Monday, 21 September 2015


Hi all,
Our journey has now brought us to the Market Town of Loughborough in Leicestershire as we get ever closer to the end of our third year on Chyandour. One of Loughborough's claims to fame is that it was the destination of the very first package tour organised by Thomas Cook. On the fifth of July 1841, a group of temperance campaigners travelled here on a chartered train from Leicester. We arrived here earlier today by a much slower means of transport in the company of Val and Pete on Tadpole 2 and, in all honesty, none of us could be said to be temperant. We are moored on the Grand Union Canal, River Soar Navigation, to give it the full title, just a few minutes walk from the centre of town and just around the corner from the CRT Service Block where there's water, Elsan, toilets and showers.
Newark Castle as we passed by on the approach to Newark Town Lock last Tuesday.
We  Left Newark on Trent last Tuesday morning and had another great cruise along the River Trent to Gunthorpe, where we moored on the visitor pontoon a few hundred yards West of the lock. This pontoon has a security gate so you need a Waterways Key to access the land. There's also a good pub near to the pontoon, The Unicorn, and as you can guess, we just had to give it a try, it would be rude not to.

Approaching Gunthorpe Lock. Red and Green lights together shows the Lock Keeper is preparing the lock for us to enter
The next day we moved on from Gunthorpe and made our way to Nottingham and the first  of our stops in the city of my birth. I've allways wanted to take our boat under Trent Bridge and moor on the embankment in front of Nottingham County Hall and on Wednesday I got my chance. The moorings there are just a short walk to both Nottingham Forrest and Notts County Football Grounds as well as the World famous Trent Bridge Cricket Ground. Of the three venues, the only one I've ever been into is Forrest's ground and that was way back on Boxing Day 1968.
Looking back at Radcliffe Railway Viaduct which was built around 1850.The arch to the left is 110 feet wide with 24 feet clearance above the river.
Lisa looking after Chyandour as we wait at Holme Lock. This lock is adjacent to The National Watersports Centre at Holme Pierrepont
Looking back at Trent Bridge on the River Trent in Nottingham
On Thursday we set off again but this time only for a couple of miles and through two locks along The Nottingham Canal which, together with the Beeston Cut, bypasses an unnavigable stretch of the River Trent. We cruised to Castle Meadow moorings, which are overlooked by Nottingham Castle and are next to a Sainsbury's Superstore. These moorings are on the only remaining bit of The Nottingham Canal which originally went from the River Trent below Trent Bridge for fifteen miles up to Langley Mill and the Erewash and Cromford Canals. Opened in 1796 it was closed in 1937 and the section through the City was filled in from Lenton Chain and the junction of the Beeston Cut after 1955. Lenton Chain gets its name from the chain that was strung across the canal on Sundays to prevent boat movements on the Sabbath. I remember playing on some of the towpath of the Nottingham canal to the North of the City with my childhood friends.
A Beautiful day for a cruise. Here we are entering Meadow Lane Lock on the Nottingham Canal
Nottingham Castle overlooking the canal as we approach our mooring at Castle Meadow.
While moored at Castle Meadow we took a walk into the City centre to see if I could find a Nottinghamshire Boat Flag, I've looked for one online and elsewhere but with no luck and Nottingham proved to be just as fruitless. After a few hours browsing around the four of us decided to do some of the Tourist bits, namely The Trip To Jerusalem, The Old Salutation and The Royal Child, three of Nottinghams famous pubs. A great time was had by all I can assure you. We did take time out to have a look at the statue of Robin Hood outside the Castle, he still had his arrow which, if I remember rightly, was always being pinched when I was a kid.
Under Nottingham are a lot of Sandstone caves that have been used over the years for many things from homes to warehouses. Here we all are with the Landlord in the caves beneath The Old Salutation Pub. He kindly gave us a tour of what were cellars and meeting rooms.
Here's Robin Hood looking all smart and complete with his arrow.
On Friday we left Nottingam and cruised for another short distance, this time along The Beeston Cut to Beeston where we parted company from Tadpole 2 for a day or two, and met up with some old friends that we haven't seen for the best part of two years. We knew that John and Sheila on Water Ratz would be on the Cut and we planned to have a couple of days with them before heading off to catch up with Val & Pete again. After enjoying ourselves at Beeston we set off on Sunday morning through Beeston Lock and back down onto the navigable River Trent to Trent Lock where Tadpole 2 was waiting.
A misty morning on Beeston Cut.
Looking downstream from the pontoon at Trent Lock with Radcliffe Power Station in the background. To the right there's Thrumpton Weir and the River Soar, down which we went to Loughborough this morning.To the left is Cranfleet Cut and just off the picture, Trent Lock and the Erewash Canal.
It was from the pontoon moorings at Trent Lock that we set off this morning after a quick chat with Mick, one of the brothers who built Chyandour and who run the nearby Kingfisher Boatyard and Dry Dock. We couldn't have gone without saying hello, that would be bad manners.
Well, that's all again for this week. Since our last blog we have gone through 15 Locks and cruised for 43 Miles. That gives us a Grand Total of 1,321 Locks and 2,337 Miles since we set off back in October 2012. Please Take care everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Fred

    Hope you're both well. Just catching up with the blog sat here on Henry H - we're moored in Newark exactly where you guys were the other day. Had a great trip so far, we share your sentiments about the river and are looking forward to the rest of the trip!

    Hope to see you again some time