Peter left a comment about that square chimney on yesterday’s post. He explained this type of chimney was often used to improve mine ventilation. The technique involved building the chimney over an air exhaust shaft and lighting a fire. The updraft from the fire would suck air from the mineshaft below whilst simultaneously drawing air in through the mine entrance. Peter even supplied the hyperlink <here>. Another question solved!
At 7.30am I was standing on the floodbank looking at the River Trent. We were due to lock out at 7.50am and the tide was going OUT. I was expecting us to be released onto the river 2.5hours before full tide. The lock keeper explained to me that the tide was about to turn and the river level would go up 4ft in the first 15 minutes. He assured me the 2.5hr trip to Torksey Lock would mean we arrived at the top of the tide. He’s the expert so I took him at his word.
We were in the lock at 7.45 and the lock keeper opened the gates at precisely 8am. He’d already informed us three fibreglass cruisers would be following us to Torksey.
Despite the tide having just turned the current wasn’t as fierce as our exit from Keadby Lock. I’d broken the trip into four segments and placed map waypoints on the gps so we could judge our speed. I’d done the same for our trip up from Keadby to West Stockwith. On that occasion I ran the engine at 1500rpm and we arrived too early. Today I ran it at 1000rpm only to discover that when we reached the first waypoint we were running late. I increased the engine up to 1500rpm and managed to make up some of the lost time.
There wasn’t much to see from the river. We passed three thermal power stations but only the first was operating. I suspect it may have been converted to natural gas. <it appears I was only 50% right. There are two power stations, one fired by coal and the other by gas>
The first two cruisers following behind caught up with us at the halfway point and the 3rd cruiser passed by just before the ¾ waypoint. It was on a bend at this point where we met our first boat going downstream.
A few bends further on Jan noticed an unusual house.
It appears to be a former windmill.
It was at this point we noticed the last power station. Actually Jan was photographing the ruins!
It’s Cottam Power Station which; like the earlier West Burton; is actually two station, one coal and the other gas.
We were about to turn the final bend on the approach to the junction when three narrowboats appeared going downstream. It appeared we may have judged our timing correctly.
The junction is well marked (large signs) and we safely made the turn to port (left) both commenting that the tide was still rising. There is a 200 metre tidal channel to the lock with 72 hour pontoon moorings on the left (north) and a lock landing mooring to the south. There was a red light on the lock and we assumed the last of the three cruisers that had passed us was being penned up.
Whilst we were waiting for the lock to be set in our favour a narrowboat appeared behind us. This boater had left Keadby Lock some 2½ hours before us. When we entered the lock I noticed the kettles in the starboard lock gate whilst Jan pointed out all the teapots in the port gate.
Torksey Lock has an interesting shape and has obviously been enlarged at least once.
We are now on the Fossdyke Navigation which links the River Trent at Torksey to the Wash at Boston. It was reputedly built by the Romans (more EU immigrants) which would make it the oldest canal in England. More information here. We stopped for lunch on the Torksey visitor moorings and then moved down to Saxilby where we were fortunate enough to get the last vacant visitor mooring.