Hardmead Lock

 

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HARDMEAD LOCK

 

Lock State Date Length Length - Working Distance Width Fall Removed or bypassed
Hardmead (Dolemead) Lock Extant  1780         1858
Hardmead Lock (Brick) Report 1917     16 0''    
Hardmead Lock Rebuilt 1858 92' 3'' 87' 0'' 16' 0'' 5' 5''  

 

 

The lock has had this name since it was recorded in the first detailed survey of 1792. However, on  12th January 1780  it was “Resolved that the following Locks be repaired with all convenient speed Viz. Dole Mead Lock (probably Hardmead), Nazeing Mead Lock, Carthagena Lock, The Aqueduct Lock at Cheshunt Millstream, Waltham Lock, Rammey Mead Lock, Enfield Lock, Enfield Half Lock, Piggotts Lock, Cooks Lock, Boltons Lock, Stonebridge Lock, Tottenham Lock, Lee Bridge Half Lock, Hackney Marsh Brick Cistern Lock And It Is Ordered that the Surveyor do repair the same as he shall find them absolutely necessary” (NA Rail 845/5)

 

John Rennie listed it as Ardneath Lock in his report of 1804, when he recorded “this lock is in pretty good condition”.  This lock later took over the fall of Ware half-lock, which was at the southern edge of Ware.

 

On 15th July 1857 Mr Beardmore was "directed to repair Hardmead Lock during the Annual Stoppage of 13 days in August next."  Five days later he was "directed to proceed with building Hardmead Lock on the new site as proposed in May last." (NA Rail 845/14).  The old and new locks are shown on his working plan below.

 

 

            LMA ACC 2423/P469

 

On 14.5.1860, "The east wall (of the new 16 foot wide  lock) gave way by turning over at 6 o'clock (in the morning). It will take at least 16 days....to replace and will cost nearly £400.  The cause of the disaster was a sudden flood carrying away the backing owing partly to it having been of a very inferior character as dredged out of the Cuts below and partly from the access given by a circular pit in which the tail of the drawbridge worked.  There was no better stuff at disposal within 12 miles and this could not be got at at the point of failure from the necessity of closing it  during a stoppage but it is a warning against all but work of the most expensive character in these new large and deep locks.  The whole staff is taken off Stonebridge and I trust the effectual reinstatement will be very rapid as I do not think there is any more serious damage than the breaking down of the wall between the upper and lower gates which remain with their hollow quoins comparatively undamaged" (NA Rail 845/15)

 

On 18.6.1863, it was authorised that the swing bridge over the chamber be removed and a new fixed bridge be built (NA Rail 845/15)

 

15.9.1871.  In the Minutes "There being no Lock keeper at the Hardmead Lock some mischievous Boys who generally congregate there on a Sunday threw a Barrow into the Lock and the barge "Express" belonging to Mr Green of Ware was passing downwards was pricked by the Handle of the Barrow between the Timbers causing her to leak, and some of the Malt at the bottom of the Barge got wet..." (NA Rail 845/18)

 

The lock house was authorised as early as 1873 but not built until after Walter Green gained the contract at £185/10/0 on 15.9.1876 (NA Rail 845/20).

 

The original design dated 8.7.1876 (shown below) featured

only one attic window and a leanto privy and ashbin on the

left with a scullery to the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 LMA ACC 2423/P911                                                                              LMA ACC 2423/P016

                                                                                                                                                                                                   

The house that was built by Walter Green (above right) was to the same pattern as that built at Hertford in 1878 and Tottenham in 1881.

 

In July 1877 it “was not quite dry yet.” (NA Rail 845/21).   Alterations were recommended on 26.10.1877 “that the room upstairs intended for a loft have moveable windows put in and made into a bedroom, and glass to be put in the slots in the porch” (NA Rail 845/21)

 

20.4.1883 The new lock house was insured for £250 (not in former policy) (NA Rail 845/23). 

 

15.9.1899 “That a well be sunk at a cost of £6” (NA Rail 845/29)

 

2.10.1885 "..damage done...in consequence of the stop rope not being properly fastened, the barge (Faith) ran into the lock and on to the low gates and forced one over...about 1½".  It is impossible to straighten it and it is much regretted that a pair of such splendid  new gates only fixed about 2 months ago should be so damaged by carelessness and I think the bargeman ought to be punished" (J Child) LMA ACC 2423/002

 

                                Hardmead lock house, 2008.  Extended and modernised £799,950 (5.9.2011 £699,995)

