The paper was widely circulated and found acceptance by most recipients except of course the engineers from SCC. Our proposal was that since the foundations and abutments still seemed in good condition and fit to continue to support the load, the bridge should be repaired. Repair The repair would consist of cleaning and re-pointing the sarson stone of the abutments. This to be followed by building a new brick arch on the lines of the original albeit, if SCC think advisable, incorporating a concrete deck to carry the load.
We offered to do the work of repairing the parapets. If this procedure was adopted it follows that traffic signals would need to be incorporated to control the direction of traffic using the bridge. Due to the narrow carriageway of the deck traffic signals should incorporate a pedestrian override to. Since the towing path crosses the canal at this location we also suggested a small amount of 'land take' to allow for a ramp up from the towing path to the road level on each side of the bridge, for wheelchairs.
Currently the Compulsory Purchase Orders for the land required have been published and we have lodged an objection. We have almost been promised that there will be a public enquiry at which we will present our objections in detail.
We have already selected a team to make our representations. Objections One of the principal objections that could be lodged against our proposal is the requirement of a suitable route for heavy traffic from Frimley to Guildford. Our response is that the Blackwater Valley Relief Road now under construction and the junction with the A will provide a first class route, and the short term alternative is via the Mytchett Place Road Bridge and the road over Tunnel Hill.
The suggestions put forward on behalf of the Society, to ensure the appearance of the original, have been adopted.
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We were consulted by the engineers to advise how Pinkerton's elipsoidal bridge sides could be reproduced. It is good to report that excellent relations are being maintained with the Surrey engineers. Stan Meller - Special Projects Mgr. The result was a brief spot on Meridian Television and some newspaper space. Dry Dock The boat is still sitting at the Canal Centre and we may do some of the winter overhaul there. We are booked into the dry dock in February for the usual bottom scraping and painting.
If anyone is willing to help with this, Martin Bowers would like to hear from you This was widely agreed to have been a useful forum for exchanging ideas. These ranged from general matters to detailed items such as "Can we have a smaller kettle, please? Next Season Our end of season meeting agreed that operations next year should follow basically the same pattern as this year. We shall start at Easter in Fleet, then move to Odiham until 30 June. We then move back to Barley Mow for the rest of the year. If you are interested, please contact Ann Bird on this is the new number for Pinkerton bookings.
We shall be advertising the trip in the press nearer the time. Club Night One thing that will change next year is Club night which will revert to Tuesday evenings. These will start in May and continue through to the end of August. Changes There will be some changes on the Committee. Kathryn Dodington will be joining and will be taking on some of the crew training that Gill Heather has been doing, allowing Gill more time for her other engagement.
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Robert Pring will be trying to co-ordinate our marketing and publicity activities, and Mike Munro, now that he no longer has Perseverance to play with, has agreed not only to repaint the sides of the boat but also to act as general handyman. New Chairman I shall be standing down as Chairman as from the next AGM in April, due to priorities of family and the unfortunate need to earn a living. I have had enormous pleasure and satisfaction from my time as chairman of the Boat Company, largely due to the hard work done by all the other people involved in it, to whom I am shall always be grateful.
The thrill of the various pioneering trips into newly restored bits of the canal is something I will never forget; thanks to everyone who made it possible.
Ted Hammond Members will recall the feature on Ted Hammond in the summer issue of the BC News but, sadly, Ted passed away peacefully in late September and condolences are due to his widow Kay and her family. In addition to his canal interests, especially the Basingstoke Canal, Ted had many other talents, including being an accomplished musician, who could play the sousaphone, violin, double bass, flute and piccolo. He played in various dance bands and also the Warlingham Corps of Drums. He was an excellent target shooter with the Rifle Association.
Ted also loved railways and trains; the Railway Timetable, so I am told, was his favourite bedtime reading. Trams featured in his interests too; he even woke his daughter, Elizabeth, in the small hours to take her to see the last tram ever to run in Purley. I have been pleased to have known Ted since the early s when he first appeared on my offside bank working parties in Hampshire and many a yarn was told around the lunchtime bonfires. These days the venue for the IWA's annual boat gathering is chosen more for its riparian suitability to house the ever expanding land based needs than the attraction of the waterway itself.
