Newsletter Archive

Issue 388 - December 2004

Previous Issue
November 2004
Current Newsletter
This month's Newsletter
Archive Index
Archive Index
Next Issue
February 2005

Chairman's Column

 
Next Article

Annual Inter-Society Quiz: Welcome to our Visitors

The Society is pleased to host the popular Inter-Society Waterways Quiz once again and I would like to welcome the participating teams. As has become traditional in recent years, the 2004 contest will be between teams representing IWA Solent & Arun Branch, IWA Salisbury Group, and Southampton Canal Society. This year's quizmaster will be Chris Davey, who has participated in the Quiz, as a team member, on many occasions. Many thanks to Chris for all his hard work in devising the questions.

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

Membership Subscriptions

I believe there are a few subscriptions still outstanding for the current year. If you think you may be one of those who have overlooked this, perhaps you could contact Laura Sturrock (details elsewhere in this Newsletter) as soon as possible.

January Meeting

A reminder that our popular Members Photographic Evening and Competition takes place on 6 January. Please see details elsewhere in this Newsletter.

2005 Programme

As members are no doubt aware, speakers have already been booked up to and including April 2005. More information on that programme appears inside this Newsletter. Following on from the success of our recent outing to Gales Brewery at Horndean and the Chichester Canal, other possible events are being considered. These will be publicised in the Newsletter in due course.

Refreshments Rota

Many thanks to those volunteers who have assisted with the provision of refreshments at our monthly meetings during the past year. Your help is very much appreciated. At the time of writing we do not have any volunteers from March 2005 onwards. Gill would be pleased to receive your offers of assistance as soon as possible.

A Happy Christmas to our Members

As we come to the end of 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


Members' Photographic Evening and Competition

 
Top of Page

Next Article

The meeting on the 6th 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.


November Meeting

The Thames Creeks – David Pearce

 
Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article

As Members will be aware, Roger Squires was booked to speak to us about The Thames Creeks at our November meeting. However, due to his holiday arrangements being brought forward by his tour operator, he was no longer available, but he kindly arranged for his friend, and Southampton Canal Society member, David Pearce, to step into his shoes for the evening. We are grateful to Roger for making those alternative arrangements and to David, of course, for helping him and us out. David has excellent credentials for giving us such a talk because, apart from being Chairman of the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs, he is Commodore of the St Pancras Cruising Club and has much experience of cruising London's waterways, including many of the tidal creeks.

Using Roger's slides, David took us on a voyage of adventure and exploration of a number of twisting and turning creeks and waterways. As he explained, as these are tidal you have to judge the tides very carefully or otherwise one can get 'marooned' as these creeks dry out at low tide – or you can experience other problems, when the tide is high and it may not be possible to navigate under some of the bridges because of lack of air draught! So, with careful planning, you need to judge the tides just right and then dash up to the end of navigation, and then dash back to the Thames again, before the water level drops.

David took us up the Dartford & Crayford Navigation; Barking Creek and the Ilford Navigation; Deptford Creek; Bow Creek; the River Wandle (Wandsworth); Brentford Creek; and the Bow Back Rivers. On the way he slipped into the vast water area of the Royal Docks with their ‘mega' entrance locks, where we sailed past the City of London Airport, the Excel Exhibition Centre (the new site for the London Boat Show) and saw the new 'Transporter Bridge'.

The majority of those present at our meeting have never seen any of these waterways, let alone cruised them, so I would like to thank Roger and David for letting us share their experiences.

It is hoped that we will be able to entice Roger Squires to visit us sometime in the not too distant future.

Paul Herbert


Our Programme for 2005

 
Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article

Whilst Peter Oates includes advance details of our programme in each Newsletter, I thought it might be useful to provide more information about our forthcoming programme.

We tend to start of each calendar year with the Society Members' Photographic Evening & Competition and 2005 will be no exception.

In February we are pleased to welcome back Society members Ron and Myra Glover who have spoken to the Society on a number of occasions about their extensive travels through Europe on their boat 'Elsa'. Their talk in the new year will be 'Venturing into Germany'.

Another duo of experienced waterways travellers and Society members, Eric and Sue Lewis, will be presenting 'Little & Large in the North West' at our March meeting. They have given many presentations to the Society over the years and this particular event will cover their travels on board their narrow boat 'Remus' on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Manchester Ship Canal, River Weaver plus many other journeys.

In April we are delighted to host a presentation by Cliff Penny on the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal – its history and restoration. This promises to be a very interesting and enjoyable talk about a waterway which is unfamiliar to most of us.

A number of other speakers and events are in the pipeline, including further social activities and outings, so watch this space for further details.

Paul Herbert


Dorset & Somerset Canal

 
Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article

In May this year, excavations were carried out on the supposed remains of James Fussell's trial Balance Lock near Mells on the Dorset & Somerset Canal.

Work on this canal started in 1796 on a branch to join the town of Frome with part of the Somerset coalfield. To overcome a height difference of around 250ft, James Fussell proposed constructing a number of "Balance Locks" which were in effect a type of lift. The first was started in 1798 and evidently was completed in about 1800.

It took the form of two masonry lock chambers, both 20 feet deep, divided by a central buttress. Boats would be floated into watertight caissons which were built inside the lock chambers and were hauled up and down on a chain like a giant pair of scales. Trials proved successful and building of five others was started to the east. However, money ran out while the lifts were still being built and 1¾ miles of the Frome Branch were still unfinished.

The excavation found substantial remains of one of the chambers and it is hoped to uncover the second at the beginning of May 2005. In the meantime there is an opportunity to visit the site (on private land) on Sunday 16 January 2005 (see Waterway Diary).


English Channel

 
Previous Article

Top of Page
 

Laurie Pearce spotted the following item in a recent edition of the Daily Mail. Laurie says he remembers James Griffin as a young lad when he used to hire a boat from the Wyvern Shipping Co many years ago. Thanks for spotting it, Laurie.

QUESTION Has anyone ever crossed the English Channel in a canal-going narrow boat?

Further to earlier answers, I took my specially built sea-going narrow boat Ocean Princess to sea both this year and last year to raise awareness of the proposed new Bedford to Milton Keynes Canal.

In August 2003, the crew and I took Ocean Princess from Leighton Buzzard down the Grand Union Canal to London and, via the Thames Estuary and Channel, called in at Newhaven, Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight and Falmouth before entering the North Atlantic and visiting the Isles of Scilly. We returned around Land's End and the Bristol Channel to Bristol and back to Leighton Buzzard via the Inland Waterways - a total of 650 nautical miles at sea.

This July we took Ocean Princess to Inverness by way of the inland waterways to Liverpool, then down the Mersey and across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland, before crossing to the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland, then to Inverness via the Crinan Canal, Western Isles and Caledonian Canal. The return journey also included the Isle of Man and Anglesey - 850 miles at sea.

James Griffin, Wyvern Shipping Co, Linslade, Beds


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

© Southampton Canal Society 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 5 Dec 2004 - archived 8 February 2005.

  Previous Issue
November 2004
Current Newsletter
This month's Newsletter
Archive Index
Archive Index
Next Issue
February 2005

This page is valid XHTML 1.0