Canal News – Montgomery Canal Triathlon & Bradley Lock Gate Workshop

Canal News

Montgomery Canal Triathlon

Montgomery Tri


Montgomery Canal towpath,  Newtown to Frankton

11 May 2013

9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Using the 35 mile route of the Montgomery Canal, the Triathlon will invove cycling, boating and walking.

Enjoy spectacular views as you cycle, boat or walk along the Montgomery Canal in this unique challenge.

You can cycle 13.5 miles from Newtown to Welshpool, canoe 11 miles from Welshpool to Llanymynech and walk 10.5 miles from Llanymynech to Frankton. Complete one section or push the boat out and attempt all three!

Each section can be entered separately so taking part in the 3 activities is not compulsory.

The event is non competitive but lots of fun. This is the second year that it has been organised by the Friends of the Montgomery Canal and entry enquiries are very welcome. Please contact Peter Richards tel 01691 831455.

Montgomery Canal

Montgomery Canal

Wildlife thrives along the Montgomery Canal. It is one of the most important canals in the country for nature, much of it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the Welsh section is of international importance

The canal is alive with rare aquatic plants, and otters and water voles have also been spotted. Several nature reserves border the canal, filled with wildflowers and insects, including dragonflies and damselflies.

Walking or cycling along the towpath is an excellent way to experience the peace and tranquility of this rural canal. This is also a popular canal for canoeing – paddling quietly through peaceful green surroundings is a great way to spot wildlife.

While the canal was closed to boats for many years, it is now being reborn as a cruiseway through the picturesque Welsh Marches. One restored section connects to the Llangollen Canal, while the other is only accessible by a slipway at Welshpool. Work continues to join the two sections through volunteers and the work of the restoration partnership.

Open day at Bradley lock gate workshop

Lock gate replacementLock gate replacement


Bradley Workshop

Bradley Lane,  Bilston,  West Midlands,  WV14 8DW

 12 May 2013

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Come and visit us at Bradley workshop and find out how we make lock gates for our canals and rivers.

Take a tour of the lock gate workshop, engineering rooms, woodworking workshop and store room where the gates are painstakingly made and ask questions of our expert staff about how the gates are made.

The workshops plan on the basis that 4% of our lock gates (there are 1,600 locks around the network) need replacing every year – which works out at 200 to 220 lock gate leaves or 100 to 110 locks. It can take anything from five to 20 days to manufacture a gate (depending on the size) to plane the green, rough sawn timber, set out the gate, carry out all the intricate steel work, make the mortice and tennon joints, shape the heel and head posts and assemble everything into the finished product.

As different canals were originally built by individual pre-Victorian entrepreneurs, each one varies from the other and there is no standard design. Therefore, every individual lock gate is unique to its canal and has to be hand crafted to achieve a water-tight fit in its chamber.

Each bespoke lock gate is hand-crafted and made from sustainably sourced British oak and weighs on average 3.6 tonnes and can take up to 20 days to make.

There’s no need to book – just come along between 10am and 4pm and we’ll show you around.


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