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The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for July 17th, 2010

Vaguely a boat blog: Jubilee Line out, how do I get to my meeting?

Posted by indigodream on 17 July, 2010

Friday 16th July

Ah this working life is tough!

Note from Sue: any mention of work means that it’s Richard on the blog – I try to follow Blue and Lou’s example and do as little as possible!

I had to head over to Bow & Stratford today with Agnieszka (from my office) to recheck some work we had snagged a while back. Now this was steelwork down a tunnel shaft for electrical cables, so access is always a bit complicated. We needed gas detectors, flame proof overalls, a man riding crane, something to breathe if the atmosphere went sour, the list went on……..A world of safety precautions and organisation was in place especially for us, so we had to make it there. Sadly the Jubilee Line was suspended, so what could we do?

The sun was out, so we detoured to Limehouse and got on the boat!

As we cruised across the basin we saw a narrowboat coming out of the Lock – presumably it had come in through Limehouse’s front door after a ride down the Thames – this must have been interesting in today’s winds. Another narrowboater moored on the wall gave a big wave – thank you.

We had an uneventful journey up to Bow though that smell of fresh danish pastries just before Bow Locks was very enticing today. In past years I have moored for these meetings just past the Bow Flyover, could not find my old holes for pins but still managed to get some pins through gaps in the concrete behind the sheet piling. A short walk took us to Pudding Mill Lane where the rest of the team was waiting. But our transport had been delayed – clearly there has been an accident as the air ambulance had landed into the olympic park. We obviously hope that it was not too serious – this is one construction site where I think that the safety record up to now has been exemplary, yes you see loads of a$”e covering paperwork but there is a real commitment to making sure that people can work safely and more importantly far more engagement in the process then you normally see.

South Plaza security was keen today (again) – we all got directed through the airport style security system; though I suspect we must drive them mad as I think the zips on our flameproof overalls seem to trigger their machines, Well that’s all that’s left (apart from steel toe caps) once I’d put my keys, coins, torch, mobile phone, digital camera, laser tape measure, wooden rule, 5m tape measure, wallet, sunglasses, watch, belt, safety glasses, gloves etc  into the small tray they give you (I always feel a bit like ‘Mad Max’ checking his weapons at the thunderdome!).

We took loads of fascinating engineering photos today but nothing that Sue will let me publish on the blog (note from Sue: he can publish what he likes!). Next week I will get a few more photos for another “getting ready for a party post” – progress on the olympics is fantastic!

With the inspection over (went well, we liked what we saw, thank goodness), we walked back to the boat and had a gentle chug back to Limehouse. I like the DLR but it is such a let-down after a cruise on Indigo Dream.

My office is in Croydon – why oh why is the Croydon Canal still not open – I cycled to work today but how much better it would be to commute by boat?

Today’s Trivia

Continuing the engineering theme, last week’s NCE had a good article on St Pancras Station or more specifically the Hotel. Sadly NCE/Emap have had another one of their turns and you can’t get to see articles unless you subscribe so here are the good bits:

Those gothic towers that you see is not actually the station but the Midland Grand Hotel, designed by George Gilbert Scott and opened in 1876 as a 500 to 600 bed hotel (with no toilets and just 8 bathrooms). Funnily enough, it was not a spectacular success and was last used as a hotel in 1934; it was vandalised by the old British Rail and has not been used for anything since 1986. They are giving it a bit of a revamp now and splashing a bit of paint around (£478 million pounds worth of work!!!).  It sounds fascinating as they have not fully made sense of how the building works. There are varying storey heights so they keep finding oddities like walls that get bigger as you go up the building; when they took up floorboards on the first floor they found an unlit space the size of 2 portacabins which no-one knew about. It is going to open as a new hotel next spring….

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