First boats across Surrey/Sussex border

Published: Wednesday, 02 May 2018

FOR the first time since late last century boats were able to navigate across the Surrey/Sussex county border on the Wey & Arun Canal.

This was made possible by the completion of Gennets Bridge Lock by Wey & Arun Canal Trust volunteers.

Gannets BRidge LockScene of celebrations

The border near Alfold (Surrey) and Loxwood (Sussex) was the scene of celebrations on the 21st April with the completion of Gennets Bridge Lock, and after the ceremony, small boats were able to navigate across the county border, possibly for the first time since the late 19th century.

The Trust had invested around £375,000 and a huge amount of volunteer effort in the lock rebuilding project, with local landowner, Nigel Gibbons, unveiling a plaque on the bridge marking the occasion.

The lock is faced with locally made bricks so that its appearance is similar to the original lock that disappeared in the early 20th century.

New arched bridge

In addition to rebuilding the lock, the volunteer team constructed a new arched bridge to take the Sussex Border Path across the canal and restored the canal channel northwards towards the Surrey border.

After returning from a boat trip across the Surrey border, Chairman, Sally Schupke, commented:

“This was a short but historic voyage, marking another milestone in the restoration of the canal link between London and the South Coast”.