Join us as we continue our walk along the Regents Canal, across Little Venice and onto the Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm. This week we’re starting and Camden Market, where we left off last time, and will be getting as far as Wormwood Scrubs where we find out some interesting trivia. Points of note on the way this week are that we’ll pass by the Pirate Castle which is located in Camden (maybe where those pirates from last week came from) and then we’ll head on to pass through Regents Park and ZSL London Zoo where we come face-to-face with the prospect of an animal escape and an aviary that’s undergoing renovation. There’s a couple of different sets of magnet fishers and then we have to deal with the towpath being blocked off and have to find a different route. Finding an alternative route along the other side of the canal we pass an old coal unloading point for a power station and then cross over the top of a quick road bridge before getting to Maida Hill Tunnel, a much shorter tunnel than the one we encountered last time. The journey over this one is swift and simple before we’re then upon the tranquillity of Little Venice where the Regents Canal ends and the Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm begins. Little Venice was a little busy and quite noisy, both with boat engines and noisy ducks but from there we continued on through a stop lock and onto the Grand Union Paddington Arm where we rapidly encountered a fishmonger / fish & chip boat, or “chippy boat” as I called it. The English slang term “chippy” is not to be confused with the matching US slang term. See the links below for more information on that one. Following a short discussion about the various house-boats you can see on London’s rivers and canals we’re out again into some green space via mural made of litter, which is still looking really good 20 years later, further highlighting the issue with plastic litter in our rivers and canals, and via a little coming-together with the A40 Westway. As we come towards the end of the journey there’s some confusion over the numbering of the bridges over the canal, a lot of bikes to pass, a noisy towpath and then we come across an unexpected view of the North Pole Train Depot, so named due to the nearby North Pole Train Junction. We have a little discussion about how the canals work over winter and then decide to call this journey a day at Wormwood Scrubs, where we’ve parked the car, which turns out to not just be a Prison, it’s actually a really nice 200 acre nature reserve … next to the prison with the same name.
Interactive Route Map: https://www.mapchannels.com/videomap/map.htm?folder=29726&map=29726-london-canal-loop---part-2
Out-takes & Unused Footage - https://youtu.be/t1tPjjYs9Kk
Apologies if the audio in this video is not as good as in other parts of the series. I had an unfortunate audio recorder malfunction on this trip and it didn’t record for most of it.
While searching for a link for the “useful links” section below for the trash mural I found that there was precious little information out there on the internet. (Update: As usual with these things more info turns up later. I’ve now found the artist’s Website, Studio and Instagram including a post about the mural)
For a little while, the earliest reference I could find to it was a photo taken in 2007 but not much more. I litte more research revealed that the Stowe Youth Club had relatively recently shut down and I couldn’t find much information on the artist either.
The one bit of information I could find is that it was created in collaboration with Thames 21, a London river charity so I contacted them to see if they knew anything.
Many thanks to their staff for digging through their archives and unearthing two press releases (1) (2) that gave me all the information I needed including the unveiling date in 2001.
Let me know if you find any :)