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Issue 370 - April 2003

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Chairman's Column

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Skittles Evening

Congratulations to Angela Faull for her superbly organised Society Skittles Evening held at 'The Kings Head' in Hursley on Friday 7 March. A 'full house' of members and guests enjoyed a somewhat noisy evening, what with the background chatter, clink of glasses, and the continuous clatter of falling skittles. A splendid buffet completed the evening's enjoyment. The winners prize was awarded to David Pearce, whilst there was also a wooden spoon (but the winner of that award will be kept secret!) For those interested, whilst there wasn't a prize for the team event, the results were as follows: Team A - 178; Team B - 190; Team C - 218 and Team D - 197. However, before the members of Team C start celebrating, Teams B and C had eight players each, whereas A and D only had seven. Therefore, if one really wants to be that competitive, it is likely that Team D would have come out on top - but then, maybe they wouldn't have???

On behalf of the Society, your Chairman was delighted to be able to make a suitable liquid presentation to Angela as a token of appreciation for all her efforts. Angela has kindly offered to organise a similar event, most probably in the autumn, at a venue yet to be decided.

Second Society Boat Gathering

There has been a splendid response for 'entries' for this year's Society Boat Gathering to be held at Flecknoe and Braunston over the early May bank holiday, 3-5 May. All eight Society boats currently (or about to be) moored at Napton are expected to attend.

If anyone else would like to attend, can they please contact me as soon as possible. Proposed arrangements for the event were published in the last Newsletter.

'Unwanted' Waterways Magazines

In the last Newsletter details were published of the intention of Gill and myself, and Ken & Margaret Froud, to dispose of a very large quantity of waterways magazines, many going back to the early 1970s.

There have been two excellent responses to date. Following a 'hit' on the Society Website, Siobhan Sherry, new Public Affairs Officer at IWA Head Office, contacted me and offered to take the whole of our collection off our hands. At this stage, I do not know whether she also contacted Ken and Margaret. Subsequently, I received a telephone call from Society Life Member, Mike Handford, who also offered to take the whole collection, which he would then dispose of to aid the funds of the Waterway Recovery Group.

Caption Competition

At the March meeting members judged the entries submitted for the Photo Caption Competition which showed a very pensive looking Chairman taken during the Society's outing to the Crofton Pumps last September. The winning caption was No.12 - "I'm certain I left my boat moored here!!" - submitted by Michael Pomeroy who was presented with a modest prize for his achievement.

Peter Glover's Canal Postcard Competition

At our January and February meetings, Peter Glover had kindly brought along a quiz board showing twenty canal postcards which had to be identified. The winner was none other than Peter Oates, whose prize was this unique collection of postcards.

Membership Database

Please don't forget to complete your Membership Database slip and return it to Laura Sturrock.

May Meeting

Just a reminder that our May meeting has been re-scheduled for the second Thursday, viz. May 8th.

Paul Herbert


March Meeting

Tony Haynes - 'Trip Boats on the Basingstoke Canal'

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Well, I am sure that Tony will not mind me saying that this very well attended meeting turned out to be one of our more unusual ones, with some unexpected, but very enjoyable, surprises.

Tony described his working history which, amongst other things, involved him lorry driving for many years. From time to time in his early driving days his route would take him over canal bridges and he gradually became intrigued with this secret life under his wheels. As he became more and more interested he deliberated detoured from his supposed route to take him to various waterways throughout the country, and so he became hooked.

During his driving days he always travelled with his camera, taking hundreds of photographs of the waterways he came into contact with and many of these, in slide form, were shown to us. This part of his programme almost became a quiz evening as he had mislaid his notebook (shades of your Chairman!!!) identifying the photographs and he sought suggestions as to their locations.

The unexpected part of the programme was the 'cabaret'. During the evening, Tony entertained us with his folk songs of the waterways, accompanying himself on a variety of unusual stringed instruments.

Tony and Jackie now operate the Trip Boat based at Mytchett on the Basingstoke Canal, where they are currently living aboard their narrowboat Dreamcatcher. Readers of Waterways World will recall the three articles written by Canalman (aka Tony Haynes) in successive months at the beginning of this year, describing their trip down the Thames to the Wey Navigation and then up the Basingstoke.

Tony described their experiences on the Basingstoke Canal and finished off the evening with a beautiful video, taken from the bow of the trip boat as it cruised along the canal - accompanied by Tony's music and songs.

Many thanks again Tony for a fascinating and entertaining evening.

Paul Herbert


Canal Boat and Inland Waterways with Laura Sturrock and Peter Oates
&
Waterways World with Peter Oates

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Further to the brief item in last month's Newsletter, I promised to provide more details of the articles published in the March waterways magazines concerning our very own Laura Sturrock and Peter Oates.

