Today was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I didn't want to miss. The lock gates at Sprotbrough Lock are being replaced and today was an open day organised by the Canal and River Trust...with the opportunity to actually climb down to the bottom of the lock.
I met my brother at ten o'clock. This is the first time he's featured on one of my walks for the blog; he's not very well - I think he's got some sort of undiagnosed pathological sociophobia. He still lives at home with our parents, and has very little life at all.
The lock is about 25 ft deep and some temporary scaffolding and steps had been erected so that people could get right down to the bottom. The steps were a bit rickety and I noticed that a few elderly and infirm people decided not to go down them. I was impressed at the size of the lock; I didn't realise it was so deep. The thing that really surprised me though was that thousands of barnacles were stuck to the sides of the lock.
After spending about fifteen minutes down in the lock we explored this part of Sprotbrough for a while.
It was still quite early, but we sat on a bench and ate our sandwiches; it's such a lovely spot here down by the river and canal.
We walked upstream towards Conisbrough, visiting the bird hides at Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve and passing close to Conisbrough Viaduct.
Once we'd climbed up from the riverbank we continued walking along old railway tracks to 'Dearne Bridge' where I turned left and walked towards Pastures Lane at Mexborough where I caught the bus back to Doncaster, and my brother turned right and walked up the hill to High Melton to catch his bus back home to Thurnscoe.
I had about twenty minutes to wait for the bus and traffic was moving at no more than walking pace past me because of roadworks. Two very sexy young women must have been bored so they waved at me and wolf-whistled. I didn't know what to do, except wave back...unfortunately I can't whistle.