Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Hold ups and a night out.

We are plagued with trouble on the M62 it seems as once again we were diverted off the motorway at the Ouse Bridge. This time it wasn't a bloke jumping off but an HGV ignoring the high wind warnings and having the caravan blowing off his trailer. For some reason they closed the whole west bound carriageway and chaos ensued. We were on our way back to the Dewsbury to board the boat for the start of this years cruise. We were an hour and half later arriving but the good news is that the heating and hot water worked first time, and second time and third, so a bit of a result there.

By the time we had carried everything into the boat and got everything run up we just had enough time to get over to Barry's Cafe in the stables by the Legger's Pub for some lunch. Well worth a visit if you are in the area. By the time we had finished it was time for Amy to go home. We popped round the corner to fill p with fuel and set her on the way. Unfortunately there was very heavy traffic through the road works on the M1 and then there had been an accident near the Humber Bridge so more delays there. She was going to be late for work but when she called they didn't need her anyway! Anyway she got home safe and sound in the end.

We stopped off at ASDA to buy a few bits and pieces and when we got back to the boat it was packing everything away so that we could move about, and that was when we each muttered those immortal words 'where is that?' Still we are calling home again in a couple of weeks so we should be able to pick up what we have forgotten and take back all the stuff we don't need. We didn't fancy tea, well Helen didn't, so I made do with a cup of tea and a big bit of Battenburg. 

We were off to the pub at 1900 to see a Mikron Theatre production that was been held there. Last year we seemed to be either a week late or a week earlier for many of their stops so we were please to be able to get to this, the second performance of the year. It was about the 100 years of the Women's Institute and it was excellent. There is no charge at the performance but you do have to pay to get out. I heartily recommend you see it if you catch up with them around the cut.

Image result for mikron theatre raising agents
Mikron Theatre Production on tour this year.

They start their tour of the waterways on 21st may and finish on 9th September so they will be coming to a place near you at some stage. Their other show is about fish and chips so what's not to like?

The wind may delay us leaving the marina at Savile Town Wharf tomorrow but we will see what happens but we are looking forward for the off and the start to our canal trip for this year.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The curious case of the missing fuel in the marina.

Time is running out before we are off and running this year so we made the trip over to Dewsbury once more to resolve the issue of the heating and hot water. This time we weren't delayed by accidents on the M62 and arrived in good time. We had taken the opportunity to load up with more stuff that we will be taking away with us and was this had been transferred to the boat I went round and checked that the radiators were all bled, the expansion tank was topped up and the pipework into the Hurricane heater were full of water. I checked the three way valve in all positions to see if I could make more water fill up the system to dispel air pockets and all seemed well. I  set everything up electrical and set it  to fire up. It just went in to 'flame out' error. This indicates that there is air in the fuel line so I set to checking that out. In the small visual port in the line inside the heater cabinet it looked like fuel there and no air bubbles. I checked the in line fuel filter and that was as clean as a whistle and so I checked the fuel tank to make sure that there wasn't some how an air lock preventing the fuel passing through the pipework. I should have thought as the engine had started okay and it is from the same tank but a different supply line. Imagine my surprise when I looked in and saw that the level was well down! We had filled the tank right to the top on arriving at the marina to reduce the air space where where water could condensate out of over winter and now there was only about a third of a tank left. That meant that about 120 ltrs of diesel had disappeared.

It wasn't in the engine hole and I'm sure that somebody would have noticed if that had dropped into the dock as it  would have spread all over. The lock and padlock over the filler cap were in place and didn't appear to have been tampered with and the pipework to the tank didn't look as though it had been worked on either, so I am at a loss to explain it. But it had gone!!

The bar is double thickness on the left hand side so it wont pass through the bracket and with the padlock through the hole on the right I thought all would be secure.

When I dipped the tank I saw that the level of the fuel in the tank was below the level of the supply line to the heater. I thought that the pipe extended down to near the bottom of the tank but just to erase a possibility of fuel not being able to get to the Hurricane I filled up enough to cover the pipe and provide a small head and tried starting the heater. Still no good. I knew there was a reset button for overheat in the heater unit so I took off the panel and poked around trying to find it. This is all complicated by the fact that I could not peer into the space as there is no room above the unit. I was trying to see using a lit mirror on a stick. I then felt around with my fingers to see if I could find anything but still no luck. In the end I resorted to calling Calcutt Boats, the suppliers of the unit, and spoke to Chris there. He told me there were three aquastats but I could only find two. In the end I did find it and after resetting the button all was good and it started up no problem. They are always very helpful, and very patient with twits like me at Calcutt boats. I asked them what there call out fee was for future reference. I was told that it is £110 call out. For that you get 200 miles traveled (so 100' there and 100' back) and an hour's labour. Every extra mile would be at 65p. That would mean that it would have cost me £154 for them to come and press the button for me. I'm glad that I managed to find it and pressed it myself.

