No 94December 1980
Inside front cover --
COMMENT - A SHOPPER'S WINDFALL
Congratulations to our member Marguritte Redway of St. John's Woking, who has just won £5,000 for the Society while out doing her weekly shopping.
Marguerite picked up a leaflet giving details of a national competition, sponsored by Spar, in which entrants were asked to present a case for supporting an environmental improvement or restoration project. She prepared her entry, sent it off and promptly won first prize.
While we know it wasn't quite that «easy, her success demonstrates there are some
unusual ways in which we can help the Society.
So, let's all keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities to support the restoration effort and keep the rate of progress going in 1981.
By organising the competition, Spar has joined other well known companies, like Shell and Johnson wax, in running similar sponsorship schemes from which the Society has benefited.
We hope more companies will follow their example; the protection of our heritage has the interest and support of millions of people. By sponsoring projects such as our own, firms can generate a tremendous amount of goodwill and publicity in supporting people to help themselves, probably at less cost than conventional sponsorships, and certainly to a greater and lasting benefit to the community.
Well done Spar for organising such an imaginative scheme. We know where we are going for the Christmas hamper this year.....
WE WISH ALL OUR MEMBERS AND READERS A VERY HAFPY CHRISTMAS WITH A PROSPEROUS AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR.
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(1) Restoration progress..... the 'John Pinkerton' on one of her
first trips eastwards at Barley Mow Bridge, Winchfield.
(2) A Canoe Club nu eting at the attractively landscaped Crookham Wharf
with car parking space.
(3) Mud barge being lifted onto the canal at Colt Hill, Odiham.
(1) Peter Redway sets off a flare to signal the removal of old lock gates in Lock 11 watched by his wife Marguerite who won Spar's first prize
of £5.000 for the restoration of the lock.
(2). Marguerite kedway receiving her cheque from Minister of the Environment
the Rt. Hon. Tom King, watched by her husband Peter and the Mayor of Woking, Mrs.
(3) Woking's Canal Day. Vic Trott meets the Mayor of Woking
with Peter Coxhead; (4) Counc. Margaret Gammon and Peter Coxhead inspecting the Society's
Sales Stand; (5) Society Chairman, Robin Higgs chatting with Woking's M.P. Cranley
(6) Ron Halls, working Party Leader explains work in progress
to Woking's Mayor with Surrey's Land Agent, Gerard Brierley (far left) and Raymond
Stedman, Countryside Officer (far right); (7) Woking's Mayor with volunteer workers;
(8) Wrens from H.M.S. Dauntless with the Mayor of Rushmoor on Ash Embankment.
(9) The Mayor of Rushmoor riding on the Ash Embankment railway
(10) Counc. Gerry Lewis, Mayor of Rushmoor declaring the new engine shed
open at the Ash Lmbankment railway depot.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Derek Pratt (front cover, 1) Clive Durley, David Millett, Geoff Helliwell and Aubrey Slaughter.
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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 1981
NOTICE is hereby given that the Fourth Annual General Meeting of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Limited will be held on Saturday 11th April 1981 at St. Andrews Hall, Frimley Green (situated next to the Mid-Southern Water Company) commencing at 6.13pm.
Immediately following the AGM there will be a Social Evening once again, as this year's arrangements were well received. It will take the form of a Buffet Supper and Film Show by Phil Pratt, our Exhibitions Manager. This will be optional but the occasion will give members the opportunity to stay and have a chat. Further details in next Newsletter.
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NOMINATIONS FOR THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Nomination time is here again, the closing date will be Saturday 10th January 1981. All the present committee automatically resign at the AGM so there are twelve vacancies to fill. If you would like to be more involved in the Society's affairs, please put your name forward. New faces bring new ideas and are good for the future of the Society. If you wish to know more of what is involved please contact the Vice Chairman.
Nomination forms are available from the Hon. Secretary (see address at back of Newsletter). Nominations must include the signatures of the proposer and seconder, together with the confirmation of the nominee's willingness to stand.
Remember the closing date for nominations is 10th January 1981
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WOKING'S 'CANAL DAY'
On September 13th the Society took over the whole of the Town Square for an exhibition and a big working party of Woking youth tackled the foundations for Woking Town Quay on the towpath nearest the Town Centre.
Other organisations with an interest in the canal were invited to join in the exhibition and the Square was filled with two sales stands and a photographic exhibition by the Society, the IWA, Surrey Bird Club, Brookwood Art Group, Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club and the S.C.C. Countryside Portakabin. Entertainment was provided by the Cup Hill Morris Men, several being Society members.
The effort put in by members and others was well rewarded with many Woking residents joining the Society and sales of £209 on our stands, £70 on the IWA stand and Brookwood Art Group contributing £23 from commission on the sale of canal paintings.
