A LOXWOOD volunteer working on the restoration of the Wey and Arun Canal over a number of years has been singled out for praise at this year’s Wey and Arun Canal Trust (WACT) annual meeting.
The John East Cup, awarded in memory of the first chairman of WACT, was presented to Lynis Nash.
Fellow volunteer Mike Hobbs from Farncombe was presented with the Jack King Cup given by Lulu King in memory of her husband, the farmer from Paplands Farm, near Wisborough Green, who was the first landowner to give permission for canal restoration on his land.
“Both Lyn and Mike are very deserving winners of these awards and their efforts, particularly over the past 12 months, have significantly helped us in our drive to restore the canal,” said WACT chairman Sally Schupke.
“Lyn has been working with the trust for 20 years and was one of our early volunteers, helping out on the public trip boats, which is a major source of funding for our restoration work.
“Two years ago, Lyn took over the role as canal centre manager at Loxwood, which has had a significant role in welcoming visitors to the canal and increasing interest in the work of the trust.
“Mike started working with our mid-week working party after retirement and his commitment to this group has seen him undertake a number of different roles for the trust, including Shalford lengthsman.”
An opening ceremony on June 21 will mark the official completion of rebuilding work at Southland Lock, near Ifold and Loxwood.
The section of canal available for navigation is now more than three miles long, with six restored, new or rebuilt locks.
Local builders dismantled the original Southland Lock in the early years of the 20th century, after the canal became disused. WACT found only a few remains and had to rebuild the lock. The volunteer-led project has taken three years, at a cost of about £350,000, all raised by WACT itself.