Mending Marple

If you're a regular boater or visitor to Marple locks and aqueduct you'll know that it has been out of action one way or another since September 2017. So what exactly were the engineers doing? And why is it so important to the local community?

Mending Marple (credit: Dave Thompson) Mending Marple (credit: Dave Thompson)

As the charity that cares for over 2,000 miles of canals and rivers, we rely on funding - big and small - to help us look after the waterways to keep them open and easy to access for people to enjoy.

Not just the historic structures such as Marple's famous locks and aqueduct. But to create places for the local people and visitors who use them every day - whether it's to walk their dogs, the route to school or somewhere for a boat trip at the weekend.

The engineer's point of view

So we caught up with Helen Braidwood, one of our asset engineers who worked on the Marple Flight. "There have been over 90 different pieces of work carried out along the flight, from Marple Aqueduct all the way up to Lock 16. This meant that the flight had to be closed to boaters and the towpath closed to walkers and cyclists.

When repairing quadrants (the raised stone areas that you stand on to open a lock) each piece of masonry is removed individually and numbered. By doing this we can make sure quadrant is put back in the same way it was taken down, protecting the heritage of the area.

Quadrant at Marple Locks Quadrant at Marple Locks

I also designed pathways on Marple Aqueduct to allow disabled access, including adding tail ramps. This means that the flight is more accessible for the public.

Throughout the flight a lot of improvements have taken place which I hope will encourage residents of Marple and the wider community to continue to use and enjoy the waterway. The work which has taken place may not always be visible to members of the public but it is all part of protecting Marple’s heritage and ensuring it lasts long into the future."

Local resident and one of our towpath fundraising team, Dave Thompson, shared his photos and videos with us, including this timelapse of the work.

You can stay up to date with all the developments on our notices page.


Last date edited: 28 June 2018