Volunteer Lock Keepers Needed

Local News

The Canal & River Trust charity is seeking to recruit new volunteer lock keepers on the canal network across Lancashire, Merseyside and West Yorkshire.
Lock keepers have been part of canal life for hundreds of years and volunteer lock keepers play a crucial role in keeping the age-old tradition alive.
The role of the modern day volunteer lock keeper is to help look after the waterways, including assisting boaters through locks, providing a polite and friendly welcome to visitors and keeping the local canal looking its best.
Volunteer lock keepers are being sought for:
•  Gargrave/Bank Newton Locks, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, near Skipton
•  Rufford, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, West Lancashire
•  Wigan lock flight, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
•  Stanley Lock, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Liverpool
•  Dobson and Field Lock, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Apperley Bridge, Bradford
•  Hirst Lock to Bingley Five Rise, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
•  Office to Newley Lock, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Leeds
•  Johnsons Hillock Lock, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Chorley
•  Blackburn Locks, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
•  Barrowford and Greenberfield Locks, Leeds & Liverpool Canal
•  Glasson lock flight, Lancaster Canal
•  Ribble Link, Preston
Volunteer team leader Lee Cox (39) loves the outdoor life and helping boaters travel through locks. He started volunteering five years ago picking litter but after 12 months became a volunteer lock keeper and has never looked back. He has even got his stepson Mark McCumsekey involved too. He also enjoys being out on the canal bank, keeping it tidy, removing rubbish, painting locks and clearing weeds.
Mark said: “There are loads of letters from boaters complimenting us and saying how much they appreciate our help. We try to be as helpful as possible. We try and muck in and we’re not afraid of getting our hands dirty.”
Local waterway manager Chantelle Seaborn said: “Volunteer lock keepers do a fantastic job. They really are the friendly face of the Trust and boaters love them. The role involves talking to boaters, helping them through locks, telling them about the local area and the history of the canal.
“The volunteers all receive training before the seasonal role gets underway around Easter time.  They play a vital role in keeping customers happy and the canals in good working order. Volunteer lock keepers can help with water management and waterway staff really value their input. Volunteers can be of any age as long as they’re reasonably fit and healthy, enjoy working outdoors and meeting new people.”
The Canal & River Trust cares for 1,583 locks nationwide and there are approximately 3.8 million ‘lockings’ each year (passages through locks). The nation’s canals are now used by over 32,000 boats – more than in the height of the Industrial Revolution.
In a survey of volunteer lock keepers, 99% said they planned to return the following year and over 70% of people said that ‘keeping fit and active’ was one of the major motivations for waterways volunteering.
Applications for the role (aged 18 or over) are open now, with training and induction beginning in March. For more information visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer-lock-keepers

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