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ENews 2011-03

10 March 2011 

Hello and welcome to ENews 2011-03.

The primary objective of ENews is to keep members, volunteers and subscribers up to date with what is happening within the Cotswold Canals Trust as a whole. Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

Both the Trust website www.cotswoldcanals.com and the Partnership website www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org are good sources of information on restoration progress with up to date news articles and pictures of progress.

You can receive a Twitter feed from the Cotswold Canals Partnership from http://www.twitter.com/cotswoldcanals direct to your mobile or PC.

If you think you have missed an issue of ENews a copy of the latest one is displayed at www.cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk together with a full archive from Day 1 back on 3rd April 2006.

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The headlines today:

If you wish to make a donation
You can now do this online
But if you want to make one quite shortly
Please make the Gift Aid deadline.

Vacancy arisen at Lechlade
To manage the charters this year
Public trips there and Saul Junction
Crew needed as start dates draw near.

Abingdon lake is rejected
Cotswold Canals may be used
Help plant a tree down in Dudbridge
Cainscross PC are enthused.

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RESTORATION SNIPPETS

-Dredging has been ongoing throughout February. About 75% complete for this section of the canal, work should be complete by mid March when around 2200 cubic metres of silt will have been removed. Nearly enough sludge and rubbish to fill an Olympic swimming pool has been dredged so far
-REACH, who currently have two teams undertaking the towpath upgrade, have almost connected Ryeford Lock to Ebley Mill, whilst the other REACH team is heading east from Downton Road.
-Severn Trent Water will lower 2 pipes crossing the canal above Ryeford Locks, with work taking 4 weeks, starting Monday 14 March.
-Tenders for Ebley to Wallbridge widening works have been received and contractors will be engaged shortly.
-At Oil Mills, Ebley, preparations for the removal of the bund are well underway.  Tenders have been returned, a contractor should be engaged shortly and hopefully the bund will be removed in the next couple of months.
-The Canal Team has sent out invitations to 28 developers with regards lodging an interest in the Brimscombe Port development, expressions of interest received from 8. Discussions are ongoing.
-Schools are showing increasing interest in the canal project, which provides cross-curricular learning opportunities in terms of history, science, environment and geography. The Cotswold Canals Knowledge project has initially focused on primary schools at Key Stage 2 level, but the canal is now being promoted in secondary schools and to Duke of Edinburgh Award participants. 

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A NEW WAY TO PAY, PAL

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly a question that is often asked is “Can I make a donation online?”

The response to date has been no, sorry, but we would be delighted to receive your cheque in the post.

This partially negative reaction is now a thing of the past, thanks to some sterling work that has gone on behind the scenes.

The Trust website now contains a page specifically created for this purpose, needless to say you are welcome to try it at any time!

It can be found at http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/make-a-donation.php

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SPECIAL OFFER – FOR 3 WEEKS ONLY

Whilst on the subject of giving, Gift Aid claims currently attract a rate of 28p for every pound donated. However from 31st March this reduces to 25p and indeed the PayPal page referred to above has been set up with this forthcoming change in mind.

Her Majestys Revenue and Customs has been operating a transitional arrangement to continue allowing 28p in the pound until that date.
 
You may or may not know that the Gift Aid Supremo within the Trust is Membership Secretary Des Pinnock who has been responsible for reclaiming many thousands of pounds over the years. A slightly cheeky request, nevertheless if any reader has been considering a donation for a while then, in all honesty, there is no time like the present!

If this applies then could I ask that you be so kind as to forward your cheque direct to Des at 1 Dunstan Glen, Churchdown, Gloucester, GL3 2PY. For obvious reasons he needs to get these banked before the 31st to qualify for the 28p currently on offer.

Cheques payable to Cotswold Canals Trust please.

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CHARTER CHARTING

As many of you will know, the trip boat charter operations at both Lechlade and Saul raise much needed funds for the Trust. A vacancy has arisen for a volunteer to become Charter Operations Manager at Lechlade, responsible for coordinating crew, dates etc with potential customers.

This looks like the ideal opportunity for someone to whom the thought of crewing does not necessarily appeal although they would like to be involved with the trip boat in some way. All from the comfort of their own home, too!

Lechlade Trip Boat Manager Ron Read can tell you more, telephone 01367 252352 or email ron.read@btinternet.com

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CREW CALL

Whilst on the subject of trip boats, a reminder that the season is nearly with us again.

Public trips start at Saul with Perseverance on Saturday 2nd April and with Inglesham at Lechlade a week later.

Rosters for both appear on the Connect website at www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk with many dates available for COBM qualified crew to add themselves. I know that Managers Rob Burgon (Saul) and Ron Read (Lechlade) look forward to seeing more names on their respective rosters shortly-so they can sleep peacefully on Friday evenings in the knowledge that their boat will run that weekend.

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WATER RESULT

Almost exactly 12 months ago, ENews 2010-03 told you all about plans by Thames Water to build a reservoir at Abingdon to help secure future water supplies for the south east.

It has taken a year but the result of the public enquiry is now known. The application for the reservoir has been rejected and that means the proposed water transfer system between the Severn and the Thames via the Cotswold Canals could (repeat could) be a possibility.

But as CCT Chief Executive Ken Burgin says-Thames Water losing this Public Inquiry does not mean that Cotswold Canals Trust has won it!

You can find more information about the enquiry in a report from Ken that appears under the Latest News section at www.cotswoldcanals.com

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TREE MEND US

100 trees have been given to the Canal Project for planting on the Cope Chat Field, as it is known, in Dudbridge by Hilly Orchard Bridge. Cainscross Parish Council own the field and they are keen to see it developed as an open area containing a wildlife pond, childrens play area and a football pitch.

There will be a planting ceremony on Saturday 26th March between 10:00 and 13:00, bring your own spade and gloves.

Further information can again be found in the Latest News section of the Trust website.

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FORTHCOMING ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

For further information and contact details about items marked* please go to the Message Boards on the Activities and Rosters page at http://www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk 
If you wish to become a registered volunteer just follow the Register Me Now link
.
 
*Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00am: Maintenance activity at Western Depot
*Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot

March
12th/13th – *Dig Deep weekend Eisey Lock
16th – Eastern Branch meeting, Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
19th – *Trip Boat Saul Crew Refresher Training
19th/20th – *Dig Deep weekend Eisey Lock
20th – *Work Party, details TBC (Work Parties Brimscombe-Daneway)
22nd – Construction Action Group meeting, Bell House Wallbridge 19:30
26th – *Trip Boat Saul Crew Refresher Training
27th – *Work Party Tunnel House Inn (Work Parties Summit Level)
29th – *Trip Boat Lechlade Crew Refresher Training

April
2nd – *Trip Boat Lechlade Crew Refresher Training
2nd – First day of Saul Trip Boat Season
9th – First day of Lechlade Trip Boat Season
9th/10th – *Dig Deep weekend Eisey Lock
10th – *Work Party, details TBC (Work Parties Brimscombe-Daneway)
10th – *Work Party Tunnel House Inn (Work Parties Summit Level)
11th – Western Branch meeting at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster 19:30
20th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
16th-25th – *WRG Canal Camp Eisey Lock 
26th – Construction Action Group meeting Crown Cerney Wick 19:30

May
1st – *Work Party, details TBC (Work Parties Brimscombe-Daneway)
8th – Work Party Tunnel House Inn (Work Parties Summit Level)
9th – Western Branch meeting at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster 19:30
14th/15th – *Dig Deep weekend Eisey Lock 
18th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
21st/22nd – *Dig Deep weekend Eisey Lock
22nd – Work Party Tunnel House Inn (Work Parties Summit Level)
24th – Construction Action Group meeting, Bell House Wallbridge 19:30
28th-30th – *Crick Show

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Any newsworthy items for consideration should be sent to postmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk but please remember I am always looking for a connection with the Stroudwater, the Thames & Severn or the CCT – however tenuous.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews
The Cotswold Canals Trust – Registered Charity No: 269721.
Bell House, Wallbridge Lock, Stroud, Glos GL5 3JS
Company Registered in England No: 01207787.
Registered Office: Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1NZ