Saturday, 13 July 2013

Stenson to Sawley Cut

Wednesday 10th July, posted 12th July
Bit of a change in the weather!  we got up early to avoid the heat and where’s the sun?  Cool, a chilly breeze and full cloud cover all day, so on with the longer trousers and jumpers.  We caught glimpses of the Trent through the trees as it wandered across the flood plain.  We passed under Fine George’s Bridge – not fine at all and the parapet was collapsing on the other side.  (Dave’s arm does get in a lot of photos ….)
fine georges bridge
There were few boats about to start with, so there was a lot of work with the locks which are all doubles now.  They have amazing gate paddles in the top gates, like monster cat-flaps, and the water thunders through so violently that it’s no wonder boats coming up take their time.
top gate paddles weston lock
Weston lock lower gates were appallingly difficult – Dave had taken Chuffed through the bridge to the lock landing and had no idea Deb was busting a gut trying to close the gate!  Luckily there was a footbridge and railings to brace against or I couldn’t have moved it.  There were two elderly gents below the lock who cheerily informed us that CRT did a recent survey and this lock was voted one of the worst on the system.  The next lock – Aston – was just as bad but at least there were 2 boats waiting so they could have the fun!  It’s odd that there are Weston and Aston locks further up the T&M near Stone – they are lovely little locks compared with these beasts.  Here is Aston …aston lock
….. just a bit bigger than the other one!
We moored below Shardlow lock for lunch then went for a walk up to the village for some shopping.  We had hoped to go to the Heritage museum but it is only open at the weekend.  We took photos of the old Clock Warehouse, now a pub, and the plaque outside the Heritage Centre.
clockhouse shardlow
heritage museum shardlow
We moved on through the flood lock then decided against mooring above Derwent Mouth lock – the wind was blowing from the direction of the sewage works …… the river level indicator at the bottom of the lock was 18” below the green so we reckoned it would be safe to proceed!  The river is very wide and there is no mooring below the lock so on we went to Sawley Cut.  We passed under this striking pipe bridge – easily the most impressive one we have ever see – carrying the water main to Leicester from the Peak District.  Just beyond it you can see the ugly and boring M1 bridge.
pipe bridge over trent
Through another flood lock and there we were at Sawley Cut.  Having anticipated something like a bit of the Trent and Mersey we were surprised at its size -
sawley cut  Dave went off on the bike for a bit of exploring then Deb went for a run to the interesting bits – up the Erewash Canal to look at the houseboats then a little way down to the Trent to see a large group of sand martens. Got to post now before my battery runs out!

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