Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Tight turns and an old basin



Tuesday dawned without a frost again so we headed off west to Burton Upon Trent as we planned yesterday.  As there may be some inclement weather ahead we stopped to top up with water first.  This gave us a chance to clean the roof with the hose pipe and water.  Here’s Karen admiring her newly scrubbed roof with Buddy sitting amongst some mole hills.  We have seen more mole hills in South Derbyshire than in any other area of our travels.



Karen and Buddy walked most of the way as normal.  This ornately carved bench marked the western boundary of the National Forest.  Whenever I see signs for the National Forest I am reminded of my fist job, Forestry Commission labourer.  It was one of the best jobs I ever had as it entailed working outside all the time and was a step to achieving an ambition to become a forest ranger.  Unfortunately I was put off by the fact that the ranger types didn’t get forest (tied) cottages until they were in their 30s or 40s which was too far into the future for me as a 16 year old.


We went over the River Dove.  We had seen this river yesterday where it joins the Trent.

We arrived on the outskirts of Burton at lunchtime and moored up for a bite to eat.  Here is the welcome to Burton sign on the canal together with the first narrow lock we have seen for a couple of weeks and also Buddy with a friend.  All locks west from here on the Trent and Mersey are narrow locks.

We reached Shobnall marina by mid afternoon and went in to get supplies and make sure we were fully prepared for the bad weather.  Mind you, we believe there is a lot of scare mongering and it will be the real North and Scotland that will get it if anyone.  Anyway, better to be safe than sorry as we have a lot of rural areas to cruise through on our next leg down to Birmingham.  The entrance into the marina was very tight as can be seen from these shots.


 

It was brilliant as the servicing area was an old lock that they had put a roof over.   The marina is on the junction the old Bond End and the Trent and Mersey canals.  The Bond End canal used to serve the local breweries but was closed 100 years ago or so and the old lock we were in is all that is left of it.

 
The guys in the marina were really friendly and helpful.  We always give feedback in these situations because their approach means we are more likely to call on them when we next come through.  In fact we are more likely to deliberately make sure we buy something from them because of their attitude.  Shame more people aren’t customer friendly these days.

We moored up for the night right next to Marston's brewery.This was taken on Wednesday morning - the white thing on the bench is my coffee that I always take for the first Buddy walk.




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