Canal Regeneration Project
Whilst the project has received its grant of £3.8
million, work continues to ensure that the contracts for works to be
reflect what needs to be done. This is a protracted and complicated process
and has resulted in a delay in the physical work commencing. However,
it is now known that ground works for the Lower Wharf and overspill car
park will commence on 23 April. The contract has been awarded to Cormac
who will set up their base on the Barkhouse Green after Easter. They
have a 33 week programme of work.
The Workshop Contract has been revised to allow for changes in the funding
levels. This has caused the need for fresh planning consent which entails
some delay. The work on this aspect has been taken over by NCDC to relieve
the pressure on the Project Manager, Ian Mander.
The lock works have proved complicated due to the lack of information
about their construction and degating. Following consultation with contractors
and geotechnical specialists it now seems likely that the contract for
the locks will include some of the dredging work as a practical measure.
This may be better value than two contracts and will include the long
term use of land at Whalesborough for the disposal of dredgings.
The abstraction licence of 50% to canal and 50% to River Strat is in
force and measuring systems are being installed on the Whalesborough
Weir culvert at the exit and also on the overflow at Bude. These should
be balanced to comply with the licence.
The AGM of the Bude Canal Regeneration Project is from 11.30am to 2.30pm
on 21 April 07 at the Ivor Potter Hall, Parkhouse Centre, Bude. All are
At the AGM the Treasurer reported that the balances in the Society's
accounts at 31.12. 2006 were as follows:
Account 1 .....................£1,885.08
Account 2...................... £ 427.39
Account 3.................... £2,244.89
Account 4...................... £ 669.36
Account 5........................ £184.57
All the accounts were stable and served the Society well in its aims. A good
year of fundraising and the continued support of the members ensured that the
Society could plan its activities.
As at 24.2.07 the membership details were as follows:
Total membership incl. life members 139
Total number of members incl. life members 152
Total life members 21
This reflects an increase of 11 memberships including another life membership.
The Treasurer concluded by thanking Betty Moore, Mike Moore and fellow Trustees
and members who help in the running of events and the administration of the Society.
He also thanked John Harris for inspecting the Society's annual accounts.
had no new members since the last edition of The Tub Boat.
for All" Report
The Treasurer reported on the Archive Project funded by 'Awards for
All' and Bude Stratton Town Council.
The objects of the project were achieved and the grant monies were spent
as required. 'Awards for All' have agreed that the project has been satisfactorily
As a result of the project the Bude Canal 1904 maps have been redrawn
by computer and with the accompanying notes are more readily available
for the public to access. The Society has acquired a gazebo, table and
a quantity of archive photos and material to start the archive. The Bude
Canal map 1904 will be uploaded on to our web site in the near future
and is in PDF format to allow closer inspection.
Additionally, the Trustees have agreed to keep the Archive account open
to fund future development of BCHS's archive. To that end BCHS are working
on an application for further funding from 'Awards for All' to acquire
some, if not all, of these items in digital form to use for display and
archive purposes. To aid this the Trustees have agreed that for two years
Account 5 will have £100 plus the Gift Aid Tax refund which equates
to about £300 for each year.
BCHS are grateful for the grants from 'Awards for All' and Bude Stratton
Town Council in 2006. Also for the diligence and empathy in converting
early 20th century technology into early 21st century technology and
producing a superb copy of the Bude Canal 1904 map, an important document.
to Tavistock Canal and Cann Quarry Canal
On Saturday 19 May 2007 the Society is planning a
visit to the two above-named canals.
If you are interested meet at the Wharf Car Park, Tavistock at 10 am.,
leaving to walk the canal at 10.15am and returning to Tavistock for lunch
After lunch we drive to visit the Cann Quarry Canal which is adjacent
to the River Plym on the outskirts of Plymouth, leaving at about 2pm
for the half to three quarter hour trip. There is a charge of £2.50
per adult which includes leaflets about the two canals and directions
to locate the proper car park for the Cann Quarry canal. These will be
distributed at Tavistock on payment of the £2.50.
Both canals are quite short but bear witness to our forebears' ingenuity
in the use of water to further industrial activity. The adjacent scenery
is a bonus for any explorer.
I hope to see you there.
in the Canal Embankment near the Sea Lock
Following expressions of
concern about the stability of this structure by the Society and West
Country Branch of IWA, further detailed land radar surveys have been
carried out by a specialist geotechnical company. The survey scanned
the structure to depths of 1 metre and in some parts to 3 metres to
determine the location of voids if any exist and also the composition
of the interior of this embankment. The survey readings are being interpreted
and a report prepared for NCDC. This should be done by Easter 2007.
