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Oxford Canal lift bridges all mechanical from this winter on...


Dave123

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Just occurred to me that from this winter I believe all of the lift bridges on the South Oxford that aren't permanently locked in the raised position, will be mechanical (either with a windlass or electronic buttons). I.e. you won't just push them up or down anymore. I haven't read any discussion on this anywhere. I cannot make up my mind if this is for the better or worse. It means some that are almost always left raised will presumably always be lowered, so a bit more effort, but I have wondered how much of a safety issue they are when raised without a mechanism. Some do wobble a bit in high winds and Shipton can be a pain to get it to stay up if it's been wet and there aren't crew to sit on it...

And also is it lost "heritage" in that they will no longer open and lower using the original simple balance mechanism? 

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47 minutes ago, Dave123 said:

Just occurred to me that from this winter I believe all of the lift bridges on the South Oxford that aren't permanently locked in the raised position, will be mechanical (either with a windlass or electronic buttons). I.e. you won't just push them up or down anymore. I haven't read any discussion on this anywhere. I cannot make up my mind if this is for the better or worse. It means some that are almost always left raised will presumably always be lowered, so a bit more effort, but I have wondered how much of a safety issue they are when raised without a mechanism. Some do wobble a bit in high winds and Shipton can be a pain to get it to stay up if it's been wet and there aren't crew to sit on it...

And also is it lost "heritage" in that they will no longer open and lower using the original simple balance mechanism? 

 

So the "Banbury Stick" will be consigned to history !

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1 hour ago, tree monkey said:

I hear schrodinger is working on it

 

Ah yes, the famous "Schrödinger's lift bridge instruction leaflet for single handers" thought experiment, in which the leaflet is simultaneously both dead and alive until someone opens the box and reads it...

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The Banbury stick was needed because the balance beams are on the off side and you couldn’t get back on the boat from that side once the bridge was up. On the Nivernais canal in France they have electrified the lift bridges and they have managed to put a control on both sides and in effect walkers are very happy to press the button when they see boats coming.

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Just add a little pedantry to the discussion is not every lift bidge mechanical.  Some have mechanisms which derive their energy from the operator's body, some have mechanisms that are energised by electricity.

 

Perhaps I will get beck into my box now...

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Theo said:

Just add a little pedantry to the discussion is not every lift bidge mechanical.  Some have mechanisms which derive their energy from the operator's body, some have mechanisms that are energised by electricity.

 

Perhaps I will get beck into my box now...

 

 

 

 

Who is 'Beck' ?

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23 hours ago, Dave123 said:

 Some do wobble a bit in high winds and Shipton can be a pain to get it to stay up if it's been wet and there aren't crew to sit on it...

 

 

Shipton had disappeared when I last went past there in August. I thought it was a permanent removal. Has it been replaced?

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17 hours ago, Heartland said:

Has anybody made a list of the non mechanical bridges on the South Oxford, I wonder

 

I think there were 5 that still opened the old way, Chisnell, Shipton, Drinkwaters, Wolvercote and St Edwards?

44 minutes ago, billS said:

 

Shipton had disappeared when I last went past there in August. I thought it was a permanent removal. Has it been replaced?

It is being replaced and will be hydraulic now (the correct term that I should have used)😂. Will actually make more effort for single handers and crew as it can't be left raised and will be slower to open and close.🤷‍♂️

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I think the Southern Oxford was the last bastion of "human counterbalance " lift bridges and for the modern leisure user that's a good thing. As to heritage - the adaptation is probably necessary on safely grounds and nothing like as severe as has happened elsewhere - they are basically the same type of bridge but with a hydraulic ram fitted. 

 

If any of you really miss the old ways, come over when I next leave the coal canal and open the entrance bridge for me - it came from Banbury and is still dangle operated :)

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