Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Whither Brunel? - and London moorings

Sometime around now there'll be a lot of kerfuffle in Paddington Basin while BW remove the barge Brunel which has been moored there since the area was done up posh.
Actually I didn't think Brunel was a real boat but a mock up, but it looks like I might be wrong. Anyway they say it will take a couple of tugs to manoeuvre her out, but what they don't say is where it is going. It looks like they'll have to temporarily dismantle the floating pontoon too.

Paddington basin won't seem quite the same without her.

On the day we took that photo the rest of the basin was empty. Indeed a rare event these days as it has become quite popular with visiting boaters. We rarely moor in the basin itself, but just round the corner in the arm where there is more bank space and a lot less wind.
All the tall buildings around the basin itself seem to generate really strong draughts across the water but round the corner all is calm (ish). Also there, we love watching all the commuters scurrying by. It makes us even more aware of the reassuringly slow pace of boating life.

There aren't enough moorings in London really, but the ones that there are are mostly pretty good, like Kensal Green,

Brentford Basin, Victoria Park (of which I have no picture),
Three Mills

and of course Limehouse, where the eagle eyed will just make out Herbie on the far wall (click to see it bigger).

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a nice reminder of how great the London canals are - we're on our way back there now - should be there by end of October-ish. We don't know where we'll be mooring for the winter yet but you've shown us some fine options here....
Sue, Indigo Dream

VallyP said...

What a shame about Brunel. I've seen it loads of times when I've walked along the canal on visits to London. I agree with Sue too. This is a good guide to moorings in London. Do you think my 10,5' barge would manage the Grand Union and the Regents Canals. Probably too wide for the locks if I remember rightly. Would be so nice though to truck it over and put it in the water there.

indigodream said...

The wide locks on the GU/Regents can take two narrowboats so I'd have thought that 10' 5" would be an easy fit. Do check first though - I'd hate to be responsible for you spending the rest of your days jammed in a lock in London (they're nice but not THAT nice!).
Sue, Indigo Dream

Neil Corbett said...

I wasn't sure if Vally was referring to feet or metres or lenght or width. Anyway the locks are 70ft by 14ft. The ones up the Lee are bigger I think.

The biggest problem if a big boat came via Limehouse and up the Regent's Canal would be the tunnels at Islington and Maida Hill where you would have to worry about height too. Having said that, there are plenty of dutch barges - quite big ones- on the GU so I guess they came up via Brentford.

narrowminded said...

Brunel is now gone. It was derigged and ballasted on Thursday and towed out on Friday 25 Sept morning, successfully leaving the basin. Quite an adventure as when it arrived it was craned in from an empty building site and so has never actually been on the canal before.

Naturally it can't fit through the many low bridges on the Regents so is heading for the Rive Lee via Brentford. Today (Sat) they should be going down the Hanwell flight.

Mike
Globetrotter @ Little Venice

VallyP said...

Sorry Neil, my barge is 19,5 x 3,2 metres. I was thinking of the width being 10,5 feet or thereabouts as I'm not that good at calculating metres to feet. From what you've told me though, I could do it. My barge is very low with an air draught of about 1,7metres, so the bridges should be okay too I would think.

Thanks for the info!