KEELS AND CUCKOOS
FRIENDS OF DAWN ROSE Those of you who were at the recent branch AGM or who are also members of the Chesterfield Canal Trust will be well aware of just what Dawn Rose is. For many however, a brief explanation would be appropriate. Dawn Rose is in almost every way a perfect example of the canal’s former working boats. Dawn Rose was made possible because in the nineteen sixties a couple of local people, including Richard Allsopp of Worksop took photographs and measurements of the one last remaining Cuckoo, partially sunk and still containing its cargo of coal at a wharf in Worksop. Sadly this relic was lost in the nineteen seventies when the channel through Worksop was dredged and the hulk disintegrated. From those records, sufficient information existed and given the leadership of Worksop-born David Bownes, who spent his youth amongst the retired boatmen in Worksop and who, as a retired wood and metal worker had the skills to lead the team Dawn Rose was built from scratch with the use of only hand-tools. Although an integral part of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, Dawn Rose stands, from a financial point of view, on its own feet (keel?) Friends of Dawn Rose is an independent group of supporters which fundraise to cover the boat’s operating cost and also act as crew whenever the boat is moved. Friends receive a regular newsletter featuring articles about this unique craft.
You can join the Friends by contacting:Michael Edwards, F.O.D.R. Chesterfield Canal Trust, Hollingwood Hub, Hollingwood, Chesterfield, S43 2PF. Dawn Rose is shown on our front cover. The photograph is taken from the parapet of the eastern end of Norwood Tunnel. This is a sight not possible since 1908 when Norwood Tunnel became impassable. Up to that time, cuckoos would have been regular visitors to the summit, and on through the tunnel with coal for Kilamarsh and points west. From 1908 there was no through route, so although some coal and other goods may have been brought to Kiveton Park, those boats would have turned at “The Cascade” in order to return through Shireoaks and on to Worksop. Traffic from Shireoakes down to Worksop and beyond continued into the war years. The final traffic being the odd boat running between West Stockwith, the brickyards in Walkeringham and any other wharf where there was sufficient depth to allow loading or offloading. Dawn Rose has been fitted with a mast rigging and sail Should volunteers with appropriate skills and experience come forward, it is possible that Dawn Rose could emulate her predecessors. A cuckoo could once again be seen under sail on River Trent, quietly drifting down stream to Owston Ferry, or up stream to Gainsborough and possibly beyond.
Published on Sep 20, 2017