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We’ve been leaving the cratch cover open at night to keep the bedroom cool at night but with overnight rain forecast on Thursday night, we closed it all down and prepared for another day at Ragley Boat Stop. The rain didn’t come and it was boiling inside the boat with the result that we awoke at five in the morning. Seeing that sky was blue and that the forecast now said no rain until after 9pm, we decided to move on towards Shardlow. Nothing else was moving as we made our way along the Trent and Mersey, not too surprising at 6.30 am. After we had passed through Swarkestone lock, we got caught in a sudden sharp shower of rain. Soaked to the skin within the first two minutes, we managed to pull over and tie up until it passed over. We only had to endure one more of these downpours although we were pre-warned by some loud claps of thunder which gave us a chance to pull over again before the heavens opened properly.

That was as much as we saw of the forecast – all day, heavy rain and so we carried on until we found a mooring in Shardlow. Looking at the latest Wet Met Office forecast, we are going to be faced with the same dilemma that we faced at Willington, maybe we’ll just overstay on the 48 hour moorings.

Ragley Boat Stop

Our original intention had been to stay two nights in Willington but the weather forecast made us change our plans. All week the Wet Met Office have been advising people to stay indoors by issuing a warning that is just one step below a national emergency! Friday was forecast to have torrential rain and thunderstorms so we would be faced with three options. 1) Travel in the storms, 2) Overstay by a day, 3) Move on Thursday. We chose the third option, planning to stop somewhere between Willington and Shardlow.

We needed water too and since we had moored past the service point at Willington, hoped that we could fill the tank before we reached Swarkestone lock. There is a tap marked in the Nicholson’s Guide and there is a pub nearby but what we didn’t realise was that it is Ragley Boat Stop where there is an excellent overnight mooring at the bottom of the pub garden with both water and electricity available.

Needless to say, we visited the pub and it is a beautiful place so not only did we have a drink, we had lunch too. At £5 for each meal from the lunch menu, we couldn’t go wrong and the quality was good too – unbeatable value. The afternoon was spent mainly on board in the sweltering heat although I did return to the bar for an hour to help them out with their cold beer sales!