ENews 2008-5

Hello and welcome to ENews 2008-5.

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

I have not got a bung for every canal breach, so please feel free to send any newsworthy items you would like to be considered for inclusion to postmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk

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QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS…

The 35th anniversary dinner is only a couple of weeks away, and there are still a few places left. See page 23 of 'The Trow' that has landed (or will be landing any time now) on your doormat for all relevant information, or you can download details from the following links:

(time expired links removed) 

Meanwhile I have the answers to some FAQs for you:
 
Q. Do I have to book a table of 10?
A. No. A table of 10 was mentioned in the letter to members as an option. We are receiving bookings from individuals, couples, foursomes, any and all combinations are welcome to apply.
 
Q. What are the seating arrangements?
A. We will sit around round tables laid for 8 or 10. Tables will be named after a canal structure e.g. Sapperton, Ryeford Lock. (There is no truth in the rumour that any empty tables on the night will be called British Waterways…..) A place at a table will be allocated and a table plan prepared and displayed. If you wish to sit with friends please indicate on the reply slip and we shall be delighted to arrange this wherever possible.

Q. Do I have to wear a lounge suit?
A. No. 'Lounge suit' was mentioned in the letter to provide members and guests with an indication as to the degree of formality expected. In this case a blazer or similar would be most acceptable. (Thank goodness for that – my suit no longer fits me and hasn't done so for longer than I care to remember.)

Q. Will there be toasts and speeches?
A. Yes, but only a few and one of the toasts will not be to "Absent Friends".

Linda Amery, Linda@bowbridgelock.wanadoo.co.uk is the person to contact if you have any other questions you may have.

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SOMETHING FOR NOTHING

If you think about it for a moment, there are those amongst you who are receiving ENews for free.

How can I say that? I hear you ask.

Well, as I said, think about it. By far and away the majority of us are members of the Cotswold Canals Trust and have been for many years. We pay our subs, we give of our time and in return we enjoy promoting the aims and objectives of the Trust and look forward to the day when the link between the rivers Thames & Severn is re-established.

To those volunteers and readers who are not members, please rest assured you are nevertheless most welcome to share our interests and activities on the basis that the more people we can enthuse and encourage the better!

It goes without saying that BW's inexplicable decision to withdraw from the Partnership is seen by some as a kick in the teeth, although some of us view it as one of those grey clouds with a potential silver lining.

Whatever your point of view, if ever there was a time to consolidate opinion then that time is NOW. Now is the time for a united front to show just how much support there is out there for this restoration, to show the determination of the remaining partners to see the project through.

One way we can do this is by continuing to increase our membership numbers. Growth has been phenomenal over the last few years as more and more people have become excited by the concept of the restoration and the benefits it will bring to the canal corridor as a whole.

New members are always welcome! The joining process couldn't be simpler and a membership application form can now be downloaded from the Trust's website by going to http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/membership_application_122007.pdf . All you have to do is download the form, complete a few basic details and pop it in the post to the address shown. Whilst you are at it – see if you can interest your best friends, next door neighbours, workmates or any other interested parties to come and join us as well!

And that's it, you can carry on receiving, and hopefully enjoying, ENews with a conscience that's 100% clear.

It is beyond doubt that in a scenario where we could be approaching potentially new funding sources, the size of the Trust's membership can play a pivotal role. For example, our membership numbers really were a contributory factor in the successful outcome of the original Lottery bid.

Here's a final thought; a 12 month family membership subscription costs the equivalent of 3 gallons of petrol (at the moment), a litre bottle of supermarket scotch……or approximately 6 INCHES of mooring space in the new Saul Marina.

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BUSINESS AS USUAL

That stalwart of volunteer activity, BW's Richard Harrison, has arranged a coppicing course during half term week for young people aged between 16 and 25. You may think this stinks of ageism, I couldn't possibly comment. The coppicing will provide the constituent material for soft bank protection along the Ryeford stretch of the Stroudwater Canal.

There are some spaces left, so if you are aware of any of those of junior years who are interested please let Richard know soonest, phone 01452 318501 or email Richard.Harrison@britishwaterways.co.uk

BW's loss really will be someone else's gain here – thanks, Rich, for all you've done for CCT volunteers.

