No 117September 1984
Inside front cover --
STRENGTH IN MEMBERS
During the Society's formative years a great deal of work was done to recruit members. Our campaign to save the canal inevitably attracted people to join in support. But we also actively canvassed for members by distributing thousands of membership forms. A team of members would meet in a chosen town, divide the main residential areas between them and set off on a door to door distribution. Initially the results seemed disappointing with a 0.5% success rate but we soon came to realise the 'conversion' rate was arithmetically predictable. So, for every 200 forms we distributed one new member was recruited.
The first 1000 members were signed up with relative ease. The next 500 took some real effort and any number over 2000 can be regarded as a bonus. At most the Society has had 2,400 members. Today the figure is around 1,800 and remains fairly static. New members tend to balance deletions but, so long as we have a job to finish, a rising membership would give the Society a healthier complexion if not a bigger bank balance.
At the AGM our member June Sparey pointed out the fall in membership and the potential for new members. Since the last extensive recruitment drive, new homes and new householders probably account for a 'turnover' in the local population of some 30% representing new potential members, especially among those who live close to the Canal.
A new and fast growing source of potential new members has so far been largely ignored except by the dredger crew. Considerable
numbers of people are exploring the canal at weekends: those curious to see restoration progress, the family parties who can be found at all points along the waterway and the boaters and fishermen. A journalist visiting the canal recently expressed his surprise at the activity seen at Colt Hill but no apparent information centre or kiosk.
So long as the Society continues to be engaged in restoration work and increasingly seeks support to limit riparian developments, our strength in numbers remains an important element in the Society's ability to influence the future of the canal.
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WORK CAMP SUCCESS
A full report of the summer work camp will appear in the next issue. Clearly, it has been a great success. Not just because of the amount of work achieved but particularly because of the organisation by Mike Fellows, Ken Parish and the supervisors who volunteered to lead the work camp. They not only planned the work programme, plant hire and supply of materials meticulously they also scheduled an interesting number of social activities including visits to nearby waterways, slide evening, swimming, barbecue and trips aboard the 'John Pinkerton'.
Our thanks to all those who joined the camp. In addition to the satisfaction we hope you gained from your efforts, we do hope you enjoyed your visit too. As a result, we are glad to hear this may not, after all, be the last summer work camp on the canal.
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(Top) High and dry in the newly restored dry dock at Deepcut in May, 'John Pinkerton' was inspected and her hull found to be in good condition after seven years in the water. A small part of the rudder which was chafing the stern was trimmed off before the boat was re-floated and back on the canal within twenty minutes proving the convenience of the facility. The 'John Pinkerton' had successfully cruised the 18-mile distance from Colt Hill in preparation for the Civic re-opening of the centre length.
(Bottom Left) The new 'Water Warrior' twin paddle driven 2 cylinder Lister air-cooled diesel engined weed cutter bought by the county councils for £14,000. The craft was built by John Wilder Engineering at Wallingford. Constructed as a weed cutter, it can also be fitted with a hydraulic rack to gather up floating weed as seen demonstrated by Hampshire canal ranger John Arnold who reports it to perform both functions very efficiently.
(Bottom Right) 'Perseverance' seen east of Double Bridge is now approaching the site of the former swing-bridge. Visitors will be especially welcome on the Open Day in
September to mark her 50th working year (see inside for details).
Ier work camp at St. John's... ^eft) Bump beam being positioned on the restored topcill of Lock 9.
(Top Right) Reinforcing the towpath bank with sheet piling between Locks 10-1 \.^~ <^°^ & k ? tjVttfe Left) Frank Jones supervising volunteers constructing a lock gate.
(Centre Right) Installing culvert pipes for a by-pass weir alongside Lock 7.
(Bottom Left) The Victorian wharf crane recovered by Society members from Lower Heyford on the Oxford Canal (see Newsletter 112), restored and much admired during the June rally at Hampshire County Council's Ash Lock canal depot. A lasting tribute to all those who undertook this imaginative project.
(Bottom Right) 'John Pinkerton' passing the new slipway and car park constructed by Hampshire County Council immediately below Wharf Bridge, Aldershot.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Clive Durley and Dieter Jebens.
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In the News
GOOD RESPONSE TO 'PROJECTS 84' APPEAL
There has been an encouraging response from members who pay their annual subscription by cash or cheque to our appeal for donations towards a number of specific projects listed in Newsletter 114. So far over £500 has been contributed and it's not too late for other members, who pay their subscriptions by bankers order or other means, to send a donation and so help meet some of the target sums.
Bridge restoration has always attracted our members interest from the early days of the 'Brick Appeal' which raised £1,000 for capping bricks to complete the renovation of the accommodation bridges between Barley Mow, Winchfield and Colt Hill, Odiham. Later members and friends of the Society gave generously towards the restoration of Broad Oak and Cowshott Manor Bridges. It is not surprising, therefore, that the appeal for donations to start a fund for the restoration of Langmans Bridge at St John's should attract the highest response with £188.25 to date. Admittedly there is a long way to go before we reach the target of £5,500 but it is a worthwhile start.
Second highest is the sum of £146.75 donated towards the target of £200 for tree planting. The response to this project is particularly heartening because of the widespread recognition that the abundance of trees along almost the entire length of the canal is one of the waterway's special attractions and these trees need replacements, in some numbers, almost continuously.
We are seeking £600 to buy woodworking tools to equip our voluntary carpenters building lock gates: so far £107.50 has been donated.
