Saturday, 24 September 2011
Friday 23rd September
A nice lazy start and a short trip down the canal to Milton where we stopped and walked up to the town, mainly to get milk but of course we always manage to find more! However we did stop at a very nice butcher/baker shop and bought homemade pies for lunch. Before we knew it we arrived back at the staircase locks and Etruria Junction. Our visit to the Caldon Canal was over. We moored up outside the Etruria Industrial Museum and went and had a look round. The museum was the home of Jesse Shirley's Etruscan Bone and Flint Mill and has the last working steam powered potter’s mill in Britain called Princess, which was built in 1857 to grind bone and flint for the pottery industry. The company was formed in 1820 and in 1837 Jesse Shirley started to supply calcined bone ash to Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Limited - this prestigious partnership continues to the present day. Jesse Shirley is still owned and run by the Shirley family with the 6th Jesse Shirley at the helm. When we got back to Mary H we decided to move as there was a flock of very noisy Canada geese opposite us and we could quite well see ourselves being woken up at dawn! We just moved out of the Caldon and onto moorings on the Trent and Mersey. A few thoughts on our visit to the Caldon Canal. We had been told how lovely it is once you are out of Stoke-on-Trent but it’s not until you get to Halzelhurst Junction that things really begin to change. I was rather disappointed by the Caldon as it is in the bottom of a valley, is very overgrown and has an abundance of trees which all add up to it being dark – I know the weather wasn’t good but I really like more open canals, in addition Froghall was a real non event :-( However I really enjoyed the Leek Arm as, even though there were trees on one side, there was a lovely view. I’m not sure I would bother to go again but maybe I should when the sun is shining.