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Issue 24 December 2015


Contents Chairman’s Contemplations…………………………………………….4 New Members……...…………………………………………………….5 Santa Sails into Retford………………………………………………...6 From the Archives………………………………………………………..7 Autumn Clean Up………………………………………………………...9 Tidal Trent Initiative…………………………………………………...…10 Word Search……………………………………………………………...13 & 15 What About the Future…………………………………………………..15

Keels and Cuckoos is published on behalf of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch of the Inland Waterways Association by M H Fielding, 1 Vicarage way, Arksey, Doncaster, DN5 0TG. Printed by Colour Image, Loudwater Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of The Inland Waterways Association or of the South Yorkshire and the Dukeries Branch Committee The Inland Waterways Association: Registered Office Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA Website www.waterways.org.uk Email iwa@waterways.org.uk

Founded in 1946, incorporated in 1958 The Inland Waterways Association is a non-profit distribution company limited by guarantee (No. 62245) Registered as a Charity (No. 212342)

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THE BRANCH COMMITTEE WOULD LIKE TO WISH EVERYONE

A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A

VERY HAPPY

2016

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CHAIRMAN’S CONTEMPLATION I had thought to entitle this column “The Chairman’s Worried” but that might have been even less of an incentive to read it. But in truth, I am worried . In several of these quarterly items I have asked for your responses, volunteers to help at the 2016 Trail Boat Festival, volunteers to swell the committee, ideas for social meetings and suggestions re the Bradford and the Dearne and Dove Canal. Since taking on the Chairman’s position in March 2014 only a handful of branch members, other than committee colleagues, have ever made contact with me. This is a worry. Am I totally unapproachable. Is facial hair a deterrent? Maybe I should move my home back to Sheffield? The reason that this is important is not that I lack friends or run a diary free of future appointments. It is important because it is the committee and to an extent the chairman of the day, that is supposed to lead the branch. However if there is no input from branch members then how is the committee to know in which direction the branch members wish to proceed?

In 2015, we reduced the number of social events because so few people attended the ones that we did organise. This has produced no reaction from the branch. So for 2016 what should we do? If we organise monthly meetings with speakers and no one attends the SY&D branch looks bad The AGM is due in April. Do you wish the same few stalwarts to soldier on for another year? The average age of the committee (sorry ladies) is well into the seventies. Is this healthy? With the rapid growth of “social media!” how is the branch to cope. A tour average age we are more comfortable with the ”tablets” collected from the pharmacy than those “tablets” bought at PC World! Nationally there are branches that flourish as of old, regular well attended meetings in comfortable venues. Equally there are branches, like the SY&D that struggle to interest members in the branch activities. IWA, as an organisation, is prospering and achieving goals that would have been mere day dreams twenty years ago. WRG grows and thrives. Generally speaking , most waterways are at the moment, in better condition now than at the coming of the railways. So complacency is not a national affliction.

So this time PLEASE get in touch, 01777 704224 or 07501 803918 or by email at dawsondavida@yahoo.com Let me, or any committee member if you prefer, know why you are a member of IWA, and what you want from your local branch. There are no “no go areas”. We could close the branch, merge the branch with another, split the branch between others, or we could re-activate the branch. The Bradford and Dearne and Dove Canals needs support. The River Idle, a medieval navigation,

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sleeps peacefully and unloved, in our patch. We can redesign Keels and Cuckoos, or merge it with other branch publications or cease branch magazines and use the cash to increase the number of “Waterways” centrally produced (though this would require Head Office to take on even more work load so it may not be too easy to implement). We could issue monthly email newsletters. We could meet in a pub, church hall, or on the moors, (or given current numbers attending) in a red telephone box. In my first Chairman’s Chat I was happy to be back on the committee after a gap of forty seven years. It is my sincere hope that my forty ninth year will NOT be the one which this branch fades into oblivion. David Dawson SY&D Branch Chairman

