Search is on to find volunteer lock keeper for Bromsgrove canal stretch (From Bromsgrove Advertiser)
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Search is on to find volunteer lock keeper for Bromsgrove canal stretch
5:00pm Friday 25th January 2013 in News
THE search is on for a volunteer to carry out an iconic role along a stretch of the canal network in Bromsgrove.
The Canal and River Trust, the new charity caring for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, is calling on the community to get involved in a unique opportunity to be a volunteer lock keeper.
Lock keeping has been a fixture on the canals for hundreds of years and the role of the modern-day keeper is to help the trust look after the waterways, including helping boaters through the locks, providing a polite and friendly welcome to waterway visitors and helping to maintain many historic, listed locks.
Actor and adventurer Brian Blessed supported the first appeal during 2012, which saw more than 250 people come forward and become volunteer lock keepers.
Now, the trust is asking for public support to try and double these numbers in more than 50 locations across the country - including in Stoke Prior.
Alan Sumnall, volunteer co-ordinator for the trust, said: “As a new charity we were heartened by the amazing support we received for this role last year.
“This is one of the oldest and most iconic roles on the waterways so we’re asking the millions of people who visit the nation’s canals and rivers each year to get active and become a keeper.”
Throughout the season, it’s estimated the volunteer lock keepers assisted 1,500 boats and engaged with more than 1,700 towpath visitors on average per week.
The keepers also helped reduce water loss by encouraging lock sharing and making sure lock paddles were closed, and improved safe passage through locks.
Full details about how to become a volunteer lock keeper and location details are available by visiting canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer, emailing email@example.com or by calling 0303 040 4040.
Volunteers can start quickly and no prior experience is necessary as a full induction, training and a uniform will be provided.