Not such a Happy Christmas

Published: Tuesday, 25 December 2018

IT IS certainly not such a Happy Christmas for boaters held up at a lock on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

Canal & River Trust's decision to close Semington Lock on the waterway has caused boaters to be unable to reach their holiday destinations, Alan Tilbury reports.

Closed for eight weeks

The consensus of opinion amongst boaters stuck by the closure is that the approach lock wall had been in its present state for months and there was no need or reason in closing it just before the holidays, especially for eight weeks just to re-build a wall.

One boater, who prefers not to be named, told narrowboatworld:

"I regularly use this lock, and that wall has been like that for a long time so why they should close it now doesn't make sense, but I am stuck on the wrong side, and the people won't let me go through even though the lock itself in okay."

Prevented from getting tthere

Another boater, Katherine Daniels, who together with her husband Brian was hoping to travel to Pewsey, told The Gazette & Herald that they came up on Sunday from Bradford-on-Avon, knowing that Caen Hill Flight was to be closed on the 7th January, but now they are prevented from getting there so will have to moor where they can.

Another boater was reported to have been trying to get home to Newbury for Christmas and the New Year but will now be unable to pass through until mid-March.

Have no more work

The owner of Semington Dock, Ian Williamson, 49, told the Gazette & Herald:

“I have got half a dozen boats which I’m hoping to get out by the end of this week. After that, it looks like I’m going to have no more work until mid-March. It’s going to take at least two months to complete the repairs to the lock.

“We are a small business and can’t survive without income but we will still be here come Easter. I’ll probably put my staff to work on some repairs and maintenance work to the dry docks.”


After an inspection CaRT decided the bottom approach wall was too unsafe and so closed the lock and stated that it will take eight weeks to repair.

We just wonder what these people affected by this closure think about Canal & River Trust telling them being by water makes them happier and creates wellbeing...