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


Press Releases  Back
January 2013


ENTHUSIASTIC volunteers have been rewarded with a prestigious prize for the second year in a row.
The Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust has just received the Tony Davy Award.

The engraved crystal – named after the charity’s first chairman - is given to the branch with the highest number of hours donated by volunteers over the previous year.

Local supporters provided almost 6,200 hours to help with dredging the canal, raising and widening the towpath, and restoring bridges, wharfs and other historic structures.

Branch chairman Derek Flexer, pictured, said: “We were thrilled when we won the award when it was first introduced last year, so we’re delighted that we managed to retain it this year as well.

“It’s a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers who are committed to bringing this waterway back to life.

“The award also shows the strength of local support for the restoration project, with so many people donating so many hours of their own time.

“Last year they took part in dozens of workparties providing free labour worth around £90,000 if paid contractors had been used. It’s a huge achievement.”

The branch’s greatest success has been extending the restored and rewatered section in the open countryside between Melksham and Chippenham.

The stretch near Lacock is now almost two miles long and includes a towpath, bridge, culvert and spillweir, as well as information boards and benches.

Volunteers have also excavated the first of the flight of locks which once lifted the canal on its journey northwards.

Elsewhere, teams have been busy clearing the former line of the canal in land just to the north of Melksham and improving public access around Chaveywell Bridge in Calne.

For more information about the local Branch of the Trust you can visit their Web site

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