|Vale Royal Locks...... collapse|
The Weaver is a navigable river about 50 miles in length and flows through some wonderful countryside from its source near Peckforton.
Vale Royal Locks were opened in 1865 as the River Weaver was engineered into a navigation to ship goods from Winsford and Northwich via the River Mersey to the open sea and beyond.
A section of the stonework - the bullnose - on the "Small Lock" at Vale Royal on the Weaver Navigation collapsed on 28th August 2003.
Despite being called the Small Lock it is in fact 30m x 6.5m. The Big Lock is 58.8m x 10.5m.Repair work began in February 2009 and was scheduled to be completed in November at a reported cost of over £2.5 million pounds.
It was necessary to first dam a section of the river and to drain the lock and sluice area. The last of the water was pumped out on the 18th of March 2009
The picture below shows an aerial view of the locks: the damage is at X; C to D is where the Dam is constructed; S is the Sluice; A is the Small Lock; B is the Big Lock.
The area around the locks is a mix of farmland, woodlands and ponds all supporting a variety of wildlife. Kingfishers, Cormorants, Grey Wagtails, Mute Swans and roosts of Grey Herons are just some of the birds I often get to see in this lovely place. My memories go all the back to the 1960's as crossing the locks was also on a section of my school cross country course......happy days!
|Damming the river to repair the lock|
|The new nose...|
|One of the the many reasons I visit this lovely area.|