Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We should really get a lottery ticket…

We could win if our luck holds! We’ve dropped on to the last available moorings at the most popular places on the Trent, yesterday at Gunthorpe, today on the Newark pontoon.

If lady luck was with us, I’m afraid the weather wasn’t. Today started grey and dry, but soon turned grey and wet.

Gunthorpe Lock was just around the corner, and like in all the Trent locks up to now, we felt a bit lonely…

Lots of froth coming over the weirIMG_6871

Near Hoveringham, better known for the supply of road building materials, Ferry Farm marks the site of a ferry over the river.
It linked to a track leading up through Shipman’s Wood to the village of Kneeton.

Up there somewhere
The 200 foot-high wooded ridge known as the Trent Hills runs along the south-east bank all the way to Hazelford, finally ending above the village of East Stoke.

Hazelford Lock, lights on red as we arrivedIMG_6877

Red and Green indicates that the lock is being prepared…IMG_6878

And finally a green light to enter the lock.IMG_6879
We were actually joined by another boat in the lock, one of the cruisers moored with us at Gunthorpe last night. They were heading for their berth at Farndon.

It was 11:00 by the time we cleared the lock and I’d had enough of the steady rain. The moorings below the lock, those at a suitable height for narrowboats, were almost empty, so we pulled in there. A brew and something to eat, and a walk in the rain for Meg, saw us till 1 o’clock, and the sky was showing signs of brightening up. So we decided to re-adopt Plan A and continue on to Newark.
We’d have a had a long day tomorrow otherwise, we’re heading onto the tideway from Cromwell Lock to Torksey soon after lunch. From Hazelford to Torksey would be about 6½ hours…

Off we go again from below Hazelford LockIMG_6880

The river is forced into a series of bends between Fiskerton and Farndon, and it’s here, in a bight of the river, that one of the bloodiest battles of the Wars of the Roses took place.

On the 16th of June 1487, a rebellious Yorkist army, around 8,000 strong, met the 12,000 strong army of the Lancastrian Tudor king, Henry VII.
Just under 2 years previously Henry Tudor’s forces defeated King Richard III’s at Bosworth, the king himself being killed in the battle. Henry snatched the crown, but the early years of his reign were plagued by unrest as the disenchanted Yorkists tried to overthrow him. It was here, in this peaceful area of water meadows that the issue was finally decided. Almost all of the leading rebels were killed in the battle, and fully half of their army.
The York army, supported by German, Swiss and Irish mercenaries, tried to make short work of it, charging down the slope to meet Henry’s vanguard. But they were soon embroiled in a stalemate of hand-to hand fighting as the royal vanguard was steadily reinforced by troops from the flanks. This battle of attrition could not last, and after over three hours of bloody conflict the rebel front collapsed and retreated in disarray. Hemmed in on three sides by the loop of the river, many were cut down as they had no-where to run to. A local stream running into the Trent is still known as Red Gutter, stained by the blood of the slain.

You wouldn’t believe it now…


Passing the sailing club and marina at Farndon, Staythorne Power Station comes into view.

A sizeable gaggle of geese hang around near FarndonIMG_6884

It’s just past the power station that the river is left for a while, and the navigation continues on into Newark on the Newark Dyke.

The river channel goes off over the large Averham WeirIMG_6886

Usually the posts are adorned with cormorants drying their wings, but they were absent in today’s damp and windy conditions. But not all…IMG_6887

The river is joined again nearly 4 miles downstream at Crankley Point, below Nether Lock.

Ah, another of the Averham refugees…

Large barges on a wharf at the edge of townIMG_6894

We held back to let the trip boat, Newark Crusader, come through the bridge before Town LockIMG_6895
The arches on the left carry the towpath over the lock backwater.

The classic picture – Newark Town Lock with Newark Castle rising in the backgroundIMG_6897

As I said, we secured the last space on the floating pontoon below Town Bridge, just as the rain finally gave up. I went out to Halfords to get the relay I would have bought from Castle Marina if they’d have been bothered to open, then took Meg for a walk, spotting several well-laden blackberry bushes on the way. So later I returned, armed with an ice-cream tub…

I’d already scrumped three cooking apples earlier, so you can guess what was for pudding…IMG_6899
Mags doesn’t like blackberrys, so she had a plain apple crumble.

Tomorrow’s supposed to be a better day, warmer and dry. Good-oh.

Hi Sarah. Hmm, dog-friendly Trent moorings... Ok.
Above Cromwell Lock, at the end of the piling on the right there's room for two or three narrowboats on the concrete steps, but it's still a bit high with the current low river levels. Better is the pontoon just beyond, but it's popular...
Just below Nether Lock is similar, concrete steps with bollards, but the same thing applies. Pray for rain and a 12" rise in river levels. I'll post pics of those two on here tomorrow.
Newark, you need to be where we are, floating pontoon on the right. If you get in at the Town Bridge end you'll have access to water and electricity (cards from the C&RT office just above) too! All the other mooring spots are high, but you may be able to manage opposite the pontoon. (Pic tomorrow).
Fiskerton, pontoon below the pub on your right, but only room for two boats...
Below Hazelford Lock, concrete steps again, currently a couple of foot above gunwale height.
Gunthorpe Bridge pontoon, on the right before the bridge itself. 
Stoke Lock, good, quiet moorings on the pontoon above the lock on the right.
Unfortunately the low bank visitor moorings at Holme Lock are currently occupied by the residents while work on the hydro plant continues.
Then Nottingham. Still on the river, County Hall steps is good, upstream of Trent Bridge. There's folk about but I've not heard of any trouble. Big park opposite, over the footbridge.
Up Meadow Lane Lock and you can moor on the towpath on the right, but you'll be better heading into town proper. There's moorings on the left below Castle Lock, good access for the town centre, but not many folk use these overnight. Best spot is along near Sainsbury's just short of Nottingham Castle Marina (don't expect the chandlery to be open... :-)). There are a couple of other spots as you head down to Beeston. The last bit before Beeston lock has fairly high banks, but I've seen boats moored on the towpath side before the final bridge. Big playing fields over the wall. All of this through the city is canal, so good bank height. Below Beeston Lock there's a short mooring pontoon, then there's nothing till Cranfleet. On Cranfleet Cut itself there's mooring allowed after the long-termers, fairly high bank but manageable. These extend around to the entrance to the Erewash. Finally there's the pontoon beyond the Erewash/Soar junction, opposite the Scout Assoc sailing club. And that's your lot till you get to Sawley Cut. Unless you're heading for the Soar... 

Hi Naughty-Cal. Not this time, I'm afraid. On a mission to get to Ripon before the first weekend in September. Maybe next time. Hope you enjoyed your Great Ouse trip.

Now then Paul. Thanks for the information, I was going to ring the Leeds office tomorrow to see whether we needed to change our plans and head for the Chesterfield instead. Trent Falls is a no-no, Mags says... We'll be arriving at Keadby on Thursday, all being well. Keep in touch and we'll try to meet up before we turn off your route at Bramwith Junction.

Locks 3, miles 13½

1 comment:

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Thanks, Geoff, that's invaluable - I'll keep an eye out for more pics