No. 140 July 1988
THOUSANDS CELEBRATE 'WOKING 150'
OVER 50,000 people poured into Woking over the spring Bank Holiday for the 150th anniversary of the town's railway connection with London, and the 200th anniversary of the year work started on a waterway link with the Capital.
Not that most of those helping to run the rally of 65 boats based on the site of Spanton's former timber wharf saw the railway show. They were too busy catering for the demands of the throng of visitors attracted to the double transport celebration supported by steam traction engines and vintage buses and cars.
Arthur Dungate hardly saw the light of day in a special cinema tent showing programmes of his audio-visual slide shows. And Derek Truman hardly had time for a break from the Society's sales and information stand which he and the marketing group organised.
It was the first time anyone had seen the John Pinkerton in Woking. Dozens of cameras were focused to record the sight of a traditional-style narrowboat on a stretch of the canal which has lain empty for so long. Hundreds of people crowded the wharf and towpath for a boat trip or just to admire the sight of so many boats on the canal again for the first time in 26 years.
And for a few the rally had a special significance, such as Tim and Liz Dodwell aboard their cruiser Firecrest who attended the last rally held on the canal at Woking in 1962. Then they struggled with tarpaulin sheets to block up the leaking lock gates. This time they were among the first to draw the paddles on brand new gates.
On the wharf stalls sold everything from rum fudge to rope fenders, with a colourful array of entertainment by the Cup Hill Morris Men, Jack-straws, Punch and Judy, Mr Magic, the marching band of the New Surrey Raiders and circus clowns.
On the water the Mildred Stocks shuttled back and forth giving passenger trips, the 100-year old steam launch Williamette, owned by newly elected Society committee member Jonathan Wade, drew admiring glances, and a host of canal and river craft plied the duck-weed covered water bringing Woking's waterway back to life.
In terms of sales, promoting the Society's aims and as an indication of the widespread interest that exists in the revived canal, the rally was a tremendous success.
We hope that the event also encourages Woking councillors to make the most of the town's new waterway asset. That means protecting its environment from alien development.
And grasping the unique opportunity to create something really attractive around a canal basin on the site of Brewery Road car park.
To the east, the stretch of navigation between Chobham Road and Chertsey Road bridges remains a delightfully green and pleasant contrast to the nearby business and shopping centre.
Westwards along the new Goldsworth relief road the canal's environment has undergone a drastic change. But the roadside planting of trees and shrubs is already starting to form a screen and one can visualise this stretch becoming secluded and attractive in the years to come.
That leaves the town centre length fronted by Brewery Road car park looking dull and uninteresting but which could become a focal point for the pleasure of townspeople and visitors alike. The concept of a canal basin full of activity, featured in the last issue of BC News, with a pub and restaurant, interesting craft shops, a museum, a trip boat base, waterside seating and patios would make an exciting and colourful water space amenity. And it would enhance the canal through Woking as a whole.
It would certainly be a great pity if such a golden opportunity to help give the town a greater sense of identity and character is lost to such prosaic or incompatible development as an hotel or multi-storey car park.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Members were promised time for discussion at the recent AGM on the Society's future role. That did not happen and several members have expressed their concern in this issue.
The Society has reached a watershed in its existence. There is now an urgent need to review its future policy towards major projects such as restoration of Greywell Tunnel and beyond; the deployment of our invaluable voluntary workforce and the possible involvement in maintaining the canal and perhaps even helping to run it.
There was not even an update on more immediate matters such as the threat of restricted navigation; the Government's moves to encourage 'backland' development and rationalise Green Belt land (see Waterside Watch), or the current prospects for creating a canal basin and centre on the canal in Woking.
The Society is fast approaching the post-restoration period. There are many good reasons for it to serve the interests of the canal for the next two decades. But the direction is far from clear.
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MORE PRESSURES ON CANAL ENVIRONMENT
WITH the Surrey length of the canal rapidly coming back to life the developers are seeing it as a desirable feature for riparian development. As a result the waterway's amenity value as a natural respite to urbanisation and for recreational enjoyment is increasingly threatened.
Now the builders are being encouraged by Government dictates to local authorities urging them to review isolated Green Belt designations and to approve more 'backland' development.
Take two recent examples at Hermitage Woods estate, St. John's and on the Woodham - West Byfleet boundary.
Between Hermitage Bridge and St. John's part of the canal is bounded by the mainline railway up on an embankment and the housing estate on the opposite side. Houses backing onto the canal have long gardens so that the existing development is some distance away and much of the canal fringe is in a natural woodland state. Now active steps are being taken to divide the gardens for another line of houses much closer to the canal banks.
Between Sheerwater Bridge and Lock 4 the towpath side of the canal is bounded by an attractive strip of privately owned woodland which was once designated Green Belt. Ruimymede Borough Council changed that
and now Woking Council is seeking to get the Green Belt designation of the rest of the woodland lifted, extending to the gardens of houses in Woodlands Avenue.
The reason is not hard to comprehend: once de-controlled the way would be clear for the whole area to be developed encroaching on yet another length of the canal which currently enjoys a rural aspect.
Our member Les Harris has been representing the Society at a public enquiry set up to hear objections to this move and other proposals put forward by Woking in its 1987 Local Plan.
In a statement to the inspector the Society has pointed out that the Green Belt designation not only protects the canal from urban encroachment but it also helps the canal act as a 'green wedge' between West Byfleet and Woodham to prevent the two communities becoming one vast urban sprawl. The statement concludes. "We consider that any development on this land is inappropriate and that it should remain Green Belt'.
The Society is supported by the West Byfleet and Woodham Woodland Conservation Group whose own statement concluded, 'Many residents who live adjacent to the area of woodland or to this section of the Basingstoke Canal are concerned regarding the potential loss of seclusion if any form of development is allowed'.
(Top) 'Woking 150 ' boat rally scene on Spanton's Wharf helow Chertsey Road Bridge, (Bottom left) Tim Dodwell showing his photos of the last boat rally at Woking in 1962. (Bottom right} Dick and Alison Snell giving public trips aboard a launch
loaned by Boh Potter of Lakeside Country Club. (Above) Aubrey Slaughter's beautifully restored 6-seater Thames canoe Silver Ripple powered by an Austin 7 engine. (Photos: Dieter Jebens/Clive Durley).
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ANOTHER ACTIVE YEAR FOR SOCIETY
THE Society's income fell by £4,445 to £45,015 for the year ending 1987 but total assets increased by £7,775 to £46,567 compared with the previous year. Expenditure was also down on 1986 at £37,240.
The treasurer, Gwyneth Browne, announced that the Department of the Environment had confirmed a further grant of £15,300 for 1988/89 as a contribution towards the current cost of £35,188 to employ the Society's full-time restoration team.
Reporting on the year's activities the vice-chairman, David Millett, listed the problems and successes.
Moves to restrict navigation by the Nature Conservancy Council and a planning wrangle over the use of a site below Crookharn Embankment to dump silt, had caused a good deal of paperwork and consternation, he reported.
On the sunny side, the Society's share of the Frimley Water Festival profits amounted to £6,000; the John Pinkerton trip boat service made £12,676 and membership was up by 7-1/2 per cent to a total of 2,200.
