Friday 29th August 2014
To Bridge 104 before Trentham Lock
4 miles, 8 locks
We set off bright and early as we needed water just before the bottom lock at Stone. We were in the first lock around 08:30, but our timing was not perfect as another boat did pass and went through the locks before us.
However the journey was smooth enough, despite this boat moving off just as we were about to come out of the first lock.
This ‘train’ of boats passed us
We passed this rather nice property
With mooring for two
We moored just before bridge 104 by the Wedgwood Visitors Centre – a lovely spot albeit a bit windy.
Some friends (Jane and Chris) who live in this area came and collected us mid afternoon along with Monty and a bag of washing to take us to their home for the night. First stop was for a fabulous walk at ‘The Downs’ – a wonderful area given to the National Trust as explained on this stone.
Their dog, Kiera, and Monty had a wonderful time. In fact Monty was so pleased to see her and was chasing around so much that he ended up in a stream before he realised he was getting wet. Mind you one dunking was enough – he kept well clear after that.
Then it was back to their house for a fabulous evening together – good food and great company including a bottle of bubbly as a belated birthday celebration. Thank you both.
Saturday 30th August 2014
To Endon on the Caldon Canal
13 miles, 15 locks
The four of us were all up bright and early and after breakfast the dogs went out with the men whilst Jane and I cleared up. Then we all headed back to the boat having pre-positioned a car at Etruria.
We set off just after 10am heading for Etruria where we had hoped to stop for the night. Things do not always work as planned. We headed off through various locks which are very deep, but easy to operate.
Past this very modern recycling centre in Stoke
And then this boatyard and I am afraid I was a little slow with the camera – the sign says ‘Tacle (not my typo!) & Bait Air Guns Archery Boats & Engines Country & Western Line Dancing’. It struck us an odd combination never mind the spelling mistake.
There are some bottle kilns are still left intact, but little other signs of the industry of yesteryear.
Chris and Jane are in charge
And then we arrived at Etruria where we passed Doug and James at the top Stoke Lock. A brief exchange of greetings and we went our separate ways. It is always great to meet fellow bloggers – unfortunately I did not have my camera in my pocket.
I had really wanted to visit the Etruria Industrial Museum which sounds so fascinating in our copy of Nicholson’s, however it would appear that it is very rarely open.
There is a statue of James Brindley at Eturia, but no moorings, so on we went knowing we needed to, at least, get past Engine Lock to be safe particularly on a Saturday night.
First it was up Bedford Street Staircase locks. A staircase lock is where two, or more, are connected. In this case there are two – into the first ensuring the top lock is full, open the top lock paddles and fill the bottom lock. In this case the top lock is much bigger than the bottom, so the excess water spills over a side weir.
When the water is level, open the gates and move into the top lock. Then proceed as normal. The instructions are very clear. Unfortunately the information board at the top for those coming down has been defaced by some ‘well meaning’ individuals. Thankfully it is still possible to make out what you have to do.
We went past Hanley Park where there are moorings that look nice, but we believe they are best left well alone. The bridge, however, is worth a second look. It was part of a Community Arts Project.
The last time we came along the Caldon Canal was about 27 years ago and things have changed beyond all recognition. Then it was all industry with many pipes connecting factories from one side of the canal to the other. Now it is mostly residential.
Jane and Chris jumped ship at Ivy House Lift Bridge to walk back to Etruria.
We continued on – the canal suddenly became very pretty
Past Norton Green Lift Bridge
Monty got to Long Butts Lift Bridge before I did.
At Stockton Brooks Locks there is a rather splendid Victorian Waterworks
And these appear at a couple of them
The last lock overlooks Greenway Hall Golf Club
Before bridge 27 there is an obstruction in the canal that used to be a swing bridge
Round the corner, under bridge 28 and we found a lovely mooring. It was a lovely sunny evening and we were glad to stop after such a long day.
We went for a walk around the area and discovered the area of land besides the old swing bridge was donated to the people of Endon by a man called John Emery. There are lovely picnic tables and it is a delightful spot, but blighted by copious amounts of litter. Unfortunately the sign giving information about John Emery is defaced with words that I will not publish.
The evening was cool enough for the horses across the cut to need their coats
The sunset promised a nice day tomorrow.