Water Festival That's why Peterborough was chosen for last year's gathering of nearly boats, nowadays more properly called a Water Festival. Not that the association's founder, Robert Aickman, would have disapproved; he argued strongly for the first rally of its kind to be run as a festival. It was held at Market Harborough in and although it was intended to focus attention on the value of our inland waterways, like a good television commercial today, Aichman recognised then the essential value of entertainment to promote the association's message.
Campaigning He would, however, have been less pleased with the demise of the campaigning element which was at the heart of former rallies.
“Yarns of a Professional Gongoozler”
Back in , for instance, the IWA held the event on the Wey Navigation in Guildford to support the Society's campaign for public ownership and restoration of the Basingstoke Canal. But times have changed. Perhaps the presence of hundreds of boats and the publicity they attract is sufficient to promote public awareness of our. Spacious Peterborough was certainly an excellent venue, with municipal lawns stretching down to the River Nene beside the theatre, so that it was possible to have a good number of boats afloat on purpose-built moorings, a large exhibition site and space for visitors to wander round but in a reasonably contained area.
Not that all the visiting boaters were lucky enough to get moorings close to the main site; many found themselves well away from the town with distant pylons and factory chimneys across a vast expanse of desolate, flat fenland as their visual backdrop. Beats Me Why boat owners bother beats me. Breasted up, three at a time, bow to stem, always seems to ma the antipathy of what attracts most people to boating. And two weeks to get up the Nene from the south and the same back meant, for most working people, complicated weekend stages with the hassle and expense of transport home.
But thankfully the number of boats seems to increase and never ceases to attract the public and delighted local authorities, although EC regulations and Health and Safety officers have rules which require fire 'breaks' between groups of boats and fewer breasted up, which may reduce the visual impact of future rallies, not to mention mooring problems for the habourmaster.
And those boaters who found themselves far removed from the rally site are seeking a fairer allocation of moorings than having to. Songs of Praise As many campers as boaters set up their temporary homes in an adjacent field. And everyone arriving by car enjoyed free parking in Peterborough's surrounding car parks. Publicity scoop of this year's gathering was TVs 'Songs of Praise', recorded at the festival with an inland waterways theme which was one of the best Sunday evening 'services' of its kind. But watching part of the lengthy rehearsal, which took several hours, erased my image of spontaneity which I used to associate with the programme.
Gill Heather and David Freeman erected the Society's sales stand, among those of other leading canal societies, IWA branches, clubs and associations, promoting their aims and selling their wares for funds. With craft stalls, boats to see, chandlery, paintings to buy, books for sale, and many other products and services plus plenty of entertainer!
The horses were not able to cross the bridge, because at present it has a metal surface, but Paddy Field has assured their riders that a special rubberised surface will be laid soon which would make it quieter and safer for the horses. Cars will not be permitted across the bridge, and bollards are to placed in the tracks on either side to ensure that none can reach the bridge. The last bridge was demolished in in what was described by the County Surveyor quoting local opinion as 'an unnecessary and high handed act of destruction', following an argument between the County.
Council and the New Basingstoke Canal Company as to whether there was a public right of way across the bridge. The bridge was originally built as an accommodation road to restore access to the few buildings in the area which were cut off by the building of the canal, but it fell into disrepair. In the Council and the Canal Company were each arguing that the other should repair it, when in July it was opened to let a small barge through, the Canal Company reported that it had collapsed.
Rather than let it be a danger, they had sawn it up, and offered the timber to the county for the erection of a footbridge.
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The argument about responsibility went on and does not seem to have been resolved, though for some time there was a pontoon across the bridge provided by the Canal Company to enable pedestrians to cross. Now, at last, it looks as though it has been established that there is a right of way for pedestrians and horses, and that the BCA has the responsibility to maintain the new bridge.
As the first chairman of the Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee in when it was set up, he gave great encouragement to the restoration of the canal and followed its progress with interest. With his natural charm and indefatigable energy he was always very approachable, and always supported canal events including the Canoe Trials which he attended as a guest in Fleet one year. He lived at Rotherfield Park, near Alton, which he opened to the public during the summer.
Preserved transport trips are enjoyable as far as they go, but that generally means no great distance. One excursion, which is not only the last of its kind, but also seems to retain the atmosphere of a bygone age, is a cruise aboard the world's last sea-going paddle steamer the MV Waverley. Society members joined the Waverley at Tower Pier on the Thames for one of her last trips of the season.
