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


Press Releases  Back
June 2013


Picture: ‘Escape to the Country’ presenter Alastair Appleton alongside the Wilts & Berks Canal flanked by Chris Coyle, Kath Hatton and the crew

HARDWORKING volunteers hope to share their achievements with a national audience after welcoming a popular TV series.

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust was invited to showcase the restoration of the waterway for an episode of ‘Escape to the Country’.

The BBC programme helps prospective buyers find their dream home in the country, but also features local attractions.

Television presenter Alastair Appleton spent a morning with members of the Trust’s Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch at Pewsham Locks, learning more about the charity’s campaign to bring the canal back to life and interviewing volunteers during a busy workparty.

He even helped to rebuild part of the wharf wall at the base of the locks.

Among those interviewed were Trust secretary Chris Coyle, vice-chair Kath Hatton and local branch chair Derek Flexer.

Chris - pictured with Alastair, Kath and the crew - said: “We are absolutely delighted that national programme-makers have heard about the canal and want to use it as an example of why someone might want to move here.

“It reflects the increasing interest in our waterways and how they’re an amazing asset for the local community and a popular attraction for visitors.

“We talked about the history of the Wilts & Berks Canal and the current restoration campaign, as well as the enormous economic and environmental benefits.

“We showed the remains of the flight of locks and the adjacent dry-dock, which we hope to restore as a heritage and education centre, and then the beautifully rebuilt section further to the south.

“It was a hugely enjoyable experience and we can hardly wait to see the finished programme – we hope it will lead to a flood of interest from across the UK.”

No date has been set for the broadcast but production company Boundless, part of FremantleMedia UK, hopes it will be this autumn.

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

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