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Locks on the Manchester, Bolton and Bury canal


Here's an update on how the Locks on the Manchester, Bolton and Bury canal have been doing.

The Manchester, Bolton and Bury canal society recently did a large excavation of some infilled canal locks in Little lever in an event called “The Big Dig Part 2”. This event involved removing tonnes of soil and infill from the bottom locks where stonework was taken away in the late 1950’s.
We hired machines to remove the soil and volunteers cleaned up the cleared brick and stone work to make it much more visible and improve the site to no end. We found a lot of interesting features on the site in many different areas.
We found a number of surviving large blocks of stone that were buried in the locks themselves and retrieved them. We also found a lot more surviving stone walls than we at first thought. Other features we found were surviving water sluice tunnels for the locks and the Cill of the top lock. There was even tar used to waterproof the gates on the cill stonework that was so well preserved it began to melt in the sun.
One of the biggest changes to the site is that you can now see water of the bottom pound from the famous Meccano Bridge. This and the removal of a lot of the infill from the locks make the area look a lot better. We’re hoping that continuing work parties will manage to do repairs to the brickwork and stonework of the site.