I don’t mind the gloomy, damp days so long as we keep having these bright, warm and sunny days thrown into the mix. And today had been one of those.
We came up Meaford Locks today, stopping near the Wedgwood factory ready for a long day up through Stoke to the summit level tomorrow.
The first meeting of the Grand Trunk Canal Company, later to become the Trent and Mersey Canal Company, was held in the Crown Inn, Stone on 10th June 1766. There it was decided that James Brindley would be appointed Surveyor General, John Sparrow Clerk and Josiah Wedgwood, the major backer of the scheme, became Treasurer. They didn’t hang about, just 6 weeks later Wedgwood cut the first sod to start the construction of the canal which was to take a further 11 years to complete.
A year later the Company Headquarters were built in the town, below Star Lock on what is now parkland.
The four Meaford Locks lift the canal north of the town, then there’s a lengthy pound of about 3 miles to the next lock at Trentham.
Coming up Meaford Locks
Meaford Top Lock, number 34
The West Coast Main Line shadows the canal to beyond Stoke, following the easy route surveyed by Brindley.
Barlaston Boat Yard must be the most coveted location on the inland waterways, at least by boaters.
A nice house, a good bit of land and an off-line dock for two narrowboats. What’s not to like?
A row of cottages just up from the boatyard look contemporary…
We moored just short of Oldroad Bridge, which carries the road up to the Wedgwood factory.
After lunch I set to and got a load more wood chopped, leaving space to get John Sage on the roof. He’s a bit of a liability going through Harecastle Tunnel, hanging off the counter like he does.
Then I dug the Christmas decs out from long-term storage under the bed. Might even get them up this weekend...
Locks 4, miles 3