Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A rather wet "warm up" cruise!

Wed 25 April Westward Ho! phone pictures to come

After a convivial evening with Market Rasen Lions Club at the thatched Kings Head pub , Tealby, we set off without our cratch cover, which was being repaired. Food, etc, was collected from Aldi at Gainsborough, on the way to our moorings at the Retford & Worksop Boat Club, Clayworth. John had been busy replacing Annie's batteries (heavy work - thanks for the help lifting, Liana) and painting last week, when it was sunny, so it was great to hear the engine throbbing away. The weather was windy as we made our way through bepuddled fields past villages with paddocks of horses towards WhitSunday Pie Lock, the last wide lock on the Chesterfield Canal, so wide barges could reach Retford in the past. There were one or two early season touring boats moored, good to see.
We like Retford, a lively market town rather like Newark on Trent. Once up the narrow Town Lock, we moored in our usual spot along the embankment behind Asda, close to the River Idle, park and playing field, with its skateboard set up. TV reception is usually ok here, too.
There are plenty of shops in the pedestrianised centre of town, plus a market in the impressive town square, with its French style Town Hall. We had just missed the market, but settled on a decent Mocha coffee on Greggs teashop. John bought a couple of books at one of several charity shops before we settled in beneath wet skies.

Thursday 26 April through Ranby towards Worksop

Sadly, today was drizzly at times, leavened by occasional sunny spells, thank goodness. Passing through West Lock, past winding hole, park  and cemeteries, followed by the bollarded embankment mooring near the East Coast main Line railway, we travelled the rural two miles to the four Forest Locks. Beside the third of these (Upper middle lock) lies a good service block. John steered damply towards Ranby, with its Chequers pub mooring and A1 road noise. Take care through the twisty bridge hole in the village, as a long narrowboat is moored close by. Once under the A1, there is a good 70' winding hole and good scenic bollarded moorings, often used by club members and others on short cruises. We carried on past the horsey Osberton Hall, with its lock, but John needed to get a change of clothes at lunch time, and warm up.
Reaching Worksop,  after several locks, John winded Annie and we stopped near the overhead warehouse and had a wander around the town. It was a wet day, so once the sun showed itself, we carried on into the countryside, mooring away from rail and road before Osberton lock.

Friday 27April back to Retford

Oh yuk! One of those days, not pouring down but windy and showery at times, with the rural settings pretty but damp! Through Osberton, Ranby and on to Forest Locks, we emptied loo holding tanks at the services and had lunch. John had to change again ...
Reaching Retford, we were glad to pass through West lock and moor on the embankment, followed by shops and a nice coffee in town.

Saturday 26 April Visitors! Homewards with Helen and Kevin

Liana and I were able to enjoy the large Saturday market in the Town Square, after breakfast. Long time friends Helen and Kevin live by the end of the Red Arrows runway at RAF Scampton.
Helen prefers dry land, but came with Kevin to see Annie and cruise back to base. Two locks, one narrow and one wide, added interest, although wind and occasional drizzle meant they stayed inside chatting to Liana for the few miles back to Clayworth. We passed Dawn Rose, the reproduction Cuckoo Boat, at the Hop Pole pub.

John sorted Annie while Liana drove them back to their car, and we were back home in time for TV soccer!

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