I spent nine days in April this year visiting the Chesterfield canal. It is an early contour canal designed by Brindley and completed in 1777. The canal declined over the years and most of the mining and heavy industry has long disappeared. This means that most of the canal is surprisingly rural.
There are not many boats, a few friendly boat clubs (eg the Retford and Worksop Boat Club) and some good pubs (eg the Brewers Arms in Clayworth). Those venturing beyond Shireoaks can enjoy what I think is one of the finest flights of locks in the country.
The visitor guide produced by the Chesterfield Canal Trust states that since 1989 twelve miles of canal have been restored along with 36 locks, 11 major bridges and 2 marinas. This should give heart to all of us working to restore to full navigation Horseways Channel, Welches Dam Lock and the Old Bedford River.
As published in June 2015 in “Hereward”, the Magazine of the Peterborough Branch of the Inland Waterways Association.