This week we are moored on the Trent & Mersey canal at Shardlow,having left John,Mick and Kingfisher Narrowboats on Saturday,and made our way here from the Erewash Canal at Trent Lock.After Chyandour had had her 50 Hour service John and Mick fitted the extra bits that we had asked for and then we loaded up with coal,filled with water,emptied the loo and away we went,free at last.The first thing we had to do on Saturday was to get back on to the River Trent but this time to head west towards Sawley.It was raining but who cares? we were away on our travels with the whole canal world in front of us.We had a short stretch of the river to do,then through an electrically operated lock and we were onto Sawley Cut,a short bit of canal where we were going to stop to fill our tank with diesel at Sawley Marina.After that it was back onto the river for a mile,till we reached the mouth of the River Derwent and the entrance to the Trent & Mersey canal,and then it was a little over a mile to Shardlow where we are stopping for a few days.
On the left we have Lisa busy with a paintbrush on the stand for the back cabin that we will use when we are steering Chyandour.It will bring us up to the same level as the rear deck.On the right is a picture that I have shrunk a bit so I don’t know how it will look till after I post the blog so forgive me if it’s a bit strange.It’s a photo’ of the two roof racks that John made,and I painted,they’re for us to use to keep our coal and logs etc.on the roof but off the paintwork.
The left hand photo’ is the roof racks fitted and loaded with coal,they just have to be sheeted and they’re ready to go.Notice the whirly in the background,Lisa managed a couple of loads of washing while the sun was out.The swan on the right was just being a bit inquisitive.
On the left is Sawley Lock at the entrance to Sawley Cut,if you look closely,you can see Lisa at the Control Box.It’s an electrically operated lock and Lisa just loves to be in control.On the right we are heading up the River Trent,under a pipe bridge,towards Derwent Mouth and the T&M canal.We only travelled along the Trent & Mersey canal for a bit and then we moored at Shardlow.While we are here we are going to have a look around some of the surrounding area.
The Trent & Mersey canal opened in 1777,it was built by James Brindley,and formed the North Western leg of what was the Grand Cross of waterways,being called the Grand Trunk Canal as well as the T&M.It connected the River Trent at Derwent Mouth with the Bridgewater Canal at Preston Brook as well as with a number of other canals,from here you can get to London,Liverpool,Manchester,Bristol and Leeds.As a result,Shardlow became a major canal port and goods were transferred between narrowboats, river craft and road transport.The nearby River Trent having been an important trading route for centuries and,what became the A6 Trunk Road,from London to Manchester,ran through here.Many of the buildings in Shardlow are former canal warehouses,now mostly converted to residential,and there are a couple of nice pubs here that are well worth a visit.One of the pubs is the The Old Crown,a former 17th Century Coaching Inn that sits on the approach to Cavandish Bridge on what was then the London to Manchester Turnpike,the bridge was opened in 1761 as a toll bridge but was washed away in 1947,a new bridge was built nearby.The Old Crown is a cosy,old fashioned pub with lots of interesting bits and pieces decorating the walls and ceilings.
Above are a couple of pic’s of the inside of the Old Crown.Below is the site of the old Cavendish Bridge,not a lot left to show exactly where it was,with the Old Crown in the background.A short distance away, just after the new bridge,is the plaque from the old bridge,with the old toll charges which had applied from 1758 when there was a ferry here.
Another pub is below left,the Clock Warehouse on the old London Road which was formerly the Trent Mill,built in the 18th Century it has a large central arch which allowed narrowboats to enter to load and unload.The picture on the right is part of the Old Iron Warehouse,now used to manufacture marine diesel stoves,we are moored directly opposite.
That’s all for this week,we are going to move on a bit farther in a few days,probably to Weston on Trent.since our last blog we have done 3.5 miles and 4 locks.Take care everyone,have a good Bonfire Night.Birthday wishes to Janice for yesterday,you’ve kept that a secret,we didn’t know.Have to be a bigger card at Christmas.