West Vale mid-week work-party
West Vale News
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:09

6th August, 2013

This week we hosted two teams of volunteers from companies in Swindon - Nationwide Building Society and the Wyvern Theatre. Fortunately we have plenty of jobs to do so there was no rivalry. 

Two Nationwide teams worked on improving the towpath between Stainwick Lane and Station Road, Shrivenham, and a crew from the Wyvern, in t-shirts advertising their Jack & the Beanstalk panto, continued to create a new section of towpath to the west of Station Road, with their second team clearing the site of a proposed new culvert. The weather was unusually kind, dry and not too hot and everyone appeared to enjoy a day out of the office doing manual labour in our tranquil location, although some were a little concerned by the abundance of insect life!


Vols Aug13-1

Dauntsey Lock - Loan Investment Appeal
Foxham and Lyneham News
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00

DLCC Front cover


Dear Member and Supporter,


I am conscious that we have made great demands recently on the dedication and generosity of our members.  The amount raised for the Seven Locks appeal, and the initial response to the Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre Appeal, have been heart-warming.  However I am writing to you again to ask for your help in an urgent appeal to make sure we acquire the Peterborough Arms.

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is seeking loan funding to purchase the Peterborough Arms and adjacent canal at Dauntsey Lock, Wiltshire. Securing the freehold is crucial, and is phase 1 in the creation of a thriving and commercially viable, mixed use, waterside-side hub:


• Refurbished, destination pub, restaurant and café

• Visitor centre with the restored canal and lock acting as a tourist attraction

• Boat trips, canoe and cycle hire, and disabled access to the towpath

• Community (farm) shop, and possible microbrewery

• Wilts & Berks Canal Trust offices and meeting rooms

• A showcase project to accelerate the pace of canal restoration

The Trust has secured the listing of the pub as an Asset of Community Value and needs to act quickly to raise the £250,000 asking price.

We are working with external advisors to develop a viable business plan for the refurbishment, and implementation of the various revenue-generating business opportunities, post purchase. We expect this to be available soon but we need to act before then to secure the freehold. Initial advice indicates that this should be a viable venture, and that public funding should be available to help with the development.

Why invest

The Peterborough Arms is an historic Grade II listed building and has a long association with the adjacent Wilts & Berks Canal. This is a unique opportunity to combine the attractions of the canal and the Peterborough Arms to create an amenity and tourist attraction of choice in North West Wiltshire.

We hope to facilitate and encourage local partnerships and social enterprises.

There are a multitude of benefits including social wellbeing and health, collaboration, education, environment, employment and business creation, regeneration, and economic growth.

If we can deliver this project it will clearly demonstrate the Trust’s credibility to restore the whole canal. It will pave the way for the early restoration of the towpath, connecting the communities of Chippenham, Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett, and Swindon with a traffic-free trail.

The overall project will become a showcase for canal restoration and put this part of Wiltshire on the map. It will act as a catalyst to attract further support and funding for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.

Without this project, the pub will probably be converted into residential housing, resulting in this historic village pub and the canal lock-side being lost forever.

Your investment

This is not a donation appeal; this is a request for loan funding. The Trust plans to pay interest on the loan, probably after an interest free period of 3-5 years, but the precise details and figures are yet to be determined by the business plan and trading circumstances.

In the event that we do take up your loan offer, there will be a formal loan agreement setting out the terms and conditions.

The minimum investment is £1,000. Please contact us if you want to donate smaller sums.

If you have already donated £1,000 or more and wish to convert this into a loan, please contact us.

If 250 people invest £1,000 each or if 25 people invest £10,000 each we will reach our target. It is a big challenge, but a very achievable one.

Your loan will not secure any rights of ownership or occupancy.  All decisions relating to the Peterborough Arms will be taken by the Council of Management of the Trust.

When will I get my money back?

After the initial interest-free period, the Trust will consider the repayment of the loans, provided certain criteria and business conditions have been met.

Like all investments there are risks, and it is possible that you will not get back the money you lend.  However, your investment will be used to purchase a capital asset (a freehold property) that should maintain its value.

You should not offer money which you cannot afford to loan and which you might need back before the end of the interest free period. You should consider this a long-term investment with a social return. With interest rates so low, why not use some of your savings to make a huge difference to the local community, the canal restoration, and the environment.

The scheme is not protected by the FCA.

