How crazy is this?

Published: Thursday, 14 June 2018

IT WAS Victor Swift who brought to notice that the volunteers were operating a one side up one side down on the twin locks at Hillmorton.

Using this method of using one side for boats ascending and not allowing boats into the lock when emptying and similarly using the other side locks for only descending and not allowing boats in to go up meant that every lock movement takes two locks of water not only causing delays but wasting double the amount of water for each single locking.

HILLMORTON MESSWhen we passed through all the volunteers were at the bottom locks with serious congestion further up the flight, as the picture shows, our telling them of the problem.

Had to abide

We have now heard from two further boaters that they have had to abide by this method, with one, our regular contributor, T. Lang, telling us:

"This fool let a boat out of the lock coming up, and stopped me as I was coming forward, closed the gates and let the water out with no boat in the lock, waving me over to the lock on the other side.  I pointed out that it would have been sensible letting me in, but he told me that was what they had been told to do, which is absolutely insane."

Should be sacked

Another boater, who preferred not to have his name mentioned, told a similar story adding that whoever was in charge of those locks and gave that instruction obviously knows nothing about lock working and should be sacked. Adding that wasting twice as much water as necessary would come to roost when there was a water shortage and the locks had to be closed.

It is of course not known if the volunteers were wrongly instructed by someone at Canal & River Trust who does not understand lock working or if a volunteer had him/herself made the decision.