I'm glad I persevered and got the blog posted yesterday, because it meant we had visitors. Carol and George from Rock'n'Roll knocked on the roof, and we ended up chatting for the rest of the evening and demolishing a couple of bottles of wine. It was great to meet them at last, and hear of their plans.
This morning, we set off at 8am, and so did almost everyone else. We were fourth in line for Haywood Lock, so it was 9am before we were up it. Then we did something we've never done before: go straight over at Great Haywood Junction. Previously, we come from this direction and turned onto the Staffs and Worcs, come from the north and turned onto the Staffs and Worcs, and come from the Staffs and Worcs and turned north on the T&M.
We followed boats up the next few locks, all of which are out on their own. The sunny warm day we'd been promised didn't appear to have materialised. It was cloudy, windy, and chilly. Bridge 82 is much photographed because of the brickwork; but perhaps Bridge 88 was even more appealing today.
Below Aston Lock we passed Triskaideka and then Take Five. Aston Lock marks the half way point of the Trent and Mersey.
We moored below the locks at Stone, and went into town. We had Staffordshire oat cakes for lunch at a tea rooms, and went shopping. We set off up the locks at around 2.30, and by now the sun was out. We had to turn all four of the Stone locks.
We also had to turn the four Meaford locks. While the Stone locks are pretty urban, these have a much more rural feel.
We tied up at Barlaston, just before Bridge 104, which is where the Wedgewood factory is.
14 miles, 13 locks. (106 miles, 54 locks)