During WW2, having been bombed
out three times in Croydon, I was an evacuee schoolboy with my brother,
Bernard, living beside the the Bude Canal in West Cottage, Breakwater
Road, with Montague Bere, the Vicar of St Michael's Church and father
of Rennie Bere. Together with other school friends, like Ralph Welch,
whose family had moved from heavily bombed Plymouth, the canal became
one of our favourite playgrounds. We would make our own canoes from
willow branches and scraps of tarpaulin and when blessed with a florin
(two shillings = 10p) pocket money would row one of Bruce's skiffs
to Rodd's bridge and back.
Our greatest pleasures came from rambles along the towpath and fishing
the canal wharf below the warehouses upstream of Falcon Bridge. We would
catch roach, rudd and tench using dough for bait and the rare trout on
worms at Helebridge. We would always keep a brace of trout (about half
a pound each) to take home for "the pan". At this time food
was rationed and there was no fish to buy so the occasional trout supper
was a great treat.
During 2006 I was on my yearly pilgrimage to Bude, my favourite place
on earth, and strolling along the towpath a spate of memories of a bygone
era came flooding in, particularly since my lifelong friend, Ralph Welch,
had recently died. Thinking of him brought back so many memories of adventures
along the canal, memories which recalled palmy days but tinged with sadness
at the loss of Ralph, a true and worthy citizen of Bude, to whose memory
I dedicate this reflection.
Roy Elsey, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex
Green's Canal Lifts
Denis Dodd has produced the accompanying sketches illustrating
the working of James Green's lifts on the Grand Western Canal. These
lifts were developed by the versatile engineer from a principle proposed
by Doctor Anderson about 1796.
The boats floated in water in one of two caissons working on a balance
system in which a small quantity of water was added to the descending
caisson sufficient to overcome gravity and friction causing the caissons
to start moving.. The diagram shows the first lift to be completed on
the canal at Taunton. The water below the caisson at the bottom of the
lift had to be drained away otherwise the caisson would float on it and
the lock gates could not be opened.
Taunton there was difficulty in draining this water. Green overcame
this by extending the opening at
the bottom into a lock longer than the boat. The gate at the foot of
the shaft would be lifted and the boat moved out into this lock, the
gate at the foot of the shaft closed, the water drained out and the
outer gate opened to allow the boat to move away and continue along
There were gates at the end of each caisson and the ends of the canal
which were lifted vertically to allow the boat to move into and out
of the canal and the caissons.
I am indebted to Denis Dodds and the Editor of the Rolle Canal Society's
Newsletter for permission to precis this article. Ed.
was a good attendance at the AGM on Sunday afternoon to hear the Chairman,
Audrey Wheatley, welcome members and visitors and outline the events
of the year and to thank the members of the Committee for their unstinting
work during the past year. She recorded the celebration of the agreement
to fund the regeneration of the canal, though no actual work has yet
been started despite the announcement that it would begin in February.
The Secretary, Bryan Dudley Stamp, recorded our attendance at various events
during the year and the Treasurer, Chris Jewell, presented the accounts for the
past year showing a good balance. The accounts were approved unanimously.
After refreshments Adrian Wills presented a very interesting illustrated account
of the Annery Tidal Lock and the Rolle Canal which was much enjoyed.
Just a year ago I reported that Devon County council had installed a
'People Counter' at the Lake end of the footpath. Recently I read
a report that some 2000 counts were recorded between April and September
2006. I wonder what this proves. I pass along the path twice a day,
and sometimes there are two of us. This would account for some 400
passes. I know that two of my neighbours also traverse the path at
almost the same rate. So, this would mean out of the 2000 counts
some 1500 would be very local people! Again, I would ask what is
the purpose of this counter?
This is the second year I have observed very little frogspawn. In fact
there were very few frogs around last summer. I wonder if this is a general
A new feature has been erected at the Wharf in the guise of a picnic
table. It is constructed from two iron arched bridge pieces put together
to form a table. This is the project of one of the 'reluctant volunteers'
carrying out work on the canal. It does illustrate the size of the canal
and puts on show some of the few remaining artefacts.
Our peafowl are still surviving the road traffic and the foxes. There
are eleven free range now, although only one boy has got his mature feathers
but the others do provide a colourful backdrop when all are sitting on
the wall and gate, much to the delight of visitors.
On an amusing note; we have just bought a Mini Oven for our holiday flat
and I couldn't help noting how humorous translations can be. For example;
under Important Safeguards the first two items are:-
'1.The Mini Oven must only be used by or under the supervision of a responsible
2.Don't put the Mini Oven in liquid; don't use it in a bathroom, near
water, or outdoors.
There are no less than seventeen of these safeguards but it also says
'before using for the first time you must burn the protective coatings
off the elements. This generates fumes so if you suffer from any breathing
problems, get someone else to do it! If you don't suffer from breathing
problems it's still a good idea to get someone else to do the dirty jobs'.
to Falmouth & Boat Trip to Truro
The Society has planned a coach trip to Falmouth including
a boat trip on the river Fal to Truro to meet the coach to return to
Bude. There will be time for lunch in Falmouth and ample time to explore
the port with its distinctive waterside character, shops, restaurants,
pubs and, of course, the National Maritime Museum.