The Mayor of Woking, Cllr. Margaret Gammon and Wokings M.P. Cranley Onslow toured the Square meeting everyone and took a keen interest in all that was on show before going over to the canal to meet the young people working there.
Groups from many local youth organisations and schools, responding to the Mayor's appeal to help with the restoration, turned out in force over the weekend. About 130 youngsters helped and supervised by S.C.C. wardens and Society working party leaders did a magnificent job of clearing rubble and landscaping the dredginge ready for tree, shrub and bulb planting this autumn, laid a hoggin towpath of over 200 yards and constructed steps up to Chobham Road Bridge (Hospital Bridge).
This section of the Canal is already heavily used by Woking residents and Woking Town Quay will be very much a focal point when the canal is fully restored, so a good towpath base was essential.
Altogether a very successful day for the Society and the canal. It only remains for us to say thank you to the Mayor for her interest and enthusiasm for the restoration project, Long may it continue. Thank you to the many, local youngsters who gave their tine and effort and who we hope will get many years of enjoyment from the canal in the not too distant future. Thank you to all the new members who joined the Society that .day and we hope you will get involved in our many activities and last but not least to the S.C.C. people, Woking Council and our own volunteers who provided the expertise to make the whole enterprise totally successful.
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A PASSAGE ON THE CANAL DU MIDI Pauline Hadlow
Winding along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal one pre-Easter, I was struck by the effect of the climate whilst boating, attempting to keep the bows off one bank, hoping that the rudder would not hit the bottom somewhere near the other bank: hand frozen into a vice-like numb grip on the tiller; peering through the sort of rain that usually is reserved for request bus stops when you haven't got a coat. There are good points a cup of hot something handed out. by the male, or maiden, who retires immediately to finish her book before he comes demanding sustenance, and, of course, a snug storm beaten pub where one extolls the virtues of boating to all comers........
regardless of your feelings not half an hour before. The question of how the Eskimos
and Aborigines are faring at that moment does not enter into it. You're having a
great time - aren't you? Relating to others afterwards that it rained all 2 weeks
only confirms their obvious view. But the South of France brigade come back with
their suntans and duty free vino, letting you know that they had quite a reasonable
time really. Their nonchalance is perhaps the most irritating aspect of it all.
'Oh but, of course, the temperature, was in the eighties...'.
If you can't beat them, join them. We did. with canals in our blood, the Canal du
Midi seeraed a fairly daring adventure. You can always cut back to the boat if th
natives aren't friendly! September at Gatwick, 'followed an hour or so later by
September in Montpellier. One so mellow, the other definitely not. Half an hours
taxi to the boat yard and there you are - the boat of your choice for a fortnight
with bikinis flitting here and there and - where was I?
The Canal du Midi is about as narrow in places as the Grand Union at its widest. Our travels took us Westward - towards the summit. Starting in the somewhat fen like district bordering the Mediterranean and 'progressing' upward, through delightful countryside. Forever the vines. It would appear that the local French grow little else. The day may be hot but a slight breeze of passage under the ever present plane trees that border the banks makes for postcard attractiveness; dappled sunlight on water. The locks each accommpanied by its lock house and eclusier are very often most attractive, flowers in bloom and butterflies dancing.
The villages or small towns are old as Abraham, sun bleached and quiet by afternoon, noisy at sunset in the square, where the men congregate over their drinks. Hidden slightly away lies the restaurant, where Madame will cook for a very reasonable sum. The favourite wine of the Midi is rose, light and not very strong. Don't be put off by the transport cafe look, the food is simply marvellous.
The tremendous flight of 6 staircase locks at Leziere with the Port of Homps; Carcassone, a tourist attraction with its ancient walled city, these are the highlights against the peaceful canal scene.
We decided to turn at Carcassonne and, travelling past our start point entered the Etang de Thau, a salt lake, like a miniature sea with little ports around its perimeter. So different from the canal proper but part of it since the port of Sett was built in conjunction with it about 1670. Fishing boats large and small, oysters for dinner, and it's very hot, no shade and those suntans deepen. We didn't really think about the Leeds and Liverpool. It must be the effect of the climate.....
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Blakes Holidays, Wroxham, Norwich and Hoseasons Holidays, 89 Bridge Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk offer package hire cruiser terms.
We chose one from Blakes catalogue, a 4 berth D'Accord class cruiser of The Beaver Fleet based at Port Cassafiers, near Deziers. A 2-week holiday enabled us to cruise up to Carcassonne and back, down to the Etang de Thau and across to Sete with a couple of days spent exploring the ports of Beuzigues and Marseillau. The section between Beziers and Carcassonne is widely regarded as the most impressive and attractive.
Our air-package holiday for three persons cost £909 plus £22.50 airline surcharge and £390 for food, wine and all evening meals out except one night. (A basic meal costs as little as 25f (£2.50) a head, up to 60f for something more memorable).
