Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Bull’s Bridge Junction to Brentford

At 9am I phoned the lock keeper and booked our passage through Thames Lock for 9am tomorrow.  There were passing showers during the first half of the morning and so we waited for them to blow over before heading towards Brentford.

The first kilometre was much as I had expected with numerous urban jellyfish floating in the canal. Just short of Norwood Lock a CRT litter cleaning boat had commenced work and the canal looked all the better for it. 

There are a number of houseboats and other unusual vessels along this stretch.  Not sure what happened to the paddles on this one?

The towpath side looks good enough to moor against but some of the residents on the offside obviously feel boaters should keep moving.  The two cannons certainly kept us going!

We stopped above the lock to top up the water tank.  A solo boater was dropping down through the lock ahead of us.  He was bow hauling his boat in and out of the lock so we guess we’d catch up with him later in the morning.

Looking back towards Bull’s Bridge Junction from Norwood Top Lock.

I’d vaguely remembered seeing a photo of “Three Bridges” but hadn’t realised it was on this part of the network.  We were almost over it before I could grab the camera and take a photo.

Not a great photo, but the road bridge crosses over the canal.  The canal crosses over a railway line (out of sight).  It was at this point we caught up with the solo boater on nb Elan and we shared locks to the bottom of the Hanwell Flight.  He then went on, whilst we stopped for a late lunch.

Mick & Pip (nb Lillyanne) had left a comment on yesterday’s post telling us they knew the flight well.  For some reason I had been expecting this stretch of the canal to be a grim industrial or derelict scene.  Instead is was a tranquil green linear park. A lovely stretch of canal!

Nb Elan leave Hanwell Bottom Lock

After filling a hole in our stomachs we completed the final two locks.  The canal was noticeably shallower from the bottom of the Hanwell Flight to Clitheroe’s Lock.  I suspect this is because the River Brent (which appears to be more of a drainage channel) joins the canal below the bottom lock of the flight.  My guess is it brings a large amount of silt and rotting vegetation in heavy rain.  It was slow going as an evil smelling black soup swelled up in our wake.

Clitheroe’s Lock

From this point onwards we left that quiet rural feeling behind eventually arriving at Capital Ring where we found an excellent mooring.  It appears CRT has installed pods with electricity and water on these moorings. They have yet to be connected and we wonder if they will be long term moorings?  There are long term moorings opposite, so it is possible these might be visitor moorings.

There are new CRT facilities here, including water, elsan, pump-out, toilet, showers, rubbish and I think I saw washing machines.

Around the corner is Brentford Gauging Lock.  Jan was pleased to hear they are electric.  The windlass can be put into storage for a few days!


Ade said...

Hi Tom & Jan,

Been enjoying your travel around the capital and up the Lee & Stort.
Looking forward to the blog reports as you cruise west.
Wishing you sunny warm weather.


Tom and Jan said...

Hello Ade

We are also hoping to enjoy this new (to us) part of the network.