Retro

Finding our bearings

Well it’s that time of year / kind of weather again, you know, the one where our thoughts welcome dreams of being out on the cut in glorious sunshine. But alas we have to be patient. As they say up north at times like this, “Aye, is it cold enough for ya then?” Everyone must be able to see the satire in that old chestnut. [The great Peter Kaye would say “WHAT’s that all about?”]

To be politically correct and proper there can only be one answer, and that’s a big fat YES. However, I always answer with the likes of “No, when it gets down to minus 30 and frostbite starts setting in, it’ll be just right.” It always gets a laugh, well nearly always…

So as the heart meanders wanders towards boating heaven, the brain begins to create a plan or plans. However ours are a bit rough and ragged round the edges as yet – being as we’re newbies to the area… 

You know how they updated all the Nicholson’s Guides in 2009 with new editions? Well when we came here I bought the “Birmingham and the heart of England” one. Unfortunately though, when we had a look for the marina – it’s not on there. So taking into account that the marina opened in 2008, one would assume otherwise. But no, it doesn’t even get a mention of any shape or form, nada, nothing, neither does Midland Chandlers!

Fortunately Willington does, so we can work things out from there, here, whatever. Which leaves us with the burning question as to where exactly are we on the canal? I mean a simple arrow with “YOU ARE HERE” would be nice…

I also had a look at Jim Shead’s “Inland waterways of England and Wales” map online which distinguishes broad canals from narrow canals, and also includes navigable rivers. It also clearly shows where a wide canal suddenly becomes a narrow canal, eg: The Trent and Mersey. [So we’re obviously on the W-I-D-E bit then] confusing init…?

When it comes to navigation, it was eezy on the Rufford, straight up and turn left or right onto the Leeds Liverpool. Both wide canals which meet in a T shape, simples, can’t go wrong. Except for the fact that the 7 locks up to the Leeds Liverpool were the worst in the world. A jig-saw of different rusty mechanisms as paddle gear, with rotting lock gates and occasional breaches of canal water. Even against all those odds, (and ends) it was still beautiful.

I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a challenge rather than plain sailing…!
Meantime we look forward to a challenge of a different kind, that of finding out where we can get to, hmm…

6 thoughts on “Finding our bearings

  1. You can go “uphill” as far as Horninglow Wharf at Burton (a good walk from the National Brewing Museum) – going downhill you turn left at Trent Lock to go to Langley Mill up the Erewash, right to go to the bottom of Foxton or Market Harborough and straight on for Nottingham, Newark, Hull or (if you really wanted to) Rufford!

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  2. Thanks guys,

    Will go through all this wonderful info tomorrow, not had chance today, just thought I'd show how much its appreciated.

    Paul I'll do the link & thanks for pin pointing us!

    Kev, the bulbs gone on the golden diamong thingy wotsit. Can't afford a new one lol

    H

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