is still carrying out surveys along the Surrey stretch to establish precise ownerships of the banks. A County Hall spokesman told the "Newsletter": "Once this has been carried out, the county will push ahead with the CPO, expected to be in the early part of next year (1973). Authority for the CPO has already been given by the council".

There is not enough space in the Newsletter to give precise details of locations covered by Hampshire's CPO notice, but any member wanting further details is advised to read the notice and the map showing the extent of tho order in one of the council offices mentioned.

Good news too regarding Brick Kiln Bridge - and our sincere thanks to tho many members who did as we asked, and wrote to Hampshire County Council asking for plans to demolish the bridge to be reconsidered.

Some members have sent us copies of the letters they had from the county council - they were duplicated which is a good indication of the volume of letters they received about the bridge.

The bridge has been saved - for the moment at least. Hampshire County Council is now considering the case we put forward for acquiring land west of the Greywell Tunnel, and we have a letter from the county council stating that until a final decision on this land is taken, no action will be taken regarding the bridge "which might prejudice the possibility of restoration of that part of the canal".

The letter also points out that as long ago as 1925 the bridge and the canal bed were purchased by the county council with the aim of enabling the bridge to be replaced by a causeway, as the county council proposed.

However, the county council is looking at our proposals, and there may well be second thoughts about demolishing the bridge. Praise where praise is due - and our thanks to Hampshire for listening to us.

We have had our own engineer's survey of Brick Kiln Bridge carried out. This suggests that demolition would be a rather too drastic a measure, and that a few simple repairs would be sufficient.

Hampshire has also sent us plans of the proposed strengthen­ing of Barley Mow Bridge at Dogmersfield, outlined in the last Newsletter.

No more news yet on the cryptic note about the alleged poor state of Chequers Bridge in Crookham Village - but it now appears that this may have referred to another bridge in the vicinity and not the canal bridge. The Newsletter hopes to report further on this in the next issue.
[back to top]

A Letter from the Chairman
Dear Member:
Once again it is AGM time, the most important time in the Society's year. Each year my appeal for a good attendance has been answered and last year you embarrassed the committee by overfilling the hall. Will you all try to embarrass us again because we have booked the larger hall at Brookwood and will have at least twice the room for you this year.

The Society is approaching a very important point in its history. We have almost won the "war", and now we have to win the "peace". There must be changes, and you must come and make your views known to the new committee.

So far, our campaign has been directed to achieve public ownership of the canal, now the saving of the canal will soon begin, and we must reconsider every activity of the Society. In particular, we have to take a hard look at finance: how much have we got? What is our income? Is it enough for what we want to achieve? How should we improve income if we want to spend more? For example, successive committees have considered printing the Newsletter, but it will cost more than at present. Are you prepared to pay more for it?

Come to the AGM on Saturday, January 27 and help us answer these and many more questions.
David Gerry, Chairman
[back to top]


wednesday, January 10: Film evening, King's Head, Guildford Road, Frimley Green, 7.30 pro for 8 pm start. Films: A Century of Steam and Painted Boats. Don't miss this one!
Sunday, January 14: Wey & Arun working party, 1O am start, see P.4.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 27: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, Brookwood Memorial Hall, Connaught Road, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey, 7pm. The hall is situated at the end of a lane leading from Connaught Road near its junction with Connaught Crescent. The hall is on the left if travelling from Aldershot, on the right if coming from the Woking direction.
Wednesday, February 7: Film evening, time and venue as above. Films: National Trust, The Champions, North Walsham Canal, Festiniog Summer.
Friday. February 9: Public meeting about the canal organised by the Mytchett, Frimley Green and Deepcut Residents Association, St. Andrew's Hall, Sturt Road, Frimley Green, Surrey, 8 pm.
Sunday, February 11: Ramble, meet Farnham Station 10am, see back page.
Weekend, February 17-18: Working party, Stratford Canal, see Page 4.
Wednesday, March 7: Film evening, time and venue as above. Illustrated talk on the Wilts & Berks Canal by a K and A member, Mr. Dalby.
Sunday, April 15: Ramble, K & A, Reading (to be confirmed). See back page.
[back to top]

COMMITTEE NOTES by David Robinson
The committee is very concerned about development along the canal, particularly in the Fleet and Crookham area. Hampshire County Council has just reissued its proposals for the development of two large areas in Crookham. A public meeting was recently held by the Crookham Resident's Association, and was attended by a committee member. As a result a letter has been sent out stating our case against the proposed plan and its likely effect on the canal.

