Thursday, 29 January 2009

City Road Basin and Lock

There appears to be lots of building works going on at the far end of City Road Basin.

City Road Lock has modern flats alongside, some of which have fantastic looking roof terraces.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Hertford Union Canal

The Hertford Union Canal leaves the Regent's Canal under a footbridge. It's just over a mile long and leads to the Lee Navigation. It's also known as Duckett's Cut, after George Duckett who financed it.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Regent's Canal locks 2

Lock 8 is Old Ford Lock, which has what I guess used to be stables alongside. Above the lock are visitor moorings, which were full with boats. It's quite a nice spot, next to Victoria Park, Actons Lock (below) is number 7, in a much more built up area.

Below is the stretch leading to Sturt's Lock.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Mile End Lock

Mile End Lock is overlooked by a lovely double-fronted cottage, with the most extraordinary extension on the side. Personally, I quite like it.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Regent's Canal locks

On Sunday, we decided we'd walk a few miles up the Regent's Canal from Limehouse. We were aiming for King's Cross, five miles away.

The first lock heading in this direction is Lock 12, Commercial Road Lock (above), which leads out from Limehouse Basin. Lock 11, Salmons Lane Lock, (below) is not far away and currently has a building site next to it.
Lock 10, Johnson's Lock, already has flats alongside.
Below is Mile End Road bridge, with Mile End Lock, No 9, beyond.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Duke's Cut

This is Duke's Cut, the link between Limehouse and Bow Creek.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Limehouse Basin

Here's nb Axe turning in the basin, and mooring up on a pontoon. One of the interesting things about Limehouse basin is the different types of modern architecture on show. Some of the flats have a distinctly 1980s look about them, while other blocks are clearly much more recent.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Limehouse Lock

On Sunday morning, we walked from our hotel along to Limehouse basin. It soon became clear that something was about to happen. The lock keeper first topped up the lock, then emptied it, then went and had a look out at the river. A minute or two later, we spotted a small dot coming round the corner from central London.

As we suspected, it was a narrowboat. The helmsman made his turn from the far side of the river quite early, and drifted sideways down the river on the current.

He'd judged it just right, and made a completely trouble-free entry into Limehouse. I suspect he'd done this before, especially when he apologised to the lock keeper for being a minute late!

Once the boat, called Axe, was in the lock and secure, the lock keeper began filling the lock. The amount of water coming in was quite spectacular, and it took only a short time for the lock to fill.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Boat Show

Yesterday we went to the London Boat Show at ExCel in Docklands. To be honest, there wasn't much to see for narrowboaters, although we did have a good look round the chandlery, clothing, engines, and electricals. There were a few narrowboats (including two OwnerShips boats) outside in the Royal Victoria Dock, dwarfed by vast Sunseeker gin palaces and (even more) by HMS Westminster. The dock is a huge body of water, and the view west towards Canary Wharf and the City is fantastic.

Once we'd seen all we wanted to, we repaired to the more comfortable surroundings of a hotel bar just across the square for a cup of tea, before meeting up with Richard and Sue from Indigo Dream. They travelled in convoy down the Thames to the dock at the start of the show, and were moored at the western end.

We spent a very pleasant hour-and-a-half or so with Richard and Sue (and Lou and Blue) chatting about a whole range of topics including their tidal trips on both the Thames and the Severn, and (it goes without saying) toilets. It was great to meet them, having read the blog for so long.
It was dark by the time we left the boat, and we caught the DLR from Royal Victoria back to Canning Town, then the tube to Canary Wharf, where we'd booked a hotel. Today, we've been doing some more exploring and lots of walking, but more about later in another post.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Bosley Locks

I couldn't resisit making a slight detour on my way home from Macclesfield to see Bosley Locks. The sun was shining (it appears it was only Macclesfield itself which was shrouded in cloud on Tuesday) and the scenery was fantastic. We're planning to come this way by boat later in the year.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


Today I've been in Macclesfield for a boat test. The weather didn't really play ball: it was dull and showery, although just outside the town the sun seemed to be shining. This is Macclesfield Marina and Hovis Mill.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Hadfield's canals

A colleague at work presented me with these two books this morning, that he'd spotted while browsing in Shepherd's Bush. They date from 1967, and cover a load of canals that most narrowboaters have probably never heard of, including the Chard Canal, the Liskeard and Looe Union Canal, and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal. There are also plenty of fascinating photos.
And the cost? £1 for the pair. In fact, the bookseller said he'd do three for a pound if my colleague could find a third in the series, but he couldn't. That's a shame, because I'd like to see some of the books covering the more familiar waterways. But if Charles Hadfield managed to write two-hundred pages on the canals of south west England, I wonder how big the West Midlands book is!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Fenchurch on test

The February Canal Boat is out, and includes my test of the Norton Canes boat, Fenchurch. It's a great boat with a classic Gardner engine, and traditional controls. I have to confess that the finished article turned out a bit long, and my efforts to shorten it failed somewhat. So I'm pleased that the editor has given the test eight pages, rather than the usual seven.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year, New Calendar

I was given two waterways calendars, the larger of which is now up on the kitchen notice board. Coincidentally, January's photo is of Norbury Junction, where Debdale will be moored this year.