People over here and at home often ask why we chose Long Eaton as our base. Well I think I can safely say Long Eaton chose us. Business brought us here but the diversity, centrality and hidden history of the area have kept us here. The history may not be momentous but it involves ordinary people and the development of life as we know it today.
Take the canal that runs behind our flat. Today it is a recreational waterway and walk connecting with the River Trent and the canal network that criss-crosses the UK. This canal has been my subject earlier so I won’t repeat the history. But once you get to the River Trent, the story just goes on – to Liverpool, Hull just about anywhere.
Here is a series of photographs of our recent walk and a bit of the story around the canals and the people who lived and worked on the canal. On this day we set out along the canal and stopped at the Steamboat for refreshment.
For us our walk of discovery started at the Steamboat now a pub but once serving the canal people.
Beside the Steamboat is the Teahouse. Built in 1783 it still operates today providing tasty food and beverages. Its history includes a lockup. Underneath the shop was a cell used to hold people arrested on the canal. The cell is no longer there but the lock and key from the cell can be seen on the wall in the shop. This shop is crammed with memorabilia from the great days of canal industry.
Across the Trent is the boat club and rowing club and in the background the steaming pots of the power station may be seen. We follow the river toward Nottingham. It is possible to walk all the way but not today. After 40minutes we get to Cranfleet Lock; one of the many locks along the Trent and the River Soar. As we sit in the sun a narrow boat arrives to pass through the lock. It is a young family holidaying on the canal and we look and help as they enter the lock, release the water and sink down for the next leg of their journey.
Job done we turn around and walk home – a trip of 90 minutes.