Tuesday 9 August 2016

Summer Cruise- Day 29 - Milton to Trentham Lock

An early start today but first do we move or do we stayput?  Yesterday's forecast for today was Westerlies 15 mph gusting 30mph. 

By 8am we decided to go as most of the route is tree lined.  As it happened we hardly felt the wind most of the way and only a few spots did it make things difficult.

Our mooring at Milton this morning
 There was hardly anyone around as we made our way into Stoke.  A few dog walkers were braving the wind but we only saw one boat moving in this half.

Once more we braved the low bridges 8 & 9 but this time they did not seem so low so not as exciting.

Plenty of room though we still took it steady.
 At the staircase locks before (to us) the junction at Etruria we were met by two volockies who helped us down in no time.  Whilst we winded they prepared the locks down the Trent and Mersey.  

Whilst we made the turn two other boats arrived from middleport just as I was right across the junction.  Having no choice but to wait they pulled in.  I think our name must be mud by now as the volockies let us down first.  I did feel for the other boaters and if they read this we do apologise but were told to carry on by the lockies.

Making the turn at etruria, another only just made it moment.

The other boaters arrive as we turn, they did not look happy.
 The cheerful lockies just commented "its down to good timing and in this case the good timing was yours".  I still felt a twinge of guilt none the less.

we were helped down the first two locks and then left to ourselves for the rest.
Heading for the third lock
 At lock 37 the railway passed over the lock, graffiti everywhere you looked,  I guess its now a form of art but I don't like it much.    Unusually the bridge was recessed to take the end of the lock beam.  In other locks we've seen all kinds of modifications to the beams to allow for bridges etc.   Not so in this case.

You can just see the lock beam recess in the bridge in this photo of lock 37.
 As we passed through Stoke on the way out we came across Dolphin boats with its chandlery and believe it or not a shooting range!  Quite why there is a firing range in a boat yard is anybodies guess though it only allowed air rifles etc.  More interestingly you could by one in the chandlers by the looks of it.

At the far end of the yard this boat was getting a novel make over.  The whole cabin and roof had been covered in Cedar shingles.  It was quite well done and I suspect the owners felt they would never need to paint the boat again.  Cedar is quite hardy and choice of panelling on buildings so why not a boat.

At first we thought is was a building until we looked closer
Just after we passed under the main roundabout by the betz stadium we were enveloped in a huge white cloud of smoke.  The smell of burning rubber filled our nostrils.  Shortly after approaching sirens  of three fire engines could be heard and we noticed the traffic behind had come to a stand still.  Clearly something was on fire nearby and the fire brigade were rushing to it.

The pall of smoke nearly blocked the way ahead from view

We have made the turn on this road dozens of times when returning from Fernwoods.
Now we cruised alongside the queue of stopped traffic
 I simply had to post this one.  We passed the two warehouses of Jones & Shufflebottom LTD.  I guess they must have go fed up of being the but of  jokes (pardon the expression) when they signed the second building.  Ardent Facebookers will understand what FFS stands for!

Unfortunate company name

And it's comical abbreviation.

Echos of the past still survive though in this case in poor state.
After Stoke the canal runs our into the countryside and through the pretty gardens of Hem Heath.  Between the canal is has long straights and I could not remember any of it from our Olivia Ginger trip.  So surprise as this bit is pretty non memorable until one arrives at Hem Heath.

Trentham Lock is quite pretty compared to the city locks.

Finally after descending Trentham Lock we found an available mooring opposite the Wedgwood factory.  Just a few yards away was moored the Oatcake boat so lunch was a generous helping of Oatcake with cheese and Sausage and a cuppa.  If you have the chance have one of their Oatcake pancakes, they are delish.

Total distance:9.7 miles Elapsed time:5h26m3s Locks:9 

Bridges:52 Average speed:1.89 mph (3.12 lock/mph)

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