June 1983

Front pictures
Cover pictures info
Woking's Cash Input
Working Parties
Getting Afloat
Greywell Dredging
Book Review
10.000 Fish
Canal's Natural History
Social Jottings
Gongoozlers' Gossip

Contact the Society


    bcnmsthd50 (12K)

No. 109JUNE 1983

front pic1 (62K)1

Inside front cover --
inside front pic3 (11K) inside front pic4 (18K)2,3
inside front pic5 (13K) inside front pic5 (13K)4,5
inside front pic5 (8K) inside front pic5 (8K) inside front pic5 (8K) inside front pic5 (7K)6,7,8,9

At the Annual General Meeting of the Society on Saturday 16th April, our Chairman, Robin Higgs, reported 'A year of continuing and steady progress' in the restoration of the 32 mile Basingstoke Canal.

The Society's President, The Earl of Onslow, presided over the well attended meeting held at St. John's Memorial Hall, near Woking.

Robin Higgs reviewed the highlights of last year's achievements, including the re-opening of Cowshot Manor Bridge, one of the original brick arch accommodation bridges, over the canal at Pirbright. The reconstruction, Robin said, 'was a real tribute to the skill and co­operation of all concerned'. The Canal Society had raised the £5,000 needed for materials and the work was done by the Youth Opportunities Programme scheme, with the technical support of Surrey County Council engineers. Another major project, which Robin Higgs described as 'the largest and most comprehensive restoration project yet undertaken by the canal movement' was the completion of the Deepcut flight of 14 locks. Stretching over a distance of two miles from Brookwood to Deepcut, all 14 lock chambers nueded extensive repair and new lock gates throughout. The bulk of the work, at one time believed by some people as too costly a task to undertake, was done by teams of young workers under various Manpower Services employment schemes, led by Frank Jones and skilled supervisors. Volunteers also made a significant contribution in doing a great deal of preparatory work and restoring three of the locks themselves.

Volunteers were now making 'dramatic progress' restoring three of the five locks at St. John's, Woking where the Society was being assisted by visiting groups from the Kent and East Sussex branch of the Inland Waterways Association. Waterway Recovery Group and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.

Robin said that lock restoration work was also continuing to make progress at Woodham, near West Byfleet, where Society members were completing lock 5 and at lock 1, the site of regular working parties, organised by the Guildford branch of the I.W.A at the junction with Wey Navigation.

Reviewing work on the 15-mile length of the canal in Hampshire, where extensive dredging remains the major task, Mr. Higgs said that in spite of a lack of progress eastwards, due to a landslip at Dogmersfield, the dredger team had continued working by returning westwards to improve on earlier excavations. Now that agreement had been reached on how the landslip should be cleared and the cutting stabilised, the Society's 70 ton floating steam powered dredger was once more working eastwards.

Turning to riparian planning applications, the Chairman reported that the Society had supported Hart District Council in their refusal to grant planning permission for several bankside housing developments between Fleet and Odiham. 'We've had some success here, but I still fear for the future with reappraisals of land availability being made', he said.

Pointing to riparian development proposals along the Surrey length at Brookwood Lye and the Industrial Packers site at Woking' Robin considered that the most damaging of all, to the canal's environment, was the proposed development of an open site at Kiln Bridge, St. John's. 'We shall vigorously oppose this', he said, adding that members of the Society in the area would be putting every effort into combating the proposals. Let's hope the Conservation Area Designation due this Autumn, will strengthen our hand before it's too late', he concluded.

Commenting on the continued success and value of Manpower Services Commission employment schemes being run on the canal, Robin announced that the Society had just been granted over £80,000 under the new Youth Training Scheme which would enable this work on the canal to be continued.

Co-operation with local authorities had been maintained 'as a most successful partnership' Robin said, and expressed the Society's appreciation of the interest being shown by riparian district councils in Surrey with their 'welcome financial support'. He thought that the new Joint Management Committee was making a worthwhile contribution to planning matters and recreational use of the canal.

With the Society now employing four full time workers on the canal, and with continued restrictions on local government spending, the Society had devoted a considerable amount of time to fund raising.

