*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Monday, 23 May 2016

Stoke-on-Trent Boat Club to Leek.

What a fabulous weekend we had.


We spent the weekend outside of the Stoke-on-Trent Boat Club at Endon. We had been invited to there Barn Dance evening on the Saturday by friend Ken Marek. Saturday the weather was dreaful, it rained pretty much all day, so we did not venture out until we went to the Barn Dance in the evening. Ken let us in through the gate and we joined the members of the club. The entertainment was the Fettlers from Bolton. Michael and Jonty were excellent. Jonty was very funny with his jokes. There was also a caller who called out the dances and helped with the steps. Keith and I were only to happy to sit and watch as everyone else  worked very hard to do the dances. We had a buffet and enjoyed the beer which was £2 a pint. A good evening was had by all.

Sunday the weather was much nicer in the morning. We headed off out for a walk and found the old railway and cafe.



Unfortunately the Station Kitchen does not open on a Sunday or Monday, so we missed out on a cuppa.

We were again invited to join in at the boat club. We had a beer and helped to finish off the food from the buffet. There was lots of chatter and laughter. It was wonderful to catch-up with people we knew.

So here we were Monday morning and moving day. The sun was shining, but it was a bit chilly, so I lit the back cabin stove. The one thing about the Caldon Canal is it is shallow and has a lot of bends. But it is stunning. Our first stop was at the Endon Sanitary station to do all the necessary. We then headed for the junction with the Hazelhurst locks.


We turned right at the junction and on to the Leek Branch.



I do love the stone bridges on the Caldon and the large expanses of woodland which come down to the edge of the canal.


We cruised through the short tunnel at Leek. The tunnel went through extensive repair work and was re-opened back in 1985. Arriving at Bridge 9, we had to wind and then moor up. The winding was fine, it was a nice deep winding hole. We then had to reverse past three other boats, so we could moor up on the last available mooring.


After some lunch, we walked into Leek, which is a pretty little town.



There are some wonderful independent shops, charity shops and a bug market which is open on Wednesday and Saturday, so we will miss it this trip. There are also a lot of antique shops, which were fabulous to walk around.  We had a coffee in the Green Dragon, whetherspoons and then wandered back slowly to the boat.


My favourite shop of the day Housey House.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Hadar has come to visit the Caldon Canal.


Last nights sunset over Westport Lake was very impressive.

This morning we had a lovely start to the day. Paddy and I walked down to the lake and watched the ducks before heading back to the boat.

We set off at 8.20 am and were heading for the Caldon Canal.


We stopped first at Middleport Pottery to have a look around their shop. They do a beautiful dark blue pattern, which I am sure Wetherspoons uses and I love it.


We have never seen the front of the building, it is beautiful, but what is sad is the empty and boarded up houses opposite. So many needing homes and these are sitting empty.


We made our way to Etruria and up the Bedford staircase locks.

This is Hadar’s first visit to the Caldon Canal, We last did the Caldon Canal on our old boat Misty Lady in 2005. So it is new water for our lady.

We were actually interested to see the changes and they were all to clear when we reached Planet Lock, because there is a new Medical Centre right beside the lock, this was not there in 2005.


There has been a lot of building going on with lots of new houses and apartments going up.


Art work beside the locks.


We arrived in the rain at Stanley Moss and past the obstruction in the centre of the canal, it is like a mini roundabout. We moored up by Stoke Boat Club.


The heavens opened and so we were glad to have stopped.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Moored at Westport Lake.

The weather forecast for today was supposed to be dreadful. It was raining when we woke up, but we decided we would work up two locks, moor up and go to Tesco for food.

Locks done, food shop done, we then decided to head for Harecastle Tunnel.


We had to wait for an hour to go through, so I put the shopping away, made a coffee and some lunch whilst we waited.

1 pm we started through the tunnel and so I put the washing machine on. It was a touch foggy in the tunnel ha ha the fans were clearly not doing a great job, because we still had all the smoke from the previous three boats.


On exiting the tunnel, we thought we would moor up for the day on the oppsite bank, but having spoken to the tunnel keeper Derek, we decided to move off. He had told us that since the cottage became empty they have had things being taken, so we thought we would move.


We are now moored at Westport Lake, which is stunning in the sunshine. Photographs to follow.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

In the land of Orange water.

We had a lovely peaceful night at Paddys Wood.

We left the mooring at 9 am and headed for the first of the 23 locks we would do today.


I love these locks because with them being doubles you can go up whilst someone else is either going the same way or in the other direction.


We had a good run up through the Cheshire locks, 23 of them and 7½ miles in 5½ hours, with lots of boats coming down, setting the locks ready for us, and the sun was shining too!


The motorway at Hassell Green was very busy and they all seemed to be going way to fast for my liking.


In the distance a view of Mow Cop.


With lots of boats coming down the locks we played boat balet with a few.


We decided to moor at Red Bull, and were fortunate that a hire boat pulled off the mooring allowing us to pull in. We were thinking there may not be any moorings further up the locks, so took this one for the night.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Dutton to Paddys Wood.

We had a nice weekend moored at Dutton and the weather was kind.

We set off this morning at 8.30 am ready to do the tunnels.


We arrived early so had to wait for 9.30 am to go through the tunnel.


Having done Saltersford and Barnton tunnels it on was onward past the Anderton Lift.


We stopped at Anderton to take on water, empty the toilet and get rid of rubbish and whilst there I sold a bottle of Toilet Blue, to a boater who had been following us. We left him to fill up with water and we carried on.


It was lovely to see Martin on Halsall off on his deliveries no doubt.


The trees are all now well in leaf and the Bluebells are dying back, but the scent from the wild Garlic was pungent on the breeze.


Bramble Cutting was empty, so we could have stopped, but it was still early, so we decided to carry on. It is looking lovely, someone has been putting in a lot of work to get it looking tidy.


First lock of the day was Big Lock at Middlewich.


By the time we got to the Middlewich 3 locks we were in a queue of 3 boats. So I walked up to help the other boats through. The lock keeper on duty came and helped us through locks 2 and 3.


Up through Kings lock and a further four locks to do before we stopped at Paddys Wood at 5.30 pm.


We have not named the wood after our Paddy, it is already named Paddy in the Canal guide, so it is fitting for us to stop here on the ringed mooring.


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