Yesterday, I went to see what progress had been made in building my narrow boat.
Firstly, my brother and I went by bus to Sheffield Interchange and then walked across to Sheffield Station where I bought my rail ticket to Derby. What I think may be of interest to visually impaired people is that if you use a disabled person's railcard to get a third off the price of a day return to Derby it will cost £7.85. However if you show your mobility bus pass at the booking office at Sheffield Station you can purchase a Derbyshire Wayfarer ticket for half price (£6.50). It can be used on the following rail services:
- Buxton - Chapel-en-le-Frith - New Mills (Newtown)
- Sheffield - Hathersage - Hope - Edale - Chinley - New Mills (Central)
- Sheffield - Chesterfield - Alfreton - Langley Mill - Ilkeston
- Sheffield - Chesterfield - Derby
- Derby - Belper - Ambergate - Cromford - Matlock
- Derby - Long Eaton
- Derby - Tutbury and Hatton - Uttoxeter
- Derby - Willington - Burton-on-Trent
- Shirebrook - Whitwell
It can also be used on lots of bus services within and in and out of Derbyshire county but I am not listing these as you can already use your mobility pass on any bus.
We boarded the 10.24 train to Southampton getting off at Derby 30 minutes later. We walked to the front of the station and after about 15 minutes boarded a Skylink bus which runs from Derby to Leicester via East Midlands Airport.
These buses are great. Each stop comes up on the destination board as you are arriving but more importantly you are notified audibly as you approach each stop with the name of the stop.
We alighted in Shardlow and after a short walk, arrived at The Wharf and J D Narrowboats.
We spent about an hour there and I was delighted with progress which, amongst lots of other things, included seeing that the engine had been installed. (a symbolic milestone).
Photographs of my boat can be viewed on my Facebook page.
Apparently the weather in Sheffield was shocking but when we came out of the boatyard we were in bright sunshine so we went for a walk. We walked by the Trent and Mersey canal (which in parts is the canal and in parts is the River Trent) to Trent Lock which is at the junction of the Trent and Mersey Canal, the River Soar and the Erewash Canal.
Trent Lock is a lovely picturesque spot with two pubs and a cafe. Having had a nice lunch at the Lockeeper Inn we continued our walk to Long Eaton from where we got a bus back to Derby.
For anyone thinking of doing this walk. From Trent Lock stay on the towpath, don't be tempted to leave the canal at any of the bridges because you will soon see that the towpath goes right behind the bus stop.
The number 12 goes direct to Derby bus station from where you can get any bus going to Alvaston or the Skyliner both of which drop at the Railway Station.
We were a bit unfortunate in that we arrived at the bus stop at 15:20 for the bus which runs every half hour apart from the 15:27 which only runs on school holidays so we had to wait until 15:57.
My advice would be to do this walk in summer and at the weekend when you are much more like to see boat movements on the canal and river.
All in all a nice day out, which if we had taken sandwiches and a flask would only have cost the £6.50 we spent on the Wayfarer ticket.