At 4.45pm we will board the boat at the Prince of Wales Pier to travel
up the River Fal to Truro taking in views of the large ocean-going ships
laid-up in the river, heavily-wooded banks alive with waterside wildlife,
the village of Malpas, King Harry Ferry and, finally, views of the cathedral
as we approach the Town Quay at Truro.
The combined fares are: Adult £14.50, children (under 14) £7.25.
If you are interested please complete the enclosed booking form and return
with your payment by 16 June. Please make cheques payable to "Bude
Canal & Harbour Society". The coach will leave the Crescent
car park, Bude at 10.00am and return to Bude at approximately 7.45 pm.
This is sure to be a very popular trip so book early to avoid disappointment
and bring a few friends to enjoy the river too and to have a super full
Cross Bun Walk 14th April 2007
Following several requests we have decided to repeat the successful walk to
Helebridge on the 14 April 07 along the Planekeepers' Path which was opened
last year by North Cornwall District Council as part of the Interreg Project.
We shall meet at 11 am at Hobbacott lay-by between Stratton and Red Post
just past Brooks Garden Centre on the right-had side going out of Bude.
We will then make our way down the inclined plane and walk to Marhamchurch
to the Barge Workshop where there will be the traditional hot cross buns,
tea and coffee.
Betty Moore Events Secretary.
As for the last few years, BCHS will be doing guided walks
of the canal from the sea lock to Helebridge on behalf of North Cornwall
Coast and Countryside.
All walks are from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm. The schedule for 2007 is:
Sunday ....... June 24
Sunday....... July 8
Sunday ..... July 22
Sunday ....... Aug 5
Sunday .......Aug 19
Sunday ........Sept 2
Sunday ...... Sept16
Sunday ....... Sept 30
This year's schedule is an improvement on previous years in that the walks are
every two weeks thus giving more more people an opportunity to learn
see the canal.
The Society will again man the Barge Workshop, Helebridge, nr Marhamchurch
for Bude Stratton Town Council on Sunday afternoons between 2pm & 5pm
from 3 June to 30 September 2007.
Brief Account of Bude and its Neighbourhood" circa 1880
Follow some extracts
from this aged but well-preserved pamphlet:
This delightful and fashionable little village is situated on the North
Coast of Cornwall, in the parish of Stratton, and in the summer season
is much frequented for the purpose of sea-bathing, and is easy of access
by the establishment of a mail coach from Exeter, through Crediton, North
Tawton, Hatherleigh, Holsworthy, and Stratton.
As a sea-port it is not of great note, being only used for the home trade
of groceries, &c., from Bristol, and coals and lime-stone from Wales.
Its canal was made for the inland conveyance of sea-sand for manure,
coals and merchandise; but is now, however, seldom used for the latter.
Stratton is in the deanery of Trigg Major, and in the hundred to which
this place imparts its name. This circumstance denotes its great antiquity.
Dr Borlase thinks this town to be of Roman origin. It is 223 miles from
London, and 18 from Launceston. Its market days are Tuesdays and Saturdays.
During the civil wars, a great victory was obtained at this place by
the King's forces; in consideration of which, Sir Ralph Hopton was, in
1643, created Lord Hopton of Stratton - the title became extinct in 1773.
In 1797, Lord de Dunstanville was created Baron Basset of Stratton. The
Church contains several ancient memorials, one of which, with the effigy
of a Knight in armour, is supposed to be intended for Ralph de Blanchminster,
who was Lord of the Manor at a very early period.
The salubrity of climate, romantic rocky scenery, and walks around Bude,
are very delightful. Horses and flys can be easily procured, to gratify
visitors in exploring the neighbouring localities, of which there are
many very beautiful, and much used for pic-nics, &c.
was published by "Coumbe, Stratton" but no author
Bill Young has reprinted his book 'Walking the Bude
Canal' with some additions eg the Planekeeper's Path & Hobbacott Down. The book will be available
from our stall at future events for £3.99.
'RAF Cleave' has also been reprinted at £4.99 from Thorn's Bookshop,
Town Museum, & TIC.; or from Bill at £4.00.
The picture above illustrates a frequent occurrence in holiday times viz the
populace lending their weight to the lock beams. Until a year or so ago
the lock was seldom used due to the prohibitive operation cost largely
due to the wages of a regular crew to operate the lock. Your committee
and the boatmen suggested that a regular crew of unpaid volunteers be used
when the lock is required,
NCDC agreed and the cost of using the lock has been considerably reduced. In
consequence the lock is now being used more frequently, the lock workers augmented
by holiday crowds at times like this.
finally ... Notice seen at Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake
and the earth construction dam were completed in 1805 by the Bude Canal
Society using former soldiers who had recently returned from the Napoleonic
Boat issue 40 will be available in July 2007
for the next edition should be sent to The Editor, Tregea, Lower
Bude Cornwall EX23 0LS 29th June 2007