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Hambleden Lock

oldgit

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6 Nov 2001
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24,225
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Medway
Whether it’s a good idea or not is a matter of opinion, I find myself questioning the real commercial motivation and viability of such an operation and for such a short period - just three weeks or so this year.
Your reference to “EA tap outrages“ makes light of a real issue on the non tidal Thames which threatens reasonable availability of fresh drinking water access at many EA locks. The full extent of the problem, which arises from the EA being required to comply with water provision legislation, is yet to be recognised as river usage is relatively light at the moment.
Will comment after actually trying the new taps. :)
 

Old Crusty

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28 Aug 2017
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782
Always two sides to story. ?
A very similar story down here at Allington lock not that long ago, when a long term very proficient senior lock keeper lost his family home and his job.
Knew the man personally had great respect and for my part got on well with him.
The local boaters also went on a crusade about how unjust the EA were to embark on the actions that resulted in him losing his job.
It all went to appeal via the union however the court confirmed the EA actions.
The other lock staff told a totally different story about the chap and the events that led to his dismissal.
Have spoken to the lockepper who left , he was back visiting the lock . !
Sometimes it is simply time for somebody move on and do something else. ?
There are procedures to be followed in each case. When you've sat in as many employment tribunals as I have, you learn that few employers follow their own procedures which always trips them up.

The other issue to bear in mind is that he was doing his regulatory job. As I know only too well, being firm with the public causes them to resist your authority and complain about being bullied or harassed. If he is sacked for that, the byelaws and TCA will be rendered of no further importance.

The revival of the recognition of lock keeper authority as navigation officers is long overdue.
 

Great Bear

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7 Apr 2021
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3
My understanding is the resident lockkepper at Hambledon lock after some time to recuperate has been reinstated is it not time for a change in Thames management and take their incompetence with them
 

oldgit

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6 Nov 2001
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24,225
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Medway
There are procedures to be followed in each case. When you've sat in as many employment tribunals as I have, you learn that few employers follow their own procedures which always trips them up.

The other issue to bear in mind is that he was doing his regulatory job. As I know only too well, being firm with the public causes them to resist your authority and complain about being bullied or harassed. If he is sacked for that, the byelaws and TCA will be rendered of no further importance.

The revival of the recognition of lock keeper authority as navigation officers is long overdue.
it has been pointed out to me that the EA could have possibly prevented this entire episode had they helped the lockeeper to manage the situation early on.
 

Great Bear

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7 Apr 2021
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Its unlikely the EA could manage each year of the EA boating numbers have declined this should be reversed
 

Pump-Out

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6 Feb 2011
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461
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Lurking in the Thames Valley
The layby needs only a patrol boat moored on it with a couple of grumpy, smiling enforcement officers to advise the miscreants to shove off, and to remove any offending vessels, as they may do.
EA launch? After dark? More chance of the RAF working a Bank Holiday. Henley Festival aside.

The revival of the recognition of lock keeper authority as navigation officers is long overdue.
I agree whole-heatedly. This is symptomatic of the HQ move to some far distant ivory tower, and the EA seeing themselves as park wardens, and protectors of the lesser spotted mud-weevil than Navigation Authority and Harbour Masters. In many ways this matches your aspiration to put a patrol launch on the lay-by. The only enforcement one sees from the team is that of not-paying the registration fee.

I'd like to see a police officer on board, in addition to the Assistant Harbour Master and Boatman (Boatperson??). Time for a large pointy stick.

Of course if the posters on here were to simply fill the layby with their boats for the duration, and not use lock nor lodge, then that might work....
 

Old Crusty

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782
EA launch? After dark? More chance of the RAF working a Bank Holiday. Henley Festival aside.


I agree whole-heatedly. This is symptomatic of the HQ move to some far distant ivory tower, and the EA seeing themselves as park wardens, and protectors of the lesser spotted mud-weevil than Navigation Authority and Harbour Masters. In many ways this matches your aspiration to put a patrol launch on the lay-by. The only enforcement one sees from the team is that of not-paying the registration fee.

I'd like to see a police officer on board, in addition to the Assistant Harbour Master and Boatman (Boatperson??). Time for a large pointy stick.

Of course if the posters on here were to simply fill the layby with their boats for the duration, and not use lock nor lodge, then that might work....
Bit unfair on the RAF, I did an August bank holiday refuelling sortie with them from Marham to Leuchars on a Victor tanker in 1973 😀
 

Outinthedinghy

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18 May 2008
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Limehouse hole
That is Good News.

I wonder what the protocol is going to be this time with the ridiculous bar. Is the layby part of lock keeper's job or not?

And if it isn't does this also apply to other locks?
 

Old Crusty

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28 Aug 2017
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782
Slightly off topic but can anyone see the word "navigation" in here anywhere?
Environment Agency staff recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Perhaps this explains some of the problem?
Steve Newman, resident Lock & Weir Keeper at Shepperton, was the last member of Waterways staff to receive an award, a BEM in 2017 for services to the local community and water safety over 40 years.

Prior to that in the Thames region, Julia Simpson, Thames area director, who oversees the management of the river from her lofty seat in Wallingrad, received an MBE in 2014 for flood protection services to the community in Wraysbury. You may remember that most of that community had their sofas afloat in their sitting rooms during the winter of 13/14. Simpson visited once for a public meeting, was barked at by angry residents and escorted away. She got the gong for being intransigent, willfully blind to the diminishing standards and ignoring those who use or live by the river. A reward for incompetent management and a perfect example of the Peter Principle in action.
 

boatone

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29 Jul 2001
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Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
That is Good News.
I wonder what the protocol is going to be this time with the ridiculous bar. Is the layby part of lock keeper's job or not?
And if it isn't does this also apply to other locks?
Good news indeed.
As part of the EA owned and managed assets, control of lay byes at all locks are part of the lock keepers remit. The TC Acts and Bye Laws make this clear and and prescribe penalties for related offences.
If the lock keeper’s dismissal for, apparently, endeavouring to carry out these duties had been upheld it would have been a sorry day for the future management of the river.
Now we need to make sure that suitable steps are taken to ensure similar problems do not occur this year.
 

Outinthedinghy

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18 May 2008
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Limehouse hole
More good news is that the layby will no longer be accessible to the general public as it will be fenced off.

So only boaters using the lock will be able to use the layby (in theory at least!).

How durable the fencing will be who knows but at least it's a move in the right direction.

Not very aesthetically pleasing but there we are such things happens when you get the idiots turning up.

Of course one potential reaction would be for Copas to more pontoons in further up but at least fencing should -theoretically- keep our layby a bit clearer and also helps prevent swimmers from using EA owned infrastructure as a bathing platform.

In this day and age it just seems bizarre that an elfin safety risk assessment was not carried out or if it was it did not recognise the risk of partially immersed human body/manooovering vessel propeller interactions.

Very odd.
 
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