Friday, 9 August 2013

Kerry, the Kiwi Lock Keeper!

This morning Jan locked me down through Wharton’s Lock leaving the lower gates open whilst I winded (turned) Waiouru in the nearby winding hole.  It was an impressive improvement on my winding ability as I managed to do it in three movements.  It wasn’t that long ago I was winding in 13 moves.  Pity there was no audience to applaud!  By the time I’d returned to the lock another boat was waiting above.  Jan then had some assistance to lock me up.

Unfortunately Jan had just finished locking me up through the next lock (Beeston’s Iron Lock) when a boat appeared.  They got the benefit of Jan leaving the lock ready for them after she had done all the hard work on her own.  Can’t win them all!

It seemed all the locks would be against us today because Tilstone Lock was also full.  Jan walked on forward to check it whilst I loitered below without mooring.

Two boats arrived to go down just as Jan was attempting to open the top gates.  The crews kindly offered to lower the paddles enabling Jan to reboard Waiouru.  The Anglo-Welsh base immediately below Bunbury Staircase Locks appeared to have a large number of hire boats moored which we assume is an indication that hire companies are not having a good year?  Jan had already been advised there was a CRT lock keeper on duty by the crew she had met at the previous lock. 

Kerry immediately recognised Jan’s accent and could correctly pronounce Waiouru.  Not surprising as he is originally from Napier, NZ.  Whilst we worked Waiouru up through the staircase locks (2) he explained he’d always been fascinated by the locks and when CRT asked for volunteers he jumped at the chance.  During the training it was mentioned CRT were looking for full-time lock keepers and he seized the opportunity.  And that’s how a Kiwi from Napier became a CRT lock keeper!  He usually works either the Bunbury or Chester locks.

Looking back from the lower chamber.  And if you prefer black and white

The water from the upper chamber is released into the lower chamber.  When the water levels are equalized the gates can be opened.

The plan was to stop at the Calveley Services and top up the water point.  It was actually quite busy with the situation not assisted by the boater who locked and moored their boat on the water point leaving it unattended.

I also found it annoying that there were CRT employees present yet the boat seemed to be ignored by them.  Surely just as safety is everyone’s business, in CRT the reporting of non-compliance should be a core responsibility for all employees?

We eventually managed to get onto the water point.

We saw some interesting and ‘rough’ boats today.  This one looks like a type of hybrid canal inspection boat.

Whilst this one looked quirky I was somewhat annoyed it was moored on a bend in an area marked “No Mooring”.

This one looked like it could do with a damned good clean and polish……..

Just teasing James! Winking smile

We’re now moored on the south side of Nantwich.

4 comments :

Ray Butler said...

Turn o' The World is a close replica Bridgewater Canal "Little Packet" steam tug, built narrowboat beam rather than the 9-10 ft of the original packets (Only one of which survives due to the poor play value of a 9-10 ft beam...) Built by Roger Fuller at Stone some years ago..

When heading up the shroppie award yourselves an evening at the Anchor at High Offley (No food but great beer and craic)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Ray,

That's interesting information. When we go back that way I'll take a more detailed look at Turn o' the World. But for the moment we're heading south.

Roger Chesher said...

Turnothworld is based on an original plan for the one little packet that was never built!. this was originally to be 7'6" so slimming her down to 7ft was not too difficult. She was indeed built by Roger Fuller and yacht -build quality fitted by Pete and Julie Hill of Stowe Hill Marine in a stunning Art Deco manner.
She won the Mario Munk and the Calor trophies at the IWA rally.

Roger Chesher said...

OH forgot to say, she is in Diesel mode, as they appeared post conversion in the 1930s.