The Last Boat at Fourteen Locks

Dai Brooks WifeWe can be sure about the date of the last boat to be charged a toll to transport goods at Fourteen Locks because it is recorded by D. Brookes, Lock Keeper on 27th December 1935 ( pictured left). The ledger shows that this entry was the last of three boat journeys in the December of that year to be charged for carrying furniture from Point 2¼ MP (Mile Post) to Point 2¾ MP.

However, it is difficult to be so certain about the last boat to use the locks because there are no known written records. One very probable answer to this question could be linked to photographs of a boat in Lock 18 Pound that date to the 1950s and the memories of Leslie Brookes.

Les BrooksLeslie is the son of Dai Brookes and was born in the Lock Keeper’s Cottage at the Cefn. Leslie recalls that in about 1945/46 the last of the remaining work boats on The Crumlin Arm of Canal were taken to Tunnel Yard, Newport to be broken up. He remembers that there was a problem getting the last boat through Locks 18 and 17 because the gates collapsed. The boat was left in the Pound and that is where it remained until the early 1970s.

Lock 18 Pound large