Friday 16 June 2017


Today's Canal - Chesterfield

Today was pleasantly warm, not too hot but we only had sunny spells or the latter part of the morning. Otherwise it was somewhat overcast. Our overnight mooring had proved quite satisfactory, even though we were away from the designated section.

Immediately after setting off we turned into Shireoaks Basin so that we could use the full range of services. We both had an interesting chat with a volunteer who was working on the Chesterfield Trust site where they built the Dawn Rose, replica Chesterfield boat. As they can no longer pull the boat out of the water on the slipway (Although newly built as part of the marine re-development, insufficient clearance was provided for a full length boat! The last time they had it out of the water they had to take it right up to Nottingham!)

The rest of the morning was taken up with coming down the six locks to reach the mooring alongside Worksop Sainsbury where there is room to moor. We then did a full shop as we will not find too much over the next three days or so. We bought so much that we could not carry it all in one set of bags so Mike had to make a return trip! After all that effort we immediately needed lunch!

The rest of the journey through Worksop was straightforward - as we arrived at Bracebridge Lock on the edge of town we met another boat coming up: nb Judy who we have been meeting off and on since we came together through Sawley.

You may just be able to make out the blue string that is tied between the fence post and the end of the shaky stone wall. Not sure whether the wall is holding up the fence post or the other way around. In any event, neither looks a long term bet!

From there we headed out into the countryside and planned to get as far as the moorings just before Ranby but somewhat short of that we spotted a stretch of recent piling, with an open aspect for a tv signal, so decided to give it a try. Whilst it is not dredged as a proper mooring we were able to get sufficiently close to the edge to moor happily - rather earlier than usual!

This gave a chance to enquire about the transit from West Stockwith to Keadby. According to the lock keeper at Keadby, we would have to leave West Stockwith at 16:30 on Monday or 17:30 on Tuesday. Since it will take us a couple of hours, that would make for a rather late arrival if we went down on Tuesday. So our planning is now for Monday and we are booked in on that basis.

However, this means that we are a bit stuck in finding a church service somewhere near the canal on Sunday but which is sufficiently far on that we can get to West Stockwith in time for Monday's tide. Still investigating, but the obvious places are not operating this Sunday. . . . However, if we can get to Clayworth tomorrow night then we could use the car . . . Best hope for an early start tomorrow but at least we do not need to spend long, shopping in Retford tomorrow.

The milestone alongside our mooring also has a plaque to indicate that this is the mid point between the original two ends of this canal in Chesterfield and the River Trent.

4.8 Miles - 11 Locks

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