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Nationwide appeal for volunteers to join help the charity preserve and protect the canal network


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Canal and River Trust: Charity launches biggest volunteer appeal - BBC News

 

  • 24 January 2023
 

The Canal and River Trust charity is offering free lock-keeping taster sessions on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in West Yorkshire as part of a nationwide appeal to attract more volunteers.

 

The sessions at Dobson Locks, in Apperley Bridge will let members of the public have a go at working canal locks themselves.

 

The trust will be hosting a series of volunteer welcome events to tell people more about the range of activities they can get involved in.

 

It said it relied on its volunteers to help preserve and protect the nations' 2,000-mile canal network.

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Oh no, if they cycle a L&L lock for each potential volunteer, they will have to close the navigation due to water shortage.

 

And anyway, what has interfering with boaters operating locks got to do with “preserve and protect the nations’[sic] …canal network”. Why not have taster sessions of picking up litter and cutting back vegetation?

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11 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Oh no, if they cycle a L&L lock for each potential volunteer, they will have to close the navigation due to water shortage.

 

And anyway, what has interfering with boaters operating locks got to do with “preserve and protect the nations’[sic] …canal network”. Why not have taster sessions of picking up litter and cutting back vegetation?

But they are letting them do it for free, do other organisations charge people to volunteer  

11 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Oh no, if they cycle a L&L lock for each potential volunteer, they will have to close the navigation due to water shortage.

 

And anyway, what has interfering with boaters operating locks got to do with “preserve and protect the nations’[sic] …canal network”. Why not have taster sessions of picking up litter and cutting back vegetation?

But they are letting them do it for free, do other organisations charge people to volunteer  

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12 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Oh no, if they cycle a L&L lock for each potential volunteer, they will have to close the navigation due to water shortage.

 

And anyway, what has interfering with boaters operating locks got to do with “preserve and protect the nations’[sic] …canal network”. Why not have taster sessions of picking up litter and cutting back vegetation?

 

The problem is that offering people the opportunity to clean up other peoples trash alone doesnt really have appeal.

 

There has to be some aspect to a volunteer role that has an element of doing something valuable and rewarding.

 

Nothing wrong with conbining roles though and ensuring volunteers know to ask boaters if they want a hand and stepping back if they do not.

 

(And of course know what to do in the event some 'cock sure know all boater' starts to sink their boat in a lock).

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I went up Hanwell flight some yars ago. Single handed no other boats around and having done it lots of times before I knew my routine. Yes I do close the gates after use. 

 

Anyway there were a couple of volunteer geysers so I asked them politely if they could set the next lock up for me after checking nobody was coming down. That's how I have always done it by myself. Locks are close together so it's not arduous to walk up and down and get it all done nice and efficiently. 

 

They looked at me like I was from another planet so I just left them to wander about and got on with the boating. 

 

They were CRT volunteers but perhaps (thankfully) not trained to do locks. 

 

I'm quite pleased that bar unusual circumstances my canal boating is now in the past. I don't like the volunteer lock keeper principle because there is too much availability of personality clashes. 

 

Thames it isn't so bad because they are only on when it is busy and locks are generally operated on power by other people during the day anyway. 

 

For me volunteers on canal locks can spoil the experience very badly unless they can be employed to do something useful. 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

But they are letting them do it for free, do other organisations charge people to volunteer  

But they are letting them do it for free, do other organisations charge people to volunteer  

Worth saying twice was it?

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41 minutes ago, magnetman said:

I went up Hanwell flight some yars ago. Single handed no other boats around and having done it lots of times before I knew my routine. Yes I do close the gates after use. 

 

Anyway there were a couple of volunteer geysers so I asked them politely if they could set the next lock up for me after checking nobody was coming down. That's how I have always done it by myself. Locks are close together so it's not arduous to walk up and down and get it all done nice and efficiently. 

 

 

 

I have been fortunate that I have had a couple of good ones who have done just what you ask, set ahead without me asking them to work that way.

39 minutes ago, Mike Hurley said:

Worth saying twice was it?

Well the second came free

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I've been extraordinarily lucky it seems, in that I've only ever met helpful lockies (except, admittedly at Bosley, but even there I've met gooduns too). For the past few years all the ones actually playing with locks have asked if I want their help, have waited for my signal before doing anything and been chatty and friendly.

