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Friday, 30 September 2011

Day 6 Dunham to Gainsborough

Loads of breakfast at Wilmot House this morning, so my tum is full up. Susan the landlady made me some sandwiches to take with me, free of charge. This is a great place to stay, I can recommend it.

Today I am walking along the west side of the river all the way to Gainsborough. As I travel further north there are not so many crossing places. The river itself has gone quiet now, there are not many pleasure boats around, mostly I see fishermen dotted all along the banks.

I popped in to St Peters church at Laneham for a quiet moment, to give thanks for my life, and to remember my family members who are no longer here. I love the tranquility of an empty church.

How nice that someone has made a small posy decoration, and put it at the front door, a lovely greeting as you walk in.

I'm feeling good today, the walk has gone well so far, all according to plan. Here I am passing another Power Station, at Cottam this time.

Nearby is a pond which used to be a sand pit. As I sat down to enjoy the sun and the view the swans came swimming towards me, thinking I may throw them some morsels. Sorry guys, but I can't spare anything, my food has to last me the day.

Torksey is a popular place for boats, but I can't cross the river to look round, no bridge. You'll have to make do with this shot of Torksey castle, zoomed in as much as my camera will allow.

A bit further along is this disused railway bridge. Pity they haven't converted it into a cycle track, to give access to Torksey.

I took a closer look, is there a chance to use it to cross the river? A fence has been erected to prevent people from attempting to cross.

I found one of the metal fence posts had been removed so I was able to squeeze through for a closer look.

Oh look, just the steel cross members left, no floor no rails.

This stile is missing altogether, it has a piece of fence tied up with string, not good.

I saw a lot of stiles like this one. It looks as though a drunken carpenter has made it, the way it leans over. It is in fact how they are designed. There are two gates, which don't need fastening after you have passed through. Because of the angles and the way they are leaning, they auromatically swing shut. Quite a neat idea. They are heavy so livestock cannot force their way through them.

This is a sweet little church at Littleborough. It's St Nicholas Church.

Across the fields I can see West Burton Power Station.

It's been an easy day today, no need to walk fast, time to stop and look around. I arrive at Gainsborough with time to spare. I crossed over the river here to walk into town.



There are two toll houses, one on each side of the road. There are no tolls to pay now.

A lot of the warehouses have been renovated and are now flats.

There are also some new builds.

I picked up some food at Tesco because there are no meals provided at Crittlewood Guest House. I wasn't sure what to expect because the place is used mainly by contractors, but as this was a Saturday night they have gone home for the weekend. I must admit I wasn't expecting anything too classy. Roy greeted me at the door, and showed me my room. There was also a kitchen I could use with tea and coffee included, and choice of bath or shower. I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh and clean everything was. It looked like most of it had been redecorated. So another good choice for a night out.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Free checkups

A little break from posting lots of photo's tonight, to tell you about a free NHS health check I had today. I was in town this afternoon and found some very nice ladies in the library offering the checks. They were here a few months ago but were very busy and couldn't fit me in. This time they were twiddling their thumbs looking for customers so I thought I would get myself done.

First I filled the form out and my details were put on the computer. Then I was weighed, 8st 7 lbs, and my height was measured, 5ft 6ins. Then my waist measurement was taken, 63cm, what's that in real money, ha ha. A few calculations gave me a BMI of 19.13. This is a little bit on the low side, I could do with putting on a couple of pounds, but I can live with it.

Then my blood pressure was taken, that's fine, then my pulse checked, yes I do have one, ha ha, that's fine. A sample of blood was taken from a prick on the finger, flippin heck that hurt, and it was put into a machine. This checked my cholesterol level, that is fine as well.

Next there were questions about my lifestyle, and also about any heart disease in the family. All the answers were entered into the computer, and the result is that I have a very low risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next ten years. All this goes onto my records, and I will be called for another check in five years time.

It was all so easy to do, and the ladies who who carried out the tests were very helpfull and explained everything fully. I don't know if everyone is able to have the tests in other parts of the country, but if you see it advertised in the press then it's a good idea to go along and have it done. It costs nothing, and you never know, it might pick up on something that needs a bit of attention. I quite like the idea of preventative medicine, having checks before you actually fall ill. It's up to us all to do our very best to look after ourselves, so keep your eyes and ears open and if you see they are offering free health checks, go for it.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Day 5 Kelham to Dunham on Trent

There was just three of us for breakfast this morning. One chappie was was on a course, sent by his company, and the other older gent of 85 was on an oil paining weekend. Ever since his wife died four years ago he has been keeping himself busy. The food was perfect, cereal, a meatless cooked brekkie, home made bread and home made jam, and all the trimmings.

I'm heading for Newark, first, along the A617 crossing water here.

