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Friday, 23 May 2008

to Burton on Trent

Well, on our way from Loughborough to Nottingham we passed through Cranfleet Lock. Alongside the lock is the old lock cottage which is now the HQ of the Nottingham Yacht Club, and in the window was a poster advertising their weekend of events two days later, featuring a fly over by a Lacaster bomber, made famous by the Dam Buster raids in WW2. We decided we would go to this and headed first to Nottingham. Lovely weather, and we ambled into the city, stopping by at the "Trip to Jerusalem", a pub carved into the rock beneath Nottingham Castle. It is supposed to have been used by knights as they assembled for the 3rd crusade, let it be said it was an interesting place to visit, made more pleasant by the smoking ban.

We did bits of shopping then turned around and returned to Cranfleet. The weather for the weekend was fabulously hot and the club made us all very welcome. On Friday night there was a duo who put on a very good "Beatles" act, and the drinks were incredibly cheap. They featured "Bomber" bitter, and very good it was. Saturday we had the overfly, hopefully you like the pic, and on Sunday there was a very good morris dancing troupe. A great weekend and fun meeting people.

We then made our way gently to Burton on Trent. We could have made the trip in one day, we took a week! Every two years we need to get our bottom scraped and blacked, by we I mean Lily. Weed grows on the hull profusely during the Summer, and we knock into things so we need to protect the steel. We have done the blacking ourselves in the past but Carol decided that following my accident on the Thames in 2006 it would be better to get it done for us. We could have had this done at Debdale, our home base, but we decided to use Shobnal Boat Servces as we would be under cover & we could get the roof repainted. We had booked the date months in advance, but as we would have to cross the rivers Trent and Soar, and as both are well known for going into flood after heavy rain, we gave ourselves time for a flood to rise & then fall again.

We had a gentle amble along the Trent & Mersey Canal, and had a call from two friends. Would Ian like to go to visit Williams GP? Their daughter was putting on an event at the Williams conference centre and there was to possibilty of Stan & Ian joining in on the trip. What an opportunity. Itinerary was changed and we spent two nights staying at their home and spent a memorable few hours looking around the exhibition of the history of one of the most successful teams in Formula 1 GP racing. Because of the involvement of Stan's daughter and the arrangements she had made for her company's exhibition, we had the other opportunity not offered to all to actually sit in a car. It was a 2001 model, though it had been decorated up to look like the latest model for promotional reasons.

Ian took the opportunity to visit his mother too, using his bus pass, it took as long to get the 15 miles from Desford to Mountsorrel as it took to get from Desford to near Swindon!

Anyway we entered the dry dock on Monday morning nd then made our way into the centre of Burton, which was nearly 1 1/2 miles away, & Carol doesn't do walking much. We found bus routes out, but no thanks to the bus stop signs not having route numbers on them, whilst in Leicestershire they do. For any other boaters going to Burton, from Shobnal there is a number 10 running hourly from close by the boatyard, or with a little walk onto Shobnal St a number 3 runs around every 20 minutes.

On Thursday it was Ian's birthday & we celebrated in fine style, a curry in Wetherspoons, price up now to £5.09 for a curry & a pint, followed by watching the new Indiana Jones film on its opening day. Typical Indiana Jones film, typically enjoyable. Before that though we were given a great opportunity as in the boatyard there was a telescope set up looking at part of the "Coors" ( Bass to me ) brewery. It was trained onto a bird box and we were allowed to watch a Peregrine Falcon feeding her brood of 4 fluffy white chicks.........incredible. Friday morning at 9 the water was let into the dry dock & we carefully moved her out, ensuring that the newly glossed sides were not knocked. Now we are off to the Leicester Festival on June 7th & 8th, but Saturday is our 39th wedding anniversary. Ian chose the date two days after his birthday so he would always be reminded by the arrival of his birthday cards, and he has never yet forgotten!!

More soon

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