Friday, April 3, 2009

Newark to Hazelford

The mooring outside the BW Offices is to be recommended. I had a very quiet night and didn’t hear a sound. The mooring is very long and the only people that come along that way are those going to the houses and that’s about it. The cat – Dash – did his best to give me a heart attack. He wanted a run ashore and who was I to stop him. The only small snag was that the top of the bank was a large concrete block and to reach it he would have to jump through the fence. This had two rods running only it and he had to miss these on his way up. I did hear his back come into contact at least once while he jumped. However he never fell in so I must be thankful for small mercies.

A fairly typical spring day. Chilly and slightly misty with the hope of the sun coming out later.

Leaving the pontoon one almost immediately reaches the old Town Bridge. Throughout Newark is quite photogenic and with the scene astern of me still retaining the old wharf frontages it is a vast improvement on what was here on my last visit. A gazetteer I have says that there are five arches to the bridge while Nicholsons says seven. The picture says that there are –

Through the bridge and there is the castle. Opposite it was once a car park but now it is a public garden/park. It looks nice but the drinkers inhabit it much to Newarks detriment. They can be seen just standing in the open having a pee on to a bush without the slightest attempt to be under cover. Such is todays responsible drinkers.

Past the castle and into the Town Lock. As at Cromwell and Nether Lock the area is very clean and tidy. There must be a competition going on or are the lock keepers just a dedicated bunch.

The other side of the lock has the feel of the way it was at the beginning of the last century but without the smoke and drabness. Many of the original building now house restaurants and the like.

From here on the canal/river has a much more interesting feel to it. It meanders along as though the bend had just been invented. As soon as one bend is complete there is another.

Going around one bend and it is bit of a surprise when you first see Averham Weir. Not as big or powerful as the one at Cromwell but is does seem so very big. Keeping to the left and it is not a problem but you can still feel the pull from it.

With that out of the way one can then see that Credit Crunch or no Credit Crunch building work is still under way at Staythorpe Power Station. Its going green and becoming a gas powered version of its former self. It really is on a massive scale.

There are two marinas along here and the second one comes up at Farndon and then its Fiskerton and the Bromley Arms. I manage to slide in to the gap left on the pontoon. The trip boat from the pub is moored up and as I take up every inch of the remaining mooring I decided to make a cup of tea and move on to let the customers get to the beer.

Its only a couple of bends to Hazelford Lock and it is here I will spend the night and turn around for the run back to Lincoln. Hazelford Lock is as pristine as all the others. There are plenty of picnic benches and BBQs and the lockkeeper has some disposable ones if you forget to bring one. The lock is on an island but access ashore is via a bridge and a BW key to get out.

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