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Tours 2000, The Lee and Stort October Trip

5 - Spellbrook lock to Bishops Stortford to Brentford to Harefield Marina, Lee and Stort Navigation, Hertford Union Canal, Regents Canal, Grand Union Canal - Paddington Arm and Main line

Wednesday 25th October 

Left moorings above Spellbrook Lock at 8.20. Carried straight through to Bishops Stortford. Linda made slight pig’s ear of winding and ended up on pilings, at the junction in the river. Neil took over and with a bit of gusto got Earnest off and reversed back until nearly under the road bridge (weir just the other side of this). This was at 9.40. We did not need any provisions from the handy Sainsbury’s, so carried on back, to make sure we got back down under Roydon Rail Bridge. Kecksy’s rail bridge was in fact lower than Roydon , at this time. We got back to the junction with the River Lee at 15.45. After the “were not going on the Thames Tideway” argument, Neil carried on, on his own and was eventually stopped at Broxbourne, opposite the Lido. (16.45) That night we went out for an OK Indian at the British Raj restaurant.

Thursday 26th October 

Left Broxbourne at 9.00. Neil on strike and stays in bed! Linda steers and Peter cranks the locks on his own until Rammey Marsh, when Neil appears, to help! Get to the Junction with the Hertford Union at 15.00 and go back home the same way, via the Hertford Union and Regent’s Canal / Grand Union. Turn onto the Regent’s Canal at 15.45 and reach Islington Visitor Moorings at 17.00. There was one 60ft spot left, in the (nightly) lock yourself in section of towpath, up to Islington Tunnel entrance. The bad news was that there was a fisherman on it. In the nicest possible way Linda told him that we were mooring there, especially as he would soon have to move or get locked in! He was either simple or being awkward, but did eventually go, after we were moored up beside him! That night Neil chained the boat up, just in case this pillock had a BW key! The meal that night was yet another visit to the Café Uno.

 

Friday 27th October 

Neil’s birthday. Left at 9.35 and had uneventful trip to Little Venice. Spent ages on the VERY slow water point (11.35 to 12.30) We had lunch while this was occurring. That night stopped at Bulls Bridge again - 15.55. That night we forgoes the delights of the Tesco Café and gorged ourselves on lots of goodies bought from Tesco’s.

 

Saturday 28th October 

Left Bulls Bridge at 10.35, after we decided to go down to Brentford for the night and go to the nice La Rosetta Italian Restaurant. At Norwood Top Lock Neil noticed the sign hanging from the locks, stating that the River Brent was impassable due to flooding! Neil DID point this out to Linda, but she discounted the advice, saying “How can that drain be in flood!” We carried on down the Hanwell Flight. Near the bottom we met an Adelaide Marine hire narrowboat who HAD done the Thames Tideway yesterday – If we HAD done it we would have had company! The Captain was somewhat perturbed, as he had done the Tideway with the rudder OUT OF THE SKEG BEARING! – they had a rudder / top sill interface situation, coming down the Regent’s Canal! He was also recovering from the long time it took to get up the River Brent, as it was going it a bit! At the bottom, Linda did not have time to chicken out, just time to get everyone in life jackets. It was indeed the quickest traverse of the River Brent section that we have ever made! Predictably there was loads of water borne crap above Osterley and Clitheroes Lock. We arrived at a somewhat full (just about over the towpath) and flushed out Brentford Basin at 13.15. That afternoon we bussed up to the Kew Waterworks pumping Museum, a good afternoon out, as the narrow-gauge railway was working! Unfortunately we were not fully prepared, in the waterproof department, for the down pour experienced on the way back! After drying out, back at the boat and the rain stopping, we managed to get out of the flooded basin (over the towpath in a good few places!) and get to our favourite little Restaurant in Brentford – the excellent as ever Italian – La Rosetta. Wendy was made really welcome by the chef brother of the two owners and was made to prepare the Crepes Suzette, on a huge portable gas burner. The chef nearly scorched the ceiling with the amount of Grand Marnier that he set fire to!

 

Sunday 29th October 

We left Brentford Basin at 8.10 (clocks went back last night) and braved the mighty River Brent (completely gone off and level nearly down, as no rain during the night.) Even more crap above the two river section locks, but we picked our way through. The locky was out on the Hanwell flight and helped up (a bit!) Passed Bulls Bridge at 15.00 and got back to Harefield Marina entrance. Here we had the winter diesel top up and a new gag bottle. We were all tied up at our mooring at 15.30…..then came the long job of emptying the boat for the winter!


Approach to Spellbrook Lock (on the way back). River Stort Navigation.

Leaving Spellbrook Lock. River Stort Navigation.

 Twyford Lock. River Stort Navigation.

 River Stort Navigation.

 South Mill Lock. River Stort Navigation.

  South Mill Lock. River Stort Navigation.

  South Mill Lock. River Stort Navigation.

  South Mill Lock. River Stort Navigation.

  South Mill Lock. River Stort Navigation.

  The weir above South Mill Lock. River Stort Navigation.

 Rail Bridge before Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 Entering Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 Bishops Stortford Sanitary Station. River Stort Navigation.

 One branch of the river goes up here, forming a winding point in the Y. Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 The final winding point. Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 The end of Navigation. Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

 Bishops Stortford. River Stort Navigation.

Regents Canal.

Little Venice. Regents Canal.

Little Venice. Looking back up to Maida Hill Tunnel. Regents Canal.

Brownings Pool. (Little Venice) Regents Canal.

Brownings Pool. (Little Venice) Regents Canal.

Brownings Pool. (Little Venice) Regents Canal.

Brownings Pool. (Little Venice) Regents Canal.

Brownings Pool. (Little Venice) Regents Canal.

Stop Lock Cottage, on way out of Brownings Pool. Grand Union, Paddington Arm.

North Circular Aqueduct. Grand Union, Paddington Arm.

North Circular Aqueduct. Grand Union, Paddington Arm.

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