Impressive repair to cracked gate

Published: Thursday, 03 June 2010

THE bottom gate of Sanford Lock on the Thames was so badly cracked that a boater was told it could have given way at any time.

Boaters Jenny & Geoff Bennett on their narrowboat Ho Hum write:

We were the second boat through Stanford Lock, on the Thames just below Oxford, when it re-opened for business at 9:45am Saturday 29th May, after being closed since the previous Tuesday, to repair a badly damaged gate.

One of the Environment Agency staff told us that the bottom of the gate was cracked right through and in danger of collapse. If it had broken the contents of the lock, including boats and boaters, could have been sucked through the hole below the waterline.

Worked 24 hours a day

The picture shows how big the lock is, and gives some idea of the damage such a failure could have caused. EA staff and its contractors, who had been repairing a nearby bridge, worked 24 hours a day to carry out temporary repairs and re-open the river to traffic.

The effort made was very impressive, and disruption kept to the bare minimum.