|AmyJo is prepped for cruising|
|Boat loading bays now shuttered off|
We stopped at bridge 118 shortly after getting under way as we desperately needed a shop having run down stocks for the weekend away. With the help of Google maps we soon found a Sainsbury's 15 minutes walk away. With full bags once again a taxi ride back to the mooring was called for.
Whilst Chris prepared lunch I got underway again but before we could blink Etruria Junction came into view. The volockies started to prepare the locks but I indicated we were turning onto the Caldon and received a thumbs up in return. Chris had to abandon preparations of lunch as we would soon be at the first locks, a staircase.
|Etruria Industrial Museum sits on the junction as we make the turn onto the Caldon|
A little research revealed the Inscriptions read :
(on front of plinth)
JAMES/BRINDLEY/CANAL ENGINEER/1716-1772/UNVEILED BY/LORD HESKETH/UNDER SECRETARY/OF STATE/FOR THE/ENVIRONMENT /20TH JULY 1990
(around the base of the plinth, from front)
THIS STATUE WAS ERECTED BY THE/BRINDLEY COMMITTEE/GUY BANKS. BILL COSTELLO./VERA ROWLEY. JOHN SUTTON. DAVID SALT./BRIAN KEELING. GORDON MYATT. PAT OSBORN.
(back of plinth)
SCULPTOR/COLIN MELBOURNE/ON BEHALF OF THE CALDON CANAL/SOCIETY/THE STOKE-ON-TRENT BOAT CLUB/THE INLAND WATERWAYS/ASSOCIATION./THE TRENT AND MERSEY/CANAL SOCIETY/THE CITY OF/STOKE-ON-TRENT/AND BRITISH WATERWAYS
|We were to find the Caldon to be quite twisty and in places narrow.|
|Tight turn and a squeeze to get under the bridge.|
|Looking down to the bottom chamber the bywash is at the far end on the right|
|The by wash on the left here runs off and joins the by wash from the upper chamber out of frame on the left.|
|An ugly bridge with graffiti|
The next lock is Planet lock, located in a now predominantly office block based estate. When we arrived a private boat was on the lock landing, the crew enjoying a cuppa and made no attempt to move off. I had no choice but to nose AmyJo up to the lock gates with a very gentle thud. The cheery fellow on the other boat quipped " Another paint job by the sound of it" with a cheesy grin that quickly disappeared with the lash of my tongue. We were not amused.
|Olivia Ginger moored at Hanley Park|
|And when we hired her in 2002. The dog was Pepsi who we sadly no longer have.|
|Ornate bridge in Hanley Park|
We came to bridge 8A and slowed down to a snails pace. We watched carefully as first the horns went under with a few inches to spare, but would the top box? I gently coasted AmyJo ready to slam her into reverse if needed as the top box approach the underside of the bridge. With a sigh of relief it passed under with a mere 3 inches to spare
|Slooowly does it. Inching AmyJo forward to ensure we pass through|
|Old potteries behind bridge 9?|
|Only just, but then, only just is just enough.|
|No porttery left. Old pottery kilns still remain but now new apartments replace the factories.|
|New housing estates face the canal.|
|Less Graffiti on this bridge.|
Just before Milton is a particularly tight turn with a pub on the bend and narrows immediately after. Onlookers appeared at the pub garden as we approached to make the turn. Clearly this was a form of entertainment for them as I imagine the difficulties a less proficient boater could get into here. No pressure then. Taking it slowly AmyJo neatly rounded the bend and lined up perfectly to pass through the narrows. An almost audible moan of disappointment could be heard from the spectators in the pub who then disappeared back inside.
|The tight bend and narrows with spectators watching on in the pub garden.|
As a precaution I visited the weed hatch for the first time in ages as the tiller was still vibrating badly despite several attempts at neutral and reversing. Sure enough we had a jockey, here was my prize that could not be shaken off. Not too bad considering.
|Urban jellyfish were our prop Jockeys.|
Urban Jellyfish - Any form of plastic bag, polly wrap or plastic sheeting. These usually float on or just under the surface and are sucked onto the prop. Many like to lay in wait at bends or winding holes.
Prop Jockey - Anything hitching a ride around the propeller causing speed to drop, tiller shake, banging sounds, drop in engine revs or worse, stalling the engine.
Poo Bunny - A doggy poo bag tied up with the handles sticking out like rabbit ears. Usually found hanging in trees or on alongside the towpath (if you are lucky.... or under foot if not).
Metal fishing net - submerged shopping trolley. Usually frequents bridge 'oles or a distance of a mile or so from nearby supermarkets.
Logadile - any sizable piece of floating wood that cruises the canal.