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BANKER ORDERS AND DEED OF COVENANT EXPLAINED Bryan Jones (Treasurer)
This is an order to your Bank to pay the Society your subscription annually, normally on March 1st or on any other date you specify. I prefer orders to be sent to me for recording; after which I send them on to your bank.
An Order can only be altered on your instructions. The Society cannot alter the amount. Following last January's subscription increase, approximately 300 members who did not instruct their bank to increase the amount on the Banker's Order cannot now be regarded as fully paid up members of the Society. This will mean you cannot vote at the A.G.M. and yuu will soon cease to receive the Newsletter.
So, please check your Banker's Order now - the society cannot do it - but ring me on
Basingstoke 61053 if you have any doubt.
DEED OF COVENANT
This is a promise to pay your subscription annually for at least seven years. As a
registered charity, the Society is not liable to pay income tax and providing you
are a tax payer can reclaim the tax on your subscription providing you have
completed a Deed of Covenant. The cost to you is absolutely nothing extra.
For example, an adult subscription of £4.50 should enable the Society to recover £1.97 tax.
If all members entered into a Deed of Covenant the tax reclaimed would amount to £3,000 a year. At present we only get £300 from this source.
All you do is fill in a Deed of Covenant and send it to the Membership Secretary. Sometime after the first payment is made, the Treasurer will send you a Tax Certificate (Rl85) for completion and return.
You will not be asked to complete any further forms but, should subscription's increase, a new Deed of Covenant ehould be completed. It should also be noted that an alteration to a Banker's Order does not automatically alter a Deed of Covenant - the two are independent and must be altered separately.
So, please make your next years subscription by Deed of Covenant, whether you pay by cheque or Banker's_Order - it costs you nothing extra and the Society could gain a tremendous amount.
Forms are available from the Membership secretary, Alan Babister, whose address is
on the back of the Newslettsr. Please ring me on Basingstoke 61053 if you have any
N.B. Current subscription rates are: Junior (under 18) membership £1.75) O.A.P. membership £1.75, Adult membership, £4.50, Family membership £5-50, Group application £7.00, Life membership £60.00
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GODALMING WATER FESTIVAL 1981 Press Release from the IWA.
Where and when was the first public electricity supply commissioned? It was at Godalming, Surrey, in 1881, end to coincide with the centenary celebrations the IWA Guildford & Reading Branch will be holding the Godalrming Water Festival on the River Wey on 19th and 20th September 1981. Tbe Festival, which will provide publicity and funds for work on the Basingstoke Canal, Wey and Arun Canal and the River Wey, will be opened by IWA founder Robert Aickman, who opened the previous rally at Godalming in 1964.
This will also be a good opportunity to visit the most southerly point of the connected waterways system, and to navigate the adjacent stretch of Basingstoke Canal, where Lock 1 is currently being restored by IWA Guildford & Reading branch. On the Sunday following the Festival there will be a 'topping out' ceremony here.
Boaters attending the 1981 National Waterways Festival at Leeds will be near the northern end of the system, and will have five weeks available for the journey to Godalming. By way of encouragement, the Godalming entry fee (£5) will be refunded to boats attending both events.
Book now, entry forms available from Sue Palmer, 'Wychwood', The Ridgeway, Cranleigh, Surrey. Tel: 04866
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BARGE MOVE David Millett
Monday 13th October dawned bright and sunny and by 7-30am. Ted Williams, Ian Edwards and I were on the way to Caversham Bridge at Reading to supervise the transport of the 62ft barge recently purchased for £800 from the Thames water Authority (Thames, Conservancy division).
The Society had tendered for two identical barges but we were only successful in obtaining one. The barge arrived out of the early morning mist at exactly 8.30am hauled by a T.W.A. tug from their yard at Reading Bridge. The barge was reputed to weigh about 30tons, but when the two 45ton cranes, hired from Marsh Plant lifted the barge out of the water the weight was shown on the cab gauges to be 40tons. Once the Hill's low loader had been manoeuvred into position the barge was gently lowered and made fast for the journey by midday.
Ian and I set out for Colt Hill, Odiham while Ted waited for the promised police escort to arrive. Incredibly this did not turn up until 3pm. so the low loader only arrived at Cult Hill at about 4.45pm immediately to bog down in the mud as soon as it took to the track to the water's edge. In the event the local Fairclough's foremen working on the Odiham bypass came to our rescue by bringing in a bulldozer to haul the low loader complete with barge right into the unloading position.
Finally, with darkness almost upon us, the barge was eased into the Basingstoke Canal, to bring the Society's fleet of barges to six.
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SURREY HEATH DISTRICT COUNCIL GRANT
Surrey Heath District Council has votEd to give the Society £1020 in the next
financial year towards the employment of a carpenter to speed up the production of
lock gates at the Lock Gate workshop. It is hoped the other riparian district
councils in Surrey will follow suit but if not the Society will almost certainly
finance the difference.
