Back to Aston

On Monday the weather was glorious. We left Etruria and cruised back to Aston Marina in glorious sunshine. Although Stoke Locks can never claim to be pretty, operating them has certain charm, particularly the lock crammed so close to the railway that one its balance beams is particularly short. A steady stream of boats came the other way and their crews helped with lock operation so it was a fun morning.

Entering the short tunnel by the incinerator, Stoke-on-Trent

Watching Albert leave Trentham Lock

At Barlaston we passed the moorings of NB Lodestar, Barlaston Boatyard. Lodestar was in the dock. We had passed her a week earlier on a tight bend of the Peak Forest Canal as she returned from the Gardner Rally at Bugsworth. What a wonderful set up the house and dock make. Not particularly obvious from the photograph is the lock beams feature in the garden.

Barlaston Boatyard

As we passed Fuller's Yard, Roger was busy tearing apart NB Apollo's old wooden passenger cabin. On our way north it had been complete! Roger appeared to be enjoying himself and I inquired about the brass plaque that used to be on one of the seats that commemorated Cliff Richard having a trip on the boat (when on the Regent's Canal). It appears that Roger has kept it safe. Two locks later we met Roger's twin brother Martin moving his wonderful tug Cutter north towards the Yard. Meeting both identical twin brothers within few minutes was a bit uncanny.

We made Aston by late afternoon, moored up and had a pleasant night on-board as the sun set.

Tuesday morning the weather was again bright and sunny so we cleaned the boat roof. It was grubby and not been done for some time. After lunch at the excellent marina Bistro we headed home to Northants. 

We'll be back at Aston shortly, when commitments allow. All in all our Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canal trip, with its good weather, was a memorable journey and one we shall be keen to repeat again.