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Issue 445 - February 2010

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Chairman's Column

 
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February Meeting

We are pleased that our long-time members, Eric and Sue Lewis, will be entertaining us this evening with "Round Britain in the 1970s."

December's Inter-Society Quiz

When I wrote the item about December's Inter-Society Waterways Quiz in the last Newsletter I meant to include a group photograph but forgot to do so. However, this oversight has now been remedied, please see elsewhere in this issue.

January Meeting

It was most regrettable that, for the first time in the Society's long history, we had to cancel a monthly meeting. However, as I know members will have appreciated, the snow and icy conditions would have made the journey to Chilworth difficult and we were advised that conditions around the hall itself were treacherous. We did investigate whether it might be possible to re-programme the Members' Photographic Evening later in the year but, as we haven't got a vacant slot, that will not be possible.

Society New Year Lunch

Details of our Society Lunch at The Blue Hayes Restaurant on Saturday 16 January are included in this Newsletter.

Society Skittles Evening

About thirty members have signed up for our next Skittles Evening on Friday 26 February, at the Phoenix public house in Twyford (see the advert in this Newsletter). If you want to go but haven't informed Maureen yet then please do so as soon as possible. Maureen's details are in the advert. Tony Fry has kindly volunteered to organise the skittles side of the evening. There will be a raffle held during the event and the donation of prizes would be much appreciated. The Phoenix is easy to find - just drive into Twyford on the B3335 and the pub is on the main road, on the right coming from Winchester or the left coming from the Colden Common direction.

Proposed Boat Gathering

As I said in my column last month, this informal event can go ahead provided there is enough interest. At present only three boating members have indicated they can probably attend. So, if you would like to take part, please contact me as soon as possible, otherwise, I am afraid the gathering will not take place this year.

Change of Date

A change of date for your diary. I am pleased that Day-Star Theatre will be returning to visit us again in October. However, this will be one day later than our planned meeting for that month, viz. Friday 8 October.

Members

Our best wishes go to Andy Berncastle, who is suffering from health problems, and to Joan Smith who (at the time of writing) is recovering in hospital following a bad fall.

Membership Subscriptions

Just a reminder that our new membership year starts on 1 April and subscriptions (Individual - £15; Joint/Family - £22) should be paid to Anne at our meeting on 1 April, or if you are unable to attend that meeting, as soon as possible thereafter.

2010 Programme

With the exception of one month, our programme for this year has now been confirmed and details are included elsewhere in this Newsletter.

Society Burgees

Some of our boating members proudly fly the Society burgee (small triangular pennant, white logo on a dark blue background) on their boats but we ran out of stock some years ago. Alan and Angela are investigating the possibility of acquiring new stock but this will depend on demand. So, if you want a burgee can you please contact Alan and Angela.

Paul Herbert


Quiz Photographs

 
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All four teams Audience winner Quiz master

Above: The four teams and, in the centre, the quizmaster.

Top right: Paul hands Rosemary Davis her prize for winning the audience section.

Lower right: Quizmaster Eric and Sue Lewis receiving their thank you book token.

Photos: © Ray Carnell & Paul Herbert


Society New Year Lunch

 
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We achieved another full house for the Society's New Year Lunch held at The Blue Hayes Restaurant at Shootash on Saturday 16 January. The event was a great success and we all enjoyed the excellent food, the company of our colleagues, and the fun of pulling left-over Christmas Crackers and Party Poppers. It is likely that a similar event will be held next year.

An additional pleasure that lunchtime was to celebrate the birthday of Ann Fry, seen here with her surprise cake.

Many thanks to Maureen for her splendid organisation, once again.

Paul Herbert

Photos: © Paul Herbert

Table 1 Table 2 Anne Fry Table 4 Table 3

2010 Programme

 
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Our Secretary, Angela Rose, has been working hard in recent months and has now completed our programme for the coming year:-

In March Alan Copeland will be visiting us with his 'Curiosities of the Chilterns'; on 1 April we will be sailing down 'China's Grand Canal' with Liam D'arcy Brown, while later that month, on 29 April, we will be having 'Goslings Gallivants 2009' with Paul Gosling.

At our next meeting, on 3 June, we will be hearing from John Silman and Tony Yoward about 'Canals and Mills, General & Industrial' and then on 1 July we will be receiving an update on the 'Itchen Navigation Project' from Ali Morse of The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on 29 July. Our programme for 2 September is currently awaiting confirmation but on Friday 8 October (please note the change of date) we will be welcoming back Day-Star Theatre with 'The Worst Summer Ever' (considering the appalling summer weather we have experienced over the last three years or so, I hope the title of their production is not an omen for this year!).

There's a very topical programme on 4 November when Richard Thomas pays a return visit to us with 'The Gunpowder Plot. No surprises on 2 December and 6 January when we will be hosting, respectively, the Inter-Society Waterways Quiz and our Members' Photographic Evening.

In addition, there will be the Skittles Evening on 26 February (and, maybe, another later in the year); the Society Boat Gathering in early May; a boat trip, and possibly a barbecue. So.....watch this space for further details.

