April 1979

Society's Successful Year
John Pinkerton's New Season
Working Parties
Social Diary
Mrs Marshall's Canal
Reading Rd remains open space
Picture info
Social Jottings
Restoring Ash Embanment
Gongoozlers' Gossip

Contact the Society


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No. 84April 1979

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A year of substantial progress towards restoration of the 32-mile Basingstoke Canal was reported at the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society's Annual General Meeting held at St. Andrew's Hall, Frimley Green on Saturday 17th February. With the aim of completing restoration in the early 1980's the Society's Chairman Mr. Robin Higgs, told members, "I think I can say that we are coping well with the task, that is all of us together, the Society and the County Councils. This year, if things progress as they show every sign of doing, then we shall be half way through the restoration process". But, Mr. Higgs emphasised that more voluntary effort was needed, "There never can be enough volunteers or enough money and so I do make a plea to you all to do what you can to push the restoration work".

Mr. Higgs also emphasised the need for the formation of a Trust to manage the whole canal which, he said, was one of the two main recommendations made in a Joint Working Party report in 1973. "The amount of finance and resources available, and the interests of the community of which the restored canal will be a part, will, in the view of the Society, best be served in the years to come by the formation of a Trust", said Mr. Higgs.

In a report on the year's activities the Society's Vice-Chairman, Mr. David Millett, said that the major event in 1978 was the launch of the canal narrow boat 'John Pinkerton' for public and charter trips on the restored section of the canal between Odiham and North Warnborough. The boat carried nearly 10,000 passengers during the season and made a profit of just over £6,000 which will be used to restore one of the original bridges over the canal at Broad Oak. "The season exceeded our wildest expectations and our thanks go to all the management and operating team led by Mr. Peter Fethney", said Mr. Millett. Other majur fund raising activities included the Society's first Grand Draw organised by Mr. Ted Williams which raised £1,500, a sponsored walk, held in association with the Inland Waterways Association, bringing in nearly £1,000 and donations totalling £1,400 largely achieved by Mr. Richard Allnutt who organised a special appeal.

Mr. Millett reported that the Society's membership stood at 2,330 and 28 affiliated organisations.

Among reports the Committee had considered and responded to were the Odiham by-pass proposals which the Society had supported subject to the design of a new bridge over the canal, draft plans for restoring Ash Wharf Basin published by Guildford Borough Council, and Surrey County Council's draft canal recreation proposals. In addition the Society had formulated and submitted a detailed proposal to Hampshire and Surrey County Councils for the creation of a Basingstoke Canal Trust. The 109-page document had been prepared by Mr. Richard Allnutt, setting out the financial and administrative benefits of managing the canal by an autonomous charitable trust.

On the social side, Mr. Millett reported well attended evening meetings at Farnborough and Woking and two successful weekend excursions to the Exeter Maritime Museum with a trip on the Grand Western Canal, and to the Montgomery and Welshpool Canal, and the Llanfair Light Railway. The Society had also helped to organise a successful Canoe Tourist Trial, attracting 330 entrants on the Basingstoke Cana] at Fleet. Mr. Brian Bane reported on progress made by the Society's steam powered floating dredger which had now reached. Baesley's Bridge, Winchfield and was expected to dredge up to Barley Mow Bridge by August of this year. Mr. Bane soid that progress had been impeded by the five bridges between Sandy Hill and Winchfield, each of which took four weekends to work through. The problem of silt disposal had been helped during the year by opening a new dump site at Lousy Moor which was nearer the operating site. The tug boat 'Sparkle' - one of two bought from a £1.000 donation made by Johnson Wax - had been put into service, and Mr. Bane thanked the Hampshire County Council's wardens for their help, together with volunteers led by Mr. Ron Jesse who had kept the dragline crane used for off-loading the mud barges, in good working order.

At the Surrey end of the canal volunteers had concentrated on restoring lock chambers and clearing Ash Embankment reported Mr. Mike Fellows.

Lock 1 at Byfleet was being restored by members of the Guildford branch of the Inland Waterways Association.

Society members led by Mr. Pablo Haworth had been working on lock 6 at Sheerwater and were now at lock 5.

Good progress was being made on the Deepcut flight of 14 locks. After working on locks 24, 23, 21 and 20, volunteers were currently engaged on restoring nos. 16, 17 and 19. "We have seen a welcome increase in the number of volunteers", said Mr. Fellows, "although it is sad to reflect that visiting groups provide more man-hours than our own members", he added.

