Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Downhill now.

First off, some photos of our fore-end fender mountings for Mike.IMG_9189

I only use the two eyes welded to the top of the deck; there are another two on the bow flare which could be used if a lower fender were also fitted, but would be too low for a button as fitted, there’s a risk that it would hook up when going down in a lock. The two “legs” of the fender are kept in position by short lengths of chain connected to the main ones, and any chance of damaging the paint is avoided by sleeving the chains in rubber hose. The whole lot can be lifted up and over onto the deck and the shackles undone. In the event of the fender getting stuck in a lock gate and pulled down, the shackles will fail before the bow is pulled down.

Right, on with today. After my dose of PTTSD (Passage Through Tunnel Stress Disorder) yesterday, today had been gentle and uneventful.
We set off at our customary time of around 10:00, with the deep Stoke Top Lock directly in front of us. Two boats had already toddled off down so I expected to have to fill it before we could go in. The top gates must leak a bit, it was almost full again an hour after the last use. The remaining 5 had to be “turned” though.

Mags in the bottom of Stoke Top Lock

Very nice, but I think some cutting back of overhanging trees and lock maintenance would be more useful…

Strangely enough, a lot of folk did!

The locks down past Stoke come at regular intervals, about half a mile apart. We worked our way down steadily, filling each then emptying it again.

Lock 37, just above the main line into Stoke.
With the line being so busy it’s easy to catch a train heading over the bridge. The graffiti artists like it!

The headroom on this bridge and that below Lock 38 is severely restricted!IMG_9197  

Over the Trent

Stoke Bottom Lock was built to replace a former chamber when the city-centre road network was improved. IMG_9198
Good for the motorists but poor for the boaters. The concrete chamber is deep and slow to fill and empty, with badly designed paddle culverts.

Looking back uphill, in 1968
Stoke L36 
Photo by Ken and Joan Davis

There’s something seriously wrong with the water flow here!IMG_9200

From here there’s a long pound to Trentham, finally leaving the city at Sideway. There’s some pretty big warehouses been built along here since we last passed…

…and groundwork under way for more!

Approaching Trentham large housing estates have been built, as the village is within easy commuter distance of Stoke. IMG_9211

The field on the left is proposed as the site of a 300-home Barratt development, but is faced by strong local opposition.

Trentham Lock was our last for today. We cruised on, past the Wedgwood factory and moored a little further on.

After lunch I walked down to the shop just off Bridge 103, passing a familiar boat on the way. I gave Bruce and Sheila a knock on the way back, and we had a good natter, catching up as it’s been a while.

Down to Stone tomorrow.

Locks 6, miles 5½

1 comment:

Mike Todd said...

Thanks so much for the pix