Lock gates on Northampton Arm of Grand Union Canal repaired in £62,000 project

The lock gates at Braunston lock gates, were lifted out for repair work in 2011
The lock gates at Braunston lock gates, were lifted out for repair work in 2011

Three sets of lock gates, which allow boats to navigate the Grand Union Canal’s Northampton Arm, have been repaired as part of a £62,000 refurbishment of the waterway.

Workmen from the charity, Canal & River Trust, have drained a section of the canal and have repaired the lock gates to stop them leaking.

The water tight seals along the edge of the gates have been replaced and some of the gates, weighing several tonnes each, readjusted to create a watertight seal.

The work is expected to save an estimated 650,000 litres of water a day, which is the same as filling up an average sized bath tub over 14,000 times.

Vicky Martin, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Grand Union Canal is a popular waterway and after many years of service to thousands of boaters, the time has come to repair some of the lock gates. Through daily use the gates can get bashed about a bit which damages the watertight seal but once the repairs are completed they should help to conserve water and keep the canal running smoothly so everyone can enjoy it.

“Each gate is a piece of craftsmanship as they are hand-crafted using traditional methods in the Trust’s specialist workshops. In order to be watertight they need to be built very precisely, fitting tightly to the masonry of the lock walls and to each other. With a bit of TLC, we’re expecting these gates to last between 25 and 30 years.”