Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Are we losing it?

Now moored at Bulls Bridge at Hayes

On Sunday British Summertime ended. Yeah we all know that, so on Sunday we set about putting back the clocks and watches. Later in the day we realised that we hadn't changed the weather station which has a built in clock and calendar. Well this is where we get confused, the clock was right and neither of us had changed it.


Now I know that computers are programmed to change automatically for British Summertime, but this is only a weather station. Bought cheaply last Christmas from a electronics store as a special and shop model as there were no instructions and packaging. Now between my son Brent and myself we managed to set it up and it is surprising how accurate it is. But what we didn't know or still don't really. Does it change automatically through radio waves?

Otherwise one of us is losing it! or both maybe!!!!

Looks like we are in for a frost overnight and we have to be up reasonably early tomorrow to continue our journey northwards. Forecast for the week is for a week of glorious autumn weather, aren't we lucky.

807 locks, 1108.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Au Revoir London.

10 locks, and 5 miles . Now moored at Bulls Bridge at Hayes


The weather forecast was for rain this morning but it must have cleared up before we arose, and there was brilliant sunshine on a fantastic autumn day. GREAT DAY FOR CRUISING. After nearly 2 months in and around London we started to head north after watering up and said our farewells to the lovely lady in the BW office.


New satellite dish sits nicely on the front of the cratch.

The first 2 locks were set in our favour which was great but after that it was all bad news. The only boat to pass us was a surprise as it was none other than Ian Birks and his good lady on Narrowboat Nobby. Anybody that reads Canal Boat magazine will know that Ian writes the gastronomical article in the magazine.


As we ascended the Hanwell flight up past the mental hospital we read the information board half way up the flight. It was interesting to read that the hospital or Asylum as it was known had it's own wharf where canal barges would deliver 25 tons of coal overnight. The coal was unloaded by hand by the boatman and his family or crew and they would then take on any spare fruit, vegetables or live stock that the Asylum had produced and take it to the market in London. The Asylum was basically self sufficient having it's own farm and orchard. The entrance into the asylum's wharf has now been bricked up.

807 locks, 1108.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Monday, 29 October 2007

Busy week-end.

Still moored at Brentford.

Saturday saw us catching a train to Wimbledon to see daughter Tracey to collect 2 parcels which Dot had ordered over the Internet. Recently she bought a pair of shoes from Cotton Traders and she found them so comfortable she bought 2 more pair. The other parcel was a 16 piece Corelle dinner set, we had got fed up with the Homebase stoneware set because it was so heavy and took up so much room in the cupboard. The only dis-appointment was that the Corelle mugs are no longer glass like the dishes but stoneware made in China ,not the USA where there rest of the stuff is made.

After we  had wined and dined at Tracey's favourite watering hole, the Walkabout in Wimbledon we went back to her flat so that I could put the battery back in her car. So that she could put some more power back into the battery she offered to drive us home.

Sunday was an early start for me to try and sort out the problem with the inverter losing power. When it was fitted we had a problem with the input cables as they are so thick they are hard to bend and the negative cable was not a snug fit. After studying the make up of the cupboard I worked out how I could remove the centre panel, cut a large hunk out of it and hopefully make it easier to get the cables into the rear of the inverter. Well it must be my lucky day because everything went to plan and the problem should now be fixed.

We have now been at Brentford our allowed 14 days so tomorrow we will head north in the morning, hopefully the rain will ease first.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Saturday, 27 October 2007

100+ TV channels.

Still moored at Brentford.

This morning Dot went to the hairdressers and I went off to try and solve an electrical problem without success so its back to the drawing board.

After lunch it was back to the satellite dish which I have mounted on the cratch centre post. I have had to move the headlight and I will have to re-mount it slightly lower. We also had to drill a hole through the front bulk head to feed the coaxial cable through. With the use of my favourite piece of curtain wire we managed to feed the cable through first time up which was a great relief. My part of the job was the easiest. Dot took it upon herself to set up the whole system which had her climbing up one wall across the ceiling and down the other side. The main problem was that the satellite box was set in German and she couldn't work out how to change it to English.