Finally, donations towards the purchase of a Cowley level - a surveying instrument — has attracted £97.50 in response to a target figure of £175.
Your generous donations have been gratefully received and will help make all the Projects possible this year except, perhaps, for Langman's Bridge! But, with the donations from those who have not yet responded, it would really be good news if we could reach the targets and so avoid the need to dip into our 'savings'. Send your donations to the Treasurer: Peter Fethney, 5 Long-down, Courtmoor, Fleet, Aldershot, Hants, made payable to Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd and indicating your Project choice:
A. Langman's Bridge Target £5,500
B. Woodworking Tools Target £600
C. Cowley Level Target £175
D. Tree Planting Programme Target £200
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THE SEEPAGE SAGA AT ASH VALE
As we closed for press, the Canal's water level between Heathvale Bridge, Ash Vale and Mytchett remains lowered by stop planks.
Having dug extensive drainage ditches, Surrey County Council have effectively dried out the waterlogged gardens of properties in Horseshoe Lane, caused by water seeping through the canal bank. The edge of the canal has been puddled with clay to form a lining and further measures are being evaluated, such as pressure grouting, to make the bank even more watertight.
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'POTTERS' OPENS AT MYTCHETT
The apparent mystery over the exact nature of the new canal-side leisure development above Mytchett Place Bridge has been solved. Built by Bob Potter of Lakeside Country Club fame, his latest venture opened on 25th July as a pub restaurant on a three acre site purchased from the Ministry of Defence for a reputed sum of £10,000.
A special feature of the development is a boat mooring 'basin' and slipway but it is a pity the bank piling is so uneven. A notice by the slipway instructs potential users to seek permission from the management before launching a boat.
The unusual and pleasing architecture houses a bar with a salad and snack counter and a separate steak restaurant. Outside an extensive patio has tables and chairs.
A quick visit did not reveal any attempt to link the establishment with the canal which would have given it interest and character above the normal steak bar decor. And the potter at his wheel for an inn-sign seemed a lost opportunity apart from the lack of imagination.
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Canals, once England's lifeline of trade, Oft now obscured or lost with each decade, Meandering ribbons or arrow like veins, The industrial heartlands or countryside plains.
Canals, blocked, damaged, broken, decayed, Not a true picture, former glories portrayed, Filled up with rubbish, some courses unknown, Waterless reed beds, towpaths overgrown
Canals, crumbled bridges, gateless locks, Des'erted wharfsides, stagnant docks, Years long left where nobody cares, Remaining untouched, sad state of affairs.
Canals, once important, routage for man, Originally built slave like, an industrial plan, Heritage forming, from creative brains, Immediate abandoned, enter lorries and trains.
Canals, now have saviours for liberation, Societies formed for their restoration, Events thus organised for monies they need, The more they obtain, the more can be freed.
Canals, now are gaining recognition they ought, Reconstructed, repaired with voluntary support, People now can once more enjoy, The beautiful canals that time did destroy.
Editor's Note: David's poem was sent with his sponsored walk money. If you also walked and have not yet sent in your sponsorship money, please collect it as soon as possible and remit to: Bert Savill, 3 Rushmoor Close, Fleet, Hants.
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WORKING PARTIES and Progress - Peter Cooper
With the events of 9th June now past, the working party scene has returned to normal. So it becomes once more a continuing exercise to test the staying power of those involved. Steady progress continues on all fronts, and this is most encouraging; it would be even better if more Society volunteers came along to speed the job along to completion.
The working parties in operation are listed below. It's usually as well to contact your working party leader a few days before attending, in case of last minute changes of plan.
St Johns (or Goldsworth) locks Every weekend
By mid July, Lock 11 was positively teetering on the brink of chamber completion, which was confidently expected at the next working party. The party are then likely to spend some time on related works in the area of the lock, and will then probably move to Lock 8, further down the flight.
Lock 9 is now moving ahead again. The flank walls at the bottom end are now complete, and the return walls almost so. The first main chamber wall is about halfway up and is now climbing again; demolition of the other chamber wall is under way. Lock 8 has not received much attention lately.
The co-ordinator of the Society's work on this flight of locks is MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham 787428, and for further details you should contact him or one of the working party leaders listed below.
(AG) 9 Sept 14 Oct 11 Nov
(PJ) 8/9 Sept 6/7 Oct 3/4 Nov
(JW & TG)
22/23 Sept 20/21 Oct 17/18 Nov
Lock 11 area, or Lock 8
(KH, PR & EC) - 15/16 Sept, 29/30 Sept, 13/14 Oct,
27/28 Oct, 10/11 Nov.
(JW) - Jules Wood - Farnborough 515737
(TG) - Tony Gould - 01 941 3014
(AG) - Alan Grimster - Brookwood 6127
(PJ) - Peter Jones - Aldershot 313076
(KH) - Ken Halls - Woking 23981
(PR) - Peter Redway - Woking 21710
(EC) - Edwin Chappell - Ashtead 72631
Dredging in Hampshire Every weekend
Dredging has been going well lately (apart from the dragline being out of action for two weekends) and the dredger has now passed Eastcote House. So far this year 900 yards have been dredged and the present tip site is fast filling up. The dredger's name has now been applied (at last!) to the side of this almost unique craft, which hopes shortly to celebrate her 50th birthday with an Open Day. The dredger team always welcome new recruits to their ranks - for further details contact ANDY STUMPF on Chesham 785720 or BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627.