It was estimated that the Society had contributed £99,750 in cash towards restoration of the Basingstoke Canal during the last three years. In 1982 the Society had raised £5,500 from a sponsored towpath walk, and made a profit of £10,400 from operating the John Pinkerton trip boat on the canal from Colt Hill near Odiham, which had also given pleasure to a great many people.

Looking forward to the Society's forthcoming year, Robin saw the prospect of reopening the 11-mile central length of the canal from Fleet to Deepcut, including the recently completed Ash embankment. This would make the canal navigable again through Ash, Mytchett and Frimley Green. The provision of slipways was becoming increasingly urgent and the Society were currently investigating the suitability of four sites.

With only 6 miles of the canal yet to be dredged and 15 of the 29 locks fully restored, and a further four nearing completion, the canal is now well on the way to full restoration. 'The Society is still very active and as determined as ever to get this canal open in a fully restored condition as soon as possible. But there is still a lot to do and we can always do with more people and more money', Robin concluded. The Society's retiring Treasurer, Bryan Jones, said that despite a deficit of £1,270 in expenditure of £32,410 over income, the Society's reserves covered the balance. The deficit had arisen through the loss of one local council grant of £5,000 which had not been renewed. 'Apart from that, there had been no significant financial support from industrial firms and banks as in previous years', Bryan commented. £17,391 of the expenditure had been wages for the Society's four full time employees working on the canal.

Bryan Jones reported a marginal arop in membership to 2,067. Reporting on the county councils input Raymond Stedman for Surrey said that their main task had been dredging between St. John's and Hermitage Bridge which had proved difficult work. The council had also been employed in building up the towpath along Ash embankment and restoring the wharf at Ash.

In the coming year, the Council would be considering a moorings policy bye-laws and sites for slipways. Mr. Stedman warned that with cont­inued restoration work and the cost of maintaining what had already been restored, resources would be stretched and volunteers might not be provided with the same level of back-up service provided in the past. He pointed out that the Council had provided £450,000 in materials and plant to date.

For Hampshire, canal manager David Gerry, reported that work had been started on a new car park at Barley Mow Bridge, Winchfield, and that the towpath side of the wharf area at Colt Hill, Odiham had been piled. The rangers had also repaired a culvert at Broad Oak.

Work this year would be concentrated on clearing the landslip at Dogmersfield and stabilising the bank. It was also hoped to construct one of two scheduled slipways.
[back to top]

Reporting on volunteer efforts over the past 12 months Mike Fellows paid tribute to David Millett and his band of helpers for their sustained efforts over the past 7 years in clearing the banksides of Hampshire. At the same time he welcomed a new party led by Bert and Betty Scammell who are undertaking similar work in Surrey. On the dredging front Brian Bane stood down after leading his team for 6 years and whilst offering him the Society's grateful thanks Mike also welcomed his replacement, Andy Stumpf.

Whilst thanking all the regular volunteers on the locks together with visiting groups and the County Councils, Mike wished to record a special 'thank you' for Frank Jones and his team and in particular Martin Smith. They have ensured the smooth running of volunteer working parties and it is in no small way due to their efforts that such dramatic progress has been made.

Traditionally Mike rounded off his report by appealing for further support from members to enable the present rate of progress to be maintained.
[back to top]

For his part David Millett thanked our retiring Treasurer Bryan Jones for his work over the last few years and complimented Martin Bowers and his team on the presentation of the Sales Stand.

Whilst lamenting the continuing lack of an effective Publicity and Public Relations Group within the Society David reported the occurrence of two publicity orientated boat cruises from Ash Lock organised to highlight the deteriorating condition of the restored sections due to the lack of use.

On the social side David thanked the Fleet ladies and Woking events groups for a variety of events ranging from Barn Dances to Jumble Sales and also reported the appearance of a new fund raising/social venture in the form of a Holiday narrowboat loaned to the Society by Mike Borrow.

Finally David, on behalf of the Executive Committee, thanked everyone for all their efforts during 1982.
[back to top]

Frank Jones, manager of the youth employment schemes for which the Society has been made grants by the Manpower Services Commission since the first project started six years ago reported on a fundamental change talcing place. Under the new Ynuth Training Scheme far greater emphasis is being placed on training.

