Last night we ate at Bygones Bistro in Whittlesey http://www.bygonesbistro.com/ which was very enjoyable with good service. As we walked back to the boat the sky was very clear and it was turning cool, overnight the temperature dropped to 0.6°.
We woke this morning to thick mist and even when we were ready to set off at 0950 hrs. we were still unable to see the locks from our mooring which were less than 300 yards away.
This lock is somewhat unusual in that the paddles or slackers as they are called in these parts are lifted by nothing more than a length of threaded rod. Although its a square cut thread it is not the large open worm as used on the northern Grand Union locks.
One result of this is that the number of turns required, about 70 is the height the paddle is lifted divided by the thread pitch. There is no gearbox, the windless goes straight on the end of the threaded rod, which in turn is supported by a large bearing. The threaded rod goes down into a hollow rod with an internal thread that is connected to the top of the paddle, so every time the lock is used the threaded rod is submerged into the water collecting muck and corrosion.
As can be seen by the bywash there is quite a lot of water coming down the waterway at the moment, much more than last time we were here. It is only a couple of hours cruise from here back to our home moorings.
The Middle Level Commissioners seem very wild life and environmentally aware and have been installing owl boxed on the ends of their pumping stations. As part of the Middle Level Biodiversity Partnership
WELCHES DAM LOCK
On our way home we decided to take a ride via Welches Dam Lock. This was last restored jointly by IWA and the National River Authority in 1999, unfortunately it is no longer possible to use the lock as the Environment Agency have installed piles right across the mouth, I don’t know why because the top gates seal much better than the piling does as the water level each side of the piling is the same, but the level of the lock is a good two foot lower. The lock its self looks in very good condition but it is only 45ft. long so even if was open not all boats would be able to use it.
Looking back towards the Middle Level and Horseway Lock where we were moored a few days ago. I don’t know when this lock was last used but there is still a very clear sign telling you not to swim from the Lock Landing. I think you would be hard pushed to do that today.