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Section 9: Electrically Operated Paddle Gear

This type of gear is basically unsafe, because it is inherently unreliable.

  • Unreliability of mechanised locks could be dangerous on locks giving access from tidal waters. e.g. Selby or Cromwell.
  • With conventional paddle gear, several faults can be present but the lock can still be operated
  • With mechanised gearing any one fault puts the lock completely out of action
  • All mechanised gearing should have a manual back up , which can readily be brought into use by the operator on the spot.
  • Generally the control panels are too complicated, leading to operator confusion. See example below:



The type of paddle which continues to rise out of the control of the operator is the worst type of all. That which is fitted at Sawley continues to rise through it’s sequence, even after the down button has been pressed


The type of gearing at present fitted on the river Trent, between Holme and Newark Nether locks is the best type of electrically operated gearing anywhere on the system

  • Separate pedestals at each end of the lock cut down on operator confusion
  • The control panels are simple, and the paddles only rise or fall while the finger is on the button