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Friday, 20 June 2014

Gone for a Burton (sorry!)

It was a lovely quiet night. I am so glad we moved away from the moorings as the railway line sounded very loud as did the road and the pub. Mind you there wasn't much noise from there after about 2100. I wonder why? I walked to the garbage drop just as England equalised but learned in the morning it wasn't to be.

This morning we started the day with a haircut for me. Helen wants me to look my best for my Mum. I think my looks don't grow that much to make much difference, but she enjoys it, so as  a favour to her.... And it saves me £5!

We set off at a slow pace and regularly passed boats coming the other way. This is Egginton Wharf. The A38 runs just to the right and the railway is a little way to the left. Not my idea of a good permanent mooring.

The canal crosses the River Dove on an aqueduct and this is the old road bridge with the A38 just the other side. There wasn't much water in the river today. I have spent many hours around Dove Dale and the river in the Peak District and is an area I love. Here it is just a little way from its junction with the Trent.

We only had one lock today. We have now done 203 locks since we set off this year and this was the first narrow lock. It was lovely as the beams are so much smaller, the gates are so  much lighter and the whole operation is quicker. As we penned up there was a boat waiting to come down and they told us that there were huge queues between here and Fradley Junction. We were quite glad as we were only going another half mile or so. We were going to moor in Shobnall Marina so that I could go home to see my Mum. The entrance is very narrow and we moored up first to ascertain our place etc. It was a good job we did as there was a little bridge across the covered cut through to the basin. We managed to get in through the gap and on to the mooring without hitting anything. We soon had the electric wired up and had the washing machine on and the water ready to top up. It was such a lovely day the washing was dry in two hours. I then went to see the engineers and asked if they could do a couple of little jobs for me over the week.

The marina is actually built on the line of an old canal that joined the Trent and Mersey to the River Trent. The Trent had been navigable to Burton from the early 1700's and carried a fair bit of trade, mainly carried by the Burton Boat Company. When the Trent and Mersey was built The Burton Company wanted them to build a canal to the Trent but they were turned down. The Trent and Mersey through Burton was completed in 1770 and the Burton Boat Company built a connecting canal from the river to Shobnall of about a mile and half with a lock to bring it up to the same level as the T&M.. The Trent and Mersey would not allow them to connect to their waters so cargoes had to be transferred but trade did continue. Burton Boat Company broke the barrier down at night but were taken to court and it was reinstated. It wasn't until 1790 that a connection was established. Cargoes out were cheese, ale and pottery and in was iron and timber. The canal had become disused in 1872 and a mile of it was filled in. The basin was kept but by 1973 it had almost disappeared. Jannel Cruisers rescued it and made it into the business it is today.

We then went in to town to suss out the lay of the land. The town has a lot of distinctive buildings that seem to have been built in the first part of the 1800's. It is obviously a beer town with lots of maltings and breweries around the place. there is also frequent aromas of the process to wet your appetite.

An example of the type of architecture around Burton on Trent. We managed to get a map for Helen and after a pint at Lord Burton, a Weatherspoons, it had to be Bass, we went for a curry that had no licence. It was great and just the right amount too.

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