The Goole Escape, The Resistance. 30th May

Newark weir to Sainsburys, Nottingham

You may think our escape to be complete now that we are off tidal waters. Well for us it won’t be until we are back on the main canal network. Yes the weather looks good, in fact factor 30 good, but to be off the River Trent would be good, just in case!

What a beautiful blue day

We had our breakfast and were on our way again. The grey start to the day was soon burnt off by the sun.

Newark Marina has had an extension built, a new pond extends out towards the city, one side already with boats moored up. Averham Weir needed a touch more power to keep us away from it and only one cormorant dried it’s wings on a post, there’s normally one sat on every post.

Farndon Marina

The sun was fully out by the time we reached Farndon Marina, the camp site by the visitor moorings looked pretty full. Oh, hang on! Moorings, campsite, a cafe/club/bar place.

Mooring and campsite!

Could this be a possible venue/location for a 55.5 birthday do next year? On our travels I’ve been noting anywhere possible to have a weekend with friends and family to mark my half century, decade, year. There must be moorings, a campsite and preferably B&B and a bar all in close proximity. If anyone has any ideas on venues please let me know, you never know you may even get an invite!

The estate of Stoke Hall always looks so green rolling down to the river, the hall nestled a bit of a distance away. At Fiskerton there was just about enough space where we could have pulled in to have a pub lunch, but we’d only just got going so pressed on, still wanting to get some miles crossed off today.

Hazelford Lock

Yesterday we’d thought about carrying on to Hazelford Lock where we’d have been happy letting Tilly out, but on seeing Heathers mooring we’d stopped, thank goodness as there almost certainly wouldn’t have been any room for us. Even the smaller cruisers were breasted up, one narrowboat totally surrounded by white.

I spy a little cruiser

We shared the lock with a strange looking little brown cruiser which only had it’s number for a name. We all clung onto the blue risers as the level rose.

Above the lock a half submerged old work boat was tied to the moorings, this was most probably the boat that got away from the moorings below the lock a while ago when the level was high. It headed off down river doing some damage to the pontoon at Farndon.

The long pontoons further upstream are now full of boats. Barge Tortus catching our eye along with another boat that has had a very large top box added!

Oh the Trent is lovely on a blue skied day. Well until the next lock! Gunthorpe Lock.

With Lock Keepers at every lock there was no need to drop me off with the key of power, instead I’d be passing a rope around a blue riser very very carefully. We ended up on THE riser. I couldn’t look it in the eye as only one paddle was lifted at the top end of the lock. Why did this lock of all the locks in the Trent have to take SOOOOooooo long to fill! LINK

Tilly waiting to wave at the BJ ladies who rescued her

The Lock Keeper had a chat with Mick asking if we were carrying on to Stoke Lock. We were. We were told of a sand bar below the lock which had caught itself a boat today. On approaching the lock we should continue straight on towards the weir until it was almost too late to turn in to the lock. This was all noted.

No space on the pontoon above, good job we’d had lunch on the move.

Stoke Lock ahead

At a km away from Stoke Lock we radioed ahead. The keeper said we needed to be well left of the grounded narrowboat, the lock was ready, he was holding it for us.

Sure enough there where you’d normally expect to just turn in towards the lock a narrowboat sat. A lady walked along the gunnel and climbed onto the roof to sit in her canoe. They’d lost the paddle a week ago so it couldn’t be used to get them to dry land. They’d been stuck there for an hour.

Not really where you want to spend your bank holiday

Mick brought Oleanna round them as far to the left as he could. Even so we could hear Oleanna’s base plate scraping over the sandbar. We made it into the lock where the Lock Keeper asked us to stay back so as not to be level with another narrowboat who hadn’t got a rope looped round the risers at the bow, as yet.


All sorted we rose up the lock. The Lockie had managed to get an oar, the couple on the narrowboat on the sandbar would be able to now reach dry land and go home to Nottingham for the night. RCR would be on their way tomorrow to get the boat floated again. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, always try to reverse off, don’t put the power on full, as this just tends to make matters worse.

