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Volunteers honoured at Wey & Arun Canal Trust AGM

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) AGM at Shalford Village Hall on Saturday 27 April.

Without the volunteer workforce, restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal would not be moving forward at its current rate but the Trustees believe that two individuals have shown great commitment in recent years. In front of a large audience of WACT members Eddie Fairman was presented with the Jack King Cup, while the John East Cup was presented to Geoff Thomas.

"Both Eddie and Geoff are very deserving winners of these awards and their efforts, particularly over the last 12 months, have significantly helped us in our drive to restore the canal," said WACT chairman Sally Schupke.

Eddie played a key role in the bricklaying work

at Southland lock and Loxwood lock before that and we have benefitted greatly from his skills as a master craftsman.

Geoff has been a staunch supporter of the TSG working party for many years and he has stepped in to help with the production of the Trust's Wey-South magazine by taking responsibility for the layout

and design.


Wey & Arun Canal Trust Trophies

The Jack King Cup (also known as the Eager Beaver Award) was first presented at the 1982 Annual Meeting. It was given by Mrs Lulu King in memory of her husband who had died in January 1980. Jack King was a farmer from Paplands Farm, near Wisborough Green, and was the first landowner to give permission for canal restoration on his land. The cup is awarded to an individual (other than a member of the Trust's Council of Management) who has made a significant personal contribution during the previous year. The winner is normally chosen by the Restoration Manager.

The John East Trophy commemorates the Trust's first Chairman. John East was one of the two men, unknown to each other at the time, who both had the idea, in the late 1960s, of setting up a society to restore the Wey & Arun Canal. He was a West Sussex County Councillor and so it was natural for him to take the chair at the first meeting of the Wey & Arun Canal Society in August 1970 (it became the Wey & Arun Canal Trust and a registered charity in 1973). John East died in 1994 at the age of 82 and his widow Irene East gave the cup. The cup can be awarded to any member of the Trust and the winner is selected by the Chairman. The first winner was Alan Dyer, still a member of the Trust, and Mrs East made the presentation on board the Trust’s recently acquired trip boat 'Zachariah Keppel'.