I've never had a row with any of them. Weird.

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8 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

I've been extraordinarily lucky it seems, in that I've only ever met helpful lockies (except, admittedly at Bosley, but even there I've met gooduns too). For the past few years all the ones actually playing with locks have asked if I want their help, have waited for my signal before doing anything and been chatty and friendly.

I've never had a row with any of them. Weird.

I met a weird one up there at the top lock, didn't help, just said I didn't know what I was doing.

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31 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I met a weird one up there at the top lock, didn't help, just said I didn't know what I was doing.

That's normal. Probably the same one who stood there with a cup of tea watching me singlehanding up the flight, then lectured me on what I was doing wrong. They're a funny lot, there.

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17 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

That's normal. Probably the same one who stood there with a cup of tea watching me singlehanding up the flight, then lectured me on what I was doing wrong. They're a funny lot, there.

 

You're lucky he (presumably a he) didn't decide to interfere and 'help'. 

 

Nothing like people 'helping' to mess up one's lock routine. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Adam said:

What is the purpose of all these new volunteers? I can only ever remember Staircase locks and the like being manned


it’s all part of the dumbing down of boating. Once CRT can engineer it that boaters have no idea what they are doing, they will be easily suggestible…

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23 minutes ago, nicknorman said:


it’s all part of the dumbing down of boating. Once CRT can engineer it that boaters have no idea what they are doing, they will be easily suggestible…

 

Given your well known disdain for voluntary lock keepers after a seemingly bad experience on the Wigan flight are we supposed to take your opinion seriously?

 

I would say you are biased.

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The hidden agenda is that the more CRT can get done for nowt, the bigger the cuts in waterways finances that can be justified in the future. The rot began when Camoron(sic) put BW into a "charitable" third sector in 2012 as part of his and Gideon's incredibly damaging austerity programme that has caused so many of the problems we now face.

 

If the waterways network is a national asset, why isn't it nationally financed for the benefit of all, not just boaters? CRT seems keen enough to encourage non-boaters to enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

 

Rant over. Breathe and pour another dram.

 

Edited by Machpoint005
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8 hours ago, M_JG said:

 

Given your well known disdain for voluntary lock keepers after a seemingly bad experience on the Wigan flight are we supposed to take your opinion seriously?

 

I would say you are biased.

He is right about the dumbing down. It is happening everywhere. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, M_JG said:

 

Given your well known disdain for voluntary lock keepers after a seemingly bad experience on the Wigan flight are we supposed to take your opinion seriously?

 

I would say you are biased.


This seems an odd post. Of course I am posting my own opinion, and anyone’s opinion tends to be biased by their relevant lived experience. It should be taken as seriously as anyone else’s opinion. I suggest that opinions based on first hand lived experience are more valid than opinions based on “something I read on the internet”.

Edited by nicknorman
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There is another side to this which I don't think is fully appreciated. 

 

Given how incredibly cool canals are there must be quite a lot of younger people who would like to get involved but are constrained by the requirement to be earning a wage. 

 

I think using "volunteers" which does have a cost associated with it, is not doing the future of the canals a great service. 

 

What you want is young people who are enthusiastic and being paid for their work. 

 

This may be wishful thinking but I really disagree entirely with the principle of volunteering just for corporate image reasons. 

 

Has anyone actually checked how much each of the volunteers actually costs in the real world? I read somewhere that it was more than a normal hourly wage. Maybe this is incorrect but I have a nasty feeling it might be true. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, magnetman said:

He is right about the dumbing down. It is happening everywhere. 

 

 

 

Including dumbing down on this thread with Americanisms  such as 'math'  and 'trash' being used 😀.

 

 

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One imagines that volunteers are a big problem for C&RT both in cost, training and the management and control of them.

 

It is unfortunate that the number of volunteers is one of the C&RT KPI's that they are measured against, and, is one of the KPIs that are legally required to report so it cannot be 'hidden'.

 

Presumably they are now having a 'help us' drive because their volunteer hours are falling and it will result in another KPI 'failure'.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Alan de Enfield
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I, for one, welcome our blue polo-shirted lock overlords.

 

Suppose i’ve just never met the bad ones, yet.

 

I do think training days on somewhere like the Llangollen would be better though, constant flow of water to replenish the lockfulls they’ll be dumping and all that.

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