Join Us In June - Community Day At Lock 51 - 2012

IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch and the Trent & Mersey Canal Society held a successful Waterway Community Day at Lock 51 of the Trent and Mersey Canal on Saturday 9th June 2012.

The aim was to raise awareness of the Cheshire Locks Project, a joint project of the two organisations, 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 area, and opportunities for volunteering.lock_51_event_2012_small

There were lots of things to buy from the IWA 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 (which features a nail for each operational lock on the flight). Click adjacent image for the bigger picture!

Volunteers at the event heard from boaters passing through the lock that the paddle gear on the operational locks on the flight are getting harder to use again (and this is something the branch will raise with BW, as over the last couple of years the paddle gear had seemed to be better greased and easier to use, following the initial phase of the Cheshire Locks Project when it was started in 2009).

The logic of the very long-term plan to get some of the disused duplicate locks reinstated was demonstrated perfectly by the arrival of two working boats (Tench and Sweden) coming down the paired locks above, only to have to single out to pass through Lock 51.

All the boaters on this busy flight were supportive of the ideas, and several volunteers for future work parties were recruited.

Dates for work parties on the flight in July and August will be set very soon, 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,