Spending so much time of late in the delightful company of Neil and (cupcake) Pauline we just had to show the long and short of the relationship!
Not that we were up and about at this unearthly hour but this was Great Haywood at 6 o’ clock on Thursday morning. As it worked out the day was very relaxed ……..
…… with us all going to the PYO farm and James managed a perfectly timed shot of the phantom raspberry blower! After that little trip both boats set off at 2 o’ clock for the reasonably short trip to “bridge 82”.
On the way there we had a few diversions to tickle our fancy – this one was the best!
After skirting the lovely village of Weston-on-Trent you get a great view of Weston Hall (now sporting hotel status) - a truly magnificent old building.
Finally, we reached bridge 82, one of the most splendid on this stretch of canal. Built of brick and stone it reflects the 18th century wealth of the area. Nowadays it marks the spot where you can moor up on either side and take the short walk into the nearby village of Salt ……..
…….. to visit the Holly Bush Inn where you get the most …….
…… splendid meal. It’s so popular that you can’t reserve a table, you just have to wait your turn. Although we’ve been urged to try it in the past we’ve not taken the opportunity until now – and it’s well worth it.
Getting back to our peaceful moorings (once the trains have stopped!) in the late evening we went aboard nb “Waterlily” for a quick nightcap.
Today, both boats set off together and, getting to Sandon Lock (where a C&RT workboat was very inappropriately moored on the lock landing) we were informed by C&RT staff that one of the Stone locks was out of action and would be so for some time.
Anyway, getting to lock 27 (lock 29 being the one out of action) we were very, very lucky to find the last 2 mooring spaces to await lock repairs.
We were also very lucky to hear that the lock would soon be operable again During the couple of hours wait Doug tried to buy some new flip flops only to find there are now no shoe shops in Stone.
Neil and Pauline decided to stay put in Stone while we set off again when the all clear was given. They very kindly helped us through the Stone and Meaford lock flights before saying farewell for the time being.
The rest of our journey was uneventful (apart from the occasional “Niagara” which Doug delivers for James to cope with!)
We eventually called it a day just outside the village of Barlaston by bridge 104 and close to the Wedgwood Pottery museum where, although pretty busy, we found a mooring at a favourite spot.