Monday, 25 June 2012 08:57
May I respond to Victor on the subject of lock gate closing? Does it make any sense to shut a gate on a busy day on the lower Grand Union?
How many times have I gone up to to a lock moments after a boat has gone past me the other way to find I now have to lift paddles to get in to the damn thing?
Most of my boating is single handed, and these days with a wide beam. I would not say its idleness to not want to tie up a thirty tonne boat before and after passing through a lock, particularly when there is another boat just around the corner, and yes that means some of the time I get to a lock and have to shut the gates if its facing the wrong way.
Thinking back, it used to be said that below Berko' you left the gates above you closed. Old working boatmen I know leave the gates open below, as they always did. We only started to shut gates to cover up British Waterways lack of repair work on leaking locks.
I lurk in the South so I figure each waterway had/has its way of doing things but thats how I always remember the lower Grand Union, and just before it gets mentioned paddles should always be down.