In April 1982, the Society was granted £65,000 by the MSC under the Project Based Work Experience Scheme, employing 20 young people and four supervisors. Frank Jones also managed the Society's direct-paid staff of four - two labourers, a carpenter and a bricklayer.

During the year, plans for the new YTS emerged for which the Society successfully applied for a grant amounting to £80,000. ,P> The new scheme has involved management training and refresher courses for the supervisory team.

Some personal changes have been made in that Jim Reid is now Senior Supervisor and leads four other supervisors in training 25 young recruits. Martin Smith has moved over to the Society's payroll with a labourer and one youngster.

Frank reported that the MSC is delighted with the transition and the new scheme started on 1st April.

During the year, David Garrett, the carpenter, was kept busy fitting lock gates at Deepcut and Martin Smith finished the weir at Ash Vale Station before starting the major task of constructing the entirely new let-off weir on Ash embankment.

Upon finishing the re-construction of. Cowshott Manor Bridge Jim Reid and his team fitted stop plank grooves under bridges at Ash Wharf, Heath Vale, Mytchett Place Road and Kings Head, Frimley. He also restored brickwork at the stop lock at Deepcut, concreted the bottom of Deepcut lock chambers and started work on the dry dock at Deepcut.
[back to top]

Divers recover the John Pinkerton's rudder which vandals had thrown into the canal, see story.
(top left) Sir James Scott, Chairman of the Canal's Joint Management Committee with Mrs. Veronica Parsons, chairman of Hart District Council, her husband ( Left ( and D. Millett - at the annual canoe trials on the canal organised by the Westel Canoe Club and the Society on 24th April.
(top right) Crookham Village parish councillor and member, Stan Knight leading a local working party to consolidate the towpath west of Malthouse Bridge.
(centre left) Robin Higgs receives a cheque for £10,600 from boat company chairman Peter Fethney, being last year's proceeds from operating the John Pinkerton.
(centre right) Sponsored walkers check in the Ash Lock marshall point manned by Betty and Bert Scatnmell.
(Bottom left to right) Goldsworth (St. Johns) Lock 11 (top) - 8.

Discussions are taking place as we went to press on how Woking Borough Council can most effectively spend a reported sum of £150,000 on progressing restoration of the canal through Woking.
[back to top]

A recommendation to Woking's Planning Committee was made early in May to restrict planning consent to residential buildings only, on the Kiln Bridge site, adjacent to lock 11, at St. John's.

Council planning officers have suggested that only a part of the site should be developed and that proposed shops and an office block be excluded.

The Society has recommended that there should be no development of this open site which is ideally suited for recreational use to enhance the canal's environment.

5 Small Boat Cruise, Ash Lock 10.00am.
7, 14, 21, 28 Pinkerton Members' Evenings, Colt Hill, Odiham. 7.30pm.

3 Small Boat Cruise, Ash Lock, 10.00am.
5 Pinkerton Members' Evening Colt Hill. Odiham, 7.30pm. 10 Goldsworth Locks Open Day, St. John's Woking.
12, 19 26 Pinkerton Members Evenings, Colt Hill, Odiham 7.30pm. 30 Start of Work Camp, Lock 8 St. John's Woking.

2 Pinkerton Members Evening,, Colt Hill, Odiham, 7.30pm.
7 Small Boat Cruise, Ash Lock 10.00am.
9, 16, 23, 30 Pinkerton Members Evenings, Colt Hill Odiham, 7.30pm. 27 - 29 IWA National Rally, Wigan, Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
[back to top]

Sunday July 10th at 10.45am at Crompton, Nr. Guildford MR 186/470955. Meet at Crompton Church Car park, for a pleasant walk over the downs to Eashing Bridge (13th Cent) and a stop at a local pub where limited lunches will be available. Walk back over the downs and visit Watts Folly and Museum. Distance about 6 miles. Organiser: Paul Garrett, Byfleet 41993.
[back to top]

What makes volunteer navvies take part in working parties, regularly over long periods, restoring locks and doing other jobs? Is it the chance to spend a day doing a job out of doors? Is it the satisfaction of seeing a derelict lock transformed into a completely renewed structure? Or is it the chance to learn about bricklaying, and other tasks, while doing a useful job of work? For most volunteers it's probably a bit of each, and a few other things besides. Why not come along and find out which of these reasons could apply to you?

