We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Volunteer Lock Keeper 2017 - Carpenters Road Lock


Reference: OPP0004917

Activities: Customer service, Marketing and promotions, Practical

Starts: Anytime

Carpenters Road Lock, Old River Lee, London

Carpenters Road Lock is a unique structure, being the only lock in the UK with twin rising radial gates. It was built in 1933-34 as a result of West Ham Council and the Lee Conservancy Board submitting a joint Parliamentary Bill in 1930 for the River Lee (Flood Relief) Act. The lock fell into decline during the 1970s, but with support from Heritage Lottery Funding, London Legacy Development Corporation, Inland Waterways Association and Canal & River Trust, we’ll be re-opening Carpenters Road Lock and the surrounding waterways in early 2017.

Sitting under the stunning mirror-clad bridge, it will be the showpiece of the historic Bow Back Rivers waterways in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Lots of people will want to know about this particular lock and the newly opened waterways, but our visitors don’t always know where to look or find us. You can help to change this!


This is an opportunity to be the ‘face’ of the Canal & River Trust, and newly restored piece of heritage. You will play a key role in the enjoyment of the visitor experience and ensuring visitors leave with a greater understanding and affinity to the waterways and this very unique structure. All visitors to the waterways appreciate someone helping them, be it through a lock, by telling them a bit of local interest or just where the nearest toilet is.

This is the chance to have a positive impact on your local waterway; helping visitors and other local people to value and appreciate it. We will provide all the necessary training, clothing, equipment and reasonable out of pocket expenses.

Skills required

Lock keepers and lengthsmen have a long history on the waterways, helping boaters through lock and welcoming and helping walkers, cyclists and dog walkers in more modern times. They’re often the face of the waterways at the lock flight and can really help connect the canal with the local community.

Working alongside staff and other volunteers you will talk to visitors; assist them through locks and ensure people get correct information as they pass through the Olympic Park. There will also be the opportunity to lead heritage talks and sessions on the history of the lock.

We’re not looking for people who are experts in the nation’s waterways but we are looking for people who are friendly and approachable and know who to ask if they don’t know the immediate answer. You’ll get a full induction and familiarisation to the Trust and you’ll be able to meet other volunteers and employees who will help build your knowledge base. Knowledge of the local area is useful but not essential.

Sign up for this opportunity