The Environment Agency has appointed four full-time lock and weir keepers to fill vacancies along the non-tidal River Thames.

The appointments fill vacancies created through retirements, and all four are resident positions.

Barry Russell, River Thames Waterways Manager said: “Along with two other full-time lock and weir keeper appointments we made earlier in the year, they underscore our commitment to retain resident lock and weir keepers at sites where there is an operational need.”

John O’Hara will be the new lock keeper at Radcot Lock near Faringdon in Oxfordshire; Mark Winks at Osney Lock in Oxford, Aiden Mahon at Iffley Lock, also in Oxford; and Katie Marshall at Romney Lock, near Windsor in Berkshire.

Mark (pictured above left) and Katie are already resident lock and weir keepers at Northmoor Lock near Appleton, and Benson Lock near Wallingford - both in Oxfordshire - respectively.

John (above right) and Aiden are currently relief ‘keepers, which means they provide support and cover for residents when they are on a day off, on holiday or unwell, and travel to wherever they are needed from their own homes.

Barry Russell said: “I’m pleased for the communities they are moving into, and which I  hope they will part of for many years to come – as were their predecessors, who between them, gave us nigh on 75 years of sterling service.

“That’s Kevin Roberts at Radcot, Ray Riches at Osney, Iain Westwood at Iffley, and Dave Ford at Romney. They will all be missed- but I genuinely couldn’t wish for four better people to take on their roles.”

Story dated Oct 17th 2016