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70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Friday, 7 October 2011



We stayed put on Tuesday, but on Wednesday we sallied forth to explore the Erewash Canal. Initially the surroundings were very attractive with small boatyards and interesting craft of every description, but the duckweed got gradually thicker substantially slowing our progress and in one lock I really wondered if we would be able to get into it.

At one lock an Anglo Welsh hire boat was coming the other way and thankfully they told us that the water was quite clear further on, although in some of the pounds it was very shallow. Near Sandiacre there is the very fine Springfield mill which has four turrets; apparently each one houses a spiral staircase, which gave access to the four separate lace companies which occupied the mill.

We stopped for the night on a rural stretch just beyond Stanton Lock and before the urban sprawl of Ilkeston; industry was very close to the canal, but mostly screened by the foliage. In fact we had chosen to moor by the junction where the Nutbrook Canal had joined the Erewash, now it’s just a couple of pipes exiting through a stone wall. Just a little further was the mostly derelict site of the Stanton Ironworks; this had employed over seven thousand people in its time and was only closed in 2007. We have all walked over manhole covers stamped with the name Stanton and Staveley. The other half of the name refers to the iron works at Staveley near Chesterfield and the two companies were merged in 1960.

The Thursday forecast was for rain by lunch time, it didn’t arrive but the wind did, and with the gates and paddles of the nine locks being very heavy, it made the journey to Langley Mill hard work. Immediately after Langley Lock there are visitor moorings in The Great Northern Basin, with water and a sanitation station alongside, all provided by ECP&DA or to give its full title ‘Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association. It was this Association that ensured the Erewash Canal and the basin survived.

The basin was the junction for three canals; the start of the Nottingham Canal can be seem leaving beyond a swing bridge on its way to, well, Nottingham of course. The Cromford Canal carries on to the north of Langley Mill, this canal is still partly in water and is currently a restoration project. It was Arkwright who built the worlds first water powered spinning mill for cotton at Cromford who was a major instigator for the canal.

The rain arrived after dark on Thursday, but Friday was dry and we decided this was a good place to wait for Kim and John to join us for a few days. I had a lovely chat with Harold, Chairman of the ECP&DA who showed me around the little pumping station that was restored by the association, although it has a period pump in place it is a modern electric powered one that back pumps from below the lock into the basin when required and I able to buy a smart plaque for SKYY’s rear door. There is also a totally original toll house at the entrance to the Nottingham Canal and I took a photo of the work that the Association has done in readiness for the Cromford Canal to rejoin the Great Northern Basin.

1 comment:

mrkaen002 said...

nice pictures!i love old boats!