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Issue 421 - January 2008

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Chairman's Column

 
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Happy New Year

As I said in our January 2007 Newsletter - "We are not always able to publish a January Newsletter because of the Christmas and New Year 'shut-down' when regular contributors, editor and printer are often away (or recovering!). However, we have all pulled out the stops this year in order to publish this first Newsletter of 2007" Change that year to 2008 and we are bang up to date!

It gives me great pleasure to send all our members my best wishes for the New Year.

January Meeting

This month we are holding our popular annual Members' Photographic Evening and Competition, full details of which were published in the last Newsletter.

February Meeting

We are delighted that Harry Arnold has accepted the Society's invitation to come and speak to us about 'The Changing Face of the Waterways'. As far as I know this will be Harry's first visit to us. Please see Harry's profile elsewhere in this Newsletter.

Our 2008 Programme

Details of our programme for the first six months of this year were published in last month's Newsletter.

Skittles Evening

Rogan Olding has organised a further Society Skittles Evening at 'The Kings Head' in Hursley, on Friday 14th March 2008. See the advertisement in this Newsletter for full details. This has always been a very popular Society event on previous occasions and numbers are limited to around 30 - so get your bookings in to Rogan as soon as possible. First come - first served!

Proposed Boat Gathering

Members will remember the annual 'Boat Gathering' that used to be held at Flecknoe and Braunston, attended by members with boats in that area. It has been suggested that a number of boaters might wish to get together again during this year's early May Bank holiday. This would not be an organised event, just a small number of boat owners joining for a casual get-together. If any members with boats moored in the Napton/Braunston area would like to join in, please contact me.

Ann Dukes

It was good to welcome back Bob and Ann Dukes to our December meeting after a long absence due to Ann's illness.

Eric Mayhew

As reported at our December meeting, Eric Mayhew passed away on 30 November at the age of 88, after being unwell for some time. Eric and Joyce will be well remembered by long serving Society members as for many years they ran the refreshments at the Society's monthly meetings at our former home, the St John Ambulance Hall in Southampton. Eric's funeral service, which was held at Southampton Crematorium on 14 December, was well attended. The Society was represented by our President, Brian Evans, Eva Drinkwater, and Gill and myself. Our thoughts go to Joyce who hopes to be able to attend some of our future meetings.

Donations in memory of Eric would be gratefully received for Ward D7 of Southampton General Hospital, and should be sent c/o Jonathon Terry, Undertakers, 101 Peartree Avenue, Bitterne, Southampton. SO19 7JJ

Paul Herbert


December Meeting

Annual Inter-Society Waterways Quiz and American Supper

 
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The annual Inter-Society Waterways Quiz is always a popular event and the teams fighting it out on this occasion were representing Southampton Canal Society, IWA Salisbury Group and IWA Solent & Arun Branch, and all participants were warmly welcomed. As winners of the 2006 Quiz, it was Southampton's responsibility to organise the following year's event. The Quizmaster was Southampton's Peter Oates, certainly no stranger to organising events of this nature.

Peter had obviously given a lot of thought, and not inconsiderable time, to the format of the Quiz, which was exceedingly well presented in a high-Tec fashion. Peter was keen to more fully engage the audience so, for the first time, they had the same sets of questions as the teams, and that went down very well.

The 2007 Team Winner was the IWA Solent & Arun Branch, the runners up the IWA Salisbury Group, followed by Southampton. Peter Oates had pleasure in presenting the trophy to the Solent & Arun Team Captain, Mike Laishley.

The winner from the audience was Eric Lewis, who matched the Salisbury team score, a very creditable performance. Congratulations Eric - and enjoy your prize of a bottle of wine.

Many thanks to our Quizmaster, Peter, who was presented with a gift token, and to all the members of the teams who took part.

The 2008 Inter-Society Waterways Quiz will be organised by IWA Solent & Arun Branch, who have asked if our Society would be willing to host the event, which we would be pleased to do. It will be held at Chilworth on Thursday 4 December.

