Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Variety is the Spice of Life …..

You know how coins have two different sides?  The Trent & Mersey has been like that for us over the last few days.  ‘Heads’ or ‘Tails’ – both different and both interesting in their own ways.

From Colwich to StoneSharron & Ken (1024x768)

We said ‘goodbye-for-now’ to Sharron and Ken with whom we had spent a really good evening.  We will look out for them on the way back – they are heading South.     

Great Haywood was really, really busy with boats – no change there then!  We didn’t even attempt to stop, just waved to ‘Keep Smiling’ as we passed and wished them a safe journey to Liverpool via The Shroppie!

We have only travelled from Great Haywood to Stone (actually the other way round) once before and had forgotten just how rural it is.   As recommended by Ken & Sandra, we moored up for the night close to the village of Burston where the young River Trent flows very close to the canal.

Colwich to Stoke 018 (1024x768)        Colwich to Stoke 014 (768x1024)        Colwich to Stoke 019 (1024x768)

On reaching the lovely (and very popular!) little market town of Stone the next day, the only available mooring spot was right by the car park and rather grim!!  However, it did at least enable us to go off and do some shopping before moving on to Barlaston.  I hope we can stop for longer in Stone on our return journey. 

From Barlaston to Westport Lake.

Today we have travelled from Barlaston, on past Etruria and to the visitor moorings at Westport Lake which is about a mile from the South Portal of the Harecastle Tunnel.  Going through the region of Stoke the character of the canal inevitably changes dramatically, being surrounded by busy roads and industrialisation both past and present.  Clearly this area was once the industrial heartland of the potteries – architectural relics remain in evidence.  Even in a derelict/semi-derelict state I think some of the buildings remain majestic.

bottle kilns (2) (768x1024)

These old bottle kilns might now be surrounded by modern housing but at least they are still there and ‘steal the show’!

And …………………..

      Colwich to Stoke 028 (1024x768)      Colwich to Stoke 047 (1024x768)


Colwich to Stoke 046 (768x1024)           Colwich to Stoke 053 (768x1024)           through Stoke (768x1024)

Five locks lift the canal 50 feet to Etruria and the junction with the Caldon canal.  The following pictures are of us going through the second lock.  Surely this must be one of the seediest locks on the entire system?

Colwich to Stoke 032 (768x1024)          Colwich to Stoke 031 (1024x768)        Colwich to Stoke 033 (1024x768)

Walking alone under the bridge to get to operate the lock, my friend, Sue, on n/b “Peaceful Waters” would call it ‘a wire in the blood’ moment!!

Anyway, as I said, we are now moored by Westport Lake.  We’ve walked Lola around the circumference of the lake and she has discovered what fun it can be chasing ducks and geese and making them scurry into the water!  We were all on our own when we arrived but there are now several other boats.  The sunshine which was promised for today has somehow failed to materialize.  Tomorrow – the tunnel  ………………. and beyond ……………



  1. Caldon Canal? Aren't we going there soon? Thank God it exists!!!!
    Lola looking beautiful by the way xxx

  2. Beautiful .... yes, but still bonkers!! Liverpoooooooooooool first, yeah!! xxoo