Just a quick update, I popped over to Brittany and as always the canal fellowship is as strong there. We were only passing but were invited onto the hotel boat as there were no other guests and soon there was an afternoon party with all sorts of local beverages being sampled. A fantastic boat for holidays too, run by a delightful British couple.
These locks can only be operated by the official lock keepers and there is no traffic in the winter months. But then if you are moored in a lovely spot with such good company why rush to get anywhere? Next year will do!