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Issue 348 - February 2001

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December Meeting

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At the December meeting, Southampton Canal Society once again hosted the Inter Society Quiz at the St Johns Ambulance Hall. This year there were four teams taking part: IWA Solent & Arun Branch, IWA Avon & Wilts Branch, IWA Salisbury Group and Southampton Canal Society.

The quizmaster was Peter Oates and once again he had put together a collection of slides and questions that not only tested the knowledge of the team members but also kept the audience alert and interested.

The teams seemed to be very evenly matched fro throughout the whole competition there remained but few points between first and last, which added excitement to the proceedings.

For the interval Peter had set a number of questions based on large air photographs supplied by Jon Sims. First the teams examined the photos and wrote down their answers, then members of the audience were invited to 'have a go'. Everyone then partook of the ample American Supper. Teams and audience returned to their seats for the final few questions.

After a very close competition, Salisbury Group were triumphant with the top score of 56 1/2 points. This meant that the trophy would be passing into IWA South West Region for the first time.

Following on were IWA Solent & Arun Branch with 54 points, Southampton Canal Society with 51 1/2, and IWA Avon & Wilts Branch with 45 1/2 points.

The individual prize among the audience for answering the Air Photo quiz was won by Brian Evans with 19 out of 25 points.

Our thanks to Peter for an exciting quiz and interesting evening and to Laura for keeping the scores.

Brian Evans

Editor's notes:

With an individual score like that, I hope we'll see you on the team next time, Brian!

Thanks must also be given to all those who contributed food and effort to yet another successful American Supper.

I had also hoped to bring you in this issue a report of our January meeting, the last in St Johns Ambulance Hall. However, a hiccup on the organisational front means that it has had to be held over until next month.


January Newsletter

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As a result of the difficulties posed by the Christmas / New Year period, including several days frozen in on the Oxford Canal near Napton and a late return to work, the editor was unable to produce a January issue of the Society Newsletter. However, a promise was made in the December Newsletter that a map and directions to our new monthly meeting place would be available to enable you all to get to the next meeting. So these were included with a "Stop Press" letter which also gave an opportunity to pass on several items of news. Just for the record and to refresh members' memories, part of this is reproduced below.

Brian Evans

Our chairman has been suffering from ill health for the last few months. On the Wednesday before Christmas, Brian had a serious operation on an aneurysm (a swollen blood vessel) which was life threatening. As a result Brian spent Christmas in Southampton General Hospital, although he was home for the New Year. Brian is now on the mend but his convalescence is likely to take some weeks. I am sure that all members will join with me in wishing him well in his recovery from the ordeal.

Joyce Mayhew

Whilst getting ready to come to the January meeting to serve us our teas and coffees, Joyce fell in her kitchen and broke her arm in two places. I understand that the bones returned to the correct position on their own accord and Joyce was spared the need for traction etc. I also understand that she's raring to go to the February meeting. Hope you have a speedy recovery, Joyce, and we all look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.


THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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to all those who signed and sent messages in the enormous get-well card from the January meeting.

Also many thanks to members who have sent cards and letters since the meeting and circulation of the "Stop Press" letter. It was very cheering (and sometimes painful - before the stitches were out) when amusing cards arrived.

Thank you all for taking the trouble to help keep me in touch with the outside world.

Brian Evans


Future Meetings

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We tried to book the May meeting at our new venue for the first Thursday in the month (3rd). Unfortunately we have since had this turned down because Chilworth Parish Hall is to be used as a polling station in the forthcoming local elections. There is also the prospect of a General Election in the offing ... The hall is also booked on the second Thursday of May. In order not to miss our unbroken record of a meeting every month since 1967, your committee is likely to arrange the meeting on Tuesday 1st May.

Day-Star Theatre have indicated that they would like to visit us again this year - the exact date is still to be arranged.

The invitation to members to suggest topics / speakers for future meetings is still open. So come on, let Peter Oates (or any Committee member) know what you would like to see and hear.

Editor's Note:

Since the Newsletter was published, the Committee has met and, in view of the feelings expressed by members in the survey last autumn and since, the "May" meeting has been arranged for the 26th April 2001. Details of speaker/subject are yet to be finalised.


BATTY BW?

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Thanks to Tony Coles for spotting the following snippet in the Mail on Sundayof 21st January.

GO-GO British Waterways may have shrugged off its old bureaucratic image, but it is not allowing its new-found commercialism to hamper its love of nature.

True, a BW executive is these days more likely to be found hanging out with millionaire yacht owners than supping real ale and spotting rare narrowboats.

But its Dr Doolittle streak is intact. The organisation has taken to lining its tunnels with bricks specially made to allow bats to nest in safety.

That's a big boost for two fragile species - the bats themselves and Britain's bat-brick industry.


LE CANAL DE SUEZ

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This is the title of a beautiful book recently presented to the Society library by Gerald Davies. It was published in 1950 and, although written in French, there is a lot to interest the English enthusiast. For those with a smattering of the language there is even more.

The book contains maps, traffic and tonnage charts and many photos. Some of the pages present before and after pictures which emphasise the development that the canal brought with it.

Many thanks, Gerald.


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