August 1981

Front pictures
Front pictures info
Working Parties
Godalming Water Festival
Support your Society
W.P.O. gets D.S.O.
Lord Lieut opens Broad Oak Br
Social Jottings
Far and Wide
Wharf Mystery
Help Protect the Canal
Gongoozlers' Gossip

Contact the Society


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No 98AUGUST 1981

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'Save the Basingstoke Canal' was the slogan the Society adopted when it was formed 14 years ago.

Although that aim is now well on the way to being fulfilled, our Chairman, Robin Higgs underlined the full meaning of the slogan when he spoke at the re-opening of Broad Oak Bridge.

'As far as restoration of the Basingstoke Canal is concerned, the reopening of this isolated bridge can hardly be said to make a major contribution towards use of the canal for recreation'. he said. 'It is perhaps even more surprising that the Society should embark on the project when you consider that a perfectly sound footbridge, built alongside the derelict remains, was demolished in the process. So why did the Society decide to raise the £14,000 it cost to re-build Broad Oak Bridge.

'The reason is simply that the Society is, and always has been, committed to saving the canal for its historical value as much as for its recreational use.

'Our aim is to conserve and preserve the original character of this 18th century waterway as a vitally important part of its restoration. What is more, we believe that by doing so it will make a far more attractive amenity.

'The restoration of the original accommodation bridge built on this site 187 years ago is, therefore, a very significant achievement and a practical demonstration of the Society's ambition'.

Although our President, the Earl of Onslow, was unable to attend the re-opening ceremony, we were delighted to see one of our Vice-Presidents, Lady Redgrave, there. As always with such events, a word of thanks to the 'backroom boys' (and girls) for helping to make it a success: Rod Smith for setting up his P.A. system, Aubrey Slaughter for traffic wardening and Raye and Peter Fethney and helpers for organising the excellent buffet lunch.
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(1) Guests of the Society inspecting Broad Oak Bridge at the re-opening ceremony.
(bottom left) The Earl of Malmesbury at the helm of the John Pinkerton with Lady Malmesbury and Peter Fethney. (bottom right) Lord Malmesbury unveils the bridge plaque watched by Robin Higgs and Society Vice-president, Lady Redgrave.
(top left) Derek Truman returning a sponsor form to one of three walkers at the Barley Mow Bridge checkpoint.
(top right) Working party leaders: Jules Wood (Society), Ken Parish (Kent & East Sussex IWA), Mike Fellows (Deepcut Flight organiser) and Peter Oates (Southampton Canal Society) inspecting Lock 19 restored by voluntary labour, at a party to celebrate its completion.
(centre left) Cowshot Bridge, Pirbright, undergoing restoration.
(centre right) Royal Aircraft Establish­ment apprentices making balance beams on site at Lock 20. The gates were built by RAE apprentices.
(bottom left) Work Experience builders restoring Lock 14 at Brookwood, (bottom right) RAE apprentices at Lock 20 under the professional eye of their supervisor.
(Cowshot Bridge photo, Clive Durley. Others by Dieter Jebens).
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The biggest change to the pattern of the Society's working parties is that the lock restoration parties, which have worked on various locks on the Deepcut Flight since 1975, have now moved off that flight. Chamber restoration of Lock 19 by Society and other volunteers, was completed at the start of June, and at about the same time the full-time workers completed work on the chamber of Lock 17. The principal work now continuing on the Deepcut Flight is the building and installing of lock gates, where there is some volunteer participation, and the rebuilding of Cowshot Bridge by the full-time workers. Preparation and demolition at Cowshot Bridge is now complete, and the new bridge is starting to go up. The full-time workers are continuing to make progress on Lock 14 at Brookwood, where the second chamber wall is almost complete and they have started demolition work at the adjacent Lock 13. At the Ash Embankment the piling at the Surrey end is complete and stop planks are about to be installed.

A full list of volunteer working parties is given below. It is usually advisable to contact your working party leader a few days before attending, in case of last minute changes of plan.

