Goings on in 2008.
14th September 2008 - ' The Great River Race ' takes place between Eel Pie Island and Canary Wharf. Teddington Lock is used as a meeting point for the safety boats to have their briefing. You can get an idea of the scale of the race by the amount of safety boats.
1st August 2008 - First things first ....
Apologies for the lack of updates over the last month and a half. We have been very busy at Teddington Lock , having the new lock handed over to us , the contractors clearing off site , planning the new gardens , loads of boats and I have been on holiday for a portion of it as well . All of this has added up to no updates , sorry ....
So , just a little one to be getting on with. While we haven't had the scorching temperatures ( so far ) of previous years , the weather has been just right for the dahlias on the front lawn. They are blooming beautifully. Here are a couple of pictures , if you are in the area , why not come down and see them for yourself ?
A photo from our very own Brian Williams , an ex Teddington Lock Keeper , now a summer assistant. How he got this picture , i don't know , and don't like to ask ! The picture is looking towards the tail gates.
16th May 2008 - Now the launch lock is empty ! We have pumps running 24 / 7 ( electric , not diesel because we are in a residential area ) In one of the pictures you can see a large steel mooring buoy that has been lost at some point in the last 58 years.The silt and mud in the bottom of the lock is fragrant , i can tell you. Think of the worst smelling bay full of rotting seaweed that you have ever smelt and times it by ten ...
21st April 2008 - The head of the launch lock has now been dammed off with a steel coffer dam. There have been divers in the water for the last week or so , getting everything ready. The head gates are off , and are now leaning up against the bullnose , looking very sorry for themselves awaiting disposal.
The launch lock has been closed since Monday 10th March 2008 , the contractors have been moving their equipment into the lock area ready to start. The gates will be coming off both ends and replaced with new steel ones , and the lock will be drained down for the first time since 1950. New cills will be going in too, and any repairs that need doing to the chamber will be carried out. You can see in the photo that the walkways have already been removed from the head gates. The yellow steelwork on the left and right of the chamber are braces that will be used to support the sides of the lock while it is empty. All a bit different to how it was done in 1950. You can see a picture of the work in the '50's by clicking on 'Navigation Info' and then click on ' Lock and Weir Info'
27th March 2008 - With the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race coming up this weekend , the pursuit and judges boats were taken downstream today ready for the fun and games ! Lovely old boats , kept beautifully. Always a pleasure seeing them come through.
7th March 2008 - The island is finished. New topsoil has been spread and seeded with grass. Just the finishing touches going on now , painting the new piles and tidying up. The new steel gates ( middle set of the barge lock ) are in place and operational. Once the island has settled down a bit, the landscapers will be coming to sort us out some new flowerbeds on the back lawn, and we will probably be going for a design that lends itself to easy maintenance , as the old beds were quite fiddley to mow round . The barge lock bridge was removed as planned and the contractors site compound has been relocated to the picnic area. The pathways on the island will be open to the public during the summer , but the grass area will more than likely be closed until August / September to allow the grass to take hold and establish itself.
From Monday 10th March , the launch lock will be closed , and we will be using the barge lock.
New steel gates.
18th February 2008 - The work on the island is nearly finished , the new revetment is more or less done , the new pontoons are installed , the new fence is coming along well and they are currently putting down topsoil ready for replanting. The aim is to have the bridge over the barge lock removed by 26th February, which will mean that all the heavy plant will be off the island by then !! However , as soon as the island is finished the contractors are moving onto the launch lock , which is looking like it is going to be closed from the start of March to the end of June. We are having new steel gates installed on the launch lock and various chamber repairs done . Interestingly the lock will be dammed off and pumped dry ( the last time this was done was 1950 ) so i'll be trying to get some good photos of the work as it progresses on the lock.
Talking of new steel gates , you may remember we had our middle gates on the barge lock removed late last year , well the new set have been made ( of steel ) and are in the process of being installed. The work is being done in-house by the EA , and our new gates have the honour of being the last set ever to be fabricated in-house by the Agency.
Well , that's enough blabbering , here's some pictures !
The island nears completion ....
17th February 2008 - The coldest night of the winter so far , -7°C at the lock this morning. But cold clear nights make for wonderful sunrises at Teddington Lock. So at 6.30am this morning i was waiting on the head bullnose and managed to snap this ....
Then popped up onto the head layby and managed to take this one ...
8th February 2008 - We had a TV crew down at the lock filming for a new drama to be shown later in the year ! They were only with us for a few hours in the morning from 8am till 11am. Sadly I wasn't on duty that day and wasn't able to get any pictures.
24th January 2008 - The Thames Barrier is raised to the defence position from 1400 to 1630 hrs . This is due to the high spring tide that is forecast and the amount of landwater coming downriver.
23rd January 2008 - We make the local papers ! Two photos from the website are used by the Richmond and Twickenham Times and the Richmond Guardian to illustrate a story about the Luzmore K2 race !! See page 66 of the RTT, and page 45 of the RG.
17th January 2008 - Fully Drawn !! Red Boards !!
Due to some very nasty weather over the previous couple of weeks, the river is currently on red boards , is flowing extremely quickly and is very dangerous at present. At 3.30 am last night we went fully drawn ( when every gate on the weir is open ) , this has not happened since 2003. Below you can see a photo of the weir while fully drawn ( doesn't happen very often that you see daylight under the roller sluices ) You can also view a short ( 10 sec )video of the river in full flow by clicking HERE .
When the river comes up , and gathers speed , sometimes boats can be dislodged from their moorings and end up on the weirs of the Thames. This is not our weir, but is Chertsey , a few miles upstream . The boat was retrieved later on in the day. Many thanks to Mike Brown for the use of his photo.
7th January 2008 - The Luzmore K2 Race.
The morning dawned cold but sunny, however at 10am we went onto yellow boards !! This wasn't enough to stop the racers though who started arriving at Teddington around 12pm , There was a great mix of people competing , young and old . All in all a good day. You can see a selection of photos on the 'Photo Gallery' page , under the heading 'Luzmore 2008'