If Only You Could Change The Sound Track. 3rd June

Branston Lock to Alrewas Lock

Today we managed to get going earlier. A limit has been imposed on the length of time we take to have a cuppa in bed and instead of having our second drink after breakfast we have it with it. We don’t want to be rushing things in the morning not unless we really have to, but so far we’ve saved a full hour.


Branston Lock was surrounded by Canadian geese this morning. Four adults looking after their creche, so I talked to them nicely and requested that they allow me to walk round the lock to open paddles and gates. By the time Oleanna had risen in the lock another boat had arrived to come down, the lady came to work the lock, but the geese were not quite so amenable to her. So we left so that they could enter the lock before having to get anywhere near the geese again.

Houses houses everywhere

In the last five years plenty of building work has been going on. A new estate to the west of the canal and quite a few houses appearing close to The Bridge Inn. This was where we’d planned to moor last night, but maybe despite the noise from the road our mooring had been better last night as we didn’t get disturbed by early building works.

Chocolate box

Next up Tatenhill Lock. What a pretty lock it is with it’s cottage alongside Link.

Then we had to breath in to pass through bridge 36, hoping the spread we’ve seen to our waistlines lately hasn’t expanded Oleanna’s gunnels. She fitted no problem.

Just looking at the scene you’d never guess that on one side lorries carrying aggregate and concrete were hammering past to and from the works, on the other side the busy A38. If only someone could change the soundtrack this would be a wonderful stretch of canal. It’s places like this that we wonder what it was like in March last year when the country closed down.

Plants for sale

The noise slightly dulled at Barton Lock with buildings between the canal and the road. Here a group of what I’m assuming were Duke of Edinburgh canoeists were pulling their boats out above the lock, which meant the towpath was quite congested just as I wanted to look at some plants that had been left with an honesty box. As Oleanna finished rising I spotted that there were some wild strawberry plants for sale, I requested some coinage from Mick and we left with a tray of flowering plants. I just need to find containers to plant them in.

A38 just behind the trees on the left

The canal now sits alongside the A38, so busy with traffic. We played our game of waving at the lorry drivers to see who would respond. We had quite a few beep beeps but got more waves back. Glad we brought smiles to some faces today.

Approaching Wychnor Lock

Ahead at Wychnor Lock a boat had come out from Barton Turns marina and was ascending. I went up to chat and help. The paintwork on the boat had seen better days but I soon spotted that it was a Narrowcraft boat, NB Lillyanne (Lillian) was a Narrowcraft. I mentioned that we’d had a bright yellow boat from the same builders. The chap wearing a suitably coloured polo shirt said he’d most probably driven Lillian. When they had been having their boat built he had been asked if he could move a bright yellow boat to be sign written, he’d been warned that the colour would attract attention.

The weir boom

Now the canal meets up with the River Trent for a while, the next pound having numerous bridges to keep the towpath dry. A warning to keep away from the weir means giving the engine some extra umph.

Coming off the river section

Alrewas Lock needing setting but that was soon done and Oleanna had reached her destination for the day, just slightly ahead of schedule. Well we’d rather stay here than back alongside the A38. There was also a butchers to visit.

Can you spot the cat?

A full on six hours for me today! Well that was until I was told off for breaking the first boat cat rule! She wasn’t too pleased with me bringing a friend home, popping it on our bed got a different reaction.

After a small top up shop at the Co-op and Coates the butchers I got on with adding some colour to my illustration. Then it was time for the Scarborough Chums zoom with a special guest this week, the lovely Susie Blake.

The evening was spent sat out doors chatting to our boat neighbours. We had another barbecue, well the butchers had some nice looking lamb steaks and asparagus which we couldn’t see go to waste.

5 locks, 5.54 miles, 1 hour quicker, 1 sunk boat removed from lock, 4 strawberry plants, 0 pots, 6 beeps, 8 waves, 1 wolf whistle, 1 yellow helmsman, 6 hours, 2 lamb steaks, 2 pork steaks, 1 pork pie, 1 bunch asparagus, 2 pints milk, 1 perfect mooring for a barbecue, 1 fender discussion, 1 friend, 1 illustration coming along, 1 Susie, 1st episode, 2nd series Line of Duty, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.


3 thoughts on “If Only You Could Change The Sound Track. 3rd June

  1. jennie230

    No, in answer to your question – Tilly is very well hidden! We hope to be going along the T&M later in the year, so I am reading and taking notes with interest. Jennie

    1. Pip Post author

      I suppose I know the difference between dandelion clocks and Tilly’s tail quite well. Enjoy the T&M.

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