An important step forward, to which the Society has, at least, been the catalyst, is the formation of a Joint County Council management Committee. This body, to be formed in the Autumn, will greatly assist the running of the Canal as an entity and communications between the two local authorities as joint owners. It will also give the user interests a direct say in how the Canal should be run: the Committee will include representatives of the Society, boating, angling, natural history and rambling interests.
Another significant development is the Society's changing role from that of a purely voluntary labour support group, to an employer - we now pay the wages of five full-time workers on the Canal, including two artisans. This means we are making a substantially greater contribution towards restoration.
Our new commitment entails finding an annual sum of £22,000 in wages alone, and a total of £48,000 to include plant, materials and other planned expenditure. But our estimated income for the year is only £34,000.
Clearly the Society needs to raise additional funds to meet our commitments. And while this is not an appeal to dip into your pockets and purses, it is a call to all our members to support other various fund raising activities..... the sponsored walk, Grand Draw, money raising socials and special projects like Cowshott Bridge.
More than that, it is an appeal for all members to give some thought to how we can attract more funds through your contacts with other organisations, the firms you work for and alike.
Our President, Lord Onslow set the ball rolling at the AGM by announcing that the Society will benefit this year from a share of the proceeds from the annual horse trials, being held at Clandon Park this Autumn.
Now lets have your ideas and offers!
WORKING PARTIES Peter Cooper
But we can look at things another way. The Society's restoration effort on the St. Johns Flight will be getting under way during the next few months, so you now have a rare opportunity to be involved in this major restoration task from the start, and to see it through to completion. Society working party attendances at Deepcut have often been much less than we would have wished, so it's hoped that, with the whole show moving to less remote site, greater numbers of Society members will be able,to assist .in lock restoration.
Other working parties continue, and a full list is given below. It's usually adviseabL to contact your working party leader a few days before attending in case of any last minute alterations.
Every Weekend St. Johns Flight
By the end of April, volunteer work had finished at Lock 16, and, apart from a lower recess wall and an upper wing wall, the jobs remaining at Lock 19 were all of the finishing off category. The full-time workers at lock 17 had almost completed chamber restoration, and were putting up the wooden pattern arches for rebuilding Cowshot Bridge. At Lock 14 at Brookwood, another part of the full-time contingent had demolished the second (nearside) chamber wall, and were about to start rebuilding it. These working parties are under the overall direction of 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 June, 4/5 July, 1/2 August TONY GOULD on 01-941-3014.
Second Weekend of the month - 13/14 June, 11/12 July, 8/9 August PETER OATES (Southampton Canal Society) on Southampton 463188
Second and fourth Sundays of the month - 14 June, 28 June, 12 July, 26 July, 9 August - ALAN GRIMSTER on Brookwood 6127.
Third weekend of the month - 20/21 June, 18/19 July, 15/16 Aug. JULES WOOD on Farnburough 515737
Fourth weekend of the month - 27/28 June, 25/26 July, 22/23 Aug. PETER JONES on Aldershot 313076
Fifth weekend of the month - 29/30 Aug - MIKE FELLOWS on Wokokingham 787428.
Every weekend Dredging in Hampshire
Every Weekend Railway Group at Ash Embankment
Second weekend of the month Lock 5 (Woodham)
Third weekend of the month Lock 1 (Woodham)
Every other weekend lock 11 (St. Johns)
Various weekends Lock Gate Assembly
Various weekends Broad Oak and Wilderness Weir
To avoid this catastrophe your remittance should be sent to Ted Williams as soon as possible. Membership rates are now:
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING REPORT
Reviewing the year, the Society's Chairman, Robin Higgs, said that while it started with uncertainty, it finished extremely well. But he emphasised the need for the Society to work hard to raise money in the coming year if we are to meet our commitments, especially the employment of our full-time workers.
"I believe restoration of the Basingstoke Canal is now past the half-way stage", said Mr. Higgs, "and with your help we will keep the momentum going". A healthy financial position was reported by the Treasurer, Bryan Jones, with a £12,091 excess of income over the year's expenditure of £27,581. But he underlined the importance of fund raising to bridge the gap between our estimated income of £34,425 and scheduled commitments totalling £48,000, this year.
