Saturday 17 June 2017


Today's Canal - Chesterfield

The first photo shows the view as we made ready to set off. What's not to like? Actually, it was Mike who set off on his own at the unusually early hour of just after 8 o'clock. We had estimated our journey times for the next three days, based on the tide information. In addition we were still trying to work out a possible church service for Sunday morning. Hence we opted for an early start to see how far we progress.

Soon after leaving we saw, slightly in the distance, Osberton Hall, which gave its name to the first lock, which is quite isolated, with a long pound above and below. To the right and front of the photo is a separate block called The Stables. Whilst much of it looks converted to dwellings there are plenty of signs that this is still a place very much into horses. However, it was not possible to take a useful photo from the boat.

On the way up, at Ranby we spotted a large group of older buildings that on the OS Map are marked THE BARRACKS. However we were too later to take a photo but did try to find out a bit more about the place later on. This time we managed a photo but have still to discover much more other than it is now a large single six bed residence with five reception rooms but was once several cottages which have been combined together.

A slightly better shot of the particular trees we wanted to include last time from when we passed Green Mile Nursery. The names comes from a local road which is called Green Mile Lane.

By 10 o'clock we were at the top of the Forest Locks flight of four. We made a short stop at the second lock for elsan and rubbish but did not spend time today on filling with water, Christine has concluded that we could leave the washing machine load until tomorrow. However, she did have a chat to a local boat resident who commended the rural moorings at Clayworth Common.

We have not mentioned them before but all of the locks below Shireoaks have security locks to reduce the chance of vandalism (still does not stop some people damaging the devices themselves). The type between Shireoaks and Worksop use the Watermate key to release a clutch on a ratchet-less mechanism. However, those on the lower stretch use this interesting, quite basic mechanism which largely survives attack although at on lock one paddle cannot be operated as the anti-vandal device cannot be released. To operate this type, the Watermate key has to be turned in the lock which releases the slide catch. Once that is pulled out, enabling the normal paddle mechanism to be turned, then the key can be removed. Sometimes simplest is best.

Canal social media often have heated debates about the importance of using the correct sized hole on the windlass. This is to avoid wearing away the corners and, in the end, meaning the the windlass just slips around. However, one of the Forest Locks has a very much smaller spindle. We doubt whether any boat carries this sized hole!

In  a rough crevice just below a lock, some wild flowers will grow anywhere!

However, just as we came into Retford it looked as if the Triffids had arrived before us.

One of the three short aqueducts in the centre of Retford carries the canal over the River Idle. We shall see the end of its journey before long as it flows into the Trent at West Stockwith, a short distance from the river lock.

Whilst Mike brought the boat down through Town Lock and moored on the visitor mooring just below, Christine popped to the shops. This time she eschewed Asda and investigated the main shopping street which she found bustling and attractive, with an impressive Town Hall.

On a hot weekend it was not surprising that all of the pubs were busy. Here at Hop Pole the outdoor seating area was full - it is attractively laid out.

That is supposedly the Hop Pole- or may be it is the scene of some strange rural ceremonies, perhaps at noon on Midsummer's Day?

We just caught a snap of a small plane - looks like a Spitfire. Perhaps it was returning to the
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby that we moored close to on our last trip down the River Witham. There was no event listed on their web site for today but tomorrow they are due at Weston Air Show.

Our attempts to locate a service tomorrow morning have thus far failed, We contacted the vicar at Hayton and the churchwarden at Clayborough, the only two places within walking distance of places where we might moor, but neither offer anything tomorrow. As a result when,  just before 3:30 we spotted the Clayworth Common moorings we succumbed to temptation and pulled in for the night. Just a word of warning for anyone tempted to follow our experience - the depth on the moorings is not great and we had a security moat between us and the bank for the night! The situation is just great, however.

Shortly before we moored, Christine spotted a Canada Goose playing step-dad to a single swan mum and her two young chicks. After we moored they turned up, perhaps in the hope of some easy food - alas they were to be disappointed. yet, they made an interesting picture. However, a little later the real swan dad arrived, loudly and dive bombing the goose who soon discovered the dangers of playing away from the home team!

13.1 Miles - 8 Locks

No comments:

Post a Comment