Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Working to Rule

We were traveling along the Leeds Liverpool Canal when we came across a couple of land surveyors. They were taking painstaking measurements inside the locks. It was not the depth of the lock Neither was it the length of the lock. Neither was it the width of the lock. It was not whether the paddles were stiff or broken. It was not a check on how easy the lock gates open or close. Not even a check on whether the lock gates were leaking. No checks were made on the lock walls.

The important data that was being collected was on the lock ladders. With their special pole mounted measuring device measurements were taken of the distance from each rung of the ladder to the wall. Now call me old and cynical but one might have thought that the people who installed the ladders might have a formula that they used. Not only that but many locks have been provided with good serviceable ladders for about 40 years. Though climbing slots were cut into the face of some lock top gates for many years previously. I have seen the odd gate with similar slots. I'm not sure if the slots are intended for heritage purposes.

Now, what happens if the clearance between rung and wall is not suitable for todays health and safety requirements for feet. Will the ladders be replaced or just removed. If they are replaced will they stand proud of the wall alignment providing a snag to catch your fenders or paintwork. Or will the lock walls require deeper channels cutting into them to provide enough room for the health and safety requirements for our toes?

It seems that the boys who are doing the measurements have a list of around 400 locks to measure. Locks which are scattered around the system between Gargrave in the north and Oxford in the south. Nice work if you can get it me thinks.

1 comment:

  1. I may be wrong but ladders in locks is a new thing. Locks were not designed with ladders.


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