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By dudler
Over the last year, I've written about the simple and reliable technology of the humble canal lock-gate.

A little over a week ago, I saw a failure: I think a piece of rock or a brickend had fallen/been dropped behind one of the pair of gates at the lower end of a lock. Invisible from above, and detectable only when nosing a narrowboat in (which opens the gates fully) went wrong. The gate wouldn't open properly. The boat's momentum (narrowboats are seventy feet long and just under seven wide and made of steel, so they have a lot) rammed it a few feet in and then it jammed.

I watched attempts to free it for over an hour before I was summoned home for supper. When I went back the following morning, it was gone. I don't know how they did it, but I assume they located and removed the object jamming the whole thing.

Everyone was remarkably calm and good-tempered. The element of Silly Sundayness lies entirely in the predicament - or anyone who dropped a brick down the back of a lockgate for a laugh.

And - specially for my fellow canal-lover, Kath - there's a blog explaining what a beauty dish is.

Tags: Transport Narrowboat Canal lock Silly Sunday

Voters: ugly, IainHamer, RonDM and 58 more

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12 Sep 2021 7:37AM
A lovely location to relax while watching others work, John.
Nice set.

debu 11 India
12 Sep 2021 8:04AM
Great set of images.
af1 8 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2021 8:13AM
Good Morning Nice shot and story John everyone looks pretty laid back about the situation,,,Have a good day..
12 Sep 2021 8:19AM
Wonderful set John... almost an inactive action shot! V3 is just icing on the cake Smile
kaybee Plus
17 7.9k 27 Scotland
12 Sep 2021 8:20AM
I bet that all the Gongoozlers out.
Love this set of images John! Really nice colour processing... Favourite has to be V3 and the caption!! Smile
12 Sep 2021 10:02AM
Grand story from canal life John.
I was on lock duty on the Crinan Canal one pissing wet day many years ago,
I slid on the wet gate and was heading for a dunking in the canal, but a metal handle came to my rescue and I stopped with my feel over the edge.

DaveRyder Plus
7 5.8k 13 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2021 10:36AM
The calm of the canal barge experience obviously extends into the calm of the canal barge problem solving experience.
Lovely images John.

Didn't you get roped in to help.
That's help drink tea of course.
mac Plus
20 13 Scotland
12 Sep 2021 12:19PM
Nothing like a crowd of hapless workers trying to clear a fault to draw onlookers, even one lady has brought her seat a long for a front row view!
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1885 England
12 Sep 2021 12:31PM
There was nothing hapless here, Ian.

Good-natured, knowing they were going to get it sorted. Unworried that there'd be a few scratches on the boat. A general acceptance that things aren't perfect, and that to fight it is pointless. And there are far worse things to do than think about how to shift a brickend in the sunshine.

I must try and find out what the problem was, and how it was sorted.
JuBarney Plus
10 34 5 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2021 5:05PM
Terrific set for SS; watching this was as peaceful as fishing then!
cooky Plus
17 6 6 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2021 5:14PM
Arrived late - story of my life although I have read your blog and now know exactly what a beauty dish is! I think I need one!

Cracking set from Tales of the Canal Side! Like the tones and framing and what brave souls climbing down. There is some weight there to trap legs. Glad it was free the next day and from one canal lover to another - an award from stunning observation!

12 Sep 2021 6:51PM
they first tried it with a container ship in the Suez Canal and now they targeted your town.. a transnational conspiracy, no less
seriously, an excellent set and i love the toning
Very interesting series of shots, especially as we have nothing to compare here that I'm aware of. People here would not remain calm, however, of that I'm sure.
Chinga Plus
11 3 2 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2021 11:16PM
Great boatabilia moments...
Isabel GrinGrinGrin
13 Sep 2021 3:48AM
Fascinating commentary John. Your standards....rather extreme proportions for those boats. I would love to travel on one (as my parents once did)...the lead is a terrific moment out of time captured, at decisive moment.


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