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
The branch’s greatest success has been extending the restored and
rewatered section in the open countryside between Melksham and
The stretch near Lacock is now almost two miles long and includes a
towpath, bridge, culvert and spillweir, as well as information boards
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 www.melkshamwaterway.org.uk