Category Archives: River Brent

A New Angle 12th July

Ontario Bridge 205A to Ballot Box Bridge, Paddington Arm

The forecast wasn’t too good today. Last night we’d considered staying put for another day as heavy rainfall was due. But then siting on the River Brent might not be too clever if the river came up. However this morning things seemed a lot drier so we decided to push off at about 10:30, the sun was out so it would be silly to waste it.

The bottom of Hanwell

I walked up and set the bottom lock of the flight, we must have been spotted by Derek and Margaret on NB Small World as they arrived just as Oleanna came into the lock. This meant we had partners for the flight.

There was plenty of water coming down, in fact one lock had water cascading over it’s bottom gates, was there someone coming down?

Slotting in together

Once both boats were in a lock and it was filling I’d head up to the next one to empty it and open gates, leaving Margaret to close up. The third lock up was the one that was over flowing, a single hander was on his way down having just emptied the lock above. I opened a gate for him and walked up to stop him from closing the gate.

Plenty coming down!

The boats swapped over in the pound below and we carried on up the flight.

With Mick leading the way he could scoot across once in a lock making way for NB Small World to come in alongside meaning only one gate needed to be opened and closed in each lock, making lighter work all round.

The lock cottages on this flight are lovely, especially at the fifth one up Lock 93. The roses and ivy make it very pretty indeed.

Last of the flight

Once the boats were rising in the final lock of the flight I walked on ahead to reach Three Bridges 205. The Hanwell flight is where Mick was brought as a young lad for walks and is where his interest in canals started. Three Bridges has become one of those places that has to be photographed with Mick at the helm every time we pass.

Three Bridges

Today having the advantage of being able to leave Margaret to close up meant I could find a whole new angle to take my pictures, from the narrow pavement on the road bridge above. From here I could see the railway line, the structure that looks like a bridge (but is most probably just structural), the canal and the road bridge. Three Bridges.

I ended up taking rather a lot of photos and of course Mick just had to look at the railway below when it would have been good if he looked up towards the camera. Maybe next time.

Last of the locks today

The last two locks up to the Paddington level were soon under our belts. Time to dispose of the yellow water, rubbish, give Tilly’s pooh box a clean out and fill the water tank. NB Small World emptied their cassette and headed onwards to Bulls Bridge.

Two boats were breasted up and what looked like an old work boat was passing them, we slowed so we wouldn’t meet at the same point. That old work boat looked familiar. It certainly was, NB Tyseley the Mikron boat being crewed by volunteers whilst the actors were elsewhere or having a day off. We waved and said hello as they passed.

At Bulls Bridge NB Small World was breasted up to another boat so they could fill with water and go shopping. There was a space which looked like we should fit. Derek said a boat had just left, that would be Tyseley which is 71ft 10″ so we’d fit no problem.

Our summer is complete

NB Jubilee Bridge came past just as we were having lunch. Pat and Roy were on the Huddersfield Narrow with us back in 2015 and every year since we see them at some point. No longer being on a bright yellow boat they don’t notice us anymore, so we have to remind them. Seeing them means that our summer is complete, if only we’d been another half hour at the top of the locks.

Oh, I forgot to tell you I don’t like poultry anymore!

Mick headed off with a shopping list whilst I carried on blogging. Blimey it takes ages on a post like that! Maybe we should stick to shorter days from now on, two big days of Tidal waters in one year is maybe enough. Even the laptop is trying to hide letters from me now, the E and S have turned on their cloaking device and the A is spluttering out of view as I type more and more words.

Bulls Bridge

With shopping back on board from Tescos, (you can get a trolley to your boat) we pushed off hoping to reach Horsenden Hill to moor up for the night. The forecast rain looked like it would be on it’s way fairly soon, so Mick was left up top with his waterproofs as we turned back onto the Paddington Arm.

Dark moody sky

The rain held off until around 5:30, big claps of thunder echoing around. Then with just ten minutes to go before pulling up the heavens opened right up, ensuring everything outside including Mick ended up being drenched. He moored us up on the stretch that had been empty a couple of weeks ago (a few boats moored there now) and then stripped off his waterproofs under the pram cover and left them to drip dry outside for the night.

