No 90April 1980
Inside front cover --
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT GRANT WILL BOOST CANAL RESTORATION
Full-time workers will continue to be employed on restoring the Deepcut flight of 14 locks on the Basingstoke Canal for at least another twelve months.
The Manpower Services Commission has made a further grant to the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society under the Work Experience Scheme which will provide jobs and training for twelve school leavers under the existing five-man supervisory team. The new scheme starts in April.
The successful application was announced by the Society's Chairman, Robin Higgs at their Annual General Meeting held at St. Andrews Hall, Frimley Green on March 8th. The new scheme ends fears that restoration of the canal might be long delayed if full-time work at Deepcut had to be terminated.
Despite the uncertainties of last year, Mr. Higgs reported that restoration of the canal had progressed well and he saw the year ahead as a period of consolidation.
With restoration approaching the half way stage Mr. Higgs said, "We are now really moving into a new stage, where the fruits of our work are beginning to be seen".
But he emphasised that there was still a tremendous amount of work to be done, and he appealed for more members to take an active part in the running of the Society and to join voluntary working parties.
Mr. Higgs also stressed that with costs escalating alarmingly, the Society would continue to approach local industry for support.
Looking ahead Mr. Higgs said that the Society was still seeking a Trust or joint management committee, representing the two county councils and the Society to run the canal as an entity. He said that discussions had already taken place and that both county councils had agreed to the proposal in principle.
In the year ahead, Mr. Higgs anticipated that restoration of the 14 Deepcut locks
would be completed except for the fitting of lock gates at the lower end; restoration
of Ash Embankment would be completed and that the 11-mile centre section of the canal
- from Fleet to Deepcut would be re-opened early next year.
The Society's Treasurer, Mr. Bryan Jones reported a healthy financial situation with a balance of £10,408 in hand from an income of £24,495. The Treasurer referred to the work done by Mr. Richard Allnutt in raising donations made by charitable trust funds, and to the Woking firm of James Walker & Co. Ltd., who had contributed £500 to the Society's restoration fund following an appeal for local industry support.
The Society's Vice-Chairman, Mr. David Millett, reported on the Society's activities. The major event of 1979, he said, was the completion of Deepcut top lock which was officially re-opened in September by Councillor John MacFarlane, Chairman of Surrey's Countryside Committee.
The Society had received a donation of £2,000 from the Queen's Silver Jubilee Appeal Fund, and £250 under the Shell Inland Waterways Restoration Awards Scheme. Mr. Millett also reported a profit of £1,697 from the Society's Annual Grand Draw.
Membership of the Society had fallen marginally, said Mr. Millett, and currently stood at 2,300.
One of the highlights of the Society's social activities,reported Mr. Millett, was the second annual canoe tourist trial which took place on the Hampshire section of the canal. It attracted 446 entrants and was organised jointly by the Society
and the Westel Canoe Club. The event had led to the recent formation of the Basing Canal Canoe Club.
Voluntary working party activities were reported by Mr. Mike Fellows who said that a good working relationship existed between the two county councils, Job Creation workers and volunteers.
Mr. Fellows stated that voluntary working parties had been responsible for towpath clearance along the Fleet and Crookham sections; on Ash Embankment and at Woking.
The Railway Group had moved the towpath track, laid at Deepcut to supply building
materials for the renovation of lock chambers to Ash Embankment where it would be
used to transport clay for puddling the canal bed.
In the Hampshire section of the canal, Mr. Fellows reported on the steady progress made by the Society's steam-powered dredger which would soon reach Barley Mow Bridge at Winchfield.
At the eastern end of the canal in Surrey, Mr. Fellows said that members of the Inland Waterways Association, Guildford Branch, were continuing to restore lock 1. And a group of Society volunteers were working on lock 5 at Sheerwater.
Volunteers were also engaged on restoring Deepcut locks, 16, 17 and 19. The work involved not only Society members but also groups of visiting volunteers including the Kent and East Sussex Branch of the I.W.A., and the Southampton Canal Society. In August a group of Waterway Recovery Group members had spent a successful 4-week work camp at Brookwood repairing locks 13 and 14. Accommodation was arranged at Keogh Barracks and Mr. Fellows thanked the Army for the help they had given.
Mr. Fellows also thanked all the volunteers for their efforts but said that the turnout at Deepcut had been disappointing, and he appealed for more support.
Reporting on the progress made by Job Creation workers, Mr. Frank Jones, the projects co-ordinator, said that they had run two teams under the Work Experience Scheme for school leavers, and for the long-term unemployed under the Special Temporary Employment Scheme.
