Sunday, 2 May 2021

Stainforth to Sprotbrough: South Yorkshire Navigations

 Saturday 1 May Stainforth to Sprotbrough 

A bright clear morning saw John cooking liver and bacon, after which we set off happily to Bramwith bridge and Lock, which we shared with some friendly boaters who are heading our way, to Mexborough.  A volunteer and their two menfolk did the honours, so Liana enjoyed the rest and thanked them!

Continuing south past the junction with the New Junction Canal (joins to the Aire & Calder navigation), we convoyed up through the large Barnby Dun Lift Bridge, where Liana worked the electric controls. As this is a busy bridge, with long queues of traffic, we try to be quick but safe. Liana telephoned Strawberry Island Boat Club’s harbourmaster and arranged visitor moorings from next Tuesday for about ten days. As our club is part of the AWCC (Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs), we get a free week once a year at other AWCC clubs, which is a great perk. £5 a day after that is reasonable, too. 

A helpful CRT Volunteer saw us through the huge Long Sandall Lock. New house building sites are taking over the old derelict industrial riverside land as you approach Doncaster. 

As we passed the Strawberry Island Boat Club, there was a huge floating crane mending the bank opposite, between the navigation and the River Don.  The members we chatted to as we passed carefully said they were glad to see fellow boaters travelling again.

 We moored for lunch at the Doncaster Basin visitor moorings  near the cathedral, after which we ascended the huge Town Lock, in the shadow of huge, low railway and road bridges, to join  the main River Don.

 Passing tree and flotsam choked weirs, we continued upstream into the countryside towards Sprotbrough, the scenery getting prettier. 

Once we ascended the lock there, we stopped for an ice cream by The Boat Inn, watched by sightseers, then moored opposite at this popular mooring, beside picnicking cruiser crews on the weir island. We may investigate the local walks tomorrow.

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