Your article: Work gets underway on £250,000 canal project

(l-r) Lord Halifax, cutting the first sod, Waterways manager Jon Horsfall and Paul Waddington.
(l-r) Lord Halifax, cutting the first sod, Waterways manager Jon Horsfall and Paul Waddington.

Work is now under way on Pocklington Canal Amenity Society’s £250,000 bicentenary project to extend navigation to Bielby.

The project, which includes works at Thornton Lock and Walbut Lock, will extend the navigable length by two miles.

Works started at Thornton Lock when Lord Halifax, a patron of the Society, cut the first sod.

Volunteers will carry out repairs to the bywash, which is the first stage of work at this lock. At a later stage, the lock will be drained, allowing repairs to the brickwork, and new lock gates to be installed. The lock gates will be made by the Canal and River Trust at their workshops in Stanley Ferry, near Wakefield. They will incorporate the wheel-operated paddle gear that is an historic feature of Pocklington Canal.

Work at Thornton Lock is scheduled for completion in 2016. It will be followed by similar works at Walbut Lock in 2017.

The Society intends to spend £250,000 on this project, so that the bicentenary of the opening of the canal can be celebrated in 2018.

More than a third of this sum has been raised and the society is working hard to reach its target.

The works are being carried out in conjunction with the Canal and River Trust, which is providing valuable advice and assistance.

A spokesperson for the Society said: “Our partnership with the Trust is working very well. Thank you to Lord Halifax, who has been a friend of the society for many years.”

The Society is currently celebrating the 200th anniversary of the granting of the Act of Parliament that allowed work to begin on the canal in 1815.