(Disbanded in 2016)
History of Marple Locks Heritage
The Society was formed in 2003 by a
small group of local enthusiasts with the sole purpose of organising a
celebration of the building of the Marple Flight of locks in 2004. The
Bicentennary Locks festival in July 2004 was a great success with Samuel
Oldknow visiting to travel down to the Memorial Park on the horse drawn
boat, Maria, which fittingly was built at Jinks Boatyard at Top Lock,
Marple. The purpose of the festival, as well as commemorating the
building of the locks, was to showcase what Marple had to offer and what
a great place it was to live in. Around 40 societies set up their
gazebos in the park, guided walks took people down the flight for a
history trip, there were boat trips and canoeing taster sessions at the
top lock, hundreds of people attended and the whole day was regarded as
a great success – so much so by public demand, another 6 festivals
were held, the last one in 2015.
Samuel Oldknow and his workers at the first Marple Locks Festival in
As well as organising the festivals, a
small band of members worked on maintaining the locks, working closely
with British Waterways who provided all the necessary materials. The
Society was one of the first volunteer groups to attain self-supervision
status and eventually ‘adopted’ the lock flight. Twice a year open
meetings were held with speakers on relevant topics such as canal
restoration in other areas.
The society also created a Locks Trail
guide and local primary schools benefited from one of the member’s
experience who produced an education pack on the local canals. These are
available today through this web page and will continue to be available
in the future through The Marple Website's canals and waterways pages.
Sue Day and horse boat Maria arrive for the last Festival in 2015
Sadly, it became more and more
difficult to organise the festivals and to find people to run the
Society so Marple Locks Heritage Society was disbanded in 2016, leaving
a core of people working on Task Days with Canal & River Trust, (ex
British Waterways) maintaining the lock flight.
Oldknow and workers - Mark Whittaker.
Sue Day and Maria - Arthur M Procter.
photos on The Marple Website's Virtual History Tour
Marple Locks Heritage Trail
Click to download a
Heritage Trail leaflet
Marple Locks Education Pack
This Education Pack was
created by Marple Locks Heritage Society, a community group that operated
from 2004 to 2016 but is now disbanded. It is aimed at pupils in Key Stage
Two and activities are designed to meet aspects of the National Curriculum
for this age group. The society's objective was:
"To make special
efforts to encourage children from the local primary schools and other
youth groups to take an interest in the locks; to help them understand
its value in the environment and to the community in the belief that
they may continue the work of ‘The Society’ in future."
Each activity/lesson plan
has with it the relevant references to link it to programmes of study in
the National Curriculum. Click here to download
the pack as a pdf.