Branches Melksham Calne & Chippenham News
Heritage Lottery Fund Grant Will Celebrate “Hidden Gem” of Former Waterway
Thursday, 06 February 2014 13:47

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund
Sharing Heritage grant.

Sharing Heritage is a new funding programme to help people across the UK explore, conserve and
share all aspects of the history and character of their local area.

Delivered in partnership with Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre, Pewsham Locks: A Centenary
Commemoration project will receive£7,900 to mark one hundred years since the abandonment of the
canal in 1914. The Trust also hopes it will encourage interest in the ongoing restoration campaign.

Events will include a series of fun activities in the museum during the February half-term, culminating in
Open Days at the locks themselves on Friday and Saturday June 20-21. 

Kath Hatton  is the Trust's fundraising director and a member of the Melksham, Chippenham & Calne
branch.She said: "We are delighted by the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and look
forward to encouraging interest in this hidden gem. Many people are aware of the existence of the
canal but few know about the history of the locks, which once lifted narrowboats almost 29 feet on
their journey between Melksham and Chippenham.There was a boat-building and repair business,
saw-pit, carpenter's workshop, lime kiln, dry-dock and a lock-keeper's cottage, the remains of which
can still be seen today.We hope the Open Days will include storytellers in period costumes,
traditional music, craft demonstrations and workshops.Local primary and secondary schools will also
be invited to get involved in role-play activities and challenges.The aim is to encourage people to learn
more about their heritage and understand the significance of the site, and perhaps inspire them to join
the ongoing restoration campaign."

Melissa Barnett, curator of Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre, said: "This is a fantastic
community-led project that will introduce more people to a largely unsung and unexplored part of our
local heritage with an exciting range of activities and events.Chippenham Museum is delighted to be
supporting the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust with this project and with its long-term plans to protect,
conserve and improve this part of the canal system.”

Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West said: “Sharing Heritage is a wonderful
opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer
this grant so that the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and Chippenham Museum can embark on a real journey
of discovery.Heritage means such different things to different people and HLF’s funding offers a wealth
of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what’s important to them in their local area.”

Read the "This is Wiltshire" article from 10 February 2014

 For further information on the Canal Trust activities, email Kath Hatton