Vlog 247: The L’eaudown

Being man-made flat ditches that lose water every time someone uses a lock (and there are many locks), how do the British canals stay full of water? This video attempts to shed some light.

Footage credits (all used with permission)
Petra1001uk www.youtube.com/user/Petra1001uk
Elbows29 www.youtube.com/user/Elbows29
Derbyshire Police www.youtube.com/c/derbyshirepolice
RAF Odiham www.youtube.com/channel/UCjmGN_HvU_LrV8pCJuyP8Xw

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  1. Whaley Bridge.., if canal Lock gates can hold back an entire canal pound.., why don’t they retain Whaley bridge reservoir behind giant lock gates?

    • I’m not sure what you mean. The reservoir is constructed as a huge bank of earth, and at the end there are sluices that open to let water out just like on a lock. There’s no need for gates as you’d have to drain the entire reservoir to open the gates. And there’d be no purpose to open the gates because it’s a reservoir, not for navigation.

  2. Excellent, informative vlog as usual.
    Cheers, Nigel

  3. Good morning David..
    EXCELLENT video vlog/documentary as per usual detailing and regarding the COMPLEXITY of what is our canal system..
    As with most things, there is MUCH MORE that goes on beneath the surface of what we all just see and take for granted without questioning what, where, why & how..
    People are often quick to criticise the CRT for not strimming the cut paths etc…. As youve illustrated , they have much more to do than meets the eye..
    Personally i think they do a damned fine job considering the size and complexity of the entire network which they tend for..
    Anyway, yet another fine upload David and excellent content..
    Thank you kindly for your effort & time you put in to each one..
    I am sure you know its always appreciated.
    Look forward to your next upload..
    Kindest regards,

  4. PS to my previous comment. Any chance of a PDF or similar of the drone view of the reservoirs to use as a desk top image? Cheers

  5. A most interesting and first class production once again.
    Thank you David.

  6. Very interesting David. I know the Marsworth (or Tring) reservoirs very well as I was born and raised in nearby Tring. Part of our play ground in the 1940′ and 50’s. Yes I’m that old and still boating! There was at one time a pillbox on the top of Startops erected during the Second World War but demolished many years ago.
    Keep up the excellent work.

  7. Terrific video on how the whole water supply system works for canals. I found it just absolutely fascinating. Lovely!

  8. Andy Edeburn - MN, USA

    Outstanding. I love hydrology infrastructure, so this was a real treat. Nice work, David!

  9. What an amazing documentary you have produced David. What really caught my attention was, my wife and I stayed in an Air BNB Lock House in Tring, a very short walk from the three reservoirs in the video. And . . . I remember questioning you a few years ago about just where all the water came from to maintain the British Canals, at the time, you responded you weren’t quite sure. Now to see such an excellently produced video from you on the subject, is quite amazing and, as my wife and I were walking past the three reservoirs, we struck up a conversation with some fishermen there. They told me that these reservoirs were used to fill the canal there in Tring. Truly David, your skills at producing these documentaries is unparalleled, you should be quite proud of such an achievement, I know so many around the world view these, are are quite blessed by them. Please keep up the more than excellent work, take the very best of care.

    • Just a quick comment. there are actually 4 reservoirs at Tring/Marsworth – Startops End, Marsworth, Tringford and Wilstone.

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