Illustrated talks offer fascinating insight into canal

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Fascintaing insights into a historic canal and its restoration are revealed in talks on offer to clubs and organisations.

They are disclosed by speakers from the Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT), which is bringing a 19th century waterway through Surrey and Sussex back to life.

The trust has a panel of volunteers available to give presentations about the history and restoration of what has been described as ‘London’s Lost Route to the Sea’.

This is the name given in recent years to the Wey & Arun Canal, which once enabled cargo to be taken from the capital to the South Coast.

Goods ranging from gold bullion to gunpowder were carried to destinations such as Littlehampton and Portsmouth.

WACT speakers give illustrated talks on the canal’s history and the trust’s restoration projects.

They are experts in the history of the waterway, which ran 23 miles from Shalford in Surrey to Pallingham, West Sussex.

They explain what is happening at restoration projects along the route, more than half of which has been worked on by volunteer working parties.

Bridges have been rebuilt, locks constructed and towpaths resurrected for use by walkers, cyclists and riders.

So far, more than three miles of canal at Loxwood have been brought back to full navigation, with public boat trips and special cruises run from April to the end of October and at Christmas.

“We can adapt the content and length of our talks to suit individual requirements,” said WACT chairman Sally Schupke. “We have had a lot of interest from many types of clubs and societies.

“Everyone is surprised by the huge number of elements involved in our work to create a green corridor for the benefit of people and wildlife.”

The trust welcomes requests for speakers from Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

To arrange a talk, email: or call 01483 505566.