A grey and slightly damp start. We cast off at 0900 and formed a small convoy of boats heading south. Round past Longport & Middleport (still making pottery), past signs to Spode and on to Etruria. Here the canal branches off to the Caldon canal but we head down and down past grimy Stoke. Not exactly welcoming boaters. Under the huge incinerator. Past ex coal mines and Stoke City football ground. Through some hard and deep locks. And then out into the country. Through Trentham lock and round to Barlaston. 8 miles, 6 locks in around four hours. Arriving just in time for luncheon at the Plume of Feathers – the recently refurbished pub owned by Neil Morrisey. Not too cheap (coronation chicken sandwich with salad and chips = £7) but the beer is varied and very good – Plum Porter on offer today with Jaipur coming on soon (all at £3.30). Time for a snooze.
Meanwhile, here’s the man himself, James Brindley.
Chugging past Dolphin marina . . . an odd sign . . .
And under the giant incinerator
Just past the Wedgwood factory, a heron poses for the camera
And into the pub – lots of pub signs & Morrissey memorabilia everywhere