Last night I stayed on a 35 ft narrow boat (that’s NOT a barge), beside a canal, beside up market residential development. Beside train tracks running out of St Pancras mainline station. North London. The outfit, complete with canoe on the roof, owned by Julia a friend is tied up in a marina with its own dry dock. Started in the 1950 when this area was probably an industrial wasteland.
Right in the heart of north London homely pealing paint and rust co exist with chrome and speed. But for how much longer since this is a prime location which could easily go ‘up market. And price the current boaters out of the market. Life where ever you are and how ever the rain is stopped from coming in, is precarious. That’s the attraction, for me.
Somehow I am hearted by this pocket of cruising enthusiasts. Narrow boat people. ‘Did you feel that vibration under the boat in the middle of the night’? enquired Julia after my dreaming sleep on the bunk at the sharp end. Turns out not only are trains running just behind the boat there is a main line to Brighton tunneled underneath the marina.
It has been a great 24 hour adventure to the big city.