Craig Shanks

Aug 292017


The Autumn 2017 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 255: Autumn 2017: Editorial, Chairman’s Report, Dogmersfield slip – nearly finished, Volunteering on the Basingstoke, More volunteering, New work boat?, David Junkison, JP & Kitty Report, Cream Tea cruises, Sales, Chobham Talks, ‘Juniper’ at Galleon Marine, Woking Grand Prix, Farewell Les Harris, John Humphries OBE, Clive Durley, Jan Smith and Terry Harrison, BCS Membership, BCS Information and Dogmersfield slip works.

Jul 142017

The Illustrated talks for the 2017/18 season have been announced and are listed below. Please come along to hear presentations about a variety of subjects from interesting and entertaining speakers in the company of fellow enthusiasts. For details of the venue and more about the Canal Society social meetings, please click here.

Wednesday, 18th October 2017 – 8pm

Clive and Jill Field: ‘History and Restoration of the Cotswold Canals’

The 60 minute presentation takes the audience on a journey through history of the two waterways that make up the Cotswold Canals. We examine the rationale behind the need for water transport to bring heavy materials from the River Severn in Stroud – in 1779! We also consider the influences, past and present, of recreating the 36 mile link between the Rivers Severn and Thames.

Wednesday 15th November 2017 – 8pm

Colin Brown: The RNLI ‘it’s not all at sea’

Our volunteer lifeboat crews rescue 24 people a day. The RNLI is a charity which provides a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the coast of the UK, plus seasonal lifeguard patrols on over 250 beaches, a Flood Rescue Team, water safety advice and training at home and abroad.


Wednesday 20st December 2017 – 8pm

Dave Williams and Kathryn Killner: ‘Wildlife along the Canal’

The talk will start with a general overview of habitats along the canal and their importance to wildlife. It will then provide some specific information about things to look out for, in particular how to spot signs of otters, water voles and dormice, amongst other species.


Wednesday 17th January 2018 – 8pm

Nathan Ellis: ‘The Thames Tidal Defences’

An introduction to the past, present and future of the Thames Barrier and its associated Gates, tidal Walls and Embankments.


Wednesday 21st February 2018 – 8pm

Dr Roger Squires: ‘Exploring the Caledonian Canal’

The talk will discuss Telford’s masterpiece. A ship canal across Scotland using the natural fault line of the Great Glen and its series of fresh water lochs.


Wednesday 21st March 2018 – 8pm

Deborah Wheeler: ‘Whitchurch Silk Mill’

Join us for a virtual tour of a Georgian silk weaving water mill, see, hear and feel it’s fascinating history and beautiful fabrics. (Photo: Allun Calendar Photography)


Wednesday 18th April 2018 – 8pm

Neil Owen: ‘Canal & River Trust Engineering a 200 Year Old Infrastructure’

The presentation will discuss the way in which Canal & River Trust are managing their Engineering Assets, including future improvement and the implication on the possible adoptions of Waterway managed by other Navigation Authorities. (Photo: Canal & River Trust)

Jun 122017


The Summer 2017 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 254: Summer 2017: Editorial, Chairman’s AGM report, AGM report, Society Accounts for 2016, Work Party report, Winter & spring works on the canal, Lock 14, Developments in Woking, Bits and pieces, The Canal in Woking during WWI, Sales, Ian Cripps, BCS Membership, BCS information and Dogmersfield slip works.

Mar 022017


The Spring 2017 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 253: Spring 2017: Editorial, Chairman’s report, Basingstoke Canal Future Management Options, Moves at Ash Lock, Society Work Party activities, Volunteers – We need you!!, Winter works on the canal, Reminiscences of dredging the canal and how the Society became the proud owners of a Ruston Bucyrus Dragline, Chobham talks, Canal Society AGM, Letters, Membership, BCS information and Busy morning at Ash Lock.

Dec 082016


The Winter 2016 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 252: Winter 2016: Editorial, Chairman’s report, Society Work Party activities, Notes from the JMC, There is no such thing as an accident!, C&RT – The Future, Canal winter works, Canal works Winter 2016/17, William Carter, canal owner 1905-21, Chobham talks, Letters, Canal still in trouble in the 1890s, “Chain Gang” to King John’s Castle, Christmas on the Canal at Odiham, BCS Membership, BCS information and Dry Dock in use.

Sep 032016


The Autumn 2016 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 251: Autumn 2016: Chairman’s report, Woking Canal Festival 2016, Spanton’s wharf in use again, Early days of the Canal Society, HNBC’s Warbler & Clover above Lock 15, More recollections of early days, Kitty’s progress, Egremont, Letters, Chobham talks, Society Work Party report, Canal trouble in the 19th century and ‘TENCH’ at Bedser Bridge.

Jun 012016


The Summer 2016 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 250: Summer 2016: Chairman’s AGM report, Society Accounts for 2015, Out and about on the canal, Events, Canal to close for the Farnborough Airshow, Woking Canal Festival 6/7th August 2016, Pinkerton’s progress, Lengthsmen, Eagle Radio grant, Ramblers walks, Letters, Canal in trouble one hundred years ago and Kitty’s cabin.

Mar 082016


The Spring 2016 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 249: Spring 2016: Chairman’s report, News Round-Up from the BCA, More News from the BCA, KESCRG visit, More canal news, John Pinkerton report, Events, Woking Canal Festival 6/7th August 2016, Woking Canal Festival 1962, Lookback, How the BCA manages water on the Basingstoke Canal, Wellesley Woodlands, Notice of the Canal Society AGM (14 May 2016) and Claycart work party.

Dec 072015


The Winter 2015 Edition of the Basingstoke Canal News is now online.

No 248: Winter 2015: Chairman’s report, Joint Management Committee report, Rangers at work, Crookham Wharf Dragon Teeth Rescue, BCA Patrol Boat back in service, John Pinkerton, A busy day on the canal, Events, Woking Canal Festival 6/7th August 2016, Odiham Castle or King John’s Castle?, Lookback, Home rule for Hampshire?, Xmas trips from Odiham, New signs, Story Trails, River Wey Festival, Canal Guide revised and reissued and Blown sill repairs at Ash Lock.

Aug 302015

This year’s illustrated talks for the 2015/16 winter season are listed below. Please come along to hear presentations about a variety of subjects from interesting and entertaining speakers in the company of fellow enthusiasts. For details of the venue and more about the Canal Society social meetings, please click here.

Wednesday 21st October 2015 – 8pm

Graham Lewington – ‘History and Restoration of the Wey and Arun Canal’

Graham, from the Wey and Arun Canal Trust, will describe the history and bring us up to date with all the latest restoration work that has taken place over the last few years. The amount of fundraising has been incredible and has enabled major projects to be undertaken to one of the most historic of southern waterways.

Wednesday 18th November 2015 – 8pm

Roger Squires – ‘Leonardo’s Canals – Waterways of Milan and the Papia Region’

Roger will be returning to give us a talk about the city of Milan which was one of the leaders of early canal building in Europe. Canals covered include the Naviglio Grande, Pavia Canal, Bereguardo Canal, Martesena Canal and the Padermo Canal which was the final link in the network constructed to overcome the rapids on the River Adda, and to offer a through route from Lake Como to Milan.Most of us have probably never heard of these canals in Italy which date from 1177 through to 1485.

1020Wednesday 16th December 2015 – 8pm

Ron & Myra Glover – ‘Trail Boat Festivals on Isolated Waterways around Britain’

As a change from Ron and Myra’s talks from around Europe, this presentation details the trailing of craft around Britain since the mid-1970s and attending festivals that are held on land-locked waterways which narrow boats are unable to reach, Starting at the first IWA trail boat rally in 1985 held at Pewsey on the Kennet and Avon Canal to the most recent festival at Tiverton on the Grand Western Canal in Devon.

Wednesday 20th January 2016 – 8pm

Nick Pollard – ‘The History of Heathrow Airport’

Nick will take us back to the beginnings of Heathrow after the  Second World War and bring us up to date with all the developments over the years.

Wednesday  17th February 2016 – 8pm

Nick Grundy –  ‘Barging on North East Waterways’

Nick will be making a return visit to us this time to tell us about the waterways of North East England from his time at university here in the mid-1970s when he spent much time exploring and photographing the waterways of the area. In the late 1970s Nick did a number of trips as crew on a 300 ton commercial barge carrying cargoes on the Humber, Trent, Yorkshire Ouse, and the Aire and Calder Navigation.

Wednesday 16th March 2016 – 8pm

Ian McKechnie – ‘Coals to Croxley (and beyond)’

When Ian was a student at Birmingham in the 1960s,he and a group of colleagues bought a redundant wooden coal boat from a coal yard compulsorily purchased to take one of the supports for the ‘Spagetti Junction’ motorway interchange.Later they bought a derelict ex-GUCC and Willow Wren Large Northwich motor,and,after fitting it out,decided to bring it south to the London area.After loading with coal in conjunction with the Ashby Canal Society they delivered the coal to John Dickinson’s famous paper mill at Croxley