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Showing posts from July, 2014

Caldon Canal. Trent and Mersey Canal. Froghall to Rugeley.

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Eventually we had to take our boat away from the beautiful Froghall Basin and back to the real world. This time we filled the water tank before we went through the tunnel so we could use the motor and avoid any undesirable Ann-Marie/very large spider conflicts. Once on the other side we washed the roof, then put it all back together, apart from the big tubs which have broad beans, runner beans, courgettes, tomatoes and lettuce in them and are too big to go under most bridges, never mind tunnels. While we’re boating they get humped into the well deck along with the raspberry canes. Next year we’re going to try and get the raspberries to shrub out sideways. On our way up to Consell Forge we did our bit for the greater good by pruning back an overhanging branch and cleaning an information sign. It’s not often that we’re in the right place at the right time to join in with volunteer work parties so we’re always on the lookout for an opportunity to contribute something towards the upkeep …

Caldon Canal. Leek to Froghall

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One week within walking distance of a Morrisons was quite enough, so we fired up the Lister once more, chugged back through the Leek tunnel to Hazelhurst and dropped down the three locks onto the main line and then went under the aqueduct that we’d just gone over. The Caldon got better and better as we wound our way further down the Churnet valley towards the terminus at Froghall Basin.  We stopped at Cheddleton, where there is a restored water powered flint mill. Flints used to be shipped round the coast from Devon and Cornwall up to Liverpool where they were transferred to narrowboats and brought along the T&M. At Cheddleton they were crushed into slurry, baked into blocks and loaded back onto the boats for onward transport to the potteries in Stoke where the powder was mixed into the clay to improve the durability of ceramic goods as they were fired. It’s a fascinating place; both the wheels work and there’s lots to look at.
The canal joined the river for about a mile and a h…

Caldon Canal. Milton to Leek.

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Finally, a blog entry! The trouble with all these light evenings is that by the time you feel like coming in and sitting down to do a bit of typing it’s time for bed. Been saving it all up for a rainy day but it hasn’t rained much.
North of Milton the Caldon Canal shed the industrial look that it had through the outskirts of Stoke and had a much more rural feel to it. In the few miles to Engine Lock, not only did the scenery change but the waterway itself became twistier with several blind bends and bridge ‘oles.  We soon discovered that we’d picked the morning when the whole of the North Cheshire Cruising Club were on their way back home from their annual outing up the Caldon, so at every bend and bridge we met a boat coming the other way. Dave would like to claim that this was the cause of him stuffing the nose into a bush and knocking the tea-pot off, but on that occasion there was no-one else around, so we’ll have to put that down to the lovely scenery distracting him. Or incompe…