Environment Agency crews lifted a set of 11 tonne timber gates – the oldest on the River Thames – back into place at Teddington Barge Lock on Tuesday (November 13, 2012) following a two-month long makeover costing 60,000 pounds.
The tail gates, each measuring 23ft (7m) x 15ft (4.5m), were removed from the lock by a 100 tonne crane in September to be refurbished after a routine inspection discovered rot in parts of the planking. It is estimated that the gates have been in use at Teddington Barge Lock for more than 40 years.
The work to restore the planking on the gates was carried out by Environment Agency carpenters at nearby Sunbury Yard, and is expected to extend the life of the gates by up to 15 years. The gates have also been repainted. They escaped replacement with modern steel equivalents after the structural timbers were found to be sound.
Teddington Barge Lock has three sets of lock gates (the middle set have been replaced with steel equivalents) and holds 1.75 million gallons of water.
Navigation has not been interrupted by the refurbishment as the top half of the lock remained operational throughout the refurbishment work.
Notes to editors:
• Pictures of the lock gates being lifted into place will be available after the event.
• The very first lock at Teddington was built in 1810 and was made of timber, this quickly became dilapidated and was replaced in 1856/7 with the launch lock that you see today (although it was refurbished in 1950).
• In 1904 the barge lock was added making Teddington Locks the largest lock system on the non-tidal Thames.
• Teddington Locks has the largest weir on the Thames; 20 electrically operated gates capable of letting 12 billion gallons (54.50 billion litres) of water through a day at peak flow.
• It also has the largest lock (The Barge Lock) which is 650 feet (198.12 metres) long and holds 1.75 million gallons (8 million litres) of water.