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Issue 399 - February 2006

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Chairman's Column

 
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Happy New Year

As this is our first Newsletter of 2006 it gives me great pleasure to send all our members my best wishes for the New Year. We are currently working to complete our remaining programme for the year and it is anticipated that, once again, we will be enjoying another year of interesting talks and events, with one or two trips thrown in for good measure.

February Meeting

We are delighted to welcome Reverend Peter Atwill to our February meeting who will be speaking to us about 'My work as Padre to the Inland Waterways'.

Robert Wolton

I am very sorry to have to advise members that Robert Wolton passed away suddenly in December. Rob had been a member of the Society for many years and regularly attended our monthly gatherings. He had a number of interests, particularly vintage motor cycles. Rob's son, Richard, rang me to give me the sad news and I also spoke to Rob's wife, Barbara. Robert was a popular figure within the Society and will be sadly missed. An appropriate card was sent to Barbara and the family on behalf of the Society.

Spring Outing

As members will be aware, on Saturday 22 April 2006 there will be a Society outing to Whitchurch Silk Mill and Longbridge Mill. Full details were published in the December Newsletter and these have been repeated below, for your convenience. I understand from Maureen Greenham that there has been a lot of support for this trip but it is not too late to put down your name. Please contact Maureen as soon as possible; her details are in the article.

Electronic Newsletter

Further to the item in the last Newsletter, just a reminder to contact our Newsletter Editor, Peter Oates (contact details given here) if you would be interested in receiving your monthly issue of the Newsletter 'electronically'.

Outstanding Subscriptions

Laura has asked me to remind members that subscriptions were due for renewal following last year's Annual General Meeting in July. There are still a few subscriptions outstanding and we would be grateful if these could be settled as soon as possible. If you cannot remember whether or not you have paid, could you please contact Laura (contact details given here).

Refreshments Rota

Gill has asked me to thank those members who have volunteered to assist with the provision of refreshments at our monthly meetings. However, we do need people to come forward to cover the meetings from April onwards.

Paul Herbert


SOCIETY OUTING TO WHITCHURCH SILK MILL AND LONGBRIDGE MILL

 
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There will be an outing to the above mills on Saturday 22nd April 2006.

Whitchurch Silk Mill was built initially as a woollen mill in 1800 and silk has been woven there since the 1820/1830s. It is now a working museum which now produces high quality silks to order for theatrical costume, interior designers and historic houses. There will be a guided tour of the mill and we will meet there at 10.30am.

Whitchurch Mill Longbridge Mill
Whitchurch Mill Longbridge Mill

There has been a mill sited at Longbridge for many years. It was badly damaged by fire in 1991 and restoration by the Chiltern partnership of millwrights was completed in 1997. The Mill is now a Brewers Fayre restaurant but the mill is working and milling takes place once a month. John Silman will give us a conducted tour to explain the process of milling and the unusual machinery employed in this historical method of food production. We intend to arrive at the Mill at about 1.15pm where we will have lunch (extra charge) and then have our tour of the mill. Wholemeal flour may be purchased in the pub at a cost of £1.50 for 2kg.

The cost will be £6 to include tours of both mills. This cost includes a donation to the Hampshire Mills Group whose members have kindly agreed to work the Mill on a day when it is not usually working.

Please add your name to the list if you wish to join us on 22nd April.

The list will be available at all Society meetings at Chilworth or by contacting the organizer Maureen Greenham: telephone - 023 8040 6951 or email - maureen.greenham@dsl.pipex.com.


December Meeting

Annual Inter-Society Waterways Quiz, Auction and American Supper

 
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A good sized audience witnessed the annual battle of wits between teams representing Southampton Canal Society, IWA Salisbury Group and IWA Solent & Arun Branch, for the coveted Inter-Society Waterways Quiz Trophy. We are grateful to the two visiting teams for continuing to support this annual and enjoyable event. Whilst we are always pleased to see them it is somewhat surprising that, despite invitations being sent to every Canal Society in the region, we don't get more support from those other organisations.

The quizmaster this year was our own Secretary, Eric Lewis, who decided to break new ground on this occasion and devised a set of very taxing questions without the benefit of accompanying visuals on the big screen. I am only glad that I decided to sit this one out! There were questions to each team as a whole, as well as to individual team members. In addition, as has become traditional, the audience was able to participate in its own competition.

The quiz winners were the team from Southampton Canal Society, comprising Laura Sturrock, Peter Oates, Alan Rose and Chris Davey, followed by the Salisbury Group and the Solent & Arun Branch. The trophy was awarded to Southampton's team captain, Peter Oates.

