Newsletter Archive

Issue 481 - February 2013

Skip navigation links Previous Issue
January 2013
Current Newsletter
This month's Newsletter

Archive Index
Next Issue
March 2013

Chairman's Column

Next Article
First table at Blue Hayes

Above and below: Society members relaxing after their New Year Lunch at the Blue Hayes Restaurant last month.
Pictures © Paul Herbert

Second table at Blue Hayes Third table at Blue Hayes

February Meeting

This evening we offer a very warm welcome to Linda Wilkinson, Chairman of the Chichester Ship Canal Trust. Linda has brought along Adge Roberts who will present the first part of the evening with the history of the canal. Adge is a member of the Sussex Industrial Archaeology Society.

For those interested a guided walk along this Canal may be possible in the spring.

March Meeting

On the 7th March, we will welcome John Dodwell, a Trustee of the Canal & River Trust. John will update us about the Trust, plus give us the opportunity for Question & Answers.

On this occasion SCS members will be joined by local IWA members and Visitors. Please Support this Evening. If you wish to ask John any questions please email me: Alan Rose at so that John can ensure that he has the relevant information to hand at the meeting.

April Meeting

Please note the date: Thursday 11th April. The Committee decided that due to the first Thursday being in Easter Week. In previous years members have been away for an Easter break and this has resulted in low attendances. Our speaker Chris Humby, of the Bishopstoke History Society, with his talk on the "Itchen Navigation - an unseen & unheard history of the River", is NOT TO BE MISSED. Hence we changed the date. For a review of a previous presentation of this talk see the March 2012 edition of this Newsletter.

Our New Year Lunch

It was so good to enjoy the excellent food and the opportunity to relax and chat to members about their other interests and activities.

Thanks to Paul Herbert for taking the photographs.

Alan Rose

Breach repairs get under way

Top of Page

Next Article

In September 2012 the Trent & Mersey Canal experienced a breach at Dutton Hollow near Preston Brook. The preparatory work at Dutton that has been on-going since before Christmas has now given way to the full repair works for the site. The cost to fix the damaged embankment on the 235 year-old canal caused by the heavy rainfall in September is now estimated at £2.1m.

Due to the remote location of the breach, CRT have been liaising with the local land owners to finalise access arrangements. They have also been carrying out investigations and completing designs before the main rebuilding work starts, although some foundation work has been possible in advance of the design being finished.

Around 12 thousand tonnes of stones and other materials will be used to reconstruct the embankment. New drainage will be installed at the base of the embankment to help disperse excess ground water and a specialist bentonite geomembrane - a flexible waterproof liner mat - will be used to re-line and seal the canal.

Paul Brown, the project manager, is maintaining a diary of the restoration works at:

Robin Evans to step down

Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article

The Canal & River Trust has announced that Robin Evans will resign as chief executive in May 2013, ten years after he became head of its predecessor, British Waterways. Robin Evans revealed that he had made the decision last November, "to pursue other interests and opportunities", after overseeing BW's transition to a charitable trust, and felt it was the right time for a new leader.

He said: "It has been a privilege to lead these two great organisations and I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years. Having agreed the transfer of the waterways into the Third Sector together with £500m of endowment property and a 15-year funding agreement from government, the Trust is on a more secure financial footing with a more positive outlook than we've probably ever had."

Robin Evans said he left the Trust with "the foundations for a strong and vibrant future for our much-loved waterways."

January Meeting

Members' Slides and Photographic Evening

Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article

As always we had an enjoyable start with our first meeting of the year attended by 22 members.

Alan Rose was first in line and showed a variety of last year's boat meetings around the system starting at Cosgrove in February 2012. This was followed at Easter by the Historic Boat Gathering at Droitwich, Norbury Festival at May Bank Holiday, Audlem Festival of Transport in July, the last two venues on the Shropshire Union Canal. The end of September saw the Village at War, held each year in Stoke Bruerne, when the atmosphere of the Second World War is evoked.

David Townley-Jones followed with excellent views of Tixall Wide and aerial photography around the Thames at Mapledurham Mill. David also included details and slides of the "Archimedes Screw" design water turbine at the mill used to produce electric power which started generating in 2011. Its design output at full power is 100kw. This turbine is similar to the two being installed in Romney Weir near Windsor Castle.

Eric Lewis showed some very interesting views of the trip that he and Sue made to China in October 2012. These pictures included the Grand Canal which is 1800 km long and a trip along the Yangtze: a massive and busy river with very large vessels and huge locks.

Gordon Osborn showed something different with images of the canals "Up North". His pictures showed hand spike paddles and other unusual operations at the locks on the Calder and Hebble Navigation. These were followed by Bingley Three Rise on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Moving south we saw a lock on the Wey Navigation with an unusual "by-weir" and, on the Thames, a sail past through Eton Dorney during the Olympic Games.

David Doulton continued with views around Napton on the Oxford Canal and of Red Kites on the Thames. Plus they happened to be boating around Oxford and spotted filming of the detective series "Lewis" and snapped a shot while going under a bridge.

The Photographic Competition entries were shown before the break. Entries included "Mist on the River", "A Topiary Teddy", "A Thames View" and "Historic Boats". But the winner with eight votes was Gordon Osborn with a lone "Wooden Bollard".

Our Chairman, Brian Evans, concluded the evening with slides of his family holiday with Annegret and their daughter Anne-Marie who was on holiday from Hong Kong. They stayed in a converted Tudor Barn, near Arley, Shropshire on the Seven Valley Railway.

