Thursday, 15 January 2015
The lock-keeper's office
This is the top lock gate of Bingley Five Rise locks. Just across on the opposite side is the little office from which the lock-keeper controls the flow of water in the canal, 10 million gallons a day. It's a very complex job which requires a great deal of care, as the system is inherently wasteful of water anyway so they don't want to waste even more. The present lock-keeper, Barry Whitelock, is the longest serving lock-keeper in the country. From the age of eight, he used to watch the previous lock-keeper at work every weekend. He took over the job aged 19, in 1978. I should imagine he knows everything there is to know about locks and the canal. What a pity we can't yet download the contents of someone's brain for posterity!