Canal campaigners enjoyed the taste of success at their latest fundraising event.
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust hosted an ‘Ale, Cider & Sausage Festival’ at Melksham Assembly Hall.
Crowds were able to savour a choice of 11 ales, four ciders and six varieties of sausages, while enjoying live music from the Burbank Band. Visitors drank more than 340 pints and ate 240 sausages, and several picked up membership leaflets in the hope of joining the charity.
The festival was arranged by the Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Canal Trust, and sponsored by The Bell Inn at Lacock who donated commemorative glasses, while Melksham Town Council provided a grant towards the hire of the hall.
Branch chairman Dave Maloney said, “We are sincerely grateful to everyone who supported the event, not only the visitors but also all of the volunteers who worked so hard throughout the day. This was the third year of the festival and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Nobody wanted to leave at the end of the afternoon!
“We had lots of very positive feedback. People really enjoyed the range of ales, ciders and sausages, and there was a great deal of interest in the display boards showing the proposed route of a restored canal through Melksham.
“Lots of leaflets were taken away afterwards, so we’re hoping that we’ll see a boost in membership too.”
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is steadily restoring several sections of the former waterway across the county. A stretch between Melksham and Chippenham has already been refilled with water and includes a restored bridge, spillweir and mooring points, as well as benches, birdboxes and information boards.
Longer-term, the aim is to extend the line to Melksham where a planning application has already been submitted to create a new junction with the K&A at Semington and then bring the canal along the River Avon through the town centre, before reconnecting with the historic route south of Lacock.
For further information on joining the local branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, visit www.wbct.org .uk