• UPDATED INFORMATION & ADVICE - PLEASE READ NOW

    'I didn't know/I wasn't told' will not be a valid defence if you fail to comply and lose your access to the off-topic area, core topic areas, or the entire YBW forum as a result. Full details can be found here, please read before you proceed.

Hambleden Lock

Time Out

Active member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
789
For context, it's less of a beach, more a dent in the bank with a bit of gravel.

However, the river was very busy as you say along its length with many reports of poor behaviour, speeding boats, disregard for the rules not that the vast majority know what they are never mind care.

There is a long history of risky conduct on the Thames with youngsters in particular swimming where they ought not to, jumping from lock bullnoses (Teddington barge lock) and bridges, batting about in inflatables, throwing missiles at passing boats, obstructing the fairway.

In the absence of any EA patrol boats and enforcement, it's become a free for all.
Indeed... I use the term 'Beach' loosely!
 

ianc1200

Well-known member
Joined
6 Dec 2005
Messages
2,876
Location
Frinton on Sea
Customers predominately arrived either by River Taxi and were dropped off at the Hobbs pontoon (whose position was approved by the EA) or they came along the towpath. Some customers also grabbed a burger and a drink whilst they were moored up waiting to go into the lock
That is clearly not true. The multitudes of open motorised boats used the lock layby moorings. See Out in the Dinghy's much earlier post.
 

Old Crusty

Well-known member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
781
I would point out that operators with a premises licence do have responsibilities to comply with the 'public nuisance' objective under the Licensing Act 2003 irrespective of what a police patrol might suggest, they not being experts in that bit of legislation .

Public nuisance is defined in law thus:

'A public nuisance arises from an act that endangers the life, health, property, morals or comfort of the public or obstructs the public in the exercise or enjoyment of rights common to all. A public nuisance is actionable in tort and can also be a criminal offence.'

A review of the conduct of the premises by the licensing authority, by way of a hearing where both sides may present their evidence, is the only way to settle the debate about its operational impact on the use of the neighbouring lock layby and swimming in the lock cut both of which are prohibited by the Thames Conservancy Acts and the General Byelaws though the EA has also failed to enforce this nuisance matter in its role as the navigation authority.

Something to bear in mind should any similar operation reoccur in future.
 

LCH

New member
Joined
24 Mar 2021
Messages
8
That is clearly not true. The multitudes of open motorised boats used the lock layby moorings. See Out in the Dinghy's much earlier post.
Out in the Dinghy may have an opinion on the matter, but that doesn't make it fact - unless he sat there day in, day out conducting a survey?
 

Outinthedinghy

Well-known member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
1,182
Location
Limehouse hole
I agree with everything you say however swimming on all reaches last year was at levels not seen in recent (modern) times.

if they can swim near a ladder all the better.

You only have to use Teddington as an example. Swimmers both up and down stream of lock and weir all using the ladders to get out.

I saw the same at every lock up to Penton last year.
This is only going to get worse this year.

Anyhow slight thread drift but without taking sides I can’t see how you can blame the bar (not saying YOU) for swimming.

to add Tedd saw several incidents last summer including a boat / swimmer collision

Yes I know last year was crazy. I did Henley to Lechlade and to Teddington and back up to Henley then up and down a bit. This was in a 16 tonne 30ft steel cruiser which takes a bit of stopping.
Swimmers everywhere two of which caused me to find the obstruction below Iffley lock by the layby which has now been marked by the EA. There was a buoy on it years ago I remember it but would not usually go that far over was it not for preserving the lives of reckless swimmers.

Madness. I suppose being fair swimming is more accessible to people so should probably take precedence over motorised vessels on the River, generally .
 

Outinthedinghy

Well-known member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
1,182
Location
Limehouse hole
Taking a slightly different angle on this topic I wondered about the FOIA.

IF the EA is a public body subject to the Freedom of Information Act I wonder if the full detail of what lead to Simon being removed from his post is in fact publicly accessible information.

It seems to be an interesting topic.

Edit for typos
 

Time Out

Active member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
789
Yes I know last year was crazy. I did Henley to Lechlade and to Teddington and back up to Henley then up and down a bit. This was in a 16 tonne 30ft steel cruiser which takes a bit of stopping.
Swimmers everywhere two of which caused me to find the obstruction below Iffley lock by the layby which has now been marked by the EA. There was a buoy on it years ago I remember it but would not usually go that far over was it not for preserving the lives of reckless swimmers.

Madness. I suppose being fair swimming is more accessible to people so should probably take precedence over motorised vessels on the River, generally .
One hopes that with swimming pools and leisure centres open this time around, we won't see as many as last year. I hope not as my nerves can't take it having pulled two kids out who were about to go for the fourth and final head underwater...

Open water is slightly different and thankfully more visible, although I still recall almost bumping into two snorkelers (yes you read that right) in the middle by Desborough, if it wasn't for us being on a flybridge I fear it may have been a different outcome. Oh and the boat was being driven by my friend who is an open water swimmer and regularly swims form his back garden!

Anyhow back to topic ...
 

Old Crusty

Well-known member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
781
Taking a slightly different angle on this topic I wondered about the FOIA.

IF the EA is a public body subject to the Freedom of Information Act I wonder if the full detail of what lead to Simon being removed from his post is in fact publicly accessible information.

It seems to be an interesting topic.

