Trust employees and volunteers have been working hard to get Baldwin’s Knob Lock on the Loxwood section back into action and allow boat trips back to this part of the canal.
Investigation work began after the lock developed a leak and the problem was found to be a failure of the stone in front of the bottom gate cill.
To reach the chamber and locate the source of the leak restoration site supervisor Dave Evans and his team first had to install stop planks, pump out the lock and erect a temporary lock access tower. Draining the lock revealed a large amount of silt, which had to be removed to allow a clear view.
The lock gates also had to be removed, no easy task when they weigh in at just under two tonnes. A specialist 18 tonne all-terrain spider crane was employed for the job. The crane is on tracks, allowing it to travel along the towpath (albeit very slowly).
A series of steel props were then installed to hold the lock in place while volunteers dig out the existing wooden cill and carry out repairs before reconstructing the 16ft wide cill using reinforced concrete.
Volunteer engineer Martin Allnutt, who worked with consultants Tony Gee and Partners on the Loxwood Bridge project, has provided a design brief for the remedial work which is expected to continue for the next few weeks, with teams from the NWPG, EWG and visiting Waterway Recovery Group volunteers all lending a hand to get the job done.