Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Retford and down to West Stockwith

After a few days outside Asda carpark its time to head back to West Stockwith and the Trent. Its only a few yards to the first lock and all the tight locks are behind us and wide locks are to come.

There are still a few bridges about that are a bit on the low side and I think its this one that the wind genny tail had a meeting with earlier. The other side of the bridge is a mooring that looks ok and only a short walk to the centre of Retford.

Its not long and its back out in the countryside. As usual as soon as a lock is reach someone turns up to chat.  This time its a boat owner who kept their boat up at Shireoaks.

The canal closes in again and there is only a few feet either side of the boat.  Now and again the very tight bends take a bit of getting around.

Stopped for the night at Clarborough and went out for a walk.  There are some lovely places to wander about all along the canal.

The view from the bows tonight.  The pub is  The Gate and plenty of room to moor up and with so few boats about there is always lots of space available.

As a change from wheat and oilseed rape there is a field of broad beans and they are nearly ready to be picked :-)

Every so often - ok every mile :-) - on the towpath side can be seen the new mileposts that have been put in and occasionally on the off side the original ones can be seen.

The canal isn't very wide anyway and the floating islands of weed taking up half the canal doesn't make life easy but does make it interesting :-)

Forever winding and going from fields along side then wooded areas turn up.

The twisting course allows one to see ones destination a short distance away across the fields but there is still a long way to go before arriving there.

At Clayworth moorings nb Jophina II is spotted. She didn't look all that happy at being left and is waiting for Chris to keep her company :-)

Another boat not far away has a heraldic theme and very effective it is too.

The swans that live around here have really come on in the few weeks since we last went past.

  Moored up close to the facilities so that there is plenty of room left if anyone else wants to stop here.

  There are a couple of nice walks here as well. This is part of an old trackway we found while out and about.

I should have got a copy of the Richlow book as it would have saved me some time looking for the Post Office marked on the map.  This is another shop that has closed.

Back into the woods

and through tunnels of trees

with the clear water one can try to count the thousands of fish that are here.  Fry without number right up to 18 inch monsters by the dozen.

Under the Old Man Bridge.

Spent the night at Drakeholes. There has been an event somewhere involving dozens of old bikes.  One of them pulled up next to us.  Marvellous sounds as they go past. Called in the pub which is close by. More of an hotel really but a decent pint anyway.

Sun is out again and we wait while a boat enters the tunnel

then its our turn.  Many Martins flying in and out to feed all the young inside.

With the boat going in front of us all the locks are empty so its a bit slower going having to fill the lock first.

There are several disused brickworks with the chimneys still standing. Alone in the middle of a field and looking odd in an agricultural landscape.

Stopped below a lock for lunch in the sunshine.  Kept an eye out for other boats and when one turned up I opened the lock ready for him to enter.

Passing rather a nice house with land running down to the canal and good use made of the canal by putting a narrowboat on it.  As we went past we are thanked for our speed (low ) and discover that the owner is from Swansea. Another immigrant flying the flag :-)

Ooops.  The canal becomes a dyke at one point with gaps measured in inches rather than feet.  Plenty of weed about and happily not a lot getting around the prop although others report otherwise.

Nearly time to stop and dash into Misterton and visit the Co-op and butchers.

The last lap down to the Stockwith basin has a long straight. Very unusual for this canal.

The view from the bows tonight with the lock dead ahead.

Moored with stern to the bank.  A couple of 'Tupperware' come in and do not impress the lockey or us. 

The next day we took a walk down to the River Idle to see what the possible moorings for hire are like.

This is the problem. The EA govern the use of the guillotine gates and access to the river. However.  When the Retford boat club wanted to get in in 2009 in cost nearly £500.  This will be a major stumbling block to getting the mooring working as a going concern.

Its well worth the effort of a short walk down the road to the footpath along side the river.

The path comes out in a field but it continues on through the hedge.

Some Ragwort on the edge of the field and I found the caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth on it.

and the field goes on......

Another disused brickworks but this time turned into a home.  A superb site and very well renovated.

Then its back along the river bank towards Stockwith and the basin.

Flat out here with the highest points being the flood defences.


Naughty-Cal said...

Less of the tupperware please

Ifor said...

Present company excepted of course :-)