Melksham, Calne & Chippenham (MCC) Branch - incorporating Foxham & Lyneham Branch (click on photographs to enlarge)

Last Updated 10 Jan 2022

Dave Maloney 2

 

 

Contact Information: Dave Maloney, Branch Chairman: 07809 374754 dave.maloney@wbct.org.uk

 

 

 

The Branch story 

Canal Map cropped

 

 

 The MCC branch is at the western end of the line of the Wilts & Berks canal and covers the section from Semington at the junction with the Kennet and Avon canal to Wick Bridge Lat 51.470126N Long 2.045549W (just outside of East Tytherton).

The Foxham & Lynham sub branch of MCC covers the line from Wick Bridge to the outskirts of Royal Wootton Bassett. MCC volunteers manage this section of the line. The Wessex Waterways Restoration Trust maintains a section of the line at Foxham.

 

 

 

 

 The branch area also covers the Chippenham and Calne branch lines and the proposed Melksham Link.

 

MCC Branch Map v2 4
  

  Melksham Link new map v3 2

The line at this western end was one of the first stretches to be completed when the canal was built in 1797.

At the time of writing we have work sites at the A4 North (Chippenham), Pewsham (Chippenham), Queenfield Farm (Melksham) and carry out biannual maintenance at Seven Locks (Lyneham).

The main site of activity is at Pewsham where we have dredged a large section and it’s the longest section of navigable waterway on the Wilts & Berks. At the Pewsham Locks site we have a pocket of industrial archaeology that is being restored.

In recent years we have had significant achievements at Pewsham - the restoration of the 30 metre long Cocklemore culvert, re-building the waiting wall in the lower pound, re-building of lock wing walls and the conversion of a narrow boat to a tug and butty. Current [rojects inclue re-building and restoration of the Dry Dock and a new accommodation over Top Lock.

The Pewsham Locks site contains three locks, dry dock, saw pit, carpenters workshop and a lime kiln. Volunteers continue to fund raise and through the generosity of Players of the Post Code Lottery and a grant from Chippenham Area Board over £100,000 was raised for Pewsham Locks projects.  Additionally through the generosity of the Wiltshire Community Foundation Chippenham Borough Lands Chaity and the National Lottery we also have funds to rebuild the Dry Dock, buy new tools and equiment and purchase a Welfare Unit.

We have planning permission for all the works at Pewsham Locks and are currently concentrating on getting all the relevant paperwork in place so that when opportunities arise we have spade ready projects to go. 

We have cleared an 800m stretch of canal north of the A4, which is now open to the general public and have recently aquired a lease on another 700m stretch north of the A4  which, when restored will leave us some 50m short of the infamous Stanley Aqueduct.  

See MCC Projects for details of all past and current projects.  

The branch has a healthy membership with active work party teams (clean and dirty boots), committee and branch officers. Skills within the branch include brick laying, dumper and digger driving, quad bike operation, chainsaw operation, woodworking, metal working, painting, welding, strimmer and all terrain mower operation, horticulture (including hard and soft landscaping), fund raising, event management, educational co-ordination, people management, team building and so much more. If you are fit and able please consider joining us. All that is necessary is willingness to help progress our work. If you bring extra skills that’s a bonus and you can work as often as you like/are able in any of the clean or dirty boots roles we have.

Our old branch website  is no longer updated but is available as an interesting archive .

Branch meetings (Currently cancelled due to COVID-19 however monthly officers reports continue to be sent out to Branch members) 

Meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Rachel Fowler Centre, Melksham, SN12 6EX. Start time 7:45pm and all are welcome.

Work parties

Work parties are currently held at Pewsham Locks, Green Lane Farm and Pudding Brook. They are held on the second and last Saturdday of each month and we also run midweek work parties Tuesday to Thursday at the same site. See the MCC News page for details of what we are currently working on. Please call Ray Canter on 07717 536883 or write to Dave Maloney at dave.maloney@wbct.org.uk for more details or if you are intrested in helping out..