For those unfamiliar with the Chesterfield canal, it is one of - if not the - most successful of current ongoing restoration projects. From the Trent at West Stockwith it is navigable as far as Kiveton Park, where it encounters the long-collapsed (since 1907) Norwood Tunnel.
Chesterfield Canal Trust making an exploratory survey into this section last year. We got this far with Warrior in 2009, but might not be able to repeat the feat on Chertsey. Although the extremely narrow Stret lock has now been remedied, when we tried in 2011 Chertsey was unable to get through the earlier Morse lock.
Starting at the other end, in Chesterfield, restoration is creeping onwards and there are now just nine miles to go to join the two sections. These are, of course, the nine most difficult miles. Nonetheless, the Trust - which is certainly one of the liveliest canal organisations I have encountered - have recently committed to completing them in time for the 250th anniversary of the canal's opening - a mere eight years hence.
Because of the foresight of the Trust and its predecessors, and thanks to long term support from the local authority, most of the land required for the restoration has been secured. There are, however, some insuperable obstacles, not least the collapsed - and in parts, unstable - tunnel - meaning that part of the joining section will follow a new route. This is where the map was invaluable, both in tracing the proposed new line, and identifying places on it subsequently.
I know this because I took the photo on my phone and it therefore has an accurate timestamp of 1157. When I got back, with Paul's help. I downloaded the 'track' of our walk from the tablet into Memory Map on my computer. It's the yellow line. Hovering the cursor over any point on that line tells me the time I was at that location. So by hovering until I found 1157, I could see just where I was when I took the photo.
|Waterway Routes map, used with permission.|