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Issue 312 - August 1997

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NAVIGABLE CULVERT FOR LATTON BYPASS

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The IWA welcomed the announcement that a navigable culvert is to be provided for the restoration of the Thames & Severn Canal underneath the new A419 Latton Bypass. This follows many months of intense lobbying from the Cotswold Canals Trust, IWA and other groups.

IWA National Chairman, Mrs Audrey Smith, said, "This is a very important victory for the waterway restoration movement in general and represents a major turning point in achieving the full restoration of the Thames & Severn Canal. We all owe a considerable debt to the many parties who have lobbied hard for the navigable culvert, in particular Gloucestershire County Council who have provided finance to cover the majority of the cost involved."

Mrs Smith added, "MPs past and present, local authorities and amenity groups have all played an important part in securing the line of the canal at this strategic crossing. However, the value of the many letters written by members of the IWA and the large army of supporters for the Cotswold Canals can not be underestimated. The new Roads Minister, Baroness Hayman, is said to have been very impressed at the enormous number of letters from the canal's supporters, some coming from the most distant corners of the globe."

Mrs Smith concluded, "We are truly delighted for the Cotswold Canals Trust. This boost to the magnificent work they are undertaking is well deserved."

Work on the navigable culvert commenced on Monday 14th July. The 31 metre long box culvert construction will be cast on site by contractors, RMG, the consortium who are building the road.

However, the new culvert will span just the main dual carriageway and not the side roads. These latter roads will be less difficult to alter when restoration / construction of the canal is being carried out in the future.

Gloucestershire County Council have signed an 'Abortive Costs Undertaking' to protect the contractors from unforeseen delay costs, which has enabled the work to proceed. A Section 278 Agreement, covering the extra contractural costs and loss of any shadow tolls revenue also has to be signed.

IWA Press Release & Head Office Bulletin July 1997


Villagers are fuming over noisy pumps

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Following the announcement in last month's Newsletter that BW's pumping scheme is now open, thanks to Ken and Margaret Froud, from the Society's Napton Branch, who sent me the following article from the Leamington Courier of June 27th.

Residents in Long Itchington claim a pilot water-pumping system along stretches of canal near their homes has turned into a noisy health hazard. British Waterways installed pumps at eight locks on the Grand Union Canal between Radford Semele and Calcutt last week in a bid to save water.

Powered by diesel generators, the £500,000 recycling scheme will pump water towards Napton when levels are low. But villagers living near pumps at Long Itchington claim the large diesel generators are too noisy and produce smelly fumes day and night.

One couple, whose house backs onto the canal, say they are unable to open their windows or doors because of the fumes. They claim the drone of the generator keeps them awake at night. The Long Itchington resident, who declined to be named, said: "It is absolutely dreadful. We can't even open our windows because of the smell. My wife is asthmatic and she can't breathe properly when she goes into her own back garden. It's putting her health at risk.

"This pilot scheme is supposed to be going on for six months. What kind of summer are we going to have if we can't even open our windows or sit in the garden? It seems quite strange these diesel generators are funded by taxpayers, pumping fumes into the countryside when everyone is aiming to cut down on pollution."

Richard Williams, who owns canal boats moored in the village, added: "I don't think people are opposed to the idea behind the scheme, but these generators run continuously, giving off fumes. Most people living on boats near here are concerned about the system. Some of them have even been kept awake all night by the noise."

Ninian Roeters Van Lennap, who lives on his boat near Long Itchington Lock said: "It seems extraordinarily wasteful way of going about it. I don't think people are terribly excited about having these generators here."

BW local manager Andrew Stumpf said: "We have received a few complaints from people living near the generators, and we are looking to try and rectify them by making the generators less noisy and trying to stop the fumes. We apologise to people who may have experienced problems because of them. They are temporary diesel generators but will remain there over the summer. They will be running 24 hours a day. One of the problems is at night. When there is no other noise, these generators may seem intrusive."


July Meeting

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Our Annual General Meeting was held in July with 28 voting members present plus four others (junior members and non-members).

The Chairman, Brian Evans reported on a successful year, one full of interest. Attendance at meetings had been quite reasonable, especially last year's Member's Night in August. Also we had had some very interesting speakers visit us and he talked about a few of them. After thanking some of the members who had helped the Society over the past year, he reminded everyone that there was still a need to fight for the canals, particularly for navigation.

Eric Lewis also mentioned the talks and speakers who had entertained us during the past year. He also referred to the Society outing on the Kennet & Avon: enjoyed by all who had gone.

Attendances at meetings were helped by closer ties with the local IWA Branches and Groups, whilst his own attendance at the Parliamentary Waterways Group had made many more in the waterway movement aware of the Southampton Canal Society.

Our Treasurer, Laura Sturrock reported on the Society's finances and membership figures, the latter having shown a net increase of 6. She was pleased with the overall financial results which had seen a small surplus for the year and an increased balance in the bank at year-end.

The meeting then discussed and agreed that subscription rates should be increased to keep up with inflation. The new rates are now: Single £6.00 and £9.00 for the Family rate.