During the evening I was able to make a number of presentations. The Society always presents a bottle of wine to those Society members who have given us talks or organised special events. On this occasion I was able to make such presentations to Bob Dukes, in respect of his talk on the history of the Royal Naval Cordite Factory at Holton Heath, in May 2006 (this being the first time we had seen Bob for some time because of Ann's ill health) and to Maureen Greenham for organising the very successful boat trip on the River Wey & Godalming Navigation in October.

Sue Lewis, the Society's Auditor, had completed her audit of our 2006/07 accounts, which would be her last such task as she had retired from that position with effect from the 2007 AGM. As a token of the Society's appreciation I had pleasure in presenting Sue with a gift token. Many thanks Sue for all your work over recent years.

Many thanks to all those members for their generous prize donations to our Christmas raffle, and a special 'thank you' to Pam McKeown for her splendid Christmas cake which was won by Sue Lewis.

After the auction we all enjoyed the traditional American Supper which, as always, was generously provided by Society members. There was plenty of food which was all delicious, including slices of Pam McKeown's special Society 40th Anniversary cake. Many thanks to all those who provided the food and to all those helpers who assisted with the layout of both halls, worked in the kitchen and cleared away at the end of the evening.

Paul Herbert


Waterways Funding

 
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Many of you have been writing to your MPs over the recent weeks, regarding further cuts to funding for the navigation authorities arising from the Comprehensive Spending Review process that Government has been undertaking.

As a result, an Adjournment debate was secured by Michael Fabricant MP for Lichfield, and this was held on 11th December in Parliament.

Replying to the debate, the minister for the waterways stated that he expected that the settlement for British Waterways (BW) was now likely to be flat cash for the next three years.

At a subsequent meeting with IWA national chairman, John Fletcher, the minister reconfirmed his statement on funding, even though the formal announcement on the final settlement won't be made until the end of February, and made further announcements concerning the future management of the waterways which appear promising.

The minister was able to confirm that he did not expect recent newspaper reports of alleged further cuts to DEFRA's budget to have a deteriorative effect on settlements for navigation authorities.

The minister also gave an update on the BW status review and confirmed his support for arrangements which would enable BW to borrow commercially to assist the good management of it business.

The minister also announced that he had set up a joint governmental inland waterways committee comprising senior representatives of the Departments for Transport, Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Health, Communities and Local Government, Culture, Media and Sport, and the Treasury, together with representatives of the main navigation authorities and the Inland Waterways Advisory Council. This is intended to enable a greater understanding of the intrinsic value of the waterways to the UK as a whole within Government and to enable other government departments to become more involved in understanding and partnering support for the waterways as a consequence.

IWA would like to thank those of you that took the time to write to their MPs expressing concern and raising the profile for the waterways at this critical time. It seems to have made a significant difference to the outcome for the funding of our waterways.

IWA Letter to members and Press Release 12 December 2007


Harry Arnold - Our February Speaker

 
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Harry Arnold comes from Warrington in Cheshire and lived between the Manchester Ship Canal and the Bridgewater Canal for the first 21 years of his life. He lived and worked for some time by the Shropshire Union Canal at Norbury Junction, and now lives and works by the Trent & Mersey Canal at Alrewas, near Lichfield.

Originally an engineer and industrial artist, trained at Liverpool College of Art, he has been taking photographs since schooldays and has also been professionally involved in waterways and the marine industry for over 40 years, starting as a partner in a horse-drawn hostel boat then moving into boat hire and building. He then came out of that sector of the industry to write about, photograph and promote rivers, canals and boating and the marine industry.

As a journalist he was until recently the Editor of IWA WATERWAYS. He is a regular contributor to other boating magazines, particularly WATERWAYS WORLD of which he was one of the founders. On a freelance basis his work also appears in many other publications.

Harry Arnold was the first professional secretary of the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators on Inland Waterways. He has been part of a number of award-winning teams working on museums and tourist attractions; including the Llangollen Canal Exhibition.

Harry has a wide-ranging knowledge of waterway history and construction and has worked for BW a number of major projects.

Trading as Waterway Images (Harry Arnold Ltd), on the commercial side his companies specialise in photography and publicity for the waterway, marine, leisure, tourism and transport industries. They do photographic, writing, design, display and consultancy work for many well-known companies both in the British Isles and Europe.

