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Issue 422 - February 2008

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Chairman's Column

 
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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. Harry's profile was published in the January Newsletter.

Proposed Boat Gathering

Just another reminder about our proposed informal boaters' get-together in May. Details were in the last Newsletter. If you have a boat moored in the Napton / Braunston area and would like to join in, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can judge the likely demand.

Skittles Evening

Just a reminder that the Society will be holding a Skittles Evening at 'The Kings Head' in Hursley, on Saturday 15 March 2008. See the advertisement in this Newsletter for full details. Many members have already signed up for this event, which was first announced at our January meeting. The alley only holds about 30 and our Skittles Evenings always sell out so don't leave it too late to book your places with Rogan Olding, whose contact details are in the advert.

Charlie Dimmock's "River Walks"

During the Society's boat trip on the River Wey & Godalming Navigation last October we were told that "Iona" and its crew would be featuring in one of Charlie Dimmock's "River Walks" TV programmes. Purely by chance, Gill and I switched channels on 17 January to find Jenny, the proprietor of the Godalming Packet Boat Company, chatting away to Charlie, whilst leading Ben who was towing 'Iona' steered by Kevin. Lynn and the dogs were following on the towing path. It was good to be able to re-live our enjoyable autumn cruise.

Paul Herbert


Funding British Waterways

 
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'How the UK's waterways are funded' features as one of the key topics in IWA's new-style Waterways magazine, which is due to be sent to members at the beginning of February. In researching material for the article, IWA sought some facts and figures from British Waterways, which included:

The article in Waterways also considers some of the many suggestions put forward by IWA members as to how BW could improve its income generation.

IWA Head Office Bulletin, February 2008


Waterway TV Programmes

 
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The third series of waterways television programme Locks & Quays is being made available on the Internet as each programme is broadcast, which may be of particular interest to those outside the Granada ITV area, at www.itvlocal.com/granada/documentaries/

Scroll along the drop down menu until 'Locks & Quays'. An episode is added each week until the final broadcast in the current series, due on 7th March. The first two series (20 programmes), which were transmitted by Granada in 2006 and 2007, are also available to view. Locks & Quays is also due to be shown on ITV in the Yorkshire Television area from 3rd July.

The current series of Waterworld is also being made available at www.itvlocal.com/central/documentaries/

Scroll along the drop down menu until 'Waterworld'. Likewise, an episode is added each week until the final broadcast in the current series, due on 7th March, but programmes from the previous series have not, so far, been made available.

IWA Head Office Bulletin, February 2008


Llangollen Canal

 
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The UK Government formally made the nomination of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and eleven miles of adjacent canal for World Heritage Site status in January.  If successful, the 200-year-old aqueduct and part of the Llangollen Canal would join the other 27 UK World Heritage Sites including Stonehenge, Maritime Greenwich, and Ironbridge Gorge.  UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organisation that is responsible for the scheme, is due to consider the nomination and make a decision in 2009.

The site consists of 11 miles (18 kilometres) of continuous waterway, from Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen to Gledrid Bridge near Rhoswiel.  The Nominated Site's boundaries encompass the full extent of the construction works of the canal and all its major engineering features together with areas of land relating to important views of and from the key structures.

IWA Head Office Bulletin, February 2008


January Meeting

Members' Slides, Prints and Photo Competition

 
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A return to our popular annual Members' Photographic Evening where we experienced slides and digital images from a number of members, including Eric Lewis, Andy Berncastle, Brian Evans, Alan Rose and Ken Froud (apologies if I have left anybody out but it got rather confusing as members changed their minds and entered their photographs in the competition section, instead).

We had such a large number and varied range of photographs that it is impossible to list them all. Just a selection......

After the interval we held the annual photographic competition which attracted eight entries, and as always a varied range of exhibits. It was a close run thing with the winner being Lynn Olding with an interesting and attractive vignette of a Mallard duck, alongside Buckby cans, on the roof of the Oldings' narrow boat. Apparently the duck had alighted on the boat and decided to go cruising for a while. Lynn was awarded her prize of a bottle of wine. Many congratulations Lynn.

Thanks to all those members who participated in both parts of a very entertaining evening.

We must thank Peter Oates, without whose efforts on the night we wouldn't have been able to run the event. He juggled with the slides and quickly had to load on to his laptop the various digital formats presented to him by participants. Well done Peter and many thanks for the loan of your laptop and projector.

Paul Herbert

May I offer further apologies to the member whose pictures could not be shown at the January meeting. I can confirm that the CD drive on my old laptop cannot read CR-RW discs (they weren't around when my laptop was made!). I will have to do something about that before next year.

Peter Oates


Work begins on Loxwood Bridge on the Wey & Arun Canal

 
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The Wey & Arun Canal Trust has started the third and final phase of the ambitious project to restore the canal crossing under the B2133 main road through Loxwood.

In the first phase, in 2005, Trust volunteers built a new lock next to the road. In 2006, the section of canal next to the Onslow Arms pub was lowered to provide enough headroom for the new bridge, without altering the level of the road. The latest work finishes the jigsaw by connecting the new lock to the lowered section of canal. This will restore a link that was broken over 100 years ago and open the way to restoring the canal route to the Surrey border and beyond.

On 8th January 2008, civil engineering contractor CJ Thorne of Uckfield, East Sussex, began placing 142 piles, each up to 12 m long, to form the sides of the new bridge. The contractors will close one side of the road, allowing them to build the roof of the bridge. They will then reinstate the road and build the bridge roof on the other side. Finally, they will tunnel under the bridge, to make space for the new canal route and a pedestrian walkway. When the walls between the new lock and the new bridge are complete, boats will be able to pass under the bridge and into the lock.

The complete project including work already done will cost about £1.5 million, all raised by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust through its own efforts. The Trust's Chairman, Peter Foulger, commented "this is one of the most exciting days in the history of the Trust. Our showpiece Loxwood section is already a tremendous asset for the village and the whole surrounding area of Surrey and Sussex. It has always been our dream to remove the road blockage. After many years of planning, fundraising and sheer hard work, it is wonderful to see the new bridge begin to take shape."

The cost of building the canal bridge at Loxwood is £463,000. On top of that we have to pay for site supervision, a part-time resident engineer and a Construction, Design & Management co-ordinator.. That brings the cost to £563,000. We have paid £24,000 to Tarmac plc for the concrete beams which are in store in their yard waiting for work to begin.

The legal agreement with West Sussex County Council was signed on the last day of October. We have had to put up a cash 'performance deposit bond' of £398,500 to safeguard the ratepayers of West Sussex in case we or our contractors should default during the work. We will get this Bond back in stages as work progresses. We have paid the County Council a fee equivalent to 9% of the total bridge costs - £35,865. This 'administration and inspection' fee is not returnable and is the standard fee which the County Council applies to developers.

We made an Appeal to members in 2006 to match the Manifold Trust promise of £150,000. They responded with the brilliant total of £173,000. Various bodies have given £7,000. The IWA have pledged £7,500, payable in 2008. Our annual sponsored walk in June brought in £12,628 towards the Bridge. We have secured an award of £50,000 from Biffa plc, under the landfill tax scheme. The Restoration Fund will provide £15,000 this year, including tax relief. In all, the Trust is fairly sure of about £450,000 in funding.

A Renewed Bridge Appeal was launched last year and has so far brought in £72,299 as at 28 January 2008. If you would like to help with a cheque send it to The Hon Treasurer, WACT, The Granary, Flitchfold Farm, Loxwood, RH14 0RH. If you pay income tax, Gift Aid can allow the Trust to reclaim the tax you have paid on the donation. A suitable form for this can be found at www.weyandarun.co.uk/bridge-appeal-form.pdf.

WACT Press Release and information from website - January 2008


To Romsey by barge

 
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The following item was given to your Editor by Brian Evans. It originally appeared on November 25,1932. Thanks, Brian.

At the age of 92, the death occurred on Thursday of Mrs Mary Amelie Marsh, whose husband has predeceased her by some 37 years, since when she had been living with her daughter, Mrs Vare, at 23, Love Lane. Mrs Marsh was a native of King's Somborne, and she came to Romsey 61 years ago. As a young girl, Mrs Marsh was in the habit of coming to Romsey to do her shopping by barge on the local 'Barge River'.

Romsey Advertiser, 23 November 2007


Skittles Evening

 
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THE KINGS HEAD, HURSLEY

FRIDAY 14 MARCH 2008

7.30PM

Skittles

£10 PER HEAD INCLUSIVE OF BUFFET

Menu:

Chicken curry,

Lasagne

or

Sweet & sour chicken

Bookings and further information from

ROGAN OLDING

Tel: 02380 263660

Email: olding@freenet.co.uk


UK's first canal in century

 
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We're grateful to Laurie Pearce and his brother Colin for this snippet from the Professional Engineering magazine.

The UK's first canal to be built for more than a century is nearing completion.

The £20 million Liverpool Canal Link project adds an extra 1.5 miles of canal on the end of the 127-mile Leeds and Liverpool Canal, through the Liverpool docks on the River Mersey.

Engineering work started this month on a major section in the central docks area, including the construction of new bridges and locks, and the dredging of a new channel. The work is expected to be finished by 2009.

According to British Waterways, when complete the link will bring economic benefits to Liverpool, and "echo a time past when the city's docks were a transhipment hub for inland waterways traffic".

Meanwhile, freight is starting to return to the UK's 2,200 miles of canals and waterways. Retail giant Tesco is using the Manchester Ship Canal to ferry wine by barge from Liverpool to Manchester, while Sainsburys ferries food along the River Thames from a distribution centre in south-east London to shops in west London.

Dr Heather Leggate is one of the directors of Sea and Water, an independent organisation that promotes the use of waterways and canals. She said: "Statistics on the amount of waterborne freight shows an increase this year. More and more companies are looking at alternative ways of transporting goods, because of congestion and environmental issues."

"In terms of inland waterways there is limited opportunity. The greatest possibility is moving goods around the coast. We have 300 ports and 11,000 miles of coast in the UK which can be used more."

Professional Engineering, 21 November 2007


Thames & Severn Canal

 
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Ownership of the Thames & Severn Canal between Wallbridge and Brimscombe was transferred from Gloucestershire County Council to British Waterways in December.  British Waterways and Stroud District Council Planners are currently discussing the possibility of submitting a single planning application for restoration of the 'Phase 1a' restoration of the Canal.  This would exclude the County Council's proposed road works at Merrywalks (A46) , which is due to start in autumn 2008, and work at Brimscombe Port, which is being undertaken by Stroud District Council as a separate project.  The consultation for the Area Action Plan for Brimscombe Port is due to continue throughout 2008, with the intention of starting construction there in late 2009.

IWA Head Office Bulletin, February 2008


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