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News article created on 24 April 2013

Actor to unveil historic structure on the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal

The Guillotine Lock on the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal will be officially unveiled by canal enthusiast and star of stage and screen, Timothy West, on Tuesday 30 April. The lock has recently undergone repair work to fix vandalism, which it suffered from after its refurbishment in 2012.

The £200,000 restoration takes the Grade II listed and scheduled ancient monument off the heritage ‘At Risk’ register and was made possible thanks to funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. Unfortunately, the lock has suffered a set-back since it was fully refurbished in December 2012 as vandals have caused over £2,500 of damage, leaving our conservation team to repair it a second time.

Timothy West CBE, known for his long and celebrated career as actor on the stage and screen, will be joined by chair of the West Midlands Waterway Partnership, Peter Mathews, waterway manager Dean Davies and Kate Pearson, Trusts Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery. They will travel through the non-operational lock on a beautiful example of one of the West Midlands’ historic working boats, ‘Scorpio’.

Regular on the canals

Timothy, a regular on the canals in England, said: “It’s such a pleasure to see projects like this bringing our wonderful heritage back to life. My family and I have taken so much enjoyment from our canals and rivers for so many years that it’s comforting to know that another important part of our waterway heritage will be preserved for future generations.”

Jo Bucci, managing director of People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We are incredibly proud to play our part in the Trust’s essential work to preserve the canals and rivers of England and Wales. Few people realise that many canal locks, buildings and structures are listed monuments and that the waterway network is one of the finest living references to Britain’s industrial revolution. On behalf of People’s Postcode Lottery and all of our players, we are delighted to be involved in helping to conserve, enhance and restore the heritage of our national waterways.” 

Skilled brickwork

Peter Mathews CMG, Chair of the West Midlands Waterway Partnership, added: “We’re delighted that Timothy is joining us on Tuesday 30th April to unveil Guillotine Lock after all the hard work that has gone into refurbishing it. It’s wonderful to have an opportunity to shout about the hard work that has gone into the project, from the maintenance teams doing the skilled brickwork to the generous support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who funded a quarter of the total cost, as we want to make sure this valuable addition to our West Midlands waterway heritage is around for the next generation to enjoy.” 

The refurbishment project saw repairs to the brickwork, both in the lock and around the lock gate structure using traditional methods to ensure the work is carried out in keeping with the heritage of the canal network. During the works, the local community also had the opportunity to walk down into the empty chamber to view the works taking place.