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News article created on 11 March 2014

Holme Lock undergoes crucial maintenance

During the emergency repairs to Holme Lock on the River Trent, we've discovered a hole in the lock floor and have been forced to cancel our public open day this Sunday.

The lock is over 175-feet long making it one of the biggest worked on during this year’s repair and restoration programme. Our construction staff installed temporary dams or ‘stop planks’ at either end of the lock using a 100-tonne crane. Pumps were then inserted to drain the water out and steel props inserted across the top of the lock to hold the lock in position.

However, once the lock was drained, the construction team discovered water leaking in through the bottom of the lock floor and have now begun inspections to work out a solution to fix the hole. The project to repair the lock gates began on 17 February and is expected to take between 4-6 weeks.


Sean McGinley, waterway manager for the East Midlands region says: “We’re not certain at this stage what has caused the problem and we’ve had divers on site to take a close up look. We had craned out one of the lock gates and drained the lock and then overnight a hole appeared in the lock floor. Our construction and engineering teams are working very hard to identify what the problem is and get it fixed as soon as possible.

“We had planned to hold our second open day in the East Midlands this Sunday to give people a chance to better understand what it takes to keep the waterways working so we regret that we’ve had to cancel the event. Getting a solution and the public’s safety have to take priority.


“We hope to hold an open day on the River Trent in the future as they’ve been proving incredibly popular with local communities up and down the country. Holme Lock is over 80 years old and although it’s incredibly disappointing to everyone involved to have to cancel the open day, this is an example of the challenges we face maintaining and repairing structures like this.”

Holme Lock, as with many of the River Trent locks, is one of the biggest on the inland waterways system. Around 21 double decker buses would fit inside the lock and it would take over 10,000 bath tubs to fill it.