No. 134 July 1987
THE FANTASTIC FRIMLEY FESTIVAL
After all the adjectives have been used, the National Steam and Small Boat Festival can only be described as an unqualified success.
At least 25,000 people came to Frimley Lodge Park over the weekend of June 13th and 14th and enjoyed a carnival atmosphere. The sun shone, the bands played and the Basingstoke Canal was alive with launches, skiffs, canoes, dinghies, tripping boats, cruisers and even a coracle. Presiding over the flotilla of more than 100 small boats was our own John Pinkerton on which no one saw an empty seat all weekend.
The Society signed up 25 new members and will probably get back as many application forms again. The sales and information stands were kept busy, and all the traders went home well satisfied. At least one £15,000 new boat was sold at the Festival and every business received masses of enquiries to follow up.
A grim faced (though delighted) treasurer had his work cut out making non-stop trips to the bank. He only just kept up with the frequent round emptying the tills, cash registers and car park attendants satchels.
It was hoped the Festival would make a profit of £6,000. In fact it may well reach £10,000 of which the Society will have a 40% share.
Like a tasty, well baked cake, the success of 'Frimley '87' was due to a number of excellent ingredients blended together by Tony Davis as the director of the event.
The vast 50-acre park made a magnificent showground. There was space for car parking, picnic parties, camping, organised events, displays, exhibitions, and even a huge hot air balloon, in very attractive surroundings. And the tranquil tree-lined stretch of the canal was ideal for boat moorings, navigation and waterborne events.
The organising committee and a small army of helpers worked as a professional team, anticipating problems and ready to solve them: nothing, it seemed, had been left to chance.
The Festival sponsors enabled the committee to organise the event confidently and with style.
British Water Leisure, as the major sponsor, provided the funds to book some real attractions and publicise the event widely. The committee was able to make commitments which would not have been possible without the sponsorship. Johnson Wax made it possible to entertain our guests to an excellent buffet lunch in the comfortable surroundings of the nearby Lakeside Country Club. And the local authorities, and other organisations who participated, supported the event in a variety of ways to help complete the whole jigsaw to form a glorious, colourful and exciting spectacle.
Congratulations to Festival Chairman, Brian Percy, the Director, Tony Davis, Committee members and all who worked so hard before and during the weekend to make the event an outstanding success.
THE SOCIETY'S OBJECTIVES
A letter in this issue from our member John A. Davis proves that the Society represents a variety of interests in restoring the canal. We hope that his comments will spark off some replies for the next issue.
In the meantime, Professor Davis and other members should be aware of the Society's objectives as written in the Memorandum of Association:
"The object of the Society is to advocate in the national interest the use, maintenance and development of inland waterways of the British Isles and, in particular, of the Basingstoke Canal, to advocate and promote the restoration to good order and condition and the maintenance in good order and condition of the Basingstoke Canal and every other waterway and to promote the fullest use of every such waterway by both commercial and pleasure traffic".
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Steam boats at the Frimley Festival (Photo: Clive Durley)
CENTRE SPREAD FESTIVAL PHOTOGRAPHS
(Top left) The busy Festival scene.... Morris dancers entertain outside a refreshments marquee flanked by a host of trade stands. (Centre top) Thames steam launches and the elegant 6-seat canoe Silver Ripple, owned by the Society's sales manager Aubrey Slaughter, seen from Mytchett Place Road Bridge. (Top right) Immaculately turned out, the Pipe and Drum Band of the Gurkha Rifles. (Centre left) A moment of concentration . . . a steam boat owner attending to the boiler. (Centre right) And steam on the rails too!
(Bottom left) The Mildred Stocks day boat for the disabled passing the steam boat moorings along the attractive wooded canalside. (Bottom centre) Narrowboats moored below Lock One at By fleet which took part in the gathering of larger craft as a part of the Festival. (Bottom right) John Pinkerton bookings manager Tony Karavis playing trumpet with the Occasional Jazz Band heralding the start of the Festival.
(Photographs: Clive Durley and Dieter Jebens. Processing: Clive Durley)
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VOLUNTEERS PUSH ON TO COMPLETE CANAL'S RESTORATION
Volunteers put in over 28,000 hours work on restoring the canal last year in the Society's bid to complete the project by the end of 1988.
At the Society's AGM, Mike Fellows reported progress on several fronts. The Dredger Crew had steamed Perseverance on to clear another 1,000 yards to reach Zephon Common at Crookham Village. A successful 'Open Day' last October resulted in the recruitment of more crew members.
Further east, lock restoration continued to keep volunteers busy at St John's. Regular visits by Kennet and Avon Canal Trust members of the Newbury Branch; London Branch members of Waterway Recovery Group and Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group volunteers helped our Society regulars to complete locks 7, 8 and 9. After six years work, Mike Fellows reported, the 'massive project in which all five locks have been re-built means our commitment to this flight has ended'.
"This works out at a lock every 14 months", said Mike Fellows, "and is a tremendous achievement which shows the determination and dedication of the volunteers".
The 1986 Work Camp at Woodham had been "by far and away the most ambitious and successful camp held on the Basingstoke", Mike Fellows reported. The chambers of locks 2 and 3 had been cleared, by-pass channels constructed and the inverts of both locks concreted. There had also been time to rebuild the top cill of lock 2.
Specific tasks were also completed at locks 7, 8 and 9 at St John's. "I have never seen a group of people work so hard, so long and be so determined to complete the almost impossible schedule of works which I had set", said Mike Fellows, paying tribute to the camp volunteers.
Along the towpath, Peter Jackman's working parties had cleared the towpath between Monument and Chertsey Road Bridges in Woking and at Sheerwater, starting in October through to April.
At lock 4, Pablo Haworth and his loyal band of workers had built a new bottom cill, laid by-pass culvert pipes and constructed new recess walls to progress the renovation of the chamber.
Led by Dick Harper-White, IWA Guildford and Reading Branch members had completed the chamber walls in Lock 1.
In a separate report on the activities of our full time team of four, Frank Jones reviewed an icy winter spent renewing a culvert, running under the canal, to drain overflow water from a pond in the
grounds of Brookwood Hospital to Cowshott Stream.
During the year, Dave Wedd had joined the team and helped Jim Reid and Martin Smith rebuild Woodend Bridge at St John's from an unsightly ruined arch, clad with gas and sewage pipelines, to the elegant hump-backed accommodation bridge as it was originally built 200 years ago. With the services pipes hidden away in the trackway, Frank Jones said, "This bridge and its towpath represent one of the most difficult works carried out on the canal". The County Council provided suitable bricks, including parapet capping bricks, to add to its attractiveness.
In an effort to accelerate work to complete lock 12 at Brookwood, Frank Jones said that he had advised the NACRO team and organised a £6,500 contract, on behalf of the Society, to rebuild a chamber wall, hollow posts, recesses and top and bottom cills. The aim he explained, had been to complete the lock by last Christmas but this had been thwarted by the adjacent garage owner who closed access to the site through his workshop -yard to put pressure on Surrey County Council in a dispute over land ownership elsewhere.
Latterly the Society's team had been engaged on fitting lock gates at St John's Nos. 10 and 11.
Frank Jones paid tribute to his two regular weekday volunteer carpenters, Eddie Pohorely and Ken Nevitt who had each put in 120 hours work to build lock gates. "With commitment like that" said Frank, "how can we fail?".
An eventful year was completed by David Millett, vice-chairman, who reported on another successful rally of boats held at Ash Lock in June last year.
Fund raising events included a well supported sponsored towpath walk and a profitable season for John Pinkerton which had cruised down to the Brookwood locks for the first time. The sales team of Aubrey Slaughter and Martin Bowers had also achieved a profitable year.
On the promotional front, the vice-chairman credited membership secretary, Edwin Chappell for enrolling 221 new members, bringing the total membership of the Society to 2,048. Phil Pratt, exhibitions manager, was thanked for his displays set up at many events along the length of the canal.
Highlights of the social calendar had been the Society's 20th anniversary celebration at Bisley Village Hall last October, and a trip on the Medway in September aboard the paddle steamer Kingswear Castle.
West Cotswolds: superbly converted stone coach-house, steeps 4/5, Country Diary decor, central heating, microwave, dishwasher, washer/drier, fridge/freezer. Private lane to canal. Available long lets, weeks, midweek breaks or weekends.
Telephone Hinchley (0455) 611508/616687/631373.
26 ft. Springer narrow boat tug type 1983 construction 9 hp Coventry Victor diesel engine. 2 berth with cooker, fridge h/c water, solid fuel stove, toilet, twin 12 volt system. Dry docked 4/87 hull pressure washed and repainted. £5950.
Contact S.J. Browning. Evenings. Guildford 892474.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITORBOATS, BATS AND FUNDRAISING
3 April 1987 Dear Sirs,
Why, I wonder, should enquiries for narrow boat licences cause consternation at the Joint Management Committee meeting, as reported in the January edition of the Newsletter? A boat is a boat is a boat, as Gertrude Stein might have said, be it narrow,broad, or grp. It seems to me that the Council members do not know very much about boating, if they do not realise that dimensions of narrow boats can vary just as much as any other type of boat, and people can live indefinitely (and many do) on any size of boat, not just narrow boats. I for one do not want to see the canal restored for the sole use of 'floating gin palaces' and I hope there are a great many more who agree with me. The sort of attitude implied in your report simply goes to re-inforce the opinion of those who are not natives of the Home Counties that those who are, are all rather artificial types. Let's have some REAL boats on the canal when we get it opened, please.
There are many instances of bats living in tunnels which are regularly used by boats: John Liley in his excellent book Journeys of the Swan quotes an example, so I see no reason why they should not live in harmony with boats in the Greywell tunnel once it is opened, if it ever is. We had bats living in our lorry shed at home, sharing it with swallows in the summer time, and at dusk we could see them flying about: and they didn't get in anyone's hair, contrary to another popular misconception.
Here are a couple of ideas for fund-raising. Could the Society not publish its own Christmas Cards, like the IWA does? We could use the three post-card designs of the John Pinkerton, either for every year, or just one design every three years. I am sure most members would be willing to buy them.
Secondly, from time to time there is a series on TV which most people will have seen, called CONNECTIONS, in which 6th formers take part, and as well as winning prizes for themselves, also win points which are changed into pounds which they donate to a charity. Surely we have some one in the Society who could enter and win some money for the Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society?
Brook Wood, 51 Fell View, Gosforth, Cumberland.
Editor's note: The JMC has now agreed for narrow boats to be licensed on the Canal but we know of one owner who has not pursued the availability because of the Committee's procrastination.
19th May,1987 Dear Sirs,MOTOR BOAT BAN
I know I am not the only long term contributor to the restoration of the Basingstoke Canal whose motive was much more its preservation than its restoration as a commercial waterway and who has much more sympathy with the position of the NCC than with that of your members who would like to use it for motor boating. In my childhood when I got to know the canal intimately from end to end we used punts, canoes and rowing boats for exploration creating no noise and little wash, and getting healthy exercise into the bargain. Motor boats
have already ruined The Broads and it would be a pity if they were allowed to ruin the restored canal as well. I would even be prepared to raise my contribution to buy out the vandals if they feel that by their contributions in cash and work they have earned the right to what I would call 'foul their own nest' as well as those of myriads of water birds. Ideally the canal should be now designated as a National Park and run as such with severe restrictions on its use for what is called 'fun'.
John A. Davis,
Fourmile House, 1 & 3 Cambridge Road, Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire.
Dear Sirs,MYSTERY BOAT AT AQUEDUCT
I was wondering whether through the pages of the Basingstoke Canal News I could raise one or two issues.
The first is to solve a mystery. Early on the morning of Saturday 18th October last I found a half sunk, white fibre glass, 8 ft rowing dinghy with varnished wooden rubbing strates drifting in the winding pool at Kings Head Bridge outside my cottage. The weather the previous night had been awful with very high winds and torrential rain and my first reaction was that it had broken free of its moorings and been carried down by the wind from the direction of Mytchett. Closer examination, however, pointed to it having been cut free and probably stolen or joy rided. I reported the matter to the Police and made enquiries of one or two neighbours with properties abutting the canal with no success in finding the owner.
Having emptied the boat of water I secured it ashore in my garden where it remained until mid day on Sunday 23 November. I was away for lunch for two hours and on my return found it had gone. Without oars I can only assume someone carried it away — maybe the rightful owner or it was stolen again? I obviously reported the matter to the Police again and there this matter has lain.
If one of your readers can throw any light on this incident I should be pleased to hear.
The second relates to my inability to have a small mooring outside my cottage. When I raised the matter with Mr Brierley of the Surrey County Council he merely responded that he was unable to grant mooring licences on the towpath side. I can only assume that this was due historically to such moorings causing obstruction to horse drawn barges. Now we are trying to encourage greater use of the canal and no doubt people will start to cruise it, surely this law must be reviewed. Otherwise it will encourage trespass onto private land along this canal. Apart from my own interest in this matter I feel it is a matter for debate particularly as the final opening of the whole canal nears completion.
Finally, I was reflecting with the forthcoming canal walk and its associated sponsorships whether consideration has been given to water related activities of a similar vein. I have in mind sponsored rowing or canoeing various lengths of the canal. With people already in situ at the various check points it would not be too difficult to marshall.
Frimhurst Lodge, Guildford Road, Frimley Green, Camberley, Surrey.
Dear Sir,SQUATTERS' RIGHTS?
Some have spotted the Kingfisher, a delightful bird, unlike the NCC Cuckoo - a rare species wanting to dispose of canal users and still occupy the nest (i.e. canal).
Declared protected lengths, gates, notice boards - the protected plants would still be vulnerable.
What would be more desirable is a special protected site away from the canal fed by the same water supply.
As for the Greywell bats, what are Hampshire's views and byelaws on squatters?
The NCC members seem to be constant users of the tow-path. Could not they show some goodwill and effort in maintaining Hampshire's neglected surface?
Upper Flat, 12 Lilford Road, London SE5 9HX.
Dear Editor,TOWPATH WOKING
I make a habit of walking accessible parts of the canal and recently walked on the stretch near Woking. It was most disappointing. The towpath has been lined with very uncomfortable 'clinkers'. I walked from opposite the pub/restaurant being redecorated back to Woking and although I had walking shoes on, had to walk on 'grass' at the side, as others have to — this is not helping the grass to grow or the young bushes take root.
Please do not let any further stretches be so covered — the only people who will use them will be vandals. It was most uncomfortable.
17 Culworth House, West Road, Guild ford, Surrey.
Editors' note: We 're told that the granite chippings have now been covered with a better walking surface following other complaints.
Dear Sirs,REVERSE WATER FLOW
I was intrigued to read the report of the successful film presentation put on by John Humphries. We, in England, are always in awe of the greater use of European Waterways and in particular the new developments (i.e. Ronquieres and Ascenseur Canal du Centre Lifts in Belgium). But I was really amazed to read of the latest development of reversing the flow of the upper Rhine. I remember distinctly when I travelled from Basle to Strasbourg in 1983 that this 122 km stretch flowed downstream. According to your report it now appears to do the opposite. I would be most interested to see a report on how this was carried out as it may have useful implications in this country.
'Helda', 83 Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware, Middlesex.
Dear Sirs,DREDGER LUMBERJACKS
On returning from a two week holiday to go on the Dredger on Saturday 6th June, 1987, it was frustrating and disappointing to find that the Dredger Crews are STILL having to do the work of lumberjacks to clear the way for the crane jib to operate properly. Subsequently some damage was done to the lifting gear, which meant that repairs had to be carried out, limiting dredging to 1% barge loads.
If this situation continues each week, it could delay the completion date for opening the canal. Also the damaged trees become an eyesore to the towpath walkers, who could wrongly lay the blame on the Dredger Crews.
20 Edward Avenue, Camberley, Surrey.
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IT'S BARN DANCE TIME!
A Barn Dance is to be held at Horsell High School, Woking on SATURDAY 3rd OCTOBER. The fun starts at 8.00pm and continues till 11.45pm.
Tickets are now available at £3.50 each. This includes a Fish & Chips supper.
Enclosed with this issue of The News is a booking slip. Reserve your tickets NOW!
AUTUMN SPECIAL TRIPLE ATTRACTION OUTING SUNDAY 11th OCTOBER
This year's full day autumn excursion will be to the River Avon in Bristol. The Society hasn't visited this area before. DON'T MISS IT.
Morning — a 1 hour cruise on the famous paddle steamer Waverley, the last sea-going paddle steamer. The cruise will take in Bristol Docks, Avon Gorge, Clifton Suspension Bridge and finish at Portishead.
Afternoon — a tour around SS Great Britain to see the progress on restoring Brunel's famous first oceangoing, propeller driven iron ship, launched in 1843. A visit to the Maritime Heritage Centre may also be made. This tour will be followed by a 1-1/2 hour cruise on NB Redshank around Bristol's floating harbour.
Departure on Sunday 11th October will be from Fleet at 7.00am, returning at 8.00pm. Cost is £11.95 all inclusive (but bring your own packed lunch).
Bookings by 'phone to Rosemary or David Millett on Fleet (0252) 617364. Reserve your place early for this exciting day out — these trips are very popular. Once booked please send a cheque payable to the Society to Rosemary Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet, Hants. GU13 9SW, enclosing a SAE (A4 size).
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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Weekend 11th/13th July
IWA Guildford Water Festival. Held again this year at Millmead, opposite the Jolly Farmer. Details from Dick Harper-White, Weybridge 42074; Boat Entries to Pat Perry-Barton on Hind head 6496.
Monday 27th July
Visit to Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, 7.30pm. Tickets from Peter Coxhead (Byfleet 44564).
Weekend 29th/31st August
IWA National Rally, Hawkesbury Junction.
Saturday 3rd October
Barn Dance, Horsell High School, Woking, 8.00pm. Tickets from Peter Coxhead (Byfleet 44564).
Sunday 11th October
A day out to Bristol with the Society. Full details elsewhere.
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AWARD 1 -PEWSEY WHARF BOAT CLUB TROPHY
(best boat) Winner: Mr Wilkinson, Saumarez V
AWARD 2 - IWA OXFORD & SOUTH BUCKS BRANCH ROSE BOWL (best decorated boat)
Winner: Mr Ken Horner, Kerygold
AWARD 3 -JOHN HEAP ROSE BOWL
(best boat club) Winner: Byfleet Boat Club
AWARD 4 -IWA BIRMINGHAM BRANCH CUP
(greatest distance travellers since 1st April)
Winner: Mr Mack Scott, Marlin
AWARD 5 -CRUISER HANDLING - BWB CUP
Winner: Mr C. Pearce, Tiffany Too
AWARD 6 -STAR NEWSPAPER
1st — K. Northgreaves, Kentki
"Wooden Spoon' Prize — Mr Lunnon, Daffy Major.
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VOLUNTEER LABOUR & ITS VALUE
In the May issue of The News Stan Meller wrote enquiring about the placing of a value of £2.75 per hour on volunteer work. The history behind this figure may shed some light on its derivation.
Some years ago the Joint Management Committee for the Basingstoke Canal asked that the Society put a value on the input made by our volunteers. The figure then arrived at was £2.75 per hour and has not been raised since to allow for inflation, for example.
It can be argued that the value should have been raised. However it must be borne in mind that the calculated figure is in any case notional. In no way is it intended to under value what we know to be an input of inestimable value by our force of dedicated volunteers.
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THANKS FOR A MEMORABLE WEEKEND - by Tony Davis — Festival Director
Standing on site at peak time on the Sunday afternoon of the Festival, surrounded by thousands of people watching, participating, browsing, buying, picnicking and thoroughly enjoying themselves in the June sunshine, it was hard to believe that 15 months had passed since a group of half-a-dozen people had first looked over the embryo Frimley Lodge Park on a raw March morning in 1986, and considered it might be suitable for a major national boat rally.
The IWA National Steam and Small Boat Festival might be said to have been conceived in the bar of the adjacent Kings Head pub that lunchtime, when a small steering group was formed, blossoming into a carefully picked full committee team of nearly 30, thence swelling as outside events were added in; culminating in a hundred helpers needed to prepare and run the event on site over that weekend. And what a weekend it proved to be. Judged by almost any standards our expectations were exceeded on every front. 107 boat entries were ample proof of the canal's and the site's attraction. A further 17 larger boats supporting us at Lock One was useful campaigning material to press on to the final reopening. Over 50 Trade and voluntary group stands was a major triumph for a rally of this type, and Mike McGrath should be very pleased with such a response, and the money it brought in. The publicity which resulted in well over 20,000 people arriving on site was quite stupendous, thanks to Chris de Wet, Kyle Bullus and their team.
