All the Hotel Boats who are Members of the British Marine Inland Boating get together twice a year to discuss various matters and one item is nominations for Lock Keeper of the Year Award. These can be anyone either on the canals or rivers of the Inland waterways, in full time work for the Canal River Trust, Environment Agency etc or can be a volunteer or anyone that goes “the extra mile” to make our lives easier. The area the Hotel Boats cover is around 2500 miles, so the nominees can come from anywhere on the network.
We all nominate 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and then it is worked out who has the most votes. Everyone nominated, even if they do not win the top prize, receives a certificate which shows our appreciation.
For 2016 we nominated Abingdon Lock, where Richard Hawkins the Lock Keeper and Frank Jordon the volunteer are probably the friendliest on the River Thames. They always help and do whatever they can to make life easier. Frank has lived in Abingdon for many years and is a font of all knowledge and is happy to talk to guests and ourselves about different things that may be going on.
In August this year we awarded a plaque and two engraved windlasses to Richard & Frank as we arrived at the lock. Our guests on Kailani at the time enjoyed the ceremony. The BMIB published the award on 9th August and can be found through the link here
We also nominated Jon Bowyer at Buscot Lock who will receive a certificate to show our appreciation for his helpfulness and also going that extra mile. This year he has had leaflets made showing different walks in his local area and asks for a small donation to help with the cost of the plants around his lovely kept lock.
Over the past few years the top award has gone to the people working on the Caen Hill flight at Devizes on the Kennet and Avon canal and also the Bingley Five Rise locks on the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
Nominations for 2017 close on 1st November. Who will get our vote? Watch this space ……