In the East Midlands there is a hive of activity around Lock 15 on the Grantham Canal. We have been fortunate enough to get funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the restoration of locks 14 and 15. This builds on the great work already done, and still underway, by the Grantham Canal Society.
The Society has a long history and this project allows us to both start a new chapter of mutual cooperation.
We have been delighted with the volunteers' hard work and enthusiasm, despite some challenges so far, including the mighty task of cleaning up a mass of heritage bricks.
These original bricks, fired of local materials and used in the construction of the canal, tell their own story. They have overheard conversations and seen cargoes carried. They are part of the canal's history and we wanted to save and reuse them.
I want to say at this point that cleaning bricks and removing the lime used on them is by far one of the less glamorous jobs, and can be soul destroying. I know this only too well, having done this myself as an apprentice, tradesman and even DIYer. It is a tedious, but vital task, as it is not only important to save as much of the heritage fabric as we can, but it also saves thousands of pounds which can be reinvested, helping towards the ultimate goal - a fully restored canal.
I sent a tweet last week which thanked the volunteers for their hard work, and acknowledged that sometimes the less glamourous jobs we do have a huge part to play. So when the locks and other canal features are finally rebuilt and the volunteers stand back, I want them to feel proud. I want them to know that we appreciate their time, patience, and enthusiasm. So my one small tweet really came from the heart.
Heritage adviser, North East & East Midlands
The work carried out by the heritage team is extremely varied, covering all sorts of structures and a wide variety of projects. Not one week is the same and we keep learning all the time, meeting some fascinating people and visiting stunning places along the way. We are hoping that through our blogs we can share some of our passion for the amazing industrial heritage of the inland waterways.See more blogs from this author