We were not sure whether or not to move on today, but the sun was shining out of of clear blue sky, and the cyclists were whizzing along the towpath. Decision made, then.
I made another visit to Sainsbury’s for perishables, then we shoved off.
Passing Mick and Pip, NB Oleanna.
We been keeping an eye out for each other, and had a chance for a chat while we were here. They’re staying around a while before heading north.
The moorings were quiet where we were, but busier around the corner…
What is now known as the Nottingham and Beeston Canal, running from Meadow Lane Lock to Beeston Lock, was originally two independent navigations. The Nottingham Canal was opened in 1796, linking Langley Mill at the head of the Erewash Canal to Nottingham and then to the river at Meadow Lane. It was intended to transport coal produced in the North Nottinghamshire coalfields more directly than the previous roundabout route down the Erewash Canal and the Trent. With a connection to the Cromford Canal it could also be used to carry limestone from the quarries and cotton from Cromford mills.
Concurrent with the Nottingham Canal’s construction the Trent Navigation Company built the Beeston Cut, running from the river at Beeston and joining the canal at Lenton. To prevent unauthorised boats coming down the cut and onto the canal, the Nottingham Canal Company padlocked a chain across the canal at the junction. The site is still known as Lenton Chain.
The section of the canal from Lenton to Langley Mill fell into disrepair, was closed in 1937 and is now mostly filled in.
The Beeston Cut is different in character from the Nottingham Canal, being wider and deeper.
It leaves the city, skirting the Boots Estate and the suburb of Rylands before connecting with the river again at Beeston Lock.
A six-inch rise up from the canal to the river was all we had today, with the river being quite low.
Looking upriver from Beeston Lock.
Back on the river again there’s a pleasant 5 mile stretch to Cranfleet Lock where we leave the river again for the short cut which bypasses the large Thrumpton Weir.
We passed a small sailing boat just out for the day, chugging upstream powered by a little outboard. He’d left his mast up so was pretty sure he wouldn’t be joining us in Cranfleet Lock.
Lovely but chilly out on the river.
Ratcliffe Power Station generates it’s own eco-system, but at least it masked the bright, low sun for a while.
I’d like to have a look at that once she’s restored…
…and there’s another candidate for the treatment just a little further up.
Cranfleet Lock, about a 10 foot rise on this one.
At the far end of the cut, where the junctions of The Trent, The Soar and the Erewash Canal all come together, we pulled in for the night. The clouds had started to roll in and we had a drop of rain late afternoon, but none of the sleet and snow they talked about. Not yet, anyway.
Locks 2, miles 8