Retiring sales managers Aubrey Slaughter and Martin Bowers were thanked for their contributions over the years; the marketing and events groups were mentioned in dispatches and all those members who had played an active part during the year were thanked by David Millett.
But more help was needed for such vacancies as sales manager and social events organiser in Hampshire.
Moving on to work in progress dredger crew organiser, Roger Flitter's report was punctuated with the words, 'during this period dredging was stopped'. Now appointed Dredger Manager, Roger Flitter reported on problems with the dragline crane, tugs and Perseverance. As a result an engineering committee had been set up and a thorough appraisal made of all the equipment and how to get it working efficiently. "A list of people too numerous to mention by name have put hours and hours of dedicated effort into recovering the dredger operation", Roger reported, "and I would like to formally record those efforts here tonight". He also expressed the team's appreciation to canal manager David Gerry for obtaining spare parts; RAE Pyestock for manufacturing a new dragline bucket and to canalside resident Brian Needham and Fleet Coaches for helping to steam clean some very muddy equipment.
Dredging operations resumed at Easter, Roger reported, and the regular crew training sessions are to be held; preventative maintenance plans drawn up and an operator's guide was being produced.
The mild winter had enabled lock restoration work to continue without stopping, Mike Fellows, working party organiser reported. With St. John's locks completed, Locks 2 and 3 at West Byfleet were now the centre of activity.
One of the highlights of the year's work input was the recruitment of more than 100 volunteers to the 1987 summer work camp or — as they are now known — canal camps. Organised by Mike Fellows, the 15-day camp was run by Ken Parish of the Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group. Mike thanked Surrey County Council
for supporting the camp and Frank Jones, leader of the Society's full-time team for assistance.
At lock 4 Pablo Haworth had continued working with his dedicated team to complete restoration which he expected would be achieved this summer.
The long running battle with water and vandals had finally been won by Dick Harper-White and IWA Guildford and Reading Branch volunteers. Chamber restoration had finally been completed, Mike Fellows reported.
On the bankside, Peter Jackman and his team had clocked up over 1,068 hours work concentrating on the Woking pound. A special word of appreciation was expressed to Dorothy Bracewell who had "retired" after 12 years of voluntary work.
Peter Redway and Ken Halls had also lead off-side bank working parties at St. John's to complete the more extensive work of restoring the locks.
The full-time team were kept busy on a variety of projects, reported Frank Jones.
Installing lock gates on the St. John's flight; helping with the preparation for the Frirnley Water Festival — assisted by volunteers Peter Redway, Peter Webster and Ian Edwards - and raising bank levels between Brookwood and Hermitage were among the jobs tackled.
Special projects Frank Jones reported on included a complicated exercise to improve water flow into the canal from Cowshott Stream at Pirbright. An investigation revealed that water was actually flowing out of the canal. "A lot of delicate work with levels; sunk Hymac excavators and hiccups over permission from landowners eventually yielded a supply", Frank explained. "It is fairly small but constant and it's entering the canal at lock 15", he said.
Our full-time team of Martin Smith, Jim Reid and Dave Wedd also tackled Langman's Bridge below Lock 7 at St. John's. The Bridge is a 'listed' structure and due to be renovated by the English Heritage. But first it had to be made safe to carry vehicles which involved underpinning the brickwork below water level and inserting tie rods for strength.
More recently the team had been busy preparing the canal to take water in Woking and constructing a slipway at the site of the boat rally.
At Deepcut workshop the 99th and 100th lock gates were being manufactured for Lock 5, Frank reported, and added that over 200 tons of timber had been used since the workshop opened for lock gates and ancillary fittings. He thanked the voluntary assistance of Ken Nevitt, and Eddie Pohorely who regularly spend two days a week at the workshop, and John Brain and David Junkison for weekend work and some evenings too.
In conclusion Frank revealed that the Mayoral cruise to mark the opening of the St. John's flight of locks was only made possible the previous morning when a causeway across the canal was removed below Langman's Bridge.
Frank Jones concluded by thanking Surrey's canal land agent Gerard Brierley for his help and the Council's co-operation.
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WEY LINK BRIDGE ERECTED
AFTER 30 years the towpath link between the Wey Navigation and the Basingstoke Canal at the Byfleet junction of the two waterways has been reconnected by an attractive low-level steel footbridge.
The previous wooden structure was demolished when it became unsafe at the end of the 1950s.
The new bridge has been designed by Surrey County Council architect Mr Rob Thorpe and erected with the financial support of Runnymede Borough Council and the Countryside Commission.
The waterways junction is also the crossing point of
the M25 motorway and the mainline West Country railway.
The National Trust, owner of the Wey Navigation, has erected a towpath signpost indicating that Greywell is 31 miles from the junction up the Basingstoke Canal; Weybridge is three miles down the Wey and that it's 12 and 16 miles respectively up the Wey to Guildford and the head of the navigation at Godalming.
The entrance to the canal and the first 440 yards up to Lock 11 was dredged by Thames Water Authority last year. (Photo: Alison Snell)
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GREYWELL SLIDE SHOW PREMIER AT AGM
A 20-MINUTE audio visual slide presentation, produced by Arthur Dungate, was the highlight of the Society's AGM. Apart from the entertainment value of a professional style production, the presentation graphically showed the condition of the 1,230-yard long tunnel at Greywell and canal beyond, and how restoration can be achieved.
Narrated by Sonia Jebens the presentation made it clear that the task of restoring the tunnel presents no special problems and that safety of the bat population would probably be the Society's main preoccupation. Solutions included construction of a special bat tunnel to run parallel with the navigation tunnel, or a 'time-share' method of using the restored existing tunnel which could be closed and sealed off in the winter months for the bats to hibernate undisturbed.
In addition to the case for restoring the 200-year old tunnel on grounds of safety, preservation of its historic value and as a means of providing access to a further length of canal and the provision of a new canal basin, the presentation revealed that restoration would also serve to increase the canal's water supply. By restoring lock 30 in the cutting approach to the eastern end of the tunnel, the restored canal westwards to Up Nately could form a reservoir and so provide additional water when
While the cost of restoring a relatively short length of additional waterway is sometimes questioned, much of the work, certainly in restoring the open lengths of canal, can be done by voluntary labour. The 3/4-mile length from a proposed basin at Penney Bridge to Eastrop Bridge need not exceed £15,000 £20,000 to restore. The approach cutting to the collapsed tunnel portal would, the engineers estimate, cost around £100,000 because of the need to build a gabion retaining wall.
The major cost would be restoration of the tunnel which would be largely done by professional contractors. The total cost has been estimated to be well within £1 million.
That may sound a lot of money, the presentation concludes, 'But we believe it would be well spent. 20 years ago the Government of the day recognised the recreational value of the 2,000 miles of inland waterways left in the Country, described as 'a priceless asset' whose value will grow as demands for leisure facilities intensities'.
