Melksham Chippenham Calne Branch
- incorporating Foxham & Lyneham Branch
Branch meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 8pm at Melksham Skills Centre, Church Road, Melksham SN12 7EF and all are welcome.
A branch newsletter “The Butty” is published four times a year to keep members updated and comes out between issues of the Dragonfly magazine.
The branch story
Aka MCC 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 51.470126 Long -2.045549 (just outside of East Tytherton).
The branch area also covers the Chippenham and Calne branch lines and the proposed Melksham Link.
The line at this western end was one of the first stretches to be completed when the canal was built in 1797.
Restoration has picked up a pace in the past few years and significant achievements along the line include the restoration of a horseshoe spill weir, the restoration of the 30 metre long Cocklemore culvert and the conversion of a narrow boat to a tug and butty.
Some 1,200 metres of canal has been dredged and is in water at Pewsham.
Current projects include Pewsham Top Lock which is under restoration, and is part of a jpoint CRT Hel for heores project called Heroes Return. Link A bid has been submitted to Heritage Lottery Fund to help restore the Pewsham Locks site which contains two further locks, dry dock, saw pit, carpenters workshop and a lime kiln, with a decision expected in Sept 2016. Fundraising is currently taking place to rebuild a lock keepers cottage, and a further 80 metre stretch is currently being cleared as part of a three year environmental plan.
Membership stands at some 631 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.