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Issue 369 - March 2003

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Please note that there was no Newsletter in January 2003 and production difficulties meant that the February edition was not published either. However, a "Stop Press" sheet was produced at the end of February (see archive).

Chairman's Column

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Apologies for delayed Newsletter

As members will be aware we normally do not publish a January Newsletter because of time constraints over the Christmas and New Year period. This was also the case this year. However, there were subsequent problems with publishing a February issue which was due to circumstances beyond anybody's control. Many apologies for this and hopefully we can now get back on track. Earlier this week we issued a 'Stop Press' sheet (by way of a stop-gap measure) to advise members of our updated programme etc. One correction to the programme shown - Tim Boddington will be speaking to us on 4th September, the speaker on 31st July has yet to be confirmed.

The Year Ahead

This being first Newsletter of the year, I am pleased to announce that we can look forward to a very eventful year, with our twelve monthly meetings; a skittles evening; our second boat gathering; and, hopefully, another Society visit.

Our monthly programme for this year is now almost complete, please see the Forthcoming Society Events item in this Newsletter. Please take particular note that our May meeting will be held on the 8th, instead of the 1st, because Chilworth Parish Hall is required for election purposes; and the August meeting will actually be held on 31st July as it is currently uncertain if the hall will be available for our use in August.

New Society Clothing

The new Society Sweat Shirts and Polo Shirts have now been delivered and Martin Cripps will be selling them, at £16 and £14.50 respectively, at our meetings. However, please note that, at present, we can only supply those pre-ordered items. If you would like one of the shirts and overlooked ordering one (or more) don't worry - if there is sufficient demand we can re-order.

Skittles Evening

Angela Faull has kindly agreed to organise a Society Skittles Evening. This will take place at 'The Kings Head' in Hursley on Friday 7 March. The cost will be £6.50 per head including a buffet supper. The skittles area can accommodate up to 30/35 people and over 20 members have already put their names down for this fun event. If you would like to join us, please contact Angela on 023 8047 6112 as soon as possible for further details and to book your place. If this event is successful (which it will be, of course) then it is hoped to organise similar events in the future.

Second Society Boat Gathering

Following on from the success of the Society's very first boat gathering at Flecknoe and Braunston last May, it has been agreed to organise a similar event this year. See the detailed article in this Newsletter. Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to attend.

Update on our Former Home

Following our move to Chilworth, every few months I would drive past our former home at the St John Ambulance Hall in Southampton and, as I have reported previously, the building had remained closed. However, last month I went to have a look and found that the building has now been brought back into use but not as a Place of Worship as we had been lead to believe. The building looks largely unchanged from the outside with the exception of a new and modern entrance and a sign indicating that it is now being used by Optimax, Laser Vision Correction Specialists. A new building is under construction on the former derelict site adjacent.

Radio Solent Interview

The Society received very useful publicity on Radio Solent at the end of December. See the article on page 4 of this Newsletter for more details.

Caption Competition

In the December Newsletter our erstwhile Editor published a photograph of our Chairman in a pensive mood, taken during the Society's outing to Crofton Pumps in September last year. Peter decided to use that photograph for a caption competition. If you haven't entered yet, this is your last opportunity to do so - just get your entry to Peter Oates by the evening of our March evening, when the judging will take place. A small prize will be given to the winning entry. See page 5.

Membership Database

Have you yet completed and returned the Membership Database slip printed in the December Newsletter? If not, can you please give this some priority so that we can finalise the updating of our database. If you haven't retained that Newsletter, don't worry - slips will be available at each of our meetings.

Refreshments

Don't forget to do your bit for the Society and add your name to the refreshments rota. Please see Angela Faull for details.

Lost Audio Tapes?

In the Society's Sales Stand boxes we have a number of audio tapes which we think were left behind after the Society Auction last year. There are a total of eight tapes, including three Horatio Hornblower stories, brought to life by Michael Redgrave. So, if these tapes belong to you can you please claim them from me as soon as possible. If they haven't been claimed by the end of April they will have to be disposed of.

Paul Herbert


December Meeting

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Inter-Society Waterways Quiz & American Supper

There was a very good turn out for the 2002 Inter-Society Waterways Quiz. Organised by the previous year's winners, the IWA Solent & Arun Branch, but hosted by our Society, as has become more or less traditional.

