News article created on 10 January 2020

Dowley Gap winter open day

You're invited join us at a special free winter open day at Dowley Gap Locks on Sunday, 19 January, for a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how lock gates are replaced and to take part in some family-friendly canal activities.

Dowley Gap Two Rise locks with people walking by Dowley Gap Two Rise locks

We have completely drained the Grade II Listed lock so that the work can take place. A temporary viewing platform has also been created so visitors can get a better look at the work taking place.

The Trust’s education team has organised some fun family activities for the day, including a stone masonry taster where visitors young and old can help create a miniature bridge sculpture.

Visitors can also take a walk along the towpath, enjoy a free hot chocolate and even explore the local and national canal landmarks through virtual reality headsets. The event and all the activities are free, thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Russell Clark, site supervisor for Canal & River Trust, said: “The lock itself is in a good condition but the gates are about 30 years old and getting quite tired, so we’re replacing them and the balance beams. The new hand-crafted gates will be made of the same material, strong English green oak, and each weigh just under two tons, with the balance beams another ton on top of that.

“We’ve built the 6ft viewing platform across the lock so people can see inside and watch the team at work, which also includes repairing the lock’s stone walls. We’ll be more than happy to talk to people about what we’re doing on the day and we’re looking forward to meeting everyone.”

Visitors on Sunday, 19 January will be able to park in the Emerald Group car park at Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA.