No 95February 1981
Inside front cover --
If your interest in canals extends beyond the Basingstoke, you may already be aware that the state of our national network is, once again, causing alarm. The list of stoppages - places temporarily closed for engineering work - is mounting, the causes are becoming more serious and the scheduled repair dates increasingly prolonged. A situation likely to get worse with the news that the Government's grant to British Waterways Board will be increased by a meagre 6% in the 19-81-82 financial year. Compared with the current rate of inflation, this means a cut of 10% in real terms.
We are all aware of restraints and reductions being imposed on Public Spending, but
when expenditure on maintaining - let alone improving - inland waterways has been less
than adequate for years, there is a good case for maintaining, at least, the current
level of expenditure.
Now, more than ever before, canal enthusiasts, representing their various interests in our waterways, must unite to gain a greater level of Public support and exert pressure on the Government to do more for the waterways than make do and mend.
Unfortunately the division of interests among canal users, and even differences of opinion among canal enthusiasts, has diluted the campaign for a positive and progressive future policy towards the waterways system. The age-old argument, between anglers and boaters could well be going on long after the canals have ceased to be useful to either party. Hire boat operators seem anxious to play down the condition of the waterways lest potential customers look elsewhere for their holiday. And canal enthusiasts are not always consistent in promoting the principle objective of the waterways movement.
Our inland waterways system represents a national heritage and ought to be preserved for that reason alone. Some can and still are used for commercial carrying and use should be developed where it is viable. And all our canals, including some already lost, have an increasingly important future for recreational use.
This Society fought, often against considerable odds, to save the Basingstoke Canal. It was a campaign of education and persuasion conducted by a group of dedicated people united in a single minded aim.
The national campaign should be conducted in a similar manner under the banner of the Inland Waterways Association. But it must have the unfailing support of all canal enthusiasts and users, and perhaps become a little more aggressive for its part leading the way.
[back to top]
(1) Re-building the attractive accommodation bridge, Broad Oak.
(2) Frimley aqueduct undergoing repair.
(1) R.A.E. apprentices examining an old lock gate on the Basingstoke
(2) Sid Brown supervising R.A.E. woodworking apprentices building a set of
(3) A finished lock gate being immersed in a water tank at the
(4) The completed set of 4 lock gates being loaded for transport
Photos by Clive Durley (front cover) and the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough.
[back to top]
TEN YEARS AGO........ from Newsletter No. 36
* The Society's Committee expressed concern about the possible effect of 'private working parties on the canal on the County Councils' decision - whether or not to purchase the canal'.
*A public meeting held in Farnborough increased the Society's membership by 100 to 1,190.
* It was announced that the Society's Vice Chairman (and a founder member), Les Harris and the Honorary Secretary (and Newsletter editor) were not seeking re-election to the Committee.
Our thanks to David Gerry who sent us the following article entitled CANAL FOR SAIL, which appeared in The South Western Gazette dated December 1st, 1904, It is an account of an auction which took glace that year following the death of Sir Frederick Hunt who bought the Canal in 1893........
"By order of the Court of Chancery, Messrs. Farebrother, Ellis, Egerton, Breach and Co., will sell by auction at The Hart, Tokenhouse Yard, E.C., the property known as the Woking, Aldershot and Basingstoke Canal, consisting of part freehold, part copyhold and leasehold land commencing in the town of Basingstoke and having a length of thirty-seven miles through some of the most picturesque and residential neighbourhoods of Hampshire and Surrey, and terminating at the Junction of the river Wey.
We were induced to pay a visit to Room "A" at the Auction Mart last month by seeing this advertisement, coupled with the fact that we once knew a member of the L.& S.W.R. Co.'s clerical staff who left the service to become General Manager of the Basingstoke Canal Company for the munificent salary of 30s. per week, and a horse and trap to convey him over the ground. He subsequently deplored the step and averred that the trap was more in evidence than the horse.
Here was both the opportunity and the inducement to see for ourselves what is understood to be the first sale by auction of an English Canal. Punctuality is not 'the soul of business' at Auction Marts, and whilst waiting for the arrival of the auctioneer, we were left with no better occupation than that of scanning and estimating the object if not the capabilities of the other onlookers (as the tailors say "take their measure"), and a more motley assemblage, consisting of about 160 persons, it would be difficult to imagine.
