Sunday, February 19, 2017

Inside St Pancras Lock

There are miles and miles of canals in London and my hikes have only touched a fraction of them.

When walking along them there's always a feeling of not-being in London, of a culture and way of life very different from the rapid pace of the big city. On the tube woe behold anyone standing on the left of the escalator and the true Londoner is the one muttering "come on, come on, come on!" at the visitor holding up the flow.

Narrow boaters don't seem to feel that urgency, only too happy to amble and dawdle (preferably over a real ale), so there could be expected to be a bit of a culture clash when the Canal and River Trust did an open day on the Regents Canal by St Pancras. The focus was on the restoration of the St Pancras Lock, built in 1819, and there were opportunities to go down for a look inside:
It was quite impressive to see brick-work that must be almost 200 years old in a lock that is still in use.

There were actors in period costume which did rather stand out given that Kings Cross / St. Pancras is one of the most recently developed parts of London and across the bridge behind flew Eurostar trains on their way to Paris or Brussels:
As the Eurostars zoomed by they would have been able to see the narrow boats in the nearby basin:
I got a voucher for a free trip on one but had just missed the boat (literally) and faced with a wait decided I was more of a Londoner (come on! come on! come on!) than narrow boater, so headed off.

It wasn't like I hadn't had a trip on a narrow boat down the Regent's Canal before.

No comments: