Thursday, 2 June 2016

To Conisbrough

This morning we cruised through Mexborough down to Conisbrough mooring above Mexborough Low Lock.  We’re back to push button lock operations and Jan has started to complain of RSI in her ‘pinkie’.

There were a couple of large boats moored in an arm above Swinton Lock.  Then I realised the arm is actually the entrance to the former Dearne & Dove Canal which used to join the former Barnsley Canal.  They later joined the Aire & Calder Navigation at Wakefield.  If the canals were to be restored it would make an interesting cruising ring.

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Whilst passing through Mexborough we noticed the “Old Market Hall” (1880) which looks like it might now be a pub.  Probably a Weatherspoons!  I’ve just checked Google and it is a Weatherspoons.

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The occupant of the off-side cottage at Mexborough Top Lock has fabricated an interesting collection of metal objects.

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Jan was interested in his poultry collection and wanted to know if they had names.  Apparently he has “Blackie, Thelma, and the rest are called chickens.”  Our guess is he only has two grandchildren Smile

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Tonight’s mooring is semi-rural and rather quiet.  Since arriving we have been joined by nb Jennifer Eccles.

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The sun put in an appearance later in the afternoon so Daniel and I went for a local walk.  There was a footpath down by the lock which indirectly took us to Conisbrough.  We could see the castle in the distance but it was the collections on buildings in the middle distance which looked unusual.

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It looked to be some type of outdoor pursuits centre with the living accommodation being canvas clad timber framed sheds.  The round building is also clad in canvas and is possibility an indoor lecture room.

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We skirted around the fenced complex eventually reaching a bridge over the canal.  There was a rather dilapidated “Welcome Hall on the far bank along with this metal tree in the forecourt

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The sign at the hall stated it was the Kingswood Activity Centre but it looked more like one of those sustainable living projects.  I checked Wikipedia and discovered it was established in 1999 and “The Earth Centre” for “sustainable development promoting the best environmental and sustainable practice” with funding from the Millennium Commission.  It went bankrupt five years later.

We walked into Conisbrough and up the hill to the castle.  After looking at the castle a decision was made not to pay for a closer inspection as much of the structure appeared to be not very original.  The low and crumbling stonework is probably old but the rest looks too modern.

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The photo on the English Heritage website here illustrates the point more clearly.

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