Friday, 8 August 2008

Fri 8th Aug - Barlaston to Stockton Brook

A lateish start (10am) and a definitely late finish (8pm). Did the run up & through Stoke; I had planned to stop once on the Caldon (and through my first ever staircase locks) for a wander around Hanley, but found nowhere good to stop - well, I did, but the towpath was closed for reconstruction, so I wouldn't have been able to get out if I had...

On the way into Stoke I spotted a boatyard that wasn't shy about diversification:

'Tacle [sic] & Bait Air Guns Boats & Engines Country & Western Line Dancing'

The Caldon winds out of the Stoke area - another shallow, slow canal, but lots of corners you have no idea what's around... hero had been one lock ahead of me on the way up to Etruria & the first few locks, but they waved me past later, struggling with draft. Not only is it shallow anyway, but appears to be low anyway - one pound between locks was very low, I filled it a few inches after leaving the lock and grounding as I pulled in to do the next one.

I'd been warned about the lift bridges - one walking couple offered to do one for me, but the next was down to me. They're hydraulic ones operated with a windlass, so not counterbalanced well enough to be lifted by heand and held up with a pole. Instead I took the boat close, crossed & lifted, and pulled the boat past by hand. Worked on this one, but may not always.

Tomorrow - up to Leek (somewhere that has to be visited, not least from childhood railway reading about the Leek & Manifold Railway), then back down towards Froghall, the end of the canal. There's some respectable contour lines on the map, I'm looking forward to them a lot.


Bill Rodgers said...

I enjoy your blog as I do may other NBers but wish you'd look into adding a RSS feed so I can use my google reader and get your new post automatically. Anyways, keep writing.

Simon said...

Are you really Andrew Denny in disguise? He thinks absolutely everyone shoudl have an RSS feed. ;-)

Thanks. though - to be honest I wrote it as my own record, anyone else reading it is almost co-incidental. ;-)It's a bog standard free 'blogger' job, I'm afraid, so if the Atom feed linked at the bottom of the page isn't sufficient, I may not be able to help. I'm a geek, but not a web one...