Walbut Lock repairs open up canal section

PCAS volunteers work on the lock after temporary dams were installed.
PCAS volunteers work on the lock after temporary dams were installed.

The restoration of Walbut Lock on Pocklington Canal is now complete, meaning a further two miles of the waterway will become navigable for the first time in nearly a century.

Led by Pocklington Canal Amenity Society (PCAS), in partnership with Canal and River Trust, the challenging task of bringing the lock back into operation began last year.

With consent from Historic England and advice from the Trust’s heritage team, work on the Grade II Listed structure started in December last year when temporary dams were installed.

PCAS volunteers were then able to repair historic brickwork in the lock and fit ladders for the use of boaters. The massive lock gates were replaced, complete with distinctive six-spoked paddle gear wheel, used for emptying and filling the lock, which is a particular feature of the Pocklington Canal.

This restoration completes the PCAS Bicentenary Restoration Appeal Project, which has seen both Thornton Lock and Walbut Lock painstakingly restored.

Paul Waddington, PCAS chairman, said: “We are delighted that the restoration project has been completed in time for our bicentenary celebrations at the end of July. Our volunteers have worked through the coldest and wettest months over this past winter and deserve a lot of praise for their efforts. We look forward to welcoming visitors to this wonderful historic canal.”

Lizzie Dealey, project officer at Canal and River Trust, said: “Throughout this Heritage Lottery Funded project we have seen a lot of local interest in the waterway, and we’re delighted that with PCAS and other partners such as Natural England, we’re able to keep this waterway thriving.”

The Pocklington Canal Bicentenary Festival takes place on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July, starting at 10am.

l An exhibition is being held at Pocklington Arts Centre to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Pocklington canal.

The exhibition of photographs, film footage and information celebrates the people of the canal. The display starts on Tuesday 19 June and runs until Wednesday 1 August.