We are moored up outside the Hollybush Inn at Denford, a pub we visited on our last trip down the Caldon. This time we haven't got heavy rain!

Hollybush Inn, Denford

We left Etruria Wharf this morning and went up the Bedford Street Staircase locks just after nine o'clock. A narrow-beam dutch barge followed us up the flight and all subsequent locks. The weather was bright ans sunny but occasionally clouds came over. The outskirts of Hanley had improved since we last passed through with lots of new housing on former brownfield land. 

Bottle kilns and new housing

I had forgotten how many very low bridges there are in Hanley. I had to climb up onto the roof several times to lower the exhaust. I should have put on the short exhaust pipe as we left Etruria but, as always, I decided this too late. 

Emma Bridgewater Pottery, Hanley

We passed the renowned Emma Bridgewater Pottery  just after one of the most fiendishly low bridges. The factory is unprepossessing when viewed from the canal. The last time we passed by some staff we were busty smashing reject mugs. This time there was no sign of this but we could some mugs on a trolley being moved around the site. 

Emma Bridgewater mugs being manufactured

On the outskirts of Hanley there is a notorious electrically operated lift bridge, Ivy Road. We met a boat coming through the other direction which helped. The boater operating the bridge was clearly disabled and had difficulty walking. It was only wen we had gone through the bridge that we realised that he was operating the boat, Victoria Plum, alone and that it was radio controlled. He was operating it remotely using a control on a lanyard around his neck. As we left we could see him bring the boat into the bank and than walk with his stick back to the boat. It was an amazing set-up that was full of ingenuity. 
Victoria Plum remotely negotiating Ivy Road Lift Bridge
(the operator is on the bank)

We stopped for a late lunch near Endon after going up Stockton Brook Locks. The weather clouded over a little as the day went on. We dropped down Hazelhurst Locks where the countryside becomes more like the dales. Just below the locks the Leek Arm crosses over the main line. 

Hazelhurst Junction and Locks 

Hazelhurst Aqueduct

As we moored up at the Hollybush Inn we found a group of patrons outside enjoying the warm late afternoon weather. Some appeared to be walkers. As often happens one came over to ask about Albert's engine.