The available range of working parties is listed below. It's usually as well to contact your working party leader a few days before attending just in case of last minute changes of plan.

Every weekend St. John's (Goldsworth) Flight
This, probably the biggest single volunteer canal restoration project in Southern England, continues to make very good progress. At Lock 11 the epic work on the bywash exit is complete, and bricklaying on the second main wall, and elsewhere, continues. Lock 10 has come on a long way. The bottom recess walls are complete, the top ones virtually so, and the ladder recess is well advanced. This lock is now almost into the stage of quadrants, bollards, etc., the finishing touches. The nearside chamber wall at Lock 9 has now been completely demolished, and other demolition continues here. But now the first constructional work (apart from the bywash) has started, with the rebuilding of one of the lower wing walls.

There's now another lock to report about, as the first work on Lock 8 has now started. The first job has been to use demolished material to build the ramp into the chamber, to allow dumpers to drive in.

As reported last time, the working parties here are now reorganised. There will continue to be a working party at Lock 11 on alternate weekends. The other main party will meet on the other alternate weekends, and will be led alternately by Jules Wood, assisted by Tony Gould and by Peter Jones. Peter Oates will no longer lead a regular Society working party, but will instead lead a regular visiting group from the Southampton Canal Society. We would like to thank Peter for his dedicated work as one of our regular working party leaders. Alan Grimster will continue to lead his separate small group as before. Note that apart from Alan Grimster's group, none of these parties will now be meeting on a fixed weekend of the month. You'll need to know the actual dates, but there will still be someone working somewhere on the St. John's Flight every weekend. The co -ordinator of all this work is MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham 787428, and for further details you should contact him or one of the leaders listed below.

Lock 11
Every other weekend - 11/12 June, 25/26 June, 9/10 July, 23/24 July. 6/7 August, 19/20 August.
KEN HALLS on Woking 23981, PETER REDWAY on Woking 21710.

Locks 10 and 9
Every fourth weekend 4/5 June, 2/3 July, 30/31 July JULES WOOD on Farnborough 515737 or TONY GOULD on 01-941-3014.
Every fourth weekend - 18/19 June, 16/17 July, 13/14 Aug PETER JONES on Aldershot 313076.
Second and fourth Sundays of the month 12 June, 20 June, 10 July, 24 July, 14 Aug ALAN GRIMSTER on Erookwood 6127.

Every weekend Dredging in Hampshire
The steam dredger 'Perseverance' is now near Tundry Pond, and approaching Blacksmiths Bridge. A small modification to the dredger will be needed shortly, as the ring grab will have to be reinstated, in place of the steam grab, in order to get under the power lines by Tundry Pond. It is hoped to reach the winding hole at Blacksmiths Bridge by the end of May. To find out more about how you can help in this operation you should contact ANDY STUMPF on Watford 37278 or BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627.

One weekend per month Lock Gate Building
4/5 June, 2/3 July, 13/14 Aug
The work towards building the gates for Lock 10 at St. John's is continuing. If you want to join in this party, contact FRANK JONES on Deepcut 5711 (lock gate workshop) or Camberley 28367 (Home).

Second weekend of the month Lock 5 (Woodham)
11/12 June, 9/10 July, 13/14 Aug
Work continues on rebuilding the recess walls. When these are finished the next jobs will be the quadrants and the footbridge. For further details contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081.

Third weekend of the month Lock 1 (Woodham)
18/19 June, 16/17 July, 20/21 Aug.
Bricklaying, on the main chamber walls, is the order of the day, and it will continue to be for many months yet. For further details of this party, contact DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 or ROY DAVENPORT on 01-979-7075.

