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Swindon Branch News
The Construction of Wichelstowe Landing Stage
Saturday, 04 July 2015 00:00
The pictures below show the construction stages of the landing stage at Waitrose Wichelstowe
Right The Duchess of Cornwall naming Dragonfly on 9th September 2009 
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4 July_2-1000 At Landing_Stage_4_July-1000 4 July_3-1000
Saturday 4th July 2015. One week before the inauguration
Trainee Skipper Dawn brings Dragonfly alongside the Landing Stage at Waitrose for the first time  
WP 20150628_002-1000 Sunday 28th June 2015 WP 20150628_001-1000
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 Saturday 20th June 2015

The Landing Stage at Waitrose
is being constructed and Dragonfly
will be departing from there
from the middle of July
View from_Coffee_Shop
Work at_Waitrose_1

                      May 2015

The first part of works for the new trip boat departure point at the
Waitrose store Wichelstowe Swindon has just begun.
WBCT volunteers are carrying out piling works before a local contractor
completes the landing stage and lays the paths to the car park.
The design will allow full disabled access to trip boat Dragonfly which has lift
access. Works are scheduled to be completed by the end of June
with an official opening in July.
Heron at_Waitrose

Whatever is happening on the canal

Henry the Heron is always there !!

Work at_Waitrose_2

April 2015

Planning consent was granted on the 8th April after many  changes to meet all the council’s requirements.  We have to fulfil a few conditions relating to the protection of existing trees and new planting before starting construction.  However, we are almost ready to go and expect to appoint a contractor soon. 

The landing stage next to the new Waitrose store will enable us to start our narrow boat trips from there.  The location is much easier to access than our present landing at Westlease, specially for users with restricted mobility.  Eventually a new district centre, and we hope a pub, will be built on the opposite bank.  We have designed the landing stage to high standard so that it blends well with this high profile position.


Involve Swindon Award
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 16:54

Involve Swindon_award2The Trust has been recognised with a 10th Anniversary Special Recognition award from Involve
Swindon. The special award is for commitment to the scheme through continued use of company
volunteers over several years .

Involve Swindon encourages employees with company support to offer their time and professional
skills, usually during work time, for the benefit of voluntary and community groups.  Special mention
was made of the efforts by Ray Aldridge, the Swindon work party organiser,  to engage with the
scheme and adapt to the availability of volunteers.

The award was made at an event in the Marriott Hotel on 26th June which was attended by about
100 people representing the companies sponsoring and taking part in the scheme and the community organisations which benefit from the activities.

Inspector set to rule on town's blueprint
Thursday, 22 May 2014 04:45



Swindon Advertiser

22 May 2014

Tree Planting work by AFL improves Canal
Thursday, 20 March 2014 08:20

Tree Planting_by_AFL_copy



Staff from Swindon-Based fibre optic and cable manufacturer AFL have helped improve the area around a restored stretch of the town's histroic Wilts & Berks Canal .

The tree plant followed local residents planting many trees the week before, and we would like to thank AFL for the donation which paid for the trees


Swindon Business News

March 19 2014  And in

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Swindon Advertiser

March 20 2014

Canal & River Trust Visit Wichelstowe
Saturday, 01 March 2014 00:00
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust
was pleased to welcome
Canal & River Trust
Chief Executive Richard Parry
to Wichelstowe Swindon
on Friday 28th Feb
to find out more about
the restoration plans for the canal.
 RP1-a  RP2b
Kath Hatton , Chris Coyle  and Ken Oliver were pleased to welcome Richard Parry the newly appointed
Chief Executive of the Canal & River Trust. 
In weather that we have become all too familiar with this winter we toured the canal at East Wichel
followed by a whistle stop reconnoitre of the route into the town centre.
We hope that this visit will lead to further co-operation with CRT to deliver the Wilts & Berks restoration
as an important part of a new southern canals network.
The Bayberry Public House was our temporary site office for the day as the morning meeting
with Richard was swiftly followed by a meeting with the new Wichelstowe Waitrose manager Simon Adkins.
Waitrose are pleased to have their newest store (opening April) located on the canalside
and are keen to work with WBCT to explore activity on the water.
Chris not only ended the week in Swindon but started there too with further discussions with the branch team
about the new canal and the proposed project to link East Wichel canal to Westleaze
( Wichelstowe Link) at the earliest opportunity. 

Photos Taken


31st January




   Wichelstowe3-1000  Wichelstowe4-1000




Sept11OneSept11Two Sept11OneSept11Two



Volunteers on Swindon & Shrivenham work parties
Thursday, 08 August 2013 14:58

Volunteers1cThe Trust is grateful to the Swindon Advertiser for the article about Company volunteers in the Thursday 8th August edition. This summer staff from the Wyvern Theatre Swindon have been helping the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust reopen the canal route and providing wildlife habitat, cycle ways and routes for walkers on the restored towpath

From this Advertiser article the Wyvern Theatre have received a phone call from JACKfm (Local Radio) asking to talk to the Wyvern group about their experiances and to encourage other groups to do the same.

 The Wyvern Theatre group is just one of the very many local groups who have attended work parties in Swindon  and Shrivenham. During this current week the Trust has had 4 teams of volunteers from local companies working on the towpath.  Over the last 2 months there has been in excess of 200 man-hours of work.


 Volunteers2b wyvern006-1000 wyvern002-1000

Above article from 

Swindon Advertiser 

Thursday August 8 2013

See also West Vale Branch

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Another Historic Bridge saved for re-use on the Wilts & Berks
Friday, 26 July 2013 07:45

A bridge estimated  to be well over 100 years old has been saved from the scrap yard and will be used as part of the restoration of the Wilts & Berks Canal at Mouldon Hill Swindon



Originally located at a waterworks on
the New River in North London
the Trust  took the opportunity
when it was offered for sale by
River & Canal Services.
Working with the company and Cousens
Transport, the bridge was moved by road
from Surrey to be stored at the
Canal & River Trust facility 
at Caen Hill Devizes.
IMAG0428-1000 IMAG0429-1000
Plans are being progressed for a
major project at Mouldon Hill next year  
and subject to planning consent
the bridge will be used as a pedestrian
and cycle crossing of the canal near
the River Ray aqueduct.


Bank Piling at West Leaze
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 06:25

Piling at West LeazePiling at west LeaseThe Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is carrying out important repair work at West Leaze.  The purpose of this work is to stabilize the towpath and the bank; without these repairs, the bank would continue to erode, with consequent risks to the safety of the footpath.  This work involves piling for a length of about 120 metres. 

The work has been closely supervised by a consultant ecologist as the area supports an active population of water voles. We are also being very careful to work with Thames Water and other providers of services to ensure there is no risk to these services.

We expect our contractors to be finishing on about the 21st June, but that of course depends on them encountering no unforeseen surprises.  They have told us that they will not be working at the weekend, and normally they expect to finish by about 6 o'clock in the afternoon.  After the contractors have completed the piling, there may well be work that the
Trust will have to carry out to finish off the site, probably including using ‘soft edge’ coir rolls for bank protection.

The Trust is conscious of the disruption caused, first by having to close the towpath, and secondly by the piling itself. 
We ask you to bear with us while we carry out this essential maintenance.  If you can avoid the area of the works,
that will help us to complete the work in the shortest possible time.

Chris Coyle

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