The rain forecast for tomorrow prompted us to make the most of today’s fine weather.
First of all we wanted to visit Maplins in Stoke as Storm had picked up their Christmas ideas catalogue yesterday and had since seen a couple of potential ideas for presents.
Before we went shopping though, Storm took Max for a walk around the park and bumped into one of the locals who kindly told him about all the places worth visiting in the area and about some events happening later in the week. The local then must have spoken with one of the park volunteers about us as she came to chat with us as she’d heard we were from Yorkshire, like her! She was from Halifax. I told her my Mum came from a village near there and she said she used to pass through on the bus to Brighouse in her youth. She then went on to tell us about the exciting changes planned for Hanley Park as they’ve just been awarded £4.5million.
So with our best-laid plans for an early start delayed it was nearer to lunch time by the time we finally got back to the boat. We left our peaceful and pleasant mooring in the Park and headed back to Etruria. We used all the facilities at the wharf there before we went in search of coal, gas and diesel before winding and heading back towards Stone.
We’re heading towards Chester for Christmas but are going the long way round via Wolverhampton to allow us to keep motoring as long as possible (weather permitting) without getting stopped by the essential canal winter maintenance planned by the CRT that begins on 1 November. We’ve studied their plans and, provided we’re on the Shropshire Union for the beginning of November, we’ll be OK on their until the New Year.
This evening we’ve made it as far as Trentham Lock as we hope to visit the indoor World of Wedgwood tomorrow. This way we’ll avoid the rain!