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Tours 2000, The Lee and Stort October Trip

2 - Islington to Aqueduct lock, via Regent's Canal, Hertford Union Canal and Lee Navigation

Sunday 22nd October

Linda not having a particularly good night, meant we did not shove off until 9.45. It was a nice peaceful night, no disturbances. Linda stays inside. Peter uses correct technique on City Road Lock (empty) He is getting over confidant now, raising one and a half top paddles, then using flow to close wayward bottom gates. At Sturts Lock a strange thing happens. A tiny woman comes bombing down the towpath, on one of those new tiny, shiny push - scooters and asks Neil if he would mind waiting for boat behind. Neil seems somewhat displeased, so woman goes of to badger Linda. We could not work out where boat had come from. All the boats at Islington, we had either talked to, or were facing the other way and the Islington Borough community boat had gone off the other way. We agree to wait, but after a 10 minute stop, there was no sign, so we bu**er off. No boats are seen behind us the rest of the day (if there had been, we would have been loosing our touch!) The whole Regents Canal seems much faster and crud free (floating and lurking) than when we were last through here (ages ago, must have been 1997) A fair amount of new, mostly "social" housing has gone up. Linda was about by Old Ford Lock and had a chat with one of the BW blokes who hang around there. He said that recently the yob activities have been much less around his patch and many people are mooring overnight above the lock. We pass an old guy in a little nb below the lock, one of only three and a half boats we see moving all day. Neil manages a turn in one into Duckett's (Hertfordshire Union), maybe that new bigger (and straighter!) rudder Earnest is going to get the week after next is not necessary! (11.20)
Many people now about walking along the cut, having spilled out of Victoria Park. Neil can just about remember being led around here, by his Aunt, when he was about 4! A fair amount of floating weed below the Lower lock, we hit the Lee Navigation at 12.15. We pass the Adelaide Marine pair, Albert and Victoria, actually under the first bridge upstream! Lesney Industries still clings to life in one of their units. I can guarantee that they do not make "Matchbox" cars here anymore! Social housing has replaced all their derelict factories. A few rowers passed up to the Old Pond Lane floodgates / footbridge. As there has been a fair amount of rain the Lee had deposited a fair amount of crud here. We are glad to report that this was mostly weed and not rubbish. By the Prince Of Wales Young’s pub we see Blackadder 2, an all black nb, who we met at Purton (Gloucester and Sharpness Canal), They recognise us at the last minute and give us a wave. It was fairly hard going after the weir, where you are on a bit of one of the Lee river channels. 
At the bridge over the approach to Tottenham Locks there was still a large floral tribute to the kid that drowned here recently, while chasing his whippet. The manual Pickett's Lock presented no trouble to Peter, who now has more "push" than Linda (maybe he is hoping to join TNC A team!) Mr Saggs the retired lock keeper was still in residence. He has a new name sign over his front door "Alf Saggs", which does not now include the word lock keeper. He stuck his head out of his front door and gave us a wave. His large Alsatian came and checked us out as well! We spent a good 10 minutes fiddling with the mechanised Stonebridge Lock, but gave up and used the totally manual paired lock. The fault light had not come on in the keepers hut and the lock was switched to boater operation.  From now on all the locks were empty and one gate open. The redevelopment of the old Lee Enfield site above Enfield Lock is nearly complete and there is a large new access bridge not far above the lock. The electric hydraulic bottom gates of Rammey Marsh nearly gave up the ghost and we had to manually push the gate shut, while still pressing the shut button. This would seem to indicate lack of hydraulic fluid! There was only one boat moored above Waltham Town Lock, they had an IWA Waterways Festival 2000 sticker, we wonder if they have been there since! We eventually arrive at our proposed mooring for the night, just above Aqueduct Lock at 17.35. It was a reasonable clear evening, probably meaning that it will be fairly cold night, time to test the Mikuni again! No pub tonight, we had large Spag Bol and bottle of rather good Tesco Spanish red.

Wenlock Basin. Regent's Canal.

Sturt's Lock. Regent's Canal.

Kingsland Basin. Regent's Canal.

The Regent's Canal, through Haggerston. Kingsland Road Bridge in background.

Haggerston Road Bridge. Regent's Canal.

Actons Lock. Regent's Canal.

Leaving Actons Lock. Regent's Canal.

The Regent's Canal through Hackney.

Mare Street Bridge, beyond railway bridge. Regent's Canal.

Beside Victoria Park. Old Ford Lock in distance. Regent's Canal.

Old Ford Lock. Regent's Canal.

Old Ford Lock. Regent's Canal.

Leaving Old Ford Lock. Regent's Canal.

About to turn left into the Hertford Union Canal. Regent's Canal.

We have just turned into the Hertford Union Canal. 

Nicely done new terraced houses, beside the Hertford Union Canal.

Beside Victoria Park again, Hertford Union Canal. 

Upper Lock. Hertford Union Canal. 

Upper Lock. Hertford Union Canal. 

Leaving Upper Lock. Hertford Union Canal. 

Middle Lock. Hertford Union Canal.

Leaving Middle Lock. Hertford Union Canal.

Lower Lock. Hertford Union Canal.

Lower Lock. The cut to the Lee is full up with Floating Pennywort Weed! Hertford Union Canal.

Leaving Lower Lock. We plough through the Floating Pennywort Weed! Hertford Union Canal.

We turn onto the Lee Navigation from the Hertford Union Canal.

We pass the Adelaide Marine "pair", going under Carpenters Road Bridge. River Lee Navigation.
Just after the A102 Bridge is the site of the Lesney - Matchbox Toys Factory - now social housing. River Lee Navigation.

Passed Marshgate Bridge is all that is left of the Lesney Factory. River Lee Navigation.

The now degated Pond Lane Floodgates. River Lee Navigation.

Just above Pond Lane Floodgates we ram a huge build up of Floating Pennywort weed. River Lee Navigation.

Just below Lee bridge, the river departs via weir visible on the right.  River Lee Navigation.

Just before Lee Bridge on the Princess of Wales moorings is "Blackadder 2", the narrowboat we met at Purton on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, in Summer 2000.  River Lee Navigation.

We have just had to use a bit of extra power to get round the bend after Lee Bridge.  River Lee Navigation.

Going up the River Lee, through Clapton.

Going up the River Lee, through Clapton.

The Anchor and Hope pub, sandwiched between 1930's LCC flats. The waterside building nearest the right is the former Ferryboat Inn, now a private house. Clapton, River Lee.

Springfield Marina, Clapton. River Lee

High Bridge!...the footbridge by the rowing club in Clapton. River Lee.

The linear moorings, beside Warwick Reservoir bank. Clapton. River Lee.

The River Lee through Walthamstow Marshes. River Lee.

Tottenham Hale. River Lee.

Approach to Tottenham Locks. The River Lee comes in from the right. 

Leaving Tottenham Locks. River Lee Navigation.

The Lee Navigation below Stonebridge Lock. 

Approaching Stonebridge Lock. River Lee Navigation.

Stonebridge Lock. River Lee Navigation.

Stonebridge Lock. River Lee Navigation. This side could be manually operated, but is out of commision.

Leaving Stonebridge Lock. River Lee Navigation.

Edmonton. River Lee Navigation.

Edmonton. River Lee Navigation.

A406 North Circular Bridge. Edmonton. River Lee Navigation.

A406 North Circular Bridge. Edmonton. River Lee Navigation.

The straight up to Pickett's lock, William Girling reservoir to right. River Lee Navigation.

The tour continues.....

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