June 1982

Front pictures
More Planning Appeal

Cover pics info
Working Parties
Railway Group's Farewell
Social Jottings
Bricks and Bricklayers
Huddersfield Narrow

Ten Years Ago
Book Review
Praise from Another

Dogmersfield Landslip
Gongoozlers' Gossip

Contact the Society


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No 103JUNE 1982

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Inside front cover --
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The last Newsletter reported the Society's case at the Public Inquiry into Hart District Council's refusal of planning permission to develop Grove Farm and Freelands Farm adjacent to the canal in the Crookham Village area. The Society's primary objection to the proposed development was based on the need to protect the environment of the: canal from further urbanisation in the remaining rural sections especially south west of Fleet and Church Crookham.

Thanks are due to all those who wrote as individuals as a result of the letter sent out to Fleet and Crookham members and as a result of a letter to the Star and Aldershot News Group newspapers.

In due course the decision of the Minister will be made known, but in the meantime a similar Public Inquiry is to be held early in July into Hart District Council's refusal of planning permission to develop Velmead Farm, Crookham Village and Little Anstice, Gally Hill Road, Church Crookham (which adjoins Malthouse Bridge). Velmead Farm is on the non-towpath side of the canal between Freelands Farm and the swing bridge in Crookham Village, now an attractive woodland area. Little Anstice is the land at the top of the cutting on the non-tow-path side by Malthouse Bridge.

Another vital Public Inquiry is to be held in August into the refusal by Surrey Heath Borough Council of Charles Church's application to develop 76 acres of land east of the canal opposite Frimley Lodge Farm, Frimley Green. This land is situated south of Guildford Road and runs as far as Potters Pool. Development of this land will largely negate the benefits to be gained by the purchase by Surrey Heath District Council of Frimley Lodge Farm as a recreational area adjacent to the canal. L

A large number of letters from individuals do have an impact on the Inquiry Inspector and members are, therefore, urged to write in support of the refusal of these Appeals. If all these Appeals were to be allowed then the environment of the canal would drastically change, for the worse.

Your letters should be sent as follows:
The Secretary, Department of the Environment, Room 10/04, Tollgate House, Houlton Street, Bristol BS2 9DJ, quoting the following references:
APP/5233/A/81/13924 Velmead Farm, Crookham Village APP/5233/A/81/12934 Little Anstice, Gally Hill Rd., Church Crookham (to arrive by 1st July) APP/5391/A/81/8461 and 8426 Land south of Guildford Rd., Frimley Green. (to arrive by 18th August)

Separate letters must be sent for the Frimley Green Appeal. PLEASE MAKE YOUR VIEWS KNOWN AND WRITE TO THE ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY NOW
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Front Cover
(1)Reading Road Bridge, Fleet, the starting point for the canoe trials.
(2) The long, the short and the tall..... John and Hilary Beatty's firm 'Travel Paddle' provided canoes for all sizes.
(3) Anthony [9] and Michalle [8] Pickett take a look at the souvenirs for sale on the 'John Pinkerton' at the start of the new season.
(4) The dredger' reclaiming' the Canal where a landslip below the Dower House, Dogmersfield partially blocked the water channel.
(5) 'Watch Your Leg' seems to be the expression on Nigel Durley's face as Peter Attewell and David Junkison make final adjustments to fitting a pair of upper gates in Lock 16.
(photos Clive Durley and Dieter Jebens) Inside Page Restoration Map researched and drawn by David Junkison.
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It is now the time of the year when watching canal volunteer navvies becomes a favoured spectator sport! But Society members are reminded that this is a sport for participants as well as spectators, and most volunteers would maintain it rates higher ag a participant sport.

Besides the volunteer progress described below, the full-time workers are also getting things done. At the end of April the last lock gates for the Deepcut Flight were being completed, and, with Lock 23 now fully gated, attention was turning to Lock 22. The run-off weir at Ash Vale Station was nearing completion at the same time, and stop-plank grooves had been installed at Mytchett Place Road Bridge.

A list of 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.

