…You have to turn around and head back down again!
We had a long day on Saturday, all the locks were against us, often with top gates open, and there was a lot of folk on the towpath, all seemingly wanting to natter!
We got the life story of one lady who was walking her spaniel Roger, and were nearly sold an early 1960s Bedford Dormobile motor caravan! But all in all a good day.
The impressive Springfield Mill, just up from the Padmore Moorings in Sandiacre.
Built in 1888 as a lace mill, it’s now a Grade II listed building, converted to high-end apartments. A beautiful example of Victorian architecture.
We had eight locks to ascend before our planned stop near Shipley Lock, and were on the move at soon after 10:00. Between Sandiacre and Ilkeston the canal passes through a short section of countryside, but the M1 crossing makes a noisy intrusion. Above Stanton Lock the Nutbrook Canal used to head off to the west, now the only evidence is a stone wall with a pair of pipes sticking through.
Mags in Stanton Lock
The lock is on it’s third name, originally White House Lock it became Junction Lock when the Nutbrook Canal was opened in 1796.
The Nutbrook, named for the Nut Brook which it mainly followed, was built to fetch coal down from collieries at Shipley and West Hallam but was a victim of it’s reason for existence. Plagued by subsidence which required regular repairs, it finally was defeated by railway competition.
The extensive Stanton Ironworks operated from 1787, and the canal was cut through it, presumably to take advantage of a customer on the doorstep. A century later the canal was redundant, replaced by a rail network and all but the first three locks was abandoned. With the closure of the ironworks in 1949 this remaining short section was filled in.
The junction of the Nutbrook Canal with the Erewash is not what it was…
A mile further up the town of Ilkeston starts to appear, mainly on the east side. Gallows Lock sits alongside Gallows Inn next to a main road bridge.
With canalside seating I imagine it would have been busier later in the day.
We had a bit of trouble at Greens Lock. Debris had gathered on the cill below the nearside top gate, stopping it from closing fully. It took 15 minutes of groping about with my long shaft before I could get any sort of seal.
We’d been warned to watch out for low bridges, and the tail bridge at Potters Lock is one such.
After a near miss earlier I’d taken the chimney down.
The Bridge Inn at Bridge 23 is closed. With good moorings nearby I‘m sure it would have been popular with boat crews. But there just aren’t any. Boats or crews. We’ve only seen two moving boats since Trent Lock.
We pulled in below Shipley Lock as planned, although in retrospect we would have been better stopping a little further down before the railway bridge where the bank is better.
With things to do we stayed put yesterday, getting off again this morning. Another beautiful day after a frosty night.
Coming up to Shipley Lock
Another one bites the dust… The Anchor at Bridge 27 is now a private house.
Waiting below Langley Mill Lock, almost at the terminus.
We topped up the water tank then turned around, narrowly avoiding a grumpy angler, and moored on the west side of the basin.
I think we’ll stay here tomorrow. I’ll have a walk around the basin and take some photos. It used to be an important junction, where the Erewash meets the Nottingham and Cromford Canals. Both of the latter are no longer in use here, though, apart from the first short section of each used for moorings.
Locks 11, miles 8 (2 days)