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Alan de Enfield

Now need to book Keadby Lock in advance.

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From narrowboat world.

 

 

24 hours notice to get through Keadby Lock

Published: Wednesday, 25 September 2019

INFORMATION has been published by Canal & River Trust that 24 hours notice is now required for passage though Keadby Lock on the tidal Trent.

Like many boaters we have been held up at Torksey Lock owing to adverse conditions of the river, resulting in arriving at Keadby much later than booked, so what happens now?

tidalNo practical moorings

There are no practical moorings on the river at Keadby, and once we were 'splattered' onto a gravel barge outside the lock and spent a few very uncomfortable hours before being allowed through. The picture shows a narrowboat battling against the tide on the Trent.

If you also need to book entry at West Stockwith on the Chesterfield as well you will not be able to escape there, which leaves only the jetties at Gainsborough where the river flows extremely fast through the narrows.

Little thought for boaters

It is of course all about cutting the hours of the lock keeper, with obviously little thought for the boaters on what can be a very dangerous river especially at high Spring tides.

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I thought you had to give Keadby 24 hours notice anyway, which is what I did last year.  Same with Cromwell and Torksey as well.  I would think most people speak to the locks at each end to get their opinion of timing anyway.  Would you really want to go down the Trent when Keadby are not expecting you, does not make sense.

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That photo is not a boat on the Trent.  It was taken by my friend Neil from nb Herbie, of no Leo on the Thames near Tower Bridge in 2012.  Proof here.

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@adam1uk has provided the background (and has a much better filing system than I do) - just remember it is an Orion shell so very low in the front at the best of times.  The waves were the wash from the Thames Clippers bouncing back from the concrete river walls in London.

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I have always booked west stockwith and Keadby the day before travelling.

 

Except this year  we were travelling with another boat which had transmission issues on the Humber. Called Keadby a d we were in. Plenty of room .

 

West Stockwith would let any boat in trouble enter. 

 

However in normal circumstances a phone call the day before is only polite.

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12 minutes ago, adam1uk said:

That photo is not a boat on the Trent.  It was taken by my friend Neil from nb Herbie, of no Leo on the Thames near Tower Bridge in 2012.  Proof here.

I thought it was on the Thames as soon as I saw it....and glad you have confirmed.

Sloppy lazy NBW again , hope your friend gets credited or asks for it to be removed.

I have never not booked Keadby in advance.....just to be sure someone knows I'm  coming in or out.

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50 minutes ago, john6767 said:

I thought you had to give Keadby 24 hours notice anyway, which is what I did last year.  Same with Cromwell and Torksey as well

I have never booked either Cromwell or Torksey.

Cromwell will let you thru at any time as there is no tidal restrictions on usage. But the lockie will suggest suitable departure times based on boat type / design.

 

Torksey is limited by tide height but the limits are well known so just turn up and go thru between the 'opening times'. You can always moor on the 'waiting pontoon' then call on VHF to inform them you are waiting.

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59 minutes ago, matty40s said:

I thought it was on the Thames as soon as I saw it....and glad you have confirmed.

Sloppy lazy NBW again , hope your friend gets credited or asks for it to be removed.

I have never not booked Keadby in advance.....just to be sure someone knows I'm  coming in or out.

Not fake news on CWF

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16 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I have never booked either Cromwell or Torksey.

Cromwell will let you thru at any time as there is no tidal restrictions on usage. But the lockie will suggest suitable departure times based on boat type / design.

 

Torksey is limited by tide height but the limits are well known so just turn up and go thru between the 'opening times'. You can always moor on the 'waiting pontoon' then call on VHF to inform them you are waiting.

But only if there is someone at the lock listening!

 

Last time came down from Cromwell, called up just before the turn but no response, tried again when on pontoon and eventually walked round. No one there despite they knew we were coming. Found someone from CRT in the cafe. The proper lockie had gone to collect his car from its MOT!

 

Edited to add my only experience of West Stockwith was similar. Brand new VHF had stopped working so phoned when about 15 minutes away. "Ok, will get lock ready" He then phoned back to say he was cutting grass at far end of basin so it would be a longer wait as chamber was full. So we had to circle around, well back and forth actually. Again, they knew were coming.

Edited by pearley

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I’ve told this tale before but I’ll repeat it as a warning to ALWAYS expect the unexpected at manned locks, especially Keadby. 

I’d phoned Keadby and booked entry for 9am but double checked this the day before as I went down Cromwell. He actually rang him while I waited and 9am was confirmed. The following day at exactly 9am I approached Keadby as 2 boats left the lock with the keeper seeing them off from his gantry. Spot on I thought, but just before the bows entered the lock the gates slammed shut! 

