Speedy repairs and an open day
This December, a highly skilled team will be racing against the clock to repair the gates of Banbury Lock in central Banbury in just seven days.
The lock, completed in 1778, needs emergency repairs to the bottom gates to make them watertight which will help us conserve water on the Oxford Canal.
The lock will be drained to allow work to take place and, on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December from 10am-4pm, you'll have the rare opportunity to venture to the bottom of the lock and see the original 237-year-old brickwork up close.
Canal & River Trust experts will talk about the £16,000 of work taking place at the lock, volunteer lock keepers from the Trust will be talking about their roles and there will be activities for children inside The Mill Arts Centre.
Canal historians will also be on hand to tell people about the history of the lock, which was hit during a bombing raid in September 1940 destroying the bottom gates.
Tooley’s Boat Yard, which has been in continuous use since 1790 and is the oldest working dry dock on the inland waterways, will be throwing open its doors for the weekend to give visitors a chance to see inside.
A fascinating showcase
Vicky Martin, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust in the region said: “Our open days are a fascinating showcase which give local people the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at some amazing craftsmanship.
"To walk along the bed of a 237 year old lock, see the waterways’ original 18th century design and understand the scale of the work we do to care for it, is a real privilege.”
Banbury Lock open weekend will be held on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December between 10am and 4pm in central Banbury. Last entry into the lock will be at 3:30pm. The lock is right next to The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Spiceball Park Rd, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16 5QE. Parking is available at the centre as well as at other city centre car parks. Please do wear sturdy shoes if you would like to go down into the lock.