Wednesday 23 June 2021

Gallows Inn

 Today's Canals - Erewash, Cromford

The temperature has risen considerably and we awoke to a glorious clear blue sky. Before long we realised that it was time to go back to short sleeves once more!

The first lock was Shipley - a local walker pointed out to us the farm alongside the, the founding drummer of the 70's band Showaddywaddy.

The last lock on the Erewash is Eastwood, named after the nearby  former coal mining town, famous for its link with DH Lawrence. Just below the lock can be seen the remains of a former railway bridge. On the 1885 OS map it appears as a link from the main line to Eastwood Colliery . However, by the end of the century the colliery can no longer be seen.

Just above the lock we spotted a long piled edge with mooring bollards, all but overgrown. We suspected that it was formerly a loading wharf and indeed that is conformed by the 1885 OS map. This is a reminder that the main original purpose of the Erewash was to transport coal from the Nottinghamshire coal field and until the arrival of the railway was highly profitable.

The next lock - Langley Mill - is the only currently navigable one on the former Cromford Canal. 

Above the lock is where the now derelict Nottingham Canal branched off before heading down the other side of the Erewash valley.

The basin has, as well as a winding hole (so that we don't have to go down the lock backwards!) there is a boatyard and numerous moorings including nb Free Spirit - the Jamiesons keep a blog which is in the list to the right of our blogspot page. Currently they are on a trip with their newly acquired motorhome which is taking them around many interesting parts of north Yorkshire.

We were uncertain whether we could obtain diesel elsewhere on the Erewash and then on the Soar before Loughborough. We still had around half a tank but we do not like ti run much lower - just in case. We turned the boat around and backed into the boatyard gto enquire and, yes, they do sell fuel. After filling up we had a pleasant chat with one of the owners - she and partner plus two children live on a pair of former hotel boats which they keep alongside the workshops. It was fascinating to hear how they have developed the business in the five years or so since they took over. They are obviously  very committed to this place.

We headed back the  way we had come for a short distance, tying up on the end of the long lock landing above the Eastwood Lock to have lunch. We saw this sign which looks most odd as the site opposite just contains a scattering of rather run down sheds. There must be a back story!

After a quick conference we decided that, as the middle of the day was becoming rather hot, we would take an extended  break and set off again between 3.30 and 4, perhaps cruising a little later than we have normally been doing. Alas, around 3.15 a grass cutter and strimmer noisily arrived and woke Christine!

Mike has a Zoom meeting tomorrow afternoon, just after lunch,. so we need to make sure that we are somewhere with a good mobile signal. We know that this is the case at Padmore Mooring in Sandiacre. It will also be convenient as Christine can do some food shopping whilst Mike is locked away.

This is the ramp to Bennerley Viaduct that we mentioned yesterday. The viaduct can just be seen but we could not find anywhere on the canal where we we could have a good view - trees have just grown too dense!

As it was a pleasant evening and we found help (mainly youngsters) at every lock. So we made good progress - all of the locks were full as no-one has turned them since we came up. In the end we headed for a moorable spot alongside the playing fields below Gallows Inn Lock. There was a football game in progress between two teams of youngsters (?10 - 12 ish?) As we were mooring. Mike was intrigued to notice how often they seemed to adopt the techniques which have become part of professional football - pushing, tripping and diving!

This leaves just three locks for tomorrow morning. Later we discovered that rain is forecast for the morning so not having such a long run may prove helpful.

8.3 Miles - 11 Locks

No comments:

Post a Comment