Volunteer lock keepers have been scrambled into emergency action after vandals damaged the machinery that runs the automated Stonebridge Lock on the River Lea.
The damage threatened to close the river to boats. However, help from our volunteers means that the lock gates can be operated from our control building while the repairs are carried out.
Stonebridge Lock is one of the few automated lock gates on London’s waterways. The vandalism saw buttons on the control pad gouged out last Friday (27 February), leaving us with a repair bill likely to reach hundreds of pounds.
Rick Jones, Canal & River Trust customer operations supervisor, said: “To say we’re frustrated by the vandalism is putting it mildly. It’s pretty blatant and we’re doing what we can to find out who did it. In the meantime our priority is make sure we can keep the river open for boats.
"We’re so grateful to our volunteer lock keepers for stepping into the breach. Without them boat traffic on this stretch would be at a standstill. As a charity we always want people to get involved in the local waterways, and this is an excellent example of how people who generously give up their own time, can make an impact. We’ll get the repairs done asap, but in the meantime I’d like to thank our volunteer lock keepers for their excellent work.”