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Issue 373 - July 2003

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Chairman's Column

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Summer Holidays

Whilst I am sure that a number of members have already enjoyed a summer break, I know that many others are still looking forward to getting away somewhere, either home or abroad, during the next few months. For those who have already been away, I hope you had a great time. For those who have yet to take their main holiday of the year, I hope you have an enjoyable time with good weather.

The Inland Waterways National Festival & Boat Show 2003

This year's National Waterways Festival takes place on the River Thames at Beale Park, between Pangbourne and Goring, from 22-25 August. I am sure that a number of Society members will be visiting this year's Festival, particularly as it is being held in the South again.

At the time of writing, I am aware that five Society boats are booked into the event. Perhaps if you are visiting the show you might like to pop along and visit with your water-borne colleagues. The berth numbers can be provided in due course to interested persons.

2003 Visit by 'Day-Star Theatre'

Don't forget to order your tickets for the 'Day-Star Theatre' visit to the Society on 2 October 2003. The ticket price is £4.00 which includes a light supper.

Society Visit

Talking of special events, we are currently trying to organise either a Brewery Tour or Boat Trip during the early autumn. Please watch this space for details as they become available.

More Waterways Magazines for Disposal

Another Society member needs to dispose of a large quantity of waterways magazines, in this case 15 volumes of 'Waterways World' from 1983 to 1997, all in binders. If you are interested, please 'phone: 023 8060 0202.

Society 'August' Meeting

Just another reminder that our August meeting has had to be brought forward to 31 July because the hall won't be available in August.

Paul Herbert


WHY NOT 'WALK ON WATER' AND HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR CHARITY?

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Britain's canals and rivers will be echoing to the sound of marching feet this autumn when 'Walk On Water', a national sponsored walk held on the inland waterways, gets under way for the second time. The event, which takes place from August to October, is organised by national charity The Waterways Trust in partnership with Burdens Charitable Foundation.

Backed by the actor David Suchet, famous as TV's Hercule Poirot, 'Walk On Water' aims to raise sponsorship to help improve access for people with disabilities to the UK's beautiful canal and river network and to fund the building of a school for blind children in West Africa.

Thousands of people are expected to take part in the event, many in fancy dress and other outrageous costumes. With 9 individual waterway walks across the whole of the UK, passing through some of our most beautiful countryside as well as towns and cities, there's bound to be a walk that's right for everybody. Most walks range from 3 to 10 miles in length.

David Suchet, ITV's 'Hercule Poirot', said: "Our canals and rivers wind their way through some of the most beautiful and tranquil parts of the UK. I am delighted to be supporting this year's 'Walk On Water', which will help to raise much-needed funds for charity at home and abroad.

"This autumn I hope as many people as possible will put on their best walking shoes and get out onto the towpath. With walks across the country - from Scotland to the Cotswolds - there's something for everyone. Whether you're a serious walker, ambitious amateur or nervous novice, there's a walk for you. Who knows, you might even get the chance to stop off in a secluded waterside pub for a drink or two!

"For those with an adventurous streak, why not 'Walk On Water' in fancy dress. Last year we had a fish and a pantomime horse."

'Walk On Water' was launched in 2002 attracting thousands of walkers from across the country and raising more than £80,000 for charity. This year's 'Walk On Water' has already attracted the attention of the British Veterinary Nurses Association, with many of its members preparing to turn out walking with their pets.

Anyone wishing to join in should telephone 0151 373 4387, visit www.walkonwater.info or email jill.watson@thewaterwaystrust.co.uk for a registration form and walk details. Entry is free and walkers raising £50 or more will receive a free limited edition 'Walk On Water' T-shirt.

The 'Walk On Water' walks will take place as follows:

The Waterways Trust is working to restore and conserve Britain's canals and rivers for the enjoyment of all. To make a donation or to request more information, please call us on 0845 0700 710.

Burdens Charitable Foundation owns 40% of WTB Burdens Ltd using dividends to make grants and donations to charities chosen by the Trustees. WTB Burdens Ltd are the largest UK distributor of civil engineering materials, incorporating a specialist national distribution network and transport infrastructure.

Waterways Trust Press Release - 25 June 2003


June Meeting

The Society's 2003 Annual General Meeting

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Thirty-four members attended the Society's 36th Annual General Meeting held at the Chilworth Parish Hall on Thursday 5 June 2003. This was a good attendance which surpassed that of the previous year. The AGM was chaired by the Chairman, Paul Herbert, with the exception of the election of officers and committee, when our President, Brian Evans, took the Chair.

