Friday, September 17, 2010

Get your boots on and help restore the glory of Bradford on Avon's canalside
Bradford on Avon's lock is reckoned to be one of the busiest in the country for boat traffic and the picturesque town attracts huge numbers of visitors — especially day trippers from the nearby World Heritage City of Bath.

By Bob Naylor
Bradford on Avon Lock in 2005 after a £280,000 facelift             Picture by Bob Naylor

The area around Bradford on Avon Lock on the Kennet & Avon Canal was pristine after a £280,000 
make-over with money from BW's 'Make a Difference' fund and £28,000 of matched funding from the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust in 2005.

The work was completed in time for Easter 2005 — the area around the lock and in front of the K&A Canal Trust Shop and Tea Room was paved, the wooden fence round the lock was replaced with elegant pillars and a paved walkway was laid up to the car park at Baileys Barn — the area looked magnificent.

Bradford on Avon Lock in 2005                        Picture by Bob Naylor
Five years later with weeds growing between the paving, vegetation getting out of control and a serious litter problem in the area Derrick Hunt of the K&A Canal Trust has decided it is time for local people to take a hand in bringing it back to its full glory.

He said "The area around Bradford on Avon Lock is one of the jewels in the crown of the town. Oxford Narrowboats have taken over the dry dock and the adjacent wharfside and they have improved their section of the wharf — but the lock and its surrounding area are not the quality of environment that Bradford people want — or tourists expect."

He is moblising local people to take action and calling for help to clear litter and rubbish, cut back overgrown vegetation to reveal historic structures and remove potentially damaging ivy from canal architecture.

The plan is to start with the area around the lock and move on to the geological display that is a tribute to William Smith, known as 'The Father of English Geology', who was a surveyor and engineer on the construction of the nearby Somersetshire Coal Canal. 

Derrick said, "The plan is to reveal the geological display and clear the overgrown picnic area because it is turning people away. The canal car park area is a very poor advertisement for Bradford on Avon and the K&A Canal — so we must do something about it."

He concluded, "The money that BW has to maintain canals is decreasing so local communities must respond with volunteer effort to carry out some of the non-engineering tasks."

Get your boots on and join Derrick's work party.
Sunday 3 October 2010 at 10am.
Meet at the Tea Rooms by the lock on Bradford on Avon Wharf — for what Derrick describes as 'mostly light gardening'. 
Refreshments will be provided. 

For further information contact Derrick Hunt on 01225 863066 or email:

Looking at the bigger picture at Bradford on Avon                                                                            Picture by Bob Naylor

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