To Barlaston (May 1)

After yesterdays rain it was great to have a day when at least the morning was sunny. We left Denford at around nine o’clock and climbed Hazelhurst Locks in bright sunshine. Just as we got to the top of the flight a Black Knight hire boat came out of the Leek Arm. We followed them down the flight at Stockton Brook.

Caldon Canal, Hazelhurst Top Lock and the junction with Leek Branch

Swing bridge pivot obstruction, Caldon Canal

We moored up for lunch by the electrified lift bridge (11). As we went through Hanley we met two boats who had also just moored up for lunch. They were in the process of casting off but very kindly indicated that we should overtake. They then followed us down the Bedford Street Staircase. The weather remained sunny until we got to the Trent and Mersey main line at two o’clock when the clouds rolled over, the temperature dropped and it rained; another front.

At Etruria, we turned onto the Trent & Mersey mainline and under grey skies; we went down the Stoke flight. After the flight we went over what felt like a supermarket trolley; the joys of urban boating.

Incinerator, Stoke on Trent

We moored up for the evening at Barlaston just by the entrance to the Wedgewood factory. We moored here back in 1999 when we visited the factory. Then we were on our way back from Ellesmere Port.

Tomorrow evening we plan to meet up with Edward and Anne Winter, probably at Great Haywood.

Still only (very) slow GPRS. Maybe someday soon we will be able to upload images.

Images added later