Hundreds of visitors flocked to the Erewash Canal on Sunday to catch a rare glimpse of an incredible 18th century canal structure.
This weekend we opened up the impressive Sandiacre Lock after draining it for maintenance, giving a unique insight into the inner workings of the Erewash Canal. During the event more than 600 visitors of all ages took the opportunity to venture 20ft into the bottom of the lock and walk along the drained lock bed.
Sean McGinley, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust’s East Midlands region said: “Thousands of visitors pass these structures each year but many might not realise what it takes the Trust to keep them in top working order. It’s important to the canals future that we get support from local communities in order to help us continue to protect what the great industrial pioneers of the 18th century left as their legacy.
“People commented that they’ve passed the locks so many times before but what was really impressive was to walk down inside them, get a close up look at the construction and learn interesting facts from my teams about how they carry out this work. Our aims during these open days have been to showcase these incredible heritage structures and to give local communities the chance to experience what they wouldn’t get a chance to see otherwise.”
The maintenance team are currently sealing leaks with repointing and grouting work, the lock chamber walls will be pressure washed to remove any debris and all open and loose joints to the chamber walls will be raked out and repointed. The team are also repairing several areas of damaged brickwork, as well as examining why the bottom lock gates do not mitre together correctly and fixing this problem.