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magpie patrick

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magpie patrick last won the day on August 4 2016

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About magpie patrick

  • Birthday 07/07/1966

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Frome, Somerset
  • Occupation
    Town Planner
  • Boat Name
  • Boat Location
    Brassknocker Basin

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  1. Are you sure? They're on the same bit of coast twelve miles apart!
  2. Lets put it to CRT that the Grand Union should be modified in this way - narrow entrances to wide locks - problem solved
  3. French Canal Lock with Balance Beams And standard mechanised type - not exactly leak free Both on the Canal du Nivernais
  4. Which waterway is that? Like many in France, it seems to capture a certain air of genteel neglect! Most french locks are mechanised, but before this they were windlass operated gates: by the late 20th century very few had balance beams (and those that did still generally have them). They also had strict rules and lock keepers to enforce them, amongst those being that gates had to be fully opened before the boat approched them, not least because the gates are much more fragile than ours anyway. The evolution and operation of French locks and their funishings is a fascintaing subject that would merit more research - from what I've seen so far there were many differences with out own. some locks were much more rudimentary, and they never went for locks that took two narrow boats side by side - it's that last factor which is said toi be causing the problem on our lock gates
  5. It happens on narrow locks - is that due to canoes using only one gate?
  6. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  7. TBH I don't think there are ANY locations where this is beneficial for the reason stated, as in to make sure both gates are open There is no particular location where lock gates are getting disproportionately scraoed or clobbered as a result of only opening one gate. The leak due to scraping is easy to fix, the leak due to clobbering less so. If a gate is ONLY leaking through the scrape on the mitre it's doing okay, leaks under and round gates are a bigger problem generally. If CRT are of a mind to encourage bpaters to open both gates they should do exactly that - years ago BW changed policy to closing gates behind you and it now gets nearly 100% compliance - widely promote a policy of opening both gates and in 5 to 10 years there will be widespread compliance. Paradoxically mechanised locks might be most beneficial in long flights such as Wigan and Caen Hill, but the potential for disruption when they fail is also greatest here, any one lock in the flight failing would cause problems.
  8. Footbridges on the tail of every lock would be an alternative - the most common reason for not opening one gate on a wide lock is, I suspect, the walk round to do it. Certainly that's why I'm resistant to it when on my own.
  9. Whilst it's not quite the same thing, the deepest lock (and certainly the deepest narrow lock) in Martin Clark's list that hasn't got deeper since it was built is Lock 15 at Marple, 13 foot 4 inches - I accept some deeper locks may have been deeper than this before subsidence, but I suspect not http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/locks.htm
  10. Now there's a good idea! Boats to carry a long pole and the offside gate to have a hook to engage it. I guess the gates would need to be balanced well for this to work but it's a lot simpler and easier than electrification! (Yes, I'm serious)
  11. Thanks for the on-the-spot info Jen - the breakdowns are a serious issue that needs to be addressed - this happens with other equipment too - we got held up at Wooton Rivers when the pumps feeding the K&A summit failed. Thorne Lock allows one gate only opening as this gets a longer narrow boat into the lock - blimmin sight cheaper than lengthening the lock! I have twice recommended mechanising locks, neither has happened. Both were on restoration schemes and in both instances the lock house was a private residence prior to restoration - mechanisation would have allowed the locks to be operated from the side opposite the house. In the end negotiations with the house occupants, along with some mitigation such as fencing and access gates, made this unnecessary. If there is a good one-off candidate for mechanisation it might be Bradford Lock on the K&A, but this is the first lock for a lot of hirers and they "cut their teeth" on it - I'm not keen on hirers then going down the locks in Bath without this practice run. Bradford lock takes a hammering from the number (and dare I say competence) of users, but the hydrailics would also take a hammering, I could see them failing a lot. When we went on the Yorkshire Waterways as kids, the mechanised locks just had big hydraulic rams fastened to the balance beams*, and out of hours the connecting pins were taken out so the lock could be worked manually. If popular locks are to be mechanised they need a manual override. *These rams could open the gates against a foot of water, and often did, which shortened the life of the gate! It also masked the leakage problems to the extent that some locks were virtually impossible to operate manually.
  12. This old chestnut... Electrification is not cheap, needs a power source and is another thing to go wrong. In some limited instances it is a good idea but if you think the cost of gate replacement is high then the cost of maintaining several hundred electrically operated locks would be eye watering - it's not just the power supply but the inspection, maintanance of moving parts and replacement etc Second, a gate operated by a hydraulic ram is subject to different loads - you CAN just fasten a ram to an existing gate but over time it damages the gate. The ram can also apply a lot more force to the gate than a boaters backside on a balance beam can, so the gates need to be more substantial to deal with this. Third, the boats brushing on gates is easily fixed with sacrificial wooden strips on the mitre post - this damage happens on narrow locks too and also potentially where pairs of narrow boats enter a lock side by side. Gates get brushed against unless the lock is quite a lot bigger than the boats entering - it would help if gates went all the way into the gate recesses - too often they don't The REAL cause of damage to the closed gate is not brushing it but hitting it, especially when going downstream when the gate can't just move out of the way on impact. The most brutal damage to gates is caused by hitting them when they have a head of water against them.
  13. There is a very fundamental conceptual difference in that the lock is designed to enable boats to change level and the pound between locks is not!
  14. Would fossile fuels melt it? Keep it at a 2 inch draft and just use a small electric outboard?
  15. On the greening of the BCN, it has happened everywhere old industry has gone, certainly mining - it is hard to believe now that Radstock was the biggest mining town in this area along with Midsomer Norton, Welton and Paulton, only the odd conical batch (coal tip) gives it away - the older, irregular batches just look like wooded hillsides. It won't be that long and there will only be the miners memorial in Radstock to remind us That happens to be on the line of the short lived branch of the Coal Canal so it's a good excuse to post a picture
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