After a cool night we had a beautiful, sunny morning. I remembered my camera when I took Meg for a circular walk up the river and back.
The County Hall steps moorings, with Trent Bridge in the background.
We crossed over the river on Wilford Suspension Bridge
Built in 1906 by the Nottingham Corporation Water Department it’s primary function was to bring water into the city from Wilford Reservoir. Under the pedestrian walkway are a 14” water main and two 12” gas mains. It’s not a public right of way, now owned by Severn Trent Water. It closed in the summer of 2008 for a £2 million restoration, lasting 18 months.
On the city side of the river is the Victoria Embankment, given to the city by Jessie Boot, him of Boots the Chemist. His father had a small herbalist shop in Nottingham, but died when Jessie was young. He left school at 13 to help his mother in the shop, but had ideas to improve the service provided.
After studying chemistry in his spare time he opened his first chemist shop on Goose Gate, selling preparations at less than his competitors. Then he employed a chemist to provide prescriptions to those who couldn’t afford medicines from the doctors. As a devout Methodist he was concerned about the quality of life of the poorer people of the city, hence his doctrine of providing an affordable service.
When the Clifton Estate offered a tract of land for sale alongside the river bank in 1920 he purchased it and donated it to the city “…to be preserved forever as an open space for the citizens.”
On the embankment, just downstream from the suspension bridge, he had built a Memorial Arch, in memory of those lost during The Great War.
The two panels either side of the main arch had 1914 on the left and 1918 on the right. But after the Second World War the inscriptions were changed, now we’ve 1914-1918 on the left and 1939-1945 on the right.
The lettering above the arch – “VIVIT POST FUNERA VIRTUS” translates to “Virtue Outlives Death”, the motto of the City of Nottingham.
Jessie died in 1931, after donating an estimated £2 million to charity. Two years later his wife Florence opened the 1000th Boots store, in Scotland.
Behind the memorial is the Memorial Gardens.
Walking back downstream we crossed back over on Trent Bridge and back to the boat.
We were off soon after 10, heading upstream to the limit of navigation which I thought was at Clifton Bridge, but was mistaken. It was cold in the teeth of the wintry breeze, but the sun made it tolerable. I didn’t bother taking any pictures on the way up; the sun was in the wrong place.
Apart from this one, approaching Wilford Toll Bridge.
The bridge opened for general traffic in 1870, charging tolls for the privilege of crossing here, but it was closed in 1974 having been deemed unsafe. It’s now got a new lease of life, though. With a new centre span it carries a pedestrian walkway and cycleway, and trams from the Nottingham Express Transit network since 2015.
It was here, too that we turned around…
… a mile short of Clifton Bridge. I’m sure that boats can make it that far up, but I don’t know if there are any shallow bits up there.
On the way back the Victoria Embankment looks fine on a sunny morning…
…and the pigeons were enjoying that sun on a pier of the suspension bridge.
Under Trent Bridge again…
…and onto the lock landing below Meadow lane Lock.
The windlass had to come out of hibernation again here; it’s only been used on one lock since we left the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, the manually operated Bramwith Lock.
We filled with water above the lock, then carried on, now on the Nottingham Canal, to the moorings outside Sainsbury’s.
Meg decided to have a root about in the bushes while we were topped up the tank…
It took a while to comb that little lot out!
A sharp turn at Poplar Arms Corner
A short arm led off to the right here, now under NHS Direct’s car park. In that direction is Poplar Street, so I assume it went that far. I wonder where the “Arms” came from?
The new apartments at Nottingham 1 look to be finished now.
Fellows Morton and Clayton warehouse on the right, British Waterways warehouse ahead.
Castle Lock was empty and had one gate open, so was quick to pass.
Ten minutes after the lock we pulled in just past the supermarket. I think we’ll be stopping here tomorrow, then decide on Sunday depending on the weather.
Locks 2, miles 4