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Issue 291 - September 1995

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AUGUST MEETING

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Brian Evans reports that there's not a lot to be said about this meeting other than it most likely goes down as the Society's second smallest meeting: few people (14), few slides (only Brian's). His comment: "We persevere and look forward to next August. Hopefully, having bottomed out, things can only get better!"


PIPING ABOARD

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Three traditional working boats, Saltaire, Dane and its butty, Ditton completed a journey of 236 miles and 152 locks recently to deliver a cargo of pipes to the Kennet & Avon Canal. Starting on the Erewash Canal, the delivery completes the final stage in laying the pipes under the towpath for the back pumping scheme on the Caen Hill Lock flight, Devizes. 30 pipes in total arrived, each measuring over 2ft in diameter, about 21ft long and weighing approx 1 tonne. The delivery was arranged by BW, the Historic Narrowboat Owners Club and the Commercial Narrowboat Operators Association.

Newways, BW, August 1995


NEW TUG

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A new electrically powered tug has been launched to tow boats through Dudley Tunnel. At a special ceremony Iris Brown named the boat John C Brown in honour of her late husband. John led the canal-focused redevelopment of Birmingham and the Black Country throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s as British Waterways' Area Engineer, Birmingham and Special Projects Engineer.

The new tug features a special hull designed by British Waterways engineers. The tug will be managed by the Dudley Canal Trust and will allow pre-booked boats to be towed through the tunnel from September.

Newways, BW, August 1995


ANDERTON UPDATE

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There was great excitement last October when the Anderton Boat Lift Trust was launched - but it's all been a bit quiet since. Or so it would seem - but no! Work has been continuing behind the scenes, mainly to deter.mine the scale of works involved in restoring the Lift. BW are playing an active part as members of the Trust in making financial proposals for restoration.

The feasibility stage has now been completed by Lewin & Fryer, consulting engineers, in preparation for the design stages. Extensive testing of the structure is being carried out and assessments are being made of what parts of the Lift to retain, replace and the scope of the necessary restoration. Besides the intense engineering investigations, visitor access is being improved by the provision of AA signing and the re-establishment of a formal viewing area.

Newways, BW, August 1995


NEWSLETTER ARTICLES

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As the new editor of the SCS newsletter, I would like to ask ALL of you to give or send me news items, articles, reminiscences, notes, letters, details of forthcoming events or indeed anything (preferably waterways related) that might be of interest to your fellow members. These can be of local, national or even world-wide importance. These items may be submitted on any scrap of paper, back of a fag packet or whatever - provided I can read it. As this newsletter is produced on a PC, submissions may be also be made on a suitable floppy disk (3½" or 5¼") which will be returned. If you don't feel confident about your writing style, I can always knock it into shape for you. I will endeavour to use all pieces I feel to be of interest. Please include your name and address or telephone number with each item so that I can clarify any doubtful points. It will be greatly appreciated if submissions can made as early as possible (at least a week) before the date of publication. Don't forget that this is your Society's newsletter - your help is needed to keep it interesting!

Peter Oates, 33 King Edward Avenue, Southampton, SO16 4DN. Tel: 01703 780186


COME TO WRG'S 25TH BIRTHDAY PARTY - DIG 95

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To celebrate 25 years of waterway restoration, Waterways Recovery Group are inviting you to an anniversary party! They are organising a weekend dig from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November 1995 on the Thames and Severn Canal at Latton near Cricklade. It is hoped that over 400 volunteers will turn up and spend the weekend jungle-bashing, excavating, towpath-building, doing a small amount of bricklaying and generally showing those responsible for the proposed Latton bypass that the canal restorers mean business.

If you don't want to or can't work on site, there will hundreds of hungry navvies to feed and their cooks are always grateful for a hand in the kitchen. If you have slightly more time to spare, they also need help to spring clean the airbase before the weekend and to clear up afterwards. The accommodation will be available from the Wednesday before to the Wednesday afterwards.

You will need to book in before the weekend as the accommodation is at RAF Kemble and you will need a security pass to get on to the site. WRG will send you this pass with your joining instructions. The basic cost accommodation etc is just £6.00! There will be limited caravan spaces available at £8.00 extra for the weekend.

The birthday party itself will be on the Saturday night and will include (in different rooms!) performances by Mikron theatre, a disco and a ceilidh and no doubt the odd orange juice or two if required.

Application forms for the weekend are available from the Chairman or from Helen Davey, 42 Orchard Close, Alresford, Hants, SO24 9PY (Tel: 01962 734909).


RUBBISH - WHAT A WASTE!

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Westminster City Council have decided to transfer the removal of waste from water transport to road by awarding the contract for the removal of rubbish to Onyx UK who will be using up to 50 lorries a day to move that which currently being moved via the River Thames. The Chairman of IWA's Inland Shipping Group is angry at the way the decision has been handled. It was published in the London Evening Standard the day before the contracts committee met. Also the closure of Grosvenor Dock and the disposal of the tugs was announced before the official decision on the waste disposal contract.

The council's switch from water to road is opposed to professed government policy. The IWA, London Rivers Association and the Port of London Authority have all protested at the decision and it is estimated that the jobs of 30 lightermen will be at risk because of the transfer.

In contrast, a week later the Corporation of London agreed a deal with Cory Environmental to dispose of its 50,000 tonnes of rubbish a year with a condition that the waste continues to be taken away by water.

Waterways World, September 1995


MONTGOMERY CANAL

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On Saturday June 3rd, the first 1½ miles from Frankton Junction via the new Graham Palmer Memorial Lock to the site of the Perry Aqueduct were officially opened. I recently had the chance to visit this beautiful canal and whilst the new works still look brash, nature will soon mellow the hand of man. It is also good to see work under way, both volunteer and professional, at a number of other sites along the waterway. Major reconstruction immediately south of the reopened length including a new road bridge is in hand, as is lock reconstruction at Aston and at Belan. A new bridge under an A road at Welshpool has just been opened. Other assorted work along the canal gives, at long last, every indication of a very active restoration which should the whole canal open within a decade.

Peter Oates


MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS

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Please remember that your annual subscription to the Society became due in July. At £5.50 for a single member and £8.00 for a family, there cannot be many better bargains for twelve evenings of entertainment (not just one). Laura, our new treasurer, will be pleased to see you if you haven't already paid.


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