The Melksham, Calne and Chippenham Branch
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 Wilts & Berks Canal Trust



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Melksham, Calne & Chippenham Branch

Annual Report of Work Party Activity

Year Ending June 2016

General Situation

Looking back over the year I feel that we have had a very successful one. We have had great support from our volunteers and have worked in excess of 4100 hrs which gave us match funding in excess of £66,789. Thanks to you all for the support you have given. I will cover some of the work that we have been able to do.

Starting at the Naish Hill section, there was the small culvert leak. We removed the old brick culvert and put in a new twin wall plastic pipe (donated by Waven Plastic).

Moving north to the wet section/Wessex Water bund. A major dredging operation, we dredged from the Wessex  Water bund down to Windy Hole. Many tons of soil etc. were removed and most of this we were able to put on the east side of the canal. We were then in a position to reinstate the farmer’s fencing. We are now able to run our boat from the waiting wharf down to the wet section. We were also able to raise a section of the towpath using some of the dredging’s.

We were in a very fortunate position to be given many tons of hard core. We used this to fill in the 2 deep ravines, giving support to the tow path (Hard core donated by the Glenn family)
Still going north, we have the problem with the silt coming in at Triangle Wood inlet. I think this is something we will have to live with until we can find a way of stopping it.

Next is the Cocklemore Brook culvert, which carried on from last year. Well what a task we had set ourselves! a 30yd culvert which needed rebuilding. Anyway as you know, we completed this in July, then we had the job of rebuilding that section of the canal again. Once that was done it was so nice to see water flowing over the weir again.

Boswell next in line, Richard and his team are doing a great job on the paint work which I think he hopes to have completed by mid-June. They have been able to utilise Boswell when pulling reeds up. It was great to see it being used.

Top Lock: as you know you it’s been a long wait to get the go ahead, which we now have, and work has already started on the rebuilding of the southern wing walls. We have 100ft of scaffolding in place (labour donated by Chippenham Scaffolding). With the help from the Chippenham Area Board we were able to purchase the scaffolding,  2 Ladders and Harris Safety Fencing .

A4 North/South – Work is on schedule in line with the ecologic report and section will be cleared for phase two by March 2017. Decisions at the time on what further work to be done within the 5 year lease period.

Finally, I would like to thank my deputy WPO’s Basil Raddy, Dave Maloney, Keith Vickery & Richard Evans


Ray Canter

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