aPRIL 1981

Front pictures
Comment - Restoration Progress
Cover pictures info
3rd Time Lucky
Spot the Dredging Sites
Committed Walkabout
Working Parties
Westrel Rides the Rails
Hampshire delays Greywell dredging
Social Jottings
On the Buses
Book Review
Obit - Robert Aikman
French Canal Cruises
Gongoozlers' Gossip

Contact the Society


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No 96APRIL 1981

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Inside front cover --
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Thanks, once again, to David Junkison for our front cover look at the current restoration scene. Clearly, we are now well over half way to completing restoration with only 9 miles of the 32-mile navigation still to be dredged, and 19 out of 29 lock chambers res­tored or under way.

And, if you compare the map with last year's picture (Newsletter 90) you'll see we've made good progress during the last twelve months alone. Down at the eastern end, work sites aro growing in number. Along with Pablo Haworth's band of volunteers at Lock 5 and the IWA's regular working parties at Lock 1, 'Spar' Lock 11 at St. John's has been started. On the towpath Ken Halls has generated a healthy level of local support in clearing the banks. In Woking, Surrey County Council has rebuilt a let-off weir and tackled some of the most difficult dredging work.

On the Deepcut flight Mike Fellows has continued to organise volunteer working parties which have supplemented the Work Experience team led by Frank Jones, achieving what was once said (not by us) as the impossible. Today, apart from fitting lock gates, all but two of the 14 lock gates have been completely restored,

Extensive work has been completed by British Rail in relining Frimley aqueduct. On the county boundary, Stan Meller's railway gang has laid a mile of narrow gauge track along Ash embankment. The mammoth task of transporting thousands of tons of clay to re-puddle the embankment is well advanced with the help of Hampshire's canal rangers and visiting groups of volunteers.

At the western end, Brian Bane and the attendant dredger crew continue working steadily eastwards on their way to Fleet.

Good progress has been made, but all the working party leaders would welcome many more volunteers to help maintain the rate of progress in the next twelve months.
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(1) Ken Halls and Peter Red.way take a break during a towpath working party below Arthur's Bridge, Woking and (2) the volunteers in action.
(3) Preparations being made for rebuilding Cowshott Bridge, Pirbright. Frimley Aqueduct relined.
(4) Mud barges being unloaded near Barley Mow Bridge, Winchfield.
(5) Wrens from H.M.S. Dauntless unloading clay on Ash embankment.
(6) Eric Lewis, volunteer carpenter, building lock gates at the Deepcut workshop.

PHOTOS by Dieter Jobens and Clive Durley.
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SUMMER DRAW 1981 Joan Scott
I have recently taken over the organizing of the Society's 'Grand Summer Draw' from Ted Williams, who has successfully run it for the past three or four years. Naturally I would like to do as well, or even better than Ted (for the Society's sake!). Ted has instructed me well and he tells me that the most important thing to do is to appeal to the members - So I'm Appealing - for prizes!

One or two 'Star Prizes' are already lined up (hopefully) but I do need your help to make the draw a success. I am quite a novice at this and I hope that some of you will rally round and help me make the 1981 Draw, the most successful of them all.

Please contact: Mrs. Jean Scott, 172 Aldershot Road, Guildford, Surrey. GU2 6BL. Telephone: Guildford 66683 (After 5-30 or weekends).
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An attempt to appeal to your generous nature has failed as has an attempt at blackmail concerning the income we are going to lose. I shall, therefore, have to resort to becoming a miserable pleader and beg somebody to come forward as a replacement for David Gay, the Society's Sales Manager.

I find it unbelievable that amongst the readership of the Newsletter - which approaches two thousand people - there is not one person who is prepared to even ask what the job involves.

Not only does the job give you the opportunity of meeting people and making money for the Society which goes towards the restoration of the canal but it could also be an outlet for your frustrated creative talents giving you the chance to introducc new ideas and angles into the job. And you may rest assured that the Committee would give you all the support and assistance you might need so you would not be on your own.

Perhaps two currently uncommitted members who don't even know each other could get together and share the job between them. If you feel you can help in any way give David Millett a ring on Fleet 7364 - he may have been approached by the other half of your team.

So go on - take a chance and give David a ring and offer your services and save me being a miserable pleader all my life!
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The end of March will see the commencement of yet another scheme sponsored by the Manpower Services Commission to the tune of almost £103,000. This will involve the employment for 12 months of 32 young people under the expert supervision of Martin Smith, Jim Reid and Robert Mew, the resident supervisors together with two others who have yet to be appointed. Patrick Bere our long suffering carpenter will also come within the scheme.

Additionally the Society is now a major employer in the field of canal restoration having its own carpenter, bricklayer, supervisor and two labourers who are paid directly from Society funds.

Over them all with the grandiose title of Project Manager sits the well known figure of Frank Jones!

Plans for 1981 include building overflow weirs on Ash embankment, and at Ash Vale Station, completing the ancilliary tasks on the Deepcut Locks such as bollards, ladders and stop plank grooves and work on the three Brookwood Locks.

The Committee has also authorised the expenditure of £5,000 on the restoration of Cowshott Manor Bridge over Lock 17 which will be undertaken by the MSC employees. It is to be re-built to the same profile, as the old bridge to retain its original character. The gate building programme will, of course, continue unabated.
Forward with Frank!
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Canal rangers and staff of Hampshire County Council's Recreation Department have contributed towards a small-leaved lime tree which has been planted near Ash Lock in memory of the late Roy Fowles.

Roy's interest in the canal started as a voluntary worker helping to restore Lock 25 at Curzon Bridge. He was often to be found operating - and mending - a drag-line crane below the lock where he created an island on the edge of the canal which will be protected as a bird sanctuary and nature reserve.

Roy gave up his job as a fireman at the R.A.E., Farnborough, to join the full-time staff of canal rangers in Hampshire.
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Thousands of tons of silt have been dredged from the 4-1/2 mile upper end of the canal between North Warnborough and Winchfield. All the spoil has been dumped on riparian land and yet there is virtually no evidence of it.

Using the floating dredger 'Perseverance' and mud barges has not only demonstrated the value of water transport in keeping costs to a minimum, it has also shown how the job can be done without mess or damage to the environment. No rutted lorry tracks, no mud on the towpath or damaged hedges. Even the bank side vegetation remains undisturbed.

The lack of upheaval is also thanks to the care Brian Bane and his dredging team take and to the after-care treatment given by Canal Manager, David Gerry, and the canal rangers. Early dump sites have been levelled, drained and seeded for the benefit of the landowners. The most recently closed site, in a woodland clearing at Lousely Moor, has now been replanted. Hampshire's canal rangers, with the help of Work Experience recruits, have planted a thousand saplings including ash, field maple, birch and alder. Next winter it is planned to complete the job by planting a further 200 saplings, so that in a few years time you'll have difficulty in spotting the former dredging dump site.
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On Sunday 15th March at 10.00am. there gathered at Ash Lock Cottage a rather bleary-eyed bunch bedecked in best casuals, wellies and sporting the latest in photographic equipment. Although called many names, officially they are the Committee and Officers of the Society (together with husbands and wives) and all were there for the purpose of visiting various worksites on the canal to see for themselves the progress being made.

First stop was the vast railway depot on Ash embankment used for storing and transporting the clay necessary for puddling the bed of the canal. With traditional bad planning this was the only weekend in the past 18 months when no work was in progress due to the absence of Working Party Leader, Stan Meller on business abroad! Nevertheless we were all impressed by the sheer size and complexity of the site. After dragging our clay laden boots along the length of the embankment and realising just how little would have been achieved without the efforts of the Railway Group we made our way to Frimley Aqueduct to marvel at the results of the efforts of Reed and Malik and the money of British Rail.

Next came the St. Johns Locks where we were given a conducted tour by Ken Halls and Peter Redway who are leading the onslaught there. Not only did it do us good to see the enormous progress being made but it was even more heartening to hear of the marvellous support they are receiving from the residents of Woking, particularly of a practical nature.

A tour such as this could not, of course, exclude the Deepcut flight. We started at Lock 15 where we were greeted by the sight of a canal full of water in the pound above - looked just like a real canal! Accompanied by Frank Jones and Mike Fellows it was particularly interesting to see the large amount of original brickwork still in place which completely contradicted, the claims of the recent correspondent in this periodical that wholesale destruction was the order of the day. The pertinent comment was made that no one working on the flight wanted to create extra work for themselves by unnecessarily demolishing sound brickwork.

The final visit was to the Lock Gate workshop where Frank Jones explained that the three pairs of volunteer-assembled top gates would all be in the canal by the end of March - yet another impressive achievement.

A fascinating day in which I think everybody present learnt something and our thanks go to Peter Cooper for organising the whole thing even to the extent of arranging for the only rain of the day to fall during an adjournment to a local hostelry for lunch!
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With the longer days of Spring, and with the thought of how much work has been done, volunteer work on the Basingstoke Canal should now be presenting a most enticing prospect. The show has come a long way, but it is still there for you to come along and join in during the later stages. The reality of full restoration is becoming increasingly more credible.

If you have not joined in this volunteer effort yet, end are feeling uncertain about starting, be assured thst a thoroughly experienced set of people are now involved in this work. There is plenty of experience on hand to help you find your way. We hope to see ever more people joining in this work, and in this way the job will be fin­ished even sooner.

The working parties available are listed below. It is usually advisable to phone your working party leader a few days beforehand, to check in case of last minute changes of plan.

Every Weekend Deepcut Flight
The work at Lock 19 continues to move even further into the final stages. The upper recess walls are now complete, leaving the lower recesses to be finished, and after that there will be a long list of smaller jobs all over the lock. At Lock 16 the very last jobs are now being lined up, so it will soon need no more volunteer work. At nearby Lock 17 the full-time workers are now well advanced, and have cast the top cill.

All this means that in a very short while, quite possibly in May, volunteer working parties will start to move off the Deepcut Flight, and will begin work at their new work sites at St. Johns, Woking. So it is more important than usual to make sure you check with your working party leader before coming along to help.

The working parties are listed below with their current Deepcut Locks quoted. For further details you should contact MIKE FELLOWS, the coordinator of this work, on Wokinghnm 787428. or one of the working party leaders.

First weekend of the month - 4/5 Apr, 2/3 May, 6/7 Jun - Lock 19, TONY GOULD on 01-941-3014.
Second weekend of the month - 11/12 Apr, 9/10 May, 13/14 June - Lock 19, PETER OATES (Southampton Canal Society) on Botley 3844.
Second & Fourth Sundays of the month - 12 Apr, 26 Apr, 10 May, 24 May, 14 June - Lock 16 - ALAN GRIMSTER on Brookwood 6127
Third weekend of the month - 18/19 Apr, 16/17 May, 20/21 June - Lock 19, JULES WOOD on Farnborough 515737.
Fourth weekend of the month-- 25/26 Apr, 23/24 May - Lock 19, PETER JONES on Aldershot 313076.
Fifth weekend of the month - 30/31 May - Lock 19, MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham 787428.

There is a vacancy in one department, as JIM CHISHOLM feels he can no longer continue his previous commitment on the important job of plant maintenance. The Society would like to thank Jim for all the work he has done, often in very unpleasant weather, to try to keep working parties provided with the plant they need. If anyone wishes to take over this job, they are asked to contact MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham 787428.