Following the submission of our case for acquiring land west of the Greywell Tunnel, two committee members walked the length of the canal west of the tunnel with a Hampshire County Council represen­tative. What we had to say was listened to very carefully and we had a very fair hearing. Our suggestions are now receiving the county's consideration.

The lock gate timber has not arrived yet (at the time of going to Press) but volunteer carpenters should stand by as John Edmondson is chasing the timber and hopes to start work on our second set of gates as soon as possible after Christmas.

Our membership is now fast approaching 2,000, and we hope to be in a position to make a presentation to the 2,000th member at the AGM. So if you are a newcomer to the society, it may be worth your while to come to the AGM!
[back to top]

The Newsletter Editor recently gave a talk to a class at Ravenscote Middle School, Frimley, and found a group of real canal enthusiasts in the making! They had visited the canal with their parents, and been well briefed on it. Following the visit, the Ed. received a delightful booklet of "thank you" letters and drawings from children in the class, and some very useful photographs of the Frimley Aqueduct in happier days taken from old postcards by the class teacher, Mrs. Heather Toynbee.

The class was anxious to start work on the canal as soon as they can, and we hope it will not be long before we are able to form a junior section for these young enthusiasts.
[back to top]

As carried out last year, a SHCS group will be going to Stratford on Avon to assist the National Trust in general maintenance work on the southern Stratford Canal. For this we shall be joining forces with the London working party group (IWA) so this should be a BIG weekend. The date: February 17-18.
Transport can be provided if you have none, but book it early. The work is varied - sheet piling, concreting, brickwork on a by-wash weir, puddling a leak on the Edstone Aqueduct, paddle gear mainten­ance - all types of work. Accommodation and meals are provided and Saturday night entertainment (liquid variety). All details and offers of lifts contact Jeff Holman, 22 Willow Green, West End, Woking, Surrey. Tel. Brookwood 3034.
Ash Vale
All three dumper truck engines and both cement mixers from our recent purchase are now running sweetly. However, the painting and straightening-out-wings dept. is looking unhealthy. Please offer Bob Humphrey at least half a day's work, weekends preferred. Contact Bob at Chobham 8822.
Wey and Arun
We are visiting the Wey and Arun on January 14 as a general working force. The site is at Birtley on the A.281, meet at grid ref.017436 Sheet l69, 10 am start. Signposts will be put up for late arrivals. It is south from Guildford on the Horsham road, 1 1/2-miles from Bramley. Please bring cutting tools if you can. More info from Jeff Holman.
Wood planer for sale
We have acquired (along with some other useful equipment) a large wood planer, driven by a 7 1/2-hp electric motor. Unfortunately, we are not able to make use of it ourselves, and so the machinery group have proposed its sale and in return the eventual purchase of another type of tool. The value of this planer is not known, so we can only invite offers. If you are interested, contact Bob Humphrey who can give you more details.

To Mr, P. Humphrey (Bob's dad) for making the base unit for the Basingstoke Canal rotary exhibition stand. This stand was presented to us by St. John's WI, It is hoped to have the stand on display at public libraries in the New Year.
[back to top]

JUMBLE SALES by Dave Robinson, 14 Brinksway. Fleet
A jumble sale held in Fleet on December 9 raised £40 for the society. I have never attended, let alone organised, a jumble sale in my life, but now having done it I would urge other members to try their hand at it. For very little effort and time £40 was raised from one small area. Just think what we could raise for society funds if this type of event was held in other areas along the length of the canal! Please contact me if you are willing to organise a jumble sale in your area, and I will give you all the help I can to get it going.