The ton vessel, feet long, and capable of carrying 1, passengers was one of twenty on the Clyde when she was launched in The boat is the fourth to bear the name - the first was launched in - of a romantic soldier named Edward Waverley, created by Sir Walter Scott, who appeared in that became known as his Waverley novels. Last Paddler By Waverley was the last 'paddler' on the Clyde and had her own supporters' club in the form of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society. By then in need of renovation, Caledonian MacBrayne sold her to the Society for a token fee of one pound for possible use as a static museum piece and as a restaurant.
But to enthusiasts preserving steam engines, canals or any other historic utility, relegating the apple of their eye to a mere exhibit holds little attraction. In much the same way the Canal Society embarked on restoring the Basingstoke Canal to through navigation and nothing less, so the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society setout to restore Waverley to full working order.
How that was done is a longer story with as many triumphs and disappointments as experienced by the Canal Society in its battle to save the canal. Opportunities Waverley resumed its trade on the Clyde but gradually went further afield as passenger opportunities opened up,. While we sailed abreast down the Medway among the Sunday afternoon yachtsmen, the passengers aboard the respective steamers gave each other three cheers.
We hooted a salute and they responded. They took a close look at our distinctive shape, paddles thrashing amidships, and we did likewise. It was a meeting of two old survivors of a dying breed who, one suspects, will not be allowed to rest. With upper and lower decks for passengers to enjoy the view, eat in the restaurant or drink at the bar, Waverley offers all the distractions of a cross channel ferry and a shop selling souvenirs but no duty free goods The trip also has the bonus of an periodic but unobtrusive commentary to provide information about features on the way.
Landmarks Landmarks such as Wapping Police Station where the river police are based. The Isle of Dogs, once. Opposite is Convoy's Wharf, now the highest point up river cargo vessels venture, carrying newsprint. Then the mouth of Deptford Creek from which Eagle Steamers once emerged as late as Down river on the north bank the Royal Docks, the biggest enclosed dock in the world, which closed in the s and now the site of the city's airport.
Through the Thames Barrier, protecting London from the danger of flooding from high tides. More spectacular is the ft high Queen Elizabeth II suspension bridge, linking Dartford with Thurrock, opened in Apart from the Olau Lines' pier at Sheerness and a thriving new container wharf on the Isle of Grain opposite, there is little sign of commercial life. Medway Queen Across the mudflats sharp eyed passengers spotted the funnels of the passenger steamer. Medway Queen which snatched soldiers to safety from Dunkirk.
We turned at Chatham whose former naval dockyard, like so many other industries, has been reduced to a tourist attraction. Back in London the city lights presented a changed environment. A long, thin shaft of green light from the Royal Observatory pierced the night sky dramatically marking the line of the Prime Meridian.
As Tower Bridge opened, so ended one of the most profitable end of season trips for Waverley , helped by a coach party of Society members. Bert Scammel After a long illness, borne with great fortitude, Bert Scammel passed away in November aged Bert, Betty and son Andrew joined the Society in the mid 70s to help with the early restoration of the towpath and offside bank for they lived at Ash Vale and wanted to see the derelict ditch, as it was then, brought back to life. The three of them worked on my bankside working parties as a family, Andrew being his late teens at the time.
Later Bert and Betty became working party leaders, working in the Ash Vale area on bankside clearance.
Andrew is one of Peter Redway's stalwarts to this day. After being a grocery manager, Bert joined the supplies side of the NHS and, when water returned to the canal acquired a trailboat, Susie , which was used extensively on the canal, attending rallies and festivals. Our condolences are with Betty and Andrew. Donations to Marie Curie Foundation would be appreciated.
Versatile Let us not say that Basingstoke Canal people are so besotted with their own canal that they cannot appreciate the merits of other waterways. During the last year the Society members were to be seen at the national rally at Peterborough, cruising down the Thames on the Waverley , crossing the Pennines on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and on 21 August taking a trip down the Kennet and Avon on the narrowboat Lancing , with the crew, Norman Briggs and John Rolls.
The Lancing has had a chequered career. Built in , it plied between Birmingham and London -and no doubt many other ports of call - with a variety of cargoes. In , at Limehouse, whilst its load was being transferred, it capsized. Worse, there was a little girl trapped inside the cabin. But fortunately there was a pocket of air in. The basin had to be drained to recover the vessel, which was refurbished and brought back into service, and since it has been used as a trip boat on the Kennet and Avon. Anyway, blissfully ignorant of all this history, a party of Surrey and Hants members had a very enjoyable trip in her, from Burghfield to Reading, pausing there to visit the Blake's Lock Museum with its fascinating collection of memorabilia before returning for a refreshing pint at Burghfield.