Every Weekend Dredging in Hampshire
The impressive dredging operation, featuring the steam dredger 'Perseverance', continues to make steady progress. They have reached Chatter Alley, and should soon be approaching Dogmersfield Cutting. Additional helpers, who are prepared to learn the ropes, in jobs like tug driving, would be very welcome. The access point is Barley Mow Bridge, and for further details you should contact BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627.

Every Weekend Railway Group at Ash Embankment
Progress continues here, and the job is moving into its final stages, but this still means a sizeable piece of work remains to be done. There is an urgent need for people who can come and spend a whole day driving a diesel locomotive, and there is also work available for tippers of clay. 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)
11/12 Spr, 9/10 May, 13/14 June
The off-side chamber wall is now completely down, and the scene is set for its reconstruction. For further details of this amazing transformation scene, contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081.

Third Weekend of the month Lock 1 (Woodham)
18/19 Apr, 16/17 May, 20/21 June
Recent activity has mainly centred on demolishing of chamber walls, ready for their rebuilding. The erection of scaffolding is now complete, in readiness for the next stage of the job. For further details of this working party, which operates under the auspices of the Guildford Branch of the IWA, you should contact DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 or ROY DAVENPORT on 01-979-7075.

Every Other Weekend St. Johns Flight
5 Apr - Bankside Clearance, 3rd May, 16/17 May, 31 May, 13/14 June - Lock 11. The nearside upper and lower wingwalls of Lock 11 have been removed, and investigation of the main chamber walls is proceeding, to determine their true condition. Prep­arations are in hand in readiness for a contractor to move in to install the bywash channel. Some more work has also been done on the towpath, which you should now be able to walk over. Note that there will be no working party at the Easter weekend. For further details you should contact KEN HALLS on Woking 23981 or PETER REDWAY on Woking 21710.

Various Weekends Lock Gate Assembly
The Society is having a number of sets of parts for top gates of locks prepared under contract. The plan is for each set, when delivered, to be assembled by volunteers, and one set has already been assembled, and is installed at Lock 15. More volunteers are needed to help assemble further gates. The task involves work during two successive weekends whenever a set of gate parts is delivered. If you are interested in helping on this job, you should contact FRANK JONES on Deepcut 5711 (canal workshop or Camberley 28367 (home).

Various Weekends Broad Oak, and Wilderness Weir
There is still a bit of clearing up to be done at Broad Oak at the site of the recent works, and then some pointing of brickwork will remain. After that there is the small matter of finishing Lower Wilderness Weir. For further details on both these projects you should contact PETER MAINE on Camberley 24701.

Bankside Work in Hampshire
This party have recently been assisting at Broad Oak, but are now going into their usual summer recess. Watch this space later in the year for details of their re­start in the autumn.
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In May 1979 the Basingstoke Scout District split into two having grown too large for efficient management. The new Basingstoke East District held a competition among the Scouts for the design of a new badge to be worn by all Scouts in the district.

The winning design, by Timothy Wright, a member of the Air Scout Troop, shows a canal working boat with a typical hump-backed bridge in the background. The eastern extent of the Basingstoke East District is the parish of Mapledurwell and Up Nately which includes the western end of the Greywell tunnel.
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Liz and I gave up a Kensington cocktail party to join our club-mates 'puddling clay' on the Ash Embankment of the Basingstoke Canal on Sunday 7th December, 1980. We had no idea how clay was 'puddled', but it had a delightfully old fashioned ring about it. The first problem was finding the place we were meant to meet. After driving in circles round a series of Army Barracks we eventually stopped a milk-float. The milkman said one of his customers was a canal building man. He turned his milk-float round and guided us to the house, whose occupant recognised us from last April's Westel Canoe Time Trial. Everyone else had also got lost, including a minibus full of volunteers from the Wimbledon Young Mariners.