The corner of the Hurricane unit can just be seen near the brass stern gland greaser and the lagged exhaust at the top right of the picture. The corner of a silver box in a green tray.

Well I thought we had cracked it now as the Hurricane ran and the water got hot and the radiator got warm and all was looking good. I then turned it all off and started it again. The three way valve moved as it should and everything started up but once again I had become a hostage to my optimism and hadn't taken precautions on the water overflowing as previously, so of course that is what it did, again. I had now become a dab hand at cleaning up after  a spill. Once again I went right through the system eliminating air and set it to run. The  pump was making a funny noise so I stopped it straight away and so only managed to get a little liquid on the deck. I then took precautions and made sure that any over spill would not go every where. The noise sounded as though the pump circulating the water round the system was pumping air and not water. I took this as a good  sign as I had not heard that previously so the air must have come from somewhere. I once again went right through shaking hoses and banging pipes to dislodge any air and bleed radiators and the inlet and outlet to the heater unit and fired the system up again.. How I wished that I had taken precautions to stop the water coming out of the top of the expansion tank going everywhere because now I had it seemed to work fine. We left it running to it shut down on reaching temperature in the boat and the tank. I monitored the water level in the expansion tank and then started it all up again and left it running and again all went smoothly. I wish I had had taken precautions against spills at the beginning as I reckon it would have worked first time. Of course we will have to see if it is okay when we get back to the boat the next time.

I really hope I don't have to spend so much time peering into this cupboard for ages now. It did give me a chance to sort out and lose some stuff that we didn't need so all was not wasted.

There is still the loss of diesel to ponder. I did report it to the marina and they said that they had never had any problems like that previously. I have no idea where it has gone. I must have run the engine for about 6 hours over the winter and the heater (when it was working) for say another 6 hours. If you say that I used 2 litres per hour that is about 25 litres and I haven't used them for that long. It is nothing like the 120 that is no more. I wonder where it has disappeared to?

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

One step forwards....

This last weekend saw me make another couple of visits to the boat to try and crack the heating problem. On Saturday I took along our friend Richard the electrician. After a bit of ferreting about and being sent down a  blind alley by  a wire that had come adrift a busted motorised valve was diagnosed. Savile Town Wharf is very handily placed for plenty of shops for DIY and other bits and pieces and a new motorised valve was easily obtained. When we got back to the boat the new Horstmann was larger than the original so would not fit on the base plate fixed to the three pipes. That meant I had to part the connections. Then I had to cut some off the copper pipe for the bottom  connection to fit up into the brass three way valve. That achieved we proved that all the electrics were now right and all systems were go!

The three way valve beneath the new motorised valve. The light blue calorifier can be seen on the left.

The next thing we had to do was bleed all the air out of the system that had been introduced when we opened the pipe work. I ensured the header tank level was maintained and then went round bleeding the five radiators we have in the boat. Next it was down the engine hole to bleed the pipework there using the new bleed valves that had been added on elbows above the Hurricane unit at Calcutt Boats on the way north last year. All went fine and so I was confident when we switched the Hurricane on and set the timer and thermostat to produce heat. Everything started up as expected. I continued to monitor the level in the header tank to ensure that any air coming out of the system had more fluid to replace it and not allow it to suck air in. Quickly I found the level increasing and pretty soon it was coming over the top and out into the back of the boat. The antifreeze'coolant is quite 'greasey' so cleaning up was not so easy. 

The expansion tank is found at the top of the cupboard above the calorifier. The thick black cable can be seen leading to the new motorised valve. The switch in the cupboard is for the immersion heater when on mains power.

