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NEWSLETTER 24 March 2020

Stay safe, healthy, and canal-focussed


Dear <<First Name>>

First, I hope you and your family are all safe and healthy.
You have probably lost count of emails that organisations have sent telling you, ‘These are unprecedented and extraordinarily challenging times’. This is not one of them, so read on...
Exeter Ship Canal is still an ideal destination for your one-a-day exercise. Being alongside the water is a calming and refreshing experience. But while the towpaths remain open you are strongly urged to continue to observe all the social distancing measures. 

The following advice from the national Canal and River Trust on towpath etiquette for the present times applies to us also:
‘Please do not congregate, keep moving, allow space for others to pass, and be very mindful of any moored boats where people will often be self-isolating. Please act responsibly and be especially considerate of others.’
As the situation develops we will let you know if there is any further advice.
The Boat Owners Association is being revived. Two of its aims are to lobby Exeter City Council in the interests of boat owners who use the canal and basin and to encourage more boating services to come to Exeter. Boats are the heart of the canal and the Friends of the Canal and the boat owners share this view.
The future of Maclaines Warehouses at the Canal Basin remains in the balance. Exeter City Council still has to decide on the planning application to turn units 3 and 4 of the historic warehouses into offices, which the Friends have strongly opposed. We say the empty warehouses should be returned to uses connected with the waterway.
Canal Friends activities during the present emergency are mostly on hold. These include our plans for a visitor centre at Topsham Lock Cottage and our outdoor work parties that would have taken place at this time of year. But Guy continues to work – in safe social isolation – on the restoration of the boat that will be used by our work parties in the future. Our special thanks to him! 
Your Friends membership renewal is due on 1 April. Members who have not yet set up automatic renewal through direct debit or standing order will have a reminder letter. Thank you sincerely for your support over the past year. It has helped us carry on our work to breath new life into the canal by encouraging more boats and maintaining the waterway for everyone to enjoy. 
The start of a new membership year is also an ideal time to sign up new members. Please would you ask anyone you know who you think will be sympathetic? Richard Crisp is our membership secretary.

That’s it for this newsletter. I will try to keep you updated as things go on, and hope very much to see you on a canal work party or at a meeting before too long. 
In the meantime look after yourselves

With all best wishes

John Monks
Friends of Exeter Ship Canal
01392 493559

Photo below: Guy at work last year on our work boat restoration 

We are always keen to welcome new members who are supporters of the canal. If you know anyone who may be interested please feel free to forward this newsletter to them.

Membership is:
Individual – £8 a year
Family – £15 a year
Lifetime – £100

Corporate or business membership can also be arranged.
For all membership enquiries please contact Richard Crisp, membership secretary:
Copyright © 2020 Friends of Exeter Ship Canal, All rights reserved.

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