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WORKING PAKTIES Peter Cooper
Now it's approaching Christmas, perhaps this brings an opportunity to help the Society's restoration efforts. Why not buy someone a navvy for Christmas? Or buy yourself one? You should be able to find one in one of the big department stores, or perhaps you could search out a small specialist navvy shop. Navvies don't need an awful lot of living accommodation, though they do tend to eat quite a bit when they return from the cut, and they sometimes need quite a bit of cleaning. But do see that your navvy attends his working parties regularly. Navvies can easily get out of condition, and start showing severe withdrawal symptoms, if they miss their regular weekend sessions. When this happens they may revert to gardening, or decorating, or similar undesirable activities, with all sorts of possible complications, and this is a sure sign of restoration starvation.
A wide range of working parties is available for navvies, as listed below. It's usually as well to check with your working party leader before attending, as plans can sometimes change at the last minute.
Every Weekend Deepcut Flight
It is encouraging to report that a number of new faces have recently been appearing among the working parties here, and gratifying to report that progress continues.
The main Society effort is now being made at Lock 19, with help from visiting groups. Here the bottom end flank walls and return walls are now being rebuilt, and after that the main jobs will be casting the bottom end hollow-posts and rebuilding the top and bottom recess walls. So this lock is now distinctly far advanced towards completion.
Nearby at Lock 16, which is officially complete, the final finishing touches are being applied. Lately, this has meant laying quadrants and installing bollards. The full-time workers at Lock 15 are likewise well advanced, with the top end and chamber walls just about complete, and only the bottom end of the lock to be finished.
The exact locations of some of the working parties listed below may vary a bit in the next few months, depending upon circumstances and the weather, so it is particularly advisable to check exactly where the work is, before you go along to help. Otherwise you may have to explore around to find your working pcrty.
The co-ordinator of volunteer work on this flight is MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham 787428, and for further details you should contact him, or one of the working party leaders listed below.
First weekend of the month - 6/7 Dec, 3/4 Jan, 31Jan/1Feb - Lock 19 TONY GOULD on 01-977-8092
Second Weekend of the month - 13/14 Dec, 10/11 Jan, 7/8 Feb - Lock 19 PETER OATES (Southampton Canal Society) on Botley 3844
Second and Fourth Sundays of the month - 14 Dec, 11 Jan, 25 Jan, 8 Feb - Lock 16
ALAN GRIMSTER on Brookwood 6127.
Third weekend of the month - 20/21 Dec, 17/18 Jan, 14/15 Feb - Lock 19 JULES WOOD on Farnborcugh 515737.
Fourth weekend of the month - 27/28 Dec, 24/25 Jan - Lock 19 PETER JONES on Aldershot 313076.
Peter Jones especially recommends his 27/28 Dec working party, as he feels this should be an ideal antidote for anyone suffering from Christmas over-eating.
There is also the small matter of plant maintenance, keeping the dumpers etc., used in this work in a serviceable condition. This activity is handled by JIM CHISHOLM on Wokingham 785146, who would welcome any assistance.
Every Weekend Dredging in Hampshire
The famous steam dredger 'Perseverance' has now crossed the parish boundary from Winchfield into Dogmersfield, and is continuing eastward. She has now received her new mud-boat, the new tip-site at Goddards Field is now operating, and the Priestmans drag-line has now taken over the tip-site duty. The dredger has recently been stopped for her annual boiler inspection, but could use more helpers in her operations through the winter months ahead. More details from BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627.
Every Weekend Railway Group at Ash Embankment
Over 1000 tons of clay have now been moved, but the operation continues and is a long way from finished. There is still a need for more helpers, both as straightforward labourers to empty skips, and also for anyone interested in regular involvement in running the railway and its associated plant. For further details, contact STAN and ANDREW MELLER on Camberley 32096, or JOHN PEART on Farnborough 46554.
Second Weekend of the month Lock 5 - Woodham
13/14 Dec, 10/11 Jan, 7/8 Feb.
The first new chamber wall is now all but complete, and the next job will be to start demolishing the other wall, ready to rebuild it, in turn. For further details contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081.
Third Weekend of the month Lock 1 - Woodham
20/21 Dec, 17/18 Jan, 14/15 Feb
The bottom cill, having been excavated, is now ready for concrete to be poured. The next big job is rebuilding the chamber walls, and one wall is now partly demolished. This party are still suffering from the attentions of some amazingly well equipped vandals (they apparently carry hacksaws around with them). For further details of the working party, contact DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 (who would like you to knew he is now running WRG Stores) or ROY DAVENPORT on 01-979-7075.