There was the inevitable sprinkling of lawyers who had some connection with the Canal in the past or hoped to have the pleasure (and the profit) of doing so in the future; a few men who were apparently bent upon getting something "at a sacrifice", a few more who, like ourselves, had come to look on and take notes, and the remainder a heterogeneous collection of humanity who had "dropped in", either from idle curisoity or for a temporary escape from the dense fog which hung like a pall over London and lent additional gloom to the already dismal surroundings.
At last the auctioneer, Mr. B. l'anson Breach appeared, and having taken his place in the rostrum with due ceremony combined with an impressive air, opened the proceedings with an elaborate and glowing word-picture of the property and its condition in his blandest tones and with such fervour as only an auctioneer of the highest standing can command or find adequate language to portray. He was "present by the command of the Court of Chancery to dispose of the lands, wharves, warehouses, cottages, etc., the whole embracing an area of rather over 366 acres. The Canal was Constructed in the reign of George III at a cost of £200,000, and opened in 1794". Proceeding the auctioneer said the whole of the locks were strong and well constructcd, and in good working order. We hope we shall be pardoned if we misjudged their motive, but we thought we detected an uncomfortable movement towards the exit on the part of two or three of the audience who upon the bare mention of strong locks in good working order, sought the protection of the prevailing fog.
Mr. Breach said he hoped the purchaser (for, of course, the financiers present would tumble over each other in their struggle to secure such an El Dorado) would do nothing to mar its unspeakable beauty in his efforts to raise a greater profit, at which declaration and mention of "profit" a titter ran round the room but affecting not to have observed it the auctioneer hastened to assure the audience that it had once been a good paying concern but that was before the wicked South western Railway ran through the district, but still there was no reason whatever why it should not pay again - even a greater dividend than before (another titter) as it had produced as recently as 1899 an income of £5,000, and he drew a vivid picture of what might be done with sailing yachts or motor power. If his audience would accept his word and an enterprising purchaser would obtain an Act of Parliament and extend the Canal to Southampton, it would become an invaluable asset and a splendid highway from that port to London. These remarks were greeted by some cynics in the audience with
congratulations that some part of the Canal was in close proximity to Brookwood
Asylum, and when the auctioneer announced that there was "a large sum of money in
the Basingstoke Canal" they could restrain themselves no longer and the proceeding's
were interrupted for some minutes until the laughter had ceased - the mirth being
prolonged by some one announcing that he had "made up his mind to sail away". Then
these sceptical millionaires having vented their hilarity, and probably feeling the
pangs of hunger or a desire to "wash down the fog" put some pertinent questions to
the representative of the vendors, and some who "knew something" ventured to assert
that the Canal only existed in the very wet weather when the clouds supply the
waterway, and long sections of the nominal Canal were dried up, but this was said to
be due to draining the water off to admit repairs being effected. Great Scott !!
We lived for 2-1/2 years in a house the garden of which bordered the Canal path and
have frequently walked across it when no repairs were being effected. In answer
to another inquisitive person the auctioneer had to admit that it would be necessary
to get a short Act of Parliament passed before sailing yachts or motor boats could
ply for:hire. Another roar of laughter greeted the announcement that there would be
no opposition to these Acts. At last the auctioneer, foreshadowing an all-night
sitting of the house, suggested in his sweetest tones that the would-be purchasers
were rambling from the subject. "You are getting into acts of Parliament but I
want to get into the Canal". "And I hope you'll stop there", retorted someone with
rubicund countenance having the appearance of:o farmer. At last Mr. Breach's
patience appeared to be waning. "Now gentlemen, to come to the point, what will
you give for the Bnsingstoke Canal?" For the first time, a dead silence ensued and
everybody looked at everybody else as if anxious to cstch sight of the living
curiosity who wished to become possessor of this premier highway from Southampton
to the Metropolis. "Shall I say £50,000 for the 366 acres, wharves, warehouses and
cottages?" No answer. "May I say £40,000?" "£30,000?" "Gentlemen, am I to go
back to the Court of Chancery and tell them that nobody wants the Basingstoke Canal?
