Chesterfield Canal

We spent last weekend in Sheffield. In the past we have taken the opportunity to visit Victoria Quays , but this time our friends Anne & Edward Winter arranged a little treat for us. It started with a walk along a newly restored part of the Chesterfield Canal and lunch at Nona's Coffee Shop at Hollingwood Hub. I had visited the Tapton Lock area of the canal, close to Chesterfield, a few years ago but without my camera. This time I took some shots.

The weather was "bracing", exactly what you expect of December in Derbyshire. The new locks, built in Halifax looked fine and Hollingwood Hub is great facility with its coffee shop, offices and meeting rooms.

Lock and Hollingwood Hub

After a short walk towards Chesterfield we retraced our steps back to the coffee shop to have lunch of meat and potato pie with mushy peas and that "must have" condiment - mint sauce. Maggie was at college at Bingley in Yorkshire and this was a typical student treat at the time, particularly at the Ferrands Arms.

Old Lock Gates

We shall soon have to visit the connected navigable section of the Chesterfield with Albert.

In the afternoon we visited Renishaw Hall, home of the Sitwells, which is close by and well worth a visit.

Renishaw Hall and Rainbow

Sunday saw us visit Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield. It was full of visitors to their Victorian Christmas Fair. For me the star of the show was the most powerful working steam engine in Europe (12,000 BHP), the River Don Engine. It used to run the armour plate rolling mill at Cammell's Grimesthorpe Works where it worked for over 50 years. It was built by Davy Brothers of Sheffield in 1905.

Its size is impressive and its ability to reverse so quickly (because it powered a rolling mill) was breathtaking. The huge crowds watching enjoyed it. On the basis that many boaters are interested in industrial history I have added a video clip of its performance. I hope you also enjoy it.

Also at Kelham Island is a Crossley 150 HP gas engine. A Crossley gas engine, obviously smaller, was once fitted to the FMC motor Vulcan in 1906 for tests but later replaced. Here is a short clip of it working. It also powered a rolling mill.