The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust was praised in the Living
Waterways Awards 2015 in London.
charity was commended by the Canal & River Trust in the
Education & Learning category for a series of events based
around Pewsham Locks.
Organised by the Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch, it
included two Heritage Open Days in June of last year when
the site was brought back to life with period costumes and
Supported by Chippenham Museum & Heritage Centre and a
£7,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund through the
Sharing Heritage scheme, the Open Days attracted hundreds of
& Berks Canal Trust event organiser Val Melville said: “We
are delighted to have achieved national recognition for such
an ambitious and successful project.
Open Days were unforgettable, especially the sight of more
than a hundred children in Victorian costume enjoying
hammering, sawing and painting, and listening to the stories
of the people who once worked along this stretch of the
event showed the local community what an exciting industrial
heritage we have right on our own doorstep, as well as
sharing our plans for its future restoration.”
charity has already restored hundreds of metres of the
waterway between Pewsham and Reybridge, including a wharf,
spillweir and bridge, together with a towpath which is very
popular with walkers and runners.
Information boards and benches have also been installed, and
local youth groups have been involved with tree-planting and
the installation of birdboxes and batboxes.
next stage will be the restoration of the locks themselves,
which once lifted canalboats almost 29 feet on their journey
between Melksham and Chippenham.
added: “This was our first major heritage event but we will
continue to involve the local community in our plans to
breathe new life into this amazing amenity.
hope this latest recognition of our achievements will
encourage even more people to join our campaign.”
aim of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is to restore the
waterway from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the
Thames & Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames
near Abingdon, with links to Chippenham, Calne, Royal
Wootton Bassett and Swindon.
Living Waterways Awards were presented at the Church House
Conference Centre in Westminster, with free travel provided
to the Trust volunteers by First Great Western.