No. 127May 1986
Inside front cover --
WATERSIDE WATCH IN WOKING - Vic Trott
Ten years ago I chaired a study group set up to investigate the Canal in Woking. The group spent 18 months working to a brief, supplied by the Inland Waterways Association, as follows:
'The IWA has a view, supported by the SHCS, that we are not just concerned with boats and the canal full of water, but also with the surrounding land and buildings and that to achieve the best results the canal needs to be integrated with the community'.
We were asked to investigate and prepare a comprehensive survey of the waterside area including recommendations for its improvement and integration into the life of the community. The group was asked to concern itself with securing a benefit for Woking residents as a whole, including those who may not participate in any water based activity.
The resultant 50-page report 'Urban Waterways Study - the Basingstoke Canal in Woking' was published in December 1976 and subsequently adopted by Woking Borough Council as the blueprint for the canal in the borough.
With redevelopment of the town centre now well advanced, and restoration work on the canal concentrated in the Woking area, this is an appropriate time to review the study recommendations to see what has been actioned and is planned for the future, and equally whether anything has happened or is planned which is detrimental to the canal. I should point out that my comments are made from personal observations, published documents, such as planning applications and the proposed local plan, and press reports. I am also restricting my observations to the town centre area of the canal.
In the Study report there were three major proposals for improving the canalside along the town centre length:
1. A town quay at the Brewery Road car park
2. Integration of the recreation open space with the canal, at Brook House roundabout
3. Creation of a boat centre, incorporating rowing boat hire, a cafe, refuse disposal, waterpoint and other boating facilities on the site of the former Spanton's timber yard and wharf immediately below Chertsey Road Bridge.
Since the report was published, some landscaping work has been undertaken at site (1) where the towpath and ramp to Chobham Road Bridge have been improved and seats provided. Also at site (2) where planting a
hedgerow along the roadside has separated it from the recreation space and helped to associate it more with the canal. But beyond these small works, nothing has been done to implement the proposals made in the Study report. There has been plenty of talk. Some of it suggesting improvements to our proposals, but mostly suggesting developments that would detract from the canalside environment.
Let's look at each site in more detail:
Woking Town Quay
The report envisaged this as a simple quay where boats could tie up to permanent bollards so that crews could shop in Woking. It would provide a focal point for local residents to sit and view the boating activities.
It is the adjacent Brewery Road car park site and the town quay concept which has generated more discussion than any other. Planning briefs have been issued which would increase the water space area, using part of the car park site, surrounded by an appropriate development. In addition to temporary boat mooring, the water space would enable a full length tripping boat to operate, and serve as a turning point. Suggestions for riparian development include a pub/restaurant, flats shops and offices, car park, and at one time, an hotel.
The Canal Society would certainly like to see the waterspace extended but as the car park site is some 3 ft higher than the level of the towpath it would be a relatively expensive excavation and could only be afforded by a high value development alongside, which we (and certainly the local residents) may not want at any cost. I'm sure that a canal orientated development, along the lines of the Camden Lock development on the Regents Canal in London, with a pub/restaurant, craft shops, cafe, car park and trip boat station would be an exciting concept and find favour with local residents. But would such an attractive proposition be deemed viable?
Brook House Recreation Ground
This area was seen by the Study group as a quiet, informal recreation space giving the canal an open vista, where people might sit and relax away from the activity of the town (and even the activity of the town quay) to watch the boats cruise by. But this site now has two major threats: firstly the site has been chosen for a 120-bed hotel following strong objections from Horsell residents to building it on the Brewery Road car park site. The Canal Society must, I believe, fight this proposal
with all the strength it can muster because the loss of this open space site would be an environmental disaster to the canal. Open spaces alongside the canal throughout the Borough are fast disappearing into the hands of developers. The time has surely now come to say STOP!
There is a town centre site which is ideal for a hotel of the size envisaged which could incorporate shopping facilities if required. The site is owned by Surrey County Council who are planning a development of shops and offices which could be included in the hotel complex, along the lines of the Piccadilly Plaza in Manchester, and so satisfy all interests.
The other threat to the Brook House open space site is contained in the proposed town plan which envisages a road improvement scheme in the area connected to the Woking — eastern approach road. It would mean a realignment of Victoria Way, and re-siting the roundabout using more land from the recreation ground. Not as bad as building an hotel, but nevertheless a'loss of open green space alongside the canal.
Boat Centre — Spanton's Timber Wharf
The Study members saw this site as ideal for a small boat centre and slipway where one could hire rowing boats, get light refreshments, provide overnight moorings and obtain essential services.
The major threat to this proposal is that the site
could be cut in half by the eastern approach road contained on the town plan (Walton Road insert). This road would have to rise on an embankment to a bridge crossing the canal east of Chertsey Road Bridge. Such a road would destroy the recreation potential of this whole site and so yet another piece of canalside land would be lost an an enhancement to the visual perspective. One need only walk along the towpath from the town centre towards St John's to see what a blight a road scheme can have on the canal environment.
These, therefore, are the major problems ihat could jeopardise the proposals put forward by the Urban Waterways Study Group I led ten years ago. I believe the problems are important enough to concern each and every member of the Society along with others that threaten the canal's environment along its entire length. Unless we tackle encroachments, we will find that we have restored a canal that will be boxed in from end to end by developments. And don't forget there are other proposals to come in the Woking area that will affect the canal — a major one being the future of the Brookwood Hospital grounds — so keep your ears and eyes open.
Editor's Note: We'd welcome members views on how the canal can best be integrated with the urban development of Woking. Your letters please.
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FRONT COVER: (Top) 'Perseverance'frozen in at Chequer's Wharf, Crookham Village, on the dredger's Open Day on March 2nd. (Bottom Left) Hugh McKnight, June Humphries, John Humphries and Michael Streat at Woking on February 10th - see 'Cruising to the Heart of France'. (Centre) Canal ranger Les Foster - see 'Pen Portrait'. (Right) Frank Jones preparing the internal fittings for a jack head fitted to a lock gate which enables the paddle to be raised or lowered.
INSIDE PAGE: (1) The existing gaunt face of Woking town centre seen from Brewery Road carpark, across the canal and Victoria Way - the B.A.T. office block flanked by multi-storey car parks. (2) Victoria hospital
across Chobham Road Bridge . .. . a timeless scene soon to be overlooked by new town centre developments. (3) Brewery Road car park and woodland beyond - the site earmarked for a water space development. (4) Brook House overlooking the canalside recreation open space on which a hotel may be built. (5) The canal westwards from Chobham Road Bridge, the site for a town quay alongside Brewery Road car park. (6) Viewed from the town centre looking south westwards, the Goldsworth relief road under construction, squeezed in between houses along Horsell Moor and the canal. The scaffolding on the right of the picture is for the construction of the new road bridge crossing the canal fust before the road joins Victoria Way.