The scheme would give the skilled and experienced volunteers an interesting new project which would enhance and further add to the attraction of the restored canal as an amenity.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
PRESERVE CANAL'S BEAUTY
I READ Mr Hudson's angry letter with sorrow. Surely there is no question of the canal now coming to serve its original but never fulfilled purpose of acting as a working waterway. The question at issue is whether those who have worked and paid for its restoration were moved by a wish to preserve its beauty — not its use - or to convert it to yet another leisure complex for the delectation of those who amuse themselves by driving noisily from place to place dropping litter as they go. I spent my childhood exploring the canal; it taught me what I know of natural history; and what I loved about it was the fact that it provided an escape from the ugliness of life as it is now lived. There is a value in preserving remnants of the many beautifully adapted species that used to occupy our countryside before factory farming came in; and even if, as Mr Hudson avers, those species that adopted their canal as their habitat came from elsewhere, it is rather unlikely that elsewhere still exists. Certainly if the the Hudson's of this world claim an outright victory over the Lindley's I would like to cancel my subscription to your society.
JOHN A. DAVIS, FRCP
SOCIETY'S FUTURE ROLE?
IT WAS widely suggested beforehand that this year's AGM would be a good place to discuss the future role of the Canal Society, following the impending completion of restoration. Does the Society now become just a boat owner's club, so the rest of us may as well go away? There was quite a bit of talk of extension beyond Greywell, but, splendid project though this undoubtedly is, is it what the members want the Society to do?
A very pertinent and perceptive question on these matters was put at the start of the question session which formed the last section of the AGM. The question was never properly answered. I seem to recall there was a great deal of talk about how stiff the Deepcut paddle gear is, and what a fine fellow Raymond Stedman is, but I don't recall much of a search into the Society's future role. Maybe this will have to be done in the columns of this newsletter. Areas of activity will have to be identified, and also the resources and initial actions needed to pursue them.
Perhaps the list should include — continued monitoring of planning applications, seeking a harmonious working relationship with naturalists (some other canals seem able to do this), establishing the means of monitoring the canal's condition and wellbeing, organising towpath working parties — which is certainly a very incomplete list, but it's a start.
Do other Society members want to take the topic from here?
5 Addison Court, Oakley Avenue, Ealing, London W5.
WHATEVER you may say about 'Woking 150' elsewhere in this issue I want to say 'thank you' to the organising committee of the canal event.
The members of the committee were: Bill Caldwell, Edwin Chappell, Peter Coxhead, Martin Fagg, Janet Greenfield, Andy Holbrook, Peter Jackman, Ginny Millard, Peter Redway, Graham Thick and Pam Watkins. They gave unstintingly of their time over an eight month period to set the event in motion.
In addition to their committee work they also gave generously in time and muscle before, during and after the event.
But as always no event of this magnitude can run smoothly and successfully without all the other people who are persuaded or offer to volunteer. Sons, daughters, wives, husbands, friends, members and non-members alike — to everyone who helped — and there are too many to name (which is a shame) - I thank you all for the help and dedication which made the event the success it most certainly was, despite the weather.
Can I also thank three other members of the committee who sat in liaison capacities and smoothed many a path. To Graham Cartland-Glover (WBC), David Sayce (SCC), and Frank Hogg, event co-ordinator, and to teams of people from Surrey and Hampshire County Councils and Woking Borough Council, without them it would not have gone so smoothly.
Finally to sponsors Beefeater Steak Houses, Capstan's Wine Bar and Bob Potter and last but not least as the centre of attraction, all the boaters who brought the canal in Woking to life for 'Woking 200'.
Thank you all.
VIC TROTT Canal Festival Co-ordinator.
Editor's note: Whilst rolling out the credits, thanks and appreciation to Denise Halls for organising and preparing a tasty barbecue, with the help of Dick Elder at the fireside and a good many kind helpers.
NEED FOR MEMBERS MEETING
AS so much time was spent at the recent Annual General Meeting of the Society discussing the Surrey locks and their usage, there was little opportunity for discussion on the future of the Canal Society, future projects and conservation issues.
We feel that the Committee should consider the possibility of having special informal meetings at some later date this year, when Canal Society members could express their views on some of these major issues.
JANET and GEORGE HEDGER
7 Gorseway, Fleet, Aldershot, Hants.
MAINTAINING THE CANAL
I WONDER how many people who attended the AGM were left with the same sense of dissatisfaction with the perceived role of the Society in the future, or were not even sure that we had one.
The opening of the Greywell Tunnel is a highly laudable objective and one we must pursue. However, with the current level of support that the councils are able, or willing, to give, will there be a navigable canal to connect with the restored tunnel?
Have volunteers and permanent employees of the Society been working for the last twenty years to restore an "un-natural" environment only to see it revert to a wet wasteland either due to the N.C.C. or to lack of maintenance?
Although I feel that the County Councils are failing to meet their part of the agreement with regard to the maintenance and continued well-being of the canal as a navigable waterway, there is no point in letting the canal rot whilst we argue over budgets, resources, priorities, capital depreciation, the iniquities of the system, etc., etc., etc.
Can I suggest that the Society, through its subsidiary company, tenders for the restoration and maintenance work on the canal using the permanent labour force but with the rest of the volunteers available on specific projects. The teams of "lengthsmen (persons?)" and
"towpath clearing parties" should continue as at present but the information they collect on the state of the canal and its environment would be relayed to the maintenance team as well as to the Councils.
If this proposal were to be adopted, both the Society and the Councils would benefit:—
1. The Councils already know of the commitment of the Society to the restoration of the canal - they know we want to do a good job.
2. The quality of the work carried out by the Society, both by its permanent and volunteer labour has been high and can continue to be so - they know we can do a good job.
3. We could probably do a lot more for the money than any other alternative — they get better value for their money.
4. The Society actually knows a bit about canals, especially this one — they get less political and practical problems associated with owning the canal. The end of the main restoration project is in sight. We must ensure that the work was not done in vain. The maintenance and continuous upgrading of the canal must continue and if the Councils will not or cannot carry out their part of the "bargain" then we must provide the necessary resources.
18 Poynings Crescent, Basingstoke, Hants.
THE FACT OF THE MATTER
THE correspondence column of the May 'News' contains several letters which call for comment and I would like to make some.
Firstly the letter from Phillipa Abell. As the principal motivator of the plan to restore Greywell tunnel and the channel beyond, I must reply to her. I assume that the Engineering Proposal for Restoration, which we have in preparation, are the plans to which Mrs Abell refers. All members of the team making contribution to the proposal would plead guilty to not living in Up Nately. However I would like to assure Mrs Abell that our Chairman has stated quite firmly that as soon as HCC obtain ownership of the canal west of the tunnel we will meet the people of Up Nately and acquaint them with our proposals and invite their comment. There is very little point in doing that yet, since the Engineering Proposal is not complete and purchase of the canal is still in discussion.
I also support your editorial comment on Mrs Abell's letter, and would like to reassure her that in every solution offered for the engineering problems the effect on the local residents has been studied. We are conscious of the need to preserve the natural attributes of the locality, and when it becomes available, our proposal will be seen to do this.
I am glad that Mrs Abell puts Mr K. Blake in the picture, that has made it unnecessary for me to do so. It was obvious from his letter that Mr Blake has little local knowledge of the Brickworks Arm. In the nicest way may I advise him to do a bit more homework on the Canal west of Greywell. I would be happy to give him a guided tour.
