Friday, 10 April 2015

Regents Canal, Hertford Union Canal and the River Lee

A longish cruising day for us leaving Little Venice at 10.00am and not stopping until 3.00pm except for lunch.  We were joined by youngest son and his girlfriend.  Good to have some assistance with the steering and locks.
The first thing of interest was Maida Vale Tunnel.  Fortunately short and mostly dry.
Regents Park and London Zoo arrived and passed.  Jan saw one house she rather liked and it wasn’t in the zoo.  After watching a TV program about “Blow-up Bridge” we finally got to see it.
There is nothing particularly interesting about the bridge until you notice the grooves cut by the ropes of the old horse drawn working boats are on the wrong side of the central columns.
The explanation is that one night a horse boat carrying explosives detonated destroying the bridge.  The columns were reversed when the bridge was re-erected leaving those that notice the grooves to wonder how they are on the wrong side.
Wish we had a pound for every photo taken of Waiouru at Camden top lock.
It’s a pretty location and choked full of tourists
Looking back after passing through St Pancras Lock I noticed a new high-rise apartment block under construction with the old gas tank frame immediately in front.  I wondered if they intent to retain the frame?
The plan was to stop for water at Old Ford Lock.  Unfortunately there was a boat on the lock landing.  One of the crew told us they were also taking on water and agreed to us breasting up.  I went to check the water tap and found it needed another 10 turns to get it full ON.  However the water pressure was exceptionally poor and the crew of the other boat were taking turns to have showers, etc before moving back to their “14 Day” mooring on Victoria Park.  They were friendly enough but obviously “living the life”.  In the end we decided to defer the filling of the tank until the next tap.
Victoria Park is obviously a popular mooring location with the semi-permanent boaters in London as they were double (sometimes triple) moored with no vacant spots. 
We turned hard left onto the Hertford Union Canal towards the River Lee.  A tight turn and unlike Timothy West I managed to avoid bashing the sides of the boat.  It is a straight run and four locks down to the Lee.  When looking back the Gerkin could be seen on the skyline.
As we turned left onto the River Lee I mentioned to Daniel that we might see some of the Olympic Park.  He replied “Like that building behind us!” pointing over his right shoulder.
We might get a better look on the way back!  There are still plenty of boats moored around this part of London.  It wasn’t until we reached Clapton that they started to thin out.  We managed to squeeze in between a couple of empty boats opposite a pub.
It’s a bit noisy but as we are only planning to be here one night we’ll survive.  The area appears to be heavily populated with orthodox jews.  I’m slightly bemused by the thought that they dress the reverse to the more orthodox moslems.  In Islam it’s the women who are all wrapped up and the men can wear “conventional” clothing.  The jewish women were wearing conventional clothing but the males were wearing black shoes with white socks, a long (to below knee) black satin coat, white shirt and a large diameter fur hat.  It looked a little like wearing a fur car tyre.  Then I remembered my parents moved us to this vicinity (Tottenham) when we lived in London in the late 50’s and I was sent to a private jewish school.  I remember it being very strict.  My parents remember it being an excellent education and cheap!


Pip and Mick said...

Hi Tom
The gasometers at St Pancras were dismantled when they built the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Gas holder 8 was sent for refurbishment in Yorkshire and re-erected in its new position. I believe it is now listed. Link here

Pip and Mick

Tom and Jan said...

Thanks for the info and link Pip & Mick. Interesting reading!

Neil Corbett said...

What's are you doing moored opposite the Anchor and Hope!? You should be outside it! We always used to moor up against the railing, which needed climbing over, but they were very kind and would bring out a chair for us to climb onto! A great community pub, I hope it hasn't changed in the 3 years we've been away.
Kath (nb Herbie)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Kath, No boater wanted tobe on that side when we arrived so we assumed it might either be unsafe or noisy!

Anonymous said...

Hah, a common error Tom, "St. Pancreas" lol, must be north of Arsenal, or south of Chester!!

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Paul,
Thanks... fixed now. I have an unpaid job for you as proof reader! :-)