*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Swarkestone to Willington.

Map picture

Travelled 5.2 miles, worked 1 lock in a time of 2 hours 55 minutes.


We left Swarkestone at 8.35 am with the sun shining and no breeze. It was hard to believe that we had ben caught up in a huge thunderstorm last night.


Stenson Lock was our one and only lock of the day.


Neither Keith or I have no recollection of coming this way in 2009, but we know we did. I am sure it must have been something to do with the fact that Keith was at this point becoming very very poorly, that we did not have chance to really enjoy the trip.


Willington Power Station cooling towers. During the 1950s, two coal-fired power stations were built on a site off Twyford Road, between Willington and Findern. They were known as Willington A and Willington B. The stations were privatised and sold to National Power in the early 1990s and eventually closed in the mid-1990s. Although most of the stations were demolished at the turn of the millennium, the five cooling towers have continued to dominate the skyline of the local area and I think are beautiful in their own right. A new power station is set to be built on the site according to a report in 2011, but as yet there does not seem to be any action.


We stopped off at Mercia Marina to go to Midland Chandlers. Now I am not a huge lover of marinas, but from what I saw of Mercia Marina it looks lovely and well spread out.



Cheerio to the marina, it was off to Willington itself, where we stopped off at the sanitary station to empty our cassette.


We then pulled over to the towpath and moored up on the 48 hour moorings.


The village is a busy little place with three pubs, a co-op, hairdressers, florist etc.


On the towpath is a handy sign telling you what is in the village and where, although we do think it maybe out of date.


You can just see Hadar in the distance, this was taken from the road bridge. Lovely little village with the railway running through it.

Since being back at the boat I have clean the brass and read a couple of friends blogs. Having read Al and Del’s blog, it really did bring it home how dangerous locks can be if your not on the ball. It is a lesson to us all, but thankfully they saved a mans life.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Great weekend and on to Swarkestone.

Map picture

Travelled 4.15 miles, worked 2 locks in a time of 2 hours.


After a nice weekend above Aston Lock, it was time to move off, so we left our weekend mooring at 8.25 am. The sun was shining and there was a bot of a cool breeze, which was very refreshing after the heat of the past few weeks.


First lock was Weston Lock, where someone is not sure of the spelling of Cill or is it Sill?


Weston Lock has a nice lock cottage, which is clearly loved by its owners.


At bridge 12 Masseys Bridge near Cuttle's Wharf we met up with Claire and Roy on NB Foxglove another Roger Fuller boat. NB Foxglove has recently had a whole new paint job and is looking fantastic. I had seen the photographs of her paint job, but she looks stunning up close and personal. We managed to exchange “hello’s and destinations”. Claire and Roy are off on to the River Trent and I know they will love it as we did. So pleased we got to see them, if only in passing this time.


As we approached Swarkestone, we saw The Cuttle Summer House or Pavillion depending on where you read about it.

Above Swarkestone Lock we stopped for water and to get rid of a bag of rubbish, before pulling Hadar back on to the 48 hour moorings.


After lunch we took a stroll into the village.


From the boat we walked to the refuse point, turned left before the crane.


Across the field to the railway.


Over the railway line, making sure we looked and listened for any oncoming trains.



Across the line we then crossed another field of Wheat, which is ripening nicely.


Swarkestone Cricket Club.


As we came out of the field on our right across the junction was the Marston pub The Crewe and Marpur.


The pub gardens go down to the River Trent.


There was quite some flow on the river today.


Lovely bridge over the river. Swarkestone Bridge  is the name given to the collective length of a bridge and causeway, crossing the Trent floodplane, in the village. The Swarkestone Causeway, at 1304 yards long the causeway is the longest stone bridge in England. Today both the bridge and causeway are Grade 1 listed buildings and the causeway is a scheduled ancient monument. The bridge is subject to several local legends. It is supposed to be haunted by the ghosts of the two Bellamont Sisters that constructed the bridge. Others have alleged the bridge is haunted by Bonny Prince Charlie's troops. The most commonly reported phenomena is the sound of horses approaching at speed when there is nothing about.  The bridge is also subject to a local legend which says that the river must claim 3 lives every year in order for it to be 'pacified'. I do hope that is not true.


Down Church Lane, we found St. James Church. A pretty village church which was restored in 1874-76 by F.J.Robinson with only the 14th century tower and 16th century Harpur chancel remaining intact. The chapel contains alabaster monuments to Sir Richard Harpur (1577) and Sir John Harpur (1627). There is a chancel tomb to John Rolleston who died in 1482. Sadly the church was not open, but we did look around the grounds.


This lovely monument was to Ethel May Osborne, who died in 1902 having accidently drowned with two friends in the River Derwent. Ethel was only 20 years old. So very sad.

Having left the church, we walked back up Church Lane to the junction where fine stone pillars stand.


