Saturday 24th September
We left our lovely quiet moorings and the neighbours were out to see us off:
We’ve ‘herd’ of a foot bridge but this must be a hoof bridge.
We got to Sandon Lock and a very nice chap approached us. We didn’t know it but he happened to be quite an important person for us – he helped to build ‘Chance’s’ hull with Ken Martin. He recognised us through the magazine coverage otherwise he wouldn’t have had any idea what the boat eventually would have looked like.
This is Lee – the assistant hull builder.
A very handsome bridge along our journey.
Further along – ‘Chance’ at Hoo Mill Lock – this is a very pretty stretch of the Trent and Mersey canal.
We got to our intended destination of Tixall Wide –which is another of our favourite mooring spots. We had to turn off the Trent and Mersey and go up the Staffs and Worcs canal a mile to get to it. We moored here three months ago on our way ‘out’. It’s just a short walk into Great Haywood and the River Trent where Oscar could have a safe (and clean) paddle.
Oscar in the Trent
Sunday 25th September
Today we left a bit earlier as we wanted to get to Fradley Junction for our next mooring and a late arrival can spell disappointment at the moment: the system is fairly busy with the ‘older’ section of society taking advantage of the good weather, reduced hire boat fees and lack of children and mooring spaces can fill quite fast especially at popular places like Fradley. We stopped briefly at Rugeley for supplies.
‘Chance’ at Colwich Lock – another pretty lock on the way to Fradley Junction.
This is Spode House – the home of Josiah Spode just outside Armitage. They certainly liked to show of their wealth in days past!
Just a short distance further on are some ‘narrows’ as the map describes it. It’s the remains of the collapsed Armitage Tunnel. The modern road bridge now acts as the roof.
Inside the collapsed tunnel – you can see the tops of the original rock faces – and it is very narrow!
We arrived at Fradley Junction at 2pm, just as a boat pulled out just in front of us, which was extremely lucky as it was the only spot left to moor. Tonight we are going to The Swan (mucky duck) for a meal.