Visitors young and old descended into the bottom of the five-metre-deep lock. They were greeted by members of the construction team from the Canal & River Trust who told them all about what it takes to keep the country's waterways working.
Once in the lock visitors were able to see the brand new oak gates, walk along the lock floor and see close up the inner workings of an example of the UK's best industrial heritage.
Lots of questions
Graham Lea, maintenance manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “To so have so many people join us during the day was fantastic, despite the lunch time showers. Visitors were asking lots of insightful questions and they seemed to love finding out more about what keeps our historic waterways working.
“One of the most pleasing things was the mix of ages who attended – we had kids to grandparents throughout the day which just shows how important the waterways are to people.”
The lock, known as Limekiln Lock, is located between Kidsgrove and Church Lawton. It was constructed around 1830, some 60 years after the one adjacent to it because of the demands on the canal by large volumes of commercial boats. These boats moved cargos such as coal, flints and of course pottery to the large industrial centres such as Manchester and Birmingham. Previous engineers on this lock include some famous trio of James Brindley, Hugh Henshall and Thomas Telford.