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BEAR ESSENTIALS The Newsletter of : -

IWA Warwickshire Branch Issue No. 29 – December 2010.

Our Winter/Spring Programme The Sports Connexion Leisure Centre Leamington Road, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL

All meetings start at 7.30 pm January 12th 2011 Annual Branch Dinner, The Durham Ox, Shrewley The original venue –The Moorings in Warwick closed unexpectedly in the summer. Although it has reopened we had to decide before this to change the venue to the Durham Ox. This is a smaller venue and is nearly full. Ring Tina Jackson 01788 891545 if you wish to attend.

February 9th 2011 Lost Loops of the Oxford Canal by Brian Holmes The presentation, illustrated with computer generated images, takes a fascinating journey through the 11 miles of the Oxford Canal lost during straightening in 1834. Some sections have disappeared beyond reach but many are available to the keen eyed boater and towpath walke., Brian has cruised many of our inland waterways since 1955, the last twelve years on 'Thursday's Child'. th

March 9 2011 AGM followed by: Fitting Lock Gates by Denis Pike, BW team leader Denis will give insights into why the task of fitting new gates is necessary. Using archived slides he will show how the task has been carried out for nearly two hundred years. More recent slides will demonstrate how the procedures have become less labour intensive, although the skills remain the same. It is one of the few jobs that in principle have remained unchanged since before the industrial revolution. th

April 13 2011 Waterways Recovery Group with Mike Palmer We plan to have a resume of WRG progress in 2010 and what is planned for 2011. Plus a short presentation from a young WRGie who has been on a Summer camp plus a presentation from a Duke of Edinburgh coordinator of the benefits for DOE candidates in joining a Summer Camp.

Editorial We have had very well attended meetings in our new venue at Ryton. In my opinion the highlight was the talk by Beryl McDowell in October who held the audience spellbound with her tales of her life on working boats. We‟ve had a run of excellent meetings and in December our own branch member Colin Grundy, a member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers, related the history and myriad uses for knots then got us all tying ourselves in knots with a Turks Head 'Planning for the 2011-2012 programme has started, so please forward your ideas for speakers and topics to It will be particularly useful if you can supply the contact details of local speakers for whom you can vouch for as being both informative and entertaining.' A recent work party at Clemens St on the Grand Union in Leamington was attended by a dozen or so members who lifted 9 bikes and numerous other items out of the canal but oddly no shopping trolleys. 10 full big sacks of litter were picked and some members repainted the bridge in white to cover up the graffiti. BW were impressed and invited us to help painting Hatton locks in the Summer. Sue Roy .

Winter Walks 

Sunday Jan 2nd: Bascote Meet 10.30 am Welsh Road lock (SP386639) Afterwards: The Fox & Hen, Bascote

Sunday Feb 6th: Rowington Meet 10.30 am Dick's Lane lock (SP187700)

Thursday Mar 10th: Newbold-on-Avon Meet 10-30 am Newbold Wharf

This could be your last Bear Essentials!! Despite regular pleas, I am still posting over 60% of the BE winter and spring editions. Increases in printing and postage costs mean this cannot continue. If more of you let me know your E-mail details we would hope to continue posting copies free of charge to the few remaining members without internet access. Note the Branch also uses email for urgent updates on Branch activities between issues. If you really value a hard copy let me know by post or phone (details overleaf)

Bear in Mind: We live in challenging times, that applies not just to our country but also to Warwickshire IWA. The branch needs both new volunteers and new sources of finance to help it operate effectively. This year the branch has helped celebrate the centenary of the birth of Tom Rolt without whose vision as co-founder of IWA we may never have existed as an organisation and in turn many of our waterways might have faced abandonment. Our branch consists of around 280 family memberships equating to some 420 members but with the recession numbers are falling. To operate your branch needs a committee to organise its activities and this too needs new blood. On the positive side our winter talks meetings have got off to a good start with an excellent venue and some very good speakers. The cost of room hire for these events whilst good value for money when combined with speakers expenses means that we shall not be able to continue these arrangements next winter unless either the number of people attending increases or donations per attendee increases somewhat. Typically attendance averages out at around 40 – just 10% or so of our total branch membership. Looking to next summer there is lots for volunteers to do. Last summer a few of us spent a very worthwhile hour or two locking a team of Cambridge University undergraduates raising funds for the Help for Heroes Charity through our patch. The Avon Navigation Trust is short of volunteers for a range of duties. The Cotswolds Canals Trust are staging a major boating event through our patch in August 2011 to mark 100 years since the last boat traversed the direct route from the Thames to the Severn and are asking for help with the vast number of locks falling within our territory. Finally a plea to make our April 2011 meeting a big success. If you don‟t subscribe to their magazine “Navvies”, you won‟t fully appreciate the work of our IWA subsidiary Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). Don‟t just turn up but bring along teenagers you know so they can become enthused to become involved with the work WRG does. With the current problems of employment for our up and coming generation,the need for wellbeing and a chance to acquire skills and do something worthwhile, joining WRG has much to offer them including some fun but at the same time enabling some very exciting waterway restoration projects to go forward. The work of WRG is vital to our national events, in particular our campaigning rally to be held at Northampton in 2011 and the National at Burton-on-Trent, so please bring to the meeting any

Notes from the chairman. youngster you know who would enjoy and benefit from volunteering with WRG. Ian Jackson. PS To find out more and subscribe to “Navvies” visit WANTED ‘PLANNING OFFICER’ A volunteer to act as „Planning Officer‟ for the Branch. It is envisaged that he or she will overhaul and head a small team of other volunteers responsible for identifying local authority planning applications which impact on the canal corridors within the jurisdiction of the Warwickshire Branch. As planning operations can be viewed on local authority web sites all you need is a computer and a map and some spare time to regularly check for new applications. We have 5 or 6 local authorities within the branch area and ideally need a volunteer for each to feed through to a coordinator. For further information please contact Ian Jackson either by phoning 01788-891545. e-mail < > Your Branch Committee can always use more support – your support - either in the form of „new blood‟ to join the committee, or to act as „corresponding members‟ and to undertake specific tasks for the Branch, but outside the committee. In particular we would like to hear from people with ideas for fund raising particularly from the general public.

Rhodes Thomas Collection – Update. The huge collection of slides, kindly donated to IWA by the family of the late Rhodes Thomas, are now safely in store at the Warwickshire County Records Office. A team of local members has been formed to start the monumental task of cataloguing them. Initially the size of the collection could only be assessed in cubic metres, however, a more detailed analysis indicates there are at least 20,000 waterway slides to be viewed and sorted. The task will obviously take the six volunteers involved some time to achieve, but they will no doubt provide us with progress reports in due course.

The IWA may not agree with opinions expressed here in this newsletter, but encourages its publication as a matter of interest. Nothing herein may be construed as a matter of policy, or an official announcement, unless otherwise stated. The Association accepts no liability for any material contained herein. The IWA is a registered charity ( No. 212342 ), founded in 1946. Supported by donations & members‟ subscriptions, it campaigns for conservation, use, maintenance, restoration, development of the inland waterways of Great Britain for the benefit of all. Registered & General Office: - Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, Herts. HP5 1WA. Phone: 01494 - 783 453

Editor : Sue Roy, 46 The Butts, Warwick, CV34 4ST Phone :- 01926 – 49 78 45.

E-mail : -

Bear Essentials No. 29  

December 2010 edition

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