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Summer 2012

Summer

Newsletter of Guildford & Reading Kent & East Sussex 2012 Oxfordshire and Solent & Arun Branches


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Editorial With this first edition of Cargoes following the season of AGMs, we reflect on what lies ahead for the four Branches in the South East Region. The Guildford & Reading Branch remains heavily engaged on matters concerning the Basingstoke Canal (shortly to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of its re-opening), whilst also supporting restoration on the Wey & Arun Canal and the K&A Trust’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations. IWAKES continues to support a diverse range of waterways projects, though the untimely death of Paul Morris has left a considerable gap in taking forward the SORT project at Isfield Lock. Plans are proceeding for IWA’s National Trailboat Festival at Bodiam in 2013 for which we hope members will heed the plea for more helpers. Oxfordshire Branch are maintaining their usual support for events on their waterways, in particular the recent Family Fun Days at Heyford Wharf and a major part in ensuring the continuing success of Oxford Open Days and Banbury Canal Day. However more help is needed from their members as their Branch Chairman, Chris Wardley, has made clear and is amply illustrated by the list of Branch vacancies. It is very disappointing to see how serious the situation has become in Solent & Arun Branch where an EGM has had to be called following their AGM because of insufficient numbers of Committee members. There is much happening in their Branch area from Shoreham on the Adur in the east, with the Wey & Arun Canal, the Chichester Canal to the Itchen Navigation in the west. Surely, a Branch with some 800 members should be able to produce enough people with the time and inclination to help. The S&A EGM is on Thursday 28th June, so please contact Mike Laishley and get involved. You can find details of those now helping in the Region and in your Branch by turning to the centre pages of this Edition of Cargoes, which also gives your Branch contact details. Finally, congratulations to John Ross with Elizabeth Rose for winning the Marcus Boudier Trophy for Best Decorated Boat in the Jubilee Celebration Pageant at Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice. Cargoes Editorial Team [Cover Photo: Pete Boyce conveying the Town Crier of Chichester during the ‘Bullion Run’ on the Chichester Canal (see report on page 34) Linda Wilkinson]

Inland Waterways Association Opinions expressed in Cargoes are not necessarily those of IWA Editorial Team: Ray Carnell and Tim Fry Next Issue: Autumn 2012, Copy Date: 15th July


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From the Region Chairman IWA Finances Thank you to all those members in the Region who responded to my recent email by indicating that you would be prepared to access Cargoes electronically instead of receiving a ‘hard’ copy through the post. As I have pointed out on several occasions, including the Branch AGMs that I attended in March, Trustees have ongoing concerns about the Association’s financial situation. Extra costs, for instance the recent considerable increase in postal charges, mean that economies must be made wherever possible and Regional Newsletters, such as Cargoes, are an expense that needs to be kept under review. Our efforts in relation to achieving a wider acceptance of electronic versions of Cargoes should be seen as a step in the right direction and I would urge those of you who continue to receive a ‘hard’ copy of Cargoes to give serious consideration to agreeing to the ‘electronics’ option. (See item on page 5 for more details). Navigation Matters In the last issue of Cargoes I warned of the likely restrictions to navigation on some parts of the system because of the unusually dry weather. This trend has continued unabated and in the midlands and the south east it’s the worst drought in a century. Reservoir holdings at the end of 2011 were at their lowest level for some parts of the system since detailed records began in 1920 - in comparison the holdings during the severe drought of 1976 were only the sixth worst. I will give credit to BW that they have been anticipating this and over the winter spent additional money to clear culverts that connect reservoirs. They have also invested in reservoir replenishment schemes which are essentially back pumping from canals into reservoirs - this has been used all winter on the Birmingham level such that Earlswood lakes are currently full. BW have also introduced early restrictions on lock opening times to firstly encourage boaters to seek alternative routes where they exist and also to ensure efficient use is made of locks by alternating through as well as sharing in double locks. The worst affected parts of the system are the S. Oxford summit, S. GU, Leicester summit and the northern part of the Leicester line. I have just returned from my first boating trip of the season and saw the restrictions in place as I travelled down Buckby and onto Stoke Bruerne. The regime of last in by 1.30pm is very restrictive. The lock keeper at Buckby was having to work very hard cycling from one end of the flight and back several times as he locked gates and then returned to let out boats that were still in the flight. He was developing a system but admitted that he had inadvertently locked someone in the flight the previous day! The restrictions will be reviewed monthly and if we get prolonged deluges they may be eased, regrettably its more likely they will get more restrictive through the season in order to sustain some navigation on popular parts of the season. BW have consulted stakeholders widely and what they are doing has my full support. CRT Issues Progress continues to be made towards the formation of the Canal and River Trust now expected to be launched in late June. I attended a briefing in DEFRA on the


5 transfer order now laid before Parliament. The charitable objects now reflect what IWA has campaigned for and in particular it puts navigation as the principle object a vast improvement on earlier drafts. IWA, jointly with BW, hosted a workshop in Birmingham during February to look at ways of working together with the new charity and attempting to dispel prejudices of the past. It was a considerable success although there is more to be done. There has been a follow up meeting with BW executives to keep the cooperative momentum going. Finally the elections for the boater representatives on the CRT Council were a great success for IWA with three trustees (Clive Henderson, Ivor Caplan and Vaughan Welch) securing three of the four slots and the fourth being filled by Ann Farrel, an IWA member and active member of Chester Branch. Summer Boating For those of you who are boaters I wish you an enjoyable summer boating. I had planned to travel south from the midlands to do the Thames ring picking up the Basingstoke rally en route. Unfortunately this would entail going through a number of the drought restricted zones making for a long journey. Furthermore, whilst the Basingstoke rally will go ahead, water shortages are preventing full re-opening despite the sterling efforts of many. I will have to wait for another day to venture onto the Basingstoke! Instead I will be travelling north to pick up the Macclesfield, Peak Forest Ashton and Bridgewater. I’m told there is plenty of water up north. Paul Roper

Electronic Cargoes All members for whom a current email address is held at HO should by now have received a notification from the Region Chairman asking them to consider agreeing to access Cargoes electronically instead of being sent a ‘hard’ copy through the post. We would like to thank those of you who responded – you will have now received an email confirming that Cargoes is available to be accessed through clicking on the link provided. (Any member who did not receive the email about the alternative but who would be willing to opt for access to Cargoes electronically can do so by contacting HO). Those who have received this edition through the post as before, are urged to give serious consideration to changing to the alternative of electronic access bearing in mind the cost savings to the Association. At www.waterways.org.uk/Branches_Regions/south_east/cargoes you can view what is available electronically as well as editions of Cargoes which are designed for reading online, you will find a full colour pdf version of the current edition which can be downloaded for reading locally on your own computer or printed to read in a similar way to the printed copy received through the post. Any member who is willing to make the change should send an email (quoting also your name and membership number) to membership@waterways.org.uk.


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Diary of Meetings & Events Mon 28th May at 7:00pm, IWAKES (TMCA): Walk from The Ship and Lobster pub, a Dickens hostelry. (see page 25) Sat 2nd to Mon 4th Jun: Trailboat Festival, Stroudwater Canal, Stroud Sat 2nd to Mon 4th Jun: Basingstoke Canalside Jubilee

(see page 16)

Sat 2nd to Tue 5th Jun: Crick Boat Show & Waterways Festival Sun 3rd Jun, River Thames: Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant Sun 3rd to Tue 5th Jun, Wendover Arm Trust: Festival on the Grand Union Fri 8th to Sun 10th Jun: Beale Park Boat Show

(see page 14)

Wed 13th Jun, 7:30pm for 8:00pm, South London Branch: Limehouse & East London - Jeremy Batch (see page 41) Thu 7th Jun, 7:45pm, Southampton Canal Society: Peter Boyce on the Wooden narrowboat “Lucy” built in 1953 (see page 36) Sat 16th Jun: Reading Water Fest

(see back cover & page 18)

Sat 23rd Jun, 7:30pm, Fleet Football Club: Mikron, CKS

(see pages 16 & 40)

Sat 23rd Jun, South London Branch: Cruise aboard PS Kingswear Castle (see page 41) Sun 24th Jun, 2:30pm, Eyot Centre, Henley on Thames: Mikron, LTP (see page 40) Mon 25th Jun, 7:30pm, Rowbarge, Woolhampton: Mikron, LTP

(see page 40)

Wed 27th Jun, 7:30pm, The Bounty, Bourne End: Mikron, CKS

(see page 40)

Thu 28th Jun, 7:30pm, Solent & Arun Branch: EGM

(see page 33)

Thu 28th Jun, 7:30pm, The Two Brewers, Marlow: Mikron, LTP

(see page 40)

Fri 29th Jun, 7:30pm, Rowbarge, Woolhampton: Mikron, CKS

(see page 40)

Sun 1st Jul, 6:00pm, Forbury Gardens, Reading: Mikron, LTP

(see page 40)


7 Mon 2nd Jul, 7:30pm, St. George & Dragon, Wargrave: Mikron, CKS (see page 40) Wed 4th Jul, 7:00pm, Goring Lock: Mikron, CKS

(see page 40)

Wed 4th Jul, 7:30pm, Chichester Canal Trust: Talk on Chichester Canal Restoration. (see page 35) Thu 5th Jul, 7:45pm, Southampton Canal Society: AGM followed by Cheese & Wine (see page 36) Thu 5th Jul, 8:00pm, Waterfront Café, Benson: Mikron, LTP

(see page 40)

Fri 6th Jul, 7:30pm, The Trout Inn, Lechlade: Mikron, CKS

(see page 40)

Sat 7th Jul, 10:00am, Chichester Canal Trust: Conducted linear walk from Barnham to Hunston (see page 35) Sun 8th Jul, 10:00am to 4:00pm, Chichester Canal Trust: 1820 Poyntz bridge open (see page 35) Sun 8th Jul, 7:30pm, Donnington Parish Hall, Chichester: Mikron, LTP (see pages 36 & 40) Sat 14th Jul, 10:00am, Chichester Canal Trust: Conducted linear walk from the sea lock to Chichester basin (see page 36) Tue 17th Jul, 7:30pm, The Plough Inn, Long Wittenham: Mikron, CKS (see page 40) Wed 18th Jul, 7:30pm, Plough Inn, Wolvercote: Mikron, LTP

