Historic 1,100 visitors walk bottom of locks
HOLD onto your hats, the number of visitors to open days at restored canal locks in Stroud blew organisers away.
In all, 1,100 people, locals and visitors, turned out despite rainy weather to take an unusual chance to walk in the bottom of the repaired Dudbridge locks before they were filled with water.
"There were about 400 on Friday afternoon and 700 on Saturday morning. It was good to see so many people. The response was absolutely superb," said Dave Marshall, manager for the Cotswold Canals Partnership that is re-opening waterways from Stonehouse to Bowbridge.
"What was particularly great was that everybody was so positive about it. It reaffirmed people's interest and support," Mr Marshall said.
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Of especial interest was a table that displayed objects found in the locks during the work.
A wartime tin hat, an old wallet minus its money, even an old bicycle were all exhibited.
The giant new lock gates themselves were recently lifted into position by crane as part of the £300,000 locks refurbishment.
The work is part of the ongoing project to regenerate the Stroud valleys by bringing two canals – the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames and Severn Canal – back into use.
Also open for inspection was the Cotswold Canal Trust's new hydro-electric turbine at Dudbridge.