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Issue 433 - February 2009

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Chairman's Column

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Michael Pomeroy

At our January meeting I referred to a telephone call I had received from Brenda Pomeroy explaining that Michael was very ill and they would no longer be able to attend our meetings. Two days after that meeting Brenda rang me again with the very sad news that Michael had passed away. A Service of Thanksgiving, which was held at The Parish Church of St Barnabas Church, Winchester on 22 January, was attended by representatives of the Canal Society, both past and present. Michael, a retired pharmacist, had many interests and the packed church was an indication of how popular he was.

Michael and Brenda had been popular members of the Society for many years and had been regular supporters of our events. We will all miss Michael's companionship and gentle humour. Our thoughts go to Brenda and her family at this time.

If members wish to make a donation these should be made to Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity c/o Richard Steel & Partners, Alderman House, City Road, Winchester, SO23 8SG

First Newsletter of the New Year

Because December is always a very busy month for most of us it wasn't possible to publish a January Newsletter. Therefore, as this is our first Newsletter of 2009, I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year, and you have managed to miss the many bugs that are going around. It gives me great pleasure to send all our members my best wishes for the ensuing year.

Welcome to our Speakers

It is a delight to 'welcome back' our members and regular speakers, Ron and Myra Glover, who on this occasion will be taking us across Germany, from West to East.

Society (Late) Christmas/New Year Lunch

The Society held a belated Christmas/New Year Lunch at The Blue Hayes Restaurant at Shootash near Romsey, on Saturday 31 January. Details and photographs will be published in the next Newsletter.

Frank Stokes

As mentioned at our December meeting, Frank Stokes is no longer able to get to our meetings and, regrettably, has had to give up his membership of the Society. In a letter he said "Over the years I have enjoyed very many interesting talks, quizzes, outings etc, and met many speakers with fascinating stories to tell. Of course, this has been possible only as the result of the very hard work put in by the Chairman and Committee of the day.......". Frank has been a popular member and great supporter of the Society and its activities, and we will miss his company.

Proposed Boat Gathering

It has been suggested that we hold another informal Boat Gathering during this year's early May bank holiday. This would not be an organised event, just a small number of boat owners joining up for a casual get-together. If any members with boats moored in the Napton / Braunston area would like to join in, please contact me as soon as possible.

Date of June Meeting

We have been advised by Chilworth Parish Council, who own Chilworth Parish Hall, that they might need the use of the premises on our date in June. The hall is a designated Polling Station and there is a possible Parish election on that date. They will not know for certain until nominations close in May, but that does not help us at all. So, we have moved our meeting back a week to Thursday 11 June. Can you please make a note of that amended date.

Next Skittles Evening

And, while you have your diaries out, can you please note that our next Society Skittles Evening will be held on Friday 9 October.

Hard of Hearing?

At our 2008 AGM the subject of assisting members who experience hearing difficulties at our monthly meetings was raised and we agreed to look into the issue. Committee member David Townley-Jones has offered to take this on board and will investigating the problems and how to overcome them. I would be grateful if any members with hearing problems, or anybody who has any information on suitable equipment, could contact David direct on: Tel: 023 9246 7312 or Email:

Membership Database

Have you completed the membership information form published with recent Newsletters? We became aware as a result of recent events how important it is for the Society to have an up to date database of its membership. We now want to complete this exercise without further delay, so if you haven't yet handed your form to Anne Coleman, can you please do so by the end of February (see page 5). If you have access to email you can always send your information to Anne by that medium. Her email address is elsewhere in this Newsletter (see page 3).

Next Month's Speaker

In March we can look forward to hearing about"The Life and Times of a Thames Lock-keeper Today" with Peter Paine who is the lock-keeper at St John's Lock near Lechlade.

Paul Herbert

Itchen Navigation News

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Bank restoration work at Allbrook in Eastleigh has recently been delayed by the weather. Work is now due to be finished in February.

