Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Into Lincolnshire

 Yesterday we caught a bus from Newark out towards Southwell to visit a National Trust property, the Workhouse.
Imagine making your way up the long path to enter the workhouse, not knowing if you would ever be able to leave.
This was the able bodied women's exercise yard, the men, women and children were all kept in differents parts of the building and never saw each other. Children were occasionally allowed to see their parents on a Sunday.
This room  is just as it was when still in use as a workhouse dormitory. About 10 men slept in here.
One of the women's dormitories, these beds were old hospital beds and probably more modern than the workhouse beds would have been.
The workhouse building was last used in the 1970's to provide accomodation for poor families. This room would have had a whole family living in it, everything was in the same room, so no privacy for anyone.
In the afternoon we moved off from Newark and made our way down to Cromwell Lock on the River Trent. This is the start of the tidal part of the river. So we cannot leave til 11am tomorrow at high tide. Also waiting for the lock was this boat, Lazy Days, which was one of the Little Ships which went to Dunkirk to evacuate soldiers off the beach.
Cromwell Lock is huge, there were only 2 other boats with us this morning, but the Lockeeper said he has had 35 boats in before. As we left the lock the view of the weir was quite special.
The river is wide and although this is tidal, it really does not move very much or fast just here. We carefully followed a chart showing where there are shingle beds in the river and sunken islands to avoid. Not much commercial traffic to be seen, just this one loading gravel.
Quite big, they take priority!
Torksey Lock, just off the river at the start of the Fossdyke Navigation, another unusual lock, not so wide but with 6 pairs of gates to allow the long barges through. so we are leaving the river for a while, on our way to Lincoln and Boston. We moored tonight at Saxilby.


  1. Ooo that all sounds a bit scary!

  2. There is a campsite at Torksey Lock, just over the Trent from the Fossdyke. Two years ago, my eldest son (then 17) and a friend decided they were going to cycle from Derby to Skegness via waterways. They made it as far as Torksey before bike breakages forced them to ring for collection. Last summer, they tried again and made it all the way. They cycled alongside the Fossdyke and Witham to Boston.