Surrey towpath work
First Sunday of the month — 7 October, 4 November This party are likely to be operating in the Deepcut area this autumn, but the exact location is not yet known. This is unskilled work suitable for family groups. For further details you should contact BERT and BETTY SCAMMELL on Aldershot 23215.
Lock gate building
The two working parties involved here are reaching the stage where they definitely have something to show for their efforts. The upper gates for Lock 10 are more or less complete, and the lower gates for Lock 11 are almost finished. It is planned to build the upper gates for Lock 11 at the Work Camp, so the supply of gates for the St Johns flight will have caught up with the completed locks. Come along lock restorers! More restored locks, requiring gates, are needed!
These two working parties will continue to operate, probably doing finishing jobs and various ancillary carpentry, and they still need full support.
First full weekend of the month - 6/7 Oct, 3/4 Nov
- FRANK JONES on Deepcut 835711 (workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home). Fourth Sunday of the month
- 23 Sept, 28 Oct - ALAN GRIMSTER on Brookwood 6127.
Lock 4 (Woodham)
Second weekend of the month - 8/9 Sept, 13/14 Oct, 10/11 Nov.
Both chamber walls have now been demolished, and the rubble has been used to construct a very substantial causeway for lorry access. This may require to be even more substantial, in which case the rubble from the lower recess walls, now being taken down, will be used for this purpose. For further details contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081.
Lock 1 (Woodham)
Third weekend of the month- 15/16 Sept, 20/21 Oct, 17/18 Nov.
The rebuilding of the main chamber walls is now approaching completion, and it should soon be time to put the coping stones back. For further detaHs contact DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 or ROY DAVENPORT on 01 979 7075.
Surrey full-time team
Following completion of chamber restoration at Lock 14, the top gates for this lock are now complete, at the lock, and the bottom gates are being built at the workshop. Work on Lock 13 continues; the wing walls are done, the cills are being done, and the first new chamber wall is going up. Otherwise, Deepcut flight finishing touches continue, and the team continue to play a vital role supporting volunteer activities.
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BIGGEST EVER SUMMER WORK CAMP
Sixty five volunteers booked in for this year's fortnight's summer camp at St. Johns to work on the five Goldsworth locks. The volunteers included canal enthusiasts from Iceland, America and Germany.
Organised by Mike Fellows and Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group leader Ken Parish, the work schedule included bank protection work, restoration of Lock 7 and lock gate construction on site at Lock 11.
A full report will appear in the November Newsletter.
Dates for your Diary
Sunday September 23rd
'Perseverance' dredger Open Day at Dogmersfield and 'John Pinkerton' trips.
Saturday October 6th
Autumn Barn Dance at Crondall Village Hall, 8.00pm.
Monday October 15th
Films made and presented by Philip Pratt, Christ Church Hall, 8.00pm
Wednesday October 24th
Members film and slide evening, Prince of Wales, Fleet, 7.45pm.
Monday November 12th
Talk (to be arranged), Christ Church Hall, Woking, 8.00pm
Wednesday November 28th
Slide evening about the recovery of the 'Mary Rose', Prince of Wales, Fleet, 7.45pm.
Monday December 10th
Talk (to be arranged), Christ Church Hall, Woking, 8.00pm
TEN YEARS AGO - From Newsletter No. 58 September/October 1974
* The Society's first sponsored walk along the canal towpath was reported to have attracted 500 walkers and was scheduled to raise "the almost unbelievable sum of £4,027".
* It was planned to run a Society cruise on the Kennet and Avon Canal .. ."let's hope that in a few years time we shall be able to offer cruises on the restored Basing-stoke Canal", wrote David Millett.
* A group of members, led by Stuart Browning and John Adlam made a distribution of membership forms in the Woking and Brookwood area. Over 100 new members were recruited increasing the Society's total membership to 1,846 with 29 affiliated groups.
* The Society took delivery of the 70-ton steam powered dredger 'Perseverance' purchased from the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.
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FINAL CURTAIN FOR MIKRON THEATRE? David Millett
The Mikron Theatre Company are well known to all those members who cruise the waterways of England. They tour the country every year in their narrow boat "Tyseley", performing at waterside venues and pubs, and are unique in combining the world of the; theatre with the world of the waterways. Over the last twelve years Mike and Sarah Lucas and their small company have given over 1750 performances which have been seen by 158,000 people.
Indeed, before Blisworth Tunnel closed for repairs, the Mikron Theatre Company used to visit the Thames and for two years running this Society brought them to the Basingstoke Canal and they performed in the garden of the Fox and Hounds at Crookham and in the Prince of Wales in Fleet.
Recently, out of the blue, the Arts Council announced that they were abolishing their annual grant of £28000 as from next year, without any discussions or consultations whatsoever. As this represents only 0.034% of the money given in grants each year by the Arts Council it is a very unfortunate decision, especially as the sum represents 50% of the income the company needs to keep going.
However, there is still a chance to keep this unique institution alive, because the Arts Council have said it will listen to appeals. Mike Lucas has promised that when the Basingstoke Canal is fully restored he will bring the company by boat and perform again at a waterside pub on the canal.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The society's Hon. Secretary has written an official letter protesting at the planned withdrawal of the grant.
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GREYWELL TUNNEL STUDY GROUP
As the chairman stated at the A.G.M. a small group is making a study of the tunnel, and the task of restoring it. The study group need some specialist assistance as follows:—
(1) A person with professional experience in soil mechanics.
