CHADDINGTON LOCK RESTORED:
Chaddington Lock, near Wootton Bassett, received its first boat for 100 years on Wednesday 13th April 2005, and a Topping Off ceremony took place to mark the occasion. A wonderful crowd of some 60 guests were there to witness the special occasion and it was especially good to see so many Trust members who had travelled from as far away as Cornwall!
Coming into the lock Bridge guests North Wiltshire District Council, the lead partner was represented by several Councillors, as were other Partners such as the IWA, the County Councils of Oxford and Wiltshire and the Town Council. A special blue and yellow ribbon was cut by Juanita Davy and Ken Oliver, the Trust Chairman poured champagne! It was lovely to meet and talk to some of the last lock keeper's family who were there to witness the historic event.
The showcase project marks a milestone in restoring the Canal between Wootton Bassett and Swindon and has seen the lock restored, over a 2-year period, entirely by Trust volunteers. Funding was provided by the Canal Trust, North Wiltshire District Council, other partners and a generous £97,000 Biffaward grant. This is the latest stage in the restoration of the former waterway from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the Thames & Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames near Abingdon, connecting Chippenham, Calne, Wootton Bassett, Swindon and Wantage. Skiff Emily was launched and made her shortest voyage taking the two chairmen into the Lock. The skill and craftsmanship of the Lock's construction was admired by all
North Wiltshire District Councillor Doreen Darby is chairman of the Canal Partnership and is delighted by the projects success, " This is another wonderful success story on the Canal, and testimony of what can be achieved by good partnership working. The high standard of skill and huge endeavour shown by the Trust is for all to see." Chaloner Chute, Partnership Canal Project Officer says, "Supporters of the Wilts & Berks Canal have had much to celebrate recently. This is a special occasion because Trust members will have seen the fantastic results that they have achieved. It has been good to see so many people who have been involved with the project, and to welcome members from far and wide.I have great admiration for the project management team here, who have been well lead by John Bower.The Trust and Partners are now considerring the next phase project in this section."
The two chairmen Ken Oliver, Doreen Darby and Chaloner Chute
This happy event attracted prime time television and radio coverage on 3 networks including BBC West, ITV and BBC South.