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Issue 377 - December 2003

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Chairman's Column

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Annual Inter-Society Quiz: Welcome to our Visitors

Welcome to all those participating in the 2003 Inter-Society Waterways Quiz, which the Society is pleased to host again. Invitations to field teams were sent out to many canal societies and IWA Branches in our region but, unfortunately, we were only able to attract two other teams. Never mind, it's the quality rather than the quantity that counts so we are delighted to welcome back our regular supporters, the IWA Solent & Arun Branch and the IWA Salisbury Group, who will be fighting against our own Society team to wrest the trophy from our grasp.

This year's Quizmaster is Jon Sims and I would like to thank him for stepping into the breach at a very late stage.

As always, the Quiz will be followed by an American Supper.

Skittles Evening

A second very successful Society Skittles Evening was held at 'The Kings Head' in Hursley on Friday 28 November. It was another sell-out though, regrettably, Gill and I were unable to attend. Many thanks to Angela Faull for organising the event. I understand that Angela is planning to organise a similar evening in the Spring ...... so watch this space for details.

Refreshments Rota

Volunteers are still wanted to assist with providing the refreshments at our monthly meetings so please don't forget to give your names and available dates to Angela Faull as soon as possible. I know Angela will be inundated with offers of help so please remember to keep in an orderly queue.

Membership Records and Subscriptions

I understand that there are still a few outstanding subscriptions for the current year and our Membership Secretary hasn't yet been able to finalise our membership database because she has not received back all the completed forms (which were printed in the Newsletter earlier in the year). If you think you may fit either of these categories, can you please contact Laura Sturrock as soon as possible.

Name Badges

Yes, I know members have heard all about this proposed initiative before! However, following a discussion at our last Committee meeting we will now be going ahead with this idea. We will be printing off, on self-adhesive labels, the names of those members who regularly attend our monthly meetings, and they will be available at a table at the back of the hall. I would be grateful if everyone could wear their 'badge' to enable members to identify each other.

January Meeting

Just a final reminder that our January meeting has been re-scheduled for the 8th, when we will be able to enjoy our annual Members Photographic Evening. Please see details elsewhere in this Newsletter.

2004 Programme

We are well on with the booking of speakers and other events for 2004. See inside this Newsletter for more information.

A Happy Christmas to Our Members

As we come to the end of yet another successful year for the Society, it gives me the greatest pleasure to wish all Society members a Very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Paul Herbert


November Meeting

John Fletcher, IWA National Chairman

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I was delighted to see so many members and guests at our November meeting when we welcomed John and Margaret Fletcher to Southampton. Over 50 people attended and audiences of that size are now becoming a regular feature of our monthly meetings. This obviously bodes well for the Society and its standing in the waterways movement.

Prior to the meeting, John and Margaret were invited to a working supper at 'The Clump' with representatives of both the Society and the IWA Solent & Arun Branch. This gave us all a very good opportunity to talk about waterways issues of mutual concern.

John Fletcher receiving cheque from Paul Herbert for WRG's "The Right Tool for the Right Job" appeal

In my introduction and welcome to John at the beginning of the meeting I was able to explain that not only would he be speaking to the Southampton Canal Society but also to members of the IWA Solent & Arun Branch, the IWA Salisbury Group, various Boating Clubs and the Association of Waterway Cruising Clubs.

To start off his presentation John reminded us of the various IWA Chairmen who had visited the Canal Society and he described their individual characteristics and how they had done things at the IWA. It was obvious that he had done his homework because he didn't leave anybody out.

John's talk covered so much ground that it is not possible to give any more than a flavour in this write-up. He gave us his background, both in the medical industry in which he had worked and also in the waterways movement. He described his 'experiences' with members of the Royal Family including Prince Charles (and he referred to his visit to the Prince of Wales residence at Highgrove) and the Queen during her visit to Scotland to 'open' the Falkirk Wheel.

He then turned to political influence on the waterways and referred to the Prime Minister's awareness of canals, together with various other leading politicians, ministers and senior civic servants.

John then referred to the recent re-organisation within British Waterways, its future strategies and financing. He also commented on the current 5 yearly review of IWAAC and its possible future roles.

What many in the audience found rather surprising, considering John's position as National Chairman of the IWA, was the lack of any reference of substance to the IWA itself and its future policies and strategies.

At the end of John's presentation there was a fairly robust question and answer session which could have gone on and on ... but reluctantly I had to draw the evening to a close.

John spoke very well, throughout the meeting, without using notes. It is not many speakers able to do that.

I know that John and Margaret enjoyed their visit to Southampton and went back home to Bolton with a much better knowledge and appreciation of Southampton Canal Society. Thanks to them both for coming to see us and sharing their experiences.

Paul Herbert


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Details of Santa Cruises 2003

Chichester Canal

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The waterway contractors Land & Water commenced a dredging contract on the Chichester Canal on 13th November, to clear the central silted up section of the canal. This section largely comprised a reed bed across the full width of the canal. An IWA work party undertook preparatory work clearing brambles from an adjacent hedge during the previous week. Chichester Ship Canal Trust (formerly Chichester Canal Society) hopes to have a canal watercourse through this section before next spring.

The two road bridges then remain as the main obstructions to re-opening the canal, although other necessary works include lock repairs and new gates.

Another positive development has been the recent meetings of officers and members of the County Council on a central committee called the Chichester Ship Canal Master Plan. The Council is now looking seriously at the need to raise the first road bridge at Donnington.

IWA Bulletin December 2003


Members' Slides, Prints and Photo Competition Evening

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The meeting on the 8th January will be our annual Members' Slides Evening. This will give everyone the opportunity to show some pictures - even those who feel they might not have enough of interest to make up a whole evening's show. If you can put together up to a maximum of around a dozen pictures (even just one or two) that you feel will entertain / educate / amuse your fellow members, look them out for this evening.

We have the facility to project prints (up to 7" x 5") onto the screen as well as transparencies. So if you don't take slides, you too will be able to show something of waterways interest as well.

Again, like the last couple of years, the evening will also incorporate a photographic competition. To be held just before the tea interval, this competition is open to all members - you don't have to be showing other slides / prints during the evening. What we're looking for is one picture which can be anything to do (even loosely) with the waterways. The competition will be judged by all those present at the meeting.

And as an incentive to enter, there will be a mystery prize given to the winner.

So don't be shy, this is YOUR opportunity to show others your interest in waterways, what you've done or where you went and what you saw on holiday.

Please note the meeting is being held on the SECOND Thursday of the month to avoid the effects of New Year's Day!!


Our Programme for 2004

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It is appreciated that our Editor, Peter Oates, includes advance details of our programme in each Newsletter, but I thought members might be interested to read this brief piece about our forthcoming programme.

We start off the year with our Members' Photographic Evening in January.

At our February meeting we will welcome Andrew Stumpf, Regeneration Manager (South) at British Waterways, who will be talking to us about the proposed Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway, the restoration of the Cotswold Canals and, it is hoped, the restoration of the Droitwich Canals.

In March Eric and Sue Lewis will be presenting 'Around Britain by Canal in the 70s' (a programme given to the IWA Salisbury Group last month).

Sometime in March/April we will be able to enjoy another Skittles Evening.

Our speaker in early April will be John Finch of the IWA East Anglia Branch who will be telling us all about the Ipswich and Stowmarket Navigations.

Moving on to late April (in effect our May meeting), we have invited back, by popular demand, the celebrated photographer, Dennis Bright, whose programme that evening will be 'A Haven for Wildlife' which will tell the story of birds and mammals of the Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve.

From May 1-3, those who are able to get to Flecknoe/Braunston can enjoy the Society's third Annual Boat Gathering.

We then move onto our August meeting (to be held on 29 July) which is the provisional date for our 2004 Annual General Meeting.

A number of our members will be attending the Cutweb Internet Boating Club at Napton Top Lock in September and I am sure that many others will be assisting on the IWA Stand at the Southampton International Boat Show, also that month.

'Day-Star Theatre' has been booked for our October meeting and then, to come full circle, I expect we will be hosting the Annual Inter-Society Waterways Quiz and American Supper in December.

There are a number of other speakers and events in the pipeline so watch the 'Forthcoming Society Events' in future Newsletters for details.

Paul Herbert


SOCIETY SKITTLES EVENING

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A selection of photographs taken at the Skittles Evening at the Kings Arms, Hursley on 28 November 2003
Photographs © Peter Oates 2003

Watching the actionNow what've I done?Set 'em up!Quite easy reallySkittles and natterThis is fun!Angela - the organiser

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VISIT THE FALKIRK WHEEL

19th - 22nd April 2004

Staying at the
Park Lodge Hotel, Falkirk
(A member of the Best Western Group)

3 nights dinner, bed and breakfast
En-suite rooms with TV and tea/coffee making facilities

Trip by boat on the Falkirk Wheel

Day excursion to Edinburgh

£165.00 Inc.
Single Supplement £30.00
Insurance cost £8 per person

Travelling on a Skills Club Class no smoking coach with seat belts, air conditioning and toilet/handwash facilities.
Hot & Cold drinks available.

Visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia
Possible boat trip on the Union or the Forth and Clyde Canals
(Optional extras)

Deposit: £25.00

Enquiries to : Sheila Smith: Tel 0115 938 4129

Send your comments to the Web Site manager (Peter Oates)

© Southampton Canal Society 2003 - 2004. Except where 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 8 January 2004

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