NEW MEMBERS I would like to welcome some new members to the branch area. You are most welcome. Mr K Hotham and Family of Doncaster Mr S Mason and Family of Sheffield Mr J Dedman of Barnsley

John Shaw Membership Secretary

LAUGHTER LINES:: Quotes from around the countries magazines. Visitors are invited to join us in the hall after this service for a cup of coffee. Squash will be available if coffee is not your cup of tea. We are grateful to Mrs Smith for helping the Cub Scouts with their First Aid Test. We hope she will soon be able to leave hospital. Help required. Man wanted to handle dynamite. Must be able to travel unexpectedly. An Institute for Higher Education is offering Degrees in Dietetics (four year sandwich Course). Bragging American Style A tourist from Texas is being taken on a tour by taxi round the sights of London. “What’s that building?” he asks the driver. “Tower of London, sir”. Heck we could put up something like that in two weeks back in Texas”. A few minutes later he interrupts the driver again . “What’s that building?” That’s Buckingham Palace, sir” Shucks, we could put up one of those in a week “. Next comes Westminster Abbey. “And what’s that building there” the American asks. “Sorry sir, I’ve no idea,” replies the taxi driver . IT WASN’T THERE THIS MORNING.

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SANTA SAILS AGAIN INTO RETFORD Santa started his rounds extra early this year when he arrived in Retford by boat.. He was aboard the Seth Ellis, on of the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s trip boats. There to greet him were some of his elves and some VIPs, Councillor Sybil Fielding, Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council and Councillor Gwyneth Jones, Chair of Bassetlaw District Council both brought friends and children. They all set off up the canal for a cruise, returning happily with presents and replete with Christmas fare.

You too can join Santa on one of the Trust’s Santa Specials Cruises. Every child gets a present; every adult gets a drink and a mince pie. The cost is only £6.00 per person. There will be trips from five different venues on four boats. The first trips sail on November 21st and they run right through to Christmas Eve. Booking is essential. To cruise on Seth Ellis from Retford , like Santa did, telephone 07925 851569. To book for a cruise on Hugh Henshall from either Worksop or Shireoaks, telephone 0114 360 0460. John Varley will be doing Santa Special trips from Tapton Lock and Hollingwood Hub in Chesterfield. To book telephone 01629 533020. Madeline will be running a variety of Christmas trips from Hollingwood Hub in Chesterfield. There will be some Santa Special Cruises, but in response to requests from some grumpy old men, it will also run a special BAH HUMBUG cruises on 12th December. No mention of C********s guaranteed! Telephone 01629 533020 to book these Madeline trips. Finally, you might like to book a Christmas Cruise Charter on Madeline as a build up to your Christmas party. This costs £45.00 per hour for up to twelve people. Telephone 07811 160631 to find out more. Rod Auton CCT Clever Words THE EYES when rearranged spells THEY SEE GEORGE BUSH when rearranged spells HE BUGS GORE THE MORSE CODE when rearranged spells HERE COME DOTS SLOT MATCHES when rearranged spells CASH LOST IN ME ELECTION RESULTS when rearranged spells LIES - LET’S RECOUNT

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SHEFFIELD AND SOUTH YORKSHIRE NAVIGATION COMPANY BY OUR TRADE COMMISSIONER The following article is taken from materials found in the old Head Office of the S&SYNC and was published on June 24th 1938 in The Sheffield Telegraph and is published here with the permission of Sheffield Newspapers Limited.

In this article I am leaving the beaten track of the manufacturing trades and sidetracking on what may be termed an auxiliary service to trade. Some time ago I recounted my experiences from behind the scenes at Sheffield G,P,O., and showed to what a great extent trade and commerce is dependent upon the means of communications.. Another of these auxiliaries to the competent discharge of commerce is transport; and it is to a rather little known and perhaps neglected branch of this activity that I would turn your attention: that of transport by canal.

