August 1977

Working Parties
First of 29 Locks Restored
Plant a Tree
Trip Boat Launched
Social Jottings
Sponsored Walk Success
Gongoozlers' Gossip
Cover Photos info

Contact the Society


    bcnmsthd50 (12K)

No. 75AUGUST 1977

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The launch of the Society's trip boat is positive proof of the widespread support that exists for making full use of the restored western end and, in time, the whole of the Basingstoke Canal. Not only for angling, a walk along the towpath and to mess about in boats, but for the purpose it was built - navigation. No-one raises £10,000 in less than six months without a majority backing.

Our thanks go to all those members and supporters of the Society who helped to make last year's dream a reality today. There's still a lot to be done before the first passengers embark. But even now, the presence of a traditional canal narrow boat at Colt Hill, moored alongside the Great Wharf, gives this once busy commercial corner of the waterway a renewed sense of life and purpose.

Despite the tremendous interest and enthusiasm in the project, a few people have viewed it with reservations; if not downright hostility. Ever since March, an avalanche of obstacles has descended, including the need for planning permission, car parking facilities, increased traffic density, use of North Warnborough lift-bridge and even that the canal is not wide enough to take the boat! In spite of the fact that Hampshire's Recreation Committee gave us their approval in principle to build the boat last October,, we have been accused of 'jumping the gun' and 'twisting the Council's arm'. For weeks the 'problems' have been bounced back and forth between Council committees, plannerss road experts and recreation officers. By the intensity of the debates anyone would think we were planning to launch an invasion fleet rather than a harmless pleasure boat.

Of course the interests of the local community should be considered and it is right for all the implications of the project to be carefully examined. Indeed the Society considered them at the outset and even applied self-imposed conditions where solutions were not readily apparent. But the persistence with which the relatively minor issues have been raised is out of all proportion to the Society's aim: namely to enable more people to make use of the canal and thereby raise funds to finance restoration of more lengths of the canal.

And that for a few, may well be the root of their troubles.
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Frank Jones5 co-ordinator of the Job Creation Programme project, and his team downed tools on Friday, 22 July and, took up pints of bitter to celebrate the completion of Lock 26, one of three being restored with a £35,000 grant from the Manpower Services Commission. The project has been providing work and training for local tradesmen and unemployed school-leavers over half of whom have since found work with local building firms.

The Society has applied for a three-month extension to the project which is due to finish at the end of August.
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Church Crookham.
I enclose a cheque for £1.25 being my subscription as an Old Age Pensioner, with apologies for the delay.

I went up to London a few weeks ago and was rather appalled to see the wholesale destruction of wild life habitat along the banks and the canal at the parts one could see from the railway. Is it really necessary to make such a wholesale destruction in the clearing and clean up of the canal?
Yours sincerely,
A M J Dryland
PS. I have known and enjoyed the Basingstoke Canal for the past 55 yaars and am very glad it is being made useful for boating again, having in my young days enjoyed many picnics and walks along it.
Editors' Note: A certain amount of disturbance is necessary, unfortunately, Mr Dryland, but this is being kept to the absolute minimum. The tree planting scheme reported elsewhere in this newsletter is evidence of the Society's wish to restore the environment as far as possible. Nature has remarkable powers of recovery, even in a short space of time, as can be seen on the Upper Avon, and there they even used explosives!

27 Derwent Drive, Maidenhead.
Many years ago I helped Tim Dodwell prepare a report for submission to Surrey County Council in connection with the proposed restoration by volunteers of the Basingstoke canal. Subsequently I remember its successor being presented by yourself at a meeting of the London & Home Counties Branch Committee. Subsequently work and family commitments compelled me to seek semi-retirement from the waterways scene although, of course, I have managed to keep abreast of current devel­opments through Waterways World and now, regrettably, to a lesser extent, the IWA.

For some reason I never joined the Surrey and Hants but following a brief 20min. visit I was able to make to Curzon Bridge and the next lock up the flight yesterday, I now wish to rectify that omission.

I was most impressed by the extent and quality of the workmanship I saw. Having watched the flight decline over the last 25 years it was almost unbelievable to see the work being undertaken. Let us hope it can continue to a successful re-opening.