Photographs: Dieter Jebens. Processing and Printing: Clive Durley.
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In the News
FAREWELL TO CHRIS AND JANET
A good many members will miss Janet and Chris Brazier who have left the district for a new home and jobs in Telford.
They were probably best known in the Society for their work as joint Membership Secretary, not only in keeping the records but boosting the numbers at a time when our membership was declining.
A Committee Member, Chris, always regarded restoration work as his most important contribution, working on the Deepcut Flight and as a leader at St. Johns, while Janet made a name for her catering at lock-side 'topping-out' occasions and at the Ash Lock boat rallies.
Apart from their commitment to restoring the canal, they will also be remembered by their friends for their irreverent sense of humour which brought light relief to many a working session on and off the canal.
Our best wishes to them both for a happy and successful future.
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STAN GETS THE SPECIAL TREATMENT
When the Society's Special Projects Manager, Stan Meller, went into hospital he was just another patient — until it was discovered his special interest was the Basingstoke Canal. He then became a special patient!
Working on a canal report in bed (that's devotion to duty for you), Stan's anaesthetist, Ian Stanley-Jones, came to check him over and that's when they discovered a common interest, as members of the Society. Stan immediately became a VSP (Very Special Patient) with nurses popping in to enquire after his welfare and that of the canal.
We're glad to say Stan is now fully recovered and has passed on Dr Stanley-Jones' kind donation of £25.00 to Society funds.
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SIGNS OF THE TIMES?
There's no disputing they are as unobtrusive as signs can be without missing the point. But nine notices in one simple car park seems excessive.
That's the number we counted at Barley Mow. Grandest of alt stands at the entrance announcing in three colours complete with official insignias: BARLEY MOW CAR PARK AND SLIPWAY.
On entering another sign says CAR PARK while opposite is an international symbolised NO CAMPING OR CARAVAN sign. Once in the car park further access is barred with two prominent NO PARKING BEYOND THIS POINT instructions effectively reducing the area for parking by half for reasons we think we can guess, but will the newcomer work it out? To endorse the instruction there follow two more terse NO PARKING notices. Alongside the slipway, just as you are about to launch your boat for a carefree cruise on the canal, you are likely to spend an uneasy afternoon lurking in the shadows if you failed to comply with: ALL BOATS USING THE CANAL MUST HAVE A CURRENT LICENCE.
And by the way of a fond farewell, there's a kindly request to: PLEASE TAKE YOUR LITTER HOME.
Anything missing? Yes, the notice at Chequers Wharf Car Park which asks you to prevent your dog from fouling the towpath.
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MIKRON THEATRE TO VISIT CANAL
The ever-popular normally water-borne theatre group Mikron Theatre are to visit the canal during May. Mikron are staging a new production this season which is entitled "British Amazon". It is a maritime adventure based on the life story of one Mary Anne Talhot who spent 30 years of her life serving in the British Navy. Nothing unusual about that excepting that women were not permitted in the Navy so she disguised herself as a man and managed to maintain the deception over all those years.
The production contains many contemporary 18th century songs and your opportunity to see this production will be on Thursday 29th May at the "Fox and Hounds" public house, Fleet. The show starts at 7.30pm.
Don't miss it!
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JOIN A SPECIAL BASING HOUSE TOUR
Two opportunities to view a rarely seen section of the the Basingstoke Canal will take place on Sunday 22nd June and on Friday 27th June.
For those not familiar with Basing House its prime
interest lies in the fact that it was one of the largest private houses in England and was built on the site of a number of earlier fortifications. The house was besieged during the Civil War, the battle of Basing House being particularly bloody. As a result of extensive excavations there is plenty to see.
Members who would like to explore the "secret" tunnel should bring a torch.
Details are as follows:
Sunday 22nd June at 3.00 pm - light refreshments available.
Friday 27th June at 7.30 pm — light suppers can be prepared but must be booked and paid for in advance. This is a special site opening and no other visitors will be present.
Meet in the County Council's car park in Bartons Lane, Basingstoke (which is not in Basing Village hut north of the railway line - follow the signs). Entry fees are 80p for adults and 40p for children/0AP's.
Booking is essential as numbers are limited and children are welcome. Phone Dave or Judy Gerry on Fleet 622520 by 10th June or book at the 20/40 Rally on7th/8th June.
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SOCIETY CELEBRATES ITS 20th YEAR
One September evening in 1966, a dozen people met at Jim Woolgar's home in Connaught Crescent, Brookwood, and discussed the formation of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society.
To mark the Society's 20th Anniversary, we're organising a Celebration at Bisley Village Hall on Saturday, 18th October.
Music will be provided by Cuff Billelt and the New Europa Jazz Band — well known by many of our members for helping to make many a party go with a swing. Catering for the buffet supper will be by Sarah Garwood who has provided excellent food for other special Society functions. And there will be a licensed bar.
Come along and meet old friends and make some new ones. It promises to be a great evening to relax, dance a while and recount days gone by.
We are hoping that it may be possible to arrange bed and breakfast accommodation with other members of the Society for the night of Saturday 18th October for those of you who now live too far away to make the return journey that evening.
Tickets cost C9.50 each and so that we can enjoy the evening in comfort, numbers are limited to 200. Make sure you get tickets by sending off for them today.
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WORKING PARTIES and Progress - Peter Cooper
As we continue our work towards the restoration of the canal, it helps to stop and consider how we are doing. By the end of this year every lock on the canal will be restored or will have work in progress; most of the Surrey length has been dredged and the biggest section remaining in Hampshire is a stretch of two miles or so west of Fleet; ancilliary works are complete between Ash Lock and the Deepcut Flight, and they are well advanced between Brookwood and St John's; most necessary bridge repairs have been done, with two bridges at St John's the main tasks outstanding. So we have clearly gone a long way along the path to restoration.
Working parties continue, to address much of this work. These parties are listed below;it's usually as well to contact your working party leader a few days before attending, just in case of any last minute changes.
St John's Locks Every Weekend
The very cold February weather meant that constructional work was halted for a while, but other jobs were found, and work continued every weekend. Clay was put behind piling between Locks 10 and 11, and above Lock 11, the second chamber wall at Lock 8 was demolished, and more work was done on the top cill at Lock 7.
