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Melksham, Calne and Chippenham Branch
of the
 
Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

MCC Branch would like to thank Viridor,Community First, Hills Waste Management, Wavin Plastics, Canal and River Trust and Chippenham Area board for their invaluable support

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Last Updated 7th May 2018

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Branch meetings are held at 7.45pm on the first Tuesday in the month at the Rachel Fowler Centre, Market Place, Melksham SN12 6EX. 

Please note branch AGM will now be held on the 3rd July 2018.
June meeing will go ahead as normal.

I's a good time to consider entering the Raft Race at the Melksham Food and River Festival on Saturday 1st September 2018.  Click here for details.

What do we do ?

We work towards the restoration for navigation of the Wilts & Berks Canal which was abandoned in 1914 just prior to the outbreak of the First World War, through traffic having ended in 1901due to the collapse of Stanley Aqueduct.

The Canal ran from the Kennet and Avon Canal near Semington in Wiltshire to the River Thames at Abingdon via Melksham and Swindon. Branches were constructed to serve Chippenham and Calne. In addition the North Wilts Canal ran from Swindon to connect the Canal with the Thames and Severn Canal at Lechlade.

On the closure of the Canal the ownership of the land was lost and our work now is dependent on the kind permission of some 400 landowners across whose land the Wilts & Berks canal runs.

Our Branch covers that part of the canal line from Semington Junction at 51°20'53.9"N 2°08'47.1"W to the road just south of Lock Farm, Foxham at 51°29'40.1"N 2°01'38.4"W including the Branches to Calne and Chippenham.

A new strech of canal - the Semmington Link - is in for planning approval and will connect the K&A canal to the river Avon in Melksham. This will be a brannd new strach of the Wilts & Berks as the old line thorugh Melksham is not restorable due to the bulding that has taken place on the line.

We have Branch Meetings once a month and Work parties restoring the Canal on local sites at least twice a month at weekends and, often, on Tuesdays Wednesdays and Thusrdays. We also organise fund raising events.  Follow the What's On link.

In 2017, we hosted a group of military veterans as part of the Canal River Trust's "Heritage Heroes" project.  Videos of this are available on YouTube using this link or this one.

-oOo-

Branch Chairman's message

Our recent purchase of land at Queenfeild Farm and the progress being made with Wiltshire County Council, with regards to the transfer of WCC land where the canal line runs across it,is ensuring progression of the restotarion of the Wilts & Beks canal continues at a pace.

The purchase of land at Queenfield is particulaly important for our Destination Lacock project where we hope to open the tow path as a safe route for non drivers from Melksham to Lacock.

In other areas in our branch meetings with local landowners are proving very positive as they realise the difference we are making to our local communities and the environment as we progress the restoration of the line from Melksham through to Foxham. I hope to have news to share on new sites to work on in the coming few months.

As the longest canal restoration project in the UK we clearly need as many volunteers as we can get to help progress the restoration along the line in our area. If you are able to help either physically at work parties/ events or are able to help behind the scenes with fund raising or research please do get in touch - your help is vital to our progress.

If you are an MCC branch member and would like to receive our bi-monthly newsletter or monthly reports please email me for more details.

Dave Maloney
Branch Chair
dave.maloney@wbct.org.uk

 

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