There was a space above the lock, lovely as Stoke Lock is we wanted to be further on.

At Holme Lock we had the huge chamber to ourselves. Thankfully more paddles were working than the last time we came uphill here so our ascent seemed really quick. Mick chatted to a volunteer about the hydro-electric power station that seemed to take forever to build. It is now in operation. When it started up the vibrations in the lock cottage were too much for the owners to cope with, the foundations shared between them and the station. To rectify this would cost way too much, so the power company bought the house, the manager now lives on site.

Above the lock there were few sailing boats about. The mooring at Southfork ranch looks like it needs a good weeding, at least it looked like someone was home today. The new building work that was going up when we last came past doesn’t seem to have moved on anymore, the protective netting having seen better days!

Trent Bridge

A few canoeists could be spotted between the glints from the river as we approached Trent Bridge. The moorings on the steps looked to be full, so there was only one thing for it, go up Meadow Lane Lock. Now where did we put those windlasses?

What are these strange looking things?!

The last manual lock we did was the 3rd September and it was Bank Dole up from the River Aire onto the Aire and Calder. We knew at the time it would be a while before the windlasses were needed, but we really hadn’t thought it would be nearly nine months!

I hopped off the stern, windlass in hand as the gates of the lock opened. A boat was coming down, both crew onboard, they could continue on their way without stopping. There was however just enough time for the lady to tell me which paddles were not working, one at each end.

With several gongoozlers we managed to remember how to work a lock ourselves and gradually the level came up. Back onto a canal, a narrow canal. Well the Nottingham Canal is a broad canal but after the big rivers and the Aire and Calder it felt narrow to us. We almost had to hold our breath in as we went under the bridges.

The new rail bridge we’d seen going in a couple of years ago is now up and working. Just before the right hand bend a large scaffolding set of stairs leads up to street level replacing those that used to be used on the other side, these are now in a building site which is slightly encroaching the canal. Plenty of space to turn though.


A chap lay in his sleeping bag in the shade under the first bridge. New street furniture and planting lined the towpath.


As we reached the bars the noise level grew. Every single outdoor seat taken at the three bars, music and just a pure cacophony of humans enjoying the sunshine, company and booze! I’d been wondering about going out for a good steak and chips, but on seeing the masses here we decided to stay in tonight and have broccoli bacon pasta instead. Too many people make us, and I’m sure many others, nervous.

Busy busy busy

Castle Lock was open with both paddles left up. With a seated audience alongside I was glad we’d had a practice go at Meadow Lane before having to really do this locking thing in public.

New blocks of student accommodation stand on the banks of the canal. They sort of feel like they were there before, but we’re sure they weren’t. Hopfully they are not the reason for C&RT to have put up no mooring signs along part of the stretch which has numerous mooring rings, today quite a lot of local boats were moored there!

Castle Lock

We pulled up near to Sainsburys for a big shop tomorrow. Music and smoke from barbecues filled the air, maybe we’d have been better off on the no-mooring mooring rings. Thankfully the world around us calmed down during the evening, only for the geese and coots to take over!

6 locks, 24.3 miles, 1 right, 9.75 digits, 0 clone, 1 sandbar, 1 stuck boat, 1 narrow canal, 2 many people, 9 months nearly, 2 windlasses, 0 calluses, 1 sunny sunny day, 2 pink boaters.

6 thoughts on “The Goole Escape, The Resistance. 30th May

  1. jennie230

    So glad to see you have made it back onto the canal network safely. We know what you mean about crowds of people. Take care and safe onward travel. Jennie

  2. Dave (Scouts)

    Would need you to book ahead and get yourselves there but this is one option

    1. Pip Post author

      Thanks Dave will keep it in mind, it does have everything. The only downside us that it’s a long way south.

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