DLCC Appeal form 200


We are seeking your help to make this happen. So please join us if you can. Your decision to offer a loan will protect the future of the Peterborough Arms and the Wilts & Berks Canal for future generations.

Chris Coyle

Acting Chairman


Click here to download a printable version of this form


Peterborough Arms Dauntsey Latest News
Foxham and Lyneham News
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:00

September 21st  2013

A final chance to save Dauntsey Lock’s pub at canal -  Gazette & Herald Report

See Saturday's Article


July 30th 2013

Public meeting  about the future  of the Peterborough Arms Public House at Dauntsey LockDaunstey Arms_Poster

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust   would like to hear local views on the future of the Peterborough Arms
Public House.

Dauntsey Parish  Council has included this  item to  follow their normal meeting on Monday 5th August 
at 7.30pm in the hall of Brinkworth Earl Danby's CE Primary School The Green, Dauntsey, SN15 4HY
Please come along to  make your views known or if you  cannot  be there please  email your ideas to    


Contact Chris Coyle                    


June 29th 2013

IMG 2004Peterborough Arms listed as an Asset of Community Value

Great news!  The Trust has just been told that our application to list the Peterborough Arms
at Dauntsey Lock as an Asset of Community Value has been granted!  The pub was recently
closed by the owners Wadworth Brewery, who have applied for permission for a change of
use from licensed premises to private dwelling.  The Trust believes that the pub, one of only
two remaining canal-side pubs, can have a future as the focus of the canal in the area, as
well as being a focus for the community.


We now have a window of a few months to consider our next steps which could include
making an offer to buy the pub, and making something of it.  The Council of Management will be working on our plans,
in partnership with others who see the value of the pub as a social centre.

But the whole Trust and community will have to get behind the effort if we are to make a success of it. 
Contact us with your thoughts, suggestions, and offers of help.

Contact Chris Coyle

May 24th 2013

The Trust is seeking help to save the Peterborough Arms at Dauntsey Lock .

Wiltshire Council has just received a planning application to convert the Peterborough Arms Public House to a
private dwelling.
The Trust believes that this building should remain as a Public House as it will be one of the key attraction
alongside the restored canal. The Trust is currently applying for the building to become an asset of community value
It would help if there was a large response to the current planning application objecting to the change of use.
You can do this on line at at
  1. 13/01191 to  search for the application
Bank Raising Work at Pewsham
Melksham Calne and Chippenham News
Monday, 29 July 2013 11:26
These pictures show the recent bank raising work that was carried out by the MCC Branch at the end of June to raise the level of the towpath between the new waiting wharf below Pewsham Locks, and Squirrel's Rest.
Once the whole of the towpath is raised then the water level can be brought up to full navigational standard.


DSCF5966 1
Another Historic Bridge saved for re-use on the Wilts & Berks
Swindon Branch News
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.


Waterway Recovery Group Camp at Shrivenham
West Vale News
Thursday, 18 July 2013 14:48

18th July, 2013

WRG returned to West Vale to continue work on Steppingstone Bridge with a full camp of 18 people. No wonder it was popular, it was just like a Mediterranean holiday - blue skies from dawn to dusk, temperatures in the 80s, golden sand, warm water and accommodation with a not-so-mini-bar!

A pity then that there was work involved and that the sand had to be mixed with cement and that the water, though warm, was rather muddy and had to be pumped out from under the bridge. Notwithstanding these hardships, the team got stuck into repointing parts of the parapet walls and cut and fixed substantial coping stones to one wall. Plus they shifted lots of the muck from under the bridge, rebuilt a stone wing wall and repaired brickwork on the invert under the arch.

At the end of the week, the results of the group's effort can clearly be seen and the bridge is a step closed to completion thanks to Bob Crow and his team.

Site prior to WRG campSite prior to WRG campSite prior to WRG campPumping out

Shifting the sludgeRepointingRebuilding the wing wallWall complete

Repairing the brickworkFinishing the coping stones

  5th July, 2013


Waterway Recovery  Group  start week long work camp at  Shrivenham

The Trust  welcomes members of the Waterway  Recovery Group  who  start a week long work camp on Saturday 6th July.

The volunteers  from all over the country  will be carrying out  work  on the final  parts of reconstruction of Steppingstones Lane Bridge which carries a bridleway over the  canal  near Shrivenham. Work will include installation of the coping stones on the bridge parapet  and re-construction on the approach wing walls.

The images show a recent inspection of the site by Trust Directors  in preparation for the work camp.