Perhaps you may not know that Sheffield possess a canal. Well, it does . Furthermore, a considerable tonnage of goods and foodstuff are brought to the city by water, and many of the products of our workpeople proceed from the city to their destination by the same means. The canal is owned and operated by the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation Company, whose offices are in Exchange Street, adjacent to the Corn Exchange and Wharf Street. ANCIENT WATERWAYS It would be as well if I digress for a moment to say something of the history of canals. During the Roman occupation of Britain certain waterways were cut, connecting up places on the same level; but canals with provision for overcoming varying levels by means of locks were not introduced to this country until early in the 18th century. At that time it is interesting to note, the transportation of goods was by Packhorse, and the charge was at the rate of half a crown (12.5p...ed) per mile per load.

Francis Egerton, Third Duke of Bridgewater, owned some coal mines at Worsley, in Lancashire, and for some time there had been at the back of his mind the splendid opportunities to be derived from the Manchester market. It was not until he was jilted by his best girl, we are told, that he received the necessary urge to put his dream into practice..

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Somewhere around 1750 he made contact with a Derbyshire man, by name, James Brindley, who was to become Britain’s canal pioneer. The Duke produced a scheme for an artificial waterway to cross the River Irwell at Barton by aqueduct , and James Brindley was the man who carried out the scheme. This fact is rather extraordinary because not only was Brindley uneducated, but he has been described as dissolute; a follower of bull baiting, and one who neglected his children. However, he proved equal to the task given him by the Duke and Britain’s first canal was an accomplished fact.

To come back to the Sheffield district. Somewhere about the year 1600 a Dutch engineer, Cornelius Vermuyden, was allotted the task of carrying out drainage schemes for certain of the Royal estates, including among which was Hatfield Chase, on the borders of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. At that time the district surrounding Axholme, including Hatfield Chase, suffered rather badly from floods. This was not surprising because, not only is the confluence of the rivers Ouse, Trent and Don located thereabouts, but also practically the whole rainfall of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and part of North Lincolnshire has to be provided for in the estuary. It was by no means an unusual occurrence , it seems, for farmers from Axholme to paddle their own canoes to the Doncaster market. The Dutchman’s task was by no means an easy one. Apart from geographical difficulties, the scheme was definitely unpopular with the local inhabitants, and in addition to occasional rioting, they destroyed his embankments from time to time. His plan was to carry the waters of the River Idle by a series of drains into the Trent, and by banking the Don, to force it by its northern channel into the River Aire. PLANS GO AWRY The latter part of the scheme proved to be rather a bad calculation when put into practice; for all it succeeded in doing was to flood the country around Snaith. In order to put the matter right, our engineer from Holland was forced to construct a WATERWAY from Snaith across to the Ouse at Goole. Little did he know it, but construction of this artificial river, now known as the Dutch River, made possible the inland navigation from South Yorkshire to the sea. This, you must bear in mind happened about 50 years before James Brindley came on the scene of canal construction. Much remained to be done before Sheffield became linked up by canal with the Humber. First of all powers were obtained from Parliament to improve the navigation of the River Dun (now Don) up to as far as Tinsley; this was in 1726. Sixty seven years later (1793) similar powers were obtained to improve the waterway of the Rivers

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Dearne and Dove, and to link up Stainforth with Keadby by the construction of a canal. Sheffield became linked up to Tinsley by water in 1819. following a strong demand by Sheffield people. In order that you may gather a faint imaginary glimpse of what the area around Exchange Street must have looked like just over a hundred years ago, I will quote an extract from this year’s edition of the “Sheffield Year Book.” here it is :- The Company of the Proprietors of the Sheffield’s Canal obtained Parliamentary powers to make and maintain a navigable cut from the west part of the Castle orchards adjoining the town of Sheffield to the navigable part on the river at Tinsley. The fact that during the years 1791 to 1794 no less that 80 navigating undertakings obtained Parliamentary consent rather emphasises the rush in this direction at the time.

