That’s it, the fine early autumnal weather has given way to something we’re a little more familiar with. A brisk north-westerly is keeping the temperature down and bringing rain. (Having said that, the sun’s just come out. Probably not for long, though). I nearly put long trousers on this morning!
Mags is feeling a lot better today, I guess it was a passing malaise as she suspected.
Grey skies and breezy as we head towards Burton
Horninglow Basin used to be a lot bigger, but was truncated by the building of the A38 bypass in the ‘60s. The basin and wharf had warehouses and a connection to the rail network.
Burton had it’s own internal railway system, built for and used by the many breweries in the town. At the height of the industry, there were 32 level crossings here. And 31 brewers!
Just beyond the basin is the first narrow lock on the T&M, travelling in this direction.
T&S Elements liveried Princess Anne Ieaving the lock as we arrived
I think this is a replica; I can’t find it listed on the HNBC website. T&S Elements were chemical carriers based at Oldbury in Birmingham, hence the covered deck.
Dallow Lock lies beneath a road bridge, adorned with murals depicting local industry. Not today, though. They’ve been removed.
I hope it’s just for cleaning. Here’s a picture I took earlier…..
….three years earlier, actually.
After the lock we pulled in at Shobnall Wharf for a gas bottle and some solid fuel, going under the narrow arched bridge.
Backing out again, gassed and coaled up.
Out of the town we had one more lock to ascend before mooring up just short of Branston Bridge.
Mags waiting for Branston Lock to empty
Threatening skies over Branston
In case anyone was wondering, yes, the pickle of the same name was made here, by Crosse and Blackwell. The factory was to the east of us, just off the Burton Road on the edge of Branston. The site was originally developed in WWI by the Enfield Small Arms Company as a National Machine Gun Factory, but by the time it was completed the war had ended. Even so, weapons were reconditioned here until closure. Crosse and Blackwell acquired the site in 1921 and moved their pickle business here from London. The Branston Pickle recipe was created here.
Most of the ingredients were sourced in London, and the bulk of production was returned there for distribution, so the Branston location wasn’t ideal. Consequently the factory was moved back to London in 1925, leaving a lot of unemployed people in the area.
Locks 2, miles 6