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Issue 484 - May 2013

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May Meeting

As usual in recent years, there will be no May meeting as the hall is in use for the 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 all about taking part in the event that the BBC didn't show you!

Spring brings thoughts of days out

At last! Spring and the sunshine has arrived and it is time to plan our holidays and days out.

This leads me on to mention the possibility of an interesting day out boating for you in September. The National Oceanography Centre, which operates out of Dock Gate 4 in Southampton, runs MV Callista. This ship's main work is on research combined with Southampton University.

The boat trip is for three hours around the Solent allowing us to bring up samples, from the sea bed, and look into what the samples contain. We have spoken to a few people who have enjoyed this experience.

No food is on board but there is their Canteen which we are able to use afterwards.

Full details will be emailed, or posted out, during the next week or so.

Just to remind you

This is just a reminder of the Boat Gathering for boaters in the Napton/Braunston area.

An informal gathering at Flecknoe and Braunston will be held over the weekend of the early May Bank holiday (4th - 6th May).

This is now Next Weekend!!

If any members with boats in that area would like to join us, could they please contact me as soon as possible? My mobile number is 07831 706411 or the home telephone number is listed on the back page of this Newsletter.

Angie and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible near Flecknoe on Saturday afternoon.

Alan Rose

Alan Howarth

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Alan Howarth

As our Chairman announced at our April meeting, our long-standing member and Society Librarian, Alan Howarth, passed away peacefully at home on Good Friday. Alan had been unwell for some time though recently his condition had improved to the extent that he had been able to resume driving and, in an email to me in February, he said he hoped to return to Society meetings shortly. Sadly, it wasn't to be.

Despite her sad loss Adrienne came along to our April meeting, accompanied by her daughter, Judith.

Alan's funeral service, which was held at St Edward the Confessor Church in Chandler's Ford on 23 April, was attended by Society members Brian & Annegret Evans, Sue Derbyshire and Paul & Gill Herbert. (Alan and Angela Rose were unable to attend as they were out of the country). It was obvious from the large number who attended the service how liked and respected Alan was.

Our thoughts go to Adrienne and her and Alan's families on their sad loss.

Donations in memory of Alan to the RNLI may be sent to: Nigel Guilder, Funeral Director, Nathan House, 27 Hursley Road, Chandler's Ford, Eastleigh.SO53 2FS

Paul Herbert

Walk along Itchen Navigation

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Your editor, Peter Oates, will be leading an exploration of the Itchen Navigation in the Woodmill and Mansbridge areas on behalf of the Hampshire Field Club.

This walk will include an examination of part of a largely "dry" channel that runs parallel with the present river. One expert has said that this may be the remains of the "New River" referred to in a Saxon charter for the manor of South Stoneham dating from AD1045.

The walk will also look at the River Itchen near Gaters Mill and at the remains of Mansbridge Lock before returning along the Navigation via Mans Bridge to Woodmill.

The walk will start at the car park at Woodmill beside the Navigation (nearest postcode: SO18 2JR) (OS Grid Ref: SU440151) at 2.00pm on Sunday 12 May 2013.

Please note that this will start at 2.00pm in the afternoon - NOT at 10.00am as announced at the Society's April meeting.

Peter Oates

April Meeting

Itchen Navigation with Chris Humby

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It was good to see so many members, friends and visitors at last month's meeting where Chris Humby talked about the Itchen Navigation.

The Bishopstoke History Society, of which Chris is a member, can trace the history of the river back over a thousand years. Chris showed us many maps, photographs and transcripts relating to the river. He also talked about the details and history of the Itchen Navigation which included the old locks, boats and stories of the boat people's lives and their families.

The Itchen Navigation is now a very interesting area to walk and visit. Further details will be included in our later Newsletters.

Angela Rose

Gloucester Waterways Museum in line for £1m revamp

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ALMOST £1million of lottery funding could be on its way to Gloucester Waterways Museum.

The tourist attraction is developing a project to celebrate Gloucester Docks' contribution to the nation.

This week it found out the Heritage Lottery Fund has given it initial support of £60,700 to help improve its visitor experience.

The project, called From Birmingham to the Sea, will see the museum change its displays to tell the story of the River Severn and the canals from Sharpness to Birmingham.

Gloucester's role in supporting the industrial revolution in Birmingham will be a major part of the new story and will fit alongside the existing displays about life on the canals.

The work will also totally upgrade the learning experience at the museum and see one of the museum's heritage boats refitted to make it a learning and exhibition venue.

The initiative has been led by staff at the Canal & River Trust, and is backed by the Friends of Gloucester Waterways Museum.

If successful, the project will bring in almost £1million of lottery money to the museum.

Museum manager, Doreen Davies, said: "The Docks themselves were a vital link between the industrial heartland of Britain and the world.

"Unlike most canals of the time, ours was a ship canal with links to exotic parts of the world. Telling this story will extend the reach of the museum and bring our local heritage alive."

The museum has been housed in Llanthony Warehouse at Gloucester Docks since it was opened in 1988.

Debbie Lumb, from the Canal & River Trust, said: "These will be the first real changes to the story at the museum for many years and our staff and volunteers are over the moon."

Basingstoke Canal Reopened

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Boats leaving Deepcut Top Lock at Easter

Basingstoke Canal reopening cruise Easter 2013 - Leaving Deepcut Top Lock
Photo: © Ray Carnell 2013

True to their word, and despite some unhelpful weather, the Basingstoke Canal Authority achieved re-opening of all the locks in time for Easter. Unfortunately at Dogmersfield, just east of Odiham, a landslip on 25th March means that the westernmost couple of miles of the restored canal remain isolated for the time being.

The planned gathering of boats to cruise the length of the canal was slightly smaller than expected owing to strong flow on the Thames, which prevented some intended participant boats from getting any nearer to the canal than Brentford. Fifteen boats completed the full cruise along the length of the canal, to celebrate the re-opening for the first time in five years.

Following the substantial investment from Surrey and Hampshire County Councils, with more money to follow (a total of £4 million is being spent), the Basingstoke Canal is now is the best shape it has been for many years.

This follows sustained lobbying and volunteer work parties by Basingstoke (formerly Surrey & Hants) Canal Society, IWA , WRG volunteers, and local boat clubs.

The canal remains open whilst water supplies last, and it is incumbent of boaters to show the Councils that their investment has been worthwhile by paying a visit. Further work is being undertaken at Deepcut Flight and this was not due to fully reopen until 22nd April.

IWA Bulletin April 2013

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Page created 30 April 2013 - last updated 3 October 2013.

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