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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Friday 5 January 2024

Floods at Sawley and Trent Lock

 I have been well and truly told off and by a person (s) 11,574 miles from here. (I know that because I looked how far it was from Langley Mill to Waikanae!) Why hadn't I blogged! A post once a week wouldn't go amiss. Well if all I'm doing is some cleaning, cooking and watching catch up TV, there is not much to say! My regular readers will know I'm talking about the previous owners of Waka Huia, Marilyn and David, our very good Kiwi friends. A worried phone call from them last night asking if we were okay as NZ news showed the extensive flooding in the UK. Big news across the World it seems, although my brother living in Sydney has so far not been worried enough to call. Probably because he believes living on a boat on a canal doesn't pose any problems. Well, he couldn't be more wrong! This photo was taken from BBC Midlands news program showing the double locks at Sawley. Judging by the height of the water with only the lock beams showing, all those moored on the visitor moorings may well have some problems getting on and off their boats.  

Sawley Lock. The river is on the left with moored boats on pontoons. 

I found some drone footage on facebook  A Very Narrow Journey that shows the state of the Erewash canal leading to Trent lock, then Trent lock itself with the pub surrounded by water and the flooding around the river. Check out the link HERE, it's well worth a watch.

 The above photo shows the path of the river veering off to the left, where a weir can usually be seen. In normal conditions boaters continue straight to enter a short cut which brings you to a flood lock, usually open, and into Sawley itself.  Once into Sawley there is a marina to the right and visitor moorings on the left and to get back onto the river, you need to carry on and then descent Sawley locks. The amount of water has all but covered the towpath, and the facilities block has once more been flooded. (They had only recently opened again after the storm on October). We seem to have experienced one storm after another and with the ground so saturated and this just the start of winter, I expect more flooding to come!

For us here in Langley Mill, we also have had rising water levels. To save our feet getting wet, Ian has placed a box very near to the steps leading up to the path. I suppose the level here in the basin rose by about 5 inches. Not a lot really, but enough to flood the car park by the boatyard. Several times, Ian went out with the windlass to raise a paddle at the lock to bring the water levels down. The only trouble with that was within 40 minutes the level had once again risen to the original height. He gave up as a bad job after the third attempt!

Thankfully tonight the level by FS has returned to normal, although it may take a while for the car park flood to recede.

Oh, and this was on the lunchtime news. Barrow on Soar and a very sad sight. I wonder if the owner knows but even more important, hopefully no one was on board. 

If I get any more photos to show I will put another post on, but unless there is anything of importance to share, my next post will be when we leave here in Spring....(sorry Marilyn).


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

A very informative post, Irene. Thank you.

When the waters recede and you and Ian venture out to review the damage, can you please provide your readers with an update and photos. I will keep nagging...

Am I right that much of what has flooded is the flood plain? Even so, that is pretty extensive and a shitload of water that has to go somewhere. Out to the tidal Trent?

I worry about the boats moored along towpaths without their owners on board - the capsized boat at Barrow on Soar shows what can happen. I'm so pleased we used to leave Waka Huia up on the hard!

Love and big hugs to you both from sunny and warm Waikanae,


Anonymous said...

So sad to see the River Trent causing such widespread flooding and that boat being swept away.
All boats left moored during floods need to have there ropes slackened accordingly, but if no-one is on board to do this they may break free, such a shame.
I do hope that the floods will subside soon, not revaling too much destruction afterwards.
I expect you are glad to be back on your mooring before this happened, do take care up there.
Ann Makemson xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Ann, You are so right, we are very glad to be here safe and sound. I do feel for all those stuck on the river, a scary place to be at this time. Hopefully, the waters will recede soon and normality can return.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Marilyn, some of the surrounding lands along the river are flood plains, unfortunately, it's greedy developers that build property on them without a thought of what the consequences may be! As to getting photos of the aftermath, I will if we venture out specifically to the areas worst hit. Rest assured, loads of photos will be taken then. (: Xxx.

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