Eventually after searching through some Internet sites she managed to sort it all and we are now in a dilemma as to which channel to watch.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Friday, 26 October 2007

Trusleep is real sleep

Still moored at Brentford.

Our mattress from Trusleep proved to be very comfortable and it was great not having any springs digging into us. Today being wet and overcast meant a day indoors so we got out the satellite dish that we bought last week to see what is required to mount it. It came with various options but really there is only one that suits so I will have to get some bits to complete the job.

In the meantime Dot is crocheting a woollen blanket just in case we need one. We got through last winter OK but with all this climate change who knows what's around the corner.

Just in passing we read n/b Khayamanzi's blog recently and Andy was handing out bouquets and brickbats over boat yards level of customer service. We would like to add our bouquet for Clifton Cruisers at Rugby. We had the pleasure of dealing with Paul and his family and staff a few month's ago and they really know what customer service is. Nothing was too much trouble and no problem was insurmountable. I feel sure that we will use their services again.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Yippee they've arrived

Still moored at Brentford.

Fantastic service, our mattresses from Trusleep arrived this morning, ordered Monday afternoon and custom made - beat that.  I say mattresses plural as we have a crossover bed which originally had the mattress in two sections.  We have changed this to three, one large and two smaller ones which go at the foot of the bed.  Beautifully vacuum packed, memory foam.  We've had a test this afternoon but the "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" so the saying goes, in this case sleeping.  Results tomorrow!!

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Happy Birthday Brent

happy birthday

21+ ? years, sorry we can't be there with you but hope you have a happy birthday.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Just a few piccies.

Still moored at Brentford.

As nothing much has been happening around here in the last 2 days I thought I would post these shots of the roll up bridge in the Paddington Basin. As I mentioned once before the bridge doesn’t actually serve any great purpose because you can just as easily walk around the small basin which I don’t think has ever had a boat moored in it.

The bridge was being operated so that the underside of the wooden decking could be inspected. For all it’s uselessness I must admit the design is clever.






Dot has finally had enough of the inner spring mattress on our bed, it is only 4 years old and hasn’t had that much use but it’s falling apart. I don’t know who Heron’s supplier was but it must have been a real El Cheapo job. She has ordered a new Ortho 200 with 6” reflex foam and 2”memory foam mattress from Trusleep who make to measure and deliver within 48 hours. This mattress is supposed to be good for people with back problems. We shall see but it does come with 10 year guarantee. We have notified the office lady in the BW office what we have organised just in case the courier tries to deliver the mattress to their office.

Tomorrow night.........................ahhhhh snnnnnnnnnnnnnnzzzzzzzzz

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Monday, 22 October 2007

Kew revisited.

Still moored at Brentford.

Well it’s been another beautiful day here in Blighty. First of all we must pass on our condolences to the England rugby team! they didn’t stand a chance against the Boks. It wasn’t what I would call a good game of rugby as it was won solely on the boot of selected players. I like to see a good running game with tries being scored not rucks and mauls which the Boks are renowned for. Enough said.

Well as promised we set off for the Kew steam museum and arrived dead on opening time. Also to arrive were 5 members of the Velocette motorcycle owners club on 5 Velocette’s of various vintages all in pristine condition. Even the latest model had the traditional trade mark fish tail exhaust which these bikes are known by.


All the volunteers were present so everything was up and running including the Hunslet 0-4-0 narrow gauge steam loco. Due to the tight curvature of the end to end track the sole carriage has to be pulled so there is a diesel loco on one end and the Hunslet on the other. If they try to push the carriage it de-rails on the bends.


Inside the museum the displays covered anything from water storage and filtration to water pipes over the years and appliances that use water.


appliances 2

It was fascinating reading about wooden water pipes which were made from Elm tree trunks which were hollowed out by a huge Auger worked by either a water wheel, a horse, turning a geared apparatus by walking in circles or by hand. One end of the trunk was shaped like the sharp end of a pencil and the other had a metal insert so when the sharp end of 1 trunk was forced into the blunt end of another it created a reasonably water tight seal.