Every other Sunday St. Johns Area
30 Nov, 11 Jan, 8 Feb - Bankside Clearance. 14 Nov, 28 Dec, 25 Jan - Lock 11
On the strength of their £5,000 first prize in the SPAR Groceries environment improvement competition, the St. Johns party are now starting restoration work at Lock 11, St. Johns top lock. Exactly what form the work will take will not be known until the appropriate people have studied the site and assessed the present state of the lock. Work on towpath clearance will continue, more or less alternating with work on the lock. The meeting place for towpath work will continue to be at Hermitage Bridge for the present, but may move later as the work location alters. Further details of all this work from KEN HALLS on Woking 23981 or PETER REDWAY on Woking 21710.
Last Sunday of the month. Bankside work in Hampshire
30 Nov, 4 Jan, 25 Jan.
This party will continue to take care of bankside jobs, as they arise, mostly in the
Fleet to Odiham section. This work does not require any special skills and is suitable for family parties. Further details from DAVID MILLETT on Fleet 7364.
Various Weekends Wilderness Weir and Broad Oak
There is still a need for some volunteer input at Broad Oak Bridge, and it still remains to finish Lower Wilderness Weir, a job calling for precision bricklaying. For further details on both these undertakings contact PETER MAYNE on Camberley 24701.
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HOUSEWIFE WINS £5000 FOR SOCIETY Denise Halls
When the sun shone on Wednesday, October 29th, after days of almost continuous rain, the local working party at St. Johns had more than one reason to be pleased.
This was the day on which local resident and Canal Society member Marguerite
Redway was to be presented with the prize she had won in a competition organised
by Spar, the grocery chain.
Marguerite, who lives with her family in a canal-side cottage in St. Johns had
earlier this year completed an entry form for a competition to improve the environment. She submitted details of the restoration work on the canal and nominated
Lock 11 and surrounding area as being worthy of further improvement. Her entry,
chosen from more than 500 projects from all over Britain scooped the first prize
and has won £5000 for the Society.
The runners-up each won £1,000 for their projects. These were to landscape a village street in Aberdeenshire and land adjoining restored weavers' cottages in Lancashire, to improve a memorial hall in Norfolk, to provide a playground in Grimsby and to improve the facilities of a multi-racial play-group in Burnley.
To signal the official start of restoration work at Lock 11, the Rt. Hon. Tom King, M.P., Minister of State for Local Government and Environmental Services knocked out a retaining bar so that the crane, already on site, could lift out the lower gates. This ceremony was attended by prizewinners, Spar officials and invited guests who then adjourned to a local hotel for the official prize giving.
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THE BASINGSTOKE CANAL CANOE CLUB. - THE FIRST YEAR - Dick Abbott
A year ago on a dark cold November night some twenty people, responding to an invitation to discuss the formation of a canoe club based on the Basingstoke Canal met in Fleet and the Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club was born. It was not the best time to start canoeing, and indeed, several attempts to meet in December and January ended up with us measuring the thickness of the ice before retiring to more hospitable abodes. However, with much appreciated cooperation from R.A.F. Odiham the Club was able to get off the ground with a regular meeting in the R.A.F. swimming pool. Here the novices were able to learn the basic safety and capsize drills and the more experienced members learnt the rescue and rolling techniques.
The interest in the Club has been surprising, from the modest start of twenty the membership now stands at about 200 with some 50 on the waiting list.
The membership is basically family orientated with mums and dads often following the youngsters into canoes. Frequently they outshine their offspring. The sport is enjoyed from 7 to 70.
Through 1980 the Club have had a full programme of canoeing, social and working activities, training and pottering in the canal, away trips on the rivers Mole, Wey, Arun; canal trip on the K and A and the 'Mon and. Brec'; and trips around Hayling Island, the Pembroke Coast and the Witterings. The Club have organised several working parties on the canal bankside and at Ash embankment, as well as its own working groups building boats and arranging fund raising events.
As the Club develops it is hoped to have sections specialising in racing, both sprint and long distance, slalom, white-water, sea and baths polo. However, it is intended that the family nature of the Club be maintained. The Club is currently engaged in assisting some local groups (Scouts, Guides, Youth Groups) in the basic safety and capsize drills. It is intended to expand this training to others not necessarily interested in joining the Club.
Anyone interested in joining in our activities should contact the Secretary (Fleet 7183).
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SOCIAL JOTTINGS Joint Social Secretaries. Hampshire David Millett, Fleet 7364.
Surrey Michael Grist, Woking 71581
The autumn and winter season of film and slide shows is now well under way, and the turnout at the first meeting at Woking was very good. However, the October meeting at Farnborough was very poorly attended and made a loss, Please support these evenings and bring along friends and non members.
The Hallowe'en Barn Dance was a sellout with about a dozen members dressing up to suit the spirit of the occasion. The winner of the competition was Cilla Samuels of Fleet who won a basket of fruit. Thanks to the hardworking group of Fleet ladies
for the Hallowe'en decorations and the excellent food.