(see page 40)

Thu 19th Jul, 7:00pm, Salisbury Group: Boules & BBQ

(see page 11)

Thu 19th Jul, 7:30pm, The Queen’s Head, Eynsham: Mikron, CKS (see page 40) Fri 20th Jul, 7:30pm, Cricklade Bloomers, Cricklade: Mikron, LTP (see page 40) Sun 22nd Jul, 10:00am to 5:00pm: Newbury Waterways Festival

(see page 19)

Sun 22nd Jul, 7:30pm, The Jolly Boatman, Kidlington: Mikron, CKS (see page 40) Tue 24th Jul, 7:30pm, The Jolly Boatman, Kidlington: Mikron, LTP (see page 40) Wed 25th Jul, 7:30pm, The Rock of Gibraltar, Enslow Bridge, Woodstock: Mikron, CKS (see page 40)


8 Thu 26th Jul, 7:30pm, The Barn, North Aston: Mikron, LTP

(see page 40)

Fri 27th Jul, 10:30am, IWAKES: Iron Gate Lock visit

(see page 27)

Fri 27th Jul, 7:30pm, The Great Western Arms, Deddington: Mikron, LTP (see page 40) Sat 28th Jul, 7:30pm, The Mills Art Centre, Banbury: Mikron, CKS (see page 40) Thu 2nd Aug, 7:30pm, The Oxford Science Park, Oxford: Mikron, CKS (see page 40) Fri 10th Aug, 7:30pm, The Pig Place, Adderbury: Mikron, LTP

(see page 40)

Thu 16th Aug, 3pm ’till dusk, IWAKES: Open afternoon at Sutton Hall Lock, Isfield (see page 28) Fri 31st Aug, 10:30am, IWAKES: Iron Gate Lock visit

(see page 27)

Fri 31st Aug, 7:30pm, Wharf House, Cropredy: Mikron, LTP

(see page 40)

Sat 1st Sep, 7:30pm, Wharf House, Cropredy: Mikron, CKS

(see page 40)

Thu 6th Sep, 7:45pm, Southampton Canal Society: Chris Coyle will update us on the progress of their various on-going projects Wilts & Berks Canal (see page 36) Sat 8th Sep, 10:00am, Chichester Canal Trust: Guided walk along the old Portsmouth & Arundel Navigation (see page 36) Sat 8th & Sun 9th Sep, Oxfordshire Branch: Oxford Open Doors

(see page 32)

Sun 9th Sep, 10:00am to 4:00pm, Chichester Canal Trust: 1820 Poyntz bridge open (see page 36) Wed 12th Sep, 7:30pm for 8:00pm, Oxfordshire Branch: Birmingham & Black Country Canals by Phil Clayton (see page 32) Wed 12th Sep, 7:30pm for 8:00pm, South London Branch: ‘Manchester Ship Canal’ by Richard Thomas (see page 41) Sat 15th Sep, BCBC: Fox & Hounds Rally

(see page 14)

Fri 28th Sep, 10:30am, IWAKES: Iron Gate Lock visit

(see page 27)

Sun 7th Oct, Oxfordshire Branch: Banbury Canal Day

(see page 32)

Wed 10th Oct, 7:30pm for 8:00pm, Oxfordshire Branch: The Cutty Sark Trust by Martin Woodgett (see page 32)


9 Wed 10th Oct, 7:30pm for 8:00pm, South London Branch: ‘More Travels with my Canoe’ by Roger Wilkinson (see page 41) Thu 18th Oct, 7:30pm, Salisbury Group: “The Somerset Coal Canal” by Derrick Hunt (see page 11) Sun 21st Oct, 10:30am to 4:00pm, IWAKES: Visit to Crossness Engines (see page 28) Thu 1st Nov, 7:45pm, Southampton Canal Society: Annual visit from Pete & Jane from the “Day Star Theatre” (see page 36) Wed 14th Nov, 7:30pm for 8.00pm, Oxfordshire Branch: Alice in Waterland by Mark Davies (see page 32) Wed 14th Nov, 7:30pm for 8:00pm, South London Branch ‘Wey and Arun Canal’ by John Talbot (see page 41) Thu 15th Nov, 7:00pm for 7:30pm, SORT & IWAKES joint meeting:

(see page 28)

Thu 15th Nov, 7:30pm, Salisbury Group: “Narrow Boating on Tidal Waters” by Nick Grundy (see page 11) Thu 6th Dec, 7.30pm for 8:00pm, IWAKES: TMCA and IWAKES pre-Christmas get-together. “Paddle Steamer Medway Queen – Heroine of Dunkirk” (see page 28) Thu 6th Dec, 7:45pm, Southampton Canal Society: Waterways Quiz (see page 36) Wed 12th Dec, 7:30pm, Oxfordshire Branch: Skittles Night

(see page 32)

Thu 13th Dec, Salisbury Group: Christmas dinner

(see page 11)

Salisbury Group Our Salisbury correspondent, Myra Glover, writes: At the January meeting, Tony Fry, who has been exploring the canal system for over 25 years by hiring, joint ownership and finally on his own boat, described journeys in the North West of England made during these years. So far he has covered 4700 miles of canal and Pauline, his wife, has worked the 2844 locks! The area of England he was describing on this occasion was based on the Cheshire Ring and the navigations adjoining it.


10 Starting off at Acton Bridge on the Trent & Mersey, Tony’s talk took us through the Preston Brook Tunnel Branching off to the end of navigation at Runcorn, on to Manchester along the Bridgewater Canal, over the Barton Swing Aqueduct and of course a view of Wigan Pier along with the story of its history. Returning to continue along the dark and dingy, but full of character, Rochdale Canal, that in the past cost £28 to pass along, he then went on to the Ashton and Peak Forest Canals with a detour to Bugsworth Basin before continuing south on the Macclesfield Canal. At the end of the journey Tony travelled down the Anderton lift in order to explore the River Weaver. Tony described the industrial features viewed on route along with much of their histories. In particular the old mills now converted into modern apartments and the bottle kilns of the potteries. Passing through the steel works which at that time one could still see the crucibles of molten steel. From the cotton industry we went into the salt industry especially the famous Lion salt works and also in that area the Bisto gravy factory. He also remarked on the miles of pipe work constructed for the chemical industry. This talk introduced these canals to some members whilst others were reminded of their travels in this area in the past. In February, Adge Roberts came to talk about the nine-mile stretch of the Portsmouth and Arundel Navigation between Ford and Hunston. This navigation was planned to help connect London to Portsmouth. It was designed by John Rennie to cross the flood plain of the River Arun at a height of twelve feet above the water level of the relatively flat coastal plain. There were two locks at each end, at Ford and Birdham. Adge showed pictures of various aspects of the navigation along this length. There are recent archaeological finds, which have been excavated, and we were shown the conservation work carried out along this stretch. We were given information about the engine housing at Ford that contained a Boulton and Watt beam engine. The engine house has been demolished but the engine keeper’s house still exists. Swing bridges have been excavated and parts of the bearings have been found. Mini aqueducts were built along the length to allow water to drain from the coastal plain towards the sea. The foundation of bridges that once crossed the navigation have been found and excavated. It was interesting to view the remaining parts of this navigation and although it will probably never be restored we now have a detailed view of a once important navigation. At our March meeting Robert Wright came to talk to us about the history and development of narrow boat painting over the years. Robert started by giving various explanations as to why roses and castles were originally used for boat decoration. We were told about four main original artists in


11 this field and how their styles differed. He then introduced us to the work of modern canal artists and the fact that they not only paint boats but also run courses and write books on the subject. Robert is a Journeyman of the Waterways Craft Guild and he explained that the Guild was founded to maintain standards and to preserve the traditional styles of waterways art. His talk finished with a short video of himself demonstrating his own style of painting a rose. Robert’s talk and power point presentation was very detailed and informative and was very much enjoyed by the Salisbury Group.

Programme of Events Thu 19th Jul:

Boules & BBQ at the Green Dragon. 7.00pm

Thu 18th Oct:

“The Somerset Coal Canal” by Derrick Hunt

Thu 15th Nov:

“Narrow Boating on Tidal Waters” by Nick Grundy

Thu 6th Dec:

Waterways quiz at Chilworth Village Hall organised by Southampton Canal Society.

Thu 13th Dec:

Christmas dinner at The Green Dragon Alderbury.

Unless otherwise stated, meetings are at The Green Dragon, Old Road, Alderbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 3AR starting at 7.30pm when visitors will be warmly welcomed. Further information can be obtained from Ron & Myra Glover on 01722 710322 or Jon Van de Geer on 01722 412841.

