Thursday, March 27, 2008

Our overnight mooring was just past Osberton Hall. I think their main interest is equestrian, this is one of the stable blocks.
We got moving about 11:00, and arrived at the first lock 40 minutes later. As the day progressed the gaps between the locks steadily decreased until the final ones of the day, the flight of 3 at Shireoaks.

The 8 Arches of Manton Railway Viaduct. (There’s another behind me…)Worksop was much as expected, quite a bit of rubbish in the canal, collecting at the locks, and the canal being an afterthought to any recent “development” work in the town. Prime examples of this is Bracebridge Lock, where the balance beam on the top gate is too short in order to accommodate the path, and Town Lock, where the headroom to operate the lower gates is severely restricted by the underside of the road bridge. So restricted in fact that there’s no room for gate paddles on one of the gates.

Town Lock

It was this lock that I was told about yesterday. It seems that BW have done some work here, because we had no trouble. The only unexpected occupant of the lock was a bedraggled rat, swimming up and down looking for a way out. He/she finally climbed out onto the top cill, but had to take to the water again as Carol locked through.

Roland in lock
And catching a breather on the cill.
After this lock I made a quick visit to M&S Simply Food (which also sells clothes…) for bread and milk. (Not Just Food; M&S Food!). It’s in a complex right beside the towpath.

On out of town, through Stretts Lock (only 6’10½” wide, lift your fenders!) and the next 5 to arrive at Shireoaks Marina at 17:15. They have thoughtfully provided FREE visitor moorings for 3 or 4 boats within the marina basin itself. There’re also the usual sanitary facilities, the last before the terminus.

Moored at ShireoaksThe Marina at Night.It’s been a day of family visits for Carol, too. Her Mum and Dad arrived to meet us at Bracebridge Lock, and, waiting for us at Shireoaks was brother Phil and sister in law Dawn. Then Sonja arrived for the night, so she had a quite a boatfull.

Dawn and Sonja. Phil was hiding…

Reg the cat had had enough and made his escape along the gunwale.

This area used to be Shireoaks Colliery, closed in the early 90’s. The views from the top of the spoilheap are superb.

Looking East over Worksop.
I’ve said that the locks got steadily closer together as we went through today. The trend continues tomorrow, it’s only 4½ miles to the terminus but there are 23 locks in the next 1½! You can see why not many boats come up this far; you’ve got to have time on your hands to do this many locks, and then turn around and come back down again!

Although we’ve only been on the move for 5 hours, it has seemed like a long day. The weather has been mixed, sunny spells with showers, some of them hail.

Locks 12, miles 5


Adam said...

Really enjoying your account of this little-travelled canal. It's a shame when areas like this aren't used much, so I'm glad you're there, and enjoying it.

Geoff & Mags said...

Thanks Adam
Yes we are enjoying it. I can understand to a degree why it's so quiet, access from the tidal Trent will put some off, and Retford and Worksop may deter others. Maybe when the restoration is complete it'll be more popular. But for anyone out there considering this canal - get on and cruise it! We are setting off on the last few miles shortly, supposed to be the best.