Revised Itinerary 18th February 2017 – Martin Turner – Commodore
I have just visited the Chesterfield canal with Sue and carried out a survey of the length. We met up with Robin Stonebridge Chairman of the Chesterfield Canal Trust; Robin gave up much of his time to give advice and general help. This was great and it is plain that the trust are looking forward to our visit. The volunteers and attitude of the trust is very positive. The canal particularly at Shireoaks on the first Brindley flight is unique and lovely staircase heaven!. I really believe that this will rate as one of our best cruises. Some changes to the original plans have been made so please read the whole to make sure you are happy. I am always available on the phone or mail if you have any queries.
The canal is wide beam for the first few miles and then becomes narrow. One of the earliest built canals (around 1776), with the result that locks are low rise and even the staircases rise only 10-12ft. So they are gentle and easy to operate . The trust is organising a special trip on the isolated section for us with presentations, lunch and general fun. In addition we will see the new restoration projects on the isolated section, the newly built Chesterfield Cuckoo Boat and a unique canal.
On our way up the canal we have been invited to social evenings at the Boat Club. Additionally we will have a special club event at Kiveton, where I am arranging lunch so that members from all over the country may join us for a day by the canal with excellent food and company. On one of the evenings at Kiveton it is proposed to have a joint evening with the Chesterfield Canal Trust. Final details have yet to be determined.
Transport links along the canal are good with a railway parallel from Retford to Kiveton, this is an hourly service between Lincoln and Sheffield with quick links to the rest of the UK and Chesterfield. Kiveton to Gloucester for example is around 2 hours 45 mins-3hours. Buses are nearby all the way along the canal ,In many instances stops are adjacent. Chesterfield CT are obtaining timetables for us.
Most importantly of all there are many pubs along the route .There are excellent opportunities to get supplies with Aldi adjacent to the canal at Retford plus Asda and all high street shops. Similar at Worksop plus smaller shops further along.
On our way up from Gloucester we intend to take it easy and have some side trips The idea is that members may join where they like. After the Chesterfield trip nothing has yet been arranged but a trip to Sheffield or say Ripon makes a lot of sense. Again members can drop in and out as convenient.
This report covers the trip from Gloucester to The Chesterfield and includes a side trip to Boston.
Some of you will not be confident of boating on the Trent so the idea is to gather at Nottingham County Hall moorings where we can arrange convoys down the Trent. The Lock keepers have been informed and arrangements made for arrivals and departures.
The media may be involved at Chesterfield. I presume that you will be happy to have your photo taken or be interviewed by radio or TV but if not please let me know.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone numbers you already have
If you have a radio please have it on board and switched on to Channel 74 on the Trent and Severn rivers. For club communication we will sort out a different channel nearer the date.
Bob’s cruise at Gloucester finishes on June 4th. The following takes the easiest route from Gloucester but of course you are free to join in anywhere you like . Please note the gathering day at Nottingham will only happen once. If you intend to go later or are coming from the north we cannot at present offer company but maybe other members will be going from that direction. Follow Four C’s emails for updates or information.
Planning is based on roughly 5 hour cruising days except on the Trent. The Chesterfield Canal was originally designed for Tub type boats. A speed of 4 mph is not often possible more like 3mph. Five hours cruising could well result in longer days as ten boats might equal a lock queue .Hopefully amongst ourselves we can arrange staggered times, some always get up with the Lark others get up eventually!
We have a side trip to Boston but of course people may stay at Lincoln and wait if they do not wish to venture into the wilds of Lincolnshire. In addition, for satisfactory lock operation at Torkesy and West Stockwith, we will have to split into two groups. For the rest of the Trent we will arrange staggered departures in association with the lock keepers. In addition I may arrange special trips to a couple of areas of interest near Nottingham, watch out!.
Itinerary for Cotswold’s Cruising Club Chesterfield Summer Cruise
The first section from Gloucester allows for general relaxation etc. I have given a suggested route to Nottingham. Other options are the Avon to Stratford/ Stratford Canal/Birmingham/Fradley /Nottingham. Or Droitwich Canal/Tardibigge /Birmingham. It is your choice!
June 8th Gloucester to Worcester. Moor at Racecourse.
June 9th Worcester to Stourport River or York Street mooring, supermarkets and pubs.
Trip on the Steam Railway? Lime Kiln Chandlers
June 11th Stourport.
June 12th Kinver, excellent pubs, visit to Rock houses (National Trust}?
June 13th Womborne, some shops about a mile or bus
June 14th Wightwick, lovely mooring visit Wightwick Manor (NT) to see the best William Morris house in the UK ( 200m canal) Buses to Wolverhampton trains and Shops
June 15th Gailey Pubs, Midland Chandlers.
June 16th Tixall Wide, enjoy the wildlife. Shops /services at Junction
June 17th Fradley Junction. Pubs (but usually busy)
June 18/19th Alrewas, where it is easy to visit National Memorial Arboretum where there are numerous memorials in lovely grounds honouring the Fallen of our Armed Forces, the Police and other national services.
June 20th Willington
June 21st Shardlow, famous port, pubs etc
June 22cnd Nottingham County Hall, Moorings all gather for arrangements for Trent transit. Visit castle, Lace museum etc, evening gathering?
We now gather for the trip on the Trent. Suitable briefing timings will be given
June 23rd Nottingham to Newark. Lots to see here castle, restaurants etc.