Reviewing sales, David Gay commented that while turnover has increased, the cost of attending events had risen and so the net profit of £828 was only marginally up on the previous year.
Ted Williams, membership secretary, reported that the Society currently had 1,396 paid up members.
Dealing with administrative matters and social activities the Vice-Chairman, David Millett, thanked Alan Babister for his work as membership secretary over the last ten years. David Gay, who was giving up the job of Sales Manager was also thanked. A working Committee had been set up, under the Chairmanship of Peter Coxhead, which had organised a successful Woking Town Day to publicise the Society's activities. Turning to financial achievements, David Millett recorded the continued success of Richard Allnutt in attracting donations from charitable trusts, the sponsored walk organised by the Woking Committee which raised well over £5,000; the Spar national competition in which Marguerite Redway won £5,000 first prize to be spent on restoring St. Johns Lock 11, and Ted Williams who organised the Grand Draw raising nearly £5,000. A jumble sale held at Frimley had raised £216.
The Annual Canoe Trials held on the canal had again been organised with the Westel Canoe Club; and the Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club now had nearly 200 members.
Regular social events had been organised at Farnborough and Woking; the Mikron Theatre visited the Fox and Hounds, Fleet and a successful Barn Dance had been held in Fleet. Members had rlso enjoyed trips to the Llangollen Canal and narrow gauge railways in Wales.
Phil Pratt's exhibitions, films and talks had been appreciated, while on the business side, the Society kept a watch on local planning applications near the canal and commented upon those for Frimley Lodge Farm, Brookwood Lye Industrial Estate and in the Crookham area.
A suggestion for a second trip boat had been discussed, but had not been actioned due to lack of support, David Millett reported.
Working party activities were reported on by Mike Fellows. At the western end of the canal the dredger team led by Brian Bane had progressed to Chatter Alley. The ring grab had been replaced, by the steam excavator on the 'Perseverance' and a new silt dump site had been established at Goddard's Field.
The railway group led by Btan Meller and John Peart, had also had a productive year, first laying track along the length of Ash embankment and now operating train loads of clay for re-puddling the water channel. Over 2,000 tons had been transported. Bank clearance work in Hampshire, organised by David Millett, had been done at Tundry Pond and Broad Oak, while similar work had been organised by Ken Halls and Peter Redway from Brookwood eastwards to St. Johns.
Work had started on lock 11, while at lock 5 Pablo Haworth's monthly working parties had concentrated on a few major tasks. And the IWA's Guildford branch volunteers had continued to make progress at lock 1, led by Dick Harper-White and Roy Davenport. £2,500 had been spent on paddle culverts installed by a contractor.
At Deepcut, working parties led by Tony Gould, Jules Wood and Alan Grimster had completed lock 16, and lock 19 was now almost complete with the help of regular parties from the Southampton Canal Society, London WEG and Kent and Last Sussex branch of the IWA. The work on lock 19 had amounted to 20,000 man-hours. Appreciation was expressed for the efforts of Jim Chisholm in repairing and maintaining plant and equipment. Looking ahead, Mike Fellows anticipated work would soon start on lock 10 at St. Johns followed by lock 9.
Returning to the Deepcut 14 locks, Frank Jones, Project Manager of Work Experience Scheme reported that the 15 places for unemployed school leavers had been filled almost throughout the year. The provision of two labourers, employed by the Society, had improved the supervision of the team together with the recruitment of Robert Mew under the MSC scheme.
Work had progressed during the year from lock 18 to lock 15 and then to lock 17 at Cowshott Bridge.
With the start of a new Work Experience Scheme in March this year, 32 young people were being recruited with 3 additional supervisors, one of whom, Douglas Sanders, a quantity surveyor, was employed by the Society. Work had now started on lock 14 at Brookwood. With the Society's contribution of £5,000, restoration of Cowshott Bridge had begun under the technical supervision of Surrey's engineers including Douglas Brown and Clerk of Works, Dennis Cavey.
While work on restoring the Deepcut lock chambers is virtually complete, the carpenter, Pat Bere, had built and fitted six pairs of lock gates at nos. 25, 24 and 15. To assist him, the Society had. now employed a carpenter; more equipment had bec-n obtained and some work had been contracted out. Volunteers were also being used. As a result lock gates were ready to fit at nos, 22 and 23 and a further three pairs would be ready in May.