The story of the event will be given by others, but I would like to pay a special tribute to the Committee members, who put in so much work over so many months to make it the success it undoubtedly was. We were a happy Committee and there was not one weak link in the chain. Their reward will be to see a substantial sum of money go to waterway restoration and to know that the goodwill generated in public bodies and amongst the wider public, will undoubtedly help to speed the progress to full restoration and navigation. All their names appear in the most excellently produced Festival brochure, which in itself surpasses most that I have seen. I thank them all, as I do the very long suffering but infinitely helpful Council and IWA liaison officers whose names also appear therein.
What I would like to do here is mention by name some of those other members of the IWA and the Society, who did such sterling work on site, and who deserve wider recognition for their services. The site services team, under the indefatigable Frank Jones, worked on site from the Wednesday previous to the Tuesday following on the most unrewarding tasks. Frank himself can be absolutely relied upon not to make a drama out of a crisis! He was assisted by Peter Webster and Peter Redway, respectively electrician and plumber par excellence, doing so much for so many with so little! Always around, helping them, were Ian Edwards, John
Greenfield, Jack Pocock, Peter Jackman, Janet Greenfield, Alan Grimster, Edwin Chappell; and Pauline Hadlow who singlehandedly did all the notices. The full time staff of Martin Smith, Jim Reid and David Wedd couldn't be kept away either.
Harbourmaster is always a thankless task, but I an Keating organised it so efficiently with a splendid crowd of helpers, which included Norman and Maurice Whittaker, Alan and Mary Blackmore; with Neil and Ann Morley almost worked off their feet on the trip boats. Ulick Palmer, as Awards Officer, gave us a scare on the Thursday evening by announcing that he had been unexpectedly scheduled to fly to Athens for the weekend, but he had organised everything so perfectly that a friend Ian Rutter was able to step in and do his task on the Saturday; and Graham Thick and John Myrgatroyd were prevailed upon to do the Sunday competitions at very short notice, and yet another crisis was overcome.
Alistair Bywater, in charge of the team of Gates marshallers, was almost on his knees by Sunday evening coping with the sheer weight of traffic on a very difficult site. Of the marshallers, Andy Scammell deserves a medal if there is one going. Scheduled to go at 10am Sunday for 2 hours, he stayed until nearly 6 o'clock without any break, because every last person was needed.
A Festival Director is expected to make instant decisions to cope with real or imagined panics. A real enough one was to try and replace instantly two helpers who didn't arrive at the bar at peak time on Saturday afternoon. Alan Eggby with friends Paul and Simon from the Norbury and South London Transport Club, expert though they were as always at running the bar, under David Millet's direction, were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of thirsty customers, and I grabbed the nearest friendly faces I could see — Mike Lewis protesting he had never been that side of a bar in his life, closely followed by Chris Brazier, Phil Riley and Nigel Durley.
Rosemary Millett, even with her experience of catering, cannot have been but surprised by the amount of food and drink needed to sustain not only the public but all the Committee team which she herself provided for, with Sonia Jebens and other helpers from the S & HCS, feeding 400 people who attended Saturday night's barbecue, and Barbara Durley staffing a continued production line of tea, coffee and rolls all weekend. They were all exhausted by Sunday evening.
Nobody need have been surprised by Vic Trott's smooth running of the entertainments over the weekend with everything going to schedule. His assistants Dave Goodwin, Peter Coxhead and wife Shirley made an excellent team, and Nigel Duckworth was always around helping for long hours.
What will not have been seen by those on site was the reception for VIP's at Lakeside, which did an enormous amount of good, and was ably put together by Angela Percy and helpers, who had to cope with an ever swelling and every changing guest list. Brian Percy as Chairman was not only involved in this, but in many other ways helped over the weekend showing councillors, officers and other guests all that we were trying to do.
Stan Meller took the organisation of the minibus to himself, running between the site and Lock One. Thank you, Stan. David Small looked after the contingent of boats moored down there and I think they enjoyed a good party. Thank you to Paddy Powell for relieving Pat Saunders on the P.A. from time to time, and to Keith Williamson for lending and erecting it. What an awkward site it turned out to be to try and cover with loudspeakers.
The frenetic activity in the Treasurer's caravan was wondrous to behold and Andy Simmonds's regular team had to be quickly augmented by June Caldwell, Bob Hodges, Kathy McGrath and Doreen Davis. Even so I don't think they want to count any more coins for a very long time! Bill Caldwell's unflappable presence and good humour in the Site Office saved many a situation from disaster. He particularly wants to thank the many helpers, scheduled and unscheduled, who were asked to go out and sell brochures as soon as they put their head round the office door. It is invidious to pick out anyone from them, but Robert Mew having finished a stint on the gates, then did one in the bar, and finished the day selling programmes, having come all the way to the event from Leeds! Cliff Hilton, doing Crew Hospitality, was so well prepared beforehand that he didn't need to prevail upon any other helpers on the day, but we nearly lost the milkman who insisted on trying to do a three-point turn with his milk float on the canal towpath!
Unsung heroes off the site included Tony Rozelaar who ran a successful Film Show at Camberley for us; Colin Ward who put publicity in a shop window; Joan Mears who ran the children's painting competition in local schools.
Finally (and not to be deleted by the Editor!) I am continually astounded by the ability of our Press Officer, Dieter Jebens, to get articles published in such a wide range of newspapers, with results that were obvious to behold over the weekend - sheer professionalism. The most incredible but perfectly true story must be that of the Italian gentleman from Milan, who having read about the event in an Italian ecology magazine, sent for an entry form to Adrian Birtles, and drove his family over in a camper waggon for the weekend! He was thrilled to bits to be taken for a trip in Adrian's steam boat, and was taking pictures on site all weekend, of this very strange English ritual! Goodness knows what he made of the morris dancers!
To all the other un-named helpers - thanks a million. To the Society and the IWA - we loved doing it (I think) but please don't ask us to do it again too soon!
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FORMAL CLOSURE OF IWA's BASINGSTOKE SECTION
Due to lack of support the Basingstoke Section of Guildford & Reading Branch IWA is to cease holding 'Speaker' meetings after the November 1987 meeting. They will continue to hold a monthly social on the first Tuesday of each month in the lounge bar of the White Hart, London Road like the GUCS 'Noggin & Natter. All remaining funds at the end of the financial year will be passed back to the Branch.
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Centre spread pages 8-9 --
In the News
COUNCILS REAFFIRM USE OF CANAL FOR NAVIGATION
The two local authority owners of the Basingstoke Canal have reaffirmed their commitment to making full use of the 32-mile long waterway as a navigation. The assurance was given to members of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society at their annual general meeting, and follows recent moves by nature conservationists to limit boating on the canal.
Guest speaker at the meeting, held at the Canadian International School at Mytchett on April 25th, was the Mayor of Surrey Heath Borough Council, Coun. Gerald Digby, who said that the canal system was a part of our heritage and he regretted it was no longer used commercially.
"Inland waterways were once the arteries of the country and an economic means of transport", reflected Coun. Digby and added, "It is a great sadness to me that so many waterways have been lost".
But in contrast the Mayor said that he was thrilled to see so many people dedicated to preserving and restoring the Basingstoke Canal and other waterways.
Referring to the future use of the Canal, Coun. Digby said, "You can't preserve it for bird life and natural history alone. The way to make canals work effectively is to put boats on them and get the locks working". He believed that the Canal had got to be a working entity. "I can't be convinced that all interests cannot live in peaceful co-existence", Coun. Digby concluded.
His contention was supported by officers of both Hampshire and Surrey county councils as owners of the Canal.
Assistant Countryside Officer for Hampshire, Mr David Dixon, told members that the Society had influenced the local authorities' decision to buy the Canal in the 1970's and that without their voluntary efforts restoration might not have been started.
Mr Dixon explained that it was the council's duty to listen to all those with an interest in the canal. "We
want to accommodate all interest", he said, "but at the end of the day we are committed to making the canal work as a navigation".
Speaking for Surrey County Council, Mr Raymond Stedman, Countryside Officer, endorsed Mr Dixon's commendation of the valuable work being done by voluntary workers in restoring the Canal. Mr Stedman added that the councils wished to see the Canal Society continue to be involved in the future with the management of the Canal.
"Several million pounds have been spent on restoration and we're determined to see the canal used to the full", Mr Stedman told the meeting.
On behalf of the Society, its chairman, Mr Robin Higgs, said that members were as much committed to conservation as anyone. "We are in the business of conservation and any controversy is not of our making", said Mr Higgs.
He pointed out that without the Society's campaign and the efforts of volunteers the canal might not exist today. Mr Higgs concluded that the Society sought use of the canal by all interested parties including the protection of its natural history.
Reporting on another year of progress towards completing restoration by the end of next year, Mr Mike Fellows, the Society's working party organiser, said that he was proud of the achievements of the voluntary workers who had contributed a total of 28,000 hours work valued at a minimum of £130,000 last year alone.
But Mr Fellows expressed sadness, too, that "powerful conservation forces were trying to nullify our efforts". Speaking for the volunteers he said that they felt demoralised that their efforts to restore the canal for navigation, which they believed would also benefit wildlife, were now subject to intervention by "outside bodies seeking to capitalise on our labours". Mr Fellows appealed to members "to fight against these people so that the enormous amount of work given so freely will not have been in vain".
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ANGLING MATCHES ON THE CANAL - Andre Grandjean
There are four big matches being held on the Canal this season starting with a match between some of the best local match teams and is hoped to attract 120 of the area's best anglers. This match is on Sunday 28th June 1987 and will use the Eelmoor to Ash Lock stretch -the match should be finished by 2pm.
The second match is our team and individual event which is hoped to attract up to 100 anglers. This match is on Sunday 5th July 1987 and will use the Eelmoor to Farnborough Road stretch. This match is being fished between 7am and 12 noon.
The third match is being run by the Central Southern Junior Angling League and is hoped to attract up to 80 juniors. This match is on Saturday 18th July 1987 and will use the Eelmoor to Farnborough Road stretch. Fishing times are not currently known for this one but it should be over by 2pm.
The final match being run jointly by ourselves and the Rushmoor Mallards is to be a Southern Region Competition for the Disabled. This match is to be on Sunday 23rd August 1987 and again will use the Eelmoor to Farnborough Road stretch, approx 100 disabled anglers are expected to attend this match.
There are many other smaller matches being fished on the Canal this year and other users are asked to give due consideration to anglers whilst a match is in progress, a detailed list of all the current match bookings is available from me on request.
We are about to continue our programme for building reinforced fishing stations for disabled anglers. The five built last year (3 at Claycart, 2 at Barley Mow) have proved very successful and a further 10 stations are to be built over the next few weeks (4 at Barley Mow, 6 at Colt Hill). Working parties are being held on Sunday afternoons between now and mid June.
Details from A.P. Grandjean, 37 Mansfield Road, Basingstoke, Hants. RG22 6DX. Tel: (0256) 54381.
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WATERSIDE WATCH - by David Millett
FRIMLEY DEVELOPMENT PLANS
An application to construct a very large Old People's complex on the Frimhurst Pig Farm site at Deepcut has been refused by Surrey Heath Borough Council. The development would have been very obtrusive on the canal scene opposite the houses between Lake Road and the canal. One of the blocks proposed, three storeys high, would have been within 30 feet of the towpath. Wimpeys, the developers, have lodged an appeal and the Society will continue to oppose this and others like it along the canal.
Not far away, south of Guildford Road, Frimley Green, and opposite Frimley Lodge Park, where the National Steam and Small Boat Festival was held, Charles Church now wish to construct a massive development of houses in an area which is classified as 'Land adjoining the Green Belt', and is not zoned for development.
We have opposed this as wanton destruction of the rural canal scene locality, and as the area is not yet zoned in the Structure Plan for development it will be refused on policy grounds by Surrey Heath Borough Council. However it is likely to go to appeal and Surrey Heath will have to defend their case that they have allocated enough land in their Local Plan to house the numbers envisaged in the Structure Plan for North West Surrey.
At the Hampshire end of the canal, the most pressing planning matter is the renewal of the policy to create a boat basin in the Pondtail Bridge area of Fleet in the Hart Local Plan. The NCC, Countryside Action, and others are attempting to have the policy removed from the Local Plan and an Inspector will be hearing the supporters and the opposers on the 15th July. The Society, the IWA, HCC, and others will be making the case that the restored canal must have basins where boats can be moored.
After exhaustive investigations in the 1970s, it became clear that the Pondtail area was the only logical place on the Hampshire section of the canal to build a basin. The site proposed is between the A323 and the canal (south of the canal). Whilst it is accepted there are nature conservation interests involved on the site, it would be possible to have both interests satisfied as the area not required for the basin could be conserved and managed by the County Council as a Nature Conservation area. The area required would be no more than 5 acres, whereas the total area of land involved between Pondtail Bridge and Norris Bridge is approximately 13 acres.
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MORE DEVELOPMENT AT COLT HILL?
At the Odiham end of the canal another application has been made to build houses at the western end of Hatchwood Farm, bordering on the existing developments, off London Road, Colt Hill. With the slope of the land, the development would appear on the skyline when viewed from the canal in the Colt Hill/ Broad Oak/Bypass Bridge area of the canal and towpath.
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FUND RAISING NEWS - Derek Truman
Cash prizes are always popular —we're offering £200, £100 and £50. Bob Humberstone, 11 Tichborne Close, Frirnley, Camberley, Surrey GU16 5RP (Camberley 22883) will be delighted to receive your money and supply more Draw Tickets. Please help us to make a record profit this year.
We're very grateful to all those who participated on 17 May despite the rather dull, cool weather.
Sponsorship monies should be sent as soon as possible to Bert Savill, 3 Rushmoor Close, Fleet, Hants. We can then get the interest on the money. 30 September is our deadline. But we would prefer to beat that.
With a record 126 members, the Club will earn some £800 (including interest) for the Society in 1987, and there are some good prizes. April winners were:
Mr D. Smith £62; Mr & Mrs Redway £32; Mr I .V. Scott £16; Mr & Mrs Wood £16.
££...££...££.. .BARGE AND TUG APPEAL
One of our barges is missing! Not quite — but it is no longer operational. Major welding work on all four corners and on the coamings of one of our most useful mud barges, the 9-footer, will cost the Society up to £3000. The work is essential if the present progress of dredging is to be maintained. And there is no cheap alternative. The use of concrete is not an option.
We also need another tug, not just because the existing two are past their prime, but because this will also give us a quicker turn round with the barges. The result? Increased dredging progress. The cost? Nearer to £2000 than £1000.
Having invested a good deal of the Society's — your — money in capital works last year and with our full time 4 man team of employees to pay, funds are very tight. The Board has decided that just as we did for the John Pinkerton project, we should appeal to members (and indeed any organisation which might want to help) for contributions towards the cost of these projects.
Please send donations, however great or small, made payable to the Surrey and Hants Canal Society (Barge Appeal), Derek Truman, Compton Cottage, 11 Connaught Road, Fleet, Hants. GU13 9RA.
Autumn Holidays & Winter Breaks at Exmouth, Devon|
Three bedroomed holiday house which sleeps 5/6 people
comfortably. Very clean and well equipped. Centrally heated and double glazed. Pleasant south facing garden.
Exmouth is a delightful seaside town with two miles of
golden sand set amidst glorious and unspoiled
countryside. Many beautiful walks and places to visit.
For details contact Diane or John Elliott on Fleet 623314.
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SOCIETY HEARS OF BAT HABITS - by David Junkison
A fascinating talk on bats found in this country, illustrated with his own remarkable photographs was given by Mr Greenaway of the Surrey Bat Group at Woking in April. The reason for the Canal Society to invite a naturalist to give a talk on bats is, of course, the fact that Greywell Tunnel is used by hibernating bats, and is probably the most important hibernation centre in the country.
Fifteen species of bats are to be found in southern England, and all feed exclusively on insects. Worldwide there are about one thousand species. England is on the northern edge of the distribution area of bats in Europe and as one moves north, the number of species declines. Bats are found far north in Russia, but these migrate hundreds of miles to hibernate in Central Europe.
In summer bats are widely dispersed, and live in a wide range of places from hollow trees to roof spaces.
In autumn they migrate to congregate in larger numbers in winter hibernation centres, usually humid caves,mines or tunnels.
Bats usually fly at night, and their means of navigation for long distances is a mystery. They are able to fly and catch prey at night, as they locate obstacles and insects by producing and receiving high frequency sound mostly too high a pitch to be detected by the human ear. Larger bats can locate prey up to 200 metres away.
In this country bats begin hibernation in October, and their body temperature falls to about 50°f. In warm spells they may venture out, when insects are available up to late December. When flying, they have a high heart rate and very high body temperature.
European bats mate in autumn and the female retains the sperm without fertilisation, which is delayed until spring. The females congregate in spring, in places where they are able to maintain an even temperature which in northern Europe in April to July is still quite low, and so the embryos despite their small size, develop slowly.
Once bom in July/August the young must learn to fly, and then to master their inbuilt echo-location system. In late summer the young must feed well enough to build up sufficient fat reserves to withstand the long winter ahead. At this time the young are vulnerable, but once through the first winter some species may live for up to 20 years.
Larger species have quite formidable teeth, which can give a painful bite. These are necessary in order to kill larger species of beetles, which may have to be brought down to the ground before being killed.
Mr Greenaway's photographs were taken by flash, triggered automatically by the bats. Many bats, having once experienced this flash, will then make a detour of a few metres on subsequent flights and so it seems that they are very intelligent.
Bats have few predators, mainly owls but occasionally foxes. Numbers of bats in this country have been declining due to intensive farming, loss of habitat sand the preservative treatment of roof timbers.
Recently, artificial underground hibernation centres have been built, but it is still too early to know if the bats have used them.
The obvious lesson for the Society is to monitor the success of these artificial hibernation centres, and then build our own near Greywell tunnel where there is an excellent site.
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ON THE TRACK AND WATERFRONT
Canal, aeroplane and car enthusiasts all carne together for a most enjoyable evening on March 9th and almost succeeded in filling every seat in Woking's Christ Church Hall.
It was Maureenn Coxhead, whose husband, Peter, organises the Society's monthly social evenings in Woking, who had the inspired idea of inviting a representative of Brooklands Museum to give an illustrated talk. She quite rightly pointed out that the two charities had much in common with the restoration of the Basingstoke Canal and the preservation of an historic site being their respective objectives.
The Brooklands Museum also has two watery links with the Society. Firstly, the River Wey runs through its grounds and secondly its most publicised attraction is the Wellington bomber resurrected from its 40 slumbering years at the bottom of Loch (not Lock!) Ness.
The raising of this phoenix from its watery grave was a highspot of a three part audio visual presentation by Mike Goodall of Brooklands Museum, The first sequence was devoted quite logically to the reasons for it coming into being and emphasised, with fascinating glimpses of the past 80 years, the unsurpassed part which Brooklands has played in the development of our motor and aircraft industries.
One particularly unique contribution was the subject of the final segment of Mr Goodall's presentation; this being a vast structure called a stratosphere which was used by British Aerospace until 1981 for simulating conditions at high altitudes. To what purpose it can now be put is a big problem (in more ways than one!) which may take time to resolve, but nevertheless the Museum plans to open in Spring 1989 when the public will be able to recapture at least some of the former glories of Brooklands.
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WORKING PARTIES and Progress - Peter Cooper
The prime canal restoring season is upon us, and the work camp is imminent. Society lock restoration work is now concentrated on one flight of locks, which should now see very intensive activity. At the same time, other working parties doing other things continue to progress along their own individual paths.
The working parties operating are listed below. It's usually advisable to contact your working party leader, a few days before attending, in case there should be a last minute change of plan.
Woodham Locks 2,3 and 4 Every weekend
By the time this newsletter is out, the working parties at these locks should have settled into their regular pattern. At Lock 4 the top cill and lower recess walls have been finished, and the flank walls and lower wing walls are in progress. Then there will be the hollow posts, return walls and upper recess walls to build.
Nothing more has happened recently at Lock 3, but at Lock 2 the walls at the bottom end of the lock - lower wing walls, and flank and return walls — are going up. The first of the main chamber walls is being demolished.