A also saw that my pipework connections were leaking so it was off with the nuts again, and of course I didn't have the right size spanner so was having to make do with a mole wrench! The magic PTFE tape was wrapped round ( I have watched plumbers get it right every time but I seem to drop the reel and wrap it the wrong way etc etc) and then all back together. It was then round the radiators and pipework topping everything up again and rattling pipe runs to displace a bubbles before setting the heating going again. You would think I would have learned wouldn't you but no, The coolant once again came gushing out of the expansion tank and all over the deck. That was it. We had been there hours and hadn't had anything to eat, and just a couple of hot drinks. The back doors had to be open so we were cold with the breeze blowing straight in. I had to get Richard back to Selby so I dried everything up and we just left everything as it was and went home. Thanks very much Richard, you achieved your side of the work as the electrics work now! I did get to watch the rugby the next day. Maybe on Saturday the match would have been very thrilling but knowing the result I just thought that England made too many mistakes to allow France to score and make it very difficult. At that showing I'm not sure whether New Zealand or South Africa will be too worried for the World Cup later this year.

I talked Helen into coming back with me on Sunday to get it all going again. I needed somebody to keep the expansion/header tank topped up whilst I was running around checking everything else. We soon set to after a delay in getting there as the M62 had been closed due to somebody jumping of a bridge on to the carriageway near Goole. We soon had the system filled up and bled, and once again I didn't learn my lessen and it again 'boiled' over and into the back of the cabin. I checked again, and once again I took no precautions as I was convinced I had it this time. Of course I hadn't, and it was on hands and knees mopping up for the last time. That was it, we had had enough and left it until another day, and another 'three coats of looking at' before I made another attempt.

Helen had bought an off cut of carpet to fit near the stove so before we went home I fitted that and it looks very good. When Helen had picked me up earlier in the week she had bought me a piece of acrylic to experiment with double glazing for the windows. We have hopper style windows on most of them. I didn't really want to have to cover these up to make them available for us and so that we could almost have the secondary glazing as 'permanent'. I would be able to seal the acrylic sheet to the bottom and two sides using magnetic strip A and B, but at the top there was a gap so this wouldn't be possible. I bought some neoprene gasket of the right thickness and then attached the magnetic strip to this so the top of the acrylic as gripped to the frame below the hopper. I am pleased with the result and the look of the final assembly. We are going to see how it performs as secondary glazing. I'm sure it will assist heat loss but will have to see about condensation. If it is okay we will do the same to the other five windows the same.

This photo shows the gap between the acrylic sheet and the window frame below the hopper filled with the neoprene strip. 

We also had time to manufacture a window for our side hatch that we can fix and remove easily from inside the boat and just use the bolt holes from the steel doors already there. It seems safe and secure, and doesn't look too ugly at all, and will be a great boon to let light in for the dinette even if the weather is inclement.

All in all we started with hot water but no heating and now have no hot water or heating, but we have achieved other objectives at a very reasonable price so I am not too downhearted. More research required before returning again.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Wiring successes and failures.

The weather has allowed me to have tidy up in the garden. I have pruned the trees and cleaned up the deadwood up as well as digging over the beds and removing a lot of the nettles. i have left some for the butterflies etc. One thing that was strange was a sort of nest that I found on the floor between some plants that had died off. It looked like a rodents nest but I have never seen a mouse make a thing like this. Can anybody identify it from a poor photo?

The 'nest' with a small entrance hole facing west with a dome of grass and leaves.

On Monday Helen brought me over to Dewsbury. The car was jammed with stuff to take, so much so that I began to wonder where we would put it. Helen wasn't staying so after dropping me and the stuff off she headed back home. My first job was to make a cup of tea, but after that I set to fixing up the 'double glazing' on the front doors. It went well and fits well. It felt less cold straight away. I hope that it will cut down the condensation too. I then got down to laying some carpet that we had bought. It was carpet runner style stuff. I thought it may be a little light but having laid it it doesn't seem to creep. The rest of the day seemed to be taken with trying to sort out the heating! For some reason the Hurricane was working fine in the water heating but did not work on the central heating mode. 

On the way for my dinner at Weatherspoon's I called of at Screwfix and B&Q for bits and pieces. I got a new room thermostat as I thought it may be that causing the problem. The next day I fitted the new thermostat but it didn't make any difference. The Hurricane didn't receive a signal. Out with the manual, but it didn't take me long to find that it hadn't been wired up as per the plan! I am not an electrician but as it is only 12V I thought I would have a go. Despite opening everything up I couldn't see anything obvious amiss. I gave Calcutt a ring to see if they could point me to something obvious. They suggested that I short out across some terminals. If it flashed up that showed the Hurricane was working okay. I did and it did so it was then cable chasing. That all stopped when I touched two wires together and the lot went. The charger went off and the shore power went off too. It seems that one of the wires must be 230V so I stopped straight away. I thought I had blown the Victron up but after a while I found one of the breakers open so everything was okay.

