LOCKS on the Wigan flight were among those closed for maintenance and repair work during the winter stoppage season.
One of the main jobs was to replace the tail gates on Lock 73 as the offside heel post had split. However manufacturing delays, mechanical problems on the work boat and further problems with the new gates which resulted in the cill needing to be reset meant the reopening did not take place until late April.
Canal & River Trust staff and Wigan flight volunteers went up and down the flight letting water down to fill up some of the low pounds but still by the time the first boats had got down into Lock 72 they had a 20-minute wait for enough water to fill the pound below and Lock 73 to allow the CRT workboat to come out of the lock.
Narrowboats Moles and Bee Happy were the first boats down for the new boating season. Another six followed while six boats came up including two hire boats from the Shire Cruisers fleet from Sowerby Bridge. They had already come over the Rochdale Canal and were heading for the end of their holiday at Barnoldswick.
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