(2) An electrical engineer who could advise on installation of lighting and power supplies into the tunnel and supervise volunteers doing the work of installation. Any members who can offer assistance in these matters
are asked to contact David Meller or Stan Meller on
* After asking a question in the House of Commons as to when Surrey could expect to acquire its length of the canal, Mr. Cranley Onslow, the member for Woking, wrote to the County Council saying "the whole situation seems to me to be extremely disappointing. If matters continue to move at a snail's pace, I can hardly believe that the Surrey section of the canal will be recognisable, let alone capable of restoration, by the time a final decision is reached". (SCC finally bought the eastern end 18 months later).
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At the end of July Hampshire rangers temporarily dammed the canal below Stacey's Bridge, adjacent to the Thatched Cottage at Dogmersfield, for the replacement of a culvert running under the navigation.
The work was expected to take about four weeks to complete and the waterway should be open again by the time this Newsletter appears.
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With the evenings getting shorter again, the season for talks, film, and slide shows is approaching, and your full support will be appreciated. Hampshire meetings will be at the Prince of Wales (Baronial Room), Reading Road South, Fleet on the 4th Wednesday of the month and the Woking meetings will again be at the Christ Church Hall, Town Square, Woking (50 yards from Centre Halls) on the 2nd Monday of the month.
PLEASE SUPPORT THESE EVENINGS and bring along your friends and prospective new members.
WOKING SOCIAL EVENINGS: At the Christ Church Hall, Town Square, Woking (50 yards from Central Halls)
MONDAY 15th October, 8.00pm
Joint meeting with the IWA Guildford and Reading branch when our member Philip Pratt will present an evening of his own canal films.
MONDAY 12th November, 8.00pm
(Programme yet to be arranged)
MONDAY 10th December, 8.00pm
(Programme yet to be arranged)
FLEET SOCIAL EVENINGS: At the Prince of Wales (Baronial Room), Reading Road South, Fleet.
WEDNESDAY 24th October, 7.45pm
Members film and slide evening. Bring along your films or slides of waterways at home and abroad. Holiday trips, cruises, boat rallies etc. Preferably telephone Fleet 7364 first if you wish to show your slides or films to give an indication of how many members would like to participate.
WEDNESDAY 28th November, 7.45pm
A slide evening featuring the raising of the Mary Rose and the work of the Mary Rose Trust.
AUTUMN BARN DANCE - SATURDAY 6th OCTOBER CRONDALL VILLAGE HALL, 8pm.
The Autumn Barn Dance will take place at the Crondall Village Hall (opposite the Church). Tickets will be £2.75 per head including a knife and fork supper. Tickets will be on sale from September 1st. Get your order in early as we are restricted to 80 people. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN DRINKS. Apply for tickets to: Rosemary Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet (Fleet 7364)
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B.W.B. ANNUAL REPORT FOR 1983
The British Waterways Board has recently published its Annual Report for 1983 from which the following information is extracted:
"Continued commitment by the Government to the allocation of additional funding enabled them ... to make good progress with the special programme of repairs to major structures started in 1982.
"The cost of operating, dredging and maintaining the waterways in 1983 was £36,245,000.
"Toll income for the year (from the Commercial Waterways) was £1,094,000.
"Revenue from fees and charges (for leisure use) in 1983 totalled £2,235,000.
"Some 82 miles of restored Remainder Waterway were added to the Cruising Waterways...
"The gross revenue from the management of the Board's Estate increased by £1,186,000 .. .
"The Board's trading activities generated a turnover from external sources of £18,487,000. Government grants of £38,789,000 were received ... there was an operating profit of £2,254,000. Retained profit after interest was £104,000".
Sir Frank Price retires
After 16 years as Chairman of B.W.B. Sir Frank Price, DL, has published a booklet entitled "Some Waterway Reflections". He presents his personal reflections on the evolvement of the Board and waterways since 1968 culminating in the reclassification of over 80 miles of waterway from Remainder to Cruiseway status and the improvements to broad waterways such as the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation.
Sir Frank's views on the next decade are summed up: "I believe that the part which waterways can play in satisfying an increasing demand for leisure ... in renovating and revitalising ... neglected areas of our major cities... and providing a viable environmentally acceptable and energy saving form of transport ... will become even more apparent. Indeed I believe that people will become impatient for such benefits. .."
Best wishes in your retirement, Sir Frank!
The new Chairman of the British Waterways Board is Sir Leslie Young, whose recent background was Chairman of J. Biddy & Sons PLC and as a member of the Merseyside Development Corporation. We wish Sir Leslie every success at BWB.
Appeal for Social Secretaries
David Millett is still seeking someone to take on the vacant post organising social activities, particularly the programme of evening meetings, in Fleet. Now we learn that Michael Grist who has been so successful in organising a varied and interesting programme of monthly socials in Woking, attracting capacity audiences, has resigned his post — our appreciation and thanks for a job well done. So we are also looking for a member to take over at the Woking end. Volunteers for these important but not time consuming jobs, please contact David Millett (Fleet 7364) or Peter Coxhead (Byfleet 44564) for the Woking end.
1984 ANNUAL GRAND DRAW
As you will have seen on the tickets enclosed with Newsletter No. 116 the Draw this year offers cash prizes. Why not buy a couple of books yourself and then send for a new supply from Jean Scott, 172 Aldershot Road, Guildford GU2 6BL.
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THE EVENING SENTINEL, STOKE-ON-TRENT THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 1973 Chris de Wet
"Hard going as 72ft boat heads for Leek.
'The first narrow boat to be seen along the Leek branch of the Caldon Canal for several years made its appearance yesterday.
