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Tour 2006

Index

6 - Deptford Creek, River Wandle and Bell Weir Creek, South Dock Marina and Greenland Dock.

After a rest we trundled up Limehouse Cut, to pick up another crewmember for our afternoon cruise up the Thames to Brentford from Bow Locks. Being near a Springs tide we intended to knock off Deptford Creek and the River Wandle stub on the way up, arriving at Brent ford not too long after water, for a late booking entrance.
At 15:00 we managed to get out early. This was due to the good offices of the Bow Locky who locked down early in the chamber and allowed us to exit as early as possible. This involve a fare bit of silt blasting as we made the sharp left hand turn to exit the lock, avoiding the silt bank in front of the chamber.
It was then full steam ahead down Bow Creek against the strong flood, then a speedy passage up the Thames to the entrance to Deptford Creek. It was fairly windy and there was a nasty chop as we headed straight across the river to enter Deptford Creek.
As we were in a hurry to get back with the flood tide to carry us up as far as possible to Brentford, it was a rather lightning visit to Deptford Creek. After the big meander at the entrance to the creek there is the remains of an old dock, then the navigation head to the right under a functional lift bridge. Beyond here is a working wharf, used by Prior’s, the reason for the bridge still being maintained.
Once past the wharf and a few other moored boats the river opens out, with many old disused wharves. Next comes a novel railway vertical lift bridge. This is now inoperative, due to there being sufficient headroom for the few pleasure boats that used the creek above this point. The Dockland Light railway then follows the course of the creek, its viaducts being ever present.
Just before the end basin there are a good few residential boats amongst a thriving little boating community. We arrived at the final basin just at the right time, there was just enough water to wind. The River Ravensbourne enters this basin by a couple of impounding sluice gates.
As ever it was a speedy return to the Thames, to be confronted by even worse tidal conditions, whipped up by the ever-present trip boats. After timing our spurt across the river we ended up on the “right” side and settled into the normal lumpy ride through the central London Bridges.
We amazed ourselves and arrived at the entrance to the River Wandle with the tide still flooding. The entrance to the River Wandle now has a half tide barrier to impound water behind. In the centre of this is a 3m wide gate that drops down when the tide makes a level with the dam.
As usual the traffic lights still showed red for the gate, which is marked by port and starboard markers. We slowed right down and checked the tide gauge, there was over a metre of depth over the weir, let alone the lowered gate! We first explored the short stub to the right, known as Bell Weir Creek. We now know why, there is a brass bell mounted on the weir, round from the railway bridge. After winding and passing back past the salubrious Wandsworth Council depot, we did the even shorter River Wandle stub, then sped off upstream to Brentford.
It is amazing how far you can follow the top of the tide up a river like the Thames, we managed to get to Kew before the River started seriously ebbing. It was then a slog up to Brentford. We arrived 20 minutes before our predicted time, with the level still on the weir, so we motored through the lock with both sets of gates open and just got under Brentford High street Bridge. Soon we were tied up in Brentford Basin and sampling the range of Fullers Ales in the Brewery Tap.


Entering Deptford Creek from the River Thames.


The A200 Creek Street double bascule bridge. Deptford Creek.


The A200 Creek Street double bascule bridge. Deptford Creek.


Looking back at the A200 Creek Street double bascule bridge and Prior's Wharf. Deptford Creek.


Deptford Creek.


Deptford Creek.


The disused railway vertical lift bridge. Deptford Creek.


The disused railway vertical lift bridge. Deptford Creek.


We have just passed under the disused railway vertical lift bridge. There is a new lift footbridge at this point, but at this state of the tide we will not need it raised. Deptford Creek.


The disused railway vertical lift bridge. Deptford Creek.


Deptford Creek.


The D.L.R. follows the course of Deptford Creek. Picture of creek at low water taken on and explo visit.


Deptford Creek.


Deptford Creek.


Deptford Creek. Looking up the first of the two end basins.


Deptford Creek. Entering the end basin.


Deptford Creek. The end basin.


Deptford Creek. The end basin. The River Ravensbourne enters through these sluices.


Coming back down Deptford Creek.


Coming back down Deptford Creek.


Coming back down Deptford Creek.


The disused railway vertical lift bridge. Deptford Creek.


Deptford Creek.


Deptford Creek.


Deptford Creek.


The entrance to Deptford Creek at low water.


Exiting Deptford Creek.


Exiting Deptford Creek.


The entrance to the River Wandle. The red traffic lights are meant to show that the half tide weir gate is up. In fact we discovered on an explo that it is broken and does not raise, so at present the creek is totally tidal!


We enter the River Wandle, looking back at the River Thames. This is so near high water that we would have enough water over the weir, even if the weir gate was up.


River Wandle to the left and Bell Weir Creek to the right.


We carry on up Bell Weir Creek.


Looking back down Bell Weir Creek.


Bell Weir Creek, the council depot wharf.


Looking back down Bell Weir Creek.


Notice the bell on Bell Weir! Bell Weir Creek.


Bell Weir Creek.


Looking back up the River Wandle.


Exiting the River Wandle.


Hammersmith Bridge just before high water. No problem for a narrowboat.


Looking up the River Thames from South Dock Marina. 


South Dock Marina entrance lock.


South Dock Marina entrance lock.


Lift bridge over the cut between South Dock and Greenland Dock.


The cut between South Dock and Greenland Dock.


Greenland Dock.


Greenland Dock.


Greenland Dock.


Greenland Dock.


The disused entrance lock into Greenland Dock.


The disused entrance lock into Greenland Dock.

The Tour Continues...


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