I enclose a cheque for £10 which may help a little after paying for membership of the Society, for which I hereby belatedly apply.
With best wishes Yours sincerely,
David Cooper.
Editors' Note: David Cooper was chairman of an IWA Committee including Tim Dodwell and Plilip Ogden, who prepared a confidential report on restoration of the Basingstoke Canal in July 1965 at the request of Surrey County Council. The 37-page report recommended public acquisition and the formation of a Charitable Trust which paved the way for the Society's subsequent campaign. Welcome to the Society, David.

and from Mr P J White
Membership renewed only with some misgiving. The Surrey section of the canal seems to me to be starved of the financial and plant/ eouipment resources of the Society to the extent that it is not living up to its name of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society.
Editors' Note: We hope our reports on the completion of locks 25 and 26 will change your view, Mr White.
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One Surrey lock has now been declared restored by volunteer labour, but one restored lock deesn't make a canal. With the first lessons learnt, it is essential that plenty of volunteers come forward to complete the task. The Society has, after all, committed itself to providing substantial volunteer labour.

The principnl working parties are listed below. It is usually advisable to check before attending with the leader, or with the Society's Ansaphone on Farnborough 45032, as the venue or the nature of the work can be changed at the last minute.

Every weekend Lock Restoration
(Saturday and Sunday)
Following completion of Lock 25. the next purely Society task here is the by-wash on Lock 27. But there are plenty of other tasks, supporting the efforts of the Job Creation team, for volunteers. Leaders of this party, at the various weekends, are JIM CHISHOLM, ALAN GRIMSTER, PETER JONES and PETER MAYNE.

Every weekend Dredging in Hampshire
Saturday and Sunday)
The dredger has passed Broad Oak Bridge and is now tackling some very heavy work indeed in Broad Oak Shoals. Servicing the mudboats which take the silt awny is a task for which volunteers are always sought. The meeting point is Broad Oak Bridge, and you are especially asked to park tidily. Further details from ROGER THOMAS on Fleet 20316.

Second weekend of the month Lock 5 (Sheerwater)
13/14 Aug, l0/11 Sept
Most of the effort is now concentrated on restoration at the top end of the lock. Pointing the top wing walls is complete and rebuilding the top sill has started. It is hoped that the new top apron can soon be laid. Bricklaying tools would be very useful if you can bring them along. Details from PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081, (Note; This party's October date coincides with the WRG Big Dig on the Deepcut Flight, and the regulars will all be taking themselves along there. So come in, the clay puddling's fine!)

Second Sunday of the month Lock 1 (Woodham)
11 Sept
This party has done most of the brickwork at the bottom end of the lock, above the water-line, and now plans to dig out the bottom end. Bricklayers and bricklaying tools particularly welcome. More details from JEFF HOLMAN on Woking 63811.
(Note: This party will also be joining in the Big Dig in place of their October date).

Last weekend of the month Offside clearance in Hampshire
24/25 Sept, 29/30 Oct
The initial task remaining for this party is to complete clearance from Coxraoor Bridge to Chequers Bridge, The meeting point will be the wharf at Chequers Bridge, and work will probably start from Coxmoor. Details from DAVID MILLETT on Fleet 7364.
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A film show, presented by the IWA Guildford Branch at the Odeon Cinema, Cheapside, Reading, will be held on Sunday, 2 October at 1.30pm (doors open 12.45). There will be a programme of rare archive films on the story of the canals, including BARGING THROUGH LONDON (Regents Canal 1924); THE BASINGSTOKE CANAL (1913 and 1948); scenes on the Kennet & Avon Canal and a complete screening of PAINTED BOATS (showing scenes of legging through tunnels, horse drawn narrow boats and commercial life of the canals 30 years ago). Tickets from Mr G Lane, 13 Cypress Road, Woodley, Reading (SAE please) Cost - £1 Adults, 50p Children.
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Railway track is being laid at Deepcut for moving supplies to the locks. A section of railway is already in operation. Volunteers are needed to assist in building and running the railway.
a) Track laying
Those members and friends who acquired experience in track laying at North Warnborough are needed to help here. We hope to procure more track and continue laying during the Summer. Work goes on nearly every Saturday and Sunday.
b) Volunteer Loco Drivers are needed
However, don't rush to the 'phone to fulfill your boyhood dreams without reading first. You will be given time and help to learn to drive, but when you become a duty driver you must accept the discipline of working to a pre-determined roster. The day starts at 9am with a check of the loco and then personnel and equipment have to be moved to working sites.

