The Goole Escape, Danny, Willie and Sedgewick. 31st May

Sainsburys to Shardlow Visitor Moorings, Trent and Mersey Canal


Having missed out on a cooked breakfast this weekend, so far, we paused this morning for one. Not quite the full works, but suitable for a Bank Holiday Monday.

Next job writing a shopping list and then ticking the items off in Sainsburys. We decided that both of us would go as we knew neither of us would remember everything that would be needed despite having done a list. This was the first time the two of us have done a big shop together for over a year. Hopefully we got everything we were wanting.

Next job, fill up with diesel. We pootled into Castle Marina following another narrowboat, luckily they pulled up at their mooring so we could wind and reverse onto the service pontoon.

97 litres of diesel to fill the tank at 84p. A bag of Excell just in case and some fire lighters to help light the barbecue we planned to have. We also made use of the elsan to empty your wee tank. The water tank could wait a little while longer for a top up.

Then we were back on our way, turning left out of the marina. There are quite a lot of familiar boats around Nottingham, Blip being one of them sat at the end of the permanent moorings. More boats were moored up along the three miles than we’ve seen before and at Beeston there was little room to be had under the willow trees.

I hopped off with the recycling, disposed of it, then closed the bottom gates after Oleanna at the lock. This lock is meant to be left with a paddle up at both ends to help keep the level right through Nottingham, yesterday we’d noticed that the level was down a touch, paddles at both ends of the lock closed.

One too many I think!

Back onto the river passing the drunken pirate in his look out and numerous people licking chilled medication. Oh for an ice cream!

This river section has houses on stilts and some lovely looking boats. A new property was being created with two shipping containers high up away from any flooding possibilities. Still a long way to go for those river side views.

As we neared Cranfleet Lock we could see a wide beam waiting to go up. Would there be any volunteers on duty? Guaranteed to be. Well we were surprised at there being four chaps all ready to help. The wide beam went up, a small cruiser came down then it was our turn.

We waited for an oncoming narrowboat to join us and up we went. It’s only the second time I’ve been up in this lock, the first just after I’d lost my little finger. The boat we shared with was heading home after a weekend out in Newark. They had delayed their return journey this morning due to the stranded boat at Stoke Lock, arriving there to drop crew off to work the lock wouldn’t be a wise thing at the moment. The boat was now floating again.

At the end of Cranfleet Cut we had three ways we could go. The River Soar to Foxton and the Leicester Section, the Erewash Canal or continue on the Trent to Sawley. We already knew which way we’d be going so turned right, but not right right, we headed up the Trent.

Ratcliffe Power Station

Our journey southwards would be a touch shorter if we went by the Soar, by about 15 minutes a day, but we’ve been that way quite frequently in the last few years and not touched this end of the Trent and Mersey Canal possibly for five years.

Trent Lock was busy, no space to be had on the pontoon, another favourite of ours. We pushed on upstream our partner boat following to Sawley Lock. Here another set of volunteers took ropes and pressed buttons at one of the locks, the other currently out of action.

Sawley Flood Lock

Through the flood lock and on towards the junction of the River Derwent, The River Trent and where the Trent and Mersey Canal starts, Derwent Mouth.

Derwent Mouth Lock

Myself and the chap from our accompanying boat lifted the paddles. With every click water flooding into the lock. With every click Oleanna was lifting up off the river. With the top gates open we’d made it. We’d escaped Goole! 138 miles, 19 locks behind us.


This evening we’d planned to have a celebratory barbecue and thought we’d stop just above Derwent Mouth Lock. Well that just wasn’t going to be as the towpath past the lock landing was filled with boats. Should we tuck on the end overlapping the generous lock landing? Mick thought we should, I thought not. We carried on a touch disgruntled that our wished for mooring was taken.

Coming into Shardlow we passed the house with the model railway, my camera at the ready should it be running today. Two boats were moored in the little arm and another two out front on the canal. One of these was very familiar, Tyseley the Mikron Theatre Company boat. She has recently had a repaint and new windows at Northwich dry dock on the Weaver where she was built. She looked very fine indeed just ready for the start of the Mikron tour. Sadly we don’t think we’ll be coinciding with there waterways tour this summer and just turning up on speck won’t be possible as you have to have booked a ticket due to covid restrictions and limited numbers.

The first mooring in Shardlow after the pubs was free, so we pulled in, our barbecue could wait for tomorrow. Tilly was given an hour and set free to see what/who she could find.

Anchor pinned back in

Our covers were being put up as a couple cycled past chatting away. The chap following suddenly hit a mooring ring, his bike flipping up into the air. He managed to cling onto his bike which went into the canal, but had quite bad scrapes to his hand, elbow and leg. His girlfriend wisely suggested they shouldn’t just carry on and wait a few minutes whilst we hunted round our first aid kits for antiseptic wipes. Hope he is alright and not too bruised.

Instead of our barbecue we managed to rustle up a tuna and pasta salad, a roast chicken our other option would have been a touch too much. Tomorrow we’ll start to slow down, just under four hours a day needed to reach our destination.

Two happy boaters

4 locks, 2 flood locks, 11.08 miles, 97.21 litres diesel, 1 bag coal, 1 box firelighters, 1 chicken, 2 salmon steaks, 0 room, 1 hour not fully taken, 1 roast chicken a touch too hot, 1 escape complete, 1 Dannie, 1 Willie, 1 Sedgwick the 3 who escaped, may many more escape Goole.

4 thoughts on “The Goole Escape, Danny, Willie and Sedgewick. 31st May

  1. Carol

    Congratulations, a hell of a journey very well done! Not sure where you’re heading but please don’t forget to contact us if you are anywhere near Market Drayton, Audlem, Great Haywood etc.,We would love to actually meet you Pip!

    1. Pip Post author

      Thank you Carol.
      We’re heading further south for a while, but will be returning northwards at some point over the summer. We will most certainly be in touch when we know when we’ll be near.

    2. Anonymous

      Congratulations on completion of The Great Escape queue for a nice breakfast comment!
      Enjoy those v narrow waters your approaching.

      1. Pip Post author

        Thanks Ade. Shame you were otherwise engaged as the post originally had some musical accompaniment! The Great Escape music. Removed it as it was playing with every post! Pip

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