The final part of the Pipps Ford lock restoration work will be completed this August (2023), leaving it ready for lock gate installation. To do this the lock must be pumped dry, which can only be achieved by damming off the river in front and behind the lock. Over the past few years the Trust have had numerous attempts at damming off the river, but all have failed.
Most of the lock structures along the river have the ability to install stop planks, including all locks restored by the Trust (Bosmere, Creeting and Baylham). Pipps Ford does not have this capability.
The Trust will carry out this work this coming July. An EA permit request has been submitted and a professional temporary dam builder will be employed to erect a dam in front of and behind the lock, diverting the river flow through the by-wash. When the two dams are installed Trust volunteers will pump out the water between the dams, cut groves in the lock chamber to secure stop planks, construct a concrete base in front of and behind the lock where the stop planks will be positioned and make any general repair work needed to the lock chamber that is normally under water. The work will take around two weeks
When complete it will allow us at any time in the future to install temporary stop planks at each end of the lock and pump out the water in-between, necessary to facilitate future lock gate installation and any maintenance work needed under the normal water level. It will bring Pipps Ford lock up to a ‘fully restored’ lock, ready for lock gates (like Bosmere, Creeting and Baylham already are). The Trust has had several attempts in the past to create a temporary dam, this time we are using a company that specialise in temporary dam construction using ‘Portadams’. They will be installed by a company called OnSite, https://onsite.co.uk/capability/portadam/.