October 1982

Front pictures
Cover pics info
Working Parties
Cut-price Canal

Social Jottings
Planning Notes
Far and Wide
Hampshire's Canal Work
Dry Dock Restoration
Ten Years Ago
Changes for Future

Book Review
Gongoozlers' Gossip

Contact the Society


    bcnmsthd50 (12K)

No 105October 1982

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Inside front cover --
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The Society recently wrote to the canal's Joint Management Committee expressing our concern over the lack of slipways on the waterway. As a result, the Society and the inland Waterways Association have been asked to propose some suitable sites.

With the growing number of miles of the canal now dredged and being filled with water, it is once more becoming increasingly attractive to cruiser owners. The mini-rally held in June showed that some powered, craft can navigate the entire 15-mile summit pound even though some miles still remain to be dredged.

For the sake of the canal's maintenance, cruisers ought to be encouraged. The passage of motorised craft helps to prevent excessive weed growth and keeps silt in suspension so that deposits do not build up.

The problem is that, as reported in the last Newsletter, there is only one slipway on the whole length of the canal - and that is kept under lock and key inside the Canal Depot at Ash Leek Cottage. At least one obvious site for a slipway, having road access, is at Colt Hill on the site which has been ear marked for a car park and picnic area. As long ago as 1979, Hampshire County Council made a tentative proposal for one at Colt Hill in their Recreational Proposals. It was stated, 'A slipway or launching ramp would be a useful facility for trailed craft up to say 25ft in length and could be incorporated into the current proposals'. This the Council duly did in drawing up final detailed plans for the site but it was turned down by Hart District Council and had to be re-thought. In particular, it appears, the local Odiham Parish Council, along with the Odiham Society, objected to the slipway.

Assuming the objection to a slipway at Colt Hill is that it will attract an excessive number of boats, the objectors can rest assured that this is unlikely to happen. For one thing, the owners would need to licence their boats and the local authorities have a strict quota of licences issued each year in relation to mileage open for boating. And for another, the cost and effort of trailing and launching even a small cruiser for the restricted use, to which it can be put on the canal will have limited appeal.

We believe none of the fears expressed about the effect of visitors to the canal have materialised - by and large the waterway and its environment care respected by those who walk along its towpath, fish in it, or boat on it.
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By providing slipways we can gradually extend the usefulness of the navigation and by encouraging larger boats, get some much needed help towards maintaining it.

Before and after.... Lock 15 Pirbright Bridge. The early photograph was taken in the mid-1960's (Courtesy of Mr. L.A. Edwards).
Inside Page:
(Top left & centre) MSC Supervisor Martin Smith checks the new let-off weir being constructed on Ash Embankment (see article).
(Top right) Martin Bowers and his sales team manning the Society's stand, at this year's IWA National Rally held at Titford Pools, West Birmingham.
(bottom left and right) The Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club's 'Fun Day' held at Chequers Wharf on 12th September.
(IWA Rally photo by the Birmingham Post. Others by Clive Durley and Dieter Jebens).
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Working Parties Chris Brazier
Now that summer holidays are over, the grass has stopped growing and the days are too short to paint the house, why not get away from it all and make the most of these glorious autumnal weekends by spending a day on the canal boosting the Society's restoration efforts. Don't sit at home wishing your life away waiting for Christmas, don your wellies and come and join us. There's even a new working party for all the family.

Despite low numbers, progress is startling with a large number of locks approaching completion with water creeping back into pounds that have been dry for far too long. Not only will you get satisfaction from doing a grand day's work but you'll also see a canal coming back to life.

Ooh! I could get quite carried away with all this romantic stuff!

Every Weekend St. Johns (Goldsworth) Locks
The absence of Peter Oates on a course for the rest of the year means a certain amount of re-shuffling of leaders may take place. However I can guarantee that there will be a working party every weekend on either lock 10 or 11 or even both. If you want to confirm details Mike Fellows will always be pleased to hear from you on Wokingham 787428. Potential (or even experienced!) bricklayers will be particularly welcome as a large proportion of the remaining work concerns rebuilding of the various walls.