The scene that met our eyes would delight the heart of every schoolboy and his dad. Masses of narrow guage track, little baby diesel locomotives, lines of tipper trucks. Our first job was to work through an enormous pile of old track presented free to the Canal Society and discard the lengths that were too tatty even for canal use. The rest were loaded onto flat trucks, making sure the ends were not so close as to stop adjacent trucks moving when going round sharp bends. One truck had back-to-back wooden seats and we jumped aboard. There was ice on the seats so we got wet frozen bottoms. We were off, rolling and swaying - bump, rattle, bump, rattle - clattering round the sharp bend by the bridge piers, then an exhilarating straight run high up on the embankment to the far end by the dam.

We wore shown how to release the safety catch on the tipper trucks and send the lumps of clay shooting down the side of the canal. Any gelatinous lumps sticking inside the tipper trucks were removed by shovel, pick or most useful of all, by hand. Pieces of clay left on the tow path were thrown into the canal bed. The aim was to place three separate loads on each section of the canal, so that later a JCB sitting in the bed of the canal could dump clay onto each side and the bottom of the canal preventing seepage of water. We were told that some years ago a storm had uprooted a tree, tearing a hole in the canal bank through which the water had poured. Since this accident, a new housing estate had been built in the flood plain below the embankment It is hoped to prevent a recurrence of this accident by cutting down the trees on the embankment and repuddling this section of the canal.

One group spent the day extending the railway track. This was more difficult than it sounds as the rails came from more than one source and the holes in the fishplates did not match the holes in the ends of the rails. Another group built a short spur of track for the locomotive. The tipper trucks when empty were pushed beyond this spur by hand, the locomotive was then attached to the front of the trucks and towed back to be refilled with clay.

What a great day, playing full-sized toy railways, and helping rebuild a real canal.
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No action will be taken to dredge the Greywell section of the canal until Ash Embankment is re-opened and water is run down to the Surrey section.

At a meeting of Hampshire's Recreation Committee early in February, Mr. Colin Bonsey, the County's Recreation Officer, recommended waiting until the end of this year so that the effect on water supplies can be assessed as a result of feeding the top length of the Surrey seccion from Ash to Deepcut.

The Society, together with the Basingstoke Canal Anglers Association, has been pressing for the Greywell length to be dredged to clear the spring heads in the bed of the canal and so increase the flow of water. The springs constitute the canal's main source of water.

Apart from the opposition of the Nature Conservancy Council and the Isle of Wight Naturalist Trust who want the section left as a nature reserve, the Thames Water Authority has expressed doubts whether drdging will improve the water flow.
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Concerning the paddle gear criticised by Mark Ellis in the February Newsletter, I was amongst the few who strongly suggested that the paddle key should be that used on the Wey. But in retrospect there is one good reason for having the Grand Union size; if the gearing is suitable for the smaller 'arm' people using the longer 'arm' of the Wey key could damage the paddle gear if it meets an obstruction?

As for the Wey Navigation having the former Basingstoke style, certainly the paddle gear on Lock 6 was 'Oxford' size.
L.E. HAWORTH, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey.

As another canal enthusiast who does not attend working parties, I would like to put a contrary view to that expressed by. Mr. Sills. Incidentally, I am a member of the IWA and five other canal societies. I have navigated almost all the system over the last ten years in our narrow boat and have hired boats for many, years previously.

Firstly without wishing to go into my own reasons for not currently attending working parties, they are not disagreements over minor constructional details.

I am extremely impressed with the progress and, as an ultimate beneficiary, await the re-opening with excitement.

If during the last ten years all I had had to worry about was the geometry of paddle gear and the size of spigots I would have been very lucky. As it is the memories of floods, draughts, vandalism, stoppages, strikes, submerged fridges etc., give greater balance. Most people who venture further than their local canal usually acquire a variety of keys anyway. Mine has mostly been fished out of the cut by magnet while waiting below bottom gates.

