Thursday, August 03, 2017

Up through Stone to Barlaston

On Tuesday, after spending an extended weekend below Star Lock, we moved up through Stone, stopping to fill the water tank before heading up the locks. We would have moved on Monday but the weather was a bit grim, heavy showers blowing through on a fresh wind.

Up through Star Lock

We paused for an hour for shopping, luckily dropping onto a free mooring alongside the carpark, before carrying on to moor on the north side of town.

Past Joules’ Brewery warehouse above Yard LockDSCF0580

We met boats coming down Yard, Newcastle Road and Limekiln Locks, making it an easy trip up.

A rare shot from the tiller of the entrance to Newcastle Road Lock under the busy roadDSCF0581

A floating pontoon below the railway bridge is moved out of our way by the inspection team.DSCF0583
I reckon they’ll have spent more time shuffling the pontoons about than working this morning!

We took another day off yesterday for me to do some work in the washroom, anyway it was raining most of the day so not good for cruising. Today’s forecast was for sunshine and showers but at least it was dry when we set off up the four Meaford Locks. It didn’t stay that way for long, though.

Meaford Locks

The third lock up, number 33, is still very slow to fill with partially blocked paddle culverts.DSCF0588
In fact it takes as long to ascend this one as it does to do the other three combined! And the heavens opened of course while we were there.

The three boats queueing for the top lock didn’t know what they should be looking forward to…
Above the locks the towpath, having switched to the right partway up the flight, swaps back to the left at Bridge 100, Turnover Bridge.

The oblique crossing of the canal by a disused rail spur from the main line marks the site of the now-demolished Meaford Power Station(s).
Meaford A went online in 1948 and ceased production in 1974. Meanwhile Meaford B had opened on the same site, formally opening in October 1957. Both plants were coal powered using fuel delivered by rail and water for the boilers drawn from the River Trent. In fact this was probably the furthest upstream power plant to utilise the river. There’s a lot more further downstream. Below Nottingham the wide, flat river valley is punctuated by regular generating plants. In fact you can use them as landmarks when navigating the river. Meaford B was closed and demolished in the 1990s, but now there’s a proposal to build a new gas-turbine facility on the site, planned to produce arond 300MW of electricity.

We pulled in just past the Plume of Feathers in Barlaston. We’ll probably stay here till after the weekend now. The weather might have improved by then…

You may remember that last spring I replaced our cassette loo with a composting loo. Absolutely no regrets on that score. But we have had a problem. The underfloor tank I installed to catch the pee from the diverter has to be pumped out into a container for disposal and I’d reckoned without the limescale that settles out of the liquid. DSCF0610Clearing the filters was not a pleasant job so I’ve gone back to the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)principal I should have applied in the first place. The underfloor installation is now a thing of the past, with tank, pipes and pump removed and discarded. Now the pee runs through a short pipe through the side of the loo and into a 5 litre container sited alongside.
This container is easily removed for disposal of the contents. Low tech but far less troublesome.
Another job I‘ve got to do is construct another top box for the fenders. The existing one is growing mushrooms!DSCF0596

Locks 8, miles 3¾


KevinTOO said...

Not the best of tasks to undertake on your Birthday Geoff, but hope it was a good day none the less... :)

Geoff and Mags said...

True, but I had chocolate fudge cake to look forward to!