Monday, 31 May 2010


A slight gap in the blog due to my extended stay in London.  I left from Sprotsbrough by bus...well I nearly didn't as it was 0856 when I boarded the bus only to be reminded by the bus driver that my OAP bus pass cannot be used until was either get off or pay!   Needless to say I got off..........
British Rail from Doncaster was much friendlier as I had booked a first class ticket for £20 so sat comfortably for 3 hours being fed and watered at their expense, you can't beat it!

I had the afternoon with Susannah and the grandchildren and then we all went to the reception in the evening that the owner was holding for Giles' largest project to date.   This is a block of 5 flats in Twickenham. 

Communal gardens

Front of flats
Rear of flats
Lounge in one of lower flats

One of the bathrooms viewed from the bedroom...shower in foreground...birds eye view from the bed!
The plan had been for Emma to drive us back on Friday as she was planning a visit for the weekend, however she went down with a very bad attack of gastroenteritis so departure was delayed until Saturday......We set off after lunch with Emma still not 100% and had a horrendous journey.   It was mainly on the M1 when we had two prolonged delays due to accidents, one of over an hour.  In between these delays we had a puncture!   The only saving grace was that as Emma pulled onto the hard shoulder there was an AA van just finishing with another motorist so we managed to catch him before he drove away....the remainder of the journey had to go at 50 miles an hour on the spare tyre.

Sunday was a much later departure than planned whilst Geoff & Emma went for a new tyre.  However we managed to get away by lunchtime.  For almost the whole of the trip the wind blew strongly and it made for some very interesting approaches to locks and difficult pickups after the locks.  there were six locks   to Eastwood Lock where we planned to moor, all of them huge and mechanised so not too much hard work for the crew.            
Conisbrough Castle
Conisbrough Viaduct
En route we passed this strange house. It looked like a new build but no sign of life and with a strange structure in the garden with a Celtic Cross on top.

When we reached the moorings at Eastwood Lock which had been recommended they were full.  There is only room for 3 boats.   We were forced to moor at the far end of the lock waiting pontoon.  Since there is very little traffic we felt we would not be in anyones way.  
Late afternoon we had a call from Chris & Denise from Wee Bluett.  There were now home after their cruise and live nearby.  They came down for a drink with Chris promising to return to help with the lock flight to Sheffield the next day.   As requested we had notified the lock keeper who said he would meet us at the bottom of the flight.  
Off at 7 on Monday as it was about a 2 hour run to the bottom of the flight.
In my ignorance I had assumed that the locks were all mechanised all the way to Sheffield, but this is not so.  Back to quite short wide locks with big heavy gates.   Geoff did the first four before the flight, whilst Emma lingered in bed!!
Rotherham Town Lock was the first

Chris met us as promised at the bottom of the Tinsley flight, where it is extremely difficult to moor and get ashore.  It is a very short pontoon and the rear is very overgrown.  Emma was holding us on the centre line whilst the lock keeper readied the lock, I nipped below to do a bit of tidying and was very surprised when I surfaced to discover both Geoff & Emma clinging onto the line for dear life whilst Petroc & I slid across the canal....the lock keeper thought we were moored fore and aft so neglected to tell us that the lock emptied very fiercely..........however due to the complete unflappability of the helmsman(ME) unlike the crew on the shore (Geoff & Emma), the situation was redeemed.!!!!

Emma managed to stay with us for the first few locks but then decided there were plenty of crew so disappeared to her bed again!   To be fair she did reappear with coffee for the workers a couple of times.

Near the top of the flight is Tynsley Marina and we were surprised to see a yacht moored there

Once at the top Chris and the lock keeper departed and Barney and I walked the last 2 1/2 miles into Sheffield.  We have seen very little boat activity in the last few days and none at all today so we were very surprised to find all the mooring in the basin at Sheffield full!

We thought we would have to moor on the waiting pontoon for the swing bridge but Geoff had a look at the map of the basin which told us that the quay on the west side which has a notice saying private mooring, is in fact visitor mooring, so here we plan to stay....until turfed off!

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