Friday, 12 July 2013

Branston to Stenson

Tuesday 9th July 2013, posted 12th July.

We aimed for an early start to avoid the heat, but got delayed chatting to another boater!  However, we were away well before 9 and set off towards Burton-on-Trent.  We have only been this way once before, and then we turned at Shobnall, so from there on it was all new territory to us.  We moored at Horninglow as we needed some shopping – Dave has bought a new digital radio which needs a connector before he can put it in, so having found a couple of suitable shops on Google (still haven’t got a connection fast enough to post the blog though) we set off, little realising it would take us 25 minutes to get to the town centre!  However, we successfully bought the connector, and also an A4 hardback notebook for the next volume of the Captain’s Log which we began in 2005 in our sharing days (different from the blog, and actually written by the First Mate, but never mind…), and finally a mixing bowl so we can make cakes and bread on board.  So a tedious hot walk but with good results.

We passed the brewery museum but decided against visiting;  the brewery itself, which used to be Bass, is now owned by Coors but the ghost of Bass is still around …..

ghost of bass brewery

Strangely there was no smell of brewing, though other reminders of beer were in evidence, such as this ‘beer bottle’ in the town centre for visitors to have their photo taken in - dave in burton beer bottle

We moved across to the service area at Horninglow Basin to empty a cassette and take on water.  There are some moorings here, ‘Tom’s Moorings’, just below the A38 as it thunders by – the canal is uncomfortably close to this road all along this stretch. But there is a long mural painted on the walls of the flyover behind the moored boats – this is just a small part.

mural at horniglow toms moorings

We decided to get out of Burton before we stopped for lunch, passing Waiouru, whose blog we have been following as they have been cruising the Soar where we plan to be in a day or two.

We found some good shade for our lunch stop, with just the A38 behind the trees on one side and a tractor cutting hay on the other, so not entirely peaceful! but cool.  We set off again in the blistering heat and saw these lads having a great time in the river Dove; we trust the pool they were jumping into was a deep one!

jumping into the dove

We had hoped to get as far as Swarkestone today, but had a long wait at Stenson lock; it is double width and 12’ 4” deep, very slow to fill and empty, and we had to wait for a pair to go down and another to come up; so once through, we stopped at the first decent mooring for a couple of hours relaxing in the shade before getting on with a few jobs.

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