Sunday, 30 June 2013

Volunteers

Came up the Lapworth flight today. That's 19 locks from where we started, mostly pretty much on top of each other.


The short pounds between them extend out on the side opposite the tow path, to provide reservoirs of water to ease the filling of the locks.

Also easing the filling of the locks were one or two C&RT volunteers helping the boaters, especially the single-handed ones or those less familiar with what they were doing.


Jeremy is one of the less usual volunteers. He's from Massachusetts, but has been over here working with boats for many years, especially in the floating hotel trade. If I'm right, he's the author of Innocents Afloat, a description of which you can find here. Sounds a fascinating read from a fascinating man, who's now helping others enjoy the environment he came to appreciate.

As we chatted, Jeremy told me a little of the American canals, many of which followed the British pattern of being created to exploit trading opportunities, only to find themselves made obsolete by the railways. There's an American Canal Society, whose website has links to all sorts of resources.

After the locks, two lift bridges, and the first one was almost impossible to lift. A young man on his bike stopped to give my best beloved a hand, and even between them it took an age to get it high enough for Erin Mae to pass. Then it wouldn't drop again until I added my weight on the edge to assist the hydraulics.


James was wearing a T-shirt saying "Just do it". And that is exactly what he did. So – many thanks, James. Your help was much appreciated.

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