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Wallbridge Upper Lock Update No. 5

A report from Chris Spencer

This Weeks Work

Work this week will concentrate on completing the masonry in the main lock chamber.

When that is complete the scaffolding will be removed in preparation for the arrival and installation of the new lock gates on Tuesday 13th December 2011.

Preparation of the land between the bottom of the lock and Stroud Brewery Bridge will also commence this week.

This will enable landscaping of that area using the dredgings currently held within the drying lagoon at the site compound.

Last Weeks Work

Brickwork in the lock chamber continues with the rebuilding of the upper sections of the lock that have suffered root ingress damage.

Care is taken to ensure that the rebuilt sections are faced with reclaimed brick to match the existing brickwork.

The mortar faces are also dressed to match the existing historic finish of the lock chamber. See top picture.

All work has to be kept free from frost to prevent the water content in the lime mortar from turning to ice. The masonry is therefore covered with hessian cloth for several days.

Clean Culvert

The overflow by-wash culvert, which diverts water from the upper pound to the lower side of the lock, has been cleaned using high pressure water jetting.

The 250 year old stone & brickwork structure is in a remarkable condition.

See middle picture.

Repairs to the four by-wash manhole chambers have also been undertaken to ensure safe access to the culvert for any future maintenance works.

Impressive Chambers

With all dredging works now complete the ground paddle chambers have been cleaned. See bottom picture.

The jet washer revealed the remarkable skills of the stonemasons and bricklayers who created this structure so long ago.

The stone, against which an elm planked paddle board is seated, is some three feet thick through which a chamfered hole has been carved to direct the flow of water. 

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