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About the Society

The Southampton Canal Society was established in June 1967 and, until the Covid pandemic, it used to hold meetings regularly, usually on the first Thursday of each month. The Society had also issued a Newsletter most months since November 1967.

At the postponed Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 2nd December 2021, it was agreed that owing to a shrinking membership and problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic, rising costs and no volunteers to form a Committee that the Society should be formally closed on 31st March 2022. No further formal meetings of the Society were held. Publication of the Society’s Newsletter continued, but the March 2022 issue was the last.

A list of the meetings held since 1990 can be seen on this page. Copies of the Society’s Newsletters since 1990 are available from an online archive through this introductory page. The Society’s Newsletters give a good impression of the life of the Society.

Unlike many canal societies, the Southampton Canal Society did not support a single waterway but the national network. There is no Southampton Canal, although in the past there were several navigable waterways in southern Hampshire (see Local Waterways). Instead the aims were to foster interest in canals and inland waterways, to assist in their preservation, restoration and development, and to give practical help on waterway projects.

The Society, through its regular meetings of illustrated talks and canal outings, helped many waterways and associated organisations with donations and assistance with working parties, particularly on the Kennet & Avon and the Basingstoke Canals. As an affiliated member of the Inland Waterways Association (a national body that campaigns for all waterways users), the Society supported the restoration of derelict waterways along with the preservation of our waterways heritage and transport system.

Sadly, the Society's meetings have now ceased and membership subscriptions to the Society are no longer available.