To Denford (April 30)

We set for Froghall with cloudy skies but very soon it started raining hard and that pattern continued all day. In fact, from the point of view of the weather, it was a miserable day. We occasionally saw the sun but each time it was followed by a downpour. Our plan was to go to Froghall, and then return to Cheddleton, and meet up with Maggie’s brother and sister-in-law, Stephen and Gail Cannon, who live in Matlock. However, it was clear that a journey to Froghall would be just too long, and in the rain, probably a bit too wet.

The descent of Hazelhurst Locks was delightful and we noted the Hollybush Inn at Denford as a possible venue to meet up with the Cannons.

Cheddleton Engine Shed

We appreciated how delightful the Churnet Valley could be, but in the rain, our appreciation was a little dulled. We lunched at Consall Forge and decided to turn there and then returned to Denford and the Hollybush Inn to meet up with the Cannons.

Squeezing under a low bridge on the Caldon Canal

We turned by weir close to the limestone kilns. It was not that easy although Pearson indicates that it is suitable for turning seventy-foot boats. In the process, we managed to break a shackle on the bow fender.

Consall Forge in the rain

The Black Lion, Consall Forge receiving deliveries in the rain
(There is no direct road access everything has to cross the railway line - see their web site)

On our return journey, we noted that two BW men were logging boat details to check for licence evasion. They were getting quite wet. We moored up outside the Hollybush just in time for the first bright spell of the day. A passer-by proffered the comment that we would not normally be able to moor outside if the weather was good.

The Hollybush Inn, Denford

The Hollybush turned out to be a fine pub and we had a good evening meal. Thursday is music night and they had a “group”. It was actually a duo and some backing tapes but they were very proficient. Earlier in the evening, it was amusing when two groups turned up to play – confusion over dates! The pub was full by the time we left at around ten (yes, we are lightweights). It is good to see a pub apparently flourishing in these difficult times for the licence trade. We will have to return to the Caldon in good weather and, next time, go all the way to Froghall.