The autunm coach and canal trip to the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal had to be cancelled due to lack of support. This was probably due to the fact that nearly 100 Members had taken part in the two trips to North Wales in recent months.
FARNBOROUGH SOCIAL EVENINGS - All at Teachers Centre, St. Albans Hall, Lynchford Road, Farnborough (opp. Lloyds Bank) Bar, Coffee and biscuits, Sales Stand.
Wednesday 28th January 1981, 7.45pm.
Alan Musselwhite, who spends the summer season from April to October touring the canal network in his ex. BCN 62 'Joey' working boat will show slides and talk about 'Culture on the Cut'. His boat is fitted out as a travelling narrow boat Art Gallery and sells pictures to holidaymakers and others round the canals of the country.
Wednesday 18th February 7.45pm. (Note: Third Wednesday)
Members Film and Slide evening. Please bring along your films and slides taken over
the past year, both locally on the Basingstoke and also further afield, both in this
country and abroad. There should, of course, be a waterways flavour. Please
telephone Fleet 7364 beforehand to let me know if you would like to provide films
WOKING SOCIAL EVENINGS - A11 at Woking Centre Halle, Coffee & - biscuits, Sales Stand. 12th January 7.45pm.
Phil Pratt, the Society's Exhibition Manager, will show some of his films taken over the past year, both of the Basingstoke Canal and those taken on his holiday in Canada this summer, including some of Canedian waterways.
Monday .February 9th, 7.45pm.
'London's Waterways' - an illustrated talk with slides by Chris Cove-Smith of the Inland Waterways Association, featuring familiar and the more unusual aspects of London's canals and rivers.
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CHANGEOVER OF DRAG LINES
In September, after years of excellent service near Odiham and at Lousy Moor the Society's Smiths dragline was retired for overhaul and the Priestman's dragline on loan from the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust was taken out to the new dump site at Goddards Farm, Winchfield. The Smiths dragline will be kept in reserve after overhaul. Thanks are due to Ron Jesse and Tony Merrywether for all their maintenance and repair work over the years on the draglines, The Smiths was originally discovered lying unused in a garden of a property in Fleet and the Society was able to arrange a low cost lease of the machine on an annual basis.
A real bargain in view of the sterling work the dragline has done.
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JOHN PINKEkTON GOES EAST Martin Bowers
Tuesday August 26th, 1980 was a rather special day in the life of the Society's trip boat the 'John Pinkerton' as this was the day chosen for the first passenger carrying trip in the eastern direction. Quite rightly a Club Night was selected so that the privilege would go to Society members.
It was fortunate that a prompt start was made otherwise the John Pinkerton would have disappeared under the sheer weight of numbers.
It was interesting to compare the work being undertaken on the new road bridge for the Odiham by-pass and the rebuilding of Broad Oak Bridge by 'Chalky White' (see last Newsletter). On the one hand are the stark, straight lines and grey colour of pre-cast concrete and on the other the gracious curves and mellow colour of individually laid bricks.
Between the two bridges the J.T. had to make her way through an 'ice-floe' of polystyrene by courtesy of the by-pass contractors.
It was quite dark by the time the headlamp picked out the mythical monster of the canal - the backacter (a water borne dredger). Here she has lain unused for many months seen only by the mud boat tug crews and the occasional walker. However, rumours are spreading that she is about to be brought out of retirement to resume her rightful place in (the) Society.
Eventually the lights of the Barley Mow Inn loomed out of the darkness. This heralded the halfway point of our journey as here lies the winding-hole.
Once turned we headed 'straight' back - in fact we bounced through most bridge-holes aided by directions from passengers as by now, due to darkness, and numerous heads, it was not possible for the steerer to see where he wag going.
This trip was only made possible by the continued hard work and dedication cf the entire dredging team and those involved in bankside clearance and thanks to them another stride has been taken towards total restoration of the canal.
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RUSHMOOR'S MAYOR TAKEN FOR A RIDE
'I get invited to some really dreary occasions, but this is not one of them', said Councillor Gerry Lewis, Mayor of Rushmoor, on his visit to the Society's Ash Embankment railway depot for the opening of their new engine shed. in October.
Before the official ceremony, the Mayor was introduced to members of the 'railway gang' by Stan Meller, and then taken by train down the 3/4 mile track to the clay tipping site where wrens of H.M.S. Dauntless at Greysley near Reading, were hard at work.
Keeping to the sort of timetable inbred in railwayman (even Geoff Helliwell knew precisely when to stop tipping and start clicking), Councillor Lewis was shunted back to the engine shed, cut the traditional ribbon and celebrated with a glass of champagne.
The railway now has three locomotives in service and reckons to move 100 tons of clay a day down the line which will be extended to a mile in length.
The engine shed was bought with a donation of &1,000 from Rushmoor's lottery proceeds.