Tree works at Brambridge, Otterbourne and Shawford started in January. The aim of the work is to remove trees which are hazardous to the public, which are damaging the river bank or which may jeopardise the success of repair works scheduled for this winter.

These have led to various footpath closures. Further info on

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 which finishes our year off in style. In additional to the 'usual' teams from IWA Solent & Arun Branch, IWA Salisbury Group and Southampton Canal Society, we were delighted to welcome a team from IWA Guildford & Reading Branch. As winners of the 2007 Quiz it was Solent and Arun's responsibility to organise the following year's event, the Quizmaster being their Mike Laishley.

The 2008 contest was hard fought with Southampton Canal Society winning by just one point from Guildford & Reading, with the Salisbury Group and Solent & Arun taking third and fourth places, respectively. Mike had pleasure in presenting the trophy to the Southampton Team Captain, Peter Oates. Well done to the Southampton Team of Peter, Laura Sturrock, Anne Coleman and Alan Rose.

Many thanks to our Quizmaster, Mike, who was presented with a bottle of wine, and to all members of the teams who took part.

The 2009 Inter-Society Waterways Quiz, which will be organised by Southampton Canal Society, will be held on 3 December. Eric Lewis has kindly agreed to be the Quizmaster.

Many thanks to all those who generously provided prize donations for our Christmas Raffle. A special 'thank you' to Pam McKeown who again had baked another of her splendid Christmas cakes especially for the raffle, the prize going to Pauline Fry.

After the quiz we all enjoyed the traditional American Supper which, as always, was generously provided by Society members. Many thanks to all those who provided the food, assisted with furniture moving, worked in the kitchen and cleared away at the end of the evening.

Paul Herbert

Postscript: A rather strange fact about the Quiz - with the exception of the team from IWA Guildford & Reading, it appeared that all the other teams consisted wholly (or largely) of Southampton Canal Society members. Just goes to show how integrated we all are.

January Meeting

Members' Photographic Evening

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A good crowd enjoyed our annual Members' Photographic Evening in January.

We were shown images in various formats from Alan Rose, Anne Coleman, Eric Lewis, Aelred Derbyshire, Peter Oates, David James, Tim & Jennie Symington and David Townley-Jones. As usual, we had a large number of photographs, far too many and varied to be able to list here.

After the interval we held the annual photographic competition which attracted six entries - four of which contained birds and animals! This year the contest was extremely close, with Eric Lewis coming out in front by a single point with a superb close-up photograph of a heron (reproduced alongside). Eric was awarded his prize of a bottle of wine.

We then continued the evening with more images from members.

Many thanks to all those who participated in both parts of a very entertaining evening. Apologies to Andy Berncastle - sorry that time did not permit the showing of your photographs.

A special 'thank you' is due to Peter Oates, who travelled specially down from his home in the Midlands, complete with his laptop and digital projector, to enable the wide variety of images to be shown. As usual he had a complex task loading onto the laptop the various digital formats presented to him by participants.

Paul Herbert

The prize winner

Picture © Eric Lewis 2009

Drama as cows are pulled from canal

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Cow rescue

Teamwork between fire crew, farmers, a vet and staff at Napton Narrowboats Marina saved the lives of two cows on Christmas Day.

Several cattle had strayed from a nearby farm overnight and two - one of which was pregnant - had fallen into the Oxford Canal.

Four fire engines and a rescue boat were called to the scene shortly before 10am.

Marina staff worked quickly to move boats to allow the firefighters to gain access to the canal, and local farmers helped with the rescue.

The cows were removed from the water just after 11am and a vet from the neighbourhood sedated one of the animals which had a considerable amount of water in its lungs. Both animals are now said to have recovered from their ordeal.

Onlooker Patrick Bradley, who sent us this image, said: "This is another example of the dedication of the unsung heroes of the emergency services who are on call all day, every day, when everyone else is enjoying themselves."

