Did you know that Zachariah Keppel, a builder from Alfold, went bankrupt trying to construct the Wey & Arun Canal in 1813? Or that the canal was in part built by French prisoners of war? Local groups and organisations can find out more fascinating facts about the Wey & Arun Canal, its history and present journey back to life by booking a talk from the knowledgeable team at the Wey & Arun Canal Trust.

Trust speakers can provide presentations on every aspect of the canal, covering all interests and age groups. Previous bookings have ranged from gardening clubs and wine groups to Scouts and Cubs.

John Dodwell, volunteer speakers organiser, said: “Our speakers are experts in the history of the waterway that runs from Shalford in Surrey to Pallingham in West Sussex. We bring to life the story of how the canal came to be; the characters behind its construction and those who pioneered its restoration.

“The story continues today and we can give an insight into the current restoration. Back in 1813 navvies came from all over the country to build the canal and navvies still volunteer today to bring the canal back to its former glory.”

There are still spaces left on this year’s programme. There is no fixed charge for a speaker, but a £60 donation is asked for to support the Trust’s restoration work.

Anyone interested in booking a talk should email talks@weyandarun.co.uk, or go to https://weyarun.org.uk/content/request-speaker.