Locks, Docks And Aqueducts. The Lee Harris Bursary.

Scarborough/Llangollen winter 2017

Earlier this week we were invited by my brother to join an on line presentation. The Lee Harris Bursary is awarded to a member of staff from 3DReid an architectural practice that my brother used to work for. The bursary commemorates the life of Lee Harris an architect who worked at the practice who tragically died from injuries he sustained in the 7/7 London Bombings in 2005. Inspired by Lees love of photography, travel and architecture the bursary provides an opportunity for members of staff to explore their architectural passions.

The presentation

This years winner was Thelma Mannion who proposed to travel the Llangollen Canal on a narrowboat, sketching the engineering of the canal, the aqueducts, bridges and tunnels. Originally she had hoped to do her presentation followed by an exhibition of her sketches, but Covid put a stop to that, so instead there was an online presentation which included her sketches.

Lynn and Brian, Lee’s parents were on line along with about thirty other participants. Jac (my sister-in-law, who also used to work for the practice) suggested we should make ourselves comfortable with a drink to watch, so we did.

The London Leckenbys

Using Microsoft Teams, our first time, we ended up not being able to see everyone at once, but we later rectified this. This was however the first time we have seen Andrew and Jac since last year when they joined us onboard Oleanna between Christmas and New Year. For some reason in lockdown 1 the London Leckenbys weren’t too keen on the idea of Zoom meetings, so we have stuck with the good old telephone. This and an aborted trip to York due to flooding means we’ve not seen them for nearly eleven months. It was lovely to see them again, even though it felt a touch like we were gate crashing an office do. But then when I lived in London I’d quite often turn up at the pub on a Friday night to join them all.

The presentation brought back memories of our trip back in 2017, and it turns out it is almost three years to the day since we turned off the Shropie and climbed up Huleston Locks to spend the winter on the Llangollen.

Whixall Moss Junction

Maintenance work was planned on the locks which soon closed after we’d gone through. Our trip back had to be timed to avoid other stoppages, but that’s what happens in winter and if you plan with them in mind you can keep moving.

Thelma travelled with her sister and their partners on a hire boat from Swanley Bridge Marina. A shame as I’d hoped she be starting at Hurleston and we might get a glimpse of our Lockdown Home mooring. They had the boat for a week and travelled last August to Llangollen where they walked to Horseshoe falls and marvelled at how energetic the River Dee is there.

Main points of interest to Thelma were the tunnels with their textures, the aqueducts and locks which are much smaller than you find on the Irish waterways which is where she spent most of her holidays when younger.

It was an interesting talk, even if she had them going down Grindley Brook Step Locks (Staircase) on their way up to Llangollen, and so nice to hear her enthusiasm for their trip. A very fitting way for Lee to be remembered by his colleagues. Thank you for including us.

The photos in this post are from our trip in 2017. Sifting through the hundreds I took during November, December and January it was hard to edit them down to just a few.


The deep snow that fell gave us one of our favourite boating days as the sun came out and we had the canal more or less to ourselves, stunningly beautiful.

Back in Scarborough work continues on the house. One living room and dining room have patched in wallpaper and fresh coats of emulsion and gloss. The room that we call the Shed has also had a freshen up, the scars of several tenants and takeaways now erased. The flower bed at the front has been cleared of gravel and plastic in the hope that our blue geraniums will return.

Next job is curtains, then we can move living rooms and have an open fire again, just so long as we can keep Tilly from climbing the chimney!

There is still plenty more to keep us busy and off the streets.

2 thoughts on “Locks, Docks And Aqueducts. The Lee Harris Bursary.

  1. Alfred Overton

    The photo of the Prees branch junction brings to mind our trip on the Orient Express to celebrate our wedding anniversary, got talking to a couple at the bar before dinner, the subject turned to boating, he (John) said – Oh we live next to a canal, oh yes said I which one ? Llangollen he said, oh where ? At the junction of the Prees branch, oh I said we have tied up outside your house on the branch many times !! Small world !!

  2. adrian2013

    Lovely post Pip looking back on your travels is always rather nice.
    Looks cold then we’ll it was! Certainly Mick looks it crossing the Ponty!
    Loving the photos a d the snow ones do look v good.

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