Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Members News

Dear Members
Latest news from the Kennet and Avon Trust

1) Dr Mike Rodd appointed as Chairman

From David Inight , Vice Chair.

My brief spell as Acting Chair of Trust Council ended last Wednesday following the Council meeting the previous evening, at which the Trustees unanimously elected Mike Rodd to the post of Chair.

Members will remember that Mike resigned from the position of paid General Manager on the 31st December, and took up the role of a Volunteer Trustee the next day. I am very pleased that Mike has agreed to accept the position of Chair of Council; he has amassed a wealth of knowledge about the Trust and our relationship with British Waterways and the Local Authorities through whose areas the Canal runs. In addition, since its inception Mike has been chairing the local pilot K&A Waterways Partnership Board, which we hope will provide the model for the rest of the waterways network.

All the Trustees voted in favour of Mike’s appointment; they have also each agreed to lead on particular areas of work within the Trust. To support us, we have Holly Streeter as General Secretary and Becky Wells as Administrative Officer. As Trustees we are all looking forward to a challenging but exciting year for the Canal and the Trust.

On a personal note, I am looking forward to supporting Mike in his new role, and to taking on my responsibilities of working with the Branches and Boat Crews.

2) Art Course

Once again the Art course run by Amy Whitewick has raised another £300 for the Trust. Many thanks to all who attended, Sue who helped make all the drinks and Val Whitewick for donating all the food including the home made scones. It is hoped that there will be another course during the Spring, perhaps this time at Bradford on Avon and possibly outside. Look out for more news.

3) Volunteer Lock Keepers Required

British Waterways are looking for volunteer lock keepers at Crofton, Bradford on Avon and Bath. If you feel you would like to spend a few hours enjoying the fresh air and helping boaters to go through the locks, in any of these locations, please contact Karen Fishwick at Devizes on 01380 722859

4) Government Cuts and our Waterway-Your help is needed

The Kennet and Avon Canal is once more under threat! Despite huge volunteer effort, lottery funding, local and central government funding, the present financial environment and Government cuts will significantly reduce the much needed repair and maintenance requirements of the waterway. Already the impacts of this are obvious and disturbing with the need for lock gate replacement, dredging and much more

All this requires the Trust to once more deliver some solutions to the waterway’s dilemma.

For over 50 years the Trust as been at the forefront of this sort of work and we need again to positively partner and gain new support. More recently we have been extremely active in the formation of the pilot local partnership that will advise British Waterways in their new guise as a Third Sector organisation. Additionally we have been very active at high level along with the IWA ensuring our canal interests are represented in the changing and difficult financial environment.

However our voice is only listened too if we are truly representative. Our membership and supporter base numbers are therefore important and to this end Tim West, one of our Vice Presidents has said that he will lend a hand. But in doing so he also needs your help.

We want to mail drop as many canal side businesses and homes as possible pushing our message home and asking people to join. This we have called our ‘no frills’ campaign as we wish to do it as economically as possible by using volunteers to deliver requests for support.

Stage one of the campaign is the length between Bradford on Avon and Crofton. Printing of the mail drop letter is being finalised and we have some volunteer delivery people already but we need more.

Stage two will be the other lengths of our waterway later in the month.

So can you help – can you mail-drop your part of town, village or boat club ? If you can please send in your details to Holly Streeter either by phone or by email

5) British Waterways open Day 12th Feb 2011

British Waterways' Winter Works Open Day, Caen Hill Lock Flight, Kennet & Avon Canal, near Devizes
Saturday 12th February 2011
10.30am - 3.30pm
Join British Waterways at Caen Hill Lock Flight to find out more about the work happening this winter to maintain the historic lock flight and see a lock gate lifted.
. join the British Waterways team for guided tours at 11am, 12noon, 1, 2 & 3pm
. find out more about the history of the canal with the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust
. Caen Hill Café open from 11am-3.30pm serving teas, coffees and hot chocolate, cakes, soup, hot & cold snacks and cold drinks
. meet the British Waterways team that helps care for your canal

Caen Hill visitor car park is located off the B3101 near Rowde, signposted from the A361. Nearest postcode SN10 1QR. Car parking, 4 hours £1.00.

Best Regards
Alan Whitewick

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