Trent River cruise 28/06/2012

The coach left Wicksons yard at 08.55, and after picking up in Bloxwich, Cannock, and Lichfield, set off up the A38 towards Nottingham.

Arriving at the boat yard at 11.00 we had time for a coffee in the Yacht Club before boarding the Nottingham Princess at 11.30.

Run by the Princess River Cruise Company, the twin decked Nottingham Princess was built-in Newark-on-Trent, commissioned at Nottingham in July 1997, and measures 24.5 Metres long, 5.3 Metres wide, and weighs 60 Tonnes. Powered by two 90 HP diesel engines, the vessel as a cruising speed of 8 knots downstream, 6 knots upstream, and carries up to 170 passengers plus crew.  After a short safety talk from the captain we set off at 12.00 for our 3 hour cruise down the river, accompanied by heavy rain.

Nice and dry in the lower deck, we were served with a very nice roast beef dinner, followed by apple pie and a cup of coffee, as the boat made its way down the river.

After a short time we approached Holme Lock where a number of boats were moored.

The red light halted us while the lock gates were opened.

When the boat was in the lock, the gates closed behind us, the paddles were raised, so allowing water to flow out of the chamber, to enable  the Princess to join the lower stretch of the river.

The massive hydraulically operated lock gates, weigh an impressive 15 Tonnes each.

When the levels equalised the gates opened to allow to proceed on our journey along the river as far as Stoke Bardolph where the Princess turned to return to Nottingham.

Herons, Grebes, Canada Geese, & Moorhens were spotted on the water, but torrential rain made it impossible for photography.

One notable construction along the river is the Ratcliffe Viaduct, also known as the Rectory Junction Viaduct.

Built in1850 by Clayton & Shuttleworth, this grade 2 listed structure consists of a cast iron railway bridge, with a span of 34 metres, and water clearence of 7.3 metres. The approach viaduct was originally made of wood, but was replaced with a brick-built structure of 28 spans in 1910.

Leaving the Viaduct in our wake we carried on upstream to Holme Lock.

The Princess entered the open lock and waited for the gates to close before the ascent to the upper stretch of the Trent.

Leaving the lock on the upper level we returned to our moorings at the Yacht Club. Another river cruise ship was moored on the riverside.

Fortunately the rain stopped for a few minutes as we walked from the boat to board our coach for the return journey.

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