Mr. Jones said that they had restored Deepcut locks 26, 27 and 28 complete with lock
gates and that a further six chambers were finished except for lock gates. He added
that a further six lock gates were under construction.
One of the advantages of a full-time labour force, Mr. Jones said, was their ability to attract help from visiting volunteers during the week. In 1979 they were assisted by men from the Royal Engineers on two occasions. The Construction Industry Training Board had organised a party of apprentice bricklayers who worked at lock 18 for a fortnight and various groups of Venture Scouts had helped during the summer months.
Even away from the canal volunteers were providing valuable assistance, said Mr. Jones. Apprentices at the R.A.E. Farnborough were currently working on a set of lock gates for lock 20, and at the Kinton Boys School, Woking, lock gate parts were being constructed.
A brief report on the successful season of the Society's tripping boat, the John Pinkerton, based at Colt Hill, Odiham, was given by Mr. Peter Fethney. He said that the 'John Pinkerton' made 298 trips producing an income of £16,436 which, because the boat was operated by volunteers, resulted in a profit of £9,226 for the Society.
Mr. Fethney added that 120 firm bookings had already been made to charter the boat for the coming season starting at the end of April.
Concluding the meeting, the Society's Chairman, Mr. Higgs, said, "I see 1980 very much as a year of consolidation when we shall be getting on to the downhill side of restoration. There's still an awful lot to do and we need all the help we can get. But it will be very rewarding and the restored canal will be a living testament to your endeavours".
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COUNCIL AIMS TO MAINTAIN CANAL RESTORATION SUPPORT
In spite of restrictions imposed on local authority expenditure, Mr. Raymond Stedman, the Countryside Officer responsible for Surrey's length of the Basingstoke Canal, told members of the Surrrey and Hampshire Canal Society at their Annual General Meeting that the County Council was determined as far as possible to keep their restoration budget at last year's level. "It is a measure of the high regard the County Council has for the efforts the Canal Society is putting into the restoration work", said Mr. Stedman.
Reviewing progress made in 1979 Mr. Stedman said that the Surrey Council had completed dredging the canal cutting at Decpcut, over Ash Embankment and in the Ash Vale area. Further dredging was also being done in the Woking section of the canal until the end of March.
Mr. Stedman also mentioned the contribution made by volunteers from the Royal Corps of Transport who reinforced the canal bank at Great Bottom Flash, Ash Vale.
The complecion of Ash Embankment would be one of the County Council's main projects in 1980, Mr. Stedman reported. It had been decided to restore the embankment to a very high standard by lining the canal bed with clay throughout.
Mr. Stedman concluded by saying that the Council would be giving further thought to the proposed management of the canal by a joint committee which would ensure that the Society had a say in the running of the waterway.
For Hampshire County Council, the canal manager, Mr. David Gerry, reported that the Council ha] repaired the breach in Ash Embankment, restored Ash Lock, for which the Society supplied the lock gates, and dredged the section through Aldershot Military town.
During the coming year the Council would continue to work on Ash Embankment, repair a culvert in Fleet and maintain the towing path. Mr. Gerry said that there were plans to provide car parks at Chequers Bridge, Crookham and Barley Mow Bridge, Winchfield.
Mr. Gerry also mentioned that the Council was planning to excavate the moat around the remains of King John's Castle adjacent to the canal at North Warnborough.
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Among questions asked by members at the AGK were "Will the Society be purchasing another cruise boat for the middle or lower reaches of the Basingstoke Canal?"
The Chairman, Mr. Robin Higgs, said that there had been no formal discussion on the subject, while the Chairman of S.H.C. Cruises Ltd., said that they would be unable to fit out and run another boat. Any boat as large as the John Pinkerton would detract from the present status quo.
Suggestions were that a smaller boat with a crew of one would be better; that the Ash Vale 5 mile pound be used; that the Woking 3 mile pound be used and that the £10,000 in deposit should be used to buy a boat now before further price increases put it out of reach. Mr. Higgs added that further comment from members would be welcomed.
In answer to a question on bylaws in Hampshire, Mr. David Gerry commented that as H.C.C. have only just obtained legal ownership of the canal, the bylaws were not finalised. It was hoped to have comparable laws as those in Surrey concerning horse and motorcycling, barriers and locked gates were to be established along the towpath to prevent unauthorised access but what form these were to take was not decided.
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[Inside front cover]
(1) Volunteers clearing mud from the entrance to Lock 16.
(2) The Society's 70-ton dredger nearing Barley Mow Bridge, Winchfield.
(3) Lock 18 being restored by Job Creation workers.
(4) The Bisley line viaduct, above Pirbright Wharf, which has been removed.
