IWA Stoke Branch - Cheshire Locks day

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Issue date: 26th June 2012

IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch and Trent & Mersey Canal Society held a successful Waterway Community Day at Lock 51 of the Trent and Mersey Canal on Saturday 9th June. The aim was to raise awareness of the Cheshire Locks Project, which is a joint project of the two organisations. Among the project’s aims is general improvement on this flight of duplicated locks, the campaign for which, after a quiet period, is getting going again with some volunteer work parties planned over the summer.

Display boards informed passers-by about the Cheshire Locks project, other projects in the branch area, and future opportunities for volunteering. There were lots of things to buy from IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch sales stand; children took part in the Boat Livery colouring activity while parents looked at the display boards; and people enjoyed having a go on the Trent and Mersey Canal Society’s Nail Game featuring a nail for each operational lock on the flight. 

Two working boats (Tench and Sweden) arrived wanting to come down the paired locks from above, only to have to single out to pass through Lock 51. This highlighted the logic of the long-term plan to get some of the disused duplicate locks reinstated. All the boaters on this busy flight were supportive of the ideas, and several volunteers for future work parties were recruited.

Following the initial phase of the Cheshire Locks Project in 2009, the paddle gear had seemed to be better greased and easier to use. Volunteers at the event heard from boaters that the paddle gears on the operational locks on the flight are getting harder to use again which is something the branch will raise with BW.

Dates for work parties on the flight in July and August will be set once a site meeting has taken place with BW, to agree what tasks can be carried out by volunteers. If you would like to be kept informed about dates for these work parties, please contact Alison Smedley, Branch Campaign Officer, on 07779 090915 or by email alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk.