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roland elsdon

Watford lock keepers

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Fantastic work by the lockies at watford today

10 boats in front of us and pouring with rain.

went up locks like clockwork, with 2 single handers in front.

 Cheerful and pleasant

shame in those in queue wanting to ring crt about them ‘ wasting water by not bringing boats down at the same time’

these locks have always caused delays and the lockies were fabulous.

  • Greenie 4

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5 minutes ago, roland elsdon said:

 

shame in those in queue wanting to ring crt about them ‘ wasting water by not bringing boats down at the same time’

 

Pillocks!!

 

My favourite set of locks and the lockies are always on the ball there......letting you work the locks if you want and helping out if needed.

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We arrived at the bottom lock around 3pm yesterday. By the time Ali located the locky, it was a little later!

But, they let us up, in heavy rain and even hailstones. We exited the top lock bang on 4pm.

Always find the crew at Watford very amenable and professional.  Makes Foxton look a shambles...

Edited by johnmck

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Quite often you come up two locks or down one if it’s busy but of all the  lockies these guys on the Watford are normally on the ball. Now they have fixed the leak on the bottom lock it was always good to get into the flight before they came on duty to avoid the queues.

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It's so ridiculous that the signs at Watford tell you that if there is no lock keeper on duty then at busy times you should work the staircase one-up/one-time "to maximise the use of water". It is of course correct that it maximises the use of water, but what is really required is to work say 3-up/3-down which minimises the use of water as well as speeding everything up.

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44 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

Unlike Foxton which was an absolute shambles last time I had the pleasure. Too many cooks.. or plonkers with lists and attitudes. 

At Watford there is no crowd to play to.

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20 minutes ago, matty40s said:

At Watford there is no crowd to play to.

When we came down Watford last week the Lockies were great, I said to Tracy how much more relaxed and pleasant they are compared to Foxton.

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I found both Watford and Foxton a real pleasure.  They were short of water, i presume because of Crick, but both sets of lockies were both helpful and unobtrusive. All in all, every one of them I ran into has been great, everyone asking me when I wanted anything done, checking whether I wanted their help in the first place.

One (not at Watford or Foxton) had apparently just sustained a barrage of abuse from one hire boater because she refused to operate the lock for them while their six year old was running up and down the side of the boat in flip flops with no life jacket.   She'd told them she was perfectly happy for them to run the lock themselves, but she wasn't going to do it till the child was in the boat.  I don't think that counts as her being a plonker with an attitude...

  • Greenie 3

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32 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

I found both Watford and Foxton a real pleasure.  They were short of water, i presume because of Crick, but both sets of lockies were both helpful and unobtrusive. All in all, every one of them I ran into has been great, everyone asking me when I wanted anything done, checking whether I wanted their help in the first place.

One (not at Watford or Foxton) had apparently just sustained a barrage of abuse from one hire boater because she refused to operate the lock for them while their six year old was running up and down the side of the boat in flip flops with no life jacket.   She'd told them she was perfectly happy for them to run the lock themselves, but she wasn't going to do it till the child was in the boat.  I don't think that counts as her being a plonker with an attitude...

Wrong advice from lockie, child should have been on the bank, kid cant escape in a 9ft drop lock if theres a problem that sinks a boat!

 

I did avert a major disaster 2 years ago as the lockies held boats in the locks as they were running water down, the hire boat in the lock before the middle pound was in danger as a Niagara Falls amount of water came over the gate in front of them, open front deck and open front doors, I pulled the boat back and told him to stay in reverse. A 70 footer may not have been so lucky.

Edited by matty40s

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22 minutes ago, matty40s said:

I did avert a major disaster 2 years ago as the lockies held boats in the locks as they were running water down,

Wow!  That's fairly high on my list of things thou shalt not do in a lock, coming immediately after cilling the boat.

 

If nothing else you can't run water through as fast with a boat in the way!

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1 hour ago, matty40s said:

At Watford there is no crowd to play to.

As usual with volunteers this a big factor.  With a crowd too many of them want to throw their weight about to show off.  Having said that did not have that problem when we last came up Foxton, but it was late in the day and not too many around.  Watford were great when I came down there on my own.

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1 minute ago, TheBiscuits said:

Wow!  That's fairly high on my list of things thou shalt not do in a lock, coming immediately after cilling the boat.

 

If nothing else you can't run water through as fast with a boat in the way!

It was the same Harold Shipman lookalike that shouted at me several times last year as I readied to open a paddle on the upper section, hes a volunteer but a supervising one.

Saying that, apparently there were at least 27 Harold Shipmans at the wedding too.

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3 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Saying that, apparently there were at least 27 Harold Shipmans at the wedding too.

You have missed the Stephen Frys ... :icecream:

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I think the training has changed. I too have been asked twice now by vollies if I would like any assistance with the lock, instead of being instructed to "stay on the boat".

 

A breath of fresh air and a great improvement, which I complimented CRT on in the boater survey I was invited to fill in the other day.

 

 

  • Greenie 1

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Unfortunately at Foxton they do not ask boats to lift pipe fenders, boater was moaning how he’d lost one last time. The previous year we collected one wound round the prop shaft going down. Just make sure they are aware they need to leave a lock free behind you when going down if long if you don’t want a shower. The guys at Watford are always helpful. Foxton is more of a challenge due to the number of visitors and the need of some to play to the gallery diverting the attention.

Edited by Tuscan

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I saw someone get hung up in Foxton by a pipe fender, the fender dropped behind the rung of the lock ladder and then got caught as the boat went down. As I shouted from the bridge the string on the fender finally snapped.

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Of course Crystal used to supervise Foxton on her own, but then she knew what she was doing. The flight ran well and I do not remember any one disagreeing with the adbvice she gave. Regards, HughC.

  • Greenie 1

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8 minutes ago, hughc said:

I do not remember any one daring to disagree with the advice she gave.

Edited that for you 😦.

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15 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

Wow!  That's fairly high on my list of things thou shalt not do in a lock, coming immediately after cilling the boat.

 

If nothing else you can't run water through as fast with a boat in the way!

That happened to us at Huddersfield on the Narrow canal, the lockie had to phone through for permission, one of the questions HQ asked, 'were all on board wearing a life jacket'. It was a bit like being in a washing machine though.

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