Friday, March 18, 2005


A canal branches off here heading for Wendover several miles away. This Easter it is to be officially opened to boats and walkers. Ann & Sue spent a whole day walking to the village of Wendover and back along the canal. A pumping station at Tring pumps up 4 million gallons of water from Wiltstone reservoir to keep the summit level full of water. Two large lakes were created to store water and are now a nature reserve.

Tring Bridge


From Berkhamsted the canal climes up the Chiltern Hills to the summit level at Cowroast through 6 locks. Before a pump was installed there were long lines of working boats waiting to cross over due to lack of water. Three miles north west gets to Bulbourne in company with a Roman road and a railway. Robert Stevenson had built the railway cutting back in 1834. I may have seen some remains of the broad gauge track covered in grass. Found a space near the 19th century workshops where BW make lock gates.

Bulbourne Workshops

Sunday, March 13, 2005

As seen in Waterways World !

Thanks to Jim.Shead for spreading the word of boaters blogs. His regular feature 'clicking.on.canals' includes many other sites of interest. 

Friday, March 11, 2005

Water Loss

It had to happen one day. Most locks on this canal are left open as boaters leave them. It then only takes one paddle to be left slightly open or a 'yob' to lift it and overnight water escapes.

We first noticed a problem when the TV picture went off. The aerial had turned round as the boat started to lean over. It was dark, about nine, when it happened. Things got worse. Cupboards opened and the contents started falling out. The water level had gone down a foot. That is a lot of water in a mile between locks. By the time we had loosened off the ropes the boat was almost grounded. It was hard work trying to push the boats off.

A man rushed by from another boat heading for the lock half a mile away. He returned and reported that 3 paddles were up. He had managed to drop two but without a 'windie' he could not drop the third due to the water pressure. So Ann & Sue went off in the dark with a torch and a 'windie'. Water had been flooding over the edge below the lock and the pumping station was working flat out.

By now the boats were starting to shift as the water level came back up. We moored along side No Problem and S n V put a plank out to keep away from the edge.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005



I wonder if any of you know where it was made. We passed the old egg farm and factory at Kings Langley after going under the M25. The factory was being demolished so we donĂ¢€™t even know now. Perhaps the roar of traffic stopped the hens laying! One of the original 'Ovaltine' narrow boats is being kept in excellent condition at Rickmansworth.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Moving north on the Grand Union


We have managed to get up as far as Watford on sunny but cold days. Passing many miles of residential boats at Uxbridge and Rickmansworth. Got some diesel at the local boat yard and stopped for the night. Woke in the morning to find snow laying its white carpet and ice had formed a flat hard surface on the canal. Our friends T & M wisely cancelled their planned visit by car.

Snow on M2L

Post and Tesco

As the ice started to melt we pushed on up through the next lock crackling through the thin ice on the way. Ann & Sue went off to collect the post at the local P.O. but we had it sent to another further away! Ann returned to help us through the next lock as we were expecting another delivery from Sue returned later with the post and a box of flowers. Then the Tesco van arrived just as it started to rain! We all rushed about packing it all into both boats.

Cassiobury Park

Then moved up to the park through more ice and went for a walk through the trees. Quite pleasant in the late sunshine as the days are noticeably getting longer. Stayed two nights here but then woke to more ice and could not move till midday. On the way we saw this rather inadequate facility at one of the locks!

A facility ?