AUTUNM CLEAN UP Time to put the clocks back again. This can only mean it is time for the biannual branch Canal Clean Up. Again our friends from the Abbeydale Rotary Club joined us at Tinsley. We have bought some holders to keep the bags open making filling them an easier task. Working both ways from Tinsley we managed to cover a large proportion of the canal. After a safety talk by CRT lock keeper Dave Walker the teams set off. There was no difficult items this time which meant that everything could be fitted into large plastic bags, and could be brought back to Tinsley Marina for disposal. Pie and peas were available later and on a chilly day were very welcome. Thanks again to all who took.

Clean up at Tinsley

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TIDAL TRENT INITIATIVE The east Midlands CRT Partnership, ably spurred by IWA East Midlands Region Chairman David Pullen, presented at its Annual Public Meeting an initiative to encourage more boaters to try the Tidal reaches of the River Trent, maybe with a buddying scheme to avoid being on the river with a single boat, and mutual exchange of information and experiences. This year we had one trip on an early tide from Keadby to Cromwell, and another from Cromwell to Torksey and back. That adds to earlier trips in 2010, 2009, 1991 and 1978 variously leaving the main tidal river at Torksey, Stockwith and Keadby (but never yet the Idle), and I sent some thoughts resulting from these trips to David and to Sean McGinley the CRT East Midlands Waterways Manager. There are some useful ‘Sunken Island’ warning signs on the banks, but the words to ‘KEEP LEFT’ or ‘KEEP RIGHT’ need binoculars, or a good camera , to discern when the signs first come into view; they ought to be reinforced with a large arrow to be seen clearly from the greatest distance. As a general observation, I contend that CRT fails to understand the need of planning a boating trip: there will always be constraints, however leisurely the crew may seek to be. From hire boats to all season cruisers, there are needs to be back to a point by a particular time, be it the hire base on a Saturday morning, or the train station for some crew to go home, or the medical appointment, or for a weekend on the bank with Your Aunt Mabel. Consequently any disturbance to the turn up and go culture of the Waterways is seriously disruptive; and tides are an unavoidable example. The point CRT fails to get is the length of the contingency needed to meet any single need to be there then. As I write this I am on the Shropshire Union Canal northbound on a Sunday morning, and in ten days’ time, on a Wednesday morning, we have to be at the North East portal of Standedge Tunnel. If I miss it, the next possible gap would be Friday, then the following Monday, but the is no guarantee of a vacancy in the three boat maximum on either day; we have met boaters who have had to turn around and retrace their steps having missed their slot. And probably worse, those who have contemplated that possibly as sufficiently awful that their whole trip has been abandoned. Everything I do on the remainder of this trip has to take account to the need to be at Marsden in time, and I will probably have a whole day in hand for contingencies when I get there. It is the need to plan in contingencies that can make potential good and relaxing trips completely non-viable. And many tidal Trent trips may well be disappearing this way in the winter planning armchair. I’m probably labouring the point, but anything that can be done to reduce the restrictions and uncertainties would help increase use of the river.