At the top is the galvanic isolation kit. On the right in the silver is the 'brain' of the Hurricane heater. The white book is the consumer unit where everything seems to come in. I have a feeling that this is where the trouble is. The blue unit below that is the Victron Multiplus Compact inverter/charger, and below that is the solar panel control unit. This place is normally full of coats and tools and is a little awkward to get into at the best of times.

As an antidote to 'difficult' things I thought I would take on a simple task and fill up with water. It seemed for ever but just as I had decided that we had enough it was full. I then thought I would fix up the window for the side hatch. Not easy to do on your own, and so it turned out I managed to drop the sheet in the cut and it took me another hour to get it out again. Spare carpet was cut to fit in the bottom of lockers and wardrobes. Next it was the TV. Helen had put her foot down regarding having one onboard this year. We had bought one especially and now I had to make it work. Previously we had taken one from home and I had never managed to get it working. I got some new coaxial and ran it through the window to an aerial sat on a bucket on the rough and roughly pointing the way of those on the houses. When I tuned it in lo and behold there we were. I then tried it through the system fitted through the boat to the forward aerial point, and again it worked! I then tried it with a little flat aerial that is from an Audi car and again it worked. Hopefully that means that I wont need a mast and a big high gain aerial. At last something was working okay.

I still need to run the internal coaxial from the aerial point to the TV but hopefully Helen will be able to catch the 'Bake Off' without using all my data on the internet.

Today it was checking the batteries. I had run out of de-ionised water last time at the boat so checked all the cells and found that they really weren't too bad. I think I am not getting the best wear out of my batteries with this set up as one battery is doing all the work and not sharing the road. I have decided to have the take over from the positive from the opposite end to the negative and so had to measure the length of cable I would need. My original plan was to rip out the wooden facing of the locker as it was mostly rotten but with the delay of the heating I was going to run out of time.

My battery set up with the take off from the services side is from the second left battery. I think it should come from the right hand end battery so that the load on the batteries is more even. The starter battery is the one on the left.

I then spent some time boxing off all the electrics ready to leave the boat when Helen come for me in the morning. All in all I have accomplished a lot but there is still more to do before we set off at the end of the month.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Haunting Hoxton.

Wow, where does the time go? It seems ages since I wrote anything on here. It is over a week! I had better finish off our visit to London for the sake of completeness.

We took our bag to Kings Cross left luggage and headed off for another walk around an area of the Capital we did not know. This time it was to be Hoxton. It is a very mixed area but seems to have a good bit of history about the place. It was in the Domesday book and then in Tudor times was an area where the rich had their manor houses to escape the bad airs of the City. It featured in the Gunpowder as it was where Lord Monteagle lived. It was he who received an anonymous letter warning him to stay away from the coming Parliament. It may have com e form a family member or even himself as a way of currying favour. He read it out at a meal with noted Catholics that night and then delivered it to Robert Cecil who was the 'security' for the King. The conspirators knew that the plot had been 'blown' so to speak but as the gunpowder hadn't been found they went ahead, with disastrous consequences. Nothing survives of the manor house though.

As it was away from the City and still in the countryside the large houses of the wealthy were being turned over to asylums and almshouses by the end of the 17th century. It is also the site of arguably the first council estate. To the north of Hoxton was the Old Nichol Rookery. This was the worst of slums with nearly 9 people per small house and 1400 small houses in an area of 400 sq. yds. Eventually action was taken and in 1894 they started to clear the area. New flats were built by the London County Council so perhaps being the first to be built. The were built in a radiating pattern from the central Arnold Circus. This was a mound that was made from the rubble of the old buildings. A bandstand was erected on it later and still exists. It was such a major event that when it officially opened in 1900 it was the Prince of Wales who officiated.

Arnold Circus soon after opening in 1900.

Arnold Cicus as it is today.

There is mixed occupation of the area with original white families, Bangladeshis and new upwardly mobile young professionals. There are plans to rejuvenate the flats but they are being resisted as this may price the locals out of the market. 

When we finished our walk we found the Geffrye Museum on Kingsland Road. These were originally alms house built by Sir Robert Geffrye who had been a Master of the Company of Ironmongers and a Lord Mayor of London. He was unmarried and had a fortune. The almshouses were for the poor of the Ironmongers industry. It was built here as it was out in the country. It is now a museum of domestic interiors. This came about as the area was a centre of furniture making. Most of the original houses have been converted to eleven displays of periods from 1600 to the present. They have also returned one of the houses to its original form to show how it was when built. In 1914 the charity sold the Grade 1 listed building and moved to Hampshire. It was felt that as the only green space in the area the lot had to be bought by the council to preserve it. They then formed the museum. It is free to visit and I highly recommend the coffee shop as it is in a lovely space and rounded off a good walk for us.

