We seem to be getting into proper autumn weather now, cold nights and bright but chilly days. We had a frost last night but it was cleared rapidly in the early sunshine.
With not too far to go today we had a lazy start, getting away not much before eleven. The canal to Goole is wide and deep, easy cruising but frankly a bit boring!
The waterways depot near Heck Bridge always seems to be busy with boats, but you never see a soul about!
The South Yorkshire Boat Club rent Heck Basin from CRT.
The basin is long and narrow and runs back from the entrance alongside the canal. Although it’s shown on early 20th century maps I can’t find out it’s original purpose. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of industry close by, but it does run back to Heck Lane. So it might have been for transhipment.
Only one lock today, Pollington, and it’s another long one. Four pairs of gates can divide the chamber up or only the extreme ends ones used for those long trains of coal-carrying compartment boats that used to head to Goole Docks.
Below the lock was moored the Freda Carless, a large barge built by Harkers in Knottingley in 1964.
At over 130 feet long she wouldn’t fit in the section of the lock we just used! Built for general cargo carrying for Flixborough Shipping, she was sold for scrap after only around 10 years of service, but was saved and re-commissioned into private hands in 2009. Looking good.
On the permanent moorings a little further along sit two Sheffield-sized keels.
At only half the length of Freda Carless, these boats were built to trade down into Sheffield, hence the name. A bit more manageable and popular for conversion.
Another half-hour saw us at the junction with the New Junction Canal. I guess it’s called New Junction…
Opposite is the large Southfield Reservoir, built when the locks were extended to ensure adequate water supplies. We turned right here and pulled in on the moorings just inside the New Junction.
Another short-ish day tomorrow will see us at the other end of the 5½ mile long canal, mooring at Bramwith Junction.
Looks like it’s going to be a chilly night…
Locks 1, miles 5¾