"The 72ft long 7ft wide Dorset had been hired along with another camping boat, Chiltern, by nine members of the Hants and Surrey Canal Society for a fortnight on the waterways and decided to take it to the "terminus" of the Leek branch at the Churnet Aqueduct.
"Because of growths in the water, however, the central channel was not wide enough and the boat had to be pulled and manhandled over sedge and rocks.
"The manoeuvre over a distance of half a mile from the Hazlehurst junction (!) — where they were based and spent last night — took 3% hours! There were, however, many willing helpers among the interested sightseers."
The events which led up to the appearance of this item in the newspaper began some 5 months earlier with the mention in Newsletter No. 49 of a planned fortnight's canal holiday proposed to the Society's members by one Peter Walker. As luck would have it I was one of the respondents and subsequent participants in a holiday filled with adventure as might be indicated by the above news-cutting.
To set the scene further I quote from Newsletter No. 53 of November/December the same year:
"I have heard on the grapevine that the fortnight's holiday fourteen S & HCS members, one baby squirrel and a homing pigeon had on the narrow boats 'Chiltern' and 'Dorset' last summer was considered a great success. As co-organiser with Andrew Howard my modesty compels me to admit that the rumours are all too true. We did eat 10 gallons of porridge, among other incredible quantities of food, and the only one of the party who
died en route was the squirrel — and I'm sure that was a just retribution to him for never doing any washing-up.
"Ours was the first full length narrow boat to navigate the Leek Arm beyond Leek Tunnel for many years; the total distance of \Vi miles took us 24 hours of hard work! We became stars of press and radio — well, two local papers and BBC Radio Stoke-on-Trent. Experiences like these (especially that porridge) make a holiday to remember."
So writes Peter Walker — among other fond memories of that trip that I have was the occasion when the onus fell on me to provide supper. The choice was simple — I only knew how to cook chicken casserole. The meal had to be prepared whilst under way and the cooking was done aboard 'Dorset' which was blessed (or so I thought until that time) with a single cylinder Bolinder semi-diesel. Now for those not familar with this breed of engine I might explain that flat out it runs at maybe 100 rpm. At cruising speed it ran at a speed suitable to set the casserole dishes placed on the oven shelves into a state of simple harmonic motion such that said dishes tended to emulate an errant yo-yo. The answer was to tie the dishes down and keep a wary eye on the string!
After his considerable talents as a holiday organiser had been expended Peter went on to become the Society's Sales Manager (having escaped to Leeds University for a while).
Peter's parents, Wendy and John Walker also took an active part in the Society and are still members helping by delivering Newsletters around their Farnborough home.
Peter married an American girl he met at University and they now have two children. A member of the Canal Society of New Jersey where they live, he is involved in the restoration of the Morris Canal. The family came to this country for a holiday last year and hired the NB 'Return' so continuing to support the Society.
Our best wishes to you and your family Peter. If you get to read this we would welcome an article on canal restoration in America.
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FANCY A FLIGHT ?
To give all waterway enthusiasts the opportunity to view some south-eastern waterways from the air the IWA Guildford & Reading Branch is organising aerial sightseeing trips.
Flights are planned for 15th and 16th September 1984 from Fairoaks airport near Chobham, Surrey, using a 5-seater Partenavia aircraft. This is a high wing aircraft, ideal for sightseeing, and will be operating a series of flights over the two days.
There will be a choice of two trips: a 30 minute flight from Fairoaks to Hampton Court and then following as much of the River Thames as possible, over Central London and the City, to Tower Bridge and St Katherine's Dock and return to Fairoaks for £25.
Alternatively one may take a 40 minute trip to view the Basingstoke Canal from the River Wey to Greywell, then across country to Godalming and follow the River Wey back to the junction with the Basingstoke Canal. This will cost £30. Both prices are per person and include VAT.
On the Basingstoke trip it should be possible to see the progress of restoration work, together with views of a considerable flight of locks, a tunnel mouth and an
aqueduct over a four track railway line. The other planned journey will pass many of London's most famous buildings and many equally famous Thames bridges. We leave you to count them!
Booking office: IWA Flights, c/o Silcroft, Mill Lane, Yateley, Camberley, Surrey GUI7 7TE (Tel: Yateley (0252) 875088).
Robert Benford's Boat Station
Rowing Boats, Punts and Motor
Boats for Hire on the Basingstoke
Canal at Odiham. To find us, fork left
at the bottom of Odiham High Street.
TEL: ODIHAM (025671) 2895
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"PERSEVERANCE" IS 50 YEARS YOUNG! Open Day, Sunday 23 September 1984
"Perseverance", the Society's steam dredger, celebrates her fiftieth birthday this year. To celebrate the occasion an Open Day will be held on SUNDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER.
The "Perseverance" is currently working between Double Bridge, Dogmersfield and Chequers Bridge, Crookham Village and will be working near the site of the now-removed swing bridge. You are invited to come and inspect this impressive piece of machinery, meet the hard working crew and see the other Society hardware involved in the silt removal process.
Also in attendance will be the Society's Sales Stand and Photographic Exhibition. Tea, coffee and cakes will be available.
Andy Stumpf, the dredger manager, tells me that the "Perseverance" will be used to boil the water for the drinks — so an unique 'cuppa' could be yours for a modest price!
For those who wish to view the event from the water, the Society's trip boat "John Pinkerton" will be running public trips from the Barley Mow Bridge at 10.00am, 1.00pm and 4.00pm (these timings are approximate).
