Willington - Wood End Lock
Trent and Mersey Canal
14 miles, 14 locks
Breakfast this morning was toast with the delicious honey from the internet. We also removed the tape from the newly painted gunwales first thing, to reveal a sharp edged strip of nonslip paint.
Our first stop of the day was in Burton-upon-Trent. We wanted to pick up some more book. and so to that end, needed to find a charity shop. Unfortunately the centre of Burton is quite a way from the cut, so we spent a good 2 hours finding our way in, shopping for more reading matter and having lunch, before heading back to the boat. But we did find several good books, which will keep James happy for a while!
The town is famous for its breweries, and as we cruised out up the two narrow locks in Burton, we could smell distinctive hoppy/beery aromas! The coutryside was very picturesque, and we enjoyed working the narrow locks. They have very satisfying and attractive paddle gear, with large round pinions.
T&M paddle gear is quite distinctive
However, we soon ended up in a canal traffic jam, having to wait behind two other boats at every lock before continuing. This wasn't a problem, but we did want to keep to schedule and one of the boats ahead was really quite slow: only opening one paddle a few clicks and refusing to let anyone open any more. But they and the other boat in front moored up at Alrewas, so we carried on to Fradley, aiming to complete the flight while it was quiet. As it was there were several other boats coming down the flight but none going up, which worked perfectly in our favour!
Now we are moored above Wood End Lock, just short of King's Bromley (where Chertsey is moored) having found one of the last spaces available on this busy stretch.