Every weekend St. Johns Flight
The work going on here must constitute one of the biggest volunteer restoration projects in Southern England, but it is still unclear whether Society members appreciate this. With an undertaking of this size available on their doorsteps, very few Society members seem inclined to come along and take part. Visiting groups, mostly from other canal societies, seem to appreciate all this, and they come along to help in gratifying numbers. Can't this Society come a bit nearer to matching their contribution? At Lock 11, the first chamber wall is complete and its escape ladder is installed. Work now continues with demolishing the other chamber wall, and with completing the brickwork associated with the bywash. Meanwhile, Lock 10 advances on several fronts. The partial rebuild of the first chamber wall is almost complete, as is the brickwork associated with the bywash. New flank walls are now going up, the partial demolition of the second chamber wall is well advanced, and demolition of the top cill is under way.

The co-ordinator of volunteer work on this flight is MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham 787428, and for further details you should contact him or one of the working party leaders listed below. ,P> Lock 11 Every other weekend - 12/13 June, 26/27 June, 10/11 July, 24/25 July, 7/8 August - KEN HALLS on Woking 23981 or PETER REDWAY on Woking 21710.
Locks 10 and 9 First weekend of the month - 5/6 June, 3/4 July, 31 July/1 August - TONY GOULD on 01-941-3014.
Second weekend of the month - 12/13 June, 10/11 July, 7/8 August -PETER OATES (Southampton Canal Society) on Southampton 463188.
Second and fourth Sundays of the month - 13 June, 27 June, 11 July, 25 July, 8 Aug - ALAN GRIMSTER on Brookwood 6127.
Third weekend of the month - 19/20 June, 17/18 July, 14/15 August - JULES WOOD on Farnborough 515737.
Fourth weekend of. the month - 26/27 June, 24/25 July - PETER JONES on Aldershot 313076.
Fifth weekend of the month - 30/31 July - MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham 787428

Every weekend Dredging in Hampshire
Owing to local difficulties, dredging is not now proceeding in Dogmersfield cutting. Instead, the dredger is going back over its tracks to redredge certain spots where silt seems to be building up again after previous dredging. Helpers are still needed as much as ever, and for more details you :should contact BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627 or ANDY STUMPF on Watford 37278.

First weekend of the month Lock gate fitting
5/6June, 3/4 July, 7/8 August. The top gates at Lock 16 have been put physically in place by this party. They now have the longer job of precisely fitting these gates. For further details contact FRANK JONES on Deepcut 5711 (canal workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home).

Second -weekend of the month Lock 5 (Woodham)
12/13 June, 10/11 July, 7/3 August.
Top cill excavation having been completed, the concrete pipes have been installed and embedded in further concrete, and the bow wall has been completed. Work now continues on finishing the top cill, and on the bottom recess walls. For further details contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081.

Third weekend of the month Lock 1 (Woodham)
19/20 June, 17/18 July, 14/15 August.
Ready-nix, concrete has now been poured, and the bottom cill has been cast. Other work lately has been on cutting stop plank grooves, and completing demolition of the second chamber wall. The big job remaining is the rebuild of the two chamber walls, and preparations for this are now going ahead. For further details of this working party, which operates under the auspices of the Guildford Branch of the IWA, contact DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 or ROY DAVENPORT on 01-979-7075.
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Colt Hill made an appropriate venue for the Railway Group's farewell party aboard the John Pinkorton an 8th May. For it was here that the two leaders of this unique and invaluable support group first discussed how a railway might help the disposal of silt dredged from the canal. As a result of that discussion between John Peart arid Stan Meller, the potentially costly prospect of transporting silt by lorry was overcome with a railway line, a train of skips and a permission to dump the silt on adjacent fields. As the John Pinkerton cruised past Lodge Copse, Roger Thomas recalled the bitter winter days spent at that exposed site, often wet through and caked with mud. At Swan Cutting, North Warnborough man-handling the skips was mechanised with the aid of a Hunslet diesel locomotive helping to speed up silt transportation.

The railway gang went on to become a vitally important link in the successful restoration of the Deepcut flight with their mile-long towpath track and their materials handling railway. It proved to be an efficient method of transport without causing damage to the towpath.

Finally the railway wa:s laid along Ash embankment to transport a mountain of clay to re-puddle the canal bed.

In a word of thanks for their work, Robin Higgs hoped the railway group would not be disbanded - it is too valuable an asset. Whatever the future, Stan Meller and his sons David and Andy, John Peart, Colin Hamilton and the many supporters have taken their place in the successful restoration history of the canal.
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SOCIAL JOTTINGS Joint Social Secretaries: Hampshire: David Millett, Fleet 7364
(Acting) Surrey: Mike Grist, Woking 71581
This is a quiet time of the year for social events and by the time you read this, the Midsummer Barbeque and Fun Evening will have been held. Unfortunately the Mikron Theatre Group will not be coming so far south this year mainly due to the continued closure of the Blisworth Tunnel; so we will not be having the pleasure of their company this summer. Let's hope for next year.

