Who are we and what are we? How did we come into being?
In 1911, the last loaded working boat (The Gem) passed onto the Stroudwater Canal, then onwards to the Thames and Severn Canal. This was the through route from the River Severn and Stroud to the Thames. The 36 mile waterway was completed in the late 18th century but was abandoned in 1954. Fortunately for all who support the restoration of this once vital link, work is now progressing and the waterway once again has a bright future.
A century after that last commercial passage, the event was marked in 2011 , by a commemorative cruise undertaken by a number of narrowboats. Since the route Gem took is currently under restoration, the cruise to Inglesham had to be via one of the two routes currently available. Some took the northerly route via Stratford on Avon, some the southerly route via the Severn Estuary and Bristol.
The campaigning cruise was a great success for those involved and a suggestion was made to form a canal cruising club based on the Cotswolds. Thus was formed The Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club. In 2012, despite atrocious weather, an inaugural cruise was made to visit the Droitwich Canals. By the start of 2013 the roll call consisted of a number of members who, between them owned 14 narrowboats. The membership is not limited to those in the Cotswolds, our members come from far and wide, and from right across the country.
For 2013 an ambitious plan was hatched to consist of no less than three interlinking cruises. Part 1 was to the River Weaver in Cheshire. Part 2 was to attend the Inland Waterways Association Festival in Watford, and Part 3 was to cruise the Tidal Thames, visiting the Thames Barrier and then inbound via London’s Tideway to Teddington. An extension to this section was to cruise again onwards up the Thames to Inglesham. Back at Watford, 7 of the 14 boats managed to attend the IWA Festival and a competition was entered, the winners being those who attended the Festival with the highest number of boats as a percentage of the whole club’s membership.
In only the second year of our existence, The Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club won! We were duly presented with The Offley and Slack Propeller award.
When the Thames & Severn Canal is restored to through navigation, this may become a familiar sight:
Two club narrowboats, “Time Out” ( the blue one ) and “Cormorant 2” ( the green one ) pose in the entrance to the Thames and Severn Canal, having been carefully manoeuvred there to look as if they really had emerged from the canal. We all look forward to the day that this can be enjoyed for real.
The restoration work on the Stroudwater Canal is being conducted by the Cotswolds Canal Trust (www.cotswoldcanals.com) to which we, as a club, are affiliated. For more information, please visit the link above.
Our Club Constitution (Revised at the AGM 2015) is published in full below:
COTSWOLDS CANAL CRUISING CLUB CONSTITUTION
1. The name of the Club shall be the Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club (hereinafter referred to as The Club).
2. The aims of The Club shall be:
• To stimulate interest in and promote the restoration of the Cotswold Canals and other canal restoration schemes country wide.
• To provide assistance to other waterways users.
• To have at least one major cruise and one or two shorter cruises per year.
3. The Club shall be affiliated to:
[a] The Cotswold Canals Trust, which will administer the financial affairs of the Club.
[b] The Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs [AWCC] to which an annual subscription as set by the AWCC will be paid..
4. The activities of The Club shall be controlled by a committee consisting of: Commodore, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary and two other Committee members.
5. The primary means of communication of The Club will be via electronic means. Currently (2015) this is electronic mail (the circulation is limited to members of The Club) and The Club website. The use of both is to be described in a “New members welcome pack.” This pack is to be sent to the physical address registered with the membership secretary.
Use of Social Websites e.g. ‘Facebook’, ’Twitter’ etc. is not an official method for distribution or dissemination of club information.
6. In order to allow members who cannot attend the AGM to vote, alternative means will be made available.
7. Committee members shall be elected to serve for 1 year and shall be subject to election at the Annual General Meeting each year: .
In the event that no nominations for election to the committee are forthcoming for any of the club offices (Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary and 3 other members) then the current post holder, if they are agreeable, may be permitted to continue to serve in that post but not for any continuous period in excess of 3 years.
The post of Commodore is to be elected by the Committee at the first meeting following the AGM.
8. The first AGM shall be held within 6 months of the formation of The Club and subsequent AGMs not more than fifteen months after the holding of the preceding meeting.
9. The Committee shall determine the time and place of the Annual General Meeting. At least 30 days notice of the AGM must be given.
10. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional people from time to time who are able to render special services to The Club.
11. Only fully paid up members of The Club will be eligible to vote at the AGM.
12. Vacancies that occur between elections can be filled by the invitation of the remaining Committee members.
13. It shall be the duty of the Committee to manage The Club in accordance with the aims of The Club and this constitution.
14. A membership subscription of £5 per head per annum [6th April to 5th April ] shall be levied. This subscription can only be changed at an Annual General Meeting.
15. AWCC membership cards shall be issued to all members of the Club. The cards must be signed by the member and are not transferable to any others.
16. The Committee shall have the right to refuse membership to any individual.
17. Any resolution to amend the Constitution must be put before an Annual General Meeting. Any resolution for such a change must be received by the Secretary not less than 30 days before the date of the meeting. No resolution to amend the Constitution shall be carried unless those voting in favour are at least 2/3 of the total votes cast.
18. In the event of The Club being dissolved any net assets will be transferred to the Cotswold Canals Trust.
We all hope that you enjoy your visit to our website.