Every Weekend Lock 10 (St. Johns)
The last, tidying-up, working party at Lock 19 was held on Saturday 6th June, and on Sunday 7th the first party met at Lock 10. The first jobs were mainly concerned with improving access to the lock, and some preparatory work was done on the wing walls. An early job is likely to be the installation of the bywash channel. Work is likely to start on Lock 9 when reasonable access to it, in turn, has been established.

Working parties at Lock 10 are listed below. For further details you should contact Mike FELLOWS, the co-ordinator of this work, on Wokingham 787428, or one of the working party leaders.

First weekend of the month - 1/2 Aug, 5/6 Sept. 3/4 Oct. Tony Gould on 01-941-3014.
Second weekend of the month - 8/9 Aug, 12/13 Sept., 10/11 Oct. Peter Oates (Southampton Canal Society) on Southampton 463188.
Second and fourth Sundays of the month - 9 Aug, 23 Aug, 13 Sept., 27 Sept., 11 Oct., 25 Oct., - Alan Grimster on Brookwood 6127.
Third weekend of the month - 15/16 Aug, 19/20 Sept., 17/18 Oct - Jules Wood on Farnborough 515737.
Fourth weekend of the month 22/23 Aug, 26/27 Sept., 24/25 Oct. Peter Jones on Aldershot 313076.
Fifth weekend of the month - 29/30 Aug. Mike Fellows on Wokingham 787428.

Every weekend Dredging in Hampshire
At present the dredger is stopped, on the approach to Dogmersfield Cutting, and requires replacement of the king-post. This work is likely to take about, two months during which time it is hoped to use the Back-acter to do some additional dredging at places like Broad Oak shoals, which could use some further attention. For further details on this work you should contact BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627 or ANDY STUMPF on Watford 37278.

Every weekend Railway Group at Ash Embankment
The Society's job here is nearing completion, the main remaining job being to lift the track and raise the level of the bank. Volunteers are still needed to help in this work. For further details contact STAN and ANDREW MELLER on Camberley 32096 or JOHN PEART on Farnborough 46554.

Every other weekend Lock 11 (St. Johns)
8/9 Aug, 22/23 Aug, 5/6 Sept., 19/20 Sept., 3/4 Oct., 17/18 Oct.
Demolition of the nearside chamber wall is now complete, and its rebuilding will now proceed. For further details you should contact KEN HALLS on Woking 23981 or PETER REDWAY on Woking 21710.

Second weekend of the month Lock 5 (Woodham)
8/9 Aug, 12/13 Sept., 10/11 Oct.
The off-side chamber wall is now about two-thirds rebuilt, and some demolition work has now been started in preparation for rebuilding the top cill. For further details, contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 4208l.

Third weekend -of the month Lock 1 (Woodham)
8/9 Aug, 19/20 Sept., 17/18 Oct.
A more substantial road has now been laid, down to the lock site, by the County Council. At the lock itself, chamber wall demolition has continued, and some more work has been done on the extra, unofficial, bywash. Note that the August working party is on 8/9 Aug. For further details of this party, which operates under the auspices of the Guildford branch of the IWA, contact DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge or ROY DAVENPORT on 01-979-7075.

Various weekends Lock Gate Assembly
1/2 Aug, 5/6 Sept, 3 A Oct, 7/8 Nov. 5/6 Dec.
Volunteers have now assembled four pairs of top gates, from parts supplied by contractors. This exercise is continuing, and involves work during two successive weekends whenever a set of parts is received from contractors. If you want to help in this work you should contact FRANK JONES on Deepcut 5711 (canal workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home) N.B. Transport from Brookwood or Farnborough stations available.

Various weekends Lower Wilderness Weir
Following the reopening of Broad Oak Bridge, it is planned to make a fresh effort to complete Lower Wilderness Weir. For further details of this work, involving small scale precision brickwork, you should contact PETER MAYNE on Camberley 2701.

