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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Our own Sheffield Half Marathon.

Amy had arrived on the Saturday and after a late start we set off for more exploring of Sheffield. We saw the half marathon runners passing and had trouble crossing the road between them. It was only later that we learned of the trouble over the supposed cancelling of the marathon due to a lack of water, and the fact that a lot of the runners decided to complete it anyway. I think that this may have led Helen to go the wrong way. In the event it meant that we walked some of the 8km Five Weirs Way that follows the River Don and then back on the canal tow path.

There were several bridges built within bridges for the tow path and it makes a nice alternative to the roads.

We eventually found our way Kelham Island Museum, and just in time running in steam of the River Don Engine, which is the most powerful steam engine in Britain. It used to run a rolling mill. It reminded me of a Doxford opposed piston engine in the ships that I first sailed on, but they weren't steam.

River Don Steam Engine.

The museum was very good explaining the steel making art and the various trades that used the steel. It had a fantastic collection of tools and equipment and took a lot longer to look round than we had anticipated. It was very interesting to see all the different steels and what they are used for etc. Kelham Island was created by the River Don being diverted to make a mill goit (race). The early factories utilised water power to drive everything. The buildings of the museum were actually the Corporation power station that provided electricity for the tram system. Of course Sheffield still has a good tram system.

The Kelham Island Mill Goit and past industrial scene.You can see a Bessemer Convert crucible on the right which is outside the Museum.

By the time we had finished our visit Amy was hungry so we made our way to the Riverside Pub that was nearby and settled down to a Sunday dinner. It seems funny that the pubs from yesterday and this one were in this area. Maybe that it was due to the proximity to the old forges etc as the hot work meant that Sheffield was also a big brewery town with a beer house on just about every corner. The Riverside was a nice high roofed pub with friendly people and a very good selection of beers. I had a pint of Riverside from the Sheffield Brew Company.

We then walked back to the boat to collect Amy's gear. We passed the building below in Wicken at the foot of the oldest bridge in Sheffield over the Don, called Lady Bridge.

The Royal Exchange Buildings and Castle House. It was built in 1900 to a design by John Henry Bryan. It had 20 x 2 bedroom flats, shops, a vets surgery and a dogs home. The bricks are glazed. The railings are for Lady Bridge.

This is our berth in Sheffield opposite the weighbridge for Sheaf Quay.

We walked Amy to the station to catch the train back home. The station is very pleasant and clean. We thought it would be rude not to sample the Sheffield Tap pub on the station. It was a different place with loads of different beers of the world available. There were folk in there with medals round their necks so I assume even though the Half Marathon was cancelled those that decided to run anyway were awarded a medal. (It could have been something else entirely I suppose). I had a pint of Ring Master by the Magic Rock Brewery. I have stuck to pale ale type beers over this weekend and have now decided that I should try different types of beers in the future. I do like the sweeter, fruitier, hopier beers are my favourite though.

We are off back down hill tomorrow but stopping at Tinsley Marina. It was been a very interesting stay, and nice to see Amy. The centre of Sheffield is a little strange with shopping ares well spread out, but some lovely buildings with a lot to see. I finally found a few pubs that were really nice and I would recommend any of those I have mentioned. I Pub trail guide would be a good idea.

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