Travelled 3.2 miles, worked 4 locks in a time of 1 hour 50 minutes.
We left our weekend mooring in Stone at 9am, having really enjoyed our time catching up with old friends. Yesterday we caught up with Roger, Teresa, Rebekah and Matt and spent a couple of hours chatting about anything and everything.
When we set off, it was dry with sunny periods and no wind as such as we headed toward the Meaford Flight of locks.
I stepped off of the boat, to work the locks whilst Keith did the steering. In the lock ahead of us there was already a boat going up, so we just followed on behind. After I wound the paddles to let the water into the lock chamber, I walked on up to the next lock to set it, leaving Keith to shut the gate and put the paddles down, this meant we caught the boat in front of us as we got to the last lock. As I walked up to the lock some British Waterways work men arrived to clear weed. A huge pile of Sedge had got wedged in the gate paddle. They asked if we minded waiting whilst they cleared the obstruction and of course we did not mind at all, as the job had to be done to stop the gate leaking. After they had finished clearing the obstruction, they very kindly worked the lock for us and so I wished them all a good day, as we went on our way.
Having enjoyed a pleasant cruise we found ourselves in Barlaston and so moored up near the road bridge which takes you up to the Wedgwood Factory and Museum at 10.50am. because we wanted to go and visit the museum, I made us an early lunch.
We walked up to the Wedgwood Factory and Museum. Keith had checked online the prices to get into just the museum, because we had done the factory tour on a previous occasion, before the museum was finished. The woman at the reception wanted to charge us £10 each to get in for the whole experience, but Keith told her we only wanted the museum and on their website it say's you can get into the museum for £6. The woman then tried to tell Keith that they do not do that anymore you have to pay for the whole experience. So we said we would not bother, this changed the woman's mind and she then said we could go into the museum for £6. Surely is they do not offer the museum offer anymore they should take it off of their website?
The museum is very good and the collection of Wedgwood pottery amazing, so it is extremely sad to think that it may not be there for much longer due to a £134 million pound debt which has to be paid and the only way to pay it maybe to sell off the pottery collection. Josiah Wedgwood will be turning in his grave at the thought. This was part of the reason we wanted to see the collection, just in case the worst happens.
I cannot help but wonder why the likes of the lottery could not step in to save this museum and its contents for the nation, they give money to other causes, so why not this one? Back in December John Caudwell offered to step in and buy the entire collection. But that seems to have fallen by the way or has it?
Our walk around the museum was very informative, there was a lot to see and read. I did think that the lighting was a bit over powering, because the spot lights were shining on the reading boards, which were covered in perspex, the reflection of the lights were making the board difficult to read at times. I reckon you could quite easily spend a few hours just reading all the information on the boards. On our way out, we went and had a coffee, Keith had a piece of fruit cake and I had a slice of shortbread that was our treat for the week at over £6.50. I am not personally one for expensive coffee, but if my £6.50 helps to keep the Wedgwood collection together, then it was worth it.
Back on the boat, it was time to get coal in for the evening, see if we had a TV signal which we did and to organise dinner.