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 Mike Hobbs was presented with the Jack King Cup, while the John East Cup was presented to Lynis Nash.
"Both Lyn and Mike 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.
"Lyn has been working with the Trust for 20 years and played a key role in launching our boat trips, 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."
Mike Hobbs lives in Farncombe, Godalming, Surrey
Lynis Nash lives in Loxwood, West Sussex.
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".