BACK IN ACTION
During the early 20th century, the Pocklington Canal fell into disuse but survived plans to turn it into a dumping ground for chalk sludge. Now volunteers and supporters are celebrating the launch of a new navigable stretch
Volunteers celebrate as new stretch is opened
Aceremony marked the reopening of a two-mile stretch on the Pocklington Canal which was first opened 200 years ago, as the great and the good gathered to celebrate the restoration to the Bielby Arm which involved the restoration of two locks namely Thornton Lock and Walbut Lock. The Canal & River Trust dredged the pound between the two locks and undertook weed cutting and tree pruning above the Walbut Lock.
Dignitaries included Lord Halifax, patron of the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society and CRT chief executive Richard
Parry. Also present was David Renwick head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and Humberside together with Adelle Rowe, area manager for Natural England.
The first boats to reach the Bielby Arm were Lockwood and Alpheus. The PCAS’s own trip boat New Horizons together with
Just Chillin had made an inspection journey to check the locks and depth of water.
The CRT’s workboat Gawburn was pressed into service both to clear weed growth in the Melbourne arm and recheck water depth. It is thought that the Gawburn is the largest boat to travel up the canal to Bielby in many years.
The Bielby Arm is not, in fact, owned by the Canal and River Trust but is used by the University of York for research purposes. With two more miles of canl reopened both PCAS and the CRT have their sights set of the next lock to restore, namely Sandhill. Coinciding with the reopening was the award to the canal of the Green Flag award.
The boat Lockwood was the second boat into Thornton Lock after the reopening
Entering the newly reopened Walbut Lock
Richard Parry, David Renwick, Adelle Rowe with Paul Waddington
Lord Halifax with PCAS chairman Paul Waddington
CRT workboat Gawburn, biggest to Bielby so far