The price of the return journey will be £1.50 and refreshments are available on board. Seats can be booked in advance by contacting Ron Hursey on Farnborough (Hants.) 519619. Passengers can, if they wish, alight at the dredger whilst the trip boat continues to the winding hole at Chequers Bridge. She will then return to pick up her passengers and continue to Barley Mow.
Some facts about "Perseverance":
* Believed to be the only working steam dredger of its
* Built in October 1934. Hull by James Pollock & Sons on the River Thames - Cost £812. Crane by Graftons of Bedford-Cost £1,639.
* Purchased by the Grand Union Canal Company and later used by B.W.B. on the Shropshire Union Canal.
* It had a 'new' boiler in 1957/58 built in 1947 by Marshalls (a frustrated export order that went to a Luton laundry before ending up in "Perseverance").
* Bought by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust and was operated by the Trust from 1968-72.
* It burns wood or coal, working pressure is 120 psi and uses water from the canal (but not for the tea!!)
* Purchased by the Society in 1973 and completely renovated by a team led by Ian Cripps.
* The engine for the crane is a twin cylinder 10" stroke, 7" bore, 12 HP (nominal).
* The grab has a capacity of 2/3 cubic yard, worked by a \Wi" bore direct acting steam cylinder.
It's exciting to see this machine in action and this will be one of the rare days when you can get closer to really see how it all works.
So do come, either by boat (yours or ours) or by car. For car passengers a car park is available in Chalky Lane (look out for signs). This road runs between the A287 Farnham-Odiham road and Dogmersfield Village.
Hope to see lots of you on September 23rd.
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SPEAKER'S CORNER Pauline Hadlow
Talks Organiser, Pauline Hadlow, would like to hear from anyone who would be prepared to give talks, illustrated by slides from the Society's collection, about the canal. We particularly need speakers for afternoon engagements; demand is exceeding supply at the moment!
The canal is a very popular subject with various groups and clubs, as indeed it should be — where else in the Country could such a project as restoring an entire canal be found?
Giving a talk about the Basingstoke can be a very rewarding experience (I know, I gave a talk to the Farnborough Wine Circle once, and have never been the same since — Ed). It is also an important 'shop window' for the Society and although we do not charge a fee, most of our 'bookings' contribute by way of a donation. All we ask is for the speaker's travel expenses to be met.
Each speaker is asked to give about three talks a year. Most organisations look for about 30 minutes for the duration of a talk. I can arrange for you to receive background information and, of course, a set of slides.
If this type of voluntary work appeals to you, please contact: Pauline Hadlow on Camberley 28367.
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Of late the Society has been fortunate to receive several sizeable donations for which the Society extends its sincere thanks.
The John Heap Trust has donated £100. John was one time Chairman of the Inland Waterways Association and has long been involved with the Society.
The Pyke Charity Trust has donated £500 and the Acheson Trust £100.
Pyrford Marina, to whom we lent our railway track for the purpose of dredging activity, has donated £250.
Our thanks once again.
PROBLEMS WITH YOUR BOAT?
Let LEIGH MARINE SERVICES HELP
24 hour breakdown service, engine repairs, winterising, propellers re-conditioned, re-fitting and general maintenance, fully mobile service. Tuition available in boat handling. Boats bought for cash.
Telephone Brookwood 81834
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I feel it is necessary to write and defend the Executive Committee against some of the accusations made by Graham Meade in his letter (June Newsletter No. 116). This is in the matter of financial support for volunteer work.
In all the years that John Peart and I have been running our group we have never had cause to complain about lack of financial support from the E.G. At the start of each financial year we have submitted a work plan and budget. During the hectic days on Ash Embankment the budget became quite a high figure, but always the B.C. accepted the commitment. We could never complain of progress being delayed for lack of money.
Indeed, the point was made during the 1984 A.GM. that in 1983 expenditure exceeded income and some reserves were withdrawn. Chairman Robin Higgs accepted that this was right. I suggest to Graham Meade if he has a plan that will speed the pace of restoration he should compile a costed work proposal and submit it to the Executive; I am sure they would not fail him. But, of course, he would be morally obliged to deliver the goods.
As for speeding up progress of restoration this can best be done by recruiting more work volunteers; the extra effort being used to "double up" on some of the existing teams.
One final paragraph on raising income. I am concerned with organising the engineering work of restoration, but I believe there is already a small group who are engaged in fund raising; if this is incorrect no doubt we shall soon know. But there is an easy way that all members can help with fund raising, and that is by signing a covenant form. Despite frequent appeals by our Treasurer, only about 5% of the membership pay by covenant — does Mr. Meade? and if not, why not; it will cost you only a stamp. But if all members did this the extra income would amount to more than £2,000 at current membership fee levels. Regards,
STAN MELLER, Branksome Hill Road, College Town, Camberley.
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The Society will shortly be in need of persons to undertake the positions of Honorary Treasurer and Sponsored Walk Organiser.
Peter Fethney, currently our Treasurer, is looking for a successor to take over next May. Those interested in taking on a challenging and vital role within the Society are asked to contact the Secretary in the first instance (address and telephone number on the back page).
Sponsored Walks Organiser
Derek Truman has diligently organised the Sponsored Walk for a number of years and due to increasing work commitments also requires someone to take over this essential fund raising activity. The amount of work involved is not enormous and there is a well structured support organisation already in place. Again, will all those interested please contact Phil Riley, our Secretary, initially.
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DREDGING THE FILM ARCHIVES Tony Rozelaar
Those of you who for one reason or another did not manage to see Woking's New Cinema Club's presentation of 'Inland Waterways & Railways of Surrey' introduced by John Huntley at Woking Centre Halls on July 12 missed a rare treat.