I am not sure what problems the Rochdale C.C, brought upon themselves, but of course, water comes over top gates at a number of places on the system. I have navigated the Rochdale flight as well as other similar locks and while I agree that they present no great problems it is not an ideal situation. I ask Mr. Ellis to consider the plight of two full length boats without cratch while sharing a lock on the Basingstoke if no alterations had been made.
A. DOBSON, London, S.W.14.

Following your 'Late Piece' in the Newsletter No. 95, I feel obliged to contribute a snippet of further news for your 'Space'.

I did not attend the Meeting on 24th September 1980, and did not agree to take part in any feasibility study. The Executive Committee has at no time contacted me to suggest such an idea.

If the interested people who attended the Meeting were, so I'm told, against the idea of a second trip boat, I see no point in anyone wasting time doing any feasability study.

The Society will be 'showing the flag' at Christ Church Hall, Town Square, Woking on Saturday 23rd May, 1981 from 9am. to 1pm. A display of photographs, slides and films together with the Sales Stand and other attractions will provide the visitor with an up-to-date picture of restoration progress.
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SOCIAL JOTTINGS Joint Social Secretaries : Hampshire - David Millett Fleet 7364 Surrey - Michael Grist Woking 71581
The last meeting of the winter season will be held this month and meetings will re­commence in September. Suggestions for talks and other social ideas will be welcome. WOKING CENTRE HALLS Monday April 13th 7.45pm. FILM EVENING featuring the recent Waterways Films produced by 'Shell'.
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A trip on the 'John Pinkerton' ranks alongside Bird World, Basing House and a visit to Heathrow Airport as a suggestion for a day out by bus, in a new information sheet issued by the resuscitated Aldershot end District bus service.

For those of you reliant on public transport, David Gerry, author of the Society booklet, 'Walks along the Basingstoke Canal' looks at the bus routes now serving the canal:

"The 'Aldershot and District' run frequent and numerous services between Aldershot and Farnborough Railway Stations, crossing the canal at Iron Bridge, Queens Avenue, Aldershot.

No. 410/1/2 is an hourly service between, Reading, Fleet and Aldershot Railway Stations (3 hourly on Sundays) with stops near the canal at Reading Road, Coxheath Road and Malthouse Bridges. This service passes through Hartley Wintney and Heath End.

No. 419/20/21 is an hourly service connecting Farnborough, Fleet and Aldershot Railway Stations with stops near the canal at Reading Road, Coxheath Road, and Malthouse Bridges and the No. 421 make 2 afternoon runs across Chequers Bridge, Crookham Village via Crondall, which is a very new facility opening up the more remote parts of the canal.

No. 430/1 and 444 is an hourly service connecting Aldershot, Frimley and Camberley Railway Stations, crossing the canal at Queens Avenue Bridge, Aldershot.

No. 450/1 Hourly, Monday - Saturday connects Camberley, Ash Vale and Aldershot Railway Stations; the 451 goes to Guildford Railway Station instead of Aldershot crossing or passing near the canal at Mytchett, Ash Vale and Aldershot.

No. 454/5 Half Hourly (hourly on Sundays) connects Aldershot, Ash Vale, Farnborough, Brookwood and Woking Railway Stations, crossing or passing near the canal at Aldershot, Ash Vale., Mytchett, Blackdown, Pirbright, Knaphill.

No. 207 Hourly connecting Aldershot, Hook and Basingstoke Railway Stations and passing through Odiham close to Colt Hill where boats are for hire and the John Pinkerton operates. Alight at Swan Bridge, North Warnborough for a short walk to King Johns Castle and the Greywell Tunnel".

So, have a shot and risk it. Buy a copy of David's walks booklet and, with the help of OS sheet 186, plan a day out on the canal with the Aldershot and District.
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The Society is saved several hundred pounds a year by Society members who deliver the Newsletter to other members in their area. Now, with the latest increase in postage, our volunteer postmen will save the Society even more money.

