Old Ford lock gates being hoisted up from Lea River ready for a makeover

Lock gates on the Lee Navigation are getting at �9,000 ‘makeover’ to keep them spruced up for the next 20 years.

Part of the Old Ford Lock opposite the Olympic stadium in east London was drained to allow a 100-tonne crane to lift the ageing gates to be transported by the Canal & River Trust to its workshops in the Midlands to be stripped down and refurbished.

Each lock gate is made of steel and oak and weighs around six tonnes. Expert craftsmen are to replace the timber parts, allowing the gates to be used for another 20 years.

The refurbished gates will be lowered back into place by crane on November 29 and the lock reopened to boats on December 7.

The trust’s Jon Guest said: “These lock gates have served their purpose for 20 years and it’s amazing that we can still use the same techniques to allow them to be put back in action for generations to come.”

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But river traffic is hardly being disrupted. Old Ford has two locks side by side, dating back to when the Lea River was a thriving transport route for industry—so boats are still able to use the river while the refurbishment is being carried out.

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