An apt boat today

8 locks all shared, 8.79 miles, 1 right, 1 down hill boat, 1 Tyseley, 4 leeks, 3 peppers, 0 boxes of wine, 3 cloths not 2! £3250! I wish! 1 drenched boater, 0 shore leave, 2 days on 1 post.

If you read the Thames tideway post early on Tuesday then you may not have seen the links to other blogs.

Scholar Gypsy

Briar Rose

When Is a Bunny Park Not A Bunny Park? 11th July

Ontario Bridge 205A

The Fox

With the majority of St Pancras boats moving off this morning, Mick had offered to lock wheel as we’d be staying put. He was up and off at 8am to help NB Coracle and NB Albert Victor up the Hanwell flight.

David on NB Albert Victor

I stayed put as it was a Dreamie day for Tilly. She’d been cooped up inside for too many days and deserved to have a day of shore leave, which also means she gets to have a lot of ‘Thank you for coming home’ Dreamies. When Tilly is out it means one of us is in, just in case a rescue is required!

Andrew on NB Coracle

Several local cats were spotted during the morning, but thankfully no spats occurred.

Whilst I busied myself with writing up yesterdays cruise Mick worked boats up the locks. At around 9am NB Misty Blue who’d moored behind us pushed off to join NB Mobius to climb the flight, they were then followed by NB Chance. Mick worked boats up the flight of 6, leaving them to ascend Hanwell Lock and Norwood Top Lock so that he could help the following boats.

Bye Bye NB Misty Blue

Mid afternoon Tilly had returned for a snooze so we took the opportunity to head off for a walk around Hanwell. First port of call was Mick’s old flat, just up the road from The Fox. Then where?

By his old front door

A few days ago I’d spotted mention of Hanwell Zoo on Google maps, so we headed in that direction, ducking down under the Uxbridge Road alongside the River Brent and into Brent Meadow where a Dad was trying to amuse his kids by launching a kite, he was unsuccessful.

Under Wharncliffe Viaduct which was built in 1836 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to carry the new Great Western Railway from Paddington. 40 years later the viaduct had to be widened to accommodate growing rail traffic, you can see the join. It is said that Queen Victoria would ask for her train to be stopped on the viaduct so that she could admire the view. Today it looks like it needs a good weed and the trees would need cutting back a touch to admire the vista.

Into Brent Lodge Park. Areas mown, others left to grow. We walked up to St Mary’s Church. Originally a Georgian Church it was deemed too small for it’s congregation and in 1842 was replaced with a design by George Gilbert Scott with flint walls and white brick quoins. A rather pretty church, although the doors look like they’ve been painted with ultramarine poster paint!


Next it was time to check out the Zoo. Now I say zoo, but Mick insists on calling it the Bunny Park. Apparently everyone calls it the Bunny Park! All of Mick’s sisters will know it as the Bunny Park, but I bet none of the kids there did as a big mosaic sign boasts it’s name as Hanwell Zoo, not one bunny in view!

Well actually nothing much was in view but a couple of red billed birds as the ZOO is only open to pre-booked visitors. The Six Banded Armadillo (not a bunny) would have to wait for another time.

We refrained from getting lost

Instead we got ourselves some chilled medication, triple chocolate in a stale cone for Mick and pistachio in a tub for me.


We then retraced our steps up to St Mary’s and then wiggled our way back through the streets of Hanwell, passing many pretty terraced houses with original front doors, back to the river then the canal and Oleanna.

Coal Boat

A roast chicken was popped in the oven, coming out at 8pm. It feels like an absolute age since I’ve cooked a proper meal. Plenty of chicken to last us through the coming days. Later Mick settled down to watch the later part of the football whilst I continued writing up our cruise yesterday.

Roast Chicken, squash, carrots, new potatoes, garlic and cabbage, YUM!

0 locks, 12 helped with, 9 hours shore leave, 5 taken, 1 long post, 2 many photos to choose from, 0 bunnies, 2 scoops, still 0 bunnies, 2 blue doors, 1 large roast chicken, 22 Dreamies, 1 quiet day.