Brute strength needed to transport two tonne lock gates at Shireoaks Marina

Volunteers pull barge containing new lock gates which are due to be fitted on the Chesterfield Canal near Shireoaks
Volunteers pull barge containing new lock gates which are due to be fitted on the Chesterfield Canal near Shireoaks
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Brute strength was needed at Shireoaks Marina this week when volunteers from Chesterfield Canal Trust had to pull two tonne lock gates to their new home on Chesterfield Canal.

Although the “Dawn Rose” boat used to transport the locks is traditionally horse drawn, the horse is still being trained and volunteers had to step in.

Volunteers pull barge containing new lock gates which are due to be fitted on the Chesterfield Canal near Shireoaks

Volunteers pull barge containing new lock gates which are due to be fitted on the Chesterfield Canal near Shireoaks

Once the boat was moving, it only took two volunteers pulled the boat along the 1.5 kilometres of canal.

The rundown old gates are being replaced as part of Canal and River Trust’s annual £43 million maintenance programme.

The charity, which cares for 240 miles of waterways in the East Midlands, carries out an annual programme of restoration and repairs to the nation’s waterways during the winter to minimise the inconvenience of navigation closures to boaters during the busy summer season.

Julian Rasen, construction supervisor for the works, says: “Replacing and repairing the gates at these locks on the Chesterfield Canal is part of the essential maintenance needed to enable the local canal network to be used and enjoyed by thousands of boaters, cyclists, anglers and walkers every year.

“As the gates can’t be delivered straight to the lock by road, we are delighted to be able to work with the Chesterfield Canal Trust in getting these hand crafted gates to the site by boat as they would have been in years past. It’s certainly a way to mark the occasion and celebrate the 240-year-old canal.”

Robin Stonebridge, chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, says: “Our volunteers know all about the hard work that goes into keeping our canal history alive having spent nearly four years making the “Dawn Rose” using only traditional hand tools.

“Although traditionally a horse drawn boat, our volunteers are stepping in as our horse is still being trained.

“It’s wonderful that we can support the Canal and River Trust as they care for our much loved Chesterfield Canal.”

On Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 March between 10am and 4pm, people will have the rare opportunity to walk down into Lock 38 to see the canal from a very different angle during a free public open event. Visitors will be able to learn more about the history of the canal and see the new gates in place. Then for one night only, on Saturday 11 March between 6:30 and 9pm, the Turnerwood flight of locks will be transformed by hundreds of giant candles, fiery sculptures, and come alive with music, dance and spoken word performances.