Open weekend lights up the Turnerwood flight

THE Canal & River Trust and Chesterfield Canal Trust got together to showcase their activities at the Turnerwood flight at Shireoaks over the weekend of March 11-12.

Members of the CRT team and volunteers involved in the project to replace the bottom gates and cill at Turnerwood Feeder Lock No 38 were on hand to show visitors, who were able to descend into the lock, the work and also the replanking of the bottom gates at Lock No 37.

Activities were also enjoyed by over 200 children and lockside seats where placed with the sign ‘parents and grandparents park’ while at the side of Lock No 38, there was a ‘doggy park’ for the canine visitors.

Chesterfield Canal Trust had three of its boats on show. A team of ladies served refreshments on board trip boat Hugh Henshall while other members showed visitors the replica ‘cuckoo boat’ Dawn Rose – built using traditional materials and methods over four years – and their ex-British Waterways work boat Python.

The Friends of Dawn Rose were also promoting the second annual sponsored boat pull along the Chesterfield Canal starting from Shireoaks on Saturday April 22.

Teams are invited to raise funds for their chosen organisation or charity by hauling the boat along various lengths ranging from one to four miles between Shireoaks and West Stockwith, returning to Shireoaks on Wednesday May 17. It costs £50 to reserve a length, contact Michael Edwards at Hollngwood Hub, ring 01256 477569, email

Crowds watching the evening spectacle. PHOTO & VIDEO: SARAH HICKSON FOR CRT

On the Saturday evening, for one night only, 700 people saw the lock flight transformed by hundreds of giant candles, ingenious engineered fiery sculptures, and watched it come alive with music, dance and spoken word performances, inspired by the space unveiled when the lock was drained, in a unique event to celebrate the new gates on the 240-year-old Chesterfield Canal.

Seán McGinley, waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “What a fantastic weekend!  Thank you to everyone who came along to see the stunning Chesterfield Canal, both during the day and the evening.

“By showcasing these essential maintenance works to the public, and giving them a different perspective at the evening of arts, we gave people a glimpse into the craftsmanship of the waterways’ original 18th century design but also showed how the charity is giving them a new lease of life by using the space for arts and cultural events which bring communities together.”

Canal & River Trust chief executive Richard Parry was among an estimated 1565 visitors over the weekend.




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