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Rare chance to see Fradley Junction canal lock up close ahead of £80,000 restoration

An £80,000 project to restore part of the local canal network will be on show at an open day this weekend.

The Canal and River Trust will fund the work on Lock 17 of the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction.

Lock 17 at Fradley Junction

Lock 17 at Fradley Junction

But visitors on February 18 and 19 will have the rare opportunity to walk into the 200-year-old Grade II listed lock while it is drained to learn more about the heritage of the site.

The works at Lock 17 will see the top and bottom gates relined and refitted, while the timber quoins, which the edge of the gates swing against, will also be replaced. The work is expected to be completed in early March.

Ian Darby, from the Canal and River Trust, says: “Repairing the lock gates at Lock 17 is part of the essential maintenance needed to enable the local canal network to be used and enjoyed by thousands of boaters, cyclists, anglers and walkers every year.

“We are opening up the site for the weekend, providing a unique chance for visitors to venture to the bottom of the drained lock chamber, letting us showcase the work the charity does by explaining about the repair and restoration works we are doing here.”

As well as a chance to see the locks up close, there will also be guided nature walks, children’s activities and a performance from the Lichfield Lighthouse Company Sea Shanty Singers.

Visitors can park at Alrewas Hayes where a free shuttlebus will transfer them to the lock. Sturdy footwear is also required for entering the drained lock.

For more details visit the Canal and River Trust website.

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