Buckingham Canal Society has received an early Christmas present, in the shape of a second-hand digger.
The three-tonne JCB 803 excavator, known as ‘Blue’, was formerly owned by the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG).
It was purchased for WRG in 1996, following an appeal to celebrate The Inland Waterways Association’s 50th anniversary, and formally handed over to WRG at the World Canal Conference in Birmingham by the then Waterways Minister, Robert Jones
Over the past 17 years, the excavator has been loaned out to waterway restoration groups around the country
Although Blue is still going strong, it is beginning to show signs of age and WRG decided its travelling days should come to an end.
Expressions of interest for Blue were sought from waterway restoration groups around the country.
Buckingham Canal Society put in a particularly good case and has now taken delivery of the machine.
The canal society hopes Blue will now enjoy many more productive years helping restore the Buckingham Arm of the Grand Union Canal.
The machine is currently being stored with the kind support of Cosgrove Marina, prior to the restoration works the society is expecting to undertake in 2014.
Anyone wishing to find out more is invited to enjoy some cheese and wine at the 22nd annual meeting at 7.15pm on Saturday, February 1, at Buckingham Communtiy Centre.
The evening will conclude with a an illustrated talk by trustees of the society, entitled Buckingham Canal – Building Tomorrow’s Heritage, which will encompass the Bourton Meadow project and the socity’s vision for the future.