Martin Leech

Jun 282017
 

 

From June 2017, a new curry menu option will be available to parties who boat charter trips on the John Pinkerton II.

We are pleased that the Waterwitch pub in Odiham (opposite the Colt Hill Wharf) will be able to provide the following main course menu choices:

  • Chicken Tikka (Medium, non-gluten containing)
  • Chicken Shashlik (Mild)
  • Black Lentil Dahl (Mild, vegetarian, non-gluten containing)
  • Vegetable Jalfrezi (Medium, vegetarian)

which will be served with turmeric rice and poppadum, and one pot of mango chutney per table of 4.

The food will be ready to be delivered to the boat at the end of the Waterwitch garden shortly after departure, so there will be a slight delay while this takes place. For this reason, it will be more convenient if the charterer chooses a trip westwards to St John’s Castle (subject to water levels).

If you would like to try the curry option on your boat trip, we ask that you please arrange this direct with the Waterwitch. Please call Dean Oxborough (manager) on 01256 702778, or email him at 6256@greeneking.co.uk with your order.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Please place your food orders at least 7 days in advance of the boat trip.
  • We recommend that you limit your party size to around 35 people. With more passengers the boat becomes somewhat cramped with the tables required for the meals (including a serving area).
  • We also recommend that you keep a record of the list of menu choices and bring that with you.
May 192017
 

Kitty moored at Woking Town Wharf, from where trips will depart

Following its introduction to the Canal at the Woking Canal Festival last year, the Society’s second trip boat Kitty is gearing up to provide trips in Woking from the end of May.

Kitty was acquired by the Society last year with the intent of raising awareness of and interest in the Canal at its eastern end. Operating under the John Pinkerton Canal Cruises banner,  the boat accommodates up to 12 people, including up to 2 wheelchair users.

For more details about Kitty see the About Our Boats page.  For more information on when trips will take place and how to book, see the new Kitty website.

Do come along and support this new venture!

Dec 132016
 

The schedule of trips aboard the John Pinkerton II for next season has now been announced. Details can be found on the Public and Special Trips and Charter Cruises web pages, and a printed brochure will be available shortly. The popular special (aka themed) trips during 2016 are to be repeated in 2017.

Public and Special trips can be booked on-line using our secure booking system. Trips can be selected and paid for with a just few clicks of a mouse. Just click on the button below (which can be seen elsewhere on the website).

button-book-your-trip

In addition, you can now buy Public and Special Cruise Vouchers as gifts to others for them to use on the booking site above towards trips of their choosing. Ideal for Christmas, birthdays, and other special occasions. Find the voucher link at the bottom of the Public and Special trips web page.

Please Note: Charter trips will continue to be booked directly with our Booking Team, on 01256-765889 (10am-8pm). They will also help with public and special trips booking, and with the purchase and redemption of vouchers by those without access to on-line facilities.

New in 2017

Coming in 2017 will be the launching of our second trip boat operation in Woking aboard the Society’s recently acquired boat Kitty (left). The boat accommodates up to 12 passengers of which up to 2 can be wheel-chair users (the boat is fitted with a wheel-chair lift).

Look out for announcements when trips will start and how bookings can be made etc.

 

May 252016
 

This is a letter that is being sent out by the JP Booking Team to those individuals who have booked on the John Pinkerton Farnborough Air Show Special trips in July. It is also of relevance to anybody else who intends to book one of these trips. As the letter indicates, some changes to the arrangements for the trips have been made necessary, including an earlier start and later return. These changes are outside the control of John Pinkerton Canal Cruises and also the Basingstoke Canal Authority – Ed.

I am writing to you because you have booked seats on one of our special “Air Show” trips on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July.

You may be aware from items appearing in the news in recent weeks, that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are imposing additional safety precautions for future air shows, following the disaster at the Shoreham Air Show last year.     As a result, the Farnborough Air Show are being required to close off an area under the flight path from the end of the runway while the air displays are in progress;   this includes the Basingstoke Canal (and its towpath) between Norris Bridge and Eelmoor Bridge, as well as the roads round about.

We have had discussions with the Farnborough Air Show people to clarify exactly what is involved and we have been advised that the restrictions will be between 12 noon and 5:30 pm on the seven days of the Show from 11th – 17th July (inclusive).    The wharf where we normally moor the boat, including the area on the bank, for watching the Show is just outside the restricted area.

It is therefore clear that we shall need to get the John Pinkerton to the east of Eelmoor Bridge before the restriction starts and it will therefore be necessary for the two public trips on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th to leave Fleet considerably earlier than originally intended.

