New book traces Arun Canal restoration

A NEW book has highlighted the efforts over the last four decades to restore the Wey and Arun Canal to its former glory.

The Wey-South Project by John Wood records the work started by the Wey and Arun Canal Society in 1970, which is continued today by the Wey and Arun Canal Trust (WACT), through to the opening of the new B2133 Loxwood Crossing in 2009.

John is well qualified to chart the history of the restoration work as he first became involved in 1971 and was awarded his MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2000 for his work on the canal.

His wife, Joy, and their two sons regularly spent their Sundays in the 1970s ‘jungle busting’ and he has also taken on the roles of honorary secretary, company secretary and, more recently, vice president of the Trust.

“Nobody could be better qualified to tell the story of the canal’s restoration,” said fellow WACT volunteer Geoff Perks.

“The book presents the history on a year by year basis and one can follow the progress made with each of the restoration projects.

“It is interesting to learn of the problems encountered in the early stages.”

Copies of the book are available from the canal centre at Loxwood for £17.50, or by mail order from the trust office for £22 (cheques payable to W&A Enterprises Ltd, The Granary, Flitchfold Farm, Loxwood, Billingshurst, RH14 0RH).