If you live in Hartley Wintney; east, west or central Aldershot, or in the Manor Road or Woburn Avenue areas of Farnborough, we'd welcome your help by offering to deliver Newsletters.

Each round is quite small, so it will not take up much of your time. For further details contact Janet Hedger on Fleet 7465.
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If, like me, you still cling to your four out-dated, rain-spattered, mud-stained and generally dilapidated copies of the original 'Nicholsons Guides to the Waterways' you will not be particularly interested in this review. If, on the other hand, you are relatively new to canal cruising you may be interested to know that Waterways World is in the process of producing guides to cover the majority of the canal network.

Their latest offering covers the Shropshire Union Canal from Autherley Junction to Ellesmere Port (including the Middlewich Branch) at a scale of 2 inches to 1 mile. A mass of very useful information is contained in the narrative which accompanies each map although I query the wisdom of including somewhat 'personal' details such as the names of pub landlords as this could very quickly become out of date.

I am pleased to see that the towpath walker is catered for with the inclusion of local bus and train details.

Produced in good quality card the guide has the advantage of being ring bound so that it can be laid flat on a cabin roof open at the relevant page for easy reference. The overall impression is marred to some extent by the large number of advertisements on almost every other page, although it must be remembered that it is after all a commercial enterprise. Additionally, at £1.50, a considerable outlay will be required to obtain guides to cover the entire canal system.

Available from all good canal shops or direct from Waterways World Book Service.
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Sadly I have to report that the author, Robert Aickman, died on 27th February 1981. The name Robert Aickman is familiar I am sure to all Society members but has particular meaning to those interested in the national waterways scene. His name is synonymous with the upsurge of interest in canals as it was he who, after reading L.T.C. Rolt's classic 'Narrow Boat', suggested the formation of the Inland Waterways Association and then spent the next 18 years as its Chairman.

I understand that the Basingstoke Canal had a special place in his affections as he was heavily involved when the campaign to restore it was started in 1948. He was full of praise and admiration for the way in which the Society has set about the actual restoration. Indeed, he is quoted as saying that the two questions he was most commonly asked when giving talks on canal subjects concerned legging through tunnels and the progress of the Basingstoke Canal.

As an indication of the high regard in which he was held, two years ago the Society's proposals on the formation of a Trust to manage the affairs of the canal were sub­mitted to him for his comments. He, of course, was a guiding light behind the Trusts set up to look after the River Avon.

The waterway movement has, without doubt, lost one of its elder statesmen. The Committee, on behalf of the Society, sent a wreath to express our thanks for all he has done both locally and nationally.
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This year the Society's commitments will be bigger than ever - much of our expenditure will be on wages for full-time staff, some of whom are employed to support our Manpower Services Commission teams. Without these, restoration progress would have been much slower. And there are other projects to be paid for. So we need money - a great deal of it. This is where you can all help.

Last year's Sponsored Walk raised about £5,000 - a magnificent achievement. We want to do even better with this year's walk on Sunday 17th May. If only 500 walkers can each get 10 people to sponsor them at 10p a mile for 10 miles we will raise £5000. We know it can be done. Please join in and make sure we beat our target.

The route this year is from Ash Vale to the Barley Mow (there's transport available to take you to Winchfield Station). More details of this attractive walk are contained in the Sponsor Booklet enclosed with this Newsletter. Don't delay - sign your sponsors now. And remember, if you don't want to walk 10 miles, the proceeds of a couple of hours stroll will be most welcome.

As an added incentive the committee will award a cup to the individual who raises the most sponsorship money.

If for any reason you can't join the walk yourself why don't you sponsor Robin Higgs, our Chairman?