One final point, we are not proposing any 'development' in Up Nately, although it is now fairly common
knowledge that we suggest it may be possible to establish a 'Canal Centre' at a terminus adjacent to Penney Bridge, but that is fairly remote from the nearest dwellings, and in any event is not proposed as a commercial venture.
As to A. Lindley's letter, I have one advantage over Dr Lindley. I was privileged to accompany Dr Eaton on his tour of the canal. It was very interesting to observe Dr Eaton trawling from the channel, plant life that he said could only exist in water and yet the sections where he did this were totally dry only 4 or 5 years before. This confirmed a view that I have developed over my 13 years of canal restoration work; that is if all the 'Johnny-cum-lately', alleged wildlife enthusiasts would go away, then nature will assist us in restoring enduring wildlife to the canal.
The idea of cutting another tunnel is not new. That was thought through about 4 years ago. It is an excellent proposal, we have only a very rough costing which includes a parliamentary bill, land acquisition, various compensations etc. The contract could be let to use current technology. The whole project would probably not cost more than about £3-1/4 million. The NCC would hardly miss the annual progress payments on the project from their enormous annual exchequer grant. There is only one snag, the bats would still want and could have the 'cave' of the old tunnel, but what would happen when it was closed off by collapse due to lack of maintenance? So, some advice to A. Lindley too. Wait for publication of the Engineering Proposal, the subject of bats is receiving plenty of attention.
101 Branksome Hill Road, College Town, Camberley, Surrey.
IT WAS my first AGM. Being a fairly new member, and feeling that A.G.M.'s were usually formal and uninteresting, I hadn't bothered previously. But this time there was a hint of something special. 1988 is the year when the main work of restoration should be completed. Will the Society move into a management and maintenance phase or will there be moves toward further restoration? I hoped to find out.
The Chairman's report was encouraging. While not minimising the problems of the past year it painted an optimistic picture of the results achieved by the society. It also acknowledged the many individuals and bodies who have given assistance and support, not only in the work of restoration but in the Frimley Rally, running the John Pinkerton and in fund-raising generally.
While the principal problem facing the Society is the threatened declaration of a SSSI by the Nature Conservancy Council, others which have arisen during the year have been overcome, at least for the present. They include maintenance difficulties with the dredger and an objection from a local resident to our programme of silt dumping.
After the AGM we heard further reports of the work carried out on the canal and this was followed by an excellent audio-visual presentation entitled 'Greywell and the Western End'. This gave a clear picture of the problems and opportunities presented by the unrestored section of the canal. This was supposed to be the basis for the next item on the programme, an open forum on the future of the Society. The Chairman, Robin Higgs, invited questions and, from the answers given by Society officers and the Surrey County Council representative, we learned a lot about the difference between the restoration being completed and the canal being opened to navigation. Safety and vandalism are matters which the County Council, the body ultimately responsible, has to resolve before the go-ahead can be given. The few questions asked about the Western end mainly concerned the ownership of this section of the canal and there was no expression of opinion to indicate whether the membership supports further restoration. In this respect the meeting was unsatisfactory. There are plenty of tasks on which the Society will be asked to use its resources of manpower, expertise and money and the executive committee seem to be keen to include further restoration among them. Do they have the support of the membership?
33 Havers Avenue, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.
For public & charter trips aboard the
'Pone Tony Karavis, Farnborough 549037
STAKING A CLAIM
HOW can restoration of the canal be achieved if it runs through private woodland and gardens some of which are in a questionable state?
Mrs Abell has raised an important point (Letters, May): along the length of the canal there are very few actual boundary markers. In its neglected and derelict state few riparian householders had any use for the canal other than for dumping rubbish. Now that it is restored some of the gardens are being extended towards the edge of the canal.
Perhaps one of the first considerations at Up Nately should be to mark boundaries, say 6 to 8 feet from the canal for ease of future maintenance and for the benefit of wildlife.
On another point, can we take Dr Lindley seriously in suggesting an alternative navigation tunnel (Letters, January)? Will he also insist on a by-pass navigation channel to protect the rare water plants?
Mrs Abell has cause to complain about outsiders having plans for her village, but here we have Dr Lindley doing likewise by telling us that use of the canal should be limited.
12 Lilford Road, London, SE5.
Ginny Millard, with Elaine Manshipp.|
Ginny Millard, boat entries organiser at the rally, who takes over as socials organiser in Woking starting in the autumn, with Elaine Manshipp. John Pinkerton crewing organiser. (Photo: Dieter Jebens/Clive Durley)
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In the News
CONCERN VOICED OVER RESTRICTED USE OF CANAL IN SURREY
RESTORATION of the canal will be all but completed this year, as targeted, reported Mike Fellows, working party organiser speaking at the Society's AGM, "But re-opening it seems to be an entirely different matter", he said.
Expressing his concern over getting the canal and locks in Surrey back into use again Mike Fellows said, "The Deepcut locks were 'opened' years ago but have not been allowed to be used, and so have fallen into decay — a situation which has only recently been tackled.
"Last weekend saw the opening of St. Johns locks but the canal is still not open below Deepcut".
Referring to the work done to make the Woking pound navigable Mike said that he had been told by Society officials that after 'Woking 150' the locks would be freely operable all the way down to Woking.
"I have my doubts", said Mike, "I cannot see the County Council allowing the locks to be used freely until such a time as they have proper boater operable locking mechanisms on all the paddles to prevent vandalism".
"I raised the problem over four years ago and on many occasions since and still no design has been forthcoming and no programme of work has been scheduled to fit such devices".
Looking further ahead to when the canal may be officially opened, Mike said "As it should be possible to complete all the works by early 1989, it seems to me that the opening should be at the latest in the autumn of 1989.
"But I hear with dismay people talking about 1990 or even 1991. I would urge you all to press by whatever means you can to get the canal opened in 1989 or else all the hard work put in by the volunteers and the Society's full time employees will be squandered", Mike Fellows appealed.
Tackled about Surrey County Council's plans to encourage navigations between Deepcut and Woking, Raymond Stedman, Countryside Officer, writes: —
"The Deepcut flight of locks will be open during this year, but Canal management have felt it not possible to give free access at this time until certain maintenance items have been dealt with and the difficulties of operation that were experienced by members of the Society have been resolved. We are concerned that we
should not unnecessarily invite vandalism and whilst one is in general agreement with the point made at the meeting that use discourages vandalism one does have to take into consideration the recent case where overtopping of the banks occurred following vandalism. The Restoration Group will be considering at their next meeting on 9th May how the Deepcut flight can be made available to licence holders within the time scale I have already stated.
The reason why the flight was closed on Saturday 16th April 1988 (in response to a question at the AGM — Editor) was as a precaution to ensure that nothing untoward happened in order to upset the events that were taking place at St. John's, you could say that this was an overcautious decision, but I think we are all mindful of the fact that we are re-opening a Canal and there must be a learning curve both for Canal management and Canal staff. I think it would have been particularly unfortunate if there had been vandalism and further over-topping of the banks within the Deepcut flight at a time when everybody was engaged on the days event at St. John's.
