Five-mile trek marks centenary of closure
SCORES of people took to banks of the Wilts and Berks Canal on Monday for a fundraising walk to mark the 100th anniversary of the waterway’s closure.
But there was plenty to celebrate, as volunteers have worked tirelessly to re-open the canal that was closed under the Act of Abandonment in 1914.
On Monday about 80 people walked the five miles from the Buttercross in Chippenham to the Bell Inn in at Lacock and back again in what has become a annual event to mark restoration work.
Some of the walkers brought specially made boats and were presented with a plaque in a ceremony in Lacock.
Organiser Peter Williams said: “About five or six people made boats of all shapes and sizes and carried them along the route. One was made from Lego but the most spectacular was a full-size rowing boat that was mounted on wheels. It was pulled along and then it was even floated in the water for part of the way. This boat making has become a bit of a tradition of the walk.
“Some of them are quite small and can fit into a rucksack while others are bigger and take a couple of people to carry.”
New additions for this year’s walk included a short route for people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
There was a treasure hunt to keep youngsters amused and at the spillweir there were displays and stalls manned by volunteers dressed as boaters from the late 19th century.
A photographic contest will reward the people judged to have taken the best photo on the day, with cash prizes for adults and those under 18.