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