These pages show the restoration of Lock 5W, off Castle Street in Stalybridge. This lock had been surrounded by buildings but amazingly had survived almost intact because it had been filled in to make a small car park at the rear of the indoor sports centre.
Before restoration began, this was the only visible sign of Lock 5W. The chamber had been filled in but these steps led down through the lock tail with the south gate recess and quoin clearly visible.
This is the site of the Castle Hall Stalybridge Indoor Sports Centre, which was demolished earlier in March 2000. Part of the rear of the building was constructed across the line of the canal. The modern building in the background is the rear of the Somerfield store (formerly Kwik Save). Lock 5W is seen in front of this building. The south side of the lock chamber is more or less intact. The north side has lost the coping stones. The north west corner of the lock, around the tail gates, was demolished to make way for part of the Sports Centre. The structure of the north side of the chamber is supported by stone buttresses.
Looking west into the chamber of Lock 5W after the in-fill had been removed, with the site of Lock 4W directly ahead.
Looking east into the chamber of Lock 5W. The market tower can be seen in the distance. The south side (right) is intact. The tail gate recess can be seen on the right. The north-west corner (left) was demolished for construction of the sports hall and coping stones are missing from the north side.
The north side of the lock chamber will be repaired with stones from Lock 4W. The north side of the lock tail (left, nearest the camera) will use stones from the tail of Lock 7W, which is being altered.
If it is a canal, there must be a supermarket trolley somewhere close by!
Looking west along Lock 5W. Scaffolding has been in place during repair work to the north wall. The stonework of the chamber is in very good condition. New coping stones have been laid along the north (right) side.
The rusty original sluice paddle gate has survived being buried for 30 years.
Looking west towards Lock 5W. The new wash walls have been built right up to the head of the old lock. Wooden fenders or bump-strips have been added, along with grab chains. The jet grouting process to create a waterproof barrier along each side of the lock is now complete. The surfacing of the towpath with brick setts has now reached the head of this lock. The lock gates and an escape ladder are in place. A quantity of floating rubbish has already accumulated by the stop planks!
Next page: Lock 5W - page 2
My thanks to Tameside Council for providing access to take some of these photographs.