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Issue 483 - April 2013

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Thursday 11th April

This evening we welcome Chris Humby, from the Bishopstoke History Society, with his talk on the “Itchen Navigation”- an unseen & unheard history of the River.

Society Library

Alan Howarth has asked if anyone could volunteer to take over the Society Library. It entails bringing along an assortment of books & other publications, that the Society has accumulated, to the meeting and making a note of who wishes to take a book away with them. No pressure, just a service that members would appreciate.

Proposed Boat Gathering

Just a reminder of the proposed Boat Gathering for boaters in the Napton / Braunston area.

2010 was our last informal gathering at Flecknoe and Braunston held over the weekend of the early May bank holiday.

Providing there is enough interest the event could be repeated this year. This is not an organised event, just a small number of boat owners joining up for a casual get-together.

If any members with boats moored in that area would like to join in, could they please contact me as soon as possible.

What May Meeting?

No MAY Meeting as the hall may be commandeered for Elections.

June Meeting

At our meeting on 6th June, Nick Grundy will be talking and showing pictures about the preparations and his exciting trip when, in his narrow boat “Beatty,” he took part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on the River Thames.

Come and learn about the event that the BBC didn’t show you!

Alan Rose

CRT’s call for planning protections for waterways

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The Canal & River Trust recently sought an amendment to the Growth & Infrastructure Bill which it believes undermines planning protections to its 2,000-mile network of historic waterways.

Waterway related land of which Canal & River Trust is trustee under the Waterways Infrastructure Trust is in part Statutory Undertaker Land and in part Open Space land for the purposes of the Planning Act 2008.

This Act provides, amongst other things, that where an order granting development consent made under that Act authorises compulsory acquisition of Statutory Undertaker Land, Open Space (essentially land used for public recreation) or land held by the National Trust inalienably, and the owner objects to the compulsory acquisition, the order shall be subject to special parliamentary procedure.

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill, currently proceeding through Parliament, amends the Planning Act 2008 to remove this provision for special parliamentary procedure for any statutory undertaker land and for any open space but preserves the provision where the National Trust objects to compulsory acquisition of land it holds inalienably

The Trust has written to the Government setting out its objections to the Bill, and requesting that the same protection be given to its canals and rivers as that afforded to land held by the National Trust.

The Trust is very concerned that provisions in the Bill put the unique public assets which it cares for, and the public benefit they deliver, at significant risk. The provisions of the Bill provide that they will be treated in planning terms significantly less favourably than National Trust land held inalienably (that includes historic waterways) and yet the value of each to the nation are the same regardless of the different trusteeship.

The Government has gone on record to reassure the Canal & River Trust that its waterways will not be detrimentally affected by changes in the Growth & Infrastructure Bill.

The statement came after a meeting between the Minister and representatives of the Trust and Inland Waterways Association, and followed impassioned arguments in the House of Lords from Lords Hodgson, Faulkner and Adonis.

Minister for Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Baroness Hanham acknowledged “that the Trust carries out a vital role in the preservation of the heritage of our inland waterways” and set out the protections the Government believes the waterways have outside the Bill, but declined to include an amendment proposed by Lord Hodgson on behalf of the Trust.

Commenting on the news, the Trust’s legal director, Nigel Johnson, said: “We are disappointed that the Government could not support the amendment, given that it was wholly within the letter and spirit of the Settlement of the waterways into trust on behalf of the nation that the Government implemented less than 12 months ago. Notwithstanding the assurances from the Minister on the floor of the House, we will keep a close eye on how matters develop in practice to see whether or not the Trust is detrimentally affected by the loss of this important protection.

"We are particularly grateful for the strong level of cross party support from peers, MPs and the IWA. They have shown again that the waterways have friends both inside and outside Parliament who will be ready to rally to their support if they are under threat.”

The Trust is now writing to Baroness Hanham to reiterate its position and will monitor the impact of the Act closely once it comes into force.

For a transcript of the Lords debate see:
21 January and 14 March 2013

March Meeting

Canal & River Trust with John Dodwell

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Our March meeting was about the Canal & River Trust (CRT) with John Dodwell who is a Trustee of CRT. This was a very interesting and well supported evening: we welcomed IWA members from Guildford & Reading, four former members, plus six local boaters who visited the Society website and had noticed our advertisements in the local papers.

John gave a brief summary of his early years of canoeing on the Itchen, boating on the Thames and being involved in the early years of the IWA.

