Monday 15th June 2015
In the morning we walked to Barrow-on-Trent; after coffee and hot chocolate in the pub we stayed on the Ragley Boat Stop mooring while we had lunch, then we set off.
The deep and fierce Stenson Lock was being operated by volunteer lockies so I steered in, tied my centre line onto the rope lowered down to me by one of the volunteers and twiddled my thumbs as they opened the ground paddle on the side opposite me. It took an age to fill, but at least I wasn't being bashed around. Stephen and Elaine on the white boat had made it to here to try to get help from the boatyard; they borrowed a plug spanner and we managed to remove both plugs ... but they looked in good condition. We left them heading back towards Shardlow, still with the borrowed plug spanner and still lacking power.
We tied up at Willington; I went to the Co-Op to get some food for the barbecue half-wondering if I'd see Andrew Denny. I was crossing the zebra crossing on the way back from the shop when crossing towards me was Andrew Denny. He was just about to go to see Bruce and Sheila on Sanity Again
in Mercia Marina with a sample of Scrabble bunting, but he did come to Jubilee
later in the evening. It was good to have a chat.
Tuesday 16th June 2015
Burton-on-Trent was our main destination today; after visiting the town we went on to Alrewas. We hadn't visited Burton before so we tied up between Dallow Lock and the footbridge at Shobnall Fields and walked to the town centre. It's quite a way; what I thought was going to be the centre from looking at Nicholson wasn't. It's another half mile the other side of the railway. Still, we got to see some spectacular old warehouses, including the Midland Railway Grain Warehouse No. 2, now a Travelodge hotel.
On the other side of the tracks was this amazing brick building - a brewery? Warehouse?
And so on to Alrewas for the night. We met up with Rob and Trish on Mistol
who invited us for a meal on their boat - very good, thank you.
Wednesday 17th June 2015
We had a whole day in Alrewas, so we walked to the National Memorial Arboretum which we hadn't visited before. I think this would have been better for us if we had some specific family connection to find; as it was we were suitably impressed by the curved walls with the names of those from the forces who had died since the Second World War.
Walking back through the village I spotted a canal-themed window display with a difference.
Knitted canal ware, anyone?
I'm only a week behind now. We are at Amington for a couple of days.