HARDWORKING volunteers have been rewarded with a prestigious prize for the fourth year in a row.
The Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Wilts & Berks
Canal Trust has been presented with the annual Tony Davy Award.
The engraved crystal – named after the charity’s first chairman – is
presented to the branch whose volunteers have donated the highest
number of hours in the previous year.
Local supporters provided an impressive 6,594 hours with an estimated value of £95,635 when applying for ‘matched funding’.
Their tasks ranged from workparties involved in the physical
restoration of the waterway to involvement with fundraising events and
Branch chairman Derek Flexer, pictured, said: “This award is a
tribute to the dedication and commitment of so many people who offer so
much of their own time on a regular basis, and we’re particularly
pleased to have added several hundred more hours compared to the year
“It demonstrates the increasing amount of activity taking place and the growing level of support from the local community.”
Volunteers have continued to restore the canal in the open countryside
between Melksham and Chippenham, maintaining the towpath and the
rewatered sections while clearing some of the lock chambers prior to
the next stage of reconstruction.
Workparties have also started a three-year phased plan to open the
towpath and clear vegetation on stretches of the canal either side of
the A4 near Pewsham, including replanting the hedgerows with help from
local groups, as well as clearing the area around Chaveywell Bridge in
Other volunteers have been busy organising quiz nights and raffles,
contributing to grant and planning applications, or arranging talks and
presentations to local organisations.
Derek added: “We’re fortunate to have so many opportunities for people
of all ages to get involved with our campaign, and we hope this latest
award will encourage even more interest in what we’re trying to achieve.
“Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and
make new friends, while making a lasting contribution to the
restoration of our local heritage.”
Anyone interesting in finding out more about the canal trust, or in volunteering, please visit the website www.melkshamwaterway.org.uk