Dobson Locks – Apperley Bridge, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 50.352 W 001° 42.953
30U E 584495 N 5966395
Quick Description: This double staircase lock is on The Leeds Liverpool Canal which at 127 miles long is the longest canal in Northern England.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/16/2013 10:57:23 AM
Waymark Code: WMJ3AQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 0

Long Description:
The locks on this canal were designed to carry the ‘short boats’ that had twice the capacity of the narrow boats used on other canals.

The locks therefore had to be wide enough to allow the 62 feet long, 14 feet wide boats through them. Most of the locks were also grouped together to give long runs between the locks although not all were staircase locks like this with no gap between each lock.

The boats were mainly used to carry bulk cargoes such as coal, stone and limestone. Commercial traffic ceased in 1964, but the locks are still used to carry leisure boats which have become very popular. Ironically the leisure craft are normally narrow boats, because there are links to other canals, and wider boats would not be able to pass through the locks on the other canals.

The construction of the canal was started in 1770 and the first section opened in 1774.

Each of the two locks has a small wooden footbridge over the bottom end of the lock to give access to both sides of the canal when operating the lock gates. This set of lock gates was renovated early 2013 as part of the annual winter renovation program. There are plaques on the gates with this date on them and indicating they were built by the Stanley Ferry Workshop.

There is a maintenance workshop near to this lock and so the storage of the new lock gates during construction was very convenient.

Staircase locks are more complicated to operate than single locks and in some cases they have to be operated by lock keepers. In this case because there are only 2 locks, boat users are allowed to operate them.

A nearby sign gives the following instructions on how to operate them.
Dobson Locks
Operating instructions

Penning up

Please follow the instructions below

1 Before entering the lock use gate paddles to set up locks before entering top chamber.
  Set up locks so that the top chamber is full & the bottom chamber is empty (water level with   the canal below).
2 Use gate paddles to fill or empty chambers as required.
3 Open tailgates ensuring all paddles are closed & enter bottom chamber.
4 Open top chamber ground paddles slowly in stages to allow water to pass under craft’s hull &   fill bottom chamber only.
  Open gate paddles when the water has risen above paddle height on gates.
5 When water in both chambers has levelled open middle gates, close all paddles & enter   top   chamber.
  Close middle gates.
6 Repeat step 4 with head gate ground paddles then gate paddles to exit lock and enter canal.
7 Close all paddles & head gates.

In case of emergency please contact
T 0800 4799947
The lock is an English Heritage Grade II listed building.
Waterway Name: The Leeds Liverpool Canal

Connected Points:
Connects the City of Leeds with the City of Liverpool.


Type: Lock

Date Opened: 1/1/1777

Elevation Difference (meters): 7.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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