June 24th Newark to Lincoln. Some of this section is tidal and timings will depend on Tides and agreement with Lockeepers. Information later. Important when going down the river with another boat keep together and say 20mins apart from following boats. No need to go faster just means you will sit outside the locks longer! Especially on the tidal sections.
June 25th Lincoln, moorings either in town or beyond is often preferred as the moorings in Lincoln are sometimes difficult, just bus back to Lincoln.
June 26th Lincoln to Dogdyke, pub waterways, breasting up essential.
June 27th Dogdyke to Boston, Church etc. and the infamous barrier
June 28th Boston to Kirkstead or for the bored Lincoln!
June 29th Lincoln , five boats will leave this evening for the trip to Torksey to moor at the lock either above the lock or below after instructions from the lock keeper. Five boats will remain in Lincoln.
June 30th Torksey to West Stockwith. Last night’s five boats will depart Torksey (a.m.) for West Stockwith as requested by the Lock keeper . You may be mooring above or below the lock, take appropriate instructions. This will be on the tide. Five boats will leave Lincoln to arrive Torksey midday and await Lock keepers instruction to depart (p.m.) for West Stockwith .Exact times will be given at Lincoln by myself after discussion with the keeper.
At West Stockwith please follow the instructions that will be handed out to you at Lincoln. Go past the lock turn and await signal from keeper and enter lock. Boats should arrive around 20/30mins apart form Torksey to save waiting at lock. Keeper at Torksey will advise. All depends on how many other boats are around. Please make sure we all follow the same rules. No moorings on the Trent here so if you rush you will have to ride the tide below the lock until called in.
This is now the main Summer Cruise.
June 30th Gather West Stockwith Basin, moor, evening at the adjacent Pub where the food looks good. The Lock keeper has arranged moorings for us Tow path side through the bridge. Services in basin including pump out.
July 1st Retford Boat Club , Social evening ( details later). Moorings will be in vacant spaces left at the permanent moorings before the club. Watch out for the mooring master. Services here
July 2nd Retford, time to get supplies etc. moorings either in the town or just beyond, will be indicated on maps issued to you. Plenty of shops here
July 3rd To Randby for moorings if you wish to go to the Pub or Osberton for the country but no pub. Services at Charlies Lock (55)
July 4th Shireoaks moorings immediately outside the Marina. All the services are here so fill up and empty before leaving as there are no services at Kiveton. Lovely walks here, cafe pub etc. and best of all the Chesterfield Cuckoo Boat a 72ft 6inch new build from scratch copy of a wooden boat type used on the canal. CCT will demonstrate. It is incredible . Elsan at Worksop bridge 42.We pass through Worksop as it’s a little poor on the canal but it does have a Wetherspoons (so all is not lost), plus shops etc.We will lose Bob today as he has some family commitments but do not be concerned Bob and Lyn will be back tomorrow!, catching up on the locks.
The area from Worksop I am reliably informed is still known locally as Hallamshire. Yes it is – believe me! More later.
July 5th The flight to Kiveton, reckoned by many to be the loveliest on the system and unique with its double and staircase locks, Brindley’s earliest. You can see the naivety of engineering knowledge later learnt. Well worth the effort which does not look very much in practice. Flight up to Kiveton (help each other up locks). Pub at Kiveton, Trains and buses. Moorings below bridge 31, towpath side where it is more open than beyond to the tunnel. Turning will be about 800m above bridge.
Please dress overall ( boats that is ) as this will be a good publicity spot.
July 6th Day of rest, Trains and buses adjacent for those wishing to explore. Pleasant walks and good company.
July 7th Kiveton, Day trip with Chesterfield Canal Trust. Boat trip, guides, fun etc. Cost TBA per person. Transport either train, bus or minibus to Chesterfield. Will notify later
Evening social with CCT. Plaques (£7.00) have been arranged at the CCT HQ Hollingwood Lock on the restored section, where we will have lunch.
July 8th Four C’s Club Day. Hopefully members will join us for a club day with lunch at the pub. And general get together, Entertainments will be organised this year .( dependant on weather )
July 9th Shireoaks Marina moorings as before. All services here.
July 10th Moorings above bridge 47. Excellent pub here and a large Sainsbury’s. Buses into Worksop for more shops and Wetherspoons.
You may prefer to moor at Worksop Town, Lots of local attractions Amazing Abbey Church in Worksop and huge NT estate nearby which is a pleasure-gound. These are the best moorings for Worksop it seems
July 11th Randby. Pub if you require!
July 12th Boat Club Moorings as before
July 13th West Stockwith. We will have to sort out departure times etc. with lock keeper. But am informed not a problem. Moorings on the left before bridge. Information will be handed out by then. Continue to Ripon/Nottingham?
Back to Nottingham? A farewell evening in the pub or Yacht Club TBA. All services here for those in need
On most of these routes local transport connections are good. Train stations are adjacent to the canal or nearby at Kiveton, Worksop and Retford. Buses over much of the route. Timetables will be obtained.
Lets all get together and have a good and interesting time, perhaps also including the occasional Pimms evening.
Doinmein Sue and Martin
Cormorant11 Bob and Lynn Hallam
Clara Grace Richard and Hilary Whitby
Lucky B Bruce and Margaret Paul
Hire boat Andy and Wendy
Indecision Rich and Sally.
Great Escape Maureen Wood
Aquarigo II Peter and Lesley
Minimo Beryl and Geoff