Lived onboard Hadar

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Hunton Bridge to Rickmansworth.

Wednesday 16th April.

Having enjoyed a lovely evening onboard Hadar with Keith’s sister and brother-in-law, talking about the canals, Walkers of Rickmansworth and catching up on the family, we awoke to a bright sunny morning. With all the morning jobs done we set off at 8.15am for Rickmansworth with 12 locks to work on our way there.
The first wildlife of the morning popped her head up as we past her by having done lock one.
This Canada goose was sitting very tight on her nest; she was not the only goose we saw on her nest as we cruised to Rickmansworth.
Having done the Hunton Bridge locks, we entered the realms of Cassiobury Park, with its tight bends and fabulous countryside, with woodland walks for all ages.
One of the tight bends took us under this snake bridge. Along side the canal the river Gade winds its way, giving us wide stretches of water to admire. We proceeded under the ornamental stone bridge ordered by the Earl of Essex, before he would allow the Grand Junction Canal Company to cut the canal through his park land.
The property of the Earl of Essex sits proudly on the hill looking over its beautiful Grove Park, park land.
We then approached Grove Mill and it very impressive building, which now looks like it has been turned into apartments, but never the less it has kept the mills outward appearance.
It is lovely to see old building being used to good affect, we seem to be in a day and age when developers have little respect for this countries history, they would rather knock something down, than restore it and keep the buildings outward appearance.
We will be come a country with no historic buildings if this is allowed to continue.
With the leaves now blossoming on the trees, it makes for a wondrous trip through Charlottes Vale and the Cassiobury pair of locks. At iron Bridge Lock there is a commemorative plaque, unveiled by the Duke of Malborough 1787-1987, to mark 200 years of the Grand Union Canal’s existence.
We skirted past Croxley Green the home of the Croxley Paper makers and passed down through Lot mead Lock, where we saw NB’s Albert and Victoria.
So our day was almost at an end with the decent through Batch worth Lock where you can find the Canal Centre, where they will give you a warm welcome and a cup of tea or coffee for 60p and cup. There is also a sanitary station below the lock and excellent visitor moorings which would be our home for the coming few days. We moored up in front of Historic working boat Roger.
So it was welcome to Rickmansworth. For me it was a first time visit. Keith had been here before back in the early 70’s. At 12.15pm we moored up on the visitor moorings opposite Tesco, which used to be Walkers the boat builders and timber yard in later years. Our brother-in-law Terry had connections with Walkers, as his mother worked for the company when they were a timber company. There is an excellent book called Walkers at Ricky by Anthony J. Walker, it gives you the complete history of Walkers the boat builders.
So anyway we had some lunch, then took a walk into the own to see what was on offer. It is a lovely little place, where you will find useful shops, a museum, library etc. We have enjoyed our time here so far. Now I like to show you odd things when I see them. Coming into Rickmansworth this boat caught my eye.
It reminded me of the nursery rhyme about a crooked house, this being a crooked boat, which has a lot of character.

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Another thing that tickled me was this bush growing out of a boat fender.It is starting its very own garden.

Thursday 17th April.

As we are staying in Rickmansworth for a few days, we thought we would have a good look around this historic place full of canal history. Firstly Paddy got a walk around some of the Rickmansworth Aquadrome; it came about after the site was used for sand and gravel extraction in the 20’s and 40’s. Today it is home to wildfowl and lots of wildlife. After breakfast and the usual cuppa we paid a visit to the canal centre, which is based below Batchworth Lock, it has some useful information about Rickmansworth and the town itself. We enjoyed a coffee with the gentleman running the centre for the day. There is a photo album dating back to 1919, with some amazing canal photographs in it. I am a lover of old photos and history. Having spent sometime chatting we took the short walk into the town, and searched out the IWA’s head quarters. Lunch was spent in Tang’s a Chinese Buffet and very nice it was. All you can eat for £5. Once back at the boat, Keith glossed the engine and I glossed the touched up places from a few days ago, but with a dusty towpath and a brisk wind blowing, I knew I would have to repaint them once the wind drops. A quiet day in many ways but most enjoyable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see things are going smoothly 'down south'!!

Chris.