The open space that saved the almshouses and the future of the Geffrye Museum.

We also discovered that Hoxton was the first theatre and musical centre of London as these evils couldn't be tolerated in the City! I think there are only two of the original theatres now and only one used for entertainment.

We went to Kings Cross and had a few beers at the Parcel Yard pub there. It was very busy but still a nice pub for a station. I did notice that they seemed to have done away with much of the variety of beers now and mainly concentrate of Fullers range. The trip home was speedy and uneventful other than for a party of politics students discussing their theories loudly all o the way home following a visit to the Houses of Commons and Lords. We were flopping into bed by 2330 having walked our feet off.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Boats, beer and the Blues.

For our second day in London we decided on a walk by the river. After a good cooked breakfast we set of in sunshine but with a cool wind. We were asked the way to the river by an older bloke who turned out to be a Swedish farmer that was over in the area staying a daughter. When I asked him why he wanted to go to the river he simply said because he had never seen it! It was is first time in London. His daughter was living over here translating films and adding Swedish sub titles. We arrived at the River just before Battersea Bridge and he turned down stream and we ventured up towards Chiswick.

Battersea Bridge.

Chiswick has a Mall that runs by the river. It has a couple of small rowing clubs. We didn't see any boats on the river other than a rowing four with their coach in a speed boat shouting instructions to them. It seemed like a nice day to be on the river too. The Mall runs past the small island of Chiswick Eyot that is close to the north bank. between the island and the bank there were several house boats that had permanent moorings with little garden plots that were fenced and hedged off. It seems that one of the moorings (and house boat) are up for sale. For 16 years of the 25 year lease and mains water, gas, electricity and sewage you just have to part with £350000. At the far end of the mall was Hammersmith Creek that ran to the Stamford Brook. It was around here that in 1861 John Thorneycroft started a boat building business. It was here that they built the first ever Royal Navy destroyer, HMS Daring in 1893. By 1909 the size of the ships required had outgrown the site and the business moved to Southampton and survives to this day. On the site of the mouth of the creek is now a garden/park. In the 1920's the council started to improve the area and the creek was filled in in 1936. During WWII there was much bomb damage and in fact the first V2 rocket fell on Chiswick. A Quaker Meeting House was flattened and after the war it was decided to create an open space in time for the Festival of Britain. It was named Furnivall Gardens after Dr. James Fredrick Furnivall (1825 - 1910) who was a scholar and founder of the first rowing club that would accept women, now called the Furnivall Rowing Club in 1896.

Fullers, Smith and Turner's Griffin Brewery. The green on the buildings is claimed to be the oldest wisteria in the country. Two were bought from China, one here and one for Kew Gradens. The one at Kew died but they got a cutting from this one. It is said to be fed on beer.

The reason for heading this way was to take part in a brewery visit at Fuller's Chiswick Brewery that is almost on the river front. By the way Chiswick is Old English for 'cheese farm' as an annual cheese fair was held here up, until the 18th century. The meeting place was at the pub by the brewery, The Mason Arms that had at one time been the home of the poet Alexander Pope. There were about 11 of us on tour. four or five Chinese, an American and a couple of older ladies from central London that were old friends and got together each month to do something different, along with us odds and sods.
The brewery is over 350 years old but has obviously been improved using modern methods. They make cask ales and will not move from the site. The old buildings give the place a a great feel and comes over as a real family business.

The Fullers bought into the brewery with the Thompson family who were pretty hopeless. In 1839 he died but passed his controlling share over to his son John Bird Fuller. By 1845 he bought out the Thompson's completely. He needed capital and expertise and this is where the Smith and Turner come into the picture. We did learn that there most famous beer 'London Pride' is not simply named after being proud of London but after the garden plant that was one of the first plants to grew on the bomb sites of WWII.

Saxifrage 'London Pride'.

The tour was over an hour long and despite being modernised they have kept enough of the old equipment to make it very intersting. The new barrel cleaning and filling line and the robot arm called 'Les' after the company engineer are also impressive.
fuller's brewery
Original copper mash tun.

You get plenty of time to get your money back with sampling the different ales. They now also own Gales Brewery so they also have good beers. Helen really liked the Country Orchard cider that they stock too. So much so that she bought a bottle and glass at the shop at the brewery.

