Mill Farm Hanley – Consall Forge
After a very peaceful overnight we set off at 9:15 to move on to Milton so that Brenda could get some bread and milk from the Co-op (top of hill on the left from bridge 18 Milton Bridge), there is also a butchers and a bakers as well as other shops there so a useful stopping point. We then we moved on to Stockton Brook locks where our Nich’s guide had me fooled. Nich’s shows locks 5, 6 8 and 9 on the map but puts lock 7 in a side window. Therefore I was expecting four locks and had a surprise when we found there were actually five ;^).
Once out of the un-expected lock 9 we had lunch on the move and then stopped at Park Lane service point to fill with water – not a fast tap but the showers seem good, even non boaters were using them.
At Hazelhurst junction we chose to go down the 3 locks and continue on to Cheddleton. We passed the Hollybush without stopping, we’ll call in there on the way back, and then found Cheddleton locks and all the singletons down to Consall Forge were in our favour. Result!
By chance I managed to get a photo of the last steam train of the day as it passed. None running tomorrow and then they have a Rail Ale event this weekend which we will not be here to try. After a thrash down the river Churnett section we arrived at Consall Forge to find all of the moorings taken so reversed back up the river to moor in the rough behind all the other boats.
The evening was spent at the Black Lion where a good meal, acompanied by excellent beers and a cider with Rhubard ( a grown up version of the sweets we enjoyed as children) that Brenda enjoyed were partaken. The Black Lion also gives a 20% discount on the drinks bill to CAMRA members – result! No wonder our second son enjoyed this establishment so much when the Biscuit Pirates visited a few years ago. Whilst we were eating, the chickens came out into the garden – obviously waiting to be fed and so a couple of the local ducks walked across the railway crossing to the pub to join them.