Cobblers Lock

While the work was being done on Bottom Lock, a survey to ascertain the condition of Cobblers Lock had been carried out. Shortly after the reopening of Bottom Lock, a report was presented to North Kesteven District Council about the condition of Cobblers. The report showed that, although the south wall of the lock would require rebuilding, the basic condition of the lock was good. The Council accordingly recommended, subject to ratification, granting the Society £9000 for restoration works on the lock.

Plans were sufficiently advanced in 1988 for the Society to consider what timber would be required to produce a set of gates and what costs would be involved. In January 1989 consideration was given to the water level that would be required above the lock for navigation. Options considered included raising the banks, as necessary, in the pound up to Haverholme, or lowering the top cill at Cobblers Lock and dredging to Haverholme. The most radical proposal, however, was to completely remove Cobblers Lock and lower the pound to Haverholme by 6 feet. Fortunately this was not thought to be a viable solution.

Preliminary work at the lock was commenced by WRG in May 1989 with work to remove a tree in the by-wash and a variety of other works. A piling coffer dam was installed below the lock to enable the water to be pumped out for inspection and to facilitate restoration work.

WRG returned in the autumn for a full week’s work camp to clear silt and debris from the lock and to start demolition of the south wall of the lock. Once the lock wall had been reduced to a level where the structure was sound, a variety of groups attended work camps to rebuild the wall. These included volunteers from KESCRG and some from the Navigation Society. The coping stones were finally replaced in April 1991.

In the October of 1991, during the replacement of some crumbling brickwork in the north wall of the lock, a number of voids were discovered behind the wall. These were judged to be so bad that eventually it was decided to rebuild that wall as well as the south wall. However, as the lock was a listed structure this had to be agreed by the heritage team at the District Council. With all permissions in place, demolition and rebuilding took place with assistance from groups from BITM and ECP&DA.

Work to fit lock ladders, complete the top cill and refurbish the by-wash continued until the end of 1994.