Volunteer lock-keepers urgently needed
Friday 13th January 2017 @ 12:41 by Adam Higgins
Ashton News

Volunteer lock-keepers are needed in Ashton, Saddleworth and Marple.

The Canal and River Trust charity is making the New Year call for help across the canal network in Greater Manchester and the Peak District.

Lock-keepers have been part of canal life for hundreds of years and volunteer lock-keepers play a crucial role in keeping the age-old tradition alive.

The role is to help look after the waterways, including assisting boaters through the locks, providing a polite and friendly welcome to visitors and keeping the local canal looking its best. Locally keepers are needed at Marple, Ashton and Diggle Locks.

Volunteer team leader Lee Cox, 39, says he loves the outdoor life and helping boaters travel through locks. He started volunteering five years ago picking litter but after 12 months became a volunteer lock- keeper and has never looked back. He has even got his stepson Mark McCumsekey involved too.

Mark said: “There are loads of letters from boaters complimenting us and saying how much they
appreciate our help. We try and muck in and we’re not afraid of getting our hands dirty.”

Local waterway manager David Baldacchino added: “Volunteer lock- keepers do a fantastic job. They really are the friendly face of the Trust and boaters love them.”

Volunteers all receive training before the seasonal role gets underway around Easter.

Applications for the role (aged 18 or over) are open now, with training and induction beginning in March.

For more information, visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer-lock-keepers.