Paul Herbert


A new look at the Itchen Navigation

 
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By the time you read this Newsletter, a major part of the Society's website should have been updated and enlarged. As a result of being asked to give a talk to the Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society on the Itchen Navigation, I decided to add some new photographs I had taken last September into that section of the Society's website.

Then looking at the site, I felt these pages a little bit "old-hat" and could do with a bit of a re-vamp. Some of the work I had done to existing pictures to make them suitable for the website didn't look as good as it might. I also found some slides taken from the 1970s to the 1990s. (By the way, I have looking for about 30-40 more slides of the waterway I know I took in 1976 but I can't find them - if anyone knows where they are I would be very pleased to hear from them.)

I had put the first information about the Navigation on our website in 1999. Then in 2003 I included a selection of pictures. At that time, I kept the descriptions of sections of the route separate from galleries of photographs showing the waterway. However, but I now felt that that was a bit too cumbersome to use so now the pictures have been incorporated into the descriptive pages and in a new way.

Hopefully, the new look pages will be available for public viewing during the first week of February. The text has been updated and expanded and the number of pictures increased by more than 30% to some 360. The earliest picture dates from 1843 but most are from the period 1975 to 2009. And the layout and look of the pages has been improved - at least I hope you'll agree that it has.

So the site is www.sotoncs.org.uk/itchen/itchen_ind.htm Have a look and, maybe as a result, you might find yourself taking a walk and looking at the "real thing."

Peter Oates


The Good Life

 
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It happened quite by chance back in 1969. That was the year we paid off our mortgage. To celebrate we decided to take a holiday completely different to anything we had done before. A week's cruise on the Norfolk Broads was the family choice and we loved the experience despite the changeable weather. The following year whilst touring in our motorised caravan we came across a canal near Worcester where there were several locks and soon decided to take a canal holiday. That led to an exploration of the inland waterways, mostly derelict at that time, and became completely hooked.

To have our own canal boat was the next objective. Ken, being an all round handyman, decided to build one in the back garden. This took three years to complete due to the power cuts of the early 1970's. Our 30-ft. cruiser style narrowboat was launched into the Kennet & Avon Canal at Reading in the middle of the drought in 1976! An article about the building of "DUORF" appeared in the Southampton Daily Echo complete with picture.

Our permanent mooring is on the South Oxford Canal at Napton. We were already familiar with Holt Farm from many camping holidays and knew the Adkins family well. In the run-up to Christmas in 1979 we were asked by Ken Adkins if we would consider coming to live on a boat in the interests of security. The moorings are a distance from the house and there had been a few problems from youngsters. Also it was well known by then what a useful chap Ken is. Much to our surprise British Waterways gave their blessing to a residential boat being allowed (an unheard of thing in those days). So Ken gave up his career of 37 years as an Electrical Engineer and we said goodbye to the rat race at the age of fifty. It is something we have never regretted, and so began our "Good Life" - much better than the T.V. programme as ours is real.

We bought a 62-ft. shell of a narrowboat from Colecraft and fitted it out ourselves whilst living on the 30-ft. one. This took almost two years. It is extremely comfortable, cosy and warm in winter. There is a full-size Parkray fire with back boiler in the 18-ft. saloon which feeds six radiators. The 6-ft. galley is next - this has a gas cooker, twin tub washing machine and small electric fridge. Behind this is the bathroom with basin, 5-ft. bath and shower over, and a chemical toilet. The 10-ft. 6-in. stateroom is after the side hatch - main entrance to the boat - with 4-ft. bed, wardrobes and many cupboards. The engine room is at the stern where a mains alternator is fitted to the diesel engine to make our own mains electricity when needed.

Coal and diesel supplies come to us by boat as we live half a mile from the nearest lane making road access difficult. Our car is parked at the bottom of a field adjacent to one of the locks, and we have to cross the top gate to reach our mooring on the arm of the canal a few minutes walk away. It is so peaceful here and "Country dark" when there is no moon.

Alongside we have enough room to grow vegetables and fruit trees and bushes. Ken has built a small greenhouse for salad crops, especially tomatoes, so we lead a self-sufficient life more or less. The produce is kept in an underground store using preserving methods from times gone by. Salting runner and broad beans; stringing up ripened marrows and onions. Cabbages are kept in straw and root vegetables in damp peat. Fruit is bottled, made into jam and chutney. The underground store is covered with shrubs and flowers so is well disguised. It is like a wartime air raid shelter, dug out the hard way when Ken was much younger.

Next March we shall have lived here thirty years and hope to end our days on board. There are about thirty boats moored here (not residential) so we live a very sociable life. Now we are older we do not go cruising so much, but over the years have managed to explore most of the inland waterways.

Margaret Froud

November 2009


Skittles Evening

 
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Skittles

At the PHOENIX, TWYFORD on FRIDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2010 at 7.00PM

£10.50 PER HEAD INCLUSIVE OF BUFFET

Bookings and further information from:

MAUREEN GREENHAM Tel: 023 8040 6951 Email: maureen.greenham@talktalk.net


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