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Friday, 4 April 2014

Steel Town.

We were off promptly at 0800 and soon came to the turning area for the 'Humber Princess' at the head of her navigation. There must have been about 50 swans there. The oil depot where the cargoes go is a few hundred metres further up the cut. A little further on we came to the first lock of the day and it was a bit of a come down that we had to break out the windlass after all the electric push button ones so far. It was also a bit of a culture shock when the gate was opened to see the top gates so close! Back to normal gauge locks again. This was Rotherham lock and was just by the Law Courts.

Helen putting her back into the first lock of the day.

Wall murals in Rotherham.

We were once more on the River Don and the canal seemed strangely rural despite the obvious factories beyond the banks. We passed Rotherhams football ground that looks very new and quite grand and there we were at Ickles Lock. We were at Holmes lock to meet up with Derek from C&RT to help us up the Tinsley Flight. I think that this is because the levels have to be maintained rather than anything else. Indeed the flight seemed well kept and no real evidence of vandalism etc. The next lock Halfpenny Bridge, was the head of navigation until 1819 when the Sheffield Basin was opened. Until then cargoes had to be transferred to road transport.

Could be any rural canal on the network but this is the Don Navigation after Jordan's Lock.

We passed under the Mi which had another road bridge beneath it. Somehow it looks a little more graceful than those in Birmingham. Maybe the curve has something to do with it and less concrete on view.
At Lock 7 Derek gave way to David as our guide up the locks. They both live in Lock Cottages at the top of the flight at Tinsley Marina. Everybody seemed to be very friendly and we were invited to moor there if we decided that we didn't like the centre of town after all.

Half of Tinsley Marine in the short pound between Locks 2 and 3. The other half is between 1 and 2.

At the top of the locks we were left to our selves for the 3 miles or so to the end. Once there we went through the bridge to take water and sort out a berth. We popped back out to the visitor moorings. No shore power available. Quick lunch taken then off for a look see. At the Tourist Information office we found a couple of walks sorted and followed the Hunter's Sheffield Walk. Once again I was very pleased with the buildings around that are hidden gems.

The Winter Gardens which is one of the largest temperate glasshouses built in the last hundred years and the biggest in any European City.

Large parts of the city centre were bombed but the area of Paradise Square were left as a lovely street scene.

Little bits of buildings have been left isolated that really add character to the city and reminds me of the Jewelry Quarter in Birmingham.

More brick art, A Sheffield Steel Miner. I wonder if it was the same company as the Rotherham Law Courts.

One thing I noticed that was missing was the lack of pubs about. There seemed to be no Real Ale Trail but with a bit of digging we will seacrh out a few over the next couple of days.


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