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  • clivenmel

Sept 14th

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. For us it certainly started out that way with a gentle cruise from our moorings down at Sandon Lock up to the old market town of Stone with it's many canalside properties both old and new. Stone evidently used to be the HQ for the Trent & Mersey Canal Company back in the day, shipping all the usuals like coal and iron and also beer from the local Joules Brewery whose facade is still here but nothing else. Evidently the Europeans and the Americans loved it and were it's chief outlet! How things change.. Like many business it all went south when the Canal Company was bought out by the up and coming North Staffordshire railway and I think Beecham's deprivations finished it all off. Stone actually is very pleasant; it also had a Morrison's which we made use of...interestingly, as you leave Stone northwards by canal you pass an old school called St. Dominic's Priory School. It's a rather interesting and pleasant redbrick pile sitting right on the canal and was evidently designed by Joseph Hansom, the man who invented the Hansom Cab! Stone also has 4 locks to get into it from the South and a flight of 4, the Meaford Flight, to get out again!. By the time the Monza Grand Prix was over, it was pushing 3pm and not wanting to stay overnight in the middle of town, decided to push on through Meaford locks to open country. This is where the Sunday's day of rest expired (and Mel almost with it); lots of jumping up and down locks on sometimes dodgy towpaths has left the old dear with aching feet. She now has her feet up for a well earned rest. Expect to slow down a bit tomorrow as we advance on Stoke on Trent; hope to catch our breath a bit in the "potteries" and maybe see the Wedgwood place or Trentham Gardens which is just up the road. Of that, more perhaps later....

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