Once the Deepcut flight of locks has been in operation for a reasonable period, then we will be able to tell whether there are any particular methods of working that need to be followed. I think it is important that the canal staff are around to see the operation of the locks in the early days at first hand and to assist licence holders with any difficulties that they may come across.
I trust that this allays any fears that members expressed at the meeting. There is certainly no criticism of the confidence and capabilities of users, but users must at the same time appreciate the position of management".
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ROCHDALE CANAL INTACT
EFFORTS to restore the 33-mile long Rochdale Canal and its 92 locks have been boosted by a decision against the Department of Transport ignoring the presence of the navigation at Chadderton, near Oldham, which is the site of the proposed M66 motorway junction.
Other canal restoration projects threatened by lowered bridges and road works detrimental to through navigation may benefit from the decision as a result of a public enquiry at which Cllr. Michael Handford gave evidence on behalf of the Rochdale Canal Society, supported by consultants W.S. Atkins and Partners.
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WOKING COMPANY SPONSORS IN FORMATION FOLDER
AN INTERNATIONAL petroleum company that moved its UK headquarters from London to Woking at the end of last year, has sponsored an attractive and colourful information folder for the Society.
Phillips Petroleum, with offices at Guildford Road and Goldsworth Road in Woking, agreed to sponsor production of a professionally designed 8-page A5 size folder when approached by the Society. "With much of the canal now restored and in use again we get an increasing demand for information about its features and facilities", commented vice-chairman David Millett. "Thanks to Phillips we shall have an attractive introductory folder which will provide lots of useful information for anyone wanting to explore the canal".
The leaflet includes a map of the canal with the main road crossing, access points, local stations and facilities such as slipways and car parks. It also lists some of the places of interest along the canal, how boat and fishing licences can be obtained, canoe club contacts, boat hire and other addresses.
The folder was launched at 'Woking 150'.
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WORKING PARTIES and Progress - by Peter Cooper
THE YEAR in which lock chamber restoration on this canal is expected to finish is now well advanced, and the job is coming on nicely, having had a sizeable boost from the Week of Work at Easter. If you have been meaning to come and help restore these locks, and haven't come along yet, then you'd better gel your skates on!
The working parties being operated are listed below. It's usually as well to contact your working parly leader, a few days before attending, in case there has been a last minute change of plan.
Woodham Locks Every weekend
There is really very little more to do at Lock 4 - fitting the lock gate straps, adding some more rails to the footbridge, a bit of gardening, and that's about it. The party have recently installed the top mitre at Lock 5, and have a few more small jobs to do there as well.
There has been quite a lot of work at Lock 2, where the second chamber wall is now two thirds of the way up. There hasn't been much to report from Lock 3, where the second chamber wall remains about half finished. These are, of course, the last two chamber walls remaining to be finished on the canal.
The coordinator of the Society's work on this flight is MIKE FELLOWS on Wokingham (0734) 787428, and for further details you should contact him or one of the working party leaders listed below.
First weekend of the month — Locks 2 and 3
2/3 July, 6/7 August, 3/4 September
PETER JONES on Aldershot 3 13076
Second weekend of the month - Lock 4
9/10 July, 13/14 August, 10/11 September
PABLO HAWORTH on Byfleet 42081
Third and fifth weekends of the month — Locks 2 and 3
16/17 July,30/31 July, 20/21 August, 17/18 September
PETER REDWAY on Woking 21710
Fourth weekend of the month - Locks 2 and 3
23/24 July, 27/28 August, 24/25 September
JULES WOOD on Farnborough 515737
When working on these locks, volunteers are asked to park their cars in the large car park near West Byfleet station. Please do not use the small car park by Lock 2, and please do not bring your car down the small lane (Paris Lane) leading to Lock 3.
Dredging in Hampshire Every weekend
Dredging restarted at the beginning of April, and the steam dredger Perseverance has lately been operating in the bridge hole of Malthouse Bridge — a new experience for the newer crew members; only 100 yards from there the previously dredged section starts. Significant work has been done on the tugs, and the main engineering work now outstanding is the fitting of a new bucket for the dragline, and a new smokestack on the dredger. For details contact ROGER FLITTER on Fleet 622956.
ANDY STUMPF has recently resigned as Dredger Manager, and ROGER FLITTER has now taken over this job. The Society would like to thank Andy for all that he has done for the dredging operation over quite a lot of years. We are indebted to him for his contribution, and would like to add our best wishes for his forthcoming marriage.
Lock gate building
Gates are still being built for Lock 5, despite some
delays in the supply of wood, and the first gate is
complete. Dates for this party are:—
2/3 July, 6/7 August. 3/4 September
Details from FRANK JONES on Deepcut 835711
(workshop) or Camberley 28367 (home).
Surrey bankside work
This party are in their summer recess, and expect to restart in October.
Full time work
Work has been mostly concentrated on the slipway at Woking (Spantons), which is now complete, and also on making up the towpath in that area. Much of this work has been directed towards Woking 150.
Forthcoming work is likely to include more work on making up towpaths, repairs to Langman's Bridge at St. John's, and work at Lock 1.
If you are able to come along and work on the canal during the week, even if only for a few days, then you are asked to contact FRANK JONES, on Deepcut 835711 (workshop) or Carnberley 28367 (home), and he will be delighted to find you some work to do.
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JOIN A CANAL CAMP
CANAL camps may have finished on the Basingstoke Canal but they continue to flourish on other canals ranging from the neighbouring Wey and Arun to the Montgomery further afield. And they are no longer confined to the summer months. This year 20 camps have been scheduled through to October and even two after Christmas for those in need of fresh air and exercise after the festivities.
Apart from the valuable contribution they make to existing projects, the 'campers' seem to enjoy themselves and make new friends as well as putting in some hard work. They range from students to working people from all walks of life. Experienced volunteers are always welcome but they are mostly newcomers. And for £18 a week it's definitely a bargain break!
Organised by the Waterway Recovery Group, you can get full details from: Neil Edwards, 17 Reynolds Gate, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, CMS 5FA.
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FUND RAISING News - Derek Truman
THE fact that we are now in the middle of 1988 does not mean that, with the completion of the main restoration work in sight, we can rest on our financial laurels. We still have our full time team to pay and equipment to buy for the dredging operation among other expenses. And taking the longer view there is the question of restoring some part of the western end which will need considerable physical and financial support.
We do need new fund raising ideas and the people to implement them. If you are prepared to help in any way please drop me a line or give a ring: Derek Truman. Compton Cottage, 11 Connaught Road, Fleet, Hants. Tel: Fleet 613435. In the meantime news of other fund raising events:
We hope to get over £3,000 in spite of the disappointingly few people who turned out on a gloriously sunny day.
Graham Meade, who put in a great deal of effort in organising the event, looks forward to receiving sponsorship money as soon as possible from all those who did participate — and if you didn't walk but want to contribute, your donation will be welcomed!