During the day you haul trains of material according to the requirements of the work schedule. And the shift ends with the moving of plant back to overnight store. The driver makes up the day's log book and stables the loco in the shed. He's always the last to leave, currently about 7pm.

Services run on Saturday.and Sunday. Let us know how many days a month you can help. Ring Camberley 32096 for
... a) speak to David Meller
... b) speak to Stan Meller
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Over 50 volunteers, who helped to restore Lock 25, celebrated the completion of their work with a barbecue on the site at Curzon Bridge at the end of June.

To mark the occasion, one of the youngest members Of the team, 14-year old Alan Munnery, ceremoniously buried a Jubilee crown in the lock chamber.

Led by Peter Jones, the volunteers put in a total of 2,000 hours work valued at around £4,000. The project involved clearing tons of mud and dense vegetation from the 72ft x 14ft x 15ft deep chamber. The crumbling lock walls were then partially demolished and re-built under the skilled supervision of Mike Kerry, a local building contractor, using materials supplied by Surrey County Council. Both top and bottom cills had to be excavated and reconstructed together with the hollow posts into which the lock gates will be fitted. The volunteers also built a by-pass weir to facilitate the control of flood water
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8 Pub Evening, Water Witch, Colt Hill, Odiham
12-14 IWA National Waterways Festival, Reading
25 Society Club Night, Railway Enthusiasts Club

12 Pub evening, Water Witch
14 Illustrated talk by Jack Dalby, Teachers Centre
20 Public Meeting Civic Hall, Fleet
20 Jumble Sale, Civic Hall, Fleet
21 Film Show, Dance & Cabaret, Civic Hall, Fleet
22 Society Club Night, Railway Enthusiasts Club

2 Archive Film Show, Reading ALSO Autumn Canal Cruise
10 Pub evening, Water Witch
10 Illustrated Talk speaker from IWA, Woking Central Halls
12 Illustrated Talk, Bob Chase of Guildford Boathouse at Teachers Centre
27 Society Club Night, Railway Enthusiasts Club
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Details at last of the tree planting scheme in Jubilee Year. As you may have seen from your walks along the cut, there are rather a lot of dead trees, areas where trees have been felled to aid restoration work, and other areas which would benefit scenically by planting trees and shrubs. So the Society, in conjunction with HCC and SCC and the Tree Council, is launching this tree scheme.

A donation of £5 will buy a tree, a stake and a tree tie from Messrs Waterers of Bagshot, who have kindly offered the Society a special rate to purchase the trees. As an added incentives any person, firm, business or group sending in £10 will receive a commemorative print of a tree painted by Graham Rust. A series depicting ten different trees - oak, lime, beech, horse chestnut, walnut, silver birch, willow, plane, sweet chestnut and copper beech - has been produced for the benefit of those who would like to contribute larger amounts. Everyone receiving such a print may have their name recorded in the Royal Tree Record to be presented to the Queen at the end of Jubilee Year. The trees, which will be planted by Council staff, members of the Society and some by Waterers themselves, have been selected by Surrey Naturalists. The planting will start in November, but your cheques may arrive as soon as possible. Perhaps members would care to inform their friends, relatives local business and industry of the scheme. Cheques made payable to SHCS Ltd should bs sent to S W Googe, Henbury, Gables Road, Church Crookham, Hants.
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An attractive exhibition, including historical photographs from the Society's archives, artifacts we've collected and an audio-visual slide show, has been designed by Surrey County Council's exhibition unit in conjunction with David Robinson, the Society's Museum Projects Officer and Dieter Jebens, Press Officer.

Housed in a Portakabin, the exhibition appeared at the Surrey in Woking town centre, Byfleet and is now touring riparian towns.
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On Friday, 15, July, with the approval of Hampshire's Recreation Committee, the Society's trip boat was launched on the canal at Colt Hill, Odiham. The 67ft steel-hulled boat, powered by a 34 bhp Petter marine diesel engine, was custom built for the Society by Hancock & Lane Ltd of Daventry and paid for with money raised by the recent boat appeal.

Having successfully completed the first part of the project, the boat now has to be fitted out, and we are appealing for materials to complete the project. We require ballast, plywood, seating, bilge pumps, life buoys, ropes etc. If members can help with the supply of any of the above, please contact Peter Fethney, Fleet 5524. Paint, in traditional colours,, has already been supplied by Jotun & Henry Clark & Sons Ltd.

