Teddington lock is controlled by the Environment Agency, and is operated by keepers 24 hours a day, throughout the year. If you are planning to use the lock at night, a phone call is recommended to reduce your waiting time.
The phone number for Teddington lock is 020 8940 8723.
Passage through the lock is not affected by the tides below it, since the sluices at Richmond lock maintain a depth between high and "half" tide.
There are three locks at Teddington - the enormous barge lock, the still quite large launch lock, and the very small skiff lock.
Barge lock length 650'0" width 24'9" maximum draught 8'7" Launch lock length 177'11" width 24'4" maximum draught 9'2" Skiff lock length 49'6" width 5'10" maximum draught 3'7" Maximum fall for all three locks is 8'10"
There are illuminated signals at the lower end of the lock island to direct traffic passing upstream through the locks. The signal lights are as follows:
Central red lights
Barge and launch locks not ready for upstream traffic.
Flashing red arrow pointing left
Barge lock not ready for upstream traffic. When lock is available the red arrow is replaced by a flashing white arrow.
Flashing red arrow pointing right
Launch lock not ready for upstream traffic. When lock is available the red arrow is replaced by a flashing white arrow.
Vessels using the small skiff lock are not subject to the above signals, and should proceed direct to the tail of this lock and await directions from the lock staff.
Do not enter the Barge lock just because you see it is open. The Launch lock is more suitable for smaller private craft, but is out of sight from the main channel to the right of the lock island on which the signals are placed.
A lay-by for mooring, to await lock opening is provided on the island between the signals and the Launch lock. When there is not much traffic it may be necessary to moor up and politely tell the lock keeper that you are waiting to pass through the lock!
Any craft not registered with the EA will need to be licensed before they may go upstream of Teddington. Visitors licenses may be purchased from the lock keeper, who will either sort out the paperwork while you are locking up or, more often, ask you to moor up once through the lock and walk back to the office.
Members subscriptions and the additional fees they pay for guests cover most of the annual 1.4 million GBP cost of the event. There is no commercial sponsorship allowed at Henley, and the organizers are justifiably proud of this fact.
Henley itself is a lovely town, with many medieval buildings of character and charm, including the church of Saint Mary, which has 13th century underpinnings beneath its Victorian facade. There is a 14th century chantry house attached to the church.
The Speaker's House was home to William Lenthall, Speaker of the House of Commons between 1629-1640. Lenthall was one of the signatories of the death warrant passed on Charles I. There are wonderful walks along the riverside, and the Thames Trail national path passes through Henley on its route from the Cotswolds to London.
The idea for a rowing race between the universities came from two friends - Charles Merivale, a student at Cambridge, and his Harrow schoolfriend Charles Wordsworth (nephew of the poet William Wordsworth), who was at Oxford.
On 12 March 1829, Cambridge sent a challenge to Oxford and thus the tradition was born which has continued to the present day, where the loser of the previous year's race challenges the opposition to a re-match.