Trentham to Wolseley Bridge
It has become clear over the last few days that one way New Zealanders avoid their antipidean winters is to come here and freeze and get soaked on the UK canal system! So many NZ flags on hire boats and boats with Maori names.
We pulled out and passed the two ‘Ginger’ boats on the Trentham visitor moorings. The smaller one that we followed down Stoke locks was just starting off as well and fell in behind us. At Barlaston two boats pulled out in front of us and a further three joined in behind. Subsequently a queue built up at Meaford top lock. I could account for 10 boats and the queue was more like a parade.
Graham went down to help lockside whilst I held Jannock in the queue. There were crew mutterings all along and tea was produced. After about 20 minutes I was approached by a tea drinking boater wanting to know “how much longer are we going to be waiting here? How long does it take to turn a bloody lock?” I said “we are waiting for a boat coming up rather than turn the lock on them” He harrumphed. I added that the 2nd lock down only had one ground paddle working so was taking a long time to fill. I almost suggested that he swap his tea for a windlass and give a hand but held my tongue. He then went lockside and had a similar conversation with G and then returned to his boat.
When the ascending boat arrived in the top lock, G went down and turned the second lock after the boat in front of us had passed through, returning to the top lock in time to work Jannock down. When we got to the second lock it was ready so we passed through that rapidly. Having advised the boat behind us that a similar procedure might speed things along we were amused to see that they were still waiting to enter the second lock as we were leaving the bottom one. Oh well, you can tell some people that a lock is slow filling but whether they do anything with that info is up to them.
At the third lock, there were some Oriental visitors taking lots of photos, they even asked permission to take pitures of Jannock but refused a ride down to the bottom lock stating that they did not have sufficient time. They were still taking pitures there as we left the flight. Into stone and past the Railtrack guys working on limekiln railway bridge. They have a pontoon set up around the offside bridge structure and use a moveable section to form a bridge across the canal. We siunded the klaxon to ask whether we could start emptying the lock and so they removed the bridge so we didn’t flush it away.
Down through Stone without stopping, luckily we didn’t need to as all moorings seemed to be occupied unless you stopped at the far end of the 14 moorings below Star lock. Then on under grey clouds and strong winds to Great Haywood where we stopped for a waterfill and rubbish disposal session. We moored after Haywwod lock so that we could have a wander around the area for an evening constitutional after dinner. We crossed the river, skirted Shugborough, National trust, walking through the meadows after crossing Essex bridge. Then back up into the village to checkout the Rave that was going on. It was a families picnic at the Junior school to mark the last day of the school year. A good time was beuing had by all. Then onto the Cliffs, also NT, to look across the Trent Valley.
Then back to Jannock where we untied and moved on, through Colwich lock to find a countryside mooring away from the trains just past Wolseley Bridge