Jack O’ The Lock – Sowerby Bridge, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 42.603 W 001° 54.284
30U E 572290 N 5951819
Quick Description: This bronze statue depicts Richard Tiffany, Sowerby Bridge’s town lock keeper for many years when the Rochdale Canal was still being used as a commercial canal.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/1/2012 11:26:30 AM
Waymark Code: WMEHPK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 4

Long Description:
The Rochdale Canal was the first canal built to cross the Pennines to connect Lancashire with Yorkshire.

It was completed in 1804 and connected Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire with Manchester in Lancashire 32 miles away.
Competition from railways and roads subsequently led to a decline in goods being carried and by 1937 the only section left in operation was at the Manchester end of the canal.

In 1965 there was talk of abandoning the canal but by this time leisure boating had become very popular in the UK and there was a campaign to keep it open. Work was started and the canal slowly re-opened in a number of different stages. The whole length finally reopened in September 2007.

As part of the restoration of the canal the wharves at the start of the canal in Sowerby Bridge were redeveloped. There are restaurants and bars and apartments and canal boat moorings.

It was decided that a sculpture would be an added attraction for the redevelopment. At the time the sculptor had a studio in the town and this sculpture was paid for by public subscription. It was erected in 1999.

It is a life sized sculpture of Richard Tiffany pushing backwards against a lock gate arm. It is not actually attached to a lock gate, but the arm is long enough that whilst looking at the figure you can easily believe he is opening a real lock. Richard is portrayed in typical working gear with boots and an old jacket. He is also wearing a cravat, which I would suppose has a practical use to absorb sweat in busy periods rather than as a fashion item. On his head he is wearing a traditional Yorkshire style cloth cap.

Richard is holding is holding a lock key in his hand, a vital tool for a lock keeper although sadly part of its shaft has broken off.

The ground underneath the end of the arm of a lock gate is usually cobbled with small raised cobbles to provide extra grip for feet whilst pushing against the lock arm. This lock is no exception and Richard is bracing his feet against the steps as he pushes backwards against the arm. Next to him is a small boy helping him out and pushing with his hands on the lock arm.

Richard’s real great grandson was used as a model for the young boy. He is wearing a short sleeved shirt, shorts held up by braces and long socks which are starting to roll down to his ankles.

It is situated at the roadside near to the entrance of the old wharf.

Richard Burnett now lives on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, and maintains a blog.
(visit link) If you look for his entry on March 1st 2011 you’ll find further details of the statue.
URL of the statue: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
You must have visited the site in person, not online.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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hulletteers visited Jack O’ The Lock – Sowerby Bridge, UK 11/1/2012 hulletteers visited it
Jurassic Parkinsons visited Jack O’ The Lock – Sowerby Bridge, UK 11/20/2011 Jurassic Parkinsons visited it

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