Regent’s Canal looking for lock-keepers like Rosemarie, if you’re interested

Rosemarie Coffey at Old Ford Lock on Regent's Canal

Rosemarie Coffey at Old Ford Lock on Regent's Canal - Credit: Canal+River Trust

The charity that looks after London’s Regent’s Canal is searching for volunteers to take-up the iconic waterway role of becoming lock-keepers.

The Canal & River Trust is on the lookout for people interested in volunteering at Old Ford Lock, next to Victoria Park in east London, helping passing boaters and lending a had to maintain the waterway.

Rosemarie Coffey, who began at Old Ford Locks a year ago, says: “We get a lot of people on the towpath stopping to watch the boats and asking about the canal. A typical day revolves around helping people through the locks, painting and even gardening.”

Volunteers help keep the historic tradition of lock-keeping alive after more than 200 years. Training is given and anyone over 18 can volunteer, whatever their experience.

Trust co-ordinator Nadia Payne said: “Lock keeping is probably the most iconic job on the waterways. You learn new skills and give help for the hundreds-of-thousands of people we get to the canal each year.”

Applications to be a volunteer lock-keeper are open now, with training and induction given by the Canal & River Trust beginning in March. The trust looks after 1,583 locks in 2,000 miles of waterways up and down the country.

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