Thursday, 13 July 2017

Busily to Branston

It’s always a bit noisy on the Willington visitor moorings, what with the railway to one side and the traffic on Findern Lane on the other. Findern Lane is a bit busier than it used to be, of course, owing to this successful tourist “destination” just the other side of the level crossing. ;) Nonetheless, we managed a reasonable night’s sleep and woke in good time this morning. My appointment at the surgery was for 9.30, so it was a leisurely start before ambling down there.

Sheila took the opportunity to visit the Co-op for some last minute supplies whilst I was out. I was seen ten minutes early and Wendy the phlebotomist made short work of extracting 5ml of blood from me, so it was not long after half nine that we were setting off, most of our fellow moorers having already left. I feared that this would mean queues at the locks but, although there was a fair amount of traffic, we only had to wait a short while at both Dallow Lane and Branston. We will adopt our early start, early finish tactics from here on in – if it’s this busy down here, it’s going to be pretty brisk on the approach to Great Haywood and then round the Four Counties.

We got to the Branston VMs at half twelve to find no-one else here, though a couple of boats have since tied in front of us. Construction work proceeds apace on the new road, bridge, school and 2,500 houses they are building. Sheila got chatting to a local towpath walker as we were tying up and was told that the presently closed approach road is scheduled to reopen at the beginning of next month. The Bridge Inn is pretty fed up with it all. There is a diversion in place to reach it, but it’s six miles round over Henhurst Ridge, so not encouraging for people in Branston village thinking of a night out, especially in view of all the other pubs they would drive past to get there.

It’s hard to believe that a better solution couldn't be found. We can understand the need to replace the old bridge, which was seriously weight-restricted and couldn't have taken the school buses, but that sort of situation is almost routine, surely? It’s a tough enough life trying to run a food pub these days without suddenly finding yourself isolated at the end of an extra six mile drive.

We’ve had a quiet afternoon, though I did take some time to investigate the cause of the rev counter needle bouncing around again. When I discussed its foibles with Peter Mason during the Crick Show, he’d advised checking out the earth wiring and, sure enough, a gentle tug on one of the black leads pulled it out of its spade terminal. I’ve remade the joint with the aid of my terminal crimper and we’ll see if that’s turned the trick tomorrow, when the plan is to go on to Alrewas on what’s forecast to be a breezy day.


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