Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Highlight of the trip!

No it wasn't yet another day of sunshine. Nor more great miles on this surprisingly delightful waterway. Nor even an overnight mooring with electric.
No....it was a waterside Lidl. Starwoman whooped with delight and insisted that we moor up immediately, even though we were hanging off a couple of trees in what was supposed to be a winding spot for big commercial barges.
We were at Mexborough – one of the few spots where this hidden waterway touches base with civilisation - and while I kept a wary watch for big commercials (there weren't any) Vicky rushed off, armed with bags.
Half an hour later she was back and our cupboards and fridge were crammed full.
Just beyond Lidl was the highlight of my day when we came to Waddington Lock at Swinton and the home of once legendary commercial carriers. Waddingtons built and operated barges from the site for more than 200 years but it was Vic Waddington who turned the small family firm into a fleet of over 80 boats at its peak, carrying to and from Hull and even Europe. He also lobbied hard to use the waterways for commercial carrying and was the driving force behind the canal locks being enlarged in the 1980s to the 700 tonne Euro barge norm.  Sadly since his death in 1999 commercial carrying has slid into decline, as witnessed by the almost silent and sad looking Waddington base at Swinton.
Beyond Swinton the route returned from its canalised section into another of river where Thrybergh Steel Bar Mill and other indstries poked out above the tree-lined banks, proving that, there is some industry alive and (hopefully) well in this area.
Tonight we are moored up back on the canal at a well provided visitor mooring on the edge of Rotherham. Rain's apparently forecast for tomorrow so it may be time for another bus trip.

3 comments:

Christine at www.richlow.co.uk said...

You will not find many buses near those moorings. It's probably quicker to walk along the towpath to the Parkgate retail sheds and catch a bus from there into the town bus station.

No water on the moorings - the tap is on the lock side.

Starman said...

Thanks for the tips. Like the blog; will look out for the guides as we're going across the Pennines via Aire&Calder & Rochdale after this. (Weather permitting.)

Anonymous said...

I hope you stocked up on Parma ham? Same stuff, waaay cheaper than Waitrose. How does that work? Emma