Steve keeps win for second year


Let's face it – there are some people on the river who regard locks as an interruption to their day – an annoying waste of time when they could be charging along the river in their gin palaces, breaking the speed limit and causing a good deal of nuisance.

Got lock and lane woes? Take a different tack…

Walton Bridge in the 1920s

Following on from last week’s Riverwatch in which I outlined an idea for closing off Walton Lane at the Walton Bridge end that was put forward by Doug Myers from Weybridge, I’ve had a note from Nick Pollard, the chairman of the Sunbury and Shepperton Local History Society.

Locks: The key moment

I went along to the River Users’ Group Eight meeting on Tuesday at the Thames Motor Yacht Club in Molesey and was delighted to hear chairman Mike Shefras announce that after a lot of haggling with the Environment Agency the group had secured an undertaking that no more lock houses would be let for the next year.

Lock keeper cost cuts in the spotlight

Thames lock

I was rather encouraged to see that a London MP had put down an Early Day Motion to bring the vexed question of the future of resident lock keepers on the non-tidal Thames into the public spotlight.

Two hours: It’s not much to ask you to give up…

Chance to have your say on protecting one of our finest assets – our beloved stretch of the river

Key to unlocking lock dilemma

Mark Chisnell’s book Sailing Gold

As regular readers of this column will be aware, I’ve often expressed doubts about the Environment Agency’s decision not to replace resident lock keepers on the Thames and to rent out their empty houses to the public.

Sunbury’s old lock next for new look

Sunbury's old lock

But lock-keeper's house to be included in Environment Agency's renting experiment

Just where are the birds coming from?

Jackdaw – The consensus of opinion seems to be that the huge flocks of birds wheeling above the Thames morning and evening are mainly like this chap – jackdaws

It seems that many readers have also observed the huge flocks of birds swooping and wheeling over the river each morning and evening that were mentioned by Nigel Brecknell in Riverwatch a couple of weeks ago.

Lock keepers get backing from users

More than 100 people turned up to a meeting of the River Users’ Group, section eight (RUG8) at the Thames Motor Yacht Club at Hampton Court last Tuesday (November 1) and sent a clear message to the Environment Agency demanding a rethink on its proposals to freeze the recruitment of lock keepers and to rent out lock side houses left empty by retiring keepers.

Will plans raise risk of flooding?

I do despair sometimes when hearing about the Environment Agency’s plans. The current proposal not to replace resident lock keepers along the non-tidal Thames and to rent out their vacant homes – including those at Chertsey and Sunbury Locks - is a case in point.