Thursday, 31 October 2013

Kath's Halloween News

This is shaping up to be a fairly good week. Paul Lenaerts and I have just collected a cheque for £400 from Melksham Town Council which will go towards new interpretation boards by the river. Thank you Melksham for your support. Whilst there, a lady told me that the Melksham Brownie pack have chosen the Wilts & Berks as their charity for the year and are collecting their pennies for us. Apparently the Brownies chose it themselves.  I am going to find someone to do a short talk for them.
Donations are coming in steadily for the Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre Fund and the total received so far is now over £13,000. Tim & Lynne are continuing to work on the project and we are waiting to hear about a feasibility grant that has been applied for.
One of our partners, Swindon Borough Council, has offered £15,000 as a contribution towards the  piling and repair work that is being carried out at Westleaze and Rushey Platt.  This is very welcome support.  Also in Swindon,  a date has been set for the Canal Trust to take over responsibility for  the new Wichelstowe section and it looks as if there will be a group of volunteers amongst the new residents to help with the maintenance.
The winning tickets of the Land Fund draw were picked out at the AGM and I will shortly put a list on the website. Cheques will be going out to winners soon.  Profits from the draw will be over £4000.
We heard today that the bid to Viridor for funding for the slipway at Melksham has been processed and will be put before the Steering Committee on 20th November. Keep your fingers crossed!

Kath Hatton

Friday, 25 October 2013

Chris Coyles look back at the week

After all the effort of the AGM, this week has been about catching up, and trying to move things forward again.  And by the way, thanks to everyone who came and made the AGM successful.   You can see one or two extracts on the website, and I hope to put the draft Minutes up shortly.
The most urgent thing has been to try to keep the momentum going on the Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre.  Tim Pyatt and Lynne are working very hard on putting together the necessary plans, and other documentation.  The funding for this is very important, and some helpful suggestions were made at the AGM.  We are exploring a number of options, but in the meantime any donations would be very welcome.  I hope to come back to you all shortly with specific news on this.
In an update talk at the AGM I mentioned almost a dozen projects in progress, and some of those have moved on this week.  Swindon BC are keen for us to over responsibility for the Wichelstowe stretch.  The Wichelstowe Community Residents Association are willing to help in this, and we have agreed to attend their open day on Saturday 16th November.  We have also arranged a meeting with Swindon BC to carry forward the discussions on the Wichelstowe canal link, to join the two sections in water.
Meanwhile, Ken Oliver and Paul Lenaerts have been busy down on the Melksham Link., and an application for funding for the new slipway at Melksham has been submitted.
Do let us know what you think of this way of communicating what is happening, the kinds of topics you would like us to cover, and how often you think we should put something out.
Chris Coyle

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

New Blog Wilts & Berks Canal

Hi & welcome!
This is a new blog which I hope will keep  you up to date  up  with progress on the restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal .
It was good to meet many members of the Trust on Saturday at the AGM. If you were there I hope you had the opportunity   to  look at the new canal. . You will have noticed that the water level is somewhat below  normal at present . Swindon Borough Council are about to hand over operation of this section of the canal and as part of the planned early  works  the Trust's engineering  team are intending to address this issue as a priority.
This week I have been working on further plans  to attract funding for the Melksham Link  and on Thursday I will be working with Project Manager Paul Lenaerts to plan the scheduling of the many tasks that still need to be carried.
Today I took part  in the weekly conference call with Kath Hatton & Chris Coyle. This new blog is the result  of our resolve to make it easier for anyone who is interested to  find out what is happening with the very fast moving  Wilts & Berks project. The Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre  featured heavily  in todays discussion. It is very encouraging to see over £6000  already donated.
Tomorrow is the deadline for a funding request to build the new slipway at Melksham . Martin Stubbs  has been collating a huge amount of information . Wednesday is also the next meeting to progress negotiations on access to the canal at Dauntsey.

I would be very interested to  know your reaction to this blog and what other information you might like to see. Email

Ken Oliver