This year we were only able to attract three teams, IWA Solent & Arun Branch; the Salisbury Group; and our own Society. The joint quizmasters were Mike Laishley and Tony Pratt. Many of the questions had been set by Peter Boyce, but he was unable to be with us on the evening.

The Solent & Arun Team had a guest player, Ollie Lovell who had travelled from his home in the Cotswolds to spend a few days with old friends, Eric & Sue Lewis. It was Ollie who, way back in 1969, on board his narrow boat 'Romulus', first introduced Eric to the world of canals.

The quiz had all the usual challenges and a number of the questions were a little difficult for some of us. As usual, the large audience was also able to take part.

The result of the 2002 Quiz was a very close run event, with the Southampton Canal Society, consisting of Laura Sturrock, Peter Oates, Eric Lewis and myself, finally winning by a margin of just ½ point from the IWA Solent & Arun Branch, thereby reversing their positions of last year, followed by the Salisbury Group. The trophy (the base of which had had to have an additional tier added to its base, by Eric Lewis, to accommodate additional winners plaques) was presented to Southampton's Peter Oates.

There then followed the traditional American Supper which was enjoyed by all.

The 2003 Inter-Society Waterways Quiz will be organised by the Southampton Canal Society at Chilworth on Thursday 4 December. We are now seeking a volunteer(s) to organise the quiz and act as quizmaster.

Paul Herbert


January Meeting

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Members' Slides, Prints and Photo Competition Evening

This is always a popular evening and this year was no exception, with a wide variety of topics.

We were entertained with photographs and slides exhibited by our members: Alan Howarth, Tony Cole, Laurie Pearce, Laura Sturrock, David James, Eric Lewis and David Pearce.

The diverse subjects covered included the Royal Gunpowder Works at Waltham Abbey; Venice; the Middle Level; Raymond and the Jam 'Ole Run; Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Standedge Tunnel; a collection of working boat shots from the 1970s; various Liners that operated out of Southampton in its heyday; the Kennet & Avon, Chichester, Basingstoke, and Grand Union Canals; the River Thames; finishing off with the Waterways World cruise to Berlin and the Baltic Islands.

(This is not intended to be a definitive list, but apologies to anybody who contributed but hasn't been mentioned in this article).

This programme was followed with our annual photographic competition which was won (not for the first time) by Laura Sturrock who was presented with a book prize. Many congratulations, Laura.

With many thanks to those members who took part in a very entertaining evening.

As an added feature at our January meeting, member Peter Glover brought along a quiz board showing twenty canal postcards which had to be identified. Because of lack of time it was decided to continue that competition at our February meeting).

Paul Herbert


February Meeting

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Dennis Bright - Wildlife on the Itchen (etc)

Every so often we try and introduce a different kind of topic into our monthly programme. We certainly came up trumps with Dennis Bright, a renowned local photographer, who provided us with a fantastic series of scenes, illustrated by slides, at our January meeting.

Whilst loosely based on a theme of Wildlife on the Itchen, Dennis covered such a wide range of issues which encompassed the Itchen Valley, both the former navigation and the river itself. We saw the waterways in a number of their moods, particularly during the time of heavy flooding due to the excessive rainfall and ground saturation a few months ago.

The waters had turned neighbouring fields and pastures into a completely different landscape which, at the same time, provided a new habitat for various types of wildlife. We saw splendid shots of the wildlife that abounds in the Itchen Valley.

A near capacity audience, including several guests, appeared spellbound with the subject and quality of Dennis's photographs. For those members who missed this presentation, don't worry. Dennis has a number of different programmes he is able to offer and I am sure that we will see a return visit by Dennis next year.

Following on from the January meeting, members were again able to participate in Peter Glover's canal postcard competition. I am afraid that I am unable to tell you who was the winner - because nobody told me! Watch this space.