Among regular visiting groups were the Southampton Canal Society led by Mr. Peter Oates, the Kent and East Sussex Branch of the Inland Waterways association led by Mr Ken Parrish and members of the Waterway Recovery Group which also held a month-long summer work-camp on the canal last year.

Mr. Fellows appealed for more Society members to join working parties, and thanked the groups led by Messrs. Jim Chisholm, Alan Grimster, Peter Jones and Jules Wood for their efforts during the last year.

In addition, Mr. Fellowes mentioned the work of Mr. David Junkison who learned to use a mechanical excavator to dig trenches for by-pass weirs, Mr. Alan Flight who spent a month's leave working full time renovating much of the Society's mechanical equipment and Mr. Roger Jones who is now responsible for machinery maintenance. Reference was also made to Mr. Peter Mayne's working party which had completed the restoration on Upper Wilderness Weir adjacent to lock 28 at Deepcut.

At Ash Embankment, Mr. Fellowes reported that regular Society working parties co-ordinated by Mr. Martin Bowers, were clearing the embankment and canal bed of saplings in readiness for restoration by contractors.

Mr. Fellowes concluded by expressing his appreciation to Mr. Frank Jones, co-ordinator of the Job Creation Programme, for assistance given in moving materials and plant to sites where volunteers were working.

In a separate report, Mr. Jones said that with a grant to the Society from the Man­power Services Commission, 33 unemployed young people had been given jobs on the Deepcut section of the canal throughout last year. As a result a further four lock chambers had been restored making a total of eight - lock nos. 21 - 28 completed with another chamber nearing completion.

A start had also been made on building lock gates in a custom built workshop constructed on the foundations of an ex-Army swimming pool adjacent to the canal at Deepcut with timber supplied by Surrey County Council from their mill near Dorking. Job Creation workers had so far produced eight lock gates and more were under construction. 'We have had a total of 89 boys on the JCP Scheme', said Mr. Jones, 'and we hope that we have encouraged them and indeed most have gone on to reasonable jobs. Some have been outstanding and one is now a foreman bricklayer at the age of 19 years'.

Mr. Jones mentioned the value of the Society's tcwpath railway, run by Messrs. John Peart and Stan Meller, for moving tons of materials to lock work sites. He also thanked Surrey County Council, the Careers Office and Job Centre at Camberley and the Manpower Services Commission at Horsham for their support.

Representatives of both Surrey and Hampshire County Councils attended the meeting. On behalf of Surrey, Countryside Officer Mr. Raymond Stedman thanked the Society for their work during the last year. He said, 'Volunteers arc achieving an absolute excellent standard of restoration', and he added that British Waterways Board engineers had been very complimentary on the work being done during a recent tour of inspection.

Mr. Stedman said that Surrey Comity Council had managed to continue their dredging programme throughout the year and were now planning to tackle Ash Embankment in order to get water into the Surrey end of the canal.

Hampshire County Council were also about to start work on Ash Embankment which marks the two counties boundary. Mr. David Gerry, Hampshire's Canal Manager, said that their aim was to fill the breach in the embankment and dredge the 1-3/4 mile section between Ash Lock and Farnborough Road Bridge.

The Society's Treasurer, Mr. Peter Fethney, reported a sound financial position at the end of the year with a balance of £10,394 in hand. Mr. Fethney mentioned the major contributions made by the Society's trip boat, the Grand Draw and donations. He appealed for more members to increase the value of their subscriptions by signing a Covenant. A note of thanks was proposed to the Sales Manager, Mr. David Gay, for a turnover of £2,018 making a profit of £667.

The Chairman, Mr. Robin Higgs thanked retiring Committee Members Messrs. Peter Youngs, Roger Thomas and Stan Googe for their work. Elected to the Executive Committee were Mrs. Lise Hamilton and Messrs. Brian Bane, Stuart Browning, Peter Fethney, Robin Higgs, Brian Jones, Peter Mayne, David Millett and David Wimpenny.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Higgs referred to 'the tragic and appalling state of much of the national canal network'. He said that successive governments had paid lip service to creating a policy for the retention and expansion of our waterways. Mr. Higgs pointed out a number of imaginative schemes for the increased use and development of our inland waterways had been abandoned, including BACAT and the integrated transport proposals for the lower Grand Union Canal.
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A unique journey by canal narrow boat, an old double-decker bus and steam locomotive, with a visit to the world's only steam fairground, will launch the 'John Pinkerton's' 1979 season and make a special new attraction for visitors to southern England.

