It linked the Thames docks to the Grand Union Canal at Paddington. 8.5 miles long, it drops 96 feet through 12 locks. The main cargoes transported in the horse-drawn barges were coal, for the various gas works on its south bank, and timber, for Shoreditch’s furniture trade.
The horses needed three feeds a day and re-shoeing twice a month. Now it is the ringing of a cyclists’ bell which warns you of oncoming traffic the other side of a bridge. Then it was the crack of a horse’s whip.