Autumn 1995

Cover picture info
Chairman's Comment
The Society - do we
      need a change?

1995 AGM
Madam Butterfly

Woking update
John Greenfield - obit
The Winter Talks
Working Party update
Towpath Topics
Gongoozler's Gossip

Contact the Society

    bcnmsthd130 (13K)
No. 169 Autumn 1995

front pic (52K)

Page 2

I would firstly like to apologise for the lateness of this issue of the Basingstoke Canal News but there have been some changes in the editorial team and we are currently looking for volunteers to help with this very important part of the Society. If you feel you can help in any way with this newsletter please call Peter Redway on (01483) 721710.

The AGM is reported elsewhere in this issue but it is important to note that there have been some changes on the committee and there are vacancies should you wish to join. New blood is a good thing for everyone. David Millett has stepped down after three years as chairman and some twenty-one years on the committee. We are all indebited to David and Rosemary for all the work they have done in the past for the Society. Peter Redway has taken over as Chairman and Peter Coxhead has filled his position as Vice-Chairman. Apart from that the committee is as it was last year so we are one down on last year's count.

Water Levels
Water levels are down as well, especially on the Deepcut Flight and through Brookwood, St Johns and Woking, to the extent that the Woking trip boat is not running. Water has always been a problem for the Basingstoke and with the Society's 30th Anniversary next year we are planning a water appeal to support back pumping on the Woodham flight in Woking. This will hopefully keep the Woking pound at a reasonable level, enable boats to visit from the Wey Navigation and allow the trip boat (Painted Lady) to operate throughout the season. It will also hopefully keep St Johns, Brookwood and Deepcut fuller due to there being no need to run water down from these areas to keep the houseboats and Woking pound at a reasonable level. Whilst this will only address the symptom it will go someway to alleviating the current problem, albeit brought on by the driest summer since records began in 1759 ! The BCA is actively investigating the Bourley Hill reservoirs as another source of water for the canal but that is a little further off.

The back pumping will not of course address the real issue on the canal which appears to be its profile in Hampshire. What is really needed is complete dredging of the Hampshire section (we are delighted with dredging at Broad Oak) and reprofiling it to its original design. It will then act more as the reservoir it was intended to be when Pinkerton built the canal some 200 years ago. However this is a long term project and we must work with the riparian councils and the Canal Authority to move this issue forward.

The SSSI has been noified despite strong protestations from some riparian councils and the Society. Whilst we all understand the sensitivites of the nature lobby it was one of the Society's principal objectives on its formation some 29 years ago to restore the canal to full navigation and full navigation does not include a limit on the number of boats allowed to use the canal. The restrictions put on dredging have to be seen to be believed. Extremes of viewpoint either on the nauralists or boaters side won't move us forward but sensible debate will. However it appears as if English Nature are not prepared to enter into debate.

There are pleas throughout this issue of the newsletter for volunteers to help in a variety of ways. Please do call one of the numbers listed if you even think you can help. It is your Society and it has only prospered because of voluntary work in the past and will only continue to prosper if more volunteers come forward. Since taking over as Joint Editor of the Basingstoke Canal News I have reported the death of a volunteer in each issue and this month we have an obituary for John Greenfield. People like John don't grow on trees and we need to replace them to ensure their invaluable work continues. The Society's responsibilities have moved from the physical restoration of the canal to ensuring it is maintained and used as a canal (not forgetting the work at the Western End). We all owe to those that have gone before a great debt of gratitude and in their memory we should stand up for the values they believed in. One way of doing that is to take on the roles they were undertaking and continue their good work. Please do consider what you can do on behalf of the Society and do give Peter Redway a ring to discuss anything you think you may be able to do. Without voluteers the Society will cease to exist. Are you able to volunteer ?

Chairmans Comment3
The Society - Do we need a change ?4
1995 AGM5
Madam Butterfly6
Woking Update7
John Greenfield8
Winter Talks9
Working Party Update10
Towpath Topics11
Gongoozlers Gossip12

The John Pinkerton taking part in the celebrations for the opening of the aqueduct. Photo: Dieter Jebens
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Page 3

As your new Chairman one of my first actions must be to thank David Millett for his years of dedicated service to our Society; his seventeen years as Vice-Chairman and three years as Chairman is a record few of us could equal. The saying 'behind every man is a woman' also applies and our thanks are due to Rosemary for all the support she has given David over the years.