Extra Sponsor Booklets can be obtained from Aubrey Slaughter, 37 Fir Tree/Way, Fleet. Tel: Fleet 23102. He would also be glad to hear from anyone willing to act as a marshal. JOIN THE SPONSORED TOWPATH WALK ON SUNDAY 17 MAY:1981
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Our member, Michael Handford is organising a number of one, two or three week holidays on the French canals this year as a result of the many enquiries from his earlier article on French canal holidays. Members, family, friends or anyone else interested in seeing these fascinating waterways are welcome to join any of these holidays.

The boat is a well converted nine berth ex-grain barge owned by a British company. It has four twin cabins and one single cabin, a large saloon and galley, toilet and shower. A crew of two are provided who occupy their own self-contained accommodation. The boat makes a circular tcur round the beautiful Canal du Nivernais, the Loire Lateral Canal and the historic Canal du Briare with its outstanding aqueduct.

The cost is about £50 per person per week in the peak season dropping to about £45 person per week in May, June and September. It is possible to book berths individually on the craft and either make up your own party or join an existing one. Similarly you can book for one, two three weeks or longer. This is a non-profit making venture undertaken to encourage people to see the French canals at a price at least 50% lower than other French hire boats.

Bookings start from 2,9,16,23 and 30 May, 6,13,20 and 27 June for bookings on the regular cruise. A second cruise from 15th August to 5th September will start from Carcarsone on the Canal du Midi, the Canal du Rhone a Sete along the Mediterranian coast and up the rivers Rhone and Saone to Chalon sur Saone. A third cruise, from 5 - 26th September, will travel from Chalon sur Saone, down the Canal Centre and Canal du Nivernais to Joigny.

Further details from M.A. Handford, 6 Spa Lane, Hinckley, Leics. LE10. 1JB. Tel: 0455 611508 Sat - Mon. 01-853 4484 Tues - Fri).
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AQUEDUCT at Frimley now completed at a total cost (to 'British' Rail) of £80,000. Stop gates have been removed but the abutments are to remain.
GENEROUS donation of £50 received with thanks from Mrs. Barbara Berthon of Aylesbury in memory of a childhood spent beside Frimley Aqueduct 80 years ago.
MEMBERSHIP leaflets to be distributed to 2,500 homes on the Goldsworth Park Estate, Woking, in the Residents' Newsletter.
THANKS to Romsey & District Society Waterways Sub-Committee for a donation of £15 from a silver collection.
APPEAL for funds to finance restoration of Cowshott Manor Bridge has already raised £250.
POSTMAN required for Crookham Village to take over from Mr. W. Edwards who is retiring after many years service. Our thanks go to him but offers of help to Bill Bristow on Aldershot 850719.
WANTED for Lock 5 Working Party - a single axle horse trailer. Offers please to Pablo on Byfleet 42081.
MEMBERS evenings aboard John Pinkerton to commence 9 June departing 7.30pm from Colt Hill, Odiham.
LETTERS to the Editor bring results. Membership cards will be circulated with the next issue of this powerful publication!
PERMANENT compound formed of 2 ex-railway containers is being erected beside Lock 11 to house tools plant and materials.
SUBSCRIPTIONS fell due on 1st March. Cash payers should send their money (and name and address) without delay to Ted Williams. Default will leave a gap in your life no more Newsletters!
THANKS to Mr. Holliday of Construction Industry Trailing Board for sending 17 young people under Supervisor Mr. Miles to rebuild a chamber wall on Lock 14 during December 1980.
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13 'Shell Waterways Films 7-45pm. Woking Centre Halls.
27 Towpath walking by March Ferdmann. - 7-30pm. Woking Centre Halls. IWA Meeting.

17 Sponsored Walk. Ash Vale Station to Barley Mow, Winchfield.
25 Publicity Meeting. 9pm. Christ Church Hall, Woking.

9,16, Members' Evenings, John Pinkerton. 7-30pm. Colt Hill, Odiham.
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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 Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10 3NJ. Tel: Farnham 715230
Chairman: Robin Higgs, 18 Barnsford Crescent, West End, Woking (Chobhnm 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: 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)
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Last updated April 2005