Monday, October 3, 2011

The Ride to Kew, General Conference and English Canals



Dear Family and Friends,


Every day we ride the District line from Earl’s Court Station out to The National Archives at Kew where the London Family History Centre is now located. Most of the trip is above ground so we can see the city and green spaces as we pass by. Near the end of our journey we pass over the River Thames.

The Thames is a tidal river subject to the tides from the North Sea. The river level has a rise and fall of 23 feet near the North Sea. The difference diminishes as you go inland. There are 2 high tides and 2 low tides in a 24 hour period. These are caused by the gravitational put of the moon and sun on Earth’s waters.


The River Thames during low tide

Spring High tide on the Thames at Richmond

It’s interesting to see the differences in the level of the river as we cross twice each day. A few nights ago, as we passed over the river, we noticed that the tide was in and it was extremely high, flooding out some tables at an inn on the river. Since we just had a new moon, the moon and sun are pulling on Earth’s waters in unison and this causes the highest high tides which are called spring tides (no connection with the season). On the quarters of the moon we have the neap tides where there are the lowest high tides. This is because the moon and sun are not pulling in unison. Sorry about the earth science lesson, I can’t help it.

General Conference

Because there is a 7 hour time difference between the UK and Utah, we can see conference live on the internet but the 10 AM morning sessions begin at 5 PM and we are in bed by the time the afternoon session begins. So most of what we watch is after the fact. Ken and I were especially touched by Elder Bednar’s talk on family history because that’s what our mission is all about. We see the Spirit of Elijah working in our patrons all of the time. They don’t understand their compulsion to do family history but they know that it is real. I was talking with one of our patrons the other day about the Church. He has come in several times and always has questions about what we believe and especially how it relates to family history. I told him that it all goes back to our belief in the importance of the family and explained how that relates to our family members who came before us. I’m excited to share with him the web site mentioned by Elder David A. Bednar, and have him listen to the experiences of 3 young people and family history.

We are so proud of our children's and grandchildren’s interest in doing family history work. Molly has been amazing at directing those efforts and everyone has done their part.

One of the other talks that impressed us was given by Elder Robert D. Hales. We missed hearing from him at the last conference. I have always loved the psalm,”joy cometh in the morning”  that Elder Hales quoted during his talk in connection with the trials that we all face in life. All of Elder Hales’ thoughts were heartfelt and touching . He was the first general authority who stayed at our home after Ken was called as Stake President of the South Bend, Indiana Stake. I was a young mother with 4 children and very nervous about hosting a general authority. He immediately put me at ease and was very good with our children. Elder Hales served as Mission President of our England London Mission from 1978-1979. His picture hangs on the wall in the mission office with the others who served as mission presidents.


  Mission Presidents of the England London Mission

I took this picture in the mission office before the building closed for refurbishing. Note in the first picture Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff. President Hales is on the bottom row, right of center. The empty space will be for President Renn M. Patch, the current mission president and our neighbor in Orem, Utah.

Of course, when Elder Jeffrey Holland’s talk at the Priesthood session mentioned senior missionaries, that made us smile. It’s interesting because his comment that one of the greatest gifts we can give to our grandchildren is the example we give as we serve a mission, is something we were talking about just the other day. In our family we do serve missions.

London Canals

When Andrew and Amy were here visiting we went to Little Venice and took a canal trip to the Camden Locks on the Regent’s canal.

Map of London's canals

Canals were established in England during the Industrial Revolution as a means of transporting goods from the interior to large cities.  The canals covered the south of England, the Midlands and parts of North England and Wales. Boats on the canals were drawn by horses who walked along a tow path. A horse could pull more than 10 times the load of what it could pull in a cart. Since the tow path did not go through the tunnels the workers would unhitch the horse and would get the narrow boat through the tunnel by”legging it.”

Today the boats are motorized but some still carry freight. Many are used for tourists and some are even lived in.













We are so proud of our sweet granddaughter, April, who will be baptized this coming Saturday.




Our love to all!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)


PS  One cute message from home I’d like to share:

You are brave. Love, Lizzy


  1. The River Thames as pictured on this blog is certainly not low tide at Kew as you are on the east side of Tower Bridge and Kew is many miles to the west.
    On your map the Grand Junction Canal should be the Grand Union.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks for the correction. Originally I had a picture of the Thames at Kew but the picture became corrupted and I changed it but forgot to change the caption.
      As for the map of the canals, I got this one from a web site on the canals so assumed it's accuracy.
      I'm not a professional at writing blogs. This one was primarily done for family and friends as we served a mission in London for 18 months.