On April 7th representatives of the Press, TV and radio have been invited on the inaugural journey which is sponsored by the Southern Tourist Board. After a trip on the Basingstoke Canal with lunch aboard the 'John Finkerton' the travellers will go by double-decker bus to the Mid-Hants 'Watercress' line for the 3-mile rail trip from Alresford to Ropley and visit the engine sheds housing a number of restored steam locomotives. The journey ends at Hollycombe House, - near Liphook for all the fun of steam powered fairground entertainment of yesteryear, not to mention a narrow gauge quarry railway and working examples of old agricultural machinery amidst some of the finest scenery in the south.

The journey will be available for party bookings on Sundays only and all enquiries should be made to the sole booking agency: Liphook Travel Agency, 2a Midhurst Bead, Liphook, Hants. Tel: Liphook 723525.
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At the 1978 AGM, the Society's Treasurer, Peter Fethney estimated the John Pinkerton would make £2,500 in the first year of operation..... In fact the trip boat's success far exceeded our most optimistic expectations, with a turnover of. £10,237 and a profit of just over £6,000. The boat also generated an immeasurable amount of goodwill for the Society among its 8,000 passengers and invaluable publicity for the restoration of the canal.

At the time of going to press, over 40 bookings have already been made without any publicity efforts. One person wanting to book the boat for a wedding reception actually changed the date of the wedding when he found the date he wanted was already booked!

This season the 'John Pinkerton' will be run by a separate company - Surrey and Hampshire Canal Cruises Ltd. - although all the profits will go to the Society. The directors are: Peter Fethney {managing), Dieter Jebens (secretary), David Wimpenny (treasurer), Clive Durley (bookings and crew organiser), George Hecger (engine room maintenance) John Hulbert (general maintenance and modification), Raymonde Fethney, Peter Youngs and Roger Carsdale.

Enquiries for charter bookings and public trips should be made to Clive and Barbara Durley, 15 Kenilworth Road, Fleet, Hants, Tel: Fleet 5694. Regular public trips will be made from April 1st on Sunday afternoons departing at 2.30.m. from Colt Hill Odiham. Adults 70p. children 40p. It is advisable to book in advance and claim your seat(s) 15 minutes before departure time.

Private charters cost £30, The boat seats a maximum of 56 passengers and the layout can be altered for smaller parties to allow space for tables. A well stocked bar, tea and coffee is available. Other catering requirements must be provided, served and cleared up by the hirer.

The round trip from Colt Hill, Odiham to North Warnbcrough and return with a stop to inspect the 12th Century remains of King John's Castle or a walk to Greywell Tunnel, takes approximately 2 hours.
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A few of the many letters of appreciation from young pupils of St. Peter's School Yateley:
Dear Mr. Durley,
Thank you very much for our trip on the canal boat. I am so pleased that we could come and for the coach that we came on - and we do think that we could come some other time. Also the words that you helped us on. I wish that we could come another time. We thank you to let us go under the bridge. I would like you to come and see us one day and that canal we went on.
Love from Penelop Heather.

Dear Mr. Durley,
Thank you for taking us on the canal and I liked the sweets and I saw a dead bird in the canal and I liked King John's castle.
Love from Anthony King.

Dear Mr. Durley.
Thank you very much for our nice trip on the canal. I like your little shop. I bought a tube of refreshers and two chews, a badge and a postcard.
Love from Jjanne Thomas.

.....and from a group of older passengers as reported in the National Westminster Group Pensioners Newsletter:
In early September Phil Wood arranged for us to have the sole use of a 'narrowboat' the John Pinkerton owned by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society for a trip from Colt Hill, Odiham to North Warnborough and back. This proved to be the most popular event of the season as fifty-six members congregated at the Waterwitch pub at Odiham, for an early snack lunch before boarding the boat and setting off about 2pm., chugging along the canal in a setting that was pure 'Wind in the Willows'. We quite expected to see Ratty, Mole, et al, to appear alongside. At the end of the ride we were allowed to get off the boat and walk along a few yards to inspect the remains of the 13th Century infamous King John's Castle.

