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Chesterfield Canal at Lockoford Lane, Tapton, Chesterfield, 1991
8 June 1991
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Looking south on the Chesterfield Canal towards the 1930s-built concrete bridge carrying Lockoford Lane (officially Bridge No 2) and immediately beyond that Tapton Lock (Lock No 1).
The Canal opened in 1777 and connected Chesterfield with the River Trent at West Stockwith via Worksop and Retford, a distance of 46 miles. The section from Chesterfield towards Worksop saw little or no use after the closure of the narrow and lengthy Norwood Tunnel on the Canal's summit level in 1908 (as a result of damage from mining subsidence) but Tapton Mill to Staveley remained reasonably intact to provide a water supply for the iron-making and chemical plants at Staveley Works.
The Chesterfield Canal Trust has long term plans to reopen the canal all the way from its terminus at Chesterfield to the present head of navigation at the eastern end of Norwood Tunnel at Kiveton Park. Between 1989 and 2012 reinstatement of the length from Tapton to Staveley was completed in stages with navigation restored first to the stretch from Tapton Lock to Tapton Mill Bridge in 1994. The renovation of Tapton Lock itself had been completed in 1990, shortly before this photo was taken and evidence of the ongoing work can be seen by the presence of the water-borne Smalley excavator (used for dredging) on the left.