We were a bit later getting off than planned this morning. Got a bit lost on my morning run, finally doing 9½ instead of 6½ miles. Then there was a trip up to the village shop for a paper and essentials. So it was around 11:30 when we said our goodbyes to Bruce and Sheila.
Our route today took us through Burton Upon Trent and nearly to Willington. At one time there were 30 or so independent breweries in the town, together supplying 25% of all the beer drunk in England. Now, through closures and mergers, Marston’s and Coors are the only volume producers, but there are two or three micro-breweries in the mix.
At Shobnall the remaining stub of the Bond End Canal is accessed under the bridge on the right. Now the home of Shobnall Boat Services, this canal linked the River Trent to the T&M, a distance of less than a mile and a half and rising through two locks.
The moorings alongside the open area of Shobnall Fields had boats on them, the first time we’ve seen this. This was the site of this year’s IWA National Rally, maybe the presence of so many boats in the summer has changed boater’s perceptions about the advisability of mooring here.
Just along the canal we came up behind a short queue at Dallow Lock. Stuffed under a railway bridge this is the last narrow lock on the canal heading downhill. There’s another six broad locks now to the Trent/Derwent junction at Derwent Mouth.
I always enjoy seeing full length ex-working boats in narrow locks. That’s what they were made for, after all.
While we were waiting for our turn we had a visit from Andrew Denny, of Granny Buttons fame. He spotted us there and stopped for a quick chat. It’s a while since we last saw him, down on the Soar.
After clearing the lock we passed his boat moored in Horninglow Basin.
The A38 makes an appearance again, this time on the north side of the canal, and accompanies the canal till Eggington where it continues NE as the navigation bends slightly more easterly. It’s along here that the canal crosses the River Dove on an aqueduct.
The crossing gives a good view of the old road bridge, now redundant with the widening of the road and construction of a modern replacement.
With traffic noise diminishing to a murmur and the railway, steadily moving closer from the south, not yet being intrusive, we pulled in near Bridge 24A.
While we were tying up Susan, a follower of the blog, arrived, walking her handsome American Bulldog, Lincoln. Sorry Susan, we were so busy talking and fussing the dogs that I didn’t take a picture. Good to see you again.
Locks 2, miles 6