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News article created on 25 August 2016

Discover the secrets of Stanley Ferry Workshop

On Saturday 3 September, the Canal & River Trust will be opening up Stanley Ferry Workshop for a free ‘behind the scenes’ experience. Come along to find out why every lock gate has to be made to measure.

Stanley Ferry Aqueduct Stanley Ferry Aqueduct

Stanley Ferry Workshop is one of only two places in the UK where lock gates are manufactured and refurbished by the Trust, with almost 100 individual gates handcrafted every year. 

The workshop, based in Wakefield, is normally closed to the public but for one day only it will open up for people to see how the massive gates are expertly crafted. The public will be able to take a tour of the woodworking workshop, speak to the skilled craftsmen, see the dry dock, get on-board a Humber Keel barge and see the historic Stanley Ferry Aqueduct.

Children attending will have the chance to try their hand at fishing with guidance from a professional fishing coach. A limited number of free fishing starter kits will be given away on the day.

Each lock gate is unique

Each lock gate is unique and made to measure, requiring detailed and accurate manufacturing by the Trust’s craftsmen. Over the years thousands of lock gates have been made at this workshop.

Lock gates are constructed with tremendous strength as they have to control huge water pressures, take the hard usage they get from the thousands of boats using the gates, and survive for a long time under water.

Attendees will be able to explore The Sobriety Project’s Humber Keel barge. The charity is a community hub working with the hardest to reach community groups and individuals and uses the barge for residential trips.

Janet Tynan, Workshops Manager at Stanley Ferry, says: “We are so pleased to be able to open up the workshop. It’s great to show people exactly where the lock gates come from and give them a glimpse into the work that goes into making each gate.

"Between five to 20 days,"

“It can take between five to 20 days to manufacture a gate. Each gate is made from sustainably sourced British Oak and weighs on average 3.6 tonnes with a working life of between 25 and 30 years. To ensure the gates are watertight they need to be built precisely to exact measurements.”

Stanley Ferry open day will be held on Saturday 3rd September between 10am and 4pm. No need to book for self-guided tour, parking is available.

More Open Days

To find out more about the Canal & River Trust’s Restoration & Repairs programme and the open days happening across the country this summer go to: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/restoration-and-repair-open-days

Free fishing taster session

To find out more about the free fishing taster session go to: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/go-fish