The co-ordinator of the work on these locks is MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham (0734) 787428, and for further details you should contact him, or one of the working party leaders listed below. Working parties, with the locks they work on, are :—
First weekend of the month - Locks 2 and 3 PETER JONES - Aldershot 313076
4/5 July, 1/2 August, 5/6 September
Second weekend of the month — Lock 4 PABLO HAWORTH - Byfleet (09323) 42081
11/12 July,8/9 August, 12/13 September
Third weekend of the month - Locks 2 and 3
PETER REDWAY - Woking 21710
18/19 July, 15/16 August, 19/20 September
Fourth weekend of the month — Locks 2 and 3 JULES WOOD - Farnborough 515737 25/26 July,22/23 August,26/27 September
Note that there will be no working party at the weekend of 29/30 August.
When working at these locks, volunteers should park their cars in the large car park near West Byfleet station. DO NOT use the small car park by Lock 2, and DO NOT bring your car down the small lane (Fans Lane) to Lock 3
Dredging in Hampshire Every weekend
The dredger is now about 400 yards short of Malthouse Bridge, on the outskirts of Fleet. Progress is good, though the going is heavy. There will be a stop shortly for boiler inspection, but no problem is foreseen in this. The dredger team invite you to come along and work with them in the good weather (they seem confident it will arrive). Existing crew should refer to the crew organiser ROGER FITTER on Fleet 622956. Other details from ANDY STUMPF on 0923-778231 (work) or Chesham 785720 (home), or from BRIAN BANE on Hook 3 627.
Lock gate building
Work is now directed towards gating the St Johns flight,
and moving down to the bottom locks of the flight.
Dates are:— 4/5 July, 1/2 August, 5/6 September
For details contact FRANK JONES on Deepcut 835711
(workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home).
Woodham Lock 1
Third weekend of the month- 18/19 July,
15/16 August, 19/20 September
The recess walls are now being rebuilt, and the bottom
hollow posts will then be cast. After that there will be
the bridge and the quadrants to install. Details from
DICK HARPER-WHITE on Weybridge (0932) 42074 or
ROY DAVENPORT on 01-979-7075.
Surrey bankside work
This party are still in their summer recess, and will be starting work again in October.
Full time work
Local difficulties are still preventing completion of Lock 12, but it is hoped that this can soon be resolved. Better news at St Johns, where Lock 10 is now gated and complete, and Lock 9 is now being worked on. The team are also caught up in preparations for the work camp.
If you are able to work on the canal during the week, even if only for a few days, your contribution will be most welcome. You should contact FRANK JONES on Deepcut 835711 (workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home), and he will find you something to do.
Passes for Deepcut
The road through Pirbright Camp is no longer a public road. So if you need to use this road, then make sure you are fully aware of the current arrangements for passes, etc.
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In the News
PLAN TO EXTEND CANAL'S RESTORATION TOWARDS BASINGSTOKE
The prospect of extending restoration of the Basingstoke Canal and constructing a new canal basin 3-1/2 miles from Basingstoke town centre could become a reality. That's the view of the Society which is making an engineering study of the work entailed.
The length of waterway being considered extends from Greywell to Up Nateley and includes a 1,200-yard long tunnel.
The project was the subject of a photographic display, showing the present condition of the length being studied and an outline proposal for a canal basin, on show at the Willis Museum (Old Town Hall) in Basingstoke in May.
It's now 13 years since Hampshire County Council acquired the western half of the Basingstoke Canal from Aldershot to Greywell. Work to restore the entire 32-mile length of the waterway to its junction with the Wey Navigation at Byfleet is finally nearing completion.
Already 20 miles of the navigation are open. Less than three miles remain to be dredged and all but two of its 20 locks are either restored or nearing completion. Providing voluntary support is maintained, it is hoped to complete restoration of the entire canal as far as Greywell by the end of next year. As a result, the Society has been giving more thought to extending restoration westwards.
One of the Society's stated aims, when it was formed 20 years ago, was to restore Greywell Tunnel, first opened in 1794, and to extend restoration and construct a canal terminus which was once situated in Basingstoke on the site of the existing bus station.
Although the additional length of restored canal would be relatively short, the effect on the canal as a whole would be considerable. It would extend the navigation of the canal by two miles to full length canal narrow boats.
An existing winding hole at the site of the former Penney Bridge road crossing at Up Nateley could be enlarged to make a basin with a slipway for launching boats, serve as a base for operating a trip boat, and if possible have a bankside museum and canal centre.
Although the canal is currently very overgrown and derelict, restoration is not seen as presenting any particularly difficult problems. Much of the clearance work and dredging could be undertaken by experienced voluntary workers. The three bridges crossing the canal are intact and the only substantial engineering work needed is subsidence earthworks and stabilisation of the sides of the canal cutting in the vicinity of the tunnel.
Greywell Tunnel, twelfth longest canal tunnel in the country, requires substantial, although localised, repair following the collapse of the western portal in the 1930's as a result of a roof fall which subsequently blocked the tunnel bore for approximately 750 feet. But as the major length of the tunnel remains sound, Society engineers believe that repairs, including the addition of ventilation shafts, could be completed at a cost of around £200,000.
Apart from its historic interest, the Society believes that restoration would not only ensure the safety of the structure, which is gradually deteriorating and will eventually become unsafe, but would also justify its maintenance for navigation.
Engineers advising the Society also point out the value of gaining access to spring water supplies at the western end of the tunnel and using the upper end of the canal as a reservoir to supplement existing water sources.
A major consideration in restoring Greywell Tunnel would be the colony of bats known to frequent the eastern end. The Society is investigating a number of ideas which would enable restoration work to proceed without disturbing the bats, such as a "time share" method of working.
The total cost of the restoration project is estimated to be in the region of £250,000 to SM. million.
The Society believes that extending restoration would not only enhance the attraction of the canal as a whole but will also benefit local people. It would transform the derelict and stagnant remains of the canal into a visually attractive and useful amenity for a variety of leisure activities including angling, boating and walking along the towpath.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In the next issue of BC News we plan to show a sketch of the proposed basin and some photographs of the canal's present condition west of Greywell.
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WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS
|ORDINARY||Donald Mitchell||Farnborough||Geoff Lamb||Farnborough
|Peter Webster||Deepcut||John King||Walton-on-Thames|
|Mrs S.D.Hegley||St Johns||Mr. & Mrs. R. Baldwin||Woking|
|Mr. R.H. Dixon||Shepperton||Mr. M.J. Prince||Ash Vale|
|Keith Dibble||Aldershot||Mrs. B.E. Bird||Woodham|
|Mr. R.G. Bugler||Hatley-Wintney||Mr. E.W. Lawrence||Sheerwater|
|1st St Johns Scout Group||St Johns||Philip Wall||London|
|Mr. A.E. Rees||Ash Vale||Douglas Dodd||Horsell|
|Mr. L.J. Kearse||Farnborough||Crookham Village Association||Crookham|
|Mr. P. Boylen||Fleet||Mrs. G. Frazer||Frimley|
|Peter Turl||Farnborough||John Ross||Frimley Green|
|Mrs P. Watkin||Old Woking||
|Mr. J.N. Bailey||West Byfleet||LIFE|
|Mr. L.E. Haworth||Woking||Mr. B.L. Dutson||London|
|Mr. & Mrs. D.R.& S.A. Blake||Ash Vale||Mr. P. Teddar||Guildford||E.J.H. Coulson||Wokingham||Martin Phillips||Poole|
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THE BASINGSTOKE CANAL CANOE CLUB - David Millett
The Basingstoke Canal Canoe Club has, over the last few years, developed into one of the most active and respected clubs in the south of England, with members taking part in all aspects of canoeing with its various disciplines from slalom and marathon to sea and inland touring on various canals, rivers and waterways at home and abroad.
