Welcome to number two of The Oriel.

It’s not long since our First ‘The Oriel’ went out, but already we have more to communicate to our members
and friends. This number includes some photos to show we’ve been busy on the ground – sorry there wasn’t
much space for photos in Number 1.

Early in February there was a one-person towpath-mowing work
party eastwards from Dauntsey Lock. There was a fallen tree from the
towpath hedge. The obstruction was duly removed by Rachael,
armed with a chainsaw.

The towpath eastwards from Dauntsey Lock – but please note it is not
yet open to the public. The towpath is maintained to protect the work
done by previous teams of volunteers over many years and
demonstrates our long-term objective to have the entire canal reopened for the benefit of the public.

While Gordon’s machine was not needed at Weymoor Bridge through the winter (when local flooding prevented work by the Cotswold
Canals Trust) Rachael was using it to clear the reeds on the section from Dauntsey Lock westwards.
In April, our team was busy at Elm Farm, Foxham.

Our Board of three Trustees, with Luke as their secretary, has now met twenty-five times (by Zoom) since the end of October when Mike and Matt were appointed. As the restrictions to control the spread of Covid are now being gradually relaxed, and spring has arrived, there is work for Wessex Waterways to do on a number of fronts. The Trustees are therefore inviting any members who are interested to get in touch (with any of the present Trustees) to offer to join the management team. If you are willing to join as a Trustee this will be by co-option. The Constitution requires that you be provided with copy of that document (which will be on the new website which will be live shortly). Luke would be pleased to send you a copy if you ask him ([email protected]). The Constitution also requires that you be sent a copy of the latest annual report and accounts – these are on the Charity Commission website – our registered charity number is 1174586, or if you ask Luke he will send you a copy. Matt is busy with the financial records now collected from Jan Flan but he has not yet completed the necessary investigation and examination of those records sufficiently to
issue the accounts to year end March 2020.

The process is that the present Trustees agree (or not) to co-opt you – and if you are co-opted, you will come up for ratification by the Members at the next AGM. That will take place at a separate meeting, and after,
the Members Meeting to complete the business we could not complete at the AGM which was held and adjourned 2 January.

If you wish to join the leadership team but without being a Trustee, please get in touch with one of the Trustees. The Trustees wish to move to a Management Forum system (as we had during the first year of  WWRT) with a regular list of attendees including all of the Trustees plus others who wish to participate in making the decisions and taking on tasks within WWRT. We hold our meetings by Zoom, so travelling from
your home to a meeting won’t be necessary. Joining by telephone is perfectly possible if your IT kit or your local broadband aren’t so good. We will probably have one physical meeting of the Forum each year.

Email addresses for the present three trustees are:

Matt Carpenter [email protected]
Mike Handford [email protected]
Rachael Banyard [email protected]

The next issue of The Oriel will focus on arrangements for the members’ meeting to conclude the business carried over from the adjourned AGM on 2 January. There will also be news about work we’ll be doing on
restoring actual structures. The overdue towpath maintenance had to take priority this year, so far, but materials are being bought and plans made to do more constructive work.