(5) Working Party Leader, Tony Gould rebuilding a culvert entrance in Lock 16.
(6, 7) Re-fitting 'John Pinkerton'for the new season. (Photos Clive Durley and Dieter Jebens and David Robinson).
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During the winter months many of the people who venture out to work on the canal prefer to do vigorous things like towpath clearance, to keep warm. Bramble-bashing and the attendant bonfires are a good healthy antidote to the soggy conditions of these short, dark days. But now that it is getting warmer, a canal restorer's thoughts can lightly turn to thoughts of other, heavier, restoration work.
In Hampshire you can participate in the unique exercise of assisting with operation of the steam dredger, which is a remarkable piece of industrial archaeology in its own right. Here is where the West (of the canal) will truly be won. In Surrey there are locks, but you don't have to live in Surrey to help restore them. Some people come considerable distances to work on our locks. Helping restore locks is again a rare undertaking, with rewards that require a bit of patience, but this job is the absolute backbone of the canal restoration in Surrey. Now that some of the finished articles are starting to appear, the work becomes even more satisfying. Anyone comparing the 'before' state of the St. Johns locks with the 'after' state of the upper Deepcut locks is bound, seeing what can be achieved, to become a volunteer lock restorer immediately.
A full list of working parties is given below. It is usually best to contact your working party leader a few days before attending, in case of any last-minute change of plan.
Every weekend Deepcut Flight
This year many of the people concerned in this operation are saying 'we must be off the Deepcut Flight this year'. This means that all chamber restoration work will have to be complete, leaving only gates to be fitted, and so a big volunteer effort is called for.
Lock 16, the Society's own lock at present, is definitely moving into the final stages of restoration. The recess walls are not yet complete, and a few coping stones have still to go back, but the job list now mostly contains smaller, ancilliary, jobs. There are quite a number of these, as the Society have been asked tc take this lock to a more completed state than was Lock 25. Collars, bollards and bridge are to be installed and the quadrants to be laid, leaving only the gates to be fitted later.
Further up at lock 19 work is now under way again, after a comparative lull round the
turn of the year. The offside chamber wall is virtually finished, and the near-side
wall should now be going ahead. This lock is mainly worked on by visiting groups,
among whom the regulars include London WRG and Kent and East Sussex IWA.
With brisk progress being made on Lock 18 by the Job Creation team, that leaves only two more Deepcut Locks to be reckoned with. Lock 17 was worked on at the Deepcut Dig and later by London WRG. The main jobs still to be done there are the top cill and the recess walls. Lock 15 (Deepcut Bottom Lock) has had little attention since the Deepcut Dig, but much of its fabric is believed to be in reasonably good condition and it is not expected to be a particularly big or difficult job (which still means it will take quite a bit of work by someone).
The co-ordinator of the volunteer work on this flight is MIKE FELLOWS, on Wokingham
787428, and you should contact him, or one of the working party leaders, for
1st Weekend of the month - 5/6 Apr, 3/4 May, 31May/1Jun - Lock 16 TONY GOULD on 01-977-8092
2nd Weekend of the month -12/13 Apr, 10/11 May, 7/8 June - Lock 19 PETER OATES (Southampton Canal Society) on Botley 3844
2nd and 4th Sundays of the month - 13 Apr, 27 Apr, 11 May, 25 May, 8 June -
Lock 16 - ALAN GRIMSTER on Brookwood 6127
3rd Weekend of the month - 19/20 Apr, 17/18 May, 14/15 June - Lock 16 JULES WOOD on Farnborough 515737.
4th weekend of the month - 26/27 Apr, 24/25 May - Lock 19 CHRIS BRAZIER - Camberley 23132.
If you want to help maintain the plant (dumpers etc.,) used on this work, the man to contact is JIM CHISHOLM on Wokingham 785146.
Every weekend 'Dredging in.Hampshire
The dredger is now operational again, and proceeding towards Barley Mow Bridge and beyond, with two tugs operational to speed the silt disposal process. If the good progress now being made is to be maintained more helper's will be needed, to do jobs like driving tugs, stoking the boiler, and generally assisting in removing the dredged silt. The access point is Barley Mow Bridge, Further details from BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627.
Towpath clearance in Surrey
This working party continues to progress in leaps and bounds. They have now cleared the whole of the towpath from Kiln Bridge, St. Johns, to Hermitage Bridge, and are now clearing the area of the St. Johns locks, and moving east. However in deference to the birds who wish to nest in this area during the spring, no more working parties will be held for towpath clearance until the autumn, watch this space for further announcements.
