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Issue 296 - March 1996

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FEBRUARY MEETING

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We were sorry to announce that Hugh McKnight could not be present due to the illness of his mother. We wish her a speedy recovery.

Our member Frank Stokes ably took over the evening at fairly short notice. Frank was a member of the IWA party that visited China in 1989 and made a superb record of slides of the whole visit, covering several waterways, boat trips, linking flights (one or two of which sounded quite exciting experiences) and finally the journey home, via Russia and Western Europe by train. He made this a very entertaining evening with numerous little stories of his observations and about people they met. Above all Frank's talk was also an excellent geography lesson.


DONATIONS

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Following the talk by Chris Davey in January, £75 have been donated by SCS to Waterway Recovery Group. Our November speaker, Edwin Course, asked that any donation as a result of his talk be sent to the Twyford Waterworks Trust who have now benefited by £25. The IWA Jubilee Fund has also been sent a donation of £50 following Frank Stokes' talk last month.


POSTCARDS

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J K Ebblewhite logoThis logo appears on the illustrations of at least one book - The Waterways of Britain - a social panorama by D D Gladwin. The logo was the mark on drawings by J K Ebblewhite, known as Eb to canallers in the Midlands. He lost an arm in a motor cycle accident quite early in life; probably his reason for choosing scraperboard to make his pictures since it would be stable to work on. The art was one of his hobbies for Ken Ebblewhite's income came through the ownership of textile mills in Derbyshire.

Ike Argent (narrowboat steerer of Long Eaton) informed me that Eb retired to somewhere near Kilmarnock where he had purchased a fishing boat, and thought that he had died about four years ago.

On the SCS sales stand we have a few postcards by Eb which I have been storing since the late 1960's. They are for sale at 25p.

Brian Evans


IWA SOUTH WEST REGION GOLDEN JUBILEE AGM

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The AGM weekend will be based at The Red Lion Hotel, Salisbury, and is to be hosted by the Salisbury Group of the IWA South West Region over the weekend Friday 19th - Sunday 21st April 1996. IWA members are invited to participate in the proposed activities. Further details from Eric Lewis at the March meeting or from Tony Fry, 4 Oakwood Grove, Alderbury, Salisbury Wilts SP5 3BN.


WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN THE LAST 50 YEARS?

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Have you ever wanted to don a uniform and have real power?

Have you ever wished that you could tell people where to go?

Have you ever wanted to tell someone exactly what to do with their car?

If so, the IWA can help you fulfil these wishes. To attain all the above and more will only take 2 hours of your time at the National Waterways Festival. How? By helping Festival visitors to park their cars. Experience in 1991 at that Festival on the same site near Dudley indicated that there was a requirement for over 200 helpers during the three days to man the eight car parks used for that event. If you can donate your time and ability to this satisfying task, please contact Ron Cousens, 83 Blythesway, Alvechurch, Worcestershire, B48 7NB. Tel: 0121 445 2766.

Perhaps you prefer handling cash to handling people!

Maybe you have a life's ambition just to be a 'gofer'!

Again, all the Festival organisers are asking for is just 2 hours of your time (more if you wish) to help at the gate Pay Desks or selling copies of the Festival Brochure. Alternatively, you may prefer to help in a general way: there is always something for someone to do. If you can help or would like to find out more, contact Mrs Pat Pritchard, Personnel Manager, 1 The Green, Lilbourne, Nr Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 0SR. Tel: 01788 860603.


SOCIETY NEWSLETTER

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The 300th Newsletter will be produced in July. Have you got a little (or big) canal story to send to me?

Peter Oates, Editor


SOCIETY BOAT TRIP

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A 4-hour boat trip on the Kennet & Avon Canal has been organised for Saturday 29th June 1996. Departing from Bradford-on-Avon Wharf at 1pm, the Ladywood will make the return journey to Dundas Aqueduct, passing Avoncliff Aqueduct on the way. For those of you who don't know this stretch of canal, the scenery is spectacular with the canal perched on the hillside about 40 or 50 feet above the River Avon; a sight not to be missed. For those of you who have seen it before, why not see it again?

The cost of the trip will be £5.50 for adults and £4.00 for children under 16. Payment will be required at the time of booking and tickets will be issued as receipts. The cost is low as travel to Bradford is not included. Members will have to use their own vehicles - if you require transport, the appropriate arrangements can be made if the organiser is told at the time of booking.

