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Issue 336 - November 1999

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October Meeting

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At the October meeting, Trevor Thornton of the Commercial Narrow Boat Operators Association enlightened us as to how, under modern transport conditions, there are still a number of hardy souls who are willing to continue carrying goods on inland waterways using narrow boats. There remain a variety of cargoes which on some occasions can economically and often conveniently be carried.

The CNOA was formed to further trade on the water and inform members where work was to be had. It has grown to 36 trading members and 120 associates, who are all kept informed through a quarterly newsletter. Associate membership costs £10.00. The active members publicise the services of their carrying members, keep a register of working boats and crews available for hire, and attend meetings with British Waterways, etc to discuss stoppages, obstacles on the waterways, building developments that could mean loss of working wharves.

Many carriers survive by buying and selling coal and fuel oil at various places close to the waterways, so not only carrying their cargoes but also trading in them. The working narrow boat is as much a part of the waterways as are the preserved buildings, locks, bridges, etc. So let us hope that carrying will continue into the future and at locks we should all be willing to give them priority since to them time really means money.

Brian Evans


Waterways Quiz

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Monday 22nd November sees the annual inter-society waterways quiz. In December last, the IWA Guildford and Reading Branch won the quiz that had been held for the last few years at St John Ambulance Hall, Southampton. As winners, they are responsible for organising this year's quiz. They have decided to hold this at their usual meeting place of Byfleet Boat Club, The Boat House, 4 Old Parvis Road, Byfleet, Woking, Surrey. We have accepted the invitation to take part so that the trophy can make its way back "down south" where it belongs.

We now have a team to answer the questions, but it would be very good to have Society supporters present to cheer the side along. It is proposed that a number of cars will be organised so that the team and, hopefully, lots of supporters can share transport costs. If you want to cheer the Society team to victory or just have an enjoyable evening then let me know. I'm willing to act as a clearing house for transport. So if you have spare seats in your car or if you want a lift, please contact me - the sooner the better. I trust that many of you (and that includes YOU) will decide to come and give us your support.

Below is a map of the area around Byfleet showing motorways, A-roads and B-roads. The inset shows, diagrammatically, the area by the boat-house. If coming from the Southampton area, the easiest approach is via the M3. At the junction with the M25 turn south towards Chertsey and Leatherhead (Heathrow is the WRONG way). Turn off the M25 at junction 11, going left along the A317 dual carriageway towards Chertsey. At the next roundabout turn right onto the A318 to Byfleet. At the roundabout where the B385 (to Woodham and Woking) turns off, follow the A318 left then right across the tail of New Haw lock. After about a mile, at the third roundabout according to the map, turn right onto the A245 towards West Byfleet and Woking.

In about half a mile, just after crossing both the M25 and the Wey Navigation on a single, modern bridge, turn right and immediately right again into Old Parvis Road. This will take you back over the Navigation via the Old Parvis Bridge where you should find the Boat Club on your left.

If approaching via the A3 from Guildford, I would recommend turning off at the interchange after the M25. Turn left onto A245 towards Byfleet and Woking. After nearly 2½ miles you should reach the bridge over the M25 referred to in the previous paragraph.

Peter Oates

Map of Byfleet area

National Trailboat Festival 2000

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Arrangements are being made for the year 2000 National Trailboat Festival to be held at Newport, Gwent on an unconnected section of the Monmouthshire Canal, owned by Newport County Borough Council. The site is adjacent to the M4 at Junction 26.

The Festival is being organised by the Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust (MBACT) with assistance from IWA South Wales Branch.

Newport was one of two sites investigated, the other being at Cwmcarn on the derelict Crumlin arm of the Monmouthshire Canal approx 7 miles distant. Unfortunately, the Cwmcarn site does not have a suitable space available for the festival activities. The good news at Cwmcarn is that the owner, Caerphilly County Borough Council have promised that a slipway will be constructed at their navigable stretch of canal. This will enable trail boaters access to that section for the first time for over half a century and an opportunity to explore the cruising potential on the Crumlin arm of the Monmouthshire Canal as well as the one and a half miles, including one lock, at Newport. Car drivers also have the seven miles of the adjacent Forest Drive Country Park to explore. For more information of the 26-28 May 2000 Trailboat Festival, contact Phil Hughes on 01495 762823 or Don Thomas on 01633 48340.

IWA Sou'Wester magazine, Autumn 1999


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