Turning to more serious matters you will read elsewhere that English Nature have confirmed the designation of the SSSI from Greywell to Brookwood (Hermitage Bridge) and from Monument Bridge to Scotland Bridge. A considerable number of you supported our objections to the designation by writing to English Nature and also your MPs; thank you all for your support.

Due to the many letters the Chief Executive of English nature, Dr. Langslow, walked the canal on a fact finding visit. Unfortunately what he saw did not persuade him that our hard work in recreating a navigable waterway was the work of conservationists dedicated to providing an amenity for all. It is extremley disappoint­ing when a conservation 1st body uses legislation for imposing their requirements on the use of a waterway, created by the sweat and toil of many people over many years; legal but immoral.

The potential for conflict exists. The canal management plan has been devised so that all leisure interests are able to co-exist with wildlife. I have heard comments such as 'it's unworkable', 'it's illegal' and these may well prove true and modifcation of the management plan may be required.

When I think back over the history of the Society I see that the goal of restoration and re-opening of the canal was achieved, but not without setbacks, some of them seemingly lost for good but the slogan 'Dereliction to Navigation' reflects the hard work and preseverance of past committees and members.

I consider that the same values are required now that we are in a post restoration phase. We need to ensure that the navigation can be used without restriction, has sufficient water and depth to allow boats and wildlife to co-exist rather than become mutually exclusive.

This is not the time to give up and walk away; a lot of hard work lies ahead of us, perhaps the restoration was the easy bit.

I have mentioned water and the depth of the canal, both of these are now

becoming expensive items. The Canal Authority have completed the winter dredging programme at Odiham - the planning consents for the work contained 39 conditions including a 'no week­end work' condition. This condition prevented any Society volunteer input and was included following objections by residents in the locality. A measure of the nature of complaints was one of noise, this was in fact the automatic audible reversing warning on the vehicles being used to transport material from the silt dump site.

The Society has, in the past, supported the funding of water supplies; now is the time to think big and go for a fundraising campaign to augment water supplies. Water is the number one requirement - without it there is NO CANAL.

On the social side 1996 is our 30th anniversary; what do you as members think is appropriate as a celebration ? A dinner, visits, cruises, events ? The committe and I need your views, please feel free to contact any one of us by phone or in person.

Ash Aqueduct was opened on 29th July by Cecelia Gerrard DL and Grahame Smith, Chairmen of Surrey County Council and Hampshire County Council respectively. The aqueduct was completed on schedule by Alfred McAlpine Construction Ltd.; a magnificent achievement when one considers the conditions during the winter months. I echo the congratulations made at the opening to all concerned.

What is also essential at this time, is to record the efforts of our members, Adrian Birtles, Derek Cotton, James Guiver, David Junkison, David and Stan Meller. The original design for the Blackwater Valley Relief Road was an elevated crossing of a lowered canal with locks either side of the road.

As a special projects group they formed a team, made a case for an aqueduct and persuaded the County and Dept. of Transport to change the design, winning the day and gaining public support for the aqueduct was excellent work.

On behalf of all members I wish to thank them publicly for many hours of their time given freely and for the success of their efforts.

We have an attractive feature on the canal not a second rate option.

Peter Redway

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At the AGM earlier this year, Jill Haworth suggested that the new Committee should review the Society's constitution to decide whether the objectives which we set ourselves in 1966 were consistent with our current aims. She also asked the Committee to examine the rules for the appointment of Committee members and officers to see if changes were needed.

Memorandum of Association
The Society's main objectives are set out in its Memorandum of Association. This is a lengthy document but the essential purpose of the Society can be found in Article 3 which states that "the object of the Society is to advocate in the national interest the use, maintenance and development of the 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".

Although these words were drafted nearly twenty years ago, when the Society converted itself into a limited company, they have stood the test of time. Our main objective remains the restoration, maintenance and development of the Basingstoke Canal as a navigable waterway. This objective extends to the whole length of the canal - there is no suggestion that we only go as far as Greywell. In the debate over the SSSI, we have repeatedly stressed the importance of the navigation because we believe that a canal burdened by severe restrictions on the free passage of boats will eventually decay and fall into disuse. In my view, the objectives set out in the constitution are as valid and as representative of our purpose today as they were when the Society was formed almost thirty years ago. Indeed I think we should be impressed by the foresight of the founding members in identifying the essential objectives of our campaign and in expressing those objectives in such clear language.