Apart from some wonderfully evocative footage of working boats on the Grand Union filmed in 1929, John Huntley brought along three highly intriguing film clips one of which dated from the 1st World War, and showed through clouds of thick black smoke the Army experimenting with a barge with a petrol engine instead of the usual horse power. The waterway looked very much like the Basingstoke — with Aldershot Home of the British Army nearby it could well have been — but was it? ...
There's no doubt that our canal was the star of the other two extracts. The first of these depicted the barge 'Basingstoke' and clearly showed that even back in 1913 weed and silt made progress hard. The second was truly John Huntley's trump card — This was a long forgotten BBC Television News report on the proposed sale of the canal in 1948. Included were a number of fascinating views around the Surrey/Hants border and scenes of a protest meeting which took place by Fleet Reading Road Bridge. Mr. Hodgson, a local resident, was shown speaking most eloquently about the need to revitalise the waterway for not only commercial but also recreational purposes. What foresight that gentleman had so long before the Society was formed. It is believed that he still lives in Fleet. Can any Member verify this? When, almost 40 years on, the courage of Mr. Hodgson's convictions has been vindicated, how marvellous it would be for him to see that piece of film. And maybe that will be possible ... Watch this space for the next instalment...
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1949 AND ALL THAT
It was good to see Teddy Edwards and his wife Pat at the Ash Lock Rally in June. They looked on the activity with more than a little pleasure reflecting, perhaps, on their efforts to secure a future for the navigation long before the Society was formed.
Teddy Edwards, author of the standard and definitive 'directory' "Inland Waterways of Great Britain", was a member of the purchasing committee, led by Joan Marshall, which bid for the canal when the Harmsworth family put it up for auction in 1949.
The Committee was hurriedly formed by the then 3-year old Inland Waterways Association to save the canal. Mr. Edwards was among other enthusiasts who feared that the navigation might otherwise fall into the hands of a developer or simply be abandoned. He campaigned to raise an estimated purchase price of £20,000.
The auction was widely publicised in the national press and abroad resulting in a great deal of support and donations. The Daily Mirror ran the story on Saturday 12 February 1949 under the Headline 'Ted and Pat want to buy a Canal'.
On 1st March the Committee successfully bid £6,000, plus £3,000 for 'fixtures and fittings' but was unable to complete the purchase through lack of cash. As a result Mr. S.E. Cooke was introduced, took over, completed the sale and formed the New Basingstoke Canal Company Ltd. in 1950 with Joan Marshall appointed as General Manager.
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A CANAL HOLIDAY WITH A DIFFERENCE Mike Fellows
After 15 years of canal holidays and having seen most of the system I decided to try a completely different waterway, the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal. This little waterway is completely isolated from the rest of the system and runs for 34 miles from Pontypool to Brecon along the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
My first problem was who hired boats as I hadn't seen any advertisements in the waterway press. However, I remembered that about a year ago Waterways World did a feature on this canal and listed the hire companies (5 in all). All the yards were small with only about six boats and I eventually booked with Beacon Park Boats at Llanfoist Wharf near Abergavenny.
The second problem was finding the yard. Having lunched in Abergavenny we set off for the yard and after several wrong attempts we finally found the right road; a narrow winding road barely wide enough for one car. It climbed steeply, around a few very sharp bends, across a wooden bridge over the canal and then into the boatyard — one of the smallest I've been to. The boats were all steel cruisers similar to boats available on the rest of the system. The proprietor had a very friendly and informal approach which typified the people we met on the holiday.
We set off about four o'clock and cruised towards Pontypool. The canal is very high on the side of the hill and superb views across the valley are always present and mountains kept popping in and out of sight as the canal twisted and turned. It is said that the 'Mon and 'Brec' is as pretty as the upper end of the Llangollen and I agree, but the difference is that the 'Mon and Brec' is like it along the whole of its length.
When we tried to moor for the first night another problem was encountered. The canal was so shallow that we were hard aground, a long way from the bank and almost in the 'navigation' channel. However, we discovered that this was the only way to rnoor and so a delicate Valking the gang plank' operation was required to get on and off the boat.
The following day (Sunday) we set off for Pontypool and were surprised by the large number of boats on the move. This proved untypical as it was just the weekenders out from Goy tre Boat Yard taking advantage of the exceptionally good weather. The rest of the week we only passed a few boats a day. Right up to the outskirts of Pontypool the canal was completely rural. Here is the official end of navigation but unfortunately we didn't realise this (there is no notice) and we continued on. Progress became slower and slower as the canal became more silted and weedy but we finally made it to Pontymoyle Basin by hauling the boat on the ropes. Pontymoyle is the old junction between the Brecon and Abergavenny and the Monmouthshire canals and the basin is little more than an enlarged winding hole in the middle of nowhere.
The following day we walked down the line of the old Monmouthshire Canal, but that's another story (see next issue). Over the next few days we slowly made our way northwards and above Llanfoist encountered many of the new concrete lined sections. These were the only sections where it was possible to moor against the side and to proceed at 3 or 4 mph. Over the years they had obviously had many major problems as numerous sections had concrete linings, and I suspect many more will have to be lined in the future.
At all the points along the canal there were mountains all around and beautiful scenery. There were few villages on the canal, although they were never far away down in the valley below. There were lots of interesting canalside pubs selling a variety of ales and most providing a wide range of food.