It is hoped to complete the fitting out by the end of this year in readiness for trips to start in Spring 1978. To achieve this, we would like more offers to help with the work which has just commenced. Please contact David Robinson, Fleet 21376, to find out how you can assist.
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A PUBLIC MEETING is being held at tho Civic Hall, Fleet on Tuesday, 20 September at 8pm to show film and slides of the restoration to date and to enable the Society and the Canal Manager in Hampshire, David Gerry, to answer any questions that members of the public may like to raise. The Society sales stand and exhibition stand will be in attendance, and hopefully the mobile Portakabin exhibition will be on display outside the hall.
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SOCIAL JOTTINGS by David Millett/Andy Gray
The 1977/78 social season starts again in September and will continue through to next April. Any ideas, suggestions etc to Andy Gray (Camberley 25942).

Wednesday, 14 September 7.45pm. Teachers Centre, St Albans Hall, Lynchford Road, Farnborough (opposite Lloyds Bank)
Illustrated Talk by Jack Dalby, Chairman of the Newbury branch of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and Editor of their magazine 'Butty'. He will show slides and talk on the 'Wilts and Berks Canal'. Licensed bar.
Monday, 10 October 8pm, Woking Central Halls
Illustrated Talk by a speaker from the Thames Water Authority, Thames Conservancy Division who will talk, about water supply, drainage and the amenity responsibility of the TWA.
Wednesday, 12 October 7.45pm. Teachers Centre, St Albans Hall. Illustrated Talk by Bob Chase, proprietor of the Guildford Boathouse entitled 'The Pros and Cons of Running and Owning a Boathouse and Hire Cruiser Business'.
Society Club Nights at the Railway Enthusiasts Club, Hawley Lane, Farnborough (on A327 Farnborough/Reading road on south side of M3 road bridge).

Thursdays 25 August, 22 September and 27 October. 8pm onwards.
An informal evening and a good place to meet your fellow members and committee members. Licensed bar.
Society pub evenings throughout the year as follows:
2nd Monday monthly at the Water Witch. Colt Hill, Odiham.

The Woking pub evening is being discontinued for the time being due to lack of support.
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Sunday, 2 October - Regents Canal, London.
The Autumn 1977 canal cruise will be along the full length of the Regents Canal, London's own canal, from "Little Venice" to "Limehouse Basin" and return, a 17-mile trip passing through 12 locks in each direction and taking 8 hours in all. The boat will be the BWB's Lady Rose of Regents. The route of the canal is very contrasting, varying between the rural Regents Park section to the industrial eastern section. Features include the Zoo section in Regents Park, Camden locks, Maida Vale and Islington Tunnel, the latter being 962 -yards long, and 'Blow-up Bridge'. The canal was completed in 1822 to link the Grand Union Canal with the London docks.
Light refreshments and Bar on board. Bring picnic food. No children under 14.
Seats (all inclusive) £3.50 from David Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet, Please make cheques payable to the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd and quote your telephone number. PLEASE ENCLOSE A STAMPED ADDRESSED ENVELOPE. Coach pick-up points (state preference): Fleet, Farnborough, Frimley Green, Woking and Byfleet.
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Our member Geoff Fairweather has booked a 54ft narrow boat for a three-week cruise from Braunston to Leeds starting 1 November this year. Geoff is looking for six people to join him at a cost of £18 per person per week. Write or phone: Geoff Fairweather, Church Farm, Ashmansworth, Newbury, Berks. Highclere 253072.
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May we have your jumble NOW?
Please ring Fleet 5402 or Fleet 7465 for collection, or deliver to 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet.
If you live further away, please ring. We will arrange collection. Helpers are also needed.

TUESDAY, 20 September, Civic Hall, Fleet, 1.30pm
SATURDAY, 18 February, Civic Hall, Fleet 10.30am
Profits from jumble sales are currently running at £50-£100 - well worth the effort involved in organising one. Are there any SHCS members who would volunteer to run a jumble sale in their town or village in the Autumn or next Spring? We intend to save the left-over jumble to pass on to the next sale, and we also know of at least 20 mobile 'Jumble Salers' willing to help anywhere. If you can help in this way, please let us know.
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The planned auction for 21 September has been cancelled owing to lack of support by members - only one member offered anything to be auctioned - but the booking in Fleet Civic Hall has not been wasted so there will be a dance, a film show a cabaret and a buffet; all for £1. The tickets will be limited to 250, and at £1 we would like to see more members and their friends attending. The film show, by the way, will consist of three colour films about the Society as shown on Southern TV.