I waited with rising blood pressure against the gates while he filled the lock and let another boat out. His excuse for his actions was a classic, it wasn’t that he hadn’t seen a boat headed for the open lock, but that he didn’t know it was the one booked in!  That’s despite the fact it was exactly 9am and I was the only boat booked in or even going downstream that morning. I also explained in fine clear language that you don’t fill an empty lock with a boat waiting below on a canal, never mind a dangerous tidal river. What a dick.

It’s the only time in my 197 years of boating that I’ve complained to CRT, which apparently fell on deaf ears.

  • Greenie 1

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Hardly news!

 

A quick search, shows that booking has been necessary for years.

 

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices/9123-keadby-lock is a notice from 2016 stating that 24 hours notice is needed, it was replaced by https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices/9532-booking-information-keadby-lock .

 

i suppose that blog must have received the latest update, https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices/16230-booking-information-keadby-lock , two days ago.

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Thank you, I’ve got a few more years left I’m sure. 

My mistake when reporting the plonker at Keadby was probably going straight to the Newark office rather than higher up the chain. 

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4 hours ago, noddyboater said:

 I approached Keadby as 2 boats left the lock with the keeper seeing them off from his gantry. Spot on I thought, but just before the bows entered the lock the gates slammed shut! 

.

The thing with Keadby is the swing bridge just above it.

They dont like to swing the bridge at busy road  times such as the school run. So just after 9am is okay if the tide is right.

When they do swing the bridge they get as many boats through as possible. When the pen is full there is space between the pen and the swing bridge for two more boats to wait.

So two pens may be let out one after the other...as you witnessed.

They usually give priority to boats on the river.

However...

If they had started the process and had two pens of boats past the swing bridge they had no option but to let them out before letting you in.

Sounds like you did not talk to the lock keeper on the vhf as you were somewhere near . It may have helped you better understand what was happening.

 

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Oh dear, that opening post is exactly the sort of thing that is certain to put more boaters off navigating the tidal Trent. Shock horror that you are going to have to book a passage through the lock! Well, anyone wanting to go out on the tideway will be wanting to lock out at the time the tide suits their vessel the best, that will usually involve a discussion in advance with the lock keeper to confirm, even if you are clued up enough on the tides to work it out yourself. There is not a lot at Keadby so why would anyone rock up there any earlier than they needed to get there in order to use the lock? That means a call a day or so in advance to firm it all up is usually wise. 

If you want to lock in then you will have communicated with a lock on your way out. Cromwell, Torksey or West Stockwith. Each lock you go through asks you where you are heading and where you expect to end your day. Each lock communicates with each other too so they know how many boats are out there and roughly when to expect them. 

To illustrate the horror of the trip they share a photo of a narrowboat with waves breaking over the bow. 

 

This will ensure that another lot of people will never experience what The Trent is like with a good string flow of a spring tide:

69878781_10157351781254070_6427573460754

 

Or experience a Torksey sunset with their boat in the frame

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor, water and nature

 

I have been at West Stockwith when narrowboaters were coming past who had not made the expected progress on the river and would arrive too late at Keadby so the megaphone came out and they were told to come in. the lock keeper needing to get 6 boats in on a falling tide while there was still enough water over the cill. A tense time but it was acheived. 

 

Why let the truth get in the way of a good story if you can season it with some drama?

 

Because you are putting boaters off from visiting what I believe to be one of the most beautiful canals in the country by doing so and it makes me so sad 

  • Greenie 1

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11 minutes ago, cheshire~rose said:

Oh dear, that opening post is exactly the sort of thing that is certain to put more boaters off navigating the tidal Trent. Shock horror that you are going to have to book a passage through the lock! Well, anyone wanting to go out on the tideway will be wanting to lock out at the time the tide suits their vessel the best, that will usually involve a discussion in advance with the lock keeper to confirm, even if you are clued up enough on the tides to work it out yourself. There is not a lot at Keadby so why would anyone rock up there any earlier than they needed to get there in order to use the lock? That means a call a day or so in advance to firm it all up is usually wise. 

If you want to lock in then you will have communicated with a lock on your way out. Cromwell, Torksey or West Stockwith. Each lock you go through asks you where you are heading and where you expect to end your day. Each lock communicates with each other too so they know how many boats are out there and roughly when to expect them. 

To illustrate the horror of the trip they share a photo of a narrowboat with waves breaking over the bow. 

 

This will ensure that another lot of people will never experience what The Trent is like with a good string flow of a spring tide:

69878781_10157351781254070_6427573460754

 

Or experience a Torksey sunset with their boat in the frame

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor, water and nature

 

I have been at West Stockwith when narrowboaters were coming past who had not made the expected progress on the river and would arrive too late at Keadby so the megaphone came out and they were told to come in. the lock keeper needing to get 6 boats in on a falling tide while there was still enough water over the cill. A tense time but it was acheived. 