 

 

Hardmead Lock

Census/Date

Name

Title

Wife

Location given by enumerator/Comments

Source Reference

15.5.1976 Jean Martin Lemaire Lock keeper Retired (the last full-time lock keeper to live in the house) Lucian Lemaire (son)
c. 1960 Jean Martin Lemaire Lock keeper Appointed Lucian Lemaire (son)
11.10.1958 F W Webb Lock keeper Retired LCB Records
9.6.1948 F W Webb Lock keeper £4.15.0;  £4.18.6 from 2.8.1950; £7.14.11 n.d. LCB Records

1.4.1938

F W Webb

Lock keeper

26/- to 28/-

NA Rail 845/122

23.9.1935 F W Webb Lock keeper Appointed ex Waltham Town Lock LCB Records

9.9.1935

T Pither

Lock keeper

Retired on pension of 8/5d per week

Died 19.6.1936 Pension of 5/- per week to widow

 

NA Rail 845/120

5.2.1935

T Pither

Lock keeper

Extension of sick pay until further notice

NA Rail 845/119

14.11.1919

T Pither

Lock keeper

26/- + house, garden, and uniform

NA Rail 845/66

15.2.1918

T Pither

Lock keeper

23/- per week

NA Rail 845/66

8.10.1915 Letter from Holdsworth “he was suffering from an infirmity that prevented him earning any money; that his wife was also very ill….asking the Board to continue the pension” after his receipt of OAP which started on 1 12 1915.  To continue for a further 12 months. (NA Rail 845/42). 16.3.1917 Letter from Mrs Holdsworth advising sudden death of her husband and asking that his pension be continued.  Board agreed to this until end of 1917.  2.11.1917 Letter containing Mrs Holdsworth’s pension of 5/- returned endorsed “Deceased”. No other communication received (NA Rail 845/44) and (LMA ACC 2423/016)

26.5.1915

T Pither

Lock keeper

Appointed

NA Rail 845/42

12.3.1915

T B Holdsworth (69)

Lock keeper

Resigned on account of wife’s ill-health. Granted pension of 5/- per week

NA Rail 845/42

4.3.1915

T Holdsworth

Lock keeper

+2/- per week

NA Rail 845/42

 

28.2.1913

T Holdsworth

Lock keeper

 

Wages increased by 1/- per week

NA Rail 845/40

2.4.1911 Thomas Briggs Holdsworth (65) Lock keeper Mary Ann Caroline Amead Lock, Amwell, Ware RG14PN7464 RG78PN361 RD133 SD1 ED2 SN90

14.5.1909.  Lock house now  repaired, painted and papered and Holdsworth in occupation  (NA Rail 845/36)

2.4.1909

Thomas B Holdsworth

Lock keeper

Appointed ex Cheshunt Lock

NA Rail 845/36

19.3.1909

J Sewell (74)

 Lock keeper

 Retired on a pension of 8/- per week after 47 years service.

7.4.1919 Died

NA Rail 845/36

 

NA Rail 845/46

31.3.1901

John Sewell (66)

Lock keeper

Harriett

Lock House (nr Crane Mead)

Ware/9/5

5.4.1891

John Sewell (56)

Lock keeper

Harriett

Hardmead Lockhouse

Great Amwell/6/3

20.4.1883

J Sewell

 Lock keeper

 Served 13 years. 16/- per week

NA Rail 845/23

4.4.1881

John Sewell (46)

Lock keeper

Harriett

Amwell, The Lock, Lea River

Great Amwell/5/48

14.9.1877

William (John?)  Sewell

Lock keeper

Appointed ex Marshgate Lock at 16/- per week

NA Rail 845/21

14.9.1877

John Wells

Lock keeper

Discharged, but still at Ware Weir in 1881

NA Rail 845/21

3.8.1877

Wells

Lock keeper

Appointed at 12/- per week

NA Rail 845/21

11.7.1877

Wells

Lock keeper

From Ware Weir to look after lock until house is ready for occupation

NA Rail 845/21

19.4.1856 Henry Smith Lock keeper Transferred from Hardmead Lock house (sic) to Edmonton Lock NA Rail 845/14
17.11.1855 Henry Smith Lock keeper 14/- per week (or Ware Weir) NA Rail 845/14
21.10.1854 Henry Smith Lock keeper 14/- per week  (or Ware Weir) NA Rail 845/14
         
         
 

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This site was last updated 26-Oct-2011