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Boulters lock, traffic lights

DWT

Member
Joined
16 May 2006
Messages
277
Location
Reading, Berkshire
I went through there yesterday. The lights were a little obscured by over hanging trees, but I thought worked ok. The lockkeeper, a young chap who had been hard at work hand winding at Hurley the day before, did look under the bridge to check what boats were waiting before activating the lights. He turned them to red as soon as the last boat he could fit in passed them on the way into the lock.
 

TrueBlue

Well-known member
Joined
30 Apr 2004
Messages
4,406
Location
Sussex
I'm surprised Ralph has not retired.

I think he's been there the best part of 30 years so must have the old golden handshake available..

Maybe he likes the job.

I Always liked him actually and years ago I have him some tennis balls.
There are only a couple of the Old Guard left (may be only one - we haven't been past either this year)
Treasure them 'cos the new ones still have some rough corners.
 

shades

Member
Joined
15 Jul 2009
Messages
109
After talking to the regular lock keeper last week regarding the issue, it seems that the traffic light system is being deployed to protect the lockeeper from the risk of contracting Covid 19. With constant amounts of people standing above him when he has to go under the bridge there is a real risk of an infected person coughing or sneezing over him at some point. As for those of us that use the lock and pass under with someone doing the same thing, that's our risk I guess?
The difference is that you are not being employed to pass under that bridge. The Health and Safety at Work Act therefore does not come in to protect you.
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
741
I'm surprised Ralph has not retired.

I think he's been there the best part of 30 years so must have the old golden handshake available..

Maybe he likes the job.

I Always liked him actually and years ago I have him some tennis balls.
He is well past 65 and could have retired ages ago but will get the bog standard EA pension. He stayed on to annoy his very unpleasant and woefully inadequate team leader at the time. She has now been redeployed to administrative duties, something she may be good at considering the amount of time she has spent in the Reading EA office rather than on the river doing her blinking job!

He may be a bit of an oddball and certainly not the usual EA staff type but then few keepers are. He's a character, albeit an elusive one sometimes.
 

Outinthedinghy

Active member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
953
Location
Limehouse hole
There are only a couple of the Old Guard left (may be only one - we haven't been past either this year)
Treasure them 'cos the new ones still have some rough corners.
I do.

There are a few others who have been there for quite a while for example Shepperton, Penton hook, Days, Clifton, Caversham off the top of my head.

Pretty sure they are the same residents as the first time I did the Teddington to Lechlade run which was 1994.

Not that this is particularly long ago !
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
741
I do.

There are a few others who have been there for quite a while for example Shepperton, Penton hook, Days, Clifton, Caversham off the top of my head.

Pretty sure they are the same residents as the first time I did the Teddington to Lechlade run which was 1994.

Not that this is particularly long ago !
Not forgetting Bell Weir's Big Dave - born in Cookham lock house, been on the river all his life, an idiosyncratic character with a unique set of customer care skills. I shall miss him when he retires next April.
 

Outinthedinghy

Active member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
953
Location
Limehouse hole
Oh yes Dave. A lot of people seem to have issues with him but I always got on okay with him. Certainly a real character. I did hear he was retiring.

I'll miss him as well.

Another keeper I really miss but still occasionally see on the River is Nigel ex Marsh lock.

And Adam from Cookham. I visited him and Kim in his flat near Margate just after he moved. That must be a bit of a culture shock to go from living beside Cookham lock for 30 odd years to living down the road from Margate!!

And of course Danny currently at Cookham has been with EA/NRA for quite a while as well.
 

TrueBlue

Well-known member
Joined
30 Apr 2004
Messages
4,406
Location
Sussex
That indeed will be a sad day for us / those boaters that bother to engage with the lockies.
Methinks he'll be glad to get away if there are shenanigans (sp) with the divers this month - stopping ignorant boaters trying to dunk the divers...
 
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