Help - Fleet Sea Scouts Help is urgently required with the Fleet Sea Scouts in supporting the new leadership team and training Sea Scouts in specialist interests conservation and boating. If you can spare one evening a week to assist with this worthwhile activity please contact Brian Biffin, Group Scoutleader on There was no party, well not then, but rather a gathering of the four women before they attempted, at midnight, to boat the entire length of the Basingstoke in sixteen hours.
Madness Why would they be mad enough to attempt such a thing you should be asking yourself by now. Well, it was really a combined need, primarily of Gill Heather to get her boat Xanth off the canal in time to attend the national in Peterborough and secondly to raise some funds for David and Judith Gerry's charity - Boats for the Handicapped; so it seemed at the time sensible to try and complete the trip inside one day and inside sixteen hours if possible.
Through the darkness We duly set off on the stroke of midnight and were accompanied by the worried husbands and press officer as far as North Warnborough where we even refused help with the lift bridge and waved our good-byes as we set off into the wilds of Swan Cutting. It was very quiet there and the only sound above the comforting noise of the engine was a monotonous and worrying click from the region of the propeller.
This was our first and definitely not our last detailed inspection of the weed hatch. Colt Hill, Odiham at Onwards towards Winchfield and the John Pinkerton which we passed at More anglers were disturbed by Xanth 's progress and by We blessed the person who had the forethought to leave it set for us. Ash embankment was the place we decided on breakfast and for those of you who remember Gill's bacon sandwiches on the Pinkerton trip through Deepcut after the Royal reopening it will come as no surprise to hear that we had bacon rolls, and very welcome they were.
Bowhauling Onwards to Greatbottom Flash where the blanket weed halted us in our tracks and it was 'down the weedhatch' for one and bowhauling for two. The fishermen were bemused by two women bowhauling talking to another whom they couldnt see because she was down the weedhatch! At Mytchett lake we managed to set off an electronic alarm on a rod to the extreme annoyance of the fisherman whose words I am sure you have all heard before and therefore will not be repeated here!
We also woke some poor chap who was sound asleep in his sleeping bag on the towpath! Dry Pound We reached Lock 28 at We really got a rhythm going here until at lock 25 a gentleman walking his dogs asked where we were trying to get to; 'not trying but going' we retorted, to the Wey Navigation' - 'With a dry pound' he smiled. Yes sure enough the pound between locks 21 and 20 was dry - we did feel grateful for a forced stop and Peter's expertise. We had a little problem in the bottom of lock 21 when we went aground and our steerswoman, Pam, got a nasty shock when the boat caught on the side of the lock.
Whilst Pam attended to the problems Gill was inside cooking crumpets for morning tea well it was With order restored we waited in the lock for the pound below to fill and when tea or coffee and crumpets were offered to the crew the steerswoman asked for gin and crumpets which was not refused by the Captain!
The rhythm came back after lock 21 and we arrived at Deepcut bottom lock at Some trouble with blowing top gates at St Johns held us up a little but we. The end was almost in site as we entered the Woking pound and decided on lunch whilst we fought with the weed. After Woodham top lock it was all down hill and our captain took us over the finish line to the sound of champagne corks popping at the Wey Navigation at Canal on Film If you should see the recently released film 'Foreign Affairs' with such eminent actors as Ian Richardson The PM in 'To play the King' running recently on TV , Joanna Woodward and Stephanie Beacham, look carefully at the canalside scene, where a volunteer working party is at work on a lock.
It should be -it's Lock 28 on your very own Basingstoke Canal. And if you look very carefully you might see Peter Munt, the BCA ranger, in the background amongst the extras. Quite right too - after all he lives in the lock cottage. They promoted an extremely well organised function as a two day event spanning the weekend of October 16th and 17th. On the Saturday evening there was a novel event of meeting at a hall in Chichester.
John Cooper, Chairman of the host Society, chaired the meeting and Michael Handford was the invited speaker. As usual Michael was extremely entertaining and informative, speaking on the subject of waterway restoration in the next century. As Chairman of the IWA Restoration Committee he gave indication of how much more money is becoming available to progress schemes that would have seemed impossible a quarter of a century ago when the restoration of the Basingstoke Canal was first mooted.
There are well over a hundred organisations now involved in recovering waterways, some very large, such as the Lancaster, and some very small but all destined to be a significant contribution to the need for more recreational amenity. Following Michael's talk there was a question and answer exchange between the floor and the platform.
This gave members of the meeting an opportunity to have their say. Based on the experience that has been gained over the last 20 years Robin Higgs made a significant contribution on various subjects. The proceedings on Sunday started with a cruise on the dredged section of the Chichester Canal. Passengers were transported by the Chichester Association's.
The cruise started at the terminal basin in the City and on reaching the extent of the dredged section we walked the well tended towing path as far as the sea lock. In this location was the restaurant where lunch had been ordered for us. Following lunch a coach arrived, this was to be our transport for the afternoon. The afternoon was spent touring the West Sussex countryside to see parts of the long abandoned Portsmouth and Arundel Canal. Restoration of this waterway is a long term objective of the Chichester Society.
We started at the site in Ford where the Canal was joined to the River Arun. At one location near Yapton we were shown a canal bridge, a listed structure, in the middle of a small housing estate. How the houseowner looked on a visit from a canal restoration group is unfortunately not on record! The day ended with the usual tea and refreshments at the starting venue, where the customary 'reporting back' session took place.
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As part of this session the group suggested subjects for speakers at the Winter meeting in Devizes. The meeting was well supported with representatives coming from all over the South of England and South Wales. Colin Powell who is based at Neath had stayed overnight, as had others, to be sure of attending both sessions.
David, You are in the unique position of having been the first chairman of the Canal Society and the first Basingstoke Canal Manager. How did this come about? I was one of the committee Jim founded and we arranged a public meeting in Brookwood, attended by a large number of people including Eric Errington, the then MP for Aldershot, and I suggested that we needed a chairman for the meeting. Someone said 'We've got one already', I said 'Who? So that's how I got the Chairmanship of the Society, a post I held from to '. By then David had been made redundant three times in three years.
He was a production engineer in his professional life, and staff were being taken on by Hampshire County Council to manage the canal work. He applied and was taken on as Canal Manager in August , and thus began what he describes as a most rewarding part of his life. Secondly, the enormous amount of inertial power created by its forward momentum has to go somewhere, and is rapidly transferred to any object onboard not securely fastened down.
Such objects accelerate from zero to four miles an hour in a similar nanosecond, producing loud and continuous crashing, rattling and shattering noises from inside the boat. In a cacophony of destruction, suitcases, pots and pans, TV, crockery, cameras and numerous other items, speedily traversed the length of the cabin, forming a mountain of devastation against the front bulkhead doors.
Mrs Bettisfield, herself not exempt from the laws of physics, slid rapidly from her seat and down onto the front deckboards, legs flailing at thin air. Any sound she may have uttered was drowned by the pandemonium within.
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The violent collision aroused him sufficiently to throttle back and ease the bellowing Lister of its load. Otherwise he sat unmoved, staring straight ahead as though nothing were amiss, ignoring the plight of his hapless wife, the damage down below; beetroot-faced and detached, seemingly oblivious of those around him.
She glanced up, shocked to see the bearded guy watching her intently, his manner menacing and abrupt. The smell of stale alcohol assailed her nostrils. She felt herself back away, involuntarily, her breath coming in short gasps. Get off my boat. All the frustrations of the last weeks poured out of Daphne, fueling her anger. This second attack eradicated any possibility of her opponent remaining upright.
He staggered rapidly backwards down the short jetty, legs flailing in a futile attempt to catch up with the rest of his body. The legs may have succeeded had the jetty been somewhat longer, but on reaching the end they floundered wildly at fresh air before disappearing, along with their owner, into five feet of water.
Many of the boats in the immediate area were occupied, their owners utilizing one of the last Sundays of the season to make final preparations for winter. The sudden commotion, followed by a loud splash, caused heads to pop out of hatches and doorways all over the marina.
Grins and jeers greeted the bearded guy as he broke surface and struck out for the land. He was not the most popular man at the marina. Won by a knock-out! Daphne had been concentrating on the bearded guy and had not noticed James Erin walk up the pontoon behind her.