DROITWICH Canals Trust is holding its annual open day on the restored lock flight at Hanbury Wharf on Sunday, October 11.

Free boat trips will be available throughout the event, which runs between 11am and 4pm, and there will also be information and sales stalls from Droitwich Canals Trust and the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Society.

Free canoe taster sessions sponsored by Sport England will also be available. Active Communities Co-ordinator, Andy Pitt said “This is another chance for both children and adults to try canoeing on the Droitwich Canals. Just come along and give it a go.”

Following the opening of the towpath alongside the newly constructed section of canal, there will also be guided walks from the Hanbury Gateway site (at the junction of Hanbury Road and the road to Droitwich Rugby Club) at 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Margaret Rowley, Chairman of Droitwich Canals Trust said “The open days have proved very popular, and with the completion of the new section of the Junction Canal between the Gateway site and the M5 there is an added attraction this year.”

In May 2002, the late Tom Mayo, who was on the last boat down the Droitwich Junction Canal in 1929, skippered the first boat to navigate the locks nearly 75 years later.

The Canals Trust has undertaken to make the locks available for navigation at least once a year until the whole length of the Droitwich Canals are restored. The restoration of the Junction Canal Locks was made possible by a grant of £100,000 from the Inland Waterways Association using the legacy of local waterway enthusiast Neil Pitts, and involved the restoration of the lock chambers and side ponds, the fitting of new paddle gear and lock gates.

The Hanbury locks are of particular historic interest as they exhibit the operation of a sophisticated water conservation system that was developed towards the end of the Canal Age. The restoration has retained the historic features, providing replica fittings where the originals have been lost, and maintained a high standard of workmanship.