All the beam engines were in pristine working condition with shiny brass work and beautifully decorated paintwork as were all the other exhibits from small engines driving a belt shaft to the piston engines that you may have found in a ship. Outside in the yard is the lattice cast iron beam from the Hammersmith pump house weighing in at a mere 30 tons.

hammersmith beam

The Standpipe tower was amazing with 5 pipes extending up the tower which is 197 feet high. The pipes are 3 or 5 feet in diameter and made out of cast iron. The previous tower was an open wooden structure which due to being open to the elements caused the pipes to freeze and split in the winter of 1866. The present structure was built at the cost of ₤4802.6s and was opened the following year. You wouldn’t buy much for that price these days. Now the view from the top of the tower is reputed to not be as good as it used to be due to all the high rise apartment blocks being built all over London. Originally you could see as far as Crystal Palace. The stairs leading up the tower are an open wooden staircase up the side of the tower with a wooden landing about every 25 steps. There are 270 steps to the top with NO intermediate floors, just the small landings previously mentioned. The sign at the bottom of the stairs states that the stairs should not be attempted by anybody with high blood pressure or suffering from Vertigo. The tower is controlled by 2 gentlemen at the top and bottom of the tower. The bottom controller notifies the top man by radio every time a person starts to ascend the tower to ensure their safe arrival or in our case aborted attempt. We got up the first 4 flights but decided that enough was enough regardless of the view from the top, but we did try which many don’t.


The museum is a credit to the volunteers that run it and well worth a visit if you are in the district. Week-ends are best if you wish to see the beam engines in steam. Otherwise check it here.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Kew Steam Museum.

Still moored at Brentford.

Saturday morning and a clear blue sky was a good omen for another good day out.

The Kew steam museum was the planned destination for the day. As we were unsure of how far away it was we decided to catch the bus. It’s a long time since I rode up front on the top deck of a double decker but a good sight seeing perspective. The bus took less than 10 minutes to reach the museum stopping right outside. It was advertised that this week-end was to be a full steam working week-end with the static machine’s and the narrow gauge loco all operating. However due to a shortage of volunteer’s (probably due to the rugby world cup, typical) only the static machines were working. With this in mind we opted to return tomorrow in the hope that the narrow gauge loco will be in steam. Kew tower

The museum site was built by the Grand Junction Water Works Co between 1836 and 1900 with the purpose of supplying mains water supply for the area. The museum boasts numerous Cornish engines namely an Easton and Amos, an 1820 Boulton and Watt, an 1846 Grand Junction 90 inch engine, this being the largest Cornish engine still in steam and a 1838 Maudsley.

Also on site is the Standpipe Tower (pictured) built in 1867.

The Cornish engines pumped water up the tower to create high pressure water mains. The tower is only open at certain times and its adults only. We will have to wait and see what tomorrow brings before we decide whether to climb the tower or not, the information sheet appears to allow 20 minutes for the round trip, up and down. I’m guessing at least 200 steps cos’ it’s a long way up.

We opted to walk back to Brentford along the Thames walk where we had a look at all the old boats moored up along the bank being used as house boats. There were also some abandoned sunken rusted hulls. The walk only took 20 minutes to reach the Brentford shops. As it was still relatively early we turned the boat around so that I could try and get some more painting done while the good weather holds out.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Somewhere different.

Still moored at Brentford.


Thursday was spent loafing around the boat with a trip into a different area of Brentford for a look around. Nothing worth talking about there I'm afraid.


Friday we caught the train to Hounslow to find the nearest "T" Mobile shop. Well the Network Southwest  trains must have been having problems because all the trains were showing delayed arrival times. Eventually after about a 30 minute  wait one train arrived and as luck would have it the destination was Hounslow, not the advertised destinations of Weybridge or Mortlake.  The latter 2 apparently just got cancelled without any warning.


We found the shopping centre where "T" Mobile were situated and in no time at all Dot was in possession of a new USB Modem. This unit is supposed to be better than the Datacard which we have used for the last 12 month's.  After a couple of hours window shopping we decided to catch the bus back to Brentford which dropped us right outside Somerfields so we could get a few bits and pieces before returning to the boat.


