Chippenham volunteer is about to be featured in a national campaign to
inspire more people to give up their time for good causes.
Dave Maloney was invited to share his experiences of working with the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.
The 59-year-old is a volunteer with the Melksham, Chippenham &
Calne branch of the charity which is restoring the former waterway
through the local countryside.
His blog is being used by Community Service Volunteers (CSV) in support
of their Make A Difference – Get Inspired campaign which runs
It will be featured next week when it can be viewed at www.csv.org.uk/difference
Dave, pictured centre with fellow Trust members at Pewsham
Locks, said: “I didn’t know much about the restoration of the
canal until I came across a group of volunteers working on the edge of
“I started talking to them and realised the waterway had been an
important trade route during the 19th century before being abandoned in
the early 20th century. However, many of the structures were still
visible and capable of being restored.
“This compared with my hometown of Middlesbrough which sadly lost most
of its industrial heritage with the closure and demolition of the
“The volunteers were trying to safeguard their own local history and this was what inspired me to join them.”
Dave added: “It’s completely different from my daytime job as an IT manager in a local comprehensive school.
“The range of activities has been immense – from fundraising and public speaking to bricklaying and tree-felling.
I’ve helped to restore boats, bridges and locks, built bird boxes and batboxes and I’ve even been a skipper.
“I’ve also been trained in new skills such as driving diggers and dumper trucks, operating chainsaws and managing volunteers.
“It’s been really rewarding to watch the changes from one year to the
next as we steadily see more and more of the canal being brought back
“We’ve dredged several hundred metres of canal and refilled it with
water. We’ve raised and widened the towpath, installed benches
and helped local youth groups to plant trees.
“It’s now become a haven for local wildlife and a popular spot for local walkers and cyclists.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to know that we’re leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.”
For more information about the local Branch of the Trust you can visit their Web site www.melkshamwaterway.org.uk