DEDICATED volunteers have received special recognition
of their progress in restoring a former Wiltshire
Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Wilts & Berks
Canal Trust has been presented with the annual Tony Davy
engraved crystal – named after the charity’s first
chairman – is presented to the branch whose volunteers
donated the highest number of hours in the previous
Supporters provided 8,860 hours of their time with an
estimated value of £146,000 when applying for ‘matched
a massive leap from the 6,594 hours with an estimated
value of £95,365 the year before, and is the fifth year
in a row that the accolade has been presented to the
chairman Dave Maloney (pictured) said: “This award is a
marvellous tribute to all of our hardworking volunteers,
not only those involved in the physical restoration of
the canal but also those who help with our fundraising,
talks and other events.
also clearly demonstrates the increasing level of public
support for the charity’s campaign to bring this
wonderful waterway back to life.
of the hours are donated to our regular workparties
where people enjoy the outdoor activity and the
‘dirty boots’ volunteers include plumbers, electricians,
teachers, civil servants and students. Some want to get
involved in specific areas such as bricklaying or
vehicle maintenance while others simply enjoy cutting
we’d also love to welcome more ‘clean boots’ volunteers
who can help with big public events such as the Melksham
Food & River Festival and Chippenham Folk Festival, or
manning stalls and displays.”
last year’s volunteer activity was centred on the open
countryside between Melksham and Chippenham, where the
towpath has been improved and a culvert rebuilt.
the chambers at Pewsham Locks has been completely
cleared of debris for an investigation by engineers
prior to the next stage of restoration, and local youth
groups have been involved in planting trees and bushes
to repair hedgerows.
added: “Now is a great time to join the charity and get
involved in the next stage of the campaign.
our biggest tasks will be the restoration of the top of
the Pewsham Locks flight and the rebuilding of the
lock-keeper’s cottage, but we’ll also be continuing our
clearance along other parts of the line and
commissioning more environmental surveys.
are so many ways in which people can lend their support,
and every hour is always appreciated.”
further information on joining the local branch, email