Canal Boat - - News -

To the many of us in­volved in canal restora­tion in the south, who cut our teeth as vol­un­teers on the Bas­ingstoke Canal in the 1970s and 1980s, it may come as a shock that the group that led the restora­tion is 50 years old. But sure enough, it was Au­gust 1966 when a let­ter from EJ Wool­gar ap­peared in lo­cal pa­pers draw­ing at­ten­tion to its plight and pro­posed a restora­tion so­ci­ety. The re­sult was the Sur­rey & Hants Canal So­ci­ety (the BCS’s orig­i­nal name), and this book­let charts its progress from ini­tial cam­paign­ing, through set­backs such as breaches, the start of vol­un­teer lock re­build­ing, the 600 vol­un­teers at the Deep­cut Dig, to the even­tual 1991 re­open­ing. That wasn’t the end: there have been is­sues with wa­ter sup­ply, dis­agree­ments with na­ture con­ser­va­tion­ists, and main­te­nance fund­ing – and the writer con­cludes that there will still be a role for the So­ci­ety, what­ever hap­pens.

The Bas­ingstoke Canal So­ci­ety 50 th An­niver­sary, Bas­ingstoke Canal So­ci­ety, bas­, £2

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