Friday, 22 September 2017

Chilling in Newark


From our mooring we can see the back of this lovely old building and wondered what it was.It turned out that it was the old Corn Exchange which dates from 1848 when it was a corn exchange for merchants and farmers.It was a bingo hall from 1971 to 1993 and a nightclub from 1994 to 2011 but unfortunately now is empty, unused and up for sale.


You don't see many of these going along the main street any more . Although its a lovely sight to see he was holding up the traffic and there were some very irate motorist queued up behind him.


In to the main square in Newark and we came across this market . Now Carolyn is in her element as she drags takes me around all the stalls.


“Not another bloody Weatherspoon's said Carolyn. But it would be rude not to have a breakfast says me . We did and it went down a treat.


We then went and had a look around The Church of St Mary Magdalene which has been a place of worship for the townspeople of Newark on Trent for over 800 years.

It is notable for the tower and the octagonal spire (236 feet (72 m) high), the highest in Nottinghamshire and reputed to be the fifth tallest in the UK. The central piers remain from the previous church, dating from the 11th or 12th century. The upper parts of the tower and spire were completed about 1350; the nave dates from between 1384 and 1393, and the chancel from 1489. Its well worth a visit if you are in Newark.


It was then to Newark Castle which overlooks our mooring on the river Trent .The castle in Newark, in the English county of Nottinghamshire was founded in the mid 12th century by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln. Originally a timber castle, it was rebuilt in stone towards the end of the century. Dismantled in the 17th century after the English Civil War, the castle was restored in the 19th century, first by Anthony Salvin in the 1840s and then by the corporation of Newark who bought the site in 1889. The Gilstrap Heritage Centre is a free-admission museum in the castle grounds about the history of the town of Newark. I just love the word free and this is another must place to visit when in Newark


When we got back to Inca we were surprised to get a knock on the side of the boat . When we went out we saw our friend Dave from cruiser Dragon who along with Carmel were above the lock and looking for a mooring in the town. We went straight up and locked them down and then they moored in front of us. We have not seen them for a long time so it was good to catch up and as they are heading the same way as us we have decided to cruise together for the next few days.


This is the gardens next to Town lock which are Canal and River Trusts. It just shows what the Trust can do although it seems to do more up North than it does down South which is something I just don't understand


Just love this sign . Not sure if it works as we still see dog Poo and bags full of it all over the towpath .

Tomorrow with Dave and Carmel we will head down to Cromwell lock where we will have to book in for our passage on the tidal Trent down to Torksey.

                                                                                                 Happy Days

Thursday, 21 September 2017


IMG_6297We pulled ropes from cleats at 09.30 from our mooring above Gunthorpe lock and were soon through and heading downstream towards Hazelford Lock.


We noticed these funny looking sheep on the way down. Not sure if they have had some sort of an orange rinse or if they are naturally this colour.

Just before going onto the Newark branch of the river Trent we passed this impressive looking power station at Staythorpe .

Staythorpe is a gas-fired power station that began full commercial operation in November 2010. Staythorpe, located in Nottinghamshire, can generate 1,650MW of electricity, which is enough to power around 2.8 million homes.

Staythorpe has been designed using state of the art equipment and will reduce average annual CO2 emissions by up to 7.5 million tonnes compared to an existing coal-fired power station producing the same amount of electricity.

Staythorpe previously housed two coal-fired power stations. Construction of the new gas-fired power station began in 1998, but was put on hold two years later as there was already sufficient generating capacity in the UK at that time. In 2007, work once again began on the station.

The plant is also one of the most flexible plants in the UK with the ability to support balancing the energy network with National Grid and has a long-term commitment to Staythorpe and the surrounding area.


Arriving at Town lock in Newark and what an amazing view of the castle . The lights were on red and after calling the Lockie on our VHF radio he told us to wait for ten minutes while he locked two boats up.


The view from our home for the next couple of days.

Just below the lock we picked up this mooring which was right next to the canoe portage point which was ideal for us as we didn't have to carry Hamish up a ladder every time he wanted to get ashore. You can see how high the bank is with the roof of Inca being level with it. Carolyn went and asked the Lockie if we would be OK to moor here for a couple of days and he said it would be fine.


We had great fun watching this trip boat mooring up and he reminded us of the one in Stratford upon Avon . With a good current flowing down the river he got his mooring spot on every time,I'm not sure that I could do as well as he did.

Tomorrow we will be off to have a look around the town of Newark and I have my eye on a new camera as my current one has a small scratch on the lens but don't mention it to Carolyn.

                                                                                              Happy Days

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Heading downstream

IMG_6170After a sort of good 2 weeks in Nottingham it was time to move on downstream on The River Trent .Going with the flow as we pass the city ground which is home to Nottingham Forest we are only just above tick over on the engine and going at about 4 miles an hour which for us is fast.

IMG_6172This house reminded us a bit of the lower river Thames which we did last year . Except this was the only posh house we saw where as the Thames has hundreds of million plus pound houses.

IMG_6190Arriving at Holme lock we went onto the water point and started filling with water . I had read before we got here that the National water sports centre was next to the lock  . With a very slow filling tap and with our tank being empty it gave us plenty of time to watch the Kayaks coming down the course.

IMG_6209The white water course is 700m long and a s well as canoes you can tackle the rapids in an exclusively chartered raft as a group of friends (6 - 8 people), or as an individual to be part of an 8 man team. Not only is the White Water Course amazingly fun, it is also environmentally friendly as it is a man made course powered by a natural river. Just a shame we didn't have enough time to stop and have a go . I'm sure I could have handled those rapids with no problems.

IMG_6197The water sports centre is part of the The Holme Pierrepont Country Park which underwent significant improvements in 2014 designed to enhance the facilities across the 270 acre site including the construction of a new Family Fun Park which consists of the exciting new Sky Trail, High Rope course, Mini Golf course, Cycle and Segway hire and a Country Park Café. Looks like a good day out if you are ever in the area.

IMG_6212We are now in Holme lock which is a little on the large size and because the water can get a bit turbulent we have to attach ourselves to the blue wires which you can see on the lock wall opposite. There is a Lockkeeper on duty for all these locks from 09.30 to 18.00 in the summer although they can be in self service where we would have to operate them ourselves.

IMG_6257With Carolyn on the bow with her rope through the wire and me on the stern we slowly drop down the side of the lock.

IMG_6215Cruising down the River Trent and there are many parts of it that reminds us of the River Dart in Devon which we still think of as our home river even though we cant get to it on Inca.

IMG_6216Next lock is Stoke Lock which is sometimes known as Stoke Bardolph lock.This time we have to put our ropes around steel rails as we descend instead of wires.

IMG_6222As we exit the lock we get hit by the current from the water coming over the weir on the left in the picture. We had to give the old engine a bit of welly to stop us being pushed in to the nearside bank .

IMG_6225After a good cruise we arrived above Gunthorpe lock and were surprised to see that the visitor pontoon was empty . We had been told that it is usually very busy here and we would be lucky to get on it. The problem we have is that being a river most of the moorings are very high and sometimes it means you have to climb a ladder to get up . That's where we would struggle as Hamish is not that happy about being lifted up great heights.

We will now have a day or two here before cruising further down stream and hopefully we will be able to pick up a suitable mooring in Newark a town we have heard so much about and one we cant wait to visit.

                                                                                        Happy Days

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

boat names

A few more of the hundreds of weird and wonderful boat names we've seen on our travels .

IMG_3230Or maybe not.


Wine time.


It is if you are not careful.


If people breathe or heave a sigh of relief, they feel happy that something unpleasant has not happened or is no longer happening. Don't you just love that feeling.


Cant see a worm .


My favourite one today.


I've never seen a Gnome in Rishton Too .


You cant beat a good old plod.


I've been accused of having that.

                                                                                             Happy Days

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Lock her up

We have just experienced our worst ever moment in our four and a half years living aboard Inca on the embankment in Nottingham . At 08.30 this morning what can only be descried as a complete nutcase of a man who we had never seen before boarded Inca’s roof from his plastic cruiser boat and announced that he had a gun and was going to kill the guy who was stood on the bank behind us.It turned out that he was on the boat moored two boats back from us.I went out and confronted him and told him to get off our boat or there would be trouble only for Carolyn to tell me to shut the up or I might end up getting shot. Needless to say the Police were called and turned up 20 minutes later after the Nutter had done a runner and gone. As far as I know a full investigation is continuing so I don't want to comment any more at the moment but will update if I hear any more.. Carolyn was obviously shaken up and very distressed as this is something that we have never experienced before and hopefully never will again.I think we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

IMG_6143After that bad start to the day and after saying goodbye to our friend Ray on Nb Ferndale it was Carnival time and we made our way across the river to the Victoria and Meadows embankment . The action packed one-day event will include a community-led carnival parade featuring hundreds of colourful costumes and energetic dancing along the riverside and the Meadows Embankment. It will also feature the ever popular Carnival Village where we should find music stages, workshops, stalls and even a large funfair although I'm not sure about going on any Fair rides especially at my age..

IMG_6168Talk about a colourful display .So much effort must have gone in to making the costumes.

IMG_6141After the carnival the event continued in the park with music from some of the top Reggae bands in the country that we were so looking forward to seeing . But guess what ? there was that sign again . With the temperature at nearly 30 degrees in the boat there was no way we could leave Hamish aboard Inca. At the end of the day it was an out door event and I cant see a problem as 99% of dog owners are responsible people.We weren't the only ones that were turned away with a dog

IMG_6169At last they have caught up with Carolyn and its time to lock her up and throw away the key . Well maybe not because if that happened who would cook my tea and pamper me.

Tomorrow it will be an early start as we head down the river Trent towards Newark and then if I can persuade Carolyn we will then cruise down to Cromwell lock before dropping down onto the tidal river Trent . My plan is to get to Torksey and then up onto the Fossdyke and spending some time in Lincoln.

                                                                                                Happy Days