The Waterway Images library is possibly the largest collection of canal and river photographs in the world. It holds over 200,000 negatives and colour transparencies - in various formats - on all aspects of inland waterways, plus allied marine, transport and tourism subjects. There is 50 years of Harry Arnold's own work, other historical photographs and drawings, and access to other photographers work by arrangement.

Harry also regularly works as a waterway/boating consultant, including for TV and radio programmes and video production for the BBC and independent production companies.

He recently produced his first major book - The Montgomery Canal and its Restoration - published by Tempus Publishing Ltd., and is contracted to prepare a number of others.

On the voluntary side of waterways, he has campaigned for retention and re-opening of a number of waterways - particularly in the north west - and been directly involved in the restoration of the Montgomery Canal since the scheme started and is a trustee of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust. He is one of the founders of The National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port and a vice-president of the Trent & Mersey Canal Society. Harry was chairman of that society for a number of years and of the Shropshire Union Canal Society. He has served on many IWA committees, including the National Council, the board of the Waterway Recovery Group and also as Marketing Director of National Waterways Festivals Ltd.

A specialist in historic craft, he was until recently chairman of the Shropshire Union Fly-boat Restoration Society; a charity that has restored the last horse-drawn canal fly-boat in the world - Saturn. He is still a trustee/director and now president of The Saturn Project. With his wife Beryl he was also for many years a trustee of the Beatrice Charity; which operates a specialist boat providing day-trips for children with a need to get afloat.


The Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project

 
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Recently the Solent and Arun Branch of the IWA held two working parties at Mansbridge Lock as part of the Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project.

Clearance of Mansbridge Lock
Clearance of Mansbridge Lock by volunteers in October

The work involved manual clearance of brush and small trees from around the lock in order to carry out an archaeological survey of the remains.

This follows on from work undertaken on the lock during the 1990s as part of a scheme run by Southampton City Council.

As Canal Society members may already know, the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has been awarded a grant of £1.6million by the Heritage Lottery Fund to preserve the Itchen Navigation in a five year project that will create a heritage trail celebrating the outstanding wildlife and history of the internationally renowned chalk river system.

The project is being managed by the Trust on behalf of a wider partnership of the Environment Agency who have also pledged £400,000 to the scheme, Winchester City Council who have committed £50,000, Eastleigh Borough Council with a commitment of £20,000, and Southampton City Council, Hampshire County Council, Natural England and the Inland Waterways Association who are all providing work in kind.

As well as stabilising and restoring the Itchen Navigation river banks, work will create new trails for incorporating informative and eye-catching information boards so that visitors can identify the many wildlife species and historic industrial structures around them. Visitors will be encouraged to look out for water voles in the specially profiled banks along the river and for birds and bats will be encouraged using special installation boxes. The Trust is looking to train volunteers from local communities to undertake surveys of a range of wildlife species including otters, bats, birds and plants.

A series of activities and events are being planned along the Navigation such as exhibitions at City Mill, Winchester and Riverside Park, Southampton, community art workshops, and conservation training for volunteers.

The Itchen Navigation forms part of the River Itchen Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU Habitats Directive. This offers it the highest form of protection for wildlife in the UK. European protected species found in the Itchen Navigation include southern damselfly, otter, brook lamprey, bullhead and Atlantic salmon. Other species found include water vole, kingfisher, grey wagtail, grayling and brown trout. These are expected to flourish due to conservation along the Navigation.

Further information about IWA work may be obtained from Peter Boyce on 07729 139765 or email peter.boyce@raymarine.com

Information about the project may be had from Leah Mathias, the Project Manager, on 01489 774415, email: leahM@hwt.org.uk, website: www.hwt.org.uk


SKITTLES EVENING

 
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THE KINGS HEAD, HURSLEY

FRIDAY 14 MARCH 2008

7.30PM

Skittles

£10 PER HEAD INCLUSIVE OF BUFFET

Menu:

Varied menu (details to be advised)

Bookings and further information from

ROGAN OLDING

Tel: 02380 263660

Email: olding@freenet.co.uk


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Page created 4 January 2008 - archived 9 February 2008.

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