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For 2023 (and 2024 ...) - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
The future of canal management and charities - Kennet and Avon Canal bias

The Canal network in this country - or most of it - came into Government ownership several generations ago. In those days, the canals were used for the carriage of goods, but were something of a failling industry; whilst a necessary part of the nation's infrastructure, they were a financial burden to their owners - mostly the railway companies - who were themselves in quite deep water after the ravages of the second world war. So government ownership was probably the correct, logical, best thing for them.

Today, many canals carry more boats in a weekend that they did in a whole year when they were nationalised. But that traffic's not the heavy goods traffic of 60 years ago - it's the leisure and tourist traffic that brings people to the countryside. Is it correct and logical for the canals still to be in the ownership of the government, and run by a quango / controlled body, in the form of the British Waterways Board? This is a question that has exercised the current government, and they have decided to place the waterway network and its operation into the volunray sector. There is currently a consultation exercise going on - closing date 30th June 2011 - papers at http://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2011/03/30/waterways-1103/. The consultation summary states:

"This consultation seeks views on how, in future, the inland waterways in England & Wales that are currently managed on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will be run. It sets out the rationale for moving these waterways out of the public sector and into a new civil society organisation, and the principles which will guide the Government in deciding on the way forward.

The creation of a New Waterways Charity (NWC) will give waterways users, and their local communities, a greater involvement in how the waterways are managed. The proposal will also help the waterways to be more financially sustainable, as the new charity will have access to new sources of commercial and private income, and fundraising, including legacies and donations. It will create the opportunity to grow a strong base of volunteers who can help maintain a range of waterways assets, through their knowledge, expertise, passion and commitment.

Now - I've been an ordinary member of the Inland WaterWays Association and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust for many years - they're both charities themselves, and both have done impressive work. Without the IWA, waterway holidays would probably never have come about and we would cetrainly not have the rich network that still exists and is heavily used. And without the K&A Trust, the canal that passes near Melksham on its way from Bristol to London via Bath and Reading would have seen its last boat in 1950. But organisations such as these - and there are many more around the country - are placed in something of a dilemma. If the Waterways operation becomes a charity, it will cause confusion as to which charity does what, and their newsletters already speak of them finding competition for funding from sources which previously weren't tapped by the Waterways Boad, but could be tapped by a new charity set up by the government.

What should organisations like the K&A Trust do? Should they roll themselves into the new charity? Should they carry on as they are? Should they restrict themselves in future to the things that the new charity clearly won't do, such as running trip boats, and leave things like helping with restoration and maintainaince and improving signage and footpaths to the new goverment-endorsed charity? They would like your views if you're a member - see http://www.katrust.co.uk/index.html with a link to the survey [here] ... and there are meetings on 12th, 16th and 17th to explain and discuss the options too if you would like to learn more.

(written 2011-05-08)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z521 - Navigable waterways - Canals, Rivers and Sea
  [598] Should we cruise around the world? - (2006-02-09)
  [708] Linescapes of Mull - (2006-05-03)
  [776] Naming Rooms - (2006-06-24)
  [793] The Wilts and Berks Canal - (2006-07-05)
  [820] Robert and William Whitworth - (2006-08-01)
  [1657] Farewell, Newcastle to Stavanger, Haugsund and Bergen - (2008-05-29)
  [1986] Walk to Bowerhill - (2009-01-10)
  [2588] Freddies Wood and the K and A Canal - (2010-01-17)
  [2730] Bird Watching on the Melksham Avon - (2010-04-18)
  [2796] Sunday - waiting for the ferry. - (2010-06-06)
  [2807] Canal through Melksham - the options and issues - (2010-06-13)
  [2950] Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, turns first sod in Melksham Link Canal - (2010-09-09)
  [3023] Autumn walk from Bowerhill - (2010-10-31)
  [3157] A new monopoly on the ferry to Northern Ireland - (2011-02-04)
  [3183] Redevelopment on the banks of the Avon in Melksham - (2011-02-25)
  [3266] Easter on the Canal - near Melksham, Wiltshire - (2011-04-26)
  [3345] Cruising - (2011-07-04)
  [3482] Taking a boat down Caen Hill Locks - (2011-10-15)
  [3483] Canals, watererways in the Melksham area - (2011-10-16)
  [3815] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 2, TransWilts Rail, Wilts and Berks Canal - (2012-07-23)
  [3998] Travelogue - from the Netherlands to London via Hook and Harwich - (2013-02-07)
  [4472] Rosslare to Fishguard - foot passenger on the ferry - (2015-04-24)
  [4577] An update - Melksham Link Canal and river - (2015-11-14)

Z301 - Current Affairs
  [33] 10 Years of experience - (2004-08-30)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [614] News in Ireland - (2006-02-20)
  [1214] New Serieses for the summer on TV - (2007-06-02)
  [1275] Incident in Melksham - (2007-07-24)
  [1960] Christmas Survivors - (2008-12-25)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [2112] Whatever next ... the joys of being an employer - (2009-04-01)
  [2128] Wiltshire - where everybody matters - (2009-04-13)
  [2289] pre-Inaugural briefing - Melksham Community Area Partnership - (2009-07-15)
  [2508] Community Area Partnership - inaugural AGM - (2009-11-20)
  [2514] The road show has been - where now? - (2009-11-27)
  [2574] Summary of Wiltshire Core Strategy responses - (2010-01-13)
  [2602] East of Melksham - Building Work Starts - (2010-01-28)
  [2666] Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08)
  [2776] Regional Spatial Strategy and the next 20 years - Whence Wiltshire under the new government? - (2010-05-22)
  [2852] Atworth Village Fete - on the Melksham Community Area Partnership stand - (2010-07-04)
  [2904] Melksham Area Board meeting of last week - (2010-08-04)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2995] A river in Melksham is not just for boaters. - (2010-10-11)
  [3028] VAT rise in January - it is really up 14% not just 2.5% - (2010-11-03)
  [3030] Liquorice allsorts and Dolly Mixtures - (2010-11-05)
  [3126] Car Parking in Melksham - thoughts on the proposed scheme, and wider thoughts too - (2011-01-09)
  [3228] What can you take on a public footpath? Pram? Wheelbarrow? Dog? Shopping Trolley? Horse? Cycle? - (2011-04-03)
  [3231] Footpath, Bridleway, Byway, Road used as Public Path - (2011-04-04)
  [3265] Alternative Vote (AV) - cutting the crap - (2011-04-25)
  [3347] The Anthony trial - Orange County, Florida. Thoughts on conclusion - (2011-07-06)
  [3357] Business, priorities, and volunteering - (2011-07-14)
  [3385] Do university courses teach the right things for life at work later on? - (2011-08-10)
  [3467] Charities v Charitable. The cost of collecting your donation. - (2011-10-06)
  [3646] Exploring Melksham with a film maker - (2012-03-09)
  [3720] Melksham ATC - freedom of the town - (2012-05-05)
  [4429] Wind Turbines - beauty or menace? - (2015-02-17)
  [4599] Happy Christmas - and a Christmas thought - (2015-12-24)
  [4637] People matter - but there is a tradeoff between different people in there - (2016-02-01)
  [4691] Real life PHP application using our course training MVC example - (2016-06-05)

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Should we cover expect and/or Tk on our public Tcl courses?
Extracting data from a string / line from file - Tcl
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The juggler
The future of canal management and charities - Kennet and Avon Canal bias
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Passing parameters to Python functions - the options you have
Letter to The Editor
Do I need to initialise variables - programming in C, C++, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby or Java.
Between a rock and a hard place.
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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