The meeting followed normal procedure but unfortunately, on this occasion, it had not been possible to send the paperwork out in advance so the various reports and accounts etc were tabled at the start of the meeting.

The Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer & Membership Secretary presented their reports on activities over the past year. The Chairman took the opportunity through his report to thank all those in the Society who contributed to its management and organisation. It was apparent that the Society had enjoyed another successful year with a varied programme of monthly speakers and events and, in addition, three special activities. From the financial point of view the Society remained healthy, with a balance of approximately £1,665 being carried forward into the new financial year.

It was necessary to recommend increases in the annual subscriptions and the AGM agreed that those for 2003/04 should be increased to £9 for individual membership and £13 for family membership.

We then came to the election of officers and committee and the existing incumbents were returned unanimously, as follows:-

Chairman Paul Herbert
Vice-Chairman Laura Sturrock
Secretary Eric Lewis
Treasurer & Membership Secretary Laura Sturrock
Committee Members Peter Oates
  Martin Cripps
  David Townley-Jones

Peter Oates confirmed that he was still willing to edit the Society's monthly Newsletter and act as Webmaster.

Following the completion of the AGM and the subsequent refreshments break, we were entertained by the recently released video 'The Lost Wey To The Sea' (kindly provided by Eric Lewis). This was a very entertaining, informative, and often humorous programme which took us by canal and overland (where the canal is not yet currently navigable) down the Wey & Arun Canal from Guildford to the South Coast. Further details of this video were published in our May Newsletter.

Paul Herbert


The Chichester Canal

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In case Society members are not already aware, our friends in Chichester are now known as The Chichester Ship Canal Trust and the Trust held its first annual meeting in May. The organisation has moved on from being a charitable Canal Society to a Limited Company Trust, but still registered as a charity.

Earlier this year members of the Trust's Board met up with a representative of the Heritage Lottery Fund to discuss a possible bid for HLF funding.

The aims of the Trust are 'The preservation, maintenance and improvement of canals, navigable rivers and inland waterways for the public benefit, in particular the navigation between Chichester and the harbour, the Chichester Ship Canal and the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal'.

The Trust consists of a large number of people actively working towards its aims and a regular programme of events is organised - see our own Newsletter 'Waterways Diary' for details. A very informative Newsletter is published, a copy of which is provided to our Society.

The Trust is currently working towards the construction of a new trip boat, see the separate item on the back page of this Newsletter.

Among the many new and renewed members of the Trust is the man who, for over half a century has become the leading authority on the waterways of South East England, the author P.A.L.Vine. Paul Vine of Pulborough is currently completing his 12th book on inland waterways, London's Lost Route to Portsmouth, an historical account of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal Navigation. This new book is due out next year or early in 2005.

For those with access to the Internet, further details of The Chichester Ship Canal Trust can be found on: www.chichestercanals.co.uk

Paul Herbert
(With acknowledgement to The Chichester Ship Canal Trust's Summer 2003 Newsletter).


3rd Society Boat Gathering ?

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During the bank holiday weekend of 24-26 May an impromptu get-together of Society members and some of their boats occurred. This coincided (not by accident) with the Crick Boat Show. A number of Society members worked at the Show whilst others were just visiting.

On the Sunday, three Society boats met up in Braunston - Michael and Angela Faull on 'Laura'; Sue and Eric Lewis on 'Remus'; and Gill and me on 'The Evelyn Broadbent'. That evening we all went up to the 'Old Plough' for an evening meal where we were joined by the Boat Show contingent of Peter Oates, Laura Sturrock and Ray Brooks, together with Peter Page and Julie Unwin (who both steer boats for Calmore Junior School's 'Adventure Afloat').

The following morning, Peter and Laura drove over from Crick to join the crews of the three Society boats moored in Braunston for the second of the guided Braunston walks, before they had return to their duty on board 'Raymond', leaving the six of us left to go once more to the 'Plough' for lunch. (We can all very much recommend their splendid home cooked ham, eggs and chips!!!)

After lunch, Michael and Angela departed for Napton Marina and home whilst 'Remus' and 'The Evelyn Broadbent' continued up the North Oxford Canal for a few days cruise in increasingly improving weather.

Whilst this weekend get-together hadn't been planned as such, it just sort of came together and we all had a very enjoyable time.

