Saturday, 6 August 2016

Lift bridge 28



You may remember Carolyn struggling to raise the lift bridge which is number 28 above the Lapworth flight on The Stratford canal back at the beginning of July. Friends Paul and Gill on Nb Falcon left a comment saying that they had contacted Canal and River Trust some time ago about the difficulty of lifting the bridge and had asked me to remind them (CRT) about the lift bridge, which I did and this is what I said

Sent: 04 July 2016 20:15
To: enquiries westmidlands <>
Subject: Bridge 28 Stratford canal
This lift bridge is a nightmare to lift .We were warned by the Volunteer Lockie when we came through Lapworth last week that it was very heavy and there was a problem with it.
Friends of ours contacted you last year and were told that the lifting mechanism was sent back to Italy to be inspected.
Has anything happened in the last 12 months ? And is anything being done about this problem..
Regards Gary

Now after several weeks I received this reply.

Hello Gary
Firstly please accept my apologies that it has taken a while to come back to you, as I have been waiting for the M & E Engineer to investigate and report on the lift bridge below.
Please see his findings and comments below:
The pump has been returned from Italy, and is now installed, following which I can confirm the following -
1. Whereas the former pump configuration was very 'hard' to turn, but only required around 40 revolutions of the windlass, the modified pump is much easier - although requiring around 100 turns of the windlass.
2. Our Waterway Manager, Ian Lane paid a visit to the bridge in order to evaluate the modified operation and was satisfied with the ease of operation, whilst acknowledging the increased number of turns required.
3. I have visited the bridge to evaluate operation, my findings concur with Ian's comments.
4. Whilst on site, I took the opportunity to watch a passing boat negotiate the bridge. The boater concerned was turning the windlass with ease, but appeared be 'out of breath' arising from the number of turns required BUT NOT with the actual physical exertion required, which was the fundamental issue in the pre-modification customer complaints.
The high degree of physical effort required formed the basis of all the pre - modification complaints, this has now been resolved.
From a technical point of view, the pump design and construction is not capable of simultaneously providing both ease of operating effort, and minimal number of turns, however I suggest that we (CRT) continue to monitor the bridge in terms of user comments before we consider any further action.
I hope that the above information may assist with your enquiry.
Kind Regards
Viv Biggs

So there you have it. I must thank Val for getting back to me and I do appreciate it . However I do still wonder if a 100 turns is a bit much to turn for a hydraulic lift bridge. We are now on the Llangollen which has many lift bridges ,so we will start counting how many turns they take to lift. Has anyone else encountered anything on the canal system that requires so many turns of a windlass ? .

                                                                                                             Happy Days


  1. Hello Gary with a G from Jill with a J
    Thank you for posting the response you got from CRT. Good to know you had a reply however it's not a very satisfactory reply is it! 100 turns seems excessive. Bridge 26 is also a lift bridge and works fine, with much less effort!
    We are in Plymouth at the moment and flying to Poland on Wednesday. Falcon is in The Boats her for a repaint to we are homless at the moment! We will be heading for the Llangollen eventually but expect you will be gone by then 😥

  2. Hi Paul and Jill with a J and not a G ..Sorry too much wine I guess .. 100 turns is far to much and I don't think acceptable ,hopefully other boaters will complain and something will happen . Can't wait to see Falcon wth her new paint job .. With the speed we move we may well be gone, but if not hopefully we can meet up for a catch up .. Enjoy your trip to Poland !!!

  3. Hi both,
    last year on the Huddersfield Narrow I counted 120 turns to raise/lower the guillotine gate at lock 24E (now operated by CRT I think). Luckily I had read Irene's blog (nb Free Spirit) and was prepared for it! I think 100 turns is way too much for a lift bridge - there should at least be some kind of warning or CRT are going to keep getting phone calls ...
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Debby , you are spot on .. 120 turns
      is just not acceptable and raises the question should an electrical bridge be installed ...