UK’s Longest lock flight unlocks canal secrets

Redditch Advertiser: Tardebigge Locks opened their doors to the public. Dean Panner, John Williamson, Nick Pearson and  David Wheeler. Tardebigge Locks opened their doors to the public. Dean Panner, John Williamson, Nick Pearson and David Wheeler.

FOR anyone who has ever wondered what the bottom of a canal lock looks like, there was a rare opportunity last weekend.

The Canal and River Trust organised an open day at Tardebigge, on the Tardebigge Flight of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, while teams undertake maintenance work.

The extensive work at Tardebigge involves the replacement of the gates at lock 58, other repairs include brick work repairs to the lock chamber and fitting new paddles

A fish rescue took place ahead of the open day.

The trust offered guided tours to visitors, where they got the chance to ask the maintenance teams about the canal and even get the chance to walk along the canal bed and see the 200-year-old brickwork that’s usually hidden deep underwater.

Nick Worthington, South Wales and Severn waterway manager for the Canal and River Trust, said: "Tardebigge Locks run through the heart of Worcestershire.

"Replacing the lock gates is part of the essential maintenance needed to enable the local canal network to be used and enjoyed by boaters, cyclists, anglers and walkers."

The trust is completing repairs and restoration work on hundreds of historic waterway structures around the country.

Richard Parry, chief executive of the trust, added: “Every day thousands of people visit or cruise on our waterways without ever seeing all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and below the waterline, to look after this historic and remarkable infrastructure.

"By showcasing this work to the public we can give them a glimpse of the craftsmanship of the waterways’ original 18th Century design and the scale of the work we do to care for it.

"We hope this will inspire more people to get involved to enjoy and help support their local canal or river navigation."

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