Sunday, March 30, 2014

Short sleeves, short pants, longer evenings.

I hope you all remembered to put your clocks on one hour last night…

Yesterday was very pleasant, so long as you were out of the wind. In the wind it was merely pleasant. Warm enough to dispense with the trousers and dig out the shorts. I even started out in just a T shirt, but had to grab a jumper for the more exposed stretches of canal.

Today is the alternative first day of spring, I think this is the Met Office’s definition. I still prefer the Spring Equinox, myself, there’s something comforting about relying on the immutable laws of celestial mechanics rather than some government body’s arbitrary decision.
Whichever definition you choose, there’s no denying that this one feels more spring-like than the last!

We had a few locks to do yesterday, the first just around the corner from where we moored.

Haywood Lock, the last before Great Haywood JunctionSAM_8749
It’s only shallow, this one, and it didn’t take long to drop a downhill heading boat down, then to take us up. Then we cruised past the popular moorings and the junction, pulling onto the service wharf for the emptying and filling rituals.

Our homage to the gods of waste and water complete, we toddled on, heading north-west, climbing steadily up the Trent Valley.

Somewhat vertically challenged ponies…SAM_8752

…and a curious buzzard.SAM_8753
You looking at me…?

The locks come steadily between Great Haywood and Stone, every mile or 2 there’s one to ascend, most in pretty, rural settings.

Weston Lock, good, quiet moorings, both above and below here.SAM_8759

Is it time to get back on, Mum?
SAM_8761
It must be warm, Mags has taken her hat and coat off!

Weston Wharf, always well maintained old boats to be seen here.SAM_8762
The wharf used to be in farmland to the south of the village, now it’s surrounded by a large housing development.

Sandon Park rises to the right of the canal, with the Trentham Belvedere on the hill just hazily visible.

Sandon ParkSAM_8765
The Belvedere was moved from Trentham Hall when it was demolished in 1911. A bevedere, according to http://www.oxforddictionaries.com, is A summer house or open-sided gallery, typically at rooftop level, commanding a fine view.”
The park has a monument erected to William Pitt the Younger, and the house itself is a Grade II listed building, dating from 1852. It replaced an earlier house severely damaged by fire.
Unusually for a “stately home” in England, the estate is still in private hands, though it is available as a wedding venue. Neither the house nor Pitt’s Column can be seen from the canal.

An impressive, decorated brick bridge carries the minor road connecting the village of Salt to the main A51.

Salt Bridge
SAM_8777
Ornate canal bridges usually carry a road of importance to local landowners, maybe a carriage road to a grand house. But Salt seems to have no particular significance, so  don’t know why the designer went to such trouble and expense.

Sandon Lock was our last for the day, and like all the others, was set ready for us. Even better was the fact that a well-crewed boat was waiting to come down, so I had to do very little.

Leaving Sandon LockSAM_8779

Our regular bit of piling was occupied, so we tried a couple of spots further on, finally finding deep enough water close to the bank near Upper Burston Bridge.

We’re not moving today, I‘ve a nice looking lump of pork (yummy, crackling!) to roast, and we’ve the Malaysian Grand Prix on the box.

Stone tomorrow…

Hi Carol, sorry to have missed you, I must have been emptying the loo. Hope you had a good trip.

Locks 4, miles 7

1 comment:

Carol Ives said...

Geoff
Any time spent on a narrow boat is always a good trip. Those Aqua boats are so much more loved and looked after than the pile we hired for the Shroppie. Back again in October with the grand children, watch out. Hahahahahaha