Assistance had also been provided by RAE apprentices in building two pairs of gates fitted at lock 20, and Construction Industry Training Board trainees had spent three weeks working at lock 14.
Frank Jones thanked Peter Fethney for assisting with administrative work and Robin Higgs and Mike Fellows for their support.
In reports on the two County Councils' activities, Mr. David Gerry, Canal Manager for Hampshire, said that work had centered on Fleet where the canal rangers had been engaged in towpath levelling, necessary tree felling, re—constructions of a culvert at Glen Road and some dredging work.
Recently the canal rangers had modified Crookham swing-bridge and planted 1,000 saplings on a silt dump at Lousley Moor. The rangers were currently undertaking repairs to an embankment adjacent to Tundry Pond at Dogmersfield. This again, necessitated felling trees, Mr. Gerry said, regretfully.
Bank reinforcement work had also been undertaken in the vicinity of bridges, and Work Experience teams had been helping with the re-lining of Ash embankment under the leadership of John Arnold.
This year Mr. Gerry said it was hoped to establish official car parks at Colt Hill, Odiham and Barley Mow Bridge at Winchfield.
Surrey County Council, who had completed some of the most difficult dredging of the canal at Woking during last year were continuing to support the Work Experience Scheme employed on the Deepcut flight of locks. The Council was also contributing to the cost of employing a carpenter building lock gates. It was reported that the Sports Council had agreed to make a substantial grant to Surrey County Council for restoration work. The Chairman thanked the two retiring members of the Executive Committee, David Wimpenny and Peter Fethney, and added that both members would continue working for the Society as directors of the Boat Company.
Chris Brazier and Roger Cansdale were welcomed onto the main Committee.
Members re-elected: Lise Hamilton, Brian Bane, Peter Cooper, Robin Higgs, Bryan Jones, David Millett, Jean Scott, Vic Trott and Derek Truman.
TEN YEARS AGO..... from Newsletter No. 39. July 1971
THIS FALLEN ARCH NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
The Committee has authorised the expenditure of £5000 to rebuild Cowshot Manor Bridge, the major part of which is the purchase of 20,000 good quality bricks at a cost of approximately £3,000 plus a further £500 for the special semi-circular capping bricks for the parapets. We are fortunate in being able to obtain the necessary labour as part of the MSC Youth Employment scheme.
In order to support this project the Society is launching an appeal for the necessary £5,000 and already donations have been received from the Manifold Trust (£250) and the Mercer's Company (£200) which is a magnificent start to an ambitious project.
Longer established members will recall that 5 years ago the Society was overwhelmed by the response to its 'Buy a Brick' appeal for the capping bricks for the parapets of the Hampshire bridges so much so that the last of these bricks were only recently used up at Broad Oak Bridge. There will eventually be further bridges to restore in Woking and below so any over subscription to this appeal will be put to good use.
You may be interested to know that a donation of 15p will buy an ordinary brick whilst £1 will buy a capping brick. Incidentally a donation of £1,15 will buy one of each!
If YOU would like to be associated with this unique project please put your donation, large or small, in an envelope marked 'Cowshot' and send it to our Hon Treasurer, Bryan Jones at 16 Bliss Close, Basingstoke.
Rebuilding has already started so why not visit the site to see for yourself the size and complexities of the task - its not often one can see a traditional canal bridge being built. Who knows, the sight may even encourage you to add an extra 15p to your donation to buy another brick!
AUGUST 4, 11 Members Evenings, John Pinkerton, 7.30pm. Colt Hill, Odiham.
THE DIRECTORS OF THE SURREY AND HAMPSHIRE CANAL SOCIETY LTD. REQUEST THE PLEASURE OF ALL MEMBERS AT THE GRAND OPENING CEREMONY OF BROAD OAK BRIDGE ON SATURDAY 11 JULY 1981 AT 11.00AM. TAPE TO BE CUT BY THE EARL OF MALMESBURY (LORD LIEUTENANT OF HAMPSHIRE) R.S.V.P. Dress Optional
A DAY ON THE THAMES AND SEVERN
The first place visited was Cerney Wick Lock, derelict, of course, but in not too bad a condition by the standards of the worst of the Basingstoke. The next port of call, after passing through part of the Cotswold Water Park, was a pair of locks, Wilmoreway Lower and Upper, involving a stroll across open country in bitter icy weather, admiring the plentiful crop of cowslips as we went. The S,T and S have not restored any locks yet, end these three are, by their present plans, the ones they will tackle first. They were very keen to have the advice of the SHCS's lock restorers-in-chief on how they should go about it.
