About this image
Looking north-east from the dirt tip at Stanton Works across the Erewash Valley towards Trowell. Junction Lock on the Erewash Canal is in the foreground, then the Erewash Valley main railway line, and beyond that the course of the River Erewash. The M1 can just be picked out distantly at top right.
Junction Lock takes its name from the former junction with the abandoned Nutbrook Canal, which although independently owned was effectively a branch of the Erewash, built mainly to serve the various coal mines around Shipley at the head of the Nut Brook valley. The junction itself was some way north of the lock, which was once flanked by cottages on either side, now demolished.
The Erewash Canal runs for 12 miles (19 km) from the River Trent via Long Eaton, Sandiacre and Ilkeston to Langley Mill and includes 14 locks. The Canal was engineered by John Varley and opened in 1779 at a cost of £21,000. Serving the industrialised Erewash Valley with its many coal mines, iron works and factories, it remained a useful transport artery well into the 20th century and it was only after World War Two that it began to fall into disuse. The section north of Gallows Inn at Ilkeston up to Langley Mill was declared unnavigable in 1962 and closure was proposed. The Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association was formed in 1968 and after much restoration work the Canal was reopened throughout. In the 1980s it was duly upgraded from a 'remainder' waterway to 'cruiseway' status.