The boat will cruise to North Warnborough on Tuesday evenings for maintenance and crew training. Members and friends welcome. Departure from Colt Hill, Odiham at 7.30pm. in June and July and 7.00pm. in August.

Inland Waterways Association National Waterways Rally - August 29th. The Coach Trip to the IWA National Waterways Rally at Titford Pools, Birmingham is being run from Fleet on Sunday 29th August at 8.00am. This is your chance to see Britain's premier inland waterways event. Hundreds of narrow boats plus trade, society and craft exhibitions stands, market stalls and family entertainment ashore and afloat throughout the day. Coach fare £3.50 (admission extra 60p adults, 20p children), See separate sheet for application form.

The itinery for this day trip will be by coach to Bewdly for a single trip to Bridgenorth on the 'Severn Valley Limited' with a full four course lunch served en route in the restored 1930's restaurant car. The train will be steam hauled. Then to Gas Street Basin, Birmingham for a trip on the industrial Birmingham Canals Navigation on the narrow boat 'Anson'. Cost £15 all inclusive, (See separate application form).

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BRICKS AND BRICKLAYERS Tony Merryweather, Ex-brickmaker
Upwards of three million bricks were used on the Basingstoke Canal. One and a half million on tunnels. Three quarters of a million on bridges and three quarters of a million on locks and culverts. All of these bricks would have been made by four or five moulders. Records show kiln sites along the canal bank and the bricks would have been made there and it's fair to suppose that some of the clay came from the canal bed. Brick moulding was a skill passed to lads of twelve or fourteen years of age by their fathers or elder brothers. These lads were employed to dry sand and by watching the moulders and copying as best they could, gradually acquire skill and speed. They had to be able to work fast, because they were on piece work, and during the summer they had to earn extra money and not draw it, so that during the clay-digging time when the days were short and cold, this money could be used to make up low wage packets. The clay was dug during the winter and left to weather for as long as possible. When the frosts wore finished, a drying ground was prepared.

Two nine inch boards were set side by side, just off the ground and a hundred feet long, and as level as the ground would allow. These were called hacks and the field was covered with them. Then the moulders' tables were set in position by the clay heap. These tables were six feet long by two feet wide and had a thatched roof, to keep off the sun. The legs were massive to take a great weight of clay. The bottom of the mould was fixed to the table and was shaped to give the frog shape to the brick. The mould stood on this bottom and the table-top and mould were dusted with dry sand to stop the clay from sticking.

The clay had been picked from the heap, soaked in water, turned several times and was now like soft putty, a heap would be on the moulders table and he would form an oblong shape that would make a brick and a half. This shape was then dropped into the mould without touching the sides and the clay forced itself outwards into the corners of the mould. The surplus clay was cut with a steel wire and removed and the brick made smooth and a piece of wood dipped in water.

No two moulders given the same size mould would make bricks of the same size. This was because there was a difference in force used to put the clay into the mould. The brick was then slipped from the mould onto a flat board.

These actions were really too fast to see unless the moulder slowed down to teach a learner. Later, the lad would make a few bricks and put the moulders clay up on the table and thus try to make up the time lost, while the teaching was going on. Thirty bricks at a time were taken to the drying ground on flat-topped wheel barrows. The rims of the wheels were very narrow and ran on roads of timber or steel plate. The bricks were placed on edge on the hacks and the last brick of each load was marked for easy counting.

My Grandfather's mark was made with three finger-tips. My Father's mark was a long triangle made with the corner of a setting board. My mark was a crescent, made with the back of a finger-nail. These marks are never seen because bricklayers turn that end of the brick away from the good face-work.

It took at least a week to get the brick dry enough to stack in the kiln for burning. When the bricks were cooled no weather would harm them and they would last many lifetimes. Nearly all the local yards closed down during the depression of the thirties and the last yard to close was at Hook.

Brick kilns can still be seen at Winchfield and many of the moulders tools can be seen at the country craft section at the Curtis Museum in Alton.