A pre-booked lunch may be ordered for consumption on the boat but to make life simpler for all concerned, this must be ordered and paid for when the booking for the trip is made. A bar will be available on board, from which tea and coffee will also be on sale.

Further details and booking forms may be obtained from Eric Lewis either at our meetings or from home (address on the front page).


JUBILEE JIGSAW UPDATE

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Late March will see the first of the 35+ Jigsaw pieces taking to the water and the start of a three-month build up to the great Jigsaw assembly event at the World Canals Conference, 26 to 28 June. A full record of distances covered will be compiled during this period but indications are that they will total over 5 000 jigsaw-miles.

Some of the craft being used will give an idea of the exciting plans: inflatable on the River Adur, rowing boats and Sea Cadets' launch on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, dragon boat on the Tyne, yacht into the North Sea, Humber Keels and sailing barges, Dyula a Dunkirk Little Ship, private and trip narrowboats, working boats including GUCC Auriga and, of course, President collecting several pieces en route. Not to mention a WRG wheelbarrow being used by Solent & Arun Branch as well as a record count of 14 boats.

IWA Jubilee Journal Feb 96


CANAL PARK GIVEN GO-AHEAD

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The Council (Basingstoke and Deane District) has applied to the Millenium Fund for capital assistance to create a Canal Park for Basingstoke.

The application has asked for the maximum funding - 50% of the total scheme costs. The Basingstoke Canal Park Scheme was given the go ahead at a full Council meeting in November last year, subject to obtaining Millenium funding.

The scheme has been the subject of much debate. Original proposals to restore the full five miles of the canal from Basingstoke to Greywell were scrapped when public consultation showed huge opposition.

The focus was then put on stage one, from New Market Square to Basing House in Old Basing. This $11M scheme offered many of the benefits of the full restoration but at a much reduced cost. It was this revised canal park scheme which was approved.

The proposed scheme will provide a great range of recreational facilities and direct access from town to country. It will form an important link from the town centre to Basing House, with historical and educational value. It will also form a welcome addition to the redevelopment of New Market Square by Grosvenor Estate holdings.

"The scheme has great benefits for Basingstoke in terms of leisure and as a major attraction to the town. It will no doubt raise the profile of the town, and provide everyone with opportunities to take full advantage of our heritage assets and country environment," says Cllr Les Carnell, Leisure Services Chairman.

Basingstoke and Deane Outlook


TOOLEY'S WHARF

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An architectural competition for the re-development of Tooley's Wharf in Banbury has resulted in 103 entries. From these, six have been shortlisted and asked to submit final plans. The judging panel will include three BW and three Cherwell Valley District Council nominees with Mike West representing the IWA and Tony Condor (BW Gloucester Museum) representing the heritage aspect.

IWA Council News


NATIONAL WATERWAYS FESTIVAL

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The 1995 Chester Festival made a profit of approximately £8 000.

IWA Council News


1996 BCN MARATHON CHALLENGE

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The IWA's 1996 Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Marathon Challenge will take place over the weekend of Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August 1996. The event has been moved from its now traditional time of the last weekend in June for one year only. The IWA's 1996 National Waterways Festival celebrating the IWA Golden Jubilee is being held at Windmill End over the August Bank Holiday. It is hoped that moving the fourth Marathon Challenge nearer to the National will encourage more boats to take part in the Challenge as they will be heading for the Black Country anyway!

The idea is simple: every mile cruised and every lock used has a points value - more for the distant parts of the system, less for the "easy" sections with bonuses for reaching the ends of far flung arms. Craft taking part are allowed to cruise for no more than 24 hours in a specified period of thirty-two hours and the highest points total wins. Once again there have been changes in the rules which reflect the changing state and levels of use of certain waterways within the BCN and to encourage more competition. The largest single change is the new rule which gives all boats one point for each foot (or 30.5 centimetres if you prefer) of length. This new rule should mean that large boats are no longer handicapped by their length.

Helen Davey, one of the event organisers said, "In this IWA Golden Jubilee year why not accept the challenge and cruise some of the under used sections of the BCN and the associated Midlands canal network. Let's prove to everyone that canal enthusiasts from all over the country, regardless of the size of craft, are still prepared to "Cruise 'em or lose 'em!". Even if you haven't got a boat you can still take part by volunteering to join the team of scrutineers roving the system checking on the progress of participating boats."