The coordinator of 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. The St John's roster, to work on Locks 7,8 and 9, is: —
(JW)||(PR, KH, EC)|
|3/4 May||10/11 May|
|31 May/1||7/8 June|
|28/29 June||5/6 July|
|(PJ)||(PR, KH, EC)|
|17/18 May||24/25 May|
|14/15 June||21/22 June|
|12/13 July||19/20 July|
JW - Jules Wood - Farnborough 515737
PJ - Peter Jones - Aldershot 313076
PR - Peter Redway - Woking 21710
KH - Ken Halls - Woking 23981
EC - Edwin Chappell - Ashtead 72631
In addition, the party led by ALAN GRIMSTER (Brookwood 6127) will meet on 11 May, 25 May, 8 8 June, 22 June and 13 July.
Dredging in Hampshire Every Weekend
The dredger was stopped for a four week period of maintenance in February at Chequers Wharf; it was planned that this would be completed in time for the Dredger Open Day at the start of March, and almost everyone worked very speedily towards this aim. The exception was the firm of boiler repairers who let everyone down by failing to complete their work by anything like the due date. So the dredger crew can only apologise profusely to everyone who came to the Open Day and was disappointed. Dredging should be well under way again when this Newsletter appears, and the dredger
team are, as always, looking for more helpers; contacts are ANDY STUMPF on 0923-778231 (work) or Chesham 785720 (home), or BRIAN BANE on Hook
Lock gate building
This party have been working on lock furniture recently, but are now planning to do some more gates. Dates are: —
3/4 May, 7/8 June, 5/6 July - FRANK JONES on Deepcut 835711(workshop)orCamberley 28367 (home).
Towpath work in Surrey
This party have been working between Langmans Bridge and Arthurs Bridge, but have now gone into their summer recess. PETER JACKMAN (Woking 72132) would like to thank all who have turned out for this working party in the last few months, and he looks forward to seeing them again next winter. He then hopes (cryptic in-joke) to get Robin to use the Rake.
Lock 4 (Woodham)
Second weekend of the month — 10/11 May, 7/8 June, 12/13 July.
The second chamber wall is now just about complete, and attention will now be turned to the top cill and the recess walls. Further details from PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081.
Lock 1 (Woodham)
Third weekend of the month - 17/18 May, 14/15 June, 19/20 July.
Some extra demolition work has been done on the top cill; otherwise the work is mainly on flank and return walls. Further details of this party from DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge 42074 or ROY DAVENPORT on 01-979-7075.
Towpath work in Hampshire
There is still a vacancy for someone to take on the job of leading a bankside working party in Hampshire. Anyone who would like to take this on should contact any member of the Society's Committee, or write to this newsletter.
Full time work
The Society's team of full time workers have mostly been doing miscellaneous jobs between Brookwood and St John's. These have included repair work under Kiln Bridge and a new culvert near Brookwood Hospital site. The next job will be installing a towpath under the bridge by Lock 12, to obviate crossing the busy A322 road. During the cold February weather the team retreated to the workshop to work on parts for the gates at St John's.
The NACRO team at Lock 12 continue to make some progress, but the February weather impeded them, like everyone else.
If you are free to work on the canal during the week, even for only a few days, then you should contact FRANK JONES (Deepcut 835711 - workshop, or Camberley 28367 — home) and he will be able to put you to work; he would like to thank all those who have
helped in this way, as their contributions have been very worthwhile indeed.
Yet another reminder that the 1986 fortnight's Summer Work Camp, at Woodham Locks 2 and 3, needs YOU. Come along and make this even more successful than previous camps — 26 July — 9 August.
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Dave James and Ted Harding have been clearing dangerous trees behind Heatherside School in Fleet and have cut the stock of younger trees to encourage the best to grow into good mature specimens. Meanwhile Tony Harmsworth and John Arnold have constructed a gauging weir at Ash Lock in order to measure the flow of water into the Surrey top pound.
The very cold weather early in the year proved an advantage — the ice was thick enough to permit offside bank clearance on foot between the Farnborough Road and Pondtail Bridges. The anticipated dredging work between the Whitewater winding hole and the eastern end of Greywell Tunnel has been postponed till September to avoid unnecessary disturbance of nesting sites.
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CANAL WALKING PARTIES
Now that the Canal in Surrey from the County boundary on Ash Embankment to Brookwood is restored, the County Council is encouraging increased use of the amenity.
The canal rangers now take turns for weekend duties, and are available to lead groups of walkers along the towpath, explaining its history, how locks work and even giving boat trips.
Former lock-keeper at Lock 28, Les Foster, who joined Surrey Canal staff when the waterway was taken over, has already been booked to guide two groups of walkers from Brookwood to Ash Vale where the party can catch a train for the return journey.
"Anyone who wants to board our workboat can be locked through Deepcut top lock", explained Les "and then go on up to the aqueduct if they wish".
Besides learning about the history of the canal and how it works, the rangers can also point out its natural history. Among the birds seen at Deepcut Les lists kingfishers, the nuthatch, woodpeckers and herons. "There used to be heron to every reach along the 14 Deepcut locks", Les revealed, "and now the Canal is restored they are coming back". The canal also has some unusual water plants including water violet, water crowfoot and three species of freshwater sponges.
Anyone wishing to book a guided party tour should contact Canal land agent Gerard Brierley (Tel: 01-541 9342).
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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Tuesday 6th May and every Tuesday thereafter
Club Evenings on the John Pinkerton commence. Venue Ash Lock and time 7.30pm.
Saturday 17th May
Society Stall at Camberley Centre. Offers of goods, help etc. to Pauline Hadlow on Camberley 28367. See Newsletter 126 for full details.
Saturday 17th May
Re-opening of locks 13 and 14 at Brookwood. Run in conjunction with this event there is a further series of Deepcut specials on the John Pinkerton. Contact Tony Karavis to check on availability of seats ('phone Farnborough 549037).
SUNDAY 18th MAY
Society's Annual Sponsored Towpath Walk.
Weekend 24/25/26th May
IWA Spring Rally of Boats at Stoke-on-Trent on the
Trent and Mersey Canal.
Thursday 29th May
Mikron Theatre appear at the Fox and Hounds, Fleet, presenting a new production entitled "British Amazon". Time 7.30pm.
Weekend 7th and 8th June
20/40 Rally at Ash Lock - to commemorate Society's 20th anniversary and IWA's 40th anniversary.
Tuesday 17th June and every Tuesday thereafter
Club Evenings on the John Pinkerton change venue to Colt Hill, Odiham at 7.30pm.
Sunday 22nd June
Basing House tour — see Coming Events for details.
Friday 27th June
Basing House tour - see Coming Events for details.
Weekend 5th/6th July
IWA Second Annual Trail Boat Rally at Droitwich, near Worcester.
Weekend 12th/l3th July
Guildford Festival and IWA Water Wey Fayre — see Coming Events for further details.
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BASINGSTOKE CANAL TV FILM
Film producer Len Payne has been appointed by Rediffusion Cable vision as a community television volunteer to make a 26 minute TV documentary about the work of restoring the Basingstoke Canal.
The Society and County Councils are giving Len and his team all the help they need for their project, which will take most of this year to complete.
By the end of 1986 Rediffusion hope to bring cable TV to a substantial number of homes in Guildford as part of their contract, covering West Surrey and North East Hampshire towns by the end of the decade.
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CRUISING TO THE HEART OF FRANCE - Dieter Jebens
The 'home movies' made by June and John Humphries of their waterways holidays attract an ever increasing following. That's why Christ Church Hall in Woking was filled to capacity on 10th February to see their latest adventure aboard their new cruiser 'Avonbay'.
Owned jointly with waterways photographer and author Hugh McKnight, they took the 37ft boat from Teddington, last year, to cross the channel and cruise through France to the famous canal centre of St Jean-de-Losne near Dijon. A distance of 872 miles and 343 locks which took a month including four days in Paris.
Apart from some beautiful filming by June, capturing the relaxed atmosphere of rural France, and John's informative commentary the voyage was given a sense of anticipation which held the audience throughout the two long reels of film. First the Channel crossing, made unexpectedly by June and Hugh who were thought to be sheltering in Ramsgate harbour waiting for better weather, then the need to cruise 150 miles, passing through 190 locks to reach their destination within two weeks.
The film only hints at the somewhat alarming experience of crossing the channel in a small boat (probably because there was no time for filming, but the sound of the freshening wind conveyed quite enough and despite an apparent race against time through France, which meant starting the day at 6.30am and cruising until the
locks closed at 7.30 pm, June firmed some memorable sequences of misty mornings and superb sunrises, the leisurely French Country life,beautiful canalscapes and dramatically colourful sunsets.
Their route took them from Calais to Paris and on down the Seine onto the River Yonne and southwest across the Canal de Bourgogne which includes a strenuous flight of 36 locks over a distance of 7 miles.
The journey was a route of contrasts, from the romantic bridges of Paris and the twinkling lights of the Bateaux Mouches on their evening cruises, to the wide expanse of the River Yonne and the lush countryside crossing the Canal de Bourgogne, and shopping at villages for provisions, buying fresh vegetables, cheeses and wine from lock-keepers and exchanging cigars for champagne with a passing peniche skipper.
The film ended with the sad reflection that contrary to the common belief that the French support water transport as much as road and rail, barge transportation is being seriously affected by increasing competition from the railways. Many barges were found laid up and those that were active are moored up for longer periods between cargos.
Next year we are promised a film of their waterways journey to Germany. In the meantime our thanks for an entertaining evening.
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In the News
NEW LIST OF CANAL MAPS AND PRINTS
Collectors of antique maps, prints and documents of all kinds are sure to find something to interest them at Printed Page in Bridge Street, Winchester.
The proprietors Jean and Chris Wright, members of the Society, offer a wide selection of prints mounted for framing, many attractively hand coloured. Printed Page also provides a framing service.
Their speciality is an extensive range of Inland Waterway maps, engravings and documents. Prices range from just £1 for 'Boat fitted up for passage of Her Majesty on the Crinan Canal 1947' to £200 for a pair of fine coloured aquatints by J.C. Nattes, of Scenes on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
The Basingstoke Canal is represented among a list of over 100 items, with a tinted lithograph by Prosser of Odiham Castle for £25.00, and the 1777 map of the proposed line of the canal as it appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for £30.00.
The full list is available from Printed Page, 2-3 Bridge Street, Winchester, Hants SO23 9BH (Please enclose a SAE).
Callers are always welcome at the shop, open Tuesdays to Fridays, 9.30-5.30 and from 10.00am on Saturdays, and after a browse, a walk along the adjacent River Itchen and exploration of the city makes a pleasant afternoon out.
CRUISER FOR SALE
14ft 'Solar' GRP 2-berth cabin cruiser, complete with a 3 hp Seagull outboard motor, launching trolley and trailer board — ready to go. The whole rig has only been used three times . Price : £1 ,000.
Phone Gordon Scott on: Guildford (0483) 66683.
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GUILDFORD FESTIVAL - IWA WATER WEY FAYRE 1986
Following last year's widely acclaimed and highly successful 'Guildford Water Festival', the Guildford and Reading Branch of the Inland Waterways Association are this year organising the "Water Wey Fayre' —by the river in Guildford at Waverley Mead (opposite the Jolly Farmer) on Saturday July 12th and Sunday July 13th.
Boat entries welcomed — due to demand and limited space there will be a charge of £2 per boat which will secure a mooring adjacent to the site. Please apply as soon as possible. Competition for the best decorated boat depicting the 40th Anniversary of the Inland Waterways Association.
Come along and enjoy a feast of waterside entertainment for all the family - Boat Trips. Waterways Theatre, Horse and carriage rides, Snorkelling demonstrations, Willie the Wizard, Punch & Judy and Magic Show, Craft Stalls, Music and Refreshments with Barbeque during each day and on Saturday evening (prior to the Grand Festival Firework Display), Local Canal Societies' Sales Stands, etc ...
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VOLUNTEERS & MSC SCHEMES - A PAUSE FOR REFLECTION - Mike Fellows
1986 promises to be a significant year in the restoration of the canal; a year when we really do move into the final stages; a year when the main volunteer effort shifts from St Johns to Woodham. But it has not been easy and 1985 caused us to do some serious re-thinking as the full impact of the termination of our MSC scheme became apparent. Before looking at the implications for volunteers I thought it would be useful to reflect on how the arrival of MSC changed us; how we came to terms with it;how we worked alongside and depended on it; and now finally how we are going to live without it.
I pick up the story in 1975 when I first became involved with working parties. There were no MSC schemes then — they hadn't been invented. It was about the time the canal came into public ownership and working parties had previously been employed on various parts of the canal working surreptitiously away hoping not to be noticed by the canal company. However, with the purchase completed, Frank Jones, the working party organiser, re-grouped his troops and concentrated on the Deepcut locks. Work was centred on Curzon Bridge with lock 27 adopted by the IVS, lock 26 by John Chisholm's group, lock 25 by Peter Jones & Co. and lock 24 by London WRG. We were very amateurish then, not because we were badly organised, but because we didn't know any better and we hadn't got the support of the County Council either for money or technical advice both of which we rely heavily upon now. Our plant and equipment were dilapidated and very unreliable and our methods were inefficient — like clearing a chamber by hand over many weekends when a machine could have done it in a few hours. However we were very enthusiastic and beavered away merrily not knowing that this was all going to change very soon.