 

Why let the truth get in the way of a good story if you can season it with some drama?

 

Because you are putting boaters off from visiting what I believe to be one of the most beautiful canals in the country by doing so and it makes me so sad 

You may not have noticed that Alan has only quoted the latest Narrowminded World exclusive article, and everyone following has ripped it apart.

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7 minutes ago, matty40s said:

You may not have noticed that Alan has only quoted the latest Narrowminded World exclusive article, and everyone following has ripped it apart.

I had noticed that but not everyone understands it is so narrowminded and it adds fuel to the fears that so many people have about The Trent. Most of them totally unfounded. 

 

I thought perhaps adding a couple of photos of what it is more typically like might add some contrast for those who are reading but might not comment

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2 hours ago, MartynG said:

The thing with Keadby is the swing bridge just above it.

They dont like to swing the bridge at busy road  times such as the school run. So just after 9am is okay if the tide is right.

When they do swing the bridge they get as many boats through as possible. When the pen is full there is space between the pen and the swing bridge for two more boats to wait.

So two pens may be let out one after the other...as you witnessed.

They usually give priority to boats on the river.

However...

If they had started the process and had two pens of boats past the swing bridge they had no option but to let them out before letting you in.

Sounds like you did not talk to the lock keeper on the vhf as you were somewhere near . It may have helped you better understand what was happening.

 

As a frequent visitor to Keadby I’m aware of the bridge issues. It was however 9am on a Sunday, so with local main attraction (the chippy) being closed the road was quiet. 

I honestly wouldn’t have minded if the keeper had given that as his reason, but to say he didn’t know the boat heading across the river towards his empty lock was the boat booked in was complete shite. The boat I was on didn’t have vhf but I’m sure it wouldn’t have made any difference anyway. 

He was unfortunately one of the growing number of lock keepers who have probably never been through a lock on a boat, and about as welcome in that situation as a fart in a spacesuit. 

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8 hours ago, noddyboater said:

The boat I was on didn’t have vhf

Why not? 

A functioning vhf is essential equipment.

Lack of communication was clearly the main issue. 

 

If he was double penning he could not let you in.

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I my very limited experience vhf is not always much use at Keadby as it is often left in the office whilst operating lock-side.

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1 hour ago, MartynG said:

Why not? 

A functioning vhf is essential equipment.

Lack of communication was clearly the main issue. 

 

If he was double penning he could not let you in.

Functional vhf may have been essential a few years ago, but unless you’re heading to Trent falls I’d argue that improved phone reception means it isn’t on the river above Keadby. 

It wasn’t actually my boat anyway, a friend had just bought it. 

Communicating with keepers is always a lottery by vhf or phone. I’d always let them know when approaching Stockwith so they can empty the lock and open the gates. I’ve given up on that now as they never bother until you’re actually outside the gates blowing your horn. 

I once arrived at my allotted time and having tied up and climbed the ladder, found the keeper lawn mowing with ear defenders on! 

But all this is irrelevant, as said earlier lack of common sense on his part was the issue, not communication. Why give the excuse for his actions as not “knowing who we were” if that wasn’t the case? 

And if he did want to drop the other boat down that was waiting why not get us up first? Neither boats were wide so we could have passed when the top gates opened.

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3 hours ago, noddyboater said:

Functional vhf may have been essential a few years ago

 

 

It still is.

 

  • Greenie 1

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On 25/09/2019 at 18:54, Alan de Enfield said:

From narrowboat world.

 

 

24 hours notice to get through Keadby Lock

Published: Wednesday, 25 September 2019

INFORMATION has been published by Canal & River Trust that 24 hours notice is now required for passage though Keadby Lock on the tidal Trent.

Like many boaters we have been held up at Torksey Lock owing to adverse conditions of the river, resulting in arriving at Keadby much later than booked, so what happens now?

tidalNo practical moorings

There are no practical moorings on the river at Keadby, and once we were 'splattered' onto a gravel barge outside the lock and spent a few very uncomfortable hours before being allowed through. The picture shows a narrowboat battling against the tide on the Trent.

If you also need to book entry at West Stockwith on the Chesterfield as well you will not be able to escape there, which leaves only the jetties at Gainsborough where the river flows extremely fast through the narrows.

Little thought for boaters

It is of course all about cutting the hours of the lock keeper, with obviously little thought for the boaters on what can be a very dangerous river especially at high Spring tides.

I can't say I am surprised to hear this and in those circumstances if it were spring tides, or there is a lot of fresh in the river I would be tempted to get back to Torksey and hang off the river moorings until the next day.

Gainsborough town quay is pretty secure if there is room, but definitely put some decent spring lines on!

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