Photos show various angles at Brentford Lock and Marina.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Thursday, 18 October 2007

More weekend photos


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Tracey's photo of the Houses of Parliament


MI6 Building on the River Thames


Day out

Yesterday while sitting in the boat we were aware of a boat moving nearby. When we checked, it turned out to be Peter on n/b' s Bletchley & Argos, the coal and diesel boats. We flagged him down and he pulled alongside and dispensed 150 litre's filling the tank and our reserve emergency cans. We now don't have any reason to leave here on Thursday as we had originally planned.

Today we took ourselves off to Wimbledon by train to have lunch with Tracey. It was also a chance for Dot to see where Tracey lives. While there we also had a look around for some retail therapy.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Still moored at Brentford.

Monday morning was a hive of activity with Dot and Tony on the computer trying to arrange a motorhome for Mary and Tony to tour Britain for their final 10 days before returning to NZ.  Mary and I were superfluous to requirements except when wanting to confirm a location or agree with a decision. By 11am it was all sorted after ringing at least 10 different companies. It was a toss up between three different companies who tried to out do each other with their deals and offers.

A quick check on trains on the computer, where would we be without it and it was off to the station. After a few tears between the girls we waved them away on the 12.09 to Waterloo to start the final leg of their holiday.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing with a book and the TV which has now got freeview digibox attached so we can select more channels. About 4.30pm we received a text message to say that Mary and Tony were spending their first night in Guildford.

Tuesday and the day dawned wet and cloudy. Only light rain but enough to get you wet pretty quickly. We have been down to the facilities block for a good loooong hot shower and hair shampoo so we are now super squeaky clean. A quick cuppa coffee and we will head off into town and Somerfields to replenish the larder before heading North probably on Thursday.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Monday, 15 October 2007

Photos as promised.....

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Tracey and Derek in Thames Lock ready to leave Limehouse Basin

limehouse to brentford 003

Thames Lock at Limehouse - Ready , steady, GO

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Brentford Thames Lock open to go straight through

A Life on the Ocean Waves.

3 locks, and 16 miles . Now moored at Brentford.

Wow, what an anniversary.  To celebrate our first year of living aboard Gypsy Rover we decided to travel from Limehouse  to Brentford through the centre of London, under Tower Bridge and past the houses of Parliament, and a great day weather wise as well.

Early this morning, 5.30 to be exact we were awoken by some brainless idiot who thought it a bit of a joke to walk along the full length of our roof. Unfortunately we couldn't get out of the boat quick enough to catch him.

As the morning wore on we had a beautiful clear blue sky which by lunchtime clouded over but was still warm. During the morning I  had to get the anchor out of the gas locker and make sure that I had everything handy should an emergency arise during the trip. After lunch I went down to the lock and watched as 3 cruisers were let out onto the Thames and spoke to the lock keeper about our scheduled departure. By the time we entered the lock there were 2 narrowboats and a widebeam, the latter was only going out onto the river for a short while with people working towards getting commercial licence's.

We had been told the first 20 minutes would be a bit bumpy but after that it would be fine. This turned out to be the best part of an hour before the water calmed. Going under Tower bridge we took the centre lift span just as a ferry catamaran decided to overtake us at speed throwing us around quite badly with his wash. What happened next defies all logic,the ferry just came to a dead stop because his jetty was already occupied. To me there was no need or reason for him to have blasted past us the way he did and then stop no more than a boats length ahead of us.

After this the trip settled down into a pleasant trip with the camera's being given a good work out by the rest of the crew. As we passed one pontoon full of moored boats a cruiser over took us at quite a bit more than the 8 knots speed limit. The skipper was duly yelled at by a gentleman on the pontoon to slow down, so it appears that speeding is not only restricted to the canals.

Arrival at Brentford was dead easy as the lock was fully open so we could pass straight through. Something the Lockkeeper said does not happen often, purely a matter of good timing. The lock keeper was a guy we have met many times at Brentford and on the Grand Union when he has been out on work parties. We exchanged a few quick pleasantries before heading off up to the gauging locks. We needed to get under the road bridge before the tide pushed the water level up too high to make it impassable.