I was able to join a footpath running parallel to the road, then back on the road as I reached the town. Newark has some memories for me, I used to park up here a lot in my lorry. There was a portacabin which housed the washing facilities, alas there was no seperate Ladies loo's so I joined in with the rest of the drivers and washed in the sink alongside them. I think they were more embarrassed than me, ha ha.

Then you go over another bridge when you reach the town. This boat has been converted to a restaurant.

Look over to the right and you see the castle, a popular tourist attraction.

The main bridge.

And more pictures of the castle and the lock.








Some of the old warehousing has been converted to shops and eating houses, with flats above.



There is not much left of the castle, one wall and a couple of towers.









Leaving Newark I passed a Marina.



I needed to cross the river here. Beyond the bridge is the A46 crossing it a bit further along.

I came to another weir at Cromwell lock.

It was an ideal place to sit for a while and watch the fishermen.

I left the river for a while and went in a straight line down a wide track, this cut out some of the bends. These crumbling steps on the side of a barn at Besthorpe, went nowhere. They are using the old Royal Mail post box for their own private letter box.

Oooh another Power Station, this one is High Marnham.

There is a little church between North and South Clifton, it has this very unusual Lychgate



Back on the riverside again, this old disused railway bridge is now part of the Sustrans National Cycle Newtork.

It's too long for one photograph.

Almost at Dunham now. A pipeline goes over the river here, and beyond it is the main A57 road bridge.

You have to pay 30p to cross this toll bridge in a car.


Then it was a short walk into the village for my B & B. I was greeted by the landlady at Wilmot House. I must say I have struck lucky again with another first class establishment. After I got myself settled in my room I strolled down to the White Horse for a meal. At £6, it was a very reasonably priced Tuna Pasta Bake. It went down a treat with a pint of cider.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Day 4 Radcliffe on Trent to Kelham

What could be better, two boiled eggs for breakfast from Kate's free range chickens. Plus sandwiches and biscuits for my pack up. Just the job, I can recomend these digs :o) It was such a lovely morning that Kate and David walked with me for a while, bringing Deano along. I'm glad they did because it was usefull to have a little local knowledge to make it more interesting. Radcliffe is in a similar disposition to where I live, it's high up with good views over the Trent.

David asked if I wanted to go down through the woods to the bottom to have a look at the weir, yes please says I. That's the way I am heading, downstream towards home.

Opportunity for a photo, even the dog is smiling. He is a happy little fella.

Here is the barrage to stop boats going over the top, they are channelled through the lock over on the other side.

I love the sound of rushing water.

Time to say goodby to my friends, and carry on. This is the Church of St Peter and St Paul at Shelford.

And this is the Old School House, now turned into a private dwelling. Notice the solar panels on the roof.

Out of Shelford I am following the Trent Valley Way, down a lane and across some fields. I crossed over the A6097 and took a left turn towards Gunthorpe. This is where I need to cross the river to be on the right side for my next stopover.

This is an attractive bridge.



Not far over the bridge we have another lock and a weir. It all looks neat and tidy.



The boats come out here at the other side.......

and avoid this weir.

All I've got to do now is follow the river bank for a few miles. I still check the map though because I like to know exactly where I am, and also I can make a few adjustments to the route if I am walking too slow or too fast. On this trip I want to time it to reach my destination between 5 and 6 o clock.

I came across these two memorials in a field. I'm sure there is a story behind these, but I can't find it at the moment. Overhead I saw a lot of light aircraft, just over the trees of Flintham Wood is Syerston Airfield.

Here is a relic of the past, an old winch used to haul the Hazelford Ferry back and forth across the river. According to the map there is a public house here. Nope, it is no more, The Star and Garter Hotel, which used to be called Hazelford Ferry Inn, is now a care home. Bother, I actually fancied a pint as well.

There is a bench to sit on and an information board.

Well well, here we have another weir, this time it's got two sides of rushing water.



There aren't many pleasure boats this far up. It's interesting how the use of the river changes. I have passed lots of boats further upstream, but now it's all quiet, except for the odd one.

Just past Fiskerton the river has a very long loop, I decided not to follow it but to go straight across. Oh bother, I've got to walk across the middle of this ploughed field. Not very pleasant but that's what walking is all about, just getting on with it.

Now this is a posh modern Power Station coming into view, it's at Staythorpe. With all the twisting and turning of the river you get to see landmarks from all angles. Now it's in front of me......

then I am walking close to it on my left.

Pointing my camera through the mesh fence.

This is some kind of modern sculpture on a plinth. Couldn't tell what it's made from, iron maybe.

At the end of the Power Station the arrow says turn left.

Not far now, underneath this rickety old railway bridge....


through Averham, and into Kelham. I reached my bed for the night, a lovely cottage called The Old Post Office. The beautiful aroma of home baked bread greeted me as I went inside. Wendy and David Hearn were lovely hosts. Their B & B is absolutely spotless, my room was furnished cottage style, with great attention to detail. I highly recomend this as a place to stay. I had picked up some food at a village shop so it was a night in for me.