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Work restarts on lock restoration as group looks to raise further £9,000

PUBLISHED: 14:26 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:26 30 July 2018

Volunteers from the Waterways Recovery Group are continuing work at Geldeston lock. Picture: Geoff Doggett.

Volunteers from the Waterways Recovery Group are continuing work at Geldeston lock. Picture: Geoff Doggett.

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Work has restarted on a project to save Geldeston's historic lock from collapsing.

Volunteers from the Waterways Recovery Group are continuing work at Geldeston lock. Picture: Geoff Doggett. Volunteers from the Waterways Recovery Group are continuing work at Geldeston lock. Picture: Geoff Doggett.

The famous lock on the River Waveney was built around 1670 and is one of only two locks in the Broads.

However it is in danger of collapsing, with the brick walls crumbling and trees and other vegetation growing through them.

In 2015 Geoff Doggett, a founder of the River Waveney Trust, started a new project to investigate how the lock could be saved, and the Beccles group are now managing the project to restore the lock chamber.

Work restarted on July 22 with a group of Waterways Recovery Group volunteers, experts in masonry and lock restoration, staying for a week at the Riverside Centre in Bungay. The group will continue to restore as much of the southern wall as possible.

Project manager Bernard Watson, said: “After such poor weather last year we expect to make excellent progress this year if we can survive the heat.

“I am delighted to have great support from the local Beccles community. They have supported the project with a fantastic exhibition at Beccles Museum which I encourage everyone to visit before September 2.”

Last used by trading wherries such as the Albion before the lock was closed in 1934, the project is expected to take two more years to complete.

The restoration follows on from work started last summer to replace some of the brickwork, with the project expected to cost £15,000 in total.

A further £9,000 is still needed to complete the work and the group is busy fundraising in the Beccles and Bungay area.

Last year’s fundraisers included Mr Doggett leaping out of a plane at Ellough Airfield, raising more than £4,000 for the cause.

Project co-ordinator Andy Mackney said: “We are continuing our eye-catching fundraising initiatives. For £35 to £45 you can sponsor an engraved brick to ensure your permanent presence at this famous lock, or in memory of a loved one. The bricks will be permanently installed on the new lock brickwork.”

For more information on how you can get involved and to donate or buy a personalised brick, email rwtbricks@gmail.com

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