On the map the town is described as "Burton upon Trent" although I noticed as I alighted from the train that the station is called "Burton on Trent". It wouldn't be the first time the railways have got it wrong. They managed to put an extraneous "d" in the Oxfordshire village of Hanborough to make the station Handborough for example. Whatever its called I was feeling annoyed when I arrived as I'd just wasted £9.55 by buying an advance ticket from Manchester, which despite travelling on three trains and passing through two platform entrances no one had bothered to check. Don't you just hate it when that happens?!
Once back on the boat at Willington I gave the brasses a polish. They've been rather neglected this summer - it's either been raining whenever I've felt like doing them or about to rain, so I thought I'd take advantage of the fine weather. I also thought I'd try out a rather expensive micro-fibre cloth I'd bought and it really does make a difference over the dirty old rags I usually use. Actually I'd bought it for polishing the boat itself (I only do it twice a year, honest) and of course the metal polish makes a mess of any cloth, so I suppose I'll have to get another one for the boat.
After that it was down to Mercia Marina to wind in their entrance and off towards Burton. Just before bridge 25 I came across a hire boat stemmed-up on the offside. There was another one alongside trying to help (I think they'd given one another far too much room to pass leading to the first one running aground). The second boat's steerer asked if I'd help as they had tried and failed "to nudge him off" (a new one on me), so I took a bow rope and gave him a snatch. Apparently they'd only been out an hour from Mercia on their first ever trip. I kept an eye on them for a while once they'd got going again and warned oncoming steerers to give them plenty of room, but they gradually fell behind and I never saw them again.
After the huge locks on the Trent and even the smaller ones on the first section of the Trent & Mersey, the narrow lock at Dallam Fields with its 3ft 6in rise seems like a toy and I was swiftly through and tied up at Shobnall Fields just in time for "The Archers"