March 1985

Front pictures
Cover pictures info
Working Parties
'Seagull' to float again?
Waterside Watch
Westel Canoe Trials
IWA Waterways

Membership Renewals
Ten Years Ago
County Call
No renewal for YTS
Historic Canal Films
Basingstoke or bust
Social Jottings
JP Training Day etc
Fund raising
Mrs Marjorie Wright
Prize for St Johns Locks
Gongoozlers' Gossip

Contact the Society


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No. 120March 1985

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Inside front cover --
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Comment - FROM JCP to YTS
When the current Youth Opportunities Scheme at Deepcut comes to an end this month, the Society has no further plans to sponsor another Government training or employment scheme.

The Manpower Services Commission first introduced a training programme for unem­ployed school-leavers eight years ago. The objective was simple: to get youngsters disciplined in the routine of going to work five days of the week; used to taking instructions; to work as a team and to provide them with a grounding in some of the skills involved. That was the concept of the Job Creation Programme. It also provided employment for adults with the necessary skills to train the recruits.

For those who joined the canal restoration project, working on the Deepcut flight of 14 locks, the scheme worked well. It gave them a practical experience and some training in a variety of skills needed in the building and construction industries. The supervision and desire to help the young people was conscientiously organised by the coordinator, Frank Jones, and the enormous task of restoring the derelict flight, started by volunteers, gathered momentum and became a reality.

Inevitably the administrators looked and found ways to 'improve' the original scheme from JCP via YOP to YTS. Today the accent is on training with a prescribed schedule including workshop training sessions, job experience, college lectures on 'Life and Social Skills' for the students. And training courses, assessment reports seminars and form filling for the supervisors. Relevance to the task in hand — restoration of the canal — sometimes seemed remote and certainly slowed down the rate of progress. There cannot be any dispute with efforts to provide young people with the sort of training which it is felt will help them find employment.

But a degree of flexibility might lead to a greater variety of training opportunities through organisations such as the Society which may not have the administrative resources to cope with YTS. The fact that we have been granted funds to run MSC schemes successfully for eight years says a lot for Frank Jones and his supervisors' ability. Not to mention the canal restoration project as a sound basis for training for jobs which the computer age cannot eliminate. And the value of the work which will be of a permanent and unique benefit to the community as a whole.
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In this issue is a reminder of the Society's new subscription rates approved at the last AGM. Renewals are now due (unless you joined on or after 1st November 1984). If you pay by cheque, money order or cash, make sure you renew your sub at the new rate and please do it now in case you forget. Better still, if you change over to paying by banker's order, our administration work is made much easier.

If you pay by banker's order please make sure your bank has been instructed by you to amend the amount due. Remember, it is a Society rule that any sub paid at the old rate is treated as a donation but does not renew your membership.

Last year we recruited 140 members which Bob Trott reports represents a 15% increase on the previous year. Please help to keep the Society strong in numbers at a time when our contribution towards the canal's restoration is bigger than ever and even more relied upon. Completion is still some way off, but it is positively in sight — so help us see the project through to a successful conclusion.
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Basingstoke or bust... an epic voyage made by Alec Harmsworth in 1913 to reach Basingstoke for the first time in three years, appropriately aboard the NB Basingstoke (see story inside).
FRONT COVER: (1) The start of the attempt. A relaxed scene at Ash Lock shortly before the gates were opened for the start of the 20 mile trip which took three months. Note the barge horse standing on the towpath. (2) The going is still easy as Basingstoke passes under Poulter's Bridge, Crookham. (3) Alec Harmsworth takes a rest from poling off to pose for the cameraman with a 'How much further is it?' look.
(1) A reluctant swing bridge below the Whitewater Aqueduct gets a shove at both ends to make it move. (2) Poling into Greywell Tunnel attracts village onlookers. Note the board placed ready for legging through the 3A mile long tunnel, (3) West of the tunnel Mr A.J. Harmsworth and steerer look anxiously ahead as Basingstoke forces a passage through the reeds. (4) Stop planks inserted at the western end of Little Tunnel Bridge to raise the water level below for navigation, (5) Horse and men strain to haul Basingstoke towards Mapledurwell on the partially filled canal. (6) High and dry at Basing ... journey's end. (We wish to thank Harry Arnold, Editor of the monthly magazine Narrow Boat for supplying the pictures for reproduction. They appeared in the December 1984 issue).
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WORKING PARTIES and Progress - Peter Cooper
A target date of 1988 for completion of restoration of the canal is now being quoted, so it is as well to consider what volunteers still have to do. Such a target date is not going to leave much "slack" in anyone's schedule. The St Johns working parties are unlikely to complete that flight of locks before 1987, and likewise the dredger crew are unlikely to complete dredging to Fleet before then. So the Society's volunteer parties will have to keep going at a steady pace, and to do this they will need all the helpers they can get. The date of this newsletter indicates that Spring should be upon us, so why not take that as your cue to come along and help?

The working parties operating are listed below. Intending workers are advised to contact their working party leader, a few days before attending, just in case of any last minute change of plan.

St Johns Flight Every weekend
Christmas, the New Year, and the harsh weather following have meant there has not been a lot of progress to report on this flight. At lock 9 the coping stones on the first chamber wall, and on some the completed walls, have been replaced, and the recess walls have continued to advance.

The big job remaining is the other chamber wall. Reconstruction work also continues at the bottom end of lock 8, and a few more jobs have been done on lock 7.

The co-ordinator of the Society's work on this flight is Mike Fellows on Wokingham 787428, and for further details you should contact him, or one of the working party leaders listed below.

(AG) 10 March 14 April 12 May
(EC) 16/17 March 13/14 April 11/12 May
(PJ) 23/24 March 20/21 April 18/19 May
Lock 9 (JW) 9/10 March 6/7 April 4/5 May
Lock 8 (KH & PR) 2/3 March 30/31 March 27/28 April
JW Jules Wood - Farnborough 515737
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

There is one omission from previous lists of leaders, as Tony Gould finds that other commitments have been keeping him away from the canal lately, and he feels he cannot continue as a working party leader.

