Stret lock, just under 20 miles from the “start” of the canal at the River Rother, is the first up from Morse Lock on the Chesterfield canal. Adjacent to the Lock Keeper pub and quite convenient for Sainsbury’s with a convenient pound for short term mooring, it forms a pair with Deep lock.
Overhead view of Deep and Stret locks on the Chesterfield Canal.(Google maps)
Stret has been notable, indeed notorious for its narrowness. To quote C&RT:
“Many craft have had trouble getting through the lock with many getting stuck and having to reverse or be pulled out. In 2002 a section of canal upstream of Stret Lock was reopened as far as Norwood Tunnel following a restoration at a cost of £6m. Having spent such a considerable amount restoring what is arguably the most attractive part of the canal, we did not take much persuasion to make it accessible to all.“
I have heard from other parties that the water in the pound between Morse and Stret Locks was not raised to the previous level when it was refurbished. This is slightly born out by the “cure” for Stret: raising the level of the pound by blocking Morse bywash; this can take over eight hours and several men to achieve.
The lock is being widened over November. Again C&RT:
“The lock widening scheme here will involve taking down two of the outer brick courses on the towpath side and replacing it[sic] with one, increasing the width by 50mm. The wall will not be taken down fully to the lock floor but will extend beyond the minimum depth dimension for the canal.“
So today, Sunday, the lock was opened to the public:
It had rained somewhat overnight so there was plenty of water in the canal
Chesterfield Canal Trust was present in the pub car park.
There were several informative notices on the fencing.
Upstream pound with Highground bridge and Deep lock.
Looking down the lock.
Not often seen: the very bottom of a lock gate
Looking down the lock
I just came down there!
And I’m going along there.
An anchor holding the wall in place
Almost hidden by the scaffolding is the outlet for the ground paddle opening.
This timber is all that remains of the eighteenth century framework on which the lock was built.
This is where the access ladder goes.
The rotted wood formers are visible all along the lock.
The replacement brickwork and replaced stone.
Looking back “up” the lock. The new brickwork on the nearside wall can be clearly seen as can a couple of patches on the other.
An inside view of the stop planks. Just a little leak.
The stripped wall.
That’s all folks!
The lock is due to reopen in about a fortnight. Dunno if they’re going to test it with CCTrust’s boat “Python” which was there today.