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How the sluices worked for Hayle

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: March 21, 2013

  • The sluices at the swing bridge as viewed from East Quay

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THE sluices were situated at the swing bridge and steam packet for Copperhouse Pool (the basin).

The two gates at the swing bridge had three doors each, looking seawards, the left-hand gate had three winches to raise the doors.

The working parts were greased on a regular basis with thick grease.

On entering the sluice yard there was a single sluice door, which was opened first and the water was guided along a long wall to prevent damage to the wall at East Quay.

The tunnel for this can be seen either side covered by a heavy grill. The main gates were then opened right after. The tide would be shut in for the regatta and would overflow the top of the gates by about 1ft.

The North Quay sluices had twin doors operated by a single screw with a long handle, the low rebuilt wall to the side was to protect the two men from horse and wagons, traction engines, lorries and other traffic.

The sluices at Black Houses were operated by a hydraulic system.

The gates near Harvey and Co's sawmill were the same as those at the swing bridge with doors. All sluicing was done three and a half hours after high water to wash the sand from the river and Hayle bar before the incoming tide could bring it back in again.

The gates and doors were built by Harvey and Co of Hayle in their carpenter's shop at the timber yard from hardwood timber called Greenheart imported from Denmark and floated into place on large drums. My father Tom Richards and John Ellis worked the sluices from Copperhouse Pool for 20 years. These gates are now put over on the King George V Memorial walk. Thanks to all who made this possible.

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  • grahamcoad  |  March 23 2013, 9:34AM

    This is my photo..... I took it and it would be nice to have at least had a by-line! Graham Coad.

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