View this email in your browser
No. 47. June 2020.
Welcome to our June Bulletin

In these challenging times, we've seen many more local people turning to the Canal as a place for relaxation, exercise and fun. It's a very clear message that we all really value this wonderful amenity that is right on our doorstep.


In this Bulletin, we'll update you about what we are doing to help to ‘Keep the Canal Alive’ - and most importantly, how you can get involved. We've also included a few stories from bygone years that we think may be of interest.

Take care.

Ken Sankey,
Editor, Basingstoke Canal Bulletin
Update from the Canal Authority

With some restrictions being relaxed, Fiona Shipp, Canal Manager at the Basingstoke Canal Authority, provides guidance on how we can all safely enjoy the Canal. As we navigate through these unprecedented times, the need to maintain social distancing and follow the advice is vital.
Read more
Help us to ‘Keep the Canal Alive’

Since it was set up in 1966, the Basingstoke Canal Society has made fantastic progress. It kicked off the restoration of the canal with a huge mobilisation of volunteers working closely with Surrey and Hampshire County Councils who bought the land.

However, over recent years the future of the Canal has increasingly become under threat as the Councils' budgets have become stretched.

So what happens next? Find out how you can help
Get involved
Historical stories from the Canal

'Perseverance' - the steam dredger that saved the Canal

Between 1973 and 1993, the quietly decaying ambiance of the Canal was shattered when the steam dredger Perseverance was pressed into service to dredge the last 10 miles and open up the whole Canal for navigation. 

As a visitation of steam, smoke, noise and mechanical mayhem, Perseverance was as far from the current image of the canal as possible. However, without the work of the venerable dredger and the volunteers who ran her, the Canal would not be the peaceful oasis of tranquility that it is today.

Read about the history of the mighty dredger here

Read story

Which came first - the wharf or the crane?

The notice below announces the forthcoming opening of the Basingstoke Canal on 14th September 1794. It lists the ten wharves where goods can be loaded and unloaded. One might imagine that they would be equipped with cranes to assist the process, but in fact old photos show little signs of any.

Read more about the fascinating history of the Canal and find out when working cranes arrived.

Read story
More news

Top six canal walks

Brought to us by the Canal & River Trust, you can now explore and enjoy relaxing waterside scenery from the comfort of your own home.

Featuring the Trust's top six virtual walks, with the help of digital technology you can wander around at your leisure - without even opening your front door.
Take a walk

Blast from the past

Here's a blast from the past. This photo shows the opening of the St John’s locks by Society Member Peter Jones in April 1988... just seconds before he took the leap of his life!

Standing on the John Pinkerton boat with guest Mrs Gammon, the Mayor of Woking, Peter announced - “We restored this canal to have fun, so let’s do it!.” To the amusement of the large crowd of onlookers, he then removed his spectacles, dived in, cut the ribbon and exited the Canal via the lock ladder.

Whilst it's definitely not to be recommended, it was smiles all round on the day for Peter's madcap adventure at this wonderful occasion.

Ian Smith

It is very sad to have to report the passing of Ian Smith.

A great friend and supporter of the Basingstoke Canal Society, Ian was also Commodore of the Byfleet Boat Club. No matter who the actual committee members of the Boat Club were at any time, he and his wife Betty always seemed to be in the middle of things. Ian brought laughter and enthusiasm to any occasion. He will be sorely missed.

Call for volunteers

While our trip boats and working parties are on hold, a tremendous amount of work is going on behind-the-scenes. At the moment, we need help in most areas including marketing, PR/press and project work. We are also looking for more trustees to help lead the Society and build stronger links with local councils

When the world starts to get back to normal, we will need additional support - to run our boats (specifically a boat engineer), to clear the towpath and people to crew on boats.

Read about National Volunteer Week and the Basingstoke Canal including volunteer roles. You can also contact Ken Sankey for more information.

Find out more

And finally...

Courtesy of the Canal and River Trust - for all dog owners and lovers, this made us smile.

About The Basingstoke Canal Society

As the guardian of Basingstoke Canal, the Society promotes and campaigns for the sustainable future of the Canal as a navigation.
Become a Volunteer
Become a Member
Through the John Pinkerton Canal Cruises operation, it also raises money which is used to fund maintenance and improvement works undertaken by Society voluntary work parties.
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook Find us on Facebook
Website Website
See photos on Instagram See photos on Instagram
Email Email
Copyright © 2020 The Basingstoke Canal Society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The Basingstoke Canal Society, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 1WA.

General enquiries to the Society by phone, on 07305 340 547.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list