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London Loop Thoughts

All along the towpath..

The London Loop Part 2: Hatton Cross to Uxbridge

Today was a much needed day off away from the screens of the home office and a great day for walking. I have been thinking a lot recently on the nature of the geographical information we create when we share our locations with services such as Google Maps.

Much of the sensitivity around this type of information comes from a profound point,… each journey we make is as unique as a fingerprint.

each journey we make is as unique as a fingerprint.

Many thousands of people have no doubt walked the section of the London Loop between Hatton Cross and Uxbridge, but each journey was made at a specific and unique point in time, not wanting to sound all Dr. Who it is a journey both in time and space.

A very quiet COVID-19 testing station at Hatton Cross

Very much a product of this stange time was the COVID-19 testing station set up in a Car Park at Hatton Cross, behind it British Airways Boeing 747’s destined for the scrap heap.

This section of the Loop largely continues to follow the River Crane and then follows the Grand Union Canal North West to Uxbridge

In general this section of the walk is more industrial passing around a few trading estates particularly the early stages along the Grand Union Canal.

There was a signposted division around some work on the towpath which brought me through Hayes and across this interesting memorial to the EMI radar laboratory sited here during the war.

EMI Radar Memorial

This role of EMI and its work in Hayes is not widely understood, to most its better known the record company who owned Abbey Road Studios! In particular the story of Alan Blumlein should be as well known as Alan Turing or Barnes Wallis.

Walking through the large office park at Stockley Parks feels like a little bit of Silicon Valley planted in Middlesex but was of course ghostly quiet as most of the business are closed or working from home.

The remainder of the walk along the towpath is very rural but surprisingly busy with many narrow boats and house boats around the Little Britain marina.

A pub lunch at the Malt Shovel in Crowley and then just a few miles to the finish at Uxbridge.

Soon the journey to the start and the finish of each section will take as long as the walk itself !

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