To Endon (April 29)

Last night our pub meal at the Rising Sun, Scholar Green was excellent. The food was good quality and good value, and we even had a bottle of house red thrown in because we bought two specials. We can certainly recommend it.

We left Scholar Green early this morning, around 7:45, with Mow Cop shrouded in clouds. We winded in front of Ramsdell Hall, which looked eerie in the mist, and retraced out route back to Hall Green where we took on water.

Red Bull viewed from the Macclesfield Canal

We got to Harecastle tunnel about 9:30 to be told by the tunnel keeper that we had just missed a batch of boats going south and we would have to wait for about one hour and a half for another slot. Maggie took the opportunity to go food shopping in Kidsgrove and Steve did some boat tidying. The morning mist and cloud had definitely lifted and the warm sunshine appeared set for the day.

Waiting at Harecastle Tunnel Northern Portal

Orion Tug leaving Harecastle Tunnel

We were the only boat going south through Harecastle tunnel so we had a fairly rapid transit; thirty seven minutes according the tunnel keeper at the southern portal who keeps a track of such things. We stopped at Longport for gas and then moved on to moorings at Burleigh Pottery at Middleport where we visited the excellent factory shop. They are particularly noted for their blue and white transfer ware, but in the shop were also pink and white, red and white, brown and white, and even black and white. They supply free tea and coffee to customers. We managed to come away with quite a collection of mugs, teapots, jugs and plates for presents and for our own use. Steve was particularly keen to get a cow-shaped milk jug for use on Albert. Maggie rated it as an emporium of delights.

Middleport Pottery from Trent and Mersey Canal

We turned off the Trent and Mersey onto the Caldon Canal at Etruria. After we climbed the first staircase lock, we worked out way around the outskirts of Stoke. Maggie was horrified when we passed one pottery where there was whole skip full of Emma Bridgwater rejects. She wanted to stop and rummage through through them. There were several difficult low bridges on the outskirts of Stoke that made boating interesting. Maggie operated the electro/hydraulic lift bridge at Ivy House. It was confusing at first and lowering the barriers, by hand, was not simple. However, she only delayed around eight cars who did not appear too concerned.

Statue of James Brindley, Caldon Canal, Etruria

Bedford Street Staircase Lock, Caldon Canal

Ivy House lift bridge

The rest of the journey to Endon was very pleasant. We moored up close to the Stoke Boat Club. We can understand why the Caldon has such a good reputation for scenery and we have yet to get beyond Cheddleton.

Conventional hydraulic lift bridge, Caldon Canal

Tomorrow we intend to go the Froghall and then start to make our way back down the canal.