2nd Weekend of the month Lock 5 - Woodham
2/13 Apr, 10/11 May, 7/8 June
With work on the wingwalls now completed, the near-side chamber wall is now being demolished. After that, the party will be starting on their biggest task to date, the rebuilding of this wall, so plenty of bricklayers will be needed. For further details, you should contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081
3rd Weekend of the month Lock 1 (Woodham)
19/20 Apr, 17/18 May
Now equipped with a much more powerful pump, borrowed from the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, this party now hope to be able to conquer one of their perenniel problems, that of getting the lock chamber free of water so they can work on it. As the top end of the lock is now pretty well complete their work will now be mainly concentrated around the bottom cill. Further details from DICK. HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 or PETER JACKMAN on Woking 72132.
Last Sunday of the month Bankside work in Hampshire
30 Mar, 27 Apr.
This party have now completed their towpath clearance in the Fleet area and will probably bT working at Crookham Deeps for the rest of this season's operations. This work, as always, requires no special skills and is suitable for family parties and young people. Further details from DAVID MILLETT on Fleet 7364.
Various weekends Broad Oak and Wilderness Weir
At Broad Oak Bridge volunteers are installing a new temporary footbridge and building up the approaches to the bridge. At Lower Wilderness Weir there is bricklaying, and some concrete work, to be done. Both these projects are organised by PETER MAINE, on Camberley 24701, who has a particularly urgent need for bricklayers so that Wilderness Weir can be finished.
RAILWAY GROUP ASH EMBANKMENT.
The head of steel continues to move eastwards, good progress has been made thanks to more members joining in the work of the group. But more help is needed. A working party has now been started on Saturdays.
This project is your nearest regular weekend activity. if you live in Ash, Farnborough,
Aldershot, Mytchett or Cove. If you want a varied type of work (including mechanical
engineering on rolling stock maintenance) this is the place for you.
Don't just turn up, please telephone first, or send your carrier pigeon to: David Meller, 101 Branksome Hill Road, College Town, Camberley, Surrey, Tel: Camberley 32096
or: John Peart, 1 Medway Drive. Farnham. Hants. Tel: Farnborough 46554.
If you are new to canal work, and want to help on a canal working party (or better to bring a group) you should make contact with someone first, before attending. If you know the sort of work you want to do, and which party you want to join, then you should talk to the appropriate working party leader. Otherwise, if you are uncertain where you would best fit in, and would like some guidance, then contact PETER COOPER, who is the Working Party Information Officer, on 01-993-1105, and he will attempt to guide you in the right direction.
PEOPLE ARE REQUIRED ON THE DEEPCUT FLIGHT TO TAKE THE
TALK LOAD FROM THE WORKING PARTY LEADERS. MUST FIND
PLEASURE IN DISCUSSING THE CANAL WITH PASSERS BY, WHILE
PERHAPS PERSUADING A FEW TO RETURN AND WORK.
YOU WILL BE PROVIDED WITH INFORMATION BOARDS AND LEAFLETS.
WILL SUIT PEOPLE UNABLE TO UNDERTAKE HARD MANUAL LABOUR.
'PHONE NATALIE JONES - ALDERSHOT 313076.
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BASINGSTOKE CANAL CANOE TRIALS - Sunday April 20th, 1980 from 9am. onwards.
READING ROAD BRIDGE, FLEET
As announced in the last newsletter the 1980 event will be held on Sunday April 20th at Reading Road 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 entrant will receive a certificate and memento. The canal between Aldershot and Odiham will be used for the 30 mile event with the other distance categories using stretches nearer Fleet. THIS IS NOT A RACE. The event is being organised jointly by the Society and the Westel Canoe Club with assistance this year from the newly formed Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club. Refreshments by the W.R.V.S. Canoe Trade Stands plus the Society's Sales and Exhibition Stands will be on the site. Radio communication will be by the Combined Cadet Force of Farnborough Sixth Form College.
Entry forms available from: Jeff Simmons, 52 Ashgrove Road, Ashford Common, Middx. TW15. 1PJ (Tel: Ashford (07842) 55085) enclosing SAE (Entries close 12th April 1980)
Spectators very welcome. There is activity all day from 9am. onwards.
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The 90-year old steel girder viaduct, which carried the former Brookwood to Bisley Branch line over the Basingstoke Canal above Pirbright wharf, has been demolished by British Rail.
Built in 1890 by the London and South Western Railway, the line served the National Rifle Ranges at Bisley which were formally situated at Wimbledon. The line wes closed in July 1952.
Between 1916-17 the Army constructed an extention to serve Deepcut and Blackdown Camps, operating a weekend leave train - known locally as the 'Bisley Bullet' or the 'Bisley Flyer' - to connect with the main line at Brookwood. The service ended in 1921 because the Army operating personnel were needed to run the Longdown Military Railway.