Will nobody make me an offer of only £20,000 for it?" But no answer came to the
gentleman's pleadings. "Very well gentlemen, I can sell it privately for more than
£20,000 without any trouble", remarked the auctioneer, but what caused this outburst
of generosity in offering it for a lower sum to an unnappreciative and ungrateful
public was not so apparent as the contempt of the audience, and as they withdrew from the building the farmer with the red face was heard to launch forth the unkind
remark that the most appropriate part of the proceedings was the fog and the
auctioneer's name, and. the reason there was no 'sail' was that there was no one
present who could "raise the wind".
[back to top]
READING WATERWAYS FESTIVAL 1981
This Festival, organised by the Guildford & Reading Branch of the Inland waterways Association and Reading Borough Council, is being held on the promenade at Reading, on the same site as the 1977 National Rally, during the Spring Bank Holiday May 23rd, 24th and 25th 1981.
Reading Borough Council are investing a five figure sum into this event which is hoped will be a great success, and from which a third of the profits will be donated to the I.W.A.
The I.W.A. are organising the waterbased events which will include an 'Its a Knockout' competition, between boat clubs and river-user groups, rowing races between local firms and schools, a fire fighting demonstration and a water based professional
The Council, who are organising the land based entertainments, have arranged a very full programme which will include the Red Devils Parachute Team and a firework display. Over 400 trade stands have been invited and the I.W.A. hope this will attract 200 visiting craft, an estimate of 30,000 visitors are expected.
The entry fee for boats is £5.00 (half price for vintage and veteran craft) this includes free admission to the site, a brass rally plaque, a barn dance and not
forgetting a beer tent for ships crews.
Entry forms from: - Mrs. A .J. Percy, 21 New Road, Marlow Bottom, Bucks. Telephone: Marlow 4575.
Volunteers to help man the gates will be required on all three days and will earn
75p. per hour, donated to the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. A roster is being
organised by Mr. Stuart Chrystall, Dene Lodge, Ash Green, Aldershot. Hants.
Telephone: Aldershot 20098.
[back to top]
JOHN PINKERTON'S RECORD YEAR
In spite of the indifferent summer weather last year the Society's trip boat proved an even more popular attraction.
The 'John Pinkerton' made a profit of £10,584, an increase of £1,600, and carried 4,497 passengers. The boat made a total number of 316 trips of which 241 were charters representing a 17% increase. During the three seasons the boat has been operated, a total of 38,082 passengers have been carried.
The 1981 season will start for public trips during the weekend 19th/20th April with later trips starting on 2nd May. The season will end on 18th October.
Members evening trips will be on Tuesdays starting 2nd June and finishing on 25th August. . ' .
With the canal now open to Winchfield, charter hirers, will be offered the choice of cruising east or westwards during June and July. Public trips will be made eastwards from Colt Hill on the first Sunday of each month.
Charges will be increased to 60p for children and £1 for adults on public trips. Charter trips on weekends will cost £45, and £40 during weekdays. Schools, and pensioner trips will remain unaltered at £35. A special rate of £60 will be charged for wedding receptions.
The Boat Company directors wish to express their thanks to all members and crews who helped operate the 'John Pinkerton'. Anyone wishing to train for, or join crews next season should contact Roger Cansdale on Fleet 6964.
Thirty nine charter trips have already been booked for the 1981 season and one for 1982!
Enquiries for bookings should be made to: Clive Durley, 15 Kenilworth Road, Fleet,
Hants. Tel: Fleet 6954.
[back to top]
GOING DUTCH at Lock 19 - or I'll be Edam'd
Miss Amanda Ward has, in the past, been a regular member of the faithful Kent and East Sussex party which has done sterling work on Lock 19, and visits about every six weeks. Her latest attendance, however, was somewhat remarkable.
