Stopping traffic

At Winkwell just before Hemel Hempstead the traffic passes across a low bridge over the canal. The bridge is a swing bridge, electronically operated by the boater using a British Waterways key. It’s a great feeling to make the traffic wait while your boat goes slowly by.

My family was on hand today to help me and just as well because this isn’t a one-man job.

Someone needs to be on board the boat. Someone else needs to pull down the barriers to block the road either side, then open up the locked control panel and press a button to make the bridge swing horizontally onto the other side from the towpath. The boat can now drive through. Another button on the panel moves the bridge back into position.

There’s a fantastic old pub called The Three Horseshoes right next to the bridge (try the mushroom soup) and on a sunny day like this there’s a fair crowd to watch the scene. That used to be me stood on the towpath watching boats going by and thinking if only…
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