Rain again last night, but we had a dry day’s cruise, it didn’t come on again till after we’d moored up at 14:30.
It might have stayed dry, but it was dull and grey. We set off just after 9 this morning, with a longish run to the first lock, Dallow, in Burton. This is the first of the narrow locks which takes us up to the summit at Harecastle Tunnel.
Burton is rightly known for it’s brewing industry, but it’s also home to Marmite, and the recipe for the original pickle was devised at nearby Branston. During it’s economic peak, half of the town’s population worked in brewing related occupations, and 87 miles of private company railway shuttled full and empty casks and raw materials around.
There was also a major manufacturer of fairground rides, producing carousels, helter-skelters and “walls of death”.
We hadn’t seen another boat until we got Dallow, and were disappointed to see a couple in front of us. They must have pulled off the overnight moorings in Burton.
It didn’t get any better a little further on, we joined the end of a queue waiting for an opportunity to pass a BW dredging operation.
Dredging near Shobnall.
The boat directly in front of us pulled in at Jannel, so we moved up one slot in the convoy. Unfortunately we were behind a boat towing another, at no more than tick-over.
The gentle speed gave us plenty of time to admire the autumn colours as the leaves turn. In fact we were going so slowly that some of the green leaves had turned orange by the time we passed.
Autumn is here…
They took pity on us at the A38 bridge, pulling over to let us past. With only half a mile to Branston Lock, I was relieved that we would not be stuck behind them.
In fact Branston was with us, as was Tattenhill.
Picturesque Tattenhill Lock
Just along from here is Bridge 36, what I reckon is the narrowest bridge on the network, not counting lock bridges.
The towpath swaps sides for a bit here, so I guess this must originally have been a roving bridge.
The locks come every half hour or so as the canal follows the gentle incline of the Trent Valley.
Barnton Lock is followed by Wychnor, which takes the navigation up to the short section where the river crosses from the north to the south below Alrewas.
Alrewas river section
We came back up off the river again at Alrewas Lock, and tied up on the VM at the end of the lock landing. We’ll probably stay here tomorrow, then move on to Fradley on Thursday.
Locks 6, miles 11½