The boat was beautifully equipped and teas, coffees and strong drinks were served all the time. Phil has promised to do another trip for us in the Spring, as everyone so enjoyed the event and it will definitely be a case of first come first served as the boat will only hold 56 people.
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Following last Newsletter's plea for more volunteers, various leaders report people turning out as a direct result, with the weather improving, and spring bursting out, a day on the canal becomes a real pleasure. Why not pick your place and personality from the list below.

Working Party Leaders are always pleased to give information, or ring Alan and Andrea Grimster on Farnborough 45032.

Every Weekend Deepcut Flight
Lock 16 is the normal venue for the Society. The bywash and Cowshot Stream inflow is now complete, with its unique art deco brickwork, with the good weather real construction work will begin on the lock wall and the culvert pipes. All very interesting work. London WRG Cosmo will welcome help on Lock 17 (Cowshot Manor Bridge), and both Kent and East Sussex IWA and the Southampton Canal Society would give you a warm welcome. This also applies to Jim Chisholm, who is rebuilding the bottom sill. The Co-ordinator of volunteer work on this flight is Mike Fellows on Wokingham 787428, and you should contact him or one of the Leaders for further details.

The full list of parties is:-
First Weekend of the Month
31st March/1st April, 5/6 May, 2/3 June - Lock 16 - Peter Jones - Aldershot 313076.

Second weekend of the Month
7/8 April, 12/13 May, 9/10 June, - Lock 19 - Peter Oates (Southampton Canal Society) Botley 3844.

Second and Fourth Sundays of the Month
8th April, 22nd April ) 13th May, 27th May ) Lock 16 - Alan Grimster - Farnborough 45032 10th June, 24th June ) -

Third Weekend of the Month
14/15 April, 19/20 May, 16/17 June - Lock 16 - Jules Wood - Farnborough 515737

Fourth weekend of the Month
21/22 April, 26/27. May, 23/24 June - Lock 19 - Jim Chisholm - Wokingham 785146.

Fifth weekend of the Month
28/29 April - Mike Fellows - Wokingham 7787428.

Also EASTER WEEKEND, will see visiting groups on all four days 13th/14th/15th/16th April - Ring Mike Fellows.

Every Weekend - Dredging in Hampshire
Also Good Friday and Laster Monday - If crews are available. Captain of the dredger, Brian Bane reports that Barley Mow winding hole will probably be reached by mid summer. He is still looking for shift workers in the following trades:-
- Drag-line Craneologist, Dredger Crane Operatives, Tug Boat Commander Mud Boat Coxwain, Engine Room Artificer (Boilers)

Full training will be given and all jobs are open to both sexes.

Every Sunday
Last Sunday of Month - 29th April
Ash Embankment
David Millet - Fleet 7364

Other Sundays ring Martin Bowers on Farnborough 513095. The work is going very well. All scrub clearance will be cleared by the end of April, it is hoped. Ideal for scouts, youth groups and, of course, family parties. Please help this last effort.

Every Other Sunday
Following successful appearances on Artillery, Farnborough Road, - and Upper Wilderness Weirs, Peter Mayne and other specialists are tackling Lower Wilderness Weir - just below Lock 28. For more information ring Peter Mayne on Camberley 24701.
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SOCIAL DIARY 1st April 2nd April 9th April
1st April. John Pinkerton cruising season opens.
2nd April. Pub Evening, Fox & Hounds, Fleet (Canal Lounge)
9th April. Illuatrated talk 'Shrewsbury £ Newport Canals' by Tony Clayton", Woking Central Halls, 7-45pm.
11th April. Illustrated talk, 'River Wey Navigation', by Bruce Ratcliffe, Teachers' Centre.
17th April. Members' evening aboard the 'John Pinkerton' Departing Colt Hill, Odiham, 7.00pm.
18th April. Pub Evening, Bounty, Basingstoke.
24th April. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton'. Colt Hill, Odiham, 7-00pm.
26th April. Society Club Night, Railway Enthusiasts Club. Hawley.
28/29th April. IWA Kent and Last Sussex Branch Sponsored Dig.
29th April. Canoe Tourist Trials, Fleet.
1st May. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton', Colt Hill, 7-30pm.
7th May. Pub Evening, Fox & Hounds, Fleet (Canal Lounge)
8th May. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton' Colt Hill, 7.30pm.
14th May. Illustrated talk 'Development of Narrow Boats' by Martyn Denney, Woking Central Halls.
15th May. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton' Colt Hill, 7.30pm. 16th May. Pub Evening, Bounty, Basingstoke.
22nd May. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton', Colt Hill, 7-30pm. 29th May. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton' Colt Hill, 7-30pm. 31st May. Society Club Night, Railway Enthusiasts Club, Hawley. 3rd June. Coach trip & cruise on Kennet & Avon Canal 4th June. Pub Evening, Fox &. Hounds, Fleet (Canal Lounge)
5th June. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton' Colt Hill 8.00pm.
10th June. Sponsored Walk, Wey & Arun Canal Trust.
12th June. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton' Colt Hill 8.00pm.
15th June. Barn Dance, Fleet Civic Hall
19th June. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton' Colt Hill, 8.00pm.
20th June. Pub Evening, Bounty, Basingstoke
26th June. Members' Evening, 'John Pinkerton', Colt Hill, 8.00pm.
28th June. Society Club Night, Railway Enthusiasts Club, Hawley.

