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!


  1. That works really well in black and white. Lock-keeper always seems an idyllic existence; I can understand someone wanting to do it.

  2. Great to see. You should take his portrait on a visit some time.

  3. It is fun comparing today's black and white and yesterday's color photo. They are both deserving, but they create very different feelings.


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