Guildford & Reading Branch News Chairman’s Report Our AGM was well attended and had a most interesting speaker in Bill Fisher of the Kennet and Avon, particularly the Newbury Branch. Bill and I go back to the late sixties when he was Newbury Chairman, John Gould was Secretary and I was Treasurer. Bill spoke eloquently about those days and further back to the late forties when of course John had been running working boats to Newbury. He did stress how crucial was having a good manager from BW at Newbury. That was vital in moving restoration forward. When I attended a Southern Canals Association meeting in Devizes earlier this year I was reminded that after restoration there was a second £22m application to HLF by the K & A to put the restored waterway in first class order. Lessons for the Basingstoke perhaps. Paul Roper also spoke and gave the pleasing news that navigation is now the number one priority for the new


12 Canal and River Trust. As is rightly pointed out, if navigation is right all else will be right too. Hence it being the number one priority. The Basingstoke remains a challenge and I have written about it elsewhere. We were pleased that Jenny Bartholomew agreed to join your committee. Jenny will represent the K& A, planning and website liaison, effectively replacing Ian Bell who we lost to Chippenham. Many thanks Ian for all you did for the Branch particularly your sterling work on Open Access on the Basingstoke. Ray Carnell carries on with Cargoes and the Branch stand at rallies for which he needs more volunteers. Mike Lewis acts as Treasurer and is the River Wey representative. Verna Smith is Secretary and Wey and Arun. John How is the Thames representative, engineering, regulation and water resources. Please just do not blame him for the drought. Can I also thank Tony Davis for much help on planning. I try my best on the Basingstoke as well as being Chairman. The River Wey and Godalming Navigations are delights. I have just returned having had a three day break on a boat hired from Farncombe Boathouse. While the weather was reasonably sunny there was enough rain to believe that April unlike March will not be of the driest. The waterway is well maintained and mostly beautiful. The section near the Basingstoke junction under the M25 is reminiscent of the BCN in environs of Spaghetti Junction. The former mills are gloriously redeveloped. For the most part the competing users are courteous and well mannered. Even the occasional stag party while consuming more than was compatible with good boating were not antisocial. The Farncombe Boathouse did us well and were all that one might expect. We will go again. We managed the whole navigation from Godalming to Thames Lock and return. We were able to patronise some of the many hostelries on the route. John Gibson and the National Trust supported by volunteers are to be congratulated on their stewardship. Much of South East England is officially in drought. The Inland Waterways will be bearing a share of the pain. Restrictions are in force on the Southern Oxford, the Grand Union and we have just heard that the back pumping at Woodham will stop leading to navigation restriction on the eastern section of the Basingstoke. Please look at the various websites to see the latest position. Also do look at the Surrey and Hants website to see the latest news of the Basingstoke Jubilee Rally. It is a serious indictment of national planning that an island with the rainfall that occurs at least in the west cannot build the infrastructure it takes to ensure that the areas of high rainfall can supply those that are drier. Planners and environmentalists must also become more realistic. Taking some examples, around the year 2000 a 50 mile long water main was built around London. In places this has a 7 foot diameter and ensures that water is delivered to the drier east. Also the Olympics have led to redevelopment of waterways in east London. It was opposed by environmentalists but in practice has enhanced the ecology in east London. In the 19thcentury Birmingham and Liverpool built the Elan Valley and Lake Vyrnwy respectively. Birmingham is now able to export water to the east and there are unlikely to be navigation restrictions on the BCN. There has been good planning in the past and with new pumping in the present. Was it not a mistake for DEFRA to turn down the reservoir at Abingdon? How do we persuade today’s politicians to show the leadership on water they have shown in pushing ahead in railways with Crossrail and HS2. There is a population of many millions and growing in the South East. We are a wet island not a desert. Can we please have some leadership and joined


13 up thinking. Please tackle your local politicians. It was local politics that built the Elan Valley, Lake Vyrnwy and many more 19th century systems. Do look at the Region website to keep up to date on this summer’s local waterway programme. Our joint meeting with the Reading Branch of the K&A on the 15th May is being followed by a trip on the PS Kingswear Castle on Saturday 23rd June (for bookings see page 41). I am organising a Thames Barge Trip at the end of September and Verna, in addition to running the Jubilee Rally, is working on a Branch outing to the Wey and Arun at Loxwood. There is also a list elsewhere of the waterways events which we will be attending. Gareth Jones

Sales & Publicity Stand With no Easter festival at Bridge Barn this year, the start of our season of outside events was delayed until the Mayday Bank Holiday weekend. Any hopes that the rains of April might relent in May were soon to be dashed and Weyside 2012, organised by the Byfleet Boat Club, got off to a damp start that was to prove to be the weather pattern for the weekend. However, some 25 boats attended, providing a colourful spectacle along the towpath, together with a number of stands with waterways links. There was a full programme of entertainment and for many the New Inn provided a welcome refuge from the elements. On reflection it seemed rather ironic that, with this year’s Guildford Festival Boat Gathering cancelled due to concerns about water supply, the only other boat gathering along the Wey in 2012 should have had such an abundance of water.

Byfleet Boat Club Members in their ‘Sunday Best’ for Weyside 2012 at the New Inn, Send [Photo: Ray Carnell]


14 Our next appearance will be at the Canalside Jubilee at Frimley Lodge Park (organised by the Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society) during the first three days of the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend (2nd to 4th June) – see page 16 for more details. This will be closely followed by the Beale Park Boat Show from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th June – as usual our Stand will be run in conjunction with Middlesex Branch and we shall have a stock of Books, Maps etc. from the IWA Sales Office. Then, on Saturday 16th June, we have Reading Water Fest and, on Sunday 22nd July, Newbury Waterways Festival (The Kennet & Avon Trust are involved in organising both of these events and further details can be found on pages 18 & 19). Finally we have the Basingstoke Canal Boating Club’s Fox & Hounds Rally at Fleet on Saturday 15th September. As always, we would welcome helpers on the Stand and at the time of writing our greatest need for assistance is at the Canalside Jubilee in early June. If you think you might be able to help, please contact me on 01483 282806 or email to iwacargoes@hotmail.com Ray Carnell

Bits on the Basingstoke Progress on the Basingstoke is patchy. We continue to work well with the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society. The run up to the last Joint Management Committee was very positive with Open Access agreed, the HLF bid in progress and a new Vision statement for the canal being commissioned by Surrey County Council. However progress has slowed. In particular the Basingstoke Canal Authority has reverted to its “Country Park Mentality” where the canal is regarded as a linear park on which navigation will very occasionally be permitted. It was very hard work indeed to have navigation restored to the stretch between Odiham and the top of the Deepcut flight as winter maintenance only started on that area in February, threatening to overrun into April. In practice navigation was restored through Ash Lock at the end of March and continues as this is written. Works on the Deepcut flight overran and some are having to be put right. There is a lack of water in the flight and given the drought this is likely to continue. The Open Access trial led by Kathryn Dodington, the new commodore of the Byfleet Boat Club, and a flotilla of eight boats successfully navigated from the Wey to the bottom of Brookwood and return over the Easter weekend. It was a complete success . St George’s Day has however brought the unwelcome news that the EA are curtailing Woodham back pumping. In the absence of water coming down the Deepcut flight it seems likely that the canal may not be navigable from the Wey through Woking for some months. What makes this strange is that the Wey is in flood. We must again protest and see what can be done. The good news from the EA and SCC is that we have now heard that back pumping can continue and that the Woodham flight will reopen. Do watch our and the S&H websites for details particularly concerning the Canalside Jubilee Event at Frimley Lodge Park. This is still planned to go ahead as at least above Deepcut looks safe for the present. There are to be management changes at the Basingstoke Canal Authority. Philip Allen, of Hampshire countryside, is to be in overall charge. Ian Brown is retiring in June and the post of canal director is to be replaced with a canal manager.


15 Hopefully the change in personnel will lead to a change in mentality with navigation being given a high priority. We will continue to point out that the new Canal and River Trust has as its number one priority navigation because if navigation is right it maximises the benefits to all be they environmentalists, fishermen, walkers, live aboards, canoeists or cyclists. It is to be hoped that pressure from all users, the vision report and the HLF bid will combine to bring much needed change. It may be 20 years since the first restoration was completed but as with the K&A perhaps now a second wave of restoration will put the canal in first class order as the jewel of a navigable waterway that it can and should be. It is estimated that 1.3million people each year use the Basingstoke Canal and navigation enhances that experience. Also navigation brings economic benefits measured in millions to the surrounding economy. In these austere times this cannot be foregone. On water resources John How has done much good work. We are in the long term looking to increase Woodham back-pumping and source new water supplies to feed the waterway above Deepcut. In some ways we have been here before but this time we must ensure there is a clear plan and clear action. John has produced a comprehensive report which we will be discussing with the owners. Governance is a key issue. There is too little accountability particularly amongst officers. There must be priorities in respect of navigation and, if not number one, it must be very high. This has been accepted for the Canal and River Trust. We must strive to ensure that there is clarity and if there is failure or muddle we can pinpoint the party who has let matters slip. Hopefully IWA and the Surrey & Hants CS can and will rise to the challenge. Gareth Jones

S&HCS Social Meetings The programme of Canal Society Social meetings continued at Chobham with the final three meetings of the season. The February meeting was overshadowed by the news of the sudden death of Heather Higgs and expressions of sympathy from those present were extended to Robin on his sad loss. Roger Cansdale stepped in for Robin with a selection of photos of boating experiences in France, including some pictures from a Basingstoke Canal twinning visit to the Canal d’OrlÊans. In March we welcomed Dick Skeets of the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust who told us about their various restoration schemes. It was interesting to learn how residential and commercial developments had been harnessed to restore sections of the canal as steps towards the eventual goal of total restoration. In April we had an illustrated talk about the railways at Southampton Docks by Paul Gosling. Paul clearly had a wealth of knowledge about the subject and a rapport with those employed in the Docks which had enabled him to get some uniquely interesting pictures over the years. At the April meeting, being the last of the season, David Millett was thanked for his work in booking speakers and there were


16 expressions of eager anticipation for next season’s talks programme starting in the Autumn. Appreciation was also expressed for Peter Coxhead’s hard work at the meetings and to others helping behind the scenes. Ray Carnell

Canalside Jubilee

This three day event from Saturday 2nd June to Monday 4th June is being organised by Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society and will be held at Frimley Lodge Park, alongside the Basingstoke Canal. The event will celebrate the 21 years since the Royal re-opening of the Basingstoke Canal and Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. A number of boats are expected to attend the event, water conditions permitting. In addition to the craft marquee there will be a variety of stands and stalls, live entertainment on stage in the main arena, fun activities for children, boat trips and a beer tent, plus a permanent miniature railway. The grass site provides ample parking, toilets and a permanent café in the pavilion, plus further refreshment’s in the outside area. Entry is free The show will run from 12 Noon to 5.00 pm each day (Saturday, Sunday and Monday). For further information, please see the Canal Society website www.basingstoke-canal.org.uk or contact Verna Smith on 01252 517622 Details about facilities for camping and caravans can be obtained from Surrey Heath Borough Council www.surreyheath.gov.uk

