I managed a walk around Stockton Brook before the rain kicked in, apparently the railway only closed eight years ago (according to a local, although wikipedia says the station itself closed in 1956) - the track is still there, even, albeit very overgrown. I had hoped to walked along the track through the village, so whilst I got up on to the track from the canal easily enough, the only existing tiny path being away from the village. If it was used for goods until recently they may be keeping it for possible reopening, but it's a shame the village ignore it rather than opening it up as a village footpath.
Once back I drank some tea, drank some more tea and decided that I wasn't going to bother to wait for the rain to stop before I left, and it didn't until well after I reached Leek, or rather a quiet little canal terminus just behind an industrial estate in Leek, which swallowed up the last half mile into town as soon as it could. It's marvellously contradictory, it feels like I'm in the middle of nowhere on the canal and yet a mile away there's a town centre and all that goes with it. I think I quite like it, although I could do without the desolate industrial estate route.
There's no boatyards for diesel on the Caldon, not that I can find; I bought 10L in Morrisons garage at 50% more than canal price, as things are looking a little low - I really should have stocked up when I could, or rather I really should have checked...
It's stopped raining for a bit. Time to go and look at Leek's nightlife... (quiter pubs have been recommended include 'The Quiet Woman' - I have fears about the story behind that one in sexual politics terms. ;-)