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This Is Wiltshire: Denis Robinson, front, chair of Castlefields Park Group, with fellow members on the lock boat Denis Robinson, front, chair of Castlefields Park Group, with fellow members on the lock boat

Residents are being asked to name the barge at the newly-restored lock in Calne’s Castlefields Park.

Castlefields River and Park Association (CARP) has spent more than a decade restoring the lock.

The project was largely funded by a near-£50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Spaces programme and a Landfill Communities Fund grant of £19,000 from Hills Group.

CARP also received donations from various community groups, including the Lions Club of Calne, Wiltshire Council and Wessex Water.

A team of workers excavated the old lock, which had been abandoned almost 100 years ago. It has now had dummy lock gates installed as well as a narrowboat, which has been on site for a few weeks.

CARP chairman Denis Robinson said: “The narrowboat was made completely from scratch. We had hoped we would be able to get an old, derelict one and rebuild it, but we couldn’t find any available.

“It is there for people to use as a sitting area and it has a deck area as well.

“It was designed to represent the kind of boat that used to operate on the canal.

“It has been there a few weeks and the number of people using that area has increased by a remarkable amount. Everyone has been enjoying the facility and saying good things about it.”

The narrowboat is in need of a name and the CARP committee decided to open it up to the community to choose.

Mr Robinson said: “We thought opening it up to the public would be a nice opportunity for people to have an input and it would raise the profile of the park, too.

“We will be staging the official opening event in May, when town mayor Glenis Ansell will perform the traditional naming-of-the-boat ceremony.”

Gazette & Herald readers are invited to enter the competition. The winner and one guest will be invited to the naming ceremony and a tea party at Marden House.

To enter, send your suggestions, along with a name and contact telephone number to info@calne-castlefields park.co.uk. The last date for entries is April 27.

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