I think I got my monies worth.

After walking back to the hotel slowly and with widow shopping and coffee stops we were soon on our up town for a meal in Soho and then to the Palace Theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue. It is a lovely atmospheric theatre with illuminated cherubs. We had enough time to look round TK Max and came out with a small caserole dish that will sit on top of the stove on the boat and a much reduced handbag for Helen.

Palace Theatre, London.

The show we went to see was The Commitments. I enjoyed it and the music is great, but they just can't beat the film which was one of my favourites.

Image result for the commitments musical poster
The Commitments musical.

We were back at the hotel in about 30 mins and a well earned kip in a very comfy bed, with a window that opened.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Old canals, old houses and old soldiers.

Our trip to London started well with a good trip down on Hull Trains (voted best railway company for Customer service) and we were soon at Stamford Bridge. We were checked in at the Copthorne attached to the Shed End of the ground but told we were 'upgraded' to the Millennium Hotel that was just across the way. All was nice and clean etc as would be expected, but as it was away from the road it was still nice and quiet for London. We had been up to take our son to the airport for him to fly to work at 0430 so after a cup of tea we went out to find something to eat. It chucked it down just after we left the hotel so dived into the first place we could find. We were soon back and nodding off in front of the TV.

 The next day we had our first canal hit. Almost next door to the hotel is a railway. Next to that is the Brompton Road cemetery. The rail way was built on the line of the Kensington Canal. After the success of the Regents Canal that opened in 1820 the local land owner William Edwardes or 2nd Lord Kensington thought he would get rich by making the existing Counters Creek or sewer navigable. He had a very cheap estimate of £8000 and got Parliamentary permission in 1824. A re think was done by John Rennie and the cost was now guessed at £34000 with the rebuilding of Stamford Bridge and widening and sloping the sides along with other things. A new act of parliament was needed to raise more money. In the end it was Lord Kensington other land owners in the area and their friends, eighteen in all put the money up. Work started that year but it was not opened until August 1828 as the contractor went bust in the meantime.

West Brompton Station in early 1960's with the old canal and bridge still visible to the left.

The canal was just under 2 miles long and ended in a basin 400' x 200'. The canal was 100 wide. There was one lock just before the basin that was just south of the Hammersmith Road. There was a great party as the worthies boated to the basin from the Thames where a sumptuous feast was put on for 200 with a butt of porter opened for the occasion. As there was no lock at the start the main part of the canal was tidal. This brought in much silt and the freshwater flow was not enough to keep it scoured out. That meant that the passage could not be made at all times and the loads had to be lighter as the depth wasn't maintained, and anyway there wasn't much cargo carried either and the canal never made any money. They were saved by the coming of the railways. Firstly a small spur was added to meet up with the canal basin for a transhipment depot in 1836. The West London Railway bought the canal but this also was an abject failure. However by 1859 railways were really taking off and a link was needed to the railways to the south of the Thames so the company, now part of the London and North Western Railway built over the canal for much of its length and crossed the Thames on a bridge. The bit of canal from around Stamford Bridge to the Chelsea Creek remained in use until the late 1960's serving flour mills and a gas works. It was officially closed in 1970.

Brompton Road Cemetery was a pleasant place and was very busy with dog walkers, cyclists and mums with small children in a quiet spot away from the busy roads. We walked round Chelsea and Kensington and found it very interesting to see all the different houses when it was built as a rich suburb. There are many blue plaques for all the people that had lived in the various houses.

Brompton Road Cemetery.

We were amazed at the number of graves and each had several bodies in them. We also noted that some stone had lasted much better than others. There are several famous people buried here but perhaps is more famous as the names of several of Beatrix Potter's characters were found among the tombstones as she lived nearby.

Perhaps the nicest house of all was the Royal Hospital Chelsea, or better known as the home of the Chelsea Pensioners. It is a lovely place and you can walk round most of it. It was started by Charles II in 1682 and the first veterans probably were installed in 1685. This is another area of peace and quiet in the hubbub of London, and I can recommend the coffee shop as comfortable and with good prices (for London).

The Figure Court with the golden statue of Charles II. The buildings are by Wren and to the left of the archway is the Grand Hall and to the right the chapel. The Grand Hall was been renovated at the time of our visit.

The Chapel was very impressive.

Back to the hotel and another cup of tea before heading out into central London to meet up with a friend at Liverpool Street Station. We had a few drinks and a meal around the Spitalfields area before heading back again to get out feet up!