I would like to thank David Gerry for telling me the numbers of bricks used on the Basingstoke and the location of canal-side kilns.
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I have been a member of the Huddersfield Canal Society for a number of years despite never having set eyes on the canal. I was attracted by its unique character, being the highest canal in Britain reaching 645 feet above sea level; the canal with the longest tunnel ever built (Standedge at 3-1/4 miles) and, in its 18-1/2- miles, containing no less than 76 locks. Despite being abandoned in 1944 and having its locks capped, cascaded and weired with parts filled in, it has great potential for restoration.

I was to see just how much potential when at the invitation of some HCS members I finally made the trip north one weekend to walk the whole canal. My impression had been of a dirty, derelict canal sandwiched between dirty, derelict warehouses in highly industrialised valleys. This impression was soon shattered.

Starting at Dukinfield Junction near Ashton-under-Lyne the Hudd Narrow leaves the Cheshire Ring of canals and after 1-1/2- miles and 3 locks reacht Stalybridge. This section is all industrialised and yet in good condition requiring only dredging and attention to the locks. These have been 'capped' (the placing of a large slab of concrete over the entire chamber) which is one of 3 methods adopted by the local authorities to make the canal 'safe'. Restoration can be attained simply by by breaking up the slab, clearing and repointing the chamber prior to fitting new gates. The same cannot be said of the 1/2-mile through the town itself where the canal has completely disappeared. This probably represents the biggest obstacle to restoration although with support from local councils I am sure a suitable alternative route can be found.

Beyond Stalybridge the canal is in water again until a short filled section is reached by a power station. Fortunately building has not taken place here. By now the canal has become quite rural and starts climbing a very attractive valley. All along this length I was impressed by the crystal clear water and the beautiful stone walling of the canal. Now high above the river the canal clings to the rocky hillside in a spectacular steep and narrow valley before diving in to the 220 yard Scout Tunnel. The locks which follow have mostly been weired which involves filling the chamber with rubble and placing a layer of concrete on top some 2 feet below the coping stones, allowing the water to flow over the top.

Higher up the valley near Greenfield the first of four road crossings without bridges is encountered but in all cases there appears to be sufficient headroom. At Uppermill the HCS is engaged in a pilot restoration scheme clearing one of the weired locks which has revealed a superb lock chamber built in large stone blocks. It never ceased to amaze me that untouched sections of the canal could have remained in such perfect condition.

The Diggle flight of locks lifts the canal into the Penines and Standedge Tunnel, access to which is barred for safety reasons. It is an impressive place with four tunnels penetrating the hill although only one (double track railway) is now in use. Emerging at Marsden the canal falls rapidly through numerous 'cascaded' locks. The walls of the chambers have been progressively demolished towards the lower end and the rubble used to fill what's left. Concrete in a series of steps is then placed on top and the sides graded to a gentle slope - very pretty but a great waste of money. The HCS will have the problem of rebuilding these locks but at least most of the stone should be there - somewhere!

At Slaithwaite the canal again disappears although the line is intact and will make a great feature in the middle of the town once re-excavated. Industry reappears approaching Huddersfield where this time the line of the canal has been built on. Although failing light prevented me seeing for myself I am assured a solution is possible.

Despite the major obstacles facing restoration, 80% can be restored relatively easily. The HCS (formed in 1974) is currently convincing BWB and the local authorities of the value of restoration. It is a beautiful waterway of great national importance and deserves support throughout the country. I can supply membership forms (only £1.50pa.) to anyone interested.
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Initial indications are that proceeds from the 1982 sponsored walk will reach the target of £5000. Without the magnificent efforts of the participants and the invaluable help of the marshals this would not have been possible - an enormous tank you to you all.
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£1,000 has already been spent by the Hampshire Basingstoke Canal Anglers Association on re-stocking the upper length of the waterway with roach, rudd, carp and tench to the existing perch, gudgeon and pike. In ten years the Hampshire end will be two-thirds stocked towards the 15 million fish it is capable of holding.

Bona Fide angler members of the Society may apply to H.B.C.A.A. for a free annual permit. Send a SAE to Mr. Lewis A. Harris, 24 Hampton Court, Woolford Way, Basingstoke, Hants.

