New keb (weed rake)

In June 2007, at the Stoke Bruerne boat gathering, we got Denis Fellows, the travelling blacksmith, to make a keb for us out of an old garden fork. It worked quite well. I noted in a posting in August of that year that I first used it at Someton Deep Lock on the Oxford Canal. Three years later I used it at the same location to remove a very large clump of floating weeds but it broke. Not only had the handle snapped but the iron fixing had corroded away making it terminal failure - to use technical term.

I consider that they are handy tools, particularly on weedy rivers such as the Nene. Often weeds collect just above locks creating problems operating gates and causing propeller fouling. I searched the net to find a replacement, and via a handy WRG document describing canal restoration tools, I found that kebs or weed rakes are also called drag manure rakes. This led me (via Google)to a tool site which had one made by the famous hand tool maker Spear & Jackson for £22.

Our new keb (or manure/weed rake)

It came complete with 6ft smart profiled handle that looks the part. I made a protective holder to avoid the fork prongs damaging the boat roof or being a trip hazard and we are now "back in business". The web can be remarkable when you know what questions to ask search engines.