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

  Events and Planning Committee



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Making the most of the exciting times ahead for the
MCC Branch of the Wilts & Berks

What are we going to be doing?

Over the next few years the MCC Branch will be involved with an increasing number of projects and events in addition to the normal fundraising and work party initiatives. The main projects are as follows. :)

1.      The Melksham Link Project.
Planning permission has been submitted, by the Trust, this year to reinstate a link from the Kennet &Avon at Semington to Melksham. This link will allow all K&A traffic, including wide beam boats into Melksham along the river. This will be brand new strectch of canal built by contractors.
Stage Two, which is the main focus for the Branch, will be to restore canal from Forest Farm, Melksham to the Bell Inn, Lacock - "Destination Lacock"

2.      The Top Lock Project.
120,000 has been raised to restore Pewsham Top Lock and work has started (May 2016). This project is in conjunction with CRT
, Peoples Post Code Lottery and Help for Heroes. This project is a MCC Branch project and also includs the building of a lock keepers cottage to replace one that was demolished on the site. Fund rasing has started.

3.      Pewsham Locks Project
This incoporates the rest of the industrial heritage at Pewshamm. Middle & Bottom locks, Saw pit, Carpenters workshop, Dry dock and Lime kiln. Unfortunatley we were unsuccessful in our bid for funds from the Heritage Lottery. We will be looking soon at how we can raise funds for indivdual components of teh Pewsham Lock site.

In addition the Branch can be seen at various events in the county promoting the work of the Trust generally and more specifically the work of the MCC Branch.
A full list of these events can be found on the Branch web site under Events.
We also have a dedicated "Talks Officer" who will come to your local group and give an overview of the whole project and spcific details of the work going on between Melksham and Foxham (which are were our boundaries lie. Donations for such a talk woud be gratefully received.

4.      A4 - North
Although our branch focus is heading west to join link up with the Kennett and Avon Canal at Semmington we have been given the opportunity to work on land north of the A4 near Chippenham and we never say no :). A 3 year clearance plan following ecological and environmental guidelines will be completed by March 2018. As a result of this work we have been given the opportunity to work on two other sections in this area...clearly more volunteers are needed and we hope one stretch will be worked on in conjunction with our friends at Foxham and Lyneham branch. This work will be started probably in September 2018.

To support these activities there are a host of other events and initiatives that take place often in the background and we are indebted to our "clean boots" volunteers who carryout such work for us. .

1.      The Branch also needs to raise funds so that the work party can continue to maintain the restored sections of the canal.

2.      The Branch is continually promoting and publicising its activities which make it easier for the fundraising team to obtain grants.

3.      There are records to be kept to ensure that the Branch complies with its legal obligations and there are social events to organise (it would be very dull if it was all work and no play).


Planning for the future. 

The MCC Branch has over 600 members and is grateful for the support they provide. Whether that is in the form of paying the annual fee or being actively engaged with events and projects, your contribution is important. This year some of the more active members, for various reasons, have to reduce their work load with the Branch. So you guessed it, here comes the sales pitch!

 The Events and Planning committee have identified the need to increase the pool of members who are willing to actively support events. This need not be a regular commitment to attend meetings or work parties etc. (although you would be welcome) but just to help staff the publicity gazebo for a couple of hours at one of the many events this summer would be great. If you had 2hours once a month to join the Events and Planning committee (we currently have 3 vacancies) so that fresh ideas and initiatives can be introduced into the Branch, that would be a great help. Or maybe you could donate an item for the auction that is being planned for later this year (details later).

Whatever you feel you can do to support, your contribution would help to help the Branch achieve its many objectives. And, of course, hopefully you will enjoy yourself at the same time. 

If you want to know more or even put you name forward to help out in some way please contact, Dave Maloney, at or on
07809 374 754.

Just think 600 members giving just 2 hours a year would give the branch an additional 1200 hours per year of volunteer support (and matched funding). 

Thank you for taking time to read this.

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