Sunday, January 7, 2018

West Drayton to Uxbridge


I walked a fairly short section of the LOOP yesterday, from West Drayton to Uxbridge. Four or five miles, I'm guessing. I could have gone farther, physically, but for strategic reasons involving public transportation I didn't want to go beyond Uxbridge until I could start fresh there on another day.

Much of the path followed the Grand Union Canal (above) and the River Colne.


As I recall, these bricks were beneath the bridge pictured in the top photo. There are a lot of markers bearing dates along these canals and waterways -- commemorating, I suppose, what were considered marvels of engineering when they were constructed.


This is the confluence of the Grand Union Canal (right) and the Slough Arm (left), a branch of the canal that heads westward. I took the photo while standing on a bridge over the main canal before following the path along the Slough Arm.


With my penchant for finding mysterious rubbish, it's not surprising that I came across this rather odd device -- or parts of a device, it looks like. It seemed like some kind of compass, and when I looked closely at the white disc I saw that it includes Arabic numerals and a picture of a minaret. So I'm guessing it's supposed to help Muslims know which direction to face in order to pray to Mecca.


Anybody need to rent a cherry-picker? I know where you can get one -- or 70. (And there were more I couldn't get in the photo!)


This ferocious beast was lounging atop one of the narrow boats along the canal. I'm always intrigued with the plants and objets that adorn the boats of canal navigators. Some of them look like floating thrift stores or botanical gardens.


And finally I got to Uxbridge, a probably once-quaint town that has been virtually swallowed up by large, boxy glass-and-concrete office buildings and shopping centers. The curved facade of the art deco tube station is pretty cool, though, and there were a few interesting-looking pubs and an old church.

It's interesting to note that London's tube system ends at its east and west points in towns that begin with U -- Upminster in the east, where I began this LOOP walk way back in August, and Uxbridge in the west. I'm always getting the two confused!

13 comments:

Vivian Swift said...

That item you found on your wonderful walk can't be a compass, because it has markings that go to 400. A compass stops at 360...at least, here on Earth. And not to be persnickety, but the numerals that we use everyday ARE Arabic numerals -- the markings on that dial are something else. I am intrigues. i can't wait to know if anyone who sees this will know what it is and comment PLEASE.

Vivian Swift said...

Wait. Those markings are Eastern Arabic. It seems that our numerals derived from WESTERn Arabic. Who knew?

Vivian Swift said...

You were right -- it's a device for finding Mecca.It seems that the Koran has something to do with the compass dial having 400 sections.

I got excited: I thought it might be exra-terrestiral. But it's not.

Ms. Moon said...

I am as intrigued as Vivian. Also- how do the people who live on these boats get fresh water? How do they live? What are they called? The people and their boats?
Thank you for these pictures, Steve. I love them.

ellen abbott said...

these are houseboats? how cool. if I was single I'd love to live on one of those. I say single because they are too small for two people. where do you go when you get pissed off at your spouse/partner? same for those tiny houses.

Sharon Anck said...

What a great assortment of finds on this leg of the loop. I love that giant tiger on the boat and the Uxbridge tube station is a beautiful old building. I looked at the loop map and see that you have now covered over half of the walk and a huge distance. I'm really enjoying your pictorials along the way!

Catalyst said...

Ah, Steve, you're a good man to keep on exploring the regions of London and filing your reports. I would love to do that as well but I don't have the stamina any more so I'll have to enjoy it vicariously through your walks.

37paddington said...

Until your photos, i never realized how many house boats there are in london.

John Gray said...

Am loving the tiger...

Jennifer said...

I'm with John, I love the tiger.

jenny_o said...

I don't know if this will mark me as a nerd, a pathetic loser, or a brilliant memory-strategist, but I use the position of letters of the alphabet sometimes to remember stuff, when it works, and it works in this case . . . the x in Uxbridge and the w in west are close together in the alphabet, so they belong together. For as long as I can remember, that's how I've remembered that stalaGmites are the things that come up from the Ground of a cave, while stalaCtites are the ones that hang down from the Ceiling (roof). Why bother actually learning stuff when you can use complicated rules to figure them out every single time? haha :D

e said...

Some really interesting photos...Love the big cat (tiger) and wish I could roll down the path next to the houseboat.

Sabine said...

You must be half way through the LOOP by now?