First bricks laid in River Waveney Trust Geldeston Lock restoration project

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock.
Geoff Doggett from the River Waveney

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock. Geoff Doggett from the River Waveney Trust. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Works to preserve one of the last remaining locks in the Broads system have begun, with more than a dozen volunteers lending a hand.

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock. Volunteers from the waterway recover

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock. Volunteers from the waterway recovery group. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

For the past two years, the River Waveney Trust has set about finding a way to salvage Geldeston Lock, as it looks to maintain it for years to come.

Now, thanks to the group's own fundraising efforts and a 14-strong team of volunteers from Waterways Recovery Group, this work has begun.

For the duration of the week, volunteers from across the country that are part of the recovery group have been working on the lock, in the first of three phases of work to be carried out over the next three years.

The volunteers, who worked as part of a summer camp ran by the group, began the project by replacing brickwork to restore one of the lock chamber walls.

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock. Volunteers from the waterway recover

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock. Volunteers from the waterway recovery group. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Geoff Doggett, River Waveney Trust founder, said: 'It is extremely exciting to see work beginning and it has gone much better than expected. This project is a rescue mission for the lock.

'We have been fundraising for the project since February and the public response has been phenomenal.'

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Recovery group members stayed in Bungay throughout their stay, enjoying some of the sights in between shifts at the lock.

Mr Doggett added: 'We have been blessed with a tremendous group of volunteers and we are incredibly grateful to them for giving up their time to help out.

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock. Volunteers from the waterway recover

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock. Volunteers from the waterway recovery group. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

'The way the project is going also shows volunteers can get things done and what community spirit there is in the area. There is a real interest in the project.'

While funds have been raised to make this phase of the project happen, the trust is still working towards its target of £15,000, which is needed to fully bring the lock chamber up to the standard they hope to achieve.

As part of this, personalised bricks are being sold to members of the public, which will be used in the wall and display messages for years to come.

Mr Doggett will also be taking part in a skydive at Ellough Airfield in October, as he looks to boost the project's coffers.

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Work begins on the restoration of the historic Gelderston Lock. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

To purchase a brick for between £35 and £45, email rwtbricks@gmail.com

Visit www.riverwaveneytrust.org

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