FUNDRAISERS are promising that this year’s annual sponsored walk in aid
of a canal restoration project will be bigger and better than ever
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust has made major changes to the
popular event which follows the towpath from Chippenham to Lacock.
Supporters pass the excavated remains of locks and a dry-dock before
enjoying significant stretches which have been dredged and
refilled with water, and restored structures including a wharf and
This year’s event is due to take place on Bank Holiday Monday, May 5th, but with important new additions.
These include a short route for people in wheelchairs and mobility
scooters, a refreshments tent and toilets at the halfway stage – and
even a free minibus back to Chippenham if needed.
There will also be a treasure hunt for younger walkers.
The event is organised by the Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the charity.
Branch chairman Derek Flexer (pictured at Top Lock) said: “This is the
eleventh year that we have organised the sponsored walk but we want to
make it extra special as 2014 is the hundredth anniversary of the
“The five-mile route to Lacock remains the same, but we’ll also be
offering a three-mile route to the spillweir which avoids stiles and
has marshals at key stages to help with opening and closing gates. We
hope this will provide easier access for people in wheelchairs or
“The spillweir will be our main display area with teas, cakes and
merchandise for sale, as well as toilets available, and many of the
volunteers will be dressed as boaters from the late nineteenth century
to add to the fun.
“People will also be able to see one of our restoration workparties in
action before continuing on to The Bell Inn at Lacock, formerly a
“After lunch many people head back along the canal to Chippenham, or
they can return along a new circular route on the other side of the
River Avon, but we know that a free minibus will certainly be
appreciated by others!”
The sponsored walk begins at The Buttercross in Chippenham town centre at 10.30am.
Entry is £4 per individual or group, although sponsorship is not
obligatory in order to take part. Groups can even choose to split their
sponsorship money 50/50 between the Trust and other good causes.
There will also be a photographic competition looking for the best
images taken on the day of the walk, with cash prizes for the winning
under-18s and over-18s.
Call (01373) 859207 or email email@example.com
For more information about the local Branch of the Trust you can visit their Web site www.melkshamwaterway.org.uk