Canal on the ‘lock-out’ for volunteers

Lockkeeper master Billy Cox, on the lookout for volunteers to help out at locks at Tuel Lane, Sowerby Bridge.
Lockkeeper master Billy Cox, on the lookout for volunteers to help out at locks at Tuel Lane, Sowerby Bridge.
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The deepest lock in Britain needs YOU.

Lock-Keeper Master, Billy Cox, is on the ‘lock-out’ for volunteer lock masters to operate the 19ft 8” terminal basin at Sowerby Bridge.

With the boating season commencing in March, Mr Cox and the Canal and River Trust are hoping that local residents will get involved in the scheme.

Retired volunteer, and local resident, Dave Kingman, said: “It is an absloute pleasure to operate the locks. I find that it gets me out of the house and keeps me fit and active.”

“Although it is a physical job, it’s not difficult to learn. The key is to get boaters through quickly and safely.”

Volunteers are needed for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, for a smoother running of the locks. Presently, with only one volunteer, 24hours notice is sometimes required prior to the opening of the gate.

“Within two to three days, volunteers will be trained and competent,” said Mr Cox, who will personally pass on his knowledge of operating the locks. “We’re looking for a range of ages, from 18 upwards, for as little or as many hours.” People interested in volunteering at Sowerby Bridge should call into the manager’s house or contact John Stop from the Canal and River Trust on 07920723903.