Monday, 26 November 2012

Willington (part one).


As I said in our last blog we are now moored at Willington where we are going to stay for a week or two.During our first week here we have done a bit of walking along the towpath to nowhere in particular,just a walk in whatever direction took our fancy.There isn’t much to be said about Willington itself,it prospered a bit after the canal was built but now it’s just a nice little village with three pubs,a few shops and the canal services.It’s popular throughout the summer months with holiday boaters and in the winter months with people like us for those very reasons,everything being just a short walk from the canal towpath.

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The photo’ on the left is the view up the T&M towards Willington,the pubs are amongst the buildings in the background.We are moored a bit back from the village as the moorings ahead are only for 48 hours.There we are on the right,hiding in the bushes.I took this as we walked to the local marina to get some bits from the Chandlery.

Willington does have a railway station though,and that is another reason why we intend to stay here for so long,it’s not for the Marston’s Pedigree bitter in the pubs I must add.We have bought ourselves a couple of Railcards,which give us a discount off the rail fares,so we intend to make use of them.On Tuesday it rained pretty much all day so we spent a leisurely time on Chyandour,just doing the odd jobs that crop up now and then,with only a brief stroll before it got dark when the rain stopped.Wednesday had us on the train to nearby Burton on Trent,thanks to the Railcards the tickets cost us £1.90 each for a day return,where we then spent the afternoon strolling round town,getting some of the bits for Christmas.Spending Christmas on a narrowboat,moored on a canal somewhere,is another of my must does and it is only a few weeks away.

Burton on Trent is,of course,famous for it’s breweries and over the years I guess I’ve done my bit in keeping them open.I lived in a village a few miles north of Burton for many years and one of the distinctive things about this village was the number of pubs it had.If I remember right,there were five,plus a couple of clubs,a hotel,and also,it wasn’t too far to walk to a couple more pubs in the next village,should you fancy a change of scenery.The water in the Burton area has a high concentration of Gypsum which,I believe,makes it ideal for brewing and I’ve always thought we should always make use of the local produce,whatever it may be.It came on to rain late on Wednesday so we had to take shelter in the local Wetherspoons,only to get out of the rain while we waited for our train,of course.

The proximity of the railway to where we are moored here in Willington isn’t all good news though.There are a large number of trains going past each day,both freight and passenger,and we have got used to them to the point where on Saturday night we noticed that it was rather quiet.Having gone to bed we then discovered why it was quiet,track maintenance is performed at weekends.It started with a distant metallic tapping,which we thought was another boater securing his mooring pins because the weather was horrible,but it slowly got louder.Looking out of the window we saw a gang of workers along the rail track,it was absolutely persisting down with rain,but they continued with their hammering.Then came the wagons with the ballast,sleep was impossible,the brakes,each time it stopped after moving forward,sounded like tearing metal.They workers and wagons didn’t loiter though,the noise slowly faded as they continued on up the track and into the night,leaving us to get back to sleep.On Sunday we had a visit from some of our family and we ended up in one of the local hostelries,The Dragon,for lunch,which was very good,washed down,of course,with the odd pint or two of Peddy

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The train on the left is liveried in the colours of a transport company I worked for in Perth in Scotland.No prizes for correct answers.This service takes the line just to the north of our mooring on its way to Stoke on Trent so we don’t hear it.Could be riding on it this week though.On the right is the Christmas Tree that Lisa has made from a plantpot,some knitting needles,tinsel and various sized baubles,looks good.

Over the past week we’ve all had a lot of rain,there are flood warnings all over the country again and some of the flooding is close to here in Willington which is very close to the River Trent.We went for a walk today to the other side of the village and one of the roads is impassable to all but 4x4s and trucks because of the floodwater.Unfortunately there are a couple of properties also affected,with flooding on the ground floor.It’s always a tragedy for anyone who’s home is affected by flooding,or anything else for that matter,but it seems so much worse when it happens at this time of year.

Willington (2) 014 Willington (2) 013

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The top two show part of the flooding outside Willington,the guy on the right has the best idea.Bottom left has a 4x4 crossing the flood before the police closed the road and then shortly after reopened it ‘cos there was a truck either side with nowhere else to go.The saddest bit was the houses on the bottom right,one just sold,with the present owners due to move out,and the new ones move in,sometime over the next few days.

That’s all again for this weeks blog,we’re going to try and get about a bit more over the next few days if we can,so I may have a few bits of interest for next week.Since our last blog we have done just two miles,we went to get some coal on Saturday.Take care everyone.

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