Our thanks to Nicholas Maxwell-Lawford for sending us the following article by Evelyn Irons which appeared in the Evening Standard on July 21st, 1951 and is reproduced with kind permission of the Editor.
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Hampshire-born Mrs. Joan Marshall was six years old when she gazed enraptured on a stretch of the Basingstoke canal and said: 'I want it'.

Now at 42, mother of two girls aged 14 and 8, dark-haired, grey-eyed Mrs. Marshall looks a picture of contentment as she bustles around organising this afternoon's children's regatta on the canal at Aldershot. For she realised her curious ambition. She is general manager of the New Basingstoke Canal Co. On Monday the company have their annual meeting.

Says Mrs, Marshall, with satisfaction, 'We shall show a small profit for 1950'. Which is remarkable, for during the same period the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive running the 50-odd canals nationalised at the end of 1971 showed a deficit of £247,924. They control 2000 miles of canals and canalised rivers. The Basingstoke canal is just 32 miles long from Weybridge, Surrey, to Greywell, Hampshire.

The firm running it were registered as a private company 17 months ago with a nominal capital of £5,000.

It took Mrs. Marshall a long time to get her canal. After leaving Reading University, where she was an art student, she got a job in an Oxford Street drapery store. She did well and rose to be buyer for the department cosily called 'soft furnishings'. But between times of buying the eiderdowns and bedspreads she dreamed of the cool, straight, lines of canals.

Every holiday she spent in barges, sailing boats or canoes, exploring the network of narrow waterways that link the land with the sea in France, Sweden and other European countries. She got to know the remotest little canals of England, too. During the war, when her husband was in the Army, she left the quilts after more than 10 years to concentrate on her home and children. She went back to live near the Basingstoke canal again, at Crookham in Hampshire.

The Basingstoke canal was in a bad way. There had been a plan to use it for food transport in wartime, but that plan fell through. The last barge had passed through it around 1930: the locks needed repair, reeds were uncut, banks were crumbling. No longer did the canal reach Basingstoke: a tunnel near Greywell had collapsed, and about four milee of the old waterway had been sold for farmland. When the owner of the canal died, his sons put it up for auction.

Mrs. Marshall went to the sale as leader of a group of members of the Inland Waterways Association who had formed a purchasing committee. In a state of high excitement, she bid for the canal, ('There was opposition: we ran up in thousands'). It was knocked down to her for £6,000. That was on March 1st, 1949. 'I'll never forget the date', says Mrs. Marshall.

Mrs. Marshall draws a low salary as general manager. Profits go to improvements. Already the company have repaired 14 locks, making their own lock gates: they have invested in the latest reed-cutting machine, costing nearly £1,000.

The Basingstoke canal's wide boats, Mrs. Marshall says with pride, can sail down through the Wey River and the Thames to the Pool of London in four days: usual cargo is timber. But the principal income comes from the factories contracting to use the spring-fed water of the canal. The top reach supplies the Ministry of Supply's new jet propulsion plant at Fleet. Fishing ('Last year a 27lb pike was caught in our canal') is rented out to clubs. Dues from pleasure boats add to the credit side.