MSC scheme is born
Spring '77 was the time when the first MSC scheme (Job Creation as it was then) appeared on the canal. This was applied for by Frank and it was to change our whole idea of the restoration. Initially we stopped work on the locks (except lock 25) and concentrated on preparing for the scheme. The narrow gauge railway was brought from Colt Hill to be laid on the towpath from lock 25 as a supply run to locks 26 and 27 which were to be the centre of the full time team's work. Site huts appeared, a necessary requirement for full time workers (although not for volunteers!) New plant arrived - Kango hammers and pumps which actually worked. And new methods as well, the beginning of a completely new and more professional approach. Meanwhile back at lock 25 Peter Jones and his party were continuing every other weekend and it was here that the Society (and the County Council) learnt how the locks were built and as a result of the experience gained here decisions were made on how the rest of the locks should be restored. But it was at lock 26 where things were changing slowly but surely as the old methods proved unsuitable and new ones were adopted. Initially we tried to work alongside the MSC scheme but they moved so fast by comparison that they swamped our apparently meagre efforts. It was quite demoralising.
In October 1977 came the Big Dig which for the first time "opened" up the whole of the Deepcut flight. It
gave us a big psychological boost to see 600 volunteers working on every lock on the flight. After this each volunteer working party adopted a lock to try to regain the group identity which sadly had been lost. Peter Jones moved to lock 23, Alan Grimster to lock 21, Jim Chisholm to lock 20, Peter Oates to lock 19 and London WRG to lock 17. However it became apparent that small groups of workers could not hope to restore a lock in any sensible period of time and so, with the MSC workers bearing down on us again, the working parties were re-grouped to just concentrate on 2 locks, 19 and 16. This really established the style of our present working parties with several groups concentrating on a small number of locks.
A new found confidence and professionalism
The MSC scheme brought a new professional approach to the work and we had to follow in their footsteps and adopt new ideas and in turn become more professional ourselves. What had been acceptable earlier was no longer. Totally new approaches and standards were required. I remember taking our first chamber wall down and wondering, rather apprehensively, whether we would ever get it back again. Now we readily strip out a lock knowing that we will easily rebuild it. Such is our new found confidence. Our bricklaying had to match that of the MSC scheme so we learnt bricklaying the way that a professional would do it. We had to improve our methods of working so we learnt about scaffolding. Everywhere standards were going up — not only of workmanship, but also of safety and training. It's a great credit to everybody who has worked on the canal that we have had no serious accidents but this should never lull us into a false sense of security.
By 1981 work had begun in earnest at St Johns. This was an all volunteer site but still new and better approaches were adopted. For the first time a site compound was set up with all facilities. We used machine loading of ballast and sand (it was all done by hand at Deepcut), we used ramps to take materials in and out of the chambers instead of cranes and barrow hoists, and finally and perhaps most significantly we replaced the old 2 wheel drive, rear wheel steering dumpers, with modern 4 wheel drive hydraulic dumpers. Additionally we relied heavily on the MSC scheme to order our plant and materials, to repair any broken equipment and to load the van for us ready for the weekend and to unload it at the end.
Volunteers under attack from the rear
Armed with a permanent base and better mechanization we were able to make greater progress but even so it seemed as though the MSC team would soon gobble up the Brookwood locks and be looking for other work — possibly lock 7. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view point) a number of things happened which slowed down their progress on lock restoration. Firstly the Ash Embankment weir had to be built, then the dry dock was built and finally problems at Deepcut meant that most locks had to be adjusted. Coupled with this was the changing face of the MSC schemes themselves. We had Job Creation, Short Term Employment Programme, Project Based Work Experience, Youth Training Scheme and others which I am sure I have missed. Each one shifted the emphasis from
working on the canal to training and so by the time the final scheme was running most of the effort was concentrated on training and only what time was left went into working on the canal. This not only slowed down the work but was very frustrating for the supervisors who wanted to push on with the restoration.
Eventually it became evident that we would have the St Johns locks all to ourselves. Even so as recently as the beginning of 1985 it looked as though the MSC scheme would be firmly established at locks 2 and 3 by the time that we had completed the St Johns flight. This was worrying because there would have been no other sites for the volunteers to go to and we may have been twiddling our fingers whilst the final works were completed.
Spring 1985 dealt us a severe blow which has caused us to seriously rethink our work programme. Due to the continual pressure for training and not work, we felt we could no longer continue with the then current MSC scheme (YTS) and this was terminated at the end of March. Despite sustained efforts to get a MSC Community Programme Scheme to replace it, it all came to no avail as it proved impossible to recruit people for the scheme. We were however lucky enough to get a NACRO (National Association for Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders) scheme. Unfortunately they only work 3 days a week and lack the skills and knowledge required to rebuild locks and thus are not making a great impact. The Society has managed to preserve the skills and knowledge of the previous scheme by directly employing the supervisors. There is however a limit to what 4 people can achieve although they still provide vital support for the volunteer working parties.
New levels of support needed
In the light of these new circumstances the work remaining has been re-examined. Volunteers now have to complete all the remaining locks whilst our full time team is kept fully employed renewing culverts, rebuilding bridges and fitting gates and paddle gear. This is a daunting programme of works particularly with our 1988 target in mind. This target is achievable but we need the support of ALL volunteers. August '86 will be a significant point in the restoration when we start work on the last 2 locks (numbers 2 and 3) during our Work Camp. It is interesting to note that the 1985 Work Camp was to be the last Work Camp since no suitable sites would exist after that and yet now we have so much work to do that I foresee another Work Camp next year. This is a measure of how much has changed and it really spells out how we depended on our MSC schemes. Fortunately we are sufficiently close to the end so that the loss should not significantly affect the completion date. Had this occurred a few years ago then a very different picture would have existed and so we can be very grateful that we have had the support of MSC for so long. We can still finish the canal with the skills that exist within the volunteers and within our small but absolutely vital full time team. Without our full time workers we as volunteers would achieve very little such is their hidden but vital support.
This article has looked at how we worked before MSC, came to terms with MSC, and now have to live without MSC, As you can see the latter is quite a shock and we need all possible support from our volunteers to ensure that we make TARGET '88.