Amanda is a Radiographer and recently took up an appointment in Uudenbosch, Holland. On Friday 5th December, 1980, she completed her final X-ray of the day, drove from Udenbosch to Zeebrugge arriving at Dover at 2.00am. She slept in the car, (with morning call from the police at 4.00am) before driving to Ash Hall to help the working party ladies prepare Christmas Dinner for the navvies. On Sunday she was working at Lock 19. She returned to Holland on Monday to start work on Tuesday.
That was a great effort wasn't it? How about some of your locals visiting Lock 19 - you do not need pasports.
[back to top]
POINT OF VIEW
Dear Editor, 6th December, 1980
Peter Cooper asks in Newsletter 93 why only 1% of the membership attend working parties each month. If he asks around he will find a strong undertow of moans from canal enthusiasts about how the Basingstoke Canal is being destroyed and replaced with a brand new Grand Union Canal of worse basic design.
Why destroy old lock walls if doing it requires a pneumatic drill? Why waste labour building 'bywashes' when formerly the lock gates themselves were good enough wiers. True modern lack of design skill has meant the top of the gates are now at the wrong height, but why redesign instead of using the old gates as a pattern. And, don't quote the Rochdale Canal at me, I've seen it and know its problems are the Rochdale Canal Company's own doing.
Why fit a bastard sized 'square' to paddle gearing (except Lock 29) when almost all future users of the Basingstoke Canal will have long throw 'Wey' lock keys for the standard 1" tapered square. A few will have K & A 1-1/8" ones and some will have 'windlasses' fitting the former Grand Union 1-1/4" size gearing which BWB like to remove. But, who in Gods name owns a lock key to fit 1-3/8" square. Surely it makes sense to machine the gearing to a standard 1" tapered square before fitting.
Will a long throw (ie, Wey) lock key fit on the bottom gearing now it has been turned through 90 degrees, which is so discredited a style BWB invented the infinately worse 'granny paddles'. A better style is to be seen on the Wey Navigation and was formerly Basingstoke Pattern.
Why did the Society's Committee jump for joy at the removal of the disused railway bridge knowing industrial archaeologists to a man would regret its demise.
LET'S STOP THE DESTRUCTION AND GET ON WITH RESTORATION INSTEAD.
466 Walton Road, West Molesey, Surrey.
Frank Jones; Co-ordinator of the Deepcut Work Experience Team, comments:
"Mr. Ellis is, of course, quite wrong in his basic idea that support generally for the project is lacking. The restoration of the Basingstoke Canal is, quite deservedly, seen by the Membership of the Society, by the Members and Officials of the local authorities and, indeed, by the general public at large, as a great, and desirable project, and this reputation is achieved by no other means than the results and progress attained so far. The Society's aim to restore and, not just re-open, the canal is providing the basis for the very best canal in the country, judged in terms of technical excellence, its environment, and the style and panache of execution.
The technical methods in use in demolition, the provision of gates and by-waahes are all well thought out under testing circumstances. We are sure that to select a key size, as we have, that fits the locks on 2,500 miles of B.W.B. system is much more sensible that one which would fit the few locks of the River Wey only.
British Rail decided their Bisley railway bridge was unsafe and, therefore, took it down, but nobody jumped for joy".
[back to top]
WORKING PARTIES Peter Cooper
Some of our canal folk have lately taken to wondering - have we now reached the half way mark in the epic task of restoring the Basingstoke Canal? Chamber restoration is very nearly complete on the Deepcut Flight, Ash Lock is restored, and visible work is happening on all the other three flights of locks. The clay-shifting job at the newly restored Ash Embankment is now well advaneed, and the dredging operation in Hampshire continues to move steadily towards Crookham. So with progress like that we probably are now entitled to talk of having done half the job.
Faced now with the other half to be done, we should now be able to make our experience tell. We should be able to do the second half a bit more quickly than the first, but we'll only do this if plenty of volunteers support the Society's efforts. Let us hope all the old familiar faces continue to contribute, and that plenty of new faces come forward as well.
Working parties available for (and looking for!) volunteers are listed below. It's
usually best to phone your working party leader a day or so before attending, just
in case of last minute changes of plan.