Lock 9 has, for the time being, been designated as the 'Visiting Group' lock. Lock 11 Alternate weekends - 16/17 Oct, 30/31 Oct, 13/14 Nov.
27/28 Nov, 11/12 Dec. KEN HALLS (Woking 23981) or PETER REDWAY (Woking 21710)
Lock 10 First weekend - 6/7 Nov, 4/5 Dec. TONY GOULD (01-941-3014)
Second Weekend - 9/10 Oct, 13/14 Nov, 11/12 Dec. MIKE FELLOWS (Wokingham 787428)
2nd and 4th Sundays - 10 and 24 Oct, 14 and 28 Nov, 12 Dec. ALAN GRIMSTER (Brookwood 6127).
Third weekend - 16/17 Oct, 20/21 Nov, 18/19 Dec. JULES WOOD (Farnborough 515737).
Fourth weekend - 23/24 Oct, 27/28 Nov. PETER JONES (Aldershot 313076)
Fifth weekend - 30/31 Oct. MIKE FELLOWS.

Every Weekend Dredging in Hampshire
Unbelievably there is still no solution to overcome the landslip in Dogmersfield Cutting. Consequently 'Perseverance' is heading towards Baseleys Bridge and all points west awaiting the call to return to Dogmersfield. ANDY STUMPF (Watford 37278) or BRIAN BANE (Hook 3627) can give you the up to date details.

First Sunday of the month Towpath and Barikside Clearance
7th November and 5th December.
The return of a working party ideal for family groups and younger members. In anticipation of the opening and re-watering of the pound between Ash Lock and the top of the Deepcut or Frimley Green flight of locks much needed clearance of the towpath between Ash Vale Wharf and Kings Head Bridge at Frimley Green is to be carried out. The leaders from whom details may be obtained are BERT AND BETTY SCAMMELL (Aldershot 23215).

First Weekend of the month Deepcut Locks
6/7 November, 4/5 December.
Having completed the fitting of the gates at lock 16 this team will supplement the work of the MSC workers on various carpentry tasks such as fitting balance beams and jack heads as paddle posts, on locks between 16 and 19 inclusive. Details from that well known figure of FRANK JONES (Deepcut 5711 daytime or Camberley 28367 evenings).

Second weekend of the month Lock 5 (Woodham)
9/10 October, 13/14 November, 11/12 December. Now that the top cill is finished help is needed here with the concreting of the lock floor and bricklaying on the flank wall. PABLO HAWORTH (Byfleet 42081) is the man to contact for details.

Third weekend of the month Lock 1 (Woodham) 16/17 October, 20/21 November, 18/19 December.
Having (thankfully!) completed the massive task of concreting the base of the lock, attention will now turn to rebuilding both chamber walls so bricklayers will be in demand here. Offers of assistance to DICK HARPER-WHITE (Weybridge 42074) or ROY DAVENPORT (01-979-7075).
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I.W.A. WATER-CRAFT 83 - A Message from the I.W.A.
The Guildford and Reading Branch of the Inland Waterways Association will be holding a large craft and antique fair coupled with a waterways exhibition during IWA's 'Waterways Fortnight'. This will be held at Sandown Park Race Course Exhibition complex, Esher, Surrey on Saturday and Sunday the 21st and 22nd May, 1983.

All three canal Societies in the branch area will be invited to take part in the exhibition section and we hope we will be able to show the public the past, present and future hopes of our local canals.

Over 150 inside spaces will be available and another 100 or so outside. We hope we will be able to put on a good show. We are offering a discount to crafts people who are prepaired to demonstrate their craft during the weekend. May I through your magazine ask your members to let me know of suitable crafts­people who may be interested in taking part. Further information and details from: Brian Percy, 'Fairview', 21 New Road, Marlow Bottom, Bucks. Telephone Marlow 4575.
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Are you discouraged from taking a canal holiday by the high cost of hire, charges? Does the idea of a canal holiday at something like 60% less then the normal cost appeal to you?

Well, now members of the Society have the opportunity to attain that impossible dream whilst at the same time helping the restoration effort as the Society will also benefit financially if sufficient interest is shown.

We have been extremely fortunate in being offered the use of a locally based 52' 6 berth narrowboat to use as demand dictates. Equipped with heating, fridge, cooker, shower etc., it is of a flexible, open plan layout, making it suitable for 2 families sharing if required.

One possibility is that it could operate solely from its local base which perhaps offers more flexibility in that it could be used for long weekends as well as full weeks holidays. Additionally there would be fewer problems on turn round days and unused weeks.

Secondly, it could move around the whole of the water­ways system but this would obviously require greater organisation with members being totally responsible for its condition on hand-over. A third possibility is a combination of the two. ,P> Surprisingly, organisers are available - it all now depends on YOU. If you feel you would take advantage of this facility can you please let me know BY 15 NOVEMBER. No commitment is required - all we want to do is to guage the likely level of demand to see if it is worth pursuing.

If there is insufficient interest we will have to refuse this kind offer. PHONE ME ON ALDERSHOT 25460 NOW
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If you haven't yet sent in your money, please send it to: Mr. Bob Humberstone, 11 Titchbourne Close, Frimley, Camberley Surrey. Total receipts to date are now £3,300 so we need the remaining £2,200 to reach our target. Apologies to Sir Irvine Goulding for mis-spelling both his names in the last issue.
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Social Secretaries: Hampshire - Vacant
Surrey - Mike Grist, Woking 71681
Please support these evenings and bring along your friends, whether they are members or not.

FLEET SOCIAL EVENINGS: All at the 'Prince of Wales' (Baronial Room) Reading Road South, Fleet. Bar, Sales Stand, coffee available.
WEDNESDAY 27th October, 7.45pm.Members film and slide evening. Bring along your films and slides of waterways at home and abroad. Both the unusual and the usual. Holiday, trips, towpath walks, rallies and boat cruises, the more the merrier. Preferably phone Fleet 7364 if you wish to participate by showing slides.
WEDNESDAY 24th November, 7.45pm. Kennet and Avon Canal from the Towpath, Heading to Bath - slides by Aubrey Slaughter, PLUS Childhood reminiscences of the Basingstoke Canal by Stan Knight of Crookham Vilage.
WEDNESDAY 15th December, 7.45pm. Christmas Social Evening (3rd Wednesday)

WOKING SOCIAL EVENINGS All at Woking Centre Halls. Bar, Sales Stand, coffee available.
MONDAY 22nd November, (Note: 4th Monday this month only)
Joint meeting with the Inland Waterways Association (Guildford and Reading Branch). Malcolm Braine, the well known Midlands narrow boat builder will show slides entitled 'Amongst my Souvenirs'.
MONDAY 1th December, 7.45pm.Hugh MeKnight, author of the 'Shell Book of Inland Waterways' and the Guiness Book of Waterways of Western Europe' will give an evening of films.
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The Inquiry into the Appeal by Charles Church Limited to be allowed to develop 76 acres of land east of the canal opposite Frimley Lodge Farm, Frimley Green did not proceed as Charles Church with­drew the appeal at a late stage. It may well crop up again in the future, so vigilance will still be required.

The decision of the Secretary of State for the Environment is still awaited in relation to the appeals on the four sites in the Crookham Village area.

The next Inquiry on the Hampshire section of the canal is to be held on 30th November. Once again it is Charles Church Limited who are submitting the appeal; this time into the refusal of Hart District Council to allow them to develop Hatchwood Farm at Odiham. Hatchwood Farm is the land between the Odiham By-Pass and Benford's Boat Station and is situated behind John Pinkerton's mooring. The application is to build 130 houses on the approximately 16 acres. Once again this is encroachment on the rural area of the canal, this time in Odiham and conflicts with the draft Hart District Plan as this site is not included. The land rises away from the canal so the visual intrusion will be immense if the Minister allows the appeal.

Once again, you are urged to write individual letters as we know that large numbers do have an impact on the Inquiry Inspector. Your letters requesting the refusal of the appeal should be sent to:
The Secretary, Department of the Environment, Room 10/04, Tollgate House, Houlton Street, Bristol BS2. 9DJ., quoting the following reference:
AFP/5233/A/82/03249 (HOC 8953) and MUST arrive by November 23rd, 1982.
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11th Social Evening and Grand Draw. Voicing Centre Halls. 7.45pm.
23rd Official Re-opening of Cowshott Manor Bridge, 2.30pm.
27th Members Slide Evening, Prince of Wales, Fleet. 7.45pm.

22nd Malcolm Braine - Canals and Boatbuilding on the BCN - Woking Center Halls. 7.45pm.
24th Kennet & Avon Canal from the Towpath - Slides by Aubrey Slaughter PLUS Childhood rtendniscences of the Basingstoke Canal by Stan Knight. Prince, of Wales 7.45pm.
13th Evening of Films with Hugh McKnight - Woking Centre Halls. 7.45pm.
15th Christmas Social Evening, Prince of Wales, Fleet. 7.45pm.
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Major dredging of the historic 1,147-mile Grand Canal in China is reported to be under way over a 428 mile length including the construction of four ship locks to take 1,000-ton freighters and extending eight existing locks.

British Waterways Board is inviting tenders for the main contract to repair Blisworth Tunnel on the Grand Union Canal in Northampton­shire. The cost of the repairs are estimated to cost £4.25 million.
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David Gerry's optimistic hope that a solution to the landslip at Dogmersfield (Newsletter No. 103) may have been resolved by the next issue remains speculation. The slip, which occurred some years ago at the rear of Mr. Rollo Hoare's home, The Dower House, started to move again when the dredger Perseverance was moving the spoil. Now a meeting is being arranged between Mr. Hoare, the Chairman of the Joint Management Committee, Sir James Scott, and local County Councillor, Mr. John Stancliffe, to consider the various engineering options which have been drawn up.
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Dear Sir,
I wonder if there are many members who, like myself, would dearly love to spend time helping to restore the Basingstoke Canal, but are prevented from doing so because of the distance they live from it? Would it be worthwhile trying to organise a "Working Week" next year in addition to the week-ends? Accommodation would, of course, be required for most, bed and breakfast, bath and possibly evening meal, I would most certainly be willing to use a week of my annual leave in such a way.

I hope the walk last May was a success. Had it been announced earlier you would have had a walker from even further away than the places you mentioned. I would have come (as I did before) over 300 miles to take part. Unfortunately I had already made plans when I found out about it and it was too late to arrange to come.

If there are plans for a walk in 1983, please give the date well in advance, not just for my sake, but for others who have to arrange overnight accommodation because of the distance from their homes.
Yours faithfully,
Miss D. Maynard. 51 Fell View, Gosforth, Seascale, Cumb.
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The Canal Rangers have greatly improved the towpath bank at Colt Hill with piling and towpath levelling. Sturdy bollards have been incorporated making mooring the John Pinkerton much easier.

Another major task has also been completed with the extensive repair of a culvert under the canal at Broad Oak.
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Now that the success of restoration in the Brookwood to Ash Lock section is assured, our thoughts turn to facilities which will enhance the canal's potential. Amongst others is the dry dock just above Lock 28 opposite the towpath.

The Committee have voted £4,000 towards the restoration of the dock, which was infilled between the wars with dredging taken from the Deepcut. Plans have been drawn up, and work will commence in the autumn, providing training for the Society's M.S.C. Scheme. The drawings, prepared by the structural engineers of Surrey County Council show a brick sided chamber 18' wide by 75' long, accommod­ating the two full length boats such as the 'John Pinkerton' with ample working space below and alongside each boat.

Incorporated in the design is the bypass weir for Lock 28 and features a pair of conventional lock gates. It is intended to provide a roof in a Phase II operation later, but the dry dock will provide a much needed facility, not just on the Basingstoke, but in this part of the waterway network generally.
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Members of the Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club enjoyed their annual Fun Day on Sunday, 12th September at Chequers Wharf, Crookham. The attractively landscaped car park made an ideal setting for picnics and barbecues in between a day of water sports and informal events. Highlight of the programme was an 8-gate slalom course which must have been the first time such a course has ever been laid out on the canal.

As thousands of people crowded local roads on their way to the Farnborough Air Show, an Odiham family travelled in a less convent­ional way. They launched their Canadian canoe at Odiham and, complete with the family dog and a picnic, paddled the 6 miles to Farnborough for a view of the Air Show from the end of the main runway. A pleasant way to see the flying display and save £4 parking and £4 per adult entrance fee!
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TEN YEARS AGO. . . . from the Society's Newsletter No. 46. Sept - Oct 1972
* It was reported that both County Councils were showing some interest in the Society's proposed joint management structure to run the canal. The draft for setting up a Trust had been prepared with the help of John Dodwell, then General Secretary of the I.W.A.
* Concern was expressed about new houses built 40ft from the canal, suggesting they should be pulled down and re-built further away.
*The Society purchased a second-hand Land Rover for £230 and a new Adler electric typewriter for £177.
* Spanton's timber yard and wharf near Chertsey Road Bridge, Woking, was demolished.
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Very few of you will have noticed the subtle change in the order of names in the Dredger section of the Working Party details. This is due to the fact that Brian Bane has reluctantly tendered his resignation as Dredger Manager. The official reason is given as pressure of business commitments but as we all know it is a sad fact of life that age catches up with us all eventually!

Brian has shown remarkable perseverance (!) in leading the dredger team since its inception in 1976 and for keeping 'Perseverance' in steam against all odds, for which he is due our grateful and sincere thanks. He is not, thankfully, giving up altogether so will continue to poke his nose in and will also remain on the Committee.