The BCN Marathon Challenge is open to all types of boats from narrowboats to cruisers and from inflatables to canoes. Participating craft are divided into three sections: powered craft, small powered craft and unpowered craft. Details of the cruise including the "rule book" can be obtained by sending a stamped, addressed envelope to Helen & Chris Davey, 42 Orchard Close, New Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 9PY ( 01962 734909. The Society Chairman also has a copy of the rules which may be looked at by any interested members at SCS meetings.

IWA Press Release


IWALK LIVES!

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Those who remember back to the mid 1980's (or even the late 1970's) will recognise the name and logo of IWALK. These were two very successful weekends of sponsored walks arranged by the individual IWA Branches and Canal Societies (including this Society) in aid of the National Waterways Restoration and Development Fund. This year will give the chance to raise money (hopefully as much as £50 000) for the Golden Jubilee Appeal Fund.

After considerable discussion, October 5 & 6 1996 have been selected as the national IWALK weekend. Your Committee is expecting to join forces with the IWA Solent & Arun Branch to organise an event in the local area. Book the dates in your diary now whether you want to be a walker or a volunteer to help with marshalling, transport, First Aid, refreshment, publicity etc.


LANDFILL TAX

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We were delighted to receive the Government announcement, by the Paymaster General, the Right Honourable David Heathcoat-Amory, that dredgings from ports and inland waterways will be exempt from landfill tax. The new tax, announced in the last budget, would have increased maintenance costs and been a serious blow to inland navigation had it been allowed to proceed as originally drafted.

The IWA has fought a vigorous campaign against the tax being applied to dredgings and has worked closely with other user bodies, navigation authorities and dredging contractors to lobby Parliament for its removal. The IWA had argued that dredgings are largely accumulated silt and other matter which enter the water course by natural processes and it was therefore unfair to tax them. The IWA provided evidence for, and assisted in, the preparation of the Construction Industry Research & Advisory Association Report which was used as part of the lobby; numerous letters were also sent to MPs.

The opposition to the Landfill Tax involved a great deal of effort by a few members of IWA Council and Head Office staff over Christmas and the New Year and has demonstrated that the IWA still plays a vital part in safeguarding the future of all waterway interests. Close co-operation by our user groups, navigation authorities and the dredging industry shows what can be achieved in a short time.

IWA Council News


WORLD CANALS CONFERENCE

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As has already been announced, the first World Canals Conference will take place on 26, 27 & 28 June at the Birmingham Convention Centre. Connected with this event will be the assembly of the giant jigsaw and a gathering of boats especially designed to bring together the overseas groups. The New Jersey Society has been here before and some individuals from other countries are familiar with our canal scene but, for most, these will be the first group visits from overseas. The visitors are coming also to help celebrate the IWA's Golden Jubilee.

There will be about 40 members from the Canal Society of New Jersey, USA and 30 from the Canadian Canal Society. They will be joined by 20 from the Australian Canal Society and a similar number from the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland. Some of these groups will be aboard boats.

Not all the visitors are expected to be attending the Conference and, for those who are not, a one-day programme is being planned for 26 June. This will include a varied tour of places of interest in the Midland canal system including the Black Country Museum with a tunnel trip. In the evening there will be a buffet supper allowing for mingling of the groups. This will be followed by a canal entertainment. We aim to make this a day that our guests will relish for a long time to come.

Finally, the first meeting of the elected council of the International Association for Inland Waterways will take place during the Conference.

The contact for information regarding the Conference and associated events is Ron Oakley, 20 Quayside, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3TA Tel: 01278 422916.

IWA Jubilee Journal Feb 1996


MAYOR OF ROMSEY TO GO AFLOAT

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Brian Evans of the Southampton Canal Society confirms that the Mayor of Romsey will attend their Barbecue on 19 May and has agreed to be floated, together with the Jubilee Jigsaw piece, along the Romsey section of the Andover - Redbridge Canal. No puns about handovers please! The Society would like to invite anyone with a canoe or small boat to join them and to make a splash for the local paper. They will have only a few inches of water to play with! The cruise will be followed by the barbecue at Romsey Community School with a bar open from noon to 4pm. Contact Brian for details.

