Day 24, Shardlow to Tatenhill Lock (just beyond Burton on Trent)
Thought Shardlow was a bit overrated. Five (or six) pubs and one shop, and one or two nice buildings but very little really in the way of historical or indeed any other interest. So it was off bright and early this morning, as it's all getting a bit busy now, but I think I like it much better that way. Joyce and its crew caught up with us and we shared the double locks before they stopped for lunch.
For the first time, Jim got to yell at someone for over-enthusiastically opening a gate paddle way, way too soon - and it wasn't the poor Canaltime bod as we all so predictably assumed, but someone with a very smart boat but little idea of what to do with it. No harm done though.
I then had an encounter in which I thought of the apposite reply far too late - waiting for the next lock, just out from the bank, and the gates open to reveal a monster community boat (Serenade of Loughborough, if they have any shame), which paused just outside the gates to reload with numerous children and a dog, and then stayed paused, making no attempt to get past us (that is us on Warrior and Joyce), so that eventually we had to squeeze around them while they sat stock still. As I passed, I pointed out that there was loads of room for him to have gone around us... 'Not with a four foot draft I'm not going there', he replied. To which the obvious answer is 'Do you really think a fourteen foot wide boat with a four foot draft is really a suitable craft for this waterway?', or in an earlier (but not early enough) version, 'Well stay on the bloody Soar then.' Heaven knows what he would have done if there had been boats moored where he had to pass us.
Ah well. Today we have also met some really nice people, including bloggers Harnser and CWF's Smelly and Bagpuss, who called out to us as we went through Burton. I have also seen some super boats including Clover and Fazeley, Sickle, and Hadley, which is moored right near where we have tied up tonight.