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Issue 479 - December 2012

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Chairman's Column

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December Meeting

My thanks to Paul Herbert for stepping in for me tonight, and, to welcome you all to the Annual Inter-Society Waterways Quiz.

Peter Oates has set the questions and Laura Sturrock will be keeping the scores.

Tonight's teams: IWA Guildford & Reading, IWA Salisbury and Southampton Canal Society with Paul Herbert, Aelred Derbyshire, Gordon Osborn and Brian Evans representing us. There is also an opportunity for teams from the audience to compete for a prize.

As is our tradition, thank you all for bringing along a variety of food to share, this finishes off the evening very well.

Next Meeting

On Thursday January 3rd 2013, we will be holding our Members' Photographic Evening and Competition.

This gives everyone the opportunity to show some pictures that you feel will entertain/ amuse/educate your fellow members.

Just before the tea interval, 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 of picture. David Doulton has offered again the use of his digital projector. Please contact Peter Oates if you have any questions about an unusual format.

2013 Programme

Please look at the Waterways Diary page for details of speakers for next year's programme up to April 2013.

SCS Christmas / New Year Lunch

We will be getting together for our lunch on Saturday 12th January meeting at 12.30 for 1pm.

This evening please see the Booking List and Menu Choice. Payment to Gill Herbert please.

Final booking and payment required at the January meeting.

November Meeting

We all enjoyed spending "A Night at Blackstone Hall" with Pete, Jane and George of the Day Star Theatre. The evening was well supported by our members and friends. Thank you all for your help and the wonderful American supper.

Bowls looking for a home

After last month's Day-Star Theatre visit and the American Supper, somebody left behind two identical 8.5" Crown bone china bowls. Gill Herbert has kept them safe and would be delighted to hand them back to their owner at the December meeting.

Seasonal Greeting to all our Members

We now have reached the end of our 2012 programme and, as is usual at this time of year, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Alan Rose

John Dodwell comes to town

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At our meeting on 7 March 2013, we will welcome John Dodwell, a Trustee of the Canal & River Trust. He will update us on the Trust plus give us an opportunity for a "Questions and Answers" session.

John has been an IWA member since 1961. He took a leading role in IWA's campaign about the Transport Act 1968 and was IWA General Secretary from 1971-4, campaigning successfully against the proposed hand over of BW to regional water authorities.

After that, he went back to being a chartered accountant and went into corporate finance, specialising in raising money for small companies, including those in the property sector. He was chair or finance director of a number of companies, including some on the Stock Exchange's AIM market. He was involved with charities, including their investment portfolios.

He set up his own water freight advisory firm and became chair of the Commercial Boat Owners Association. In the last five years, he has also been a member of the Government's Inland Waterways Advisory Council and of the British Waterways Advisory Forum. All three as a volunteer - the same as being a CRT Trustee.

About 10 years ago he bought a boat and he now owns an old BCN tug built of riveted steel at Harris Bros yard at Bumblehole, Netherton. Helen is 51ft long and draws 3ft along her whole length - and yes, he is well aware that the bottom is sometimes too near the top! For the technically minded, the engine is a three-cylinder Bolinder.

At our March meeting, SCS members will be joined by local IWA members for a 'joint' meeting which we hope will be well attended.

If you wish to come along and ask John any questions, please email Alan Rose on so that John can ensure that he has relevant information to hand at the meeting.

Angela Rose

EA Navigation Charges 2013

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The Environment Agency has announced that it will continue to apply cost increases to its licences at Consumer Price Index + 2% until 2015. This is in contrast to Canal & River Trust's position, where following their boaters' survey which identified cost as a major concern, CRT gave a commitment of just inflation increases beyond the current spending round period. EA was unable to give a similar commitment because, unlike CRT which now has certainty of funding for a 15-year term, the EA does not know what the government's funding position will be from year to year and the Agency is currently facing more funding cuts.

IWA Bulletin Mid-November 2012

New Guide to exploring the Wey & Arun canal

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"Visiting the Wey & Arun Canal" is a new guidebook from the Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT) that aims to make it easier for visitors to use the canal for leisure activities and to also find out more about the canal's history and route.

Cover of new guide

While the Canal Centre at Loxwood, West Sussex, and the public boat cruises offered from there may have helped many people explore one section of the Canal, there are many other parts of the waterway that visitors have yet to discover. The launch of this new publication aims to change that.

Sally Schupke, chairman of the Trust says "This marvellous little book is an absolute must for anybody wishing to visit the Wey & Arun Canal, called "London's Lost Route to the Sea". They will have the opportunity to see where original canal structures still stand, newly restored areas, and explore its path through Surrey and Sussex countryside."