Tony led a regular working party on the Deepcut Flight, and then at St Johns, over a period of five years, and the Society wish to thank him for his sustained efforts over that period, during which he made a valuable contribution to restoration of the canal's locks. He hopes to be able to get down to the canal occasionally in future, to join in again when he can.

As before, St Johns volunteers who want to make a full working weekend of it are invited to share the accommodation of a visiting group, on those weekends when there is one here. These weekends will be 2/3 March, 16/17 March, 23/24 March, 13/14 April, 20/21 April, 18/19 May. Volunteers wishing to take up this offer should contact Mike Fellows to make arrangements.

Lock 4 (Woodham)
Second weekend of the month — 9/10 March, 13/14 April, 11/12 May.
Bricklaying started here with the first courses of the offside chamber wall being laid. The severe weather then temporarily put an end to that, so they moved on to piling work, beginning with the bottom cill. For further details contact PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081.

Lock 1 (Woodham)
Third weekend of the month - 16/17 March, 20/21 April, 18/19 May.
The towpath side chamber wall is now complete to coping stone level, and the offside wall only 5 courses short of this. The flank and return walls are now being demolished. For further details of this party, which operates under the auspices of the Guildford branch of the IWA, contact DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 or ROY DAVENPORT on 01-979-7075.

Work Camp 1985
It has now been confirmed that there will be a work camp again on the canal this year, and it will probably be from 27th July for 2 weeks. The camp will particularly be looking for support from people with specialist skills, particularly bricklaying; anyone planning to attend is asked to let Mike Fellows know when they expect to be there.

Weekend Navvying
Any volunteers who find themselves available to work on the canal during the week, even for a few days, at any time of the year, can certainly be found jobs helping to finish restoration of the Deepcut flight. If you are available for this sort of work, then Frank Jones would like to hear from you on Deepcut 835711 (workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home).

Dredging in Hampshire Every weekend
Dredging continues, despite the fearful icy weather of January; the crew had to break 1% inches of ice before starting one weekend. The dredger is now 200 yards short of Coxmoor bridge, and the attendant dragline is due to move to a new site in February. This party always welcomes new recruits — for further details contact ANDY STUMPF on Chesham 785720 or BRIAN BANE on Hook 3627.

Surrey towpath work
First Sunday of the month — 3 March, 7 April, 5 May.
This working party expect still to be working in the Brookwood area, but after May they will break for the summer, to leave the bankside to the local wildlife. This is unskilled work suitable for family parties. For details of exact working location contact BERT and BETTY SCAMMELL on Aldershot 24215.

Lockgate building
These working parties are now preparing to address the building of gates for lock 9, starting with the lower gates. Dates and leaders are —
2/3 March, 6/7 April, 4/5 May - FRANK JONES on Deepcut 835711 (workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home) 24 March, 28 April - ALAN GRIMSTER on Brookwood 6127.
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Monday March 11th
John Humphries presents his film on the Gota Canal in Sweden, Christ Church Hall, Woking, 8.00pm
Wednesday March 27th
L.A. 'Teddy"Edwards, the well-known canal historian and author and former secretary of the IWA, will give a talk entitled "The 1940s Waterways Campaign to Save the Basingstoke Canal". Prince of Wales Pub, Reading Road South, Fleet, 7.45pm.
Friday April 5th
"John Pinkerton" season opens at Colt Hill, Odiham.
Monday April 15th
"A Look at North American Canals & Waterways" — David Gerry, Hampshire County Council's Canal Manager, presents a slide show and talk about his recent visit. Christ Church Hall, Woking, 8.00pm.
Sunday April 21st
Westel Canoe Trials, based on Canal at Claycart Bridge.
Saturday April 27th
An 'Exhibition and Publicity Meeting' to be attended by the Mayor of Woking. Christ Church Hall, Woking, 9.30am -1.00pm.
Saturday April 27th
Society AGM, Courtmoor School Hall, Fleet, 6.00pm Guest speaker for the evening will be Ken Goodwin, IWA Chairman. A "Finger Buffet" will be provided.
Sunday May 19th
Society's sponsored walk between Ash Vale Station and By fleet Boat Club on the Wey Navigation.
Saturday July 13th
Coach trip to Bath and Kennet and Avon Canal Cruise.
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In the News
At the end of 1983 a group of members, led by Stan Meller, successfully removed the remains of a steam engine and boiler foundation from a defelict narrow boat, believed to be 130 years old, lying in Brickworks Arm, Up Nately. The remains of NB Seagull created considerable interest among canal boat historians since little is known about early narrow boat design.

Now the experts think the hull may be considerably older following further exploration last year into ways of salvaging the hull. As a result steps will be taken this year to dredge the arm and attempt to float the hull onto a plastic sheet. The plan then is to wrap the sheet round the hull to exclude leaves, vegetation and silt and to retain water on the timbers for interim preservation.

Following the years of mixed fortunes, the Society's holiday narrow boat 'Return' was sold at the end of last year. It will not, therefore, be available for hire this year. Unfortunately, after a highly successful first season which produced an operating profit of £1,668, little interest was shown last year and the profit fell to £421. Operating the 'Return 'was nevertheless a worthwhile exercise, generating a net profit of nearly £1,600 overall to Society funds. Our thanks are due to Mike Borrow who leased the boat to the Society, and all those who helped run the holiday service so successfully. Such a shame that the scheme could not survive for a couple more years until sufficient cruising water was available in the Basingstoke Canal.
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In support of the Inland Waterways Association's aim. to focus attention on the value of our canals and navigable rivers, through National Waterways Summer 1985, the Society is organising another rally of boats at Ash Lock during the weekend 8th-9th June 1985. Last year's event was rated as one of the most enjoyable and memorable gatherings of its kind.

