DRAIN PLUG WINCHES
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.