Paul Herbert


Additions to the Library

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The Society is grateful for the generosity of members in donating the following two books to the Society Library:-

The Water Road by Paul Gogarty. This book (published 2002), described as "A Narrowboat Odyssey Through England", is a story of a magical journey through backdoor England. To escape the 'hurrysickness' of modern life, Paul Gogarty - acclaimed travel writer and TV presenter - disappears for four months into a maze of canals linking the Thames with the Severn, Mersey and Trent. Here he discovers a world no less enchanted than Alice's, a secret network as powerful as ley lines. The Water Road is both a celebration of a secret England and a powerful personal odyssey, in which the author marks his own rite of passage.

The Somersetshire Coal Canal Rediscovered by Niall Allsop. This is a revised edition (published 1993) of this popular walker's guide. For anybody wishing to stumble on and explore a lost world while enjoying some of this country's richest scenery, this book will prove an ideal companion.

Small Boat Through Holland by Roger Pilkington (published 1962). One of the classic series of "Small Boat" books from a period when there was little waterways information available in print.

Portrait of the Thames from Teddington to Source by J H B Peel (published 1967). A book describing the river and its environs as they were nearly forty years ago.

Many thanks to all those concerned. The Library is a valuable resource and we are grateful to Alan Howarth for running this for the Society. He will be pleased to rent out a book or video to you at a modest fee, so please drop by to see him at one of our monthly meetings.


2003 Society Boat Gathering

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Following the very successful First Canal Society Boat Gathering held in the Napton area last year, when six Society boats attended, it has been decided to organise a repeat this year. The event will be held over the early May bank holiday weekend, viz. Saturday 3 to Monday 5 May, inclusive. It is envisaged that the activities will mirror those of last year viz. a barbecue at Flecknoe on the Saturday; a cruise to Braunston on the Sunday, with an evening meal at 'The Plough'; and a return to our various bases at Napton on the Monday.

As last year, this event is not restricted to boat-owning members, all Society members are invited to attend. Either 'cadge' a berth on one of the boats attending or, if you would like a day out over the bank holiday weekend, please drive up and join us.

If you would like to join in the 2003 Southampton Canal Society Boat Gathering, please contact me as soon as possible.

Paul Herbert


Waterways Magazines Looking For A New Home

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For those who would like a good spell of reading, two families are having a clear-out at the same time.

If you've a bit of space yourself, why not get a mass of fascinating reading covering almost every imaginable aspect of the waterways:

We are fast running out of storage space at home and have reluctantly decided that it is now time to dispose of our large collection of waterways magazines. We have for disposal the following:-

We are not looking for any payment for this very large collection, though we are sure that a donation to Southampton Canal Society would be gratefully received.

Regrettably, if nobody comes forward to take these magazines off our hands by the end of April, they will have to be consigned to the skip, for recycling - what a waste!

Paul & Gill Herbert

Our members, Ken and Margaret Froud, who live on board their boat at Napton, also need to have a clear out.

As members with boats will be very much aware, trying to store a large collection of anything on board can be difficult, to say the least. Add to that the problem of having to have your boat over-plated, thereby adding to its weight and therefore draught, and you have an even greater difficulty!

Therefore, Ken and Margaret have approached the Society to see if any member would like to relieve them of their large (and heavy) collection of Waterways World. This collection is complete from the very first issue, right up to date. The first ten years are in binders.

If anyone is able to help can they please contact Ken and Margaret direct on: 01926 817045

Paul Herbert


Southampton Canal Society on Radio Solent

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In the run up to Christmas I received a telephone call from Alison Lesley of Radio Solent, who had discovered the existence of the Society from our Website. She was enquiring as to whether we could supply a 'small team' to appear on the Nick Girdler programme over the Christmas/New Year season. This was too good an opportunity to miss so, following a very quick ring-round for volunteers, we agreed with Solent that we could attend the Southampton Studios on 30 December.

The intended line up was Eric and Sue Lewis, and myself. However, unfortunately, Eric went down with a bug so Gill quickly stepped into the breach at literally the last minute.

It turned out to be a very good broadcast that included many aspects of the waterways. I covered such matters as the Society and waterways in general, and the former local navigations in particular. Gill spoke about her own waterways experiences and, in particular, her school's long association with the canals through their annual Adventure Afloat trips. Sue talked about her own life on the canals and the background to and publication of her first book Remus the Narrowboat.

The interview lasted about twenty minutes and Nick certainly got totally involved with the three participants - he had obviously researched the subject of the waterways before we arrived.