Surrey full-time team
The major tasks continues at the new dry dock, by Deepcut top lock, the brickwork is almost complete and the base, mitre cill and hollow posts have been cast. The bypass still has to be done, and the gates are being built. This all SDunds just like building, or rebuilding, a lock, and indeed really that's just what it is. Meanwhile, the very complex operations involved in building the Ash Embankment run-off weir continue to tax the ingenuity of the workers there. This job, too, is coming on very well. This year the Youth Training Scheme, for the 16 year olds employed, is on a larger" scale than ever before. They have already had a carpentry course, and now they are on a Life and Social Skills course, one day a week for ten weeks at the Adult Education Institute in Camberley. Among other things they are learning how to use videos, how to conduct themselves on interviews, and dealing with adults generally. Next they will have a 20 week course, two days per Week, on the basics of bricklaying, in-house. In all this, concepts like 'job-orientated training' and 'transferrable skills' are stressed. With all this instruction being given to his team, Frank Jones's mortar board must be taking on quite a new meaning and significance.

County Councils canal rangers David Gerry
In Surrey, the rangers main tasks has been servicing the voluntary working parties, but a start has been made on raising bank and towpath levels at Ash Vale and preparing for bank protection work near Heath Vale Bridge. Stop plank levels have been raised at Ash wharf to enable the embankment to be filled with water.

Hampshire rangers efforts have been devoted towards preparations for the gabion wall at Dogmersfield. A temporary car park has been laid at Chatter Alley for rangers and contractors cars. Drains have been laid under the towpath running through Tundry Hill cutting, and it is being re-surfaced. The site of the landslip is being cleared in readiness for the arrival of excavators at the end of May.
[back to top]

Once again the exhibition at Christchurch Hall, Woking on the morning of 7 May proved the worth of these publicity events. Whilst a profit of £36 was made on the sale of coffees, teas and cakes and 4 new members enrolled the immeasurable profit was that gained by simply talking to local residents, aquainting them with our achievements and intentions and allaying any fears arrused by misunderstandings.

An excellent public relations exercise - congratulations to Messrs. Coxhead and Trott and all their helpers.
[back to top]

Mr. R.O.C. Laslett has kindly given the Society a £20 voucher (to be spent at Laslett's Linens Ltd., Aldershot) which is to be awarded by the Sponsored Walk organisers for outstanding performance by an individual or organisation. He has promised to offer a similar voucher every year. Many thanks for this most generous gesture. Thanks also go to all who participated in or assisted with the sponsored walk. Despite the wet start, 350 - 400 walkers turned out for this year's walk to raise an estimated £450 - £500.
[back to top]

What with organising the Society's holiday narrow boat 'Return', Committee work and, when he can find the time, joining working parties, Chris Brazier wants to relinquish his other job of helping to compile the Newsletter.

If you have a general interest in the canal and the Society's work, like talking with other members and are interested in writing, then come and join the edtiorial team. The job entails a monthly meeting with Dieter Jebens (the other editor) who lives at Farnham. Apart from attending events, most of the work is done from home. For more information ring Dieter Jebens on Farnham 715230.
[back to top]

If you think boat ownership is an expensive hobby but are keen to get afloat and explore the Basingstoke and other inland waterways, then canoeing may be the answer. The recent canoe trials on the canal certainly attracted hundreds of entrants of all ages, and few, if any, turned up in Range Rovers, with trailers and costly gear. For less than £100 - a lot less if you buy a second-hand craft - and a roof rack, you can load your canoe on the car and head for the canal.

We asked Francis King of Fleet Canoes for some tips on how to get started.
"If your choice is a fun craft, then a basic Snipe (slalom) or Commanche will setisfy you. For touring you need something which will keep you in a straight line, such as a Norseman or SK4 general purpose tourer with sufficient space to pack your gear. Maybe the whole family wants to go together, then you want an open Canadian canoe. They can seat four persons (2 adults and 2 children) Ottersport is one of a number of well known makes.

Next you will require a paddle: for the beginner I recommend a flat ABS plastic Ottersport type or wooden (lendal).

With these two ingredients, its now for the water, or is it? Can you swim? If so, how well? Fully dressed you need a buoyancy aid to help you to float, as opposed to a life jacket for sea canoeing. Then to keep you dry and warm you can get a spray deck to fit over the cockpit of the canoe, or, more correctly kayak - the only true canoe is a Canadian with a large open cockpit.

