Saturday 26 September

Our Nicholson’s canal guide book suggested there was a store in Swarkestone, so we delayed breakfast to go and pick up our Saturday newspaper.

We saw Swarkestone’s main feature; its 18th century five arch stone bridge over the main channel of the River Trent and the elevated stone causeway that takes the road on stone arches all the way across the Trent’s flood plain to the village of Stanton (about half a mile away).

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We learnt that Swarkestone was the southern most point visited by Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Scottish uprising of 1745 where he gave up his attempt to gain the English throne.

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We didn’t find the store but there was a garage on the main road but they only had tabloid papers such as The Sun and The Star and we were directed to walk to the nearby village of Chellaston (a fifteen minute brisk walk away). This walk involved navigating a large pedestrian-unfriendly roundabout over the A50.   Having eventually found our paper we returned to the boat for breakfast.

By now the early morning mist had lifted and a cloudless sky heralded another warm day so we set off to meet up with Pip and Mick at Shardlow. We shared all but the first lock of the day which made our journey easier as we only had to open paddles and gates at one side of the wide locks.

After we’d passed under the A50 we spotted two familiar figures walking towards us and we stopped to pick them up. After hugs and kisses we continued on for the final half mile to Shardlow where we moored up in front of NB Lillyanne. The Wasp re-united.

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We sat on Blackbird’s stern and enjoyed a cup of tea and a catch up and I gave Pip a little gift of some Cadbury’s chocolate fingers! She was most appreciative and passed them round to have with our tea.

Our catch up continued later in the pub when we went to The Malt Shovel for a drink and as they didn’t do meals we ended up in The Shakespeare where we enjoyed a very tasty and reasonably priced meal.

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