Turning to the composition of the Committee and the rules for the election of members and officers, it might be helpful if I explain the current position. Since the Society is a company registered under the Companies Acts, it is required to have directors. In our case, the Board of Directors is called the Executive Committee and each member of that Committee is a Director of the Company. Our constitution provides that we can have up to twelve Committee members four of whom are to be elected as the officers of the Society. The officers are the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Treasurer and the Secretary. The officers are elected by the Committee not by the members. Our rules also provide that the whole committee resigns each year and must be re-elected at the AGM. It must also be remembered that the Society is a registered charity and, as such, its constitution (and any changes to the constitution) must be approved by the Charity Commission.

Various proposals have been put forward for changing these arrangements. For example, it has been said that the Committee is a self perpetuating group of members which secures re-election year in, year out, with very few changes. It might be healthier if membership of the Committee was restricted to a term of (say) three years with no right for any member to seek re-election for a defined period thereafter. In order to preserve some continuity, one third of the Committee could be required to seek re-election each year on a three year cycle. Others argue that the Committee is too large - management theories suggest that a group of four to six people is the optimum decision-making body. However, in defence of the current position, it should be mentioned that the size of the Committee was increased from nine to twelve some years ago in order to attract a larger number of members willing to take on responsibilities for different aspects of the Society's activities.

Election of Officers
With regard to the election of officers, the rules could be changed to provide for the direct election by the membership (at the AGM) of the four officers identified in the Articles of Association. One argument against this proposal is that the Committee may feel that it should have the right to elect the Chairman since the Chairman has a crucial role in ensuring that the Committee operates effectively. He (or she) is also the spokesman for the Society and represents the Committee and the Society's views to the outside world.

Whilst the current Committee welcomes a full debate on all these questions (and the many other alternative proposals which could be put forward) it does believe that there must be a clear groundswell of opinion in the Society seeking change before we take the important step of amending the constitution. We must also see some clear benefits flowing from change. Many of the problems which we currently face are unconnected with the legal framework within which we operate and with the election and composition of the Committee. The reluctance of members to put their names forward for election to the Committee, the difficulty of filling key posts, and our problems in attracting new blood and younger members into the Society are all issues which will continue to concern us even if we change our internal rules. The central issue for the Committee and for the membership as a whole is whether we have the conviction to continue the fight for the preservation of the canal as a navigable waterway. We also need to re-dedicate ourselves to our ultimate goal of reaching the original canal terminus in Basingstoke.

The Committee has an open mind on the questions raised in this article. We would like to hear your opinions and suggestions for change or to receive your support for our efforts to make progress within the existing framework. Please join in the debate and let us hear your views. Your letters should be sent to me, Philip Riley, at the address on the last page.

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Page 5
1995 AGM

There was a full hall at Mytchett for the 18th AGM since the Society was incorporated as a limited company. The formal business was soon over, as usual, the main item of significance being that David Millett stood down as Chairman of the Society after serving in that capacity for four years. Various tributes were paid to him on the way he had led the Society through some difficult issues which arose during that time.

Jill Howarth observed that 30 years will have elapsed next year since the Society was formed and suggested that a working party be formed to look at the constitution to see whether it needed updating.

The informal part of the meeting started with the novelty of having reports on the various activities presented by means of Arthur Dungate's audio visual displays. Despite having to fill in gaps where slides had not returned from processing in time this gave a very graphic account of the progress made by the Society's working parties under Peter Redway, the community action teams under Ken Halls, and the Community Service team under Bill Homewood in the restoration of the towpath west of Greywell, the Woking moorings, offbank clearance and other projects. Dieter Jebens reported that the John Pinkerton had had a good year, contributing some £19,000 towards canal projects and maintenance. New regulations for licensing boat captains were proving to be very expensive however and rather over-the-top - the

examiner for the John Pinkerton had just come from testing the Oriana. He gave fulsome tribute to Kathryn Dodington for her work on crew training and organisation, to Carol Munro for taking over the booking task to Mike Munro for the engine maintenance and to all others who helped in their various capacities. He stressed that any Society member would be welcome to come to the Tuesday evening meeting on the boat and invited members to volunteer as crew - a fun activity as well as being valuable for the canal. The Robin Higgs Award was presented to the Redway family for all their efforts in support of The Society and the canal over many years.

