Newsletter Archive

Issue 398 - December 2005

Previous Issue
November 2005
Current Newsletter
This month's Newsletter
Archive Index
Archive Index
Next Issue
February 2006

Chairman's Column

 
Next Article

Mary Lewis

It is sad to report that Mary Lewis, the mother of our Secretary, Eric Lewis, passed away in October. Mary, with her late husband Charles, was a long term member of the Society. Our belated condolences to Eric and Sue. I attended Mary's funeral service, both in a personal capacity, and on behalf of the Society.

November Meeting - Raffle

It had not been possible to run our usual monthly raffle at our October meeting but our 'Raffle Manager', David Townley-Jones, made up for it in November when he ran a special raffle (with tickets double the usual price) raising almost £78. As most of the prizes were kindly donated by members, that represented a substantial profit for the Society.

December Meeting - Inter Society Waterways Quiz and American Supper

As has become a long-standing traditional part of the Society programme, we are pleased to host once again the popular Inter-Society Waterways Quiz and I would like to welcome the participating teams. As usual, this year's contest will be fought out between teams from IWA Solent & Arun Branch, IWA Salisbury Group and Southampton Canal Society. This year's Quizmaster is Eric Lewis who has promised a quiz with a difference so we will have to see what he has in store for us. It is certainly not an easy task to devise such a quiz and we are indebted to Eric for all his hard work.

As always, the Quiz will be followed by an American Supper. Between these two events there will be an auction of the two prints and decorative plate donated by members.

January Meeting

A further reminder that next month we will be holding our popular annual Members' Photographic Evening and Competition. Details were published in the last Newsletter and have been repeated in this issue.

Next Issue of the Newsletter

Because of the Christmas and New Year holiday season, and the tight deadlines we now have to adhere to in order to be able to continue our Newsletter, it will not be possible to publish an issue next month. Therefore, all items will be held over until the February Newsletter.

Electronic Newsletter?

At this year's Annual General Meeting we discussed the future of the Newsletter and it was suggested that we might explore the possibility of making it available on line to members with internet access, as an alternative to a paper copy. If sufficient members are willing to download their Newsletter in that way, it would obviously reduce the Society's postage costs. Any member interested in such a proposal are asked to email the Newsletter Editor, Peter Oates, at: peter@whitenap.plus.com.

[Editor's note: The Newsletter currently appears on the Society website, usually within a few days of publication at a meeting.]

Spring Outing

On Saturday 22 April 2006 there will be a Society outing to Whitchurch Silk Mill and Longbridge Mill. Full details are published in this Newsletter. Many thanks to Maureen Greenham and John Silman for organising this trip. Please support the Society, Maureen and John by signing up for this visit.

Seasonal Greetings to all our Members

As we reach 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. We have an interesting programme planned for 2006, more details in the next Newsletter.

Paul Herbert


November Meeting

"South Coast Circular Cruise" on board nb 'Ocean Princess' with James Griffin

 
Top of Page

Next Article

A large audience welcomed James Griffin, Managing Director of The Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd, operators of a large quality hire boat fleet based at Leighton Buzzard on the Grand Union Canal, to our November meeting. Wyvern Shipping was founded in 1953 as a carrying company, subsequently becoming a hire boat company, which was purchased by James' parents in 1960.

The subject of James' talk was the 'South Coast Circular Cruise' of Wyvern's 'Ocean Princess'. Unlike some other sea-going narrow boats, which have been adapted for such cruising, 'Ocean Princess' was purposely designed and built for the purpose and James ran through the design and build requirements of such a craft. This narrow boat was built by Wyvern Shipping in 1999 for both inshore and offshore cruising and is fitted out as a luxury 6 berth craft. Special features include a 75 bhp Beta Marine Kubota diesel engine with a cruising speed of 6 knots, bow thruster, dual steering fore and aft, satellite navigation, echo sounder, radar reflector, mast with anchor and steaming light, port and starboard navigation lights and anchors fore and aft, plus many other items of necessary safety equipment, including automatic inflating life raft.

Ocean Princess at Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey

Ocean Princess at Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey

As James explained, the purpose of the trip was to publicize and promote the building of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway. The crew of 'Ocean Princess' consisted of James, his sons, Philip and Robert, and John Chapman, the ship's navigator.

