Whilton Marina Refurbishes Historical Canal Bench

Henry Grantham was the last lock keeper at the Whilton and Buckby Flight of locks, near Whilton Marina on the Grand Union Canal.  Henry often won the ‘best kept locks ’ award and was a well known character locally and on the canal network.

His family worked on working canal boats, carrying cargo around the midlands and Henry grew up working alongside his parents on their boats.

On Henry Grantham’s death in 1989 locals decided there must be a memorial; a bench was decided upon and the old English Elm wood from the Grantham family working boats, on which Henry had lived and worked on during his life, was used to build the bench.  The bench was positioned overlooking the bottom Lock near the entrance to Whilton Marina.

In 2005 the ancient Elm eventually decayed and the bench was refurbished using English White Oak.

This summer the bench was again in sorry state, so Whilton Marina with the help of their carpenter Pete, has once again restored the bench to its former glory.

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This Article is reproduced by kind permission of Whilton Marina.

Sue Steele
sue@whiltonmarina.co.uk
01327 842577
Whilton Marina
Whilton Locks
Daventry
Northants
NN11 2NH

Whilton and Buckby Flight Reopens After Emergency Closure – Final Update

On Saturday morning 21st May 2016 the bow of a boat became caught under the beam of the off-side top gate of Lock No.8, adjacent to the Nature Reserve and close to Anchor Cottage gift shop.  The gate was lifted out of its bottom socket and became partly detached from the beam and was left in a precarious position, preventing navigation.

Despite the fact that CRT told our reporter that repairs would be carried out on Sunday and they expected the flight to reopen on Monday, in fact work only commenced on Monday.

On Monday attempts to refit the lock gate using a car jack proved fruitless and heavy lifting equipment was deemed necessary to be brought in by boat from another site.  On Tuesday preparations were made by draining the lock chamber using stop boards.  The gate was finally refitted and the flight later reopened to boaters at about 4:00 pm on Wednesday the 25th May, much to everyone’s relief particularly those travelling to the Crick Boat Show!

The damaged gate was fixed in the closed position and the beam cut off so it could not be opened and special arrangements were therefore necessary for broad beam boats, of course.

On the 6th July the gate was eventually repaired and the lock was fully restored to service.  The damaged beam was replaced with a new one that actually forms part of the new set of gates that will be replaced as part of scheduled stoppages this coming Winter.

WBLA volunteers will now paint the lock; please “Contact Us” if you wish to help!

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Winter Stoppage Progress

So much for the Starks and their much lauded prediction that “Winter is coming” – it’s already here!

Here are a few pictures of the work being done on the locks during the Winter Stoppage…

Dog Fouling Signs

Daventry District Council has installed notices on bins along the towpath targeting irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean-up after their pets. Weekly patrols along the towpath see dog poo sprayed orange to warn walkers and to shame offending dog owner. Those responsible, now including anyone not carrying the means to clean-up after their dog, are liable to a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice or up to £1,000 if taken to court.

CRT Prepare for 2015 Stoppage

The Whilton and Buckby flight of locks will be closed from the 1st November until Christmas for lock gate replacement at numbers 10, 11 and 12. The new gates are ready for delivery from the CRT depot at Long Buckby Wharf and other equipment is already on the move.