Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.
I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!
Thursday 22 July 2010
Ricky to Harefield.
Having spent an enjoyable day in Rickmansworth. We took Paddy for his evening walk around the Aquardrome lake and they were still water ski-ing. It amazes me how they actually manage to stay up on the ski's. I guess it takes a lot of practice, as well as upper body strength? Pad was gagging for a drink part of the way round and so he went down to the waters edge, just as the ski boat was on its way. His face was an absolute picture. He would be hopeless on a beach with the waves coming in. He was not at all happy at getting his paws wet and no amount of encouragement, was gonna get him into the water. So we gave it up as a bad job and headed back to the boat, after a very nice evening walk.We are now moored at Coppermill, Harefield opposite where Pisces moors, having done just 2.3 miles, 2 locks, in 1hr 45mins. Our first port of call this morning as we set off was Tesco's at Rickmansworth. We then got to Stockers Lock, where we got chatting to John and his wife who live in the Lock Cottage. Having said cheerio to them, we went past the farm where Black Beauty was filmed. Stockers Farm has its own facebook page. We seemed to be in constant tickover, due to all the moored boats. We were told that one boat had been moored on 14 day moorings for over 3 years.... What the hell is that about???
Having decended Springwell Lock, on the far side of the canal are the Maple Lodge sewage works. To the right of these are the Springwell Reed Beds, an area of 6.5 acres, a nature reserve cared for by the Herts and Middx Wildlife Trust. We were soon at Coppermill now called Royal Quay. This was built in 1803 by the Mines Royal, and produced sheet copper (brought by canal), used to coat the bottom of Royal Navy ships. The Copper ball on the dome of St Paul’s cathedral is said to have been made here. Once there and moored up on the towpath and then were given a lift across the canal by Pisces to her mooring at the Hillingdon Narrowboat Association we were immediately welcomed by Dave Wright, who owns Lupin FMC and helps to run the boats. We had offered our services for a few days to get the place ship shape for Pisces party at the weekend. She is going to celebrate her 75th Birthday. But before we got started, Dave cooked us a fab breakfast of Sausage, Bacon, Egg, Mushrooms, Liver, Kidney and Bakes beans, it was ohso scrummy. I then got struck into some painting, whilst Keith did some weeding. Keith was given the opportunity during the afternoon to take Pisces up to just below Springwell lock, where dave had to saddle up a horse and take it up to a riding stables. I am a huge lover of horses and used to ride a lot as a kid, so it bought back huge memories for me. Dave rides a Western Saddle, which is beautiful. After a couple of hours watching the horses, Keith took Pisces back again to her mooring, brought back a lot of memories for him, from his days as a 15 year old working Pisces, especially reversing her back to the Stink 'ole to wind her. If only our boat reversed like Pisces, but that was the unique thing about the original Star class boats.
Back at Pisces base again and a well earned beer was at the top of the list of things to do. So Dave poured us all a beer, whilst tales from the past were bought up and chatted about. It was then time to say good evening and head back to the boat, but not on foot. Dave suggested we take the inflatable, so he started the engine and I climbed into the boat with great care. I had visions of me falling overboard, which would not have looked very good. We made it home safely and a great day was had by all. Tomorrow we are going to do it all over again.