The venue will again be Ash Lock, near Aldershot. Trailable boats up to 25ft long can use the HCC slipway at the lock. Public slipways at Farnborough Road and Barley Mow Bridge will also be available. It is hoped that this year's event will have more land based attractions to tempt the public to come and see the canal come alive with boats and we hope our friends from the Steam Boat Association will also be in attendance. We are also planning a barbeque for members and boat crews on the Saturday evening. More details of the programme will appear in the next Newsletter. Another brass plaque is also being commissioned for sale over the weekend.

As parking for cars and trailers is limited it is essential for those planning to bring their boats to apply for an application form to join the event and these are available (SAE please) from Vie Trott, 21 Lime Grove, Westfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9PW. The slipway at Ash will also be available on Friday 7th June for those who wish to get in before the rush. Last year's event attracted over 60 boats and although we can cope with a few more, we db mean a few — so let's be having you — and pray for good weather again.
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Are you spring cleaning or moving house? If so turn out your cupboards, drawers and garages! Let's make it the best sale ever! We welcome anything but especially Cakes, Plants and Bric-a-Brac.

Help on the day would be appreciated too. For collection or delivery of items and offers of help on the day please contact:
Janet Hedger, 7 Gorseway, Fleet, Tel: Fleet 7465
OR - Rosemary Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet. Tel: Fleet 7364.
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It's good to hear of a developer who regards a canal as part of the environment and not as a feature to be ignored or, worse, as an outright nuisance factor. The case in point is the former Industrial Packers site at Monument Bridge, Woking. The architect for a potential developer approached the Society and asked our views on suitable landscaping of the site around the proposed new buildings which forms the canal frontage. Three connected buildings would present a view from the canal of mixed roof angles and structure levels which appears more attractive than the existing buildings.

We shall be making this column a more regular feature because we believe developments along the canal pose a potential threat to the canal's future value as a recreational amenity. The Basingstoke was built as a rural canal and that is a greater part of its charrn. The Society must endeavour to ensure it is not spoilt. There's no point in saving the canal and spending money and effort restoring it if the banks are to be littered with houses and factories. So that you can quickly recognise the current danger sites we have included a sketch map of each drawn for us by Sonia Warner. Our thanks also to the Society's planning "watchdogs' — David Millett, Peter Coxhead and Vic Trott — for an up-date on the current situation:

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Now off the danger list because SCC has acquired the winding hole and we think the surrounding housing plans are now satisfactory after making our comments.

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Currently open space which, in an area already well built up, the Society fought vigorously to retain open. Although unsuccessful, we did get the proposed housing reduced from three to two storeys. The developer could possibly be acquiring additional land adjacent to the site, so his existing plans may be extended (or moved further back away from the canal?). We are keeping a close watch on what happens next.

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Quite separate entities, opposite each other, with the canal between. Arundell Securities Ltd. is seeking approval to develop 250,000 sq.ft. of wooded Brookwood Lye for factories. 'The majority of the proposed buildings will be 300 to 400 yards away from the canal and would certainly not be visible from it", the developer is reported to have stated. But, apparently the spokesman also thinks the site would enable the council to re-house noisy or smelly 'un-neighbourly' factories! Woking BC is in favour of the scheme. The Society supports the majority of local residents opposed to it.

It's still early days for the Brookwood Hospital ground development. But an industrial buildings complex and housing estate is planned with some sort of marina to soften the effect on the canal. We'll watch the proposed deveiopment carefully but whatever is planned for the site, the fact that it will be on ground rising up from the canal, which today is open, will radically alter the environment.

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"Never mind the smell, dear... you can still enjoy the view!"

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Applications to turn more green and pleasant countryside (and spoil a particularly attractive view from the canal) into housing estates have been rejected. But the sites are too attractive to the developers and renewed applications can be expected in the future. A line of trees have appeared on Freelands farmland (Laing Homes) near the canal to form a screen which neatly knocks our argument about the open view on the head. Zebon Copse hides Velmead Farm (Martin Grant Homes) from the canal so while the view argument may not apply, we still have objections on environmental grounds. The developer's appeal against the rejected planning permission comes up in April. Should the company be given approval after all, the precedent set could lead to development of the adjoining Freelands site and more. Goddard's Farm would be another contender.

A depressing prospect of the rural countryside being covered by urban sprawl along the line of the canal practically all the way from Pondtail Bridge, Fleet.

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Another green field, bordering the canal, that is cheap and easy to develop. Planning permission was refused by Hart DC so Charles Church lodged an appeal which will be heard this summer. As the sloping land 'overlooks' the canal, the Society is strongly opposed to building on it and further urbanising (with the adjacent by-pass) this rural stretch of the canal.
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The Westel Canoe Trials are held on the canal on Sunday, April 21st, and for the first time, will be based at Claycart Bridge, off the A323 between Aldershot and Fleet, near the Rushmoor Arena.

Around 350 canoes enter, and its popularity is due to the fact that canoeists of all ages can take part, be they expert or novice.

The event will be over set distances of 6,12,20,30 or 40 miles with various time options in each distance category, ranging from slow to fast times. IT IS NOT A RACE, and every paddler who finishes qualifies for a certificate recording the time taken and every entrant will receive a memento.

The Trials are probably the largest of their land to be held on the canal system in England, and attract canoeists from Belgium and Holland as well as from all over the south.

The entry fee will be £2,00 and will cover the canal licence, soup/cold drinks, the certificate and memento.

The main start times are 1130am and 1.00pm and canoeist swill be finishing the courses from 2.00pm onwards. Refreshments will be available together with various canoe trade stands, plus Society sales, informa­tion and membership stands.

Full details and entry forms are available from: Mrs Rosemary Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet, Hants GU13 9SW, Tel: Fleet (02514) 7364. Please enclose an A4 size S.A.E. Entries close April 7th 1985.

