ENews 2008-1 (Note new numbering system)

Hello, and a warm welcome to ENews 2008-1.

To all ENews subscribers and readers – Happy New Year!

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SANTA CREWS SEE SUN

But only on a couple of afternoons – out of a total of 8 operational days.

Despite enduring all sorts of weather the season went pretty smoothly. Overall numbers carried were up on last year, but the extra operating day obviously helped. Expenses were held at their 2007 levels and this meant that the amount raised exceeded last year's total.

PRAISE WHERE IT'S DUE …… One of several comments we received said "Thank you for all you did for Ellie's magical party today. Everyone who came today had a wonderful time… My phone hasn't stopped ringing since we arrived home. It's totally down to your end that the children had such a magical time. Once again, thank you so much."

And when our Chairman Liz Payne found out about the sum raised she said "That is absolutely magnificent, even more so when the dreadful weather is taken into consideration, my thanks and gratitude to all those who made this such a success.
Well done everybody."

Well done indeed to the 57 volunteers who, between them, filled a total of 247 roles.
 
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WELCOME ABOARD MINNIE STRATER!

I am pleased to be able to report that Karen Grainger has been appointed as the new Cotswold Canals Trust Administrator, and she will be taking up her duties on the 15th January.

She has worked for the RSPCA amongst others – and in a similar role – so she is well placed to become a valued member of the Trust Management Team.

Karen's official hours in the Trust's Cirencester Office will be 09:00 – 14:00 Tuesdays to Fridays.

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PLANNING PROGRESSING

Edward Moss, Community and Special Projects Coordinator for the BW Regeneration Team, reports:

"As the restoration of Oil Mills Bridge and the 650m of canal to Ryeford continues apace, planning work is well underway for the other sections of Phase 1a.
The transfer of the Thames & Severn Canal – between Wallbridge and Brimscombe – from Gloucestershire County Council to British Waterways took place last month. Waterway Recovery Group activities at Gough's Orchard Lock, together with archaeological reviews and ground works to the other locks in this section, will take place throughout 2008.
Further planning applications are dependent upon the Environmental Impact Assessment and this is close to completion. BW and Stroud District Council Planners are discussing the possibility of submitting a single planning application for Phase 1a in the Spring.
This would exclude the County Council's proposed road works at Merrywalks (A46) – proposed start date this Autumn – and the work at Brimscombe Port which will be dealt with by SDC as a separate entity.
The consultation for the Area Action Plan for Brimscombe Port will continue throughout 2008 with the intention of starting construction there in late 2009."

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SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND (2)

ENews 62 trailed the possibility of involving CCT Volunteers in training weekends organised by our good friends in the Waterway Recovery Group. Well, one such weekend has come to light already and will be on the 10th & 11th May at BW Maintenance Yard, Hatton, Warwicks. CCT Member & WRG-accredited Volunteer Harry Edwards writes:

"A 'must-do' event for volunteers who want to acquire training for that all important ticket to use the sort of plant & equipment needed to restore our canals. WRG also provide skills training on a range of other stuff like scaffolding, bricklaying, use of lime-mortar, survey levels and so on. They provide all the equipment & trainers – organisers will allocate you to the courses you want to do on the days you can be there.
WRG are professional, well organised, & have lots of experience they want to share – they also like to make training fun! It's hugely enjoyable, satisfying, & will cost you only your time, travel & a packed lunch. And I speak from personal experience, having been able to turn this training into practical use on the Wilts & Berks Canal and at Rucks Bridge last July".
 
There's more information at http://www.wrg.org.uk. If you want to get a feel for what happens on these occasions have a look at 'events reports' from the dropdown menu.

WRG will tailor training to suit group needs, last year's courses covered the following activities:

Dumpers
Loading and securing
Small excavators
First aid
Piling
Scaffolding
Trailers
Vans

To express an interest in any of these activities email postmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk & we'll liaise with WRG if there is a need for special training. Booking details will follow in a future edition of ENews."
 
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DIGEST WITH DIGANCE

Would you like to join in the celebrations to mark 35 years of the Cotswold Canals Trust?

In special recognition of the 'The Bruce Hall Years' – he spent an incredible 22 years at the helm would you believe – we are holding a Gala Dinner & Cabaret Evening with raconteur & singer songwriter Richard Digance on Saturday 8th March 2008. (Don't worry, Bruce will be there too.)

The evening comprises a 3-course dinner, casting off at 19:30 hours sharp. The sun will have been over the yardarm since 18:45 hours. There will be some speeches, I for one can't wait to hear Bruce in full flight again, and Richard D will then entertain us in his own inimitable & brilliant fashion.

All this for just £28 per person!

IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE CCT you will receive comprehensive details and an invitation/booking form through the post in the next 7/10 days.

IF YOU ARE NOT A MEMBER OF THE CCT and would like to come along to join in the celebrations then please email me, postmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk and I will email a copy of the invite/booking form to you once the Members' invites have been dispatched.

Whilst there's room for about 200 at the venue, demand is bound to outstrip supply; first come first served therefore, so don't dilly-dally over Digance…..

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ANOTHER TWO COURSES TO DIGEST

In conjunction with Richard Harrison at BW we are looking at running a series of training sessions covering a variety of activities.

For example on Wednesday 30th January at Gough's Orchard there will be some fencing training taking place; from personal experience this is not always as easy as it sounds, so it will be good to find out how it should be done. There will be space for 10/12 swordsmen……

Provisionally arranged for Wednesday 27th February is the first of a possible series of brushcutter & strimmer training courses, location TBA. Space for 6 at a time, so there are 5 spaces left on this first one!

To get your name down contact Richard at Richard.Harrison@britishwaterways.co.uk
 

or phone 01452 318501
 
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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

13th January: Work Party in the Chalford area. Contact Steve Pickover for further details, stevepickover@tiscali.co.uk

14th January: Roadshow Meeting at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster, 7.15pm start. To discuss 2007 and recommend events to be attended during 2008 to the Trading Co Directors.

15th January: Works Action Group meeting at the Heritage Centre, Saul, 7.30pm. The place to be for news on the restoration, work parties and so on.

16th January: Eastern Branch Meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade, 7.30pm start. All welcome

19th January: Eastern Branch New Year's
Dinner at the Trout; details from Liz Payne, cctchair@aol.com  
 
20th January: Work Party in Summit/Tunnel area. Contact Mark Welton for further details, mark.welton@virgin.net

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For updates on restoration progress at Oil Mills – with pictures – have a look at the Cotswold Canals Partnership's website, http://community.stroud.gov.uk/general.asp?pid=2&pgid=1071.
The rest of the website is well worth a visit too.

The objective of ENews is to advise, inform and update. And maybe even to amuse from time to time.

I have not got a single malt in every glass, so feel free to send any newsworthy items you would like to be considered for inclusion to postmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk

Bye for now – please keep me posted!

David Pagett
Postmaster