Paul Herbert


Waterways Trust Launches Volunteer Training Grants Scheme

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The Waterways Trust is pleased to announce the launch of a new waterways grants scheme for volunteers wishing to undertake training in support of their work on inland waterways. The scheme - nicknamed 'VOLE grants' (VOlunteer Learning & Experience) - is expected to increase the skills and expertise of waterway volunteers and strengthen the vital contribution they give to waterway causes.

'VOLE grants' are open to any individual or organisation that makes a voluntary contribution to waterways either directly or indirectly. Successful applications to the scheme will receive a grant of up to £100 to undertake a course of their choice. In return volunteers will be expected to commit at least 10 days of voluntary work in support of inland waterways in the year after the training.

Courses attended by successful applicants to the 'VOLE grants' scheme will be wide ranging and are likely to include: practical conservation skills; charity administration and development techniques; fundraising skills; health and safety training; and, running community projects.

Roger Hanbury, Chief Executive of The Waterways Trust, said:

"The Waterways Trust's 'VOLE grants' scheme is all about supporting volunteering on Britain's inland waterways. Through the scheme we will be able to increase the skills and experience of waterway volunteers and enhance the important role they play in the conservation and development of our waterways heritage. We hope the 'VOLE grants' scheme will generate at least 1,000 days of volunteering for the UK's inland waterways."

Mike Woodhead, Volunteer Coordinator, The Waterways Trust, said: "We welcome applications from all volunteers interested in waterways - from traditional canal trusts and societies to local community groups. The course a volunteer attends is completely up to them as long as there is a real benefit for Britain's canals and rivers and that they give at least 10 days of volunteering in support of waterways."

The number of grants awarded will depend on the quality of applications and on funds available. The Waterways Trust estimates that at least £10,000 of grants will be given over the next year, funding at least 100 courses and generating at least 1,000 days of volunteering for the UK's inland waterways.

In the case of applications by individual volunteers a contribution of £15 is required towards the total cost of the training. In the case of applications by voluntary organisations it is up to the individual organisation to decide whether they require a contribution from the volunteer being trained.

Anyone wishing to receive an application leaflet should telephone 01926 626 124 or email mike.woodhead@thewaterwaystrust.co.uk.

Waterways Trust Press Release - 25 June 2003


THE SHIP CANAL'S NEW BOAT

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Work on a new, exciting and prestigious attraction for Chichester is surging ahead under the direction of the Ship Canal's Trading Company.

By November of this year, it is hoped construction will begin on a £60,000, 50ft long, 12ft 6in wide beam boat to cater for increasing demand from both our regular trippers and city visitors. With the city expanding as an attraction for both big business and leisure, the Company's directors believe the time is ripe to expand.

The two directors have been spurred on by the West Sussex County Council's Ten Year Plan to link Chichester with its harbour, and by the enthusiasm of the Trust's many volunteers who have worked to restore the waterway for almost a quarter century.

The new boat will compliment the Trust's 12-seater trip boat, the Egremont, but will also have the versatility to cater for corporate hospitality. There will be disabled access, picture windows, an inboard diesel engine and both tiller and remote hydraulic steering forward for use in inclement weather. The boat will also have a bow thruster to enhance manoeuvrability.

The Company originally considered a traditional narrow boat, though these were never in use in Chichester. But they finally agreed a wide beam to be more versatile. The new boat will have enough space on board to store the stackable seats and the folding tables. For celebration meals in the passenger lounge, the tables will be placed in a central line surrounded by up to 24 seats, yet still leaving enough space for people to move around. Main meals will be brought on board in heated containers, but on ordinary trips drinks and light refreshments may be served from the bar.

Funding for the project has already been achieved. £15,000 is to come from the Trading Company's own funds, £15,000 as a loan from the Chichester Ship Canal Trust, and £15,000 from Chichester District Council's Large Leisure Grants Budget. A final boost of £15,000 recently came as a grant from the F Glenister Woodger Trust of Itchenor. But the Company is still seeking further charitable donations to avoid borrowing from the Ship Canal Trust.

The new boat will be licensed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, unlike Egremont, which operates under license from the District Council. The boat is expected to be in service soon after Easter next year and will turn at Hunston with hopes of longer trips in the future.

Designed by marine architect Ian Darley of Salisbury, it will be built in Trowbridge, Wiltshire of steel construction with wood ply and pine interior and a carpet tiled floor.

Chichester Ship Canal Trust's Summer 2003 Newsletter


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