As part of CRT's desire to reach out to the public, they have been holding Open Day events during their main maintenance period (2014/15). Where locks have been drained for work to be carried out, they have allowed public access over a weekend to show what is being done. This set of photos were taken at the event at Lock 34 on the Hatton Flight on 15th Feb 2015.
Stop-planking can be seen behind the gates. This is used to block the water in the upper pound before the locks are drained. There are grooves in the sidewall at strategic places all round the canal network so that, in the event of a breach in the canal wall, such planks can be dropped in to restrict the amount of water lost. They are also used when it is necessary to intentionally drain sections for repair work.
The work being carried out during this maintenance period was refurbishmentment of the upper gate woodwork. Damage to the cill can be seen - this is caused by boats running forward into the lock and coming heavily into contact with the cill. The old bolts can be seen protruding from the concrete where sacrificial wood used to be attached in cargo-carrying days. The reduced usage nowadays by leisure boaters not under time constraints has meant that the wood is no longer attached. It is hoped that although there is damage to the concrete, there will be fewer stoppages and less cost involved in the repair work.
In order to permit a greater amount of water into these wide locks without causing turbulence, the water from the paddle-gear is directed through three trunks in the lock wall.
The paddles on these wide locks are considerably larger than those in the narrow locks (compare photo taken at Bedford Street ). The paddle gear on this flight is different from the vast majority in that it has manually-operated hydraulic pumps (see photo below, left) to raise the paddles instead of the more usual rack and pinion gear
Gates are held in place by collars (left picture) round the top of the gatepost, while the bottom has an iron pintle (right picture) comprising two parts - the bottom of the block is dropped into a hole in the concrete of the lock floor; the top fits into a hole in the underside of the gate; the two halves then fit together as a swivle.