We stay at Westport Lake for a week, where we are able to top up on grocery shopping and pick up some prescription medicines. We had a few dry days during this time bur had a few foggy ones too.
We leave our mooring at Westport Lake and cruise for an hour to Etruria in Stoke. Watch out for the kilns,cranes and cobbles of Middleport Pottery, the Victorian pottery which continues to use traditional techniques to produce Burleighware pottery today. Its also been used as a film location and in an episode of Peaky Blinders.
We moor at Etruria next to the Industrial Museum, with the only remaining operational Steam Driven Potters Mill in the world. Sadly closed while we were there. A statue of James Brindley the most famous canal engineer of the era is located opposite the museum. Here we walk into Tunstall town a couple of times as I managed to find a fabric store where I could purchase a few bits for a couple of projects I am doing.
24th January 2020
Leaving Etruria we negotiate the 5 Stoke Locks and continue to head south, watch out for the brick furnaces shaped like gigantic bottles thankfully preserved, the factories and warehouses which are now being rebuilt and the Wedgewood Factory built in 1769 which is set back from the canal. The day started of a bit mucky and that was how it continued for most of the day. We moor at Barlaston for a few days where we take in a visit to the Wedgewood Factory and enjoy a couple of walks although we did get a bit muddy!
28th January 2020
We leave Barlaston on a beautiful crisp winters day, we were blessed with some lovely winter sunshine, and pass through some lovely countryside interspersed with the odd few houses or cottages. The railway adjacent to the canal for most of this section of the canal. We we arrived at Meaford Locks, a set of three locks that take us towards Stone. At Stone we use the boaters facilities before heading down the four Stone Locks and mooring below the bottom lock.