Last year members had a fortnight's canoeing and touring on the spectacular white water rivers in the south of France, and in this country, weekend camping/canoeing activities take place at such locations as Symond's Yat on the River Wye, the River Severn, and on rivers and estuaries all round the south and west coasts of England.
In addition regular local trips are organised on the Basingstoke Canal, the Rivers Thames and Wey. Throughout the summer, from April to September, a training/general social gathering takes place every Tuesday evening from 6.30 onwards at Reading Road Wharf, Fleet, and anyone interested in seeing what goes on is welcome to drop in at these evenings.
In the winter, the indoor swimming pool at RAF Odiham is used for two hours every Sunday evening, for training and general practice in special canoes called Bathbats, which have been developed specifically for pool use.
The club has a team of instructors and courses are held on a regular basis to enable newcomers to canoeing to qualify for the various British Canoe Union "Star" qualifications.
Over the last few years, the Club has been a co-organiser of the annual Westel Canoe Trials on the canal,
has organised a Marathon event, as part of the National Marathon series, based at Barley Mow, Winchfield (3 to 12 miles),and holds its own monthly "Hare and Hounds" event between Reading Road Bridge, Fleet, and Claycart Bridge, Aldershot and back.
In 1985 and 1986 members of the Club have taken part in the annual gruelling 125 mile marathon from Devizes to Westminster, using the Kennet and Avon Canal and the River Thames and have done exceedingly well, a team from the club coming seventh in each year. Considering teams from all over the country and abroad take part this is a very creditable achievement for a young club.
Having recently relinquished the position as Chairman of the club after three years in office, I can look back with pride on the development of the club since it was formed in late 1979, after an article appeared in this newsletter, suggesting such a club be formed. From these small beginnings a family club grew up, with Dick Abbott as its first hard working Honorary Secretary, and he was largely responsible for its early development. Dick is now, of course, heavily involved in the maintenance and operation of the John Pinkerton.
With NEHWACA, the North East Hampshire Water Activities Association also based on the canal in Fleet (see the March News), the canal has been the focus of a growing recreational and sporting facility for this area.
It is hoped that when the canal is restored through Woking, similar organisations become available on the canal in that area.
Details of membership are obtainable from the Membership Secretary, Mike Simpson, 43 Westover Road, Fleet, Hants. Tel: Fleet (0252) 621183.
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TEN YEARS AGO - from Newsletter No. 74 (June 1977) and No. 75 (August 1977)
* Ex Southern Railway N Class 2-6-0 steam locomotive 31874 was the first train out of Alresford to re-open the Watercress Line in April.
* The Society was selling Canal Dredging for £5.50 per ton.
* The Society and Surrey County Council launched a travelling Portakabin exhibition promoting the Canal's restoration.
* The hull of the^o/J/7 Pinkerton trip boat was delivered and launched at Colt Hill, Odiham on July 15th.
* MSC job creation workers celebrated the completion of lock 26 — and the Society applied for a 3 month extension to the 6 month trial scheme.
* 14 year old Alan Munnery buried a Jubilee Crown in Lock 25 to mark the restoration of the chamber by volunteers led by Peter Jones.
* Surrey's Chief Executive, Mr Alastair Stone, County Valuer Mr Bill Britton with Countryside Officer Mr Ray Stedman joined 100 other sponsored towpath walkers to raise over £1,000 for canal restoration funds.
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WATERWAY STUDY COURSES
Details have been received of 2 courses to be run later this year by the Losehill Hall Peak National Park Study Centre.
They are entitled "Canals around the Peak District" and "Canals and Connections". Both are residential courses and are to be run from 15-22 August.
Full details are available from Peter Townshend, Principal, Losehill Hall, Castleton, Derbyshire, S30 2WB (Tel: 0433 20373).
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PERSEVERANCE is now almost within sight of Malt-house Bridge (and civilisation???).
SOCIETY'S stock of railway track etc. has been removed from its previous storage site in Woking to a new site at the RAE.
LIKE the new Crewing Booklet for the John Pinkerton. With this nothing can go worng ... sorry, wrong!
HEAR that dredger crew have new crew organiser -Roger Flitter. Welcome.
HELP needed to find sponsors for Work Camp food. If you can assist or have a contact please advise Mike Fellows (address etc. on last page).
BELIEVE that the National Trust is to move the last Basingstoke Canal barge (Ramsises, former Basing, to Dapdune Wharf on the River Wey, and convert to a museum.
CRACKED cylinder heads on green dredging tug have been welded - apparently successfully. Touchwood etc.
GOOD to hear that charter business on the John Pinkerton is running at much higher level than last year.
HEARD from BWB Waterways Museum curator Tony Condor that engine out of NB Seagull in Brickworks Arm, Up Nateley, has been restored and is in running order again.
HELP make 1987 Grand Draw bigger financial success than ever by selling your tickets and asking for more books from Bob Humberstone, 11 Tichbourne Close, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey GU16 5HP. Counterfoils and cash back to Bob no later than Friday 23rd October 1987. please.
NEW Crew Manual for John Pinkerton Trip boat operators. If you haven't received a copy please send a SAE to Allan Prince (Crew Training Officer), 77 Southview Rise, Alton, Hants GU34 2AR.
AT long last access problem at lock 12 has been resolved. Can't wait to see water below.
HOPES are high that there will be another gathering of boats at the Fox & Hounds in Fleet this autumn. Watch your letter box and the News for details.
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A CONSERVATION OFFICER FOR THE SOCIETY
The Society wishes to appoint a Conservation Officer to advise on methods and patterns of restoration work. We are looking for someone who combines an interest in restoring the canal to full navigable status with a real concern for ecology and the need to preserve wild life.
If you can spare a few hours a month to help with this important work (or if you know someone else who might be interested), please contact Robin Higgs on Chobham 7314 as soon as possible.
It is with regret that we learned of the death on April 4th of Len Beal of Byfleet whose narrowboat IK Brunel has long been a part of the Wey Navigation. He leaves a wife, Myra, and family.
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COPY DATE FOR SEPTEMBER 1987 NEWSLETTER: 15th JULY 1987
Published by the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd., a non profit distributing company limited by guarantee, registered as a Charity. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Society.
Editors: Dieter Jebens, Chris de Wet. Production: Jo Evans.
Collation and Distribution: Janet and George Hedger, Clive Durley and helpers.
Editorial Office: 60 Middlebourne 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, KT21 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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