Sunday, 10 December 2017

Overwinter Cruise - Week 9

Sunday 3rd December – Shardlow
Today we have decided to stay in Shardlow and take a walk down to Derwent Mouth Lock. 

We found two Canal and River Trust volunteers encouraging visitors to walk up to the lock as it was open to the public.

The lock was amazing once we were down inside it, the gates look even more enormous from the bottom. 

This coping stone was to replace a stone missing from the top of the lock.  They need to refill the lock and bring the stone in on a boat with a crane to lift it into place.

This shows the confluence of the River Derwent, River Trent and the Canal  flowing towards Sawley.  The river appears quite slow and gentle today.

Shardlow was an important inland port in its day and this building was a transfer place from river barges to canal boats, it has been restored and is now a pub and restaurant.

Monday 4th December – Shardlow to Stenson Lock

We made an early start this morning and after putting on water we made our way up the first of the 5 wide locks towards Stenson.

We said good morning to the resident kingfisher who sat beautifully for his photograph, many thanks to Dave for an excellent shot!

Stenson Lock is the last of the wide locks and at 12’ 4” deep it is an awesome lock.  We felt very pleased with ourselves as we had got the hang of opening the ground and gate paddles on the side opposite the boat, with the flow of the water keeping the boat pinned against the lock side.  No more banging around in the lock!

Tuesday 5th December – Stenson Lock to Branston Water Park

Today we set off through Burton and stopped at Shobnall Marina where we were able to buy a few more nets of logs ready for the onset of the cold weather.  We also bought some delicious cakes from the café to have with our coffee!

After passing under a brand new road bridge, we moored up for the night opposite the Water Park and took Toby for a long walk.

Wednesday 6th December – Branston Water Park to Alrewas

From Branston the road follows the A38 and is extremely noisy.  On the opposite side is a gravel works producing mountains of aggregates of varying sizes.

We moored up in Alrewas just above the lock and walked back to look at the River Trent river section we had just cruised along.  The river was again quite gentle.

Thursday 7th December – Alrewas

Last night we were hit by Storm Catherine and fortunately survived unscathed.  We are staying put until the storm passes over, so spent the day exploring the village.  We also had a parcel to collect from the Post Office ordered through Amazon and delivered to Amazon Locker – a very useful service.

Just up from us is moored a blacksmith, he has his workshop in a butty attached to a narrowboat that they live in, he does some beautiful ironwork.

The village really is very attractive, with pretty timbered cottages and a converted cotton mill. The village was once famous for basket weaving, made from the alder trees that used to grow in the Trent valley.  Alrewas is a corruption of the words Alder Wash referring to the trees and the weaving industry.

Friday 8th December – Alrewas to Fradley Junction

Woke this morning to snow falling and a very light covering on the ground.  We decided to move on to Fradley Junction as the leaky lock has been temporarily fixed and is now open again.  We pulled over to the water point and filled up with water and began our cruise.
I walked Toby and worked the first 2 locks, then Dave did the next 2 and we pulled over in the basin opposite Fradley Reservoir.

The lake looks stunning in the late afternoon setting sun, but only a few ducks to be seen.
We went to the Swan for a drink and got talking to some of the locals who kindly showed us a stash of wood behind the pub and invited us to help ourselves.  Dave collected a couple of loads before the sun went down, so we shall stay warm during the proposed arctic spell.

Saturday 9th December – Fradley Junction

We are staying here for the weekend, we have everything we need, café, pub, water, rubbish disposal and a shop within 20 minutes walk.  So if the weather closes in we shall be fine

We have treated ourselves to a full English breakfast in the café and spent the day walking, reading and enjoying ourselves!

It looks like the end of week 9 could see a huge change in the weather - well, this is what we wanted to experience, so really looking forward to see what happens!

Map Key   Week 1 - Brown   Week 2 -  Purple   Week 3 - Dark Blue   Week 4 - Light Blue
                   Week 5 - Green    Week 6 Olive Green   Week 7 - Yellow  Week 8 - Orange  

                   Week 9 - Pink

1 comment:

  1. Looks lovely, we are missing AfterTime and looking forward to resuming our crusing next year. Stay warm.