Sandiacre- Sandiacre Lock
w/e 23 April 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Canal Junction

Sandiacre Lock sits at the junction of the Erewash and Derby Canals. These boats are moored in the mouth of the Derby Canal but the distant towpath is along the Erewash Canal.
Derby Canal

The boats will get no further along the Derby Canal as from this point on the route has been filled in and converted to a pleasant walkway. There are plans to re-open the canal but that is still a long way off.
Lock Keeper's Cottage

From the previously mentioned towpath along the Erewash Canal this is the view from opposite the Derby Canal of the Sandiacre Lock and the Lock Keeper's cottage. The small extension to the cottage with the large bay window was the Toll House.
Trust Representative

On Easter Monday we had learned that the cottage would be open to the public but when we arrived in the morning, discovered that it would not be open until later in the day. There were however some representatives promoting the Canal and River Trust highlighting their invaluable work on 2,000 miles of waterways all over the country. Click here to read about the Erewash Canal on the Trust's website.
Toll House

We returned to Sandiacre Lock in the afternoon when we we able to enter the cottage and see the Toll House from the inside.

A notice in the window of the Toll House shows that it was added to the cottage when the Derby Canal opened in 1795. It also adds that another Toll Cottage had to be built later due to the high volume of canal traffic. Another notice in the Toll House paints a picture of life here in its heyday and says that the Lock Keeper would sit and do his paperwork at the desk whilst watching for boats approaching from both canals through the bay window.
Date Plate

Although the Toll House extension had been built in 1795 we had entered the cottage and noticed a date plate over the door indicating that the cottage itself had been built in 1779.

Fire Place

On entering the cottage and before reaching the Toll House we had been greeted by a sight we have not seen for many years, a roaring coal fire in a black leaded fireplace. The cottages are now the headquarters of the Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association a registered charity formed in 1968.

The Association opens the cottages to the public on the third Sunday of every month usually from 1:30pm to 3:30pm plus Bank Holidays amounting to about twenty days each year. Volunteers are on hand to welcome and talk to visitors and in another downstairs room, again with a warming fire, they were serving refreshments. There are also rooms on the upper storey to explore and the whole building is in effect a mini museum.

There is much to explore and learn about life on the canals inside the cottage but we had the added bonus whilst there of seeing "Pegles" pass through the lock.
Going Down

As the water level in the lock was lowered the narrow boat slowly disappeared behind the lock gates but the power of the water surging to the lower level was quite impressive. Replacing and maintaining lock gates is just one part of the work undertaken by the Canal and River Trust and alongside other organisations such as the Erewash Association helps to preserve the country's heritage in the hurly-burly of modern day life.

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