DRAIN PLUG WINCHES

Canal Boat - - Feature -

These were one of the more un­usual ways of drain­ing a canal for re­pairs. In­stead of a run-off pad­dle (which looks like a nor­mal ground pad­dle, but is usu­ally set back from the tow­path and emp­ties the canal into a nearby stream), a few wa­ter­ways fea­tured wooden plugs in the canal bed, which drained into a culvert. Back in the 1970s, a canal worker fa­mously hooked an old chain out of the Ch­ester­field Canal, in­ad­ver­tently pulled out a plug that no­body knew about and emp­tied the canal. So how were you sup­posed to pull the plug out? Some­times it was by at­tach­ing a rope to the chain, and haul­ing on it by us­ing a sim­ple winch set on the bank, op­er­ated by putting me­tal bars through the holes in the wooden shaft. This ex­am­ple is on the Mon­mouthshire & Bre­con, but they are also to be seen on the Hud­der­s­field.

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