Stret Lock on the Chesterfield Canal was restored in the 1990s. However for very many years some boats have been getting stuck on their way through. These boats might have been slightly wider or deeper than normal. There were lots of theories about the problem, some even suggesting that the lock was banana-shaped. The general consensus was that, in the 240 years since the lock was built, the ground pressure had forced the walls inwards.A major inspection of the lock took place in 2011. Infra-red photographs were taken, which were used to create a computer simulation of the lock. A virtual boat was then introduced so that any problem areas were highlighted. The lock was found to be narrower than it should have been.
In October 2012 we started work to widen the lock. This involved taking down two of the of the outer brick courses on the towpath side and replacing them with one course, increasing the width by 50mm.
The final welding was carried out on the paddle gear this week yesterday (3 January) and at lunchtime the Chesterfield Canal Trust's historic boat, Python, approached. Rod Auton of the Chesterfield Canal Trust explains: "This boat had previously got stuck every time it tried to get through. This time it went like a dream, slipping in and out perfectly.
"It might only be two inches, but it will make all the difference for full-sized boats which should now be able to get all the way to Kiveton Park past the idyllic hamlet of Turnerwood and up the historic Turnerwood and Thorpe flights of locks that were restored a decade ago."