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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Talk about a shock!

Saturday 23rd Sept.

Left Etruria just before 9am and couldn't believe our luck as we managed to do the turn back onto the T&M before a hire boat arrived. And with all the locks in our favour, we sailed down the flight.

At Cockshutts lock and I got another photo of FS with a train. A bit more modern this one but couldn't resist having the "old" and the "new".

It was on the last lock of the Stoke flight that I nearly had a heart attack. Minding one's business as you do, I had just started to wind the bottom gate paddle gear when...blooming 'eck.... bark, bark, bark just behind me. Gave me quite a turn I can tell you! Turned around and more aggressive barking with teeth showing and top lip curled. Ian reckons I lept in the air with fright, well you would wouldn't you, having had a shock like that. No wonder the fence around the garden was reinforced!

Giving me the evil eye
Through Stoke on Trent known affectionately as 'The Potteries' and officially recognised as the World Capital of Ceramics. Not a fan of the place, to drab and dismal for my liking. Give me the open countryside any day. We did pass the Wedgwood factory and I read that it was all due to Josiah Wedgwood who commissioned James Brindley to build a canal that the T&M came into existence. HERE

 Not much else happened on the 5-hour journey to Stone other than a chance meeting at Meaford lock flight when we saw Sue and Wally (ECP&DA members) on their boat Midnight. After the briefest of natters (shame we couldn't have talked longer), we went our separate ways. What we did notice on this flight was the lock leakage on the bottom gates of two of the locks especially on Meaford Road lock. One of the top ground paddles was defunct so, what with the leakage, waiting for the lock to fill took forever.

Stone was almost free of boats so we could take our pick of moorings. Decided to take a mooring near to the lock, it's also nearer to the shops and we desperately needed a supermarket.  Spending all that time on the Caldon we had depleted our supplies....especially the wine!

Saturday night and the start of Strictly Come Dancing. Missed it altogether last year 'cos we were in Oz but determined to watch every episode this year so can't wait.... bring it on.

and wildlife,


Carol said...

What bird is that Irene?

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello, Carol, It's a long-tailed tit and one of my favourite small birds. They always hang about in groups and chirp away to each other continuously. Constantly on the move, it's a bit of a challenge to get one that isn't moving. That's where my Canon camera comes into its own. I can keep pressing the shutter to catch the action. Xxx

Carol said...

What model canon do you use?

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

It's the EOS 600D with 70-300mm lens.

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