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Friday, 18 April 2014

Are we in France?

We set off late as we listened to the 'Reunion' about the film 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'. The sun was shining but it is  still bitter in the wind when on the water. On our left were small hills with villages hidden from the canal and on the right were extensive views across the carr lands of the Idle Valley. We could see towers in the distance that were not churches and we guessed that they were the head gear of north Nottinghamshire Coal mines, working or not.

Looking over the Idle Valley with very little to interrupt the views.

The canal bends round the contours with a few bridges and fewer boats and pedestrians.

We approached the only lock of the day to find a single hander just about to leave. I quizzed him about moorings in Retford as many people have told us it is dangerous to moor there over night. We have been told this about many places we have stayed in the past and have had little trouble.

Helen maybe smiling as we are at Whitsunday Pie Lock on Good Friday. The name may predate the canal and refer to a field that had a change of tenancy at Whitsun and the Pie from 'pightle' which refers to a small enclosure or croft!

We filled with water at a pub where the smells were lovely and they were having a Easter Weekend bash. Not the best place to moor over night I think. We found moorings in Retford, by Aldi's and took full advantage of filling up with provisions. We then went for a walk and found the town very nice indeed.The pedestrian street had a good range of the usual shops coupled with some local additions. The Town Hall looked like it was modeled on a French Chateau and in front was the very large Market Place with an 8 sided elanor cross as a war memorial. The buildings around the square added character to the whole scene.

Retford Town Hall.

The elanor cross war memorial in the middle of the Market Square.

This is the cannon in Cannon Square that was captured at Sevastopol in 1855. It was nearly melted down in WWII but was hidden and replaced with ceremony afterwards.

Kings Park has the River Idle running through it and the canal as one boarder. It looked great in the evening sun and the willows over the river. All in all the town made a very good impression and gave us the feeling of being in France, and we look forward to checking out any market in the morning.

During our explorations we also tested a couple of pubs. The first was the White Lion and I had a pint of DA (Dark Ale) from Pheasantry Brewery in Nottingham as I said I would test other than my normal beers. It was good with not too strong a taste. We also stopped over at the Rum Runner which was very busy at 1800. I tried a pint of 'April Fool' from Old Mill Brewery, Snaith and a Harvest Pale from Castle Rock Brewery, Nottinghamshire. The later was very citrusy and both were very pleasant. Back to the boat for tea and hopefully a quiet night.

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