Last Sunday in the month Bankside work in Hampshire
27 Sept. 25 Oct.
After their usual summer break, this party will once again be tackling bankside jobs as they arise, in the Hampshire section, mostly around Fleet and Odiham. This work will not require special skills and will be suitable for young people. For further details, including work locations, you should contact DAVID MILLETT ON FLEET 7364.
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AUGUST 4,11 Members Evenings, John Pinkerton, 7.30pm. Colt Hill, Odiham. 15/16 IWA National Rally, Leeds, West Yorkshire.. 18,25 Members Evenings, John Pinkerton, 7.30pm., Colt Hill, Odiham.
SEPTEMBER 17 Mikron Theatre 8.00pm. Prince of Wales, Fleet. 19/20 Godalming Water Festival River Wey.
23 'Deepcut Before and After' 7-45pm. Prince of Wales, Fleet 25 Autumn Barn Dance and Grand Draw 8.00pm. Fleet Civic Hall.
OCTOBER 4 Autumn Coach Trip and Rail and Canal Cruise
12 Vintage Transport Films 7-45 Woking Centre Halls.
28 'Highlights of the USA' 7-45pm. Prince of Wales, Fleet
31 Autumn Fayre 10.30am. Fleet Civic Hall.
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For visiting boats, National Trust will issue a special 16-day licence, valid from Saturday before to Sunday after, the Festival. During that fortnight boats can be ­left at attended moorings on the Festival site. At the Festival - Mikron Theatre. Rainbow Trust beat (appropriate in this International year for Disabled people), canoe relay race from Fleet via Canal and River Wey, real ale tent with beer arriving by water, plus a full programme of land and water-based entertainment. During the week after the Festival - events every day for the Godalming Electricity Centenary celebrations. On the Sunday after the Festival (27th Sept.) there will be a 'topping out' ceremony at Basingstoke Canal Lock One; dredging is scheduled for the entrance to enable boats to reach the lock, and once again connect part of the Basingstoke to the main system. Editors Note: The Society has been offered 50% of the car parking proceeds if we man the car park during the weekend 19/20 September. Offers of help to Derek Truman on Fleet 3435 please.
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In an effort to considerably boost our membership and generally publicise more widely our activities, the Society intends to produce an appropriate poster. It is envisaged that this poster will be suitable for display on noticeboards in libraries town halls, schools, pubs and clubs etc., but when reduced in size could double up as a leaflet/handbill for canvassing direct to potential members.

The poster will describe our aims and activities, hopefully in an attractive, eye­catching style. We are, therefore, announcing a competition for members to submit designs of such a poster/leaflet and tho Society will award £10 worth of goodies from the Sales List to the winner. Please send your entries to me at 36 Kestrel Road, Basingstoke by the end of August as we hope to take the artwork to the printers by early September. If you want to have a chat about it give me a ring on Basingstoke 61579.
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Very shortly most of you ladies will be approached by workers for various charities entreating you to buy your Christmas cards, paper, decorations etc., from Webb Ivory catalogue. Webb Ivory is a company which manufactures Christmas goodies and sells at very reasonable prices direct to the public through an agent who has registered him/herself in the name of a charity. 25% of all takings are retained by that charity. I receive catalogues in the name of the Society and for the past two years have struggled to raise a mere pittance on my own. I feel that this year it would be a good idea if I could enlist the help of a few of you ladies to get some orders, if only from yourselves. There must be some of you with a wide circle of friends.

All you would have to do would be to ring me with orders, and collect the money. It is very easy and most people welcome this way of shopping.

I am convinced we really something special as a group. Will anyone who is interested please ring me on Aldershot 25460.
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Mike Fellows is the W.P.O. (Working Party Organiser) and the cross he wore round his neck was the D.S.O. (Deepcut Service Order). The presentation took place at a ceremony on Saturday 4th July held to celebrate the end of volunteer involvement in the restoration of the Deepcut flight of locks and to pay tribute to the part visiting groups of workers have played in rebuilding Lock 19.

The venue was beside Lock 19 itself where a sumptuous buffet was laid on thanks to the organisational skills, efforts, and generosity of numerous ladies of the Society. In an endeavour to make the occasion a sociable one and to encourage our guests to circulate,beer was metered out in small tumblers thereby necessitating many return visits to the pump. The scene looked splendid bedecked in Union Jacks and balloons and even the completed lock presented a satisfying picture particularly after 3-1/2 years of hard labour.