A word of thanks to all those members who helped us - some of whom turned out at very short notice, and to Major and Mrs. Stone who donated so many items for the sale.
[back to top]

There was a burst in the canal at the Colt Hill culvert, Odiham, recently. The bank there had been weak for some time and Councillor Gardiner - a member of the society - who had been watching the situation - warned that the hole was getting bigger. A canal company employee has carried out temporary repairs which will check the problem for the time being.

Our postbag has bulged with letters following Mr. Woolgar's letter which was published in the last Newsletter about the typewriter. Here is a selection of those we have received. To date, no letters have come in objecting to the cost of the typewriter, or disagreeing with the committee's decision to "go electric". Thanks to all who took the trouble to write - and sent cheques to swell the appeal fund at the same time!
My congratulations to our secretary who has laboured under these conditions for so long.

Please find enclosed a small donation towards the new type­writer.
20 Wentworth Way, Ascot

From: Mrs. B. Boucher
I have pleasure in enclosing herewith my cheque for £2 which I would like you to use for purchasing stencils, typewriter ribbons etc. in order to assist Miss June Sparey in her excellent work as Newsletter Editor.

The letter from Mr. Woolgar and in particular your editor's notes in reply made very interesting reading. I must say that I agree entirely with everything that your editor says and feel that the purchase of an electric typewriter was entirely justified by the results achieved. I very much like her method of setting out the section headed "Postman's Knock... Points from the Post". The presentation is easy to read and good to look at.
The White Cottage
Old Avenue
West Byfleet

From: Mr. Christopher Hill
Like Mr. Woolgar, I was somewhat shaken by the price of the new typewriter. However, upon reflection, I realised the reasoning behind the purchase.

I have myself been involved many times in duplicating work and I know only too well the vicissitudes of trying to cut a stencil upon a portable typewriter - especially when one is producing duplicated material in a book form which necessitates cutting the skin in half to get it into the carriage and then glueing it together again afterwards - a tricky and time-consuming process.

It is also very hard work, typing a stencil, and even for the best of good causes, sore fingers and broken typewriters can become a bit of a trial. Would anyone, I wonder, expect society members to start clearing the canal with seaside buckets and spades? No, I am sure the decision was a right one and I look forward to enjoying many more readable and well laid-out newsletters, as this one has been.

From: Mrs. P. Nickson
May I venture to suggest that Mr. Woolgar has missed the point of the society owning an electric typewriter, even though his sense of economy is admirable?

The point is that in the canal society, as in many others, there are people who are taking most of their spare time in providing members with an excellent service of information, and are negotiating for the acquisition of a canal (no less!), all this in a time when strikes for more pay and irresponsible development are commonplace. If the administrative processes of the society can be speeded up with the purchase of a machine for £177, then I consider that the money is well spent.
2 Island Cottages Map1edurwe11

Letter from: Miss Isobel Fowler
I am not able to do much for the society but read the Newsletter and pay my sub - so I hope the enclosed can go to that typewriter. You can't beat a good tool for the job. Good luck to the multiple use.
Norman Road, Winchester

From: Mr. John Langridge
I disagree with Mr. Woolgar, and support the committee's judgement in the purchase of a good typewriter.
43 Riverside Walk, Isleworth

From: Miss H. Rendle
Every time the Newsletter comes I read it with interest and think what a good job you make of it - so I am saying so!

I get lazy about going out on winter evenings but I enjoy reading about what goes on.
16 Upper Park Road, Camberley

From: Mrs. W. O. Blannin
Would you please add this small contribution towards either or both funds. Both seem important.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to thank the people who cleared our section of the canal, also cutting back the overgrown towpath. The weather was pretty horrible, but it didn't deter them.
70 Lambourne Crescent, Sheerwater, Woking

Letters are always welcomed for publication in the Newsletter.
Ed.'s address is on the back page.
[back to top]

THE SUNDAY RAMBLE - by Bob Tanner, Farnborough
Armed with wet weather gear, a packet of Rollos, big boots or heavy footwear, the group sorts itself out and plods on from the assembly area. (By carrying wet weather gear on John Peart's hard rambles you ensure that rain will not appear).

