Monday, October 18, 2010

A sniff of hops….

After the weekend moored at Willington watching the boats go by, we needed to move a bit ourselves today. It’s been fine weather, but the cold nights have brought a lot of leaves off the trees.

We got off today at around 11, heading west to Burton after winding at Mercia Marina’s entrance.

After a couple of miles the river Dove is crossed on a wide, deep aqueduct.

River Dove Aqueduct
The old road was carried over the river on a stone bridge, now bypassed by the busy dual carriageway of the Derby Road.

Old Dove Bridge.
Goose Convoy at Stretton.
Just one lock today, although we did it twice. Dallow Lock is the first of the narrow locks on the way uphill to Stoke.

Into Dallow Lock

It’s good to be back in narrow locks. 3 minutes to fill, 2 minutes to empty. Magic! And easy gates!

Under the railway bridge over the lock there’re murals depicting the local industries.
Coming closer to Burton we could smell the distinct aroma of hops in the air. Either Coors, Marstons or the independent Burton Bridge Brewery were making mash…

These three, and a couple of “microbreweries”, are all that remain of the over 30 breweries that used to thrive in Burton, together accounting for a quarter of all beer sales in Britain towards the end of the 19C.

We reversed into the entrance to Shobnall Basin to fill up with diesel and replace a gas bottle at Jannel.
It’s a bit tight, but I made it without touching the sides.
The basin, now the home of Jannel Cruisers, was the terminus of the Bond End Canal, running down to the Trent and built for the brewery trade.
There's an interesting historical section on Jannel's website.

We managed to squeeze 100 litres in, so we qualified for the 5p per litre discount for “bulk buying”.

We pulled back out from under the towpath bridge and retraced our steps, stopping near Bridge 24a where it’s a bit quieter than at Willington.
We’ll probably stay put tomorrow, then move back down to Willington, before going into Mercia Marina on Thursday. We’re heading for Yorkshire at the weekend for Mag’s annual MOT….

We've been woken occasionally by animal noises outside the boat, but this chap must have had a surprise when he opened the curtains....

Locks 2, miles 10¼

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