Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A day out

We recently went to visit friends from Greenwich holidaying on the western edge of the Black Country in a small town/large village called Wombourne. A part of the country we know well since Susan grew up in Black Country and first came to Beeston in 1969, when she lodged for two years in Chilwell vicarage whilst at Nottingham University.

It was a leisurely drive of just under two hours and we tend to forget how close we are to places.  Whilst we were in Wombourne we went on a walk and found ourselves at Bratch Lock and the four of us were invited to join a couple on their narrow boat as it made its way through the three locks. It was a wonderful treat. I hope the pictures tell the story:

A sign by the top lock.

...but I am going to start at the bottom by a canal pond, which takes water from the top.

The road across the canal runs immediately in front of the first pf three locks.

A narrow boat exiting the lower lock.

You can walk under the road bridge along a passage more like that you would expect to find in a medieval castle.

A view of our ride as it disappears into the middle lock.

A narrow boat waits as the water drains from the middle lock so that it can continue its journey after passing through the lower lock, which you can just see.

These three pictures show us entering the top lock and then it beginning to fill, rushing in with a roar.

The kind canal folk (bargees?) who invited us to go through the locks on their narrow boat. Thank you once again for the treat and, if you see this blog, I hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip around England's canals.

At the top, excess water flows down a race to the kind at the bottom (see my second picture).

The locks were worked by two Canal Trust volunteers and this was the little lock keeper's lodge by the top lock, which you glimpse in our the earlier pictures

Susan with our friends Ivy and Keith, resting by the top lock. They look remarkably happy for three Labour Party members still recovering from the general election result. Our fiends are great country walkers, whereas I prefer urban and canal walking. By any measure a good day out.

From the top lock you could look across the trees and see the roof of the Severn-Trent Bratch Pumping Station which, at a distance, could be mistaken for a French chalet.

From the road, walking back to Wombourne, I took this pic through the gate railings of the decorative brickwork and through the window you can just see what looks like an old beam engine. The chance are that it will now have electric motors to drive the pistons, but just this corner view captures what a wonderful building this is.

This is how I like to live life. Last Saturday we spent a long afternoon in Bestwood Country Park, first at the winding engine with Nottinghamshire Local History Association, then we struck off on our own with two friends from Stoke-on-Trent and explored the other side of the park, ending with tea and biscuits in Berstwood Lodge Hotel. I hope my friend Rosie is going to blog about the visit and if she does I will out a link in here. It was Rosie who got me into blogging in 2007. There is a link to her blog, Corners of my mind, in the sidebar.

Next year though we will make sure we are about for the Beeston Carnival. We are sorry that we missed it, but our visit to Bestwood was planned a long time ago.

1 comment:

  1. Great fun to have a ride through the lock. Keith and Ivy look well and a lovely smile from Susan too - glad you all had a happy day together. Enjoyed our day out at Bestwood but feel sorry you missed the Carnival - things you would like to do always seem to fall on the same day don't they?:)