This week our story comes to you from the Stainforth & Keadby Canal in South Yorkshire. We're moored just West of Keadby Lock as we wait to get onto the River Trent which will take us towards our final destination of this year, Trent Lock and the Erewash Canal, where Chyandour first entered the water three years ago. The next leg of our journey on the Trent is a little nerve racking as it will be the first time either ourselves or Val and Pete on Tadpole 2 have ever been on a tidal river. We've heard many conflicting stories of what to expect but my instinct is to go with the positive experiences and not be put off by the negatives. We've planned for it and prepared for it as best we can so bring it on.After a chat with Mark the Lockie here at Keadby this afternoon, he assured us we had picked a good time to go, so we will be locking down onto the river after lunch tomorrow.
Last week we spent Monday night in Clarence Dock while we recovered from Sunday nights celebrations with John and Dianne, aka "the Chillies", who live in nearby Birstall. We met them last Winter in Corralejo and the six of us planned to meet up when our boats arrived in Leeds so we could go for a "Kerry", as John calls it, a curry, to the rest of us. He took us to a great Indian Restaurant near Birstall and together with his brother, Steve and his wife Josie, we all had large quantities of alcoholic beverages to wash down the very reasonably priced and enjoyable meal.
|The eight of us preparing to enjoy our "Kerry".|
|Leaving Leeds Lock on our way down the Aire and Calder Navigation.|
|An unusual view. Along the Navigation from under the A1/M1 Link Bridge.|
|Just one of the many animal carvings that can be seen around a very well looked after Woodlesford Lock.|
|Woodlesford Lock. At a guess you could probably get eight narrowboats in this lock.|
|The weir at Castleford on the River Aire.The Barge with the shrubbery growing out of it broke free from her moorings and was washed downstream till she founded here. She's been here about thirty years now.|
|The Ferrybridge at Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire which was an important crossing on the River Aire for The Great North Road|
Yesterday we left Skyehouse and cruised to the end of The New Junction Canal and turned sharp left onto the Stainforth and Keadby Canal at Bramwith Junction where we travelled parallel to the River Don on an embankment to our left. Tadpole 2 was, by this stage, getting a bit low on Diesel so we stopped at Stanisland Marina, just before Thorne Lock, and fuelled up. They're a friendly lot at this marina, pretty much as we find at most marinas, and they invited us to stay the night, enabling us to visit the nearby town of Thorne instead of chancing our luck at the Visitor Moorings below the lock. A nice gesture that was much appreciated. While there we had the bonus of the AVRO Vulcan Bomber XH558, fly overhead on it's way back to Doncaster Airport. Sadly this aircraft will be grounded at the end of this season and it's unlikely it will ever fly again.
|Skyhouse Road Bridge on the New Junction Canal. Just one of the many Lift or Swing Bridges we encountered.|
|The Guillotine Gates on the Don Aqueduct that carries the New Junction Canal over the River Don.|
|Chyandour making her way through the weed on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.|
|The Vazon Sliding Railway Bridge about half a mile from Keadby Lock. This bridge slides sideways to allow boats to pass. We had to wait for a convenient gap in the rail traffic before we could go through.|
|The bridge opens and through we can go.|