This was the entrance to  Harpur Hall. The Harpur family resided at Swarkestone Hall and in 1632 commissioned architect John Smythson, one of England's first true architects and son of the great Robert Smythson, to design a bowling green enclosure and pavilion in the grounds of the Hall. The family moved to Calke Abbey in the 17th century after the Civil War and the building was leased out before being partially demolished in 1746-1747 and the site is now a field known as the Cuttle or Grand Stand.


We could not get any closer as it is now part of a farm and is run by The Land Mark Trust, you can however stay in the pavilion.

We walked back along the road and took Pingle Lane, which lead us back to the lock and the start of the Derby Canal.



Mile post.


At present the Swarkestone Boat Club occupies the entrance to the derelict Derby Canal. This is from the bridge over the entrance to theDerby Canal looking towards the junction with the T&M.


We got back to the boat with thunder rumbling over head and lightening in the distance. It turned out we got back just in time, because it began lashing it down with rain.

Birmingham and Fazeley Closed.

Stoppage: Between Minworth Locks 2 & 3
29 Jul 2013 until further notice
Associated Regional Office: West Midlands Waterways
Due to concerns over the stability of the embankment between Minworth Lock 2 & Lock 3 we are taking the unfortunate but necessary step of closing the navigation at this point until the problem can be resolved. An update will follow once more information is known.
Canal & River Trust apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
(Enquiries: 0303 040 4040)

Friday, 26 July 2013

Hip Hop and we stopped.

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Travelled 1.35 miles, worked 1 lock in a time of 1 hour 5 minutes.

I had a wonderful night listening to nothingness really. It was so hot that I lay on top of the bed clothes just listening to the sound of Keith sleeping and not a peep going on outside. I must have drifted of to sleep at some point because the next thing I new it was 8 am and it was time for my first cuppa of the day.


We left the mooring at Shardlow at 9.40 am, which is incredibly late for us, but we only planned to find somewhere to moor for the weekend and so knew it was just a short hop. Leaving later though was perhaps not a great idea, because when I took Paddy out for his walk there were boats already queuing at the bottom of Shardlow Lock. One of the hire boats had moored on the lock moorings all night, because they could not find anywhere else to moor, which caused some upset with a couple of the other boats who could not get in to work the lock and another boat was bow hauling his hire boat to the water point blocking the bridge ‘ole. So maybe just maybe we should have gotten up earlier.


We only had Aston Lock to do, but as we approached the lock there were already two boats queuing and a wide beam in the lock coming down. Oh the joys of the T&M. As the wide beam left the lock the private boat and hire boat entered the lock and we then managed to get on to the lock landing, where I secured the centre line and then walked up to help with the lock. having helped with the lock gates I turned to see if Keith was alright on the boat to see three further boats mooring up being him, two hire boats and a plastic cruiser. We shared the lock with one of the hire boats who were out for 2 weeks and already loving every moment of it.


Just after leaving the lock we pulled in and moored up and this would be our home for the weekend. We wanted to let the world and his wife play whilst we sat and watched. Since being moored up, which was at 10.45 am there have been absolutely loads of boats on the move, hire boats and private boats alike, I am so pleased we decided to moor up early. I think we maybe back to early morning starts from now on.

For those of you who pop into my other photograph blogs I have updated them both and I dare say there will be more photographs over the weekend, although the weather for tomorrow is not great, more rain and thunder storms expected.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Beeston to Shardlow.

Map picture

Travelled 8.33 miles, worked 5 locks in a time of 3 hours 55 minutes.


We left Beeston at 9.00 am.


Up through Beeston Lock and onward for our last leg of the River Trent and along the Cranfleet Cut.


2nd Beeston Sea Cadets Island.


Ratcliffe Power Station.


Leaving Trent Lock.


We arrived at the junction at 11.00 am and headed on towards the Trent and Mersey (Motorway). We had such a wonderful time on the River Trent and have said we will definitely be going back again.


Sawley Lock.


With no lock keeper on, I was in charge of working the lock. C&RT key inserted into the box, buttons pressed and we were soon on our way.



Passed Sawley Marina and on to the second of the Sawley locks which is a flood lock.


Under the M1 motorway bridge.


Trent and Mersey ahead.


Both Keith and I were still finding it hard to remember any of our 2009 trip. As we came into Shardlow, I did recall The Malt Shovel, not because we drank there, but because there was a trading boat moored right on the bend to get the trade from the pubs. There was no room on the 48 hour moorings, so we had to go up through Shardlow Lock.


Below the lock is the Heritage Centre and the 18th Century Trent Mill.


Shardlow Lock Cottage.


We moored up above the lock and had some lunch.

After lunch we had a walk around the village, which is very pretty with some historic houses and warehouses, so well worth a look.


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