Members of the public step inside Doncaster Lock - the biggest in the north

25th February 2017: Gavin Gleadall and son Lincoln (9) at the Doncaster Lock Open Day, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK.
25th February 2017: Gavin Gleadall and son Lincoln (9) at the Doncaster Lock Open Day, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK.

Members of the public were given a rare opportunity to step inside one of the north’s biggest locks recently.

The Canal and River Trust, a charity that looks after 2,000 miles of canals and waterways across England and Wales, invited young and old to Doncaster Lock as part of the trust’s nationwide series of free open days.

Doncaster Lock is 93 metres in length, seven metres in width, has a depth of six metres and when full holds one million gallons of water.

Visitors had the rare opportunity to climb down inside the 200-year old drained Doncaster Lock, which has been drained to fit the new six metre high lock gates and gain a unique view, walking along the bottom of the lock chamber.

Expert engineers and volunteers from the Canal and River Trust were on hand to explain the ingenious methods behind the installation of the lock gates (replaced every 25 years) and give an insight into the skills and methods used to carry out the repair work.

A spokesman said: “Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy one of the Canal and River Trust’s open days. Turnerwood Flight, on the Chesterfield Canal will be transformed for one night only.On March 11, 6.30-9pm the Turnerwood flight of locks will be transformed by hundreds of giant candles, ingenious engineered fiery sculptures, and come alive with music, dance and spoken word performances in this unique event.”

This winter the Canal & River Trust will be spending over £45million to restore around 164 lock gates across the country, as well as carrying out repairs to aqueducts, reservoirs and tunnels.

To find out more about the Trust’s Open Days and Restoration & Repairs programme go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk