History Dragonfly Magazine
Dragonfly 21 to 30
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No 21 Dragonfly July 1984


Secretary's Report: Proposals for the canal from the K&A to Vastern Wharf have excited the interest of the Chairman of IWA who is to be taken on a fact-finding tour of the Western section of the Canal. We are also awaiting opportunity to survey and produce a similar plan for the Eastern Section ( Abingdon - Swindon).

K&A Revisited: A report on the Courage - K&A Walk July 1st and various works taking place on the K&A.

Southern Canals Association 29th April: The visit was to the Stroudwater & Thames & Severn Canal Trust and a tour of various activities in this area.

The Politics of Restoration: A very interesting article on the history and politics of canal restoration from a time when "there had been a real prospect that the entire canal system outside the main river navigates would be closed for good" See also Dragonfly 22

No 22 Dragonfly Nov 1984


Editorial: Wiltshire CC's Landscape Local Plan now encouragingly adds in "opportunities for countryside recreational facilities" W&B and North Wilts and other old canals" (previously only K&A and disused railways featured at this point)

West-End Diary: An interesting diary of events related to the Great West-End Restoration (GWR).

Working Parties: Monthly parties are starting in January at Calne

Moredon Project: A Manpower Services Commission Scheme at Moredon has now begun - details are given.

Southern Canals Association: Gathering held at Newbury and visiting parts of the K&A.

Politics of Canal Restoration: The second and final part (See Dragonfly No 21) of Michael Handford's article

No 23 Dragonfly March 1985


Secretary's Report: looks forward to examining a possible route for re-linking the canal to The Thames at Abingdon. Early thoughts on Charity status

Presidential Thoughts: Jack Dalby on pre-1971 exploration of the old W&B

The future now seems safe: £2000 was needed to avoid infilling at the B4000 bridge at Shrivenham. Appeals donations brought some response, but thankfully these were not needed as the County Council decided to finance bridge repairs.

West-End Report: Philip Ogden Engineer to the K&A Canal Trust has started investigating the feasibility and costs of the West-End restoration scheme .

Working Parties: Details are given of a number of working parties at Calne.

Moredon: A Garden for the Blind, the Canal Support Group, and a donation of £2000 are  reported.

No 24 Dragonfly July 1985


Editorial: The help of outside groups with work parties is detailed.

Secretary's Report: The Regionalisation of the Group (West, Central & East) is noted. Shrivenham Bridge is now a listed structure. A new constitution is proposed prior to application for Charity Status Page 12 & 13.

West End (Melksham): Survey on the River Avon Links has continued and some rough costings have been produced.

Working Parties: Work has re-started at Dauntsey Lock. At Calne at excavator should be arriving on loan in September so dredging can begin.

Central News: Good progress is being made on various aspects of the work at Moredon.

East Enders: Problem sites at Abingdon, Grove & East Challow are discussed.

Southern Canals Association: Report of visit to Wey & Arun Canal

No 25 Dragonfly Nov 1985


Council Changes: Change of Archivist, and of catalogues onto computer.

Review of the Year: Many important activities, reported in earlier editions are reviewed.

West End Report: The possible route of the canal - Avon Link just north of Melksham and rough costings.

Dauntsey Lock: Buildings are being sold. It is hoped that these may be preserved.

Working Parties: The Eastern Parapet of Chaveywell Bridge is almost completed; the other parapet is postponed until Spring. The WRG Smalley excavator is unsuitable for dredging at Calne but will be used at Dauntsey.

Central News: Work on the Garden for the Blind at Moredon is described. A draft report "Navigation through Swindon" has been produced and submitted to Thamesdown BS.

EastEnders: Details are given of a report by Philip Ogden on 3 major problems of restoration at this end of the canal.

Higher Thames Trust has been formed with the objective of making it possible to use the existing right of navigation from Lechlade to Cricklade.

The Wessex Waterway Network: A meeting of various bodies and individuals is described (See Cover Map).

No 26 Dragonfly March 1986


Secretary's Report looks towards possible Trust or Company formation for the Group.

West- End Report: Active members dramatically increased (details given). Further surveying at the Melksham Link. The possibility of a linear nature reserve is being discussed with a land owner at Lacock. At Calne negotiations have begun with Lord Shelburne for access to, and work on, his section of the canal.

Central News; MSC work at Moredon is proceeding and a scheme is being organised to renovate the Aqueduct.

