Chester open day will unlock canal secrets
24th January 2011
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As part of its annual waterway maintenance programme British Waterways is inviting members of the public to a special open day in Chester to see at firsthand what it takes to keep the 200-year old waterways working. 

The open day is being held at Northgate Lock on the Shropshire Union Canal in Chester on Saturday 29th January between 10.00am and 3.00pm.  It will provide a unique glimpse into the working life of the waterway as visitors get to descend into one of the country’s deepest locks and learn how BW craftsmen will be installing refurbished lock gates into this scheduled ancient monument.  Lock gates are manufactured and restored at British Waterways’ own workshops using sustainably-sourced oak and installed ahead of the new summer season.

"This is an exciting time for British Waterways as we start to move out of direct state control and into a new charity,” said Waterway Manager Wendy Capelle.  “As part of this move we are keen to show more people how the waterways are run and give them opportunities to get involved.  These open days really allow people to get behind the scenes and learn what it takes to keep our 18th century canals in working order.

“I am pleased that we will be joined on the day by a wide range of groups including Chester Heritage Trust, Inland Waterways Association and the Shropshire Union Canal Society.  Members of the Waterway Action Squad and students from Chester University will also be present to show how they are helping to shape the future of the canal,” she added. 

Northgate Lock is an important hub heading north into Chester and south into mid-Cheshire and beyond.  To discover Cheshire’s Canals visit 

To book: Tours are being held at frequent intervals throughout the day and heritage talks are taking place every hour from 11am.   For more information or to register your interest please contact Michelle Kozomara on 01606 723854 or

Parking: Home Guard Club and surrounding roads.  Postcode CH1 4EJ

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Steve N

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