Robin Higgs and Mike Fellows expressed the Society's gratitude for the large amount of work put into Lock 19 by the various visiting groups. The groups concerned are the Southampton Canal Society under their leader Peter Oates who originally took on the restoration in November 1977; the Kent and East Sussex branch of the Inland Waterways Association, led by Ken Parish, who have made regular visits from their base in Canterbury and a London based contingent of the Waterway Recovery Group under their leader Andy Chapman. Individuals thanked in addition to the Society's own bank of Working Party Leaders were Jim Chisholm and Alan Flight who have somehow managed despite all the odds, to maintain our ageing plant and machinery in a usable condition. Undoubtedly both individuals and groups were omitted from the Roll of Honour but the thanks due to them are no less great.

One person omitted by virtue of the fact that he was doing the talking was Mike Fellows himself although this was rectified to some extent by the presentation of the D.S.O. in recognition of the phenomenal time, effort and expense he has put into the unenviable task of organising the restoration of both locks 16 and 19, aided and abetted by the well known figure of Frank Jones.

Though 70 or so merry bank of men and women who attended these celebrations have now moved on to locks 9, 10 and 11 at St. Johns, Woking. It would be nice to think that it will not be another three years before we celebrate the completion of the St. John's flight. Yet again the cry must be - 'Come and join us!'
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In response to the £5,000 appeal to rebuild Cowshot Manor Bridge announced in the last Newsletter, the following donations had been received by 11th July:
Frognall Trust, £500; Miss Barrett, £50; Mrs. Milsum, £50 N.B.G. Smart. £7.50; B.L. Duttson, £3; J.A. Brain, £1.30 J.E.G. Morris, £1; J.E. Youle, £1.75; G.E.V. Rochford-Ray, £5; F.A.C, Roper, £5; A. Terry, £1.80; P. Cooper, £5; F.W.D. Boettcher, £5.

Together with the £250 received from both the Mainfold Trust and the Mercers Charit­able Fund and an anonymous donation of £100 the total now stands at £1236.35. To be involved your donations should be sent without delay to Bryan Jones, 16 Bliss Close, Basingstoke in an envelope marked 'Cowshott'.
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The derelict remains of one of the original eighteenth century brick arch bridges over the Basingstoke Canal at Broad Oak, Odiham, has been restored by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society. ,P> Broad Oak Bridge was officially re-opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, the Earl of Malmesbury, at a ceremony on Saturday, July 11th, 1981.

The new bridge, which is an exact replica of the original structure built 187 years ago, cost nearly £14,000 raised by the Society. Some of the cost was provided from the proceeds of the 'John Pinkerton'. Contributions were also made by Hampshire County Council from its Environment Improvement Fund; the Thames Water Authority; a number of charitable trusts including the Leche Trust and Robert Kiln Trust, and two London livery companies: the Grocer's Company and the Draper's Company.

Broad Oak Bridge is one of several 'accommodation' bridges in the vicinity, built to provide crossing places over the canal for local people and riparian landowners whose right of way and access to land was severed by the construction of the water­way in the late 1700's. ,P> One of the major problems in re-constructing the bridge, which fell derelict and was closed over 20 years ago, was the absence of any engineering plans. Here the Society was assisted by two members, Jim Guivor and Steve Vincent, both consulting engineers, who pieced together a plan of the original structure, and advised on the use of a 100ft. line to ensure the curvature of the brickwork, both in plan and elevation, represented an elipse which was one of the distinctive features of the original construction. Another problem successfully overcome was a method of working which avoided temporary closure of the navigation during construction of the bridge. ,P> Some of the preliminary work was done by Society volunteers led by Peter Mayne, a chartered surveyor, while the building contracts were placed with J.T. Barton Ltd., of Odiham and F.B. Pratt & Sons of Darbey Green. ,P> To complete the work, volunteers demolished a modern footbridge and the concrete piers, built alongside the brick bridge, and landscaped the surrounding area. The attractive new bridge, built with 15,000 Dorking red multi-coloured bricks, has been entered for a Brick Development Association's Award. ,P> Following the opening ceremony, the Society entertained, guests at a Buffet lunch aboard the 'John Pinkerton'. Among those present representatives of Hampshire County Council and riparian District and Parish Councils, including Lt. Col., Sir James Scott, vice chairman of Hampshire's Re-creation Committee; Mrs. Veronica Parsons, chairman of Hart District Council; Mr. C.C. Riley, chairman of Odiham Parish Council and Mr. Stan Knight, Crookham Village Parish Council chairman. ,P> The Earl of Malmesbury, accompanied by Lady Malmesbury took more than a passing interest in the event. At the ceremony he recalled memories of catching crayfish in the canal at Mapledurwell and later, as an Army land agent, meeting Mr. A.J. Harmsworth who he described as a 'fascinating and unique man'. ,P> Referring to the future restoration of Greywell tunnel above which Lord Malmesbury owns land, he hoped that the wildlife would not be disturbed nor polluted by the passage of too many boats, adding that he thought electric powered craft to be the ideal solution. Lord Malmesbury showed a professional interest in the construction of Broad Oak Bridge, spending some time discussing the technicalities with fellow-surveyor, Peter Mayne.