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In the News
As most will know 1985 is the year that the Inland Waterways Association is co-ordinating a large number of events across the country under the banner "National Waterways Summer 1985". Of course the events are many and varied — however the aims are simple. To quote John Gagg, the man behind it all: "Canals and rivers are not secure yet, by any means. There are still those who would turn the canals, in particular, into isolated duckponds. The early 'battles for Blisworth' showed this, and much of the urgent maintenance is still behindhand, with waterways blocked for several weeks at a time, and in some cases much longer. This needs continually bringing to the attention of Government and local authorities who largely have to produce the money, and to the public who need to agitate them.

"... we still have to keep up the IWA's traditional campaign for the retention and development of the waterways, and National Waterways Summer is running for that very purpose."

Do support these events, which of course include our own Rally at Ash in June (details elsewhere). Other major events are listed below and as the Summer unfolds further events will be widely publicised in the waterways press. ,P> International Waterways Festival — 25-27 May. This is being held at Ellesmere Port Boat Museum over the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend. Hopefully a number of 'Tall ships" will be attending and other attractions (besides the Museum itself) will include a trade show, model railway, jazz band, folk groups and much more. Entries forms from Alan Jones, Canalside Farm, off Hobb Lane, Moore, Warrington WA4 5QT.

National Trailboat Rally - 25-27 May. The other major rally over Spring Bank Holiday. This will be based at Pewsey on the Kennet & Avon. This Rally (like ours in June) is to cater for trailable boats. There will be a trade show plus all the usual entertainments. Entry details from Mrs Diane Jewels, 15 Kenway Avenue, Cimlar, Neath.West Glamorgan. IWA Guildford Festival - 6-7 July. Organised by the Guildford & Reading Branch of the IWA there will be all the usual rally features and entertainments — arena events, trade show etc. This Water Festival will be part of the Third Guildford Festival which runs for 10 days in July. The theme is "Guildford in Bloom". Special boat licences are available plus souvenir plaques for boat entrants. Boat entry forms available from Pat Berry-Barton, Segren, Grove Road, Beacon Hill, Hindhead, Surrey GU26 6PH. S.A.E. please. National Waterways Rally — 24-26 August. This year at Milton Keynes on the Grand Union. All the usual fun of the fair of course. Entry forms from Jim Wright, 8 The Martins Drive, Unslade, LeJghton Buzzard.
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MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL NOW DUE! - Bob Trott, Membership Secretary
A reminder to those who do not pay by Bankers Order, that with the receipt of this newsletter, your subscription to the Society is now due for the year ending March 1986. The following ate the current rates:
Adult £650
Family £750
Junior (under 18) or Senior Citizen £2.00
Life £80.00
Group £10.00
In accordance with previous rulings by the committee, anyone who fails to increase his/her subscription to the correct amount will have membership terminated and any payment made will be treated as a donation.

Over the past few months, the renewal bankers order and covenant forms have been arriving, but at the present time there are a large number outstanding. I urge you to check that, if you pay by this method, you have amended the amount due. There have been a number of people forwarding covenants for sums in excess of old bankers orders which are below the current rates. While a change over to cash payments is a possibility, I feel that some people believe that a covenant form is a method of payment. This is not the case, it is only a scheme whereby the Society can reclaim income tax that you have paid on your subscription, after you have paid membership fees. Consequently, following a covenant, you must still arrange for this amount to be paid to the Society, although this can be done by cash, cheque, postal order or bankers order.

Because the bankers order scheme makes admini­stration simpler while the covenant system generates more income, we ask you to consider them rather than try to remember each year to send the money. Forms were included in the November newsletter but if you do not have any, a stamped addressed envelope to me will ensure receipt by return of post. (For address see back page).

Owing to a change in his working arrangements, we regret that Bob Trott, our Membership'Secretary, is unable to continue doing his voluntary job for the Society. Our thanks to him for looking after membership 'matters' so efficiently.

We currently have three vacancies: Honorary Treasurer to the Society; Sponsored Walk Organiser; Honorary Membership Secretary.

These are all key posts in the running and fund raising administration of the Society for which we are seeking volunteers. If you would like to iearn more about what is involved, please give our Secretary, Philip Riley, a call on Worplesdon 234776.
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TEN YEARS AGO ...... from Newsletter 61 (March - April 1975).
* Compulsory Purchase Orders, sought by both Surrey and Hampshire county councils were confirmed by the Secretary of State. The decision came after Woking's MP, Mr Cranley Onslow, asked for an adjournment debate in the House of Commons.
* The final line for the Odiham by-pass was agreed, retaining Colt Hill Bridge and terminating the road over it in a cul-de-sac.
* The Society's target of £800 for the Capping Bricks Appeal, launched in the previous Newsletter, had already reached £655.
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In Hampshire the County Rangers continue with their thinning of trees on the Ash Embankment, It is hoped to move the timber up to the Society's steam dredger "Perseverance" using the 'mud lark' — ice permitting! The work also continues on silt trap construction at Broad Oak — they are being built so that they are easily cleanable. The HCC architect has finalised plans to carry out repair work on Ash Lock Cottage. This building is a "Listed building (Grade 2)" so it is of some significant historical interest. The works to be completed include removal of the existing (non-original) window frames and restoration back to the original style; decorative tooth-like brickwork called a "dentil course" is to be replaced - this has at some stage been roughly broken off. In addition the roofing will receive attention too — the cottage is to be re-roofed with original slates. The work is due to start in March and should bring one of the few original canal buildings back to its former glory.

Final bit of news relates to the Colt Hill site at Odiham. Land drainage works are to start here in February and the surfacing of the car park should commence in March. The entire area is being purchased by Hampshire from Hart District Council and will be the site of several future developments (see Newsletter 119).

