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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 July 2007, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Restoration of Suffolk landmark
Constable's Stratford Mill and the modern day lock
Stratford's lock featured in a painting by John Constable
Volunteer workers have begun a restoration project on a Suffolk lock captured in a 19th Century painting.

Stratford Lock, near Colchester, featured in a work by John Constable in 1820, but for over 50 years the lock has been largely impassable.

The River Stour Trust have begun work to clear 140 tonnes of concrete and 197yd (180m) of channel.

The volunteer group said it hoped to complete the project in time for the Trust's 40th birthday next year.

The first of part of the scheme will see the lock cleared, and the Trust plans to finish this by September, with new lock gates installed next year.

Lesley Ford, of the River Stour Trust, told the BBC news: "We have to raise all the money ourselves, we need to raise 10,000 for the current phase to buy in equipment and materials.

"We're busy appealing to people to see if they can help.

"When we need to re-gate the lock its going to cost 100,000."

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