CHERTSEY

BOATS, BRIDGES, BOILERS ... IF IT'S GOT RIVETS, I'M RIVETTED
... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.
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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Down the river to Rotherham

Every previous time, when I've got to the bottom of the Sheffield Canal, I've turned round and come back. But not last Sunday, when instead I turned left across a bridge, and found myself on the towpath of the River Don, heading towards Rotherham. For much of its length, the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation is embanked and canalised, but there are some rivery stretches too.
Here we are looking back toward Sheffield - Sheffield to the right; weir to the left.
And here, that sign in the distance promises the far off glamour of Doncaster, Goole, Leeds and Keadby.

Along the way we saw a fair few local people enjoying the river. Some were just strolling the wide, well-made paths. Others were fishing, or magnet fishing, and one lot had lit a fire on the bank - they weren't all what everyone would consider the most desirable characters, but they were all minding their own business and didn't cause us any trouble. The only moving boat we saw all day was Ethel, the wide community boat from the Basin, which was taking a small party of children in enormous lifejackets as far as the top lock.
There were swans in this very large winding hole.

And so we approached Rotherham
Rotherham Central station - there on the left - piece of cake to find. Parkgate Tram-Train stop... not so easy.
On this lock, one top and one bottom paddle have to be left open to feed the canal. Paul wondered why some people seemed to have trouble understanding this... But the sign actually says: 'Please ensure headgate and tailgate sluices are left fully open when leaving the lock. Offside sluice [sic] are kept closed and locked by CRT.' It's not exactly helpful, is it.
Below the lock is the remains of a swing bridge.

From Tinsley bottom lock to here was just under two and a half miles - as Paul pointed out, it's easier to keep going to Rotherham and get the tram back than it is to turn and walk back to Sheffield.

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