Opening of Stratford St Mary lock to take place in May

The River Stour at Stratford St Mary

The River Stour at Stratford St Mary - Credit: peter cutts

The official opening of the Stratford St Mary lock is due to take place in May.

It is being organised by the Council of the River Stour Trust with the ceremony being carried out by Griff Rhys Jones, the trust’s president, along with Mark Harling, regional manager of Enovert Community Trust, the main sponsors of the project.

The restoration of the lock has taken 12 years to complete and it is over 80 years since it was last used.

Its opening takes place on Saturday, May 12, and there will be boat trips on the River Stour aboard the Trust’s electric boats. Tea and cakes will be served after the opening ceremony.

Stratford St Mary Lock was one of 13 locks on the 25-mile long River Stour Navigation, running from Sudbury to the sea at Manningtree.

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The right of navigation was granted by an act of Parliament in 1705 and the river and its locks and barges were made famous by John Constable’s many paintings in the 19th Century.

The navigation fell into disuse in the early 20th Century with the last commercial traffic using it in the 1930s.

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