Wednesday, 17 May 2017

We make it to Chesterfield

Tuesday 9th May 2017

We decided when we were on the Chesterfield Canal that it would be nice to actually go to Chesterfield – something that could not happen with the boat; so the next best option was to go there by train – and so we did on Tuesday (after work was done).
This is not the train line, but the tram line, with the pedestrian
walkway virtually right alongside - some places just get it
a bit better than other with their Health and Safety - we are
not all idiots

Two return tickets - £10.60 and just a 15 minute trip

We knew not what to expect with a visit to Chesterfield – we knew that it was much smaller than Sheffield and when we stepped off the train and consulted the map of the area our initial thought was that we would be back on the train before lunch…
Right outside Chesterfield station - a statue of George Stephenson (of the
Rocket fame) - steam engine that is - he lived and was buried in Chesterfield

…until we saw that sign “Towpath and Canal” – now we cannot go back without seeing that – just a short 1.5km walk, but a very picturesque walk it was.
We came to the canal and Bridge 1 and then on a bit further to Lock 1 (Tapton Mill Lock), then a bit further through Tapton Tunnel – the canal society has done a great job with what we had seen – now if only they can connect all of the canal and fix the shallow water problem at the other end.
The source for the Chesterfield canal

Don't always be on their back - McDonald's do some
good work in the community

Bridge no.1 - with flood gate...

...and Lock 1 - complete with visitor centre and tea rooms

It was a bit of a walk up into the town centre, but we eventually made it – Diane was complaining about it being up a mountain (small hill actually).

The first thing that caught our eye was the weird church spire – it was crooked – amazing that it actually stayed up all that time.
She's a witch but does she float like a duck...
the weird spire of the church...

...and looking from directly below the spire

As usual – first stop was the TIC – and a definite first for us.

I will continue to say it – towns and cities that are serious about their tourists will put money into this area.
There were three people behind the desks – all were busy with visitors and phone enquiries – there seemed to be quite a bit of discussion about organised tours and trips starting in Chesterfield, but that is not the new part – when Diane asked about a tourist map, she was told that there was a self-guided audio tour using handsets that describe the attractions after input of the relevant number.
Now you often see these in controlled areas – museums, castles, art galleries etc etc – but we have never seen it for a town environment, so what could we say about that – gotta do that.
A first for us - an audio tour of the town

We strolled at our own pace through the various areas of Chesterfield; found out about the history of the church; the market area (which did have livestock yards); the various buildings – but so much easier to do – so much more information.

Inside the church it is business as usual - the
stained glass windows are there...

...and the usual 1000 year old font (doesn't every church
have one of these and that age)?

Candle- time

Chesterfield was built upon the trade between the east and west of England – the various farming activities around the area and the goods that needed to move from one side of the country to the other came through Chesterfield in sizeable quantities.

Chesterfield was a wealthy town as evidenced by
some of the buildings left behind

We were almost finished with the tour when unfortunately the handsets froze and we couldn’t access them, but as I said we had almost finished anyway – we made our way back and returned the handsets.

But on the way back we made use of the walking to diverge slightly and make use of a second trail - one with black and white houses - although most were built in the 1920's they still provided some excellent of lovely architecture.

There was time for a coffee before we needed to head to the station to get back to the boat – it had been a full day when we had initially expected something a lot shorter in length, but we had a great day out in Chesterfield.

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