Thursday, 11 June 2009

Beyond Stoke on Trent.

Our first major city since Leicester, however Stoke on Trent is more open and modern. There are still a few old bottle kilns in evidence.There are five locks in the Stoke flight and when we arrived at the first there was a queue of three boats. We were informed that they had been there for an hour and a half. We arrived just as British waterways staff had just freed the bottom paddles on the bottom gates.Apparently a piece of wood had jammed them. So we took our turn and worked our way up the flight then stopped for lunch.
After lunch we pushed on toward the Harecastle Tunnel. On the way we past a boat yard with a lift bridge at the entrance. When we arrived at the tunnel we had a wait of about forty minutes while boats came in the opposite direction(this tunnel is only one boat wide). Harecastle Tunnel is 2926yds in lengh and it takes around forty minutes to go through it.
The water is a strange orange colour in this area due to a local ironstone strata.
Back in the sun shine we went up to Hardings Wood junction, where we turned left onto the Macclesfield Canal, although the canal then goes right Over the Trent and Mersey which has dropped down two locks. Just after this aqueduct we moored for the night. This has been our longest day for a week.

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