Thanks to Ken & Margaret Froud who spotted this in the Leamington Spa Courier of 9 January 2009.

River Arun Trips 2009

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Inland Waterways Association logo

Rounding Selsey Bill through the Looe Channel from our base in Chichester can only be safely accomplished in daylight and fair weather so we are dependent on the forecast. Accordingly the programme may be subject to delay or cancellation at short notice.

We start upriver at Littlehampton LW + 2 to carry the flood through Arundel but must anchor above Amberley to wait for enough water over the shallow mud 'Pies'.

Our destination is the Swan Bridge at Pulborough where a slip enables us to land by dinghy. Here an ancient wadeway blocks the river and prevents us proceeding further.

Local HW (Littlehampton +4) is the best time to start downstream and though the ebb will carry us over the shallows a stop is required to wait for clearance under Houghton Bridge.

Upstream or down the passage lasts about four hours including time spent at anchor on the way.

Trains between Pulborough and Littlehampton (hourly on Sundays and two every hour on weekdays) take 20 minutes calling at Amberley and Arundel.

Plans include weekends April 18/19 and May 9/10, also the Whitsun Bank Holiday May 22-25. Itineraries can be adapted to suit so do make contact NOW if interested.

COLIN HUGGINS Email: and Telephone: 02392 467828 Mobile on board: 07514 904454.

EBB TIDE was designed for sea-angling not pleasure cruising but there is comfortable seating for 6-7 with galley and WC. You should be fit enough to climb ladders or into dinghies and must bring a lifejacket, also wet weather gear plus drinks and snacks. There will be an RNLI collection for expenses.

Arundel Boat Club logo
Littlehampton visitors Littlehampton visitors Swan Bridge, Pulborough Pulborough landing
Amberley Pies The Pies Houghton Bridge Houghton Bridge
Ebb Tide Ebb Tide  

Membership Details

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Recent examination of our membership records has shown that there are a few mistakes in the data held. The Society's Committee is quite concerned that there may be further unknown errors.

In order to eliminate these, it was decided to ask all members to provide certain details so that our Membership Secretary, Anne Coleman, or her assistant, Maureen Greenham, may update our records.

So if you did not complete the form below over the last couple of months, please provide the details requested. Then give the form at a Society meeting to either Anne or Maureen. Alternatively post the form to Anne at the address given on page 3.

If you don't want to mutilate your Newsletter, use of a photocopy of this page, or download the Newsletter from the website and print out this page, or hand write or type a copy of the form below. The last could be in the form of an email to Anne. It is the information that is important rather than its method of presentation.

Data Protection: Southampton Canal Society is a non-profit organisation. We hold personal data on computer only for the purposes of maintaining membership records, and administering activities for individuals who are members of the Society. As such we are exempt from registration under the Data Protection Act 1998. However, this does not exempt the Society from adhering to the eight principles and other provisions in the Act.

Amongst these principles is a requirement that all data held is accurate and up-to-date.

Any member may ask at any time to see the information that is being held about them, and this will be supplied.

Privacy: Southampton Canal Society takes its members' privacy seriously. Your details are only available to Society committee members, and are never given to third parties without your consent.

  Individual or Family (first) Member         Family (second) Member
Title (Mr/Mrs/Ms)         Title (Mr/Mrs/Ms)  
Forename(s)     Forename(s)  
Surname     Surname  
Telephone (daytime)    
Telephone (evening)    
Mobile phone    
Email address    



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Nb Hood

The wooden motor boat Hood, then recently restored, at the Braunston Working Boat Rally in June 2005. Hood shows the excellent, decorative paintwork that both the Samuel Barlow and S E Barlow companies were renowned for.

The firm of S E Barlow was formed in 1919. It was started by Samuel Edwin Barlow, a grandson of Samuel Barlow.

Hood entered service in 1943 having been built by S E Barlow at Anchor Dock, Glascote.

