Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Chesterfield so far……….

Since we came on to the Chesterfield canal, I have neglected to take many photos, I have neglected to post a blog and I have neglected to think of anything good to write.

However that is not a proper reflection of this lovely canal or the towns and villages along its way and so now I shall try to put together something to show for our last few days.

On Sunday morning we went to the Methodist church in Misterton, bringing the congregation total up to 10 and the average age down to about 70!

P1030464Drakeholes tunnel 

We moved on afterwards thinking we might get to Retford, which wasn’t impossible, but it was a showery afternoon, short bursts of rain, which actually were quite welcome and cooling and not too much bother, until we got to Clarborough, when it tipped down and since we were right at a mooring place, we stopped and secured Tacet and dried off and settled down for the evening.

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Whitsunday Pie Lock, the canalside house is for sale,

On Monday then it was just a short hop into Retford where we found space right behind Lidl, handy for stocking up on food and also to wander into town for lunch.  We remembered the place quite well from when we were here 2 years ago and we made a visit to the local museum which was a bit disappointing, before we resumed our journey again.

P1030468Retford’s Market Square and Town Hall

It’s a bit tricky finding places to moor along here, there are not many designated mooring spots, which doesn’t usually bother us, a bank and pegs suit us fine, but here the banks are lined with reeds and the edges are very shallow, so it took a while to find a spot last night just before Ranby and away from the road noise.  It still required a plank to reach the bank, and Jumble had a little accident on the way back last night. He slipped off the plank and went for a paddle, oh well at least he was cooled down to get off to sleep.

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Beautiful scenery and reed lined cut


We have lift-off!

Today we had a stop in Worksop, again timed just right for lunch out. No cooking for me again tonight!  It has a bit of a run down feel to it in places, but still worth a wander around.  Last time we were here we visited Mr Straw’s House (NT property) with our neices who were staying with us.

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Evidence of the working life of the canal; a pumping engine house; a flour mill, still in use, but not using the waterway; the building over the canal, not sure what its role was; and grand architecture when you look above the modern shopfronts.




And then we moved out of the town and were soon into lovely countryside, through Rhodesia (not the African one!) and up to Shireoaks.  But we didn’t stop yet, we thought we would make a start on the last locks ahead, 26 of them.  We just did 3 and moored between a larger than most gap between the locks of this flight.  It’s lovely and quiet, with a few cyclists and dog walkers passing on the towpath also enjoying this lovely summer evening in Derbyshire.

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Haggonfields lock, Rhodesia and bottom of Shireoaks locks


Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Misterton-Clarborough-Ranby-Broadwood, 27 miles, 24 locks, 1 tunnel

Bother, now there’s no internet signal, so it could be a while longer before this gets posted!!!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Fruitful Saxilby then onto the Chesterfield

First of all one last look at Lincoln.  The city makes the most of the navigation passing through, with lots of eating places along one side of Brayford Pool and the University on the other, then onto the river Witham and through the Glory Hole and the shops are alongside with some of the town’s oldest pubs.

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The modern sculpture crossing the river and the Glory Hole with shops over the bridge.








We got to Saxilby at lunchtime, timed to get to the Fish & Chip shop, then afterwards a wander round the village.





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Motorbike and Sidecar envy – Remember commandment no.10.  We later saw a large dog riding in the sidecar.

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Alongside the canal were lots of cherry trees, couldn’t pass up the chance of a free bowlful of delicious sweet cherries.



We moored at Torksey for the night, ready for going out on the Trent today, the tide will be right at mid-day.

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First river sighting is the remains of Torksey castle.

Then the river is the river is the river for miles and miles, with high banks and not much other than power stations to see. At the start of our journey we were pushing against the tide, til about 1 o’clock when it turned and after about 10 miles we were whizzing by Gainsborough.

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The banks are high, and the old wharves, warehouses and mills have mostly been converted to apartments or offices.



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Once at East Stockwith, we passed the entrance to the lock, turned and slowly made our way against the tide and into the lock, just about made it in with no knocks or scrapes along with nb Mintaka who managed to sneak in before us!  They managed a clever turn before the lock and reversed back and then into the lock.




nb Wyrd waiting out on the river for the lock to be turned after we had gone up.



And so we are back on a quiet canal, the Chesterfield, we just worked up the 2 locks at Misterton, working up with a hire boat just leaving the basin. A family from Switzerland, very excited about being on the canal and doing locks.

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Friday and Saturday

Lincoln – Misterton, 28 miles, 4 locks

Friday, 26 July 2013

It’s a Boy!

No, I don’t mean the Royal Baby, we’re not that far behind the news out here in Lincolnshire…….
I finished another bunny.

Here he is, just right in shorts and stripy jumper.


A friend for the first one.

A friend for another little boy baby.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Life in Lincoln

We started off our day in Lincoln at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.


It is housed in a former military barracks, built in 1857 for the Royal North Lincoln Militia, and was used by the military until 1969. We find these small local museums often give a good idea of the history of the local area from an ordinary, everyday point of view. Admission is usually free, so even if they’re not very good, you’ve lost nothing but time. This one is good though and today was a return visit, as we came when in Lincoln back in May 2011 not long after the start of our ‘gap year(s)’.

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The Co-Operative Society came to the East Midlands in the 1860’s, providing a small range of reasonably priced essential items.  The modern Co-Op Supermarkets run on the same principals that members/customers have a share in the profits.

The shop interior and delivery cart were in the museum, the Co-operative building is opposite the museum and is still a supermarket today.

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Between November 1904 and April 1904, 1006 people contracted Typhoid during an epidemic in Lincoln, and 113 died.  The spread was due to unclean water and these water filters became a fashionable, or necessary item.  Water was filtered through charcoal to purify it for drinking.

But a better, more permanent, and available for all, solution was the building of the water tower, providing clean drinking water for the people of Lincoln.

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The tank was first designed here in Lincoln during the first World War at the William Foster works.



The Ellis Mill was built in 1798 and is the only surviving one of 9 mills that once stood across the ridge of the city. It open at weekends, when if the wind is right it still produces flour.







Newport Arch is a surviving part of the North Tower from the Roman Walls around the city. It was built in the 3rd century spanning the London to York road.

The road level is now much higher than it would have been in Roman times, and there was a pedestrian arch on each side of the main central one.



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The Cathedral dominates the skyline for miles around, and has been the centre for worship in Lincoln for nearly 1,000 years.


A panoramic view of the Cathedral court buildings.




Which way next?




We decided to give the castle a miss today, and made our way down Steep Hill instead.

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It certainly lives up to its name,  and has lots of interesting and individual shops along the way.





And finally……….

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some waterside pictures, of the River Witham running through the shopping centre and views across Brayford Pool.