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


Welcome to the December 2020 edition of On The Button


The first items this month are messages from the Chairman Brian Stovold and the CEO Gordon Olson.


Chairman's message

Brian reflects on the strange year that we have all been through.

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CEO's message

Gordon looks forward to 2021.

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Executive Committee

The Trust's Executive Committee meets monthly to discuss & manage the Trust's day-to-day business.  Notes of the meetings would be tedious to read, but we'd like to include a summary of issues under discussion, so readers are better informed not just of what's happened, but what may be round the corner.

At the December meeting we discussed the the improved financial position of the Trust and reviewed the work of the sub-groups. To see more details on these and the others topics discussed click the link below.

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Walk leaflets

There are a number of Walk Leaflets for different parts of the canal on the website at https://www.wbct.org.uk/walk-leaflets . We are currently working to add more walks and we would be interested to know of any walks that include the canal towpath.

We have recently updated the leaflet for Melksham. Click the link below for more details.

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Wilts & Berks Canal Videos

In the November edition of OTB we talked about the new page on the website where links are provided to videos and media about the canal. The page now has a link to "An Introduction to the Wilts & Berks Canal" by Alan Lank.
Howard Wilson from the Melksham, Calne & Chippenham branch has been searching the internet for videos about the canal. He has compiled a long list and they are being added as links to the page. Please continue to check the page as we add links. https://www.wbct.org.uk/links-publications/videos-media

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Heath & Safety Report

2020 has been a year free of reportable accidents or near-misses, but of course volunteer activity has been severely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. From the beginning of the first national lockdown on 23rd March,  all work was stopped until the end of May.

Through the summer, work-parties were carried out in most areas, but paramount was the need to protect our volunteers from the danger of infection. Most Working Party Organisers (WPOs) are over 70 and either have health issues themselves or are shielding partners, as are many other volunteers.

During the second national lockdown, a few work-parties continued because these were classed as 'work' rather than 'social'. On the other hand, the national Waterway Recovery Group cancelled its annual 'Bonfire Bash', plus any activities that would involve overnight stays. Our neighbours in the Cotswold Canals Trust had to cancel work parties when some of their number contracted the virus, but generally this area has had a lower incidence of infection than elsewhere in the country. I monitor the weekly statistics for Wiltshire, Swindon and Vale of the White Horse council areas, which are available from the BBC.

We could do with a younger generation of volunteers to take over as WPOs. Any takers?

Personal Assistant to the Chair

Wanted, a part time volunteer Personal Assistant for the Trust's Chairman. 

The Trust is increasingly busy with its work in restoring the historic Wilts & Berks canal between Melksham and Abingdon on the Thames. The work performed by our Chair is also increasing and he now needs a PA to keep his diary, monitor his email and keep records of his meetings. With the advent of virtual meetings all of this work can be done at home. Please click the link below if you feel you could do this vital job.

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Volunteer hours

The Trust records volunteer hours in order to demonstrate to a wider audience just how much effort volunteers are making towards the restoration of the Canal. All hours submitted are taken into consideration for ‘matched funding’ purposes and effectively provide a resource that the WBCT may hopefully convert to hard cash at a later date. Please click on the link below to see how to submit your hours.

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200 Club

Don't forget that applications to join the 200 Supporters Club 2021 are still open. If you would like to participate go to https://www.wbct.org.uk/get-involved/200club
The closing date for applications is 31st January 2021.

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