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Issue 474 - July 2012

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Chairman's Column

 
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2012 Annual General Meeting

Welcome to all our Members attending the Society's 45th Annual General Meeting. The agenda and all the supporting documentation was included in LAST month's Newsletter (apart from the accounts which are included in this issue). There are a few copies available at the AGM if required. At the time of going to press, there are vacancies on the committee. Please consider joining the committee to fill these.

Enjoy the Cheese and Wine Supper, to finish off the evening.

Day-Star Theatre

Our friends from Day-Star Theatre have been booked to appear at our meeting on 1st November. They will be presenting "A Night at Blackstone Hall". The play will be followed by an American Supper. Tickets cost £8.00 and should be available at the AGM. Please buy your tickets from Gill or Angela (if you can't get to the meeting, contact details are here).

August Meeting

Please note that there will be NO meeting in August.

September Meeting

At the meeting on the 6th September, there will be a talk by Chris Coyle, the Secretary of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust. He will be updating us on the progress of their various ongoing projects.

Thank you all for supporting the Society.

Alan Rose


Google Maps to feature canals and rivers

 
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Google has embarked on a project to map towpaths in England and Wales, as part of a plan to get more people on to rivers and canals.

Later this year, Google Maps will be updated to enable users to plan journeys that include bridges, locks and the 2,000 miles of canal and river paths across England and Wales.

The project is being launched today with the Canal and River Trust, which begins its stewardship of the nation's waterways next month. It takes over from British Waterways and the Waterways Trust in England and Wales to become responsible for the nation's third largest collection of listed structures, as well hundreds of important wildlife habitats.

Tony Hales, the chairman of the trust, said: "We are delighted that these exciting partners have come on board as we launch. This is a huge vote of confidence in the Canal and River Trust and recognition of the important role it will play as the guardian of one of the nation's environmental treasures."

Ed Parsons, a geospatial technologist at Google UK, said of the project: "Canal towpaths offer green routes through our towns and cities, and by working with the Canal and River Trust we're adding towpaths to Google Maps and encouraging people to discover their local waterway."

www.guardian.co.uk 19 June 2012


David Beach

 
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We are sad to report the death of our member David Beach on 31 May, at the age of 71.

David married Diane in 1963. Soon after the marriage David's work took them to Peterborough for around six years. They returned to live in Chandlers Ford and for many years regularly attended Canal Society. In recent times we have not seen so much of David, but he always made a point of coming to see Day-Star.

Both interested in railways and waterways, they have spent numerous holidays visiting locations and industrial museums.

David's funeral was held on Wednesday 13 June. Four Southampton Canal Society members attended.

Brian Evans


BBC coverage of the Jubilee Pageant

 
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In this letter to the Telegraph, Martyn Heighton, director of National Historic Ships UK, has torn into what he called the BBC's "shocking" coverage of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3rd June.

I write as Head of the organisation charged by government with overseeing the National Registers of Historic Vessels and promoting public understanding of and interest in historic vessels in the UK.

Clare Balding's statement in today's Daily Telegraph (8th June) that executives decided "looking at boats for how ever many hours might be dull" exposes the bankruptcy of imagination, intelligence, and lack of appreciation of heritage, coupled with a patronising attitude to the general public, which so palpably besets the BBC's senior management. Surely even they could work out that over a million people do not stand in the driving rain for hours to be bored by what they have come to see, nor do 10 million viewers cling to an outside broadcast in the ever-diminishing hope that they might be told something they really want to hear, if the subject matter before them is of no interest.

I have no grounds for doubting Ms. Balding's declaration that "facts are my friends", but do wonder if she is aware that the BBC appears to have been intent on not allowing her or any of her colleagues anywhere near any information with which they might strike even a passing relationship. At the behest of the BBC's Pageant team, this organisation supplied the BBC with a full list of all the vessels on the National Registers in both the Pageant and Parade of sail; short, broadcast-friendly histories of vessels across the spectrum of types attending; links to our website so that the BBC could delve further if it so wished, and a standing invitation to contact me or my staff with any further queries they might have. Furthermore, and again at the request of the Trust, we acted as go-between bringing together the BBC with the owner of Amazon, the remarkable screw schooner which attended the Spithead Review celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, and which, after crossing the Atlantic and over-wintering in Ireland, made passage to the Thames to take part of the Parade of Sail.

We might just as well not have bothered. I saw no evidence of my staff's hard work in the meanderings of the commentators on the day, whilst as the BBC had no cameras covering the Parade of Sail, nothing was shown of Amazon nor indeed any of the other stunning large vessels lining the river (such as Kathleen & May, the last surviving sailing topsail schooner from the thousands which once traded the UK coasts; the Thames barge Edith May, which is National Historic Ships UK Flagship for 2012; the superb French 3-masted ship Belem, or the stunning replica medieval ship Matthew).

