On being photographed – Caen Hill locks

Chased by the paparazzi

Well not really, of course, but at time it almost felt like it. But here’s the word of advice. If you want to feel like a superstar chased by photographers then take a boat up the Caen Hill flight of locks near Devizes. Make sure it’s a decent day for weather and a weekend as well. Then be ready to pose.

Caen Hill locks are, of course, an unofficial wonder of the world. There are 29 locks in all, but 16 of them form what looks like a giant’s staircase with one lock seemingly built on the previous one. In the true canal sense this isn’t a staircase for a true staircase has no intervening stretches of canal between them. The Caen Hill flight has short pounds, as they are called between the top gate of one lock and the bottom gate of the next. To help with water management each pound opened out at the side to a large area – about an acre in extent. They make a haven for wildlife.

So here we see a swan’s nest by one of the locks and adjacent to one of the side pounds.

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And here we see the boat we were helping on.

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The boat has just left one lock and has almost reached the next one. The entrance to the side pound can be seen.

And here’s the boat in a lock near the bottom of the flight,

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Passing through a lock takes the time it takes. There is nothing you can do to increase the speed at which water enters or drains out of a lock. So like our gallant lock workers here, sit on the beam and relax.

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There were getting to be more canal watchers about. Once upon a time people watching canal boats were called gongoozlers. Soon we had them in droves.

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That’s my wife at the back of the boat. She was in charge of the boat at the time. On the front is one of her old school friends. It must have been the men doing the work at that time.

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The gathering gongoozlers watch and snap photos of our Boat (we don’t own it, it was hired). The boat is out of sight, deep in the lock.

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I snap a photo of people taking photos of our boat. It was now lunch time, clearly the time for the boat watchers.

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A pair of Canada geese are uninterested in people – unless they feed them.

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This is an old school friend of mine – married to my wife’s old school friend. He’s resting on a beam again whilst a lock fills

Permanent moorings.

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We moored here for a while to enjoy a spot of lunch. Our mooring was not permanent and had a 24 hour limit.

My photos don’t really convey the almost continuous sight of cameras of all kinds pointing at us as we worked the locks or the boat. I dare say we’ll be on dozens, even hundreds of personal pages by now.

 

 

 

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