We Don’t Do Boats. 14th July

St Pancras Cruising Club

Mick rang back a company he’d tried yesterday to see when an engineer might be able to come out to look at our dead washer/dryer. We’d been given several options yesterday regarding payment and we’d decided that £125 to fix it wasn’t too bad, a new one being at least £300, if they couldn’t fix it then £55 would be the call out charge. However when he tried calling the department to see when they would be able to visit the phone just rang and rang and rang. He gave up.

Not much of a view in St Pants

Google suggested several other firms. ‘Sorry we don’t cover that area’ was quite a common response. Others suggested they’d be able to get someone out to us this afternoon. ‘What’s your postcode?’ This was given, handy to be at the Cruising Club and have an address. Then Mick would say we were on a boat. ‘Oh, we don’t do boats. Houses yes, boats no!’

St Pancras Lock

A notice was put on the London Boaters group, but the only suggestion was to buy a new one as they are so cheap now. We’d rather see if it can be mended, but we might just be giving someone some money to look at a totally dead machine.

Eventually a company was found who didn’t have a problem coming out to us on a boat. An appointment made for tomorrow afternoon. Mick called the Harbour Master, Tony to see if we could stay a bit longer in the basin. This was fine and a key holder for the gate into the car park would be found to let the engineer in.

Mick headed off to find a new connecting hose for the washing machine, a longer one would help when pulling it out from it’s cupboard. 2.5m would do and be handy even if we end up having to buy a new machine.


Back onboard I, at last, had a chat with Gemma (Production Manager for Panto). We talked painting the set, a quote for more than my design fee had come in from a scenic artist. I know you can earn more money painting than designing, but when I’d already said I’d paint the show for a top up on my fee! Logistics in our pandemic world make things a little more complicated than before, but hopefully with a bit of thought things will work out.

Not being much of an assistant

I decided that as we wouldn’t be moving today that I’d do some work. The drawing board came out and my assistant sat by and watched as I drew up some basic plans for the set of #unit 21. This didn’t take too long, I just need to get them scanned now and sent off for a friend in Leeds to give me a quote.

Mick had another trip to make to Christine’s. A new propmate had arrived for us to replace the one now sat on the bottom of Limehouse Basin. The design has changed a bit since we bought our original one. Now made from pipe with a bent handle and it comes with a wrist strap already attached! Hopefully this one will be with us for longer than the old one.

Being cooped up in the boat all day I had a walk around the Kings Cross development. A meander of a walk took me through the new buildings, many empty. Landscaping and seating is everywhere making for a green environment.

Wish I could look inside

I walked past York Road Station, one of the original stations on the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway. Opened in 1906 it was designed by Leslie Green and connected to the platforms by two lifts. It closed in 1932, discussions have been made about reopening it, but as it’s quite close to Kings Cross the £21million (2005 estimate) needed to bring it up to modern day standards it is unlikely to happen.

Cinema across the water

A cinema screen plays to an audience on the steps across the canal. A couple of films are shown a day along with the Tour De France at lunchtimes. All the restaurants and bars were packed, as much as they can be and the whole area had a hubhub about it.

Art covers walls and expensive shops fill an area which used to be full of railway lines delivering coal.

It being Wednesday night it was club night at the Waterpoint the old water tower that overlooks the basin. A glass of wine and being sociable was on the cards, hopefully with a visit to the roof of the tower.

Looking SW

Our luck was in and we got shown up onto the roof. From here views down to St Pancras Station, BT tower, a bit of the London Eye and the numerous cranes which are on the site of the new Google building.

Looking SSE

Northwards is mostly railways and tower blocks, but all the same with the sun gradually going down it was still quite a sight.


The roof is what used to be the water tank which used to hold 17,000 gallons of water which was used to fill the tanks of the steam locomotives. In one corner is the ballcock, pretty much like a toilet ballcock only far bigger!

St Pancras Station

The tower used to be situated along the lines at St Pancras, however it was in the way of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link HS1 so it had to be moved. The tower was split into three, the top two layers moved to behind the lock cottage. A new bottom third was built and the top two thirds were craned in on top. The Cruising Club are custodians of the water tower, it is currently their club house. You’ll find it open to the public several times a year.

Looking NNE

The whole area around Kings Cross was a huge coal depot. Where the basin is now used to have railtracks running over the top of it. The gas holders have been moved from their original site and new buildings built within them to suggest the old tanks. Using this link you can see how much the area has changed since 1892 by sliding the button on the bottom left.

Today a new C&RT notice came in

Aire & Calder Navigation Main Line
Location: Lock 11, Ferrybridge Flood Lock, Aire & Calder Navigation

Navigation Closure

Monday 19 July 2021 08:00 until Friday 13 August 2021 16:00

A stoppage is required to replace the downstream gates and cills. Check and repair downstream sluices.

Here’s hoping the end of this stoppage coincides with the breach site reopening.

0 locks, 0 miles, 0 washing machine, 1 engineer booked, 2 new quotes, 1 conversation, 1 set drawn up, 16 more panto photos, 1 dormant station, 2 glasses up on the roof.

2 thoughts on “We Don’t Do Boats. 14th July

  1. Sallyann

    Love your blog
    We found St Pancras while out cruising stayed there many times and finally became members
    We are now moored there or would be but we finished at the Dunstable and District Boating Club and we are still there but that’s another story
    Will watch out for you !
    Sallyann and Nic
    Lady Blatherwick

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