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News article created on 6 January 2017

Marple Lock Flight to receive a £384,000 makeover

Members of the public are invited to come and see behind-the-scenes at Lock 14 on the Peak Forest Canal in Marple, Greater Manchester, as one of a series of 12 public open day events that will be held across England and Wales this winter.

Marple Lock

Visitors to the lock on Saturday 21st January 2017 will have the rare opportunity to walk along the original 200-year-old brickwork, learn more about the history of the canal and see up close one of the finest examples of working heritage in the world.

The works to Marple Lock Flight will cost £384,000 in total and involve highly skilled craftsmanship. Works include the replacement of the bottom lock gates at lock 14, gate repair works to locks 1, 3, 11, 13, 15 and 16 plus masonry repairs to locks 8, 11, 15, 16. We will also be reconstructing a collapsed waterway wall at lock 7. These are all essential works to enable the local community to continue to enjoy and use the canal in Marple. The works started on the 3rd January and are expected to finish on 23rd March 2017.

Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity to watch the Promenade Performers, who will be re-enacting the construction of the Peak Forest Canal (which was opened in 1805) and be in character as Thomas Brown and Benjamin Outram. These performances will take place at 11am and 2pm in the Services Club next to lock 16. In here, there will also be an archive display showing images of the Peak Forest Canal from its construction to present day. Plus, the recently renovated Marple Toll House will be open for visitors to come and walk round ahead of restoration works which we’ll be starting later in the year.

As part of its maintenance programme, the Trust will be working on around 164 lock gates across the country as well as carrying out repairs to aqueducts, reservoirs and tunnels. Many of the biggest projects are carried out during the winter months to minimise the impact on waterway users.

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust, says: "The Trust cares for a remarkable network of historic waterways which are still working just as they were designed to 200 years ago. Keeping them open and safe requires a huge amount of planning and investment and involves a wide range of experts, from civil engineers and hydrologists to heritage experts and ecologists."

No pre-booking is required. Car parking is available in Marple town centre and the lock flight is a short walk from the high street.

The address for the open day is: Lock 14 (Peak Forest Canal), Lockside Road, Marple, SK6 6BL. 10am-4pm. Parking is available in Marple town centre. Last entry into the lock will be at 3.30pm. Sturdy footwear is recommended for walking in the drained lock chamber, if footwear is deemed inappropriate entry will not be allowed.