Friday, December 31, 2010

KA Canal Boaters' update: Friday December 31, 2010

As dawn broke today at Caen Hill, Devizes on the 200th anniversary of the Canal being officially open for commercial traffic the only movement is lock keeper, Robbie Preston, taking the padlocks off of the locks.

200 years ago two coal barges ascended the flight but a third was thwarted by the frosty conditions —  a single stone barge had gone through the flight on the 28th — but the canal was not officially opened to commercial traffic until the 31st. 

It seems very unlikely that there will be any boat movements on this part of the K&A today.  

Lock Keeper, Robbie Preston, unlocks the Caen Hill Flight: Picture by Bob Naylor

Despite the milder conditions today there is still ice up to 6 inches thick on parts of the canal and with a low of 0° forecast for tonight and down to -4° over the weekend the ice looks to be with us for a while longer. 

Caen Hill Opening Times (Locks 28-44)
31st December - Open 8am to 4pm
1st January to 3rd January - Closed.
4th January to 9th January - Open 8am to 4pm

Wootton Rivers (Locks 51-54): Stoppage extended
closed until Friday 7 January 2011 
Because of sub-zero temperatures tents have been built over the locks so that they can be heated to help the lime morter to set.

Dunmill Lock (75): Delayed by one week 
Monday 17 January 2011 - Friday 11 March 2011
The start of this stoppage has been delayed a week to allow the completion of the dredging works and the transit of delayed craft from the Wootton Rivers stoppage.

Navigation Restrictions: 
Oakhill Down Lock (68) near Froxfield is now open — but by appointment only. BW staff will operate the lock at 9am and 2.30pm until futher notice. Bookings must be made at least 24 hours in advance, call Alistair Ogden on 07711 403471. (Bookings for weekend passage should be made before 12 noon on Friday.)

Between Burghfield Lock (103) and Southcote Lock (104) from Tuesday 30th November 2010 to Friday 11th February 2011 the water level will be lowered by 250mm (approx 10 inches) so that fenders can be installed on piles set below normal water level. The work is on a river section so levels be affected by changes in the river flow. Enquiries: 07920 824 310.

From the west of Hungerford at Cobblers Lock (72) to Wire Lock (76) on the eastern side of the town there could be delays of up to 30 minutes and occasional drops in the water lever for dredging and bank protection work.

Boating facilities
  • BW report that all of their pump-outs are working.
  • There is no longer rubbish disposal at Hungerford — use Kintbury or Great Bedwyn.
Enquiries to BW Devizes Office:  01380 722859
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