Monday, 6 April 2009

Through Trent Lock

The plans have to change at short notice so after a long lunch at the Steamboat Inn, we bring North Star a short distance to Trentlock and come through to moor at the entrance to the dry-dock of Kingfisher Narrowboats.

I need to be in constant communication for a work project, and I cannot seem to get the 12V charging system to work on the boat. We need to moor overnight for power, but also it is good to get someone else - Mick from Kingfisher - to have a quick look at the electrics. He rigs us up a 240V connection and we are back in contact with the world.

Trentlock is a peaceful place, partly because of its isolation from the road network. Access by road is down a narrow country lane that ends in a splay of little tracks and lanes, each leading to a different building. The small cluster of buildings here are focused on one of Britain's major river junctions, with the Trent, the Cranfleet Cut, the Erewash and the Soar Navigation all joining here. Just a few yards away lies one of Britain's busiest railway junctions too - Trent Junction. Until the 1970s there were all manner of sidings, marshalling yards, carriage sidings and depots in this area, but even today there is a train passing every few minutes.

On the south bank of the River Trent, behind the weir, the railway emerges from a red sandstone castellated tunnel entrance and leaps the rent on a long girder bridge, before the railways split apart, passing over the Cranfleet Cut on two separate bridges. Just north the railways diverge again, several times, crossing each other, diving under, soaring over: all very industrial. I really want to have a close up look at Thrumpton Weir but it is difficult: it is madness to approach by boat and there are no public footpaths anywhere near.

Plan B: Buy Thrumpton Hall.

4.9 miles, 3 locks

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