All action on the South Oxford, as a CRT Team spring into action, and do a fine job, rescuing a lock in dire need of attention, as the following photo-story hopefully shows…

The ‘Team’ pass our mooring at Clattercote Wharf, gate top beam on board…
One of the ‘Team’ wearing the new blue CRT corporate sweatshirt…
The ‘Team’ – on a mission – pass pleasantries and a wave, and are then away up the Cut…
The ‘Damsel in Distress’ was Middle Lock on the Claydon Flight. The right hand beam, as you face the lock, was severely – terminally – damaged. The hazard tape dressing just wasn’t enough!
With the workboat turned in the pound, and moored for the night, all’s readied to remedy the problem tomorrow…
A fine lump of timber…
Next morning, as we pass, the workboat’s still on the same mooring, but the new beam post is nowhere to be seem – surely such a huge lump of timber hadn’t been pilfered overnight???
I’ve no idea how they got the beam onto the trestles by the side of Middle Lock, but that’s where it was now, being carefully marked up and cut in readiness to replace the damaged beam. (A surprisingly tiny saw being used to cut the various notches and joints…)
The damaged beam had already been removed and the lock, rather than being closed, was being worked on the single paddle.
For every boat, on what was a very busy morning one of the ‘Team’ would break from sawing and come to support the boat working through. Lovely bloke, all smiles, more than happy to explain what was going on (probably for the hundredth time!).
Claire and Joe take the strain and the gate’s pulled open, with surprising ease.
Just a length of rope – and job done! Smiles all round.
And the ever-helpful CRT fella closed the gate behind us and set it for the next descending boat.

It was a refreshing example of customer-focused service. The powers-that-be could have decided to close the flight altogether, to get the job done without the distraction of boats and curious boaters, but someone had rightly decided that the job could be done and┬áthe waterway kept open – a grand decision I say!

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