Every weekend Deepcut Flight
We had hoped to complete chamber restoration on the Deepcut Flight in 1980, just as we had previously hoped to in 1979 and in 1978, but this time it really is near completion, with the full-time workers having now finished their chamber restoration of Lock 15, and moving to Lock 17, we are now onto the very last locks.
Volunteer work continues to be very much focussed on Lock 19, where the bottom hollow-posts are now cast, and the bottom recess walls started. Upper and lower recess walls and wing walls have to be finished, and then it will be on to the list of ancilliary jobs like bollards, quadrants, etc., before the lock will be declared well and truly complete, and awaiting its gates.
Lock 16 nearby, though long since officially complete, is still receiving its finishing touches. The bollards and quadrants are about done, but the mitre, ladder, bridge and collars will still occupy volunteers for a while yet.
All this work could use some more volunteers, as we mustn't depend entirely on the
small band of regulars, and on visiting groups, to get this work done. The Society's
co-ordinator of the volunteer work en 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. It will be advisable to check your work location before
attending during this period, as the weather and other circumstances may cause some
changes of work location from the planned ones listed below.
First weekend of the month - 31 Jan/1 Feb, 28 Feb/1 Mar, 4/5 Apr, Lock 19 - TONY GOULD on 01-977-8092.
Second weekend of the month - 7/8 Feb, 7/8 Mar, 11/12 Apr - Lock 19 - PETER OATES (Southampton Canal Society) on Botley 3844.
Second and fourth Sundays of the month - 8 Feb, 22 Feb, 8 Mar, 22 Mar, 12 Apr -
Lock 16 - ALAN GRIMSTER on Brookwood 6127.
Third weekend of the month - 14/15 Feb, 14/15 Mar, 18/19 Apr - Lock 19 - JULES WOOD
on Farnborough 515737.
Fourth weekend of the month - 21/22 Feb, 21/22 Mar - Lock 19 - PETER JONES on Aldershot 313076.
Fifth weekend of the month - 28/29 Mar - Lock 19 - MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham 787428.
The important job of plant maintenance, looking after the dumpers, pumps etc., supporting this work, is handled by JIM CHISHOLM on Wokingham 785146, who would welcome any assistance.
Every weekend Dredging in Hampshire
The mighty steam dredger 'Perseverance' is now approaching Chatter Alley, and the work is progressing quite satisfactorily. However, the regular crew would welcome some more helpers who are prepared to come along often enough to become fully trained. The access point is still at Barley Mow Bridge. For further details contact BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627.
Every weekend Railway Group at Ash Embankment
Rapid progress is being made here, aa full-time workers are now contributing to this exercise. But there is still several months' work to be done, and still a need for volunteers to help tip clay and do other labouring jobs. The railway group are also looking for volunteers to come and learn how to operate the railway itself, to spread the load in this department. For further details you should contact STAN and ANDREW MELLER on Camberley 32096, or JOHN PEART on Farnborough 46554.
Second weekend of the month Lock 5 Woodham
7/8 Feb, 7/8 Mar, 11/12 April.
The nearside chamber wall is now complete, and the job of demolishing the offside wall is about one-third done. For further details, contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081.
Third weekend of the month Lock 1 Woodham
1V15 Feb, 14/15 Mar, 18/19 Apr.
The working bridge has been moved to a more suitable place, and the bottom cill is now
ready for concrete to be poured. The nearside chamber wall is about half demolished.
For further details of this party, which operates under the auspices of the Guildford
branch of the IWA, contact DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 or ROY DAVENPORT on
Every other weekend St. Johns area
8 Feb, 8 Mar, 5 Apr - Bankside clearance, 21/22 Feb, 21/22 Mar - Lock 11.
The work on Lock 11 has so far been of an exploratory nature, with some demolition. The next main task will be to prepare the ground for a contractor to be brought in to build the bywash and rebuild the adjoining wing walls. Towpath clearance work will continue in this area, in parallel with the lock work. Note that the bankside work is on Sundays only but the lock restoration goes on on both Saturdays and Sundays. There will be no working party at the Easter weekend. Further details of this work from KEN HALLS on Woking 23981 or PETER REDWAY on Woking 21710.
