Thursday 24th August
This morning we made one last trip on the Midland Classic No. 2 bus to visit Lidl who started their Greek Week today and given our love of Greek food we had to go and snap up some of their offers. Notwithstanding this excursion we left Horninglow by 11:20 but not before three boats had passed us and we caught up with them all at Dallow Lock the longest queue of our trip. It gave us the chance to have our lunch of Tirispanakopitta or cheese and spinach pastry swirl as Lidl refer to it.
At Shobnall Basin we were again reminded what Burton is famous for and a little further on a sign entreated us that it was not too late to visit the Brewery Museum as we could moor up and get a bus back from Branston. Yes, the very village in which the famous pickle was first made in 1922
Today’s journey was 7¾ miles and six locks ending with a return to a short section of the river Trent before mooring just above Alrewas Lock for the night. [pronounced Al-ree-was I believe, although I like to call it Ole Walrus!]
Jade was allowed out to explore and she rewarded us by bringing in a live mouse which she promptly let escape under the settee.
She lost interest and went to sleep when she couldn’t find it again. Fortunately it showed up by the TV later and allowed me to catch it and give it it’s freedom.
Friday 25th August
We debated about spending another day at Alrewas but decided to carry on through another five locks to Fradley Junction where we turned left onto Coventry Canal (Detached Portion) [a quirk of canal history] as far as Huddlesford, near the Plough Inn.
Saturday 24th August
We were rudely awaken at 4:15 am by a boat passing with a bright headlight and a noisy engine which we seemed to be able to hear for ever. Unable to get back to sleep we read for an hour or more before dropping back off.
Despite (or because of) this were away by 9:30 this morning and enjoyed a lock-free day’s cruise. At Whittington Brook the canal becomes the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, not that you’d know, and all was going splendidly until the boat in front of us broke down just before a bridge though which another boat was approaching. Evasive action was taken but not without us getting our propeller well and truly fouled with rubbish, we limped through the bridge and found the visitor moorings the other side there completely empty so we tied up and cleared the prop through the weed hatch.
Coincidentally we found ourselves between two pubs, one on each side of the canal, so as it was gone half eleven we repaired to the Red Lion (the more homely of the two establishments) for brunch.
Suitably fortified we completed the 2½ miles to Fazeley by 1:20 and moored opposite Peels Wharf which until recently housed C&RT’s local offices but is now up for sale.
C&RT Advise: The Fazeley waterway office is now closed, the water point and elsan is still open but the bin compound is closed. Please do not leave rubbish here. The next recycling facility can be found at Grendon Bridge 49, Fradley Junction and Cambrian Wharf.
Tonight we treated ourselves to a Chinese Takeaway from the Fortune Garden just five minutes from our mooring.