Surrey CC report that dredging the Brookwood Bridge to Hermitage Bridge length of the canal is progressing 'fantastically well1 in spite of the bad weather during January. The canal bottom is hard which has helped speed up the Hymac's operation and the bed is almost clear already. The spoil is being left on the towpath and banks to drain before being levelled and landscaped. The flash at Hermitage Bridge is now being dredged. Along the centre length the wardens have been carefully controlling the water levels since they were raised and it is hoped that the seepage problem at Ash may have been cured. But with a further nine inches to go before the normal level is reached the remedial work cannot yet be 'signed off.
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An application for a grant to run a Community Programme scheme, providing up to 25 temporary jobs, has been approved by the Manpower Services Commission. The scheme would be run by the Preston-based Community Task Force, a charitable company that works closely with the MSC. A suitable restoration project on the canal will be selected by Surrey CC, acting as 'task patron,1 who would supply the materials. No date has yet been fixed since the final decision to proceed is dependent upon CTF's ability to recruit the workforce.
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The current Youth Training Scheme, based on the canal at Deepcut, sponsored by the Society, is not expected to be renewed when it ends on 31st March, The Horsharn training division of the Manpower Services Commission feels that the Society is not providing the level of training required by the Scheme. The Society is also dissatisfied with the YTS in meeting our primary objective which is to progress the canal's restoration.

An alternative scheme, to provide work on the canal for adult unemployed, has been sought by Surrey County Council. The MSC has approved a grant under the Community Programme scheme designed to help the long-term unemployed. SCC has been in consultation with the Preston based Community Task Force, an independent non-profit making business set up to organise and run Government training schemes. CTF would act as sponsor for a canal-based project, which is dependent upon recruiting eligible workers.

Eight Years of MSC Schemes
Without youth training schemes, the Deepcut flight of 14 locks would not be all but finished today. The Society has been granted in excess of £750,000 to run work schemes at Deepcut for the past eight years.

It started with a tentative 6-month trial Job Creation Programme in March 1977 for which the Society was granted £34,633 plus £775 running costs. Eighteen young unemployed persons were recruited with a wages clerk, and six artisans to act as supervisors and provide the training. Frank Jones was appointed co-ordinator.

The Commission was sufficiently impressed with the high training content of the canal project, and the programme was given a 3-month extension. It was re­ported that 65% of the original recruits had gone on to permanent work with local building firms. By the end of 1977 Deepcut locks 26,27 and 28 had been restored and lock 24 was almost complete.

In February 1978 the Society announced a £138,000 grant from the MSC to employ 45 persons. There followed WEP (project-based Work Experience Scheme) and STEP (Short Term Employment Programme) catering for unemployed school leavers and jobless adults. That was in 1979 when the workshop was built in which to construct lock gates. Another WEP scheme followed in 1980.

The Youth Opportunities Programme emerged in 1981 and the Society was granted £103,000 to provide training for 32 youngsters. It was planned to complete ancillary tasks associated with the restoration of the Deepcut Locks, rebuild Cowshott Manor Bridge, construct the let-off weir on Ash Embankment and start on the three locks at Brookwood. YOP continued in 1982 but with only 20 recruits and a smaller grant of £68,000. 1983 heralded the YTS - Youth Training Scheme. A grant of £100,000 employed Frank Jones as co­ordinator; Jim Reid as senior supervisor; Grant Charman, Douglas Sanders, Dave Herbert and David Garrett as supervisors with a wages clerk and training for 25 school-leavers. Last year £203,000 was authorised by the MSC to train 35 youngsters. Sixteen weeks of the 12-month course were devoted to workshop training with the remaining time spent on restoration work. Training also included college lectures on Life and Social Skills. And a special training officer was recruited.

Thanks largely to their efforts (and the support of SCC in providing technical back-up and materials), not to mention volunteers, the Deepcut locks — once said to be an impossible task — have been restored.
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Cold it might have been but this Sunday evening trip, on 20th January, to the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking to see the famed John Huntley present his evening of classic film cuttings was a memorable and worthwhile experience. The event was a complete sell­out with queues of people waiting on the off-chance that someone might not turn up! The foyer of the theatre was used to mount a display related to various of the Society's activities - Phil Pratt was on hand to hand out Membership Forms and the like.

Robin Higgs introduced John Huntley to the packed theatre audience whereupon John set the scene in words before the collection of gems were shown. As he explained we are lucky to find any film at all on the days when the canals were in significant commercial use. Of course the cinema was born long after the canals reached their peak of activity and it took an event of significant news value for a film crew to venture out.

The first items shown were a number of snippets shot by amateur cameramen showing working boats, anglers and the like. Some adventurous military types were shown trying a fearsome looking removable motor (out­board?) to propel a narrow boat. No such luxury as sound on these early cuttings.

Sound arrived with a showing of a "Pathe Gazette" from the early 50's. The event that had lured the cameras was the carrying of a petition arguing against the closure of the Kennet & Avon along the canal to present at Westminster. Some 20,000 signatures had been collected!

A further item of this vintage focused on the plans being laid by the Government to spend some £3.5m to improve the canals for both commercial and pleasure use. As we know to our cost today this scheme never man­aged to get past the drawing board.

The formation of the IWA in 1946 had gathered sufficient steam by the end of the 50's for the production of an amateur film (sound and colour) called "The Prendergast File". The scene is set with one of Whitehall's mandarins instructing an underling to prepare a report on the future of the canals. The unfortunate (?) young man undergoes a metamorphosis due to over-exposure to heretical arguments such as "RESTORATION", "PLEASURE USE" and the like. The ultimate flaunting of the Whitehall ways comes with the sacrificial loss of Stephen Prendergast's bowler overboard! Needless to say the film concludes with his disturbing (to the Government at least) report ending up in the ultimate filing repository — the bin! An interesting film — not least for the footage of David Hutchings hard at work on the Southern Stratford.

Following an interval the show resumed with a classic piece of film from early this century showing a horse-drawn icebreaker at work on the (then) Grand Junction Canal. A step back in time to the 1920's saw a trip along the Regent's Canal and introduced shots of horse-drawn traffic racing around Islington as well as highlighting the difficulties the 'Johnny-come-lately' railway companies had in routing their lines either under or over the canal to reach their London terminus.

