Thursday 29 August 2013

Written in stone

A peaceful night on the edge of Stone, a small brewery town near Stoke On Trent. Or at least it was a brewery town until both closed down many years ago. Seems a pleasant place though. Once again Sadie has thwarted our early departure plans by disappearing, having stayed in all night. We have made a mental note to lock the cat flap when we get up each morning. No cat means no departure and a later start than planned, but hey- ho. The news on Sid the cygnet was not good late yesterday afternoon. Despite the best efforts of the wildlife rescue team and vet he was making very slow progress. Heat lamps are being used to keep him warm and the anti-biotic treatment continues. We'll phone again this afternoon.
The canal has followed the river Trent for many miles now. Why? Once again it seems crazy going to all the time and expense of building a canal when there is a perfectly good alternative adjacent. It must have made sense at the time. Until recently the Trent was the most polluted river in the UK, worse than the Thames, but things are much better now apparently.

Sadie returned by lunchtime, delaying our departure somewhat. Four tough locks and 32ft later I was glad about the delay as I was knackered by the last one and appreciated a gentle cruise past the now demolished Meaford power station, the site now covered in scrub and trees. From there we passed through Barlaston, now home of Wedgewood pottery. The old village church and Barlaston hall were rebuilt by British coal when they both threatened to disappear into a disused coal mine. Trentham lock is quite intimidating on first sight, being over 11 ft deep. Having survived that and removal of a carrier bag from the propeller we have moored near Stoke On Trent, Britains 14th biggest city,overlooking a huge Sainsburys distribution warehouse and the Britannia Stadium, not the most scenic views of our trip. Once again the weather has been hot and sunny (not that I'm complaining). 

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