The 72-page guide includes colour photographs of the canal, as well as maps and details of how to access parts of the canal by road and by public transport.

The new guidebook is priced at £5 and can be bought from the Loxwood Canal Centre (situated behind the "Onslow Arms" pub, on the B2133 in Loxwood, West Sussex, opening hours 12-3pm Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends, telephone 01403 753999 or email or available by mail order (plus £1.50 P&P) from: WACT office, The Granary, Flitchfold Farm, Loxwood, RH14 0RH, email: or by calling 01403 752403 between 9am and 1pm on weekdays.

The 23-mile Wey & Arun Canal was built between 1813 and 1816 to link the Rivers Wey and Arun, thus forming an inland barge route between London and the south coast in order to provide a safe inland route for military supplies to the fleet in Portsmouth. However, after the Napoleonic Wars, it became a largely agricultural canal, carrying goods including coal, chalk, lime and farm produce. The coming of the railways finally sealed the canal's fate, the waterway being abandoned in 1871.

Since 1971, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, a registered charity, has been working to re-open navigation along the waterway and, once fully restored, to again link Littlehampton on the south coast with the River Thames via the River Wey.

WACT News Release - 19 October 2012

Heritage Lottery Fund Application 2012

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A request was made recently to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to pause canal restoration work at Bowbridge on the Cotswold Canals.

Completion of the bridge here would open up an additional 2km of canal, including two locks, to restoration by volunteers.

Funding for shortfalls & additional works

The approach to HLF included a request for an additional £800,000 to meet shortfalls, brought about by the fall in value of Brimscombe Port and additional works which were not envisaged in the British Waterways' original cost plan.

Good News

The good news is that the Trustees of the HLF have agreed to this proposal, thus ensuring that full restoration of the canal between Stonehouse and Bowbridge can be achieved. In addition, and as originally envisaged, a towpath from Saul Junction to Brimscombe Port will be constructed.

Brimscombe Port still a priority

Meanwhile, redevelopment of Brimscombe Port remains a priority and is being taken forward. The intention is to continue renting out buildings on the site and use the income from the estate alongside possible investment from the Homes and Communities Agency to fund the canal infrastructure.

Regeneration opportunities

In the meantime, parts - or all - of the site can be regenerated if interested developers come forward.

Interest from developers is now being sought for five separate parts of the site, rather than the whole of it.

A brochure giving details has been produced recently which is available to potential developers on request to Hawkeswood Property Consultancy. Email:

Cotswold Canals Trust - 23 November 2012

Painted Boats

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Gifford and Spey Spey and Gifford

Narrow boats Spey and Gifford at Ellesmere Port, Easter 2011

Photos: © Laura Sturrock

Environment Agency Strong Stream Advice

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Boaters have been urged to take notice of the Environment Agency's Strong Stream Advice, which are issued whenever flows reach a level that could be hazardous to boaters on its navigations.

A narrow boat partially sunk on the Rive Nene at Ditchford in early November after taking to the river following heavy rain. The Environment Agency says that it had issued warnings about strong streams, but the boat owner claims that they were unaware of them. Two people were on the boat when it became lodged at a sluice gate. They were able to get off safely and were not injured. The vessel was later raised by River Canal Rescue with support from the Agency once river levels had receded.

The Rivers Great Ouse and Nene are unique in East Anglia because EA 'reverses' the locks during flood events and at times of high flows. The Strong Stream Advice system advises river users when locks are 'reversed' and EA strongly advises against attempting to navigate.

When Strong Stream Advice is in force, red flags, signs and warning lights at various lock sites are activated.

EA will call those that have signed up to the scheme, free of charge, using an automated service, to advise when Strong Stream Advice has been issued or cancelled. Text and email facilities are also available.

If you would like to sign up to receive this free service for either the River Great Ouse, River Nene or River Ancholme please contact EA on 01522 785943. Further information can be obtained by telephoning EA's Floodline Information Service on 0845 988 1188.

More information can be found on the EA's website:

IWA Bulletin Mid-November 2012

101 - The Police Non-Emergency Number

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Canal & River Trust has urged waterway users to report any anti-social behaviour on the canals to the police. The aim is to make them aware of the size of a particular problem (e.g. motor bike riding on the towpath) so that they will take preventive action.

101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police - when it's less urgent than a 999 call. 101 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls to 101 are answered by police officers and staff in the control room of the local police force. This ensures that staff with local knowledge can answer and deal with the calls and respond appropriately.

You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response.

For example, you should call 101:

You should continue to call 999 when it is an emergency, such as:

You should continue to call your local authority for things like:

For more information please see the police website:

IWA Bulletin November 2012

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Page created 8 December 2012 - archived 3 January 2013.

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