Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club Summer Cruise 2017 – Chesterfield

Revised Itinerary 21st May 2017

I have visited the Chesterfield canal with Sue and carried out a survey of the length. In addition we have met up with Robin Stonebridge Chairman of the Chesterfield Canal Trust. Robin gave up much of his time, gave advice and general help. This was great and it is plain that the trust is looking forward to our visit. The attitude of volunteers and the trust as a whole, is very positive. The canal, in particular at Shireoaks and beyond the first Brindley flight is unique and a lovely staircase heaven! Some changes to the original plans have been made so please read the whole to make sure you are aware. 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 canals built around 1776, with the result that locks are low rise and even the staircases rise only 10-15ft. so they are gentle and easy to operate . The trust is organising a special trip on the isolated section especially 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 the way up the canal we have been invited to a social evening at the Boat Club. We will also 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 social 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. Timetables will be sourced.

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 perhaps 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 for those who are a little nervous. 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 news or TV but if not please let me know.

Email Phone numbers you already have

If you have a VHF radio please have it on board and switched on to Channel 74 on the Trent and Severn rivers. For club communication we will use channel 73.

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 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 and web site for updates or information.

Planning is based on roughly 5 hour cruising days except on the Trent. The Chesterfield Canal is from what I am told, fine for all depths of boats but 4 mph is not often possible more like 3mph. Five hours cruising could well sometimes result in longer days as twelve 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 leaving 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 Summer Cruises

Please note that final times for any events will be given nearer the final dates

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’s your choice!

June 8th: Gloucester to Worcester. Moor at Racecourse. In theory a charge of £4.00 is made, pay at Car Park. Does anyone actually pay though?

June 9th Worcester to Stourport – River or York Street mooring, supermarkets and pubs. Trip on the Steam Railway? Lime Kiln Chandlers.

June 11th Stourport. Jayne & Mike Provost are joining us here to spend the next two few weeks cruising, perhaps an evening in the local Indian which is very good?

June 12th Kinver has excellent pubs, perhaps a visit to Rock Houses (National Trust)? Longish walk but interesting and with lovely views to Wales. Shared Taxi?

June 13th Womborne, some shops about a mile from canal 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 20-30 minutes

Peter and Lesley should be joining us tonight or tomorrow another excuse to have time together at Stafford.

June 15th Gailey Pubs, Midland Chandlers. Stafford Boat Club.
Suggest we all moor at Stafford Boat Club where Maureen Wood is a member. Maureen says we are most welcome to come and partake of some reasonably priced Marston’s in the club bar. Maureen will let us in by the gate! No event planned that night but an excellent opportunity to get together to sample the high life of a club with a base. We will organise times on the cruise.

June 16th Tixall Wide, enjoy the wildlife. Shops /services at Junction

June 17th Fradley Junction. Pubs but busy

June 18/19th Alrewas, visit National Memorial Arboretum? Bus or Taxi.

(Note for Martin ring Cromwell Lock)

June 20th Willington

June 21st Shardlow, famous port, pubs , excellent chandlery etc.

June 22nd Nottingham County Hall, Moorings all gather for arrangements for Trent transit. Visit castle, Lace museum etc, evening gathering?
Peter Powell will join us here and others!

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 Lock-keepers. 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.

There is a spring tide today the lock keeper has advised that we leave Newark at 10.30am, all boats into Cromwell lock at 11.30 and 12noon to catch the tide to Torksey. First batch will be against tide for a few minutes. We should be in Torksey at around 3.00pm without anyone having to rush. There is plenty of mooring space at Torksey to accommodate us. The Lock keeper will probably use the double lock. You may prefer to moor here overnight, then Lincoln tomorrow.

June 25th Lincoln, moorings a mile and beyond may be preferred as the moorings in Lincoln are sometimes difficult, just bus back to Lincoln bus every 30mins.

June 26th Lincoln to Dog Dyke, pub waterways, breasting up essential.

June 27th Dog Dyke 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 am 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 pm for West Stockwith. Exact times will be given at Lincoln by myself after discussion with the Lock-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 from 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 Chris Turner from the club has offered us a Quiz evening at the club, the bar will be open but as the caterers are away – no food. We will though meet at one of the local pubs in the village beforehand and then have our quiz and fun at the club. Jan our quiz expert will do some of the questions to give the club a change and we will compete with club members. Naturally a prestige trophy will be offered to the winning team!. Moorings will be in vacant spaces left at the permanent moorings, expect to breast up. These will be available either side of the bridge so watch out for the mooring master, who will already have your names and boat lengths.

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 the boat when we come back. Elsan at Worksop bridge 42. We pass through Worksop as its a little poor on the canal but it does have a Wetherspoons so all is not lost, plus shops etc.

July 5th The flight to Kiveton, reckoned by many to be one of the loveliest on the system and unique with its double and staircase locks Brindley’s earliest. You can see the lack of engineering knowledge later learnt. Well worth the effort which does not look very much in practice there are two triple staircases and two doubles, we will get the more able to help each other up locks. Pub at Kiveton, Trains and buses to the whole UK. 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.
Tonight we will be joining Chesterfield Canal Trust for an evening
at the The Station, the venue behind. It looks a little iffy from the outside but inside its good! I presume that you will all be going.

July 6th Day of rest, Trains and buses adjacent for those wishing to explore perhaps a trip to Sheffield on the train. Pleasant walks and good company. Evening at The Station. The Chesterfield Canal Trust an opportunity to meet like-minded people who will be taking us on the trip boats tomorrow. We all get together for a meal beer wine etc.

The menu is not expensive and it will be an opportunity to meet others of like mind and have a celebration of our trip. CCT will be making a special award tonight so let’s help them have a special evening. Times etc. later. .

July 7th Kiveton, Day trip with Chesterfield Canal Trust. Boat trip on the isolated restored section, They will have two boats for us with Lunch at Hollingborne, guides fun etc. Cost TBA per person. Transport either train, or bus or minibus to Chesterfield. Will notify later.

CCT. Plaques (£7.00) have been arranged at the to be picked up at the centre.

July 8th Four C’s Club Day. Hopefully members will join us for a club day
with lunch at the Station pub. And general get-together, As we now have Gazebos these will be set up Canal side so we can all have Pimms and shelter from the rain.

July 9th Shireoaks Marina moorings as before. All services here. Today we are honoured to have a tour round the Cuckoo boat, how it was built presentation given by the people who built it. Special for us this is it will be in the afternoon after we have all arrived. You may be lucky and see the sails up a unique site.

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 ground. These are the best moorings for Worksop it seems.

July 11th Randby. Pub if you require!

July 12th Boat Club Moorings as before

July 13
July 14th West Stockwith. We will have to sort out departure times etc. with lock keeper. But am informed not a problem Moorings on left before bridge. Information by then. Continue to Sheffield, Ripon??
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.

Let’s all get together and have a good and interesting time, perhaps also including the occasional Pimms evening.
Boats attending:

Doinmein 58ft      Sue and Martin

Clara Grace             Richard and Hilary Whitby

Lucky B 50ft           Bruce & Margaret Paul

Hire boat                 Andy and Wendy

Indecision               Rich and Sally.

Great Escape         Maureen Wood

Allegro 58ft             Peter and Lesley

Minimo 50ft           Beryl Geoff

Nowthen                Melvyn Bann & Christine Lucas

Kiehtan 50ft          Peter Powell & Ruth Barker

Albion 62ft            Michael Wightman

Dawn Owl              Jayne & Mike Provost