ENews No 21

Welcome to E-News No. 21: only 6 days to go until the start of this year's Santa Cruise season!

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WESTERN BRANCH MEETING
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A reminder that the venue for the Western Branch meeting scheduled for Monday 4th December has changed to Gloucester Yacht Club, the Docks, Gloucester. [By kind permission of the Commodore]

The club is situated in [on?] Victoria Basin, and is almost next door to the Regimental Museum. 7.30pm as usual; see you there!

January's meeting will be back at Fromebridge Mill as usual, but as the first Monday is New Year's Day this will be on the 8th instead.

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GETTING READY FOR SANTA'S VISIT
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Now here's a date for your diary – Saturday 2nd December.

This is the day we shall be preparing Santa's Grotto aboard Perseverance and decorating the Heritage Centre. It would be great to see as many of those of you involved in the Santa Cruises there so that we could run through any last minute problems or concerns.

Plenty of jobs to be done on the day – the erection of a marquee, for example, that like last year will provide much needed protection from any inclement weather – and the base for the photography team…

Please let me know if you can spare a couple of hours or so – cct@well-springs.co.uk or 01452 505322.

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SIGN THE WATERWAYS PETITION – from the comfort of your armchair
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In the circumstances in which all lovers of our waterways currently find themselves in the light of the DEFRA cuts, you may like to consider signing up to a website petition that is on the Prime Minister's website. One of the organizers of the 'Save our Waterways' campaign, Will Chapman, advises the following:-

"I have just received approval of the electronic petition I submitted last week to The Number 10 web site. This is an experiment by Government that allows petitions to be completed via the Internet.

This is NOT meant to replace the written petition; merely to supplement it!
"Could I ask you to circulate this to all of your contacts and encourage those with Internet connections to visit the following site and sign the petition: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/SaveOurWaterways/. The text of the petition appears on this link."

I think we can all agree with the rest of what Will says:
"Our inland waterways are a unique national asset that provide an important contribution to the quality of life for millions of our citizens. According to BW there were 300 million individual visits to the canals in 2005 and we are deeply concerned that DEFRA has seen fit to reduce BW's grant by some & £60 million over the next 5 years and that of the Environment Agency by over & £20 million in this financial year. We believe that these cuts will have a devastating effect upon the well-being of inland waterways and put at risk many urban regeneration projects."

If you care about the future of our waterways then please put down that drink for a couple of minutes and click onto the link above to sign the petition. Before the deadline of the 21st February next…..

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SANTA CRUISES – WANTED!
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A couple of Volunteer Elves please – for Saturday 16th December. If you are available for the shift periods 0945 – 1300 and/or 1300 – 1630 could you please be so kind as to let me know soonest at cct@well-springs.co.uk 

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 SO GOOD THEY DID IT TWICE
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This weekend – that's the 2nd & 3rd December from 0900 hours – there's a repeat performance of the recent "Oil Mills Bridge Experience". There is a whole load of brash, branches etc still to be disposed of.

Don't forget the Health & Safety requirement of steel toe-capped boots/shoes; a stout pair of gloves is also a good idea. Contact Richard Harrison – Richard.Harrison@britishwaterways.co.uk or 01452 318501 – if you require further information.

 There's very limited car parking spaces in Bridge Road itself, so it will probably be easier for you to park at Ebley Mill & walk the 100 or so yards to Oilmills from there.

ALL VOLUNTEER LABOUR AT THIS EVENT WILL BE COSTED AND WILL COUNT TOWARDS MATCHED FUNDING FOR THE RESTORATION, SO THE MORE PEOPLE THAT TURN UP THE MORE VALUABLE THEIR CONTRIBUTION WILL BE!

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THE ULTIMATE STOCKING FILLER……
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…….has to be the recently released DVD of the Cotswold Canals.

This has proved really popular, so don't miss out! They are obtainable every weekend at Saul Heritage Centre or from the Roadshow when it is in Lechlade on Friday 8th December, very reasonably priced at £12.95. Whilst it is more beneficial to the CCT if you buy from either of these places you can also purchase direct off the supplier's website at http://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/videos/cotswold.htm