To a single-minded enthusiast like Mrs. Marshall, it seems crazy that such a and picturesque form of transport as Britain's canals and waterways should have declined from their early Victorian heyday. Because of variations on the costs of handling and other factors, it is difficult to say how freight charges by canal and rail compare. The five-year-old Inland Waterways Association have worked it out at 1.97d. per ton per mile by rail, and 0.913d by canal. 'In France', says Mrs, Marshall indignantly 'they cannot understand our stupidity in not making full use of our canals'.

Are Mrs. Marshall and her canal-crazy colleagues fighting for a lost cause? Perhaps not. For, having declined steadily between the two wars, canal traffic is beginning to increase.

Certainly Mrs. Marshall is a fighter in defence of all canals, particularly her own. Last year she fought the war Office on its behalf and had the Army warned off it at Aldershot. She objected to rough usage of the canal banks by soldiers on exercises. But this afternoon there is peace between Mrs. Marshall and the War Department. The Army are helping with the regatta.
Editor's Note: Mrs. Joan Marshall retired as General Manager of the New Basingstoke Canal Co. Ltd in 1964.
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The following letter was received by Alan Babister, Membership Secretary. Dear Mr. Babister,
On Wednesday last we were fortunate in having Mr. Pratt to screen for us cine films on the waterways of Britain including his own marvellous film on the Basingstoke Canal. In appreciation of a most interesting and enjoyable evening we would be happy if you will accept the enclosed cheque as a token of our appreciation. With best wishes for the continuation of this worthy project.
Yours sincerely,
H. Courtney,
Treasurer, Bisley and Knaphill Branch,
British Legion Gardening Club.
Editor's note: Our thanks to Mr. Courtney and the Club for their generous donation and to Philip Pratt, the Society's Exhibitions Organiser.

I am becoming increasingly concerned at the various reports and comments made recently on the engine sizes of boats. To restrict engine size to 3hp. per ft in length would ban any boat which uses the Thames and the majority of the boats using the Wey. This would, in effect, make the Basingstoke Canal an isolated waterway.

I do not believe that by restricting engine size you will eliminate the problems of excessive wash. The amount of wash generated varies tremendously, depending on the design of the boat and how it is used irrespective of engine size or speed. Whilst appreciating the damage caused by excessive wash you should not ignore the pollution of excessive noise. A large inboard engine, ticking over, is far quieter than a small outboard at full throttle.

Surely the best way to protect the canal is to have a rigidly enforced speed limit and to educate the boaters on the damage they can cause by suspending the licences of offending boats.

Once the canal is opened I would have thought that there would be no problem in recruitiiig sufficient volunteer wardens from the present workforce, not only control the boaters but help deter the ever increasing bankside vandals.

I should like to know the Society's policy on this matter. It is to create ab extension of the inland waterways of England, or is it just to build a municiple boating lake?
A. Marlow,
68 Orchard Close,
Leatherhead, Surrey
KT22 9JB.
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Members may not be aware that the wharf site at Reading Road Bridge, Fleet, which once had a thriving rowing boat hire and teas business as part of its attractions, was not included in the purchase arrangements made by Hampshire County Council when they acquired the Canal in Hampshire from the New Basingstoke Canal Company Limited.

The Company, who still own this area, applied last year to Hart District Council for outline Planning Permission to build two two-storey blocks of maisonettes and garages on the site. Needless to say this application produced a strong outcry from the Society members and a large number of Fleet and Crookham residents. The Planning Committee turned the application down and the Recreation Committee subsequently agreed that the area should, if at all possible, be acquired for amenity and recreational purposes in connection with the Canal.

Hart District Council last September requested Hampshire County Council to re-designate the land from Residential to Public Open Space on the local Town Map. The District Council were told this would be very time consuming and the County Secretary advised Hart Council that there was no reason why they should not proceed to purchase the land for Open Space Purposes whatever its designation and, in principle, supported the proposal. Evidently, the fact that the land is still zoned for Residential Purposes does not prevent the local council obtaining a Planning Permission under Regulation 4 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1976. The proposal would require advertisement and possible reference to the Secretary of State under the Town and Country Planning (Development Plans ) Direction.

Hart District Council, although not having set aside any finance at the present time to purchase the land through negotiation with the Canal Company, have included the project as Priority 2 in the Council's Rolling Programme.