At its largest the fleet was about 70 boats delivering coal on contract to dairies, paper mills, power stations, factories and coal merchants. Up until 1946 the company thrived in fierce competition for the coal trade. In 1957 the company was sold to Samuel Barlow Coal Carrying Co. Ltd.

Photo: Laura Sturrock


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Nbs Nuneaton & Brighton

"Look! Real working narrowboats!

Look! You can even crew them! How good is that!"

Exclaimed Dave shortly before joining the Narrow Boat Trust in 2003

For those seeking a more authentic experience of the waterways of England, then discovering its heritage aboard a pair of vintage working boats is an excellent way to do it.

After Dave joined the Trust and after many memorable hours at the tiller is now a trusted Captain who, with crew members, is responsible for delivering essential heating fuel to inaccessible islands on the Thames.

Established in 1970, the Trust strives to uphold the time-honed methods and experience of carrying cargo on the 1930's 'Town Class' pair Nuneaton & Brighton, This trading on the waterways also raises income for this registered charity by carrying cargoes like coal from the Midlands down to the Thames. The butty Brighton with it's detachable stairway allows the general public access at waterway events to our authentic boatman's cabins that also serves as cosy accommodation for crew. But the NBT is no preservation society with floating museum pieces, but a charity that earns a honest income from canal carrying by using the boats as they were intended.

The membership consists of all ages and gender and there are a number of experienced couples, some accompanied with their children who enjoy crewing as a family, along with a growing number of younger enthusiastic individuals from all walks of life, eager to crew and work on the boats whatever the weather! Some are ex-commercial boatmen who pass on their many hard-won techniques to new members who all receive a comprehensive boat 'familiarisation' and health & safety instruction before first casting off. This 'familiarisation' can be a lot more convivial during the winter weekend work parties for hands-on restoration and maintenance on the working pair.

With nearly forty years of campaigning with all the other principle waterway organisations to keep the canals viable, the Trust sustains the pressure - especially to demonstrate using it for carrying cargoes.

Opportunities to crew the boats are many as they are frequently moved from one place to another carrying cargo or to be welcomed at waterway rallies and events countrywide and this allows boating skills to be learnt quickly if one has ambitions to become a captain like Dave.

The experience of crewing the pair of boats, smoothly and efficiently through the waterway system is incomparable to any other canal experience and one that gives a profound appreciation of what the canals were originally built for.

Explore the Narrow Boat Trust's website

to discover more about
its activities, opportunities
and to download a membership form.

On the river

Photos by John Stevens and & Colin Edmonson

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Fore & Aft

Some of the hulks

Lost Memories of the River Severn

A programme of guided tours through the remains of the Purton Hulks

In the company of L. P. Barnett, Marine Historian
Winner of the Nautical Archaeology Society's
National Adopt a Wreck Award 2007

Meet Purton Lower Bridge

Approx tour time 2 hours weather permitting

Donations in aid of Severn Area Rescue Association or £3.00 per person

Scheduled site tours

Sunday 18th January 2009 1pm
Sunday 15th February2009 1pm
Sunday 15th March 2009 1pm
Sunday 19th April 2009 2pm
Sunday 17th May 2009 2pm
Sunday 21st June 2009 2pm
Sunday 19th July 2009 2pm
Sunday 16th August 2009 2pm
Sunday 20th September 2009 2pm
Sunday 18th October 2009 2pm
Sunday 15th November 2009 1pm
Sunday 20th December 2009 1pm

Further hulks

Slide show presentations also available upon request

Tel. 07833 143 231 or

See website for further information about the Purton Hulks:

Send your comments to the Web Site manager (Peter Oates)

© Southampton Canal Society 1999 - 2009. Except where otherwise indicated, information on these pages may be reproduced provided permission is obtained from the Web Site manager beforehand and due acknowledgement made to the Society.

Page created 6 February 2009 - archived 6 March 2009.

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