The rest of us have to pay 75p per day (under 16 - 40p) £2.50 per month (under 16 - £1.25) or annual ticket £5.00 (under 16 - £2.50). Tickets (except annual) are available from:-
BASINGSTOKE: Basingstoke Angling Centre, Cordings Sports Shop and Two Guys Fishing Tackle at South Hams.
ODIHAM: Benfords Boat Yard, Colt Hill.
FLEET: Western Fuels and J.H. Barrat at Reading Road Bridge.
COVE: Noels Fishing Tackle and Cupitts Fishing Tackle.
FARNBOROUGH: Raison Bros. Fishing Tackle.
ASH VALE: Tackb Up Fishing Tackle.
ALDERSHOT: Creel Fishing Tackle, Station Road.
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TEN YEARS AGO........ from Newsletter No. 44 (May/June 1972)
* Canal Purchase Goes Ahead was the dramatic headline announcing the two County Councils had agreed to buy the canal by compulsory purchase orders.
* Forerunner of the Joint Management Committee was formed, consisting representatives from the two local authorities, the Army and the Society.
* Two dozen members joined the famous 'Ashtac' national working party which attracted 1000 volunteers to clear the Ashton Canal.
* The Society to build a second pair of lock gates at Ash Vale. Both sets are now installed in Ash Lock.
* Local and county Councillors and officers were entertained by the Society to a cruise on the Wey Navigation, with tea at Guildford Sea Scouts H.Q. provided by Paul Buck.
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About 350 canoeists took part this year in glorious sunny weather, which was in complete contrast to last years bitterly cold day. For the first time a 40 mile event was added and the eight entrants in this section used the restored Ash Embankment.

The event was organised by the Westel Canoe Club jointly with the Society and many of the marshals and back up staff were provided by members of the Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club.
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At the second meeting of the Joint Management Committee held on the 3rd March, the Committee fully supported Hart District Council policies in relation to the canal as drafted in the new District Plan. How­ever, it was decided that Hart be asked to incorporate the word 'Navigational' in addition to recreational in the policy encouraging and supporting the restoration of the canal. The Society feels this is extremely important as this formed the basis of the original decision by the Hampshire and Surrey County Councils to purchase the canal and it was also the main reason that the Society committed volunteer effort in the first place to help restore the canal. On the planning side, Surrey C.C. reported that they are pressing ahead with the proposal to designate their length of the canal as a Conservation Area to bring it in line with Hampshire. Procedures were discussed in relation to the handling of riparian planning applications and how the JMC was to be represented at forthcoming inquiries. As a result David Gerry, HCC Canal Manager, represented the JMC at the recent inquiry into appeals for development in the Crookham Village area.

It was decided that the most important items to be dealt with are: emergency procedures, the preparation of bylaws to ensure uniformity throughout the length of the canal; water supply, and recreational development and management incorporating, boating, fishing, walking, and general access including the provision of slipway access at an early stage. Site visits to the Surrey length took place on 30th April, and to the Hampshire length, (incorporating a trip on the John Pinkerton)
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"Canals" has joined the ranks of titles in that institution of the publishing world, the Observer Pocket Book series.

Listed as No. 95 in the series covering such diverse subjects as Cathedrals, Classic Cars and Caterpillars, the new title follows the familiar format in size and layout. About the only change apart from dispensing with dust jackets today, is the price which has increased from 5/- to £1.95.

Waterways enthusiasts will welcome this book as a valuable way of introducing the delights of the waterways to more people and in helping to popularise the subject. John Gagg, the author, was a shrewd choice. His enthusiasm and succinct style of writing makes 'Canals' easy to digest and ideal for the newcomer to the subject. Added to which, John Gagg makes no secret of his support for the Inland Waterways Association which will be welcomed by its many other loyal members.

Understandably the book is a precied version of larger works covering the early days of water transport, the development of canals, the working parts, the network and its leisure use today. Even the Basingstoke gets a paragraph which is some guide to the detail you can expect in its 192 pages.

Every member can do his or her bit in spreading the waterways story by buying a copy for someone with a taste to learn more about inland waterways.

The Observer's Book of Canals. Published by Frederick Warne. Price £1.95 net.
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Until one has seen the immense amount of activity at Locks 10 and 11 one has little idea of the tremendous efforts volunteer workers on the Basingstoke put in and the variety of tasks undertaken. Even the most ardent chauvenistic male could hardly fail to be impressed by seeing female volunteers bricklaying. At the tail of Lock 10 mudlarks of both sexes were busy using a dumper to remove debris.

