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Volunteer brickies needed to help restore 200 year old lock

Volunteers are being invited to enjoy a holiday with a difference by spending a week following in the footsteps of renowned canal engineer William Jessop, helping to rebuild a derelict 200 year old lock on the Grantham Canal.

WRG volunteer

A series of volunteer camps run by the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) are taking place throughout July and organisers are on the lookout for people with bricklaying experience who could help to rebuild the historic lock walls.

It's all part of a project by the Canal & River Trust and the Grantham Canal Society to restore two locks on the canal. The scheme, which has been awarded a £830,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), sees volunteers restoring derelict locks 14 and 15 near Stenwith.

Learn new skills

Over time the supports and lock walls at lock 15 have moved and crumbled allowing the whole structure to lean inwards and volunteers from the Grantham Canal Society have carefully dismantled them and laid new foundations. The WRG camps will help to build the walls back up again but more bricklayers are needed to get as much done as possible. Volunteers would be needed for a week at a time and places cost £63 which includes accommodation and food.

Becky Parr, assistant camp leader for WRG said; “Canal Camps often act as a catalyst to a canal restoration project making significant progress in just one week, so with four weeks planned on the Grantham Canal we hope to make a big contribution to this project. Camps are a great way to meet new people, do something active on a summer holiday, all whilst helping to restore a derelict canal. You may go on a camp without any skills, but you are sure to leave with some!

Karen Rice, project manager for the Canal & River Trust said; “The volunteers from the Grantham Canal Society have made fantastic progress carefully dismantling the lock walls, cleaning the 200 year old bricks and constructing new foundations for the lock. This series of WRG camps will give the restoration efforts a welcome boost and help with the important job of building the walls back up. It's a great opportunity to hone your skills, follow in the footsteps of one of our most celebrated engineers and make a lasting contribution to the long history of the canal.”

The five year will also involve training volunteers in valuable conservation skills and laying the groundwork for the restoration of a further two locks (numbered 12 and 13).

As well as the physical works the aim of the project is also to raise awareness of the canal's built and natural heritage and encourage more people to explore it through festivals, walking trails, archaeological activities, on-site information and online resources.

For more information on the Grantham Canal go to or for more details on how to get involved in the restoration contact [email protected].

Dates you can book

The WRG camps take place on the following dates:

  • 3 - 9 July
  • 9 - 16 Jul
  • 16 - 23 July
  • 23 - 30 July

To book on the camp or request a 2016 Canal Camps brochure please visit WRG's website or you can call or email the WRG Head Office Team on 01494 783453 ex 604 / [email protected]

Last Edited: 24 June 2016

photo of a location on the canals
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