Accordingly, the public trips on those two days will leave the Fox and Hounds at Fleet at 9:30 am, instead of the 12 noon previously intended.  Also, because the boat will not be able to cross the restricted area in the evening until after 5.30, it will not arrive back at the Fox & Hounds until about 6:45 – 7:00pm.

When arriving for these trips, please do not leave your car in the Fox & Hounds car park, as this is required for their customers.   Park in one of the roads round about.

 

 

Dec 052015
 

Booking site thumbnail

The schedule of trips aboard the John Pinkerton for next season has now been announced. Details can be found on the Public and Special Trips and Charter Cruises web pages, and a printed brochure will be available shortly. The popular special (aka themed) trips this year are to be repeated in 2016.

For the first time, it will be possible to book Public and Special trips on-line (see right). Trips can be selected and paid for with a just few clicks of a mouse. Click on the button below (which can be seen elsewhere on the website) to see the system in action.

button-book-your-trip

We hope that booking in this way will be a straight-forward process, but please bear with us if there are teething problems as we get familiar with the booking package.

In addition, you can now buy Public and Special Cruise Vouchers as gifts to others for them to use on the booking site above towards trips of their choosing. Ideal for Christmas, birthdays, and other special occasions. Find the voucher link at the bottom of the Public and Special trips web page.

Please Note: Charter trips will continue to be booked directly with our Booking Team, on 01256-765889 (10am-8pm). They will also help with public and special trips booking, and with the purchase and redemption of vouchers by those without access to on-line facilities.

May 182015
 

MagnaCarta

The John Pinkerton will be providing public trips between Colt Hill Wharf in Odiham to King John’s Castle during the May Bank Holiday, as part of the 800th anniversary celebrations going on in Odiham. For details of trip times, see the Magna Carta events update page.

The Accessible Boating Association, also based at Colt Hill will also be providing trips (which can accommodate wheel-chair users) over the weekend. Again, see the Magna Carta events update page for details.

The Society will be holding a Boat Rally at Colt Hill Wharf on Sunday 24th May as their contribution to the Magna Carta celebrations. The rally will host visiting boats and there will be activities on the wharf including music, children’s entertainment, a heavy horse display, canoe demonstrations and Morris dancing. There will be canalia and other sales stalls available, with catering and a bar provided by Andwells Brewery.

Aug 052014
 
IMG_2819

JP1 is driven away by its new owner, after handover from the Society at the Mytchett Canal Centre

After 36 years on the Basingstoke Canal, the old John Pinkerton (which has come to be called “JP1” since the Society bought the new trip boat John Pinkerton II, in 2013), has finally been sold. It was handed over to its new owner in early August at the Mytchett Canal Centre, in the presence of many Society members who have had an association with the boat. A DVD full of photos of the boat taken over the years since it was purchased in 1977, some of which are reproduced below, was presented to the new owner as a gift.

115. Pinkerton. First trip. Montague. 1978

John Pinkerton on its first trip in 1978, with Lord Montagu of Beaulieu at the bow (left) with Robin Higgs, then Society chairman

The main motivation for the Society buying the John Pinkerton was to raise money for the restoration project. During its period of operation, nearly £¾ million pounds has been generated from public and charter trips run from various places along the Canal, all crewed by Society volunteers. An added benefit is that it served as an excellent ambassador for the Society in helping raise awareness of the Canal, with which our new boat will continue.

The first Canal trips started in 1978 (left), running from Odiham wharf to St John’s Castle. By early 1984, the whole of the Hampshire pound could be navigated, and the John Pinkerton reached Woking for the first time in the late 80’s.

The John Pinkerton figured prominently in the celebrations marking the re-opening of the entire canal in 1991, when the Duke of Kent was guest of honour (below left) at Frimley Lodge Park.

883. Pinkerton. Patrick Moore. Clive Durley. OU programme. 1983

Sir Patrick Moore took the helm in a visit to the Canal in 1983

693. Pinkerton. Re-opening ceremony. Sea Scouts piping Duke of Kent aboard. Frimley. 1991

The Duke of Kent being piped aboard at the 1991 celebrations marking the Canal reopening

988. Pinkerton. First boat through Lock 12, Brookwood. F Jones. J Reed, R Cansdale, G Hedger. 1988

The first boat through Lock 12 at Brookwood, with restoration project manager Frank Jones, in 1988

539. Pinkerton. Blackwater Valley aqueduct opening. 1995

At the opening of the Blackwater Valley aqueduct, a major engineering achievement, in 1995

However it appeared at other celebratory events leading up to that climax, as various sections of the Canal were successively restored and opened, and of course afterwards (see pictures below).

