Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Have a Moor at Saxilby

Having had a bit of a look around the village of Saxilby I must wonder why one hears so little about it.

This is a very nice and quiet mooring with Tongs, the DIY shop, just across the road. The shop really should be listed as a chandler as they seem to have everything that the narrowboater is likely to need during their travels.

Several pubs are within minutes of the canal as are a number of shops including a well stocked Co-op.

There are treasures hidden in Saxilby according to the information boards along the side of the moorings. Wandering through the village you can walk straight pass and not give a second look to the cottage in the High Street. The building at number 76 contains a substantial amount of the medieval hall which was built during 1480 – 90. The hall was built by Sir Thomas Burgh who was the owner of Gainsborough Old Hall.

Travel into Lincoln is simple with the bus stopping just off the moorings and a railway station just one minutes walk away.

So the next time you travel along this Roman canal don’t just look forward to a stop in Lincoln but have a day or so in Saxilby.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Keadby Lock - Gateway to the South

Sunday was a really nice sunny day for a trip out on the Trent. A pity that the wind had got up and this helped to drop the temperature a bit. However well wrapped up I was ready for the trip.

The lock was opened for me at 0900 but having to wait for low water to arrive seemed to take for ever. It was very low water too. I am sure I touched bottom on the way out and as I went through the lock gates there were a mini sand bank on either side and it must have been the opening of the gates that kept this bit clear.

As I went along the worse thing that I had to contend with was the number of times I was steering straight into the sun and the sun glinting on the water was enough to give any one a headache. why do people have such a fear of the Trent? Taking it easy on a nice day and it is as easy as any canal.

On long straight-ish parts with the wind in the right direction it did get a little bit choppy. I am not saying that waves were breaking over the bows but they did have the river equivalent of a Whitehorse.

Isn’t it a pity that the road/rail bridge at Keadby doesn’t open any more. Having been closed in 1958 I think it still looks rather impressive from the water even though on the road it looks a bit tatty.

By the time I reached West Stockwith the cold was getting through. The flask of coffee had cooled a little but was still drinkable. The sight of the lock entrance was very inviting as the Chesterfield is one of my favourite canals. Not many boats and a truly rural winding trip of ever changing scenery.

It is sad but on the face of it Gainsborough isn't very inviting and doesn't look very friendly either. The only thing that is noticeable as you travel through it is the town bridge. I suppose you could call at Lidl but the barrier fencing along the water front before it is very off putting.

I don’t know if it was me, the wind or the waves but it took me five hours in all to reach Torksey. Mind you I was not in any hurry and enjoyed the whole of the journey even when I couldn’t see where I was going.

The view leaving Torksey for the last leg of the journey in to Saxilby arriving there at 1700. It was at this point I passed the only other narrowboat I had seen all day. Very quiet. In fact a nice day all round.