Walks, water & wildlife: An interesting article by Richard Porter on the amenity value of canals and even unnavigable old canal routes in town and country.

EastEnders are looking for a co-ordinator

No 27 Dragonfly July 1986

DF027_July1986_TitleThe Wilts & Berks Canal by L J Dalby New Edition to be published in late September.

Secretary's Report: A new Chairman and Consultant Engineer, Noel Griffiths has been appointed, but a Treasurer and Membership Ssecretary are urgently required.

West Wiltshire DC: Policy Statement on the K&A and W&B Canals (Pages 4 to 7) showing broad support for the concept of restoration. (See Also WestEnd report Page 8).

WestEnd Report: Survey results on River Avon depths and bank contours have been received from John Walters and further studies are likely. At Calne work has continued between the lock and Chaveywell Bridge. Discussions have taken place with landowners on the Seven Locks area about possible extension of the Dauntsey to the east.

A week in the life....of a Foxham Fund Day organiser.

Central News: A walk by Keith Walker with the Thamesdown Environmental Forum who are endeavouring to save an area which also includes the original W&B route.

Southern Canals Association 20th April: Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust hosted at Newport.

No 28 Dragonfly Nov 1986


Secretary' Report: An application has been made to D of E for a Grant towards a full-time manager for the Group. A Treasurer is still desperately needed.

WestEnd Report: Contacts with Councils and Appeals for finance for certain projects. At Calne Chaveywell Bridge parapets are finished and the canal prepared for dredging. North Wilts DC have a Community Programme Scheme which has performed a number of impressive tasks. Dredging of the Canal at Lord Shelburne's section and Castle Park is being organised and the District Planning Dept. is seeking funds from the Council for dredging.  At Foxham work parties have re-started and 2 crossings on Bob Kinch's farm north of the Locks will need bridging. The aim is to produce a continuous length of restored canal for 3/4 of mile. At Dauntsey Lock proposals for restoration above the lock for a trip boat. Group opposition to Planning application for 3 houses at the lock site. The amenity area is now 4 miles long and an appeal to cover the costs has been made.

Central News: An open meetings at Nythe was held to discuss Swindon Canals and possible routes for the future.

Wilts & Berks Canal opens at Abingdon ( Sept 19th 1810)

Archivist's Report on various matters.

No 29 Dragonfly March 1987


Secretary's Report: The post of EastEnd Co-ordinator has been filled (by 2 people) and an Advanced Planning Co-ordinator - a new post - has been appointed. Unfortunately the Grant towards a full-time Manager has been turned now.

WestEnd Report: Dredging costs at Calne are more than estimated so new requests for grants are needed. This plus environmental considerations will delay work for 6 months. A co-ordinator and more active people are needed before investigating problems in connecting Calne to the Main Line. Dauntsey Lock Amenity area: Planning Permission for house building on the canal site was refused but the owner will appeal so work is on hold. However, discussions to define the work to be done at 7 locks are to take place and a go-ahead for a Heritage Trail has been given. Work continues at Foxham.

Central News: Discussions on restoration of the canal to the east of Swindon have continued. The opening of the canal site at Moredon is scheduled for July. The Moredon canal may form part of a major footpath route.

EastEnders: A very interesting article by  EastEnd co-ordinators, Peter & Val Scatchard, who live very near the canal.

Southern Canals Association: Conference at Devizes on Feb 15th 1987

Extract from Tom Brown's Schooldays


No 30 Dragonfly July 1987


Secretary's Report: A new treasurer has been appointed. Increased activity means a need for more helpers including a Publicity Officer and Working Party Co-ordinator.

Wilts & Berks Canal Liaison Group: The setting up and activities of this Group.

WestEnd Report; Evermore active members are needed. A Fund Raising Officer and an Official photographer are recent arrivals. At 7 Locks improvement of the Towpath is planned. Work on the Towpath at Foxham aims at a canal trail. The Castle Park section of the canal at Calne awaits dredging. Proposals at Chippenham and Melksham are reported.

Central News: Various aspects of the routes through Swindon are noted and the Opening of the Moredon canal is reported

EastEnders: A 1st meeting was called by the new Co-ordinators (15 present). A last ditch attempt has been made to persuade Authorities to provide a bridge over the canal between Grove Top Lock and the Denchworth Road. Good support for a organised canal walk on May 17th

Southern canals Association: Trip to Basingstoke Canal in April