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The charity making life better by water

New lock gates set to be lifted into Newark Town Lock as part of major winter maintenance project

We've started works to replace two giant sets of lock gates at Newark Town Lock as part of a major programme of works taking place across the country this winter.

A full lock in the centre of a town, with Newark Castle, an old mediaeval ruin, in the distance

We're investing more than £330,000 into the works to replace both sets of lock gates as part of its annual winter maintenance programme.

When are the works happening?

As part of the works, which are due to last until mid-March, we will be installing temporary dams in order to drain the lock enabling the charity's expert engineering teams to lift the gates safely into position.

During the works we're holding special open days, on 26 and 27 February, enabling members of the public to get a behind the scenes tour of the project. Visitors will be able to step down into the drained lock on specially installed walkways to get a close up view of the works and speak to our skilled teams. The open days will also have family friendly activities available in the lock-side garden, and an opportunity to visit the town's dry dock, the largest inland dry dock in the UK.

Welcoming people to our open days

Phil Mulligan, our regional director in the East Midlands, said: “The works at Newark Town Lock are a great example of the work that we do to preserve and protect the nation's precious waterways. Our expert teams will be out in all weathers this winter replacing lock gates and repairing historic brickwork.

“Research proves people feel happier and healthier by water and over the pandemic particularly, the River Trent has offered a valuable lifeline for so many, providing a perfect place for local recreation and exercise. That's why it's so important that we keep it open and safe for everyone to use, whether people enjoy a waterside stroll, cycling, boating, paddling or angling.

“We're really looking forward to welcoming people to our open days in February and enabling them to get a closer look at the works and learn a bit about their local history. It's not every day that you get to stand at the bottom of a drained lock and we hope that lots of local people will join us.”

How the gates are made

The new lock gates have been hand-crafted using traditional methods in our specialist workshops at 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.

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Last Edited: 18 January 2022

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