On the return journey from Barley Mow Bridge, Lord Malmesbury demonstrated his boating experience by taking the helm of the John Finkerton and was heard to say 'It's much nicer up here than down there!'. ,P> The event was clearly a great success, thanks in no small way to our V.I.P., the Earl of Malmesbury, who also showed himself to be a Very Interested Person in the canal and its restoration.
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SOCIAL JOTTINGS Surrey - Michael Grist - Woking 71581
Hampshire - David Millett - Fleet 7364.
With summer nearly over, the autumn and winter season of illustrated talks, slide shows or film shows will recommence in September at Fleet (note our change of venue and October - in Woking. The Fleet meetings will be on the fourth Wednesday of the month and the Woking meetings on the second Monday of the month. PLEASE SUPPORT THESE EVENINGS and bring along your friends whether they are members or not.

FLEET SOCIAL EVENINGS All at 'Prince of Wales' (Baronial Room) Reading Road South, Fleet. Bar, Coffee and Biscuits, Sales Stand.
Thursday 17th September 8.00pm.
By popular request Mikron Theatre Company will be performing one of their earlier shows - I'd go back tomorrow', the warmhearted, and touching tale of life on working narrowboats earlier this century. Told by Alice, the boat-woman, the show will, of course, contain many songs now featured on a Long Playing record. Wednesday 23rd September 7.45pm.
With the recent completion of the lock chamber rebuilding on the Deepcut Flight will be an opportunity for members, especially the newer ones, to see slides of the locks in a derelict state together with slides after completion. Mrs. 'Bunny' Bunyan will provide the slides and Frank Jones and Mike Fellows the commentary. The title will be 'Deepcut Before and After'.
Wednesday 28th October, 7.45pm.
Following two consecutive holidays in the USA, Aubrey Slaughter will show slides entitled 'Highlights of the USA'. Slides shown will include Grand Canyon, San Francisco, New York, Washington, Niagra Falls etc.

WOKING SOCIAL EVENINGS All at Woking Centre Halls, Bar, coffee, biscuits, Sales Stand. Monday October 12th, 7.45pm.
An evening of films featuring Vintage Transport titles. Films provided by BWB and Shell. Autumn Barn Dance, Friday September 25th. Fleet Civic Hall 8pm.

The 1981 Barn Dance will be held at Fleet Civic Hall on Friday September 25th at 8pm. Tickets £2.25 including supper. See separate sheet for full details and application form.

Autumn Coach Trip and Rail and Canal Cruise. Brecon and Abergavenny Canal, Sunday October 4th.

Last year's proposed visit to the Brecon Beacons had to be cancelled so we are putting the cruise on again this year. A 3-1/2 hour cruise through wonderful scenery in the Brecon Beacons National Park to Llanfoist in the 46 seat narrow boat 'Owain Glyndawr of Llangattock' will be followed by a trip on the Brecon Mountain Railway a recently opened narrow gauge line in the south of the Brecon Beacons. See separate sheet for full details and application form.
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This year the draw will take place at the Autumn Barn Dance at Fleet Civic Hall on Friday September 25th.

As an incentive to sell tickets, a prize of £10 is being offered to the seller of the largest number cf tickets and already this year's organiser, Jan Scott, has had many requests for repeat orders of books. The Grand Draw is one of the Society's major fund raising projects of the year so not only will you be filling the Society's coffers but you could also be lining your own pocket with £10. Jean can be contacted at 172 Aldershot Road, Guildford (Tel: 66683) and all cash and counterfoils should be returned to her by 21st September.

The full list of prizes and doners is as follows:
3 day narrowboat holiday for 4 between November and March - 1982 - Guildford Boat House, Stereo Radio Recorder - H.C.S., 3 bottles of German Wine - Grants of St. James; Hand made traditionally decorated sewing box/stool ~ Navigation Art company; 2 Garden Chairs - Sandell Perkins; Home made iced cake - Mrs. Pat Carr; Artist signed framed canal print - Narrow Boat Art Gallery; Painting of Frimley Aqueduct -Nancy Larcomb; 10 Rose Bushes - Robin Higgs; Free Charter of the John Pinkerton - S.H.C.S; Box of Hand Made Chocolates - Mrs. Pat Carr; 2 Framed Canal Prints - Mr. Fisher; Hand Made Rag Doll - Miss Sally Baker; Shell Book of Angling - Shell U.K. Ltd; Bottle of Whisky - Peter and Dorothy Mayne; Decorative Chopping Board - Mrs. D. Todd; Selective Guide To England - Miss M. Scott; Can of Engine Oil -Texaco.
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If you missed out on July 29th you can still be a Princess. The Surrey Advertiser is looking for a River Princess to grace the IWA Godalming Water Festival over the weekend of September 19/20 1981. Entry is open to girls 16 - 30 on September 1, 1981 married or single.

Six finalists will be chosen to appear at the Festival from photographs published in the Surrey Advertiser during August and September. They must dress for a day on the river. From these finalists one will be judged River Princess, with two becoming attendants. The Surrey Advertiser will be putting up cash prizes totalling £150 and in addition, for the River Princess the TV Times will be donating prizes valued at £90 which will be made up of a folding bicycle with full equipment i.e. gears, lights, etc., a machine washable track suit in red and navy, a fleecy lined sweatshirt in navy and a red holdall shoulder bag, all with a 'Get Fit' motif.

A full list of rules and the official entry form which must accompany all photographs can be obtained from: Any copy of the Surrey Advertiser or its associated newspapers during the period July 31st to September 4th. If you have difficulty in getting the entry form and rules write now to: The Editor, Surrey Advertiser, P.O. Box 20, Martyr Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LQ. Please mark your envelope River Princess and please send a stamped, self addressed envelope.
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At long last we have been able to fill the vacant position which has arisen as a result of the resignation of David Gay. Aubrey Slaughter and Martin Bowers have offered their services to jointly run the operation. Aubrey will handle stock control, postal sales and accounting administration while Martin will handle all outside sales. Aubrey's address is 37 Fir Tree Way, Fleet, Hants. Tel: Fleet 23102 and Martin's address is 162 West Heath Road, Cove, Farnborough, Hants. Tel: Farnborough 513095. Martin would like to hear of many more suitable events to attend next year and would be grateful for any offers of help. One or two members have already indicated their interest but more help would always be welcome.
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Dear Mr. Jebens,
To me the 'Restoration Progress' issue of the Newsletter is always the most interesting and provokes me into action - if only to go and look for myself at the progress being made.

Naturally the progress map will always be a little behind the actual restoration status and I was amazed to find the old Cowshott Bridges dismantled, one chamber wall of Brookwood top lock already rebuilt and one chamber wall of Goldsworth top lock nearly demolished.

Progress seems to be accelerating and in the two months between Newsletters many changes will have taken place. I think this would be encouraging for all members to know - a regular article of perhaps half a page keeping readers up to date could have the positive effect of less gongoozling and more working party volunteers.

Should you decide to take up this suggestion I would be pleased to assist in preparing the report.
Yours sincerely, Peter Graham, Windlesham, Surrey.
Editor's Note: Thanks for your comments, Peter, and we may take you up on your offer but, if you read Peter Cooper's Working Party notes in each issue you'll see he includes a progress report as well as where and when to join in.

