Bosmere Lock Restoration

The Bosmere lock chamber and structure at Needham Market was restored by the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) back in the 1990s. Work started in 1994 and took three years to complete. Ten tonnes of sandbags were placed at the top of the lock to divert the water before work could start clearing out the mud and debris of nearly 100 years of neglect. When they got to the side walls of the lock it became clear that they were beyond simple repair and would need a complete restoration rebuild.

The lock area was transformed into a building site during the 3 years it took to finish the job. The largest part of the workforce was made up of volunteers from the IWA Waterways Recovery Group who came from all parts of the country, living in a local village hall for two weeks each year and working like the navvies who built the lock in the first place!

The IWA Branch received two prestigious awards for their conservation work. Anglia Television made a short news piece about the work in 1994 which can be seen on the Trusts web site. Many of the IWA volunteers then are now Trust members.