Bowbridge Lock Restoration Report No.1

First steps at Bowbridge

On Saturday 1st March the pound above Bowbridge Lock was drained to enable work to start on the restoration of the lock.

Bright & sunny at Bowbridge

It was indeed a bright sunnny morning that illuminated the first steps of the restoration of Bowbridge Lock.

An ingenious pulley system was used to raise the paddle on the towpath side.

And it worked!

It only took a couple of heaves on the pulley chain to identify that, whilst the old lock gear above ground had long since disappeared, the wooden paddle (door) below, that has held back the water for so many years, was thankfully still attached to the lifting mechanism.

Stroud Angling Club Members were on hand to relocate stranded fish upstream to the canal at Thrupp.

Early days restoration works revealed

Once drained the area around the top of the lock was inspected and found to be in remarkably good condition.

Early days restorers

The monochrome picture right shows workers at Bowbridge on 6th December 1974. Trust founder Mike Ayland stands in the foreground. Do you recognise anyone else, or even yourself, in this picture?

Click here to send us an email and share your story of that December day forty years ago.

Next steps

The wharf wall above the lock on the towpath side will be repaired as the original timber foundations have long since disappeared.

Before re-watering stainless steel channels will be fitted into the existing stop plank grooves in the brickwork. This will ease the fitting and removal of the stop planks.

Once this work has been completed stop planks will be fitted to keep the chamber dry whilst the main lock restoration work is carried out. The canal will be refilled in two to three months time.

Click on the colour photos to see larger versions

Click here to see CCT photographer Mike Gallagher's Bowbridge collection