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Fund Raising News - Derek Truman
Sponsored Walk, Sunday 18th May
Please join in your hundreds. We understand that it is
not always easy to get sponsors but every little helps.
Last year, Aldershot Manor School raised £400 for us
and St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, £505, and the same
amount for themselves. They earn the free trips on the
John Pinkerton. The best efforts by walkers from the
Individual: Mrs M. J. Coles (£260)
Couple: Mr & Mrs Sharpe (£155 and a similar amount
for Baling National Trust Association).
If you can beat these figures and want more walk
booklets or can help with marshalling, please contact
Graham Meade, 89 Tavistock Road, Fleet, Hants (Fleet
Don't forget to send your money as soon as possible -
we need the interest — to Bert Savill, 3 Rushmoor Close,
Many thanks to the 97 members, the best total for some
years. Recent winners were:
February: Major H. Pollen, £49, Mrs N. Jones, £24, Mr
J. Greenfield, £12, Mrs D. Milsum, £12.
April: Mr & Mrs L. Phillips, £49, Mr C. Durley, £24, Mr
P. Holding, £12, Miss H. Austin, £12.
Raising money from companies
With the active help of the Marketing Group and the strong support of the Board, we are hoping to make a concerted effort to raise money from companies, in particular those in the major towns along the route of the canal. We hope to send them a brochure showing progress and suggesting what they might get for their money. But it is going to be a labour intensive exercise. We need to do research to find appropriate people to write to. Much of this information can be gained from public libraries but contacts and the "old boy" network are better still. It is also likely that we will have to follow up our letters, either with further ones or with 'phone calls or visits. Word processing may also be a problem, and although we have at least one offer another would be much appreciated. Anyone who can help with any or all of these items, or indeed more generally, should contact Derek Truman, 91 Tavistock Road, Fleet, Hants (Fleet 613435).
We are sending out 3 books of five tickets with each copy of the newsletter. The prizes are £200, £100 and £50; there is also a prize for the person who sells the most tickets. Please do your best for us. The Draw is a very good source of income and this year's organiser, Bob Humberstone is expecting to beat the 1985 profit of £1730. Bob lives at 11 Tichborne Close, Frimfey, Camberley, Surrey GU16 5RP (Camberley 22883) and will be delighted to receive your money and send you more tickets.
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Following the first two annual rallies of boats held at Ash Lock, this third event has a special significance. It will be a special event to celebrate our Society's twentieth anniversary combined with the Inland Waterways Association's fortieth year. So, this year's rally will be a combined event to mark these historic milestones.
Apart from an even bigger gathering of trailable boats and displays on the water, there will be a great variety of interesting land-based stalls and entertainment for all ages and tastes.
The rally site at Hampshire's Ash Lock Cottage canal depot will be open each day — Saturday 7th June and Sunday 8th June — from 10.00am to 6.00pm to visitors and boat crews. On Saturday evening the site will re-open for a barbecue for boat crews and members of the Society and IWA and their friends. The John Pinkerton will be moored in the lock as a floating bar, and there will be food served to ticket holders only. Price: £2 a head for a delicious supper which those who attended last year will agree is outstanding value for money. Get your tickets now by sending a cheque for as many tickets as you wish, made out to the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd., and send it with the slip which is enclosed with this Newsletter to : Vie Trott, 21 Lime Grove, Westfield, Woking, Surrey, GU229PW. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.
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NEW MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY
Working Party leader Edwin Chappell has taken over as the Society's Membership Secretary. Apart from getting his hands dirty restoring locks at St John's, Edwin is also disputed top salesman' of our book 'Basingstoke Canal Restoration' with sales of nearly 100 copies to his credit — a figure rivalled by Frank Jones who claims superiority in having sold the same number but all at the full retail price!
Our best wishes to Edwin in keeping the membership records straight and, knowing him, adding a few new names.
Edwin Chappell's address is:
Ashtead, Surrey KT21 1QR.
Tel: Ashtead (03722) 72631
In the News
The society has received the following donations
Mr Robert May £200.00
Southampton IWA £20.00
Mr G.A. Calver £20.00
The Worshipful Company of Grocers £250.00
Thank you for your contributions towards the achievement of TARGET 1988.
In addition to the above donations a number of smaller donations were received due to the efforts of various members who form the Society's 'Talks Panel". If you would like to assist in the presentation of the Society and its achievement to interested outside organisations contact Janet Greenfield (our Talks Organiser) who will be only too glad to offer help and get you started. Janet's address is 9 Mistletoe Road, Yateley, Camberley, Surrey GU17 7DT and her 'phone number is Yateley 873167.
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CANALSIDE WOODLAND PLANTING
It is not surprising to hear criticism of riparian urban development along the canal, but strange to learn of adverse views of Hampshire County Council's extensive planting on the commonland adjoining the wharf on the towpath side at Colt Hill.
Admittedly it is the extent of planting which has thrown some people, but it is in fact no more than what was originally planned. And though it will mean a loss of open space, the benefit, in the longer term, will be to blot out the offensive vision of the by-pass beyond. In fact the planting has been carried out so thoughtfully and skilfully that some of the larger trees planted should, even this year, help visually to break up the line of the road. Eventually the woodland will have shady glades and make an attractive new environment. Full marks to the woodland planners and planters for creating something of value for the future.
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SOCIETY COMMISSIONS INDEPENDENT SURVEY AT GREYWELL
The Society has recently commissioned an independent ecological survey of the Greywell Tunnel and its bat colony. Various discussions have taken place with a group of environmental consultants called Bioscan (UK) Ltd. who are a well respected company specialising in such studies.
Approaches are currently being made to various public bodies to provide financial support for this study to be undertaken. However the Society has committed itself to meeting 10% of the total cost of £3,800, namely £380.
Members are asked to make a donation towards the cost of this survey which is considered vital to a well-researched presentation of the compromise suggested by the Society to time-zone the tunnel. The time-zoning will allow the amicable sharing between bats and boats of this vital structure.
Please send your contributions, no matter how small, to our treasurer Gwyneth Browne. Her address appears on the back page of this Newsletter.
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Working the 'John Pinkerton' through the Deepcut flight last October was perhaps a more poignant occasion for Les Foster (han anyone else present. For Les, as lock-keeper at No. 28, has lived alongside the canal and worked on it for over 30 years.
He was probably the last person to operate the locks, sheeting up the gates with tarpaulins to stem the leaks. He saw the 14 locks fall into decay; the weeds and vegetation take over and the lock gates rot away. And he has witnessed the revival. From the first voluntary working parties, more remarkable for their enthusiasm than effectiveness, to the completion of a task some officials once rejected as an impossible dream.
