The Amazing Lock Chamber at Meelick on the River Shannon. #34


Well hello and welcome to the Driftwood Boat
Blog, in this week’s episode we take a look at Meelick Lock on the River Shannon. Waterways
Ireland are working on it at the moment and last weekend they had an open day for members
of the Inland Waterways Association and for the first time in nearly 100 years the lock
was emptied to facilitate the installation of new lock gates. And it was a fantastic
opportunity to get in and see the masonry inside in this lock. I always think that boats
look huge until put them into the water, well there seems to be a similar rule with locks,
they look hugh when there’s no water in them. However if you come along here in a boat straight
away you’ll find that the lock seems too small and trying to get it in with out bumping something
takes a bit of skill. and a bit of good luck. Now bear in mind when you’re looking at the
stone work here that this was built at a time when there was no diesel engines, there was
no hydraulics and yet every stone in here fits together absolutely perfectly, you would
not pass a sheet of paper between any two stone. And this was actually built on soft
soggy bog soil, and yet in all the time since 1844 it hasn’t subsided one bit, every stone
is absolutely flush. Now the gates are operated by hydraulics but
these chains date from a time when a lock key had to be put onto that spindle there,
and the gates would be cranked open. And this is where the sluices were cranked open. A
lot of hard work in them days. It’s only when you’re down beside those lock
gates that you appreciate how large they actually are. They’re made of a special type of wood
that’s imported from West Africa the wood is called Ekki and that’s spelt EKKI and it’s
extremely dense, so dense in-fact that it actually wont float and I’m told that you
can’t hammer a nail into it and if you try to cut it with a saw you’ll end up, well having
to replace your saw. Thanks for watching and I hope you enjoyed
the video. If you did please click the round subscribe button its at the top right hand
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