The Society certainly supports this move as the lend provides Fleet with its only real direct access to the Canal in the centre of the town. The land was used as the venue for the Canoe Trials held on the Canal last April and will be used again this year.
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(top) The John Pinkerton laid up for the winter at Colt Hill, Odiham (left) Clearing Ash Embankment in readiness for restoring the canal bed.
(centre left) London Branch Members of Waterway Recovery Group damming the head of Lock 17 at Cowshot Bridge.
(bottom left) Alan Grimster and his team of Society volunteers breading out concrete at Lock 16.
(top right) Brian Lane (centre), Brian Jones (left), and Peter Caiger (right) on the Society's dredger under Baseley's Bridge.
(bottom right) Peter Oates and his team from the Southampton Canal Society working at Lock 19.

Clive Durley & Dieter Jebens.
Layout: Sue Mabney.
Map: David Junkison.
Newsletter Production: Diana Snow and David Wimpenny.
Collation and Distribution: Janet and George Hedger and helpers.
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SOCIAL JOTTINGS Joint Social Secretaries: Hampshire: David Millett - - Fleet 7364 Surrey: Michael Grist - Woking 71581
FARNBOROUGH SOCIAL EVENINGS ~ Teachers Centre, St. Albans Hall, Lynchford Koad, Farnborough (opp. Lloyds Bank) LICENSED BAR, COFFEE AND BISCUITS - SALES STAND
Wednesday, 11th April 7.45pm.
TALK by Bruce Ratcliffe entitled 'The River Wey Navigation'. The River Wey is one of the oldest Navigations in Britain and is now owned and operated by the National Trust. Bruce Ratcliife is the National Trust Manager for the navigation.
Monday, 9th April. 7.45pm.
ILLUSTRATED TALK by Tony Clayton entitled 'The Shrewsbury and Newport Canals'. Tony has recently moved to Godalming from the Shrewsbury area where he was involved vith various projects connected with the restoration of canals in that area. He is now tc be seen working on the Ash Embankment when time permits.
Monday, 14th May, 7.45pm.
ILLUSTRATED TALK by Martyn Denney, Secretary of the Narrow Boat Trust entitled, 'Development of Narrow Boats'. The present work and aims of the Narrow Boat Trust will also be described.
1st Monday monthly at the Fox & Hounds, Crookham Road, Fleet (Canal Lounge) 3rd Wednesday monthly at the Bounty, Bounty Road, Basingstoke.

A cruise on the 'Ladywood' batween Semington and Bradford on Avon on the Kennet and Avon Canal followed by a visit to the newly restored and re-opened Claverton Punphouse on the same Canal in the Avon Valley near Bath. SEE SEPARATE SHEET.

BARN DANCE - Friday 15th June, at FLEET CIVIC HALL
Dancing to the Hampshire Hogs, caller, Chris James, Cold supper. Tickets £1.85. SEE SEPARATE SHEET
Throughout theSpring and Summer, Members Evenings will be held every Tuesday on the 'John Pinkerton'. It has been decided to accept no charter bookings on Tuesday evenings and the boat will proceed to North Warnborough for pumping out and then continue to King Johns Castle to turn at the winding hole there. General cleaning and maintenance will be carried out during the trip and members may be expected to help out. Crew training will also take place. THE BAR WILL BE OPEN on board.
Departures from Colt Hill, Odiham as follows:
Tuesday 17th April to end of April : 19.00hours
May . : 19.30 hours
June and July : 20.00 hours
August . . . : 19.30 hours
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Following the heavy rains in 1968, and after years of no maintenance, a tree fell and took part of the Ash Embankment with it. A large area was flooded. To stop further water, a concrete dam was placed across the top of Ash Lock. This has been one of the major tasks for full restoration of the canal. This year it is hoped to have the embankment complete.

Working from the Surrey end, Martin Bowers and visiting groups, David Millett's off-side clearance party, Jack Reddall's schoolchildren and Alan Lucas and the Ash Vale Residents have completed a large part of the scrub and sapling clearance. The tree surgeons team from Surrey have felled the bigger trees which had to go.

Surrey County Council will puddle a trial section and fill it with water with the help of a Hymac, which will also remove silt. If successful, the process will continue along the embankment. Frank Jones and the STEP and WEP teams will construct a run-off weir on the off-side bank to run into the Blackwater River.

Hampshire County Council's first priority is to fill the breach this year. Clay may be transported on site by means of the SHCS narrow guage railway. When all this is completed, it is hoped, with Ash Lock restored, to have water into surrey in 1979.
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SOCIETY SALES STAND David Gay. Tel: Egham (078 43) 3108
I would like to draw to the attention of all members the Society's sales stand which attends a number of local events and provides the Society's restoration fund with some of its much needed income. I would like to improve on last year's total sales figure of just over £2000 but this will require a greater effort from all of us as we no longer have the benefit of the Basingstoke Canal Exhibition which raised £500 last year alone.