There followed a lively question time, with questions about canal closures, staffing of the BCA, water supplies, the SSSI, the public consultation procedures being pursued by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council over the restoration of the last five miles, whether the JMC is the right body to manage the canal, the DoE navigation review and the need for separate licenses for boats using the canal. But the piece de resistance was another audio visual show by Arthur Dungate, this time on the building of the new aqueduct. His splendid series of slides illustrated just how massive and complex an engineering task this is: we look forward with much more interest to its completion and opening in July.

Brian Fox

 (11K) Presentation: A presentation was made recently to Gill Freeman in recognition of her many years service to the John Pinkerton. Gill was involved with Training and keeping the galley well stocked amongst other things. She is now the Society's Sales Manager. At presentation were (L to R) Dorothy McLaughlin, Bill Homewood, Michael Prince, Ron McLaughlin, Gill and David Freeman and Nigel Johns - Photo Dieter Jebens

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Page 6

 (12K)Timothy West and Prunella Scales after the naming of Madam Butterfly
Photo - Dieter Jebens

Madam Butterfly, the new specially designed and built holiday boat for disabled people has been launched into the Basingstoke Canal at Fleet. At 63ft long and 9fl wide, and costing £74,000 to date, the narrowboat style boat has all the latest specialist features incorporated including two hydraulic lifts for wheelchairs, hoists for shower, toilet and bed, and hydraulic fingertip steering to enable the boat to be steered from a wheelchair, normally excluded to the disabled. The boat will enable the restored Basingstoke Canal to be cruised by those who would not normally be able to have a holiday on a waterway, and cruising the delights of canal. The Boats for the Handicapped Association, which is a registered charity, now require further funds to enable the boat to be equipped with bedding, crockery, cutlery, carpets and curtains etc. Appealed Stan Knight, Chairman of the Association, "This is a dream that has almost come true, and all we need now are further generous sponsorship and donations to the tune of about £6,000, and then disabled people, with their families or friends, can get away for a holiday on the beautiful Basingstoke Canal and surrounding waterways".

Offers of sponsorship and donations, from companies and individuals should be made to the Hon. Treasurer on (01252) 622520. For further information please contact: Stan Knight on (01252) 615879 or David Gerry on (01252) 622520

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Page 7

The Town of Woking boasts an excellent railway service, a very large cemetery, currently successful football team, a mosque and a canal which passes through the Town Centre. Of the five, I have to admit, the Basingstoke Canal probably generates the least interest by the local populace. However, I am confident that this scenario is slowly changing as we are continually forging stronger links with Councillors, Council Officers and the local media. The following are examples where we have successfully worked with, or have been consulted by the Council who are very supportive of our aims. Their Countryside Strategy has resulted in the following achievements.

# Major policy study prepared by Gillespies.
# Victoria Footbridge completed linking the Canal to the Town Centre.
# Town Quay mooring facility constructed in association with ourselves and the BCA.
# A commercial trip boat operation commenced. (by one of our members )
# Comprehensive finger post signing scheme implemented.
# Improved facilities at St. Johns.
# Canal information boards provided.
# Canal walks booklet published.
# Water supply study completed.
# Public consultation on Gillespies study carried out in 1993.
# Regular liaison meetings with the Canal Director established.

They encourage and help us when we hold an event within the Town's boundary. Of course what is really required is the sight of boats on the Canal on a regular basis. Again I feel that Woking will support us on the scheme under discussion to back pump water from the Wey into the Town pound.

For the last three years we have run a family orientated Event by the Bridge Barn restaurant which has helped to publicise the Canal. This year, despite the aqueduct closure situation, we hosted 24 narrow boats. The Mayor spent a record 2 hours with us and judged both the best decorated boat (Alec and Betty Gosling's Betty G), also a painting competition of canal related pictures from the nearby Goldsworth Park Primary School. I subsequently visited the school and presented book

tokens from the Society to the three winners.

Our social evenings held at St Johns and organised by Arthur Dungate have been a continuing success with varying and interesting speakers enlightening us on many subjects, and what is most important of all, it gives members a chance to chat to each other. Those of you who attend these gatherings will have noticed me standing by the door with the begging bowl at the close of the evening. These contributions along with the proceeds of the raffle, pays for the hire of the hall and the refreshments. However, thanks to your generosity over the years, allied to profit from the Bridge Barn, I was able last year to pass £1,000 to the Society's funds and there should be something going in that direction again this year.

