Faces Everywhere. 29th July

Pond Lane Footbridge 16 to Eco Moorings east of Islington Tunnel

Some fabric samples had arrived at my brothers that needed collecting. My first thought was to walk across to pick them up, then Mick and I was could rendez vous at Bottom Lock on the Hertford Union. But Andrew was busy doing site visits so a later visit to the house was arranged.

Outside the Breakfast Club

We pushed off, the canal a lot quieter than it had been a couple of weeks ago. The pubs were empty and no canoes were out. A lady from a widebeam a few boats up took note of us leaving and phoned a friend who was on their way.

London does unusual boats well. Paint jobs that are not your standard traditional affairs. The uprights of The East Crossway Bridges have all been decorated, one with cds and other objects and one is almost totally covered in old spray cans. Then the new St Columba boat has an interesting roof line, a section of it raises similar to a roof on a VW camper van.

Bottom Lock

A right onto the Hertford Union, Ducketts Cut which was intended as a short cut from the Thames to the River Lee, cutting out the tidal Thames. It now saves a trip down to Limehouse basin and back up saving just under three hours cruising.

What we’d seen being started ten days ago

The graffiti we’d seen being painted almost a couple of weeks ago was still there, not yet painted over. The green Frankenstein holds a spray can.


This lock also has the offside bollards painted with wrestling faces, quite amusing.

On a couple of the pillars someone has painted faces, a different style to your usual graffiti art, but I quite liked them. There was another on the tight towpath bend below the middle lock.

Frankie Strand

Another piece that catches your eye is by Frankie Strand. There have been several of Frankie’s works along the Lee, a distinctive style. She is also an illustrator and has a website Here. She certainly likes here flamingos, snakes and cormorants.

A widebeam was just coming out of the middle lock, this turned out to be the boat that was heading to where we’d pulled out from. The large inflatable flamingo is now semi deflated, it’s head bowing down towards the water.

Victoria Park

With just the last few inches of the top lock to fill I left Mick to finish off the lock on his own and headed off across Victoria Park to collect my post. A cuppa with my brother was lovely for an hour, but then it was time to catch up with Mick who was now single handing. Hopefully the London Leckenbys will catch up with us in a couple of weeks, if not we may not see them for quite a while.

Taste trial for dogs

I guessed that Mick might have made it to Acton’s Lock so started to head that way across the vast park. I gave him a call and it turned out he was only just starting to work his way up Old Ford Lock just after the junction back on the Regents Canal. My route was altered accordingly, popping back out onto the towpath above the lock. No sight of Oleanna so I carried on walking westwards.

There he is!

A glimpse of a stern, was that Mick? Yep it was, he was just calling to tell me where he was. I soon caught up a bit before Acton’s Lock. He’d taken his time, loitering on lock landings so I wouldn’t have too far to catch up with him, also it meant he wouldn’t have to single hand too much. As he’d pulled away from Old Ford Lock NB Driftwood was just arriving so we paused at Acton’s Lock to wait for them.

Heading down to Limehouse

Two boats however were heading towards us, so we worked our way up to free up the lock for them. We then pulled over to the elsan to empty our yellow water. This meant Driftwood was quite close behind us now. They caught us up by Stort’s Lock and then shared our last two locks for the day.

Here they come

We only had through the next bridge to go, where as Rod and Nor were hoping to find space for Driftwood in Paddington Basin, I hope they succeeded. Hopefully our paths will cross again somewhere, sometime.

I walked up to the Eco-moorings. At first glance they looked full apart from a space that wasn’t long enough for us. Our booked mooring was 1A. The moorings are numbered lowest to highest East to West from Bridge 38, Froglane Bridge to the entrance of Islington Tunnel. The first four moorings are double moorings between April & September, all are 21.7m long, so we should have pulled in alongside the first boat. But a short distance on was a gap big enough for us, if it became a problem to anyone we’d move back. No-one else arrived so that was fine. Have to say unless you’ve fully read the emails and website you wouldn’t know which mooring was which as they are not labelled.


Phew we were moored up! Tilly was read the rules, she’d already started to do calculations to be able to climb the wall alongside the towpath. Yes but things took a different turn when I saw a furry friend. Calculations put on hold, I needed to introduce myself! No amount of cyclists , runners, even woofers distracted our second mate from her introductory mission.


‘Hello Leckers!’ A passing walker stopped to say hello. This was my oldest friend Nick, he’d just spent the day doing jury service in Southwark and had decided to walk home. He knew we’d be in the area as we’d planned to meet up tomorrow evening. Mick connected us to the electric hook up and we sat down for a cuppa and a good catch up. Jolly good to see Nick and we look forward to seeing him again tomorrow, hopefully accompanied by Kerry his partner and Harry his faithful hound.

The Eco-moorings are a quiet zone. C&RT have provided electric hook up points, so you are only allowed to run your engine if you are moving your boat and should you light your stove you can only burn smokeless fuel. At the moment these moorings are a trial, another two sites will become eco-moorings sometime in the future. Here’s hoping such places pop up around the network enabling boats to reduce their emissions in built up areas.

The last Hackney Shark

7 locks, 1 single handed, 2 shared, 5.21 miles, 2 rights, 3 canals, 2 shades of blue, 1 brother, 1 nephew, 1 shark left, 54.5 years a friend, 3 big friends, 1 wall to master, 1 tidy boat all hooked up. Shame the washing machine’s not working!

2 thoughts on “Faces Everywhere. 29th July

  1. JM Biggs

    Lovely post Pip. I really enjoyed the murals along the Thames and the Lea when we were down there in 2013. So many talented painters making shabby buildings and fencing look nice. Hug to all three of you,
    Jaq xxx

    1. Pip Post author

      Thank you Jaq. There are some very talented artists out there. There are others who need to practice a lot more, sadly we also get to see their poor works.
      Sending hugs and head nudges back x

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