Locks repaired in Leeds Liverpool Canal
This is my kind of story. First, it is impressive that the canals are still in operation. Second the historic engineering is incredible. Third, historical finds at the bottom are interesting.
George Washington modeled the Potomac Canal system after European design. His canals and locks are out of business.
“Rare glimpse of drained 18th Century Bingley Five Rise Locks
Bingley's Five Rise Locks has been drained so engineers can carry out vital repair work
Thousands of people have queued to get a rare glimpse of an 18th Century lock system in West Yorkshire.
The Five Rise Locks in Bingley has been drained to allow engineers to replace its giant gates. The £200,000 job takes place once every 25 years.
People have been visiting the locks on the Leeds Liverpool Canal for more than 230 years.
British Waterways has opened them to the public, who can wander through the chambers until 17:00 GMT on Sunday.
The organisation said about 3,500 people visited the locks on Saturday.
The staircase at the Five Rise Locks is the steepest lock staircase in Britain.
A crowd of about 30,000 people turned out to celebrate when the locks were opened in 1774.
Carpenter Russell Clarke, who is responsible for putting in the new lock gates, said: "The engineering that went into it was amazing. We're in awe of what went on.
Visitors described the drained locks as "amazing"
"I think if you asked us to build a lock like this now we would just stand there and scratch our heads."
Mr Clarke said the lock gates weighed more than five tonnes when installed.
He said the most unusual thing he had found when the locks were drained was a child's tiara.
"We do find other things like wallets, mobile phones, frying pans, anything that people carry on boats," he said.
Vince Moran, operations manager at British Waterways, said: "In the winter period from November through to March is what we call the stoppage season.
"That's when we do most of our maintenance and repair work on the 200-year-old canal system.
"So we'll be replacing over this winter about two hundred sets of lock gates."”