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Boat Blog: Keeping the Basingstoke Canal alive…

Posted by indigodream on 16 March, 2013

Friday 15th March

The Byfleet Boat Club had an excellent presentation this evening, featuring the Basingstoke Canal’s “Heroes and Villains”. The speaker, Roger Cansdale, outlined the canal’s troubled history right up to its troubled present. I though that Roger might be being over-dramatic when he said it was a miracle that there was a canal left at all, but as he wove the tale of dastardly chicanery involved in its management over the centuries I had to agree with him!

I won’t go through the details of the presentation – if you want to know more then invest Β£3 in the Basingstoke Canal Society’s booklet “A history of the Basingstoke Canal”- available from their website – click here

The crux of the talk was that while it takes hard work and vision to restore a canal, it’s as nothing to the hard graft needed to keep it alive when the fanfare of the re-opening ceremonies has faded. So, what can do to keep the canal alive…..?

… boating there – what easier and more pleasant way can there be to keep a canal working πŸ™‚

So, what else can you do to keep the canal alive?

Of course, donations are eternally welcome and they’re always looking for volunteers to help with various projects – Roger couldn’t overestimate how important volunteers will be to the ongoing maintenance of the canal.

So, we’ll be joining a convoy at Easter to cruise the available length of the canal – currently as far as Odiham. There are an impressive number of boats booked on – in fact, it may be the biggest boating event since the jubilee! If you have a boat in the vicinity why not come along – click here to get to the details and booking form.

If you don’t have a boat in the vicinity then why not join us as day crew – we’ve got room for 4 – 6 people. We’ll be cruising along the Basingstoke from Thursday 28th March to Saturday 30th; we’ll do the return trip the weekend after. If we get innundated with interested then we can always put the word out to the rest of the convoy – there are quite a few locks so I expect that extra crew members will be made very welcome indeed πŸ™‚

So, why not take the easy option – come boating on the Basingstoke – if you’re inspired then you can get satisfyingly muddy with the volunteers πŸ˜€

5 Responses to “Boat Blog: Keeping the Basingstoke Canal alive…”

  1. Graham and Jill said

    Wish I could be with you on that trip, but we should be escaping the Ouse at or around those dates, I particularly would have liked to be on board when you arrived at Odiham as I was stationed there for 3 years on Puma Helicopters. At that time cb radio was all the rage, and Odiham was known as vertical city.

  2. indigodream said

    Oh Graham, what a shame – it would have been great to have your local knowledge on board! If your plans change then you’re welcome at short notice πŸ™‚

  3. Graham and Jill said

    If we do clear here and are in a position where I can catch a train I may very well take you up at short notice.

  4. Sorry I missed you @ BBC “Heroes & Villains” as I read your blog quite often and I too was there on Friday. However, I will meet up with you on the Basingstoke trip, as I am going all the way.


  5. indigodream said

    Hi Ray

    I’m sorry we couldn’t stay for the social and get to meet more people – looking forward to seeing you on the convoy – I’m sure we’ll get to know everyone then πŸ™‚

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