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Sunday, 24 February 2013

Trent Lock, Canals and Chimneys

This week we started at the south end of the Erewash Canal where it meets the River Trent. We parked in the Trent Lock car park at 07:50. had a little wander around where the canal meets the river Trent. This is junction of 3 counties, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and leicestershire.
Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station
The first lock was Lock No 60 from the national numbering system. Just across the river from Trent Lock is Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station which has eight cooling towers and a 199 m (653 ft) tall chimney. It has four coal-fired boilers made by Babcock and Wilcox, each of which drive a 500 megawatt (MW) Parsons generator set. This gives the station a total generating capacity of 2,000 MW, which is enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 2 million homes. 
Tent Lock

Double deck house boat

Typical mix of barges and boats

Swan about to have a nibble at Rob

The sinister looking figure in the shadows is Ike 

This section was the start of lots of  evidence of the industrial past

Swans on patrol

This is Harringtons Mill building one of many along the Erewash canal
Only this chimney left from this mill complex and its home to several phone transmitters

Nice to have swans at the bottom of your garden
 There was a fire in the grounds of the old Stanton Iron Works in September 2012 which raged for several days and unfortunately this resulted in the contaminated water draining down into the Erewash canal. This was a disaster for the fish in that stretch of water and the local Environment Agency relocated thousands of them higher up the canal. They are due to be moved back very soon to the relief of the fishermen and wildlife.
These are new fishing platforms  just been installed.
Is this the local branch of Boots.

Ike, Rob and Geoff.

Geoff getting chatted up

Another sinister figure

This ones for Geoff

A lot of these barges are permanently occupied

Just couldn't resist making this shot into black and white.
 On the way to Trent Lock Ike had mentioned the turbine house in Milford so on the way back we decided to have a look. We parked in the Millhouse car park and just as we approached the turbine house the local engineer appeared and he let us in to have a look.
Milford Mill was where Derwent Hydro first began exporting electricity through the national grid, back in 1990. The main aspects of the scheme are very old, with the current generator, gearbox and turbine dating from the 1930s. The turbine is a Gilkes vertical shaft pit. Water reaches the turbine via a long leat that passes several hundred meters from the top weir and under some industrial premises (Milford Mill) and the A6, major road. It flows under the "Mill House" pub (site of old mill) and comes out beyond in two mill races further down, by the River Derwent.
Interesting structure in the Turbine House

Inside the turbine house at Milford
Another really interesting walk along part of the Erewash canal showing a lot of its industrial history. Just 6 miles, cold but very enjoyable.
See you next week

Monday, 18 February 2013

Nutbrook to Erewash Canal walk

We returned to The Strawbridge car park near Ilkeston and set off to walk the route of the Nutbrook canal to the Erewash canal. We thought an old railway trackbed and canal towpath would be dry and flat and there would be no muddy fields to encounter. The old trackbed we walked along was from one of the many old mines in the area and they generally ended up at the Erewash canal.

Checking the information board.

Looks like Geoff is doing a jig!!

We spotted a few Alpaca's just grazing like long necked sheep

The 3 Shadows!!!
Ike may be getting on a bit but he still likes playing in puddles.

There used to be a bridge over the railway here.

On our walk we went past the remnants o the old Stanton Iron Works, it was quite a sad sight to think that a few years ago there was 7000 people worked on this site.
STANTON Ironworks were originally started in 1846 when Chesterfield man Benjamin Smith, and his son Josiah, brought three blast-furnaces into production alongside the banks of the Nutbrook Canal.
These original furnaces produced around 20 tons of pig iron – a basic type of iron – per day but the company experienced financial difficulties and there were several take-overs during the middle of the 19th century.
During this period the business was taken over by the Crompton family, who then owned the firm for more than 80 years and renamed it The Stanton Iron Company.
The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 created a huge demand for iron and the works expanded rapidly, with the construction of new furnaces and foundries, known as the New Works, along the Erewash Canal.
By the early 20th century the business was named The Stanton Ironworks Company Ltd, and during the First World War Stanton produced large numbers of shell casings, while during the Second World War both shell and bomb casings, gun barrels, and concrete air-raid shelter components were made.
With its experience in high quality concrete products, Stanton was also involved in the production of experimental concrete torpedo casings and made 873,500 bomb casings.

Breakfast stop 
This bit of artwork is just alongside the Erewash canal 

Geoff photographing  the nameplate.

This artwork was done in 2001 as part of the Nutbrook Trail by Hilary Cartmel & Michael Johnson
Lock No15 on the Erewash Canal

Erewash Canal runs from Langley Mill to the river Trent 

Just liked the contrast between the sky and the branches on this willow tree.

Don't know what highway this sign has been nicked from

The Alpaca's had moved a few fields on the return trip

The pond at Strawbridge car park

Geoff snapped Horsley Church while we were driving past
Back at Geoff's
 This was another really pleasant walk somewhere we hadn't been before. A lot of history around these canals and old railway tracks and if you know where to look there is still a lot of evidence of the old industries about.
See you next week