Letter received by Ted Williams, Grand Draw Organiser.
I am writing these few lines on behalf of myself and Crew Members to let you know how much we enjoyed the holiday for our people on the canals, which I won in your raffle.
We had a few mishaps at first such as the gas going out on us, which surprisingly seemed to affect the steering. We had the man out to look at the gas, and he steeredthe boat beautifully, so we put our bad start down to not being able to get our
early morning cuppa, then after we had hit the bank, and bridges, locks a few times
we got the hang of it, we went up the Llangollen Canal over the Pontcysyllte Acqueduct.
I must say that was something not to be missed, in fact we all agreed that it was
a very good holiday for 10p and we would like to go again. We could certainly
recommend it as a holiday. The weather was great most of the time but Thursday was
Once again, many thanks, for a great prize.
M.G.K. Rivers, Gravel Road, Church Crookham, Hants. 19.10.80
I received today my October copy of the Newsletter and I would like to reply to K.A. Tilbury's letter about membership cards. I must say, I have often thought what a good
idea it would be to have them, and am amazed to read that they are to be discontinued - I've never even had one, and didn't realise they existed! As far as I can see, their only disadvantage is cost, but there are several advantages; these include-
(1) People like me, who forget when they need to pay annual subs to clubs and societies, have a convenient reminder to hand;
(2) The membership secretary's address can be included for change-of-address
(3) As mentioned in K.A. Tilbury's letter, they can be used as a means of identification and authority if need be.
Please, not only continue membership cards, but actually issue them to all members!
Miss A.J.R. Paterson, Blunden Road, Cove, Farnborough, Hants. 3.11.80
My wife and I were very moved by your account, in the last Newsletter, of the 9 year old lad who covered 24 miles in the Society's Sponsored walk.
We feel that such dedication is worth more than 78p and have decided to make a late
sponsorship of £5 for the total distance he covered, please find enclosed a cheque for
We would be pleased if you could let the lad know that at least two cf the Society members appreciated his determination to make a contribution towards the Canal Restoration funds.
V.C. Masters, Liberty Lane, Addlestone, Surrey. 28. 10.80
I was thrilled to win the £5,000 prize for the Basingstoke Canal and I would like
through the Newsletter, to say thank you to all those who helped to make the celebration at St. Johns' Lock (No. 11 ) on October 29th such a success. For a
weekday the turnout Was marvellous, the Minister, the Mayor and the Spar Directors
were all surprised, and remarked on the large turnout.
The other five prize winners who came to the ceremony, were also very impressed and said they would like to have seen other stretches of the canal'.
A special thank you to Ken Halls and Frank Jones for their help and advice with all the arrangements for the big day, Peter and I are very grateful.
Thank you also to Dawn Murrell, who, at very short notice, produced some eye catching notices to display in the local shops.
Thank you all,
Marguerite & Peter Redway, St. John's Lye, Woking.
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CHRISTMAS BOOK REVIEW Dieter Jebens
It was especially pleasant to receive a review copy of 'Canals and their Architecture' because it is written by a founder member of the Society, Robert Harris, who has included a number of Basingstoke Canal pictures. In fact, the Publisher refers to his membership of the Society by way of a qualification for writing the book.
Robert's qualification is, however, far more professional in that he is an architect which, combined with wide knowledge of and personal interest in waterways, makes the book one of the best of its kind and will, I believe, become a classic.
His Publisher obviously thinks so because this is the second edition of the book first published in 1969, and is now also available in paperback.
Robert originally wrote the book following a six month cruise of the canal network. While a good number of the illustrations are well known waterways features, he took the majority himself which reflect his eye for architectural features and the bold, practical, yet graceful form of canal engineering.
In addition to some new pictures, the book has a conpletely new chapter on modern day canal restoration including two of David Robinson's excellent photographs of Lock 26 being restored and the dredger 'Perseverance' at Colt Hill.
The book takes you from the beginning of canal engineering and covers the wide variety of bridges, tunnels, locks and the traditional boats and bankside buildings from lock cottages to warehouses. The penultimate chapter reviews the transition from the days of horse-drawn boats to mechanical power and the engineering works of this century.
Robert's book is not just a well researched look at our canal system, it is written from personal knowledge and study, and a concern for the future. "How long can Britain's canals survive in the half-romantic haze of pleasure cruisers and decorated working boats", is a recurring and thought provoking question he puts to his reader which makes this book more than just another chronicle.
Published by Godfrey Cave Associates
Price £12.50 (Paperback £6.95) Publication date: 24th November 1980
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SWANAGE STEAM RAILWAY - YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED
Dorset County Council are still undecided as to whether to allow this line to be re-opened all the way between Swanage and Wareham or whether to use the land for projects such as road widening etc. This is despite a most successful first season during which 30,000 passengers were carried. If you feel this project, not dissimilar to our own, deserves to succeed then write. to Dorset C.C. at County Hall, Dorchester expressing your support as soon as possible and so influence their decision. A copy of your letter should be sent to The Station, Swanage, Dorset.
