Branches Melksham Calne & Chippenham News
Canal walk sets new record
Thursday, 02 April 2009 00:00

2009_april_2A CHARITY'S annual sponsored walk managed to swell its ranks by around a third compared to the year before.

More than 130 people took part in this year's fundraising event in aid of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.
Supporters enjoyed an eight-mile walk from Chippenham to Lacock and back again, following the line of the former waterway through open countryside.
They were able to look at locks and dry-docks which had been buried for almost a century, as well as a bridge which has been completely rebuilt. Some parts of the canal have already been refilled with water.
Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate Duncan Hames (pictured with other walkers) officially opened a newly-cleared towpath at Reybridge, which extends the restoration effort by several hundred metres.
Walkers included the Chippenham Sea Cadets, Chippenham Army Cadets, Pewsham Girl Guides and Melksham Air Training Corps, as well as supporters from Bristol, Somerset and Dorset.

All money raised will support local projects working towards the full restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal.
The charity's ultimate aim is to link the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the River Thames near Abingdon and the Thames & Severn Canal near Cricklade, connecting Chippenham, Calne, Wootton Bassett and Swindon.
Supporters hope it will provide a multi-million pound boost to the local economy through increased tourism and employment.

The sponsored walk was organised by Peter Williams of the Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.
He said: "Around a hundred people joined us in 2008, so we were delighted to see around 140 taking part in 2009. The warm and sunny weather certainly helped.
"We were particularly pleased to see so many youth groups wanting to get involved, many carrying their own lightweight craft.
"There was a really good atmosphere throughout the day. Walkers were laughing and chatting to eachother all the way to Lacock and back, and they were obviously impressed with the pace of restoration.
"We hope the event will encourage many more people to support our campaign to breathe new life into the Wilts & Berks Canal, providing a valuable new amenity for the local community."