Cutty Sark and Metro 150 celebrations

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

No narrow boat news due to bad weather!. Simon managed to get hold of two tickets for a trip on a steam train from Moorgate to Earls Court last Sunday. The trip was to celebrate The Metropolitan Railway opening the worlds first underground line from Paddington to Farringdon Street on the 9th January 1863. We therefore had to brave the weather on Sunday morning. Our train was on time despite the heavy snow and we met Simon at Waterloo. What could we do in the afternoon,it had to be something to do with boats, and should be associated with the 1860's what better than to go and see The Cutty Sark a tea clipper at Greenwich which was built at Dumbarton in November 1869. If you haven't seen it yet its well worth a trip  although the building has been awarded the worst building in London 2012 by the Building Design journal. The ship is suspended in mid air as the weight  963tons could not be carried by the keel.
Anne stayed in our hotel at Earls Court whilst Simon and I made our way round  to Moorgate to catch the 10.351/2 train.Yes that was the time it had to leave to make sure it had a slot within the other underground services. This was the last weekend as there were trips on the 13th as well. The train formation consisted of Met Loco No 1 built in 1898 , 4 Metropolitan "Chesham coaches built 1898-1900, a milk van of 1896 and a just restored Jubilee 4 wheel 1st class coach no 353 built 1892. They are all made of  wood and look fantastic. Additional motive power was provided by Sarah Siddons a Metropolitan Railway electric locomotive no 12 built in 1923. I particularly wanted to see this as I remember them running through Harrow on the Hill in the late 1950s.  
My only view of Met No 1 and the milk van
A view looking out as we passed through Farringdon Street. The smoke made it very difficult for the photographers on the station to get good pics.
Sarah Siddons acting as pusher at Earls Court station. It was only in the station for about five minutes before it had to leave so that the next service could come into the station. I therefore didn't get a chance to photograph Met No 1.
The Cutty Sark floating in mid air with the glass building that was voted the worst building in 2012.
Looking along the keel in the restaurant area which is in the old dry dock.
Looking towards the bow at the floating ship.
Just a beautiful hull shape


Thames in flood-Abingdon and Days Lock

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Happy New Year to you all. Sorry I have not posted recently but nothing boaty has been going on. Although we did manage a quick trip to the boat in early December to put on the heaters.It was just as well as it was the cold week of the 11 December and the boat was frozen in.
Trips for 2013 hopefully will be up north with no restrictions due to water levels this year! Talking of which the level in the marina went up 18inches in November. Now that is some volume of water. Over Christmas in a slack period Simon and I worked out that the pound the marina is on is about 18 miles in length. It stretches from Napton to Hillmorton,Braunston bottom lock and Calcutt top lock. If you then assume the canal is on average 50ft wide thats about 189 million litres or 41.6 million gallons of water! - now that is some run off from the fields- the level then dropped back after 24 hours.
A few general pictures covering the last few months which include two at the end of our last trip back to the marina in October
Another great boat name- it does make you wonder why!
Coming back from Norton junction last October there is nearly always something outside Braunston Boats ,a real working boatyard, just past the bottom lock. Nb Pacific is a lovely old Stewarts & Lloyds tug.
We managed to tick off a place from our list- 4 nights in New York, towards the end of October. In fact we got one of the last flights out on the Saturday evening before the hurricane arrived on the Sunday.This is a view of the Empire State Building from the Rockefeller Building.
A view on Christmas day of Days Lock on the River Thames near Dorchester on Thames. The lock is on the left.
Looking down from Wittenham Clumps which over looks the Thames valley and Days Lock and showing the magnitude of the flooding.

Another view from Wittenham Clumps
A close up view of Days Lock.Water level is about 10ft up.Lock entrance behind the white cruiser.
The River Thames from Abingdon Bridge on Boxing day. We moored here on the left in June 2010, again water about 10ft higher than normal.