IWA Jubilee Journal Feb 1996

The IWA Solent & Arun Branch are advertising the event as follows:

Although billed as a Walk and Barbecue, the event has additional features making it a fitting completion to the Spring Programme of Jubilee Celebrations and guaranteeing an enjoyable day whatever the weather.

The Walk: about 3½ miles in the Test Valley partly along the route forming part of the former Redbridge & Andover and Southampton & Salisbury Canals. This fragment remains in water (about a foot depth) and unpowered boats are not prevented from using it, though levels are maintained by plank weirs here and there. The start of the walk and the base for the subsequent barbecue is Romsey Community School, Priestlands, off Greatbridge Road, Romsey. There is no charge for the walk but if you do not buy a barbecue ticket you might care to make a donation.

The barbecue will be a genuine outdoor charcoal grilled job of chops, sausages, burgers and rolls plus salad and the usual trimmings, with coffee and tea. Of interest to some will be the licensed bar. Should the weather not favour a seat on the terrace overlooking the River Test, you could enjoy your meal in the comfortable lounge. The cost of satisfying the appetite worked up by the walk is £3.50. Please book your tickets in advance.

Artist Harley Crossley will be exhibiting a selection of his work and reproductions will be available for purchase, including his popular greetings cards. Further opportunities for spending money will be provided by the Society sales stand and a raffle. A skittle alley is available for our use and the aforementioned bar is open until 4.00pm.

The walk starts at 10.00am and lunch will be served as and when groups return. This is intended to be a relaxing day at the end of an active month and for once there are no tidal deadlines to meet; so if you don't start walking until 10.30 it will not really matter. But you would not want to miss watching the Mayor of Romsey and well known waterway writer Jon Sims attempt to propel the Jubilee Jigsaw along the canal on its last journey in Hampshire. This will happen at 11.30am.

In view of this activity on the water you may think the day provides an excellent opportunity to put your own small boat over the bank. For insurance reasons such an act cannot be part of the event organised by the Southampton Canal Society and would be entirely your responsibility, just as it is for any member of the public who follows this occasional practice.

Don't forget to support the Society's major event for 1996. Tickets for the Barbecue are now available, either from the Editor or from Brian, price £3.50.

In order to make the catering simpler (and to ensure there's enough food for you!), please buy your tickets in advance.


CHEAP HOLIDAYS!

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Looking for a cheap holiday this year? Want to do something a little different from soaking up the sun on a beach somewhere?

The Waterway Recovery Group feel they have the antidote to those costly, lie-around-doing-nothing holidays. Why not consider a Canal Camp?

If you're interested in a week's outdoor working holiday on Britain's waterways and would like to have a satisfying and thoroughly enjoyable time, then WRG would be delighted to have you with them this year. If you were at the January meeting, Chris Davey told you about some of the work which WRG is doing for the waterways. Canal Camps are in operation at around a dozen sites around the country every week of the summer.

In helping to restore one of Britain's derelict canals you will have the opportunity to do a hundred and one things that you have never done before and earn yourself a place in canal restoration history! You will be meeting all sorts of new people, having a lively social life in the evenings and you could find yourself doing any, if not all of the following:

For a worthwhile and fun-filled week with about 20 or so like-minded people, all you need is to be reasonably fit, over 17, and able to cope with the basic facilities of village hall accommodation. Volunteers pay about £30 for each camp towards the cost of food and accommodation. In addition, you will need enough money to cover your free time and optional social activities; it is not difficult to spend £30 during the course of a week!

Free information pack available to anyone from: WRG Enquiries, 114 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1 8UQ Tel: 0171 586 2510/2556 (daytime) 01376 512977 (evenings / weekends / answerphone).


IWA GOLDEN JUBILEE APPEAL

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To mark their Golden Jubilee, the IWA has promised to raise £50,000 to replace the WRG's ageing vehicles which are essential to allow them to continue their work. They also need to purchase a modern excavator to help speed the restoration of many waterways around the country.


SOUTHAMPTON CANAL SOCIETY LIBRARY

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Items in the library may be borrowed by any member from Sue Lewis at our meetings. Please remember to return any books you've finished with so others may enjoy them.


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© Southampton Canal Society 1996 - 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 21 May 2003 - layout changes 2 December 2003

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