Moving onto the Canal & River Trust, John detailed a variety of topics involving the management of some 2,000 miles of inland waterways and some 35,000 licensed boats. CRT is the third biggest property owner in the UK. It has 10,000 major structures requiring inspection each month. Plus all the departments needed for running a large organisation.

John has kindly supplied a written copy of his talk which is now available on the Society’s website at:

I outline briefly below the Questions and Answers that followed. You may find most of them are covered in John’s talk, as above.

Non Compliant Continuous Moorers: Yes, the Trust do take enforcement measures. They also have noticed that in certain areas, i.e. at Uxbridge, that the local boaters have “self enforced” any boats not complying.

Offside Vegetation: A seasonal job, an opportunity for volunteers through IWA & Waterways Recovery Group.

New Marinas: For 100 new Marina berths, possibly 10 less online moorings.

CRT Financial Future: A fifteen year Government Contract. On-going talks with the Environment Agency and the Freight Advisory Group.

ART at the Locks: “Poems” on lock gates, “Kid’s” murals, Advertising. Continuing a long connection with an Art programme, keeping people engaged.

CRT and Restoration: CRT do supply free technical help to restoration projects as required. CRT are also involved in the implications of the HS2 new rail line.

Finally, in light of the resignation of Robin Evans, John acknowledged that Robin had seen through a smooth transitional period from BWB to C&RT.

To finish off the evening John brought slides, which he himself had not seen for many years:

1956 on the Basingstoke Canal.

1965 Harlow IWA, on the Leeds & Liverpool at Blackburn with Hugh McKnight.

1966 Newbury: Hampton Marshall lock, restoration at Hampstead Lock, Lionel Munk (Maid Boats).

1969 Site of the Black Country Museum, Welshpool, Droitwich Narrow Canal.

On the Upper Avon: How to build a Lock!! and paint a bridge standing on planks (without a Health & Safety Officer in sight) Just below Denham Deep.

1971 Regents Canal dock with water ways campaigner “Binky” Bush.

Pictures of David Hutchings and other IWA supporters at various rallies and projects.

These were all very interesting and John encouraged the audience to recognize any friends, acquaintances or family in these old slides.

All to soon the evening ended as John was rushed to catch the London train.

Angela Rose

2013/2014 Annual Subscriptions

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Membership subscriptions for the year 2013/2014 are now due and I will be pleased to receive payment as soon as possible. Joint membership costs £25.00 whilst individual membership is £15.00

If you are unable to attend the April meeting can you please send me a cheque at the address on the Contacts page. Thank you.

Gill Herbert, Treasurer & Membership Secretary

January’s Photo Competition

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The winning photo

The picture on the left shows a bollard on the side of a Thames lock. It was the winning picture in the Photo Competition that was held at the January meeting. The winning photographer was committee member Gordon Osborn. Please accept our apologies for not including this image in an earlier issue of the Newsletter.

Photo copyright © 2013 Gordon Osborn

Volunteers keep Brentford museum open

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One of London’s smallest museums, based in a Grade II Listed Toll House at Brentford Lock, is going to be opened every Friday by volunteers for the Canal & River Trust.

Visitors will be able to find out about the history of the waterways and why Brentford Lock, at the junction between the Thames and the Grand Union Canal, played such an important role when London’s canals and rivers were a transport gateway to the rest of the world. The Toll House dates from 1900s, when the building would have contained ledgers that recorded the type and weight of cargo passing through the lock. The boats would pay a toll on the cargo they carried.

Debbie Vidler, London volunteer coordinator at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The museum at the Toll House in Brentford offers a fascinating and intimate slice of waterways history for children and adults alike.”

The Toll House will be open every Friday from 10am and 1pm.
7 March 2013

Four tons of rubbish

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A pile of old bikes

IWA members trawling for bicycles and trolleys
Photo courtesy of Richard and Jackie Sanders

Thanks to Ken and Margaret Froud from our Warwickshire branch for spotting this article in their local paper. They feel that “if you are looking for a couple of pushbikes, this is the place to come.”

SO THIS is what has been lying at the bottom of our canal..

Twenty eight members of the Inland Waterways Association, Warwickshire Branch, took part in a clean-up of the Grand Union Canal at Leamington on Sunday.

As well as the usual copious bottles and cans, a Christmas tree complete with baubles and stand was also bagged.

The combined haul included 30 bicycles, more than 20 shopping trolleys and 20 bags of rubbish giving a total weight of about four tons.

For further information visit our website at

Leamington Courier, 9 February 2013

Send your comments to the Web Site manager.

© 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 18 April 2013 - last updated 30 April 2013.

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