Monday, 10 May 2010

Leaving the Thames

On Saturday we left Shepperton and made our way to Teddington Lock.  We called in at Shepperton Marina and John is now the owner of a new pair of superior deck shoes!  Keeping him happy has got to be worth a bank loan!!  Yes, they were expensive!!!

At Teddington Lock we had a painful experience - the overnight mooring fee!  Yet again narrow boats and barges are exploited because the fee is according to length of vessel.
And ............. what did we get for our money?  Did we get a nice bit of bank?  No!  Electric hook up within the fee?  No!  Security?  No!  All you get is a bit of bland lock mooring!  Surely this should be included within the exorbitant cost of the licence?  I really would like to hear EA's justification for such high charges.

On Sunday the journey from Teddington to Brentford went smoothly but more pain was felt on leaving the lovely Thames and re-joining the canal system in such a built up area.  It's somewhat of a culture shock!  We never have managed to find a mooring spot in Brentford Basin - it's always been full - so we moored where we have moored before - opposite the amazing Glaxo Smith Kline building.  I was told this time by a walker with a guidebook (!) that the large sculpture is a figure of an athlete. ???  This time we also discovered a park next to Glaxo and saw Glaxo workers litter picking early in the morning. Glaxo are obviously conscious of environmental issues.  The water system from here to the bottom of the Hanwell flight of locks is a river system - the little river Brent - and it was FULL of rubbish!  LOTS of wood, plastic bags and bottles, general litter, coconuts and .............. a wide assortment of balls!!   Our poor prop!!

I have a proposal for Glaxo:- Out of all the profit they make, could they not sponsor a barge and seek volunteers amongst their Brentford workers to do a weekly or monthly clean up of that section of the environment so close to their premises?  Yes, I know BW is supposed to be doing this and believe me, they ARE trying but this section of waterway is SO bad that they could really do with some help.

On reaching Bulls Bridge (where there is a large Tesco and I wanted to do some shopping) we bumped into n/b "Eager Beaver" who used to moor with us at Welton Haven.  They are seasoned boaters and what they haven't done isn't worth mentioning.  They told us that they have been out with the St Pancras Cruising Club many times in the past and are on route for a cruise with them to the Thames Barrier first and then, later on, will be going out of Limehouse with them, up to Teddington and then carrying on up the Thames.  Food for thought?

We are now on the Paddington Arm moored up by a lovely park and aim to get to Little Venice tomorrow.

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