Diglis workshpp

Alex Ball, our Community Engagement Manager gives us the latest insights from our activity programme, this month from Diglis Island.

Unlocking the Severn is a truly amazing project.  What I am particularly enjoying at the moment is getting into the spirit of “island living” (albeit during the working day!).  Diglis Island is not accessible to the public, as it is an operational base and more specifically locks are managed from a control building there.  However, being 175 years old (the island was formed by the cutting of the locks in the 1840s) it has a lovely old feel. It is a haven away from the trappings of modern life. The buildings are of handmade brick and the windows have beautiful small leaded panes. Neatly kept grass, gardens and trees, give it a picture book prettiness.

I have spent a few days on Diglis Island recently. One specific reason was to meet up with retired workers who told me some great stories of working in the lock gate workshop. I met the man whose name is painted, ever so small, on the huge mortice machine. He worked there in the mid-20th century and clearly did a great deal for the island and the local waterways and had a great time doing it.

My second visit of interest was meeting up with a museums colleague. We spoke about the potential of the island to be a great visitor attraction, especially when linked with the fish pass which will be built on the other side of the river, which will have its own viewing gallery.  Exciting that we will be able to make two new attractions to Worcester in the coming months!

The photograph of Diglis workshop was taken last spring before our recent renovation works made possible by support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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