Thursday 8 September

In brilliant sunshine we left Stone after topping up with water.

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Leaving Stone

The trees are starting to turn.

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Autumnal colours

We followed NB Jee Bee up through the first six locks and as he was a solo boater, Storm helped him with the locks.   We were lucky as there were also quite a few boats heading towards us that meant we could stitch at locks and economise on water.

At Meaford Top Lock, Jee Bee pulled in to allow us to pass as he was concerned that he was holding us up.

We continued on towards Trentham Lock, passing the Wedgewood Factory at Barlaston, which since 1940 has been the centre of their pottery empire.   There is a visitor centre here that we may visit one day.

Stoke on Trent looks very different now compared to my first canal visit here thirty years ago. So much of the industry has disappeared and only the preserved bottle kilns at the side of the canal act as reminders.  We passed under the railway line that we’d travelled along on Monday.

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At Etruria we turned right onto the Caldon Canal passing the Etruria Industrial Museum officially opened by Fred Dibnah in 1991. This building was built in 1857 as a steam-powered potter’s miller’s works and ground bone, flint and stone for the pottery industry until it closed in 1972. This is somewhere else we hope to visit one Wednesday – Sunday afternoon.   We always pass by just as its closing or on a Monday or Tuesday!At Etruria we turned right onto the Caldon Canal passing the Etruria Industrial Museum officially opened by Fred Dibnah in 1991. This building was built in 1857 as a steam-powered potter’s miller’s works and ground bone, flint and stone for the pottery industry until it closed in 1972. This is somewhere else we hope to visit one Wednesday – Sunday afternoon.   We always pass by just as its closing or on a Monday or Tuesday!

A statue of James Brindley, the builder of the Trent & Mersey and Caldon Branch, sits beside the canal here too.   We then entered the Etruria staircase lock and motored on through Planet Lock before mooring beside Hanley Park for the night.

10 miles and 16 locks travelled today.

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