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Issue 467 - December 2011

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Chairman's Column

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December Meeting

Once again our Society is hosting the Annual Inter-Society Waterways Quiz. It is always a pleasure to welcome the participating teams.

As reigning champions IWA Guildford & Reading have organised the Quiz. Nick Grundy, after a bit of arm twisting, is the question setter again this year.

Let us welcome tonight's teams: IWA Solent & Arun, IWA Salisbury, IWA Guildford & Reading and Southampton Canal Society.

Traditionally, the evening will finish off with an American Supper. Thank you all for bringing food to share.

Society Skittles Evening

Maureen Greenham's popular Skittles evening at the Phoenix, Twyford on Friday 18th November was enjoyed by all. Thank you Maureen. For pictures see below.

The First Meeting in 2012

On Thursday 5th January 2012 we have our members' "Waterways Photographic Evening and Competition" this gives everyone the opportunity to show some pictures that you feel will entertain / amuse and educate your fellow members.

Just before the break, entries for the Photographic Competition will be shown. You don't have to be showing other pictures during the evening to enter. One picture only, to do with the waterways.

As before we hope to accommodate any format.

Please contact me if you have queries.

Welcome to New and Recently Joined Members

We are pleased to welcome new members, Malcolm and Janet Gunningham from West Moors in Dorset. Also, that welcome is extended to Mike Laishley from Waterlooville (Chairman of the IWA Solent & Arun Branch) and the Rev. Mike Gardner from Winchester, both of whom joined earlier this year.

This time last year ...

We were in DEEP SNOW and the December Meeting was postponed until April. At the time of writing this column, the sun is shining, the leaves are still on some trees and we have only had a couple of frosty mornings.

As always in the last Newsletter of the year, my fellow committee members and I wish all our members a Very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Alan Rose

Society Skittles Evening

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Mary Hill receives the Ladies' Booby Prize. Janet Potter won the Ladies' Prize The Men's Prize winner was Keith Potter The Chairman won the Men's Booby Prize

Top left: Mary Hill receives the Ladies' Booby Prize.

Top right: Janet Potter won the Ladies' Prize and had the highest score of the evening.

Left: The Men's Prize winner was Keith Potter.

Above: The Chairman feeling a lemon as he receives the Men's Booby Prize from Maureen Greenham, organiser of the evening.

Pictures © David Doulton 2011

On Friday 18 November 27 Society members enjoyed a skittle evening at The Phoenix Inn, Twyford. We were pleased to see that the misshapen skittles and balls had been replaced but, sadly, this did not appear to have much effect on our performances!

Sue Derbyshire set the standard by having an early strike but all went downhill after that. The best female score was 37 achieved by Janet Potter who won a tin of Roses and the best male score of 36 was achieved by her spouse, Keith, who won a tin of biscuits. Booby prizes of a lemon were won by Mary Hill and our chairman. Alan Rose.

The food served in the interval was good as usual. A raffle raised £32 for club funds and many thanks are due to the generous attendees who brought prizes. Thanks also to Paul Herbert for keeping the scores and to Brenda who helped with the raffle.

The evening went well with the usual repartee and laughter making it a fun event.

Maureen Greenham

Inland Waterways International

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If you are interested in waterways abroad as well as those at home, you might be interested in Inland Waterways International (IWI).

IWI brings together people and organisations who support the conservation, use, development and proper management of inland waterways worldwide. It aims to raise public awareness of the benefits of using waterways for a wide range of activities, from inland water transport to cruising, towpath walking and other recreational uses, as well as appreciating their architectural and landscape values as heritage. It also promotes restoration, where appropriate, of waterways which have become derelict.

Annegret Evans is a member of IWI and she thinks that members might be interested in their website which can be found at The website is being updated almost daily.

November Meeting

'Lydney's Lost Fleet' - Paul Barnett

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This meeting was attended by 22 members & 2 visitors who enjoyed this evening.

To begin his talk Paul updated us with the recent happenings at Purton since his last visit to us in November 2008. To date, 32 of the approximately 81 hulks have been identified and their history, together with that of their owners and crews, is being researched and documented.

On the 50th Anniversary of the Severn Railway Bridge disaster (25 October 1960) a Memorial Stone has been placed at Purton and Lydney.

Lydney's Lost Fleet is the lesser- known ships graveyard on the opposite side of the Severn Estuary. Paul went on to talk about Lydney Harbour which was once a busy working dock, engaged in the transhipment of Forest of Dean steam coal to other parts of Britain through to its eventual decline in the 1960's and recent rebirth as a sailing Mecca and tourism attraction of the Seven Estuary.

We were shown slides of the remains of the gridiron once used for the maintenance of commercial vessels.

Paul then continued to show us many pictures of trading vessels that were once used for carrying the cargoes out of the Lydney Harbour. We also saw the remains of some of these craft where they lay on the foreshore being washed away by the ever surging tides of the Seven Estuary.