Dear Eds!
Many thanks indeed, now that I am a proud possessor of a nice, clean, canary yellow, up-to-date signed membership card once again; an object much missed, during its absence. I now 'feel' thoroughly part of the Society once again.

It will really come in very handy, also, for waving under the noses of members of the B.L.W.C., (for the uninitiated - Basingstoke Lock Wreckers Club). Although these little animals usually only come out when there are no other people around, some­times, when towpath walking, especially near Lock 1, I have had the misfortune of encountering one or more of the species.

It is quite surprising how, on the production of a nice, up-to-date, canary yellow, membership card, the little dears go scurrying towards their hole in the Heathervale Recreation Ground fence!

To be perfectly honest, though, on occasions this may not work. On such occasions your nice, up-to-date, canary yellow membership card should be torn in half - screwed up - and used as ear-plugs!

Seriously though, as you said in a previous newsletter, letters to the Editors do pay off!
Many thanks again, God bless Robin Higgs and all who sail in her!
Keith A. Tilbury, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey.
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Members who have not yet sent in their sponsor money are invited to do so now, there is no need to wait until September! Cheques (payable to Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society) should be sent please to Bob Humberstone at 11 Tichborne Close, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey, GU16. 5RP.
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Thanks to our members, Jon Talbot, now living at Tewkesbury, and Peter Winning of Aldershot for the following sightings of the Basingstoke Canal in some unusual contexts....

"Hundreds of newly collected British aquatic insects, including water spiders, scorpions and beetles, have just been put on show at the Zoo insect house. They were caught by Mr. George Ashby, Overseer of the insect section, and his assistant, Head Keeper, Mr. R. Humphreys, in the Basingstoke Canal at Frimley. 'We had a most successful day', Mr. Ashby tells me. 'We also got a large number of dragonfly larvae'. These are now in one of the exhibition tanks, where visitors can watch them developing. (London Evening Standard 4th August 1958).

"What do you know about your country? Hampshire. Mr. Mark Hicks of Crookham is believed to have had the longest working career in one job in Britain. He started at the age of 10 with the Basingstoke Canal Co., and was still working as a bailiff of the canal four days before he died 82 years later. He died in July 1966. (By courtesy of the Publishers of the Guinness Book of Records) (Printed on the back of a packet of Walkers Crisps, bought in Birmingham in 1973).

"In deep waters, many plants grow totally submerged. Others, such as the flowers water milfail, curled pondweed, hornwort and the very local water voilet can be seen above the surface. One of Britain's rarest aquatic plants, the water fern Azolla filiculoides, floats freely on the Basingstoke Canal". (The AA Book of the Countryside).
Editors Note: Peter Winning asked us if we knew anything more about Azolla filiculoides. It has been seen covering small sections of the canal at Greywell, Brookwood and St. John's. At this time of year it can be mistaken for duckweed but in the Autumn it turns red and is very distinctive.
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Having recently moved to an old bungalow, I am fascinated by a section of a map c.1900 included in the deeds which shows a very definite 'wide' as wharf area on the canal which no longer exists today.

The area concerned is on the non-towpsth side of the canal just to the south of the Swan public house at Ash Vale. It also appears that a road or a track once ran from Hutton Road (formerly Cuthbert Road) to the site of the wharf but the area is now covered by houses.

I would be interested to know if any reader is able to enlighten me as to the purpose of the 'wide' and, if it was a wharf, which goods were loaded/unloaded at, by whom it was owned.

Any information can be sent c/o the Newsletter or alternatively I can be contacted on my new telephone number of Aldershot 25406 (clever eh?).
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As most members will know, Michael Heseltine, the Secretary of State for the Environment, has approved amendments to the Structure Plans for North East Hampshire and North West Surrey. This approval was against the wishes of the public and the two local authorities involved, Surrey Heath and Hart. The effect will mean that these areas will have to take additional houses over and above the numbers already agreed for the districts over the next five to ten years.

