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Blakes lock closing for 5 months

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Just a reminder that Blakes Lock will be closed for major refurbishment for almost 5 months from 30 October to 23 March. This means there will be no access between the Thames and the Kennet during this period. 

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Chatting to a chap at Kintbury on Wednesday, his plan was to go to Devizes and return to travel the Thames and make his way north for winter.

I spoilt his plans in a dramatic way when I mentioned this stoppage. He was convinced he couldn't make back to Reading in a fortnight as it had took him three weeks to get to Kintbury.

He has paid for marina moorings for the winter. As it's an EA lock it doesn't show on CRT stoppages, I think.

 

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I am still amazed at the number of boaters who we meet setting off on long journeys at this time of the year with no idea about stoppages. We met one last year on the Kennet heading for Oxford unaware that Goring lock was already closed. They said that surely it was not possible to have stoppages on a river!!!  They planned to get to Oxford and find a farmer who would let them moor at the bottom of his field for a small fee. The year before we met a boat on the Oxford Canal heading for the K&A to spend the winter at the Eastern end and was not even aware that it was a river. Think its all boat of the laid back boaty life.

................Dave

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57 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

I spoilt his plans in a dramatic way when I mentioned this stoppage. He was convinced he couldn't make back to Reading in a fortnight as it had took him three weeks to get to Kintbury.

 

That journey can be done in 3 days single handing, or 2 days with a crew.

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I know,and I told him so. His decision. We haven't seen him since, so maybe, maybe! he turned back. I would have.

 

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3 hours ago, Nightwatch said:

Chatting to a chap at Kintbury on Wednesday, his plan was to go to Devizes and return to travel the Thames and make his way north for winter.

I spoilt his plans in a dramatic way when I mentioned this stoppage. He was convinced he couldn't make back to Reading in a fortnight as it had took him three weeks to get to Kintbury.

He has paid for marina moorings for the winter. As it's an EA lock it doesn't show on CRT stoppages, I think.

 

If it took him three weeks to get to Kintbury he could stick to his plan and arrive back at Blakes lock just in time for it to reopen.:P

  • Greenie 1

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25 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

We too met a boater at Newbury yesterday who expressed surprise that Reading was only a couple of days away. He was imagining three weeks...

There are boaters and there are boaters.

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On 13 October 2017 at 10:31, Nightwatch said:

As it's an EA lock it doesn't show on CRT stoppages, I think

 

I've just had a look and it does feature on the CRT stoppages for the K and A.

Edited by davem399

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I am quite surprised at how many boaters when they mentiom their plans (when chatting at a lock) are unaware that they can  get emails telling them about stoppages on their route. We have only been out for a couple of weeks and in that time I have told several boaters about a stoppage which would affect their plans.

I think it is a great service 

Haggis 

 

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1 minute ago, haggis said:

I am quite surprised at how many boaters when they mentiom their plans (when chatting at a lock) are unaware that they can  get emails telling them about stoppages on their route. We have only been out for a couple of weeks and in that time I have told several boaters about a stoppage which would affect their plans.

I think it is a great service 

Haggis 

 

 

Surely that service is for unscheduled stoppages, not the planned and published winter stoppages.

And its only for selected waterways AFAIAA. I've not noticed an option for entering a route and getting the stoppages (planned or unplanned) on the journey returned in emails. Or maybe I'm not paying attention...

I get a steady trickle of emails telling me about stuck bridges, ad hoc damaged paddle repairs etc on the K&A but no email yet telling me about Blakes lock being closed for 5 months.

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Although you can't enter a route you can select the canals and rivers you are interested in 

It is one of my pre cruise tasks to login and select the info I want for the trip. 

Haggis 

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11 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I get a steady trickle of emails telling me about stuck bridges, ad hoc damaged paddle repairs etc on the K&A but no email yet telling me about Blakes lock being closed for 5 months.

Probably because it's an EA lock, not a CRT one - need to subscribe to the Thames Harbourmaster's alerts. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/river-thames-conditions-closures-restrictions-and-lock-closures about half-way down the page.

 

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On 15/10/2017 at 10:31, DaveP said:

Probably because it's an EA lock, not a CRT one - need to subscribe to the Thames Harbourmaster's alerts. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/river-thames-conditions-closures-restrictions-and-lock-closures about half-way down the page.

 

Missing my point.

I don't get emails about ANY published scheduled stoppages, only the unscheduled ones. And Blakes Lock IS on the published scheduled CRT list but no email about it.

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On 13/10/2017 at 17:14, ditchcrawler said:

There are boaters and there are boaters.

I know this bloke. I met him in Liverpool. I like the old quiet boozers but he took me on a pub crawl round the city centre hot spots. I went home at about 11, he hit the nightclubs and stayed out till 6. He might not know the distance from Newbury to Reading  but he knows how to have a good time. Interesting bloke, makes quite a good living as a Tarot reader/fortune teller. Maybe that's was he was allowing three weeks, he foresaw problems with the swing bridge at Padworth :D

...........Dave

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It doesn't realy matter does it as most boats on the K and A stay there for life anyway so the lock is only needed to let a few purple boats through each year anyway.

  • Greenie 1

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Haha I thought it might be that the Thames boaters won't complain as most don't go that way and it doesn't affect Thames as a through route. Had to change my Autumn route as didn't want to get stuck so currently enjoying the Basingstoke instead :)

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25 minutes ago, Dave123 said:

Haha I thought it might be that the Thames boaters won't complain as most don't go that way and it doesn't affect Thames as a through route. Had to change my Autumn route as didn't want to get stuck so currently enjoying the Basingstoke instead :)

They're put off by the race through The Oracle and some of the locks upstream...

The long time for the closure may be due to what looks like a total rebuild:-

Repairing and re-sheeting lock gates,

refurbishing lock chamber walls,

replacing rubbing timbers and general repairs to the lock site area.

 

To add to the above the re-sheeting the gates have to be moved away - they're larger than most canal locks - and that removal has to be fitted in with the other re-sheeting jobs on the River in the same season the transport is by water - so the other locks have to be usable.

 

So, on behalf of Thames boaters, I'm sorry your access is restricted for most of the winter season.

We can't go where we wanted to either!

 

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