The existing Society Officers and other Committee Members were re-elected en bloc as there were no other nominations.

The evening was rounded off with a showing by Eric Lewis of a video of the war-time film Painted Boats. For an AGM, the evening was quite pleasant.

Peter Oates


Canal Society Library

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Don't forget the Society Library is open at our meetings to lend any of the many interesting and often unusual books on the waterways.


OBITUARY
Graham Capelin

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It is with sadness that I report the death of one of our past members: Graham Capelin who died suddenly on Sunday 22nd June aged 49.

Graham's interest in canals stemmed from his model railway research and he became "addicted" following trips on the Thames and on the Shropshire Union Canal in the early 1970's. His cruising of the inland waterways system became extensive, at first on hire boats and later on his own boat MARAH, which he moored in St Pancras Basin in London.

Over the years, Graham gave several slide shows to Southampton Canal Society of his cruising, especially around the BCN, and in recent years has made his model canal boats and memorabilia available to the Society for use on our displays.

As a person with the ability to enthuse others in his interests and as a close friend he will be greatly missed.

Eric Lewis


National Waterways Festival - Henley

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To date there are 550 boats and nearly 300 caravans and tents booked to attend the Festival, which this year is over 4 days from Friday 22nd to Monday 25th August 1997.

IWA members can enjoy a reduced admission ticket of £3 per day. Alternatively, members may also purchase a weekend pass for £10 which will allow entry to the evening entertainment as well. Both will be available at the pay gates on production of your membership card.

There's a ½ hourly train service from Twyford (on the main Paddington to Reading line) to Henley Station. There is a £2 reduction on the full adult admission price for those travelling by train. Reading Buses will be laying on a shuttle between the Festival and the station. There is also a waterbus service along the river.

Attractions are far too numerous to itemise. See you all there!


Canal Society Barbecue

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As previously announced, the Society is organising another barbecue this year on 20th September 1997. The venue this year is Bursledon Brickworks, off Swanwick Lane, Swanwick.

Our barbecue is being organised in conjunction the the IWA Solent & Arun Branch who will be holding a Small Boat Cruise up the River Hamble from the public hard at Swanwick Shore up to Botley Parish Quay. A Commemorative Cargo, which will include various items of local produce, is also to be delivered to Botley Quay by water. Parts of the cargo (including commemorative mugs) will be available for purchase after the event; details from Peter Boyce. Entry forms for the cruise also available from Peter whose address is given in the article below.

The brickworks will be specially open to those taking part in these events from 10.00 to 14.00. Guided tours of the brickworks will also be laid on.

Tickets for the barbecue will cost £4.00 with admission for under 5's free. These may be obtained from Eric Lewis (address on page 2). Please make cheques / postal orders payable to Southampton Canal Society.

Timetable for Cruise and Barbecue:

09.30 - 10.30 Launching at Swanwick Hard
  Load cargo
10.00 - 14.00 Brickworks open to non-boating participants
10.30 - 12.30 Guided tours of Bursledon Brickworks
10.30 - 11.00 Boats proceed to Eastlands Boatyard
11.00 - 11.15 Boaters walk up to brickworks
12.00 - 13.00 SCS Barbecue Lunch at Brickworks
12.45 - 13.00 Boaters walk back to boats
13.00 - 14.00 Boats proceed to Botley Parish Quay
14.00 - 16.00 Meet Botley and Curdridge Local History Society members
  Unload cargo
  Visit Botley Mill
  Refreshments and Events at the Quay
16.00 - 17.30 Return to Swanwick
17.30 - 18.30 Recover boats

IWA Solent & Arun Branch Events

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The S&A Branch are advertising the following events in the area (in addition to our own):

9-10 August (Sat & Sun) - Littlehampton Regatta; Wey & Arun Canal Trust stall, IWA carrying mayoral greetings and "mooring news".

10 August (Sun) - Chichester Canal Cream Tea Walk - as above.

17 August (Sun) - Chichester Canal Water Fair and Steam Boat Rally. Many attractions on and off the water. Parade for all boat types; chance to cruise the canal in your own boat. Contact: Paul Coppard 01903 766585.

23/24/25 August (Sat, Sun & Mon) - National Waterways Festival, Henley on Thames.

7 September (Sun) - Chichester Canal Cream Tea Walk - Last opportunity this year. See above.

20 September (Sat) - Hamble Small Boat Cruise - Autumn cruise including visit Bursledon Brickworks and Botley Village Quay. Easy launching at public slipway at Swanwick. Contact: Alan White 01243 573765. Also SCS barbecue at Bursledon Brickworks.

19 October (Sun) - River Rother Guided Walk, Stopham to Shopham. Guided walk, donation please.

Except as noted above, further details may be obtained from:

Peter Boyce, Greensleeves Cottage, Hambledon Road, Denmead, Waterlooville, Hants PO7 6PW. Tel (home) 01705 269642, (office and answer machine) 01730 829016, (work) 01705 693611 ext 1364. E-mail: iwa.solent.arun@dial.pipex.com


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