Thursday, 27 August 2015

Buckby Lock and Mad dogs

The Buckby Flight on the Grand Union Canal is currently closed because a top gate on Lock 12 is damaged.  We arrived at the top of the flight yesterday to be told by another boater there was probably going to be a 24 hour delay. 

Yesterday evening I walked down the flight to the affected lock.

lock 12 Map from Waterway Routes

We are at the top near the water point and the damaged lock is down near Whilton Marina.

On the walk down to the lock I met a fellow boater coming back who told me it was a simple repair to replace a broken collar.  On examining the lock myself the problem appeared to be far more than a broken collar.

damaged gate2

The steel collar around the top of the gate which forms the upper hinge is actually in tact.  However the vertical gate hinge post has rotted and fractured below the hinge.

damaged gate

I’ve drawn a rough diagram top provide an idea of the gate structure.


The bulk of the weight of the gate is transferred to the lock wall via the vertical post and the collar.  The fracture could result in the gate falling into the entrance of the lock.   My guess is the bulk of the weight is currently being held by the lock beam through the to the collar and then the lock wall.

Each gate is bespoke (ie, has slightly different dimensions) so it’s unlikely CRT will have a “spare”.  The lock will require a new gate.  In the interim boats continue to arrive above and below the flight.  A number of the boats waiting at the top plan to attend the IWA Festival in Northampton this weekend.  My assumption is CRT will attempt a temporary repair. and replace the gate during the winter stoppages.

I’ll walk down again this evening to see if CRT have commenced repairs.  My own thoughts are that it might be possible to fit temporary steel straps to the gate in an effort to transfer the load away from the fracture.  Something like the following


It had been my intention to walk to the lock after lunch but only mad dogs and Englishmen would go during a shower (it’s now raining).


Daykin said...

Did you get let through then ?

Tom and Jan said...

We decided to stay anotherday rather tha join the mad rush. 😁