An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Lock 12 almost complete

The stop planks in place
for a test
The huge pile of silt ready
to be removed on Friday
We're getting near the end now, you will be pleased to hear.  The new stop planks have been approved and seem to be holding the water back so the contractors have spent a lot of the day getting prepared to lift the silt out of the bottom of the lock tomorrow. It's made challenging by there being no access from the non-towpath side and the towpath side having a petrol station just a couple of metres from the lock.

I asked the contractors to measure the distance between the new stop plank grooves - its 13' 8", which is, according to my elementary maths twice 6' 10" so you wouldn't want to try and use the lock cut alongside another narrowboat or try and get a breasted up pair into (or out of) the lock. It isn't as if the stop plank grooves are pleasing to eye, they most certainly are not but now they restrict access; I wonder if they have thought about the BCA dredger or their work boats?  I expect not.  It's doubly frustrating because the boaters have offered help and advice all the way.


  1. Most sources quote the maximum beam for craft as 13ft 6inches, though the BCA seem more conservative at 13ft 0inches so the intrusive grooves won't present a new limit.

  2. That's interesting. Thank you. The BCA, when made aware of the dimension, were concerned that their own dredger will not fit through the lock cut!!!!!