Friday, 19 May 2017


Today's Canal - Fossdyke

The forecast for today was for heavy rain most of the day but when we set off, rather later than usual, there had only been a small amount of light drizzle.

Cruising on these navigations is very different - long straight sections with very few locks. We may be slowing down (!) but it did seem rather more calm and we were not over anxious to get anywhere special.

As we left Torksey we noticed that, after the permanent cruiser moorings, there was a long line of visitor moorings with none of the space occupied. We did not have to worry last night although if we had been meeting as planned then it would have been a short-ish walk from the car park.

This is the first time this year we have spotted yellow wild irises growing in the margins of the canal.

One final look back at the power station. It looks as if it is working a lot harder today - perhaps the colder temperature has something to do with it.

There is a two kilometre marked section where deer ramps have been provided which obstruct the navigation close to the bank for a short distance. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be anyone's responsibility to maintain these ramps, removing the vegetation around them, in particular. Perhaps as a result, we saw at least five deer carcasses floating in the canal - most were very close to the ramps. Perhaps we can find someone to whom we can report this.

Most of the trees have now turned green, as has the rest of the scenery, but this splendid specimen is still stark against the clouds.

At the first real bend where the Fossdyke turns more than ninety degrees to head north east towards Saxilby, Wigsley Drain joins via a numbered bridge by the turn off the main road (which follows the canal for some distance) onto the B1190.

A line of moored boats followed including one with this amusing wind generator.

It was rather cold but still without much rain when we arrived at Saxilby where there was plenty of room on the visitor moorings. we decided to pull in an walk into the village for a newspaper and perhaps other items.

This was once a rather important town, built up around the canal and communications with nearby places such as Lincoln. At one time there was a swing bridge across the canal but that was replaced in the twentieth century by a footbridge. The footings for the swing mechanism can still be seen.

A local history society has created a set of plaques on many of the older buildings complete with photos of how they once looked.

We called at the convenience store which was well stocked - it has been a food store for quite some time, although not doubt what it once sold and how it was displayed was very different from present day retail!

A large village hall was once one of several Methodist Churches in the village - it has since been significantly extended.

Another chapel was on the site which is now the fire station.

Today there are four pubs in the village but some of the buildings which are now homes once also served as an inn.

On the way back to the boat we discussed options for the afternoon as we did not really want to move on towards Lincoln. There are not many moorings beforehand and the spaces in the centre might be a bit noisy on a Friday evening. Instead we opted to cat h a bus into Lincoln, only 15 minutes away, mainly to find a fold up step stool that we wanted to track down to make it easier to see the new boiler control panel. After a quick lunch break we returned to the bus stop - bus was over ten minutes late so we were beginning to wonder but then it arrived.

We alighted close to Homebase on a new retail park where we did indeed find what we were looking for. Afterwards we wandered around some of the city centre with modern shops intermingled with old streets.

On our way back towards Debenhams where the return bus stop was to be found, we came a cross this obelisk. According to the inscription it was, "built in 1762/3 as a water conduit . . . it was restored om 1863 and dedicated as the Albert Fountain . . . its water supply was fed from springs on Monks Road. Dismantled in 1939 and put into storage; it was reconstructed in 1996 incorporating some original fragments. A time capsule as placed within by children of St Mary's Preparatory School."

The bus back was a few minutes late - it was obviously now 'rush' hour and the double decker was quite full with local students, many of whom seemed to need to ensure that they kept a double seat to themselves!

5.3 Miles - 0 Locks

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