Last Sunday of the month Bankside work in Hampshire
22nd Feb, 29 Mar.
This party continues to handle towpath jobs as they arise on the Hampshire section,
usually between Fleet and Odiham. This work does not require any special skills,
and is suitable for young people and family parties. Exact details, including work
locations from DAVID MILLETT on Fleet 7364.
Various weekends Wilderness Weir
As the work on Broad Oak Bridge is now nearly completed, a big effort must now be made to complete Lower Wilderness Weir. For further details of this work, which involves precision bricklaying on a small scale, you should contact PETER MAINE on Camberley 24701.
[back to top]
SOCIAL JOTTINGS - JOINT SOCIAL SECRETARIES - Hampshire DAvid Millett, Fleet 7364
Surrey Michael Grist Woking 71581
The season of slide shows and films continues until April at Woking and until March at Farnborough. Please come along (new members especially) and support these evenings. Bring friends who are non members as well. It is also a pood chance to offer your services or to talk to committee members.
Farnborough Social Evenings - At the Teachers Centre, St. Albans Hall, Lynchford Road.
Farnborough (opp. Lloyds Bank) Bar, coffee and biscuits, and Sales Stand.
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 in this country and abroad. There should, of course, be a waterways flavour. Please telephone Fleet 7364 beforehand to let me know if you have films or slides to show.
Wednesday 25th March, 1981. 7.45pm.
Dieter Jebens (our Press Officer) and Frank Jones (our M.S.C. Project Manager) will show slides taken on their 1980 holiday along the 'Canal du Midi' in the south of France. This canal has never before been featured at these meetings and should give many members a taste for the sunshine coupled with canal cruising.
WOKING SOCIAL EVENINGS - At Woking Centre Halls, Coffee and biscuits, bar and Sales Stand.
Monday March 9th, 7-45pm.
Two of the most well known personalities on the Inland waterways scene in Britain, will show a film called 'Boating through Alsace Lorraine in France'. They are John Humphries (Chairman of the Water Space Amenity Commission) and: Hugh McKnight, the waterways author and photographer. He has written and photographed the Shell Book of Waterways among many others. This promises to be the highlight of the Woking winter season.
Monday April 14th. 7.45pm.
A first class speaker will be arranged. Details not available at press date.
Annual General Meeting - Saturday April 11th, St. Andrews Hall, Frimley-Green
A buffet cheese supper will follow the A.G.M. Details on separate sheet together with booking forms.
[back to top]
SPRING 1981 COACH, CANAL AND RAILWAY WEEKEND - Sat. May 2nd., Sun. May 3rd. and Mon May 4th.
This year's weekend away will be to Yorkshire, with hotel accommodation in Harrogate. There will be a trip on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from Skipton in the Pennines, a full length trip from Pickering to Grosmont on the steam operated North Yorkshire Moors Railway (through the scenic National Park) and a part day in York to see some of the sights or visit the famous National Railway Museum.
Full details are on the attached sheet. Book early to avoid disappointment.
A Late Piece
On 24th September, 1980 an Open Forum was held to discuss the suggestion to operate a second trip boat on the central section of the canal. This was a lively meeting with many and varied ideas and opinions expressed. It was decided to set up a group to study the feasability of operating a boat or similar venture, despite, the fact that only two members were willing to involve themselves in this work. The volunteers were Peter Jones and Robert Mew. Watch this space for further news.
[back to top]
JUMBLE SALE SATURDAY MARCH 21ST 1981.. 10.30am.
FLEET CIVIC HALL
Stalls:- Childrens, ladies, and mens clothing, cakes, bric-a-brac toys, books.
Jumble wanted Helpers wanted
Collection can be arranged.
7 Gorseway, Fleet
Tel: Fleet 7465
14 Dinorben Close, Fleet
Tel: Fleet 7364
[back to top]
HANDLING A TRICKY JOB
Four new gigantic lock gates left the Royal Aircraft Establishment on November 21 on the first stage of their journey to a resting place on the Basingstoke Canal near Pirbright.
The four gates weighing a total of five tons are to be transported by the Army from
the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough where they have been built by eight
first-year woodworking apprentices as part of their training.