I would like to thank the members who have helped, by serving teas, manning sales stands, assisting on the last three Bridge Bams and by just supporting us in Woking.
Peter Coxhead

Membership Matters
Thank you to all those who have renewed their subscriptions and especially to those who completed a Deed of Covenant. This will be of great benefit to the Society.

Several members have asked about the new membership rates which are:
Family£10.002 x OAP£5.00

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Edwin Chappell
Membership Secretary

A permanent mooring on the Basingstoke Canal preferably close to Brookwood.

Please call Brian Hodgson (01483) 473157 after 17:00

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Page 8

John's interest in canals started the day a friend suggested he take his twin sons, Ian and Neil, then aged about 5-years old, to see the steam dredger Perseverance start its laborious task dredging at Colt Hill, Odiham. That was at the beginning of 1975. With thoughts of cruising the canal in his 16ft Tamarisk he immediately joined the Society.

Tamarisk was the first cruiser to navigate a short restored length of the canal above Colt Hill Bridge, giving boat trips at the 1976 "Water Nobsurd". the second event of its kind which attracted several hundred people. John's boat appeared on the front of the Society's membership form for many years.

John 6(K)
John Greenwood

For John, joining the Society was a family affair and an active one. John, Janet and the two boys were soon taking part in restoration work. While taking part in the 1970 national "big dig" on the Deepcut and Brookwood locks, which attracted more than 600 volunteers, they met Pablo Haworth and became regular members of his Woodham working parties. It was John, with his gentle sense of occasion, who painted the banner across the former stop lock abutments above Lock 6 and designed the Woodham team's sweatshirt logo.

Working as an aircraft engineer for British Airways for 30 years meant weekend shifts which often clashed with working parties but he found the time to join bankside working parties, work on Lock A and latterly help at the western end.

John was a committed worker for the Society. He was a voluntary postman for Yateley for many years and books sales manager for the past five years creating a growing market in sales through outlets along the canal. He designed and made a bookstall for the Society's sales stand and leaflet boxes displayed at working parties.

After aircraft, his first love was boating. Apart from cruising, he was an early member of the Basingstoke Canal Canoe club and learned to canoe with his two sons spending many happy weekends with them and club members on camping trips and other outings. His 20ft cruiser Witch-Wey became a familiar sight not only on the Basingstoke Canal but at waterway rallies from Somerset to Strathclyde. He enjoyed inland waterways for all they have to offer but he firmly believed that while the birds, the bugs and the butterflies are beautiful, they are nothing without boats.

Pinkerton's Progress
The John Pinkerton has so far had a good season and all indications are that it will be a very good one. Thanks are due to the boat company committee, who keep everything running, and all our captains and crews for turning out regularly to see that our customers enjoy an outing on the canal and ensure that there is a continuing income for the Society to continue with its work. Without the money generated by the John Pinkerton the Society would not have the ability to do what it does.

We are short of crews and would welcome any Society member who wishes to join the crewing list. There is a little bit of training - consisting of an outing on the boat where you can have a go at steering in peace and quiet and learn where everything is kept. Husband and wife teams are as welcome as single people; not everybody has to be keen on steering ! If you think you may be interested please give Kathryn Dodington a call on (01483) 473630 and we will arrange training for early next season. We are also looking for a bookings manager to start as soon as practicable. We will provide any training that is necessary and will also provide a telephone and answering machine. If you think this could be your opportunity to contribute to the work of the Society please call Dieter Jebens on (01252) 715230.

We are also always keen to hear from anyone who would like to help with the winter maintenance of the John Pinkerton (which has to be maintained to DoT standards). Martin Bowers is in charge of this winter's programme (which will be undertaken in the drydock at Deepcut) and he would be delighted to hear from you on (01252) 513095 if you can offer to help in this capacity.

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Page 9

Another year has gone by, the canal has acquired a new feature - the aqueduct at Ash has been completed and thoughts now turn to our Winter socials. But first, an important announcement. WE ARE MOVING! All meetings this season will be 2nd Tuesday in the month, and 8pm as usual, but in the WESTGATE CENTRE, Woking, next to Wheatsheaf (Chobham Road) Bridge. Parking available - some at the Centre itself, and Brewery Road Car Park is just across the canal footbridge. See map below.