Advertising hype does change — a 1960's Hoseasons promotional film was somewhat entertaining — not least for the fashions. Promoting the canals was obviously still in its early days with the material seeming "over the top" by today's standards. Much more evocative was a film entitled "Renfrew and Lucy". A colour film with some haunting songs and interviews about the last days of commercial carrying. Even in 1938 there were 2,000 - 3,000 pairs still working apparently. The lasting impression of this film is the senseless waste and wasting away of part of this country's heritage.

Even educational films that are as dry as a Marie biscuit produce some surprises as the next film showed. Some very rare shots of the Ovaltine boats and the Salters steamers on the Thames appeared as adjuncts to this explanation of the intricacies of locks. The classic film "Painted Boats" was featured briefly with an excerpt showing the legging of a pair through Blisworth tunnel. Not an easy job and the recording of the leggers whiling their time away for the hour and a half or so that it took brought the tedium and exertion out most forcefully.

As an apt rounding off for the evening the focus shifted nearer home — where else but the Basingstoke? A classic clip from 1913 showed the attempts by Alec Harmsworth to navigate to Basingstoke with the NB Basingstoke. (This effort is shown on the cover of this Newsletter). 1948 and a clip from BBC Television News appeared showing Mr Hodson addressing a Public Meeting on Reading Road Wharf. Mr Hodson was urging that at least the part of the canal through Fleet be purchased by the local community at the forthcoming Auction.

John Huntley closed this fascinating evening by wishing the Society well. He made the further observation that with the predicted re-opening date for the canal being 1988 this was just 40 years on from Mr Hodson's first expression of a public interest in the canal which seemed most appropriate.

Many thanks must go to all who organised this magic evening — especially of course to John Huntley and his skilful projectionist.
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The last attempt to work a narrow boat to Basing­stoke was made by Mr A.J. Harmsworth over 70 years ago. The epic voyage aboard the 'Basingstoke' started in November 1913 and took three months to complete.

At the time the canal was mortgaged to Mr William Carter. Trade between Basingstoke and Up Nately had ceased in 1910 and the upper reach had become derelict. Mr Carter was aware of the stipulation made under the Act of Parliament, authorising the canal in 1778, that if the canal was not used, or became derelict, for a period of five years, it should be reconveyed to its original owners. He therefore felt it prudent to exercise the right of navigation (the Railway and Canal Traffic Act of 1888 contained a similar clause based on only three years of disuse).

Alec Harmsworth was persuaded to undertake the voyage. The 'Basingstoke'was loaded with a token cargo of 10 tons of sand. The event attracted considerable publicity including national Press coverage and a newsreel story recorded by Gaumont Graphic News. Our picture pages show the historic last trip from its relaxed easy-going start at Ash to its strenuous and pain­fully slow end at Basing Wharf.

In his book 'London's Lost Route to Basingstoke', Paul Vine quotes Daily Express reporter Ivor Heald's on the spot account:
"Little did I think when I sailed away from Mapledurwell last evening, singing shanties and waving handkerchiefs, that in a few short hours our ship would be coming back this way again, stern foremost. Alas! the canal had another bad puncture during the night, and at dawn the lookout discovered that we were running directly on a mile stretch of dry land. One of the narrowest escapes we have had. The captain, with admirable presence of mind, immediately ordered us to reverse the horse, and we ran back about half a mile for safety. We are now hove to under a tunnel* and after consulting the chart and repeatedly pacing the distance to the King's Head, I find we have lost about a quarter of a mile as compared with out position ten days ago. It is a cosy sort of tunnel with tophole echoes and very convenient to strike matches on, but somehow I don't like the idea of eating my Christmas plum duff underground. Far better to die a brave death on the open canal than to vegetate in a tunnel and may get covered with those horrid stalactite things. It was not for this kind of sailoring that I bought my telescope and had anchors tattooed on my arms ... As a matter of fact I have made up my mind to desert the ship ... tonight I shall swim ashore, stain my face with walnut juice, and make my way across country to the nearest British consul."
*Little Tunnel Bridge.

New Members
Mr M. Downing - Fleet
Bates Family - Fleet
Dewar Family - Woodham
Miss M. Corbin - Winchfield
Smith Family - Sandhurst
Mr K.A. Blake - London SE5
Mrs B.D. Moore - Woodham
Mountjoy Family - Bracknell
Cooper Family - Alton
Whitlock Family - Crowthorne
Mr R.W. Bourne - Redhill
Miss F. Hope - London NW11
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Dear Sir,
I noted with interest in your gossip column a suggestion to apply for the National Rally to be held on the canal in 1989.1 think it should be pointed out that, as the National Rally is usually held around August Bank Holiday, if we have a hot dry summer it is most unlikely that there will be enough water to pass hundreds of boats up to the top. Perhaps I could suggest alternatively either to select a suitable site at Woking whereby thousands of cubic yards of water could be passed down from the Deepcut level; or, to hold a grand re-opening with a gigantic springtime rally, when around Easter the water problem should not be so acute. Ash, Fleet or Colt Hill.
Yours sincerely, TED HAMMOND, 18 Greenhurst Lane, Oxted, Surrey.

Dear Editors,
I have just applied for a brochure from our new advertiser, and I stated that it was in reply to their ad. in our Newsletter.

Would it help if all applications did likewise? At least it would let them know whether their ad. 'paid off'.

I would like you to know how much I enjoy the newsletter, and although to date I have not been an active member of the Society, now that I have retired, I will have more time. I will pluck up courage and come along to the 'J.P.' one Tuesday night and if I can only wash up, or help in any small way, I'd love to. I am nearly 72, so I can't volunteer to do dredging or anything heavy, as much as I'd like to, but I am quite active.
Yours sincerely MRS CHRIS ROBBINS, Willow Cottage, Upton Grey, Basingstoke, Hants.

Dear Editor,
In reply to Pablo's suggestion in the January news­letter re clearing the towpaths in Surrey, how much more of a jungle it would be by now if it had not been cleared before. Clearing enables the public to walk the towpaths and at least see what is going on with the Restoration work as well as just enjoying a pleasant walk away from traffic.

We have given out many information leaflets and membership forms during our Working Party days to people just walking the towpath who have stopped to ask about the work etc.

