Saturday, 28 February 2015

Copper Mill Lock

I misjudged the timing to enter Copper Mill Lock thinking Jan had filled it and was about to open the top gates.  I’d untied the centreline and reboarded the Waiouru only to realise the lock wasn’t ready.  There is a weir to the east of the lock approach and the current was pulling Waiouru towards It.  I managed to recover by positioning Waiouru downstream of the weir against the lock approach wall.

Looking back I realised there was a hire base above the lock on the off side.

I think the name is Hillingdon Narrowboat Association and there were some additional words about community boating.

The water from the weir re-joins the canal below the lock at a reasonably strong flow.  Waiouru was pushed sideways as we powered through.  This was followed by a second flow from the same side.  The local canoeists appear to have taken the opportunity to use the location.

This area contained a number of corn and paper mills.  However in 1781 the corn and paper mills  were sold and converted to copper mills.  The copper mills ceased working in the 1860’s and reverted to paper mills.  However in 1890 the paper mills were again converted.  This time to asbestos mills.  These operated until the 1920’s. 

I’ve been telling Jan to be careful about tipping the dishwater into the canal.  It contains food scraps which might encourage an excessive growth of the local flora and fauna.  Looks like I was right.

Two other items of interest today.  The first was a thatched cottage above Black Jack’s lock. 

I assume this thatch will shortly require replacing?

Jan was in the process of closing the top gates on the lock when I noticed the painted date adjacent to the gate hinge.

What I found particularly interesting was a second date cut into the brickwork below.  This date was 1915.

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