By Thursday we had arrived at the temporary northern end of the canal; Ashford Tunnel. This was unfortunately closed for the whole of 1984 and it cut off the top 7 miles to Brecon. We walked along this section into Brecon but we were disappointed with the terminal basin in Brecon as the canal just seemed to peter out.
Friday was spent slowly wandering our way back down the canal to our base and to the end of a smashing week's holiday. When I booked the holiday I was very apprehensive about whether there would be enough to do as the canal was only 34 miles long (27 because of the tunnel closure) and only 6 locks. It seemed as though we would have plenty of time on our hands. It wasn't so, the canal was so shallow that 2 mph was about the maximum speed in most parts. This didn't really matter as one was content to amble along this beautiful waterway. I can easily see how people could spend two weeks taking advantage of the lovely scenery.
I highly recommend a holiday on this canal; for the experienced and novices alike;it is ideal. I shall definitely go back and do it again.
200 CLUB JUNE DRAW RESULTS
1st Prize - Mr D.L. Franklin £37
2nd Prize - Mr and Mrs B. Scammell £18
3rd Prize-Mr M. Hunt £10
4th Prize — Miss Doreen Maynard £10
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WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS
Ross Family -- Ash Vale
Mills Family -- Ash Vale
Mr M.G. Lewis (Life) -- Basingstoke
Mr P.J. Seward -- Heath End
Mr R. and Mrs M. Fuller -- Heath End
Cooper Family -- Yateley
Hodgson Family -- Fleet
Mr V.G. Pearmain -- Wokingham
Mr T. Lewis -- Stourbridge
Cotton Family -- Datchet
Miss J.M. Pollard -- St Johns
Mr S. Lane -- Woking
Crawford Family -- Walton on Thames
Warnes Family -- Farnborough
Cobb Family -- Aldershot
Merriman Family -- Church Crookham
Mrs S. Tilley -- West Byfleet
Jones Family -- Brookwood
Townsend Family -- Fleet
Mr A.F. Gay -- Egham
Mrs J. Langdon -- Walton on Thames
Zeegan Family -- East Sheen
Eagland Family -- Camberley
Cozens Family -- Wood Green N.22
Godfrey Family -- Basingstoke
Mr C.J. Bayford -- Camberley
Mr H.B.M. Butterworth -- Brockenhurst
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COLOUR cover on "Narrow Boat" August issue was taken by Society photorapher Clive Durley. Well done, Clive!
£2,500 collected to date as a result of the Sponsored Walk. Further contributions quickly please to Bert Savill, 3 Rushmoor Close, Fleet, Hants.
FREE fishing membership available to Society Members from the Hampshire Basingstoke Canal Anglers Association by application to the Secretary, Lewis A. Harris, 24 Hampton Court, Woolford Way, Basingstoke, Hants. RG23 8AZ.
"PERSEVERANCE" has dredged 900 yards in the first six months this year — a record.
TALK now of "skylifting" the hull of "Seagull" from the Brickworks Arm at Nately. Seems appropriate for her to fly out!
EXTENSIVE T.V. coverage of June 9th rally. We managed some 10 minutes air time at prime viewing time on BBC South, Thames and Southern.
STEAM BOAT ASSOCIATION plans to return next year for the next Rally. Venue seems like to again be based at Ash Lock.
SALES of the new "Guide to the Basingstoke Canal" have been outstanding. Make sure of your copy before stocks are exhausted! 90p including postage from Sales Manager (address below).
BOOKINGS for the "John Pinkerton" at this stage indicate that profits this year will at least equal last year's.
ALDERSHOT slipway is seeing use by 4-6 boats per day - a great success. Barley Mow slip due for August completion.
BENFORD'S (now an advertiser) can offer teas, ices and refreshments at their Colt Hill, Odiham base.
LEAFLET on the canal in Hampshire has now been produced and widely distributed by HCC. Well worth acquiring a copy for general information.
PROFIT of £500 made by the "John Pinkerton" on June 9th! The mobile sales stand achieved £400 turnover that day too. A great financial success — and what about that superb weather!
CONGRATULATIONS to David Meller, B.Sc. Hons on gaining his degree in civil engineering.
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COPY DATE FOR NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER : 15th SEPTEMBER 1984
Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd., a non profit distributing company limited by guarantee, registered as a Charity.
Editors: Dieter Jebens, Chris de Wet. Production: Jo Evans.
Collation and Distribution: Janet and George Hedger, Clive Durley and Helpers.
Editorial office: 60 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: Peter Fethney, 5 Longdown, Courtmoor, Fleet (Fleet 5524).
Hon. Secretary: Philip Riley, Meadow Vale, Guildford Road, Normandy. (Worplesdon 234776)
Membership Secretary: Bob Trott, 24 The Greenwood, Guildford, Surrey GU1 2ND. (Guildford 570082).
Working Party Information: Peter Jones, Aldershot 313076 and Peter Cooper, 01-993 1105.
Trip Boat: Ron Hursey, 119 Keith Lucas Road, Farnborough (Farnborough 519619).
Sales Manager: Aubrey Slaughter, 37 Fir Tree Way, Fleet (Fleet 23102).
Mobile Sales Stand: Martin Bowers, 162 West Heath Road, Cove. (Farnborough 513095).
Talks Organiser: Pauline Hadlow, Beaulah, Parkstone Drive, Camberley. (Camberley 28367).
Exhibitions Manager: Phil Pratt, Flat 5 Fleetwood Court, Madeira Road, West Byfleet. (West Byfleet 40281).
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