Barges,canals and locks ..

… the likes of which I found so fascinating when hubby and I were holidaying in England two years ago. I had never seen a barge before, or for that matter, canals and locks … I am from Africa .. we don’t have such things !!

My previous post with photos of barges and the relaxed lifestyle it portayed … although, I would hate imagine what it’s like during the winter months … brought back memories of our visit and in particular the Kennet and Avon Locks in the quaint town of Bradford-on-Avon , near Bath, Southern England …

Hubby and I watched the process or whatever it’s called .. of a barge going through the locks from the one canal to the other. Friends of ours have done a barging holiday and they said it was glorious but going through the locks is tough going, especially if there is no Lock Key Keeper – he is the chappie in the photo above wearing the red T-shirt.

His ‘special key’ unlocks the gate .. and the gate has to be cranked open – he on the wide side and one person from the barge, on the other side … if there is no Lock Keeper then it really is tough!! That ‘chosen one’ from the barge has to run from one side to the other (one gate to the other) and crank each one open a little bit at a time …

Once the barge is within the two sets of gates water gushes through the small gap between the gates … raising the water level to the height of the next canal …

… and ‘Bob’s your uncle’ as they say in the classics … the ‘chosen one’-from-the-barge, in this case, the lady with the white shorts and pale blue T’shirt, pops back onto the barge …

… and off they go … ready for the next barge to come along .. in this case it’s that red one on the left side of the photo below …

… and so the procedure continues .. in reverse …

… the barge is safely tucked into the lock while water gushes out …

… lowering the level of the water to the height of the next canal ..

… and off they go … ” cruising down the river … on a Sunday afternoon …. with the one that I do love … la la la la la la … “

Another thing that was fascinating were the aquaducts where the canals are carried along bridges over other canals and rivers .. !!! Mind boggling!! Of course, I’ve seen them in photos and read about them in cultural history books .. Romans etc .. – as we had to do at school – but to actually see them is amazing!! Mmm .. another post in the future !!

About momsmeanderings

Wife ... mom ... granny .. in a nutshell ! Never a dull moment !
This entry was posted in countryside, England, holiday, rivers and canals. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Barges,canals and locks ..

  1. Janet says:

    Oh how I wish we had done it!! Maybe ONE day I'll get another chance!

  2. cat says:

    Friends of ours had a barge holiday in France – they say it was super relaxing.

  3. Deb says:

    oh how interesting….we definately don't have that in Texas..

  4. Tom says:

    Hi AvrilThanks for letting me know about this posting, you certainly captured the way the locks work.In the pictures I am showing over the next few days I will try to show some of the views from the inside of the locks. Thanks for visiting me and taking time to comment.

  5. Jientje says:

    Great post. It's such a common sight for me, I never would have thought people from South Africa would think it's unusual!

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