Cheques for the tickets should be made out to S H C S Ltd and sent to S W Googe, Henbury, Gables Road, Church Crookham, Hants. The evening starts with the film show at 8pm and the dance starts at 8.30pm. In the raffle will be a water colour of a Basingstoke Canal bridge. Please enclose a 7p stamp with your address and cheque.
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Just over 100 people turned out in glorious weather on Sunday 3 July to raise over £1,000 on the Society's annual sponsored walk taking in 15 miles of canal towing path from St John's, Woking to Byfleet, then across the Wey Navigation and on to Send. Helping to raise funds for the Society were Surrey County Council officers Mr Alastair Stone (Chief Executive), Mr Bill Britton (County Valuer and Estates Surveyor) and Mr Raymond Stedman (Countryside Officer) who is responsible for management of the canal. Between them they raised £70.

The walk was again organised with military precision by Stuart Browning and his sub-committee. Our thanks go to Unigate Dairies for supplying free milk, the marshalls and especially all who walked with money on their heads] We hope you get your rewards which should be sent to Mrs J Green, 433 Woodham Lane, Woodhams Weybridge, Surrey.
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The Basingstoke Canal was among the canals publicised in TV's 'Reports Action' programee for a Clean-up Action Day on Sunday 3 July. Volunteers joined three work sites at Woking, clearing rubbish from the canal between Chertsey Road and Monument bridge,s constructing a by-pass weir at Lock 26 and digging silt out of Reading Road bridge-hole, Fleet. Volunteers at Woking included members of the 16th Croydon Venture Scout Unit and our thanks go to all who answered the appeal and to Elmbridge Plant Hire who supplied rubbish skips free of charge.
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WILL any member who accidentally kept a copy of the 'Butty', the K & A Canal Trust magazine, which were passed round the coach on the canal cruise outing on 26 June, please return it to David Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet as soon as possible. There were three copies not returned. Thank you.
SOME members have mentioned that only one Membership Card was given to families who have taken out Family membership. This is quite correct.
THANKS to Michael Williams and Terry Jones for organising newsletter deliveries in Farnham and Farnborough during the last few years.
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1. The Society trip boat takes to the water at Colt Hill, Odiham.
2. Lock 25 completion. Peter Jones, Working Party leader standing on the new top cill with members of his team looking on from the bottom cill.
3. Portakabin exhibition jointly sponsored by Surrey County Council and the Society being inspected by (L to r) Alan Gray, Head of Exhibitions unit, Raymond Stedman Surrey Countryside Officer, Brig. Bastin, Chairman Surrey County Council, Bill Britten, County Valuer and Estates Surveyor.
4. Sponsored Walk 1977. Taking a break at St John's lock (L to r) Alastair Stone, Chief Executive, Surrey County Council, Caroline Stone, Bill Britton, County Valuer, Raymond Stedman, Surrey Countryside Officer, with Cranley Onslow, MP for Woking.
5. The dredger clearing the canal east of Broad Oak bridge, near Odiham.
6. Lock 25 WRG volunteers demolishing brickwork and digging out the top cill.
7. 'Reports Action' Volunteers clearing rubbish from the canal at Woking.
8. Members of the Job Creation team standing on the top cill of the nearly completed lock 26.
9,10. Members of Hampshire's recreation committee inspecting the restored section of the canal at Colt Hill, Odiham.
11. Retiring Society Treasurer, Peter Youngs, being presented with a picture at the May Ball by Julie Burke.
12. Chertsey Road Bridge, Woking. Spanton's old timber wharf, where dredging by Hymac started this month.
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COPY DATE for the October newsletter - 1 September

Published by Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society .Limited, a non profit distributing company limited by guarantee.
Editoral Office: 45 Durnsford Avenue, Fleet. Tel: Fleet 5308
Chairman: Robin Higgs, 18 Barnsford Crescent, West End, Woking. Tel: Chobham 7314
Working Party Organiser: Roger Thomas, Tel: Fleet 20316
Treasurer: Peter Fethney, 5 Longdown, Courtmoor, Fleet. Tel: Fleet 5524
Secretary: Mrs Lise Hamilton 2 Frome Close, Cove, Farnborough. Tel: Farnborough 49651
Membership Secretary: Alan Babister, 31 Elmsleigh Road, Cove, Farnborough. Tel: Farnborough 46147.
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Last updated April 2005