As they say this is proving to be a 'nice little earner' with 112 members this year whose support we greatly appreciate. Recent winners were:
2. Lady Scott -£28
4. Mr P. Samson -£14
1.Mr Brian C. Smith - £54
2. Mr Chris de Wet -£27
3. Mr A.G.M. Batten-£13
2. Lady Scott -£28
4. Mr P. Samson -£14
The Society's stand took over £1300 including signing up 13 new members on the spot. 100 'Basingstoke Canal Restoration' books were sold, 130 Canal Guides and lots more beside. My thanks to Graham Meade for helping me to set up and run the stand and to all the other members who lent a hand, particularly to Kyle Bullus whose street trader repartee showed us how to make the sales and kept us all amused. Sharing our 'pitch', Yvonne and Brian Chappell got the Grand Draw off to a good start selling 1,700 tickets worth £340. Not far away Shirley and Vic Trott raised £280 on their tombola stall, while the John Pinkerton took over £700.
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WIN A CANAL CRUISE IN THE GRAND DRAW
AS I am sure you will have noticed, you did not receive any draw tickets with your May issue of BC News despite the notice in it. A last minute alteration in despatch dates meant the draw tickets were not included. However, this time you will find four books of tickets.
We are extremely fortunate this year to be able to offer more prizes than previously, with the first prize of a holiday cruise on the canal being very generously donated by Galleon Marine of Odiham. This is the first year that cruisers have been available for hire on the canal and the opportunity to win a cruise will mean a greater demand for tickets I am sure.
When you need more tickets please contact me by letter or phone and they will be on their way to you in no time at all. Orders for over 100 books will be delivered personally!!
The Annual Grand Draw is an opportunity for every member to help raise funds for the Society to further its work towards the completion of the canal for everyone's enjoyment.
Never having been responsible for the Grand Draw before, I offer rny apologies to those members who do not wish to receive draw books.
Finally, there is an extra prize - £10 to the member selling the most tickets - so when you return the counterfoils and money please let me know your name and address so that I can keep a tally and find the prize winner. Mrs Yvonne Chappell. The Spinney, Meadow Road, Ashtead, KT211QR. Telephone: 03722 72631.
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SOCIETY SALES MANAGER STILL SOUGHT
THE Society is still seeking a volunteer to take over as Sales Manager although Aubrey Slaughter is continuing to deal with mail order enquiries until someone comes forward.
The job does not need to take a great deal of your time and you don't need selling experience.
The essential requirement is to hold the stock of merchandise, maintain simple accounts and stock records, deal with orders by post and attend the few major events in the Society's Calendar. Other members are always willing to assist.
There is, of course, plenty of scope to build up on the basic sales list and develop the turnover if you have the time and inclination.
But at whatever level you care to operate you will be making a valuable contribution to the Society's income and promotion.
At the recent St. John's Celebration, marketing group member, Kyle Bullus kindly stepped in and set up a small sales stand of books and souvenirs which made over £200 and signed up several new members in the space of a couple of hours or so.
If you'd like to know a little more about what's involved, ring Aubrey Slaughter on Fleet 623102.
Derek Truman (left) serving customers at the Society's stand at 'Woking 150' with Graham Meade, David Junkison and Sonia Jebens who were among the helpers. (Photo: Dieter Jebens/Clive Durley)
||Derek Truman (left) with Graham Meade, David Junkison and Sonia Jebens|
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In the News
TWO MORE VOLUNTARY LENGTHSMEN WANTED IN HAMPSHIRE
ONE of the most valuable but less publicised services Society members perform is the voluntary lengthsmen scheme set up to help the County rangers keep an eye on the canal.
The scheme has recently been taken over in Hampshire by Major Charles Bendall who acts as 'head lengthsman' for a team of thirteen lengthsmen who walk an allotted stretch of towpath regularly, reporting any leaks, fallen trees or damage spotted on the way.
"Over the years that the team has been working", writes Major Bendall, "they have alerted canal staff to several potentially serious problems which have been subsequently dealt with before a crisis occurred".
In Surrey the scheme is run by Hugh Bird with eighteen volunteers.
There are currently two vacant lengths in Hampshire from Ash Lock to Farnborough Wharf and further west, between Sprat's Hatch Bridge and Broad Oak Bridge.
Charles Bendall will welcome a call from you if you would like to know more about the scheme.
You are not, of course, in any way responsible for your adopted length. All that is asked is for you to walk it regularly, so that you become familiar with the features and are able to spot changes.
Give Charles Bendall a call on Fleet 617754 or write to him at Kelima, 143 Velmead Road, Fleet, Aldershot, Hants, GUI3 9LZ.
Anyone spotting an emergency situation on the canal, such as a collapsed bank, burst or other serious damage requiring urgent and immediate action, should phone the police. There is an emergency procedure which the police will activate.
For less urgent problems you can contact Hampshire's canal manager or a ranger in the appropriate county (Ash Embankment is the boundary) listed under 'Basingstoke Canal' in the Guildford Area Telephone directory.
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COUNCIL PUBLISHES FLORA SURVEY
FOLLOWING a survey of the canal's flora in Hampshire, compiled by Fleet naturalist Chris Hall, the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) commissioned him to study the plant life along the 16-mile Surrey length. The findings have been combined with the Hampshire data in a comprehensive 70-page report published recently.
Ironically the rarest find, Cut Grass (Leersia dryzoides), grows on the bank near Lock 5 at Sheerwater and not in the canal. A further 37 species were found which are either nationally rare or locally scarce.
The total of 92 water plants found represents almost half the total aquatic flora of Great Britain. In addition 78 other wetland and bankside species were recorded.
The fact that the canal, classed as a slow moving river system, offers such a variety is put down to the ideal water conditions. The varying chemistry from alkaline and acid content, the changing geology which includes chalk, clay and sand, and a lack of fertiliser run-off has left the spring water supplies clear and unpolluted.
The author refrains from the subjective comments, made in an earlier report, on the effects of using the canal, and tends to restrict himself to known research. On the subject of turbidity, Chris Hall even acknowledges the fact that turbidity is caused by plant life, such as algae, and not just by motorised boats stirring up silt.
The report is seen as a basis of the NCC's decision to designate a major length of the canal as a site of special scientific interest.
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PONDTAIL BASIN PLAN REJECTED
HART District Council's proposal to site a mooring basin for 100 boats below Pond tail Bridge at Fleet has been rejected by a Government inspector following objections raised by the Nature Conservancy Council and other naturalist organisations at a public enquiry held last autumn. Despite the support of Hampshire County Council, the Society and the local branch of the Inland Waterways Association, Hart has failed to retain the basin in its Local Plan.
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BOAT COMPANY CELEBRATES TENTH ANNIVERSARY
A SPECIAL cruise from Colt Hill on Saturday, 20th May marked the tenth anniversary of the day the John Pinkerton was launched by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.
Suitably decorated the John Pinkerton, crewed by Ed, Sue and Dawn Hatcher, cruised leisurely down to Blacksmith's Bridge while guests exchanged stories of some of the 1,500 trips and 75,000 passengers carried to date.
Among the guests was the Company's first Chairman, Peter Fethney who came down from Yorkshire with his wife Raymonde for the occasion. Peter was one of a small team who started the project. The 68-foot steel hull was designed with the help of David Robinson and Howard Diamond, built by Hancock and Lane at Daventry, and fitted out by Society members. Peter led the formation of the Company; the negotiations for planning consent and raising the funds needed to build the boat.
