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Issue 395 - August 2005

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Chairman's Column

 
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Eva Drinkwater

It is with great regret that I have to advise the Society that Frank Drinkwater, husband of our long time member, Eva, passed away earlier this month. Our sympathies go to Eva and her family, to whom an appropriate card has been sent.

2005 Annual General Meeting

Welcome to all our members attending the Society's 38th Annual General Meeting. The agenda and all supporting documentation, including reports from the Officers and the 2004/05 accounts, were published in the last Newsletter.

Because of our rising costs, mainly the postage of the Newsletter, members will be asked to decide whether to continue with a monthly publication but increase membership subscriptions, or leave subscriptions at the current level (for this year only) but change to a bi-monthly Newsletter.

September Newsletter

Whatever the AGM's decision regarding subscriptions/frequency of the Newsletter, I have to advise that there will not be a September issue of the Newsletter because of holidays of key individuals concerned in its input and publication.

Storage of Society Equipment

Because of the imminent move of two Society members from the Southampton area, there is an urgent need to find alternative storage for the Society's projection screen, a venerable slide projector (which is brought to meetings as a backup if the speaker's one fails), episcope (for projecting prints) and one or two other bits and pieces. A number of other Society members already store equipment etc and it is not possible for them to extend those arrangements. If we cannot find additional storage the Society could be in real trouble and future presentations could be in jeopardy. If you can help, please speak to me, Eric, Laura or Peter as soon as possible. Many thanks.

WaterWorld

In the June Newsletter I mentioned that our Warwickshire-based members, Ken and Margaret Froud, had recorded the latest series of TV's 'WaterWorld' and had lent this to the Society. Member Ray Brooks has kindly made two copies (in 'long play' mode) which are now available for loan from Alan Howarth on the Society's library stand.

Donated Canal Print

Further to the item in my column in the April Newsletter concerning the canal print by Garth Allan donated to the Society by members Paul and Viv Taylor, it has been decided to auction this at our Christmas meeting. An image of the print will appear in the next Newsletter.

British Waterways

As has become customary, we have received an invitation to BW's Annual Meeting, to be held this year on 8 September. We have also received a copy of BW's strategic document 'Our Plan for the Future 2005-2009' which sets out very clear targets for that organisation, and it's 2004/05 Annual Report & Accounts. Copies of those two documents will be placed in the Society's library for members' perusal.

Refreshments Rota

It seems to be a regular appeal in our monthly Newsletter but we do need members to come forward to assist with refreshments at our meetings. We do have a small pool of members who regularly volunteer for this task. Please do not leave this to the same 'crew' but see Gill with the date(s) you will be prepared to assist.

Paul Herbert


Editor's Thanks

 
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It was a little surprising to discover the other day that I have been editor of this Newsletter for ten years and just over one hundred issues. My first issue as editor was number 291 and was published at the September 1995 meeting.

Since then, I hope that I have managed to keep the membership informed, entertained and amused with news and articles which have not just been of local interest but have also kept members aware of national or even overseas happenings.

I have 'borrowed' from many sources including IWA and waterways press material, but contributions from our own members have been an important input. To all who have sent me stories, press cuttings, snippets of information, etc may I say thank you for your help over the years. (But, please, keep up the good work!)

Peter Oates


July Meeting

'The Itchen Navigation Project' - Leah Mathias

 
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We are grateful to Leah Mathias, the Itchen Navigation Project Officer, for making the time available to come and talk to us about the Project at our July meeting.

Members will recall that a synopsis of this project was published in our April 2005 Newsletter. It is not the intention, therefore, to repeat that information again but to concentrate on Leah's presentation.

She started her talk with details of the history and present status of the Itchen Navigation and gave credit to Southampton Canal Society for the valuable information provided about the Navigation on its excellent website (Thanks are very much due to our webmaster and waterways expert, Peter Oates). Leah provided details of the Project and its aims, objectives and aspirations which were to give the navigation a 'new lease of life'. The principal aims of this project are to enhance and improve the internationally renowned chalk river system to celebrate its wildlife, history and value to local people. In addition, and reflecting the importance of the heritage the project seeks to conserve, it is hoped to improve existing access, enjoyment and understanding of the Navigation. The wildlife designations that emphasise the importance of the River Itchen system in a UK and European context and the industrial heritage are the main drivers for the project. There is little in the way of intellectual access e.g.: interpretation and literature on the Navigation. The present resource for physical access is a Public Footpath. The Project is not creating new rights nor is it curtailing existing rights. The Project seeks to increase the promotional literature, displays and awareness of the Navigation and will seek to improve the public footpath where appropriate.

The Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project had received a £48,000 project planning grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This funding boost secured by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and, with additional support from the Environment Agency, has funded the preparation of a Conservation Management Plan to help restore the Itchen Navigation for people and wildlife. The purpose of that Plan is to support an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the actual implementation of the Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project (as against its planning).

Leah was appointed in 2004 to run the planning phase of the project, her post sitting with the Wildlife Trust on behalf of the partnership which includes the Environment Agency, Winchester City Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, Southampton City Council, Hampshire County Council and English Nature.

Leah described the various (and complex) issues that the Project will be dealing with. She stressed that the legal issues concerning the Itchen Navigation were a 'legal minefield' and she did not intend to get embroiled in those issues at the meeting. There are a number of conflicts of interest arising from the varied existing uses of the navigation and land owner issues etc. Leah stressed that the main aim of the Project was to restore the navigation for people and wildlife. The conservation management plan will:

Leah stressed that the Project did not include the restoration of the Itchen for through navigation purposes. There was little public demand for such full restoration, there would be significant engineering difficulties, extremely high costs, and the navigation is an important place for wildlife and falls in the area designated as a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It also has several Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation along its length. In addition, there were currently no plans to re-water any of the dry sections of the navigation.

Leah went on to describe the many values and attractions of the navigation, also highlighting some of the challenges that lay ahead of the Project.

Referring to the methodology of the Project, Leah described the appointment of various specialist consultants who had examined such aspects as engineering, nature conservation, heritage conservation, public access, stakeholder interests (including riparian owners), legal issues etc. There had been a lengthy public consultation exercise and she referred to the valuable input of both the Southampton Canal Society and the Inland Waterways Association.

Following the refreshment break there was a most interesting and rewarding question and answer session which took us up to the end of the meeting. Leah pointed out that there would be opportunities in due course for individuals or groups to assist in the implementation of various Project works and if anyone is interested in helping they should contact her at the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

In closing, Leah explained that a summary of the Conservation Management Plan was about to be published on the Project's website. A copy of that plan has now been run off and deposited in the Society's library. That plan provides far more detail about the Project than I have been able to include in this write-up. The Project's Access and Audience Development Plan can also be found on the Project website, but that is a very large document and it is not proposed at this time to print off a copy for the library. Obviously, if it is found that a large demand exists for access to a hard copy of that document, a copy could then be made available.

Many thanks to Leah for providing so much information and background on this exciting project and we will all look forward to witnessing progress over the next few years, as funding becomes available.

To view the Project website, and to access the Conservation Management Plan and Access and Audience Development Plan online, go to: www.hwt.org.uk/itchen.htm

Paul Herbert


Member's Recovery

 
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After mention in the Chairman's Column last month of Colin Huggins' heart surgery, the Editor recently received the following email:

Thanks for the (abbreviated) medical report in this month's SCS newsletter (is that why they call it a "mench"?).

Just to let you know that I cheated the forecast doom and gloom and recovered very quickly - some would say far too quickly! - and hounded the yard to finish the repairs and get us both afloat again. The result was being able to join the Solent & Arun IWA group on their trip up the Adur on 9 July. Reached Upper Beeding as planned after dredging the shallows on the way!

That bunch intend to attack the Upper Hamble in September which will be another challenge, and the next time I have Chilworth in the diary is for James Griffin's cruise account in November. I've already spoken to him about the trip.

Sincerely

COLIN HUGGINS


Society website

 
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The Canal Society's website, which has now been in existence for about six years, continues to be popular, having been visited by people from various countries around the world, including the following:

Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cote D'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia.

Why not find out what is the attraction?


Donation

 
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As a result of the talk given by Ron and Myra Glover earlier in the year, the Society made a donation of £50 to the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust. Myra forwarded the cheque to the Trust and has since told us, "I thought that you may be interested to know that the donation will be paying for two stop planks at Dauntsey lock! We will have to go & inspect our stop planks some time!"


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© Southampton Canal Society 2005. Except where otherwise 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 27 July 2005 - archived 15 October 2005.

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