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Gongoozling at Wallbridge Lock

The Visitor Centre at Wallbridge Lock now has a purpose built oak Gongoozling Rail.

The verb ‘gongoozle’ has been defined as follows…

  1. To leisurely watch the passage of boats, from the bank of a canal, lock or bridge 
  2. To observe things idly
The Word

The word appears in LTC Rolt’s book Narrow Boat and is believed to be the derivation of two Lincolnshire dialect words gawn and gooze meaning to stare.

So much for the provenance of the word… Let’s look at how the Wallbridge Lock Gongoozling Rail actually came about.

The Wood

The oak for the rail is the result of the corporate benevolence of Alec Golesworthy of Timberpride Ltd. from Tetbury.

Alec explains, “We source straight grained oak from the Loire Valley in France. Timberpride employs expert saw millers to produce a range of oak hardwood timber supplies. 

We specialise in high quality joinery oak, large structural timber, cut-to-size oak cladding and solid oak flooring.” 

Timberpride is the source of the ‘Slow Burning, Sweet Smelling, Seasoned Oak Offcuts so popular with boaters who buy them at the CCT’s Heritage Centre at Saul.

The People

Next came the expertise of the Cotswold Canals Trust’s very own arboreal artists Ray Talbot and David Wright.

Ray & David are pictured resting on the rail at the conclusion of their work at Wallbridge.

We all hope it will not be too long before many more gongoozlers will seek a suitable position on the rail to witness vessels proceed through the deepest lock on the Thames & Severn Canal.

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