Les Foster holds the unique position of being the only person working on the canal today who was employed by the previous owner, the New Basingstoke Canal Co. Ltd. He must also be among a very few people who have worked for both railway and canal companies — in that order.
Born a Yorkshire man, 60 years ago, Les started his working life with the LNER as a locomotive cleaner in the York sheds now the National Railway Museum. The family home was at Bishops thorpe, home of the Archbishops of York, beside the River Ouse. One of the local attractions Les recommends is a river trip and tour of the Archbishop's Palace.
Les was called up in 1944 and did his training with the famous Durham Light Infantry, based at Gosforth, Newcastle. "It was the regiment that marched at 140 paces a minute which took some doing if you've got short legs like me", Les recalled with amusement.
His connections with the South came when he joined the Royal Engineers, driving tank transporters and repairing beach defences at Pagham and all along the Sussex Coast.
It was at Shere Les met Mary and they married in 1948. In 1950 they made their home in Guildford, and Les was back on the railways as a fireman on the Waterloo to Portsmouth and Salisbury mainlines. But his favourite line was Reading to Redhill which, past Guildford, was known as "Crossing the Alps".
He recalls vividly the sensation of power travelling at speed on the footplate of 'N' class and River Class locomotives. "Everyone should have the chance of experiencing it", said Les. "It's the sort of power a Concorde pilot must feel".
The run from Basingstoke is also etched on his memory. "Did you know the platform at Basingstoke is at the same height above sea level as the top of St Paul's Cathedral?" he asked. "It's all downhill to Waterloo. Driving an engine in the pitch black of night with only
the green signals flashing past you, is a unique experience", Les reminisced.
In 1952 Les and Mary moved to No. 4 Railway Cottages, Pirbright Junction, one of a group of four dwellings wedged between the canal and the railway alongside Lock 24. The cottages, now demolished, were once a landmark for thousands of railway travellers, seemingly the only buildings for miles, surrounded by the pine tree forested army training grounds on the Great Heath.
With the advent of diesel locomotives, and suffering from asthma aggravated by sulphur fumes, Les joined The New Basingstoke Canal Co. in 1954 taking over from Herbert York as Lock Keeper at No. 28. It took the couple a week to move their furniture and belongings up the towpath by pram and wheelbarrow. It took a further two weeks for the open air life and the aromatic pine trees to cure his asthma for ever.
At that time William Harmsworth was still employed as a carpenter on the canal and he taught Les the skills of building lock gates. "He used to lean them up against a chestnut tree,opposite the towpath, just above Kings Head Bridge, to work on them", he remembers.
If Les has a view on the acrimonious campaign to save the canal, he does not reveal it. But he shows his practical and commonsense approach to life in reflecting that, had the Society's founding members embarked on a less public and more diplomatic approach to meet their objective, the outcome might have been different. "Mr Cooke hated publicity", Les said, "and he got very annoyed when he used to read about the Canal in the papers. After all", said Les with some sympathy, "If someone came along and told you what you should be doing with your property, how would you feel?"
Les left the Canal to join British Waterways Board in 1960, based at Stoke Bruerne where he built many of the show cases and the butty replica in the museum.
Early in 1964 the NBCC's general manager, Mrs Joan Marshall, persuaded him to return to the Basingstoke, saying that a programme of restoration was planned. But within months of his re-appointment Mrs Marshall retired after a disagreement with the owner over raising the cost of water extracted from the Canal by the National Gas Turbine Establishment at Pyestock.
Today, as the canal embarks on a new chapter in its history, Les is set to add another dimension to his job as a Canal ranger. His wealth of knowledge about the waterway and his interest in its natural history will add to the enjoyment many people will get from visiting the canal.
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JOHN PINKERTON "CLUB EVENINGS"
As in past seasons ALL members are most welcome to come aboard the John Pinkerion for a relaxing evening in the company of other members, to partake of the occasional drink, to have a go at steering and generally to relax. Who knows — you may acquire the taste for crewing?
The Club Evenings commence on Tuesday 6th May (and continue thereafter every Tuesday evening) with
the John Pinkerton departing from Ash Lock at 7.30pm. The venue changes to Colt Hill, Odiham on Tuesday 17th June and back to Ash Lock on Tuesday 19th August (but in view of the evenings drawing in will commence at 7.00pm). The last Club Evening will be on Tuesday 9th September.
Do come along and enjoy this unusual Society "fringe benefit".
Welcome to New Members
Ottershaw Conservation Society - Ottershaw
Robert Lyle - Liphook
S. J. Longhurst - Crowthorne
R. I. Skingley - Woking
Mr & Mrs M. Harris - Haslemere
Mr & Mrs P. J. Downham - Epsom
B.J. Clark - Weybridge
S. R. Whyley - Weybridge
S. D. Clinch - Chineham
D. Dovey - Weybridge
A. S. C. Paton - St John's
B. & P. Murphy - Brighton
Steven Goff - Windsor
J. M. Twiddy - Farnborough
H. G. Newman - BasingstokeStuart Burt - Winchester
D. J. Carter - West Byfleet
S.C.Wyatt - Weybridge
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"WATERWAY ARCHITECTURE - An Economic Return from Conservation".
Published by the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council, price £1.50 post free from IWAAC, 122 Cleveland Street, London W1P 5DN. ISBN 0 948648 00 7.
The "blurb' promoting this new publication fails to add that of its 25 pages, ten are devoted to lists of organisations concerned with conservation and publications for further reading.
Apart from some original and attractive line drawings by John Hume (a whole book of such drawings would have done a lot more to promote the preservation cause), this is no more than a statement of the need, than a call to take arms in defence of the rich architectural heritage of our waterways network.
The report points out the attraction of canals lie, for a large part, in their historic 'fabric and framework'. But how to protect and maintain that heritage?
British Waterways Board scarcely has the income to maintain the network, let alone preserve the bankside fixtures and fittings. So protection is down to piecemeal action by riparian local authorities under conservation orders, listed buildings and ancient monument designation.
To co-ordinate the fragmented preservation effort, the report proposes a Waterway Heritage Trust should be set up. Good idea, but surely more positive action should be taken, both to recognise the value of our heritage, and to allocate specific funds to protect it? And that calls for Government action.
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FRIMLEY GREEN: A Village History by Heather Toynbee. Price £3.50,paperback.
If you live in a village which someone has written about,you are fortunate. A knowledge of its development and the people who lived there before you gives an added perspective to your environment and enjoyment of your home community.
Heather Toynbee's portrait of Frimley Green, first published in 1973 has obviously fulfilled a demand, and has now been revised.
