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Cromwell Lock to Bardney (37 miles, 2 locks)


Welcome to my blog! You join us just as I tell the story of the journey back to Lincolnshire on the River Trent.


The now redundant Besthorpe Gravel Wharf - the large gravel barges no longer operate on this section of the Trent

Dropping down through the huge lock at Cromwell, we donned life jackets, relieved that the weather was glorious, if a tad breezy.


Dunham Toll Bridge - a notorious place for boats to ground if they are unlucky or just silly!

We actually quite enjoyed the long, ever winding river on this occasion.  The river was not really flowing that much and the views were beautiful across the Trent valley.


Power station in the distance, signalling our imminent arrival at Torksey Lock


I can see the junction!


A bit further...


What a relief, now we can relax and let the dog off for a wee!!

After nearly 4 hours continuous cruising downhill, Richard steered the boats into the welcoming arms of Torksey Lock.


Signpost giving directions to boating traffic leaving Torksey lock 


The gates are already open, so we glide in behind the cruiser ( not the one on the left!)


The Fossdyke Canal - built by the Romans, this straight bit goes on and on and on....

Refilling the water tank and the other necessary ablutions, we set off in order to moor overnight in Saxilby.  The life jackets are now officially back in the cupboard!  Yehayy!


Saxilby - A lovely mooring if a bit noisy, with the occasional goods train and the constant traffic 


Heading towards Lincoln the next morning, and the sky is a bit grey!


Yes, it can get a bit boring on the Fossdyke, so I figured out how to do a selfie on the new camera, scary monsters!!


Passing Burton Waters - we went in there once, years ago, with our horrible diesel guzzling engine. Went into the chandlery, came out, turned round and accidentally blew lots of black exhaust fumes over the beautiful very expensive bits of 'Tupperware' residing in there.  Whoops!  Hey we could go in there on a windy day with the butty, no perhaps not!

Approaching the outskirts of Lincoln, the plan was to drop me off after we had gone down the lock, I would jump on the train and get the car from Sawley, meeting Richard at Bardney later that day.


The Brayford Belle trip boat complete with a few sightseers aboard


Brayford Pool - where the River Witham meets the end of the Fossdyke


Still no moorings have been built along this un-utilised section of the Pool.  Why do you not want boaters in your city Lincolnshire Council??  You don't give us room further back at the University, and not adequate outside the Waterside (and noisy).  Please sort it out so we can jump off our boats and spend lots of cash in your shops!!!


Approaching the entrance to the Glory Hole...on a short snubber line, this could be interesting!


The Glory Hole ahead dating from c.1160! taking the boats under Lincoln's High Street


Luckily no boats coming the other way!


Millennium Sculpture ahead opposite the marketplace.  Moorings on the left, but difficult for the boater to get on and off with the railings.


Leaving this busy section, we go under the wide road bridge out of the city

Nearing the end of my cruising for today, I helped Richard down the lock at Stamp End, made a quick bacon butty and left him to navigate (breasted together) the remaining few miles to Bardney.


Washingborough moorings - quiet and usually easy to get in, like this day!  The old train station, now a house, is all that remains of the old track which ran all the way to Boston 


Lincoln Cathedral in the distance under a lot of cloud


Moored and waiting for me at Bardney Village moorings

So now we are back in the shire, where our families are, catching up on errands, and Richard has just completed his first week at Bardney Sugar Beet Factory.  All is well with the world....

Egginton (Willington) to Cromwell Lock (54 miles, 19 locks!)

This next stretch of our journey involved mainly rivers and has been much dreaded by myself, but thankfully, the water levels have been kind this year .....


Just leaving the sanctuary of the Trent and Mersey Canal, approaching Sawley Cut at 'Derwent Mouth'

Leaving the outskirts of Willington behind, we breezed down through the locks towards Sawley Cut and spent a couple of days visiting relatives and eating takeaways! Lovely!


Approaching the junction of The Erewash Canal (left - where we will be going after Christmas for the butty renovations!), Cranfleet Cut (straight on to take us onto the Trent, and The Soar (right - to Leicester), oh and a train on the bridge!

Weather proving to be a bit overcast and breezy, we set off to get the first part of our river journey off the list.  Turning down Cranfleet Cut, we dropped down through the lock and onto the River Trent proper.


Beautiful river


Sea Scouts all still asleep in their tents!

The first port of call is Beeston Lock which takes the boater through Nottingham and then back onto the Trent again.


Houses on stilts!


Beeston Lock in the distance


On the 'cut', this fantastic cruiser at Trevethick's yard - we did wonder if it would go under all the bridges ok!

Nottingham proved uneventful, just a couple of drunks at one lock, but harmless.  Sainsbury's is on the side of the cut, so I nipped in for some supplies, whilst the kettle went on, again!


Nottingham Boat Sales, now on the river!

Down through the lock and back on the river past the football stadium and beyond.


Leaving Holme Lock

Luckily, at this time of year, the large river locks are manned by Lockkeepers, making passage through the locks easy and safer.


Approaching Stoke Lock, my favourite because it is so isolated and pretty


Gunthorpe Bridge with the lock after it


Dad's boat, still looking good, now called Omnia.  I think he would be thrilled to know it was still in use and loved

Newark was in sight as we were banking on being at Cromwell Lock for the evening, ready to go out early to get in at Torksey before high water.


The new power station


A Vulcan Bomber surprises us with a fly past!


Newark Castle with the stone arched bridge to navigate, ooh err!  When we came through here 2 years ago, we didn't touch the bridge and the river was running.  This year, whoops, just caught the back of the motor as the water pushed us through!  No damage to bridge or boats!



Restaurant on a barge, still there


Past King's Marina, the new rows of flats in a 'wharf' style now grace the side of the river

Late in the evening now and needing to navigate down through Nether Lock all on our own.  It was quite a worry as Richard has to hold the boats by the centre line all on his own.  Downhill is easier than up as the water doesn't move the boats about so aggressively.


Cromwell Lock, naughtily moored on the wall where it says 'No mooring'.  And yes the locky, resident at Cromwell, broke his neck to come and tell us 'You can't moor there' , but then said 'you'll be alright if you're going first thing in the morning'.....

Really late in the evening now and we moored up at Cromwell Lock ready for an early tidal section first thing.  Unable to get in on the low wall, Richard thought we would be able to moor where the cruisers normally stay.  Getting Lister off and up the ladder was quite interesting, but List was calm and just let us put him on and off the boat roof onto the wall, without freaking out!

The locky let us all through for 8am, lifejackets back on, we set about the 4 hour cruise on the Tidal Trent........