The Society is fortunate in having a ready made younger replacement in the shape of Andy Stumpf to whom we offer a warm welcome.
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Following the Government's announcement of new plans to provide for the young unemployed, the Society his reached agreement with the Manpower Services Commission to run a training scheme based on the canal. This scheme, the latest in what is probably the longest running partnership with the M.S.C. in the south, if not nationwide will shift the emphasis previously placed on work and work exper­ience, to that of training for school leavers, and will be known as Y.T.S. (Youth Training Scheme) as part of the New Training Initiative (N.T.I.). We live by initials these days! Each young person will by offered a years training, 13 - 26 weeks of which will be spent on off the job training. Camberley Adult Education Institute will assist with non-vocational courses and it is hoped that building-orientated courses can be arr&nged with Guildford Technical College. Other off the job training in such topics as computers will be offered, and a classroom is currently being furnished at Deepcut for the use of peripatetic teachers.

Naturally this new scheme raises the question of progress on the canal and of how the momentum is to be maintained. I am very happy to say that the committee have agreed to changes which mean that Martin Smith who has, since 1977 full time, and for some years as a volunteer before that, demonstrated his tenacity and skills in his position of Senior Supervisor will now transfer to tho Society payroll. He will lead a team of a bricklayer and a labourer on works which demand a high level of skill and are particularly important from the progress point of view. His team will not be concerned with young people or play any part in M.S.C. schemes.

Reorganisation on this basis will incur a net reduction in wage costs, as other skilled personnel are transferred from Society to M.S.C. payrolls.

These moves demonstrate,, I believe, both the depth of manpower resources within the full time adult area, and exemplify the flexibility that the Society is only too willing to employ in addressing itself to restoration. As budgets continue to come under increasing pressure the activities of the Society are thrown into higher relief, reinforcing our crucial place on the Joint Management Committee and cementing still further the happy partner­ship with the County Councils.
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BOOK REVIEW David Millett
Southern Inland Waterways, by Derek Pratt (Ian Allen Limited, hardback, 128 pages, illustrated - £8.95).
Now published at long last, Derek Pratt's new pictorial book on the waterways of Southern England shows his photographic skills to perfection.

With 202 black and white photoraphs each with a descriptive caption, the book covers the Thames, and its attendant navigable waterways, the Kennet and Avon, the Grand Union and Oxford canals, the River Medway and finally but not least the River Wey and the Basingstoke Canal. Each waterway has a brief historical section and strip maps and a guide to convenient towpath pubs.

It is Derek's skill in the use of light and shade that really brings the photographs to life. An ideal Christmas gift. For orders please telephone Aubrey Slaughter, Fleet 23102.
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DICING with death is no longer to be a past-time at St. Johns with the acquisition of 2 'new' dumpers to replace our ageing stock.
DISCOUNTS are kindly offered to members on purchases in excess of £5 at Surrey & Hants Marine Services Ltd., of Shawfield Road., Ash, e.g. 10% on paint.
LIKELY winners of free trip on J.P. are Courtmoor School and Fleet Scouts who raised £160 and £250 respectively (plus same for themselves) on the Sponsored Walk.
THANK YOU Westel Canoe Club for your donation of £100 from the proceeds of the canoe trials.
ARE you a PR person? Society desperately needs someone to co-ordinate our Publicity and PR work which is currently almost non-existent. Offers to David Millett on Fleet 7364.
ANOTHER stepping stone - come and witness the official re-opening of Cowshott Manor Bridge at 2.30pm. on Saturday 23rd October.
THANKS to Mike Reid and Stan Knight who nobly responded to appeal for authors of a towpath guide.
WORK pontoon has been given to the Society by Tom Chaplin of T. Harrison Chaplin the Sunbury-on-Thames dredging specialists. The boat will be used on the central and Hampshire lengths of the canal.
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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 and Cecil Eynon.
Collation & distribution: Janet & George Hedger, Clive Durley and 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 (7364)
Hon.Treasurer: Bryan Jones, 16 Bliss Close, Basingstoke (61053)
Hon. Sec.: Philip Riley, Meadow Vale, Guildford Rd., Normandy, Guildford. (Worplesdon 234776)
Membership Sec: Ted Williams, 36 Kestrel Rd., Basingstoke (61579)
Working Party: Peter Jones on Aldershot 313076 Information: Peter Cooper on 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 (28367)
Exhibitions Manager: Phil Pratt, 26 Fleetwood Court, Madeira Road, West Byfleet (40281)
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Last updated April 2005