And before you put your boat on the water make sure you have a licence for it. Application forms are available from the Canal Office, Ash Lock Cottage, Government Road, Aldershot, Hants, or phone Mrs. Mary Harmsworth (Farnborough 513385).

Francis King has promised to let us have some more advice. In the meantime you may like to contact the following:
Fleet Canoes 67 Westover Road, Fleet, Hants. Tel: Fleet 22506. Prop: Francis King. Open evenings and weekends for canoe and equipment sales. Free trials offered.
Travel Paddle 30 Ferndale Rd., Church Crookham, Hants. Tel: Fleet 22604 Props: Hilary and John Beattie. Canoe instruction, agents for Valley Canoe Products. Range of canoes to try and advice. Speciality, sea canoeing.
Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club
OPEN to family membership and singles from 15 years upwards. Novices and non-members welcome at weekly (Tues 7.00pm) sessions on canal at Reading Road Bridge drifting towards the Hare & Hounds. Club tips, award tests, instruction. Hon. Sec. Robin Grieve, 63 Dukes Mead, Fleet Hants Tel: Fleet 28131.
Whitewater Sports Shepperton Marina, Felix-Lane (off the B375 near Walton Bridge) 09322-47978. Canoeing superstore canoe (stock Coleman Canadians in 3 lengths), clothing and equipment sales - impressive range. You can try on adjacent Thames before you buy. Also hire and organise courses.
[back to top]

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Naturalists' Trust has agreed to the 600-yard length of canal being dredged between the Whitewater winding hole and Greywell tunnel. Claiming the site supports 13 rare or local plants and the same number of dragonfly species, the Trust has agreed to dredging the central section of the water channel, wanting silt margins left along either banks. The Naturalists also want barriers placed immediately west of the winding hole to prevent boats navigating up to the tunnel and a gate placed across the tunnel entrance to prevent access and possible disturbance of the bat population.

Acceptance of the need for dredging follows a report to the canal's Joint Management Committee at their meeting on 22nd March that every attempt should be made to boost the canal's estimated daily water supply of 4 million gallons. Since losses through various causes amounted to 2 million gallons daily, it was important to clear the spring heads in Greywell cutting and generate a maximum supply. It was also pointed out that the silt was being washed down the canal and already the John Pinkerton was being turned with increasing difficulty.

Other subjects discussed at the J.M.C. meeting included:
* In addition to encouraging navigational use of the canal for pleasure the Committee agreed to consider and promote commercial use of the waterway.
* It was agreed that linear moorings should be prevented - boats should ideally be moored in specially constructed basins. Non-towpath side, landowners would be allowed to moor one boat at a charge of 50% of the licence fee. If moored in a 'layby' no charge would be levied. Materials used in the construction of landing stages will need approval.
* A plan for trout fishing on the canal was rejected.
* Woking Councils outline plan for development of the 2.17 acre Brewery Road car park site was discussed. The Council recognises the value of making the canal a feature of any future development to include a mooring basin and town quay.
[back to top]

Collecting of Postcards is reputedly the third most popular Collecting Hobby in Britain (after stamps and coins). While few Inland Waterway Cards fetch prices much in excess of £10.00 each, the record price for a card at auction is £610. This was achieved by Messrs. Neales of Nottingham in March 1983, the subject of the unused card being a Toulouse Lautrec advertisement for the Moulin Rouge in Paris. With Waterways Cards, however, interesting examples can be discovered at prices starting from as low as a few pence. Quality Cards obtained through dealers now cost anything from £2.00 to £10.00 each.

The well known waterways photographer and writer, Hugh McKnight, has put together a book of his own postcard collection which we asked fellow-collector Howard Diamond to review.
[back to top]

Hugh McKnight's latest book gives a unique presentation of the myriad facets of collecting early Postcards, with an inland waterways theme, using nearly 300 illustrated reproductions from the turn of this century. The many variations shown include superb examples of Decorative, Advertising and Comic Cards, enhanced by graphic colouring, a side of the waterways subject rarely seen.

Picture Postcards have yielded a rich, historical source of illustrations for many Canal and River publications in recent years. A full selection of these topographical cards, usually the most sought after, are pictured in great detail, encompassing the majority of British navigations. They range from the basic 'black and white' ones through sepia and hand coloured prints, to the vivid clarity of 'close-up' photographic views. All have that certain 'atmosphere' giving a rewarding insight of a bygone age.

