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  • clivenmel

Sept 15th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} We left our overnight mooring just North of Stone at around 10.30 this morning but only travelled a short distance to Barlaston where we moored up again and went to visit the Wedgewood factory which was just the other side of the canal.  We spent a very interesting morning touring the factory and browsing in the shop - we didn't buy anything coz we haven't anywhere to put it!  Next year Wedgewood is going to celebrate its 250th birthday, which is quite an event, there aren't many British manufacturers who can boast such longevity and still be a very successful company. After our little stopover we made our way through the relics of a once thriving industry - the old potteries lie derelict along the canalside with gaping windows and vegetation growing out of the walls - its quite sad really.  There are a few old pot kilns left, these were the huge kilns that the pottery was fired in and are quite spectacular really.  (Photo in the gallery). We then encountered the Stoke Lock flight, starting with the Trentham lock and climbing about 50' up to Etruria Junction.  Some of the locks were really deep and had a serious undertow, when both paddles were open Clive had his work cut out just trying to keep the boat form hurtling forwards.  Not to mention the fact that the doors are huge and very, very heavy so I also had my work cut out trying to open and shut them, also some of the paddles were very stiff and could have used some lubrication so once again I am very tired - I hope all this exercise pays off and I end up looking a little more trim than I started out! The rest of our journey this afternoon was through a very grim and uninspiring stretch of the canal through the centre of Stoke on Trent - we were really very glad to get through it.  The canal was full of rubbish and there was grafiti everywhere - it wasn't very nice at all.  We are now moored West of Longport alongside Westport Lake, ready for tomorrow's exertions - we will be tackling the Harecastle Tunnel, which is about one and three-quarter miles long and took 11 years to build.  It is reputedly home to the Kidsgrove Bogart - a mischevious spirit, however if she likes you she may well make your breakfast!  We will let you know........ Rosemary, if you are reading this, I have taken a photograph just for you, just to show who is boss on this boat!  The hat is courtesy of our very good friends Shirley and Barry Collings. 

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