The Anonymous Widower

Would John Betjeman Be Amused?

John Betjeman didn’t like Slough.  So what would he made of this workboat on the Regent’s Canal?

Pride of Slough

He’d have probably giggled at it. But then he did write.

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!

The complete poem is here.  Slough has probably improved since he wrote the poem.

March 20, 2011 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

How The City of London Gets Its Electricity

I did mention briefly in an earlier post about this, but today as I walked from home along the busy towpath of the Regent’s Canal I saw this notice.

Notice on The Regent's Canal

Note that it says that it links St. John’s Wood and West Ham.

This closure is due to essential works being carried out by National Grid to refurbish the cable cooling system between our substations at St. John’s Wood and West Ham.

It also links up to the City Road Basin, where there is a major sub-station that actually supplies the City. For more details of the work, there is a press release here. It’s all good engineering combining the best of modern technology with some superb historic infrastructure.

City Road Basin, Regent's Canal

The sub-station is to the left of the Basin in the picture.

Where the cable is is quite obvious, as this picture shows.

Cable Duct in the Regent's Canal Towpath

But it is well-marked.

High Voltage Warning

It could almost make a story for a James Bond film.

Imagine an evil megalomanic, who wanted to do some sort of share coup.  What better way to disable dealing in the City of London, than to cut the power supply, by attacking it along the Canal.  But of course the film would end with an amazing chase through the East End of London, all the way to the Olympic Park.

On the other hand working on high-voltage cables without the proper precautions is not to be recommended, unless you want to end up as little more than a collection of atoms.

March 20, 2011 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment