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The Paddle Gear Thread (formerly Cheshire Paddle Gear)


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Attached two pictures of paddle gear at Marple. When boating as a kid and as a teenager this was "standard" paddle gear and other types were "different", some obviously so (Leeds and Liverpool, Hatton) others more subtly so. Over the decades since I've realised that it's largely confined to Cheshire and the North West and that it isn't really traditional. Overall though it seems to be very satisfactory, unlike the other "innovation" of the period, hydraulic paddle gear.

 

Where did it come from and why? 

20210302_144458.jpg

20210302_071625.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Derek R. said:

Simple, sturdy, effective. Engineering excellence.

 

 

Not arguing! And I'd like it on the Coal Canal when Combe Hay Locks are restored! But was it a canal company innovation or a BW one? 

2 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Did make some blunders though, double top gates on Bosley for one.

 

Had the Macc been as busy as the Shroppie in it's commercial heyday I don't think the double top gates would have survived

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6 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

We get things right up north.  And we got rid of the hydraulics too.

 

Did make some blunders though, double top gates on Bosley for one.

"Elementary my dear Watson."

 

 

Hydraulic lock gear W World May  1986.jpg

  • Greenie 1
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24 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

Attached two pictures of paddle gear at Marple. When boating as a kid and as a teenager this was "standard" paddle gear and other types were "different", some obviously so (Leeds and Liverpool, Hatton) others more subtly so. Over the decades since I've realised that it's largely confined to Cheshire and the North West and that it isn't really traditional. Overall though it seems to be very satisfactory, unlike the other "innovation" of the period, hydraulic paddle gear.

 

Where did it come from and why? 

20210302_144458.jpg

20210302_071625.jpg

As you know, the centre paddles on the top gates at Marple aren't as originally fitted, there then being two off-centre. Those single new ones are I feel are not ideal and rather vulnerable and exposed to boat fore-ends, although some canals did have paddles like that, eg T&M (with long spindles under the balance beam)

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3 minutes ago, archie57 said:

As you know, the centre paddles on the top gates at Marple aren't as originally fitted, there then being two off-centre. Those single new ones are I feel are not ideal and rather vulnerable and exposed to boat fore-ends, although some canals did have paddles like that, eg T&M (with long spindles under the balance beam)

 

Jackie Lowe.JPG

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I have no answers, other than I agree that a) its the paddle gear I know well as I am also a local to the area b) it is bloody good paddle gear!

 

 

Daniel

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Some waterways historians have made studies of paddle gear photographing the different types encountered on the system and perhaps a comparative study is needed.

 

There are differences in paddle gear on waterways and are quite diverse. They range from the type that needs a spike on the Calder & Hebble, to the wheels found in the Pocklinton

 

The source of ironwork would be part of that investigation and regarding the Peak Forest, a question must arise as to a railway source in later times. The Peak Forest became owned by the Great Central Railway and within their control did Gorton Works provide castings for the locks at any time ?

 

The same might be said of Stoke in Trent Works for the Trent & Mersey or Swindon for the Kennet & Avon. Canal side blacksmiths shops are also a candidate for part of such work, but were they capable of foundry casting work ?. Examples include the SU (Ellesmere Port), the BCN (Ocker Hill) and Worksop on the Chesterfield Canal.

 

 

 

 

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Back in the 70s/80s we knew this as 'Northwich gear' as it was the standard fitment to new gates in BW's then Northwich Area, under Area Engineer Brian Haskins. Under BW policy of the time he was supposed to use hydraulic gear whenever gates or paddles were replaced, but it was said that he refused to do so in normal maintenance and gate replacement, but he had to use hydraulics on restorations (Ashton/Peak Forest and later on the Huddersfield).

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45 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Back in the 70s/80s we knew this as 'Northwich gear' as it was the standard fitment to new gates in BW's then Northwich Area, under Area Engineer Brian Haskins. Under BW policy of the time he was supposed to use hydraulic gear whenever gates or paddles were replaced, but it was said that he refused to do so in normal maintenance and gate replacement, but he had to use hydraulics on restorations (Ashton/Peak Forest and later on the Huddersfield).

 

I recall the PF with some hydraulic gate paddles, and the Caldon, but never hydraulic ground paddles, which are found on the Ashton and the HNC. So Mr Haskins must have stuck to his guns as the PF was a restoration project and had the ground paddles replaced. I assume ground paddles (which were the main subject of my question) were also Brian Haskins initiative? Did BW Northwich develop the design?

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6 hours ago, Heartland said:

 

The source of ironwork would be part of that investigation and regarding the Peak Forest, a question must arise as to a railway source in later times. The Peak Forest became owned by the Great Central Railway and within their control did Gorton Works provide castings for the locks at any time ?

 

 

 

 

Gorton loco works did supply castings for the lock gear, the wooden patterns were kept in the canal depot until it closed and  were thrown on a bonfire in 1962.I can remember some of the unique (?) gear on the  Ashton ground paddles, there was a round guard cover over the gear at the top, sometimes with "LNER" in raised letters on the side. Last time I looked there was something similar on the side pond paddles  at Bosley, I think BW restored one of them as an example, ten or so years ago? Some Ashton ground paddles had a wooden post and no reduction gear. Four paddles , two co-acting on the gate,were fitted at the head of the lock and two large paddles in the tail gates

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18 hours ago, Ray T said:

Something to read. :captain:

 

 

extinct paddle gear1.jpg

extinct paddle gear2.jpg

 

The top picture showing the double top gate paddles is a Staffs and Worcs lock, I think. I'm not sure which one though!

 

Did any of the northern Staffs and Worcs locks have this gate paddle arrangement? 

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The geared down Marple flight gear is very good indeed.  Where there the windlass pinion acts directly on the rack, the gearing is rather high and the small number of  teeth on the pinion manes there is limited contact area.  The side-by-side double racks address the engagement issue and introduce a delightful waggle in ascending or descending rack.  The profile of the gears is not generally involute (I think I have that right) which is not ideal form an engineering perspective, but does help with the distinctive noise.

 

Back to the Marple type, I wonder if it was not a reasonably recent adaptation of the direct drive type?

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  • magpie patrick changed the title to The Paddle Gear Thread (formerly Cheshire Paddle Gear)

I tend to think this is the top lock at Calcutt (Wigrams) because of the direction the balance is/was pointing and the double handrails on the bottom gates behind the boats - where a public  footpath crosses. This may have crossed the canal by the nearby drawbridge pre-widening.  The captions on many of these CRT archive pictures aren't always spot-on.......

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On 12/03/2021 at 12:48, Ray T said:

A couple of Ham Baker for the album.

Ham & Baker winding mechanism.jpg

HamBakerGearS.jpg.83d0dc79ff262a9391785665183527dc.jpg

 

Note "while closing is by gravity." :captain:

 

DSCF2076.JPG

Ham Baker.jpg

Do you have any information on what the spindle locking mechanism was like ?

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