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Canaling in England

Author: Lucille T
Date of Trip: September 2004

Sunday was a wonderful day; the weather was overcast and wet, but we stopped for a truly English Sunday dinner at t the Bridge Inn, alongside the canal! We had four courses of well-prepared food, served family style, delightful people who served and pub owners who looked after our every need. It was a treat. Also, the owners gave us the name of the taxi company they use who would meet us tomorrow and take us to the Black Country Museum in Birmingham. All in all, it was a wonderful day. Weather is at the bottom of the list of considerations when canaling; it will be cold or warm, wet or dry. Any way, on we travel.

Monday morning we met our taxi and took an hour's drive into the Black Country Museum. The day was warm and sunny. Christine was picked out of the tourists to be a pupil in the schoolroom because of her red fingernails the teacher dubbed her Jezebel! It was a highlight in the trip. We lunched at The Stables; one of the converted old stables used to house the horses in the canalling days before engines, then headed back to the gift shop to wait for our taxi. Orly had the boat to himself while we were away, to take a shower and just do nothing!

We are on our way back to the base in Stoke-on-Trent, and expect to arrive there early Friday evening. Christine is still nursing her bad shin, not a pleasant injury.

The next two days we made good time, with reasonable weather and only ten locks in eighteen miles. Outside Stafford, on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal, we moored and went into town to do washing. A pleasant launderette and The Prince of Wales pub next door, so we were well looked after. We moored that night at Great Haywood, the junction of the Trent and Mersey and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canals.
Thursday we pushed through eleven miles and twelve locks, stopping for supper in Stone and mooring above four locks in our favor (boats had come through the locks going in the opposite direction) so our locking work was half done! Tomorrow is our day to tour the Wedgwood Factory!

Jenny and I spent four hours at the Factory and had a smashing lunch. Picking up our purchases at the Gift Shop, we headed back to the boat. Loosed our mooring around 14:00 and arrived at the base shortly after 17:00. We all were sad the trip was behind us, but had such good memories, soggy and sunny!

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