The story behind the project began earlier last year when Frank Jones, a co-ordinator of a work experience team employed on restoring a series of 14 of the locks in the Deepcut area, approached RAE for help.
Using traditional English oak timber and deal planking provided by Surrey County Council, the apprentices spent many hours on their manufacture often using tools specially to cope with the largest gates which, measure 12ft. x 9ft 6inches each.
After the gates had been seasoned in an RAE water tank to prevent warping and swelling the canal society was faced with the problem of getting them to the site. It was then that the Army from Church Crookham stepped in with an offer of transport.
The gates have now been installed in Lock 20.
[back to top]
Agreement has been reached fr the total number of boat licences to be increased from 400 to 800 for the 1981 season. This increase is unfortunately being accompanied by an increase in charges which are now as follows:
Powered Craft £10.00
Unpowered Craft £5.00
Short term (15 days) licences are also available. Applications should be made to
the Canal Office, Ash Lock Cottage, Government Road, Aldershot. Further information
can be obtained from Farnborough 513385.
[back to top]
FRIMLEY AQUEDUCT Frank Jones
British Rail have for several weeks been working on the repair of the Frimley Aqueduct. The contractor is Read end Malik. Members will renumber that the aqueduct was constructed to carry the canal over the two track London, and Southampton Railway in 1838 and was subsequently lengthened on the southern side when the railway was doubled in 1901. For some years the aqueduct had been leaking but the impending restoration forced something to be done to rectify this.
One of the problems was a lack of design information. British Rail inherited practically no construction details. A series of trial holes were dug during 1980 which were all in the older part, to discover the construction secrets. B.R. engineers decided to use various impervious layers of polythene, a cork based material and concrete. Work began in November and it was quickly discovered that the newer part was already ccncreted. They also found the lead lining, which had been reported by the Harmsworth family, over the older section.
Since November work has continued apace and appears to be on schedule for a finish in February. A decision regarding the stop gates, installed during the last war, is awaited from B.R. legal department. It is to be hoped that they decide before the present contract is completed.
[back to top]
1981 BASINGSTOKE CANOE TRIALS
The 1981 event will be held on Sunday 5th April and will again be organised jointly by S.H.C.S. and Westel Canoe Club with assistance from the Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club. It will be based at Reading Road Bridge, Fleet and will consist of 6, 12, 20 and 30 mile events with various time options in each distance category suitable for expert and novice alike. Refreshments, sales, trade and exhibition. stands will add interest to an already colourful event for spectators.
For further information and entry forms contact Rosemary Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet. Tel: Fleet 7364. A foolscap SAE must be enclosed.
After 10 years as Membership Secretary, Alan Babister has decided to relinquish his post, Alan took over the task in 1970 and also served on the Committee for a number of years. The Society owes a debt of gratitude for the considerable amount of time he has committed to this job for such a long period.
Thanks are also due to Derek Herd, the Renewals Officer, who has decided to give up at the same time. The Committee has been fortunate in securing the services of Ted Williams of 36 Kestrel Road, Basingstoke (B'stoke 61579) as Alan's successor. Ted has been responsible for organising the Grand Draw for the past three years.
Your Society Needs YOU!
The efforts of David Gay, the Sales Manager, during 1980 resulted in a total sales turnover of £2,400 which in turn produced a handsome profit to the Society of in excess of £800.
It is, therefore, sad to report that in the absence of a volunteer to take over this extremely worth while position, the Society faces a reduction in income during 1981 just at a time when extra funds are of paramount importance,
I am convinced that there is a presently inactive member amongst our ranks who could not only increase the Society's coffers but obtain ample job satisfaction into the bargain.
Please, please whoever you are, phone David Millett on Fleet 7364 and offer your services.
[back to top]
A POSTMAN is required for the Knoll Road area of Fleet. Only one evening every two months is involved. Please contact Bill Bristow on Aldershot 850719.
AMAZED to discover that Working Party at Lock 19 on 11th January consisted of two people. Is there nobody out there willing and able to help?
BRICKLAYER is now being employed by the Society on lock restoration.
