Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Shame about the view.....

Tuesday 25th August 2015
Willowtree Marina to Kensal Green
8.5 miles, 0 locks

What a difference a day makes - well to start with at least.  This was the sky when Monty and I went off out just after 07:30 this morning and there was lovely yellow ball of warmth high up in the sky.

And where did we go?  To the woods just outside the main gate of the marina.  I suspect there was a better walk near the above part of the marina, but the gate is locked from 5pm to 9am.

We found this - a 'story telling circle'??  There is a nursery in the marina complex, so I suspect this is used by them.

They also offer summer camp activities - this looks like shelter building activities.

It was a short and very muddy walk - we needed to be off early as rain was forecast for this afternoon.  This was the wonderfully sunny sight that greeted us as we left the marina.

Today's journey was uneventful - just two moving boats and most was built up.  Our constant thoughts were that we are glad we are not litter pickers around here!  Chris and I are volunteer rangers at Tardebigge for Canal and River Trust.  Our main duties are to litter pick once a week when we are at home.  We usually fill one shopping bag - round here you would need many black sacks and a large work force!

Our guide book specifies that the area between Alperton and Acton is an area of contrasting smells of cooking on a factory scale - representing all corners of the globe - that assault the olfactory senses with a vengeance.  They are right, but it is far from unpleasant. In fact, some smells were positively inviting.

We did come across this rather lovely bridge art

And some parts were pretty - this is near Horsenden Farm

It is not that often that you see a heron in a tree, but this one was certainly scanning the horizon

This is aptly named after the rain yesterday!

We reckon these must be fairly new as they look in pretty good condition and are definitely a vast improvement of some of the awful grey blocks they used to build.  Mind you, I  would still not want to live on the top floor if the lift was broken.

This is an aqueduct over the busy North Circular Road - I know where I would rather be.

Looking back at the aqueduct

When you first see these buildings you wonder if the owners think there is still a 'window tax' payable? However, we are sure it is to deter vandals and that they are part of

the power station that at Acton Lane that opened in 1899 and was used to power London's entire tram and underground railway network.  It closed in the early 1980s, but this was not the end of it's life.  Derelict industrial building like factories, gasworks and power station provide the perfect backdrop for a film scene, music video or photo shoot.  This abandoned site was used in scenes for Aliens in 1986 and Batman in 1989.

I guess when you are working on such a high roof you need an industrial lift to carry workers and supplies up and down.

As advised by Les and Jaq from nb Valerie (see here for their blog) Boatwif, Monty and I disembarked at bridge 6 when the gasometers hove into view to walk ahead to see if we would be lucky enough to find a mooring.  We were - not quite big enough for two

but the canal is wide enough for us to breast up.  Thanks for the good advice.

It is just a pity about the view!  It is, however, only one night and it is safe.

Once we had moored Chris, Monty and I headed for Sainsburys about 10 minutes away for a few 'top up supplies'.  There are good four hour moorings outside the store, so we will stop there on the way tomorrow for heavy stuff.  On the way back we noticed this boat, which at first glance looks as though it is sinking, but it isn't.  It is designed to have very low windows.

And from low windows to low life - why some people think it is okay to deface other people's property is beyond me.

As we returned to the boat the rain started.  Boatwif and the Captain then left to go and explore the very large cemetery here at Kensal Green.  They returned a couple of hours later rather bedraggled having failed to find Karl Marx.  We all thought he was buried in this cemetry, but I have just checked - he is in Highgate, so it is no wonder they did not find him!  As they arrived back the rain stopped!!


Jaqueline Biggs said...

Finally I have caught up with you! Wonderful journey indeed! Les asked me to tell you Acton Power Station was still active and producing power right up to 2005 when he used to deliver parcels there. Park Royal was a part of his beat and he knows it quite well.

We agree the view is not the best, sadly, but it is a welcome and safe respite on the way in to London. So glad you found a spot! The litter all along the Paddington Arm is terrible. Once you reach the Regent's Canal its much cleaner.

It is not, as you say, Karl Marx who is buried at Kensal Green. Amongst other luminaries, Kingdom Isambard Brunel and most of his family are here, as well as the playwright Harold Pinter. We have not made it to Highgate Cemetery but we hope to do it on our next trip down south.

Les was born in Paddington Hospital and grew up in Queens Park Estate across the road from the canal and the ha'penny steps over the canal. He used to sneak into Kensal Green Cemetery with his mates and hunt for conkers.

When we last passed that way, we saw Les' primary school which backed onto the canal. A month later when we returned off the Lea and Stort, it was gone--demolished to make way for apartments.

London is always in the process of becoming...and you have some really interesting things up ahead of you! Stay well.
Jaq and LesXX

Jennie said...

We have made it to Limehouse, but I am afraid it did not seem to get much cleaner as we went through the Regents Canal. Battlebridge Basin was an excellent stopping place and you are right, Kensal Green is a safe haven.