For more information and

Angela Rose

Sonja Moorse

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Members will remember my writing about Gill and I visiting our long-time members Alan and Sonja Moorse, who lived in their canal-side cottage 'Otters Holt' at Hopwas, on the Coventry Canal. They cruised the inland waterways for many years, finally settling in Hopwas in 1988, where their narrowboat "Guelrose" (named after one of Sonja's Christian names) was moored at the bottom of their garden. When their cruising days had to come to an end the boat was transferred to their son, Mike and his wife Jenny. When they weren't away cruising the boat's home mooring remained at Otters Holt.

Alan and Sonja enjoyed the company of their close friend from their Southampton days, Laurie Pearce, whose boat was moored nearby at Fazeley Junction.

Alan and Sonja loved receiving visitors from the Canal Society and a number of us including Gill and myself, and Eric and Sue Lewis, always popped in when we were cruising in that area. We often enjoyed an overnight mooring at their cottage where, in his favourite corner armchair, Alan loved to talk about the years he and Sonja cruised the canals and they liked keeping in touch with their Society friends via our Newsletter.

In February 2009, after prolonged health problems, Alan sadly passed away, and I remember writing about him and Sonja in the March Newsletter that year.

Gill and I continued to stop over with Sonja, Mike and Jenny whenever we were cruising through Hopwas, our last visit being in August this year. Sonja, though fairly frail at that time, enjoyed telling us about her early days in Berlin, where she was born. During that visit Sonja was able to accompany Mike, Jenny, Gill and I for an evening meal at the Pub Restaurant on the other side of the canal. She seemed to really enjoy that outing.

Sonja, 86, suffered a fall in October and her health deteriorated after that. Sadly she passed her away in hospital on 20 November. It is the end of an era in many ways. However, Alan and Sonja's spirits will continue to travel the waterways on board "Guelrose".

Sonja's funeral was held at the Wessex Vale Crematorium in Hedge End on 30 November and a number of our members represented Southampton Canal Society.

Our thoughts go to Mike and Jenny, Rita and Gordon, and the family at this very sad time.

Paul Herbert

Christmas / New Year Lunch

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Maureen Greenham has been busy organising the fourth Society Christmas / New Year Lunch on Saturday 14th January 2012. As previously, this will be enjoyed at the Blue Hayes Restaurant.

The cost is £20.35 (that includes three courses, coffee or tea and tip). A deposit of £10 per person or full payment are now due and Maureen should have your menu choices at the December meeting. A copy of the menu for our meal is given below.

If you're not at this meeting or have any queries, please contact Maureen as soon as possible on 02380 406951 or via email to discuss arrangements and menu choices.

The Blue Hayes Restaurant


Broccoli & Stilton Soup

Duck & Port Paté with Melba Toast & Red Onion Confit

Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Tartare Sauce

Melon Cocktail with an Elderflower Dressing


Roast Topside of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding & Roast Potatoes

Oven Baked Chicken Breast with Dauphinoise Potatoes & a Bacon, Mushroom & Onion Sauce

Baked Salmon Fillet with New Potatoes & a White Wine Sauce

Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Cheese Pancake with a Rich Tomato Sauce

All Main Courses Served with a Side of Seasonal Vegetables


Caramel Apple Sponge with Creamy Custard

Tipsy Orange Trifle

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Treacle Tart served with Ice Cream

Selection of Sorbet & Ice Creams

Meal to include a Tea or Coffee

IWA Issues Call to Arms over Waterway Funding

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IWA is asking all waterway supporters to act now to secure the future of the Canal and River Trust.

Things are at a critical juncture for the transfer of British Waterways' managed canals and rivers into the Canal and River Trust. The money is everything. A good deal from Defra will deliver a significant Big Society project, and secure the future of a national asset. IWA is concerned however, that Defra is playing hard ball, and trying to impose a lean deal just to get BW off its books.

IWA is asking all waterway supporters to urgently:

  1. Write to your MP drawing their attention to the fact that the waterways are being transferred over into the charitable sector, and that it is vital that the funding package is sufficient that it allows them to be maintained in a sustainable condition. Let them know that you don't want to see the waterways become another Defra inspired 'forestry' type disaster.
  2. Please also ask your MP to contact the Waterways Minister Richard Benyon MP, directly, to register their concern, and to ensure that he knows that there needs to be more money put on the table.

Here are IWA's key points:

Don't let the proposed transfer of BW assets become another 'forestry' debacle for Defra through underfunding!

Please act now - Please write today.

You can find out who your MP is and write to them directly by using this link

A downloadable template letter for your MP is available here

IWA Bulletin Mid-November 2011

Environment Agency navigation charges 2012-14

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EA is increasing its navigation charges by the consumer price index plus 2% per year in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Navigation charges will consequently rise by 6.4% from January 2012.

Having listened to the concerns of the boating community EA plan to:

IWA Bulletin Mid-November 2011

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

© Southampton Canal Society 1999 - 2011. 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 December 2011 - archived 9 January 2012.

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