John amused himself by cutting the overhanging weeping willow branches as we passed on our way to the four Forest Locks, once surrounded by Sherwood Forest. After using the Elsan facility, we continued into Retford, moored above Town Lock and visited the market and Costa. Apparently, the market is best on Thursday and Saturday, but is more of a junk / jumble market on Fridays, according to a local. John bought a small axe and spanners, as did Min.
The pleasant journey through Town Lock, past the Hop Pole pub, through the wide WhitSundayPie Lock and five miles to Clayworth was new to Min and Angela. After unloading at the RWBC clubhouse, John moored Annie and "put her to bed", while the others sorted out cars. Tomorrow is moving day for all the boats at RWBC, so we should be a few boat lengths nearer the clubhouse, which will make filling with water easier.
Thur 31 March Shireoaks through Worksop to Ranby
A beautiful sunny morning! Before we set off, John showed Min and Angela the Chesterfield Canal working boat moored at Shireoaks Marina. Mr Bounds was busy restoring the Chesterfield Canal Trust's reconstructed working narrow boat, Dawn Rose, as he cheerily welcomed us into the marina. We were invited to see the tiny cabin, complete with stove and shelves/boards, stowed ready for laying on the floor for sleeping.
|Dawn Rose and Mr Bounds at Shireoak Marina|
|Mr Bounds with Min and Angela|
|Dawn Rose. You can see the CRT facilities and entrance bridge in the background.|
|Health and Safety - Pulling out the wood releases the" bow yanker" from the tow rope .... but see the wooden chimney!!|
|John in the front cabin. yes, he did bang his head!|
|notice stove, horn, windlass, etc|
|small cupboard / table|
Mr B had spent much of his life working on the canals in this area and he was very happy to share canal stories from his past...all starting with our question about "cuckoo" boats. He said the canal historians had got it wrong - the boatmen just called them "booats", although there were several types, eg Pompey lengthman's boat. He was eager to explain that it was in fact the people who went on the rivers with insufficient power or unsuitable loads who were thought to be "cuckoo" , one example was of a chap who decided to take a cow on board, on the Trent !
Eventually we started off in the sun, down the locks to Worksop, where we chatted with CRT staff trying to increase membership from 44,000 to 100,000.
We moored, had a coffee and shopped at the Priory Centre, so Min could visit Wilco's and the BHF shop. A boat actually passed Annie, heading uphill!
John took us out of town in the breezy sunshine, past Osberton Hall and Lock, amid pretty scenery. We moored a few hundred yards before the occupied new Ranby moorings we usually use. Liana won at Settlers of Catan, after another good meal.
|Worksop Straddle Warehouse. They were reroofing the outbuildings to the right as we passed|
|leaving Worksop. the ornate pump house chimney top is visible aboive the bridge.|
|We seemed to spook the herd - all the beast rushed ahead of us|
|moored using G-clips before the A1 near Ranby. The boat ahead is on the 48 hour mooring bollards.|
Wed 30 March Down 23 locks to Shireoaks
Min and Angela Palmer joined us for this trip, so we left our car at Clayworth and all came to the boat in theirs. John backed Annie up to the bridge for loading, then went up to the tunnel to get a picture of Annie at the head of navigation.
|Min and Angela Palmer. The blocked tunnel East portal is in front of Annie|
|The winding hole / feeder|
Min enjoyed backing Annie to the winding hole. The canal here and above the locks is well kept and pretty, with lots of wild garlic.
|Umnyama's home mooring?|
|Min steering, leaving Kiveton Park|
|The triple staircase top locks|
|This low arch nearly took the coolie hat off the chimney on the way up|
|... some people clamber across the bottom gates, despite the risk ...|
|Liana hitching a lift across the lock!|
|... guess who was losing at Settlers1|
|... that old perennial - converting the dinette into a bed. It's very comfortable , though.|
|Harebell and Annie both mooring overnight outside Shireoaks Marina. Laura's friendly café is at the bridge behind.|