Meopham Historical Society Outing (11/07/06)
In the early hours of 11th July 2006, 45 members of the Meopham Historical Society set out on an excursion of the East London waterways. We boarded an old barge, the ‘Jenny Wren’ at Camden Lock and set out on our adventure, which was to take us nearly 7 hours travelling through 15 locks and twelve miles of waterways. Maureen, the organiser, had as usual ordered the best of weather and we were treated to a very enjoyable day. Instead of the usual tourist route towards Little Venice, we headed in the opposite direction to East London. We travelled at first on the Regent’s Canal as far as Limehouse Basin and then continued our journey along the River Lea (sometimes called Lee). What a novel way to travel and what a different perspective one has away from the normal hustle and bustle of London. There was plenty to see to keep us occupied for the whole trip. Our captain gave a very good commentary, the helmsman got us through all the locks without mishap and the 2 lock openers and closers did their job well.
Thanks go to all who made this an excursion to remember, with special thanks to Maureen for organising it. Also thanks to Sheila for taking notes on the journey. It enabled me to identify the photos.
Our starting point at Camden Lock
The Jenny Wren an old barge that was to take us on our trip
Water tower at St Pancras Lock. It was restored and then jacked up and dragged 200 yards from King’s Cross to the new site.
Emerging from Islington Tunnel. Built at the beginning of the 19th century it is 960 yards long.
Anglers at City Road Lock
George has brought the corkscrew and Maureen expectantly holds the glasses.
Some abandon ship to walk to the next lock.
We meet up at the next lock but some decide to plod on (they have discovered a pub with a toilet in the vicinity).
The Jenny Wren catches up with some of the walkers.
Approaching Limehouse Basin we have our first encounter with duckweed.
Some of the yachts moored in Limehouse Basin
Limehouse Basin is also home to a Thames sailing barge.
Docklands at the point where we move on into Limehouse Cut and the River Lea (or Lee as it is sometimes known)
An old tug that was used to tow Thames lighters
Could this be the answer to the duckweed problem? The ‘Lea Mean Clean Machine’
Three Mills on the River Lea, where we disembarked for a short stop. A cup of tea for some and an ice cream from Tesco for others!
A duckweed ‘lawn’ complete with rubbish. The sight that met us on emerging from Old Ford Lock.
The Jenny Wren sets off for home – and so do we!