Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back to Barrow

Tuesday night was quiet at Mountsorrel. At least until 06:00 when Meg woke us up barking at the window. Those who’ve come this way will probably remember the “kissing gate” at the end of the moorings, letting into the adjacent field.
An angler had turned up for a spot of early morning maggot drowning, with a trolley full of paraphernalia. Not being able to negotiate the gate with the gear aboard he had to offload it, take it through, then manhandle the barrow over the fence. Then it was a case of reloading it all again. All accompanied by muttered curses. An interesting five minutes.

It had been a cold night, and early mist was hanging on the water as I set off for my morning run. I was a little earlier than Tuesday; then I‘d had to weave in and out of groups of kids heading for school. On this occasion I only came across the isolated “swot” heading in early.
That’ll be my last training session before Sunday and the Worksop Half Marathon around Clumber Park. I’ve been nursing a bit of an injury for the last few weeks; three days off should see it improved and me “hot to trot”.

Around lunchtime a boat came up the lock so we took advantage of their idleness in leaving a top gate open.
Mountsorrel Weir below the lock

The brick bridge carrying the quarry conveyor was glowing in the afternoon sunshine

The granite quarry sits over Castle Hill above Mountsorrel, and the conveyor carries the chipped stone across to railway sidings between Barrow and Sileby, two miles away. This conveyor runs on the track bed of The Mountsorrel Railway, completed in 1861, and built for transporting the product of the quarries.
The stone produced here is still in demand, it’s pinkish colour making it sought after for decorative and monumental use, and it’s hardness making good roadstone.
The railway was soon carrying in excess of 200,000 tons of stone a year, effectively ending the previous barge and horse-and-cart transport solutions. It closed around 1959.

The bridge is believed to be the longest single-span brick arch in the country, 40 feet wide and 16 feet above the river.

The other side of the bridge there’s a few boats moored on the offside, one of which was built by Fibreline.

NB Chirk Tunnel

This Gwent company built a few fibreglass narrowboats, but ceased trading in 2002.

It’s a very pretty stretch downstream of Meadow Farm Marina, with the smart houses on the edge of Barrow on one side and open grazing on the other.

Looking back upstream

Well cracked Crack Willow near Barrow.

I always have a chuckle when we pass this riverside house with mock gunports in a fortified wall….

We were aiming to moor just below the weir at Barrow, there’s just room for two boats on these 48 hour moorings. It’s a lot more pleasant here than in the lock cut. Unfortunately there were two boats already there, but the one nearest the weir was Corbiere, so we shuffled in close behind, with the fore end against the hard edge and the stern hanging just short of the weir. Probably not the best spot if the river is up….

Coming in to moor at Barrow Weir

Carol and Amanda were off shopping when we arrived, but we were met by Dave and Dilys off NB Trundle. They used to manage Raynsway Marina till it changed hands last year and they were unfortunately made redundant. It was good to catch up with them.

The girls joined us for a drink in the afternoon, then we took the dogs for a walk across the fields later.

They’ve got to be back in Shardlow by the weekend, so they set off this morning, after the early rain had stopped.

Amanda and Carol, NB Corbiere

The dogs had to come and say goodbye, too.

Snoopy and Sealy saying bye to Meg and Mags

We pulled forward into the vacant slot. Mags was a bit worried about being so close to the weir, and lack of depth meant the stern was stuck 3 feet from the bank, so we’re better off now.
Tomorrow morning we’ll head the short distance to Pillings Lock Marina, where we’ll be staying for the weekend.

Oh, and apologies to Maggie. I called their boat "Forevermore" the other day. My brain cell must have had a senior moment. Of course it's called Forever Young. Corrected now.

Locks 1, miles 1½

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