A feature of the Bisley, Deepcut and Blackdown Railway was Deepcut station built by Canadian troops as a replica of the Canadian Rockies log-timbered stations. The building was still in use as married quarters until comparatively recently.
JACKPOT JUMBLE SALE
Very many thanks to everyone who provided jumble for the sale on February 23rd in Frimley. Total proceeds (after expenses) came to'£210.41. A big thank you also to all the helpers, without whose cheerful and enthusiastic participation the show would never have got on the road.
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SOCIAL JOTTINGS Joint Social Secretaries: Hampshire, David Millett Fleet 7364
Surrey, Michael Grist, Woking 71581
The last meetings of the Winter season will be held this month, and meetings will recommence next September. Any ideas, suggestions or offers should be made as soon as possible to either of the above.
FARNBOROUGH SOCIAL EVENINGS - Teacher's Centre, St. Albans Hall, Lynchford Road,
Farnborough (Opp. Lloyds Bank). BAR, COFFEE & BISCUITS SALES STAND.
Wednesday. 23rd April 7.45pm.
'LONDON'S WATERWAYS' - an illustrated talk by Chris Cove-Smith of the Inland Waterways
Association, featuring familiar and more unusual aspects of London's canals and rivers.
WOKING SOCIAL EVENINGS - Woking Centre Halls. COFFEE, BISCUITS AND SALES STAND.
Monday 14th April 7.45pm.
'RIPARIAN INSIGHT' or 'THE LOW-DOWN ON WATERSIDE CONSTRUCTION WORK' - an illustrated talk by Tom Chaplin of the well known firm T. Harrison Chaplin Ltd., who are specialists in waterside construction work and who provide a comprehensive riparian owners service: by constructing moorings, campshedding, dredging and landscaping canal and river banks.
Members are welcome to bring friends to the above meetings.
MEMBERS' EVENINGS ON THE 'JOHN PINKERTON' THE SOCIETY'S CRUISE BOAT
As last year Members Evenings will be held every Tuesday on the 'John Pinkerton'. The
boat will normally cruise to North warnborough and return for pumping out on the way
and for general cleaning and maintenance together with crew training.
THE BAR WILL BE OPEN It is hoped that occasional trips can be made to the Barley Mow
winding hole, Winchfield, depending on pumping out requirements.
19.30 hours 20.00 hours. 19.30 hours.
Departures from Colt Hill, Odiham as follows:-
29th April to the end of May: 19.30 hours.
June and July: 20.00 hours.
August: 1930 hours.
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JOIN IN THE BIG FUND RAISING EVENT OF THE YEAR
Every member can help - actively or from your armchair, to raise the target of £5,000 by participating in the Society's Sponsored Walk along the Canal towpath on Sunday, May l8th.
It may sound a lot of money to raise, but it doesn't take much effort if enough people turn out. We only need 500 walkers each sponsored by 10 people at 10p a mile for 10 miles, and we'll make £5,000. That really isn't too much of a challenge, but don't leave it to someone else. Join in to make sure we reach the target.
A Sponsor Booklet is enclosed with this newsletter. The route from Woking to Ash Lock is both attractive and the centre of current restoration work, so there's lots to see on the way. Start signing up your sponsors today!.
There's an :even easier way of helping to make the Walk a success, and that is simply to sponsor our Chairman, Robin Higgs.
The money will go towards the vital work of restoring another lock. Additional Sponsor Booklets are obtainable from: Shirley Trott, 21 Lime Grove, Westfield, Woking, Surrey. Tel: Woking 68607
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JOIN THE SPONSORED TOWPATH WALK - SUNDAY MAY 18th
The Basingstoke Canal Anglers Association is negotiating a long term lease for the
fishing rights to the Hampshire section of the Canal from the beginning of the new
season in June.
Membership of the Association is available only to angling clubs who issue annual permits to their members. But temporary day tickets are available from a number of outlets in the area: J. Donnelly, 25 Cheviot Close, Basingstoke, Hants; Basingstoke Angling Centre, Queens Parade, Basingstoke; Cordings, New Market Square, Basingstoke; Two Guys, South Ham, Basingstoke; Western Fuels, Fleet and Young World at Hook.
RALLY OF SMALL BOATS
ST. PATRICK'S STREAM. SUNDAY 25TH MAY
Guildford and Reading Branch of the I.W.A, are organising a rally of small boats, dinghies and canoes to draw attention to the public right of navigation down St. Patrick's Stream, a navigable backwater of the River Thames, and to celebrate its re-opening after the drought in the summer of 1976.
