Thursday 24 June 2021

Long Eaton

 Today's Canal - Erewash

Very different weather was forecast for today, including rain this morning. However, we only had a hsot spell of very fine drizzle but the rest of the time was overcast, warm and somewhat oppressive.    

We were aiming to arrive at Sandiacre in good time for Mike's Zoom meeting at 2 (with time for lunch and also a chance to move if the phone signal proved inadequate. However, in the middle of a small town, with lots of housing, not more than a mile from the M1, we felt it was a good bet.

At the first lock (Hallam Field) we had a little wait as two boats travelling together had njust emptied the lock ready to come up.

At Stanton Lock a volunteer team had just arrived to do some painting work on the gates. Although the gates had been fitted recently, the old steel balance beams had been re-used and so needed a good scrub and a lick of paint. They helped us through so we made up for lost time.

From Pastures Lock we could see St Giles, the medieval church for Sandiacre, standing on a hill overlooking the town (which would not have been there when it was built!) and the Erewash Valley. However, kit was too far away go get a photo at that time so we hoped for one as we came closer. Alas, there was then a continual row of firstly small industrial units and then a row of houses. This was the best we caught! Even on the internet we did not discover a lot about it except that the very early church was expanded in the 14th century. The chancel looks as if it was a Victorian addition once the town had expanded in response to the arrival of extensive industry. (There were at one time at least three Methodist Churches)

On the way up we noticed some apparently new graffiti on Bridge 11, just below Pastures Lock. It looked to record a couple of pairs of young hopefuls but already someone was hard at work trying to remove it. It looked as if he was just a willing local volunteer - just hope that the relationships last longer than the record!

In the end we were on the mooring in Sandiacre before 11:30. On the way up, Mike had found that the Co-Op stocked the custard doughnuts that a friend in Wadebridge introduced us to during the lockdown! Christine felt compelled to get some more . . . 

After lunch, whilst Mike was on Zoom, Christine went to the nearby Lidl for a mini-shop - we plan a larger weekend foray to a supermarket in Loughborough. In the end, the meeting proved simpler than the chair had anticipated so it was all done and dusted in 35 minutes. At least we had not all had to travel a distance for a physical meeting, which would have been the case pre-Covid.

Christine then opted to visit the Family Butcher within sight of the mooring. She picked up a joint for the weekend roast and another pork pie. They look good quality but a bit pricier than we have been used to.

We had sort-of planned to get to Trent Lock for tonight but we then recalled that it was difficult to find a mooring space so opted to stop short. Perhaps somewhere nearer, such as where we moored two nights ago, would be a better option ?

Sandiacre Lock was only a short distance - we managed a reasonable photo of the lock cottage (given the greyness of the day) but also spotted a junction finger post that we not noticed before.

Finally we dropped down Duckholme Lock and started to look for the mooring. We half remembered the gardens of the houses opposite and their neat summer houses. Alas, we missed the point we were aiming for and realised that Long Eaton Lock was almost upon us. There was not much option but to moor opposite the plywood fencing around the new development site that we earlier somewhat derided as a stopping place!

3.8 Miles - 5 Locks

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