Unfortunately the areas most threatened in Hart and Surrey Heath are those adjoining the canal in parts that are still delightfully rural at the present time. In Surrey Heath it is the area on both sides of the canal from the Kings Head Bridge at Frimley Green right through to Mytchett and in Hart it is the area near Malthouse Bridge in Crookham Village on the outskirts of Fleet.

Planning Applications have already been submitted, for Surrey Heath and Hart areas affected and the Society have made very strong representations to the Planning Committees to try and protect the canal environment against this further encroach­ment on the rural parts of the canal.

Here, you as an individual member can help. When you see planning applications that affect the canal advertised in the press, make sure you lobby your local District Councillor especially if he/she is on the Planning Committee. Also make sure you write to the Director of Planning of your local District Council quoting the planning reference number and the land involved.

In Hart, the local Planning committee have turned down applications for hundreds of houses between Malthouse Bridge and Crookham Swing Bridge on the offside of the canal but the danger is the applicants will now go to appeal hoping the Minister will then overrule the local authority. If they do please find out the address of the Appeal Inspector and write a letter accordingly.

This is one situation where you, as an individual member, can assist the Society and the restoration of the canal. If the applications are allowed in due course the restored canal will lose much of its rural attractions outside the already heavily developed urban areas.
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As the last brick was laid on Lock 19 on 17th May 1981 a great sigh of relief and sense of achievement was felt by the heroes who had laboured for 3-1/2 years on this totally 'volunteer' lock. As a lock 19 widow I feel that some space and thought ought to be given to thu heroines of lock 19 - those wives and girlfriends who, by their support have also played a great part towards the restoration of this lock. It has seemed like 30 years sometimes, looking after gardens, decorating and spending weekends alone. But when the wailing and gnashing cf teeth has been done, and I for one wander along that part cf the twopath and see what has been achieved, I have reluctantly to admit - it really has been worth it - what a lot of clever clogs they are!
Wheel out the next one!
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SINCERE thanks to the Frognall Trust for their generous donation of £500 to the Cowshott Manor Bridge Appeal.
ANONYMOUS donation of £10 actually found its way to the Treasurer despite being presented to your co-editor in the Lounge Bar of the Prince of Wales, St. Johns.
THANKS to the Warwickshire Steam Engine Society for donation of £20 in appreciation of their guided tour over Steam Dredger.
FAREWELL to Robert Mew, one of the MSC Supervisors, who has rejoined Hants C.C. as Countryside Ranger at Upper Ramble Country Park.
REMINDER not to touch dubious objects after two dozen explosive devices (ex Home Guard) unearthed at Tundry Pond. Army bomb disposal men rendered them harmless.
GRATEFUL thanks for Peter Lattey's contribution in both providing and piloting the Cessna 172 from which the aerial photographs featured in last Newsletter were taken.
UNEXPECTED profit of £42 made at Woking Publicity Exhibition on 23 May in addition to performing invaluable Public Relations exercise. Certainly an event worth repeating.
POSTMAN required for the Merrow area of Guildford. Offers of help to Janet and George Hedger on Fleet 7465.

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Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canel 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 GW10 3NJ. Tel: Farnham 715230.
Chairman: Robin Higgs, 18 Barnsford Crescent, West End, Woking, (Chobham 7314)
Vice-Chairman: David Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet (Fleet 7364)
Hon. Treasurer: Bryan Jones, 16 Bliss Close, Basingstcke (61053)
Hon. Secretary: Mrs. Lise Hamilton, 2 Frome Close, Farnborough (49651)
Membership Sec: Ted Williams, 36 Kestrel Road, Basingstoke (61579)
Working Party Information: Peter Jones, Aldershot 313076. Peter Cooper 01-993-1105
Trip Boat: Clivu Durley, 15 Kenilworth Road, Fleet (5694)
Sale's Manager: Aubrey Slaughter, 36 Fir Tree Way, Fleet GU13 9NB (23102)
Talks Organiser: Miss Pauline Hadlow, Beaulan, Parkstone Drive, Camberley (28367)
Exhibitions Manager: Phil Pratt, 26 Fleetwood Court, Madeira Rd, West Byfleet (40281).
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Last updated April 2005