Friday, 8 July 2016

A skinny lock

The power station mystery was quickly solved by readers David and KevinTOO.  They are the cooling towers of the former Willington Power Station.  KevinTOO even provided a hyperlink with plenty of interesting information <link here>.  The site actually contained two entirely separate coal fired thermal power stations.  Construction of the first [A] commenced in 1954 and the second [B] several years later.  Cooling water was drawn from the adjacent River Trent and then returned several degrees higher.  This occurred with all the power stations located along the Trent Valley, much to the joy of the local fishermen.  At Willington the ash was disposed of by filling in the adjacent former gravel extraction pits.  By 1989 privatisation of the national electrical system was occurring and the Willington stations were assessed as being at the less profitable end of the spectrum.  The last of the six units closed in 1999.  Demolition commenced the same year leaving the new owners to decide the fate of the cooling towers.

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We had a brief stop at Willington to top up the water tank before continuing on towards Burton Upon Trent.   Along the way we were joined by a lonely Aussie.

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Yes, they are native to the southern half of Australia and were also present in NZ until the Maori’s ate them to extinction.  I do wonder what the offspring of a white and black couple might be?  A grey swan with an orange beak?   I’ve seen thousands of black swans on Te Whanga Lagoon in the Chatham Islands some 700km SE of NZ.  They had dark flesh and a very strong “gamey” taste.

We reached Dove Aqueduct which is the border between Derbyshire and Staffordshire.  The aqueduct was designed by James Brindley and constructed in 1765 and consists of 12 stone & brick arches crossing the River Dove.  There isn’t much to see from the boat and the adjacent Monk’s Bridge looks more interesting.

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After a brief search I discovered the following information

“The original bridge was called Egginton bridge. Later in the same century the bridge was rebuilt and maintained by John of Stretton, prior of Burton abbey, after whose death the inhabitants of Egginton refused to make a contribution to its upkeep, claiming that responsibility rested with the abbey: an inquest of 1256, however, found that the bridge was maintained by the alms and legacies of the whole neighbourhood. Still called Egginton bridge in 1294, it was known as Monk bridge in 1394 when the Crown granted a chaplain permission to collect alms for its repair. The chaplain built himself a chapel on the bridge and in 1398 a chantry was established there dedicated to St. Anne, evidently in honour of the queen. By the mid 16th century Egginton parish was at least partly responsible for its upkeep: two of its church bells were sold in 1548 to raise money for repairs.”

Jan managed to capture this next photo as we entered to outskirts of Burton Upon Trent.

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A boat pulled out in front of us at Bridge 28 and we followed it until we noticed the mooring bollards for Dallow Lock where we thought we’d be sharing the lock.  It was not to be……. we have reached our first skinny lock since the top end of the Chesterfield Canal.  We assisted the other boat up the lock and then penned down a CRT working boat before going up ourselves.  It was now after midday and time to look for a moorings.  Shortly after the lock we found good moorings opposite a park.

Part of my afternoon was spent sanding back the cratch floor and applying the first top coat.  Hopefully the ripples in the new paint will flatten out over the next 24-48 hours!

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