Trust seeks volunteer lock keepers to man the gates at Camden Lock

Volunteers are needed to work as lock keepers at Camden Lock. Picture: Polly Hancock

Volunteers are needed to work as lock keepers at Camden Lock. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Volunteers are being sought to become lock keepers to ensure Camden’s famous canals are kept flowing smoothly.

The Canal & River Trust is searching for recruits to look after Camden Lock by helping boaters through locks, welcoming visitors and keeping designated stretches neat and tidy.

The lock, adjacent to Camden Market, is one of the most popular canal locations in London.

Last year more than 480 people volunteered for lock keeper positions across 2,000 miles of inland waterways looked after by the trust across England and Wales.

Phil Arm, 63, from Cannock, has been a volunteer lock keeper for the past two-and-a-half years at Fradley Junction in Staffordshire.

He said: “I would recommend the role to anyone.

“It can be hard, physical exercise at times, opening and closing the lock gates, but that’s what I like about it.

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“It’s great to chat with people and give advice on the best places to go and talk about the history of the local area and how the locks work.”

Edd Moss, national volunteering manager at the Canal & River Trust, added: “Volunteer lock keepers really are the friendly faces of the canals, and boaters and visitors on the towpath love them.

“The role involves talking to boaters, helping them through locks.

“Their local knowledge can really help people get the most out of their visit by pointing out the best stopping points, canal-side pubs and hidden gems along the way.

“The volunteers play a vital role in keeping customers happy and also help to keep local waterways in good working order so their efforts really are invaluable.

“Anyone can get involved, the role’s open to people of all ages as long as they are reasonably fit and healthy and enjoy meeting new people.”

To find out more about becoming a volunteer lock keeper, visit