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LIVE WIRE THE TRE COMPANY - BASINGSTOKE CANAL SHOW
Live Wire Theatre is the professional touring theatre company based in North East Hampshire, and also serving the surrounding areas of Berkshire and Surrey. The company produces plays and workshops tailored to the needs of schools and shows aimed at the community in general. Venues include community centres, arts centres, pubs, clubs and outdoor events.
During the summer of 1981 the company will tour the Basingstoke Canal Show to be written during the winter. The company intend to produce a performance which combines a high decree uf entertainment with information on the canal and its historical interest.
The Society is co-operating in the provision of material for the producers and we would like to wish the show every success. We shall, of course, aim to book the show for a members performance, possibly out of doors at the Fox and Hounds pub in a similar vein to the Mikron Theatre Company's performance last August.
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A few years ago, John Peart organised occasional rambles for members along different parts of the canal towpath and also arranged interesting rambles in the surrounding area. Since that time we have been looking for a replacement organiser without success. If you are interested in walking or rambling please offer your services for this post or even if you know of a friend who rambles with any of the local rambling clubs please persuade him or her to offer their services. The rambles a few years ago were very popular with members of all ages and many members have expressed interest recently, but WE NEED AN ORGANISER Please phone David Millett (Fleet 7364) if you can assist.
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TEN YEARS AGO...... from Newsletter No. 35. December 1970
* The Wey and Arun Canal oociety was formed at a meeting on 17th November at the Red Lion at Pulborough.
* The Basingstoko Canal Co. Ltd., appointed a firm of valuers....... talks were
reported to be in progress on the future of the canal between the two county
* In the House of Commons, Wvoking's M.P. Cranley Onslow reminded the Government that
£5,000 odd was still outstanding for repairs and damage caused two years previously when the canal was breached at Eelmore.
* The advent of Decimalisation was causing the Committee a problem over how to
convert the 12s. 6d. family membership subscription. It was suggested that the
sub might have to be raised to 15s. (75p)!
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WORK has started on Frimley Acqueduct. British Rail have contracted Reed and Malik to reline and concrete the whole acqueduct and they have already transformed the site.
THANKS to Alan Flight for renovating 2 cement mixers and a dumper during his recent leave.
GRAND Chandlery Auction in aid of local restoration projects to be held at Guildford waterside Centre on 29th March 198l.
FUND Raising Group have received donations of £100 from Lloyds Lank and £250 from British Petroleum. Anyone wishing to help with this work should phone Derek Truman (Fleet 3435) or Philip Riley (Normandy 2776)
JUMBLE Sale to be held at Fleet Civic Hall on 21st March 1981. Keep your unwanted Xmas presents and await further details in next Newsletter.
DEEPCUT Railway Preservation Society has failed! The last remnants have now been removed from Curzon Bridge for use on Ash Embankment and so ends an era!
DEMISE of the blue working party Bedford Van is reported! Now replaced by the luxury of nearly £2000 worth of Ford Transit.
ANOTHER successful season for the John Pinkerton is expected to show a net profit in excess of £10,000. More details next time.
DREDGING in Fleet may be restricted to section between Coxheath Bridge, and Fox and Hounds as contractors plant is sinking in the soft ground due to the wet October weather.
TELEVISION coverage recently - five minutes on BBC's 'Swap Shop' featuring lock gate building and John Pinkerton and ITV's 'Day by Day' reported the award ceremony at Lock 11 Woking (see separate report).
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8th - Films on Talyllyn Railway 7-45pm. Woking Centre Halls
17th - Christmas Social Evening. 7-45pm - Teachers Centre, Farnborough
12th Films by Phil Pratt 7.45pm. Woking Centre Halls
28th 'Culture on the Cut' 7.45pm. Teachers Centre, Farnborough.
9th Londons Waterways 7.45pm. Woking Centre Halls
18th Members Film and Slide Evening. 7-45pm. Teachers Centre, Farnborough
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COPY DATE FOR FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 1ST JANUARY 1981
Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Limited, a non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee.
Editors: Dieter Jebens, Janet & Chris Brazier. Production: Diana Snow & David, Wimpenny.
Collation & Distribution: Janet & George Hedger, Clive Durley and helpers.
Editorial Office: 75 Middle Bourne Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10 3NJ. Tel: Farnham 715230
Chairman: Robin Higgs, 18 Barnsford 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 (49651)
Membership Sec: Alan Babister. 31 Elmsleigh Road, Farnborough, Hants (46l47)
Working Party Information : Alan -&- Andrea Grimster, Brookwood 6127
Trip Boat: Clive Durley, 15 Kenilworth Rd., Fleet, Hants (Fleet 5694)
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