Summer Cruise#1 – Days 15 – 17


Alrewas, such a nice place to be, so we stayed another day, didn’t do much, so no blog! We paid a visit to the King William IV – just to try their beers – Ringwood Red Boar, so so but at £4 for a pint and a half, pretty good value.

Next day, time to move on. Out onto the short bit of river then past Wychnor, through a few locks and then lunch stop at the Branston Water Park before mooring up for the day in Burton – opposite the Marston’s brewery.

The might river Trent enters here – nice & docile at the moment

And 50 yds later it exits – over a weir . . . nicely buoyed

Steve steers serenely through a narrow bridge arch and on to Wychnor lock

Here’s a piccie for Stephen & Lucia – a bridge 42!

A brief glimpse of the big Barton’s Turn Marina and no, they couldn’t help me with my bow thruster shear pins . . . . the search goes on

There are some very narrow squeezes on some canals – only an inch to spare

A brief pit stop for lunch and a walk around the water park for Toby

We moored up at the visitor moorings – opposite Marston’s brewery – a bit noisy but quite safe.

Brief visit to Shobnall marina & to thank Jeanette in the office for searching for shear pins for me but no luck here either . . .

A long walk into town, to find “The Alfred” – a reknown Burton Bridge Brewery pub, who, unbeknown to us, had just had a beer festival and there was beer left! Steve had a pint of Hopping Mad and Viv had some Shagweaver!

A really old-fashioned town pub, with even a space for the Dog . . .

No, Viv wasn’t happy with this photo – not sure why!??

After a noisy night we set off towards Willington, first, through Dallow lock

Beery murals of Burton

Ably assisted by Michael – a lovely lad who is just around to help boaters!  He helped us at Branston lock yesterday. and this morning, at Dallow.

Past Horninglow wharf (note the RCR rescue team helping a boater)

Some greylag geese on a nest

Always a bit odd and unnerving when your boat which is in a water channel, goes over another water channel – this time it’s the famous river Dove.

And after a pleasant morning’s cruise, we stop at Willington . . . outside a pub of course.

This is the famous Dragon – quite a posh & splendid establishment, serving beers from the Boot Brewery of Repton.

We were impressed by the Clod Hopper and Tuffler’s Old – both very full of flavour. Quite a compact village – with a good Co-op, Indian, Chinese and a chippy! Plus a tea room. A recommended stop but boaters be warned – adjacent to the railway!

After a stroll along the towpath to Mercia marina – no, again, no help from Midland Chandlers or Aqua boats re shear pins! But quite an eye-opening marina. Very helpful staff. Nice flower beds and excellent, clean facilities!

On arriving back at our boat, we had been joined by the narrowboat The Oak, from Ilkeston. I was chatting away when I noticed that in the back of his boat, he had a BCS control panel for a bow thruster, so I idly mentioned . .  Oh, do you have any shear pins and he said “Yes!”. What’s more he had spares and within minutes had laid his hands on them – he freely gave me one of his four spares! I was over the moon! A shear pin and one that was actually meant for my thruster.

An hour or so later, I had taken all the junk off the boards and had got down to the thruster compartment, taken off the motor and fitted the new pin . . . switch on and Voila! It works – we have thrust in the bow! Viv replied – I’ll happily drive again . . . success. Thanks to The Oak!

Saturday morning and The Oak is off early – they decided to keep going as they need to get back to visit family. We were supping our morning tea & coffee, so got up to wave them goodbye (0700) – thanks John for the very vital, shear pin and for reinforcing my belief in the altruistic behaviour of the boating community! I hope we can pass it on.

Hope we meet up again, later this year.