When the Council provides Mechanical means of keeping it clear no doubt we will find other ways to help the Society and till then, if the Society agrees that it is a waste of time and energy to clear towpaths in Surrey I'm sure our limited resources can be employed at the Hampshire end if required or the Working Party can be disbanded; it doesn't get as much support as we would like so perhaps Pablo's views are shared by the majority of members.

I would be interested to know what other people think.
Yours sincerely, BETTY SCAMMELL (Mrs), 6 Grange Farm Road, Ash, Aldershot, Hants.
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Social secretaries
Hampshire — vacant; volunteer required
Surrey — vacant; volunteer required
Information: Hampshire — Fleet 7364; Surrey — Byfleet 44564
Social evenings with a varied selection of slides, speakers and subjects continue at Woking and Fleet. Please support these evenings as they are organised for your benefit. Non-members and friends are very welcome.
WOKING SOCIAL EVENINGS: All at the Christ Church Hall, Town Square, Woking (50 yards from Centre Halls)
Monday March llth 8.00pm
The well known waterways personality and now a Vice President of the Society, John Humphries, will present a film evening entitled "The Gota Canal, Sweden". The Gota Canal is one of the most spectacular canals in the world and runs for over 300 miles from Gothenborg to Stockholm through beautiful scenery, passing through lakes, passing historic castles and includes on its route some impressive staircase or "riser" locks. Not to be missed.
Monday April 15th 8.00pm
David Gerry, Hampshire County Council Basingstoke Canal Manager, has recently returned from two months in the United States and Canada undertaking his Churchill Award Fellowship. He will present a slide show based on his experiences on that continent entitled "A Look at North American Canals and Waterways". David's particular interest was to see how North American country parks, canals and rivers provide facilities for full enjoyment by the disabled. This slide show will however cover all aspects of interest to the canal and waterways enthusiast and also to those who just like beautifully scenic slides.

FLEET SOCIAL EVENINGS: These will recommence in the autumn.

With preparations for the new John Pinkerton season well advanced, we are once again keen to recruit and train new crew members, to steer the boat, serve as crew and to run the galley and sales counter. We hope that many of our 'old hands' will enlist again, but we always need new members.

If you would like to know more about the work involved, join the 'open day' training session at Colt Hill, Odiham, on Saturday 30th March at 11.00am or at 2.30pm. No experience is needed. If you are single, or your partner is not interested, we can arrange for you to join a team. Couples make an excellent basis for a crew, and if four people can get together you have a complete and ready made crew.

For further information, contact the Crew Manager — Allan Prince (Alton 86538) or the Crew Training Manager - Roger Cansdale (Fleet 6964).
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Now that the western end of the Kennet and Avon Canal has been re-opened, from Bradford-on-Avon to Bath, the Society are organising a spectacular cruise along the Avon valley on Saturday July 13th, on the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust's boat "Ladywood". Attractions include:
* 4-1/2 hour cruise crossing the impressive Avoncliffe Aqueduct, cruising the notorious relined "Dry Section" to limpley Stoke, over the famous John Rennie designed and recently restored Dundas Aqueduct, and then past Claverton Pumphouse to Bathampton and Bath. Glorious valley scenery all the way. One way cruise.
* Time in Bath to look around the city and view the Widcombe flight of locks connecting the canal to the river Avon.
* A visit to the Kennet and Avon Canal Museum and Interpretation Centre at Devizes, and a look at the famous Caen Hill flight of locks.

Price £9.50 all inclusive of food on board the "Lady-wood", the cruise, entrance to the canal museum, and the coach fare. Coach from and to Fleet.
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The 1985 cruising season for the John Pinkerton, based at Colt Hill, Odiham, starts on Easter Saturday, 6th April and closes on Sunday, 27th October 1985. During the month of September the trip boat will operate from a temporary base at Ash Lock. Trips from Colt Hill will operate, as previously, either westwards to North Warnborough or down to Winchfield. Trips take about 2% hours there and back. The boat seats 56 passengers. The charter fee for school parties and pensioners remains unchanged at £35. Daytime trips throughout the operating week will cost £50. Wednesday and Thursday evenings: £55. Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening trips will cost £70 — which is still only £1.25 a head. Public trips will cost £1.75 per adult and £1.00 for children aged 3-15 years. A reduction of £5 is offered on the fee for 'double time' trips. Parties are welcome to make catering arrangements and bring food on board but all drinks must be purchased from the bar provided.

The John Pinkerton offers a social outing with a difference for clubs, firms, private parties and even wedding receptions.
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Any member of the Society is welcome to join a free trip every Tuesday evening aboard the John Pinkerton commencing April 30th at 7.30pm departing from Colt Hill. These are informal cruises essentially to perform maintenance tasks. These trips finish on Tuesday, August 27th.

Fund Raising News
...... appeals for more funds, money-raising projects or donations would be unnecessary. But we are not and the Society is as much in need of money as ever to ensure progress is maintained. Can you help in any way, not necessarily by forking out yourselves but by persuading friends, relations and even your luckless neigh­bours to join the Society, or the 200 Club or fund you on the Sponsored Walk, which reminds me .....
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This will be a little different this year. Come and join us from 10am onwards on Sunday 19th May. You can start anywhere you like between Ash Vale boathouse (by the station) and the Byfleet Boat Club by old Parvis Bridge on the Wey Navigation about half a mile from West Byfleet Station (transport will be provided to and from the station). Crossing the Wey to take you to or from Lock 1 will be courtesy of the IWA. The enclosed booklet gives full details and a map; more copies can be obtained from Vie Trott, 21 Lime Grove, Westfield, Woking, Surrey (Woking 68607) or Derek Truman, 91 Tavistock Road, Fleet, Hampshire (Fleet 3435) (S.A.E's. would be appreciated).