St. Patrick's Stream is a 2-1/4 mile long backwater of the River Thames by-passing Shiplake lock, which has a fall of 5 feet. The Rally launching site will be at Shiplake College with the mooring site close to Shiplake Lock. Entry forms obtainable from: Mrs. A. Percy, Entries Officer at 21 New Road, Marlow Bottom, Bucks. Enclose s.a.e.
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COMMUNITY SERVICE BY OFFENDERS
Can you spare one Saturday a month to supervise three or four young people working on the canal. Hampshire Probation and After Care Service require several people to act as supervisors for the Community Service Scheme.
An hourly rate will be paid together with petrol allowances.
If you are interested in helping this very worthy project please phone Pauline Hadlow on Camberley 28367 for details.
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DON'T RING US, WE'LL RING YOU.....
If you are thinking of applying for a licence to put your boat on the Canal this year, you may be disappointed. For although Hampshire County Council have doubled the number of licences available from 200 to 400, including 160 for powered craft up to 14 feet in length, maximum 6 bhp engine, the full quota has been allocated. Now you will have to go on a waiting list.
The cost of licences has risen from £1 to £5 for powered craft, and £3 for unpowered boats including canoes. Half price licences are available for 15-day holiday licences.
For further information apply to: The Basingstoke Canal Licence Clerk, Hampshire County Council, Ash Lock Cottage, Government Road, Aldershot, Hants.
APRIL 12 Closing date for Canoe Trials entries
14 'Riparian Insight' - illustrated talk by Tom Chaplin, 7.45pm. at Woking Centre Halls.
20 Canoe Trials, Reading Road Bridge, Fleet.
21 Pub evening, The Bounty, Basingstoke.
23 'London's Waterways' - illustrated talk by Chris Cove-Smith, 7.45pm.
at Teachers' Centre, Farnborough
26 'John Pinkerton' cruising season commences 29 Members Evening on John Pinkerton. 7.30pm. from Colt Hill.
MAY 6 Members evening aboard the John Pinkerton, 7.30 from Colt Hill.
13 Members evening, 'John Pinkerton'
18 Sponsored walk along the Basingstoke Canal.
19 Pub evening, The Bounty, Basingstoke.
20 Members evening, John Pinkerton
25 Rally of small boats, St Patrick's stream
27 Members evening, John Pinkerton.
JUNE 3 Members, evening, John Pinkerton 8.00pm.
10 Members evening, John Pinkerton
16 Pub evening. The Bounty, Basingstoke.
17 Member's evening, John Pinkerton
24 Members evening, John Pinkerton
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It is with regret that we report the death of Roy Fowles, one of the Hampshire Canal Wardens. Roy started work on the canal in 1975, at Lock 25, putting in many hours of heavy work, while fortifying workers with his famous 'Rose Lee'. When the Society acquired a dragline he dredged the flash above Lock 24, creating an island known as 'Roy's Eyot'. He later helped completely rebuild the dragline. His cheery personality and succinct comments on canal matters, will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Rose, and his family.
We print below a letter received by the Society from Mrs. Rose Fowles:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the canal society who sent flowers and kind thoughts to me during my very sad loss of Roy. I thought it was very good of you all to find a bit of your time to attend his funeral. I'm very sorry that I could not see or speak to any of you at the time but I hope I will see you around some time so it is with heartfelt thanks that I say thank you all once again. I will take a stroll along the canal in the summer and have another look at Roy's Island which he made. I'm not very good at writing letters so I hope you will forgive me if I have forgotten anything or anyone. I had so many lovely cards its far too many to answer every one personally. I will say cheerio - for now,. God bless you all.
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AMSTERDAM MAY BANK HOLIDAY 1981
I am in the very early stages of making arrangements for a visit to Holland to see the
bulb fields and for a trip round the canals of Amsterdam. I hope this trip will take
place over May Bank Holiday 1981, leaving Fleet at 5-30pm. on the Friday evening.
The only meals to be included in the trip will be dinner on the outward and return
journeys, together with Dinner, Bed and Breakfast at a hotel in Amsterdam on the
Saturday, night. You will be responsible for the cost of all other meals. The total
cost of the trip will be in the region of £70.
If you are interested in joining this party, could you please ring me by June 1st, Rosemary Millett. on Fleet 7364 and give me your name and address so that I can find out if I will have sufficient support to make further arrangements.
