please empty your brain below

Splendid stuff.
I hope the descriptive phrase "malignantly twee" will endure in my memory until I have a chance to deploy it.
'The former Nestle Factory' was known to boatmen as 'Hayes Cocoa', to where they delivered cocoa crumb.
A nice deviation at three bridges is to take a walk along Tentelow Lane to Fullers oldest pub, The Plough at Norwood Green.
Ooh, my mum worked in the Nestle factory, I guess in the 50s
There used to be a signpost at Bull's Bridge which pointed to Brentford via one branch and Birmingham via the other.

dg writes: There still is, if you check the photos, although the Birmingham finger is broken.
Wonderful. Brings back many memories. I grew up in Hanwell back in the 60's and a favourite loop on the pushbike as a child was out towards Southall on the main road, under the Iron Bridge, round the back of the AEC bus works where a footpath tunnel took you under the Great Western Railway to a small tuck shop that was for the AEC works staff. Mars bar or something there, then down to the canal via Glade Lane and whizz back down the Hanwell flight to Trumpers Way and home. The canal back then had so much more industry backing onto it and the state of the water was atrocious. Not sure if you fell in whether you'd drown or get dissolved by the chemicals!!
Is that a lifeboat converted to a houseboat in the bottom photo?
A few points about my local area:
- The chap who owns the docks does not own the marina. It is managed - much like the rest of the canal network - by the Canal & River Trust.

- @scrumpy: The orange craft in the last photo is indeed a lifeboat, most likely from an oil rig. As I understand there have been a few of them recently decommissioned in Scotland, and these lifeboats have begun to pop up all over the canal network.

- The green bank opposite the future Southall Waterside flats is green belt land, and so not much will be built there in the near future (hopefully).

On a separate note: Your article alone references 5150 flats to be built in the near future. This is on top of Southall Village (unspecified number), and the developments around Hayes & Harlington station. Crossrail had better start thinking about ordering the 10th carriages to their trains sharpish...
Despite living a mile from Northolt for the last few years, this is an area I haven't yet explored.
So now I shall! Thank you!
The side ponds at each lock are interesting in that they are compound pairs to save even more water: the high one was the first to be filled, then the lower one. Reverse order upon filling the lock.
The problem was that this added significant time to lock operation so was hated!
The lifeboats have a set lifespan out in the North Sea so regularly come up for sale, each has the capacity for 50 people so plenty of room inside. Many have a hole cut out and windows installed. Cheap way of starting life on the water.
I've managed to go over all 3 bridges, by narrow boat, train (Didcot's steam rail motor did some trips down the branch a few years back) and bike (over 2 of the 3 bridges). For the pedants among us who have a niggling doubt about how many bridges are needed for 3 things to cross, I think there are 3 bridges rather than just 2 because the railway crosses a small stream at the same point.
I believe there are plans to bring the railway line back into passenger use
Ride the canal regularly, always giving way to pedestrians. A bit of country in the city. Try the Slough spur from West Drayton. Cheers Rob

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