Hayes to Denham


My mum and I are walking parts of the Grand Union Canal. On 12 April 2008, we walked a section from Hayes and Harlington station to Denham Station.

Hayes to Cowley Peachey Junction

My train was delayed so I arrived in Hayes fifteen minutes late, causing much consternation because my mum had managed to bring her phone without charging it. However she used the time productively to buy some net curtains, and we promptly joined the canal and set off.

A cement works.
1/500 at f8, 187mm, ISO200
Bridge 195. It appears to have been built in 1914. Twice.
1/350 at f8, 179mm, ISO200
An industrial estate opposite, near West Drayton. Sadly this is no longer Berritte Ltd, Electrical Insulation Specialists - more like a couple of dodgy looking garages.
1/125 at f8, 131mm, ISO200
Another estate on the towpath site. I liked the shrub (buddleia?) growing from the old chimney.
1/1500 at f8, 171mm, ISO200

Before long we reached the amusingly-titled Cowley Peachey Junction, where the Slough Arm joins the main canal. We stopped to eat lunch on the convenient benches here.

Bridge across to the Slough Arm of the canal. I like how the footway is raised above the superstructure.
1/750 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
Another view of the bridge...
1/1000 at f8, 55mm, ISO200
...and another.
1/125 at f8, 60mm, ISO200

Cowley Peachey to Denham

The locks had these nicely-painted signs.
1/250 at f8, 109mm, ISO200
Lock gates.
1/180 at f5.6, 171mm, ISO200
Grand Union Canal Carrying Co Ltd; this is either an 'original' narrowboat or at least one that's pretending.
1/750 at f8, 146mm, ISO200
Anvil opposite us.
1/1000 at f8, 250mm, ISO200

A pair of corrugated bridges seemed a little overbuilt to carry pipes across the river, but not large enough for people. Regardless, the industry they supported had long since vanished, replaced with dull housing estates.

Bridge with phone mast behind.
1/750 at f8, 135mm, ISO200
Warehouse beside a surviving boatyard a little further on.
1/750 at f8, 96mm, ISO200
Fire escape stairs in a modern office park.
1/500 at f8, 163mm, ISO200
TM FEAR, BOUT ACRE FEAR. Almost a haiku but not quite. (A pipe bridge, obviously.)
1/60 at f5.6, 179mm, ISO200

We were fast approaching the countryside - officially. Denham is one stop outside Greater London. I guess it's Green Belt. Trees and greenery suddenly became a lot more evident.

But that didn't stop me finding a slightly-flooded barge laden with oil drums.
1/90 at f8, 55mm, ISO200
A couple of traffic cones too - bonus.
1/250 at f8, 79mm, ISO200

Denham Deep Lock marked the end of our journey along the canal for the day.

It's appropriately named - that's pretty deep.
1/90 at f8, 55mm, ISO200


Denham is a little village so twee it doesn't even have streetlights (although there's also a modern bit near the railway).

Boarded-up doorway.
1/750 at f8, 135mm, ISO200
Trees above the roof of the church hall.
1/1000 at f8, 100mm, ISO200
Grave carving (it goes on 'here rest the remains') which was apparently for somebody's faithful servant. Impressively done, anyway, and I liked the odd emphasis on this first word.
1/750 at f5.6, 154mm, ISO200
Quite a few people were around the village hall for some kind of event, don't know what. Anyway I liked their sign.
1/125 at f8, 10mm, ISO200

We walked for a long distance by a high wall surrounding the massive grounds of a local mansion. Couldn't see much over it; but the path eventually led us to the wonders of Denham Station, which is strange.

This is both a gigantic subway that you can use to cross under the railway line, and the station entrance (the raised part joins to stairways up to each platform).
1/20 at f6.7, 13mm, ISO400
Stairs up to a platform.
1/20 at f4, 16mm, ISO800
View from the platform stairs across to that huge arch. My guess: whenever they built this thing, there wasn't a brick shortage.
1/15 at f4.5, 22mm, ISO800
Light, cobwebs, and back of the 'platform 2' sign.
1/90 at f5.6, 79mm, ISO400

That's about it. Mum got a bus back (she can travel free on buses) and I caught a train into Marylebone. Denham was pretty interesting, so this is a section I'd recommend.

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.