Now retired, Peter Fethney said that he remained proud of his association with the John Pinkerton and that it was one aspect of his life he missed when he moved north.
A special birthday cake, decorated with a narrowboat, was baked for the occasion.
The Company's treasurer, John Elliott, announced plans to equip the John Pinkerton with a cellnet phone in memory of Allan Prince, (see B.C. News, 13 January 1988). The phone is seen as a useful on-board facility for emergency use either for the benefit of passengers or anyone wishing to contact crews urgently. Anyone wishing to contribute can still do so by sending their donation to: Mr J. Elliott, 42 Fir Tree Way, Fleet, Aldershot, Hants.
The inspector accepted the naturalists case for protecting the heathland site proposed for the basin, and their contention that it was close to the Eelmore site of special scientific interest.
He suggested in his report that alternative sites at Colt Hill or Wharf Bridge might be considered.
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9th - 10th July
IWA National Steam and Trail Boat Rally on the Mon and Brec at Pontypool, Gwent. Boat, caravan and tent entries to: David Jones, 10 Hughes Avenue, Ebbw Vale, Gwent. (Tel: 0495 304757).
16th- 17th July
Guildford Water Festival organised by the local branch of the IWA on the Wey Navigation at Millmead. Don't miss it.
Tuesday 19th July
Celebrate 400th anniversary of defeat of the Spanish Armada at Frimley Lodge Park. Beacon lighting, fireworks, Elizabethan bowls, sheep roasting, music and dancing. Boaters welcome to join in the festivities, dressed for the occasion! Ring Chris de Wet for details: Aldershot 850311.
26th - 29th August
IWA National Boat Rally and Carnival at Castlefield Basins on the Bridgewater and Rochdale canals and the River Irwell.
Saturday 24th September
3rd annual boat gathering at 'Fox & Hounds', Fleet and lunchtime barbecue to cook your own food. Prizes for best boats.
Weekend 24th - 25th September
'Winchfield 150'. Steam locos, special train excursions, country crafts, real ale, canal cruises, vintage vehicles all dressed up in Victorian costume. Details at your local station.
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DEAR BOATER - AN INVITATION!
THIS year sees the 3rd Annual Rally of Boats at the Fox and Hounds pub in Fleet. However this time we have the opportunity to enjoy not only this event, but in addition lend support to the 'Winchfield 150' celebrations.
'Winchfield 150' follows on from the recent highly successful "Woking 150" event - but. as you might guess, celebrates the 150th anniversary of Winchfield's railway connection.
The 'Fox and Hounds Gathering' will be on Saturday 24 September and, as last year, Ron Kettle (landlord of the pub) will be offering 2 trophies. The first will be awarded to the Best Boat, and the second to the Most Interesting Craft. Barbecue facilities will be available, and of course an excellent source of refreshment is close at hand!
The 'Winchfield 150' follows on Sunday 25 September and it is hoped that the boats from the 'Fox and Hounds Gathering' will participate here too. The John Pinkerton will be running public trips from the Barley Mow at Winchfield, and the Society Sales and Membership stand will also be there.
So if you would like a weekend in the sun, boating, barbecue, and a chance to win one of the Ron Kettle Awards, note the dates now - Saturday 24 September and Sunday 25 September, 10.30am onwards.
These are informal events so all you need do is turn up. But it will help the organisers to know how many boats to expect. Please drop Chris de Wet a note at 1 Floods Farm Cottages, Chalky Lane, Dogmersfield, Basingstoke RG27 8TD. Or 'phone Aldershot 850311.
The nearest slipways are at Barley Mow, Winchfield and Farnborough Road, Aldershot. Please do not launch at North Warnborough lift bridge. And don't forget meat, salads etc. for the barbecue.
Peter Fethney about to cut the John Pinkerton tenth anniversary cake specially baked for the occasion by Janet Hedger. (Photo: Clive Durley)
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SOCIETY FIRM ON CANAL'S FUNCTION AS A NAVIGATION
SERIOUS concern over the future well-being of the Basingstoke Canal, if it is declared a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), has been expressed by the Society and the local branch of the Inland Waterways Association.
The Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) regards the canal of particular interest and is known to want motor boat movements to be restricted severely. The NCC can seek to impose limitations by specifying potentially damaging operations (PDO's).
In a letter addressed to the chief executives of Hampshire and Surrey County Councils the Society and the IWA acknowledge wildlife preservation as one of the reasons for restoring the navigation.
But the letter points out that there are other interests to be considered, not least navigation of the waterway for which it was built.
Both the Society and the IWA would accept the avoidance of excessive boat traffic causing serious damage to aquatic plants but not a pre-determined number of boat movements expressed as a PDO.
The letter also points out that in campaigning for the canal to be taken into public ownership and a policy for restoration, the Society sought the best solution for the future of the canal for all interests. The reason the Society campaigned for restoring the canal to a fully navigable state, the letter explains, is that the alternative — reducing the canal to a series of isolated duck ponds — was not seen as a more attractive course of action to anyone.
Both the Society and the IWA also believe that detailed PDO's are not warranted where an SSSI is already being managed to take account of wildlife conservation as is the case with the canal.
The Joint Management Committee for the canal is concerned with maintaining a balanced usage and should
not be controlled by the NCC which is not responsible for the management of the canal as a whole.
'We cannot acquiesce in action by the NCC which seems likely to jeopardise the integrity of the canal', the letter goes on, 'and to inhibit severely a use of the canal which most of those who have given so unstintingly of their efforts supposed to be the primary use of the canal i.e. navigation'.
Expressing concern over the future maintenance of the canal, the letter points out that specialist nature conservationists have made no significant contribution towards restoration and do not have the resources to maintain the canal exclusively as a nature reserve. 'We foresee a repetition', the letter declares, 'of the previous cycle of neglect, degeneration and abandonment'. And the letter goes on to warn, 'It should be clearly understood by all concerned that the Society and the IWA would not support the management of the canal as such a reserve'.
The letter also points to legal considerations of which the most important is the right of navigation, which the Society believes still exists, and which would most probably take precedence over any attempt to restrict a passage. A more intricate legal question mark surrounds the power the County Councils have to prevent members of the public undertaking certain PDOs since there are at present no by-law provisions made in the Countryside Act 1968 with respect to the canal.
The six page letter concludes with a firm assertion stating: 'In view of the tremendous commitment which the Society and the local authorities have made, neither the Society nor the IWA is simply prepared to let the NCC (or indeed any other sectional interest) dictate the future of the canal'.
The Society and the IWA call for County Councils support in stating: 'We urge the Councils to ensure that if the Canal (or any part of it) becomes an SSSI, any PDOs are specified in as general a manner as possible'.
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INTO THE VALLEY OF DEATH by John King
WHEN Andrew Byfield invited himself to speak to a meeting of the Canal Society he knew he was risking, if not death, then severe mutilation. That he took the risk testifies to his confidence in his own case.
