Volunteer lock keepers award

Published: Thursday, 19 August 2021

THE team of 10 volunteers that work the Yorkshire locks have won the British Marine Inland Boating award.

The team was presented with the award at Tuel Lane Lock, pictured, on the Rochdale Canal yesterday, Wednesday, by Susan and Nigel Stevens, members of British Marine Inland Boating.

TuelHillBoatAward for volunteers

The annual award is open to all waterways volunteers who have offered outstanding assistance to waterways users and is voted for by members of leisure marine trade association, British Marine Inland Boating.

Sean McGinley, Regional Director Yorkshire & North East at Canal & River Trust, told:

“Lock keepers, many of whom are volunteers, are the ‘face of the canals’ and play a vital and iconic role within our charity. Lock keepers have been a presence on Britain's canals for hundreds of years, although the role has changed over time. Today, they help to look after the nation’s beautiful waterways, assist boaters on their journeys, provide information and advice to visitors on the towpath and maintain historic locks. We are hugely proud of the team and to be able to bring this award home to Yorkshire is even better!”

Thoroughly enjoy

Ian Kelshaw Lead Volunteer at Canal & River Trust, part of the winning team, explained:

“I didn’t have any connection to canals before I started volunteering at the trust over five years ago and now I’m part of a brilliant team of lock keepers doing something I thoroughly enjoy.

"It’s a really interesting role, where no two days are the same. I’ve learned so much and love being outdoors. Helping look after Britain’s deepest lock, it captures your imagination and attracts lots of boats and visitors just coming to have a look and see what it’s all about—it’s great!”

The photograph shows the winning team from Tuel Lane Lock, Sowerby Bridge (L to R : Tim Holroyd, Andrew Cottrill,Cath Munn,Gary Gigan,Ian Kelshaw, Bob Laycock, Richard Parfitt,Mike Brennan and Pete Burton.