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All lock keepers were, were as usual helpful and willing to share their experience of the river. At Torksey there were relief lock keepers supervising our passage to Lincoln and our return. Based on these discussions, the conventional wisdom seems to need some (flood ) tide, to be sure of clearing the bottom cill in both directions. On our trip up the lock, we were persuaded to moor below and await the next tide to be sure of clearing it; not a “you can’t have the lock worked now” but more of a sucking of teeth and bemoaning how inefficiently boaters know their own draft; the need for that information therefore needs to be emphasised. Anyway, this is a very conservative view, and extends a trip to Lincoln by a whole day, which may deter potential navigators. The tide height marker on the Torksey moorings needs to extend downwards by another metre to more accurately show all depths over, say 30 inches or 0.8 metres, which would allow most modern narrow boats to pass the lock. Above Torksey lock, the visitor moorings are so far upstream that a decision with the lock keeper to bring a boat forward to lock through takes twenty minutes to implement if the crew has to walk back to the boat and then bring it forward. The ‘no overnight mooring’ signs immediately above the lock seem to be ignored by regular visitors, but would it be better phrased as ‘mooring for the next tide only’. Boaters moored at Torksey bemoaned the uncertainty of setting off for Stockwith without knowing the likely wait in the tide for the lock. Some floating mooring pontoons would improve navigation safety, and that needs both debate and money. I have suggested before that CRT thinks of the combination of Cromwell, Torksey, Stockwith and Keadby as a co-ordinated service to navigators. Keeping track of all moving boats and offering VHF and mobile advice before and during passages. As to VHF, we don’t seem to be consistent in our application of the rules: we could seek to abandon the need for VHF below Gainsborough, or we could seek greater integration of VHF communication with hand held mobiles (a long technical discussion here) or we could seek further process in ease of training to become a VHF operator. We shouldn’t ignore the issue. As to understanding of the tidal pattern, I like the diagram from June 1975 Waterways World article (page 16) by John Liley Http://homescott.free-online.co.uk/OS/ tidaltrent.jpg which shows the ‘cone’ of the tide and allows prospective downriver navigators to plot their probable times and predict where they will meet the turning tide. Heading downriver from Nottingham, lock keepers were happy to estimate “ You’ll get through XX tonight” meaning XX would still be operated by a lock keeper. A potential misunderstanding is that XX is the limit of tonight’s boating,

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while all the locks above Cromwell can be self penned (in the local parlance) throughout the (maybe) five extra hours of light after lock keepers go home. I don’t think that’s clear from the website, so could helpfully be included in the shouted advice as “ You’ll need to work yourself through, after lock XX. It’s a boaters accident at Holme Lock which , we were told, has reduced the ability of the lock keepers to use all the paddles in filling that lock: it now takes half an hour to fill, either from the cabin or the pedestals; compare this with The Aire and Calder locks which have greater filling ability from the lock keepers’ cabin. Not only is the lock slower than it once was, but this slowness causes greater tolerance of waiting for an approaching boat because of the extra hour they would have to wait if they just missed a pen. If some of these issues could be progressed, it would help the initiative. Peter Scott Yorkshire Region Chairman.

Sunken Island warning sign

One of the Torksey

Torksey Moorings

Depth gauges

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WORD SEARCH In the grid below can be found the names of everyday terms used in and around the canals system. The can be written forwards, backwards, vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Answers and an explanation can be found on page 9. GOOD LUCK EG Bore = Tidal Wave

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More clever words DORMITORY when rearranged spells DIRTY ROOM PRESBYTERIAN when rearranged spells BEST IN PRAYER ASTRONOMER when rearranged spells MOON STARTER DESPERATION when rearranged spells A ROPE ENDS IT

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WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE The period when IWA was focused on an ambitious objective of having British Waterways’ canals and river s transferred to the third sector was a time when members could be clear on the purpose of IWA. Since the culmination of that activity, with the launch of the Canal and River Trust in 2012, particularly with its 15 year funding package to which the IWA’s efforts significantly contributed, we have achieved significant further successes. Some of our campaigns, such as HS2, are entering a new phase with clear actions required; we now need to develop new longer term objectives to sit alongside our shorter term annual ones. IWA’s objectives need to be clear, exciting and inspirational. They should clarify our purpose and fill our members, volunteers and employees with a sense of excitement about the direction of the Association and arm them with tangible reasons to encourage others to join us. These new, more visionary objectives will have layers of shorter term steps within. Overall they should be exciting and energising to allow our members and volunteers to rally around them, and should equally appeal to potential new members. Our new longer term objectives nationally should be built around; The creation of one inland waterways network. This will enable a single, unified and fully integrated national waterways network covering all navigable inland waterways and involving each and every navigation authority. When achieved , all navigation authorities will b be involved in the joint promotion of the Inland Waterways to the general public, with one shared vision, and for navigators there will be a smooth passage throughout the network, enabled by one licence and one common set of regulations. The promotion inspiration and support of volunteer led waterways restoration across the full inland waterway network. We will have a clear strategy for integrated support and leadership for waterways groups (and other restoration promoters) linked to all parts of IWA, and an increased and more diverse range of volunteer activity, engaging with a wider audience. This will lead to successful transitions from restoration to operational canals. Building a strong grass roots network to improve the waterways and their immediate environment. We will see our Branches actively involved in activities that enhance , improve and protect inland waterways in their locality, and Branches actively indenting potential improvements to local waterways, and sharing their ideas across the country. Our volunteers will be sharing knowledge, skills and experience