In addition to the histories of the vessels and those who sailed in them (the ignorance demonstrated over the heroism of the Dunkirk Little Ships was truly shocking) the present-day stories of the boats and ships on the Thames that day are also fascinating. These vessels came from all over the UK and further afield at their own (often considerable) expense, and thanks to herculean efforts over many months by their crews and the volunteers who maintain them (many of whom did not enjoy the opportunity to be on board). They are now returning to their home ports in foul weather having received no recognition through our national broadcasting body of the nature of their contribution to the day.

I am left wondering what the BBC holds to be "interesting". I am minded to take my recording of the broadcast and overlay it with the commentary which we believe should have been the one on the day, inviting as part of this exercise the excellent Tom Cunliffe, who was utterly side-lined during the broadcast and prevented from sharing in his inimitably enthusiastic style, the extensive knowledge he holds on the subject. It would be instructive to see the difference. Perhaps I should send the resultant programme to the Director General with my compliments as a training video.


June Meeting

The history of the wooden butty Lucy and her ongoing restoration - Peter Boyce

 
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Nineteen members enjoyed an interesting, informative and lively evening with Pete and Irene.

Lucy is a wooden butty built at Braunston for the carrying fleet of John Knill, entering the fleet in 1953. She was named after John Knill's mother. She was built by Frank Nurser at the Samuel Barlow Coal Co.'s boat dock at Braunston in 1951 and 1952, and was first registered at Daventry as number 548 on 24th February 1953. (The butty Raymond was the last boat built at the same yard in 1958.)

She was re-registered by Barlows Ltd. in January 1955, and worked by them until 1962. Finally she was re-registered by Blue Line Cruisers Ltd. on 12th April 1962. Steered by the Whitlocks, and paired first with the motor Ian and later with Renfrew, she finished carrying on the long distance Jam 'Ole Run in October 1970, and retired to Braunston with the Whitlocks in 1971. Rose Whitlock lived on her outside the Marina until 1977.

Since 1977, she had been a private residential boat, and latterly sank at the Wolfhampcote end of the Braunston Puddle Banks. In 2008, she was acquired by Pete Boyce as the start of a reconstruction project. Pete bought her for £1. After all Lucy only needed a lick of paint and a tidy up!!

In May 2009, she was raised from the mud. We watched film of the lift, a very muddy and wet affair, at which Peter Oates & Laura Sturrock helped. Lucy was towed by James Loader to Pete's yard at Braunston and later lifted out and placed on a purpose built cradle in the Tess yard at Braunston Turn. Steel frames are fitted to hold her shape while materials are being collected together.

Taken whilst stripping the boat, photos of the construction showed the hull's outer layer, wooden strip sheeting, covered in calico and horsehair, similar to the lathe and plaster look.

Former boat -man Nick Hill supplied oak for the sides and stern post from his own land. Pete showed an old wooden knee and how he has computer generated the design of these parts.

Pete and Irene try use the canal system to obtain materials. Elm for the bottom was shipped from Norbury Junction and oak for the keelson was cut at Hull. Pete, now owner of Renfrew, moved her up to Newark to collect the wood in April, but the rain came and floods so the load had to come down by lorry. The oak for the new keelson comprises 3 pieces 25' x 10" x 4" which will be scarfed together. Ash for the tiller and larch are being used.

Peter does have a proper job. This means the restoration of Lucy is a life time's work, even with his knowledge of boats, and the skills he has learnt over many years. Further details can be found on the internet at www.phobox.com/lucy

The Society paid Peter's costs for the evening which will go into the "Lucy" fund.

Angela Rose


SCS Accounts 2011-12

 
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SOUTHAMPTON CANAL SOCIETY

RECEIPTS & PAYMENTS ACCOUNTS

FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31 MARCH 2012

  2012   2011
  £   £
Income      
Subscriptions 360.00   893.00
Events 1628.50   1954.50
Silent Auction 62.00   0.00
Interest 0.24   0.24
Raffle 365.00   348.10
Teas 79.30   119.87
Sales 17.50   84.75
Other income 32.00   161.11
  2544.54   3561.57
       
Expenditure      
Events 1460.60   1927.63
Speakers 261.80   311.00
Donations 60.00   91.25
Newsletter 131.00   189.00
Insurance 265.00   262.50
IWA membership 49.00   47.00
Hall hire 580.50   493.50
Clothing purchase 0.00   153.00
Refunds 20.50   0.00
Other expenses 144.66   83.24
  2973.06   3558.12
       
Deficit of Income over Expenditure (428.52)   3.45
       
       
BALANCE SHEET AS AT 31 MARCH 2012      
       
Current Assets      
Bank deposit account 344.40   344.16
Bank current account 446.89   875.65
Cash in hand 6.86   6.86
  798.15   1,226.67
Retained Surpluses      
Brought Forward 1226.67   1223.22
Deficit/Surplus for year (428.52)   3.45
Carried Forward 798.15   1226.67
       

Report to the members of Southampton Canal Society

I have examined the accounts for the year ended 31 March 2012.

I have no reason to believe that the accounting records have not been properly maintained. The accounts agree with the underlying accounting records.

 

Laura Sturrock

12 June 2012

 

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