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!
Tuesday 31 May 2016
Having enjoyed a wonderful weekend in Froghall Basin, it was time to leave on Monday morning. Destination Consall Forge.
Up through the one lock and onward to the tunnel.
Out the other end in one piece.
On the way into Consall Forge, ‘Hotspur’ followed us.
Perfect photograhic opportunity.
We enjoyed a pint at the Black Lion with loads of other people on a Bank Holiday Monday.
This morning we cruised to the Stoke Boat Club where we moored up for the day.
Sunday 29 May 2016
Today Keith and I had a walk on the Red walk to Kingsley Falconry Centre. We then went onto Kingsley across the fields where we met some cows, a donkey, horse and shetland pony. We walked through Kingsley and returned to the River Churnet where we sat and had a picnic. A kingfisher did fly past with the fish it had caught, but it was too quick to get a photograph. We did 4.5 miles in all and the views were stunning.
To see the photographs go to Hadar’s blog.
Saturday 28 May 2016
Having had a wonderfully peaceful night in Froghall Basin, today we planned to go to Kingsley & Froghall Railway Station.
We set off up the road from the basin at around 9.40 am.
It was all quiet at the station. I had heard a train hooting at around 9 am, but it had gone to Cheddleton. With nothing else to do with our time we decided to hang around, as we had been told that trainee drivers were on board, so it was likely the engine would be back.
Whilst we waited, it was a good opportunity to take photographs.
Kingsley and Froghall railway station is a former railway station of the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR) that is now a preserved station on the Churnet Valley Railway in Staffordshire, England. It was originally opened to both passengers and goods on 1 September 1849. Like with many UK railways, passenger numbers in the 1960s decreased to such an extent that the station was closed to both passengers and goods in 1965. In the 1970s a railway preservation base was set up at nearby Cheddleton station. This was later to become the base of the Churnet Valley Railway (CVR). The station was rebuilt and reopened by Pete Waterman in 2003. It has been done so lovingly you would have thought it had been here for centuries.
We waited and we waited, until we got thirsty, so went and had a coffee in the station tea room. Mugs of tea and coffee £2.50 and very nice it was too.
The wait was over at 11.35 am when the green machine! Polish Loco TKh49 No.2944 'Hotspur' arrived. She took on water before moving into position to hitch up the carriages for her first trip of the day.
She left the station at 11.55 am and we decided we were going to go on the next trip, which was due in at 1 pm, so instead of walking back to the boat, we went to the tea room for lunch, Keith had a bacon and cheese oatcake and I had a sausage bap and then we waited for ‘Hotspur’ to come back in.
There is something so majestic about steam, I absolutely love it as does Keith.
1 pm we boarded the train and we were off at 1.30 pm.
We had a short stop at Consall Forge Station, before passing the Black Lion Pub.
Passed Cheddleton Station and terminated at Leek Brook, which is as far as it goes at present.
It was a wonderful trip.
The views across the valley are stunning and the trip is so worth doing. It took up most of our day being at the station, but we both had a fantastic time.
Friday 27 May 2016
Yesterday we spent the day at Consall Forge below the Black Lion Pub.
We enjoyed a pint in the pub, walked up the Devils Stair case. 198 steps up and then another 198 down, so a real workout. This called for an ice cream at the pub.
We had a lovely view of Consall Forge Railway Station, alls we needed was for a Steam Train to come along.
This morning we set off for Froghall Tunnel, with the hope we could make it into the basin.
We had to move about 3 tonne of coal forward to get the bow down enough. We then stripped everything off the cabin and Keith crept through, whilst I walked to the other side of the 76 yard tunnel.
Hadar came out the otherside without a scratch, although Keith was on his knees.
We are now moored in the basin for the weekend.
Wednesday 25 May 2016
Marmite is a happy boating cat, but she like many others has fallen in.
Sadly we have seen dead cats floating in the canal, because they could not get out of the canal.
We had a fabulous time at Denford. Lunch was really nice as was the beer that washed it down. During the evening we went back to the pub to meet up with friends, Marina, Allyson and Rupert. It was wonderful to catch-up with them and to enjoy the evenings atmosphere in the pub. It is well worth a visit, if you can moor.
This morning after a late start we set off for Cheddleton Flint Mill. It was only a short hop.
Mooring was not a problem.
We walked down to Cheddleton Mill.
I love the cottages.
Apparently the earliest reference to milling at Cheddleton dates back to 1253.
They have two waterwheels.
Having looked around the Mill, we headed down the pair of locks and on to Cheddleton Railways Station.
We moored alongside the station and opposite The Boat Inn.
The station has quite a history and is beautiful.
We got to have a look around and enjoy the engines. This coming weekend they will be running the Steam Engines to Froghall.
Diana one of the coaches they are working on.
Opposite the station is a field with pigs in and I could not resist taking this photograph.
Piglets tucking into lunch.
Tuesday 24 May 2016
Last night we had a beautiful sunset at Leek and a really quiet night. So quiet I slept like a baby.
This morning we were sitting on mud and listing when we got up, the level has dropped by 2”, which made the return trip along the Leek branch interesting as we got stuck a couple of times and met a boat coming the other way who was also stuck.
Took Paddy out for his walk and the horses opposite the boat were soaking up the sunshine.
It was back through the tunnel.
Stuuning morning with the beauty of the trees.
We turned sharp right at Hazelhurst junction and down the 3 Hazelhurst locks.
Then under Hazelhurst Aqueduct which carries the Leek branch over the mainline of the Caldon canal.
After lunch it was time to walk it off so we walked to Deep Hayes Country Park, which is just a long the towpath to the next bridge up onto the lane turn left and your in the park.
There are lots of pathways to explore.
Plenty of water falls with stepping stones across,
Lkes, which did not have much in the way of life on them today, but it was still a really pleasant walk. Having done the walk, we then walked back to the road bridge where I spotted a sign saying Station House, so we found our way down on to the old railway and found the old station house and platform.
Passenger traffic ended in 1966, and freight in 1988, but as you can see the railway line has been kept clear, so who knows what the plans may be .
Looking forward to catching-up with friends later on in the pub.