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7th Jul, 2022

Charity on lookout for volunteer lock keepers

Sophie Heaviside 2nd Feb, 2017 Updated: 3rd Mar, 2017

WATER-way to get out in the open air – the charity that looks after the Grand Union Canal is searching for new volunteer lock keepers.

Keepers are needed to help passing boaters, welcome visitors and give a hand to the Trust’s teams in maintaining the canal.

There are vacancies at Hillmorton, Napton and Stockton locks.

The volunteers will help keep the historic tradition of lock-keeping alive along the canal, where they have been part of waterway life for hundreds of years.

Volunteer lock keeper Maurice Farndon said: “I’ve been a lock keeper for the last six years and really love being out in the fresh air along the canal.

“There’s not really a typical day. If we’re not helping people though the locks, then we can be litter picking, talking to visitors or even giving directions to the nearest restaurant.

“Time flies when I’m working on the canal-side and it’s a great way to stay fit too. I’d definitely recommend the role to anyone interested in getting outdoors and helping people visiting or living in the community.”

Sonny King, from the Canal & River Trust, said: “Our lock keepers are the face of the canal, safely seeing boats through the locks, as well as helping people with directions or information about the area.

“It’s a great role for anyone keen to work outdoors and meet new people. You’ll learn new skills and provide a huge amount of help for the thousands of visitors we get to the canal each year.”

Lock keepers work on a shift basis between April and October, while many stay on over the winter months to help the Trust with other work.

Full training is provided and anyone over the age of 18 is encouraged to apply. Training and induction begin in March.

Click here for more information.

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