Sunday, 19 September 2021

Reward for volunteer lock-keeper

A VOLUNTEER assistant lock-keeper has been honoured for completing five years.

A VOLUNTEER assistant lock-keeper has been honoured for completing five years.

William Partridge, 64, from Warborough, received a “legacy” award from the Environment Agency at a ceremony at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley.

He said he volunteered to work at Benson lock because it was “something different” and meant he would be outdoors. “It’s paying something back to the community and there are quite high satisfaction levels to being a volunteer,” said Mr Partridge.

“It means we avoid going over to self-service and the boaters appreciate that because they would have to do it themselves if we weren’t there. Benson lock is the first one downstream from Benson Marina. It means the hire boats and people who are complete beginners will confront their first lock and we take a great deal of time to assist them, give them advice and send them on their way so they have a good holiday.

“This is my fifth year as a volunteer lock-keeper. I have enjoyed every moment of it, come rain or shine.”



Since 2011, more than 360 people have volunteered to help the professional lock-keepers on the Thames. Andrew Graham, Thames waterways manager at the agency, said: “I am very proud of their enthusiasm, dedication and passion for this magnificent river.”

For more information on volunteering, call 0118 953 5555 or email thames.volunteers@environment-agency.gov.uk



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