To get to Froghall Basin you need to go through Consall Forge. Consall Forge once had a pub that was only accessible by foot, train or water. You couldn’t drive there. That has changed sometime in the past 20 years. There were cars parked on the opposite side of the canal. You still need to cross the train line and canal to get there. They have chooks roaming loose in the beer garden.
As you came out of Consall Forge to go to the Basin you have to go through two bridges set at a dogs leg with a side current. And a pub full of spectators – very sunny at the moment. I was creeping through thinking “turn for crying out loud” which rapidly changed to yelling “fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckSHIT oops sorreee” as I realised that the box on the top was higher than the corner of the tunnel. “Was” being the operative word here. It got one heck of a bang a moved 6 inches sideways and broke 2 legs off. But that was enough to get me through the tunnel. Then you follow under the train platform. There is a whole train system going on there. Steam and vintage. It’s the Churnett Valley Railway. Howie is going on a train ride tomorrow, he is very excited.
Eventually we got to the final lock before the tunnel which has a plastic profile thing – if you don’t clear the profile you wont clear the tunnel thing. yeah. There was a boat in the winding hole so I couldn’t turn around to go back, and then there we were in front of the tunnel. I went and spoke to the guys standing around being helpful and they said it would be fine, they take their boat through all the time and it doesn’t clear the profile either. So after much measuring huffing and puffing and getting everything off the roof, including the much mangled box, I went back and made them do it. I was a supervising passenger on my own boat. The 6 of them were a great help and I have beers and a plan to get them to do it in reverse for me tomorrow.
Though why anyone would want to do it twice is beyond me. Full on claustrophobia, the boat is going to jam in the tunnel and we will die, buried alive. It was so tight. And so low. And so much hype about boats getting jammed. Awful. The basin was lovely though. Great facilities. Very quite.