Teams of local volunteers have been working around the clock to restore a set of locks and bring Grantham Canal back to life. Members from the Grantham Canal Society (GCS) have been working in partnership with the Canal and River Trust to restore locks 14 and 15 near Woolsthorpe, as part of a five-year project dubbed the ‘Woolsthorpe Flight,’ largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Events co-ordinator and assistant head ranger Tony Jackson has been a member of GCS for seven years. He spoke to the Journal along with operations manager Ian Wakefield and community and events team leader Rosemary Gibson about what is next for the society.
How did GCS begin?
After being used for industrial purposes for many years, the Grantham Canal closed in 1936 and was left almost derelict. Fast forward 30 years and government legislation meant that it was about to be filled in and turned into a rubbish tip. It wasn’t until a meeting was arranged between them and the civil trust in 1969, that they campaigned for it to remain open, and then Grantham Canal Society was created. We are a group of volunteers who want to see the canal restored from Grantham to the River Trent in Nottingham.
Why did you get involved?
Although there are a good range of ages, the majority of volunteers have retired. With more time on our hands, we wanted to put it to good use. A lot of us have fond memories of the canal from when we were growing up. Rosemary remembers her grandfather farming alongside it when she was a child. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to restore these 200-year-old locks on our own…
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