By eck it was busy round here this morning! Plenty of rowers and then the Ratrace started with 17 waves of runners starting at 15 minute intervals the opposite bank of the river look very busy at times. We were near the 11km and 20km mark, where slightly soggy entrants were dragging their feet to cross the bridge for the last time or was it only halfway through! On our way into the city we walked through the park to look at the mad people, climbing walls with slides which were being kept wet, fun!
Below Castle Lock was the Canal Festival. Various tents were set up with as many local canal restoration societies as would fit, rambling, fishing were also represented along with C&RT in various different guises. Some Morris Dancers had just finished when we arrived, across the way at the Canalhouse a group of folk musicians were busy singing tales to the drinkers. Kids could have a go at canoeing, fishing, have a boat trip or spray paint a wooden board with graffiti!
Two trip boats were being kept very busy, including the chap we’ve seen spending his weekends fishing at Sawley Marina. Two Fellows Morton and Clayton boats were breasted up with a South Midland working boat. Whitby and Grimsby, it’s butty, were moored just in front from the Threefellows Carrying Ltd. They all looked the business. DB Anja was there along with a few narrowboats too. We had a look round and got chatted to by a chap who professed that he was on a rare day off from the FMC warehouse, back loading boats tomorrow. He was either a nutter or a very enthusiastic volunteer dressed in his victorian garb.
The Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard kept us occupied for much longer. The lady at the entrance confused us by asking if we’d been on the something or other tour, we said no and waited for her to say how much entry was. But instead she ignored us and kept asking other people if they’d been on the tour, maybe she was checking they’d all arrived, so we walked into the first room of the exhibit. She then called us back to pay and went on and on about if you pay for the castle here was free, eventually we got to pay our £2.50 to look round.
The museum is housed in five 17th Century houses. Some rooms are laid out as would have been in Victorian times, others are reconstructed shops all depicting life in and around Nottingham over the last 300 years.
The houses themselves are built at the base of castle rock and the rear rooms on the ground floor are dug into the rock. Here there was a display of an Anderson Shelter. Leeds and Nottingham were the first places to have a trial of the blackout in 1939. Lamp posts and kerbs were painted with white rings so they’d be seen in the dark and a two hour trial was carried out. Despite the trial being a success 1500 people were fined £2036 for blackout offences during WW2. There were 11 raids on Nottingham, the worst being the night of 8th/9th May 1941 when people sheltering below the Co-op Bakery were injured and killed as machinery and flour collapsed into the shelter.
Upstairs there was a large display of toys through the ages. Micks train set was there and a huge dolls house kept me busy for some time. In all it was an interesting museum, a little bit disjointed, but at least each room had a theme which it stuck to. We resisted the lure of beer from next door and headed home to Lillian and a late lunch of soup.
0 locks, 0 miles, 2000 at least stupid runners, 14 out of the promised 20 boats, 1 tiddler caught, £2.50 entrance fee, -15 minutes of life, £2 bus back just because we crossed the bridge!