The steam boat President turned into The Coventry Canal as we dropped down the first lock after turning onto the Trent and Mersey Canal early in the morning. By the time we arrived at lock fourteen a queue of five boats had built up and it took over an hour to clear, the last boat coming up before we went in was a group on a Hireacanalboat.com boat who suddenly realised it was SKYY that was ahead of them, they then reminded us that we had chatted whilst we had been moored at Selby when they were walking the towpath. They had been followers of this blog for some while and have now hired a boat themselves and if the Goolies (they come from Goole) are reading this we hope you really enjoyed your holiday.
At one point a steam traction engine and trailer trundled over a bridge, it could have been Fred Dibners, but sadly he is no longer with us. The village of Arelwas was recommended to us and we stopped for lunch at The Crown Inn, the hot filled bagette and cheesy chips were good but the pub was a little sad. However the village is full of charming cottages and it boasts an excellent butchers, the rib eye steaks were delicious as was the ice cream from the Rainbow gift shop. The busy A38 road runs alongside the canal for several miles, but as soon as we moved away from it we moored up for the night.
The next day we bypassed Burton and its breweries and the Willington power station and a very impressive canal side house before mooring just beyond Swarkestone Lock. A final shower of rain caught up with us and the last rainbow of the day arched across the sky.
Before casting off on Sunday morning we walked into the village of Swarkstone passed a strange, twin turreted building, the summer house of a now demolished Tudor mansion, restored and now available to hire through the Landmark Trust. We didn’t intend to travel too far today, Shardlow was our destination and there are still many attractive canal related buildings surrounding the cut. We were fortunate to get a mooring between the two pubs and we joined another couple, who we had accompanied them through several locks, for a drink at The Malt Shovel, when it started to rain they come on to SKYY for coffee. You really do meet some lovely and interesting people on the cut and Pat and Norman were no exception.
Later that afternoon Jacquie’s cousin, Russell and Andrea his wife, who live nearby joined us for tea and biscuits, what a lovely sociable day it was.