In the audience there were a number of high scores with two members, Anne Coleman and John Silman, having equal exceptional scores, which led to a tie-break question, with Anne finally taking the prize of a bottle of wine. The Society then made a presentation to Eric for his stalwart efforts. Congratulations to Southampton Canal Society and many thanks to all those who took part, and particularly to the teams.

The 2006 Inter-Society Waterways Quiz will be organised by our Society and will be held at Chilworth on Thursday 7 December.

Following the Quiz we held an auction of the waterways prints and plate kindly donated by members, Paul & Viv Taylor and Tony & Jackie Coles. In addition, on the night, Laura Sturrock & Peter Oates donated a further print, a seasonal scene at Stoke Bruerne, whilst Lynn & Rogan Olding donated a large cuddly toy named, appropriately, 'Butty'. Yours truly had the task of acting as auctioneer and we were delighted that all items were sold, raising a magnificent sum of £150 for the Society's funds. This was a fantastic effort by all concerned and the Society owes a great big 'thank you' to all the generous donors. As usual, when the Committee meets at the end of the financial year and reviews the anticipated outcome for the year, consideration will be given to making donations to waterways 'good causes'.

After the auction we all enjoyed the traditional American Supper which, as always, was both delicious and plentiful. Many thanks to all those who generously contributed food etc, 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


January Meeting

Members' Slides, Prints, Digital Images and Photo Competition Evening

 
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As always at this popular annual event, we were entertained by a wealth of images covering a wide range of topics. For the first time we were able to extend our exhibition to include the display of digital images. This year the following members exhibited their work: Brian Evans, Eric Lewis, Frank Stokes, Richard Chester-Brown and Peter Oates. We saw:-

Before the interval we ran the annual photo competition, which attracted nine entries, including digital images. There was a wide range of exhibits and it was a close run thing, but the winner was Rosemary Davis, with an unusual and charming photograph of a family of swans. Congratulations Rosemary and hope you enjoyed your prize (a bottle of red wine).

Thanks to all those members who participated in a very interesting and enjoyable evening.

Paul Herbert


Dan Dannan

 
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We are saddened to report that H. R. ('Dan') Dannan died just before Christmas. He, with wife Joan, was the manager for IWA's stand at Southampton Boat Show from 1973 to 1991 inclusive. Older Society members will remember Dan through his annual full-time commitment of nearly two weeks to the Association over 19 years. This enabled an IWA presence at a major event that would not have been feasible without him. He is survived by his wife and daughter.


Wilts & Berks Canal

 
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As part of its 2006 Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, IWA has offered its support to Wilts & Berks Canal Trust's Abingdon Junction project. This ambitious project, to construct a new junction of the Wilts & Berks Canal to the river Thames at Abingdon with a new 150-metre canal, was seen by IWA's Council as a fitting commemoration of the Association's 60 years of work restoring and conserving Britain's waterway network.

Support will be given in three forms - financial, advisory and physical and the total cost of the project is likely to be in excess of £150,000.

If the construction work goes to plan, the Canal Trust intends to open the completed canal on Wednesday 30th August 2006, immediately following IWA's National Festival at Beale Park. The 150-metre waterway will link into a former gravel pit to provide visitor mooring facilities 400-metres from the Thames. Much of the work to construct the new canal will be carried out by Waterway Recovery Group and Wilts & Berks Canal Trust volunteers on weekend work parties and week-long Canal Camps in 2006.

IWA Head Office Bulletin, December 2005


Wey & Arun Canal

 
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IWA has announced a grant of £4,000 to The Wey and Arun Canal Trust for the canal's Completion Strategy Steering Group towards the cost of producing a Completion Strategy for the Wey and Arun Canal. The Completion Strategy will look at the practical problems and issues of completing the restoration of the Wey and Arun Canal, and will independently assess detailed issues such as water supply, the environmental impact of restoration and costs involved.

The Strategy will be carried out by independent consultants WS Atkins plc and is expected to take approximately six months to complete and will give the Trust and a wide range of external stakeholders invaluable independent advice on restoring the final sections of the canal.

At present 9 locks, 22 bridges and an aqueduct have been restored or rebuilt by the Trust. Well over half of the canal has been worked on, and 2¼ miles of the waterway from Loxwood High Street is enjoyed each year by 5,000 passengers on the public boat trips.

IWA Head Office Bulletin, January 2006


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