In the 1950s my parents and I were frequent visitors to friends made during the war years. They lived near Branston Road, Burton, and were business people. John, his wife Doris, and their daughter Jill were a part of that family. John, a keen fisherman, used to take out frequently a day permit from Burton Mutual Angling Club to be able to fish in the river Mease, a tributary of the Trent, that meandered through the fields of Croxall Mill, Yoxall, Alrewas. A truly beautiful spot, unspoilt by development except for the characterful Mill (farmhouse?) which was reached, after passing through a five barred gate, via a flat platformed brick built bridge and up a slightly winding cart track to the house. We spent many a long day there, taking a picnic, and fishing for chubb in the pool that opened up just below the bridge, before a weir and its race. It was such a lovely spot that it remains one of my most precious mental pictures. We were constantly having our lob-worm bait taken by minnows, but that was all part of the challenge and the fun. The river was overhung by lovely trees, willows and the usual English varieties. I am now in my 70s, and these memories are from my late school days. I would love to know what happened to Croxall Mill, and I hope to be told that it still exists and still delights the fishermen of Burton Mutual. But I know how things go these days for farmers, and my fear is that all has been swept away in the name of 'commercial development', which would be a great pity. Far too many of our characterful and beautiful spots in England have been decimated, and 'industrial estates' established. Ugly modern monstrosities that blight our land; and now many of which are no longer viable as commercial enterprises. Another use is for the building of houses, with estates that all look the same, and leave the romantic heart in tatters!
A memory shared byon Nov 1st, 2012.
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