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News article created on 2 September 2015

Naburn event will give fascinating insight into Yorkshire's waterway history

Local people are being invited to find out how volunteers are playing their part in bringing a fascinating part of Yorkshire’s waterway history back to life.

We are inviting people to a special open day, showcasing how local volunteers are helping to restore Naburn Lock workshops, on Sunday 13 September.

The workshops were built in the 19th Century and were used to carry out repairs and make parts for the region’s waterways, as well as offering facilities for the freight barges on the River Ouse. These amenities remained busy for the first half of the 20th Century but, as the flow of freight traffic waned, so the need for their services was reduced.

Fantastic place, with beautiful architecture

Whilst both locks remain available for use, the workshops closed around 30 years ago and the last regular barge traffic of newsprint to the "York Press" ceased in the 1990s. Sadly the buildings and their contents were largely abandoned and the machinery inside has become dilapidated when submerged in river water during times of flood.

Now the Trust wants to renovate the workshops and use them as a place where people can find out more about the region’s waterways, explore items from the river's history, and for people to be able to appreciate the fine industrial architecture of locks, weirs and the buildings themselves.

The open day will give local people the chance to look around the workshops, learn about their local history and find out how they may be able to help the restoration efforts.

Volunteer parties began in February, laying the hedges around the lock before starting to renovate the interiors in April. These work parties happen every other Thursday, and more volunteers are welcome to get involved.

Kevin Young, operations supervisor for the Trust said; “Naburn is a fantastic place, with beautiful architecture, lots of really interesting historical features and, of course, the river, so it’s a great place to give the family an insight into their local history.

“This open day is just part of our plans to use the workshops as a place for visitors to come and explore the rich history of the area’s waterways. Volunteers have already made a start by clearing out the workshops and they discovered a whole treasure trove of historic items which we’ll have on show over the course of the day.

“It promises to be a fascinating day and we look forward to welcoming people along and explaining how they may be able to help.”

More details 

The open day takes place from 9.30am to 4pm on Sunday 13 September. Access is easy by most forms of transport: Naburn Marina provides moorings, free car parking is adjacent to the site, the York to Selby cycle path passes through Naburn, and the hourly 42 bus service stops at the top of the half-mile lane that leads to the lock.

For more information on the event call 0113 2816810 or e-mail enquiries.northeast@canalrivertrust.org.uk. To find details of volunteering opportunities at Naburn go to canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer