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Coming off the Soar and turning left on the Trent, I have a vague memory (it's twenty years since I did it last) that the locks are operated by lockkeepers unti I reach the canal. Last time I was in a bit of panic as it was more or less in flood, so I don't remember much. Do I need a phone number to advise them I'm coming? And is that still the case, anyway? 

Advice welcome... 

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Sawley Lock, on to the Trent & Mersey, is operated by lock keepers, they will see you approaching and prepare the lock indicating which side to take.

 

Trent Lock goes on to the Erewash, this isn't operated by anyone other than yourself.

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7 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

Sawley Lock, on to the Trent & Mersey, is operated by lock keepers, they will see you approaching and prepare the lock indicating which side to take.

The lockies at Sawley Lock these days are volunteers, I believe. If out of hours, then it can be operated yourself with a watermate key for push button boating. There are instructions on a metal plate fixed to the control pedestals. Further west, the Sawley flood lock might be in use if the Trent is up. Both sets of gates pinned open when levels are low. This is a conventional lock. Your decision on if you proceed if the river is up. The confluence of the Trent and Derwent, where the Trent and Mersey leaves the river has some strong currents and there are weirs to be swept on to. Derwent Mouth Lock and onwards on to the Trent and Mersey are conventional manual operation.

 

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies

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9 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

The lockies at Sawley Lock these days are volunteers, I believe. If out of hours, then it can be operated yourself with a watermate key for push button boating.

Yes - don't try and open the gates manually like I did.

 

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15 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

Sawley Lock, on to the Trent & Mersey, is operated by lock keepers, (when on duty, if they are on duty, or not having lunch/painting or taking boat numbers up the sawley cut for enforcement purposes)they will(might) see you approaching and prepare the lock (maybe) indicating which side to take.

I have only been locked through Sawley twice in the last 5 years by lockies, every other visit (10 plus) has been self operated or started off by myself for lockies to come and take over .

Sawley lock has moorings below, albeit on high walls with ladders - if this is a problem and you arrive late, you could always go to the right of the locks and  moor on the pontoon overnight waiting for the lockies to arrive in the morning - or do it yourself, using BW watermate key.

 

Trent Lock goes on to the Erewash, this isn't operated by anyone other than yourself.

 

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Basicaly you are on your own as Matty says. You may be lucky enough to find vollies at Sawley lock but if not its a doddle anyway as electrified. One point, on approach there is a choice of two locks use whichever is easiest at the given time. If you go across and up the erewash if there is a flow put nose slightly into the flow and give it some wally as you approach the bridge at lock entrance, there is plenty of space to back off once under the bridge before the lock. It will be a doddle anyway at present.

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A bit obvious once you’ve done it, but not if it’s your first time- Although you can use either lock if approaching from downstream, if there’s nobody working them use the mooring on the left as you come under the bridge. It’s far easier than trying to tie up to the wall for the right hand lock.

And don’t forget the pontoon for the service block and water is the “wrong” way up the river. Also a good spot to enjoy a quick pint while your tank is filling.

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Make sure you have a “proper” BW/CRT key...not an eBay knock off..had to operate sawley for another chap who’s key wouldn’t operate the panel....bit of a bugger if you are on your own! 

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54 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

. If you go across and up the erewash if there is a flow put nose slightly into the flow and give it some wally as you approach the bridge at lock entrance...

.....not sure I would delegate trust steering into there to a Wally....

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As you power round under the bridge hope you don't meet some fragile looking steam boats.  We met these two loading their passengers.

 

IMG_20180629_102950477.jpg.7b133027093c6241594e7775cbf73282.jpg

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15 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Thanks - obviously been some changes in the last twenty years... 

Nothing much has changed in fairness in that location, other than of course lockeepers there as elsewhere now being a thing of the past. ☹️

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10 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Nothing much has changed in fairness in that location, other than of course lockeepers there as elsewhere now being a thing of the past. ☹️

You can get a beer next to the lock on some days  now, I would say that's a pretty big change.

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1 minute ago, matty40s said:

You can get a beer next to the lock on some days  now, I would say that's a pretty big change.

yep thats true and sold to you by the ex lockie who lost his job there!!

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12 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

yep thats true and sold to you by the ex lockie who lost his job there!!

Not entirely true. Although the resident landlord was relieved of his lock operating duties as volunteers took over, he was given a van full of tools and equipment for work on the “bank”.  The trouble was he’s old school you might say, and would rather fix things to keep them open for boaters than slap an “out of order” sign on them- things like locks. This didn’t sit well with management for some reason, but putting information signs up addressed to dogs didn’t sit well with our landlord either, so he took early retirement. 

Keeping an eye on river levels was also part of his old job as resident keeper, you’ll notice the difference now if you use Sawley cut as a safe haven to sit out a flood. 

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50 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

Not entirely true. Although the resident landlord was relieved of his lock operating duties as volunteers took over, he was given a van full of tools and equipment for work on the “bank”.  The trouble was he’s old school you might say, and would rather fix things to keep them open for boaters than slap an “out of order” sign on them- things like locks. This didn’t sit well with management for some reason, but putting information signs up addressed to dogs didn’t sit well with our landlord either, so he took early retirement. 

Keeping an eye on river levels was also part of his old job as resident keeper, you’ll notice the difference now if you use Sawley cut as a safe haven to sit out a flood. 

I.m a bit puzzled - how did the old lock keeper affect the river levels?

 

Or are you saying that the flood gates are not shut soon enough now?

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3 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

I.m a bit puzzled - how did the old lock keeper affect the river levels?

 

Or are you saying that the flood gates are not shut soon enough now?

The lock gates are no longer monitored as they used to be. they are closed at the drop of a hat and often left closed when its uneeded. Sawley cut can flood however with the gates closed anyway. When I moored in Sawley marina and my mate moored on the cut, the flooding was extensive, twice in one winter. The Marina was cut off for road entry and a helicopter air lifted a seriously ill lady. My mate couldnt walk the towpath even with waders on, too deep to see where he would be walking.

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The resident keeper would also get up and shut the flood gates in the middle of the night if needed, this included Cranfleet which bizarrely can only be accessed in a small boat. 

What boaters on the cut will notice though is that he would be out knocking sliding poles down the side of moored boats, usually ones left unattended. He’s also been known to ferry people around by dinghy and outboard who have been stranded by the flood. I don’t imagine you’ll see volockies turning up to do such things.

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1 hour ago, mrsmelly said:

The lock gates are no longer monitored as they used to be. they are closed at the drop of a hat and often left closed when its uneeded. Sawley cut can flood however with the gates closed anyway. When I moored in Sawley marina and my mate moored on the cut, the flooding was extensive, twice in one winter. The Marina was cut off for road entry and a helicopter air lifted a seriously ill lady. My mate couldnt walk the towpath even with waders on, too deep to see where he would be walking.

But presumably that was because the river overtopped the gates and defences. Bit harsh to blame the lock keeper (or lack thereof) for that!

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1 minute ago, Mike Todd said:

But presumably that was because the river overtopped the gates and defences. Bit harsh to blame the lock keeper (or lack thereof) for that!

I wasnt blaming anyone, just adding information to anyone who may wish to boat in the area. I think many inexperienced and even experienced boaters look upon sawley cut as a place of safety and refuge which simply is not the case if extreme conditions exist. The moorers including my mate on the cut where instrumental in stopping boats sinking by rope adjusting etc.

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I'd only add to what's already been said to say that the vlockies are only there "in the boating season", and most of the year you are on your own at Sawley locks.

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