Norfolk Broads' lock restoration project nears completion

Volunteers restoring Geldeston Lock as part of the River Waveney Trust and Waterway Recovery Group canal camp.

Volunteers restoring Geldeston Lock as part of the River Waveney Trust and Waterway Recovery Group canal camp. - Credit: Geoff Doggett

Restoration work at one of the Norfolk Broads' last remaining locks has "continued at pace" this week. 

The River Waveney Trust Beccles Group are currently hosting a Waterway Recovery Group canal camp at Geldeston Lock.

Work on the restoration project began in 2013 after the historic lock's chamber walls, built in 1640, began crumbling into disrepair, with trees growing out of the masonry.

Volunteers restoring Geldeston Lock as part of the River Waveney Trust and Waterway Recovery Group canal camp.

Volunteers restoring Geldeston Lock as part of the River Waveney Trust and Waterway Recovery Group canal camp. - Credit: Geoff Doggett

Volunteers from the Waterway Recovery Group have come from as far afield as Dundee and Gloucester to help rebuild the walls, assisted by local volunteers from the River Waveney Trust, with work now nearing completion. 

The group were unable to hold their usual camps last year due to coronavirus restrictions, but have now resumed their efforts to prevent the lock from collapsing.


You may also want to watch:


David Evans, Waterway Recovery Group camp leader, said: "We are delighted to be working again on this historic site, ably assisted by the friendly local volunteers.

Volunteers restoring Geldeston Lock as part of the River Waveney Trust and Waterway Recovery Group canal camp.

Volunteers restoring Geldeston Lock as part of the River Waveney Trust and Waterway Recovery Group canal camp. - Credit: Geoff Doggett

"We have three young Duke of Edinburgh students working with us and it is great to have young people engaged in this skilful work.

Most Read

"We can now see the end of the project in sight and will be delighted to hand the lock back to the Trust."

The lock is one of only two inland locks remaining on the Norfolk Broads.

Volunteers restoring Geldeston Lock as part of the River Waveney Trust and Waterway Recovery Group canal camp.

Volunteers restoring Geldeston Lock as part of the River Waveney Trust and Waterway Recovery Group canal camp. - Credit: Geoff Doggett

Project manager Bernard Watson said: "Using traditional materials like lime mortar and special bricks, we are so pleased to be back on the job after losing last year's work to Covid.

"It is exciting to work with such an expert group of enthusiasts, and our great thanks to all the Waterway Recovery Group volunteers from so far afield.

"We hope to complete the project shortly."

At the last camp, held in 2019, workers discovered a carved stone chamber wall recording the last restoration in 1910, as well as a gold wedding ring, believed to be from London in 1951.

The lock was built around 1670 to enable trading wherries to reach Bungay and is one of only two on the Broads system.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter