A report from SDC's Dave Marshall
The Cotswold Canals Project saw a major milestone passed on Wednesday (5th October) when the first new lock gates were hoisted into position.
The six mammoth gates, weighing up to 2.25 tonnes and measuring up to 20 feet (6m) by 10 feet (3.25m) were fitted at Ryeford Double Lock, near Stonehouse.
These are the first new gates to have been hung at the lock for over 100 years.
The giant gates, made from oak by a specialist manufacturer in Yorkshire, were delivered into storage about year ago. They were wrapped in hessian sacking and watered every week to prevent them drying out and shrinking.
Once the new gates had been hung, the enormous balance beams, each measuring 22 feet (7m) long, were attached.
An experienced team will carefully adjust them until they swing effortlessly and seal properly.
The 37 mile Cotswold Canals once linked the River Thames at Lechlade to the River Severn at Saul.
Stroud District Council is leading the project to restore 6.7 miles of canal between Brimscombe and Stonehouse, funded mainly by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Cllr Keith Pearson, the council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration said,
“This is a huge step forward in our efforts to get the canal open between Stonehouse and Lodgemore, ready for the Stroud on Water Festival next June.
"It’s also a demonstration of our commitment to getting this canal up and running for the benefit of the whole community.”
Prize Winning Restoration
Ryeford Double Lock is a Listed structure. The council’s sensitive restoration of the lock earned the Runner Up Award in the 2011 Waterways Renaissance Awards Historic Environment category.
Top & bottom photographs by Mike Gallagher.
Centre photograph by Nick Bird of www.cotswoldcanals.net Click on the link to see more.