'Repaired' Bagnall Lock is worse!

Published: Wednesday, 28 March 2018

THOUGH Bagnall Lock on the Trent & Mersey Canal has been repaired, with new gates, it is now more difficult to operate!

The big problem with Bagnall Lock at Alrewas was that the bottom gates both swung open when locking up, so by the time boaters had reached the paddles on the top gates, the bottom ones were wide open again, Keith Gudgin confirms.

Keep gates firmly closed

With many single handers, and other boats usually having a crew of just two, this meant just one person on 'top' so the only way to keep the bottom gates closed was of  course to first open a top paddle so that the force of water would then keep the bottom gates firmly shut.

And there's the crunch—the force of the water slammed the gates shut, shortening their life-span.

So when the gates were replaced most of us must have thought the problem would have been solved with the bottom gates properly balanced, but no such luck—they still swing open. But what is worse Canal & River Trust have not even had the sense to re-fix the former struts to hold those gates closed!

Worse to come

But worse is to come, for boaters are now complaining the contractors have not adjusted the paddles either, with the lower gate paddles left very stiff.  One hirer, Keith met at Common Lock, was complaining bitterly, as it took all his strength to wind them.

Keith was lucky for he had a CaRT man locking him though this week, but saw that he too had difficulty working the paddles Why was the CaRT man there?—One of the paddles had failed, and he was there to fix it!

As Victor would no doubt respond—'What a mess!'