Would you lock at that! Chance to savour drained delights

Canal enthusiasts have a chance to step inside the history of the waterways in Tring this weekend by visiting a drained lock.

Marsworth Lock 43 has been emptied in order to repair a broken wall and replace the gates which have been in use since 1987 in a project costing almost £50,000.

Marsworth Lock drained and repaired January 2013 open day for enthusiasts

Marsworth Lock drained and repaired January 2013 open day for enthusiasts

While the lock is free of water, visitors have the chance to step down inside it, look around and learn about the centuries-old techniques that are still used to repair canals.

Project team leader Barry Bradding said: “They will be brought to the lock to get some experience of what it is like at the bottom, and they have the chance to ask any questions about things they might not know about.

“They can also see what we are doing as we will still be working on it.”

The Grand Union Canal runs from London to Birmingham through Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Tring. Built at the turn of the 18th century, it’s been in use ever since for leisure boating and moving goods and materials around the country.

Visitors will also be able to visit nearby Tringford Pumping Station and the forge Hammer & Tongs where blacksmiths are making the unique parts needed for the new gates.

Paul Elliott is an artist blacksmith working on the project. He said: “I recycle some of the old bits and make them back into working condition.

“It is quite an art, controlling all that water.

“The locks are funny things to measure, because when they are filled with water things change to various different shapes and sizes.”

The open day is this Sunday, January 13 from 10am-4pm. Click here to find out more about the event