Mikron on the Basingstoke This year's visit of the Mikron Theatre Company to the Basingstoke Canal will be at Fleet Football Club, Calthorpe Park, Crookham Road, Fleet on Saturday 23rd.June at 7.30pm. The show is called "Can You Keep A Secret" and more details of this season’s Mikron productions can be found on page 40. Come along by car or on foot to the Fleet Football Club (where they have performed before when wet) and enjoy another Mikron masterpiece. The Society always looks forward to their annual visit and a good attendance will help them financially. Make a diary note now so you do not miss the show. Bar available. For further information contact David Millett on 01252 617364 or email: d.millett7@ntlworld.com


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River Thames News Business Plan Consultation During February and March the Environment Agency (Matt Carter Operations Manager Thames Navigation) organised a series of ‘consultation workshops’ with representatives from the Thames User Groups. These were well received and well attended. Views expressed have been recorded and the plan adjusted, where appropriate. All thanked Matt Carter for this initiative. Lock keepers cottages Following a meeting between representatives from the Thames User Groups and Lord Smith, the proposal to move away from ‘residential lock-keepers’ and rent out the lock keepers cottages as they become available, has been delayed. The five cottages already rented till April 2013 must remain, but the whole concept of river operations and accommodation for lock keepers is to be re-assessed. Seasonal Staff The recruitment and training of 26 volunteers as seasonal staff before Easter has been successfully completed. A further 30+ seasonal staff are being recruited for training during May for the summer season. Volunteers to refer to the River Thames website. Future of Navigation (FoN project) Following the formation of the Canal & River Trust (C&RT), the Environment Agency (EA) has initiated a project to review how the EA Navigations will be transferred to C&RT post-2015, if the decision is made by all parties that this is required. It is a surprise that when the EA Navigations are having their annual budget severely reduced, that a sum of £1.2m can be set aside for the FoN project. John How

Thames Landscape Strategy This organisation was set up some 17 years ago to carry out environmental improvements to the bankside and adjoining landscape of the River Thames from Kew to the GLC boundary at Hampton. It has a very small paid staff but is able to call on voluntary help from many organisations; from local residents groups, to those on Community Service Orders! Its funding comes from riparian local authorities; charities; residents associations and grant-giving bodies. They have achieved wonders on that part of the river since they started. The number of volunteer hours clocked up is now approaching 300,000. The Big Society at work, perhaps. Our Guildford & Reading Branch interest now stems from the agreed extension of their remit into the Borough of Elmbridge, being along the Thames from Molesey to Weybridge, and the River Wey as far as Town Lock. Their workboat "Swingbridge" has been doing vegetation clearance work during the last winter along Weybridge


18 river frontage, and around the Shepperton Loop of Desborough Island. Give them a wave if you see them. In conjunction with the Weybridge Society (and others) further projects have been discussed, and a Revised Policy Document (to include the Elmbridge Extension) is about to be published, and your Committee will have the opportunity of comment over a short time period. Proposals are known to include further environmental improvements to the Weybridge riverfront and towpaths. Tony Davis

Kennet & Avon Canal News

This year marks not only the Queen’s Diamond jubilee but also the Golden jubilee of the founding of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust. Both these anniversaries are planned to be a feature of the Trust’s two major events on the Canal within IWA’s South East Region. Reading Water Fest takes place on Saturday 16th June and Newbury Waterways Festival is on Sunday 22nd July – further details are given below – do please support these events on which the Trust spends much time and effort.

Reading Water Fest On Saturday 16th June (from 11am to 5pm), Reading Borough Council and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust will again be holding this ever popular celebration of the waterways on the Kennet in the centre of Reading.

Danny on Burghfield Owl at Waterfest [Photo courtesy of Reading Borough Council]


19 Come along and be entertained by traditional music and dance throughout the day, whilst taking in the beautifully painted narrowboats along the towpath. Also why not visit the Water Fest 'craft avenue' where you can browse among the hand-made products and visit Riverside Walk where you will find the many charity and information stands that run along the towpath. For more information contact 0118 937 2771 www.reading.gov.uk

Newbury Waterways Festival This will take place in Victoria Park, Newbury, on Sunday 22nd July from 10am to 5pm with free entry to the public. There will be a Boat Gathering, boat trips and many other displays and attractions for the public and boaters. This year, reflecting the ‘double’ Jubilee, the theme will be Diamonds and Gold. The event has proved very successful in recent years and it is hoped 2012’s will be even better, making it enjoyable for everyone. For further information contact the K&A Branch Secretary on 01635 580356 or email kact.newbury@virgin.net.

IWAKES Branch News Doug Beard Many friends and colleagues of Doug Beard met at the Epping Forest Burial Park to say goodbye to a true gentleman. We met at the Gathering Hall and though we were crammed cheek by jowl it did not matter, for we were all Doug’s friends. Eventually the time came to take the short walk to the Woodland Hall where we all sat in awe of Doug’s many friends, who all wanted to tell us about the pleasure of knowing him. Made me wish I had known him more in life. Not just from a distance.

There was his dear neighbour from his cottage in Cumbria (left to him by his sister) who had come all the way to say how much Doug was loved and respected in the village. How they used to have innumerable conversations over the fence. Being late in for lunch again his wife would remark, "I see you’ve been Douged again". Then there was the Bee keeping lady who shared a love of the little creatures. He raised lots of funds for IWA with honey sold on Branch stalls, and probably


20 elsewhere. Several people from Lee and Stort and the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation spoke fondly of the Doug they knew and loved. A Vicar led the service because he was a family friend. Doug and family hired a boat way back when and, like so many of us, fell in love. They bought a 46ft boat "Pegusas” and cruised the canals. Eventually meeting Molly and falling in love again. In time they moved into "Shipwrights" a large 1930s Art Deco house at Benfleet and started another love affair; restoring the house and acres to their grade two former glory. Later also having a boat built to their own specifications, "Essex Girl". When Doug left school he worked in the payment office of the local Co-Op, moving very soon to an Oil Company. Staying in oil and finance for the rest of his working life he spent long periods of time away from home. Later in life Doug took up the post of treasurer for the local SSAFA charity. Its a little known charity but is in fact larger than the British Legion in their help of Forces Families. Doug was the best treasurer the charity had. This speaker got us applauding, something I am sure all of us would have liked to break into after all the speakers. What we at IWA must thank him for was his avid motivation in getting Springfield Lock and Basin restored from dereliction, in the 1980s. Done with the help of WRG and some locals. From a real eyesore to the delightful place it is today. This is only one of the many tasks he undertook, where a lesser man would pass it by. If Doug had not stepped in with very few others the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation would have been lost, instead of coming under the umbrella of Essex Waterways. Doug has left a legacy for the Waterways and has now moved on to a higher plain. He was a wonderful conversationalist, with a huge smile and mixed with everybody. We sat looking toward a huge picture window with Doug’s coffin topped by Molly’s colourful flowers, watching the birds flitting in and out of the fir trees, with squirrels scampering about and shining snow dappled trees as we laid Doug to rest in this wonderful place. Angela Acott

Paul Morris

It is with much regret and sadness that I have to report that Paul Morris, the project manager and driving force behind the restoration at Isfield Lock, died on 1st February following a short illness. It is no exaggeration to say that without Paul’s drive, practical skills, ingenuity and generous giving of his time, equipment and money, the restoration project would not have achieved the progress it has during the last six years. The work at the lock will continue but all the volunteers know they are going to miss the wealth of

[Photo: Courtesy of SORT]


21 knowledge and the quiet supervision the ever-present Paul brought to the restoration worksite. The contribution he made to the project should never be forgotten. The Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust has lost an irreplaceable project manager and good friend. Our condolences and thoughts go to Paul’s wife Linda and his family during this difficult time. Terry Owen

Past Events Not Such Idle Women A large gathering again met at Strood Yacht Club where they treat us so well. This was in January and luckily enough a mild night. Mike Constable, Curator of Stoke Bruerne Waterways Museum, came to tell us about "Not Such Idle Women". These were aged from 18 to 45 and came from all walks of life and creeds. Mike knew of 60 ladies that worked the boats but it could have been up to 100. On 15th Jan 1941 an advert was placed in the Times asking for volunteers to work the boats. 70 people responded. Kit Gayford, well known boat woman, teamed up with Mollie. They had a boat each and taught the other girls how to work the boats. Some took to the work others left almost immediately. The ‘Idle Women’ name came from the badge the girls wore which had I.W. in the middle for Inland Waterways and National Service round the outside. They were nothing like idle. Working all hours and in all weathers. One of the trainees painted the front cover of Rolt’s book 'Green and Silver' about the Irish Canals. And at least four of the others wrote their life stories in "Maidens Trip", “Idle Women", “Amateur Boat Women" and "Troubled Waters". We saw some fascinating pictures on the screen, many not seen before, including a short piece of Pathe Newsreel of the working boats and women leaving Bulls Bridge. This and Brentford were often mentioned as the boats were often moored in this area and it was where the girls went for their orders. Old women boaters were afraid they would lose their men-folk to the young trainees but on the whole the boaters were friendly to them and helped them on the cut. The permanent boaters accepted their help. Some of the Idle Women were not very well treated as workers. When the end came it was very sudden. But many as we know had a lifelong love of the canals. Angela Acott

Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust Middle Ouse Restoration of Physical Habitats (MORPH) The Environment Agency (EA) and the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust (OART) are working together on the MORPH project having identified sites along the River Ouse and investigating possibilities for improving river habitats for the benefit of wildlife and people who use the river. Several meetings and consultations have


22 taken place with landowners, local people and those who use the river and its environs, to discuss the options and plans. We are very pleased to say that SORT have been made welcome by the EA and become involved from an early stage of MORPH. We have been consulted about each site where proposed work is likely and will continue to do so. These consultations are especially important to us to ensure that any long-term ambition SORT hold regarding the restoration of the Ouse navigation is not affected. Isfield Lock (aka Sutton Hall lock) Having last reported that the site at Isfield was locked and secured for the winter months, the determination of the volunteers, and some very reasonable weather, has enabled a certain level of minor restoration work and preparation for the summer months to continue down on the Sussex Ouse. The repair of a hole in the fore bay of the chamber, the main task identified for the 2012 season, has begun and could be completed ahead of schedule if the dry weather continues through April. Work will then continue through the summer on the restoration of the west wall. Iron Gate Lock (Sheffield Park) - A Second Front Since the New Year a group of hardy and keen volunteers have ventured out to the remote Iron Gate Lock site, situated at the southern extremity of the land adjoining and belonging to the National Trust’s Sheffield Park Gardens. Prior to the work the site was completely overgrown and hidden from view. But under the supervision of NT staff, the working parties have cleared the site. Although there are no plans at this stage to continue the work as a full restoration project, the work has enabled the NT, SORT and visitors to view, learn and appreciate the history of the lock and the Ouse Navigation.

