The Trust has always known that it cannot complete this project alone which is why our Partnership was set up for support. Now that Canal & River Trust (CRT) is a charity itself, it has become much more interested in canal restoration and has linked with Inland Waterways Association (IWA) to give active support to groups tackling such projects. The Wilts & Berks Canal is definitely of interest as it forms such an important part of the future Southern Canals Network.
One morning last week Chris and I met with two senior representatives from IWA to discuss a wide range of current Wilts & Berks issues. Several helpful suggestions came out of those discussions including introducing a maintenance policy for restored sections – something that we have wanted to do for some time and have been looking for a person to organise it. Another topic was the setting up of an asset register, listing all our structures and their current state. This has already been discussed within our branches as a branch inventory and would be very helpful for the future Masterplan of the canal. The Scott Wilson feasibility report done in 1998 was a comprehensive study of the whole canal and will form the backbone of any Register.
I also attended an evening event at Newbury along with Ken and Jock. This was a reception organised by the Kennet & Avon Waterway Partnership for CRT. It was a chance to meet CRT Directors and Trustees and tell them all about our plans and current projects. It was all very well received and very interesting to meet the Trustees who come from a wide range of business backgrounds.
Just two days to go to our People’s Millions final on Wednesday 26th November. Please vote for the Studley Wildlife Trail to secure £50,000 for the Trust. The telephone numbers (one landline and one mobile) will be on ITV West Country news bulletins, in the Daily Mirror, the People’s Millions website and on our own website in the morning www.wbct.org.uk .
I have the final figures for the Grand draw – we made over £4000 from tickets and associated donations this year which will go towards our second trip boat. A great effort and many thanks to all those who bought and sold tickets. I now have to look for the rest of the money for the boat!
This week we have our bi-monthly Council of Management meeting with a full agenda as usual. Other meetings planned include one for the fundraising team to start the process of a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for full restoration of Pewsham Locks complex that includes the Dry Dock,
an outdoor classroom in the old carpenter’s workshop, saw-pit and lime kiln.