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ENews 2008-9

Hello, welcome to ENews 2008-9.

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

I have not got a hand in every puppet, so please feel free to email with any newsworthy items you would like to be considered for inclusion.

All and any feedback is more than welcome.

I still have no positive news on the "Restoration post BW" situation yet but do know that there's a heck of a lot of paddle raising going on. Rest assured that as soon as a gate actually opens you will be amongst the first to know.



Further information about most of these items appears on the Activities page of the 'Connect' Volunteers website at

31st March: Rearranged date for fencing training course at Goughs Orchard Lock, Brimscombe (behind the Ship Inn) from 9.30am-4.30pm.
Contact or mobile 07920 790694.

5th/6th April: Dig Deep weekend at Eisey Lock. Further details in ENews 2008-8, on the Eisey Lock Message Board on the Connect website or contact Ken Burgin

6th April: Boat Jumble at Gloucester Docks, appropriate items sought.
These can be dropped off at the Western Depot, Eastington on Monday & Wednesday mornings – email Roger Wells, or phone 01453 544490 for more information

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

12th April: Roadshow at Stroud Farmers Market. The Roster is up & waiting to be populated at – go to Activities page and 'Stroud Farmers Market 2' roster

12th April: Roadshow at Cirencester Farmers Market for the first time ever. Again there's a Roster waiting to be populated; if you are one of the 4/500 or so members living in the Cirencester area then why not lend a hand? Email Mike Slade, who will be delighted to hear from you if you can, or call him on 01179 693270 after 6pm

12th/13th April: Dig Deep weekend at Eisey Lock. See above

16th April: 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

21st April: Lechlade History Society meeting 19:15 for 19:30 at the Lechlade Memorial Hall. Speaker Theo Stening has chosen a title of "The Re-Birth of the Cotswold Canals". All welcome. I have been asked to state there is a charge of £3.00 per person per meeting for guests, rather than a nominal charge of £3 to non members as I said in ENews 2008-8.
Further information from Mike Cawsey, or 01367 252401

26th/27th April: Dig Deep weekend at Eisey Lock. See above



The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee's sitting, trailed in ENews 2008-6, duly met on the 18th & 19th March.

On Day 1 British Waterways' Tony Hales, Robin Evans et al were asked a total of 100 questions; on Day 2 Jonathan Shaw, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Marine Landscape & Rural Affairs) came under the spotlight and was asked a further 80.

A good few of these were about our "little local difficulty" and transcripts of both 90-minute sessions can be found at as regards Day 1 and at for Day 2.

Just about the only positive news from within these weighty tomes is that British Waterways have told the world that the CCT is better at restoration than they are! (In the Day 1 transcript, see the response from Robin Evans to Q94 from David Drew, Stroud's MP)



Hot on the heels of the £4.5m breach in Phase 1A of the restoration caused by BW's withdrawal comes the sad news that Richard Harrison, the Partnership's Volunteer Programme Co-ordinator, is moving on to towpaths new.

He's accepted the role of Enforcement Officer within the BW South West team, probably around the end of April; if he takes the enthusiasm and commitment with him that he has displayed as the VPC – then woe betide any boater not displaying a current licence!

Definitely a case of our loss being their gain.



Earlier this year ENews carried a piece about the planned WRG training weekend scheduled for the 10th & 11th May.

The venue is a bit iffy at the moment, but I am told that training in the usual favourites will be on offer – that's excavators, dumpers, vans, trailers, surveying, bricklaying, banksman, scaffolding and first aid. Also under consideration is a chippers course and training on tractors or forklifts. Other sessions can be considered as the list is not necessarily exhaustive.

You may remember that CCT stalwart Harry Edwards told us last time:
"WRG are professional, well organised, & have lots of experience they want to share – they also like to make training fun! It's hugely enjoyable and satisfying 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."

The cost will be £15 for the whole weekend including meals and accommodation. A daily rate of £5 is applicable to those wishing to attend for a part of the weekend.

Please contact Harry – – for further information or to get your name down on the list.



I am delighted to be able to report that Nadine Preece is making good progress after her recent major operation.

Known to many as Father Christmas's better half, she has asked me to pass on her grateful thanks to all members & friends for their kindness & good wishes.


For updates on restoration progress at Oil Mills – with pictures – have a look at, the rest of the website is well worth a visit too.


Bye for now – please keep me posted!

David Pagett