Lunch at the Eliot Arms at South Cerney was in gloomy surroundings, as the whole area had no electricity all day. Afterwards we visited that well-known Thames and Severn showpiece, the restored east portal of Sapperton Tunnel, crunching through deep snow to admire this splendid piece of work. An outbreak of snowball throwing then occurred, with several members of the SHCS party prominent among the culprits.
From here we went 'over the top' and down into the western half of the canal, trumping through more snow to visit Ham Mill Lock and Bowbridge Lock, near Brimscomb. This was the first section of the canal to be worked on, and though the locks are unrestored, a whole section of the canal is dredged and in water here, end looks all the better for it. We continued to Fulbridge Upper Lock in Stroud, where the S. T & S Trust are having tc fight proposals for a so-called Stroud Bypass to be built partly along the line of the Cut. They were strongly advised to carry on the fight as hard as possible. On then into Stroudwater country to look at the motor dredger and mudboats at Ryeford, where it is hoped to dredge soon, and then operate a trip boat. Finally we were all invited to tea and buns at the house David and Margaret Boakes of the Stroudwater, Thames and Severn Trust, right out at the very furthest end of the Stroudwater Navigation, at Framilode near Saul mnction. By the time we set off to return, the area was still without electricity, some cars were still abandoned in the Sapperton area, but most things were returning to normal.
It was very interesting to see another canal whose restorers have so much to do, and who are trying to find the best ways of setting about doing it. It became clear that the Basingstokc restoration experience is becoming highly regarded in the canal restoration world. The advice of Frank Jones and Mike Fellows on restoration matters, and of Robin Higgs on general campaigning, has clearly become much sought after. People like the Stroudwater, Thames and Severn Canal Trust are very enthusiastic about what is happening on the Basingstoke Canal, and we should try to give them every help we can. We would also like to thank thorn for their hospitality.
CANAL CANOL TOURIST TRIAL 1981 David Millett
The weather was once anain fairly cold with a north easterly wind blowing across Reading Road Wharf but it did stay fairly dry with only occasional showers.
The distances were 6, 12, 20 and 30 miles with entrants selecting one of three different times in the chosen distance. All finishers received a key fob as a memento of the event together with a certificate recording their time.
The 30 milers used the whole of the Hampshire Section from North Warnborough to Aldershot while the shorter events used sections nearer Fleet. All the canoeists finished in a westerly direction from a turning marker near Claycart Bridge, Aldershot. During the morning members of the Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club gave a demonstration of different types of canoes and canoeing techniques. This was witnessed by Councillor Derrick Silvester, Chairman of Hart District Council who also officially flagged away some of the 12 milers at 11.30am. Councillor Silvester also handed over to Charles Hicks, Chairman of the Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club, a canoe suitable for disabled or handicapped people to be introduced to canoeing. This cance was purchased with funds remaining in the Hart District Council Silver Jubilee Fund.
Although the event was not a race the best times during the day were:
Entries came from 51 different canoe clubs and youth organisations plus many individual canoeists.
Thanks are due to the Society members who helped with the site and parking arrangements, to the ladies of the Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club who organised the soup and sandwiches, to the Fleet Scouts Parents Association who organised a bcrbeque and to the cadets of the Combined Cadet force of Farnborough Sixth Form College who set up the radio links.
SOCIAL JOTTINGS Joint Social Secretaries:
MEMBERS EVENINGS ON THE 'JOHN PINKERTON' THE SOCIETY'S TRIP BOAT
Departures from Colt Hill as follows: June/July/August: 19.30 hrs.
DEATH OF MR. D.G. PUMFRETT
Mr. David Pumfrett died, aged 72, at the Wessex Nuffield Hospital, Chandlers Ford on Friday 3rd April 1981.
