Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A BW botch up not 200 yards away

The complete guide: How to partly refurbish a lock and make a right cock up of it, thereby setting the benchmark standard for future repairs:
  • Find a lock in disrepair – there’s lots of them everywhere.
  • Take a template from both gates – then make sure they turn up late.
  • Use said template to create – two new gates that still don’t fit.
  • Because, exact replicas – gaps and all, just won’t do it…
Thus proving BW cut corners – literally, and that the low level of intelligence used on this project is as thick as two wooden gates. Just think we might even start to feel lucky if they don’t bother attempting any repairs at all… 
 
So this is the old lock 7 near the marina, before new back gates were put in. Note how the back one’s wouldn’t stay closed, and the front set leaked badly…
 
Marina Views 2009 (105)
 
Then work began, here’s one of the shiny new gates being hoisted in…
 
New Gates Lock 7 (6)
 
Six weeks later, job done. I took these photos straight afterwards in January this year.
I didn’t realise they were evidence of bad workmanship at the time…
 
010
 
Looking good but it’s deceiving, new back gates – yes they appear to meet up…
 
008
 
Old front gates which in BW’s infinite wisdom weren’t replaced…
 
004
 
The photo above shows how the sheer pressure of water (still) leaking up from below the surface has pushed thick ice forming around from both sets of gates, new and old. [I can’t be assed walking round there in this wind to take a photo of just how bad it is without the snow] Besides these are much prettier to look at…
 
So, yet another fine example of “crap craftsmanship” on the waterways. There’s just no excuse for it, they might as well just have repainted the old gates for all the water wastage that’s still happening here. Perhaps they did…
 
Then there were the sandbags, after the job was done 15 of them were left piled up on the towpath, even though this was reported, nobody came to remove them.
 
A couple of weeks later they “found” their way into lock 5. A friend of ours discovered what had happened when he couldn’t open one of the gates, so he pulled them all out using one of his poles. Many of them burst on the way up, but it couldn’t be helped.
 
Which begs the question just HOW could they have missed 15 sandbags all piled up and just left them there…?
 
Oh,, as for the rotting bridge at lock 7 – it’s still rotting, and dangerous…
 
Marina Views 2009 (108) 
 
Which leaves 2 important questions:
  1. Are any other lock gates that “might ever” get replaced going to be done to this standard?
  2. What was the cost of such incompetence, and what will it be in the future?
As spectacular an example of mismanagement and poor workmanship this may be, there’s only about a thousand left on the system to repair. But there’ll be room for improvement by the time they have enough organisation and funding, probably towards the end of this century sometime...
 
PS: Have you noticed how often the word danger with ref to reports about our crumbling canal system keeps bobbing up to the surface these days…?

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