Hugh McKnight's narrative, though kept to a minimum, highlights many points of interest which might otherwise be missed by a less experience eye. Even if the individual cost of such cards, detailed in the concise appendix, are prohibitive to all but committed collectors, for the price of a couple of cards 'Waterways Postcards' will enhance anyone's knowledge of this facinating subject.

'Waterways Postcards 1900 - 1930' by Hugh McKnight contains 96 pages including 300 illustrations of which 62 are in full colour. Published by Shepperton Swan, the book is available through retail outlets or direct from the publishers at The Clock House, Upper Halliford, Shepperton, Middx TW1? 8RU. Price £4.95 plus 62p post & packing. If you want to start collecting old postcards, visit suitable bookshops, bric-a-brac shops and market stalls.

There's also the Canal Card Collectors Circle whose national annual Cardmeet is being organised by Stan Knight, a prolific collector of Basingstoke Canal cards, at Crookham -Village W.I. Hall on June 12th.

Anyone interested in joining is welcome to contact the Circle's membership offieer for details:-
Mr. D. Clough, 12 Wellstead Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
[back to top]

With the possibility of two major matches lined up for the autumn of this year and 1984, large consignments of match sized fish are being deposited in the canal. In addition to 4000 fingerling carp, the association (The Hampshire Basingstoke Canal Anglers Association) has added over 6000 slightly larger perch, roach and rudd to the match stretch between Fleet and Aldershot.

The fish were brought about 60 miles by road tanker with oxygen resp­iration from lakes fed by the River Itchen near Southampton with minimal losses. This stock will do much to enhance the consignments previously committed and will put the canal on line for every angler in the matches to expect a reasonable bag. ,P> Plans are now in hand for C.A.L.P.A.C. to organise one of their important matches between Aldershot and Fleet and the Competition Secretary of the N.F.A. Southern Region has already inspected the venue in anticipation of October 1984.
[back to top]

Members of RAF Odiham's Sub-Aqua Club did the Society a good turn by diving for the John Pinkerton's rudder which was thrown into the canal by vandals.

Society members had spent a whole day probing for the rudder without success although they recovered a number of chairs and other equipment thrown overboard. Faced with buying a replacement at a cost of £50, George Hedger got in touch with the Sub-Aqua Club at the suggestion of canal manager, David Gerry.

P.C.Trevor Jones, Hook's policeman, Mr. Dave Holland and Cpt., George Hayward were soon at the boat's moorings and found the missing rudder embedded in silt at the bottom of the canal. Thanks a lot fellows!
[back to top]

Last winter's Social meetings held at the Centre Halls, Woking, became so popular, it was often a case of 'standing room only'. ,P> Because we cannot book a larger room on a regular basis, we are moving the meetings to Christ Church Hall in the town square, adjacent to the library and only 50 yards from the Centre halls.

Christ Church Hall is modern, with sufficient seating for members, their guests and non-members. There's a well equipped kitchen and a stage which improves slide and film shows. ,P> Peter Coxhead and his committee members are organising another varied programme for the next season which starts on Monday 10th October.
[back to top]

Dr. Robert Page's article in the last Newsletter (No. 108) attracted the following views:
Dear Sir,
In his article in April's Newsletter, Dr. Robert Page makes one or two statements that are not borne out by observation. Firstly, he states that arrowhead has probably been lost from the canal whereas, in fact, the 'John Pinkerton' was almost brought to a halt by the dense arrowhead by Lodge Copse Bridge Last summer. Secondly the dragonfly population seems to increase every year. I cannot identify the various species but last year on the 'John Pinkerton' I saw greater numbers and more different models than I have seen on previous years, in fact the boat was escorted by them for practically the whole trip.

Although I appreciate the desirability of preserving rare plants and animals I do think a rational viewpoint would be to consider which is more beneficial to the public. In this case the choice is between a canal which will give enjoyment to people with many different interests (e.g. boating, canoeing, walking, amgling, painting, photography etc) and a place where rare plants grow that most people would not recognise, even if they were allowed in to see them.

