Thursday 29th August
I had time to spare now, so pulled the pins and headed for Rugeley. which is an old market town with a wealth of supermarkets, including Tesco, Morrison’s and Aldi as well as a myriad of smaller shops and all of them are just a short distance from the cut.
I was waiting for an hour and half to enter Middle Lock at Fradley, being the last of six boats, but once through, there was only one boat ahead on the next lock layby.
Very narrow bridge 'oles on the T&M.
The other piece of bad news was the bow caught on a projection on the sill of Shadehouse Lock and snapped one of the supporting fixings on the tipcat. It is designed to break if it does catch up, as it is held in position by a piece of cord, but the tipcat was now hanging in the water by the two side chains and would be better removed, rather than left hanging there and the sooner the better, so I pulled into the layby and managed to release the side chains and get it off, being that much heavier than normal after being in the water. I can fix it back on easily enough, if I can support the weight on the stern of another boat
Apart from that the remainder of the trip was uneventful and in sunshine most of the time and I arrived in the town about 5pm. Having been here several times in the past, moorings are normally hard to find, especially this late in the afternoon, but surprisingly there were many free spaces.
I found Wetherspoons in the town and as it was Curry Night, I indulged with a Chicken Korma, because the Lamb Rogan had sold out. Although I tried out their Table Service of ordering by using the ‘Spoons app, but abandoned it after it refused to show an alternative offered on the printed menu and went to the bar instead. Although it was only Thursday, the place was extremely busy.
Friday 30th August
It was to be a sincere shopping day at Tesco in Rugeley. I was living from hand to mouth on board, not having been to a decent store for ages, so two shopping expeditions where to be made. It is fortunate that the store is very close to my mooring. On the way back from Tesco, I saw a guy that I knew from some previous time on a mooring and then remembered his boat is called Namaste and placed him last at Willington where we chatted about his boat mostly and his Gardner engine.
Having now stocked up, it was time to move off, but first I had to wind the boat at the nearest winding hole, which was a mile away across the River Trent aqueduct. All went well until I tried to turn Stronghold, but the wind at that point was extra strong with no trees or bushes to slow it down and kept undoing what I had just managed to achieve. I did get round eventually, after holding up another following boat and headed back the way I had come, which took just over an hour to get back to where I had been moored.
I have passed this boat every year somewhere on the cut,
but never talked to the owner or ever seen him.
A famous crime committed at Brindley Bank.
Crossing the River Trent aqueduct.
Someone has a sense of humour.
After that saga, things went well and I pulled in at Woodend Lock layby, as there was a projected part that I might be able to utilise to refit the tipcat, which took about 30 mins with a little help from another boater who had pulled in behind.
Belt and braces to make sure I don't lose it.
Refitted at last.
Fore end now complete.
Shadehouse Lock cill - what projection?
After that success I continued to Shadehouse Lock and moored up for the night, satisfied that something had gone the right way for a change and walked down to The Swan for a pint.