Upward through the wintry scene and the Ordnance Survey map unfolds itself in reality. Two radar towers on top of a spot height of 738 ft to our right, the urban development of commuter Alton to our left. Over the top started a zoological expedition, or so it seemed, as successive fields contained pigs, sheep and ponies. Spot height 628 ft, past Alton golf club, through Shalden village churchyard, out to a view looking towards Beech where not one sign of a telegraph pole, power line, house, car, tractor or farm, could be seen, rare sight these days. Leafless trees, ploughed fields, valleys and rolling hills with only the cry of a blackbird giving its danger warning.

With the previous wintry rains, the going underfoot was slippery on the leaf-covered chalk footpaths and the estimated time to the "oasis" was reached a little overdue: three hours outward journey. After using the mudscrapers provided by the organiser, the group spotted the well signposted hostelry - although where the locals came from we don't know because three or four houses do not fill an "oasis" with people. The commodity purchased at this oasis was quaffed with a keenness of dehydrated walkers (a peculiarity which John P takes into consideration when planning these jaunts).

Thus refreshed, the "squelch", "plod" noise of walking feet ensued through the edges of the fields to our highest point of 713 ft, near Medstead. Down now past a large herd of goats, through Forestry Commission trees, both conifer and deciduous, down to the sound of a motorway in the next valley, and the other side of Alton's urban development and the Christmas lights of the town. Return to car boots where muddy footwear was placed, after a heavy going but picturesque trip, the time being 5.15pm. Walking time on the return trip - 3 1/4 hours.

Try a John P trip some time - see the back page for a full programme of 1973 rambles. Where suitable, the walks are especially recommended for lively hounds. The Newsletter Ed's two energetic mongrel bitches remained glued to their armchairs (barring necessary trips to the garden) for 24 hours after a John P ramble. Unfortunately, work prevented the Newsletter Ed. from doing likewise.

Gentlemen members will not be complete without their Society tie - for which the sales manager, Tony Jarrett, is now taking orders. If we get enough orders to make the tie a viable proposition then we are in business. The tie will cost about £1.15 plus a small amount for postage. Orders please to Tony Jarrett, 1 Elms Road, Fleet, Hants.
[back to top]

Committee: No ballot this year, and although we have one member of the committee not seeking re-election (Mrs. Glenys Crocker), there is a new nomination to fill the vacancy - Tony Jarrett, sales manager. Our thanks to Mrs. Crocker for the work she has put in during her years on the committee. Details of nominations for the nine-man committee, with proposers and seconders, are as follows (asterisk indicates existing member).

Seconder M. C. Walker C. Robinson A. Babister D. Jarrett J. Holman P. Youngs E. Nicholson E. Nicholson P. Youngs Proposer Peter Walker Nominee John Edmondson* School House, School Lane, Bagshot Jarrett D, Alan Babister* D. A. Jarrett J. Holman A, Babister June Sparey J. Voolgar D, Gerry E. Nicholson 31 Elmsleigh Road, Cove Jeff Holman* 22 Willow Green, West End, Woking David Robinson* 14 Brinksway, Fleet Tony Jarrett 1 Elms Road, Fleet Mrs. Elizabeth Nicholson* 1 Kielder Walk, Camberley Robin Higgs* 18 Barnsford Crescent, West End Peter Youngs* 192 Upper Choblifcim'Robd, Camborley David Gerry* 10 Fairland Close, Fleet

Finance: Because of the timing of the AGM, it has not been possible to circulate the financial report with this Newsletter. Copies will be available at the AGM, and any member unable to attend who would like a copy should send a stamped addressed envelope to the Treasurer, Peter Youngs, The Coppice, 192 Upper Chobham Road, Camberley, Surrey. We are, however, circulating copies of our likely budget for 1973-74 with this

Newsletter, so that you can see where the money goes and where it comes from. Included are some suggestions for future items or services which we could provide - and the effect they will have on the subscription. Alterations to membership categories may also be proposed (see agenda) and the subscription may well be altered at this AGM. The subscription has remained almost the same since the society started - except for slight alteration two years ago to cater for decimalisation.