Edit for typos
I think that is very unlikely given the confidential nature of the case between employer and employee.
 

madabouttheboat

Well-known member
Joined
20 Jan 2005
Messages
1,020
Location
UK, but for Covid it's England
Reading into this, it does sound like the lockie may have overstepped the mark and could have handled the situation differently. The EA have seen (according the the Henley Standard news story) message sent between him and the bar owner, the contents of which we are not privileged to. I do not agree with the positioning of the bar, but if it was on private land I cannot see what the EA could have done apart from send a patrol down to police the river aspects, ie swimming and mooring. Perhaps the lockie asked for their help and they refused. Perhaps he didn't and tried to deal with it himself. We may never know. WIth hindsight, things could have been dealt with differently and better perhaps, but in the heat of the moment things get said and done that cannot be unsaid and undone. I hope that SImon gets a fair hearing and appeal, but if that fails we have to accept that the EA may be right.

Regardless of this, I will not use any facility such as this if I decide to ever venture up the Thames again. The very fact that it encourages the behaviour Simon was trying to stop is enough for me to boycott, and I hope other boaters would agree. As boaters one thing is sure, we cannot expect any other lockies to stand up for us in the future, so watch out for swimmers and accept that lay-by pontoons may not be available.
 
Last edited:

penfold

Well-known member
Joined
25 Aug 2003
Messages
5,192
Location
On the Clyde
She's wetter than a bank holiday in Margate. Shrugging your shoulders when your business causes havoc isn't an option; reap the rewards, bear the consequences.

The Environment Agency confirmed that Mr Shepherdson had left his job.

It said it had received no complaints about Lockdown Lodge and had had no concerns about people’s behaviour at the lock while the business was operating.
Obvious lie is obvious.
 

ianc1200

Well-known member
Joined
6 Dec 2005
Messages
2,876
Location
Frinton on Sea
She's wetter than a bank holiday in Margate. Shrugging your shoulders when your business causes havoc isn't an option; reap the rewards, bear the consequences.


Obvious lie is obvious.
Clearly the EA PR department is being economical with the truth again (is lying Barry Russell OBE still in charge?)

Still no word from LCH whether another event planned for same place this year I see.
 

Time Out

Active member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
789
Instagram page is still up

The Lockdown Lodge (@thelockdownlodge) is on Instagram

Let's not be fooled into thinking this is/was a summer hobby, this was a large scale operation with the backing and support of some very well known names as well as money.

I'm actually quite gutted I didn't make it as it did/does look a very very pleasant place to spend a sunny lockdown afternoon.

I can't comment on the rest as I was not there but I do have vast experience of riverside pubs on a hot sunny day and that carnage that goes with it ;)
 

DWT

Member
Joined
16 May 2006
Messages
279
Location
Reading, Berkshire
Phew, this thread has grown. I passed through Hambledon two or three times last year and did not have a problem with the layby. I have a vague memory that there may have been one small boat at the back of the layby and I was initially confused about its intentions, but it really wasn't a problem. I appreciate this may have got worse as the venue became better known.

I would like to see this sort of enterprise to succeed in these difficult times. It's a shame that the lock layby seems to have been abused by a minority, but as others have pointed out there were all sorts of problems last year, with small boats, kayaks, paddle boarders and swimmers risking life and limb playing chicken with other river users. The Beale Park moorings were closed when they became overwhelmed apparently mostly with day boaters leaving rubbish. Sadly this is probably going to be even worse this year, depending upon the weather.

There is a great facility at Caversham Lakes now which is being extended which may take some of the swimmers and paddle boarders which proliferated on the Dreadnought reach last year and was a real obstacle course, but it's sure to be busy again.

I have to give credit to LCH for coming on here to try and put their side of the story. I'm sorry that the lockkeeper may have lost his job, but this really is a matter between him and his employer.
 

Old Crusty

Well-known member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
781
Clearly the EA PR department is being economical with the truth again (is lying Barry Russell OBE still in charge?
It is believed that Mr Russell was co-opted to Covid duties and will not be returning, best is known. Two new waterways managers have been appointed to the upper, tranquil, rural bit beloved of Freeman enthusiasts and the lower, turbulent, urban bit of the the river preferred by Broom owners.
 

LCH

New member
Joined
24 Mar 2021
Messages
8
Instagram page is still up

The Lockdown Lodge (@thelockdownlodge) is on Instagram

Let's not be fooled into thinking this is/was a summer hobby, this was a large scale operation with the backing and support of some very well known names as well as money.

I'm actually quite gutted I didn't make it as it did/does look a very very pleasant place to spend a sunny lockdown afternoon.
Yes no need for any conspiracy theories about websites, there has been an ongoing problem with a viral attack on it that hasn't yet been resolved it appears.

This definitely wasn't a large scale operation, it was done on an absolute shoestring and the financial risk was quite scary..... but it is actually rather pleasing if it gave the impression of being a slick operation - as opposed to being run by a young person learning on the hoof!

DWT thank you for your kind comments. I am looking forward to seeing the new set-up at Caversham Lakes. For sure, with "staycations" being very much on the agenda this summer, everywhere is going to be very busy - especially if there is any hint of sunshine!

IanC1200 it is not for me to say one way or the other. I am neither the business owner, landowner or associated with any of the licensing authorities.

Penfold do you think it is OK to make unpleasant comments like that? Users of that reach of the Thames have points to make about their experience of using that area, and this has largely been a good-natured discussion that hasn't degenerated into personal comments so I don't think there is much need to take it in that direction?
 

Scapegoat

Active member
Joined
16 Nov 2020
Messages
188
I have to give credit to LCH for coming on here to try and put their side of the story. I'm sorry that the lockkeeper may have lost his job, but this really is a matter between him and his employer.
I would be a little more sympathetic to LCH and her daughter's feelings if, in their various comments and statements, they had expressed an iota of sympathy for Simon and his family losing his job and their home, whether or not they believe that any of their actions contributed to this.
 
Top