CANAL AND VILLAGE – Autumn Coach Trip to Lacock

Thanks to Pauline for arranging another successful Autumn Coach Trip.

After a smooth journey courtesy of our lady driver from Stewart's Coaches (during which goody bags were passed round with packets of crisps, assorted chocolate bars and fruit for everyone to enjoy) most of us alighted just outside Chippenham to be met by David from the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust.  After a short walk to move away from the main road David gave us a brief history of the canal before taking us on to the flight of three Pewsham locks.  Here David explained the work being done to restore the locks which had suffered much damage over the years including being used by the Canadian Army for wartime demolition practice.  The Trust have applied to the Canadian Army for compensation but are still awaiting a reply.  Further along the canal David told us of some of the difficulties the Trust encounters with the large number of landowners whose land the canal crosses and problems with funding.  David left us soon after a restored bridge which is unique in originally having a wall down the middle as two landowners could not agree to a common bridge.  We then wended our way round the estate of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at Reybridge into Lacock.  The remainder of the party had gone directly to Lacock and the walkers now also scattered through this NT village to each visit areas of individual interest.  Many were interested in the photographic museum at Lacock Abbey.  William Fox Talbot, a former resident of Lacock Abbey, was pioneer of photography and had a photographic printing works in Reading.  Unfortunately, the cloisters at Lacock Abbey were closed to the public as a period drama was being filmed there.  After tea at the brand new NT tea rooms (opened only 5 days earlier) another smooth journey got us back to Reading at just about the promised time.  Our thanks to Pauline for arranging a most interesting day with a fascinating look at the canal restoration.




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