"The Last Jam 'Ole Run" - 'Canal Boat and Inland Waterways' - March, 2003

In October 2002 Laura and Peter boarded the butty Raymond, the last wooden working boat built in Braunston in 1958, and now fully restored, on yet another recreation of the historic Last Jam 'Ole Run (the first recreation having been held in 1995). In October 1970 an event had taken place that marked the ending of an era in the history of the British Canals. The last five boats of Braunston's Blue Line Carriers Limited set out for Atherstone, on the Coventry Canal, to load coal for the Kearley & Tonge's jam factory in Southall, on what had become known over the years as the Jam 'Ole Run. Unbeknown to the boat crews, this was to be the last such run, and effectively the last regular commercial carrying on the Midland canal network. Some weeks later, Blue Line finished cargo carrying for good.

Laura and Peter are members of the Friends of Raymond organisation and are often to be seen working Raymond around the system. On this occasion Raymond, a former Samuel Barlow Coal Company boat, was paired with Nutfield, an ex Grand Union Canal Carrying Company Northwich motor.

The article described the background to the Jam 'Ole Run and its subsequent recreations; the six boats taking boat on this occasion, and their crews; various happenings on the trip; and was accompanied by seventeen full colour photographs, some featuring Laura and Peter.

It was obvious talking to them later that Laura and Peter enjoyed their trip and working alongside former working boat people. They are soon to be off again on their travels with Raymond, this time towing her (him?) to Norbury Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal.

With acknowledgements to
'Canal Boat and Inland Waterways' - March 2003 issue

"A Waterway of Life - Peter Oates" - 'Waterways World' - March 2003

As regular readers of Waterways World will be aware, 'A Waterway of Life' is a regular feature focusing on the life of various personalities that have been connected with the inland waterways over the years. In the March issue Jon Sims talked to Peter Oates.

The article described how Peter first became interested in the waterways in 1972, on a hire boat trip from Norbury Junction to Stourport. That innocent holiday changed Peter's whole life.

It was the then atmosphere of a semi-derelict canal network, fighting for survival against the odds, which appealed to Peter. The following year saw him working on the Droitwich Dig and, in the same year, he discovered the existence of the Southampton Canal Society. Soon, Peter heard about the fledgling restoration work on the Basingstoke Canal and jumped in with both wellies and became the Southampton Canal Society's working party organiser.

The article continued with stories of Peter's significant work and experiences on the Basingstoke, accompanied with a photograph of a beardless young man pushing a wagon of bricks along the narrow gauge railway laid on the towing path. Many years later, the restoration completed, Peter was invited to join the official party on the Surrey & Hants Canal Society trip boat John Pinkerton as she carried the Duke of Kent during the official reopening of the canal in 1991.

The story continued with Peter meeting Laura (already heavily involved with canal matters) in the mid '90s and their partnership which became even more waterways orientated, particularly with their work with the Southampton Canal Society and, later, through their acquisition of their 65' narrow Swallowdale based at Napton.

Peter and Laura sum up their boating partnership by describing Peter as 'foolishly romantic', dreaming about the old days and remembering with fondness the times of struggle when the canals had an air of shambling semi-abandonment. Laura is reckoned to be the more pragmatic of the two. While Peter steers all day, she likes to potter and get the boat together. Where their hearts lie is indicated by the fact that they reckon to have more friends in Braunston (and Napton too, I hope) than they do in Romsey, where they live.

Peter's other great contribution to the waterways world is his work for the Inland Waterways Association. He first helped on the IWA stand at the Southampton International Boat Show in the late '70s, taking over the running of the stand in 1994. Since then, he has taken more than a week of his own leave every year to organise the stand and the local volunteers (many from the Southampton Canal Society) who man it.

The feature concludes with "If ever a man was steeped in canal water, that man is Peter Oates".

With acknowledgements to
'Waterways World' - March 2003 issue


St Pancras Cruising Club

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Easter Cruise to the Basingstoke Canal and Rally at Woking

Option 1 - Leave SPCC on Sat 12 April and spend the week before Easter cruising to the head of navigation at Greywell Tunnel. Leader, David Pearce

Option 2 - Leave SPCC on the afternoon of Thursday 17 April and cruise to the rally site at Woking only, returning as Option 1. Leader, Andrew Phasey.

DON'T FORGET YOUR GOLD LICENCE FOR BW AND THE THAMES!
(Also, a Wey transit licence may be bought at Thames Lock, but a Basingstoke visitor's licence should be bought in advance.)

The above notice of this event came from our member David Pearce who is also Commodore of the St Pancras Cruising Club. All Southampton Canal Society members are most welcome.


Inland Waterways Association - Salisbury Group

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Inland Waterways Association - Salisbury Group is organising a boat trip. There are some places left so any members of SCS will be welcome. Please see Jon Van de Geer at the April meeting or contact him on 01722 412841.

Date Sunday 18 May 2003
Canal Kennet & Avon
Starting Point Brassknocker basin at the junction of the Somersetshire Coal Canal (Dundas Aqueduct) and the K&A
Start Time 10.00am
Duration All day
Distance Possibly to Bath top lock and return
Boats 3 Electric boats, open with a canopy
Cost £10 per person
Refreshments Picnic lunch or pub on route - possibly The George at Bathampton
Sightseeing Possible stop at Claverton pumping station

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 - 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 10 May 2003. Updated 19 May 2003 - layout changes 13 December 2003.

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