We start in October with a subject much "in the news" recently - the proposal to restore the "Last 5 miles" of the canal to Basingstoke. Neil Cole (Project Officer with Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council) and Norman Wyld (Project Consultant for Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick) will give us a presentation on the various route options. Whatever the eventual decisions of the "powers that be" this should be a most interesting evening. David Green was to have given us an AV show last February but had to postpone due to unforeseen personal circumstances. However he has kindly agreed to come in November and will show two of his audio-visual presentations. "Revolution With Water" traces the history of the inland waterways from the

boat sign (23K)
A very topical (and perhaps appropriate) sign photographed at Fleet Carnival this year. Thanks to Brian Butterworth for the photo.

industrial revolution to the present day, and "Maiden Voyage" describes the 1988 journey of his narrowboat from Wendover to the National Rally in Manchester and back via the Manchester Ship Canal.

December will be different. We are proposing a special social evening. There will be quizzes, displays, possibly even a short AV (can't they keep Arthur D......away?), and above all, plenty of time to talk and meet friends (Oh yes- bring your own booze....). In January 1996 Hugh Compton from Brookwood will give us his much acclaimed illustrated talk "Early Canals in Britain", while for February, with no expense spared, Robin Higgs will present for us one of his exotic holiday journeys on American Railways. A new film by Hugh McKnight and John Humphries is always an event, and has become a tradition for March. This could be along the Panama Canal. To end the season in April, Mark Hodgins from the National Rivers Authority will tell us about the NRA's work, both nationally, and in our region.

The season in brief -
Tues 10 October. - The Last Five Miles (Neil Cole & Norman Wyld).
Tues 14 November. - Revolution With Water and Maiden Voyage (David Green).

Tues 12 December. - Special Social Evening!
Tues 9 January 96. - Early Canals in Britain (Hugh Compton).
Tues 13 February 96. - American Railways- (Robin Higgs).
Tues 12 March 96. - A new film (Hugh McKnight & John Humphries).
Tues 9 April 96. - The National Rivers Authority (Mark Hodgins).

Arthur Dungate
Meetings Organiser (Woking area)

location map (7K)

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Page 10

Due to the lack of available space in our last newsletter a working party update was not included.

Work at the Western End restarted in May when conditions had improved: the gabion wall is completed and large areas of the hillside have been reinstated from the landslip filling in the canal.

The original tunnel walls have been uncovered - these moved inwards and we now have a 'narrow canal'. Towpath surfacing should be completed by the autumn followed by a Civic Trust presentation and PR function supporting the project.

Our visit to the Wilts and Berks Canal, postponed from last February, took place on 19th/20th August. It was a very successful visit with a work party strength of 16 supported by two very important people - Jean and Hillary who provided excellent food over the weekend. Our grateful thanks to them.

The wrok (sic) site was at Moredon Aqueduct near Purton Stoke (Swindon). We undertook work on the brick arches, wing walls and also took part in canal excavation and plant maintenance. Pointng work on the arches was popular in the very hot conditions; other work included fencing and repairing stiles.

In all a varied and well attended weekend with excellent food and local pub just across the road - what more can you ask for ?

The autumn and winter programme of work is being prepared at the time of going to print with bankside clearance work scheduled for the first and third weekends. Construction work is

scheduled for the second and fourth weekends of each month. For more information please ring Peter Redway (01483) 721710 or one of the work party leaders. The programme will be issued when completed.

Community Action
This work is supervided by full time supervisor, Ken Halls. The Society, in Partnership with Garnd Metropolitan Trust provided back-to-work experience for the longer term unemployed. Two teams of up to 10 people work for two days per week providing four days of work per week. The teams are currently working on the towpath in Fleet. The wonX is sponsored by Hart District Council and should be completed by the autumn.

Community Service
This scheme is supervised by Bill Homewood. Although numbers have varied Bill has managed to maintain a viable team. The work is normally strimming, grass cutting, litter picking and similar tasks.

Our thanks are due to Bill and Ken for the work of their teams.

Peter Redway

Opportunity to help the Society
The Society is looking for someone who is proficient at administration work to take on the role of Bookings Manager for the John Pinkerton. If you are an organised person, have some spare time and want to become the 'lynch-pin' of the boat company's operation then please call Dieter Jebens on (01252) 715230. We will provide a telephone, answerfone and training to help you.

