Sunday, September 02, 2012

Tidal Trent to Torksey

Last night we had a fine sunset and a clear night, leading to a bright, sunny morning.

Railway bridge below Nether Lock last nightSAM_2728

No need for an early start today; we didn’t need to be at Cromwell lock till around noon to catch the ebb tide, so it was about half-past ten when we untied and got away.

Looking back at Nether LockSAM_2729 Nether Lock

Just a few hundred yards downstream the main channel of the river reappears after it’s loop around Newark.

Crankley PointSAM_2730 Crankley Point

It was just over four miles to Cromwell, fairly uninteresting apart from passing between the villages of North Muskham and Holme.

Impressive St. Wilfrid’s, North Muskham. SAM_2733 North Muskham
The church is medieval, but has been restored in the early 20thC.

On the opposite side of the river is the hamlet of Holme. The pretty St. Giles Church here is more recent, the earliest parts dating back to around 1490. Unfortunately only the top of the spire can be seen from the river. Local historical records show that prior to the mid-16thC both villages were to the west of the river, but following a flood the channel took a new course, separating the settlements.
A  ferry was instituted to link the villages, the ferryman based at what is now the Muskham Ferry Inn.

Muskham Ferry InnSAM_2734 North Muskham

We intended to fill with water before dropping down Cromwell Lock, but a large white cruiser had moored on the water point and the lock was ready for use so in we went.

In Cromwell LockSAM_2738 Cromwell Lock

I‘m pleased to report that Mags managed to stay aboard this time….

Leaving Cromwell Lock, two upstream customers waiting to go in.SAM_2739 Cromwell Lock
Ahead of us now is 16 miles of steadily broadening tidal river, with frankly very little to occupy the mind…
The river does some interesting contortions, especially south of High Marnham, but even then you just have to stick to the middle of the channel to avoid the anglers and the shoals on the inside of the bends.

Carlton-on-Trent lies on the west side, not much to be seen from the river but there is a converted windmill standing close to the water.

Old windmill at CarltonSAM_2748 Carlton Mill
Besthorpe Gravel Staithe and anglers on the east bank.SAM_2741
No gravel carriers out today, it being Sunday. We may see some tomorrow.

A disused loading staithe a little further downstream has sunken barges alongside.

Old gravel wharfSAM_2754

The course of the river runs relatively straight past High Marnham and the demolished power station of the same name, and passes under a disused railway bridge that carried the rail spur to the plant.

Fledborourgh ViaductSAM_2759 Fledborough Viaduct

The power station closed in 2003, and the five cooling towers were demolished earlier this year.

After an “S” bend at Dunham Dubs (wow, trees!) there are two more bridges at Dunham, one carrying pipework and another the A57 from Lincoln to the A1.

Dunham DubsSAM_2760 Dunham Dubs

Dunham BridgesSAM_2763 Dunham Bridges
Just upstream of the bridges there is a mooring pontoon, but there’s not much in the two local villages.

There’s a power boat club at Laneham Ferry, and we thought there may be some boating activity here. We weren’t wrong, there was a guy water-skiing and having a whale of a time…

First downstream….SAM_2770 Water Skiing
…then back againSAM_2775 Water Skiing
He was on a single board and went airborne every time he crossed the wake.SAM_2769 Water Skiing
We rocked about a bit, too. Meg was not impressed!

After all this excitement the final couple of miles to Torksey was very quiet.

Cottam Power Station dominates the viewSAM_2778 Cottam and West Burton
You can just see the chimneys of the next plant downstream, at West Burton. The Trent valley has more than it’s fair share of power stations. The navigable length from Nottingham to the Humber supports 6 installations, capable of supplying over 10,000Mw into the National Grid.

Arrival at Torksey and the short arm to Torksey LockSAM_2779 Torksey
Below the lock there are pontoon moorings for those like us who are in transit, and there are more, with water and the usual services, above. It sometimes gets busy below, but, as we’d only seen three other boats on the water today, I didn’t expect any problems. We still heaved a sigh of relief though when we saw there was plenty of space.

Torksey moorings from the road bridge at the lock. Cottam steams away in the background.SAM_2789 Torksey Lock

A rare photo of yours truly, and Meg in her fetching life jacketSAM_2781
“Can you take it off now, pleeeese!”

Leaving at 10:30 in the morning, in company with NB Lyra. ETA Keadby 14:15.

Locks 1, miles 17


Alf said...

Have fun getting into Keadby !! I know I did (not) earlier this year !!

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Alf
Didn't touch the sides! (smug expression!)
The weed was the worse bit. All over the ropes!