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to encourage others, and stimulate best practice and a joined up approach. Attracting a growing, committed and thriving Membership. We will see a significant increase in the number of members, verifiable research evidence of widespread understanding of the aims of IEA, and annual retention levels of a least 90%. And contributing to the longer term, our specific 2016 Objectives are

To increase discussion opportunities at Government level in support of its commitment to the Environment Agency transfer, with the right funding package. We will produce an ‘IWA transfer manifesto’ outlining how the transfer could take place, the right level of funding, and a timetable.

To review and respond to all new proposals for phase 2 of HS2 to mitigate threats to our inland waterways.

To continue to pressure navigation authorities to ensure that all boaters get a fair chance to use moorings in popular areas and to ensure that navigation authorities fairly enforce their licence terms.

A clear membership strategy in place by mid march 2016.

To promote the “TEAM IWA” vision where branches, regions, committees and employees work as a single tem, rather than in individual silos and respect and support each other’s viewpoint for the greater good of our waterways.

Peter Scott Yorkshire Regional Chairman

WORD SEARCH ANSWERS ANIMALS Boat mans name for a horse or donkey.. CHALICO Mixture of tar, cow hair & horse dung used for making wooden boats watertight… CLOUGH Northern name for paddle gear...CUT Boat man’s name fro the canal...FLAT Type of boat….GONGOOZLER one who stands and stares...HANDSPIKE Wooden bar used on the Calder & Hebble Navigation to operate the paddle gear... JOSHER a Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd; boat...KEEL Type of vessel used mainly in Yorkshire...LEGGING method of propelling a vessel through a tunnel ...POUND stretch of water located between locks...RISER a staircase lock...STANK...a temporary watertight dam...WINDLASS...cranked handle used to operate paddle gear...PUDDLE clay used to make a canal watertight...NIP a narrowing of the waterway...KEB an iron rake used for removing articles from the canal...GAUGING means of calculating the weight of a cargo to ascertain the tolls to be charged

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BRANCH OFFICERS CHAIRMAN David Dawson 21 Smeath Lane Clarborough Retford DN22 9JU VICE CHAIRMAN AND PLANNING OFFICER Colin Crofts Staddlestones South Bramwith Doncaster DN7 5SY TREASURER Pat Davies 55 Rockcliff Road Rawmarsh Rotherham S62 6LX

Tel 01777 704224 email dawsondavida@yahoo.com Mobile 07501 803918

Tel 01302 841619 email cjcrofts@btinternet.com

Tel 01709 206856 email patdav54@gmail.com

SECRETARY AND KEELS AND CUCKOOS EDITOR Malcolm Fielding Tel 01302 873127 1 Vicarage Way email roc3brn9ros1ark4@aim.com Arksey Doncaster DN5 0TG MEMBERSHIP OFFICER John Shaw 72 Norton Lees Crescent Sheffield S8 8SR PUBLICITY OFFICER Dave Scott 17 Bowshaw Road Batemoor Sheffield S8 8EY COMMITTEE MEMBERS Mavis Paul 116 Sandygate Road Sheffield S10 5RZ

Tel 0114 258 2535

Tel 0114 237 5327 email acp2004naburn@hotmail.com Mobile 07900 275327

Tel 0114 268 927 email mavis.brian_paul@btinternet.com Mobile 07725 464611

Helen Dawson as David Dawson Mary Crofts as Colin Crofts

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Keels & Cuckoo, Issue 24, December 2015  
Keels & Cuckoo, Issue 24, December 2015