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FORECASTED FANTASTIC FUN-FILLED FESTIVE FROLICS

The towpath telegraph tells me that there is a thought out there that, just because British Waterways have got out of the kitchen, we can't stand the heat either and will be pulling the plug on the Saul Festival!

What? Rubbish! Nothing could be further from the truth.

 All that may have happened is that prior to the appointment of our new Office Administrator, Trust mail was being redirected. We think this arrangement may have expired before she took up her duties so possibly, just possibly, some mail may have been returned marked 'Gone Away' or similar.

Postperson Pat has been taken to task so matters should be back to normal. If you had your Festival application returned (maybe this is how/why the rumour started) please can you post it off again as soon as you can?

It looks like bookings are up, volunteer numbers are up, traders are falling over themselves to attend and the musical turns can't wait after the disappointment of the 2007 cancellation.

The Festival website is really buzzing and full details of this year's line up of artistes and other activities can be found within its pages. Just go to http://www.junctionevents.org.uk & you'll see what I mean. Don't forget that concert tickets & camping are both bookable online here; to avoid disappointment book early!

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FABULOUS FESTIVAL FIELD FUNCTION

The Saul Festival Guru, Clive Field, advises the following:

"There's a vacancy on the Festival Management Team for a Traders Campsite Manager or Managers. The role will suit experienced camper/s who will enjoy being part of the team responsible for delivering what has become the southwest's premier boat and music event.
You will be available on site from Tuesday 1st July to oversee and assist others in the layout of the Traders, Entertainers and Service Providers campsite.
Thursday & Friday will involve you meeting and greeting arrivals to allocate and record their pitches.

Please call Festival Director Clive Field 07798 551 288 to discuss."
 
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A CHOICE OF PROGRAMMES

Some of you will be receiving ITV Midlands "Water World" programme on Thursday evenings. I thought you may like to know of another waterways based programme that you can access via the internet.

ITV Granada runs a series called "Locks & Quays" which you can access by going to http://www.itvlocal.com/granada/documentaries. There is an index on the right hand side, scroll down to Locks & Quays to take your pick of the many episodes available. (I bet you can't find the one in which my boat appears, albeit briefly…).

Unlike Water World the presenter actually bases each series on a voyage along a canal or canals and the bulk of each programme is about that trip.

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ALTERNATIVE ACCESS

By the time this year's Festival comes around the new Marina at Saul Junction will be full of water – and boats of course.

One of the planned Marina facilities will be a slipway, which means that trail boat owners can consider attending our Festival without having to seek out somewhere miles away to effect a launch!

If this could be of interest to you or to someone you know then you will need to make prior arrangements to use the slipway with the Marina owners Land & Water. They can be contacted on 01483 202733 or by email neil.warren@land-water.co.uk

You will still need to book you and your vessel into the Festival in the usual manner, and if you haven't got one already you can download a booking form by following this link to http://www.junctionevents.org.uk

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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Further information about most of these items appears on the volunteer website, http://www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk

17th February: Work Party at Coates Portal end of tunnel, contact Mark Welton at mark.welton@virgin.net for more information

20th February: Eastern Branch monthly meeting at the Trout Inn, Lechlade. On the north bank of the Thames by the A417 bridge. 7:30pm start, everybody welcome

2nd March: Work Party in Chalford area; Steve Pickover is your point of contact, stevepickover@tiscali.co.uk

3rd March: Western Branch monthly meeting at Fromebridge Mill, on A38 roundabout west of M5 junction 13. 7:30pm start, everybody welcome

9th March: Work Party at Coates Portal end of tunnel, contact Mark Welton at mark.welton@virgin.net for more information

15th March: Roadshow at Stroud Farmers Market. The roster is complete already for this one, like a bus there'll be another one along soon however. (12th April Cirencester, 19th back in Stroud)

18th/20th March inc: Boat handling training days at Lechlade in preparation for the summer season with Inglesham. It should be possible to arrange alternative dates if those proposed are inconvenient; contact Wendy Beamont wildcat@rya-online.net or phone 01235 764172 to discuss

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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.

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Bye for now – please remember to keep me posted!

David Pagett
Postmaster