[Photos courtesy of SORT]


The Inland Waterways Association Island House, Moor Road, Chesham HP5 1WA www.waterways.org.uk Phone: 01494 783453

IWA South East Region South East Region Committee Chairman: Paul Roper ‘Cranborne’, Baughurst Road, Baughurst, Tadley, Hants RG26 5LL Tel: 01189 813381 Email: paul.roper@waterways.org.uk Secretary: Philip Riley Wincombe Cottage, Broad Oak, Hook, Hants RG29 1AH Tel: 01256 702109 Committee Members: Gareth Jones (Chairman, Guildford & Reading Branch) Mike Hannan (Chairman, Kent & East Sussex Branch) Chris Wardley (Chairman, Oxfordshire Branch) Mike Laishley (Chairman, Solent & Arun Branch) Ray Carnell (Cargoes Editor) Roy Sutton


IWA Guildford & Reading Branch Chairman and Basingstoke Canal: Gareth Jones Hill House Farm, Misbrooks Green Road, Beare Green, Dorking RH5 4QQ Tel: 07850 819 071 Email: hhel@btconnect.com Secretary and Wey & Arun Canal: Verna Smith 63 Avondale, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hants GU12 5NE Tel: 01252 517622 Email: verna.smith@virgin.net Acting Treasurer and River Wey: Mike Lewis Cargoes Editor, Sales Stand and Publicity: Ray Carnell Water Resources and River Thames: John How Planning and Kennet & Avon Canal: Jenny Bartholomew

IWA Kent & East Sussex Branch Chairman and River Rother: Mike Hannan Trumpeter, Water Lane, Headcorn, Kent. TN27 9JN Tel: 01622 890586 Email: mcfhannan@btinternet.com Secretary, Sussex Ouse and ‘Cargoes’ Contact: Roy Sutton 79, St Leonards Park, East Grinstead, West Sussex. RH19 1EG Tel: 01342 317569 Email: RoyDavidSutton@Yahoo.co.uk Treasurer: Les Etheridge Membership Secretary: Anne Etheridge Social Secretary: Sue Schwieso Dartford & Crayford: Ken Bishop River Medway: Graham Ingram & Michael Marsh River Stour: Roy Newing Thames-Medway: Bernard Snell


IWA Oxfordshire Branch Chairman: Chris Wardley The Mount, High St, Adderbury, Banbury, OX17 3LU Tel: 01295 810610 Mobile: 07802 783045 Email: oxfordshire@waterways.org Treasurer : Ann Yeatman Secretary: Vacancy Programme Secretary & Committee Member: Sue Wardley Cargoes contact and Committee Member: Terry Yeatman Committee Member (Rep for River Thames above Oxford): Steve Parker Committee Member (Rep for Oxford): John Temple -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Branch Website Editor: Robin Williams Rep for River Thames from Oxford to Goring: Sue Cooper Planning Officer: Vacancy Banbury Event Organiser: Vacancy Heyford Event Organiser: Vacancy Oxford Event Organiser: Vacancy Event Moorings Master: Peter Darch Event Trip Boat Organiser: Philip Tree


IWA Solent & Arun Branch Chairman: Mike Laishley 16 Park Avenue, Widley, Waterlooville, Hants. PO7 5DW Tel: 023 92325000 (evenings) Email: mike.iwa@ntlworld.com Secretary: Vacancy Treasurer: Pete Boyce

Other Waterways Organisations Chichester Ship Canal Trust

www.chichestercanal.co.uk

Kennet & Avon Canal Trust

www.katrust.org

Maidenhead Waterways Restoration Group Southampton Canal Society

www.sotoncs.org.uk

Surrey & Hampshire Canal Society Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust

www.basingstoke-canal.org.uk www.sxouse.org.uk

Thames & Medway Canal Association Wey & Arun Canal Trust Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

www.maidenheadwaterways.org

www.thamesmedway.co.uk

www.weyandarun.co.uk www.wbct.co.uk


23 The NT plan to allow supervised access to the site for visitors to Sheffield Park Gardens this summer and to provide a self-guided walk leaflet that includes the River Ouse and the lock. They also plan to provide an information board at the site. In addition SORT members will be conducting, for the NT, monthly guided-walks through the park area to the lock site when some of the history of the navigation and the work of SORT will be passed on. But with spring upon us SORT have now turned their attention back to Isfield and the season ahead. Anyone interested in helping with any aspect of restoration or the Trust’s aims, and that includes fund raising and other non-physical tasks, should contact SORT via their web site at www.sxouse.org.uk or contact Ted Lintott on 01444-414413 or tedl@talktalk.net Terry Owen

Appeal for help at Bodiam 2013 The Kent & East Sussex Branch are organising the 2013 IWA National Trailboat Festival at Bodiam Castle on the River Rother in East Sussex from 25 to 27 May 2013. We have an enthusiastic committee who are doing the work to make the event happen and a lot of progress has already been made. We need help over the period of the Festival mainly in manning the IWA marquee in which we will be promoting local waterways, restoration schemes and, of course IWA. Could you offer us some support at any time over the weekend? We would be very grateful even if you only have a couple of hours available. If you can help in any way please contact Les Etheridge, les.etheridge@waterways.org.uk or on 01622 831734.

History of River Darent The river DARENT (aka Darenth) is believed to be derived from the Celtic word DERVA, meaning Oak, "the river where Oak trees grow". There are records of a Ford operating in Roman times. A ferry, operated by a Hermit, was established in 1235: continuing to operate until 1518, despite a footbridge being built during the reign of Henry IV (1399 - 1413) and surviving until middle of 18th century. Landscapes of the river's valley were painted, in a visionary manner, by the Victorian artist Samuel Palmer. The river powered a large number of watermills, some going back to Domesday, with many in operation until the 20th century milling corn, mustard, cotton and gunpowder. Dartford is reputed to have had England’s first paper-mill and also a silk printing works, which was in operation until fairly recently. The gunpowder mill had a series of explosions, with at least twenty-seven people being killed between 1750 and 1800. The river was increasingly used for trade during the 1800s with 50,000 to 60,000 tons per year were being carried on the river.


24 There were plans to make it a ship canal, but nothing came to fruition. In the 1980's the Darent was the lowest flow river in the country due to over-abstraction by water companies and industry. During the past 20 years the EA has reduced the amount of water that can be taken from the Darent. The river has a healthy population of fish and is now classed as having good ecological status. Ken Bishop

Thames & Medway Canal Association Narrowboats to the Medway Considering the outside temperature, a large crowd gathered to hear Roger Squires tell us about his journey from St Pancras Cruising Club to the Medway. As usual Roger made himself clear and precise. He said he and our member Dave Harris (who keeps his boat a few feet away from the yacht club) have organised three trips round to the Medway. You MUST have good GPS charts. From Bow Creek Mouth to the Medway is about 53 miles, plus 11 miles up the Medway, in a narrowboat. Timetables and good weather are pretty critical. When they did it telephones were the order of the day. Nowadays its mobiles or internet: A lot quicker and cheaper. Bow locks and creek are the easiest way to go out on to the Thames. Once past Greenwich there were no tie over points (I believe that may have changed or is about to change now). There is a very good vantage point right opposite the Sailing Club premises with yachts and bulk carriers. PLA have produced some very good charts of the River. Keep well over to the right hand side going out of the Thames to avoid these gigantic craft. But little boats create more wash. You do not want the wind force to be more than three and less would be preferable. Do not cut Grain Edge too close; nor go too far out either. Look for the Nore Swatch Buoy. It is very comforting to get into the Medway after all this swell. In the Medway it was force 1.5 on the occasion Roger took us round. There is a very substantial mooring at Gillingham Marina: at a price but has all the comforts. We hit the Medway with all the industry on both sides, now largely gone. Up into the narrower parts of the River to manoeuvre under Aylesford bridge into Allington Lock on a lovely sunny day, making the Medway look lovelier than usual. Went on through Maidstone to moor more safely at Tovil after 12 hours. It was wonderful to see the Medway in the sun, which seemed to accompany the boaters all the way. Then it was the worry of the return journey. More chart watching a much calmer return trip with hardly any white horses. Sticking to the recreational channel as on the outward trip. Happy to arrive at the safe harbour of St Pancras Cruising Club moorings; ready for Roger’s next adventure.


25 Discover Gravesham The launch for ‘Discover Gravesham’ Festival during May was held at Gad’s Hill Place, former home of Charles Dickens and attended by nine of our members. The Deputy Mayor, Lyn Milner, opened proceedings after refreshments and we were then taken on a tour of the house that retains many artefacts, furniture and fittings as Dickens knew and used them. A new school is being built in the grounds at the back of Gad’s Hill Place and the present building will become a museum to Charles Dickens. [Photo – Angela Acott] Gravesend Town Pier - Pontoon A pontoon has been installed connected to Town Pier at Gravesend front, now known as St. Andrew’s Quay. It is for mooring at any state of the tide for river users needing access to Gravesend. It is proposed that the ferry to Tilbury will run from here and other vessels will use it for picking up and dropping off passengers. The Thames Barge ‘Cambria’ has been moored here for the public to visit.

Gravesend Pier with Pontoon

[Photos: TMCA/Angela Acott]

Evening stroll on 28th May The second of our escorted evening strolls is on Monday 28th May at 7:00pm starting from The Ship and Lobster pub, a Dickens hostelry, taking in some of the Thames and Medway Canal and the sea wall. Not long or difficult but walking type shoes recommended. Please come and join us.


