Wilts & Berks Canal Trust
Wilts & Berks Canal Trust
The monthly newsletter of the
Wilts & Berks Canal Trust


Welcome to the May 2021 edition of On The Button


The first item this month is a report on the Trust's May Executive Committee meeting.


Executive Committee

The Trust's Executive Committee meets monthly to discuss & manage the Trust's day-to-day business.  A summary of issues under discussion are given, so readers are better informed not just of what's happened, but what may be round the corner.

At the May meeting the status of the Melksham Link project was discussed. The plans for future projects were also discussed. To see more details on these and the others topics discussed click the link below.

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New work-boat arrives at Royal Wootton Bassett

The Royal Wootton Basset Branch took delivery of a work-boat. Click the link below for more details.

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Water Access Group

The Trust's Water Access Group (WAG) has been meeting for some months and has put together two documents to present at Ministerial level, the aim being to try to find a way of overcoming existing regulations that preclude our ability to obtain enough water to fill and use our canal once built.  Our Vice-President, Robert Buckland QC MP is in the process of setting up a meeting with DEFRA to present our arguments; senior people from the IWA and CRT have also been sent them and plan to attend this high-level meeting.  At the time of writing no date has yet been fixed, but click the link below for the short summary of the arguments we are putting forward.  Watch this space!

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Visitor Centre re-opening

Almost 3 years ago the Information Centre in Swindon was forced to close through lack of enough volunteers – a combination of illness and holidays became, sadly, the last straw.  Shortly afterwards the Trust received a large donation of books, and the remaining volunteers did their best running a monthly book sale.  Then came Covid…..
With the current easing of restrictions and the recruitment, through appeals on Facebook & by email, enough new volunteers have come forward to enable us to reopen it – as the WBCT Visitor Centre.  The key has been the appointment of a Manager, Peter Stroud, but it would be nice to think that we can recruit some more volunteers to enable the place to open more than the 2-3 days a week currently planned.  We don’t have a firm reopening date yet, but are aiming for the weekend of June 11-13th.  WE STILL NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS so if you are interested please contact chris.barry@wbct.org.uk 


Peterborough Arms Re-opens

On Tuesday May 18th the Peterborough Arms, the pub bought and refurbished by the Trust some years ago, reopened.  We dined there and found that the food was, as always, excellent - best chips in the world, and if your appetite is gargantuan their Hog Roast offers crackling that’s heavenly!  It's between Lyneham and Junction 17 of the M4. It was not in the least crowded - tables are well spaced out, spilling over into the old skittle alley; even the windows were beautifully clean!  We highly recommend it; being out of the way it’s by no means booked up yet and feels very Covid-safe.  Its postcode is SN15 4HD, tel 01249 247834.   Please support this enterprise,  support the Trust and enjoy a good meal at the same time!

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Meanwhile, on Dragonfly..

With the partial lifting of Covid restrictions, Dragonfly has been able to resume her trips, albeit much shortened by the closure of the canal.  Two of our more enterprising skippers found a turning point beyond the footbridge at Waitrose that we didn’t think was useable; this has enabled us to run ‘Dragonfly experiences’ of just 20 minutes, at a reduced fare of £3 per person, irrespective of age.  Those few hardy souls who braved this experience during the bad weather of the last few weekends enjoyed it hugely – Dragonfly is back!  At the same time, the Info Centre / Visitor Centre team has been there on the jetty under a Trust gazebo, engaging with people prior to reopening the Centre in the near future – a useful synergy! 

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200 Club

The May draw has taken place. The winning tickets were:   1st prize = 251   2nd prize = 52   3rd prize = 58

The winning ticket numbers for 2020 and 2021 can be found at https://www.wbct.org.uk/get-involved/200club

For regular news updates follow our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/wiltsberkscanal and visit our website - www.wbct.org.uk

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust: A Non-Profit-Distributing Company Limited by Guarantee
Restoring in partnership the Wilts & Berks canal through Wiltshire, Swindon and Oxfordshire
Registered in England and Wales No. 2267719
Registered Address:
Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre
Dauntsey Lock
Chippenham, SN15 4HD
United Kingdom

Office telephone: 0845 625 1977 Registered Charity No: 299595