 

Throughout its venerable history on the Basingstoke Canal, the old John Pinkerton has been the symbol of the extraordinary voluntary efforts that have been invested in the waterway.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2815

New owner of the John Pinkerton Josh Kerry, centre with Mark Thurgood, at the handover ceremony.

SONY DSC

.. and the John Pinkerton finally leaves the Canal.

The new owner is Josh Kerry. Along with associate Michael Thurgood and friends, he took the boat on a trip to Fleet to familiarise himself with it, before taking it back down the Canal with a final destination of Hungerford (by water all the way, of course).

After some refitting over the winter, Josh (sometimes known by nickname Bert) plans to use the renamed boat as a mobile shop for bicycle sale and hire, having established there is no cycle shop in the town. He expects to start trading in the Summer of 2015.

We will keep in touch with Josh, and will follow the fortunes of the (former) John Pinkerton as it starts a new life.

Jul 142014
 
John Pinkerton

John Pinkerton

Arrangements have now been finalised for the planned public trips to the Farnborough Air Show on July 19th and 20th, and to our longer “Canal Enthusiasts” trips, to be held for the first time this year in late July.  To find out more, go to the Public Trips page Theme Cruises section,  where changes are indicated by an update-buttonicon).

Because of navigation restrictions imposed by the landslip at Dogmersfield, it has not been possible to bring down the Society’s new trip boat, the John Pinkerton II, to undertake our Farnborough Air Show trips and other commitments. We have been fortunate in that the purchaser of the old John Pinkerton (right) has agreed to allow us to use that boat for these Theme Cruises.  Therefore the Enthusiasts trips will provide BCS members in particular the opportunity to have one last nostalgic ride on the JP1 before it finally leaves the Basingstoke for a new life on the Kennet and Avon canal.

Please be aware of a late change to the Enthusiasts’ Cruise to Woking: trips will terminate at and depart from the Bridge Barn pub, not from outside the World Wildlife Fund building.

The trips are filling up. Get in contact with the Booking Manager,  David Horwood, on 01256 765889 (10am – 8pm), or via email at jpbookings@basingstoke-canal.org.uk to reserve your place.

 

Feb 142014
 

landslip Feb 2014 - 1Many of you will be aware of the landslip at Dogmersfield that took place last Spring, which temporarily closed the Canal. After a difficult period, the navigation was thankfully reopened for much of the 2013 cruising season (though the towpath has had to remain closed), and it has remained open – that is, until last Monday (10 February). Almost inevitably, as a result of the torrential rain, the ground on both sides of the water has moved again (reactivating an old slip on the offside, right, and distorting the protective fence, below right), with the result that trees now lay across the Canal and Narrowing of channelthe channel has been severely narrowed (left). Naturally, the navigation has had to be closed for safety reasons, not least because several trees still standing on the slopes are at risk of falling. The Society’s work to cut and remove logs from the area has also had to be curtailed until further notice.

When the navigation will be open again is currently unknown. Phil Allen, Hampshire County countryside manager (who only recently returned to work following an illness) issued the following response to a question about the status of the landslip from Jan Peile, of the Galleon Marine operation in Odiham:

landslip Feb 2014 - 2“Jon [Green, head ranger], myself, and one of our engineers visited the site on Monday. There are around 6 medium sized trees across the upstream section of the slip, which have fallen as a result of a significant movement and extension of the offside slip. Both slips have moved, and the navigation channel is very much smaller, and with a tighter radius at the curve. I doubt if the JP2 could get through.

The dredger is currently clearing fallen trees upstream, and staff will make their way towards the slip to clear the fallen trees there. When this is done, our engineers will need to take another view on what we do next.”

The renewed closure is very disappointing. The Society has been working on plans to take the John Pinkerton II to Woking to showcase it and the Canal in July. We also want to take the old JP to the dry-dock at Deepcut, so it can be prepared for sale, including obtaining a boat safety certificate (as we now have several people who are seriously interested in buying it). We are now discussing how best we can proceed with the JP1 sale, and how to meet our commitments providing trips during Farnborough Airshow week, and in Woking. The situation will also be bad news for Galleon Marine and also the Accessible Boating operation, who have a boat stranded on the wrong side of the slip.

Phil Allen adds, “We will do what we can to enable boats to pass to avoid stranding. We’ll be in a better position to judge once the trees are removed and we can test the navigation.”

As more information comes to hand, this page will be updated. The Society will of course do all it can to assist with returning the Canal to full navigation.

Top