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Issue 452 - September 2010

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Chairman's Report

 
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As incoming Chairman I look forward to the challenge of leading the Society through this next year.

The Committee and Members wish to thank our retiring Treasurer and Committee Member Anne Coleman, for her dedication and the support she gave at our meetings.

I would wish, and I'm sure all the members would join me, in congratulating Paul on his excellent "Final Chairman's Report" 2009/2010 in the August newsletter.

It covered so many items that we all have enjoyed. Plus up to date articles on B.W. and our local Canals, The Basingstoke, Wey & Arun and of course Itchen Navigation.

His thanks for all the help and support the members gave is kindly accepted. The willingness to stand on the Committee this next year is appreciated and we all welcome Gill Herbert as our new Treasurer.

Latest News

The Leeds & Liverpool canal has been closed due to the lowest rainfall since the 1920's! It's closed from Wigan to Gargrave a distance of 60 miles. Apparently, the stop planks are in place.

Alan Rose


An appeal for help!

 
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At the beginning of August, Paul Herbert received the following email. If you can help, please contact Ian directly.

Dear Paul Herbert,

I am researching a documentary for BBC4 - "The Story of the Canals". The programme will use home movies of people who worked and enjoyed the canals with their recollections and memories, to tell the story of how the canals were used to move goods around the country, and were then re-invented in more recent times as a vehicle for leisure.

I am looking for any home movies made by people who have earned their living from canals, for example boat people, lock keepers, etc. etc. and film made by people who have used the canals for leisure.

It would be a great bonus if the film makers or people appearing in the films could be interviewed for the documentary.

Can you be of any help? Do you know of any members of your society who have filmed their experiences?

I would be most grateful for any help you could offer,

best regards,

Ian Bild

Available Light Productions Ltd
The Victorian Arcade | 3a Boyce's Avenue | Clifton | Bristol | BS8 4AA
Tel: +44 (0) 117 908 4433 | Fax: +44 (0) 117 908 4434
Web: http://www.availablelight.tv | Email: ibild@availablelight.tv


Skittles Evening

 
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Skittles at The Phoenix

Following our popular skittles evening earlier in the year, Maureen is organising another at the same venue:

The Phoenix Inn, Twyford

Friday 19 November 2010

£10.50 to include food and small prizes.

Please indicate your interest to Maureen as soon as possible at the September meeting or email maureen.greenham@talktalk.net or telephone 02380 406951. Money for the evening will be collected at the October meeting and your food choices can be made then also.


Small Boat Cruise to Beaulieu

 
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IWA Solent & Arun Branch are organising a small boat cruise on the Beaulieu River on Sunday 26 September 2010. This is the last of this year's cruises in a programme originally set up by our late member Andy Berncastle.

High Water at Beaulieu is due at about 13.45. Meet and launch at Buckler's Hard from 11.30, or earlier if you fancy going down river first. Access is via a private track to the Marina (Marina Office Grid Ref: SU406003); please check in there to pay slip/harbour dues and get parking instructions in this lovely but busy spot. Cruise up to Beaulieu for a picnic lunch at the quay, or sample the pub or café, or just browse among the ice creams and giftware, admiring any New Forest ponies. Return to Bucklers Hard at leisure, but don't run out of sea-water; it should be OK to leave Beaulieu up to 15.00 latest.

Please contact Brendan Whelan (tel: 01903 816012 or email solentandarun@waterways.org.uk) to let us know to expect you and for any advice or guidance. All take part at own risk.


July Meeting

 
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The Itchen Navigation Project - Ali Morse

Most Society members will be aware of The Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project (to give it its full title) through regular updates in our Newsletter.

We had invited Ali Morse, the Project Manager for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to our July meeting to remind us of the main objectives of the project and to appraise us of progress to date. Just a reminder that this is a five year lottery funded project which aims to conserve the Itchen Navigation for the future.

Ali gave us an introduction to the Wildlife Trust, advising us that it either owns or manages 61 wildlife reserves; it organises over 350 events and activities every year; and provides advice to landowners. She reminded us about the history of the Navigation, how the project was set up and funded, including substantial grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project is a partnership between the Wildlife Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Inland Waterways Association, Winchester City Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council.

The project is currently carrying out river bank restoration and footpath improvements along the Navigation at Winchester, Shawford, Brambridge, Eastleigh and Southampton, with works due to be completed by 2012. Ali described in detail some of the work being carried out. She also referred to the physical remains of the old navigation that still existed, including some locks, original bridges and wharves. The old towing path is now, of course, 'The Itchen Way', a very popular long distance public footpath.

We learnt about the varied wildlife along the river valley and we were delighted to hear of the return of otters and water voles. Ali told us about the Kingfisher Appeal which has a target of raising £40,000 to restore neglected habitats along the length of the navigation. Every £1 raised releases a further £19 of funding already committed by the Environment Agency, Heritage Lottery Fund and others. The £25,000 raised so far will actually make a total of £500,000 available to help restore the Itchen. If the target of £40,000 can be reached by the end of the year the project will have an additional £800,000 - enough to complete the whole project by 2013. So, our Society's donation of £75 to the Kingfisher Appeal, in respect of Ali's talk to us, is actually worth £1,500!