Constitution: Every member should have one - and if you have yours PLEASE bring it with you to the meeting. Some alterations are pro­posed to tidy up the wording - see details enclosed. Main changes are: 1.Shortening of the renewal period from six months to two. If a sub is not paid within two months of the renewal notice, the member will be lapsed. 2.Number of members required to call a meeting or ask for expulsion of a member increased from ten to 15. 3.Deletion of clause re election of President, officers and committee at AGM. 4.Non-committee members able to serve as officers. 5.Committee quorum increased to five. 6.Nominations for committee to be with the secre­tary 28 days before date of AGM. 7.Sub-committees shall be autonymous within a budget and subject to executive committee policies. 8.Two signatures required on cheques. 9.Amendments to Constitution must be passed by a clear majority of two-thirds of the members present and voting at an AGM. 1O.Amendments to the Constitution to be with the secretary 28 days before an AGM, and the period of notice to the membership of an amendment reduced from 28 days to 14 days. 11.Clauses re liability and responsibility amended to include the President, Vice-Presidents and sub-committees. This is only a brief resume of the changes - to find out more PLEASE COME TO THE AGM.
[back to top]

Date: February 11 .................. Farnham ........................ Long April 15 ............ Reading (K/A Canal) .................. Long June 10 ......... Brookwood (B'Stoke Canal) ............. Family August . 12 ............ Byfleet (Wey Navgn.) ............... Family October 14 ................. Guildford ..................... Family December 9 ............. Chichester Canal .................... Long

Organisation and forward planning are the current "in" words with committee members and one can easily see why. With present developments at last we may have the opportunity to get on with the paramount job of canal restoration. Soon we hope regular official working parties can be formed. With this in mind, the 1973 ramble programme is issued, anti it is hoped that neither rambles nor working parties will suffer due to date clashes (I too wish to join working parties!). Please note the dates now, these are fixed although the venue might be varied. Full details of each ramble will be published in the Newsletter immediately preceding the ramble.

Members who have recently joined may like to know that rambles are organised approximately every eight weeks, generally on the second Sunday in the month. In the summer months the rambles are restric­ted to the afternoon and are generally suitable for all the family - including children in push chairs. Distances on these short walks are usually around six miles. During the winter, commencing with the December ramble, walks are organised for those wishing to cover longer distances, generally 12-16 miles. Naturally, inclement weather can make these rambles very difficult, as those who enjoyed the last mud bath will verify. I must stress however that there is no obligation whatsoever to complete the full day's programme. If you wish to come along for a morning or afternoon only, a convenient rendezvous can usually be arranged.

New faces and familiar will all be welcome on the February ramble, note the date now! Sunday, February 11: Meet 10am, Farnham Station. This will be a round trip ramble of some 14 miles using public footpaths south of Farnham. Come along and help keep these footpaths open. At the date of writing this route has not been surveyed, so the usual lunch stop hostelry cannot be determined but every effort will be made to ensure that midday sustenance will be available.

Further details; contact John Peart, 1 Medway Drive, Cove, Farnborough, Hants. Tel: Farnborough 46554.
[back to top]

MONEY MATTERS by Peter Youngs, Treasurer
1. The Land Rover/Typewriter Appeal Fund: Donations to this appeal continue to come in and at the time of going to press the fund stands at £l63.60p plus six books of trading stamps. Many thanks to those who have subscribed since my message in the last Newsletter, We are keeping the appeal open until the end of January, for those of you who would still like to send something.
ALSO WANTED; About 1,000 S & H pink trading stamps to complete two partially full books that have been donated. If you have any of these stamps you do not want, send them to me, Peter Youngs, The Coppice, 192 Upper Chobham Road, Camberley, Surrey.
2. Thanks are also due to the Fleet branch of the National Westminster Bank who have generously refunded to the society the £9.10p bank charges that had been made in the earlier part of the year. This gesture is greatly appreciated.

Hon.Sec. Mrs. E. Nicholson, 1 Kielder Walk, Heatherside, Camberley, Surrey. Tel: Camberley 29468.
Newsletter Editor: Miss June Sparey, 8 Beaufort Road, Maybury, Woking Surrey. Tel: Woking 63095 (weekends only)} Camberley 29463 (weekday evenings).
[back to top]



Last updated April 2005