THIS winter people are being given the opportunity to experience a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of repairs to Lapworth Lock 6 on the North Stratford Canal.
The activity is part of a national £50 million vital makeover of dozens of historic locks, bridges and aqueducts which includes the replacement of over 100 handcrafted oak lock gates.
As part of the Lapworth repairs, which will take place until the middle of December, both lock gates will be removed with one being replaced by a new one constructed to exactly the same dimensions and design and the other being taken to Bradley, near Dudley, for repairs.
This week a special viewing platform has been erected at the site to enable visitors to see British Waterways staff carrying out a number of repairs to the lock chamber while the canal is drained.
The team will be using special heritage skills to carry out sensitive repairs to the lock walls.
They will be using locally sourced Hollington Red stone and lime mortar which was commonly used on canal structures during the 1800s due to its durable and permeable properties. As the repairs proceed the lock will be covered by protective sheeting and heaters will be used to help the mortar to set.
Built by the great canal engineers over 200 years ago, the public will be able to see what happens beneath the surface at well known locations across England and Wales such as Anderton Boat Lift, Caen Hill Lock Flight and the magnificent Lune Aqueduct.
As well as these iconic waterways structures, the open days will give many canal enthusiasts and local communities the chance to find out more about the history and maintenance of their local waterway.