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Index

Tour 2019 Bow Back Rivers / Thames Tideway

Index

1 - Bow Back Rivers

Wednesday14th August 2019

Crew NA + JR. Harefield Marina 13:35, Bulls Bridge 17:00, Yeading Country Park 17:00. Ate on board at the Earnest Pizzeria.

Thursday 15th August 2019

Crew NA + JR. Yeading 09:45. Uneventful trip along the duckweed infested Paddington Arm. Amazingly 180ft of free bankside mooring available on the 7day VM at Delamere Terrace, Little Venice. Predictably we bumped into Ed Mortimer (Waterbus Captain), who hitched a ride on the side during his rubbish disposal walk. We carried on into Paddington Basin as we homed in on Captain Beeky. Basin clogged up with paddle boarders, "GOBOAT" self drive electric day boats and a mega floaty restaurant trip boat (reversing out!). Typical TNC "non-stop" pick-up of Captain Beeky. After a twirl at the end of the basin we ambled off for our 16:15 - 16:30 planned arrival at the London Canal Museum (Battlebridge Basin) booked overnight mooring. These 2 (breasted) moorings can be booked by phoning the London Canal Museum on: 0207 713 0836. The cost is 10, which includes code for lock-in, electricity, water and 1 bag of rubbish disposal. Normally you can arrive during opening hours as long as you visit the museum, but Thursday usually has a trip boat operating from the wharf, so you have to either be around to move your boat or arrive as the last trip leaves the wharf. This is somewhat precision boating, we arrive half an hour early, so had to move. Tim Lewis was about so we had a catch-up chat (a good few years since we last met), which concluded with us all following Tim's suggestion to have a pint and meal in the Fullers "Parcel Yard" pub in Kings Cross Station. JR left for home afterwards.

Friday 16th August 2019

Crew Andrew Goodland (Captain Beeky), Trevor Burridge (Magical Trevor) and Dave Webb (West Ham Dave). The day started at London Canal Museum mooring, with NA + Captain Beeky. Magical Trevor and West Ham Dave were picked up near Actons Lock. The Bow Back Rivers + Bow Lock passages were eventually booked through The Canal and River Trust West India Dock Harbourmaster - Nick Evans, on 07468753184. Big thanks to Nick and the CaRT lads for organising the lockings...even though were were 20mins late for our first booking! The basic loop through Carpenters Road Lock and City Mills Lock can be booked on your Canal and River Trust customer login page, under "My bookings". Three Mills tidal lock cannot yet be booked this way. All these locks require 7 days notice to be operated (Bow Lock 24 Hour notice). We cannot understand how the booking chart was only showing one other boat booked for the whole of August!

The basic route was:- Off the River Lee Navigation at the exit of St Thomas Creek, down City Mill Lock (12:00 booked, actually arrived 12:20), up Waterworks River to Carpenters Road Lock, then back onto River Lee Navigation via River Lee Old Course. It was then down to Bow Lock, out just before high water at 14:15, we swapped over with an incoming Dutch barge. We then carried on up Bow Creek to the Three Mills pool, then along Channelsea River / Abbey Creek, passing the entrance to Prescott Channel (Three Mills Lock). We had to shimmy past the unexpected "Jack Up" pontoon and the other raft of interlocked floaty pontoons, the gap was just narrowboatable. This restriction was not mentioned on the CaRT stoppages list. Officially the PLA is now the navigation authority of all the tidal Bow Creek / Channelsea River / Abbey Creek, but there does not appear to be any stoppages listed by them. It was then up to the tidal end of Abbey Creek, by the low Northern Outfall Sewer Bridge (Channelsea River is culverted / Stanked off just beyond this). We went round the deep southern channel first, then gingerly picked our way round the island. It was then back to Prescott Channel, Three Mills Lock where the CaRT lads were waiting. A bit of jollity here, when they used the rather loud megaphone system! Three Mills Lock had recently been coaxed back to life and worked faultlessly. The CaRT lads had to remove a weed hopper out of the way that was blocking the lock gates, this was put here to deflect the dreaded River Lee weed away from the gates. We took a run up at the weed "boom" and got through OK. We "parked" the weed on the bow of Earnest to one side then reversed off. The residential moorings at the end of Three Mills Wall River have now been expanded to take up the whole waterspace, down to the new tidal weir / barrage. We then carried on up Three Mills Wall River, exiting the lower (now non tidal) part of the Bow Back Rivers at City Mill Lock. After a sharp 180 dgree turn we traversed City Mill River, passing Carpenters Road Lock, then back down the Old Course of the River Lea, exiting onto the River Lee Navigation, just below Old Ford Locks. Taking a chance, we motored on down Limehouse Cut, to get one of the two remaining 24 hour moorings (17:00) on the wall, above Limehouse Lock. These free 24Hr moorings are controlled by BWML and you have to book in at Limehouse Lock. That night it was a drink in "The Grapes" (beer mediocre) then a curry at the "Tale Of India" on West India Dock Road.

Click on this for Handy pdf depth chart of Channelsea River published by PLA

For past TNC Tours round the Bow Back Rivers, when it was tidal, see Tour 2003 and 2006


Modified Nicholsons Map showing the Bow Back River as they now are.