We were told about the problems of maintaining water levels, particular in the river section, which were high in winter, causing the banks to crumble or breach, flooding the adjacent footpath. In the summer the levels could be very low which had a detrimental effect, particularly on fishing.

Ali took us on a whistle-stop tour of the navigation, with the aid of digital slides, which showed some of the works carried out to date, particular problem areas, and sites still to be tackled.

One very important part of the project was involving the local communities along the length of the navigation and Ali described the various initiatives underway including the use of volunteers - who were always very welcome. One major community involvement has been the Itchen Navigation Arts Project which has galvanised interest from wide sections of the community.

There is so much more that I could tell you about Ali's superb presentation about our own, local waterway, but I am afraid I have run out of room. Many thanks Ali for a great evening.

Want to know more about the Project or how to become involved? Visit the Trust's website at: www.itchennavigation.org.uk or ring them on: 01489 774400

Paul Herbert


August Meeting

 
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Society's 43rd Annual General Meeting

Twenty one members attended the Society's 43rd Annual General Meeting held at Chilworth Parish Hall on 22 July 2010. There were seventeen recorded apologies for absence. The meeting was chaired by our Chairman, Paul Herbert, whilst our President, Brian Evans, officiated for the election of officers and the committee. The meeting followed the usual procedure and all documentation had been published in the August Newsletter, which had been provided to members.

The Chairman and Secretary presented their reports. The Treasurer & Membership Secretary had unfortunately been called away on a family emergency so the Chairman presented her report. It is not the intention to summarise the content of those reports in this write-up as members will have had access to the full documents in the August Newsletter.

In his last report as Chairman, Paul explained that after many years on the Committee, serving in various capacities, including nine as Chairman, he felt it was now time to hand over the mantle to someone else, but he would still be around to offer such assistance as he could. The Society had enjoyed an interesting programme of speakers and other events during 2009/2010, and plans were well advanced for an equally good programme in 2010/2011. Financially we remained sound and have been able to make donations to a number of waterways organisations and other good causes. Sadly we have lost a number of members and others associated with the Society. As always, the Society's priority must be to increase membership.

Both in his report and at the AGM Paul thanked all those members who contributed to the running of the Society and to its continued success. He thanked all Committee members, past and present, who had supported him during his term as Chairman.

The AGM agreed to increase the subscription for joint membership to £25 and to raise the cost of refreshments to 50p.

There then followed the election of Officers and other Committee members. Alan Rose was elected to replace Paul as Chairman, Gill Herbert was elected Treasurer & Membership Secretary to replace Anne Coleman (with assistance on financial matters from Maureen Greenham) and Angela Rose was re-elected as Secretary. Paul agreed to be Vice-Chairman for one year only in order to assist with the transition period for the new Committee whilst Maureen Greenham and David Townley-Jones were re-elected to the Committee. There were no other nominations. Peter Oates had agreed to continue as Editor of the Newsletter and Webmaster whilst Laura Sturrock was re-appointed as the Society's Auditor/Examiner.

Brian Evans thanked Paul and the Committee for all their work on behalf of the Society, and those sentiments were echoed by others in the audience.

Following the AGM we enjoyed a very successful cheese and wine evening. As this appeared to be so popular it is likely to be repeated in the future.

Paul Herbert


Proposed trip to Tooley's Yard

 
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The trip that was proposed last month to Tooley's boatyard in Banbury, Oxfordshire, is being held over until next year.


Society Horse-Drawn Boat Trip

 
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It's not too late to book this trip

The Kennet Valley

Trip on the horse-drawn Kennet Valley

Saturday 2 October 2010 - 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Cost: £14 for seniors and children, £15 for adults

To include cake, scone with cream and jam, tea/coffee on board

Bookings: Maureen Greenham tel 02380 406951 or email maureen.greenham@talktalk.net

Please let Maureen have payment at the September meeting or as soon as possible.


Day-Star Theatre

 
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Day-Star Theatre will be presenting "The Worst Summer Ever" on Friday 8 October at 7.45pm

Tickets: £8 - available from Angela Rose or Maureen Greenham. An American Supper will follow the show.

It's August 1954 the Americans have just exploded a hydrogen bomb on the island of Bikini, Khrushchev is manoeuvring for total power in the USSR after Stalin's death, Roger Bannister, has run the first sub four minute mile and wartime rationing finally ends with the lifting of restrictions on meat. It is also being called the 'worst summer ever' with high rainfall, low temperatures and very little sunshine.

In the small seaside town of Shellsea they are feeling the effects of the non existent summer. The Sea Spray seafront restaurant hasn't had a customer for days, nobody wants to hire a deck chair and the Cliff View Guest House has just one paying guest, a mysterious foreigner who says he is from Basingstoke.

Some people blame the weather on the new atomic research station up on the moor and others blame the Russians but when Rosie, the new focus of male attention in the town, goes missing, suspicion starts to fall on the mysterious foreigner.

There is also a neglected and bullied wife, a redundant Spiv, a war widow and an ex R A F war hero unrequited in love so you might wonder what there is to laugh about in Shellsea. .... Quite a lot actually.

Two actors, six characters, a multitude of emotions.


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