Brian's enthusiasm takes over and he showed railway slides of Bewdley, steamers, stations, and a Victorian bridge with one view taken a few years ago and another at the present time.

Our thanks to David Doulton for the use of his digital projector.

Angela Rose

How boat trips used to be

Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article
Boat approaching Greenham Lock
Boat leaving Greenham Lock

Last month I received these two fascinating pictures from Brian Evans with the email reproduced below.

This occasion was before I joined the Society (just) but a few of you may remember the trip and/or recognise the passengers. Please let me have your comments. Brian and I would be interested to hear from you.

Peter Oates

I attach 2 pictures which I have scanned from black and white negatives. They show members of SCS enjoying an outing in the early days of the Society, in 1968.

We went to Newbury for a trip on boats with John Gould. However, I think that only one boat was serviceable. Those who rode on the boats went down through Newbury lock and at least one more to the east. A good number walked the trip - I think that I walked both ways - but as you see it provided a god subject for the camera. We could not go far before the K&A became derelict.

If you have room in the Newsletter you may like to publish the pictures. If not, then you are welcome to put them into your own archive.

We sent them to David Kesslar-Lyne [former member] and considering how long he has been away, he managed to identify quite a number of the people.

If you have space then it would be interesting to invite comment.

Kind regards,


Gennets Bridge Lock Appeal

Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article
Site of Gennets Bridge and Lock

Above: The site of Gennets Bridge Lock © Dave Spicer. Below: Southland Lock (½ mile to the south) nears completion in December. © 'The Saunterer'

Southland Lock

Canal boats will be able to travel to the Sussex-Surrey border on the Wey & Arun Canal for the first time in over 145 years when a new fundraising appeal launched by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT) proves successful.

WACT hopes to raise £365,000 and the Trust estimates that volunteer work will reduce the cost by at least 50%. The Trust hopes to start work on restoration of Gennets Bridge Lock in mid 2013. The construction of this lock will ultimately allow boats to travel northwards from the popular Loxwood Canal Centre in West Sussex up to the Surrey border for the first time since the canal was abandoned in the late 19th Century.

"This is the next stage of an ambitious environmental and heritage conservation project in West Sussex," said WACT director and project manager Eric Walker MBE. "Restoration of the lock will extend the recreational amenity that the canal offers to the community, will enhance the natural environment and promote biodiversity."

Reconstruction of Gennets Bridge Lock marks the next stage in the efforts by the Trust's members who have been working to restore the Wey & Arun Canal between Guildford in Surrey and Pulborough in West Sussex since 1970. The lock will be on the 136-mile Sussex Border Path and the 36-mile long Wey South path.

Planning permission for the work at Gennets Bridge Lock was granted by Chichester District Council in October 2011 but fundraising could not start in earnest until construction on the previous lock, Southland, neared completion. WACT has already spent £20,000 on surveys and other preliminary activities.

"Most of the work will be undertaken by volunteers but some critical parts of the construction project will need to be undertaken by contractors," said Eric. "We hope to have raised enough money to enable these elements of the work to be carried out this Summer, 2013, to take advantage of dry weather conditions."

To contribute to the project, or to keep a track of the fundraising progress, please visit

Walks to offer new perspective on canal heritage

Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article

Canal cruises will no longer be the only way to gain an insight into the history of the Wey & Arun Canal with the launch of a new guided walk programme.

From April this year, the Wey and Arun Canal Trust (WACT) will be offering a guided walk each month from the Canal Centre in Loxwood, West Sussex, to give visitors a chance to find out more about the canal and the area the waterway passes through.

The programme will start on Tuesday 23 April with a 1 mile walk (Walk 1) that will head off on the canal towpath towards Brewhurst Bridge before taking in the church, old school, the site of the toll house and the Onslow Arms in Loxwood. As well as learning more about the history of the canal, the Loxwood Link and restoration work on the waterway, walkers will also learn more about the history of the village of Loxwood itself and include a visit to Brewhurst Mill. This walk will be repeated on Thursday 8 July.

The other walks planned include a 2.5 mile route (Walk 2) that will take place on Wednesday 22 May and Tuesday 20 August and a 3.5 mile walk (Walk 3) that is scheduled to take place on Thursday 20 June and Wednesday 18 September.

Similar to Walk 1, both of the longer routes will include sights and history of Loxwood, Brewhurst Mill and details of the history of the canal, the Loxwood Link and restoration work on the waterway. Walk 2 will also take in the new lock and road crossing at Loxwood, Devil's Hole Lock and the Old Wharf building, among other local sights. Walk 3 will take visitors further north of Devil's Hole Lock to include visits to Southlands Lock where new lock gates have recently been installed and nearby Gennets Wood.

The cost of the walks is £4 per head with groups limited to 20 people, so booking is recommended. The meeting time for each of the walks is 10am at the Canal Centre, with the walk starting at 10.15am. Places can be booked by emailing the Canal Centre - or 'phoning 01403 753999.

Please contact the Canal Centre for more details.


Waterways Events

Previous Article

Top of Page

Please see the Events page.

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

© Southampton Canal Society 1999 - 2013. 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 7 February 2013 - archived 8 March 2013.

Archive Index
Newsletter Archive

Top of Page

This page is valid XHTML 1.0Valid CSS!