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billS

Bascote staircase lock

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Whilst waiting in a queue to get through them on Sunday, I wondered, has anyone ever crossed boats on them?

 

A single from each end should work fine. It should even be possible to cross a single and a pair. Is there any reason not to do this?

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No reason not to cross and in fact, that is usually what happens. The slight problem is that it can get shallow at the tow path edge so best to "hover".

 

Haggis

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No reason not to cross and in fact, that is usually what happens. The slight problem is that it can get shallow at the tow path edge so best to "hover".

 

Haggis

 

Haggis - I meant on the staircase pair itself.

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When we picked up a hire boat from Bunbury some years ago the boatyard staff managed to pass something like a 60 footer and two 30 footers in one direction and a 70 footer and a 30 footer in the other direction. With the top lock empty, the bottom lock full and the middle gates open it was like one of those puzzles where you have to move square tiles round to complete a picture!

Edited by David Mack

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Boats passing in staircase locks here:

 

From 9 minutes in.

 

 

Another way of tackling the Bascote flight:

 

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Done it a few times there, no problems except for the couple of "know it alls" who didn't like me going in the bottom lock whilst they were entering the top !

 

Geoff

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Whilst waiting in a queue to get through them on Sunday, I wondered, has anyone ever crossed boats on them?

 

A single from each end should work fine. It should even be possible to cross a single and a pair. Is there any reason not to do this?

I have crossed boats a couple of times at Bascote and Bunbury without problems

 

Years ago, at Bunbury, I came across four boats bow to bow in the locks with the middle gates open. There was rather a heated argument going on with one owner insisting that he had seen it done ...

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Haggis - I meant on the staircase pair itself.

Sorry, senior moment! For some reason Glascote locks was how I read it ! I'll crawl back to me kennel now :-)

 

haggis

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I have crossed boats a couple of times at Bascote and Bunbury without problems

 

Years ago, at Bunbury, I came across four boats bow to bow in the locks with the middle gates open. There was rather a heated argument going on with one owner insisting that he had seen it done ...

 

I guess it would be possible to pass two pairs, provided that the total length of three of the boats is less than the distance between the top lock cill and the bottom lock lower gates.

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Whilst waiting in a queue to get through them on Sunday, I wondered, has anyone ever crossed boats on them?

 

A single from each end should work fine. It should even be possible to cross a single and a pair. Is there any reason not to do this?

Yes 3 boats can use the flight at the same time doing a shuffle,

Edit

That's for full length boats, 35 footers would be a lot more

Edited by ditchcrawler

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I don't know these locks personally, is the done thing to send a crew member up/down to liase with boats coming the other way so that you don't have the embarrassment of 4 boats meeting in the middle? or can you see from the top/bottom how many boats have entered from the other direction?

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I don't know these locks personally, is the done thing to send a crew member up/down to liase with boats coming the other way so that you don't have the embarrassment of 4 boats meeting in the middle? or can you see from the top/bottom how many boats have entered from the other direction?

Obviously one has to use common sense to see who is coming the other way, but it involves no more than walking to the end of the first lock. To the OP - yes, it is normal to pass boats within the staircase, although as mentioned some folk are too stupid to see that it can be done and might get a bit grumpy if you enter one way when they are going the other way. A carefully explained bit of screaming and shouting usually clears things up.

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A lot of water gets wasted at Bunbury because some boaters don't realise that narrowboats can pass in a broad staircase lock; and that its also possible with a bit of shuffling for 3 full length boats to use it at once. They'll prefer to wait that try it because they don't understand it, thus delaying others behind them if there's a queue.

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A lot of water gets wasted at Bunbury because some boaters don't realise that narrowboats can pass in a broad staircase lock; and that its also possible with a bit of shuffling for 3 full length boats to use it at once. They'll prefer to wait that try it because they don't understand it, thus delaying others behind them if there's a queue.

When Dartline had a base there, they used to employ somebody to 'take charge' of the locks on turn-round days. I guess we are talking over 20 years ago.

 

I wonder why this is not done today.

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When Dartline had a base there, they used to employ somebody to 'take charge' of the locks on turn-round days. I guess we are talking over 20 years ago.

 

I wonder why this is not done today.

That was the case on the occasion I related above. That would have been early 80s I guess.

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When Dartline had a base there, they used to employ somebody to 'take charge' of the locks on turn-round days. I guess we are talking over 20 years ago.

 

I wonder why this is not done today.

 

There's a volunteer lock keeper (or two) 2 days a week, the busiest 2 days of the week. When the lockkeeper is there, the hire base (Anglo Welsh) leave it to them on handovers. If its a day they're not there, the hire base will get new hirers through the lock. On other occasions they tend not to get involved in the lock operation because its like banding your head against a wall explaining it 30x a day.

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When we had a share boat based at Stockton Top Lock, we regularly passed through Bascote Staircase, and crossed with upcoming boats on several occasions.

 

The first time it took me and the boat we were sharing the lock with by surprise, but once the upcoming boat explained what he wanted us to do it all became clear.

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The first time it took me and the boat we were sharing the lock with by surprise, but once the upcoming boat explained what he wanted us to do it all became clear.

 

I wonder if you passed us? I do remember the look on one boaters face when he found another boat in front of him as the middle gates opened

 

Richard

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When we picked up a hire boat from Bunbury some years ago the boatyard staff managed to pass something like a 60 footer and two 30 footers in one direction and a 70 footer and a 30 footer in the other direction. With the top lock empty, the bottom lock full and the middle gates open it was like one of those puzzles where you have to move square tiles round to complete a picture!

I read the opening post about Bascote, and it immediately took me back many years to Bunbury. when going down we passed boats coming up. I was expecting an argument to develop about who had to back out. But neither, that surprised me, there was a bit of juggling and we passed in the locks. Then I read your post. It might have been us at the same time.

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Crossed boats there at least three times I think, and once with 3 boats. It only issue is that you need all the boats to understand what is going on, but it's not exactly a big deal.

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We've done it, but one thing to watch on any staircase is that if there are any leaks on the centre gate then with the top chamber full and the bottom chamber empty the pressure (head) can create a significant jet of water which can be a real problem for full length boats going down. Grindley Brook and the staircase at the start of the Caldon are both bad. Bascote is ok.

 

.................Dave

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We've done it, but one thing to watch on any staircase is that if there are any leaks on the centre gate then with the top chamber full and the bottom chamber empty the pressure (head) can create a significant jet of water which can be a real problem for full length boats going down. Grindley Brook and the staircase at the start of the Caldon are both bad. Bascote is ok.

 

.................Dave

How long are the chambers at Bascote, I know Calcutt top is supposed to be the longest, but aren't they all 80ft or so?

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