I, therefore, ask members to let me know of fetes, shows and other local events where the Society's sales and exhibition stands will be welcome. I would also be grateful if any members prepared to help man these stands would contact me.

The spring 1979 price list is enclosed with this newsletter and I would remind members that all items ordered through the post or purchased, from the sales stand contribute to the restoration of the canal. It is with regret that I have had to increase the price of the Society's publications but I would mention that this is the first increase for four years.
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As announced in the last Newsletter the 1979 event will be held on Sunday 29th April at Reading Hoad Bridge, Fleet,, from 9am. onwards. The Trials will involve set distances of 6, 12, 20 and 30 miles and entrants will be able to select one of three different time categories within each distance. Every entr?nt will receive a Memento of the event. The canal between Aldershot and Odiham will be used for the 30 mile event with the other events using stretches nearer Fleet. THIS IS NOT A RACE. The event is being organised jointly by the Society and the WESTEL CANOE CLUB.

Refreshments. Canoe Trade Stands plus the Society Series and Inhibition Stands will be on the site.
ENTRY FORKS AVAILABLE FROM : (75p only) Mr. J. Simmons, 52 Ashgrcve Road, Ashford Common, Middx. TV15 1PJ. (Tel: Ashford (07842) 55085 or from Mrs. R. Millett, 14. Dinorben Close, Fleet, Hants. (Tel: Fleet 7364) PLEASE ENCLOSE A STAMPED ADDRESSED FOOLSCAP ENVELOPE
The Event is for all ages and individuals, school and scout groups and Canoe Club members may all enter. (Entries close 16th April 1979).
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MANY thanks to all those members who provided jumble for the sale on February 17th in Fleet, for without the jumble we could not have made the grand total of £143 and also to all those members who turned out so early on that cold Saturday morning to help.
WALKERS may like to take part in the Wey and Arun Canal Trust's Sponsored Walk on 10th June. An attractive circular route is planned south of Guildford. Send s.a.e. for details to David Wimpenny, 1260 Reading Road South, Fleet, Hants.
RECENT donations include:
£100 from the Mitehell Trust
£100 from Texaco Ltd.
£50 from Shave Charity Trust.
MASSEY Ferguson MF40 Digger/Excavator, purchased by the Society last November, at a cost of £3,240, is now leased to Surrey County Council (at £1 per year) for use in the restoration of the canal. It will, of course, be available for use by the Society at weekends.
THANKS to Roger Jones for his continues work on overhauling the dumpers and other plant at home.
SUPPORT the Kent and East Sussex IWA Branch 'Sponsored Dig' (leaflet enclosed) by sponsoring one or more of the three volunteer navvies shown on the back page of the leaflet.
HAMPSHIRE County Council have to date issued 51 licences for powered boats and 103 for unpowered craft. The maximum number of licences to be issued this year will be 80 powered and 120 unpowered.
HELP wanted from Society members to run the Canoe Trials on Sunday 29th April at Reading Road Bridge, Fleet - marshalls, tea servers, car park attendants are needed, Phone Rosemary Millett, Fleet 7364.
FOR SALE - Rally plaque and programme for 1962 Woking Rally. Offers to Claire Johnstone, Willow Cottage, Timsway, Staines, Middlesex.
HOUSE for sale - 5 bedroom, semidetached with garage and large garden backing south onto Basingstoke Canal at St. John's. Apply John Adam, Brookwood A-293.


Published by Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Limited. a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee.
Editor: Dieter Jebens
75 Middle Bourne Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10 3NJ (Tel: Farnham 715230
Chairman: Robin Higgs, 18 Barnsford Crescent, West End, Woking. (Tel: Chobham 73140.
Treasurer: Peter Fethney, 5 Longdown, Courtmoor, Fleet (Tel: Fleet 5524)
Secretary: Mrs. Lise Hamilton, 2 Frome Close, Cove, Farnborough (Tel: Farnborough A-9&51).
Membership Secretary: Alan Babister, 31 Elmsleigh Read, Cove, Farnborough (Tel: Farnborough 46147.
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Last updated April 2005