Each lock has its volunteer rota so that enthusiasm is not dampened by a commitment to turn up every weekend; continuity and general supervision of voluntary effort is undertaken by Mike Fellows, himself a volunteer.

Without wishing to belittle the gang who restored Bulls Lock all those years ago, our efforts apart from gate building and fitting, were puny in comparision with the weekend efforts of these volunteers.
Extract from 'The Butty' Journal of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust Ltd.
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18th Midsummer Barbeque and Fun Evening, Fox & Hounds, Fleet, 7.30pm.
21st John Pinkerton Members Evening. Colt Hill4 Odiham 7.30pm.
26th Jumble Sale, St. Peters Church Hall, Ash, 2.30pm.
28th John Pinkerton, Members Evening, Colt Hill, Odiham 7.30pm.

3/4 Boat Cruise Weekend, Summit Pound, Ash Lock.
6/13, 20/27 John Pinkerton Members Evenings, Colt Hill, Odiham 7.30pm.

3/10 6/13 20/27 John Pinkerton Members Evenings, Colt Hill, Odiham 7.30 p.m.
28 - 30th IWA National Rally, Titford Pools, Birmingham.
30th John Pinkerton Members Evenings, Colt Hill, Odiham 7.30pm.
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200 CLUB
Winners in the April Draw were:
Miss I Fowler £52. Miss V. Spilling £27. Mr. B.C. Smith £13 Mr. A.G. Tabor £13 Membership at that time stood at 105.
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Dear Editors,
The history of our canal system has countless examples of Locks acquiring changed names over the years - in some cases several changes are recorded - and these make a very interesting study. They appear to be less frequent these days, if one excepts occasional errors of spelling which become adopted, and those which are renamed in recognition of a notable figure or donor in the cause of waterway restor­ation. However, I am puzzled over any reasoning for those which appear to be occuring on the Basingstoke Canal. Firstly the FRIMLEY FLIGHT of locks are now firmly adorned with their new name of 'DEEPCUT' - which, I believe, originally referred only to a half-mile section of the canal between Frimley Top and the Railway Aquaduct - subsequently adopted for the army camp. Over the last year or two the GOLDSWORTH FLIGHT has gradually become recognized as 'ST. JOHNS', being in that district of Woking, and, whilst BROOKWOOD would appear to be 'safe' one wonders if the WOODHAM FLIGHT (including SCOTLAND) might become 'BYFLEET' when restoration reaches its peak at that major location.

Maybe some explanation of these changes - whether by gradual adoption or official intent, has been published, but if so I must confess that I have missed it.
Yours sincerely,
Goff H. Crosley Twyford, Hampshire.
Editors Note: We, too, have been puzzled by the change in names. Has anyone an explanation?

Dear Editors,
I write in some sadness to tell you all that I cannot undertake the distribution of newsletters in this area from April onwards.

I have been accepted for midwifery training at Frimley Park and will, therefore, have to work full time and night duty and on call rotas while in training. This is a much bigger commitment than my present part-time hours and as I have a family dog and husband to organise!! the poor newsletters come, sadly, at the end of my list, and I would probably become unreliable - which is worse.

I do regret giving up this 'round' as I have been dashing around with the newsletters since the first ones were printed and will miss the many friends made on my round. We do, of course, remain members of the SHCS and eagerly look forward to our Newsletter. Good luck to you all, I hope you will quickly find a replacement for me!
Yours sincerely, Shirley Potter (nee Harmsworth)
Frimley Green, Camberley.
Editors Note: We didn't know Tony had a sister! Thanks, Shirley, for doing your bit for the Society. All those who deliver Newsletters for us saves the Society a great deal of money. If you can volunteer to take an area, Janet Hedger (tel: Fleet 7465) would like to hear from you. Vacancies exist at FLEET, Crookham Road, and Alton Road (middle of Kings Road); FRIMLEY GREEN and ALTON.
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As members are probably aware, the volunteer dredging crew and County Council have run into a geological problem at Dogmersfield, where the canal passes through a substantial cutting that lies to the west of, and behind, a large house called 'The Dower House' on Tundry Hill. The house was built in about 1930 and has a very beautiful informal garden laying between the house and the canal. The garden is open once a year to the public for a gardeners' charity. Some members have probably visited it and enjoyed its spring flowers and shrubs.

