Friday, 22 August 2014

Sheffield steel

Rotherham to Sheffield

We've done it! We've got to Sheffield, another destination on our big summer cruise. From Northamptonshire we got here via parts or the whole of the following waterways: Grand Union, Stratford, Worcester and Birmingham, Birmingham, Staffs and Worcs, Trent and Mersey, Macclesfield, Peak Forest, Ashton, Rochdale, Calder and Hebble, Aire and Calder, New Junction, and South Yorkshire Navigation (including the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal). We set off from Thrupp Wharf Marina on 16th July, so it has taken us 37 days.

According to CanalPlan that's 299 miles and 330 locks. Our total distance will be slightly more as I didn't include our foray down the Saltisford Arm, nor the backtracking on the Peak Forest Canal to wind after watering up.

What better indication could there be of our proximity to Sheffield than piles of steel bars on the wharf?

To be clear, this is actually Rotherham, not Sheffield. And I somehow doubt the steel was made here. Is there any steelmaking left in Sheffield?

I liked the variety of colours and their reflections on this assortment of boats basking in the morning sun.

After a bit of a struggle at Ickles Lock, where opening the paddle on the same side as the boat - the usual practice - sent the bow shooting across to bang on the other side, we came to Holmes Lock. As we arrived, so did Dave, the CRT lockie.

Our ascent of the Tinsley Locks was smooth and painless.

At Lock 5 there is a plaque commemorating the efforts of the navigation company to keep the waterway open despite the lock being bombed in the war.

The British Waterways plaque reads:

1939 - 1945

On the night of December 15th 1940 this lock was severely damaged by enemy action during an air raid on the city.

This plaque is dedicated to the workforce of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation Company who strove to keep the waterway open under hazardous and extremely difficult conditions throughout the war.

This railway bridge sits heavily over the canal - but there was plenty of headroom. Lockie Derek took over from Dave for the upper part of the flight.

We shared the locks with Nekbor, being single-handed up to Sheffield.

And so, after those 300 miles and 330 locks we entered Sheffield Basin, aka Victoria Quays. I was so much looking forward to lunch that I neglected to go under the Straddle Warehouse to the very head of the navigation. I'll have to correct that before we leave.

This is where we tied up in front of the arches.

And another view, with a tram crossing on its elevated track.

There were coloured lights playing on the Straddle Warehouse after dark; this is a 1" exposure from the top of the boat.

We haven't seen the marina man - we have yet to "book in".


Tom and Jan said...

I'm thinking we might go to Sheffield after York. Do you have to book a passage with CRT?

Halfie said...

Yes, Tom. You have to book passage up the Tinsley locks by phoning the friendly lockie on 07710 175488 with at least 24 hours' notice. Boat length 60' max. How long is Waiouru?

Sarah said...

I would have come down to say hello but I'm in Sussex this weekend!

Halfie said...

You mean I've come all this way and you're not in? What a shame. I could have given you a spin under the Straddle Warehouse!