Andrew is a County Officer of the Nature Conservancy Council and the meeting took place in Woking on 11th April. He revealed that, as far back as 1973, the NCC wrote in the strongest terms to the relevant County Councils to point out the unique nature of the Basingstoke Canal and the need to ensure the preservation of its record number of wildlife species, both plant and animal. When Canal Society members pointed out that moves toward restoration were made long before that, in 1948, he said that the NCC didn't exist at that time.
His talk was instructive, describing the reputation of the canal among naturalists since the last century. It was illustrated with pleasant photographs, many of them portraying rare species in recent years. He said that the richness of the wildlife arises from the purity of the water supply to the canal, the absence of polluted inflows and the slowly changing geology along the canal's course. He acknowledged the sensitivity with
which the restoration had been carried out and implied that most canal users — walkers, anglers, canoeists — posed no danger. He went on to explain what he saw as the danger arising from powered boats stirring up the canal bed and the reducing light penetration of the water.
In reply to the argument that the considerable time and effort devoted to lock restoration over many years was clearly directed to the use of powered boats, he contended that the NCC's concern had been frequently expressed, also over many years, but was only now being noticed.
What the meeting revealed was that the interests of enthusiasts are sometimes hard to reconcile. In his description of former times on the Basingstoke Canal Andrew shared his enthusiasm for many kinds of wildlife. There were few, though, who shared his enthusiasm for one of his slides which he described as a rich habitat but which appeared to be a stagnant ditch.
Suggestions for resolving the conflict of views were not readily forthcoming and the arguments will doubtless continue. But there's a real fear that the NCC might, on its own initiative, take action on behalf of a small minority which a large minority would see as catastrophic.
Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Ltd Balance Sheet at 31 December 1987
[Not included in this online version]
||Peter Jones in Lock 10|
OVER THE SIDE
A modem enactment of King Arthur's Excalibur legend or posing for the IWA 's new campaign symbol? Knowing Peter Jones it could be either. In fact he's seen surfacing in St John 's Lock 10 after jumping off the John Pinkerton to cut the ribbon and 'formally' declare the lock restored. The distressing sight of the wet, crumpled suit prompted VIP guest Mrs Barbara Tomlins to ask her nephew Mr Peter Tomlins, a Director of Ashley Cook the Woking based lattnderers, to write out the following voucher on a scrap of paper: This Certificate authorises Mr Peter Jones to obtain one free dry cleaning of his suit drenched in Canal water on the occasion of the opening of the Goldsworth flight of locks' (signed) P.M. Tomlins, Director, Ashley Cook.
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JUST under £3,000 is expected to be raised by the 120 sponsored walkers who enjoyed a sunny day out along the canal towpath on 24th April, encouraged by Woking's out-going mayor, Cllr Margaret Gammon who visited several marshal points.
MYSTERY donation of £100 in cash made with the biblical message, 'the wages of sin are death, so it has been said. But the wages of helping to repair October storm damage has produced the enclosed'. The generous donation has been put towards the fund for a new tug. Thank you anonymous donor!
BADSHOT Lea Young Wives Group kindly donated £10 to the Editor after a talk and slides about the canal which has been contributed to the Allan Prince Memorial Fund. Likewise a £5 donation generously made by Mrs Liz Bowler who was invited to join the tenth anniversary trip of the John Pinkerton.
CANOES and rowing boats are available for hire again from Ash Vale Boathouse on Sundays only when the weather's fine for £1 per person per hour. Highly recommended way to explore this attractive part of the canal.
STEAM powered trip boat plan for 'Water Witch' at Colt Hill seems to have evaporated.
MEMBERSHIP of the Society stood at 2,200 at the end of 1987.
BOAT for the disabled Mildred Stocks is proving a popular outing this season. Bookings can still be made by phoning the Bookings Manager on: Fleet 621501.
DELICIOUS supper at the AGM was prepared by Yvonne Chappell served with the help of her husband Brian and Ken and Denise Halls and others. What's more they made a small profit for the Society too. Many thanks.
RUNNYMEDE Borough Council has offered the Society £950 towards restoration funds.
BLACKWATER Valley Project aims to establish a continuous footpath from Yateley to Rowhill Nature Reserve near Aldershot. There's a programme of rambles, natural history conservation, town trails and voluntary work projects. Call Farnborough 516222 ext. 390 or 396 (Planning Dept., Rushmoor Borough Council) for details.
BOURNS Electronics of Camberley kindly loaned the Society a TV and video cassette player used on our stand at Woking 150 for which many thanks.
PITY the attractive lawn down to the towpath at the Fox & Hounds, Fleet has been spoilt by bright orange seats and metal-framed picnic tables.
AUCTION sale in aid of Society funds. A member offers 17 copies of 'Bulletin', journal of the Inland Waterways Association, Nos. 68 to 73 and 75 to 85 (May 1963 to November 1968) plus an almost complete run of the British Waterways Board newspaper Waterways News' from No. 1 dated August 1974 to the latest issue. (Nos. 43 and 110 are missing out of nearly 200). Ring Aldershot 23511 with your bids - the highest bidders by 31st July secure.
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At a meeting between Society boat owner members and Surrey's canal land agent, Gerard Brierley, held last month, it was agreed to fit 'handcuff' security locks on selected Deepcut and Brookwood locks to prevent unauthorised use. If the plan is approved, both flights of locks are expected to be open for navigation by the end of July. Details will be sent to current licence holders. (See Article on page 9)
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COPY DATE FOR SEPTEMBER 1988 NEWSLETTER: 30th JULY 1988
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.
Editor: Dieter Jebens. Production: Jo Evans.
Collation & Distribution: Janet and George Hedger, Edwin Chappell & helpers.
Editorial Office: 60 Middlebourne Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10 3NJ. (Farnham 715230).
Chairman: Robin Higgs, 18 Barnsford Crescent, West End, Woking, Surrey, GU24 9HX. (09905 7314)
Vice-Chairman: David Millett, 14 Dinorben Close, Fleet, Hampshire, GU13 9SW. (0252 617364)
Hon. Treasurer: Mrs Gwyneth Browne, 102a Aldershot Road, Fleet, Hampshire, GU13 9NY. (0252 621745)
Hon. Secretary: Philip Riley, Meadow Vale, Guildford Road, Normandy, Surrey, GU3 2AS. (0483 234776)
Membership Secretary: Edwin Chappell, The Spinney, Meadow Road, Ashtead, Surrey, KT21 1QR. (03722 72631)
Working Party Organiser: Mike Fellows, 30 Reynards Close, Winnersh, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG11 5NT. (0734787428)
Dredger Manager: Roger Flitter, 10 George Road, Fleet, Hampshire, GU13 9PS. (0252 622956)
Working Party Information: Peter Jones, 54 Wharf Road, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU12 5AY. (0252 313076)
Peter Cooper, 5 Addison Court, Oakley Avenue, Ealing, London, W5. (01 993 1105)
Trip Boat: Tony Karavis, 12 Loddon Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 9NT. (0252 549037)
Sales Manager: Situation vacant
Talks Organiser: Mrs Janet Greenfield, 9 Mistletoe Road, Yateley, Surrey, GU17 7DT. (0252 873167)
Exhibitions Manager: Phil Pratt, Flat 5, Fleetwood Court, Madeira Road, West Byfleet, Surrey, KT146BE (0932340281)
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