Draining Chester’s Canal

Over the weekend (2nd March) an unusual sight appeared in the heart of Chester. Where we’re used to seeing the standing water of the canal that runs through the city, on this particular day we could see the dry floor of our famous waterway.

In order to carry out maintenance, the Canal & River Trust, drained the section of the canal at the Northgate Locks. Once the water was removed, the public where invited to enter down into the bed of the canal to have a potter about for themselves. This is the first time since the 1970s that the waterway has been drained and will likely be the last time for the foreseeable future.

Chester canal wide

(Photo by Simon Davies of Roodee Creative)

The works where carried out to replace the metal lock gates and preform general maintenance. Though the opportunity to clean the section of the canal and educate the public about the inner workings was not missed.

Though over 1000 visitors went down into the depths to see first hand the original sandstone flooring and walls and to be able to say they walked at the bottom of the beautiful historic Chester canal, we are sure one or two visitors went down to see if they could retrieve a lost bike or shopping trolley.

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