In Greywell tunnel we are told that there are rare species of bats, but as far as the general public is concerned they may as well be five-toed flying hippopotamusses. If these bats are so rare and desirable cannot the naturalists raise the money to build a separate tunnel alongside the canal for them to move to so that industrial archeologists will be able to study what is, after all, one of the oldest tunnels in Britain?

The tunnel was there before the bats took up residence so where were they before that time? The same applies to all the plants and other wildlife. It doesn't just happen in a place; it must come from some­where (Greywell Mill P0nd, perhaps?) so I see no reason why, if it is disturbed by dredging etc., it should not re-establish itself at some later date.

The very nature of a canal requires that it is periodically dredged in order to RETAIN the environment. Without dredging, the canal will gradually deteriorate into a smelly swamp - which may please the nat­uralists but will not find much favour with the rest of the community.

I do feel that comsrervationists, naturalists and environmentalists do rather lose sight of the fact that people too have some right to live in an environment that suits them! Yours faithfully,
Clive Durley, 15 Kenilworth Road, Fleet, Hants.
Editor's Note: There will be more views on this subject in the next Newsletter.
[back to top]

SOCIAL JOTTINGS David Millett - Fleet 7364

A unique opportunity to take a cruise into the past on the famous paddle steamer 'Waverley', preserved and restored by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society as the last Sea Going Paddle Steamer in the World. See the massive machinery of the steam engines with the huge connecting-rods at close quarters. The cruise departs from Southampton, and passes through Southampton,Water and the Solent calling at Ryde and Southsea before cruising round the Isle of Wight with a short stop at Sandown. The magnificent cliff and coastal scenery can be viewed at close quarters especially with binoculars! Coach to and from Fleet. Price around £11 all-in. Bar, refreshments and large souvenir shop on board.

[back to top]

THANKS to Ray Taylor of Byfleet Boat Club for preparing the publicity board now erected at St. John's, Woking.
WORK CAMP booking form enclosed with this Newsletter - book your space now for between half a day and the full 2 weeks.
GRATEFUL thanks indeed to Hon Auditor, Mike Reid for donating his £150 fee for a recent 'voluntary' audit to the Society.
CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to Sir James Scott on his appointment to Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire. Regrettably he will be relinquishing his chairmanship of Joint Management Committee. Every success to the new chairman, Sir Michael Creswell.
RESULT of April draw for the 200 Club was - Mr. G.L. Miller (£41), Mr. R.E. Humberstone (£20) Mrs. N. Jones (£10) and Mr. T.J. Nevill (£10)
TWO folding bicycles gratefully received from Mr. Stanley-Jones of Woking for 'emergency' use on N.B. 'Return' and from Mrs. A. Bodell of Farnham for use in support of the John Pinkerton.
MEMBERSHIP Secretary wanted. Pressure of work is causing Ted Williams to hand this vital job over at the end of the year. Will you volunteer? Full details from the Secretary, Philip Riley, phone Worplesdon 234776.
RECOGNITION at last albeit unofficial, with the publication of the 'Top 30' Restoration Projects. Basingstoke second only to the Kennet and Avon.
FOUNDER member Les Harris represented Society at Brookwood Lye industrial development enquiry throughout its 3 day duration. Thanks Les - good to see you involved again.
[back to top]


Published by the Surrey & 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: Peter Fethney, 5 Longdown, Courtmoor, Fleet (5524)
Hon. Sec.: Philip Riley, Meadow Vale, Guildford Rd., Normandy (Worplesdon 234776)
Membership Sec.: Ted Williams,36 Kestrel Rd., Basingstoke (61579)
Working Party Information: Peter Jones, Aldershot 313076 and Peter Cooper, 01-993-11O5
Trip Boat: Ron Hursey, 119 Keith Lucas Rd.,Farnborough (519619)
Sales Manager: Aubrey Slaughter, 37 Fir Tree Way, Fleet (23102)
Talks Organiser: Pauline Hadlow, Beaulah, Parkstone Drive, Camberley (28367)
Exhibitions Manager: Phil Pratt, 26 Fleetwood Court, Madeira Rd., West Byfleet (40281)
[back to top]


Last updated April 2005