After our visit we moved up two locks of the Atherstone flight of locks and stopped for the weekend, not normally recommended because the water level goes up and down as boats go through the locks. In the evening a boat came up in the dark. Next day the lock keeper found that the gates and paddles had all been left open. All the water had drained out over night. Luckily we were OK being near the bottom lock. In the morning the lock keeper reset the paddles and shut the gates so it was not long before the entire flight was navigable again. We eventually got to the top ourselves where the keeper lives in the lock cottage.
He is a real asset to the system making sure that the flight of eleven locks are kept in working order. He also cuts the grass and keeps the flight neat and tidy. The top lock is treated as an extension to his garden with flower beds and boxes making a pleasant sight even at this time of year. He has a sense of humour as there is a well head in the corner with what appears to be people looking in and climbing out!
It must be said that the canal system would benefit greatly if there were more lock keepers and length men employed. They would be able to spot potential problems before becoming dangerous and threaten the navigation.