Thursday 29 June 2017


Today's Canals - South Yorkshire Navigation, Stainforth and Keadby.

At least it was not raining when we awoke - apart from that it has been a rather grey day with a short spell of drizzle late morning.

As we were (slowly!) getting up, we realised that the oil tanker was back again. As it disappeared under the next bridge we wondered how they manage when empty as, fully loaded, they appeared to have very little spare headroom.

We eventually set off, rounded the corner at Bramwith Junction and immediately arrived at Bramwith Lock. A volunteer was on duty which was very helpful as, otherwise, it is  a rather cumbersome lock to operate.

On the permanent moorings below the lock we spotted a boat with this name. Now  quirky made-up names like this normally do not do much for us but this one did raise  a smile with its canal puns.

The following swing bridge was straightforward followed by a level pound into Thorne. Just after Stainforth we saw this double mooring ahead - for a moment we wondered with such large vessels how much room there would be to pass but it is a wide canal so no problem.

The small basin for Thorne Cruising Club was once part of a lock down to the River Don which runs close to the canal until just before the motorway bridge when it turns northward and misses Thorne altogether.

This narrows at Dunston Hill was once a swing bridge and it appears that the house was for a bridge keeper. The 1854 map shows a railway line -Doncaster and Thorne - between the canal and the river - otherwise there seems to be nothing for the bridge to link with. However, by 1909, the railway is no longer shown.

At Thorne Lock there is a swing bridge immediately above the lock and the two have to be operated in combination, using the same control box. (The bridge and gates have to be opened and shut manually however)

The lock keeper had quite a substantial hut to keep dry and warm between boats.

After the problems that other boaters had when we came up last week, we allowed the system to take its time - it does not like to be rushed! Even so, it got in a huff at the last stage of closing the bottom gates and sluices so Mike had to reset the system before it would close up and allow us to retrieve our key.

There was room on the original visitor moorings just before the service block - shorter boats can stay there on the pontoons for 24 hours. We are not booked in to the marina until tomorrow morning (although we do hope to make a good getaway as we have a lengthy journey ahead of us followed by quite a busy period back home)

After lunch we walked up to Sainsbury - only about ten minutes - for the few items we needed. We returned via Thorne Boat Services where we made arrangements for a 250 hour service whilst we are away. We had expected that it would have to be done as soon as we get back but this will save us half a day.

Time then for some cleaning. Whilst Christine tackled the inside, Mike gave the outside a complete wash down. This involved turning the boat around - fortunately there was enough width of canal nearby to do this.

5.3 Miles - 2 Locks


  1. The wheel house Exol Pride is on hydraulics, so it can be lowered for bridges. Last year it was moored at Goole for a while and we wondered where the wheel house had gone. They had lowered it fully out of harms way.
    Pip (NB Oleanna)

    1. Thanks - now you mention it I have seen pictures of that happening on another barge somewhere back in the deep recesses of imperfect memory! Did not know that it was fitted to Exol Pride but no doubt it is more common these days.