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Issue 343 - July 2000

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WELCOME BACK

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Day-Star logoSouthampton Canal Society is happy to welcome the Day-Star Theatre Company back to the St John Ambulance Hall for another performance. The new play for this year is entitled "The Last Run" .

This story weaves it's way to and from the present day and back and forth over the last fifty five years. It is the story of an old wooden narrow boat, a boating family whose daughter has eloped with the boss's son, an ageing secret agent with a penchant for working locks and a quirky mystery which surrounds the boat and touches all who come in to contact with her over the years.

There are plenty of comic boating antics, a touch of sadness, a mind boggling conspiracy plot and an insight into how our canals have changed since the end of World War Two.

This is also the last in a series of plays which have, to a greater or lesser degree touched on the unfortunate adventures of Miles and Leaf otherwise known as 'Telford & Brindley'. Past plots get hopelessly entangled and storylines collide head on. However it is not necessary to have seen any of the other plays as they may even just add to the confusion! Just remember, things aren't always what they seem.

The performers are:-

Jane Marshall

Co-founder of Day-Star. She has appeared in the film Robin Hood and on T.V. in Brookside. Jane also paints and runs courses on traditional canal painting. A country girl at heart and mad about horses. She also plays the fiddle.

Duffy Marshall

Co-founder of Day-Star and writer of all Day-Star plays, songs and music. He has appeared on T.V. in Watching, Coronation Street, Medics, Children's Ward and Brookside. He knows nothing about horses and prefers to sing songs in pubs. 'Duffy' is his mum's maiden name, his real name being Pete.


Management of Trees along the Waterways

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The Inland Waterways Association is in the process of reviewing its national policy concerning tree management issues along inland waterways. The Society has been sent a consultation draft of its proposed new policy. This policy is supplemental to, and will not replace, IWA's Environment Policy which was published in spring 1999.

Trees are an important and valued part of the waterways environment. However, uncontrolled establishment and growth of such trees can damage the navigations, reduce their amenity, and cause safety hazards.

The IWA is concerned that management of trees along canal and river navigations receives insufficient priority and attention from navigation authorities. As a result, it is adopting a policy to express its views concerning the need for appropriate tree management standards and maintenance practices, and concerning what standards and practices are appropriate.

The IWA would be grateful for your views on aspects of the document; especially on any points that you might feel would make the document a more useful guidance tool.

Any member who would like to examine a copy of the draft (which extends to 4½ sides of A4 paper) should contact the Secretary, Peter Oates. The IWA would like to receive comments in writing to arrive no later than Friday 8th September.


June Meeting

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The Society's Annual General Meeting was held at the June meeting this year. For those with an aversion to such occasions, the official business was completed in less than half an hour. The Chairman's Report and the Society's accounts, accompanied by the Treasurer's Report, had been circulated to members before the meeting and this certainly helped speed proceedings along a little.

In the absence of any other volunteers, your editor allowed himself to be elected to the vacant position of Secretary. Tony Coles stood down from the Committee owning to personal commitments. The remainder of the officers of the Society and the Committee members were re-elected unopposed. However, there were no volunteers to fill the two vacancies on the Committee. There are powers to co-opt further members during the year - anyone interested to taking on one of the not too onerous posts should speak to the Chairman.

The meeting decided to accept the Committee's recommendation to increase the annual subscriptions by £1.00 in each category i.e. to £7.00 for single membership and to £10.00 for a family. Even after this increase, these sums cannot be considered to be exorbitant for 12 meetings per year and 10 or 11 copies of this august journal.

The major part of the evening was spent watching more of the marvellous video footage taken by Hugh Gough on a journey by boat from Llangollen to his home mooring on the Kennet & Avon near Newbury. The quality and content were indeed excellent. I had not seen Hugh's previous show to the Society last year but the reports I had heard about a professional standard were proved to be true. I have seen commercial videos which were not as good as this.

During the journey, undertaken several years ago, Hugh visited places that many present recognised, but included also sights less familiar. It was interesting to note some of the scenes that have changed, even in the relatively short period since Hugh's passing.

As a result of Hugh's presentation, the Society has sent him a cheque for £50.00 payable to the Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society towards the back pumping being installed on the Basingstoke Canal.

Peter Oates


CHICHESTER CANAL

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West Sussex County Council is about to produce its fourth five-yearly Canal Management Plan. These four plans reflect the thinking of the Canal's owners, and reflect the progress that has been made since John Cooper, Chairman of the Chichester Canal Society, became one of the first volunteers with the vision to open up the Ship Canal to the sea once more. In the first plan, which was produced in the early eighties, opening the canal was seen as a wild pipe dream, says John.

This latest plan, soon to be made public, accepts the canal will be restored to through navigation. It is no longer a barely feasible option, it is a real possibility, with a timetable for completion of the tasks involved.

"I sometimes feel no progress has been made at all," says John, who became chairman soon after the Society was formed in May 1979. "But, of course, there has been. People who come back to Chichester after a few years are amazed at the difference. The agenda has moved forward in the past 21 years from 'What canal?' to a waterway which everyone believes should be restored."

Chichester Canal Society Newsletter - Summer 2000


Waterways Quiz

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Last month's Quiz answers:

  1. The now demolished lock at Thurlwood was built to combat unstable ground and consisted of a complex steel tank structure with guillotine gates at each end.
  2. Starvationers were boats employed in the Duke of Bridgewater's Worsley coal mines.
  3. Hardham Tunnel was the only tunnel built on a river navigation (the Arun in Sussex) in Britain.
  4. Bath Deep Lock (19' 6") is the deepest on BW waters.
  5. The Jolly Tar public house is at Barbridge Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal.
  6. The first canal to cross the watershed between the Rhine and Danube rivers was Ludwig's Canal.
  7. The last regular commercial traffic on the Caldon was pottery.
  8. The Queen Mother re-opened the Stratford Canal in 1964.
  9. A French peniche is 38.5 metres long.
  10. The junction of the Staffs & Worcs and Trent & Mersey Canals is at Great Haywood.

Sorry, but there's no more quiz questions for the moment.


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS

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Members are reminded that these are now due for the next year. It should be noted that the AGM approved increases in the subscriptions to £7.00 single and £10.00 for a family. The Treasurer, Laura Sturrock, will pleased to see you!


ROMSEY HOSPITAL APPEAL

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A nearly completed 66ft narrowboat is open to view on Sunday 9th July and Saturday 15th July at Abbey Farm Barn, Mottisfont from 10.00am till 5.00pm. Entry £1-00 - All proceeds to go to Romsey Hospital.


DIBDEN BAY CONFERENCE

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The Residents Against Dibden Bay Port and Friends of the Earth are organising a conference for groups opposing the plans to build a huge new super-port at Dibden Bay on Southampton Water near the edge of the New Forest. The conference will be held at Hythe Parish Hall, near Southampton on Saturday July 22nd. Further details which were sent to the Society from the Secretary, Peter Oates.


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