Yesterday our pleasant anniversary journey ended at Great Haywood and in the gorgeous sunshine, that finally appeared, we celebrated with a glass of Champagne on the rear deck.
A few passers by would certainly have joined us, had they been invited!
Today, having had a quiet night at Great Haywood (which isn’t very surprising as we’ve seen so few boats around over the last week) we ventured forth amid cloudy, threatening skies.
The stretch of the Trent and Mersey canal between Great and Little Haywood has been described as “its most memorably beautiful” and the lock at Little Haywood is very pretty and tranquil, even though it’s bourn down upon by the brooding mass of Cannock Chase.
Entering the outskirts of Rugeley there are some tremendous gardens on show. The houses are high up and the last part of their gardens plunge down to the edge of the canal. The owners all have different ideas of how best to utilise their plots.
We stopped for a short while in Rugeley for some shopping. Very few people take photos of Rugeley – but pausing for a moment from our shopping the town centre is really very pleasant.
Travelling on towards Armitage we passed the quaint and lovely Spode House – sadly, now reduced to a carvery for this moment in its history.
At Armitage, of course, we passed by the massive but “crappy” looking factory producing its famous sanitary ware.
Although we had a dry day today it was evident that autumn is in the air. A few leaves are beginning to drop from the trees and land (annoyingly) on the roof of the boat and, looking into the fields, the harvest is now safely gathered in and the land is being prepared for the winter crops.
At 4 o’ clock we arrived at Fradley Junction, our destination for the night. If we’d arrived any earlier we’d have been caught up in a frightful event, when a boat caught fire right on the junction. Thankfully it seems no one was hurt but it shut down the canal traffic for much of the day.
We’re intending to celebrate yesterday’s anniversaries with a meal in the “Mucky Duck” this evening and, with that in mind, we’d like to say again another big THANK YOU to everyone for the huge number of tender messages (and a few ribald comments!) we’ve received for the occasion – it’s been most touching.