We particularly need marshals, preferably for % day shifts or all day if that can be managed. If you can help, please contact Graham Meade, 89 Tavistock Road, Fleet, Hampshire (Fleet 29466). Please help us to make the 1985 Sponsored Walk as successful as the last three which raised well over £5.000 each. If you know any schools or voluntary organisations which might be inter­ested in joining us on the usual basis of a 50:50 share of funds raised, please put them in touch with Vie, Derek or Graham.

200 CLUB
December winners were:
Mrs C. Wright £37
Mrs J. French £18
Mr D. Hitchins £10
Mr V. Trott £10
Many thanks to all of you who have joined or rejoined the 200 Club in 1985. Forms were enclosed with the November Newsletter - if you still wish to join just send a cheque to Derek Truman for £10 instead of £12 or, send him the banker's order with the word 'April' substituted for 'February'. He has plenty of spare forms if you want one.
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We are very sad to advise that Mrs Marjorie Wright has recently died subsequent to the severe illness reported in Newsletter 118. Our sincere condolences go to her husband, Bill.

Marjorie delivered the Farnborough area Newsletters. In addition she assisted on very many occasions at Jumble Sales and with catering at various social events. A keen supporter of the coach trips and canal cruises organised by the Society she will be sadly missed.

Many thanks to her relations and friends who have most generously contributed £62.50 to the Society "In Memoriam".
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Each year for the last 5 years, ICI has run the Dulux Community Projects Competition. The purpose of this scheme is to offer a helping hand to selected bona fide voluntary groups, registered charities, action groups, schools and clubs which carry out painting projects for the benefit of the community. In 1984, paint to a total value of £40,000 was donated, and in addition each of the 15 projects received a prize from the total fund of £3,000.

Our involvement in the competition started some months ago when a Society member telephoned to point out the Dulux advertisement in the local paper. The application forms required a detailed description of the work to be undertaken, why we considered it a worthwhile venture, and the quantity of paint required. The project nominated was the St John's Flight of locks, and not only were we provided with sufficient paint for the bollards, balance beam ends and bridge rails, but also we were informed that our project was being included in the Special Selection.

The groups going forward to this stage must have completed their projects by the end of September, as selection was to be based on before and after photographs taken by the Dulux representative. It was fortunate that Lock 11 was finished by the required date, and Dulux appreciated that it was impossible for the 'before' photographs to show the lock in a derelict state.

The final judging and presentation of prizes was arranged for November 28th, with overnight accommodation for only one representative from each project. However, as this date coincided with our wedding anniversary, the organisers at Dulux readily agreed for us both to attend, and marked the occasion with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. At the informal dinner we met the other finalists, who had come from all parts of the United Kingdom, and also the organisers of the scheme.

Next day we travelled to Skinners Hall, a 16th Century Guildhall in the City of London, where photographs of all the projects were displayed, and where the final judging was to take place. A panel of judges questioned each representative, studied the photographs, and announced the prizewinners over lunch.

The Canal Society was awarded one of the second prizes of £250, and the judges pointed out that although we had not used large quantities of paint, they appreciated the enormity of the task and the skilled work carried out by the volunteers.

Having won a prize this year, the Canal Society is not barred from entering again, so what about paint for the Woodham flight and even the mud boats!
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This event is to be held at the Christ Church Hall, Woking, on Saturday 27th April. It will start at 9.30am and continue till about 1.00pm.

The Mayor of Woking is to visit at about 11.00am For further details contact Peter Coxhead on Byfleet 44564.
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THANKS to Mr Andrew Davis of Mays Estate Agents in Chertsey Road, Woking for the use of their photo-copier in producing large quantities of publicity material about "The Evening of Historic Canal Films" recently pre­sented in Woking.
TONY Rozelaar provides the following excerpt from Woking's New Cinema Club newsletter "Reel to Reel": "The Loch (?) Keepers Cottage at New Haw was used in the 1960 film 'The First Men in the Moon' based on the H.G. Wells novel". Tony adds that it "sounds like a Scottish reel in which the Basingstoke has gone Caledonian!"
PLANT Management Journal writing about the "Perseverance" says "the ingenuity of the British plant re-conditioning industry seems to know no bounds in its ability to rebuild seemingly impossible machines. But in this respect even the professionals can sometimes be beaten by the amateurs. For the SHCS have reconditioned what must be one of the oldest working items of plant in the UK." "A graphic example showing ... where there's a will there's a way."
PEAK Housing Limited of Farnham have been stalwart supporters of the Society for 7 years. £700 has been donated in that time. Sincere thanks Mr Mortimore and sorry to see you go!
KENT and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group (phew!) provide an AVERAGE of 35 people per weekend that they work on the canal. Quite some achievement!
DONATION of £50 received from Mr P. Motte to assist with tree planting. Many thanks.
HEAR that a brand new audio-visual production will receive its Command Performance at the AGM. Don't miss it!
TOC H have offered some 20 people to work on the Canal this August for a week. Will follow-on from the Work Camp.
FURTHER thanks to Peter Bridgeman for the donation of a copy of his book on Trees to the February Woking Raffle. Hear that his January talk was most enlightening and well received.
SPEAKER'S Corner. Thanks to Jeremy Browne of Fleet for the number of talks he has given on behalf of the Society. Jeremy has decided to take a well earned rest from his travels. If you would like to join the speaker's panel, contact Pauline Hadlow on Camberley 28367 for details.
RECORD profit for Surrey and Hampshire Canal Cruises Ltd. — the operating company for the 'John Pinkerton' and holiday NB 'Return' - confirmed at £13,412. **** WANTED **** can anyone spare a computer? The Society requires a suitable machine on which to establish our membership records. David Millett (Fleet 7364) awaits a flood of offers!
BOAT Licences for 1985 are available from Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke Canal Depot, Ash Lock, Government Road, Aldershot, Hants. 'Phone Aldershot 313810.
140 NEW Members recruited in 1984 - up 15% on previous year.
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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 Organiser:
Dredger Manager: Andy Stumpf, 37 Higham Road, Chesham, Bucks. (0494 785720).
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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Last updated April 2005