In the Brentford basin we pulled onto the facilities moorings to fill up the water and put the anchor back into the gas locker. We won't be needing that for a while. The moorings were all full except one space right up by the overhanging storage shed but there was a sign on the fence stating "Winter Moorings Only". When I investigated the situation further it turns out that the visitor moorings are only the  first three spaces after the facilities mooring. These were full but they are supposed to allow other boats to breast up but who wants to breast up to unlicenced boats , I don't. The cheek of it right under BW's nose . So we have moored on the Winter Moorings space regardless.

Just on dusk another boat, n/b Lesley-Ann,  arrived in the basin and after fruitlessly searching for a mooring I suggested he breast up with us for the night. Now a wee dram is the order of the day to celebrate. 

Photos to follow tomorrow I promise.

797 locks, 1103.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Sunday, 14 October 2007

New Territory

12 locks, 8 miles and 2 Tunnels. Now moored at Limehouse Basin.

With Tony and Mary back on board after their European tour and Tracey visiting overnight we were all set to head off for Limehouse basin. With 5 aboard we had to stop off at the water point which took ages due to low water pressure. Tony was looking forward to having a crack at working the locks and of course a stint on the tiller which he mastered very quickly.

Off down the Regent's canal again we stopped mid stream to look and photograph some of the animals in London Zoo. There were quite a few boats on the move today which made locking a bit easier. Just past Old Ford lock we carried straight on this time and ventured into new territory consisting of 3 locks over about 1.5 miles.

Upon arrival at Limehouse there was not much space on the visitor moorings but we squeezed in on the end of the moorings. Over the next couple of hours 3 more narrowboats arrived via the river Lea and 1 via the Regent canal. Some of these have had to breast up to get a mooring.

New apartments overlooking Limehouse Basin

Once sorted I went and checked in with the harbour master who told me that there was 1 other narrowboat going to Brentford and a cruiser going to Teddington tomorrow so we will have company. We will be let out of the basin onto the river at 2pm or thereabouts.

Beautiful basin on a beautiful day, tomorrow is forecast fine, fingers crossed.

794 locks, 1087.5 miles, 33 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Saturday, 13 October 2007

What a day

13 locks, and 13.5 miles 2 Tunnels. Now moored at Paddington Basin.

Yesterday the first lock of the day should have been an electric lock but there was a sign saying "Out of Action" The other lock is all hydraulic and the previous vessel through had left everything open, gates and paddles. So I had to shut everything before I could fill the lock to even get into it. It took us over 40 minutes to get through the lock by which time I was absolutely knackered after winding the handle many hundreds of times.I needed a rest at the tiller before we got to the next lock.

As usual we had the river to ourselves so it was very quiet. The highlight of the trip, albeit being a sad occasion, was when we rounded a bend in the river and heard the sound of a band of some description playing what can only be described as calypso, happy music. Just as we were about to pass a block of flats I spotted a hearse and a beautiful white horse drawn hearse with 2 fully adorned white horse's. The funeral appeared to be for a Caribbean lady as the first hearse was full of floral tributes with one reading the word "Aunt". After sitting mid stream for the best part of 15 minutes watching the proceedings the funeral procession moved off and we did likewise.

It wasn't until we reached the Regents canal that we met other vessel's namely trip boats and the canal water bus. Other than a few fishermen fishing on lock moorings which I merely ignored and moored in front of them,there weren't too many people around. That was until we got to Hampstead lock. There was nobody taking much notice until I started to set the lock up and then people and camera's appeared from everywhere and it was standing room only all the way around the lock. I felt like taking a bow as we exited the lock.

We eventually arrived at Paddington basin around 4pm and even though we had been told by a moored boater near the canal museum that Paddington was full we found quite the opposite with at least 6 moorings available. This is the second time we have been given this information and we are convinced that local boaters tell visitors this deliberately to deter them from going there and thereby saving the moorings for themselves. Naughty, naughty.

782 locks, 1079.5 miles, 31 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Got to move on.

6 locks, and 8.5 miles. Now moored at Stonebridge lock on the Lea Navigation.