The canal cutting is through a clay soil with a history of instability that has produced interesting and non uniform slopes to the sides of the cutting. A major earth movement occurred in the winter of 1974/5 when a number of trees fell and the towpath moved into the canal by up to 3ft. The County Council took expert advice on the best way to proceed in order to restore the canal to its original width and it was decided to attempt to remove the obstruction along with the canal sill using the Society's dredging equipment manned by Brian Bane's excellent crew.

When the dredger had completed about 25% of the task, however, it became obvious that the slipped material was on the move again. This had been expected, and while the condition of the site was frequently monitored, it was decided that the work should proceed. Unfortunately with about 75% of the work completed further movement of ground took place just inside the fence of the Dower House garden, and the house­holder asked the County Council to stop doing any further damage to his property. Mr. Bonsey, the County Recretition Officer, visited the site within three hours of the receipt of the complaint and with regret decided that work must stop, at least temporarily. The dredger crew pulled all of their equipment away from the site and within a further two hours were carrying out maintenance dredging in Winchfield.

The County Council are most grateful to the dredger team for their exceptionally speedy co-operation and for the very good-humoured way in which they accepted the very sad news that work must stop for the time being.

Since that time senior officers from the County Surveyor's and County Secretary's Departments have been considering the problem ahead and advising Mr. Bonsey of the options open to us. A small party of Concillors and officers visited the site recently and the Councillors have asked the County Surveyor for further information on his proposal. It is expected that by the time this letter reaches you the Councillors will have sufficient information available for them to arrange a meeting with the owner of the Dower House, to discuss ways of over­coming the problem.

We shall continue to keep leaders of your Executive Committee and your dredger crew informed of the latest developments.

Please be assured that both Councillors and officers in Hampshire County Council are placing maximum priority on this problem, and it is hoped that it will be resolved by the time your next Newsletter goes to print.
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FLOAT builders needed for Fleet Carnival. This year's theme is "Maritime Year". Volunteers should contact Roy Tree on Fleet 6470.
IN RESPONSE to public demand Society Lapel Badges are once again available from the Sales Stand. Price £0.70 plus postage.
CONGRATULATIONS to Jim and Jane Chisholm on the birth on 4th April of their daughter Lucy Ann.
PINKERTON rates: Weekday charter £40. Fri, Sat and Sun evenings £50. OAP's and Schools £35. Public Trips £1.20 adults, £0.60 children. Contact Clive Durley, Fleet 5694.
FURTHER MSC scheme granted for year from April 1982 to the tune of £68,400. This will employ 20 youngsters and 5 supervisors.
BASINGSTOKE Canal lacks a complete 'Towpath Guide'. Are you a budding author who likes a challenge? If so offer your services to the Editorial Office.
BEST wishes to our member David Morgan who worked for Hart D.C. on planning matters on his move to Corfe Castle.
BOAT owners - have you entered for the 1982 Boat Cruise on July 3/4? If not don't despair, contact Vic Trott, Woking 68607 or Peter Coxhead, Byfleet 44564 for details.
THANKS to landlord of Star Public House for donation of £20 following Barn Dance at St. Johns, Woking.
MEMBERSHIP Secretary, Ted Williams and member Colin Gostelow recently took part in the London Marathon, Ted completing the course in 4 hours 1 minute and Colin in 4 hours 8-1/2 minutes. Ted was sponsored to the tune of £600 for Cancer Research. Congratulations to them both.
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Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Limited, a non­profit distributing company limited by guarantee, registered as a charity.
Editors: Dieter Jebens, Janet & Chris Brazier, production Diana Snow & Cecil Eynon.
Collation & distribution: Janet & George Hedger, Clive Durley & helpers.
Editorial Office: 75 Middle Bourne Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10. 3NJ. (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, Basingstoke (61053)
Hon. Secretary; Philip Riley, Meadow Vale, Guildford Rd., Normandy, Guildford (Worplesdon 234776)
Membership Sec: Ted Williams, 36 Kestrel Rd., Basingstoke (61579)
Working Party: Peter Jones, Aldershot 313O76 and Information: Peter Cooper, 01-993-1105
Trip Boat: Clive Durley, 15 Kenilworth Rd., Fleet (5694)
Sales Manager: Aubrey Slaughter, 36 Fir Tree Way, Fleet (23102)
Talks Organiser; Pauline Hadlow, Beaulah, Parkstone Drive, Camberley
Exhibitions Manager: Phil Pratt, 26 Fleetwood Court, West Byfleet (40281)
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Last updated April 2005