Annual General Meeting 2013 Oct 19 Wichelstowe
Trust News
Sunday, 14 July 2013 00:00

AGM2013-1-200Notice of Annual General Meeting which will take place at East Wichel Community Primiary School,Staldon Road, East Wichel, Wichelstow, Swindon on Saturday 19th October at 2.00pm


Click on either image to see a  printable version

PDF FileAnnual Report 2012 - 2013

Dragonfly at Kingshill Reports
Boat Trips News
Monday, 01 July 2013 07:56

September 2013 nb Dragonfly report for Dragonfly - the magazine

The Trust’s narrowboat Dragonfly continues to entertain and inform the people of Swindon and the surrounding area.  Indeed a party who came to Dragonfly last week are coming again this weekend.  They learn about the old canal, the proposed new canal and see the wildlife – it is rumoured that Henry the Heron now has a mate!!

To date 333 Adults, of which 9 were wheelchair users, and 166 children have joined us on our regular Sunday trips.
There have been 13 charters, including adult birthday parties, Guides and Beaver groups, Pre-school group,
Stag party, a Christmas gift , ImechE who enjoyed a BBQ at Beavans Bridge, plus a Pirate Birthday Party. We have sold
£104 worth of raffle tickets on the boat. Weather permitting we hope to continue to run our regular Sunday trips
until November 17th.

Our next big challenge is to prepare for our search for Santa along the Wilts & Berks Canal.  Trips begin on
Sunday 24th November and we already have bookings.  See the full page advertisement for more details. 

We are grateful to all the volunteers, skippers and crew, and also all the people who come along for a ride. Their efforts
have meant that we are now gradually covering the costs originally paid out by the Trust. These include the cost of
Dragonfly, the cost of the wheelchair lift and the maintenance and running costs of the boat.  If it were not for the
dedication and hard work of the volunteers these costs would be much higher.  We hope by the end of this year
to be making a healthy surplus for the Trust.

Dragonfly Boat Team



15th Sept 2013 


Mervyn Commons celebated
his 68th Birthday 
on board Dragonfly
- a present from his daughter

Dads 68th_Birthday_1000   

Dads 68th_Birthday_2-1000



8th July 2013 


The 12th Swindon Beavers
who are based at the Moravian
Church in Dixon Street
had a great time on Dragonfly.
The canal trip was part
of their Adventure Activity badge.

 2013 8th_July_-_Beavers_on_Canal__2  

2013 8th_July_-_Beavers_on_Canal__3



 2013 8th_July_-_Beavers_on_Canal__5

2013 8th_July_-_Beavers_on_Canal__1

2013 8th_July_-_Beavers_on_Canal__4



7th July 2013 

First all Ladies Crew

 First Lady_Crew_for_Dragonfly_1


 First Lady_Crew_for_Dragonfly_2  

First Lady_Crew_for_Dragonfly_4



30th June 2013


Dragonfly played host
to Matilda's 3rd Birthday Party.
Albert the parrot
joined in the fun !
Pirates Old Grey Beard
& Bonny worked as crew


Pirate Birthday Party




Pirate Birthday Party


  Pirate Birthday Party 

IMAG0043 3 Later on in the day we
received this comment
"Thanks to the team. Had a
great time on the Dragonfly. 
My 12 year old now saving
for a boat !!"



2nd June 2013




Sunday 2 June

 26th May  Tim Pyatt writes - We had a good sunny and warm day with Dragonfly yesterday and even had a wheelchair customer. The lift worked really well and was a lot easier & quicker than Tim had  thought.  Another lady came  to discuss booking the boat for a party of disabled people.  The new prop & stern gear is a lot smoother, really great. All is looking good for Dragonfly.


Chris Coyle on Castledown Radio
Trust News
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 15:38

Following news that the restoration of the canal had been filmed for the BBC programme 'Escape to the Country', we were contacted by a local radio station in Wiltshire for an interview. 

Castledown Radio serves Tidworth and the surrounding area.  They are featuring canals, and were keen to find out more about the Wilts & Berks.  Chris Coyle was invited to their studio for a live interview, which lasted about fifteen minutes in total.  The interview covered the history of the canal, when and why it became derelict, our restoration progress, and our plans for the future.  Of particular interest was the Melksham Link, our plan for the new stretch of canal rejoining Melksham to the Kennet and Avon Canal. 

An edited version can be heard by following the link below.

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