Locklines

Locklines All about the hand carved poetry by Roy Fisher in the Lock Gate Beams at Hillmorton Locks

Locklines are  lines of poetry carved and inlaid onto a series of lock gates to commemorate the inaugural year (2012)  of Canal & River Trust. They can be found at four sites:-

  • Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Gargrave Lock 30
  • Manchester and Pennine, Huddersfield Narrow Canal Milnsbridge 9E
  • Birmingham Fazeley, Farmers Bridge Lock 8
  • South East, Oxford Canal Hillmorton Lock 4 & 5

Sculptor Peter Coates was appointed to design, carve and inlay lines of poetry onto new replacement lock gates. Peter carved his designs on to the lock gate beams for Hillmorton at the Bradley workshops.

Three poets: Jo Bell, Roy Fisher and Ian McMillan created the contemporary words.

Roy Fisher wrote the lines for Hillmorton which were shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in 2012. He also wrote the lines for Farmers bridge Lock  while Jo Bell wrote lines for Milnsbridge Lock  and Ian McMillan for Gargrave Lock

The four lines at Hillmorton  in the correct order are:-
WORKING WATER
CAPTIVE FOR A WHILE
CLIMBS CAREFULLY DOWN
THIS DOOR MAKES DEPTH

The complete work reads:-
WORKING WATER
HELD CAPTIVE FOR A WHILE
THEN SLUICED AWAY TO JOIN
THE WORLD’S OTHER WATERS AGAIN
OPEN
ENTER AND
BE LIFTED SAFE
WITH WORDS AT YOUR BACK
THESE DOORS MAKE DEPTH
POWER TO SINK YOUR BOAT
BODILY INTO THE LAND
AND LET IT GO RIDING OUT
UNHARMED
STEP AT A TIME A RIVER
CLIMBS CAREFULLY
DOWN THROUGH THE TOWN
By Roy Fisher (2012)


Kev Marriott Lock Keeper 2013