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Monday, 9 June 2014

Heading up river.

It was a collectables day in the Market Place so we went to have a look around and pick up a few bits and pieces before we left Newark. It was a lovely morning for a walk too. There wasn't much to see at the market so after doing our chores we went to see the butter market that makes up the bottom of the John Carr designed Town Hall of 1700's. We saw that there was a museum and art gallery and it had just opened so we went to have a look. The volunteers there were very knowledgeable and keen to pass their information on. The museum was small but interesting but we were also shown the ballroom that had been renovated back to its original condition. It was beautiful as were the other rooms. It would be a great venue for a wedding I should think. I asked why there was an otter on the coat of arms. It turns out that there is an otter, a beaver and an egret with an eel. The idea being that the purity of the river shines on the purity of the town. The status of the buildings reveals the wealth that was here in the 17th and 18th centuries. There is a great variety of places and it all adds to the beauty of the place.

After lunch we called the lock and we were off again on our trip up the Trent. The number of warehouses and their size shows what prosperity there was in the town. The fact that they are still there and not knocked down is a very good thing and shows that the town values their building heritage.


Warehouses on the River Trent in Newark.

There are two dry docks here also and this looks back to when there was a huge amount of traffic down the River. There were daily departures of tugs with strings of barges from the Humber and South Yorkshire. There were also loads of keels and sloops that would also get a tow if there was no wind and the tide was against them.

Averham Weir was fairly benign to day but I expect it could be very fierce when in flood. I liked the fact that the old notice stating that passing over the weir was done at your own risk was in such small writing you would have to be going over it to be able to read it! The modern ones refer to canoeists and others, and are much bigger letters.

It wasn't long after here that we were caught in a monsoonal downpour. It lasted about 15 minutes and my old poncho from Alton Towers kept me dry, except the bottom of my shorts that is. Unfortunately the camera got a bit damp so the effect in the picture below is not deliberate. We continued on to Hazelford Lock. We wanted to take water but the tap is above the lock and there was no room there as the cruisers had spread out. We therefore stayed below the lock and the Lock Keeper says he will get the other boats moved so that we can get water in the morning.

Our mooring at Hazelford Lock with Macy having an explore.

There is a weir either side of the lock so in effect the lock is on an island. Where we are moored was not designed as a mooring but as a retaining wall to stop the island slipping into the river. It would be very bad if the river rose quickly as we would end up over one of the steps. I think we should be okay for now.

Macy went for a stroll and disturbed a grass snake that made Helen jump. There are loads of rabbits that were sun bathing and were loath to get up when I walked about. There is no access to the general public so it is a lovely little quiet spot for a mooring and the lock keepers are doing a lot to add to the atmosphere here.

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