Wednesday, 25 September 2013

It's Wednesday already!

Wednesday 25th September 2013
We've had a steady few days since Fradley. On Monday we set off with the idea of getting to Burton on Trent. The canal was fairly busy, and we met boats at every lock.
The short river section between Alrewas and Wychnor Bridges was taken easily, there hasn't been a lot of rain and the river is very low and slow. A couple of the boats that we passed this morning warned us to be careful because it was quite shallow in places.
There were no dramas on the passage, and we dropped back onto the canal at Wychnor.
For about 2 miles the canal and the A38 run together, and you get a taste of the rush in the outside world as they zoom past you.
One of the options we had considered was to see if there was a mooring to the north of Branston, where the A38 crosses the canal. If there was, and access could be gained there is a Morrison's supermarket not too far away. In the event we didn't see anything that looked likely to fulfill our needs, so we trundled on to Shobnall Fields. We know that there is good mooring here. It's park land, there is a pedestrian bridge across the cut, and within about 100 yds. you can catch a bus into town.
Once we were tied up I took myself off to just confirm that my memory of the buses was correct. It was, and while in town I found a Wilkinson's and bought some more engine oil. With all the running that we do in summer I seem to be constantly doing oil changes.
On Tuesday we set off to carry out a raid on the Sainsbury's, which is conveniently right on a bus stop, the same bus which goes past the mooring. Once again we overloaded our trolley, (too much wine!), but the wheel stayed on this time. We really must get a new one soon.
In the afternoon I decided to go for a walk and ended up at the National Brewery Centre, a museum of brewing in Burton on Trent. I've been before, but it was probably around 15 years ago. One thing I did learn was that Burton on Trent was never bombed in the 2nd World War. It seems that brewing wasn't important enough.
I didn't take a lot of pictures. Below are the big steam engine which drove some of the machinery. Its is still a runner, and does get into steam some weekends.
 This little locomotive was designed 'in house' for use around the brewery.

Today we resumed our travels eastwards. We dropped through Dallow Lock, the last of the narrow locks on the canal. From now until we reach the end at Shardlow all the locks are wide, they're also deep and the gates are heavy.
Luckily we managed to pair up with an American couple, who were over here on holiday from Missouri, for the 2 wide locks we had planned to do today. All went smoothly, and we reached our planned place of stopping just before 2pm. Tomorrow we plan to get to Sawley cut for the night.
This is our country estate tonight

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