Volunteers recognised by Wey and Arun Canal Trust

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TIME and effort put in by two volunteers working on the restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal over the last year was singled out for praise at the Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s (WACT) annual meeting.

Without the volunteer work force, restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal would not be moving forward at its current rate but the trustees believe two individuals have shown great commitment in recent years.

And head of the maintenance depot John Smith was presented with the Jack King Cup, while the John East Cup was presented to membership secretary David King.

After being a member of the trust for a number of years, former soldier with the Royal and Mechanical Engineers fitter John volunteered to help with the maintenance of equipment at the Tickner Heath depot in January 2009.

His role soon extended well beyond helping out and he has built the maintenance team from two – including himself – to a five-strong group that supply serviceable equipment to the trust’s numerous working parties and also assist with equipment for special events.

Long-term trust member, canal enthusiast and Charlton Athletic Football Club fan David took on the role of membership secretary in 2004.

David, with strong support from his wife Maggie, carries out essential membership services for the Trust, as well as organising distribution of the organisation’s quarterly magazine.

When David first joined he was involved with the Sunday working party and undertook work on Brewhurst Lock in Loxwood.

After retiring from the IT sector in 2002, he volunteered to promote the restoration work through giving talks to various groups such as the Women’s Institute, Rotary Clubs and historical societies before taking on the role of membership secretary.

David and Maggie also help crew boat trips and with the running of the new Canal Centre in Loxwood.