A Frosty Canal Walk…. just right for a November Morning

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Shardlow on the Trent & Mersey Canal, Derbyshire

Nearly the end of November and winter appears to have arrived.  Mist and frost to welcome in the morning…  but also a sun determined to burn the mist away quickly.  An ideal day for a walk along the canal.  The Trent & Mersey Canal, as the name suggests links the River Trent on the Derbyshire Nottingham border, here in middle England, with the River Mersey and the Industrial North West.  From Shardlow to the Mersey it is some 93 miles. It was once a major highway for goods, now it is a leisure waterway and part of the National Canal network.  Today though it was quiet.  CV19 restrictions have temporarily left the waters still….never seen them so calm.  But on with the walk, join us on a stroll from Shardlow Basin to Derwent Mouth.

The start (or end depending upon direction of travel) is at Derwent Mouth.  It is a wide expanse of water.  Here the Derbyshire River Derwent, that has flowed down from high in the Peak District, ends it journey, entering the River Trent as it heads eastward to the North Sea. It is also here that the Trent & Mersey Canal has its junction with the two rivers.  A series of Locks are used to maintain the water levels in the Canal and to enable it to rise above the river flood plain. 

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There is a bridge that straddles the River Trent.  A sweeping Metal contraption.  It is called ‘Long Horse Bridge‘.  The clue is in the name…..  the barges, that used to ply their trade along the canal, were for many years Horse Drawn.  Todays bridge is a new addition, the original (and in my view) and much more attractive Long Horse Bridge, was lost some years ago in floods. 

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A real bonus day, not sure what tomorrow or indeed the weekend has in store for us weather wise…..  so I hope you enjoyed this weather bonus.

Please Remember ….

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

26th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

Along the Canal……

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The Clock Warehouse on the Trent and Mersey Navigation, Shardlow, Derbyshire

We got an early start yesterday…well the sun was shining and only a few clouds  provide a pattern to the blue sky.    The Trent and Mersey Canal was the location for a good walk along the towpath.

Others also opted for an early start.  One narrowboat heading northwards, a group of students canoeing down the canal . Shortly join the River Trent to continue on into Nottingham. Friendly exchanges between between all then off in our separate directions.

The Trent and Mersey Canal was completed in 1777, parliamentary permission being licenced in 1766….  so not long to build the 93 mile long canal.  The object of this major engineering construction was to link the River Trent with the River Mersey.  The industrial heartlands of the Midlands,  past the Breweries of Burton upon Trent, then through the Potteries and onto the ports of Liverpool and of course the industrial north.

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Shardlow is about a mile from where the River Trent joins the Canal.  So Shardlow became an important transport and waterways hub at both the start and the completion of a journey as traffic was truly both ways.  Today  many of the old canal side warehouses have been converted into Apartment’s and Homes.  The boatyard basin with boatbuilders still operate and fitout modern narrowboats.  Obviously there has to be the pub or two!  All in all a busy little location and a slice of our industrial heritage.  What has changed is more than a switch to a leisure activity…. a good number of folk have opted to a life on board a narrowboat…  life at a slow pace.

Maybe the name of this boat says it all…

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So join me in exploring just a few of the corners along the canal here at Shardlow…

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Now that lockdown restrictions have been eased, traffic will start to increase  along the canal again…. bring life back to the Trent and Mersey Navigation.

As for that good weather…well I left it at Shardlow. Today normal service has been resumed. Dull with rain threatening… Still it is nice by the Lake.

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Please Remember ….

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

22nd July

(C) David Oakes 2020

Waiting for Breakfast…

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A family of Swans early this morning on the Trent & Mersey Canal.   I think they were being rather hopeful, that the owners of this canal side house would get out of bed and provide some breakfast…..  a faint hope I think.

Please Remember ….

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

21st July

(C) David Oakes 2020

On the Canal…..

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Fradley Junction.

Fradley Junction and the Swan Inn on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Staffordshire.

Head north to the Potteries, then onto Manchester and Liverpool.  Head South to Nottingham and onto London.  Or turn left at this junction and head to the Industrial heartland of  Birmingham, The Black Country, Coventry.

Just one tiny part of the network of canals that criss-crossed our country before Trains,  Cars and major Roads.   It looks idyllic today but it was a hard life for those who worked these canals.

Please Remember ….

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

29th May

(C) David Oakes 2020

One Day.. Sometime….. When?

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The Trent & Mersey Canal, Shardlow, Derbyshire

Some day, sometime, when?……. it will be nice to take a stroll along a Canal Towpath, through flowing countryside with expansive views.  The arrive at a Waterside Country Pub for a refreshing drink (your choice) and something to eat…. and whilst enjoying your vitals, listening to the happy babble of others out enjoying a summers day.

That day still seems a long way off….till then we have memories

Please Remember ….

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

14th May

(C) David Oakes 2020