THIS WEK AT THE LOCKS

Well peeps here we are two months into 2019 and already Hillmorton locks have seen over 2000 boats. May has been quite a challenging month with problems with several of the paddle gears. However volly Vinnie and myself were tasked with moving the work boat from Hawkesbury to Hillmorton to allow our fulltime colleagues to get into the locks and to the bottom of the problems in order to rectify this situation. We know some of the working paddles are a little bit stiff, remember they are as stiff for the lockies as they are for the boaters, so hopefully these can also be rectified.

Volly Vinnie and me moving workboat.

We also this month had an incident in lock 6 where it appears a boat coming down caught the wooden buffer on the sill and broke it in two. Good job we had the workboat as we were able to get the damaged piece out and not have to shut the lock.

Whilst we are on the negative side I also this month came across a load of rubbish which had been left strewn about near to the elsan point. This had to be removed and placed in the nice Mr Biffa's bins which are only about 20 yards away.

The annoying thing about it is that it sadly was someone off a boat who left it. Examination of the rubbish revealed it to contain several strong beverage bottles (empty), several indian food cartons (empty) and a pair of black nickers (empty). We can only hope that they enjoyed the party.

There appears to be o lot of debris in the canal at the moment, the biggest piece of which turned out to be a piece of a tree. Yours truly with the help of volly Vinnie and new volly Chris, managed tp lasoo it and take it for a walk so we could haul it out of the navigation.

The herbs are still doing well including the parsley which is going a bit rampant, so PLEASE help yourself.

A nice touch was the gentleman who had to be rescued last year from lock 5 after slipping in and breaking his shoulder. He was dragged out and put into the recovery position by our own Florence Nightingale, volly Taryn. Anyway he came back through the locks in May to lay a few demons and left a heartfelt thank you card for all who helped him.

Other people through the locks in May were a delightful crowd from New Zealand ( and I nearly asked if they were from Australia) who to show their gratitude for the VLK's advice presented us with Honorary KIWI badges.

We also had the Scottish crew on a Valley Cruiser hire boat who could get no water out of their taps (phew). We sowed them were the water taps were so they could fill the kettle etc and have a brew. Then at their invitation we went aboard to see if we could help. Turned out one of them had accidently turned off the water pump. Problem solved and baths all round.

The most famous boater in May was the gent in the boat shown in photograph.

And yes his name was Harry, I asked.

That's about it peeps but don't forget to keep coming to see us so we can be the busiest locks on the system again this year.

See you soon peeps.

The man with the golden windlass

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About Me

I have been a volunteer Lock Keeper with the Canal and River Trust for over 5 years now giving out advice where I think it's needed, whether it's taken or not is up to the recipients, and helping when required, again this help is not mandatory. Working at Hillmorton throughout the summer and then Watford through the winter just to keep my hand in. When Im not working on locks you can find me up and down the canal network on my very own 47 foot narrowboat.

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© 2016 Maurice Farndon

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