Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sprotbrough and onwards

I must admit to Sprotbrough being one of the nicest mooring in the area. It all very well mooring in Asda carpark but for peace and quiet it takes a lot of beating.

The view from the bridge back towards the lock.  Its not far up to the shops and milk and papers.  Workboats looking sad for being stuck here :-)

Decided that the walk today would be around the Sprotbrough Flash.  You don't actually enter it but can peer in now and again.  For the first part of the walk we were trailed by youngsters out for a wander.

There are well set up hides on the outskirts of the lakes.

and the view from inside shows the edge of the walk on the otherside in the distance.

Several species of bird including the cormorant doing its Liverbird impersonation.

There are several paths going off from the main one along the canal side along with the 'You are here' map which is handy.

You must admit though that it is a lovely walk with the woods on one side

in a green tunnel that goes on for ages.

While on the other is the canal or at this point the River Don.

There is a wharf along the river where rock would be loaded into boats.  It doesnt look as though it is used very often these days. Make a nice mooring though. :-)

The viaduct dominates the view when the woods are cleared.

The only boat we have seen today is from Swinton Lock Activity Centre.

Up close the viaduct is massive.

The thing with the Victorians was the need to build well and then to embellish.  It had to be good as well as look the part.

Having walked this far we had to go up and see what was there.  The view upstream towards Mexbrough in the background.

Downstream you can't even see Sprotbrough which isn't all that far away.

Spotted a des-res of a couple of caves with en suite firewood.

The top corner of the wheat field on the way back.  The flash can be see on the other side of it.

In the distance a disused quarry.  Listed as dolomite my rock hammer is itching to take a look.

There are several old gate posts left standing in the hedges. Very impressive

Looking back over the walk.  Up through woods on the left and back along the field on the right. Well worth stopping to walk round the flash.

and its back to 'civilisation' 

Civilisation in this case means building a memorial to the site of the village pump :-)

At the end of the walk is the Boat Inn.  It was here that part of Ivanhoe was written.

No sooner are we back on board but the boat starts moving about and a quarter of an hour later the Humber Princess turns up. Even going slow it shifts an awful lot of water about.

From what ever angle the Conisbrough viaduct isalways impressive.

At Mexbrough Low Lock there is evidence that someone is trying to eradicate the Japanese Knotweed. I wish they hadnt slung it in the canal as it meant an hour spent fishing it out.

The view from the bows of tonights mooring.

Heading off in the morning and trying to keep up with Lee who has gone on ahead to open up the next lock. I manage as she keeps stopping to pick blackberries for her breakfast :-)

There is a mention of the nb Will Scarlet being up Rotherham way  in the guide. You can correct that as its ashore in a boat yard at Mexbrough. (Or it was.  By the time we returned it had disappeared from view)

Stopped for a short while in Mexbrough by the railway station. Dash into Tesco for bits and a paper.

Its not very far to Swinton and Waddington lock.  Decided to check out the loo here.  

The last time I was here I feel that there were a lot more barges about.  

The facilities are very good for children and the site huge BUT small loo and thats it. Disappointing really.

Huge areas inside these barges.  I wonder what it would cost to do one up?

Through the lock and looking back is the disused canal that heads for Barnsley on the Dearne and the Dove.  I can see why there are less barges too.  They are being broken up on the right.

Another mooring that isn't.  The old lock disused and full of weed.

All the way along here it goes from derelict industry to peak district type views.

Every so often there is a few weeping willows lined up looking all the world like waterfalls.

Spent the night here on the lock moorings. The water indicator is a bit dodgy and refused to let us open the gates.

Still there are plenty of blackberries and Asda right next door.

I wouldn't have minded but the following morning a boat appeared from up stream.  I went up to help and to let them know the problem with the gates.  We managed to open the gates and before I could move the boat the stupid woman off said boat closed the gates and sailed off.  Needless to say the damn gates wouldn't open for another twenty minutes. I did cast doubt on her parents.

Immediatley after the lock is a listed bridge.  Rebuilt in 1834 I wonder how the Princess manages to get through and leave it standing.

Moored up at the Eastwood lock.  Across the canal is a Waddington wharf and a couple of barges being converted by the looks of things.

Quite a good mooring with water and electrical plug ins.  Pity there is no water in the tap and electric in the points. Not far to the right is a large trading centre with Morrisons etc.

In towards Rotherham and more places to moor maybe and fishermen every where.

I think this is the place that Humber Princess unloads.  The place seems to be used and is clear of rubbish.

The barge that is used as a restaurant looks to have a bit of a list.

Once we are past it is obvious why there is a problem.

Rotherham Town Lock.  Full of rubbish.  I did wonder if it was still in use for a couple of minutes. Right outside the court house and full of potential.  It must be full cos none of it has ever been used.

Place is a tip. Rubbish everywhere. Sorry Rotherham but you arent worth stopping at.

We decided that as there are so many police about attending court it would be safe enough to go and have a quick look around town and large Tesco nearby.

Heading out towards Sheffield. Its countryside within minutes.

After Ickles Lock (well it isnt very big) a private mooring with several old barges being used and very nice they look too.

Holmes lock will be far enough for today.  Looking at the lock we find that the gates are locked and not with the usual BW key.  Sort it out in the morning

The view from the bows. Heard that the reason its locked is due to the amount of water coming over the gates. Needs to be booked at the same time as Tinsley flight.