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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Shower swerving.

A boat passed as we were starting to get ready so we sped up and met them at Black Jack lock. They were fairly new to boating but were a good chatty couple to share locks with.

I managed to pick some apples to go with the damsons yesterday and last night I chopped the damson and one punnet of the apples and stewed them up for Damson and apple jelly/jam. I left the mush dripping overnight and ended up with a pint and a quarter of liquor.

This bridge allows the River Colne to flow out of the canal after coming in to it by Springwell Lock.

This is the bridge over the Troy Cut that was dug to service the Troy Mill. Later it would transport sand and gravel from the pits that are now worked out and are now nature reserves. 

the Grand Union hereabouts seems to meander like canals of a lesser size.

Later on you pass the sewage works that serve the west of Hertfordshire and a half a million people. There are two pipe bridges and judging by the diameter of a couple of them they are supplying the 'raw material'. There are moorings down the arm to the left but I suppose you get used to the smell.

I missed the coal duty post by Stocker's Lock but it was starting to rain and the farm across from the lock always catches my eye. We stopped at Tesco's at Rickmansworth for the Sunday paper and stopped for a cup of tea whilst the rain stopped. The supermarket was built on site of the old W.H. Walker and Bros. that were a prolific builder of wooden narrow boats. Between 1905 and 1964 they had built in 212 new boats and had repaired over 600 other boats.

There were a couple of boats coming down the lock so we pulled on to the water point and topped up whilst we waited. The rain got really heavy, but tailed off by the time the boats were coming down and as we had finished topping up. By the time we got to the top the rain had stopped though.

As we cleared the lock I looked back and saw this monument on the off side in a private garden. I have tried to find out something about it but I couldn't see anything. The writing on the base seemed to be late 1700's or early 1800's to my eye. Anybody know anything about it? Rickmansworth is a poor mans Venice as there are three rivers, Colne, Chees and Gade along with the canal and many flooded gravel pits. The second lock went up in to the River Chess and to a gas works and wharf nearer the town. Before the lock there was also a wharf off the canal to wharfs that were behind St. Mary's Church. Above the lock on the tow path side was another lock to the town wharf that was built in 1903.

We tried to find a spot to moor in the sun but where ever there was a bit of sun we couldn't get any where near the side. We ended up above Common Moor Lock and between the bridges between Cassio Bridge Lock. Whilst there I made four jars of jam.


  1. Hi Tony
    Betchworth mill was down that arm and long term disputes with the canal company and mill owners occurred all along the grand junction canal. The dispute here heightened in 1818 when John dickinson bought the mill to such an extent that the obelisk was erected in 1825 as a guage to keep check on water levels.

    1. Hi Les, Thanks for the info. I had read about all the arguments about water rights etc but didn't see anything about the monument. I did find the Hertforsdshire archaeological page and could see nothing listed there either. It would explain why it appeared to be in a pond or cistern that seems would have risen and dropped as the water levels waxed and waned.
      Cheers Tony