The TNC Crew - Captain Beeky, Magical Trevor and new recruit West Ham Dave.


Lower Lock on the Hertford Union / Ducketts. The lower wall of graffiti has changed completely since we were last here, only a couple of weeks ago!


River Lee Navigation. Looking back at Old Ford Locks and the entrance to the Bow Back Rivers - The Old Course of The River Lea.


River Lee Navigation.


River Lee Navigation.


River Lee Navigation.


River Lee Navigation.


River Lee Navigation.


River Lee Navigation.


River Lee Navigation. Turning into St Thomas Creek / Bow Back Rivers.


Bow Back Rivers - St Thomas Creek.


Bow Back Rivers - St Thomas Creek.


Bow Back Rivers - City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - City Mill Lock. Although only operable by CaRT staff, it is a standard BW Key


Bow Back Rivers - City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers, St Thomas Creek from City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River. The low bridge is the Northern Outfall Sewer.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River. Looking back at City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River. The low bridge is the Northern Outfall Sewer.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River. Looking back at City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River. Looking back at The Northern Outfall Sewer Bridge.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Waterworks River.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers. Looking down City Mill River from Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Old Course of The River Lea.


Bow Back Rivers - Old Course of The River Lea, looking back at junction with City Mill River.


Bow Back Rivers - Old Course of The River Lea, looking back at Carpenters Road Lock.


Bow Back Rivers - Old Course of The River Lea.


Bow Back Rivers - Old Course of The River Lea.


Bow Back Rivers - Old Course of The River Lea. Site of  Old Ford Tide Gates


Bow Back Rivers - Old Course of The River Lea. Stanked off Entrance to Pudding Mill River, now infilled and under the Olympic / West Ham Stadium. In 2003 we managed to get a couple of boat lengths into pudding Mill River, before grinding to a halt with a tyre round the prop. There used to be an elegant concrete towpath bridge.


Bow Back Rivers - Old Course of The River Lea. Junction with the River Lee Navigation at Old Ford Locks.


River Lee Navigation.


River Lee Navigation.


River Lee Navigation.


Exiting Bow Lock onto the tidal Bow Creek.


Exiting Bow Lock onto the tidal Bow Creek. Note the recent addition of outer floodgates and the second lock being stanked off. This was done to stop Limehouse Cut being semi tidal during spring tides.


Looking down Bow Creek from Bow Lock.


Going up Bow Creek.


Going up Bow Creek.


Going up Bow Creek. Junction with Three Mills pool and Abbey Creek / Channelsea River.


Three Mills pool.


Looking out from Three Mills pool.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. The unexpected jack up work platform.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. The unexpected work pontoons.


Looking up Prescott Channel at Three Mills Lock, on our way up Abbey Creek.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Main channel to right, island centre.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Main channel to right, island centre.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Main channel.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Main channel.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Main channel. Northern Outfall Sewer bridge dead ahead.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Looking back at the occupied wharf, as we turn to go round the island.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Northern Outfall Sewer.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Northern Outfall Sewer.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Return trip as we slowly pick our way round the island.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Return trip as we slowly pick our way round the island.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Looking back at the Northern Outfall Sewer.


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Return trip as we re-enter the main channel..


Abbey Creek / Channelsea River. Return trip. Looking back down at the work platforms..


Bow Back Rivers. We have now entered the Prescott Chanel and are waiting for Three Mills Lock.


Bow Back Rivers. Three Mills Lock.


Bow Back Rivers. Three Mills Lock.


Bow Back Rivers. Three Mills Lock.


Bow Back Rivers. Three Mills Lock.


Bow Back Rivers. Three Mills Lock.


Bow Back Rivers. Prescott Channel. Looking back at Three Mills Lock and the variable tidal weirs / gates. The CaRT lads have moved the weed barge to one side and we have blasted our way through the crud.


Bow Back Rivers. Prescott Channel.


Bow Back Rivers. Prescott Channel.


Bow Back Rivers. Prescott Channel. We have "parked" the crud on the bow of NB Earnest to one side.


Bow Back Rivers. Prescott Channel. We are about to enter Three Mills Wall River.


Bow Back Rivers. Looking down Three Mills Wall River at the newly expanded moorings.


Bow Back Rivers. Looking back down the Prescott Channel.


Bow Back Rivers. Three Mills Wall River.


Bow Back Rivers. Looking back down Three Mills Wall River.


Bow Back Rivers. Exiting Three Mills Wall River at City Mill Lock.


Bow Back Rivers. Exiting Three Mills Wall River at City Mill Lock


Bow Back Rivers. Exiting Three Mills Wall River at City Mill Lock


Bow Back Rivers. We have exited City Mill Lock, done a 180 degree turn and are heading round City Mill River.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River. Yet another low bridge carrying the Northern Outfall Sewer.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River. Yet another low bridge carrying the Northern Outfall Sewer.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River. Looking back at the Northern Outfall sewer.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River.


Bow Back Rivers. City Mill River. Back at the junction with the Old Course of The River Lea.

The Tour Continues...


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