Eric’s Last Puff. 10th February

Thorne to Bramwith Junction

Thorne Lock and Swing Bridge

Yesterday we’d run out of time to do any shopping so had an Indian Takeaway from The Spice Hut, a nice curry it was too. Just wish the portions were about 2/3 rds the size so I don’t have to lie in bed being reminded that I’ve eaten too much. Yes I could stop before everything is finished, but that would be a waste of tasty food.

Tilly was allowed out to say goodbye to her trees whilst we had breakfast, then when she returned we headed out to Lidl and Sainsbury’s. We wanted a shop to keep us going for a few days until we find a suitable spot for a big delivery to use our triple points voucher. Maybe Sainsbury’s has won though as we got another identical voucher today! 
Our route to the shops and back took us past the old cinema that was featured in Grand Designs a few years ago.





What had been left to decay after being a cinema, nightclub etc had been bought by a couple in 2011. The facade was kept and the rear of the building replaced with a modern building with an aircraft hanger type door leading into the large garden. We watched the programme the other day. 

I took a photo back in 2015 when we passed through, today I took another to compare it. It could do with a bit of TLC on the original facade, might only need a good clean.
Once our purchases were stowed we put on our layers and pushed off. Whilst we’d had our cuppa in bed this morning eight fishermen had passed us with their heavily laden trolleys. They were all set up just around the bend, a ‘Grumble’ of Fishermen. At least some of them acknowledged our existence as we passed.

Scarborough is of course in the opposite direction

Under the M18, just over an hours drive from Scarborough on our preferred route over the Wolds to the south. We always look down as we pass over the bridge just in case a boat is passing.

New houses at Stainforth

The only visible hills in this flat landscape are mounds of slag, the remnants of the mining industry that once used to dominate this part of Yorkshire. Hatfield Main Colliery was at Stainforth’s centre for around 80 years. It was in full operation from 1921 to 2001. It reopened in 2006 but finally closed in July 2015 when the shafts were filled. New houses are now being built, expanding the village as a commuter settlement.

An odd house

Along the canal near Bramwith Swing Bridge there were a couple of houses for sale. One looked like there might be enough room to moor a 58ft boat at the bottom of the garden. Looking it up later we were surprised at the price for a five bedroom house. The photos were a touch confusing as there seemed to be several kitchens. The floor plans gave us a clue, the original house has had extension after extension. Two staircases, one leading to an upstairs lounge and kitchen, with no access to any of the rest of the floor. One bedroom on the ground floor would take you half an hour to reach from the front door and the ground floor kitchen would need sorting as the fridge cooker sink triangle had a wall in the way! It is a lot of a house for £300,000!

River to the left, then canal and swing bridge

Bramwith Swing Bridge gave me the opportunity to hold plenty of cars up and to see just how close the diverted River Don is to the canal. We paused to fill with water, the tap being slow we had lunch as the tank filled before carrying on to the lock. 

Bramwith Lock

The lock is the last manually operated small lock until we reach Rotherham. A fisherman kindly helped me with the gates, the beams have had extensions added to them as they are so heavy.

Not many trees but a bank of friendly cover

Once up the lock we battled against the lowering sun for a short while turning left at Bramwith Junction and pulling in where the water is wide and there are good views all round. We didn’t really pull in, the last puffs from Storm  Eric pushed us to the side and pinned us there. All Mick had to do was put Oleanna into neutral and let her drift to the side. Eric carried on buffeting us about for a while, but gave up during the evening.

1 lock, 4.71 miles, 1 swing bridge holding up 5, 5 nonsensical bedrooms, M18, 1 river 10ft away, 1 full water tank, 1.5 hours of good quality friendly cover, 3 friends.