Another hot and sunny morning so we moved across to the Tesco side of the canal and breasted up with an interesting guy who was going to take out a group of Scouts on his 70ft boat. He was a volunteer for C&RT, Fostered children, drove a bus for two county organisations as well as numerous other voluntary roles. We then turned right under Bulls Bridge and down the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, some 88 miles from Braunston.
The first part of out journey was quite rural with the lovely Willow Tee Open Space and its nice moorings. Further on I got my golf fix as we passed golfers on the Greenford Golf Course. Later we began to hit the more urban areas with large blocks of flats being built near to the canal.
Soon we were passing over the busy North Circular Road with an old Gauging Station in the middle of the aqueduct.
A toll point or toll island was a place on a canal where a fee was collected as boats carrying cargo passed. These were sited at strategic points, generally this was at a lock or an artificially constricted part of the canal so that the boat had to pass within inches of the toll point unable to evade the toll. On canals where the fee was based on cargo weight it also put the boat in a convenient place to read the gauging mark height from the water line. On busy canals which were built with a towpath on either side the toll house would be built on an island between two constricted channels so that one toll point could collect from boats travelling in each direction.
We moored up for the day opposite Kensal Green Cemetery and a short walk down the canal brings you to a large canal side Sainsbury’s with 4 hour mooring outside. On the way there I saw this intriguing boat with all sorts on the roof. Next to it was Nb Gremlin with a working water feature on the side and a roof garden with gnome.
The young lady was carving a Gargoyle out of Bath Stone and she said that she found it a very relaxing hobby.