Up against it at Stave­ley


Canal Boat - - News -

VOL­UN­TEERS FROM THE Ch­ester­field Canal Trust are bat­tling to get the new Stave­ley Town Lock fin­ished and work­ing in time to be of­fi­cially opened as the next stage of the canal’s restora­tion dur­ing the In­land Wa­ter­ways As­so­ci­a­tion’s Na­tional Trail­boat Fes­ti­val, which comes to Stave­ley on the late spring bank hol­i­day week­end.

The is­sue isn’t so much the lock it­self (which is very nearly fin­ished) as the sec­tion of canal beyond it, known as Hart­ing­ton Har­bour. They can’t open the lock with­out this sec­tion of canal be­ing com­pleted; there needs to be some­where below the lock for the boats to go and, more im­por­tantly, some­where for the water to go – “We can’t just empty it into a field”, vol­un­teer leader Dave Kiddy re­marked drily.

The pur­pose of the new lock is to lower the canal’s level to al­low it to pass un­der a rail­way, be­fore climb­ing through a sec­ond new lock (which is yet to be built). That means the length of canal be­tween the two locks will need a large over­flow weir to get rid of the sur­plus water, and build­ing the weir has been a ma­jor part of the work. But it’s been dogged by ap­palling weather plus tech­ni­cal prob­lems with the Trust’s ex­ca­va­tor. How­ever, thanks to sup­port from JCB and many vol­un­teers work­ing five days a week, as we went to press, CCT was still hope­ful it would be done in time.

Con­crete over­flow weir sec­tions in­stalled

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