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CANALS THAT NEVER WERE No. 5 1810-27 David Gerry
In a report to shareholders of the Basingstoke Canal of 15th February 1810 it states,
'A rumour has been some time current of an intention on the part of the Kennet and Avon Company to propose a junction with the Basingstoke Canal. As they have expended a very large sum of money in forming a junction between the Avon and the Kennet, they will probably, endeavour, to get to London by a less tedious, circuitous and precarious route than that of the Thames from Reading, and no road so easy and convenient to enable them to escape these difficulties, as by joining our canal which was in fact a part of their original plan. As the parties ar, persons of great opulence there is reason to believe this project will be carried into execution'.
John Rennie surveyed a line which included a 1,500 yard tunnel and would have been about 21 miles long. This scheme was opposed by the Thames Commissioners and the owner of the Kennet Navigation both of which were likely to lose trade if this link to Old Basing were built. The Kennet and Avon Company purchased the Kennet Navigation in 1815. An attempt to pass an act of Parliament for this proposed canal failed in 1819.
In 1824 Francis Giles surveyed a line and produced a plan for a 'Kennet and Basingstoke
Canal from the River Kennet Navigation at Medyham to the Basingstoke Canal at Basing.
Hampshire Record Office have a copy of this plan. The junction would have been about 200 yards east of Crown Lane Bridge, Basing and the first 10 miles of this 13 mile canal
would have been on the same level as the Basingstoke Canal. Leaving Basing Village the
line went north west across the River Yoddon on an Acqueduct to Chineham to pass under
the A33 then on to pass about half a mile to the north of Sherborne St. John Church.
The line ran parallel to and only a few yards to the east of the A340 through Pamber End
and Pamber Green then it turned due West through Tadley to enter a tunnel, about 3/4 mile in length that passed under the A340 just north of Baughurst. Emerging from the hillside, the line passed close to Axeman Ford running along the east bank of a tributary of the River Enborne. The line then turned north east along the Enborne Valley down through 4
locks to cross the Enborne on an acqueduct about 1/2 mile east of Brimpton Village,
Three more locks down and turning north to cross the River Kennet it joined the Kennet Navigation just east of Medyham Marsh. This would have effectively extended the summit of the Basingstoke Canal from 20 miles to 30 miles long and this summit pound had known water supply problems.
I can't help suspecting that Francis Giles' plan was, therefore, much criticised because he had made no provision for additional water supplies, nor had he taken steps to protect the interests of the Basingstoke Canal. In 1825 he produced another plan for a Berks and Hants Canal which followed the line of the 1824 proposal but included a stop lock at Basing Junction and a pumping engine at Ashford Hill to take water from the Emborne up to the summit level.
He sent a report to the Proprietors of the Basingstoke Canal for consideration at their meeting of 7th November, 1825 in which he said that the water supply of the Basingstoke Canal was more than adequate and could cope with much increased trade but criticised the Company for not looking after its water supplies and he made suggestions for improvement. These included repairing leaky gates and banks and the construction of reservoirs to hold 8,000 locks of water on common land near Farnham. Indeed Giles went further, he deposited plans for 4 reservoirs and both Hampshire and Surrey Records offices have copies.
The first reservoir would have been up to 20 feet deep and covered the area of the Verne, Church Crookham, a large embankment being constructed across what is now Basingbourne Park; the feeder stream to the canal was dug and its junction can still be seen just east of Coxheath Road Bridge on the south bank in the front of the Old Peoples Flats in Wickham Court.
The second reservoir, the largest proposed, probably about 100 acres was to be in the military training lands on the Gavert Stream just north of 'The Forresters' public house, indeed the pub would have probably been on the bank. This too would have been about 20 feet deep and it is probable that its feeder stream was also built, the junction being at the western end of Norris Hill Cutting almost opposite the old N.G.T.E. Pump House. The junction was used as a slipway for Hymacs during last years dry dredge operations.
The third reservoir was only to be small in area but again about 20 feet deep and would have had a dam on the stream feeding into Claycart Flash. It would have flooded the little valley lying to the east of the military vehicle test station to the south of the Fleet - Aldershot Road.
The fourth reservoir would have been the shallowest at 12 feet deep. It would have had two separate dams with two feeder streams into Rushmoor Flash. The present military Rushmoor area would have all been flooded and the Fleet, Aldershot Road would probably have been diverted along the top of the dams.
None of the plans for links with the Kennet and Avon obtained parliamentary approval and railways were proving their abilities to transport goods and passengers and from 1825 onwards only wild schemes were proposed for ship canals from Deptford to Bristol, from Portsmouth to London crossing Guildford High Street half way up the hill and in this century grand contour canals to serve most parts of England. So the canal mania died in the Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire area, to be replaced by a railway mania and a motorway mania. What next, or does the circle start again?
Editors Note: This concludes the series of articles researched and written by David Gerry, manager of the canal's Hampshire section. Many thanks David.
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HELP YOURSELVES AND HELP THE SOCIETY
Fleetclean, who hire out Hydromist carpet cleaning machines and whose proprietors, George and Susan Eynon are members of the Society, have made the following offer. Society members can hire a machine at normal rates (£7 half day, £13 whole day excluding chemicals) in which case Fleetclean will give the SHCS 20% of the hire charge. Alternatively members can hire a machine at a 10% discount and the Society will get another 10%. Delivery and collection are free in Aldershot, Camberley, Farnborough, Fleet and Yateley but a charge of £1 will be made in Woking or beyond. For further details phone Fleet 3387 or contact Fleetclean, Basset, Dinorben Avenue, Fleet, Hants.
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TEN YEARS AGO. . . . . (from Newsletter No. 29, March 1970)
* members were urged to write to their County Councillor and support the Society's campaign for public ownership and a policy of restoration for the Canal. The appeal came on the eve of Hampshire's long awaited engineer's report on the condition of their section of the canal. The report was expected to form the basis of both county councils' decision on whether or not to purchase the waterway.
A letter cost 4d. to send. Family Membership 12.6d. and Junior Membership 5s.
* The New Basingstoke Canal Company was reputed to have said that the breach in Ash Embankment which occured during the floods in September 1968, could not be repaired safely by the company at that time.
Two independent engineers reports commissioned by the Society concluded that the breach could be repaired, and the embankment would safely carry water again.
* Great Bottom Flash at Ash Vale was being searched for the wrecks of some seaplanes which were moved across the Flash as anti-invasion obstacles during the Second World War.
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CANAL PURCHASE COMPLETED
Although Hampshire County Council acquired their section of the Canal in November 1973 by agreement with the former owners, the purchase has only recently been completed. This was confirmed at the February meeting of Hampshire's Recreation Committee by Recreation Officer, Mr. Colin Bonsey.
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RECENT donations for which the Society is extremely grateful: £250 from the Drapers Company, thanks to the efforts of Richard Allnutt. £1000 from Rushmoor Borough Council from their Lottery profits. The money will be spent on a concrete workshop and engine shed on the Embankment railway.
ANY offers for a Roneo and a Banda duplicator no longer needed by the Society? Please contact David Wimpenny, Fleet 5286.
MANY thanks to Bejam Ltd., of Farnborough who donated concrete pipes to the value of about £500. Alan Lucas was instrumental in obtaining this donation.
BOAT for sale: 12 ft. wooden dinghy and trailer, needs some attention, convenient
waterside storage, £125 o.n.o.- Contact Mr. S. Chappie, 17 Great Goodwin Drive, Merrow,
Guildford. Tel: Guildford 60917.
SOCIETY ties and car badges, price £3.75 and £3.40 respectively are now available on the sales stand or from David Gey, Sales Manager, tel: Egham 3108.
NEVER ON SUNDAYS 'The vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Knaphill, has written offering help
on the towpath clearance working parties, but not on Sundays' - extract from Committee
ARMY ANTIQUE Discovered among the canal dredgings in the Ash Wharf area: an Army issue Adams revolver, vintage 1873. The weapon has been restored and will be displayed in a local Army museum.
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ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (A.G.M. March 8th)
The Chairman thanked Mr. Stuart Browning, who was not seeking re-election, for his work on the Committee.
The following were elected: Brian Bane, Peter Fethney, Lise Hamilton, Robin Higgs,
Bryan Jones, Peter Mayne, David Millett, Jean Scott*, Vic Trott*, Derek Truman* and
David wimpenny. (* Denote new Committee-members).
COPY DATE FOR JUNE NEWSLETTER: 1ST MAY 1980
Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Limited, a non-profit making distributing company limited by guarantee.
Editor: Dieter Jebens, Assistant Editors: Natalie and Peter Jones, Production: Dana Snow and David Wimpenny. Collation and distribution, Janet and George Hedger and helpers.
Editorial Office: 75 Middle Bourne Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10 3NJ, Tel. Farnham 715230
Chairman: Robin Higgs, 18 Barnsfofd Crescent, West End, Woking (Chobham 7314)
Vice Chairman: David Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet, Hants (Fleet 7364)
Hon Treasurer: Bryan Jones, 16 Bliss Close, Basingstoke, Hants (Basingstoke 61053)
Hon. Secretary: Mrs. Lise Hamilton, 2 Frome Close, Farnborough, Hants.
Membership Secretary: Alan Babister, 31 Elmsleigh Koad, Farnborough, Hants. (Farnborough 46147)
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