Dudbridge Locks Restoration Report No.5

Dudbridge Upper Lock Gates installed

The gates for Dudbridge Upper (or Foundry) Lock were fitted today. As usual, the operation went like clockwork; the teams from Ellis Cranes of Gloucester and Hargreaves of Halifax are now well practised at working together.

High hoist

The gates and balance beams had to be hoisted high over canal side trees. The crane operator relied on a series of hand signals relayed by his colleagues at the lockside.

The smaller upper gates were first to be fitted. The balance beams followed.

CCT Photographer Mike Gallagher’s first photo shows a gate being lowered into position behind the new stop planks produced by Hailey Saw Mills of Cirencester. The stop planks, will hold back the water as work on the chamber continues.

Heavy rain & heavy gates

Despite heavy rain the teams worked on to position the bottom gates, built in Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire and weighing 3.2 tonnes each. The gates have been stored at Brimscombe Port awaiting fitting.

Significant milestone

Stroud District Councils Dave Marshall commented…

“This is a significant milestone for the project and had to be completed this week. The work must comply with Environment Agency restrictions that apply to working in main river channels during the fish spawning season. This means that the earth dam above the lock has to be removed by tomorrow, Friday 4th October."

The canal is officially a river

The Stroudwater Navigation is regarded as a river due to the flows from Slad Brook, Painswick Stream and Ruscombe Brook.

Foundry Lock is the first lock to be restored on the stretch that was modified in the 1950s to carry that flow of water. The result is that ‘Dudbridge Waterfalls,’ as they were known, have become a thing of the past.

The flowing water is of course the reason that the Dudbridge Locks site is shared by the Dudbridge Hydro Scheme.
Restoration of the Dudbridge Locks will mean that the canal is navigable from Stonehouse Ocean to Lodgemore Bridge, Stroud.

Chris Spencer of main contractors Land & Water was pleased with the day’s work. “It all went to plan. The gates were in place and the crane was off site by four o'clock. The stop planks above the lock are in place and the earth dam has been cleared away.”

Chris concluded in his usual upbeat & positive way…

“The top lock will all be ready for the public to see the new gates and restored brickwork at first hand during next week’s Dudbridge Locks Open Days”

 
 Click here to view Mike Gallager's photos of gate installation day

Public Open Days at Dudbridge Locks 

The dates are Friday 11th October from 1pm – 5pm and Saturday 12th October from 10am – 1pm.

Boat Trips

Public trips on board CCT Trip Boat Endeavour will also be available on both days.

Friday's trips will run from Dudbridge Wharf and Saturday's trips will run from Ebley Wharf.

Walking through Upper Lock

Following the success of the Public Open Days at Capels Mill in May, Land & Water and Stroud District Council Canal Restoration team will host two public open days that will provide a unique opportunity for the public to view the ‘invert’ (bottom) of Foundry Lock (the upper lock). Staff will be on hand to explain the lock project and its progress.

Viewing Dudbridge Hydro

Small groups will also be able to view the Hydro Scheme at close quarters. Groups of up to five people at a time will be taken into the underground turbine chamber.

Enter & leave by ladder

This will involve entering and leaving the chamber by a fixed ladder. If you feel able to do that and are keen to see the system in full generating mode then you can record your intention by calling the Cotswold Canals Trust Administration Office on 01453 752 568.

Alternatively, email mail@cotswoldcanals.com

Click here or on the poster icon to download a Dudbridge Locks printable poster.

Click here and here or on the icons below to find out more about Hargreaves of Halifax and Hailey Wood Saw Mills.