Wednesday, 8 June 2016


One of our earlier starts this morning.  A combination of waking early and a desire to complete the cruise before the full heat of the day arrived.  There were no locks but Jan needed to open six bridges, each had a slightly different method of operation.

IMG_9996The only lift bridge


A manual with no barrier arms

There are two type of farm in this part of Yorkshire; agricultural and wind!

IMG_9997IMG_9998We must have passed at least five wind farms.  There wasn’t much wind today so the blades were turning very slowly.  The railway line runs beside the canal and we noticed a number of small commuter trains during the cruise; however it was the train in this next photo which really caught our attention. 

IMG_0002A double ended diesel electric propelling a single carriage.  I assumed it was some type of heritage trip.

The Vazon sliding rail bridge is located on the western edge of Keadby.  There was no way the Network Rail employee was going to let Jan operate the bridge .Smile  He called out from the control tower telling us we would have a 10 minute wait before there was a “window” to open the bridge.


I was rather curious about the way the bridge would slide.  Would it retract under the track?  It wasn’t until we observed a train going over the bridge that I realised the track crossed the canal at a 45° angle.


That’s when I realized the bridge was quite wide and when opening it took a section of track out of the line.  I’ve attempted to show what happens in this next drawing.

 sliding bridge

The blue is the canal and the red square represents the bridge.  When the bridge slides to the right (green arrow) a section of track is removed from the rail line.


The bridge is half open and you can see the ends of the track


A yoghurt pot courageously (foolishly) decided to race us into the gap.  Plastic shouldn’t really argue with 22t of moving steel that doesn’t have brakes! Smile 


You can see how wide the bridge carriageway is in the above photo.

We cruised the short distance down to the Keadby visitor moorings stopping just short of the facilities mooring and after lunch I phoned the lock keeper to book our passage onto the Trent tomorrow.  We have a 9.30am departure.


As you can see in the above photo, there is a vacant mooring behind us, however that didn’t stop the yoghurt pot boater deciding to moor for the night on the services mooring.  Apparently this is acceptable if you have a gearbox problem!  I did wonder why you would want to go out onto the tidal Trent with a gearbox problem?

Daniel and I spent the afternoon on boat maintenance.  The starboard side received a wash and polish.  Then I cleaned and repainted the weed hatch plate.

After dinner there was time for a short local walk.  The river looked rather placid and I hope its that way tomorrow morning.

Keadby Lock is interesting.  It has a control tower and the river gates are significantly higher than the canal end of the lock.  No doubt they have to be the same size as the flood banks.

IMG_0014 No chance of getting a beer or food from The Barge Inn.  It looks like its been closed for years.



Ade said...

Nice post and photos Tom, interesting to see the canal described with your take on it.
I feel like I know it well after reading Geoff and Mags many journeys along it.
Looking forward to the Trent trip. Do you have to have a VHF radio and licence for that?
Thanks for sharing

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Ade, No Radio, we will cope with the mobile phone. I suspect we won't see much on the river as the flood banks look high.

Ade said...

Ah right my mistake.
Yes it's only fleeting views from what I remember from other boaters postings.

Pip and Mick said...

There's a footpath across that railway bridge too. It's interesting to see it from the ground.
Have you bought a Trent chart from the lockie? We found it very useful. It covers the whole tidal section all the way to Cromwell.
Is the Keadby car park still a busy place for little meetings?

Enjoy the trip and hope the weather stays good.


Tom and Jan said...

Hi Mick

We have the digital map of the Trent from Waterway Routes which is in the gps so we should know where we are. But I'll look at the lock keepers map to see if there's an advantage in having it.

The car park has had a few elderly drivers and is currently occupied by a family in a motor home. We noticed the little and brief meetings in Doncaster!

Naughty-Cal said...

Less of the yoghurt pot!

Tom and Jan said...

Oops... I meant to write Tupperware! :-)

Naughty-Cal said...


I wouldn't say it out load as you are heading deep into tupperware country next :)

Tom and Jan said...

Guess we will have to do some night cruising :-)