The day was overcast with a hint of drizzle but it was time to go as we have a rendezvous at Paddington basin on Friday.  We only met one cruiser on the move and had a quiet cruise down to our present mooring. At Ponders End lock we stopped to pick some apples. I had to use the fishing net again to shake the apples loose and catch them at the same time.

We now have a lovely big bowl of stewed apple to go with the pork, make a crumble pie and have some with the muesli in the morning. Lovely grub.

We saw BW workmen working on the lock where we are moored and it appears that the electric lock is out of action so we will have to use the manual lock in the morning and there is a pile of rubbish banked up against the gates. These locks are heavy enough without the added weight of rubbish to shift.

769 locks, 1066 miles, 29 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Rain stopped play.

Still moored at Cheshunt on the Lea Navigation.

The weather man got the forecast right with rain all day. We had made allowances for such an event so didn't have to travel today. Instead we caught up on a few jobs that had been waiting for such a rainy day.

I have had a look at the waterway map and worked out that we will visit canal's in the North West sector of the country next year. Hopefully this will cover the following canals, Coventry, Ashby, Birmingham & Fazely, Stratford upon Avon, rivers Severn & Avon, Staffs & Worcester, Worcester & Birmingham, the BCN, Grand Union North,Llangollen & Montgomery, Shropshire and Trent & Mersey.

Our travels next year will start earlier than they did this year  but of course weather and maintenance stoppages will dictate when and which order we will navigate them all. We also have not managed to get out on the Fens between Northampton and Cambridge and Bedford so we may back track at some stage to fit this area into the schedule.

763 locks, 1057.5 miles, 29 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Another lovely Autumn day

7 locks, and 6 miles. Now moored at Cheshunt on the Lea Navigation.

The day started with overcast skies but a warm temperature. The forecast was for 16deg's but I think that was surpassed. We were surprised by other boats being on the move including a BW work boat. This meant that most of the locks were set in our favour making for some good travelling times.

After mooring up we wandered into town to find Tesco's. First off we found Tesco's head office which wasn't much help but after a change of direction we found the Tesco Metro. There was a bit of a panic going on in the supermarket as the checkout machines were out of action but luckily by the time we had finished shopping they were up and running again.

Next to our moorings is a lovely park with a car park and toilet block. Unfortunately the building is all locked up with signs stating that the toilets are closed due to vandalism. This is the third such building that we have found in our travels that  have suffered this fate. Some little ratbags ruining things for everybody else and this gets me hot under the collar. Is society getting too soft on this sort of thing or are parenting skills sadly lacking.

763 locks, 1057.5 miles, 29 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Monday, 8 October 2007

Lovely Autumn Sunday.

10 locks, and 8.5 miles. Now moored at Roydon on the Stort Navigation.

The day was overcast but warm when we set off this morning. We only travelled  a short distance to Sawbridgeworth to begin with as we planned to stop and do some sight seeing around this very old town. There are information boards around the town giving details of things of interest in the street concerned. There is so much history going back to 1066 and a lot of history dating back to the 1200's. It was certainly educational reading the information boards. 


Roydon Mill apartments

The towns history with the Lee and Stort navigation's goes back to the mid 1800's when there was malthouses and granaries operating in the town but the roads or tracks were so bad that in winter it became impossible to move anything in or out of town due to flooding. The navigation was a blessing which opened up a whole new trade with London and beyond. Eventually of course the coming of the railway was the demise of the navigation but today it's primary purpose is flood control.

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Lovely new towpaths on the River Stort

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One of the very low bridges on the Stort

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How low can you go? 

After a good look around we moved on not being quite sure how far we would travel because being a warm autumn day there were quite a few week-end boaters on the move. This actually worked in our favour with locks being set in our favour and with some of the other crews helping we made good time and travelled further than we expected.  Today we spotted our fourth grass snake swimming in the river.  A bit late in the season we would have thought.  Its amazing most people we have spoken to here have never seen a snake and in the last 6 months we have seen  four - amazing.


These squirrels are following us around

756 locks, 1051.5 miles, 29 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006