Wednesday 30 September 2020

Nottingham to Newark - the English Loire

 Tuesday 29 September a beautiful day on the River Trent (22 miles, 5 locks)

John finished the delicious calves liver with bacon, eggs, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms for breakfast, after which we awaited daughter Rachel with her lovely dog Honeypie, popping in on her way North to see friends in Alnwick. We were able to sit put in the sun and enjoy the view.

It was late morning before we unmoored and turned downriver in the sunshine under blue skies, under Trent Bridge to Holme Lock. The North bank redevelopment proceeds apace, new apartment blocks filling the riverside. With our vhf radio receiving only, John used the IPhone to contact the lock. The lock keepers then passed news of our passage from lock to lock via vhf.

Liana steered us through the curving Radcliffe railway viaduct, past the cliffs to Stoke Lock.

Wildfowl abound on the riverbank and meadows around Burton Joyce and The Hams. 

At Gunthorpe, the lock was ready for us. As we left, the water from the weir was foaming. We passed anglers and walkers on the Idyllic five mile trip to Hazleford Lock, where we waited a while for a large Dutch barge to come up.

For much of the final eight mile stretch to Newark, Dehli motored up alongside, so we enjoyed shouted conversations and took photos. At Fiskerton, the architect designed glass fronted riverside house is For Sale, but Liana couldn’t find it online.
Round the scenic bends of East Stoke, famous for a bloody War of the Roses battle, we went, Going lime astern as large cruisers approached, past plenty of anglers to Farndon, then on to the ever modernising Staythoroe Power Station, now with its German gas turbines.
Past Averham Weir we entered Newark Dyke, passed under the ring road and were impressed by the newly constructed basin at Newark Marina, which looks to have pontoons suitable for narrowboats. 

As it was after 5pm, Jan and Liana operated Town Lock, after which we both found spaces on the CRT Office visitors moorings (2 days per year only!). Either one top gate paddle wouldn’t close or the top cill is damaged, as water was surging in and pushing Annie about. It was good that John had a rope around a bollard.

Newark to Cromwell Lock

 Wednesday 30 September Visiting Newark and downriver to Cromwell Lock (5 miles, 1 lock)

Today’s weather forecast is rainy from lunchtime, so John has booked Annie and Delhi in at Cromwell Lock to leave for Torksey at 10am. 

We walked the short distance via Town Lock to Newark’s Wednesday retail market. Liana bought a warmer duvet set!

As rain fell, we read and watched tv.

Later on, under grey skies, we cruised a breezy but not unpleasant five miles through Nether Lock, under the A1, past North Muskham to moor on the visitor pontoon above Cromwell Tidal Lock, ready for a 10am start tomorrow.

T Cromwell, a workboat digger arm was being repaired by the lock. Four brick BBQs and picnic tables were near the pontoon.

Monday 28 September 2020

On to Nottingham

Monday 28 September Shardlow to Nottingham 

 At Shardlow, met Linda Tyler and Susie Turner who are canal walking to London. See Facebook.

Liana and Jan walked to Derwentmouth Lock, past the large Meadow Farm Marina. Shardlow is a scenic Victorian inland port, always a pleasure to visit.

A short river passage brought us under the M1 through Sawley Flood Lock to the huge marina and Derby Motor Boat Club moorings. 

One of the two river locks was having new gates. Volunteers operated the other powered lock for us, after which we passed onto the River Trent the mile or so to Trent Lock, the River Soar, Erewash Canal and Cranfleet Cut, our passage to Nottingham.

More volunteers operated this lock, too. We enjoyed the five miles downriver in the sun, with less wind, to Beeston Lock and Canal. On the way, we passed the dredger and tug/dumb barge near Barton Island.

We used the Elsan services here, and followed Delhi the three miles past Boots factory and Trevethick’s Boatyard, where we spotted RWBC member Harry Richardson’s narrowboat Lady Lee.

Reaching Castle Marina, we moored outside Sainsbury’s, as usual. Liana departed to visit her mum, Flo. Jan and Dave shopped. John rested and mended a light. 
Later, we took Annie and Delhi through Castle Lock and the newly developed canal side area after, down to Meadow Lane Lock. 

After Delhi had been watered, we went on to the River Trent, past Nottingham Forest’s City Ground, where I used to go with Liana’s dad Eddie, a true Forest and County fan, then upriver under Trent Bridge to moor on the Wilford side steps beyond the pedestrian suspension bridge, quiet and pretty.

The steps proved to be a pleasant place to moor and chat with passers by.

Side by side

Sunday  27 August Shobnall Fields to Shardlow (16.5 miles, 5 locks)

The chaotic moorers had gone when we awoke! Sunday joggers and cyclists were in abundance at Shobnall Fields.

Jan and Dave were to meet her brother/Father Christmas at Shardlow tonight, so we reckoned seven hours steady travel, and set off about 0930.

It was cloudy and cold, but the sun did its best for us and more blue sky and sunshine appeared as the day progressed.

The nearby lock was our last narrow lock, after which we travelled seven pleasant rural miles to Stenson lock, the first/last wide lock, which has an over 12 feet rise. Annie and Delhi were able to share the wide locks from now on, which makes the job a lot easier all round.

You pass Willington Marina, with all its shops, on the way, near the “Toyota” road junction of A50 and A38.

 Avoiding one or two fallen trees,  made our way through Weston, Aston (where volunteers helped us) and Shardlow Locks to moor on the towpath  near Dobson’s boatyard in Shardlow.