Barker's LockStenson's Lock
"Lock to Lock"
Ilkeston - Barker's to Stenson's
w/e 13 September 2009
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Following the longest section of our walk between the "Locks on the Erewash Canal" as the canal passes to the east of Ilkeston, we have now reached the shortest section which is from Barker's Lock to Stenson's Lock.

Boats For Sale

Immediately on leaving Barker's Lock there are two narrow boats moored alongside a landing stage on the opposite bank of the canal. Those white boards on each of the boats indicate on closer inspection that they are both for sale so if you have in the region of £65,000 you too could be the proud owner of a narrow boat.

To record this photo as your favourite from this week's selection vote for "Boats For Sale" below.
Three Signs

Three more signs on the opposite bank make interesting reading showing that Dilnot Ltd are suppliers of new narrow boats and there is also a signwriting and painting business on the same site which is no doubt very useful for adding the customary decoration to the boats. The third sign bids welcome to The Moorings showing it is part of B.C.F. - the Boater Christian Fellowship.
Animal Parade

At the far end of the landing stage is a parade of artificial animals. At least we hope they are artificial as we are not used to seeing crocodiles (alligators?) roaming free in this part of the world! Having said that whilst I was taking these photos something in the water was trying desperately to pull a young coot under amid loud squawks and cries of warning from all the birds in the vicinity. We are not sure whether it was a water rat or a large fish but trust it was not a living relative of that plastic croc.
Nelson Street Site

Beyond the landing stage, one of the post war developments in Ilkeston saw the building of many properties on the Nelson Street site and quite a few of them now back onto the canal.
Turning East

Moving on the canal continues its northward journey before swinging gently to the east increasing the gap between the houses and the water. The eastern bank of the canal is bounded like much of the rest of the route we have been following, by trees, hedges and fences shielding the towpath walker from the industrial activities beyond.
Rowan Berries

Coal HopperTurning NorthThose industrial activities for the majority of this stretch are mainly comprised of a coal distribution centre. Peering through the green vegetation broken occasionally by a splash of red rowan berries (above), the hoppers (left) where coal is transferred to lorries can be seen standing high above the fence line. Looking back to the canal (right) the eastward detour is soon halted as it turns back to the north.
Stenson's Lock

And as soon as have we round the bend, we come upon Stenson's Lock. So within the relatively short distance from Awsworth Road, the canal has gone up two significant levels and this should mark the end of this series as Stenson's is the last of the six locks. The canal however obviously continues towards the Langley Mill Basin and still has a fair distance to travel before leaving the Ilkeston boundary. I hope to add a bonus seventh part to the series soon and continue along the towpath past Cotmanhay.
Booth's Playing Field

Before concluding this part though there is still time to look over the playing field adjacent to Stenson's Lock. I've always known this as Booth's Playing Field and vaguely remember playing football on here in games lessons whilst at school. I also remember that we had to walk to and from the ground from the centre of town but I cannot recollect the route we followed. The memory must still be in my head somewhere but the trouble is getting it out! Bennerley ViaductI seem to remember an old railway carriage or something similar that was used as a changing room but again the memory may be playing tricks. If anyone can confirm any of this I'd love to hear from you.

In the bonus part seven then, we'll continue from Stenson's Lock and pass the Bennerley Viaduct, seen here (right) from the Booth's Playing Field as we head further north.

 Lock to Lock Index
Bonus Part 7

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