New Members

Welcome to the following new members:

Miss AJ ChristianFarnboroughRevd KP AtherleyCamberley
Mr& Mrs JG HarrisOld BasingMr J RodfordBasingstoke
Mrs CA SmithAshMr G ThompsonBasingstoke
Mr GR SideyChurch CrookhamMr SJ SperlingBasingstoke
Dr & Mrs JN SiggerWokingMr CRH MatthewsChurch Crookham
Mr K PrattAddlestoneMrs A StendallIpswich
Mr IC MooreWokingMr & Mrs WJF PorterFarnborough
Mr R PostlethwaiteFarnboroughMr & Mrs JC de B LiscombFleet
Mr D CatherallFarnboroughMr CJ SmeetonWoking

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Page 11

The Last Five Miles
After an extensive public consultations exercise and detailed further studies, a full report and recommendations from the Borough Council officers, led by Neil Cole (Borough Project Manager) was placed before the Leisure Services Committee on the 18th May.

As far as the Society is concerned the main recommendation (which was passed by the Committee) will disappoint us. The committee have resolved not to proceed with Stage 2 (Old Basing House to Greywell and North Warnborough). This was due to many factors, which include financial, political, practical and local opposition. The Society would like to have seen a route for Stage 2 decided upon, and that potential route protected in the Local Plan so that no development could take place on the route decided upon.

In the event the committee asked the officers to produce a further report for 14 September 1995 to consider the detailed issues and concerns expressed at the meeting related to the Basingstoke Town Centre to Basing House project (previously Stage 1): the cost of this further report to be funded within existing budgets.

Other recommendations are shown on the attached letter (24.5.95) and include the investigation of the possibility of a complete footpath link between the Town Centre/Basing House, and the section west of Greywell Tunnel where our volunteers and visiting groups are well on the way to completing the re-instatement of the towpath.

Aqueduct Opening
The new aqueduct over the canal was opened on Saturday 28th July. The John Pinkerton acted as the official boat for the opening and then went on to run a number of successful public trips from Ash Wharf and a charter on the Saturday evening. A photograph of the John Pinkerton at the opening ceremony appears on the cover of this issue.

Woking Canal Gala 1995
The 'Bridge Barn' as everyone calls this event, regardless of the official title that has been allocated to it, would now have appeared to join the Fleet Carnival as a regular Basingstoke Canal milestone. This year's was the third successive family orientated waterside celebration.

A good show of boats is essential to the overall success of such an event, and at one stage this looked difficult to achieve because of the closure of the canal for the Ash aqueduct building. However our

many friends with boats moored on the Wey Navigation came up trumps and 24 narrowboats finally joined us for the two days. The theme for the best decorated boat was 'VE Day' and the winner, chosen by the Mayor of Woking, was Alec and betty Gosling's Betty G.

On land visitors could find a number of stalls at which to spend their money including the Society's sales stand 'manned' by Gill Freeman buisly painting as usual. The many children present could take a ride on the model railway that ran alongside the canal and afterwards be entertained by Professor Popcorn. Boat trips to Woking and back on Painted Lady were very popular and Ray Taylor demonstrated the art of sub-aqua diving.

The new Goldsworth Park Primary School, which boarders the canal, put on a good show of canal related paintings which was judged by the Mayor. Vice Chairman of the Society, Peter Coxhead, later presented book tokens to the winners on behalf of the Society.

Thanks, as always, are due to the Society volunteers who contributed to this successful event and in particular to Shirley Trott for her Tombola stall and to Edwin and Joan Chappell for their behind-the-scenes work and their games stall. Both were good money spinners for the Scoiety. Thanks are also due to the sponsors of the event, Bridge Barn, The Peacocks and Hire Services Southern.

Ash Aqueduct
Involvement in the Ash Aqueduct opening is mentioned elsewhere in the Basingstoke Canal News but it is important to note that the Society was well represented in all aspects of the opening ceremony with the John Pinkerton being used by the official party for the ribbon-cutting event. We are very grateful to the local authorities for a very generous donation of £200 for the use of the John Pinkerton. Whilst the John Pinkerton was operating out of Ash wharf the opportunity was taken to run a series of profitable public trips and a charter to let as many people as possible see (and use) the aqueduct and we are grateful to the BCA for the opportunity to use Ash Lock during these operations.

