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Boats finally free from Gloucester Lock

Boaters on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal must have breathed a sigh of relief on 3rd May when Gloucester Lock finally opened, four months after what was intended to be a six-week winter stoppage to fix a leaky lock chamber (WW June).

The Canal & River Trust had encountered real problems with the 200-year-old brick base of the chamber, which could not hold water. In locating the problem it also had to clear around 200 tonnes of silt.

On the great day the lock had been due to open at 7:30am. But a build-up of silt behind the outer stop gates prevented them opening, and divers had to be sent down with powerful jets of compressed air to displace it. It was 8pm before any boats were able to pass.

Our correspondent Chris Witts said: “The first vessel through was the hotel cruiser Edward Elgar, followed by the Conway Castle, the largest ship on the Severn. Both were bound for Upper Lode Lock at Tewkesbury where CRT had given the lock-keeper overtime to stay on duty, and Edward Elgar special permission to moor overnight.

“The passengers of the Edward Elgar were exceedingly happy and cheered the workmen, as well as singing the hymn Jerusalem.”

 

Conway Castle emerges from Gloucester Lock in the dusk. Photo: Chris Witts.[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_13878" align="alignnone" width="300"] 
Edward Elgar leaves Gloucester Lock, to the strains of 'Jerusalem'. Photo: Chris Witts.

Tuesday 21 May  | Andrew Denny  | 3.47pm, Tuesday 21 May 2019

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