26 Shornemead Crossing The crossing at Shornemead is still closed. An application has been made by Neville Theobald (Councillor), on behalf of Shorne Parish Council, to KCC ‘that the Definitive Map and Statement for the area be modified by’ adding/reinstating the public crossing across the railway. The closing of this crossing by Network Rail for safety reasons means that access to the north side of the railway and the canal can only be achieved from one kilometre east or west along the canal towpath/ cycle path. Getting water into the first section of canal at Mark Lane remains our No 1 priority and we are talking to both Network Rail, EDF and UK Power Networks who are now responsible for connecting EDF to the National Grid. This year we will continue to raise our profile as much as possible and attempt to recruit more members to assist in what will be a very busy period. The North West Kent Countryside Partnership have agreed to help raise a grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund which, if successful, will mean a lot more help will be needed by the Board/Committee, managing the works and funding. A project/fund manager is required preferably from the Gravesend area to enable him/her to be on site as often as necessary organising and supervising. Brian Macknish

Working Party at The Obelisk

[Photo: Angela Acott]


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River Medway News • The Environment Agency are seeking more volunteer lock keepers. Two are completing training at present and an open recruitment evening was held on 16th April for those also interested in helping out at Allington Lock. Call them at Allington Lock on 01622 752864 for more information if you can help. • Maidstone paddlers organised a large litter pick exercise on the Medway on 14th/15th April • Southern Water are applying for an extension of the drought permit to 30th April 2012 to enable abstraction of water to top Bewl Water reservoir This is due to threat of a serious deficiency in supplies of water in the Kent Medway, Kent Thanet and Sussex Hastings water supply areas. • During the current drought conditions the EA are encouraging river users, be they boaters, walkers or anglers to look out for signs of fish distress, algae blooms and additional weed growth and report any sightings to the Environment Agency. • Plans to refurbish East Farleigh lock this year have been put back to a future date. The capital scheme to refurbish Teston Lock will start as planned in mid to late September 2012. • The Kingfisher Medway Trust which operates the trip boat ‘Kingfisher’ on the Medway for disabled and disadvantaged people of all ages, reports an almost full list of bookings for the season. Details are available on their website: www.kingfishermedwaytrust.org. • Maidstone Borough Council plan to open the toilet block between the two town bridges for the summer period. This will be most welcome especially in this Jubilee and Olympic year when many people come in to see the Olympic torch as it passes through Maidstone. • There will be a Maidstone Mile run or swim event on Friday 20th July to Maidstone to promote the Olympic ideals and bring sporting events to the town. The event will also raise awareness and funds for the Heart of Kent Hospice. Details on www.maidstonemile.com Mike Marsh

Future IWAKES and Other Events Fridays 27th July, 31st August and 28th September at 10.30am: Iron Gate Lock visits: The National Trust and Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust have organised guided walks at Sheffield Park that will visit Iron Gate Lock and which will be led by a member of SORT. Walks will be about 2 miles in length and be of no more than 2 hours in duration. Visitors will be able to see the work carried out at Iron Gates to date and learn more about the Ouse Navigation. Walkers should call the National Trust at Sheffield Park on 01825 791264 to obtain directions and further details and to book a place.


28 Thursday 16th August: 3:00pm onwards till dusk: Open afternoon at Sutton Hall Lock, Isfield: SORT members and guests can see for themselves the restoration that has so far been achieved and talk to volunteer working party members about their work. Teas, coffees and soft drinks will be available and the lock-side barbecue will be offering a selection of cooked food, both meat and vegetarian. Parking will be available nearby, with a short walk through woodland and fields to reach the lock. Please telephone Terry Owen on 01342 315786 for further information and directions and to confirm whether you would like to attend. Sunday 21st October: 10:30am to 4:00pm: Visit to Crossness Engines: The Old Works, Crossness STW, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ - (see map on inside of rear cover). The engines will be in steam. Entry is £5 (under 16s free). Visitors are advised to wear flat shoes as refurbishment is under way. A minibus service operates from Abbey Wood BR Station, with the first leaving at 10.15am and thereafter at half-hourly intervals with the last bus leaving Crossness at 5.00pm. (We will meet the first minibus service when it arrives at Crossness). Thursday 15th November: 7:00pm for 7:30pm: SORT and IWAKES joint meeting: Upper Room, Perrymount Methodist Church, Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 3DN (near the Railway Station and 200 yards up from Clair Hall). Thursday 6th December: 7.30pm for 8:00pm: Gravesend Sailing Club, The Promenade, Gravesend: “Paddle Steamer Medway Queen – Heroine of Dunkirk”: TMCA and IWAKES pre-Christmas get-together. Tea and coffee are available at all IWAKES evening meetings.

Oxfordshire Branch News Chairman’s Report My sincere thanks to so many of you, committee members, organisers and volunteers who have been active in supporting the Branch in organising or participating in running events in past months and years. A special thanks to those of you who responded to Mary Heritage’s appeal for volunteers for the new and significant two day event at Heyford Wharf on Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd April. Mary had to take over organising this event at very


29 short notice, for which a huge thank you, when the original organiser was advised, on medical grounds, to withdraw and I became ill. These events have shown how vulnerable the Branch is in fulfilling its obligations because only a small number of members volunteer to fulfil essential roles or carry out regular duties. All current post holders are in their fourth year of commitment to their present duties and unsure as to whether they will be able or willing to carry out their roles beyond 2012-13. A big factor in such decisions will be that the Branch has no separate appointment for minute secretary, membership secretary, planning officer or organiser for any of our events. This also places an additional burden on those who do have roles. Robin Williams volunteered, at the AGM, be website editor for the Branch, which is a great help. Of course holding a post does require more commitment than simply helping at an event. But if the duties can be spread across a reasonable number of members such roles can be interesting, rewarding and not take up a great deal of time. For example a separate event organiser for each of Heyford, Oxford Open Doors and Banbury Canal Day would help with this division of work especially as Peter Darch (for mooring) and Phil Tree (for trip boats) have agreed to support such organisers for 2012-13. Please consider the future of Oxfordshire Branch, your Branch, with its more than 600 members, because unless some of you very soon act to volunteer to take on roles with more commitment than duties at events we will have to cease to make commitments to organise our part in the events, which we all enjoy so much, in September and October 2012. If you think you might be able to help and would like to explore how, please contact me, oxfordshire@waterways.org.uk (leaving a telephone number on which I can call you) or call (or text) me on 07802783045. Chris Wardley

Past Events Branch meeting Wednesday February 8th 2012 Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust Speaker: Eleanor Green, Fundraiser The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust covers Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The cost of the service is an eye watering £2.8 million a year (£7,671 each day) which is entirely funded by voluntary donations. Funding comes mainly from individuals with donations of between £10 and £25 and events such as the Abingdon Air Show, which raised £8,000 last year. The Trust also


30 raises money from running its own lottery and has a recycling service which accepts any types of textiles, old shoes, metal: and in fact just about anything that we are throwing out can be recycled. The nearest of their collection points for recycling is at Exeter Hall, Kidlington. Costs of the ambulance service include the leasing and servicing of the helicopters, fuel, salaries of the experienced ex RAF pilots, office staff and all equipment. Each helicopter carries two specially trained paramedics who have been qualified for at least six years and who are employed by South Central Ambulance Service. They are seconded for six week periods from their normal duties. There is huge competition amongst the paramedic staff to be chosen for the air ambulance. The service operates for 365 days a year except in fog and at night, due to not having the facility to light landing spots. Helicopters are based at RAF Benson which has good air traffic control and discounted fuel prices. The helicopters can fly at 150 miles per hour and reach a casualty in their operational area in less than 15 minutes. The pilots are able to land on very small spaces – we were shown photographs of a mini roundabout in Witney, the front of the JR hospital, a back garden and a field of sheep (seemingly unperturbed!). The Trust works closely with the police and ambulance services, takes casualties to the most appropriate medical speciality which is not always the closest and is sometimes involved in hospital to hospital transfers. Eleanor bought home to us very vividly that any one of us, our friends, colleagues and relatives may owe our lives at some point to this wonderful, voluntarily funded, emergency service. She encouraged us to make people aware that it is entirely voluntarily funded, support the Trust’s fund raising and ask others to do the same, so that the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust can continue to fulfil its vital role. Sue Wardley Programme Secretary

Branch meeting Wednesday April 11th 2012 Limehouse, the Regents Canal Dock, King Alfred and the Olympics Speaker: Jeremy Batch, Limehouse Lock Keeper Cargoes have been transferred from ships on the Thames onto barges to be distributed around the country via the inland waterways of rivers and canals in east London since the time of King Alfred and probably before. Jeremy Batch began by telling us of an attempted invasion of England by the Danes in AD895 up the Thames, then on to the river Lea as far as Ware 20 miles north of London which was stopped by King Alfred’s men by dividing and damning the streams now known as the Bow Back Rivers. Unable to use their ship, the Danes fled to Bridgenorth and subsequently gave up this attempt at invasion. Publication of the Domesday


31 Book in 1086, eighty years after the Tower of London was built listed all the watermills in the country, showing several at Limehouse. Limekilns have been in the area since the 14th century and the George Margetts ropery at Ropemakers Fields make hemp rope for the navy dockyards on the opposite side of the Thames, beginning in the time of Samuel Pepys. Cargoes brought in included ice from Norway, some of which went to Carlo Gatti’s ice cream factory, timber, building materials, coal, hay and straw. Lifeboats were also made by a company called Forests in the Limehouse Basin area and there is a Hawkesmoor church, St Annes. Jeremy has assembled an extensive amount of very detailed data about the history of waterways and their environment north of the Thames in east London. He has arranged this in a series of graphics, based on contemporary maps, which enable him to show, projected on a screen, the step by step changing of the area from the first century to the present day. Stage by stage on the screen before us were able to see the progressive changing of the Bow Back Rivers as new cuts, buildings and features were constructed and removed. In many instances Jeremy was able to show panoramic views related to the maps of, for example Three Mills and the various lock and water control structures. Then the Regents Canal, the initial basin and locking to the Thames appeared. The many changes to this basin and their dates were shown, in each instance a brief history and the reason for the change was given to us. In similar manner appeared Limehouse Cut, the separate basin and lock into the Thames for that, and the Hertford Union Canal linking the two waterways systems. Further on in time and stage by stage we saw changes to the basins and the buildings, railways and roads in the area. The history of the railway system from the hemp rope drawn carriages with a unique signalling system of the first, through to the Docklands Light Railway was a particularly interesting story. At each stage of Jeremy’s talk the detail was fascinating, graphically shown and easily understood, particularly the names of the roads and buildings, their purposes and name derivations. Sue Wardley Programme Secretary


32

Forthcoming Events Sat 8th & Sun 9th Sep:

Oxford Open Doors, Oxford

Wed 12th Sep:

Phil Clayton of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society “Birmingham & Black Country Canals”

Sun 7th Oct:

Banbury Canal Day, Banbury

Wed 10th Oct:

Martin Woodgett: The Cutty Sark Trust

Wed 14th Nov:

Mark Davies: Alice in Waterland. The influence of the River Thames on Lewis Carroll’s choice of stories and characters

Wed 12th Dec:

Skittles Night

Unless otherwise stated the above events are held on Wednesday evenings in the Social Club at Kidlington Football Club, Yarnton Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AT. 7.30pm for 8.00pm. New members and visitors most welcome. For more details or directions phone Ann Yeatman – tel: 01865 372552.

