Open day insight into efforts to preserve nation’s canals

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A £500,000 winter maintenance programme to replace 15 lock gates and carry out other essential repairs to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal has been announced by British Waterways.

The repairs, part of a £50m national scheme, come five months before the Government puts the canals and rivers of Britain’s 200 year-old waterway network into trust for the nation.

And an open day is being organised to allow the public a behind-the-scenes look at how locks are being preserved for future generations. The open day, at Lock 40E at Marsden, is on Tuesday January 24, during the maintenance works.

Lock gate replacements on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal include locks 1East, 7E, 8E, 12E, 28E, 32E, 34E, 39E, 40E and 31West, with repairs on many others.

David Baldacchino, British Waterways Manager for the Manchester & Pennine region said: “These open days really allow people to get behind the scenes and learn what it takes to keep our 18th century canals in working order.

“Our waterways are a much-loved national asset that are a tremendous example of our industrial heritage and these are all essential works to keep the waterways in the best possible condition we can for the benefit of the millions of customers who visit them each year.”

Nationally, more than 100 lock gates are set to be replaced between November and March.

A special open day weekend is also planned at Bingley Five Rise Locks on January 28-29 and the Stanley Ferry Workshop in Wakefield will be open to the public on February 11.