Our particular interest is obviously the five pages devoted to the Basingstoke Canal with recollections by a 'local' about coal and wood-carrying barges plying the canal. Pleasure skiffs were hired out from the Harms-worth Boathouse near the Guildford Road crossing. Those were the days when village boys bathed in the canal by day and shadowy figures poached fish by night.
It is a pity the author's reference to the derelict dry dock at Deepcut has not been up-dated to include its restoration and use again today.
But for anyone interested in the history and the life of Frimley Green, this 74 page book brings the past to life again. (Available from local shops, or direct, £3.75 including postage from Mrs H. Toynbee, 6 Sturt Road, Frimley Green, Camberley, Surrey).
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MAIL ORDER CATALOGUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS BOOKS, MAPS AND GUIDES WORLD WIDE.
Inland waterways publishers Shepperton Swan Ltd. have now launched their Mail Order Catalogue of Books, Maps and Guides Worldwide.
Almost 500 listed publications include most in-print items from the UK, Western Europe and North America. Everything is here, from a cruising guide to the Grand Union Canal to a lavish pictorial history of Bavaria's Ludwig's Canal, a cartoon story of 19th century steamboat traffic on the Rhone and a selection of American canal boatmen's songs. The contents of each book or map are described briefly or at some length to help you decide whether it is what you want.
If you are planning a visit to the waterways of France, Germany, Sweden, the Venetian Lagoon and many other places, Shepperton Swan have a wide selection of charts and cruising guides including a complete stock of the invaluable French Carte-Guides. Managing Director Hugh McKnight is always pleased to advise on which publication best suits your needs.
The 12-page illustrated Catalogue is presented in an attractive full colour cover and is available for £1 towards printing and postage costs from Shepperton Swan Ltd., The Clock House, Upper Halliford, Shepperton, Middlesex. TW178 RU. Tel: Sunbury-on-Thames (0932) 783319.
Believed to be the world's most comprehensive selection of inland waterways publications, all items can be exchanged for Canal Gift Tokens, available from £5 upwards, in increments of £1. These attractive Gift Cards feature a full colour Edwardian narrow boat scene, and make an ideal gift for a waterways enthusiast friend or relation.
Although the bulk of Shepperton Swan's business is mail order, personal customers are welcomed at their Shepperton headquarters by appointment.
As part of the comprehensive service, Shepperton Swan will try to obtain copies of any current inland waterways publication not yet listed in the Catalogue. They also have stocks of upwards of 50 secondhand and rare canal books, described in a separate leaflet, which includes Paul Vine's 'London's Lost Route to Basingstoke' at £29.00 which makes the Society's price of £12.50 for this American edition of the canal's definitive history a bargain price.
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ELECTRIC boat for the handicapped on the canal is now well advanced. Should be on the water in May. Hopes are high that a naming ceremony can be held during the 20/40 Rally in June. (Sounds just like a motor oil!)
CONCERN has been expressed over the development plans of the owner of Freelands Farm (in Crookham Village) who plans to plant trees on his land to prevent complaints about loss of view! Irish logic if ever there was any.
BOAT licences sold during 1985 totalled 728 out of an allocation of 1200 (of which 250 were allocated for powered craft). 407 licences were sold for single seat unpowered craft, 145 for multi-seat unpowered, 142 for powered craft up to 14 feet in length, and 34 for powered craft between 14 and 25 feet in length.
RIVER Stour Trust has on offer back issues of our Newsletter from number 74 (June 1977) onwards. Certain copies are missing however. Contact Doreen Barratt at 27 The Crescent, Frinton on Sea, Essex CO 13 9AR if you're interested. A small donation to the Trust would not go amiss.
BARLEY Mow farmhouse has been resold following planning complications regarding its use as a restaurant. Understand that it is now to be renovated as a private residence.
SORRY about the delay with the last Newsletter. It is proposed that the AGM be held later next year to save the difficulties in preparing the Annual Accounts in time to go out with the March issue.
WORKCAMP accommodation this year will be at the Queen Elizabeth II school in Woking.
IWA has accepted sponsorship offered by BWB for 6 major events during 1986 and 1987. Events this year are Spring Rally of Boats at Stoke-on-Trent (24/26 May), Second Annual Trail Boat Rally at Droitwich (5/6 July) and the National Waterways Festival at Brentford on the Grand Union (23/25 August).
COVENANTED subscriptions have recently increased in number from 412 to 600 - a 42% increase. Have you taken out a covenant yet? Remember that in this way every £1 that you subscribe is worth £1.41 to the Society. Contact Edwin Chappell our new Membership Secretary for details now — his address and 'phone number appear below.
RE-OPENING of locks 13 and 14 is to take place on Saturday 17th May. A grand occasion - be there.
NEW edition of "A Guide To The Basingstoke Canal" available shortly. Extensively revised, look out for it soon.
HEAR that our dredger Open Day in March had to be cancelled due to the appalling weather. Hope to hold the event later in the year.
BARN dance at Woking held during March was filmed for use by Rediffusion cable television in a documentary that they are preparing about the canal and its restoration.
LEISURE Learning are to visit the canal again this year on one of their "activity weekends". The weekend in question is 20/22 June.
DID you hear the various radio coverage during March regarding the tunnel and its bat colony? Chairman Robin Higgs was heard on Radio 4's 'Today" programme and also on 'The Countryside in March" (Radio 4).
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COPY DATE FOR JULY 1986 NEWSLETTER: 15th MAY 1986
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 617364)
Hon. Treasurer: Mrs Gwyneth Browne, 102a Aldershot Road, Fleet. (Fleet 621745)
Hon. Secretary: Philip Riley, Meadow Vale, Guildford Road, Normandy. (Worplesdon 234776)
Membership Secretary: Edwin Chappell, The Spinney, Meadow Road, Ashtead, Surrey, KT 21 1QR (Ashtead 72631)
Working Party Organiser: Mike Fellows, 30 Reynards Close, Winnersh, Wokingham, Berks. (Wokingham 787428)
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: Tony Karavis, 12 Loddon Road, Farnborough, Hants. (Farnborough 549037)
Sales Manager: Aubrey Slaughter, 37 Fir Tree Way, Fleet, Aldershot, Hants. GU13 9NB. (Fleet 623102)
Talks Organiser: Mrs Janet Greenfield, 9 Mistletoe Road, Yateley, Camberley. (Yateley 873167)
Exhibitions Manager: Phil Pratt, Flat 5 Fleetwood Court, Madeira Road, West Byfleet. (Byfleet 40281)
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