Lock opening ceremony on the Wey & Arun Canal

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An opening ceremony on 2Saturday June 21 will mark the official completion of rebuilding work at Southland Lock, near Ifold and Loxwood. The section of canal available for navigation is now over miles (5km) long, with six restored, new or rebuilt locks. One of the Trust’s work boats, the ‘May Upton’, reached Southland Lock as volunteers continued preparations for the official opening. Local builders dismantled the original Southland Lock in the early years of the 20th century, after the canal became disused. The Wey & Arun Canal Trust found only a few remains and had to rebuild the lock completely. Its appearance is similar to the original, thanks to the use of local bricks, although the dimensions are slightly larger and modern piles and concrete sit behind the brick facing. The volunteer-led rebuilding project has taken three years, at a cost of about £350,000, all raised by the Canal Trust itself. Further details available from www.weyandarun.co.uk

Report and picture contributed by The Wey & Arun Canal Trust.