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News article created on 19 September 2017

Important repairs begin to historic lock on Trent & Mersey Canal

We are carrying out repairs to Lock 44, Yew Tree Lock on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Stoke.

Trent & Mersey Lock 44 new gate

Our skilled workmen and engineers will be removing the old lock gates by a crane before new ones are fitted, as well as repointing and replacing missing brickwork from the lock chamber. The work is costing around £30,000 and will be completed in five weeks.

David Baldacchino, from the Trust, said: "The Trent & Mersey Canal is such an important part of the region’s heritage so the work we’re doing will ensure boaters can continue to use this popular waterway. It’s vital that we keep the canal in good working order for the local people who use it to walk to school and work or as a place to get away from it all."

The Trent & Mersey Canal runs for 93 miles from the Bridgewater Canal at Preston Brook to Shardlow and the River Trent and includes the towering Anderton Boat Lift, Stoke-on-Trent’s famous potteries and the nature reserve at picturesque Fradley Junction.

The new lock gates are hand-crafted using traditional methods in the Trust’s specialist workshops at Bradley in the West Midlands and Stanley Ferry in Yorkshire. A single lock gate can take up to 20 days to make and has a working life of between 25 and 30 years. In order to be watertight, they need to be built very precisely, fitting tightly to the masonry of the lock walls and to each other.