Felt like being on Holiday….

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The River Trent at Derwent Mouth, Derbyshire Nottinghamshire Border.

It is only 15 miles away.  The sun shone, fair weather clouds graced the blue sky and it was comfortably warm, just as a summers day should…. and after a rather damp spring and early summer this was a bonus day. Destination was Derwent Mouth.  It is here that the River Derwent ends its journey from the high peaks of Derbyshire and now merges with the larger River Trent. They then both continue their journey to the Humber and then vanishing into the North Sea.

It looks tranquil today, but the new “Long Horse Bridge” is substantial and was built to replace the original Long Horse after it was washed away in floods.

It is also here that engineers back in the mid 1700’s started to construct the Trent and Mersey Canal.  From this point the Canal starts its long journey linking this part of the industrial Midlands with the industrial North West and its Sea Ports, on its journey passing through the Potteries and Mining and Mineral areas.

Today the traditional style Narrowboats of the canal waterways are mainly leisure craft, though a growing number of folk are choosing to ‘live aboard’ in preference to a permanent house.

Not many Narrowboats on the move this morning, but we did pass a group of Paddle Boarders, who having navigated the canal were heading for the River Derwent….  Paddle Boarding seems to be the next water sport trend.

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The engineers who constructed the canal network did survey and plan to find the most level route for the water to flow.  Not always possible, so when levels change a system of Locks were built. These acted as water lifts to allow boats to move from one level to the higher or lower level.  The first Lock on the Trent and Mersey, is Derwent Mouth Lock and is there to keep a permanent level in the canal, which at this point is higher than the river,  whilst catering for rise and falls in river levels.

From the visual calm of the rivers the canals are in places, full of a colourful canal side life.  Makes any canal walk one that is for ever changing but always interesting… and this morning it was no different.

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This walk is not unfamiliar to me.  It is only a couple of months since my last visit.  The current CV climate had, to a great extent, put a break on activities. It did though seemed much more like a grand adventure, not of discovery but a re-awakening of memories……  and of course the weather was a big bonus.

It did indeed feel rather like a holiday !  🙂

_DOI6418_00060A necessary maintenance barge awaiting the call to duty.

Restrictions are easing, but infection rates are again rising here…. but no matter where you are, as always….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

9th July

(C) David Oakes 2021

More Natural Power……

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Lower Slaughter, on the banks of the Rive Eye, Gloucestershire

Yesterday I sang the praises for wind power….. but of course water has also been used for centuries to power mills.  From small village mills, as here in the Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter, to the large mills of the industrial revolution.

Obviously one needed a constant water flow, but it also needed engineering skills to channel the water into a ‘mill leat’.  This enable the force of water to be increased, sometimes stored in a mill pond, but also provided the ability to regulated flow, to match the working demands of the mill.

Today, just like yesterdays windmill they are attractions across our countryside, all reminders of our creative forefather’s.

Old or new…  please

Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

9th July

(C) David Oakes 2021