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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Time and tide wait for no man. (St. Marher 1225).

It wasn't raining when I got up to make the tea and I managed to check round the engine etc before it started too. By the time we started up we were the last in the line.

This plaque was found under water when the lock was refurbished in 1950.

Teddington lives on in the history of the country and it is explained in one of two plaques dedicated to the role of the lock in evacuation of Dinkirk in 1940. A classic plucking of victory out of defeat.

More like a station than a lock.

We went for a walk last night and from the eastern girder footbridge you can see that there were a fair few pointing towards the camera meaning that they would be heading down river. We are right up past the large white cruiser.

The second footbridge across the River Thames is a suspension bridge. The two bridges spanning the navigation here were built between 1887 and 1889 and replaced a ferry. They were paid for by donations from local residents.

We were the last to get underway in the rain ans till had to wait around as there were a number of craft penning up. There were five narrow boats that penned out in our lock

By the time we left the lock though, the rain had stopped and eventually the sun appeared. We were tail end charlie and proceeded at normal cruising revs. It is a neap tide so by the time we left the lock there was very little left in the tide. We did catch and overtake the next boat but he later re-passed us with a real bone in the boat's teeth. I assume he was giving his engine a good blast.

Richmond Bridge hove into view. It was built between 1774 and 1777 and was paid for by a Tontine scheme. This is a scheme to raise money whereby investors buy something similar to an annuity but also has elements of a lottery. The annual payment increases as members of the scheme die. The lottery is that the last few to live make the most money. Once the last investor has died the scheme was closed. As the annuities were paid out of tolls taken. When the last man standing passed away in 1859 the tolls were stopped and free movement across the bridge followed.

As we were passing Richmond Half Tide lock not too long after HW Richmond we could go straight through as the barrage is open 2 hours before to 2 hours after HW Richmond. Otherwise you have to pay to use the lock seen on the left. The lock is therefore the only Thames lock owned and operated by the Port of London Authority.

In the archway you can see the groove up and down which the barrage is raised and lowered. A barrage was made essential here once the old London Bridge had been removed. The many piers it had held up the ebb tide so much it retained water here in Richmond. Once it was gone there was little more than a stream on occasion here. The barrage maintains a depth of 1.72m between Richmond and Teddington.

The London Apprentice pub is very nice at Isleworth and it is above the steps that were established during Henry VIII's reign to connect by ferry from Richmond Palace. These were the steps that Lady Jane Grey boarded a barge to accept the throne in 1553 before being imprisoned a few days later.

We could just see Syon House over the bank. We had a good look round here last year when we were stuck at Brentford.

Very quickly we were at the entrance to the creek leading to Thames lock and the start of the Grand Union. The sculpture is a good sign so that you don't miss the turn.

There were two boats waiting to go up Thames Locks so we had a little wait for our turn. This was the last we will see of rivers etc this year, maybe. By the time we got to the Gauging Locks there were four boats waiting still to go up. I was expecting that there would be a queue at the water point and no moorings available but once we penned up on our own all the others had just carried on up the cut. It was even better to find that the moorings here are 14 day ones so I don't have to mess about when Helen goes home at the weekend.

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