Solent & Arun Branch News Chairman’s Report The 34th Annual General Meeting of the Branch was held in Arundel on the 10th April. With three of the five Committee members not available for re-election, all concentrating on other waterways interests, it leaves just Peter Boyce and myself to look after the remains of the Branch. This means that the Branch Committee is no longer quorate and must, under the Byelaws, call an EGM (see Notice on next page). In the meantime we are limited in what we can do. Ideally we could do with at least 2 new Committee members to keep the Branch going – please come along and help ensure the future of the Branch. I will explore the possibility of changing the Branch to a group which reduces the formalities required to run a Branch. This will of course still require someone to run the group, more details in the next edition of Cargoes.


33 Following the AGM, Peter gave a very interesting talk on his project to restore the narrowboat Lucy at his yard at Braunston. This started with the raising of Lucy, Mary Rose style, from the canal nearby and lifting her on to dry land. Peter has now started getting the wood to start replacing her rotten timbers. At the final Committee meeting before the AGM we agreed to make donations of ÂŁ450 each to the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, Chichester Ship Canal Trust and the Shoreham slipways group. Mike Laishley

Notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting of IWA Solent & Arun Branch Notice is hereby given that an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of IWA Solent & Arun Branch has been called by the Branch Committee under IWA Branch Byelaws. The above meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 28th June 2012 at 16 Park Avenue, Widley, Waterlooville, Hants PO7 5DW. (Venue is the Chairman’s house, but please advise of attendance beforehand on 02392 325000 or mike.iwa@ntlworld.com, to enable change of venue if numbers require). The purpose of the meeting will be to form a new committee by electing at least one further Branch member to the Committee

Agenda Apologies for absence Election of Branch Committee members Future of the Branch. (On conclusion of the EGM a Branch Committee meeting will be held)


34

Past Events Chichester Canal 190th Anniversary On Sunday 22nd April, to mark the 190th anniversary of the opening of the Chichester Canal, there was a flotilla of canoes and small boats from the Wittering Road bridge to the basin. We joined by bringing a piece of bullion along from Salterns Lock using wheel barrow, canoe and rowing boat, with Peter Boyce providing the physical effort. This re-created some of the most valuable canal cargo anywhere in the country as gold bullion was transported from Portsmouth to London by the Portsmouth and Arundel Navigation during the war with Napoleon.

Mike Laishley presenting the cheque to Linda Wilkinson

[Photo: courtesy CCT]

Eventually the flotilla of about thirty craft led by a model gunship and the Canal Society boat Egremont arrived at the basin to be welcomed by the Town Crier. I was then able to present a cheque of ÂŁ450 to Linda Wilkinson Chairman of the Chichester Ship Canal Trust. Mike Laishley

Shoreham Slipways Group

The SSG, with support and backing from IWA, has been given full Planning Permission, subject to a few provisos, for a slipway on Shoreham Beach. There was strong support from many groups and individuals, including the Port Authority, the Sussex Yacht Club, commercial fishermen and anglers. Almost all the Councillors, on the Planning Committee, spoke out strongly in favour of the application.


35 Agreement needs to be reached with West Sussex County Council about access and road safety. Fortunately, the area around the slipway is likely to be redeveloped and the Shoreham Harbour Regeneration team has commissioned Consultants to provide plans. The first draft of the design shows a compromise between the various requirements. However, more parking slots need to be configured into the scheme. The group is optimistic that the eventual plans will meet the safety and parking requirements. The Environment Agency and Natural England have raised the issue of lost habitat, noise and possible hydromorphology issues i.e. the slipway could cause a change in the water flow and hence changes to silting. Noise is not really an issue because the slipway is within the harbour, at a site that has been used for launching over hundreds of years and is bounded on two sides by a road/car park and a bridge. A recent environmental study described the area as “busy”. Any net loss of habitat will be small and will hopefully be compensated for by changes being made, by the EA, to the sea defences. Other structures in the river have had little, if any, effect on silting so the slipway is unlikely to affect silting. Discussions are continuing. The SSG is now trying to raise the £250,000 to build the slipway. Various bodies and charities award grants, also it is hoped that the local councils will contribute. Brendan Whelan

Chichester Canal Trust Wed 4th Jul, 7.30pm:

Talk on Chichester Canal Restoration. An update on the restoration of the canal from Chichester to the sea. At Donnington Parish Hall, Stockbridge Road, Chichester. Tickets £3.00 on the door.

Sat 7th Jul 10.00am:

A linear guided walk from Barnham Court Farm to Hunston. See the engineering remains of the canal along the way. Approx 6 miles. Bring packed lunch. (Follow signs from the Murrell Arms). In conjunction with Sussex Industrial Archaelogical Society.

Sun 8th Jul:

Poyntz Bridge. Open from 10am till 4pm, situated approx.. 200 yards south of the canal basin, Chichester. Possibly the only single span 1820 cast iron swing bridge in the UK. Plus a display of photos and artefacts. At 2 pm there will be a guided wallk around the basin led by Alan Green illustrating the history of past industry around this canal feature. In conjunction with Sussex Industrial Archaelogical Society.


36 Sun 8th Jul 7.30pm

Mikron Theatre production of Losing the Plot at Donnington Parish Hall, Stockbridge Road, Chichester. See page 40. Tickets £7.50 from canal shop or on the door. Sponsored by Linden Homes.

Sat 14th Jul, 10.00am

A linear guided walk from Salterns Lock by Chichester Marina, along the canal towpath to the basin at Chichester. Approx 4 miles. Parking available at Marina. In conjunction with Sussex Industrial Archaelogical Society.

Sat 8th Sep 10.00am

A linear guided walk along the old Portsmouth & Arundel Navigation towpath from Barnham Court Farm, Church Lane, Barnham (Follow signs from the Murrells Arms) to Ford. Parking available at the start. In conjunction with Sussex Industrial Archaeological Society.as part of Heritage Open Days.

Sun 9th Sep 10.00am

Poyntz Bridge. Opens from 10.00am to 4.00pm. All details as at Jul 8th including the Basin Walk. In conjunction with Sussex Industrial Archaeological Society.as part of Heritage Open Days.

More details in the next edition of Cargoes or from Linda Wilkinson on 01243 576701 or canal.linda@uwclub.net

Southampton Canal Society Forthcoming Meetings Thu 7th Jun Peter Boyce’s talk on the Wooden narrowboat “Lucy” built in 1953. Thu 5th Jul AGM followed by Cheese & Wine No August Meeting Thu 6th Sep Chris Coyle, Company Secretary for the Wilts & Berks Canal, will update us on the progress of their various on-going projects. Thu 1st Nov Annual visit from Pete & Jane from the “Day Star Theatre” Thu 6th Dec Waterways Quiz Meetings are held at Chilworth Parish Hall, Chilworth, Southampton SO16 7JZ At 7.45pm. For monthly newsletters visit www.sotoncs.org.uk Angela Rose


37

Wey and Arun Canal News Opening of the Loxwood Canal Centre Another fine spring day heralded the official opening of the new Loxwood Canal Centre on 1st April. An enthusiastic crowd of some 200 supporters and guests gathered alongside the canal beyond the Onslow Arms for the ceremony. Mike Coleman, Chairman of West Sussex County Council, cut the red ribbon and saluted the exceptional work by all the volunteers. Sally Schupke, Chairman of the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, said that the history of the Canal Centre went back a long way. The Trust had begun by planning a wooden ticket office in the car park, then started thinking about a log cabin. A fortunate meeting with generous sponsors led to more ambitious thoughts and the splendid new environmentally friendly building was the result. Sally asked members to remember Tim Jolly, who had sadly died in 2010 at the age of 62. Tim used to spend nearly every Summer Sunday at Loxwood helping on the Trust’s publicity stand and sharing his enthusiasm with visitors. The Trust was also proud that no public money had been involved as all the fundraising had been done by the Trust’s supporters. She finished by thanking all those who had been involved in the building. After the ceremony special guests were invited to inspect the new premises which are intended to provide a focal point for visitors, with some 10,000 boat trip passengers a year and passing walkers on the Wey-South Path. Musical interludes with a waterways flavour were provided by Keeper’s Lock and there was a small boats cruise associated with the event. The barbecue and Hammerpot Brewery Beer Tent, to be found in the field next to Brewhurst Lock, proved very popular with visitors and the boat trips were also well supported. Once again the Wey & Arun Canal Trust are to be commended for their excellent organisation of the event. Ray Carnell

Work starts on brick-faced parapets at Loxwood High Street Canal Bridge At the end of April the Loxwood Society and the Wey & Arun Canal Trust were very pleased to announce that work had started to construct brick-faced parapets on the Loxwood High Street Canal Bridge. Working with representatives of Loxwood Parish Council and Loxwood Society, the Trust agreed an acceptable design. The brick parapets will be in keeping with the award-winning Loxwood Lock and horsebridge constructed by Canal Trust volunteers in 2005-6. Fundraising contributions came from the NatWest Community Force Grants Scheme, Chichester Community Chest, Billingshurst Lions and individual canal trust members. Money was also raised from individuals “buying a brick” or buying tickets for one of the special canal cruises organised by Loxwood Society.


38 To aid fundraising, Loxwood Society are continuing to organise various events including a Quiz Cruise with a Barbecue on Friday 8th June at 6pm. Phone 01403 752032 for tickets.

AGM in April The Trust’s AGM took place at Pulborough Village Hall on 28th April with an attendance of over 150 members. W&ACT Chairman, Sally Schupke., recounted significant activities over the past six months (since the last meeting in October 2011), the most notable being the opening of the new Canal Visitor Centre at Loxwood (see separate report). She also mentioned the ‘Big Seal’ project to eliminate the leaks on the pound between Loxwood Lock and Devil’s Hole Lock, the ongoing work on Southland Lock and plans for the Tickners Heath/Three Compasses section. Jim Phillips presented the accounts and Dusty Miller spoke about the achievements of Wey & Arun Enterprises Ltd through the Trip Boats and Sales Stand. He was hopeful that it would be possible to get their small boat, the John Smallpiece up to standard and help would be welcomed. Peter Foulger gave a detailed account of the funding for the brick-faced parapets at Loxwood Bridge on which work had just started (see separate article). John Wood MBE told the audience about his new book on the Wey & Arun restoration (see Book Review). The time and effort put in by two volunteers was recognised with the presentation of awards to John Smith and David King.

The 40th Annual Poddle An unbroken series of 40 annual sponsored walks – this is the proud boast of the Canal Trust’s “Poddle” organisers. This year’s walk is on Sunday, 10th June. The route will start and finish at the newly refurbished North Hall in Loxwood, West Sussex and briefly pass beside the canal on the way to the lunch stop at Kirdford Village Hall, a distance of about 8 ½miles. The homeward leg winds through Ifold before joining the canal just north of Southland Lock. Here walkers will have a chance to see the progress of the Trust's latest major rebuilding effort. From Southland the route follows the towpath to the restored Devil's Hole Lock. The whole walk is slightly over 14 miles. If you would like to join the walk and raise money towards the restoration, please telephone 01403 752403 or email office@weyandarun.co.uk or download a sponsorship form from the Trust’s website www.weyandarun.co.uk


39

Book Review

W&ACT Vice-Pesidents John Wood (left) and Paul Vine in earnest conversation at the opening of the Loxwood Canal Centre [Photo: Ray Carnell] This publication brings together a detailed history of the restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal from the mid-1960s up until 2009. It describes the origins of the Wey & Arun Canal Society, founded in 1970, and has 41 chapters each conveniently devoted to a year by year record of the restoration. With 260 pages in total, including 16 pages of colour photos, this is a comprehensive reference book which will doubtless prove popular with everyone for whom the restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal means so much. The book is available, price £17.50, from the Canal Centre at Loxwood (open at weekends from 11am to 4pm), by arrangement from the Trust’s Office at The Granary, Flitchfold Farm, Loxwood, Billingshurst RH14 0RH (weekdays between 9am and 1pm) or, price £22 including postage and packing, by mail order from the W&ACT Offices. [The author, John Wood MBE, has been involved with the Canal’s restoration from the outset, initially as a member of the Canal Society and then, on its change in 1973, as a member of the Wey & Arun Canal Trust. He has been a Vice-president since 1997 and was appointed a MBE in 2000]. Ray Carnell


40

The Mikron Theatre Company This year sees Mikron making their 41st national waterways tour with two productions as detailed below.

Losing The Plot (LTP) Love, Life and Allotments. The gardeners of Thistledale Allotments are a rag-bag bunch of diggers and dreamers. Strong personalities frequently clash over the best treatment for mealy bugs, and the annual 'Heaviest and Longest' competition is always a time when old feuds and new flirtations threaten to undermine the fragile peace. Then Harvey from the Council pays them a visit and they realise that they must pull together, or forfeit their precious plot forever. But can they agree on a strategy? How will they convince Harvey of the vital role allotments have played in the life of the nation for centuries? What will they do when things inevitably get completely out of hand? Told with a rollicking mix of old music hall tunes and brand new songs, Losing The Plot is a story of love - between people and the land; between people and people; and between people and their giant vegetables.

Can You Keep A Secret? (CKS) The Rise & Fall of the Yorkshire Luddites. Riots in our city streets, the worst economic crisis for decades, a long war fought abroad with no sign of progress. Sound familiar? Welcome to England 1812. Whilst the country’s elite enjoy lavish balls and chattering salons, textile mill workers fight for their livelihoods by smashing up the machinery designed to replace them. Luddism - a fight for rights or fear of progress? Direct action or mindless vandalism? In the back room of a Yorkshire pub, a young lad is ‘twisted in’. He takes the oath of secrecy and joins the Luddites. But why won’t he give his real name, calling himself instead after the movement’s mythical founder, Ned Ludd? What is he hiding? And who was Ned Ludd anyway? In the bicentennial year of the Luddite risings, which took place around Marsden West Yorkshire, who better to illuminate their story than fellow Marsdeners, Mikron – with their unique blend of humour, history and harmonic arrangements! See the diary entries on pages 6 to 9 of this Cargoes for productions around the Region and for further details see the Mikron Website at www.mikron.org.uk


41

South London Branch Meetings South London Branch Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 for 8:00 pm in The Primary Room, The United Reformed Church Hall, Addiscombe Grove, Croydon CR0 5LP, see map on inside of rear cover. Admission to the talks and presentations is free to all, members or non-members, although we do request a contribution towards room hire and refreshments. The programme for meetings is as follows: Wed 13th Jun:

‘Limehouse and East London’ by Jeremy Batch

Sat 23rd Jun:

‘Wharfs, Creeks and Jetties’ Cruise aboard PS Kingswear Castle. Departs Chatham Historic Dockyard 11:00 returns 17:00. Group price (no concessions) £20 per person for group of 20+. Bookings, with full payment, to Alan Eggby, 137 Strathyre Avenue, Norbury, London SW16 4RH (Tel: 0208 764 8194) by 22nd May

Wed 12th Sep:

‘Manchester Ship Canal’ by Richard Thomas

Wed 10th Oct:

‘More Travels with my Canoe’ by Roger Wilkinson

Wed 14th Nov:

‘Wey and Arun Canal’ by John Talbot

For more information about South London's Social Calendar, please contact Alan Smith, telephone 020 8255 1581 or email: smith.alanj@blueyonder.co.uk

Southern Canals Association Spring Meeting The Spring meeting of the Southern Canals Association took place at Devizes at the end of February. The meeting was addressed by IWA National Chairman, Clive Henderson, who began by outlining the background to the current situation with CRT/BW and the influence that IWA had employed in the negotiations for an increase in the funding for CRT. Although this had resulted in improvements, there was still a need for IWA to remain vigilant as CRT takes over. He expected that EA waterways would come under the CRT umbrella in 2015. Vaughan Welch was keen to point out that the CRT will not be in a position to take on any new, non-BW waterways but felt that in the future IWA should be more involved in major grant applications for the waterways, on the lines of the Sustrans grants for national cycleways. John Dodwell (CRT Transition Trustee) spoke about the current and projected work of the CRT and paid tribute to the letter writing campaign that had resulted in the increased funding for the CRT. Under the revised provisions CRT will be able to


42 plan for the next 15 years without ‘government interference’. There is huge interest in the waterways as evidenced by the 5,000 people who queued to view Bingley Locks. In the future CRT would be able to use these occasions for fundraising. The downside is that expensive breaches will have to be paid for and if the Trust does not fulfil its role, it would be taken back into government control. He reported that CRT did not have a current policy for restoration but he thought it would be possible to expand the network though this would need support from local authorities and volunteers. Some BW staff were concerned about volunteers taking their paid roles. Gareth Jones (Chairman of IWA Guildford & Reading Branch and a newly appointed member of IWA’s Finance Committee) dealt with the subject of fundraising and the various possibilities available such as grants from HLF, legacies and individual donations, sponsorship from firms and organisations, trip boats, fibre optic cables, Section 106 money/buildings and grants from bodies such as the maritime trust. He gave examples to illustrate these possibilities. There were contributions to the proceedings from Roger Flitter, Secretary Passenger Boat Association, and Alan Jervis for WRG. There were also reports on various waterways covered by the Association, including: Wilts & Berks Canal: The 5year towpath has been launched which will link the whole length of the canal and help to unify the separate groups along the canal but there are still many difficulties in acquiring the land. In addition strategic challenges in Wotton Bassett and Swindon are being pursued. Chichester Canal: Progress was reported on the Trust’s new visitor centre project with a rest room for boat crews and a sales office. This has been possible thanks to Section 106 money from a nearby development. There are plans to link the basin to the sea, crossing two busy roads for which fund-raising is taking place. Sussex Ouse: The EA have re-instated the water meadows by demolishing the weirs without any consultation. This has negated many years of work. Basingstoke Canal: The need for a reliable water supply remains a problem and an application to increase the backpumping at Woodham is being drafted. Money is being spent on repairing structures but more work is needed to put the canal into a good state. Kennet & Avon Canal: Money is needed for the buildings, the Claverton Pump and Crofton. There is a need for a long term plan to keep these in good repair. ******


Location of South London Meetings in Croydon

Location of Crossness STW, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ


wf 44

ime! A Splashing Goo•d11T am - 5pm Saturday 16 June 2012

Along the Kennet & Forbury Gardens, Central Reading

ies Enquir 7 2771 0118 93 s Boater 9 8247 0118 95

www.reading.gov.uk


Cargoes Summer 2012  

Cargoes Summer 2012 The newsletter of the IWA South Eastern Region

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