I read Kevin Blick’s article on lock incidents ( CB, Oct) with interest. A very good article that underlines the need for the person on the bank to be attentive and watchful at all times. I would also add that in locks that have anti-vandal gear, all should be left unlocked until you exit the lock in case you need to quickly operate a paddle.
However, I was very disappointed to see in
the picture at Barrowford locks the narrowboat entering using one gate.
I understand it is hard work to open both but the boat is clearly running along the face of the gate that makes the seal. Many of the bottom gates leak at precisely this point. Just opening the gate a bit would save this kind of wear and tear, helping to extend the life of the expensive wide lock gates and reduce water loss. NICK & GINA MEAD Lady Teal hotel boat Kevin replies: “You make a good point. However, the picture is very deceptive: because we are very deep draughted, if I only open one bottom gate, the other inevitably swings open due to the movement of the boat coming in. It’s actually doing that in that particular photo.
“The real damage is done coming down a lock using one gate – the second gate cannot swing freely away and a boat will inevitably rub along its edge. I always swing the second gate open for just this reason.”