Back on the water.

After a glorious week in the Lake District we were itching to get cruising again. Our plan, is to spend some time in Sheffield. This meant leaving the tiny narrow Chesterfield canal with its one way traffic

Drakeholes tunnel

And the May bush and overhanging greenery that lined our way.


We had an overnight stay in Stockwith Basin and had been advised by several people as far away as Retford that we ought to visit the microbrewery, The White Hart, as both the beer and food were excellent. Frustratingly they don’t serve food on a Sunday evening but the land lady was lovely and really concerned that we’d not eaten. So much so that she offered to order in a takeaway for us to eat in the pub. Now that’s what I call service. We’d got food on the boat so after Eric had confirmed that the beer was well worth the visit. We returned to Firecrest to make her river ready.

West Stockwith Basin

The lock keeper advised us to leave on the turn of the tide at 4pm so we’d be travelling with the flow. The weather was balmy and with the sun on our backs we set off on our 2 1/2 hour journey. It was another advent calender moments when the lock gates opened and revealed the River beyond.

Leaving West Stockwith Lock

We only saw 2 other boats travelling upstream on this aquatic super highway. So as always we couldn’t resist a chuckle as we cruised underneath another motorway, this time the M180, which to my embarrassment I didn’t even realise existed, carrying traffic to and from Grimsby.

And then we came to Keadby Bridge (also known as King George V bridge. I was fascinated by the structure and a bit of research revealed that it was one of the first Scherzer Rolling Lift bridges, and had been the largest in Europe when it was completed in 1916.

Keadby Bridge

We expected something this huge needed a lot of muscle to move it so it was a nice surprise to find it was an ‘all electric bridge just like Firecrest.

Keadby Bridge looking upstream

For the final mile or two there was a lot of industry along the River, we wondered if this crane was really a rocket launcher in disguise.

We’d been warned that the lock was hard to spot but to watch for the round lookout tower and the light. They weren’t wrong

Looking for Keadby lock