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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Fireman Sam to the rescue!

It was a very quiet night so a lie in was not a problem on Sunday. I did get up to make the tea eventually and whist Helen was sorting herself out I walked in to the centre of Yiewsley to buy the paper. Tesco's doesn't open until 1100. Mind you we didn't move anywhere until after the Archer's Omnibus had finished.

We left our berth heading back towards Bulls Bridge. The sun came over the apartments at about 0800 so also a good mooring for the solar panels.

I was facinated to see these major works going on near West Drayton Station as we passed, especially as we are struggling 'up North' to have the transpennine route electrified. It seems that it the Cross Rail route. Just before this station there will be a spur in a tunnel to Heathrow. The route will head west to Reading. This part of the project will be the last to be completed and it is set to be hosting 6 trains an hour from one side of London to the other by December 2019. They were talking of the Elizabeth Line!? I had never heard of this, maybe because Cross Rail is not much of a subject in Hull, but it turns out that Cross Rail will be rebranded the Elizabeth Line once up and running. Who knew?

Just by Bridge 194A the canal is restricted by this floating tow path as the shoreside development is completed. There was obviously an old bridge here anyway as the canal narrows. It seems that the development of a huge office complex next to the canal is the latest development on the vast 150 acre Stockley Park estate. This project was started in 1986 and each of the 26 buildings are individually designed and top end. With it's position close to Heathrow this is attracting high end businesses too. So far there are Apple, Hasbro, Glakosmythcline, M&S Canon, IBM and even the Canadian Embassy! It says that over 8000 are employed here.

Just past the new development is the old Bridge 195. I was intrigued by the fact that it also has a name. As far as I can remember this is the only named bridge I have seen on the Grand Union. Mind you I bet somebody out there will be able to tell me I'm wrong. I wonder why it was named anyway.

Having had a look on www.gerald.massey.org.uk there was a large number of wharves along this stretch along with numerous docks and short arms built off the main route. This looks like it may have been an old wharf for a factory where the towpath is lifted to make the transfer of good to and from the hold of a narrow boat or barge easier.

I think that is all that remains of Maynard's Dock that extended for 300yds. It looks as though it has been preserved of sorts as it looks like a little nature reserve now.

I am wondering if this Odell's Dock. They certainly don't want you mooring here though, even if you could as it is silted right up.

As we approached Hayes town centre I saw some smoke rising from the vegetation by the tow path. There had obviously been a a little brush fire but part of it was still smoldering. We stopped and poured a few buckets of water over it to prevent it setting off again.

We were going to moor up near to Bridge 200 but we couldn't get near the side. Maybe been full of water and fuel. We therefore decided to carry on. We winded at Bull's Bridge and reversed a little past the water point to moor up on the tow path side to enjoy the sunshine even though it is a little windy at the moment.

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