He was a member of the former County Council from 1956 to 1974, and of the new County Council (after Local Government Reorganisation) from 1973 to 1977, During the latter period he was Chairman of the Recreation Committee and a member of many County Committees such as the Policy & Resources, and Planning & Transportation.
His interests were wide - he was a great lover of Hampshire end its countryside, and a supporter of the Arts, being Vice Chairman of the Soiuth & West Concerts Board and a member of the Southern Arts Association. He was President of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Naturalists Trust, a member of the Danebury Trust, Chairman of the Friends of Winchester Cathedral, Founder Member of the Chichester Harbour Conservancy (on which he represented the County Council) and Chairman of the Conservancy from 1977 to 1978. Mr. Pumfrett was a long serving member of the Winchester Rural District Council and the Winchester City Council, and served on his local Parish Council of Twyford for 32 years. He moved to Twyford, near Winchester in 1947, when he became the owner and manager of a laundry, which he sold subsequently.
The Funeral service took place in Winchester Cathedral on 9th April, which many people from all over the County attended.
(Our thanks to Mrs. Joan Calderwood of Hampshire's Recreation Department for the biographical notes)
The Editor, SHCS Newsletter,
Those of us who were active in the society during its early days will remember with affection this most courteous gentleman, who gave us such encouragenent, listened with patience to our protestations that what was then a stagnant ditch could one day become a working waterway, and always supported our efforts to show the various powers that be what could be done.
Without the encouragement he gave during those days, and similar support from his Surrey counterpart Sir Howard Roberts, things might have turned out very differently.
I hope the Society can find some way of commemorating such people, perhaps by naming a lock after them?
BOOK REVIEW ADELINA by D.W. Horsfall. Price £4.95
So begins the story of a narrowboat raised from a watery grave in the Erewash Canal to its eventual permanent mooring as a floating home below Woodham Lock on our very own Basingstoke Canal. Not you may think the basis for a particularly interesting tale but then you would not have counted on the easy style and obvious tongue-in-cheek sense of humour of David Horsfall. He has succeeded in making this book one of the most entertaining and highly readable books I have had the good fortune to read.
Set in the 50's and early 60's it covers the early ccmpaigning days of the Inland Waterways Association during which the author served not only as a Council member and Chairman of the London and Home Counties Brcnch but also as owner end operator of a 'Canal Press' housed on board Adelina. By virtue of his involvement he has rubbed shoulders with, and received correspondence from the rich end famous both inside and outside the canal world end consequently has some fascinating insights to relate. Of particular interest to Society members will be the whole chapter dedicated to the campaign for tho restoration of the Basingstoke. Indeed references to and compliments about the canal are spread so liberally throughout the book that one could be forgiven for assuming that David Horsfall wrote Adelina for no other reason but to publicise the restoration. Amongst the 54 highly personal black and white photographs is one of the front cover of the April 1980 Newsletter depicting the restoration so far. Can any other voluntary canal publication claim such fame!
Also included is an account of the 1962 Woking Rally of Boats in which the author expresses the wish that the then Chairman of Woking Council, Mr. Leam, who opened the proceedings with the words 'If we don't keep tho canal clean and preserve it we may lose it forever' should be present at the massive celebration there must be when the canal is re-opened throughout. Even John Betjeman's hopes, upon reluctantly refusing invitation to be present at the Rally are now being realised when he said, 'May the neglected canals of England take soothing draughts of weed-free water from Basingstoke's example'. If for no other reason than David Horsfall says of the Society that it 'spearheaded the astonishing restoration work currently in progress on the Basingstoke Canal and is largely responsible for the rapid progress of that stupendous scheme', his book should be bought in large numbers by members. Additionally it is a book I would heartily commend to anyone - canal enthusiast and 'normal' human being alike - who enjoys a thoroughly readable, satisfying and at times hilarious book.
Published by Shepperton Swan. The Clock House, Shepperton, Middx., it is available from the Society's Sales Manager at a cost of £5-53 including postage and packing.
COPY DATE FOR AUGUST NEWSLETTER: 1ST JULY 1981
Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Limited, a nun-profit distributing company limited by guarantee, registered as a charity.
Last updated April 2005