Who guards the river?


Derek and friends near Bray



The River Thames runs across southern England and allows boats like mine to travel most of its length – thanks to lock keepers who guard not just the locks, but the weirs and the behaviour of river folk.

Lady Lucy was proud host to Derek and his wife Sarah yesterday. They are unpaid guardians of the river, giving of their time to man locks through the week and over the weekends.

The spirit with which they devote their time epitomises what’s great about Britain and this blog is a thank you, not just to Derek, but to all the lock keepers who keep us and the river safe.

There will be plenty of people reading this who will be doing similar unpaid work in other areas, and this blog is for you too!

Here’s Derek enjoying being at the wheel of Lady Lucy.



I bet a few of us would want to look like this at 70

Derek tells me he’s going to round up some more of his colleagues and have a lock-keepers day.


I hope he brings his wife Sarah – pictured on the boat at Bourne End



Lady Lucy is meant for everyone, it’s free to come for a day or even a weekend.  If you fancy a day on the river on your own, with family and friends, please sign up here.


All I ask is you bring some food, some drink and a smile!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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