The Babbie

In a recent post I noted that BW staff on the Napton flight, Oxford Canal were carrying out repairs. At one stage they closed the lock to repair the metal plate attached to the large piece of wood protecting the cill - a bolt had come loose. I was told they were repairing the "babbie".

From Wikipedia it appears that this refers to the piece of wood not the plate.


A narrow horizontal ledge protruding a short way into the chamber from below the upper gates. Allowing the rear of the boat to "hang" on the cill is the main danger one is warned to guard against when descending a lock, and the position of the forward edge of the cill is usually marked on the lock side by a white line. The edge of the cill is usually curved, protruding less in the centre than at the edges. In some locks, there is a piece of oak about 9” thick which protects the solid part of the lock cill. On the Oxford Canal it is called a Babbie; on the Grand Union Canal it is referred to as the cill Bumper.
(my emphasis)

Well done who ever added that piece of information.