BOOKINGS now being accepted for crews for the 1981 season on the John Pinkerton. Phone Peter Fethney on Fleet 5524.
LONDON branch of the I.W.A, has donated £650 out of the profits of the Slough Rally.
ORDER has been placed for the manufacture of the framework for 3 pairs of upper lock gates which are to be completed by volunteers.
DONATION of £719 has been made to the Society from the profit of the Elvetham Mysteries held in 1979.
INVITATION received from SHCS members to attend I.W.A. Guildford & Reading Branch meetings, I.W.A, membership not essential though desirable! See Diary for details.
BUDDING artists required to assist in construction of Carnival Floats for Fleet Carnival (8 July) - contact David Millett on Fleet 7364. Guildford Town Show (5/6 September) - contact Jean Scott on Guildford 66683.
18 Members Film & Slide evening 7-45pm. Teachers Centre, Farnborcugh. 27 John Gagg 'Silver Sword Waterways' 7.30pm. Southcote Library, Coronation Square, Reading, I.W.A. Meeting.
9 Film 'Boating through Alsace Lorraine' 7.45pm. Woking Centre Halls.
21 Jumble Sale 10.30am. Fleet Civic Hall.
23 I.W.A, A.G.M. and members slides 7.30pm. Woking Centre Halls.
25 Slides of Canal du Midi 7.45pm. Teachers Centre, Farnborough.
29 I.W.A. Grand Chandlery Auction 12.00 Guildford Waterside Centre.
5 Basingstoke Canoe Trials, Reading Road Bridge, Fleet.
11 A.G.M, plus cheese supper with wine 6.15pm. St. Andrews Hall, Frimley Green.
See separate sheet for ticket applications.
13 Social meeting with surprise speaker 7.45pm. Woking Centre Halls. 27 Towpath walking by Marc Ferdmann 7.30pm. Woking Centre Halls. I.W.A. Meeting.
[back to top]
COPY DATE FOR APRIL NEWSLETTER : 1ST MARCH 1981
Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Limited, a non-profit distributing company limited, by guarantee, registered as a charity.
Editors; Dieter Jebens, Janet & Chris Brazier. Production: Diana Snow & David Wimpenny. Collation & Distribution: Janet and George Hedger, Clive Durley & helpers.
Editorial Office: 75 Middle Bourne Lan, 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 6105)
Hon. Secretary: Mrs. Lise Hamilton, 2 Frome Close, Farnborough, Hants (49651)
Membership Sec: Ted Williams 36 Kestrel Road, Basingstoke (61579)
Working Party Information: Alan & Andrea Grimster, Brookwood 6127
Trip Boat: Clive Durley, 15 Kenilworth Road, Fleet, Hants (5694)
[back to top]
YORKSHIRE SPRING WEEKEND SPECIAL - May 2nd, May 3rd, & MAY 4th 1981.
Following on from last years successful weekend in Wales, the 1981 weekend away will be to Yorkshire, based in Harrogate. Trips on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, a visit to York and the National Railway Museum, and steam hauled trips on the North Yorkshire Railway through the scenic National Park, and on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in Bronte country.
The itinery is as follows:-
Sat May 2nd Depart Fleet by coach to Bingley (to see the famous Bingley Five Rise Locks) and a 2hour trip on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from Skipton. To hotel at Harrogate.
Sun May 3rd Harrogate to York with time to visit the National Railway Museun and
explore the city. Coach to Pickering for a return trip to Grosmount
on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway with a steam loco. It is gala
day on the line, with most of the engines in steam. Return to hotel.
Bank Holiday Mon May 4th. Harrogate to Shipley for a cruise to Bingley 2 rise locks on the Leeds And Liverpool Canal on the n.b. Apollo followed by a trip on
the steam hauled Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Return to Fleet
arriving 11pm approx. Accommodation - At the Green Park Hotel in Harrogate, overlooking the famous Valley Gardens. Dinner Bed and Preakfast and parked lunches.
Cost: Adults £48
Children £42 (age 7 to 14) All inclusive.
Booking - Please telephone Rosemary Millett (Fleet 7364) a.s.a.p. BEFORE
completing and sending the application below.
[back to top]