A tape of the Society 'programme' is available on request.

Paul Herbert


Canal Boat and Inland Waterways with Laura Sturrock and Peter Oates

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In the March issue of Canal Boat and Inland Waterways there was a very colourful illustrated article entitled "The Last Jam 'Ole Run". And what did one spy when looking through the accompanying photographs - none other than Laura and Peter, taking part in this re-enactment of the very last Jam 'Ole Run, on board the restored wooden working boat Raymond. [Editor's note - and they couldn't get our names right!]

Waterways World with Peter Oates

Just as one put down Canal Boat and Inland Waterways and turned to the March issue of Waterways World, what do we find? None other than a feature on Peter Oates, complete with photographs, written by Jon Sims as part of the "A Waterway of Life" series. It was interesting to see a very early picture of Peter taken back in the 1970s when he was working on the restoration of the Basingstoke Canal.

More about these two articles in the next Newsletter.

Paul Herbert


Society Website

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Those of you who access the internet may have noticed that the address of the Society's website was changed back in the middle of December. For various technical reasons, I was no longer able to easily update the old site. So I moved the whole site to www.whitenap.plus.com. The appearance and content of the site has not really changed.

However, one benefit of the move is that I am able to get much more information about the pages on the website that people are looking at and even which countries they are in. In the last two and a half months, the site has been visited from United Kingdom (as you would expect) but also from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and even from United Arab Emirates, India, Nigeria, Hong Kong, South Korea and China.

Would members also note that my email address has changed to scs@whitenap.plus.com? However, I am currently still checking my old email address for any mail.

Peter Oates


Waterways on TV

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For the last few weeks the Waterworld programme has been broadcast in the ITV Central region at 7.30pm on a Thursday evening. Unfortunately for many of us, Meridian does not broadcast Waterworld preferring to show a local programme at this time.

However, if you have Sky Digital it is possible to view Waterworld but you will need to set it up first in the following manner:

Press the Services button and then choose option 4 for System Setup and then 4 again for Add Channels. Type in the frequency 10832 and change the polarity letter to H. The Symbol Rate should be changed to 22.0 and FEC set to 5/6. Choose Find Channels and, if you typed in the correct settings above, a list of ITV channels should appear including ITV Central. Highlight the name and press the yellow button to add the channel to your list. Press the Select button to save your choice. ITV Central will now be available under the Other Channels option on the Services menu.

I don't know but if you have another system such as cable it may be possible to receive ITV Central.

Peter Oates


Photo Caption Competition

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Paul Herbert

This photo was taken by David Butcher of our illustrious Chairman at the Society outing to Crofton Pumps at the end of September.

In the December copy of the Newsletter, I invited members to submit captions for this photo to be judged at the Photo Competition Evening in January. We received so many entries that it was decided to publish them in the next Newsletter so that members could judge them more easily at the March meeting. A small prize will be awarded to the person entering the caption judged best by those present at the meeting.

The captions submitted were:

  1. Was it something I said?
  2. I told you - it's over there!
  3. Where are they?
  4. Does my bum look big in this?
  5. I'd swear there was a canal here somewhere.
  6. Where the devil are the toilets?
  7. The next one will be a googly!
  8. I was sure this was supposed to be a Society visit!
  9. How dare you photograph my backside?
  10. Crikey! I do apologize, it's that curry you know.
  11. Why are they all hiding from me?
  12. I'm certain I left my boat moored here!!
  13. I hadn't realised I'd drunk that much!
  14. All that steam hissing in there has buggered my hearing aid.
  15. Hide & seek - I've counted to 100, are you ready?
  16. Are my jokes really that bad?

Membership Database

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In the December Newsletter, a form was included to help us to update our membership database. In case you've mislaid your last Newsletter and have not yet completed the form, it is reproduced again below. It will be greatly appreciated if you use BLOCK CAPITALS.

Surname and the forename(s) of each member
covered by your membership subscription:
 
Home address
First member
Second member
Third member
Fourth member
Fifth member
Postcode

Telephone number(s):
Daytime Mobile
Eve / Weekend Email address

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

© Southampton Canal Society 2003. 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 14 April 2003. Updated 19 May 2003 - layout changes 7 December 2003

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