After initial sea trials in the Wash, James and his crew took 'Ocean Princess' down the Grand Union Canal to Brentford where they joined the Thames, on through the centre of London and the Thames Barrier to the estuary and into the English Channel. This first stage of the cruise took them to Newhaven and, with the aid of excellent slides, James described the changing weather and sea conditions, including 4-5 foot waves in the Dover Straits. The second stage took 'Ocean Princess' from Newhaven to Falmouth and the third from there to the Isles of Scilly and finally back to her home base via the Bristol Channel, stopping off on the Bude Canal on route, and then Bristol Docks and the Kennet & Avon Canal etc.

James described many of the trials and tribulations en route, including several visits from 'officialdom' including Officers of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Altogether, 'Ocean Princess' covered 650 nautical miles at sea (in addition to her inland voyages), with overnight stops at Queenborough, Newhaven, Yarmouth (Isle of Wight), Mevagissey, Falmouth, Hugh Town (Isles of Scilly), Port Quin Bay (at anchor), Bude and Portishead (at anchor), before entering the sea lock at Bristol docks.

After completing his description of the 'South Coast Circular Cruise' James went on to briefly describe the successful follow-up 'Five Kingdoms Cruise' which took 'Ocean Princess' from Leighton Buzzard to Scotland, maybe the subject of a future talk to the Society.

There were many questions of James, from a very knowledgeable audience, throughout his presentation. James dealt with his whole presentation in a humorous and light-heated manner but I am sure he was much more serious during his epic journey.

Many thanks James for coming to Chilworth and giving us such an entertaining evening.

Paul Herbert

(Note: In the limited space available it is not, of course, possible to give any more than an outline of James' talk. However, members with Internet access can go to www.canalholidays.co.uk and read the more detailed history of The Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd and the brief log of 'Ocean Princess' and her 'South Coast Circular Cruise'.)


SOCIETY OUTING TO WHITCHURCH SILK MILL AND LONGBRIDGE MILL

 
Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article

There will be an outing to the above mills on Saturday 22nd April 2006.

Whitchurch Silk Mill was built initially as a woollen mill in 1800 and silk has been woven there since the 1820/1830s. It is now a working museum which now produces high quality silks to order for theatrical costume, interior designers and historic houses. There will be a guided tour of the mill and we will meet there at 10.30am.

Whitchurch Mill Longbridge Mill
Whitchurch Mill Longbridge Mill

There has been a mill sited at Longbridge for many years. It was badly damaged by fire in 1991 and restoration by the Chiltern partnership of millwrights was completed in 1997. The Mill is now a Brewers Fayre restaurant but the mill is working and milling takes place once a month. John Silman will give us a conducted tour to explain the process of milling and the unusual machinery employed in this historical method of food production. We intend to arrive at the Mill at about 1.15pm where we will have lunch (extra charge) and then have our tour of the mill. Wholemeal flour may be purchased in the pub at a cost of £1.50 for 2kg.

The cost will be £6 to include tours of both mills. This cost includes a donation to the Hampshire Mills Group whose members have kindly agreed to work the Mill on a day when it is not usually working.

Please add your name to the list if you wish to join us on 22nd April.

The list will be available at all Society meetings at Chilworth or by contacting the organizer Maureen Greenham: telephone - 023 8040 6951 or email - maureen.greenham@dsl.pipex.com.


A Moving Time

 
Previous Article

Top of Page

Next Article

Just a quick note to let members know that from 19 December 2005, the address for the Treasurer & Membership Secretary, Laura Sturrock, and for the Newsletter Editor & Webmaster, Peter Oates, will change to 39 Church Street, Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, NN7 3LH. At the time of going to press, the telephone number is unknown but the email address of each of them should remain unchanged.

Despite the move, both Laura and Peter have every intention of continuing to take an active part in all aspects of the Society.


Members' Photographic Evening and Competition

 
Previous Article

Top of Page
 

The meeting on the 5th January will be our annual Members' Photographic 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.

As a first this year, for those with a digital camera, we should be able to project digital photos. Please bring your pictures (virtually any format will do) either on CD or USB Flash/Pen Drive. Unfortunately, this year at least, we will NOT be able to read memory cards (such as CF, SM, SD, XD, MMC, Memory Stick) unless you can also bring a card reader to connect your card to a computer's USB port. Please contact Peter Oates if you have any questions about this.

As usual, we can project prints (up to 7" x 5") onto the screen as well as transparencies and digital pictures. So if you don't take slides or digital pictures, you too will be able to show something of waterways interest as well.

Again, like the last few 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 pictures 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.


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

© Southampton Canal Society 2005. Except where otherwise 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 December 2005 - archived 6 February 2006.

  Previous Issue
November 2005
Current Newsletter
This month's Newsletter
Archive Index
Archive Index
Next Issue
February 2006

This page is valid XHTML 1.0