it rained most of the morning, but I made it out to the car boot (as documented) and to get more diesel (5l in tank, 5l in reserve) from the garage. The fuel gauge is now a lot more healthy than an extra 15L should have contributed - it's even more non linear than I thought, but still better than nothing.
Around midday it cleared enough to make it worth leaving (although I would have done by that point anyway, I think), back down the Leek branch, down the three locks and under the Leek branch towards Froghall. It's a lovely run on the canal, another steam railway competing with space (a station platform is on a ledge about the canal at one point - very close to where i nearly lost my chimney on a low bridge.
Very close to the end of the canal there's another tunnel, this one subject to historical subsidence and very low in the middle, passable to some boats but not others. At the last lock there's a profile gauge;
It's actually the new box handrails that met each edge, even with the chimney & boiler flue removed; I reckon if I'd removed (ideally moved) the headlight I may have made it through, but it didn't seem worth the risk (although the water point was on the other side, and I was dangerously low). So at least I've proved myself as a non-obsessive-completist, or possibly just a wimp.
I turned just before the tunnel mouth, moored and went for a wander, then cooked dinner, and ate out on the front deck.
A hundred years or two - Next weekend I shall be celebrating a centenary, and a bicentenary
7 hours ago