Financial Statement
Enclosed with this issue of the Basingstoke Canal News you will find a copy of the Society's Financial Statement as presented at the AGM. If you have any questions about this please contact the Society Treasurer, Jonathan Wade at the address / telephone number on the back page.

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Suction Dredging
The suction dredging in the Odiham area has recently been terminated as the silt lagoons are now full. The section dredged was from the Odiham By-Pass bridge to the remains of Pillars Bridge beyond Wilks Water. This should make a big difference to this notoriously shallow section.

Pondtail Winding Hole
Work will start on digging out the Pondtail Winding Hole this autumn.

Brookwood Accident
There was an accident at Brookwood Bridge recently when a car fell into the canal between the bridge and the footbridge at the tail of Lock 12. Both occupants were unscathed thanks to the quick work of employees of 3H Motors at Brookwood but the recovery of the car took quiye some time and attracted a lot of interest. It is not known if the car had a licence for operation on the canal!

Congratulations to Brian Chappell, our Covenants Secretary, on becoming

Master of his Livery Company - The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards.

Talks Organiser and Mail Order Sales
Following the death of John Greenfield we now have a vacancy for a Talks Organiser and for someone to take charge of Mail Order Sales. If you are interested in this opportunity please contact our Chairman, Peter Redway - details as below.

Woking Winter Talks
A reminder that the usual Woking Winter Talks start on Tuesday 10th October. This year the talks are being held at the Westgate Centre, Woking, next to Wheatsheaf (Chobham Road) Bridge. Parking available - some at the Centre itself, and Brewery Road Car Park is just acros s the canal footbridge. Please see map on page 9.

Our thanks to David Lloyd-Langston for personally clearing rubbish at the Barley Mow car park recently. This saved the Society a £150:00 bill from the local council. John Pinkerton crews please note !

Copy date for Next BC News: 15th November 1995

Kathryn Dodington. Sequoia, Sheets Heath Lane, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey, GU24 0EH (0483) 473630

Chairman: Peter Redway. 1 Redway Cottages, St John's Lye, Woking, Surrey, GU21 1SL (0483) 721710
Vice-Chairman: Peter Coxhead. 17 Abbey Close, Pyrford, Woking, Surrey, GU22 8PY (01932) 344564
Hon. Secretary: Philip Riley. Wincombe Cottage, Broad Oak, Odiham, Hampshire, RG25 1AH (0256) 702109
Hon. Treasurer: Jonathan Wade. 30 Hanover Gardens, Cove, Famborough, Hampshire, GU14 9DT (0252) 524690

Membership Secretary: Edwin Chappell. The Spinney, Meadow Road, Ashtead, Surrey, KT21 1QR (0372) 272631
Dredger Manager: Mike Munro. 46 Malthouse Close, Church Crookham, Hampshire, GU13 0TB (0252) 624643
Special Projects Manager: Stan Meller. 101 Branksome Hill Road, College Town, Camberley, Surrey, GU14 4QG (0276) 32096
Working Party Information: Peter Redway. 1 Redway Cottages, St John's Lye, Woking, Surrey, GU21 1SL (0483) 721710
Trip Boat Manager: Dieter Jebens. 60 Middle Bourne Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10 3NJ (0252) 715230
Trip Boat Bookings: Ann Bird, 25 Farnham Road, Fleet, Hampshire GU13 9HZ (01252) 811707
Sales Manager: Gill Freeman. 35 Holland Gardens, Fleet, Hampshire, GU139NE (0252) 624612
Mail Order Sales: TBA
Exhibitions Manager: David Junkison. 4 Thames Meadow, West Molesley, Surrey, KT146BE (081) 941 0685
Audio Visual Producer: Arthur Dungate. 187 Ellerdine Road, Hounstow, Middlesex, TW3 2PU No Telephone
Talks Organiser: TBA
Press Officer: Dieter Jebens. 60 Middle Bourne Lane, Famham, Surrey, GU10 3NJ (0252) 715230
Archivist: Jill Haworth. Sheerwood, Woodham Lane, Woking, Surrey. GU21 5SR (01932) 342081
Woking Area Director: Peter Coxhead*. 17 Abbey Close, Pyrford, Woking, Surrey. GU22 8PY (01932) 344584
Director: Roger Cansdale*. 79 Gally Hill Road, Church Crookham, Hampshire. GU13 0RU (01252) 616964

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Last updated April 2005