Saturday, November 07, 2015

Grand Union, changes down south

Being back down at the South of the Grand Union has felt like coming home. Not only is it the area we most cruised when we first got Herbie, and Herbie’s home for five years, but its also my Towpath Ranger patch.  But you know what they say, the only thing that stays the same is that things keep changing.  A few things have changed since we were last down here.  First, rather sadly,  the aroma. Coming down to Hayes, we no longer enjoy the delicious smells of roasting coffee since the Nescafe factory has closed.  With the wind in the right direction, you used to savour it for miles. Now the factory lies empty and waiting for some one to knock it down and no doubt turn the site into “dwelling units” or whatever they call them these days.


I heard a rumour that the John Guest (Speedfit plumbing fittings) factory might be moving away because they need a bigger site.  That would be a pity because they have always kept it looking smart and tidy along there, although the once pristine white canal bridge is getting a bit grubby lately.

j guest

Now look again at the picture above and see the new green footbridge on the left.  That’s all to do with Crossrail I believe. It’ll run right alongside the canal here. The bridge stands near where John Guest used to have buildings of their own.  And talking of rail projects . .

Most people will have seen that bit of computer generated video of an HS2 train crossing over the Oxford canal – they nearly always use it on the news when HS2 is talked about, and we see signs by the canal there and other places too saying No To Crossrail.  Well I spotted another HS2 canal crossing.  See here,



This notice was pinned up at Springwell lock not far south of Ricky.  Sadly it was a bit more prominent than the Cyclist Slow Down sign we rangers put up which has been overtaken by vegetation.  It’s there somewhere.


We’re waiting to go on a vegetation trimming course before CRT will let us loose with saws and loppers.  I hope they hurry up before the sign disappears altogether.

One last thing.  In the last 24 hours or so 23 people have downloaded my novel from Amazon/Kindle.  That’s close to one an hour.  You’ve probably guessed why – they’re letting me give it away for free again (until Tuesday). Buy(take) now while stocks last.  I’m now up to 21 reviews, all four or five stars.  The latest one from someone I do not know (honest) simply says “Quite simply superb!.....Witty,clever and very funny!”  thank you Brendan Magee whoever you are! I’m too old to blush. Find it on Amazon /Kindle by looking for Herbie Neil – Jobs for the boys.  End of commercial break.

I’m still wrestling with book 2, currently at 15,780 words, so only about 65,000 words to go.


Vallypee said...

How sad the lovely wafts of coffee have gone, Neil. I like your photo though and the one of the autumn glory. Isn't it lovely when you get nice reviews. I wish more people would do it.

Simon said...

The John Guest buildings between canal & railway have gone for Crossrail works - so they may well have to move to get the size of site they used to have there anyway...

A shame about the disappearing industry. So much more interesting than miles of lego flats, which is what we'll be left with.